The predecessor of a North Carolina National Guard unit has been turned down for one of the nation's highest military honors. The citation would have recognized the unit's heroism in World War II.
Veterans of the 30th Infantry Division and North Carolina Guard leaders had persuaded the Army to reboot a long-stalled process to consider the 30th for a Presidential Unit Citation.
Col. Wes Morrison said N.C. Army National Guard leaders were deeply disappointed at the rejection.
“Part of that is from the concern of the work that folks have put into it in the last six years here,” Morrison said. “But more importantly for the World War II veterans who put a decade or more of work into trying to secure this on their own, and then as they got further in age, they kind of handed this off to us and asked us to kind of seal the deal.”
Army historians had rated it the top division in the entire European theater. But after World War II, the paperwork to consider the division for a Presidential Unit Citation was put aside and forgotten.
Guard leaders say the process is confidential, so the veterans may never know the reason why the 30th was denied the honor.
More than 30,000 men served in the division but only a few hundred are left alive, and several said they hoped the citation would come before they’re all gone.