Bronze Star, “Leonard Shapiro”
Bronze Star, slot brooch, script-engraved “Leonard/Shapiro”. In a black leatherette case with ribbon bar, lapel pin and Kenneth C. Royall forwarding slip. With outer mailing box postmarked in 1949 (the address label is no longer present). Private Leonard Shapiro, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, was killed in action on 20 August 1944, the day the division captured Argentan, France.
The circumstances of Shapiro’s burial brought a storm of protest from the family. The chaplain in charge had assumed that Shapiro was of Italian extraction and therefore Catholic. Shapiro was buried under a Christian cross, the chaplain performed Catholic burial rites and sent a letter to his mother outlining what had been done. The Shapiro family tried to get the error rectified, but it was only after the intervention of the Army’s Chief of Chaplains that the mistake corrected, the grave marker changed and Jewish rites performed. Private Shapiro’s remains were later repatriated to the United States and re-interred in the Waldheim Jewish Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.