May 10, 2013 |
Robert James Miller remembers the terrible day he was riding on top of a military vehicle when a firefight erupted around him. A piece of shrapnel from an explosion dug deep into his left shoulder. "It hit me like a white-hot hammer," he recalled. At a field hospital, the doctor told him: "You got yourself a Purple Heart here. " That was Nov. 17, 1969. He did get a Purple Heart . . . 44 years later. Miller, who lives in a comfortable two-story house on a leafy street in Norwood, was awarded the medal this week in a ceremony at the Springfield office of U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (R., Pa.)
November 11, 1989 |
They were the Ernest Hemingways of World War II - American ambulance drivers for a foreign army. Like Hemingway in World War I, they were wounded in Italy. Unlike Hemingway, their wounds did not merit the hospital stay that allowed Hemingway to meet a Philadelphia nurse and that inspired him later to write A Farewell to Arms. But, ambulance drivers they were. And, wounded they were. Now, their wounds have been recognized by their own government. After more than 40 years.
March 8, 1992 |
Michael B. Egnatz, 70, who survived a high-seas ordeal as a Marine in World War II and went on to become an insurance appraiser, died Thursday of a cerebral hemorrhage at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Seriously wounded in 1943 on Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands, Mr. Egnatz was being evacuated when Japanese planes strafed and sank the boat he was on. After several hours adrift in the Pacific, Mr. Egnatz was rescued by the USS Sauflay. He was awarded the Purple Heart. According to Mr. Egnatz's wife, Margaret, the Sauflay was searching for survivors from several sunken vessels - including John F. Kennedy's famed boat, PT-109.
January 21, 1991 |
The first Purple Heart of the Persian Gulf war will be awarded to a Navy medic who was wounded Friday during an exchange of fire with Iraqi soldiers. Petty Officer Third Class Clerence D. Conner, 21, of Banning, Calif., was listed in good condition yesterday at a medical facility in the Persian Gulf after a piece of metal was removed from his right shoulder. "I'm damn proud of him," said Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas V. Draude. Conner was serving with the First Reconnaissance Battalion of the First Marine Division from Camp Pendleton when he was injured Friday, said Navy Cmdr.
December 31, 1995 |
Thomas F. McDonough Sr., 63, who received a Purple Heart during the Korean War, died Thursday at his home in South Philadelphia. He served in the Army from 1948 to 1953, in H Company of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment, and was wounded twice. During the war, Mr. McDonough's unit was overrun in battle and he spent three years in Camp Pyok-Dong prison camp. Guards tormented him with beatings, perhaps because of his small stature, said Jack Kilgore, a friend who knew Mr. McDonough through a veterans organization.
November 10, 2012 |
Irven Richard Ostrander, 91, of Rose Tree, a mechanical engineer and decorated World War II veteran, died of complications from an infection Tuesday, Nov. 6, at home. Mr. Ostrander was born in Yonkers, N.Y., the fifth of six children. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army. He was eligible for a deferment because he was helping support his widowed mother and younger brother but wanted to fight, said his daughter Mary Ellen Davin. By February 1945, he was a staff sergeant fighting with the 102d Infantry Division in Germany.
March 18, 2002 |
Sgt. David Smith's wife knows he is OK, but that's about all she knows about his condition. The former resident of Mantua Township in Gloucester County was injured in a harrowing, all-night firefight on the first day of Operation Anaconda, the U.S. military's attempt to oust the remaining al-Qaeda holdouts in Afghanistan. Smith, 25, was one of the first six soldiers to receive the Purple Heart since the South Asian war on terror began in October. Details of the wounds that earned him the medal - leg gashes caused by mortar fire - have been kept from Ellie Smith, the woman who married him a week and a half before he was shipped out. She first heard about his Purple Heart when a friend saw the ceremony March 8 on CNN. Like other civilians, she gets most of her information from television and other news outlets, which have been kept farther from the front lines in this war than in past conflicts.
September 28, 2001 |
All members of the U.S. armed services killed or wounded in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be awarded the Purple Heart, and the Defense Department has created the Defense of Freedom Medal to be awarded to all department civilians killed or wounded. In making the announcement yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the tributes were appropriate, given the unprecedented nature of the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. "They were acts of war - military strikes against the United States of America," he said.
May 28, 2014 |
Seventy years after being sprayed with shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge, former Army Pfc. Herman Chidekel was awarded the Purple Heart on Monday for his service during World War II. Chidekel, 88, of Glen Mills, was discharged from the Army in 1945, went to college, started a family, and worked in book publishing. He had largely forgotten about his injuries until recently, when he was getting an MRI and the metal remnants of his war wounds interfered with the test. "They did an X-ray and there it was, shrapnel all up and down one of his legs," said Maj. Gen. Louis H. Guernsey Jr., who presented the medal at a ceremony after the Radnor Memorial Day Parade.
March 5, 1989 |
Thomas D. Rodgers, 63, who received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service in Japan during World War II, died Monday at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. He was a lifelong resident of the Main Line. Mr. Rodgers enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school, and within months he was sent to Okinawa, Japan. He served in an engineering corps that plowed airfields for U.S. planes. American forces had invaded the island in April 1945. In May of that year, Mr. Rodgers heard a kamikaze plane approaching while he was on guard duty, family members said.