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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Father in Law Robert C. Kelly 12th Armored Division seeking info.
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Author Topic:  Father in Law Robert C. Kelly 12th Armored Division seeking info.
JulianafrancisK
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Registered: 11/16/2018
posted 11/16/2018 8:17:18 AM    Click here to view the profile for JulianafrancisK  Reply w/Quote
Hello! Our family recently discovered that my late father-in-law, Robert C. Kelly of Detroit, who never spoke much about his two years overseas, received a distinguished service cross as well as a Bronze Star. We are hoping to discover why he was decorated, and to learn more about his war experience generally. Here's all I know - 12th armored division, 714 tank battalion, returned home with some German effects. Thanks so much for any points of contact!

MikeWoldenberg
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From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/16/2018 8:39:12 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
A Distinguished Service Cross is a very big deal. We will look into it.



MikeWoldenberg
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From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/16/2018 9:33:27 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello again. Robert C. Kelly was in the 714th Tank Battalion Headquarters. I made a quick review of the After Action Report (monthly reports). He was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain in February ?1945 and reassigned to be the S-2 officer. (S-2 is the intelligence and security officer). I found the General Order number for his Bronze
Star Award, but do not yet have the citation.

I have a question. Was Robert C Kelly in another
division before he joined the 12th Armored? I ask this
because I have not seen a mention of his DSC. However, I believe a reference book exists that records all Distiguised Service Crosses.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/16/2018 9:39:46 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Juliana, Please contact me by email. (See the box
above my name). I will send you the After Action
Report for 714th Tank Battalion.

Mike W.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/17/2018 1:55:44 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello Again, I found the following website:

https://valor.defense.gov/Recipients/Army-Distinguished-Service-Cross-Recipients/

Go to this website and click on WW2. You will find that
Captain Robert C. Kelly received the Distinguished Service Cross. I was unable to find any reference to this award in the After Action Reports for the 714th Tank Battalion, December 1944 to August of 1945. If you go to the website above, you can contact the Army and ask for the "General Orders" for his award. This is a document listing several recipients of awards. You will need his Army Serial Number (ASN). This begins with the letter O for officer. It should be on any documents he has around
I have seen a book with the names and the number of the General Orders for Silver Star recipients. There should be one for DSC recipients.
Was Robert C. Kelly assigned to another division before he was assigned to the 12th ARmored Division? Perhaps he earned this award with another division. He was a member of the 12th at least from December, 1944.

I will give a bit more detail on what I found in the After Action Report for the 714th Tank Battalion: In December, 1944 he was a 1st Lieutenant, and commanding officer of the Service Company. In January, 1945 he went to Head Quarters and became the Battalion S-2 officer, in charge of Intelligence and Security. He kept this job for the rest of the war.
In February he was promoted to Captain. In May he was awarded the Bronze Star (General Order 49, Section III, dated 31 May, 1945. If we can find this General Order, it will give a description of what he did.
Men were transferred out of the 12th to other assignments and he apparently left at this time. He was not in the August Roster of Officers.

PS Do you possess his medal for the Distinguished Service Cross? Do you have his Bronze Star Medal?

Mike W

Bob Scherer
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Member # 119

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From: Yardley, PA
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posted 11/18/2018 9:52:17 PM    Click here to view the profile for Bob Scherer  Click here to email Bob Scherer  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike -
Robert C Kelly 01 012 598 CPT, Infantry, HQ 714th Tank Bn, was awarded the Bronze Star on General Order 49, Section XII, dtd 31 May 1945 "for meritorious service from 17 March to 25 April 1945 in Eastern France and Western Germany. Captain Kelly, as battalion S-2 demonstrated superior ability in the performance of his duties which contributed materially to the success of the task force. His timely interrogation of prisoners of war and his dissemination of this information to the battalion commander and to the company commanders was of immense value. Entered military service from Detroit, Michigan." I can provide a copy of the General Order upon request. I have not seen any DSC's awarded in the General Orders I have collected although my set in by no means complete. I like you suggestion that Kelly earned the DSC in a different unit. Bob


MikeWoldenberg
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From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/19/2018 7:41:54 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
(See Bob's message giving the Army Serial Number and his citation for the Bronze Star). Thanks Bob!

As I said, it is possible that Robert Kelly earned the DSC with a different division. The 12th Armored was assigned to the 7th Army which contained several divisions and sub units. Prior to the arrival of the 12th in Europe, the 7th Army was fighting in Morocco, Sicily and Italy. Then it participated in the invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon) in August of 1944.

(For example, my uncle was a paratrooper
who was first assigned to North Africa, then Italy,
and finally jumped with Operation Dragoon. He was injured and later was assigned to the 12th Armored Division in December, 1944).

My guess is that Robert Kelly was transferred from another division in the 7th Army.

Garandomatic
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posted 11/19/2018 8:59:57 AM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Found this:
https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/6117

The Robert C. Kelly listed there was with the 88th Division and was KIA in the action that resulted in the DSC.

Not sure if there is a mix-up and the above officer earned the DFC and not the 12th Armored fellow.

That said, no list is totally comprehensive. I once owned a late-war 43rd Division officer's uniform that belonged to a man that got a silver star for restoring communications when his portion of the unit was cut off from the main body. There was a video interview of him online at the Library of Congress site in which he very humbly talked about his Silver Star actions and even held up his framed medals, but he didn't show up on the DOD's list or the site that I used above.

The above site is a decent one, and sometimes includes the citations for awards.

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/19/2018 12:04:15 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Josh, Assuming you are correct, this is quite a coincidence. The Robert C. Kelly in the 12th Armored
was promoted to Captain in February, 1945, as I recall.
The person who won the DSC on the list I found on the web, was a Captain Robert C Kelly.

We need to find out if the daughter-in-law who wrote the first message had information from the same website I found.

Or perhaps-----
In a message I sent above, I asked if the family still has his DSC and Bronze Star Medals. If they have the medal, then we have the answer to this puzzle.




Garandomatic
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From: Ohio
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posted 11/19/2018 3:04:26 PM    Click here to view the profile for Garandomatic  Click here to email Garandomatic  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Agreed...

Incidentally, that is amazing that a paratrooper was reassigned to the Armored... Neat to hear about a specific example. They mention wounded Airborne guys going AWOL to rejoin their units for fear that they would be transferred elsewhere in Band of Brothers. I always assumed that meant being put in as a random replacement in one of the other Airborne outfits, but that's a whole different ballgame!

JulianafrancisK
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posted 11/27/2018 12:55:08 PM    Click here to view the profile for JulianafrancisK  Reply w/Quote
Thank you all so much for these leads! ! I am going to forward all this compelling information to Robert C. Kelly's children (he had seven!) to see how best to corroborate what you have generously shared here. All the Best, Juliana

MikeWoldenberg
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From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/28/2018 5:43:57 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
In a message prior to this one, Bob Scherer wrote:

"Robert C Kelly 01 012 598 CPT, Infantry, HQ 714th Tank Bn,"

PLEASE NOTE. The Army Serial Number should
start with a capital O. Bob wrote the number as beginning with a Zero. 0. Compare the two.

If you want a copy of the After Action Report
for the 714th, please contact me. Mike W.

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 11/28/2018 5:56:30 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
The other Captain Robert C. Kelly can be found
here:

https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/6117

He had a different Army Serial Number and
was in the 88th Infantry Division. (349th Infantry
Regiment).

Thanks to "Garandomatic" who found this information . See his message above.

Mike

MikeWoldenberg
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Posts: 1010
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
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posted 11/29/2018 6:33:28 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
To explain my comment on Army Serial Numbers:

Officers' numbers begin with a capital O., not
with a zero 0.

rjsuitor
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From: Saginaw MI
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posted 12/16/2018 10:00:00 PM    Click here to view the profile for rjsuitor  Click here to email rjsuitor  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Interesting he was from Detroit Michigan My father Jack Suitor of Saginaw Michigan is 93 years old still living and quite spry. He was a member of the 12th Armored Division 714th battalion Company A. I found his photo with his tank and team. My dad was a corporal a tank loader an gunner on the Sherman Tank We lost his ribbons medals wrote our congressman who had all new medals and ribbons sent plus US flag that flew over White House. He was featured on Witness To War Foundation who came up to Michigan to record his experience in war. Sounds like your father in law had quite honorable awards. Records were lost due to a fire perhaps writing your congressman or senator maybe they can send the duplicate medals and ribbons to you.