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Author Topic: WWII KIA dog tag set to a 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Captain  (Read 1884 times)

Offline bellasilva

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Here's a grouping that I picked up recently and is absolutely the most treasured item in my collection..

Captain William S. McCauley, a Virginia Native, attended the Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. While serving with the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, he landed on Utah Beach on D+3 and was immediately thrown into combat, in some operations fighting alongside the 1st Airborne Division.

His ability to lead and gallantry in combat eventually led to a promotion to 1st Lt. and then Captain, being given command of Troop C of the 4th Cavalry.

On December 20th, 1944, McCauley led an attack into Bogheim, Germany, heavily defended by the Germans. He took point and went forward to scout the area when he was cut down by German small arms fire. The best efforts of the medics were put forth, but he died enroute to a field hospital.

He was greatly admired by his men and superiors. Truly a tragic but too common story. He is somewhat well documented on the internet, and I was able to locate, thanks to USdog, a screenshot of a newspaper article regarding a letter sent to McCauley's mother after death. Along with the group came his Purple Heart ribbon, rank insignia from 2nd LT. to Captain, and his Cavalry collar insignia. I was also able to locate his gravestone at the Henri-Chappelle cemetery  in Belgium.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 03:22:27 PM by bellasilva »
Phil

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Great that you're keeping Captain McCauley's memory alive. An interesting cord on the tags. Private purchase?
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline bellasilva

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Thanks Ian, I hope to some day soon complete an Ike jacket with McCauley's original ribbons and locate the patches he would've worn, as I think it'd be a nice tribute. The plastic cord is, I believe, private purchase. This is the 2nd example I own of one. Unfortunately after so many years these tend to harden and set in place, so these appear to have been wrapped up and stored for very many years. They were found at an estate sale in Virginia so I would imagine they stayed there in the family for many years after his death until whomever in the family owned them passed away
Phil

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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As I suspected. I have a WW2 few tags with either the typical beaded chain or fine braided wire. ( I've worn a set of tags 24/7 myself for years. I was never in the military, but it has my name and contact details etc. on one tag and my wife's on the other, "in the event of...." so to speak!)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 02:26:53 PM by Tom E. Gunn »
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Offline bellasilva

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Never a bad idea! I had a set stamped up for my daughters a few years back with their names, address, and phone numbers of both my wife and I. Try as they might to remember our phone numbers and addresses, in the event something serious enough were to happen that they'd forget, it'd be right there. My 5 year old calls them her "golden medals"  ;D I've since stopped wearing mine from the National Guard and had a WWII set stamped up with my name, the service number from the very first dog tag I ever collected, and a tetanus date for an added cool factor. I've worn one of them ever since. And they look absolutely authentic!
Phil

 

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