An impressive grouping most of which awarded during action in the Pacific Theater with the 89th Field Artillery, 25th Infantry Division.
John William Ferris was a native of Illinois, and a career Army officer. According to an Army Register for 1958, Ferris enlisted in the army 18 September, 1928 to 16 July, 1929 when is was accepted admittance into West Point, graduating Class of 1933. During WWII, he was commission colonel in the Army of the United States, and commanded the 89th Field Artillery Bn., 25th Infantry Division. He was made a Lt. Col. in the regular army in 1943, a rank he held until commissioned to full colonel, RA, in 1950. He is credited with the following decorations as of 1958; Silver Star with OLC, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Commendation Ribbon, Purple Heart. His Legion of Merit was awarded in Sept. 1963 for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding duties….from July 1954 to 1963.
The following was taken from the Class of 1933 record. MILITARY HISTORY:
“FT. D.A. Russell, Btry Comdr and Bn CommO 77FA, 1 Jul 39- (Capt AUS 9 Sep 40)- 1 Mar 41; Schofield Bks TH, Btry Comdr and Regt CommO, 8 FA, 21 Mar- Sep 41; 89 FA Bn, 1 Oct- 6 Dec 41; T-P, S-3 89 FA Bn ExO, 7 Dec 41- (Pearl Harbor)- (Maj AUS 5 Jun 42)- 25 Nov 42; Guadalcanal, CO 89 FA Bn, 17 Dec 42; No Solomons, 20 Jun 42- (SS)- 10 Oct 43; Luzon, 11 Jan- (SS BSM AM CR PH)- 30 Jun 45; So Philippines, Americal Inf Div, Div Arty ExO, 1 Jul–19 Sep 45; Japan, 20 Sep – (Col AUS 29 Sep 45) – 25 Nov 45; Ft Leavenworth Kan, Stu 2 Comd CIC and GSS, 1 Mar- (Col AUS terminated 30 Apr 46) – 31 Jul 46; Instr Intel, 1 Aug 46 – (Maj FA 15 Jul 48) – 4 Sep 48; Faribault Minn, PMS and T Shattack Sch, 6 Sep 48–“
All that I have for a citation currently is the first award for Silver Star; Lt. Col. (Field Artillery) was awarded the SS for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy as Commanding Officer, 89th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, during World War II. From GO HQ, US Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, 1944.
His post war career included being an intelligence officer attached to SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe, and served as a declassification officer at the Pentagon until his retirement in 1963. He made his home in Washington, D.C. until permanently moving to warmer temperatures in Florida in 1974. Colonel Ferris died in 1980.
The medal grouping is displayed on a board, once framed, and long gone, covered in black velvet with the medals each secured firmly on the reverse. They are mounted in three rows. From top to bottom, left to right: Legion of Merit, Silver Star (OLC), Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal. 2nd row; American Defense, Commendation Ribbon, American Campaign. 3rd row; Army of Occupation (Japan Clasp), National Defense, Purple Heart, WWII Victory, and Asiatic Pacific Theater. Note the fragment mounted below bottom row; it is a piece of Japanese grenade, that must be the culprit that caused his wounding.
The named medals in this group are The Legion of Merit, and Commendation Ribbon. The Silver Star is numbered 29161, the Purple Heart is numbered 150581.
The ribbons are nearly all fine with the exception of the American Defense medal ribbon which shows some wear in the lower center. Other than some slight toning with age, and minimal soiling, a most respectable group.