French Legion of Honor Medal
Patriot Orlow F. Garrett
ORLOW F. GARRETT
FRENCH LEGION OF HONOR
U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Division, I Company, 30th Regiment **
Service Date: 1943 – 1945.
Rank: Private First Class (PFC)
Military Occupation: Rifleman 745
Overseas tour: European Theatre
Most significant operations: Battle for Hill 616 just west of Katzenthal (in the Vosges Mountain); the pursuit of the Germans up the Rhone Valley into Besancon, France; and the “Colmar Pocket Operation” with the French 1st Army and the 5th French Armored Division culminating in the capture of Colmar, France.
1945 – The Bronze Star Medal (with 1 Oak-Leaf cluster)
1944-45 – The Military Order of The Purple Heart (with 1 Oak leaf-cluster)
1944 – The Combat Infantryman Badge
1945 - European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon
1945 – Presidential Unit Citation (with Oak-leaf cluster)
1945 - French Croix de Guerre (with palm) *
1945 - French Croix de Guerre (with palm) *
1944 – Combat Infantryman Badge
* Croix de Guerre with Palm. General de Gaulle signed this Citation, called Decision No. 508 in Paris on 15 March 1945. The citation reads: “For action in support of the French 1st Army and 5th French Armored Division in the capture of Colmar, the 30th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division. Also, “Company ‘I’ received the Croix de Guerre, called Decision 976 signed in Paris on 27 July 1945 by General Charles de Gaulle.
** I was a Combat Infantry Rifleman with Company “I”, 30th Infantry Regiment during these actions.
Buzz Garrett as a 20-year-old, 3rd ID Infantryman
MEMORABILIA OF THE
3RD INFANTRY DIV.
Organizations that made up the Dragoon Operation.
A Bill Mauldin Cartoon from the "Stars and Stripes" Newspaper of WWII Humor
Another example of the 'wit and wisdom' of Bill Mauldin. GIs couldn't wait for the next edition of the Stars and Stripes to read Bill Mauldin's cartoon. It is reputed that at one time General Patton threatened to court-martial Bill Mauldin because of his criticism of the American officer corps. Patton was stopped in his tracks by General Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower knew that Mauldin was more important to general morale than the reputation of some errant officer. My kind of general.
The classic characters of "Joe and Willy," a standard feature of the "dog-faced" soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division. Bill Mauldin's reputation would rival that of Ernie Pyle in the Pacfic. In 2010, the U.S. Postal Service would fashion a stamp in his honor. Hang on dog-face, the calvary is coming!!
The 3rd ID ...Forever!!
In the interim, other organizations have recognized "Buzz" in their publications. Here are just a few listed below: Click on the title to be taken to the document, below.
V-E DAY + 65
On May 8, 2010, a select number of recipients and invitees met in Beverly Hills, CA, at the home of the French Consulate General for the award of the coveted French Legion of Honor Medal. Among the awardee was a Chapter 49 member of the MOPH, Patriot Orlow F. ("Buzz") Garrett (second from the Right). Patriot Garrett and his life-exploits are discussed below.
The recipients from L-R are: Dr. Morris W. Self, PhD, US Army; MSgt. Lawerence T. Faulkner, US Army (retired); Mr. Orlow F. Garret, US Army; and Mr. John N. Roberts, US Coast Guard. Top photograph
The ceremony began at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 9:00 p.m. with several presentations and a scrumptious dinner. Photo #2 includes the Consul General, M. David Martinon and the four honored recipients.
Photo #3 is a shot of Chapter 49 Patriot, O. F. "Buzz" Garrett, wearing the Croix de Guerre avec Palme from General DeGaulle (on the right of his jacket) and the Legion d' Honneur, grade de Chevalier, from Pres. Sarkozy on the left breast pocket.
Mr. John N. Roberts appears on the right of the photo and has his Purple Heart Medal displayed on his left lapel and the Legion d' Honneur, grade de Chevalier, from President Sarkozy on his left breast pocket.
The Invitation of The Consul General of France in Los Angeles, Mr. David Martinon.
* NOTE: All images are capable of being enlarged by moving the cursor to the bottom right of the image and clicking on the + sign in the bottom right. A separate window will be opened for the image.
THE SIXTY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORYIN EUROPE
La Soixante Cinquieme Anniversaire de la Victoire in Europe
This document is the second volume of Memoirs published by the Memoirs Project. The Memoirs Project was established to honor and remember the individual Allied soldiers, resistance fighters and patriots who fought to free France in World War II, and afterwards retired in the United States, or whose families live in the United States.
The publication is some 116+ pages recognizing the contributions of soldiers. The document, written in French and English, is a stirring tribute to America's Greatest Generation.
The exploits of Pvt. First Class O. F. Garrett appear at page 24-25 of the publication.
Then, on May 15, 2010, Patriot Buzz Garrett received an invitation from Major League Baseball (MLB) and the San Diego Padres (SD) to be their guest at the Armed Forces Day Game. The SD Padres were playing the fearsome Los Angeles Dodgers and Buzz is a "die-heart" Padres fan.
Buzz, his family and Commander U.. Miller of MOPH Chapter 49 attended the game. Cmdr. Miller warmed Buzz's pitching arm up by tossing a couple of baseball back and forth until he declared: "I'm Ready. Bring on those L. A. Bums!!"
Every once in a while, the Padres get a chance to honor the military and provide some great entertain-ment while doing so. Such an opportunity came on May 15th, when the Padres hosted the L. A. Dodgers for Armed Forces Day.
The Padres feature a number of military occasions at the ball park. Branch Appreciation Days begins on May 30th for the U. S. Navy. Other Branch Appreciation Days are the U.S. Army Birthday Celebration on June 14; U.S. Marine Corps Celebration on , July 18; U.Sl Coast Guard, July 28; California National Guard, August 25; and U. S. Air Force, September 8.
*** End of Commercial and back to the Game.**************************
Then over the speaker system came the melliferous baritone of announcer Dick Enberg of (MLB) calling Buzz Garrett to the mound to face the first batter. Buzz was ready. He removed his warm-up jacket and prepared to face the dreaded "Bums of L.A."
The home plate umpire walks out to the mound to greet Buzz "fastball" Garrett and to check for ball for foreign substances. Finding none ... he scurried back behind the plate to officiate the game.
Commander Miller wheeled the fastball specialist out to the mound surrounded by the Padres mascot and SD catcher, Nick Hundley. Hundley knew that the "fastball" whiz only had 2 pitches ... the 94 mph smoker and a slow curve ball.
The "fast ball" phenom stared down the pike for the sign from Hundley. He shook off the first sign which was for the slow curve. Then being the seasoned veteran that he is, he turned to his right and picked up the resin bag to make sure that he had a firm grip for the pitch.
The second sign from the catcher was more to his liking and he prepared to unleash the helluva fast ball that he calls the "Chapter 49 Smoker."
The kid started into his elaborate windup for the chance of a lifetime. A quiet hush fell over the San Diego Padres dugout and the stadium followed in a joint silence. For the kid had all of their attention.
Everyone had heard of the kid but no one had seen the 94 mph fast ball, let along hit it. The silence became deafing as the anticipation mounted.
The kid, feeling no pressure to perform, looked into the catcher for the sign. Disagreeing with the pitch that Hundley had signaled, the kid step back off the mound. He massaged the baseball in his weathered hands and returned to the mound.
This time he got the signal he was looking for: 1 finger = FASTBALL. The Smoker had been ordered.
I had been warned that the Kid's pitch was so deceptive that I should not turn away. I should have been looking at the parallax view (on the Jumbotron) because before I could steady the kid for the pitch ... I felt the whirl wind of a motion and heard the "PLOP" of the catcher's mitt.
I realized that I had missed the chance of a lifetime. Such are the times and life of Orlow "Buzz" Garrett. Note: The 94 mph fastball in flight at the top of his release.
Buzz enjoyed the game even though his Padres loss 4-1 to the dreaded Dodgers.
Articles written and researched by Webmaster: Chapter 49 Commander, Ulysses Miller, Jr.
FROM CASABLANCA, MOROCCO TO SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
The Life and War-Travels of Orlow “Buzz” Garrett:
A Soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division (“3rd ID”) - 1943 to 1945
On May 8, 2010, the nation state of France will award Orlow F. Garrett, a soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division, with the Republic’s highest award – the French Legion of Honor. Patriot Orlow “Buzz” Garrett, a Life Member of Chapter 0049 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, will be present at the home of the Consular General, Beverly Hills, CA, for the award ceremony. The French Legion of Honor is a highly prestigious medal established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The award is given for meritorious service to men and women, regardless of nationality, for outstanding achievement in military or civilian contributions to the nation of France.
Patriot Orlow “Buzz” Garrett entered military service on 4 September 1943 at Dearborn, Michigan and was discharged after 26 months of active duty service. Buzz began his war time service by beginning his basic training at Fort McClelland, Alabama. Following basic training, Buzz was given one week leave to go home to Iowa and to meet his troop ship in New Jersey for a voyage across the Atlantic.
He recalled the voyage to be one of the most miserable times in his life. He would revisit that evaluation several times during the next 26 months. The troop ships had major concerns about German U-boats and therefore restricted the troops to below deck for as much as possible. There were significant bouts of sea sickness, the lack of fresh air and the confining space that made for a miserable voyage.
Finally, the ship arrives in Casablanca, Morocco and Buzz and all the raw recruits disembarked for land. Buzz and his fellow soldiers were known as “Infantry Replacements” and assigned to an area of massive tents (“tent city”). The area was also affectionately called Repro-Depot or replacement depot. He would remain there for a few days until being assigned to the Third Infantry Division (3rd ID). Almost immediately the pace picked up, Buzz found himself on a “forty and eight.” A forty and eight was cattle/box car leaving Casablanca, Morocco, for a jumping off point called the City of Oran, Morocco.
There Buzz and the 3rd ID would again board ships that would eventually take them to Naples, Italy. There the 3rd ID would start training for it mission – Operation “Shingle” which had the objective of an amphibious landing at Anzio, Italy and eventually the liberation of Rome. See the depiction below that shows the training.
"Back aboard ship, the 3rd ID heard the grinding of ships’ engines die away and the quiet seems strange after so many days at sea, just as the absence of gunfire after days of continuous combat becomes a silence strong enough to be heard in the ears of the battle-weary soldier. The anchor chain rattles loudly." Exerpt.
“There is suddenly the sound of many footsteps and voices topside; gear being kicked around; sailors stumbling over Army equipment and cursing all landlubbers (some of whom have spent as much time afloat as ashore; power winches starting up preparatory to lowering landing craft into the water; clanging, apparently meaningless bells; orders shouted in that strange Navy idiom: “Sea detail report to aft steering”; and the sleepy soldiers in green herringbone twill with a United States flag armband around his left sleeve – some with faces painted black – in close company in the stuffy holds, each trying to get his equipment and put it on in the dim blue lamplight; belt, haversack with full field pack, rifle, tommy gun, or with the strange new weapon already dubbed “bazooka,” which was so secret prior to embarkation that no one had the chance to fire it.” Excerpt from: History of the Third Infantry Division
We trained outside Naples, Italy, for the invasion of Anzio. After approximately 3-4 weeks the actual event took place on January 22, 1944. The landing was carried out flawlessly. But for some unknown reason, a couple of Generals decided to stop our advance. As it turned out later, we found out that we could have advanced all the way to Rome if allowed. Instead, the next four months would see some of the most savage fighting of WWII.
The 3rd ID would break out of the Anzio Beachhead on May 24, 1944. A few weeks later, the 3rd ID would enter its main objective, Rome. See: The MOPH web site for a more detail description of Operation Shingle.
The 3rd ID, I Company, 30th Regiment, would return to Naples for one last training session. This would be for the major invasion into the south of France. Operation Dragoon would see the 30th Regiment storm the beaches near St. Tropez and fight its way up through central France into the Vosges Mountains and into Eastern France. The fight for Hill 616 just west of Katzenthal (in the Vosges Mountain) and the Colmar Pocket would become legendary battles that would identify the 3rd ID for it prowess. For more information on Operation Dragoon , see MOPH web site for a detailed description.
Patriot Garrett would serve with the 30th Infantry Regiment in Africa, Italy, France, Germany and Austria. Armed with an M-1 rifle, Patriot Garrett participated in general combat against the Axis enemy in several major operations. Buzz Garrett fought in seven (7) campaigns: Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace (eastern France), and Central Europe. Buzz also participated in two (2) Amphibious Landings: Anzio (southern Italy) and “Operation Dragoon” (southern France).
Among the awards won by Patriot Garrett are: Combat Infantry Badge; Purple Hearts (with oak-leaf cluster); Bronze Stars (with oak-leaf cluster); Presidential Unit Citations (with oak-leaf cluster); European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon; French Croix de Guerre (with palm); and the French Legion of Honor ( to be awarded on May 8, 2010).
Hats off to a fine Patriot - and a member of Chapter 0049 (“The Sunny Jones Chapter”).
Patriot Garrett has a thousand and one stories about the 3rd ID (Third Infantry Divisions) and their exploits. So one day while having coffee and gathering information about his history with the 3rd ID, I asked "Buzz" about the strange medal on his jacket that did not appear to be American military or any other that I had seen. The medal appeared to be a skull and cross bone, similar to the German SS.
Buzz explained that during Operation Shingle (Anzio Invasion), the 3rd ID was under constant attack on the beachhead for about two (2) months. The 3rd had "dug in" and set up our front line and had fought off several savage attacks. When the krauts found out they couldn't beat us that way, they decided to try something else. One day they dropped 3 x 5 flyers into our trenches.
At the top of the flyer was the word: "AUGTUNG!!" Below that was the scull and cross bone. " I have forgotten the exact German wording but the intent was clear. We were given one last chance to surrender or else. We had taken their best punchs and now this lame attempt."
We all got a big laugh out of their offer because we had fought off their attacks and counter-attacks. On return to the U. S., Buzz found this replica of the flyer from an Anzio association who sold mementos of the invasion. He wears it even today.
MEMORIES OF A 3RD ID WARRIOR
Counterview Memory By a Different Service
ANZIO BEACH HEAD FLAG
It is often said that history depends much upon where you are sitting when analyzing facts and figures or events. Buzz Garrett and the 3rd Infantry Division had a slightly different view of the leaflets dropped by the Nazi forces on their positions in 1944.
The U. S. Navy has taken a similar image and developed a flag for the USS Anzio (CG 68) and developed its own history and legend from a naval point-of-view. At first glance, as you look to the left, the Anzio Beach Head flag strikes one as a colorful, almost pirate-esque decoration. “However, there is a much greater meaning to this symbol. In examining the flag, we see the representation of ship and aircraft that symbolize that massive loss of these American, British, and Canadian assets of war.
“The skull represent Adolf Hitler’s personal guarantee to ‘turn the Anzio beach head into ‘death head. ‘” The red reminds us of the massive carnage of the battle that claimed the lives of over 28,000 Allied servicemen.”
“The blue represents the ocean, from which the assault was launched.”
“The line between the 2 colors exhibits the ‘Gustav Line’ that divided Italy from Nazi control.”
“This battle is truly indicative of triumph over tragedy in that the Allies sustained massive casualties to gain victory. However, the Nazis were forced o send 2 additional divisions (totaling over 80,000 troops) that were originally destined for Normandy to this battle, thereby doubling the effects of the defeat as the lack of reinforcements proved costly for the Germans at Normandy on 6 June 1944 (the day after Rome was liberated by the Allies). Thus, the Battle of Anzio was indeed the catalyst for the final liberation of Europe.” See: http://www.anzio.navy.mil
O. F. "Buzz" Garrett, circa 2012
Buzz in full Purple Heart regalia.
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