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Named Purple Heart

Article about: Was at my favorite second hand story and the owner had these aside for me.

  1. #11

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    is it him ?
    Naval Aviation Museum - Charter In Memorium

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    The best Militaria forum in France is here : http://deutsch-militaria.forumactif.us/

  2. #12
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    Thanks Rich. Gary

  3. #13
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    I don't thinks so the s1c stands for Seaman 1st. Class. Wish it was . Gary

  4. #14

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    Sarge, the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) maintains a stolen medals registry. You might want to get on their web page and add yours to the list.

  5. #15

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    Gary,

    Have you done any research on him? I came up with a bunch of possibilities on Ancestry...

    Smitty

  6. #16
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    Smitty would love to see what you came up with

  7. #17

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    Found out some very interesting information but I will let Gary fill you all in...

    Smitty

  8. #18
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    Thank you Smitty . Gentle men Smitty has gone above and beyond he and I are 99% sure he has found the sailor who was awarded this medal . after all his hard work and time if you feel comfortable Smitty I would like you to tell his history . Thank you again Gary

  9. #19

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    Gary,

    Thank you very much. It is important t o preserve and share this history with everyone.. Glad to have helped. I have to admit that the Navy was well organized and I seem to have had a lot of luck in identifying many Naval items I have...

    Smitty

    And Now everyone, Here is the Story of the Purple Heart pictured above...

    Gary,

    I am pleased to report that I am 99.9% positive on finding the sailor. This is a KIA engraved Purple Heart

    His name was William Henry Anderson. Anderson was born in New York on December 20, 1925. At this time I can not find any census records of where in NY he may have been born.

    Anderson joined the US Navy Volunteer Reserve (V-6) on December 30, 1942. His serial number was 7106538. He was a Seaman 1st Class.

    Anderson was a sailor on board the USS Whitehurst (DE 634) which was a Buckley Class Destroyer Escort. The Whitehurst was named after an Ensign killed during a naval engagement off Savo Island during the battle for Guadalcanal in August 1942. It's keel was laid in March 1943 and was commissioned in November 1943. According to records that I was able to find, Anderson reported on board and was part of the original crew of the Whitehurst which consisted of a crew of 213 officers and men.

    The USS Whitehurst was involved with screening duties and picket duties off Okinawa during the invasion. On April 12, 1945 during screening duties the Whitehurst was involved in a Kamikaze attack consisting of 4 Japanese Val Dive Bombers. One of the planes slipped through the AA barrage and struck the ship on the port side of the wheelhouse and the bomb it carried tore through bulkheads and went through the ship causing fires and explosions below deck before coming out of the ship and exploding 50 feet away in the water.

    42 of the 213 crewmembers were killed in action. One of those Sailors killed was S1C William Henry Anderson. He was buried initially at the Zamami Shima Cemetery on Okinawa, but his body was later exhumed and reinterred in March 1949 at the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. His grave number is Plot O grave 151.

    I was able to locate a picture of his grave marker, the internment papers for the punchbowl in Hawaii, and 7 Ship Rosters for him from November 1943 when the ship was commissioned to April 1945 where it lists him as Killed in Action.

    Since you stated this Purple Heart was found in New York, I focused mainly on that area. There were a few more Andersons from New York that I had to investigate but they revealed nothing that was close. A few were in the Army and some of the Naval records for Anderson did not match the rating and most were still alive. This leads me to believe with again 99% accuracy that this Sailor that I found is the correct one.

    A very poignant Purple Heart and one of significance as this being during the final offensive against Japan and to be a victim of a Kamikaze attack.

    I hope that this research information helps you and that this Purple Heart story can now be told.

    Myself or Gary will post pictures of what I was able to find a little later on...

    Smitty

  10. #20
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    Great job Smitty

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