RARE Iwo Jima Recon Mission USN KIA Purple Heart African American Stewards Mate C.W. Oakes

RARE Iwo Jima Recon Mission USN KIA Purple Heart African American Stewards Mate C.W. Oakes

Code: usnm20000cop-CON

SOLD!!! No Longer Available!

Product Description


GREETINGS from The FLYING TIGER Antiques & Vintage Historical Artifacts!!!

As of today, SUNDAY JUNE 4TH, Kanae & I are BOTH IN THE OFFICE, busily packing the MANY Orders we received over the past few days,


So, feel free to ORDER that wonderful Artifact that you've had your eye on, as it will SHIP within 24 Hours of Receipt of Payment!

We have TWO WEEKS here in the OFFICE before we head to Brian Lebel's Santa Fe Old West Show, so get those orders and Show Requests in!

We will be able to process orders placed through SUNDAY JUNE 18TH, after that there will be no shipping until JUNE 26th or 28th, depending on our return.

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Happy Collecting, Ron & Kanae

ARTIFACT: This beautifully engraved Type II Purple Heart commemorates the heroic Supreme Sacrifice given by US Navy Stewards Mate 2nd Class Clarence W. Oakes while serving on board the USS Pensacola on 17 February 1945 during the Iwo Jima Recon Mission. The mission was mainly reconnaissance as USN frogmen scoured the shore for mines and other explosives, they also assessed the sand and island's capacity for military vehicles. As part of the mission, the USMC sent flotilla gun boats towards the shore in advance of reconnaissance. The Japanese opened fire on the twelve boats, sunk one, and damaged nine others, 40% of the soldiers engaged became casualties.
Detailed account of the Pensacola's actions that led to StM 2c Oakes death (Oakes is one of the 14 Enlisted Seamen mentioned below): Bombardment ships were in position off Iwo by 0700 on the 17th of February. Minesweeping began promptly and at 0803 the heavy vessels were ordered to close the beaches for destructive bombardment. Pensacola observed the sweepers being fired on, laid her secondary battery on the firing positions and silenced them within five minutes. But coastal batteries in the northeastern part of Iwo had their revenge. Pensacola around 0935 received six hits from 4.7- or 6-inch shells that wrecked her Operations Room, set fire to a plane on her starboard catapult, punctured her hull on the starboard side forward, killed 3 officers and 14 men, and wounded 98. She withdrew temporarily to fight fires and treat casualties, but later returned to station and concluded her mission.
This Type II Officially Engraved US Navy KIA Iwo Jima related Purple Heart just came out of the woodwork in New Hampshire last month, and we are very honored to be able to offer this somber artifact of the African American effort during WWII.
The Purple Heart, the oldest medal still given today was awarded to service members for: "Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces". The medallion features a heart shaped, purple enamel center with the bust profile of George Washington and above an enameled shield of George Washington in red, white, and green. The medal is suspended from a rich purple and white silk ribbon. The reverse reads: "FOR MILITARY MERIT" and is engraved to: "CLARENCE W. OAKES STM2C USNR"


SIZE: Approximately 3-1/2" full; Medallion: 1-3/8" x 2-1/4" (including suspension ring); Pinback: 1-1/2".

MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: Silk ribbon, enamel, gilt bronze.

ATTACHMENT: Horizontal pin with drop in locking swivel catch.


ITEM NOTES: This is from a US Navy Medal collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. CON-DMB-20-15 LBGEJX9/15 RET2/16

CONDITION: 8+ (Excellent): The medal shows minor wear, the ribbon shows moderate soiling, much of the plating details and nearly all of the enamel details remain intact.

GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.