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eMedals-United States. A Purple Heart, 47th Infantry, KIA During Panzer Lehr Counter Attack, Normandy, July 11, 1944

Item: M0215-35

United States. A Purple Heart, 47th Infantry, KIA During Panzer Lehr Counter Attack, Normandy, July 11, 1944

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United States. A Purple Heart, 47th Infantry, KIA During Panzer Lehr Counter Attack, Normandy, July 11, 1944

United States. Purple Heart, two-piece construction bronze gilt and enamels, 34mm (w) x 47mm (h), reverse engraved ROBERT W. STEWART, on original ribbon with brooch pinback, slight contact wear on obverse, extremely fine condition, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h), brooch pinback on reverse, slightly discoloured, better than very fine condition, both in original case of issue, 89mm (w) x 164mm (h) x 24mm (d), stamped PURPLE HEART on outside lid, slight contact wear on outside, ‘H’ of Heart disfigured, near extremely fine condition; 9th Infantry Division Badge, two colour embroidered, 65mm, three points of wear along edges, extremely fine condition.

 

Accompanied by photocopy of Individual Deceased Personnel File, research photocopies from National Archives, photocopies of chapters regarding the Panzer Lehr Counter Attack and the 9th Infantry Division.

 

Footnote: Private Robert W. Stewart enlisted for the United States Army in Illinois, his hometown being in Ogle County. He served with the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Division. On July 10, 1944, the German Panzer Lehr attacked West of Vire, Normandy, where a gap had formed between the 47th and 39th Infantry Divisions, as the former moved West to clear the Hommet Woods while the latter went Southwest. The German attack destroyed communications and set the Americans on the defensive. The 1st Battalion was ordered to move South, contact the 3rd Battalion and ultimately cut off any escape routes. This occurred West of La Charlemenerie and resulted in the two battalions neutralizing two Panzers before the tanks were able to fire. The battle concluded around 4pm on July 11, and the 39th and 47th infantry regiments were ordered to advance and take up their original positions. Pte Stewart was killed in action on this day, due to shrapnel wounds. When he died, he had his wallet, a knife, an empty billfold, photographs and lighter on his person. His effects were shipped to his father, Herbert in November of that same year. He is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France, and was awarded the Purple Heart for his sacrifice.

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