This is one of the most unusual groups I have ever owned. The story of how I got it is what is so unusual. I live in Maine. It turns out that Joseph Hackett was born and brought up within 50 miles of where I live. This may not seem unusual until you realize that I got the group in Connecticut based on a phone call from an antique dealer there. Hackett was born in Maine and died in Maine and was stationed in Bangor, Maine during part of his career. Included in this group are many medals and certificates that Joe Hackett received. Because he retired in 1970, there is no way to get his service records as a non family member. An attempt is made here to reconstruct his illustrious career in chronological order.
Joe Hackett was born October 5, 1924 in Castine, Maine. He died May 27, 2002 in Belfast, Maine at age 77. He enlisted in the Army on January 24, 1943 at the height of World War 2. Thus began a long military career for this young man. He fought in Europe and was awarded the Bronze Star “for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy during the Rhineland Campaign in the European Theater of Operations”. His officially engraved Bronze Star and accompanying certificate are included in this group. It is not clear when Joe joined it, but documentation shows that was a member of the 5th Regimental Combat Team in Korea in 1950. Joe had stayed in the Army after World War 2 and went to Hawaii where he was a member of the 5th Regimental Combat Team stationed in Hawaii until being sent to Korea.
From the web:“The 5th Infantry performed occupation duty in Austria after the war, and was deactivated in November 1946. The regiment reactivated in South Korea on 1 January 1949, with personnel and support units from the departing 7th Infantry Division. It constituted the core of the 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team (RCT) with the mission to provide security while all US troops were withdrawn from the country. The 5th RCT left Korea effective 31 June 1949 and was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where it was when the Korean War began. (included is documentation verifying theHawaii connection).
The 5th RCT deployed to Korea on 25 July 1950 to reinforce Eighth Army in the shrinking area of United Nations control known as the Pusan Perimeter. In July and August it reinforced the 25th Infantry Division, then the 1st Cavalry Division on the Naktong River line. In September the RCT was attached to the 24th Infantry Division, replacing the 34th Infantry Regiment. It remained with the 24th Infantry Division until January 1952 when it officially became a separate RCT again and was assigned to IX Corps.”
Master Sergeant Joseph Hackett was awarded the Silver Star by GO 470 of the 25th Division, dated 11 December 1950: “ On 4 September 1950 when a concerted enemy attack on positions near Chindong-ni, Korea resulted in a fierce fire fight, Master Sergeant Hackett organized a group of stragglers and led them in a counterattack. During this successful engagement approximately seventy enemy casualties were inflicted and a large number of small arms were captured. Master Sergeant Hackett's notable courage, initiative and outstanding leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and the United States Army. Entered the military service from Maine” His officially engraved Silver Star and the official Citation are part of this group. Hackett was also wounded in Korea on September 17, 1950. Apparently he was initially declared dead according to info on the Korean War Project website.
The next assignment that can be pinned down is his tour in Germany during the height of the cold war . Between 1958 and 1961, as relayed by then Lt. Bob Faulkender, he was a Captain and was commander of Co. B, 1st Battle Group, 15th Infantry.This Battle Group was stationed in Bamberg, Germany which was the front lines of the cold war. He left the Battle Group in 1961 as the S3. This means that between the Korean War and his deployment in Germany, he was commissioned. I believe that he received a battlefield commission in Korea, but have no data to prove it.
Now Major Hackett, O2262152, received his first Oak Leaf Cluster for the Army Commendation Medal on July 22, 1963 for "MERITORIOUS SERVICE WHILE SERVING WITH THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ASSISTANCE ADVISORY GROUP, VIETNAM DURING THE PERIOD 2 APRIL 1962 TO 10 MARCH 1963". That original certificate and the medal are included in this group. This would indicate that he received the first Army Commendation Medal for prior service, maybe Vietnam 1961 to 1962. Next there is a certificate for the 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster for the Army Commendation Medal given on May 14, 1967, "for Meritorius Service at Bangor Subsector Command, XIII United States Army Corps, Bangor, Maine from January 1965 to May 1967." That certificate and the original Citation are included in the group, as is the his first Army Commendation Medal. Also with the group is Joe's graduation certificate from the Comand and General Staff College dated Decmber 18, 1964.
Lt. Col. Joseph Hackett was transferred to Taiwan in August, 1967. He was Deputy, Assistant Chief of Staff, J 2/3, Headquarters, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Republic of China. Lt. Col. Hackett received the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his service in Taiwan from August 1967 to August, 1969. His original medal and certificate dated October 9, 1969 are included in this group.
Lt. Col. Hackett retired January 1, 1970 as evidenced by his Certificate of Retirement. His medals are shown below. Here is a list: Silver Star, Bronze Star and Good Conduct Medal, all officially engraved. Plus WW2 Victory Medal, European Casmpaign, Armed Forces Reserve, Expeditionary Medal, Army Commendation (2), and Joint Service Commendation Medal. Also in the group is a Taiwanese breast badge in its red presentaion box, and a Canadian medal, which is not explained by any paperwork. A boxed slot brooch Purple Heart to which Hackett would have been entitled, has been added to the group for presentation. Also included is a copy of the unit history "Hills of Sacrifice, The 5th RCT in Korea" by Michael Slater.
As of June, 2013, this group has been returned to Joe Hackett's nephew in Connecticut.