This is a great group to a soldier who fought through Italy only to die in the subsequent battles in France. Private Zarochin's group consists of his officially engraved posthumous Purple Heart and Silver Star, with their titled cases. This soldier's burial flag in its cardboard shipping box addressed to his home is part of the group. Also included are 4 pictures of the private and a 36th Division patch. On the 36th Division website , it states:
"Again it was intensive training in amphibious tactics, and not without reason. For on August 11, 1944, the Regiment was loaded on ships and sailed out in to the Mediterranean Sea, rendezvousing at Sardinia, and surprising the Germans on August 15th, by landing on the Riviera of France on Green Beach. It is a matter of record that the Regiment was in such state of training that the entire combat elements were landed in 50 minutes.
Resistance was initially unorganized and the Regiment pushed to St Raephael and Frejus. Exploiting the surprise achieved, the Second Battalion was joined by other units to form the Butler Task Force, and speeded northward into the Alpine Country. As soon as trucks came ashore, the balance of the Regiment was formed into another Combat Team and joined Task Force Butler in Sisteron that night.
On August 22, one week after landing, the 143d Infantry captured Grenoble, 200 miles from the landing point. Such was the pattern set for Southern France.
In the battle of Montelimar, the German Nineteenth Army, in mad flight toward the north, ran head on into the Butler Task Force. Holding the high ground on the east of the valley and Rhone River, the Division committed the 141st and 143d Infantry as the "plugs" in the Rhone River Bottleneck which contained the German Forces. Never before had fighting been so in the favor of the Regiment. From the build-up starting on the 22d of August by Butler Task Force until it was joined by the balance of the Division and the 3d Infantry Division the fighting raged until it was all over, literally, on the 30th. The German Nineteenth Army had been virtually destroyed. As a result, the enemy was not able to draw a defensive line until our forces had crossed the Moselle River."
Private Zarochin was killed in action just 2 weeks after landing on the beaches of the Riviera. He is buried in the Rhone American Cemetary in Draguinon, France.
Privare Zarochin's Silver Star Citation states:
"JOSEPH ZAROCHIN, 33826996, Private, Antitank Company, 143rd Infantry Regiment, for gallantry in action on 23 June 1944 in Italy. Private Zarochin volunteered to join a bazooka team in an attempt to destroy enemy tanks which were delaying the advance of the friendly troops. He moved over 300 yards of open terrain in a flanking movement against one of the tanks. The bazooka failed to operate, and the tank opened fire with an 88mm cannon. When he and his companions attempted to reach a covered position, they were subjected to accurate machine gun fire. One of the men was wounded in both legs, and Private Zarochin valiantly remained with him while the third member of the team went for help. He stayed in the position under heavy enemy fire, ecouraging and comforting his wounded comrade, until a mortar squad laid a smoke screen over the area and an aid party located them. Entered service from Lansford, Pennsylvania"
Spring 20222 sold to a collector.