John Burroughs Cary was born in Lees, Kansas on November 11, 1911, the son of Harvey and Cora (Webster) Cary. He started his military career by enlisting in the Kansas National guard from October 1, 1939 through June 27, 1930. After a long and illustrious military career, and 20 years of retirement, Cary died in San Antonio in 1981.
This medal group came to me in 2002 through Andrew Lipps, a well known medal dealer. The following is his description of the group:
" Medals of John B. Cary, of Kansas, graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1934 and served in several positions with the Army Air Corps prior to WW2 to include several Hawaiian Territory stations such as Hickam and Luke Fields. WW2 found him a Major and he served in many key staff positions in the war to include both the ETO and the CBI. He was on the Joint US/British Planning Staff in England (I believe this is the basis of his DSM but haven't confirmed this). He also served with the Southeast Asia Command in India where he earned his LoM. A full Colonel at the end of WW2 he remained with the Air Force and earned his Brigadier's star in 1952. His Major General's stars came in 1956. He served as Director of Operations with SHAPE and retired in 1961 upon which he was apparently awarded an Oakleaf to his LOM."
"Cary's Legion of Merit was awarded per G.O. 97 as a Colonel in the Army Air Corps Jan. – Sept. 1943 as a member of AAF General Staff. I believe he was stationed in the CBI at the time. His DSM was awarded per War Dept. G.O. 113 in 1945. I don't have a copy of the citation and more research needs to be done on General Cary."
"These medals were obtained by a collector several years ago directly from Cary's estate and the campaigns that are with it are just as purchased. Obiviously he is missing his post WW2 medals such as the National Defense and he is missing an Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal. The ETO Campaign came in the group, however I do not have the research to tell with which AAF he served in Europe. All medals are excellent condition period pieces. The DSM is on a wartime slot sewn brooch and rim numbered 8592; it features the attractive slanted caps engraving with flourishes as officially named during WW2. The LoM is on a slot sewn brooch as well and is officially hand engraved."
This medal group includes Cary's officially engraved sloy brooch Distinguished Sevice medal edge numbered 8592, officially engraved slot brooch Legion of Merit, slot brooch WW2 Victory medal, slot brooch American Defense medal, American Campaign medal, and European Theatre medal.
During WW2 the War Department awarded 4751 DSC's with 745 to Air Corps personnel. Only 1449 DSM's were awarded during the periiod with only 51 to the Air Corps. In the same period the AAF awaded 35 Medals of Honor. This is a very rare medal group!