A great uniform group for an officer with WWI service through to 1942.
I’ve always liked these late 20s-30s officer’s uniforms, and like this one for a the officers with any kind of rank usually had interesting careers. This green gaberdine coat, with light grayish tan jodhpurs are in great shape and have all the original insignia in place. There is another pair of khaki jodhpurs as well. The colonel’s visor cap has the pink wool used instead of the green; the latter being correct as it was coming into popularity at this time. I have taken the liberty to add to this lot, a Sam Browne belt that really sets this uniform off. With the uniform change of 1941, the Sam Browne belt was still worn, but grow out of fashion with the beginning of WWII.
The coat displays two wide ribbons; The Purple Heart, and the WWI Victory Medal. The General Staff Corps and “US” insignia are screw backs, and the Lt. Colonel oak leaves are pin on. The left sleeve displays a bullion insignia of the WWI French Armour School which Halpin attended during the war. On the lower part of the sleeve are 4 bullion WWI overseas chevrons representing two years service. One the other sleeve, is a very interesting addition which I believe is original to the coat, but I have not yet been able to explain it.
Although I am not familiar with the regulations regarding wound stripes earned in WWI, and the eventual issue of the Purple Heart medal in 1932, did regulation stipulate the removal of wound stripes worn up to that ’32 date? Halpin is wearing three similar bullion chevrons on the right cuff. This may be years overseas after the war, as Haplin, attached to the Army Chief of Staff’s Officer was probably traveling a good bit, as you will see when we get to his history. The PH does reflect three wounds, and officer registers do not record more than the one award. Needs some further research.
Robert J. Halpin was from New York State, born in 1881. He attended Cornell University, and entered the army as a captain having been in the Officer Reserve Corps prior to the start of WWI. His service record shows him being in the infantry, and on active duty as of August 1917 in the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division. He was promoted to major in the National Army in December of the year, and again rising Lt. Col., Infantry on April 1919. After the war he reverted back to Major rank in the regular army, Lt. Col. August 1935, and retired as full colonel June of 1942. During his career, he attended the Infantry School,Field Officer Course in 1922; Graduated Command and General Staff School in 1925.
In 1920, Major Halpin wrote a memorandum concerning status of American personnel who wished to stay behind to serve in the Polish Legion. In 1928, as an assistant to the AC of S in Washington, he was involved in a secret affair supporting the Mexican intervention in the supporting of Nicaragua revolutionaries. I have photocopied letters concerning this affair. By 1936 Lt. Colonel Halpin has returned in some capacity in the 98th Infantry Division. This is was I have for a quick look into this officer’s career. He looks like an interesting officer.
Condition is fine overall, and a great looking pre WWII uniform group.
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