A WWII Bronze Star with Documents to Major Standart 13th AAF
A WWII Bronze Star with Documents to Major Standart 13th AAF - Bronze Star (bronze gilt, un-named, 34.8 mm x 36.3 mm); and Purple Heart (bronze gilt and enamels, un-named, 35 mm x 43.8 mm). Original ribbons with brooch pinbacks, extremely fine. Accompanied by his Original Bronze Star Citation (embossed stamp inscribed "OFFICIAL / HQ FAR EAST AIR FORCES / ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE", typewritten in black on white paper, stamped "1268" on the reverse, 202 mm x 266 mm), two Letters of Commendation from Headquarters 307th Bombardment Group (H), Office of the Commanding Officer (dated May 14, 1944 and November 3, 1944, signed by Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Burnham, Officer Commanding, 216 mm x 270 mm), a Letter of Commendation from Headquarters 307th Bombardment Group (HV) APO 719-2 (dated October 4, 1945, Colonel Clifford H. Rees, Air Corps Commanding, signed by216 mm x 270 mm), his U.S. Army Air Forces Meritorious Service Award Certificate (to "MAJOR JOSEPH G STANDART", signed by Major H.L. Cole, printed in black ink on white paper, 196 mm x 246 mm), a 13th Army Air Force Patch (three-color embroidery, outlined in beige wool, 71 mm), five black and white photographs taken in the Southwest Pacific theatre (gloss finish, ranging in size from 88 mm x 108 mm to 94 mm x 123 mm) and four newspaper articles from the Detroit News detailing the exploits of the 13th Army Air Force "Long Rangers" in the Netherlands (Dutch) East Indies (two of the same, dated Thursday, August 2, 1945 with a photo showing Standart receiving his Purple Heart; one dated August 3, 1945; and one dated August 28, 1945).Footnote: 0421685 Major Joseph G. Standart was a Captain and experienced combat pilot in the 307th Bombardment Group, 13th Army Air Force, better known as the "Long Rangers" in the Netherlands (Dutch) East Indies, Caroline Islands, the Philippine Islands and Borneo, along with being a dedicated Intelligence Officer with the American "Jungle Air Force", when he received a letter of Commendation from Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Burnham, Officer Commanding, Headquarters 307th Bombardment Group (H), dated May 14, 1944, stating "1. Your material contribution to the outstanding success of the combat strikes of this Group has been brought to my attention. / 2. You have been subject to personal hardships which have been of greater magnitude than ever before encountered by your organization. The small number of personnel on hand for duty has caused you to perform your duties without benefit of assistance while increased operations have multiplied the requirements of personal endeavor. / 3. It is my desire to extend to you my heart felt appreciation for your complete devotion to duty which had brought great credit to you and the military service." In late July, and now a Major, Standart, from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, was awarded his Purple Heart in a medal award ceremony conducted by Major-General Paul B. Wurtsmith, a native of Detroit, Michigan, commanding the 13th Army Air Force. The ceremony was conducted during a cold, steady drizzle but the rain didn't hamper the spirits of the commander or his men, as Wurtsmith conferred medals (Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Purple Heart) upon 300 officers and men of the 307th Bombardment Group, "The Long Rangers", for their distance bombing of Japanese occupied islands with Liberator bombers. They aggressively attacked shore defenses and aerodromes, pinning down the Japanese Air Force, paving the way for the beachhead landings of the Australians. In the photo accompanying the article from the Detroit News of August 2, 1945, it clearly shows Major-General Wurtsmith having just finished pinning a Purple Heart on the breast of Major Standart, one of eighteen Michigan men to receive honors that day. Standart was on a mission against Japanese shipping in Saigon Harbor, French Indo-China (Vietnam), when his Long Ranger was under attack for 45 minutes by eight Japanese fighter planes that punctured the B-24 with 84 holes. The 2,000 mile mission after had been delayed so long that fighters could not escort them. The Japanese fighters caught them as they turned over shipping in the harbor for their bomb run. Standart stated that "The Japs concentrated on us. Our oxygen system was shot out. One of the Jap bullets penetrated the gas line. A fire broke out in the bombays and we were smothered in it four minutes." No bombers were lost, as they destroyed a Japanese cargo ship and hit two freighters, bombing from 17,000 feet. After their return to the home field along a blacked out coastline, a B-24 cracked up on the runway ahead of Standart's bomber and swerved over the right side of the strip. The left hand landing lights went out and there were no lights on the other side of the strip. His Lone Ranger touched the runway okay but the weight of the aircraft hit a bullet-battered tire, it veered left, hitting a culvert and washed out its landing gear, swung down the runway on its belly, hitting a jeep, an ambulance and two fire trucks, swinging crazily and came to rest at the base of a tower. Standart was in the flight deck, when the top turret broke loose, fell across him and pinned him to the floor, cutting him in the legs by glass, with the aircraft catching fire. Standart described his predicament: "I dug out underneath the turret, through a pile of clothes, I got loose. Then I helped the radio operator get out by kicking over the table which had him pinned. Then I dove through the co-pilot's escape hatch." The fire was put out but the bomber was wrecked, the crew cut, bruised and battered but were not seriously injured. In a second letter of Commendation from Burnham, dated November 3, 1944, it states: "1. It is my desire to command you for your proven initiative and ingenuity which have caused the intelligence sections to become superior to any heretofore known in this organization. / 2. Your untiring personal supervision of activities pertaining to both combat intelligence and indoctrination of combat crew members has been meritorious. Your broad scope of influence has made possible the successful completion of many critically important combat operations and you analytical abilities have allowed accurate and timely information to be furnished other and higher headquarters. / 3. It is further desired that this commendation be included in any future recommendation for award that may be made, particularly upon your relief from this organization." He received a third letter of Commendation from Colonel Clifford H. Rees, Air Corps Commanding, Headquarters 307th Bombardment Group (HV) APO 719-2, dated October 4, 1945, stating: "1. As you depart from this organization, I wish to express my commendation for the fine services you have rendered as Intelligence Officer from 13 March 1944 to the present day. / 2. At all times you have exhibited fine qualities of tact and leadership, and your initiative and ingenuity have aided materially in accomplishing the mission of this Group. Your cooperation, loyalty and fidelity have rendered your counsel highly effective, and enabled this command to solve many of its complex problems in an effective and expeditious manner. Your services typify the calibre which has enabled a successful prosecution of the total war effort, and has permitted credit to resolve to this unit and to yourself as well. / 3. Your willingness to assume additional tasks as the compilation and publication of the group history "We'll Say Goodbye" has been outstanding. The members of this group will always be indebted to you for this remembrance of their days as Long Rangers. / 4. It has been a pleasure to have served with one who possesses the true attributes of a soldier as you most certainly do. I wish also to express my personal appreciation and thanks to you, and to express the confidence which I possess that you will continue to fulfill your responsibilities as you have with the Long Rangers. / 5. This commendation has been made a part of your official record." After the war, Standart returned home to the Detroit area and was awarded his Bronze Star on April 6, 1946 in a ceremony conducted on the front steps of Detroit City Hall. That was followed by a luncheon at the Book-Cadillac Hotel for all who had been awarded medals at the ceremony. His Bronze Star Citation, published in General Orders N. 2219 (Headquarters, Far East Air Forces, 1 December 1945) reads: "Major JOSEPH G. STANDART, 0421685, Air Corps, United States Army. For meritorious achievement in connection with military operations in the Southwest Pacific Area from 25 March 1944 to 2 September 1945. During this period Major Standart, as intelligence officer to a heavy bombardment group, demonstrated outstanding initiative and leadership in the performance of his duties. His keen analyses of the enemy situation were an important factor in the success of his group's aerial strikes against enemy installations in the Caroline Islands, the Philippine Islands, and Borneo. By flying numerous combat missions, Major Standart accumulated important first-hand information which he passed on to newly-assigned crews to augment normal intelligence data disseminated by summaries and briefing. Major Standard also sponsored an extensive public relations program for his group and organized individual home-town publicity for all group personnel. In addition to giving weekly lectures on the war situation for the personnel of his group, he produced a pictorial history of the group's activities, one of the outstanding graphic accounts of heavy bombardment activity in the Southwest Pacific Area. By his diligence and devotion to duty Major Standart made a noteworthy contribution to the success of his group's operations."