Incredible WWII 82nd Airborne Grouping Belonging to Lt. Col. Silvey

Condition: Excellent

SKU: C11443 Categories ,


Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this unique and historically important WWII 82nd Airborne Grouping of items belonging to Lt. Col. Frederick J. Silvey. This grouping was originally purchased from Silvey’s wife in 1996, by another well-known collector in San Antonio where Silvey was born and raised. During WWII, Silvey served in the 82nd Airborne Division,  456th Parachute Field Artillery Bn., as a Parachute Field Artillery Unit Commander- please read the historical description below for further information about Silvey’s wartime record, his awards, his actions on D-Day, and his citation for the Silver Star. This is an incredibly complete grouping, with Silvey’s WWII Ike jacket and overseas cap. Both are made of wool, with the Ike jacket dated 1942 inside (likely a 4-pocket jacket that was retailored later in the war into the Ike jacket style). The tunic and cap are complete with all insignia, including the 82nd patch on the jacket sleeve, and the airborne glider patch on the cap. The rank on the tunic and cap is Major, Silvey’s wartime rank. The Major insignia on the jacket is beautiful, hand embroidered bullion. Silvey’s impressive wartime ribbon bars are hand stitched to the jacket, beneath an outstanding set of sterling jump wings. The ribbon bars show award of a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster (2 awards), Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster (2 awards), American Defense Medal and European Campaign Medal with an arrowhead for a combat jump, and 4 stars for participating in 4 European theater campaigns! All of the awards and insignia are original to the jacket, which is also named inside. This outstanding uniform is further augmented by other items belonging to Silvey, including his Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star, all of which are complete with their original cases of issue, ribbon bars and lapel pins. His American Defense Medal and French Croix de Guerre medal are also present, as is a fairly impressive grouping of insignia including another set of wings, another 82nd Airborne patch, another airborne glider patch, another marksmanship award, collar insignia as well as “sweetheart” or souvenir type jump wings. There is also a large cloth 82nd Airborne souvenir type patch, a personal rubber stamp with Silvey’s name and service number, and Lieutenant and Captain rank insignia from earlier in Silvey’s career. Furthermore, the grouping includes Silvey’s ID bracelet, his M1 ammunition pouch and even his dog tag. These are items that almost certainly were used in combat, with a high likelihood of having gone into Normandy on D-Day on a doomed glider. The grouping contains a small photo of Silvey as well as an incredible large format portrait in its original frame, showing Silvey wearing this same cap and a leather jacket with prominent 82nd Airborne patch. This 82nd Airborne Grouping is one of the most extensive and historical groupings we have ever been able to offer. The display value of this set, with the uniform and large portrait, is extremely high, and worthy of a museum quality display. Photocopies of Silvey’s record are included with this grouping, with possibilities for further research. Groupings like this do not often come on the market.


Historical Description: Lt. Col. Frederick J. Silvey joined the Army before the war, on December 1st 1939, and remained in the service until March 15 1949. Silvey first saw combat in Italy, where he was in action in Sicily, Naples and Rome. On D-Day, June 6th 1944, Silvey entered France on a glider. The glider crashed, leaving Silvey as the only survivor. With his back broken, he had to pull himself through enemy territory on his elbows for three days, to reach help. For this wound he would receive his first Purple Heart. Silvey went on to serve in northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes, and central Europe, with over 2 years and 8 months of overseas service. He earned a second Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars and the Silver Star. The Silver Star citation reads: “The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major (Field Artillery) Frederick J. Silvey (ASN: 0-356134), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82d Airborne Division, in action on 11 July 1944, near ****, France. When his battalion was supporting an infantry counterattack, Major Silvey moved forward with the riflemen as assurance that the close-in artillery fire was friendly and under control. When radio communication failed, he formed a voice team to his battalion through the infantry command post. He moved about through intense small arms, mortar, and artillery fire with complete disregard for his own safety. This example was instrumental in maintaining the momentum of the attack. Major Silvey’s aggressiveness, courage and calm devotion to duty in the face of danger are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Airborne Forces.” Silvey was further decorated with the French and Belgian Fourragères, the French Croix de Guerre with a star, the Dutch orange lanyard, ETO Army of Occupation medal, ETO campaign medal, American Defense service medal, American campaign medal and WWII victory medal.




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