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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 397

The C.B.E. group of fourteen awarded to Brigadier-General C. O. Thrasher, General Staff Corps, United States Army, a member of the Services of Supply, who had a key role in the build up to the Normandy Invasion of 6 June 1944

United States of America, Distinguished Service Medal (Charles O Thrasher), engraved; Legion of Merit (Charles O Thrasher) engraved; Bronze Star, with 2 oak leaf clusters (Charles O. Thrasher) engraved; Victory Medal WW1, 2 clasps, Defensive Sector, Meuse-Argonne; American Defense Medal; American Campaign Medal; Africa-Middle East-European Campaign Medal; Victory Medal WW2; The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Military Division (C.B.E.), 2nd Type Commander's neck Badge, silver-gilt and enamel; France, Legion of Honour, 4th Class breast Badge; Luxembourg, Order of the Oak Crown, Officer's Breast badge; Luxembourg, Croix de Guerre 1940-45; Belgium, Order of Leopold I, 4th Class breast Badge; Belgium, Croix de Guerre 1940-45, very fine or better (14)

Distinguished Service Medal citation:

'Brigadier General Charles C. Thrasher served in a position of great responsibility as Commanding General, Oise Intermediate Section, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations, from 15 September to 15 December 1944 and from January to May 1945. Through his wide knowledge of supply procedures and his keen organisational ability he was able simultaneously to establish his section and to commence active operations. By the end of of hostilities the Oise Section was intermediate to two fully organised advance sections, each supporting an army group. In the field of sanitation, evacuation, transportation and civil affairs, General Thrasher's services were no less notable than in his supply activities. His constant drive, aggressiveness and ability to secure positive results in support of rapidly advancing troops were a material contribution to the American war effort against German, and reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States.'

Legion of Merit AR 600-45 22 September 1945:

'Brigadier General Charles O. Thrasher (then Colonel) (Army Serial No 07879), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services from 20 July 1942 to 6 June 1944.'

Bronze Star Date of Orders 17 February 1945:

'For meritorious service in connection with military operations from 16 December 44 to 27 December 1944.
For meritorious service in connection with military operations as commanding General, Oise Section, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations. Brigadier General THRASHER was called upon for great effort in the resistance of the Allied Armies to the German offensive, commencing 16 September 1944. His untiring work, organisation of supply activities, anticipating of needs and speedy transportation of personnel and supplies, enabled the Commanding General, Communications Zone, to meet all demands for material and personnel, and enabled combat forces to defeat the German attempts. His superior contribution to the military effort and marked devotion to duty are among the highest.'

C.B.E. London Gazette 27 February 1946. The citation states:

'Brigadier General Thrasher commanded the U.S. Southern Base Section from its formation in August 1942 to 1st September 1944. During this period detailed planning and arrangements had to be made for the reception and quartering of large bodies of U.S. Troops, together with the movement of vast quantities of U.S. stores to Southern Command, in preparation for the combined British and U.S. operation of OVERLORD.

Brigadier General Thrasher was at that time the senior U.S. Services of Supply Commander, and it was on his shoulders that the burden of responsibility for the mounting of the U.S. portion of this intricate operation fell. It was largely due to his unfailing energy and the consistent policy of co-operation with Southern Command with which he inspired his staff during this joint planning period that brought about the smooth working of all joints plans and the happy relationship that has existed between the two Headquarters.

The ultimate success of operation OVERLORD was therefore directly contributed to by Brigadier General Thrasher.'

Luxembourg Croix de Guerre dated 20 July 1945:

'For exceptional services in the interest of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.'

Charles Orval Thrasher was born on 9 December 1886 at Paxton, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana, Illinois for 3 years, studying Electrical Engineering. He served as a Private in the Cadet Regiment at the University and had his first training camp at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He was Commissioned 2nd Lt. Quartermaster Corps (QMC) National Army (NA) on 15 August 1917. He first served at Fort Sheridan and Camp Grant, Illinois, until October 1917, when he proceeded to Camp Greene, North Carolina, as Assistant Camp Quartermaster. Promoted 1st Lt. QMC NA 12 February 1918. He was promoted to Captain QMC in the U.S. Army on 18 September 1918.

He sailed for France in September 1918, via England on the transport ship Adriatic and was assigned to the American Expeditionary Force Combat Divisional Staff on 25 September 1918. He was assigned to QMC Det. 501, Base Sector 5 on 12 October 1918. He was transferred to Headquarters, QMC, 1st Army Field and Staff on 28 Oct 1918 as Assistant to the Quartermaster, First Army, American Expeditionary Forces. The following December he was named Assistant to the Post Quartermaster, Camp Pontanezen, France. Captain Thrasher served in the Meuse-Argonne campaign and qualified for the Defensive Sector bar on his Great War Victory Medal. He also earned two WW1 overseas stripes. He left France and arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey on 26 September 1919 and was honourably discharged on 15 October 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa.

Upon being commissioned in the Regular Army as a 1st Lt QMC 1 July 1920, and promoted Captain QMC the same day, he was assigned to the Aviation General Supply Depot (redesignated the Fairfield Air Intermediate Air Depot), Fairfield, Ohio, as Post Quartermaster. He became, additionally, Motor Transport Officer in July 1921, at the same station, serving until October 1925. Thrasher next moved to Baltimore, Maryland, for duty in the Office of the Quartermaster, Headquarters Third Corps Area.

From July 1927 to July 1928, he served as Assistant to the Corps Area Quartermaster, Headquarters Third Corps Area, and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the Quartermaster Corps School in June 1929. His next assignment was to the Army Industrial College, Washington, D.C., where he graduated in June 1930. He was then ordered to duty in the Office of the Quartermaster General, Washington, D.C.. He was placed in charge of the Standardisation Branch, Procurement Division, Office of the Quartermaster General, in November 1931 until August 1933.

Thrasher travelled overland to San Francisco, and sailed on Sept 19th 1933 on board the transport Republic bound for Honolulu, Hawaii, to become the Assistant to the Department Quartermaster, Headquarters Hawaiian Department, at Fort Shafter, and the following November he was designated Post Quartermaster of Fort Shafter, Hawaii. In 1934 he was appointed as a member of the board of officers for the purpose of standardizing the form of war contracts by Captain C. W. Dietz, QMC. Thrasher was promoted to Major QMC on 18 August 1935. Thrasher left Hawaii on 7 July 1936 on board Republic. He returned to Fort Mason, San Francisco, California on 14 July 1936, as Assistant to the officer in Charge, Procurement Division, and also as Purchasing and Contracting Officer, simultaneously.

From September 1936 to July 1940, he was Officer in charge of the Procurement Division, and also retained his duties as Purchasing and Contracting Officer. Thrasher was Promoted to Lt.Col., QMC on 18 August 1940. He served next as Chief of the War Plans and Training Division, San Francisco General Depot, Fort Mason, California, he was additionally Assistant to the Port Adjutant, San Francisco Port of Embarkation. In July 1940 Lieutenant Colonel F. J. Riley, Q.M. Supervisory Officer, Fort Mason, California, said of Major Thrasher, " An excellent officer exceedingly well grounded in nearly all activities of the Quartermaster Corps: possesses unusual initiative and has a strong tenacity of purpose."

On 2 November 1940 he assumed command of the Seattle Port of Embarkation and Seattle Quartermaster Depot, Seattle, Washington. Thrasher was promoted to Colonel (Temporary) U.S. Army on 1 February 1942. Colonel Thrasher was designated as a Commander in the European Theatre of Operations. On 23 May 1942 Major General John H. C. Lee, Colonel Thrasher and seven other officers were sent to England to form the new Services of Supply (SOS). Colonel Thrasher was first designated as the chief of Depot Service in the new SOS. On the 20 July 1942 he was designated as the Southern Base Sector Commander in England. This was to be the main staging area for the invasion of Normandy.

In mid-August 1944 the United Kingdom establishment was liquidated, the old Base Sections became Districts of a single U.K. base. Brigadier General Thrasher of the Southern Base Section was tentatively scheduled to be the Deputy Commander of the new UK base.

On or about 10 September 1944 the Channel Base section was activated under the command of Thrasher, who was given this assignment rather than that of Deputy Commander of the U.K. base. Before either the Oise or Channel Sections could become operational, however, it was decided to switch their missions because Colonel Jacob's organisation was considered better qualified by reason of personnel and experience for port development and operations. Consequently on 15 September 1944 the original Oise section was redesignated Channel Base Section, under the command of Colonel Jacob and the Channel Base Section was renamed Oise Base Section, Communications Zone and placed under the Command of Thrasher. Later the Oise Base Section was redesignated as an Intermediate Base Section which stretched the entire length of the front, this lasted until the end of May 1945.

Thrasher terminated the rank of Brigadier General at his own request on 30 August 1946 and retired with the rank of Colonel on 31 August 1946. He was also promoted to Brigadier General on 28 June 1948, he died on 2 September 1960.

Sold together with the following archive comprising:

U.S. Officer's 'Ike' jacket, with Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot label, the jacket with medal ribands and insignia.

U.S. Officer's Garrison Cap.

An album of photocopied research with several copy photographs.

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