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Archive Record

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Collection Kenneth E. Gruennert
WVM ID Number WVM Mss 1989
Object Name Archive
Title Papers and photographs, 1941-1984 [bulk 1941-1944]
Date 1941-1984
Event World War II
Description Papers and photographs relating to the service and death of Medal of Honor recipient Kenneth E. Gruennert, a Helenville, Wisconsin, resident who served as a sergeant in Company L, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infatnry Division during World War II. The majority of papers in the collection are correspondence between Gruennert's father and the War Department regarding the death of his son and the posthumous awarding of the Medal of Honor. Gruennert's parents chose not to go to Washington D.C. to receive the award, because they felt the expense during a time of war was wasteful. In addition, there are letters of condolence regarding Gruennert's death, stories of remembrance, and newspaper articles relating to his death. Of interest are the materials relating to the U.S.S. Gruennert, a cargo ship named in honor of Gruennert's service. Papers include information pertaining to the construction of the ship and newspaper clippings relating to the history of the ship. Certificates and awards that Gruennert received during his service including the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, and Gold Star are also included. Photographs in the collection show Gruennert prior to active military service, but primarily depict Gruennert in his military uniform and with other soldiers going through the daily routine of army life. Many of the photographs are of the army bases he traveled to while in service. Also included are photographs of the re-internment ceremony of Gruennert's remains in Wisconsin, and images pertaining to the U.S.S. Gruennert. Kenneth E. Gruennert was born in Hellenville, Wisconsin on November 19, 1922. He served in the Wisconsin National Guard prior to the war, and was federalized with the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division after the United States entered World War II. On December 24, 1942, during the Battle of Buna-Gona, Gruennert's platoon was given orders to drive through enemy lines. He personally engaged and cleared out two enemy pillboxes on his own to protect his fellow soldiers, despite being seriously wounded. Gruennert was killed by sniper fire shortly after clearing out the pillboxes, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on October 11, 1943.

Extent and Medium of Description Papers: 0.4 linear ft. (1 archives box and 1 oversized flat folder) and
Photographs: 0.2 linear ft (1 archives box) and
Negatives: 0.1 linear ft (4 negative flaps)
History Kenneth E. Gruennert was born in Hellenville, Wisconsin on November 19, 1922. He served in the Wisconsin National Guard prior to the war, and was federalized with the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division after the United States entered World War II. On December 24, 1942, during the Battle of Buna-Gona, Gruennert's platoon was given orders to drive through enemy lines. He personally engaged and cleared out two enemy pillboxes on his own to protect his fellow soldiers, despite being seriously wounded. Gruennert was killed by sniper fire shortly after clearing out the pillboxes, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on October 11, 1943.



Related Items in the collection Show Related Records...
Biographical Record Gruennert, Kenneth E.
Subjects Soldiers -- Wisconsin -- Helenville.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Casualties.
Medal of Honor.
Purple Heart.
Gruennert, Kenneth E., 1922-1942.
United States. Army. Division 32nd.
United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 127th. Company L.
Letters (Correspondence).
Black-and-white photographs.
Black-and-white negatives.
Search Terms World War II