Korean War Hero Honored in Washington, D.C.
On 12 November 2013, CPT Zachariah Fike of Purple Hearts Reunited, Mr. James McEachin, Kimberly Paller, and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart conducted a joint ceremony to return a found Purple Heart medal to the family of 1LT Henry A. Schenk, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Korean War. The ceremony took place at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
1LT Henry A. Schenk was born 11 February 1922 in Vienna, Austria. He would later serve in WWII and eventually received a ROTC commission at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. He went on to serve as the Executive Officer of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War. On 14 February 1952, while on a mission to rescue missing American soldiers as an after math of Operation San Quinton, 1LT Schenk lost his life in a fierce battle with the enemy, as his patrol was ambushed. 1LT Schenk fought fiercely and attempted to save every one of his men, putting their lives before his own. His body has never been recovered. For his sacrifice he was awarded the Purple Heart. He is also the recipient of ten other decorations.
One of the men who served in 1LT Schenk’s unit was James McEachin. A noted American actor; award-winning author; and Purple Heart recipient, Mr. McEachin had been searching for 60 years to find 1LT Schenk’s family.
Others in attendance were Niece Andrea Flagg and Nephew Peter Schenk Jr., officials from 1LT Schenk’s Alma Mater Lafayette College, Mrs. Kimberly Paller, the woman who found the medal and other government and military officials. Travel and reception expenses for the event were funded by the Gary Sinise Foundation. Also, 1LT Schenk’s medals were professionally framed by donation from The Whimsical Pig, located in Watertown, NY.