A long-lost Bronze Star and Purple Heart medal, once belonging to living WWII veteran PFC Ernest C. Boren, was returned to him on Thursday, 25 June 2015 at 1:00pm in Twin Falls, ID. The ceremony took place at DAV/VFW Post 2136 Hall, and was well-attended.

Private First Class (PFC) Ernest C. Boren was born in 1924 in Idaho. On 20 January 1943, he enlisted in Sacramento, CA and joined the United States Army. He would later serve with Company A, 1st Battalion, 323rd Infantry Regiment, 81st Infantry Division, known as the “Wildcats,” as a Medic. During operations at Peleliu Islands 17 October 1944, he was wounded in action. His actions at Peleliu also earned him the Bronze Star with Valor. His citation reads: “while on a combat patrol, the company of which Boren was an aid man, was ambushed and suffered many casualties. Without hesitation and without regard for his personal safety he advanced to administer first aid under covering fire of elements of the company and in the face of the enemy fire. The soldierly virtues shown by Boren were an inspiration to those who witnessed his act of self-sacrifice and bravery.”

PFC Boren’s awards and decorations consist of the following: Bronze Star w/ “V” device and 1 OLC, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Combat Medical Badge.

Purple Hearts Reunited was contacted in early June by Mr. Bill Philen, Commander, Chapter 2001, Military Order of the Purple Heart in Redding, CA. The medals were given to him in good faith by the local VA Clinic to see if he could find a home. He reached out to PHR and within a day, was able to locate Mr. Boren. According to Mr. Boren, he worked construction as a younger man in the CA area and somehow got separated from his medals. He thought he would never see them again.

Nalewajko Boren Anderson
Navy Commander Dereck Nalewajko, PFC Ernest Boren, and Navy Commander Mark Anderson.

Navy Commander Mark Anderson, Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Mike Schulte, and Navy Commander Dereck Nalewajko conducted the return ceremony on behalf of Purple Hearts Reunited. All three men are decorated and accomplished military aviators with several combat deployments between them.





The return was coordinated by Purple Hearts Reunited and sponsored by a grant from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation.

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Twin Falls Times-News >> Idaho Veteran Reunited with Purple Heart After 50 Years