On 30 January 2014, Mrs. Sheila Bedi, with the assistance of Zachariah Fike, founder of Purple Hearts Reunited, returned a lost WWI Purple Heart medal for Private First Class Frank E. Conroy. Sheila and her husband made the five hour drive from Vershire, Vermont to Maine to return the Purple Heart to Private Conroy’s cousin who resides in Pittsfield, Maine.
PFC Frank E. Conroy was born on 05 February 1894 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He enlisted into the Army in Syracuse, NY on 10 July 1917. He served with Company L, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and saw action at Aisne; Chateau-Thierry; Marbache; St. Mihiel; and Meuse-Argonee in France. He was wounded in action on 01 July 1918. He arrived overseas on 07 September 1917 and returned home on 04 August 1919. He was discharged from service 9 days later. After the war, Frank lived in Portland, Maine and had his own lunch bus in the 30s. He passed away in 1962.
Mrs. Sheila Bedi was given the medal by her father. Her father’s brother passed away recently and it was found in a box of his possessions. The family was not sure how it got there, but they were determined to return it to the proper place. Two weeks into their search, they saw a special on Vermont’s WCAX 3 about a local organization called Purple Hearts Reunited. They sent the organization a message and shortly afterward, the family was located.
News coverage from the Bangor Daily News: Long-Lost World War I Purple Heart Find its Way Back Home to Maine Family