Military jacket

Object Number: 
ca. 1942-1943
Wool, brass
Overall: 33 x 26 in. (83.8 x 66 cm)
Single-breasted jacket with four brass buttons stamped with an American eagle; smaller brass buttons of the same design on each of the four pocket flaps (all marked by Waterbury Button Co.); a variety of patches and pins; curcular brass lapel pin with crossed rifles (signifies infantry), and another lapel pin with "US/351" representing the U.S. Army 351st Infantry Regiment; Blue Devils shoulder patch (88th Infantry Division); double bars on the lower left sleeve referring to Corporal rank; brass rifle over a laurel wreath pinned at breast (combat infantry badge, 1st award); 5 ribbon bars for good conduct (red with gold stars), American Campaign (multi-color), Europe-Africa-Middle East Ribbon (two stars), Bronze Star (red and white), and World War II victory (multi-color, awarded for service in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1941-1946).
Gallery Label: 
Twenty-year old Bronx resident Ben Hurwitz (1921-1997, later changed name to Ben Brown) was among the thousands of Americans who enlisted in the United States armed forces in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war. A graduate of the first class of New York's High School of Music and Art, Hurwitz studied art for a year at the University of Iowa before volunteering for the U.S. Army in 1942. After basic training in Oklahoma and maneuvers in Louisiana, Hurwitz's Cannon Company, attached to the 351st Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, First Battalion, was shipped to North Africa in 1943. Within a few months he was in Italy, his company dragging .105 mm. howitzers from Naples, across the Apennine Mountains, in the lengthy campaign that would eventually liberate Rome in June 1944. During 1943 and '44, Corporal Hurwitz recorded his experiences in North Africa and Italy by keeping a sketchpad and drawing at every opportunity. The results of Hurwitz's fervent wartime recordkeeping-190 tonal and line drawings, as well as photographs and miscellaneous documents-are held by the New-York Historical Society Library.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Joshua Brown
Ben Hurwitz (Brown) until 1997; to his wife Eleanor Brown until 1999; to their son Joshua Brown.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group