53-55 Discharge for WWII is a great source
of information. But please remember that it is
only a starting point. Just because it is
listed on a 53-55 it doesnít mean itís correct.
Iíve attached several examples of a 53-55 for
your perusal. The 53-55 Discharge was the
WWII equivalent of the later Form called the
The first examples are one
Charles Durning and
Irving Schwartz. On Durningís 53-55
Discharge it shows under Decorations and
Citations Silver Star. That could mean a few
things, one that it was a Silver Battle Star or
the Silver Star Medal. To prove it was a Silver
Star Medal you would need the General Order to
prove it. Durning doesnít have the General
Order for that.
On Irving Schwartzís 53-55
it shows that he was awarded both the Bronze
Star Medal and the Silver Star. The difference
between the Durning 53-55 and the Schwartz 53-55
is that Irvingís Decorations are supported by
the General Orders. Durning had no
documentation and without the documentation it
Schwartzís 53-55 also shows he was
discharged with his unit Co L of the 253rd
Inf. As you will be near the bottom of the
article not everyone went home with their unit.
The next example of a 53-55
Discharge is for
Robert Murphy. Murphy was awarded the
Bronze Star Medal with documentation. But here
is another example of a tired typist in 1945 and
1946. Under the section that speaks of Battles
and Campaigns it shows Murphy being at the
following ones; Sicily, Naples Foggia, Normandy,
Northern France and Rhineland.
Murphy was not in Sicily as
he received his
Combat Infantry Badge for the Italian
Campaign which ran between 9 September 1943 and
18 November 1943 while Sicily ran between 9 July
1943 to 18 August 1943.
Then to compound the error
he is listed as being Northern France Campaign.
That ran between 25 July 1944 to 14 September
1944. Murphy and the 505th Prcht Inf
was in England during that entire time period.
So once again another group of errors on a 53-55
The next 53-55 Discharge
error is from
Walter Driscoll Jr. Under Battles and
Campaigns it has him as being in Normandy. Only
one problem with that, Driscoll didnít get to
England unit 6 June 1944 from the USA. This
means his Combat Infantry Badge is for the
Rhineland Campaign (Holland). It shows on
Morning Report Driscoll joining Company A of
the 501st Prcht Inf at the end of July 1944.
The last 53-55 example is a
correct one but yet shows that even then it
doesnít show the whole story.
Frank Schier was in the 8th Inf
Div between December 1943 through the end of the
war. After since he had enough points to return
home he was transferred to the 507th
Prcht Inf for the boat ride home. Since the 507th
Prcht Inf was going to be disbanded upon
arriving home in the States the men with enough
points for the 507th Prcht Inf men
were sent home. Since there was a lot of space
in the 507th Prcht Inf other soldiers
were transferred in to go home.
Frank Schier discharge
shows 507th Prcht Inf Co D as that
was officially his unit when he was discharged.
A lot of 504th Prcht Inf and 505th
Prcht Inf men were transferred into other units
to go home they were not happy. Some didnít
care at the time what unit it was as long as
they were able to get out. Some made the typist
put in the information they felt was wrong.
Either way it shows that the 53-55 Discharge was
only a start.
Brian N. Siddall
January 26, 2015