Not all WWII fatalities were combat-related (about two-thirds of fatalities were results of disease, accidents, etc. - as in all other conflicts). His date of death may or may not be significant in determining his cause of death. He may well have been wounded on an earlier occasion and died later of non-combat-related causes. It's also possible he was wounded and died later from the effects of his wounds (in over forty years of research I've found many, many instances of men lingering for months before succumbing). The Bronze Star was (and is still) awarded for "exceptionally heroic or meritorious acheievement", combat or non-combat related. If awarded for combat-related heroism, a small (1/4") bronze letter "V" is authorized to be worn on the suspension and service ribbons. Inasmuch as his records were destroyed in the fire at FPRC St. Louis in 1973, the only means of determining the basis of his award would be to locate a copy of the relevant General- or Special Orders. I may be able to do this but there are costs involved that I must pass along.