Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 456: Solomon Island Veteran Uniform/Medal Set

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Historic World War II Uniform and Medal Set for a Decorated Marine Veteran of the Solomon Islands Campaign, Rare American Recipient of the British Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, with Documentation

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $10,000 - $15,000

Historic World War II Uniform and Medal Set for a Decorated Marine Veteran of the Solomon Islands Campaign, Rare American Recipient of the British Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, with Documentation

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Type: Other
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Item Views: 1608
Item Interest: Average
Catalog Page: 316
Class: Other
Description:

Consisting of a uniform jacket and trousers, and glass-topped case of medals, and a binder of documentation (both originals and copies), the contents of this lot are from or related to USMC Gunnery Sergeant Clarence E. Petrie of Company D, First Battalion, 2nd Marines. A California resident who enlisted in December of 1941, Petrie was among the Marines tasked to the Solomon Islands Campaign, during which he would distinguish himself with his bravery and tenacity under fire. Two incidents in particular stand out, and are cited in included award documents. The first was an incident on November 3rd, 1942 when then-PFC Petrie encountered an enemy emplacement while on recon duty with 2 other Marines, successfully knocked it out and captured four intact light artillery pieces in the process; he received the Silver Star for the action. The second occurred on November 21st, 1943, during the landing on Tarawa. Then-Sergeant Petrie and his platoon leader, manhandling a 75mm pack howitzer, engaged multiple enemy positions by shelling them and then rushing them on foot, including a pillbox that was directly machine-gunning Marines trying to get out of the water and onto the beach, and an interconnected cluster of four pillboxes. For this second action he received two awards, the Navy Cross and the British Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. While the Navy Cross is nothing to sneeze at, the CGM merits particular note. Traditionally an award for British sailors, a limited number of British awards were made to American participating in liberating former British holdings in the Pacific, which included the issue of two CGMs to Marines who saw action in the Solomons. The binder documents include the temporary citations for the two U.S. decorations, as well as the notice informing Petrie of his award of the CGM, along with vintage photos of Petrie and his fellow Marines, copies of service documents, and articles related to the British medal presentations. The uniform jacket bears a Gunnery Sergeant's chevrons, a 2nd Marines shoulder patch, one service bar, and ribbon bars for the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation (2 stars), American Campaign Medal and the Asiatic Campaign Medal (3 stars). The case contains a photo of the Sergeant with his Purple Heart, Silver Star and Navy Cross, and contains a loose 2nd Marines patch, the medals to go with the ribbons, plus a USMC good conduct medal and a WWII victory metal. The CGM is included, fine silver construction with Petrie's name and serial number engraved on the smooth edge. “Petrie” is hand signed inside the pants. Provenance: The Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine overall. The uniform and medals show wear and tear appropriate to age and use, and the paper items show light wear. An important historic group of items from the War in the Pacific.



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