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WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

Article about: Picked this up this morning at a flea market. It's named to a 24th Marines soldier. Karl Watcke joined Charlie Company in the fall of 1944. He served as an ammunition carrier with the compan

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    Default WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Picked this up this morning at a flea market. It's named to a 24th Marines soldier. Karl Watcke joined Charlie Company in the fall of 1944. He served as an ammunition carrier with the company's mortar section during the battle of Iwo Jima and was killed in March 1945. Couldn't find any other info aside from that (Found that on FindAGrave), so any other help or info would be really appreciated!




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    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Nice find, very interesting info

  3. #3

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    awesome find! glad it now has a good home.

  4. #4

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    That's a hell of a find...A nice split brooch KIA USMCR PH...I don't think it gets much better than that!!

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    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Thanks to another forum member who was nice enough to get me his file from the Archives I now have a picture as well as a lot of info on him. What's interesting is he was caught sleeping while on watch and was court marshaled. He went to trial 5 days later and was fined $30. He was killed in action on Iwo about 5 weeks later.

    The file stack is pretty large so here's a few excerpts:














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    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    I dont know how much you paid or how important it is to your collection, but you may want to give it back to him or his family. Most medals are not engraved and its fair game but a KIA, Purple Heart awarded to a soldier who died on Iwo Jima is very personal for the family.

  7. #7

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Very nice, early Purple Heart with wrap brooch - however, a sad story
    that comes with it. I cannot imagine the family's grief or the fathers
    state of mind while signing for his son's personal effects.

    I also do not understand anyone who would want rid themselves
    of a medal for which a family member gave his life to earn.


    Treasure it.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  8. #8

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Great find, I do not understand how a family could sell such an item, but I am not to sure giving it to them is always the best idea since it was most likely the family that sold it or gave it away, or worse threw it out. (Ask Joe aka Gizmo)

  9. #9

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Times are tough... unfortunately, a lot of people these days would rather have cash in their pocket instead of a medal on display.

  10. #10

    Default Re: WWII Iwo Jima KIA Purple Heart

    Hello Nick,
    My father (Karl's Nephew) came across your post and exchanged a couple messages with you recently. He has shared this information with other members of our family and we would like to ask you if it is possible to return his Purple Heart Medal to his surviving brother. I realize that you intend to take care of this token of the ultimate sacrifice my Great Uncle made on behalf of our Country,but this is the only tangible thing that our family recieved after Karl died, it is something our family members can hold, touch, and look at. I understand that you purchased this and we would gladly reimburse you the amount you paid plus any reasonable amount for your time in research etc. We can coordinate this through a local vetrans organization in CT. Thank you for your commitment to preserving our vetrans memories, I hope you can feel a sense of pride in returning this sacred item to our family.

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