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Purple Heart

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NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.)
NEWS
November 11, 1989 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 8, 1992 | By Bill Ordine, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
January 21, 1991 | Associated Press Inquirer staff writer Vanessa Williams contributed to this article
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.
NEWS
December 31, 1995 | By Stacey Burling, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
November 10, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 18, 2002 | By Jake Wagman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
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.
NEWS
September 28, 2001 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
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.
NEWS
May 28, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW EGYPT, N.J. - Maybe he should have gotten a medal for patience. After waiting seven decades, World War II veteran Leonard Brotzky was honored Thursday with a Purple Heart for wounds he received during the Battle of the Bulge. "After 70 years, I'm finally getting it," said Brotzky, 89, of Manchester Township, Ocean County, at a presentation ceremony at the district office of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.). "I felt I earned it. " The medal should have been awarded in 1944 but was apparently overlooked because of a record-keeping foul-up.
NEWS
August 16, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bernard B. Grossman, 95, of Philadelphia, a decorated World War II veteran, died Thursday, July 31, of sepsis and heart failure in the VA Medical Center's Hospice Unit. Mr. Grossman, a Philadelphia native and Central High graduate, trained as an Army rifleman and served with the Bushmasters, an elite unit that fought in the South Pacific. The Bushmasters were well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and jungle patrol techniques, and used high-powered rifles and long machetes. They subsisted in the jungle for weeks at a time, and depended on one another for survival.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wayne B. Davis, 68, of Camden, a former worker at the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, died of heart failure Thursday, May 29, at home. He was a brother of Camden community activist Mangaliso Davis. Wayne Davis graduated in 1958 from St. Bartholomew Catholic School in Camden and served in the Army in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart, a daughter, Tammy Scarborough, said. Mr. Davis worked first for Campbell Soup Co., then for ABC Bus Co., and then for the Housing Authority, from which he retired in the mid-2000s, she said.
NEWS
May 28, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Seventy years ago, Saburo Kitagawa was released from a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans, enlisted in a special "Nisei" unit of the infantry, fought on the battlefields of Europe, and was twice wounded by shrapnel while serving his country. His combat team in the 100th Infantry Battalion was made up entirely of Japanese Americans. They stormed a German-controlled mountaintop abbey in Italy, rescued a trapped battalion in southern France - risking their lives while also confronting the anti-Japanese attitudes of the era. This week, a retired Army general undertook his own mission from Hawaii.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
John B. Fitzgerald Jr., 91, of Devon, an insurance-company executive, died of a stroke Saturday, Nov. 2, at his home. Starting in 1952, Mr. Fitzgerald worked in the insurance industry, rising to a vice president of Cigna Corp. and later president of the firm's bond services unit. He remained active in the industry after retiring in 1989. Mr. Fitzgerald was born outside Chicago and grew up during the Depression. After high school, he joined the National Guard just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
NEWS
August 23, 2013 | By Theodore Schleifer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gerard G. Bernhardt, 88, who earned a Purple Heart at Normandy and went on to become an optician and union leader, died Thursday, Aug. 15, of respiratory failure at a hospice in Mount Joy, Pa. He had moved to West Chester to live with his daughter Jane Joyce after spending most of his adult life in East Falls. At 17, Mr. Bernhardt volunteered for the Army and served as a rifleman in the 28th Infantry Division in World War II. When his unit landed on the beaches of France in 1944 as part of the D-Day invasion, a sniper shot Mr. Bernhardt in the front of the neck, and the bullet pierced his left lung, his son Joe said.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2013 | By Catherine Laughlin, For The Inquirer
One day last winter, Verne Rider stopped by the two-story house with its wheelchair ramp and Stars and Stripes flying from a pole, and presented a hard-to-refuse offer to its homeowners. Rider, a military and veterans affairs caseworker, had received a call from a colleague saying that the owner of Closets by Design in Exton was looking to donate a makeover for a local disabled veteran. Immediately, Rider thought, How about Jim McGuire? Rider has known the decorated Vietnam War vet since 2005, when he worked on McGuire's behalf to replace his Purple Heart and Air Medal, stolen shortly after McGuire returned home from the war in 1968.
NEWS
July 13, 2013
Douglas Dayton, 88, who led the transformation of a family department store into retailing giant Target Corp., has died. His wife, Wendy, confirmed his death Sunday, saying he died Friday after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Dayton, of Wayzata, Minn., was the youngest of five sons who took over the family's Minneapolis department store from their father, George, in 1948. Douglas Dayton started working in the family business after serving in an Army infantry division in Europe during World War II, where he was injured and received a Purple Heart.
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