Awards (Medals) and Decorations,
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306th Bomb Group--Thurleigh, England
GENERAL ORDERS: These orders often include a narrative describing an invidividual's actions that lead to the award. When medals and decorations were awarded, they were officially issued in writing with each man's name and serial number in a General Order, issued by a higher authority such as 8th AAF, VIII Bomber Command, or 1st Bomb Division headquarters. This collection of some of these General Orders include the names of many 306th personnel.
GROUP DIARY MEDALS LISTS: These are lists of names (one per line) and awards. Medals and decorations awarded to 306th Bombardment Group personnel over the course of the war numbered in the thousands. Aircrew's accumulated the greatest number of medals due to the nature of what they did, but ground crew and other support personnel also earned many medals for meritorious service and bravery. The two most commonly awarded medals were the Air Medal (AM), given for completion of six combat missions, and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) awarded for a particularly distinguished action in aerial combat. The DFC was also awarded during the earlier part of the war when a man completed his required number of missions (25, 30, or 35). Of course the Purple Heart (PH) was awarded to any man wounded or killed in combat. When a man earned a second award of a particular medal, he would be given an Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC) to signify the additional medals. A man completing 18 combat missions would therefore be awarded an Air Medal with two OLC's. Each month when the 306th Group Diary was completed, a list of awards and decorations that were presented that month was attached to the diary as part of the record.
TALLY SHEETS: Keeping track of how many missions a man had flown and when he was due to be awarded a particular medal was a significant administrative undertaking for the group staff. Copies of officer "tally" forms that kept track of combat missions and medals are included in the collection for officers with names from Knight through McCallum. Also included is the 26 June 1944 report submitting officers for award of various medals to 1st Bomb Division. And finally, Russell Strong through his extensive research developed a list of the many 306th men who received medals for bravery (Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Soldier's Medal) and meritorious service (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star) and that listing is also included.