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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Bove, Perry E.


Rank: Captain
Serial Number: O-300266
Military Branch: Co. K, 330th Inf. 83rd Division
Origin: Vermont
Date of Death: 1944-7-7
Long Island National Cemetery
Featured: No
This group includes the medals of Captain Perry E. Bove.  Captain Bove was born July 11, 1911 in Rutland, Vermont.  After graduating from Rutland High School in 1928, he went on to the University of Vermont where he was heavily involved in ROTC while being the starting varsity quarterback for the Catamounts football team.  Mr. Bove graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1931 and returned home where he studied law while working for a beverage distribution company. He later started his own business, Perry E. Bove Company, which was a beverage wholesaling business.  In addition, to running his own business, Mr. Bove was an avid flyer and served in the Army Reserve.

At the outbreak of the War, he entered active service and received his commission as a second lieutenant in April 1942.  He was promoted to first lieutenant less than a year later and became a captain in the summer of 1943.  He was stationed at Camp Breckenridge, KY, Fort Benning, GA, and Camp Atterbury, IN before leaving for foreign service as commander of Company K., 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division in the spring of 1944.

Upon arrival in Normandy, Mr. Bove led his company until he was killed in action on July 7, 1944.  On that date, he was hit by shrapnel from an enemy shell while leading his unit in an attack against the Germans near the town of St. Georges de Bohon, France.  He was initially buried in St. Mere Eglise Cemetery #2 before being returned to the Long Island National  Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY in 1949.

Mr. Bove’s original personnel file was destroyed in the 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire and the General Orders for the 83rd Division in the National Archives are not complete.  Therefore, I do not have an actual citation for his Silver Star.  However, there are a couple newspaper clippings, his headstone application, a few pages from his casualty file, and all the information from his reconstructed personnel file.  Two sources confirm that he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for an assault on a German machine gun position in order to save the lives of some of his trapped soldiers.  Other correspondence in his reconstructed personnel file proved very interesting.  In 1999, his congressman requested that a case be opened to look into awarding Captain Bove the Medal of Honor.  In the summer of 1998 information came to light through a letter to the editor of the Rutland Herald that Captain Bove’s battalion commander had recommended him for the Medal of Honor.  However, when the approved recommendation made its way back to the United States for final approval, the recommendation was “buried” by a Colonel that had a personality conflict with Captain Bove.  The writer of the letter supposedly worked in the Pentagon and witnessed the event.  Although an investigation was initiated, the required number of eye witnesses to the action could not be located and the process ground to a halt.  In any event, Captain Bove was a true hero and an outstanding representative of America’s greatest generation.

The medals with the group include a cased World War II slot broach Silver Star Medal with a ribbon bar and a label pin.  The medal is officially hand engraved on the reverse on two lines to, “Perry E./Bove.”  The Purple Heart comes in an early wood style box with “PURPLE HEART” embossed on one line.  The medal is officially large machine engraved on three lines to, “PERRY/E./BOVE.”  The engraving has the tell tale “swirles” inside of the engraving cuts and looks the same as a few recent D-Day examples that have surfaced.  There is no ribbon bar or lapel pin as, for some reason, this type of case never had them originally included.  The third medal is the B.P.O. Elks Medal of Valor that was issued to the next of kin of members who were casualties.  The medal comes in what appears to be an untitled World War II Army case.  However, the inside composition is slightly different (no spot for a lapel pin) and the silk of the inside lid of the case is printed with, “Medal of Valor/PRESENTED BY THE/GRAND LODGE/B.P.O. ELKS/IN RECOGNITION/OF A BROTHER’S/SUPREME SACRIFICE.”  The medal itself is engraved Bro.: P.E. Bove, OF: Rutland, LODGE No.: 345. 

In addition to the three medals and research, an 83rd Division patch came with the lot.