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eMedals-United States. A Purple Heart Group to Fire Controlman Bouret & Brother Leo, KIA, USS Harding, Battle of Okinawa, 1945

Item: M0215-28

United States. A Purple Heart Group to Fire Controlman Bouret & Brother Leo, KIA, USS Harding, Battle of Okinawa, 1945

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United States. A Purple Heart Group to Fire Controlman Bouret & Brother Leo, KIA, USS Harding, Battle of Okinawa, 1945

Purple Heart, (two-piece construction, in bronze gilt with purple, red, white and green enamels, engraved "GORDON E. BOURET FC1C USN" on the reverse, measuring 35mm (w) x 43mm (h), original ribbon with brooch pinback, intact enamels, extremely fine condition); Good Conduct Medal (bronze, 32.5mm (w) x 36mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon, extremely fine condition), American Defense Medal (bronze, 31.5mm (w)x 35.5mm (h - including integral ball), on original ribbon, surface wear evident, embossed inscription on reverse slightly worn, very fine condition), Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal (bronze, 32mm (w) x 35.5mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon, surface contact, very fine condition), WWII Victory Medal (bronze, 36mm (w) x 40mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon, wear to edges, very fine condition), National Defense Medal (bronze, 31.5mm (w) x 35.5mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon, very fine condition) all mounted on suspension bar with two vertical pins on back; European-African-Eastern Campaign Medal (bronze, 32mm (w) x 36mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon with brooch pinback, surface wear evident, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h) on brooch pinback, both very fine condition; American Defense Medal (bronze, 31.5mm (w)x 35.5mm (h - including integral ball), on original ribbon with brooch pinback, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h) on brooch pinback, both extremely fine condition); American Campaign Medal (bronze, 31mm (w) x 35mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon with brooch pinback, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h) on brooch pinback, both extremely fine condition); Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal (bronze, 32mm (w) x 35.5mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon with brooch pinback, surface contact, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h) on brooch pinback, both extremely fine condition); WWII Victory Medal (bronze, 36mm (w) x 40mm (h-including integral ball), on original ribbon with brooch pinback, surface contact evident on obverse, with ribbon bar, 10mm (w) x 35mm (h) on brooch pinback, both very fine condition); Ribbon Bar (Navy Good Conduct with two bronze stars, American Defense, Asia-Pacific Campaign with one bronze star, 105mm (w) x 10.5mm (h), on suspension bar with swingback pin, very fine condition); Ribbon Bar (WWII Victory, National Defense, Army of Occupation, 106mm (w) x 10mm (h), on suspension bar with two pin back, ribbons discoloured); Gold Star Lapel Pin (bronze gilt with purple enamels, 15mm (w) x 15.5mm (h), marked “ACT OF CONGRESS / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / 1 AUGUST 1947” and engraved “AMB” on reverse, brooch pinback, extremely fine condition); Identification/Dog Tags (aluminum, stamped “BOURET LEO A / 2017 77 12 B/ USN C”, 51mm (w) x 28mm (h) each, on full length chain); USN Chief Petty Officer Cap Badge (silver, 19mm (w) x 31.5mm (h), USN stamped “STERLING” on reverse, anchor stamped “VANGUARD 154” on reverse, two vertical pins on reverse, extremely fine condition).


Accompanied by photocopies from the National Archives regarding Gordon Bouret’s service.



Footnote: Gordon Earl Bouret was born in Natick Massachusetts on October 21, 1921. He received 12 years of education, played on the varsity football and baseball teams in high school, and worked odd jobs as a soda clerk, service station attendant and grocery store clerk prior to entering the United States Navy. He enlisted on November 8, 1940 and was sent to the Naval Training School in Newport. In December he received his qualifications as a Marksman on the Codington Point Rifle Range, and as a recruit swimmer. He boarded the USS Benson on December 28, 1940, a destroyer ship that was stationed at the New York Harbor, beginning the neutrality patrols. On April 18, 1941 he was transferred to the USS Prairie for instruction in the Fire Controlman Tender School. The USS Prairie, a Dixie-class destroyer, sailed between Atlantic ports from Colon, C.Z to Argentia, Newfoundland, tending to Allied ships. After four months, Fire Controlman (2nd Class) Bouret was transferred back to the USS Benson which was escorting conveys between Boston and Iceland. While participating in preparation exercises for Operation Torch in the latter half of 1942, the Benson was damaged, ultimately sending the ship back to the New York Navy Shipyard for repairments. In mid-June 1942, he became qualified as Gun Director Pointer (cross leveler) 1st Class, increasing his wage by $3 per week when required to operate in this position. From November 29, 1942 to March 29, 1943, Bouret was stationed at the Receiving Station Navy Yard, Washington. In December 1942, he attended the Service School NTSch (Fire Control - Advanced)  in the Navy Yard. The course spanned a 16 week period and he graduated 19 of 22. On March 29, 1943, he was transferred to Receiving station Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington before boarding the USS Harding on May 25, 1943.


The USS Harding, a destroyer, patrolled the Atlantic for German U-Boats prior to the United States declaration of war. While on board the USS Harding, FC1 Bouret participated in the assault operation on the Normandy Coast of France from June 6-15, 1944, providing fire support to the troops ashore during the first hours of the landing. The ship stayed on the coast until the June 26 in a screening operation following the invasion. From August 15 to September 26, 1944, he participated in the invasion of Southern France. Afterwards, the ship was sent to the Pacific to support Naval landings of the Marine Corps. In March 1945, the destroyer sailed to Okinawa, to take place in the last and largest amphibious attack. First employed as a minesweeper in the surrounding area, and as an outer screening ship as of April 1, 1945, the USS Harding saw intense action while providing fire support to the forces ashore on the night of April 8. On April 16, the ship was attacked by 4 Kamikazes, the third being successful in tearing a gash in the starboard side, resulting in a bomb explosion. FC Bouret was one of 14 soldiers killed in action during this attack. His remains were interred in an allied cemetery on an island in the Pacific, and his kin were notified in June, 1945.

 

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