Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

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    Martin Howett
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    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2012-08-21

    Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Martin Howett on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:48 pm

    Dear Members:

    I am wondering if any of the members would have any information on non-combat related verbal or written citations that could or would have been given to other ranks for actions considered beyond the call not involving combat.

    Action: An armed dispatch rider while delivering dispatches between two unknown Canadian Army HQ's in London England was severly injured in an accident between his motorcycle and a doubledecker bus ( an event that required 18 month of hospital convalescence ) the soldier refused medical treatment and refused to turn over his dispatches to anyone until a person who could prove to him that they had the proper authority to accept the dispatches arrived on the scene.

    It is the belief of the person that conveyed this story to me, that the soldier involved was given some form of recognition for his actions. Does anyone have any idea what form this recognition could or would have taken? Would the recognition have become a part of his permanent record? If so what part of the Service Record would this type of recognition be located in?

    Thank You
    Martin

    servicepub
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    Posts : 188
    Join date : 2009-11-25

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by servicepub on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:50 am

    If you know the person's name you can look him up on the Archives website or you can refer to the "Courage and Service" CD. There were few decorations available for non-combat with the British Empire Medal/Order of the British Empire being the most common.
    Any formal recognition would be documented in the Service Record but I don't believe that there was a formal 'part' in which this was recorded.
    Clive

    Darrell
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    Age : 50
    Location : NB

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Darrell on Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:55 am

    Hi Martin

    While I cannot comment on the suitabilty of an actual "award" for the situation you described, I can provide you with a Federal database of WW2 Army citations for you to search.

    http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/gal/cao-aco/index-eng.asp


    With regard to your question if recognition would become part of his record, I believe it would. "Actions" in a non-combat situation during WW2 were often rewarded with awards including the British Empire Medals (BEM) to "Commendations for Brave Conduct" reports being placed on their files. I have the file of an Armoured Soldier who, during transport overseas in WW2, entered a damaged and confined space of his troop ship to shore up damage from a collision with a US Destroyer. The Report on his file is about 3 paras and clearly takes note of his efforts. No medal or ribbon device but recognition, none the less. I'm afraid not every act of dedicated service was rewarded by a medal.

    If you care to give your man's name, maybe more could result from the membership here and other Forums (Fora?)


    regards
    Darrell

    Martin Howett
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    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2012-08-21

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Martin Howett on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:47 am

    Darrell:

    Thank you for your reply. The information I posted earlier is based of the memories of my mother and an uncle who served in the RCAF. My fathers name was John Herbert Howett K-74121. He enlisted in March of 1941 in British Columbia and between that time and early 1944 we know nothing about his service, except the story about the motorcycle crash. We believe he went overseas as an infantryman and somehow became a dispatch rider. We do not know what his Rank, Division nor Regiment was at that time. The story states that the accident made him unfit to perform his duties as an infantryman or as a dispatch rider and he was slated to be returned to Canada. He somehow appealed this finding and was retrained as a radioman / telegraph operator and assigned to an Artillery Regimental Headquarters where he served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. The only reason that the situation continues to be part of our family fokelore is my father reaction when he received his decorations in 1951. I am led to believe that he was deeply offended that he had been for some unknown reason stripped of the recognition that he had taken great pride in having earned. Not having heard this story from my father, I am not absolutely certain of it's validity, but I have become quite jaded in regards to military records having recently learned that the Regiment he served with in NW Europe could not even accurately list it's casualties in it's War Diaries. Thank you for any help that anyone might provide me in this endevour.

    Martin Howett

    Darrell
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    Posts : 229
    Join date : 2009-11-28
    Age : 50
    Location : NB

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Darrell on Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:30 am

    Hi Martin

    Best thing would be to apply for his Service File. This will likely answer those question that you have. As primary next of kin, I do not believe that you would be required to prove he has been deceased for 20 yrs in order to get a complete un-censored file. Best ask.

    Here is a link for that:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/war-dead/001056-130-e.html?PHPSESSID=e3o54qof0oskgr8dqq3o4n1s44#e

    I use option 4 most often but the guy I use isn't on this Forum though. PM me if you want his details.

    According to Clive's wonderful book on Army Regt'l #s in WW2, yor Father's number K-74121, falls in the block for Military District #11 (British Columbia) and is "Unallotted (Inf)". His file will clear a lot up for you.

    regards
    Darrell

    Martin Howett
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    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2012-08-21

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Martin Howett on Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:51 am

    Thanks Darrell:

    I am about 18 weeks into my five to six month wait on his records. They told me that I will only get a synopsis, and would not tell me what exactly what it would contain. I posted a quote from a letter I received from the Minister of Veterans Affairs on this site earlier in the week. The reason I got the letter was my negative reaction to the information, that I would only get a synopsis. My father and various other members of my family that have served in the two World Wars all got honorable mentions for their service, but the issues with his records which was the main thrust of my uncomplimentary letter to Ottawa was never mentioned. Thank you for your advice and your help.

    Martin

    servicepub
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    Posts : 188
    Join date : 2009-11-25

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by servicepub on Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:55 am

    Hi Martin,

    I am not surprised that you got little from Veteran's Affairs as they would only cover his pension data. Library and Archives has his Service file and it wold be worth getting a private researcher such as Arnie Kay to get this for you. His rates are cheap and he really knows his way around these files.


    Martin Howett
    Member

    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2012-08-21

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Martin Howett on Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:44 pm

    Clive:

    Thanks for the advice and info. I am becoming confused I guess. My letter expressing my disbelief that I would not be allowed full access to my fathers records was actually sent to the Minister of Defense and they forwarded it to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. It was the ATIP Division of the Library and Archives that informed me that I would only be given a summary of his record. It was this Department that I applied to. My request was received on May 24, 2012 and the confirmation letter states that I should be provided a reply in five months or sooner, as our workload permits. I am now 18 days from the five months. If I do not receive the information or if it is in fact a summary and not his records I will definately be willing to hire Arnie. I have ordered and received Service Records, War Diaries and Casualty Lists from the Library and Archives and have always been extremely pleased with their service.
    Perhaps I will be with this endevour as well. If not, I would be willing to explore any avenue that would allow me access to my fathers records.

    Thank You
    Martin

    Martin Howett
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    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2012-08-21

    Re: Non-combat WWII Citations / Awards

    Post by Martin Howett on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:45 pm

    Clive:

    I have just been informed by ATIP,that my five month wait has just become a minimum eight and one half months wait. Would it be possible for you to provide me with the contact info for Arnie Kay. Also off the top of your head, do you know what level of access he would have?

    Martin

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