On 04 November 2016 at 7pm, a long lost WWI Purple Heart was returned to the grandson of PFC Jacob Samuel Nailor Jr. The ceremony took place at their family home in Naples, Florida.
Jacob Samuel Nailor, Jr., son of Jacob Samuel and Clare (Crist) Nailor, was born into a large family on 01 October 1896 in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and worked as a farmer in that area for the rest of his life.
Jacob enlisted for military service on 10 September 1917 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with the Army Machine Gun Company, 112th Infantry Regiment. His Company was sent overseas on 16 May 1918. During the Aisne Marne Defensive (advance on the Ourcq and Vesle Rivers), commonly referred to as “The Second Battle of the Marne,” Jacob received wounds from mustard gas, specifically burns on his head, back and knees on 08 October 1918.
It was the last major German offensive on the Western Front . . . The attack failed when an Allied counterattack by French and American forces, including several hundred tanks, overwhelmed the Germans on their right flank, inflicting severe casualties. The German defeat marked the start of the relentless Allied advance which culminated in the Armistice with Germany about 100 days later.
Jacob received medical treatment overseas and remained with his Company until he was honorably discharged on 07 May 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.
After leaving the service, Jacob married Catherine Grosz, continued farming and owned his own farm in neighboring Camp Hill Borough where he and Catherine raised their family.
The medal was returned to PFC Nailor’s grandson, Mr. Jerry Nailor. Jerry is also an Army Veteran and former Pennsylvania state Representative.
The Wound Certificate was rescued on eBay.
Returning the medals on behalf of Purple Hearts Reunited was Valor Guard member and Army Veteran, Major Robert Kilmartin.