AR20150009835

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 17 May 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009835

BOARD VOTE:

_________ _______ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

____X___ ____X___ ____X___ DENY APPLICATION

2Enclosures
1. Board Determination/Recommendation
2. Evidence and Consideration

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 17 May 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009835

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

____________X____________
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 17 May 2016

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20150009835

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant, widow of a former service member (FSM), requests, in effect, correction of her late husband’s records to show in:

* item33 (Decorations and Citations) award of the PurpleHeart
* item34 (Wounds Received in Action) he was wounded in action

2. The applicant states:

a.Her husband was wounded in WorldWarII while stringing communication wire along the German border. His wounds were the result of enemy activity.

b.He spotted half a dozen or so German reconnaissance soldiers and he was shot by one of them as he was going for his gun. He later heard that other American Soldiers killed all of those German soldiers.

c.The bullet entered his front right thigh through his groin, intestines, bladder, and coccyx eliminating his tailbone and it exited his left buttock.

d.He was taken unconscious from the field by his comrades and eventually transported to the following hospitals:

* 91stEvacuation Hospital from 2November 1944 to 13November 1944
* 15thGeneral Hospital in Belgium from 14November 1944 until 21November 1944
* 203dGeneral Hospital in France from 22November 1944 until 27November 1944, where he was awarded the PurpleHeart
* 164thGeneral Hospital in Northern France from 28November 1944 until 3December 1944
* 162dGeneral Hospital in Launceston, England, from 3December 1944 until 1February 1945

e.He was transported by train to Liverpool and then transported to a hospital ship headed to the UnitedStates, carrying Canadian soldiers and approximately 600wounded U.S.Soldiers. On 11February 1945, the wounded arrived at Holloran General Hospital in NewYork dressed in pajamas, glasses, and dog tags. All their medals and souvenirs had been pilfered while hospitalized overseas.

f.Her husband was awarded the PurpleHeart while hospitalized in France in November 1944. He had the PurpleHeart ribbon on his jacket when he came home on the hospital ship.

g.On 19February 1945, he was transported to Barnes General Hospital in Vancouver, Washington, where he remained until 11May 1945. From 2September 1945 to Victory over Japan Day (2September 1945), he was sent to SantaBarbara, California, to the Biltmore Hotel, which had been taken over by the Army. He served as a desk clerk for approximately 1year.

h.On 10March 1946, he was sent to SanPedro, California, for discharge. He served a total of 33months.

3. The applicant provides:

* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Form21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim)
* WDAGOForm53-55 (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge)
* photograph of the FSM’s ribbons
* VAInsuranceForm357 (Statement of Claim for Waiver of Premiums or Continuation of Waiver of Premiums under the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, as Amended)
* WDAGOForm100 (Separation Qualification Record)
* State of Oregon Counties of Fenton and Wallowa court-filed copies of the FSM’s WDAGOForm53-55
* FSM’s Honorable Discharge Certificate
* three VA letters, dated 17August 1946, 15July 1947, and 6March 2013
* self-authored statements
* National Personnel Records Center letter, dated 5October 2005
* Department of the Army Office of the Surgeon General Hospital Admission Card data for 1944
* Army Review Boards Agency letter, dated 21November 2014
* FSM’s birth certificate
* their marriage certificate
* FSM’s death certificate

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title10, U.S.Code, section1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. The FSM’s complete military and medical records are not available to the Board for review. A fire destroyed approximately 18million service members’ records at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973. It is believed the applicant’s records were lost or destroyed in that fire. The case is being considered using reconstructed records provided by the National Personnel Records Center and records provided by the applicant.

3. The FSM was inducted into the Army of the UnitedStates on 27May 1943 and he entered active duty on 4June 1943.

4. He departed the continental UnitedStates on 11August 1944 and he arrived in the European/African Theater on 23August 1944.

5. Department of the Army Office of the Surgeon General Hospital Admission Card data for 1944 shows the FSM received a non-battle, in-the-line-of-duty bullet wound in November 1944 in the European theater of operations. His injuries were listed as:

* wound(s), perforating with no nerve or artery involvement of the rectum
* fracture, compound, comminuted with no nerve or artery involvement of the spine and trunk
* hematoma

6. The 4thindorsement from the War Department Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, DC, dated 26October 1945, to a memorandum from the Commander, Army Ground and Service Forces Redistribution Station, SantaBarbara, CA, dated 6June 1945, concerning award of the PurpleHeart to the FSM stated the award was not favorably considered.

7. On 10March 1946, the FSM was honorably released from active duty. His WDAGOForm53-55 shows he received campaign participation credit for NorthernFrance and Rhineland. His WDAGOForm53-55 also shows in.

* item33 no award of the PurpleHeart
* item34 none

8. The applicant provided:

a. a photograph of ribbons which included the PurpleHeart that she states were on the FSM’s jacket when he came home on the hospital ship;

b.a letter from the National Personnel Records Center, dated 5October 2005, verifying the FSM’s entitlement to certain awards. The PurpleHeart is not among the awards listed; and

c.VA correspondence ranging in date from 17August 1946 to 6March 2013 stating the FSM sustained a gunshot wound during his service and he was awarded compensation for his service-connected disability for removal of his tail bone.

REFERENCES:

1. Army Regulation600-8-22 (Military Awards) provides that the PurpleHeart is awarded for a wound sustained as a result of hostile action. Substantiating evidence must be provided to verify the wound was the result of hostile action, the wound must have required treatment by military medical personnel, and the medical treatment must have been made a matter of official record.

2. Army Regulation15-185 (Army Board for Correction of Military Records) prescribes the policies and procedures for correction of military records by the Secretary of the Army acting through the ABCMR. The ABCMR begins its consideration of each case with the presumption of administrative regularity. The applicant has the burden of proving an error or injustice by a preponderance of the evidence.

DISCUSSION:

1. Award of the PurpleHeart requires evidence to verify:

* the wound was the result of hostile action
* treatment of the wound by medical personnel
* documentation of the wound in official records

2. The evidence of record shows the FSM was wounded in the line of duty; however, Office of the Surgeon General Hospital Admission Card data for 1944 show the FSM received a non-battle bullet wound in November 1944 in the European theater of operations. Additionally, the War Department Adjutant General’s Office denied award of the PurpleHeart to the FSM on 26October 1945.

3. There is no evidence of record that conclusively shows the FSM was wounded or injured as a result of hostile action which would entitle him to award of the PurpleHeart. In the absence of such evidence, administrative regularity is presumed.

//NOTHING FOLLOWS//
ABCMR Record of Proceedings AR20150000953

Enclosure 1

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150009835

2

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 1

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20150009835

5

ARMY BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS

RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Enclosure 2