On 07 September 2015, at 7pm, along-lost WWII medals of a WWII hero were returned to his family. The event occurred at the Kansas City Royals game versus the Minnesota Twins at Kaufman Stadium.
Private First Class (PFC) Keith W. Gibb (SN: 37157136), was born 25 February 1912 in Elmdale, Kansas to John E. and Margaret Maloney Gibb. He would later enlist into the U.S. Army on 04 April 1942.
During his service in WWII, he saw combat in the North African Campaign, Sicilian Campaign, Italian Campaign, and the Moroccan Campaign as an Anti-Tank Gunner in the Infantry with the 3rd Infantry Division. He was wounded in action in Italy on 21 October 1943 between the invasion of Salerno and the crossing of the Volturno River. He returned home and was discharged on 01 October 1945.
His awards and decorations consist of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Presidential Unit Citation. His unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for action at the Colmar Pocket in Alsace, France. This is the same action that Audie Murphey received his Medal of Honor.
After the war, PFC Gibb spent his days as a farmer and rancher most of his life. He also was a toll collector for the Kansas Turnpike Authority until he retired in 1978. He married his wife Mildred Edith Thompson Gibb in 1945 and had 3 sons and 1 daughter. He was an active member of his local church, American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He would later pass on 13 November 2000 in Emporia, Kansas.
Purple Hearts Reunited was contacted in late July 2015 by Mrs. Teresa Brewer who found the medals and documents with Mathew Maher in an abandoned vehicle and they knew they had to return them.
Receiving the medal was PFC Gibb’s daughter, Mrs. Susan Bradford and his Granddaughter Julie Sabor, both of Wichita, Kansas.
Presenting the medals was Purple Hearts Reunited Valor Guard Director, LtCol (R) Mitchell Bell. The guest of honor was COL (R) Don “Doc” Ballard, Medal of Honor recipient.
A special video honoring PFC Gibb was played during the game and the video voice over was completed by Combat Wounded Marine and Hollywood Actor Dale Dye.
This return is sponsored by a grant from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation.