Adam R Posted March 28, 2010 Share #1 Posted March 28, 2010 I'm posting this for anyone how might be interested. This is an early WWII era Purple Heart, numbered on the edge and officially hand engraved. At first sight it would appear to be a WWII KIA heart but the name doesn’t show up in any fatal casualty lists. When this happens, the next place to check is the WWI Army award card file in St. Louis, as it might be a late WWI award. (I’ve even had a similar heart turn out to be a Philippine Insurrection award.) Sure enough, a card turned up for Pvt. Myles McDermott, Co. A, 308th Infantry (77th Division), WIA 4 October 1918, medal issued 5 March 1942. Most references list Co. A of the 308th as part of the Lost Battalion, and 4 October was right in the middle of the action. However McDermott is not listed in any of the rosters of the “Lost Battalion”. Further research reveals that only a handful of men from Company A were in the battalion that was “cut off”. The majority of the company remained with that portion of the 77th Division that was not cut off. Since the date he was wounded is right in the middle of the action (Oct 2 to 8) it’s almost certain that McDermott sustained his wound in one of the attempts to rescue the Lost Battalion. Based on this, I’m labeling this medal as a “Lost Battalion Purple Heart – sort of”. I’ll be curious to hear your responses. (Note that the number on medal is much higher than the number on award card. These numbers never match up exactly but are usually close. When PH issues started in 1932 the numbers were only slightly off but over time, 10 years in this case, the gap widened. I suspect that this was due to replacement issues and medals that were not issued and discarded due to engraving errors and such.) One final note, the slot brooch is a replacement that I put on, as the original was missing. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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