Lot 714

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A rare, tragic relic recovered from the body of Robert Dale Reem (1928 - 1950) American Marine Corps. Second Lieutenant killed in action November 6, 1950 in North Korea. Reem was a platoon leader with Company H, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On November 6, 1950, he led his platoon in an attack on a heavily fortified position near Chinhung-ni, North Korea, unaware that the enemy were entrenched in well-concealed positions. Reem led his men slowly up a ridge, facing a hail of machine gun fire, rifle fire and grenades. The enemy fire was too strong, and they were repulsed. Undaunted, they moved forward again, and again. Pinned down, Reem was nevertheless preparing his tired men for a fourth attack when a grenade landed in the gully where he and his men were standing. Immediately, perhaps by instinct, Reem flung himself on the grenade, his body absorbing the entire blast, saving his men's lives. Because of his sacrifice, Reem was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously as well as the Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation with one Bronze star, the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars and the American Area Campaign Medal. Among Reems' personal effects, returned to his family by Marine Corps, was this 34 1/2" x 24" South Korean battle flag conspicuously stained with blood. A family descendent who sold Lieutenant Reems archive stated: "the flag was carried by the MOH winner in Korea and most likely, they were his bloodstains on the flag". Also included in this lot is the one item that every parent or wife of a soldier fears most: The Dreaded Yellow telegram. In this case, the government has addressed it to his wife, Mrs. Robert Dale Reem: "Deeply regret to inform you that your husband second lieutenant Robert Dale Reem USMC was killed in action 6 November 1950 in the Korean area in the performance of his duty and service of his country. No information available at present regarding disposition of remains..temporary burial in locality where death occurred probable". Additional material in this lot consists of dedication pamphlets in honor of Reem awarding of the Medal of Honor and for a plaque cast in his honor by the township of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Several newspaper articles and obituaries pertaining to the lieutenant's death are in remarkable condition, despite being sixty years old! This is a great opportunity for the advanced military collector to acquire a significant memento derived from the "Forgotten War". Most definitely worthy of further research. From the personal collection of World War II and Civil War historian Michael Miner. Miner's thirty-year collection was built through an extensive system of contacts he developed with artifact hunters and diggers in Europe and the Far East, and he maintained careful records of the items he amassed.

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July 21, 2011 11:30 AM EDT
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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