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Purple Heart official or unofficial hand engraving?


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#1 kkevin2004

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 05:46 PM

Picked this Purple Heart up a while back (I believe on the USMF). At first it looked like some other WW2 era PH's that had been officially hand engraved. I couldn't find any WIA or KIA WW2, but did find an Army SFC in Korea that was WIA. Found the casualty report online where it stated that he was hospitalized, but upon pulling his discharge from St. Louis, there is no evidence of him being awarded the PH. To further muddy the waters, I found a Airman that was KIA in Vietnam with the same name. 

 

My question is whether or not this PH is officially hand-engraved and if so, which era is it most likely from? Thanks in advance for those that are much more knowledgeable than I am!

 

Kevin

 

Back.jpg

 

Front.jpg

 

Korea WIA

Korea.jpg

 

Vietnam KIA

Vietnam.jpg



#2 tarbridge

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:03 PM

Official and looks to be WWII era.

#3 kkevin2004

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:09 PM

Thanks, Robert. With it official and most likely WWII, would they officially engrave a WIA?

#4 tarbridge

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:16 PM

Thanks, Robert. With it official and most likely WWII, would they officially engrave a WIA?

Yes.I did not find a WWII KIA with that name in a quick search...I would assume a WWII WIA.

#5 kkevin2004

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:18 PM

Thank you, sir! Now I'm really going to have to dig deep in the research.



#6 dhcoleterracina

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 09:10 AM

Research is where the real surprises occur. Good luck. 



#7 unclegrumpy

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 01:49 PM

If you look on Find a Grave, you will see a number of WW II guys with this name.  Your guy could be one of them, or maybe he is not listed on the site, or maybe has not passed on yet, or to make matters worse...there could be more than guy with this name that was wounded.  

 

Another possibility is this is a WW I guy.  If he requested his PH during or just after WW II, it would be engraved like this. 



#8 unclegrumpy

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:21 PM

I am not saying this is your guy, but it could be, and is an example of a possibility from WW I.  Elsewhere I found this same fellow as listed as being wounded in WW I.  To find out if he got a PH in the same time frame as the engraving on your medal, you would need to order his award card.  

 

That still would not exclude all the possibilities from both WW I and WW II, and with a common name, and no further clues, that could be a lot of individuals...maybe too many to ever conclusively know. 

 

3645646_132832790578.png



#9 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:12 PM

Thanks for the tip about the WWI possibility. I too found where he was wounded.  

 

WW1 Ward WI.jpg

 

I'll send off for his file to see if he was ever awarded the PH. You're right, may never be able to prove it 100%, but at least would be more plausible than Korea or Vietnam recipient.



#10 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:36 PM

Also, found this listing for a WWI Lieutenant from Kansas that "Died of Accident" in 1918. Don't know if this would qualify him for the Purple Heart but may try and get his records as well.

 

WW1 Ward.jpg



#11 lettow

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:27 PM

Also, found this listing for a WWI Lieutenant from Kansas that "Died of Accident" in 1918. Don't know if this would qualify him for the Purple Heart but may try and get his records as well.
 
WW1 Ward.jpg


Only living WWI veterans could apply for a Purple Heart.

#12 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:30 PM

Only living WWI veterans could apply for a Purple Heart.


Did not know that. Thanks for the info.

#13 355fg

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:31 PM

Here is a likely candidate for you -

 

MSgt Charles D. Ward,

1st Armd Div., 14th Armd Inf Bn, Svc Co.

 

WIA - Mediterranean Theater

 

Sorry, I don't have a record of where the information came from as it's in a database that was compiled from many different sources.

 

Keith



#14 tarbridge

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:56 PM

You never can say never...I have owned several WWI Purple Hearts for KIA's...they were normally later issue like WWII era, likely requested by family (where it was now accustomed to award Purple Hearts for KIA's).

#15 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:57 PM

Here is a likely candidate for you -
 
MSgt Charles D. Ward,
1st Armd Div., 14th Armd Inf Bn, Svc Co.
 
WIA - Mediterranean Theater
 
Sorry, I don't have a record of where the information came from as it's in a database that was compiled from many different sources.
 
Keith


Info is much appreciated! Ill see if I can locate more info on him.

#16 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:03 PM

You never can say never...I have owned several WWI Purple Hearts for KIA's...they were normally later issue like WWII era, likely requested by family (where it was now accustomed to award Purple Hearts for KIA's).


If the family requested a PH for WWI KIA, it should show up in their file at NPRC, correct?

#17 tarbridge

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:07 PM

If the family requested a PH for WWI KIA, it should show up in their file at NPRC, correct?

You would think so...it is still a uphill battle with multiple known recipients...

#18 kkevin2004

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:28 PM

You would think so...it is still a uphill battle with multiple known recipients...


The difficulties associated with trying to research relatively common names...

#19 unclegrumpy

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

If it were me, I would roll the dice and spring for someone to pull the WW I Award Cards for this name for you...NOT the service files.  There might be a couple of guys with this name, but you would be able to tell if they are even a possibility.  If this guy from Wisconsin shows up getting his medal in the 1940's, what you have would be what he would have received.  That would still leave the possibility that one of the WWII WIA guys got a named medal, but they are going to be harder to pin down....and even then, if both they and the WW I guy got their medals about the same time you would never be able to separate them.  

 

This medal is a good example of the difficulties that can be encountered with common names and not further clues.  Getting the WW I Award Cards are not costly through a researcher, and would tell you a lot.  Percentage wise, these WW I engraved medals are more common than you might think...and the WW II ones scarer...again percentage wise...because most WWII WIAs did not get engraved medals.  



#20 kkevin2004

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:34 PM

Thanks, unclegrumpy! Will go that route and let you know if I anything is found on WW I Award Cards.

#21 kkevin2004

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 02:50 PM



Here is a likely candidate for you -

 

MSgt Charles D. Ward,

1st Armd Div., 14th Armd Inf Bn, Svc Co.

 

WIA - Mediterranean Theater

 

Sorry, I don't have a record of where the information came from as it's in a database that was compiled from many different sources.

 

Keith

 

Looks like Keith may have been on to something. Geoff from Golden Arrow Research pulled all of WWI award cards with the name Charles D. Ward and didn't turn up anything. I know that does not rule out that the medal was awarded to a WWI WIA but I started to look for more info on WWII WIA. I found this article on newspapers.com from the September 12, 1944 edition of the Piqua (Ohio) Daily Call that lists MSgt Charles D. Ward as wounded in Italy. Still have 6 other WWII possibilities to rule out, but it's a good start.

 
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