Incredible WWII U.S. Purple Heart Grouping to KIA Soldier – (264th Infantry Regiment 66th Division)


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This is an absolutely incredible Purple Heart medal grouping to a U.S. soldier who was Killed in Action during the 2nd World War. Private First Class Herbert I. Gentz #37565665 was born April 13th, 1924 in Hettinger County, North Dakota. After enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1943, he would be attached to the 264th Infantry Regiment 66th Infantry Division. After training in the states, he would be sent overseas with the 66th Infantry Division and await his chance to cross the English Channel to begin his combat service….

Pfc. Gentz would board the Belgian Troop Transport ship SS-Leopoldville December 24th, 1944 and begin his trip to France. At 17.54 hours on December 24th, 1944 the Leopoldville (Master Charles Limbor) in convoy WEP-3 was hit by one of two torpedoes from the German submarine U-486 about five miles off the coast of Cherbourg, France and sank over the stern at 20.40 hours. The ship carried 2235 officers and ratings of the US 66th Infantry Division and a crew of 139 men. The master, 55 crew members and 763 soldiers were lost, Pfc. Gentz would be among the soldiers who were killed, he was only 20 years old…..

This group is everything sent home after he was reported killed in regards to his Purple Heart, this group consists of his Presidential letter with name, serial number and date of death, the letter sent home describing the contents sent with the heart, the official Purple Heart award document with name, serial number and date of death, period photograph of Herbert, and the official Purple Heart in the case of issue, the reverse is WWII period government engraved with Herbert I. Gentz engraved on the reverse.

Purple Hearts with all of the documents are incredibly sought after and rare to come across, this example is even more uncommon as it is to an Infantry soldier who never saw true combat, the fact he was killed by a German submarine is very crazy….This man made the ultimate sacrifice, these items remaining together are another historical piece that would be a fantastic addition to any serious military historians collection.