Lost: UNK Found: October 2015 Returned: 07 November 2015 Location: Olympia, Washington
On 07 November 2015, the lost Purple Heart of Vietnam hero PFC William Michael Denhoff was returned to his family. The presentation occurred at VFW Post 318, 2902 Martin Way E, Olympia, WA. This was a joint ceremony, coordinated by the nonprofit organization Purple Hearts Reunited and hosted by Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1889 and Marine Corps League Detachment 482.
Private First Class (PFC) William Michael “Butch” Denhoff (SN: 2148247) was born 29 January 1947 in Chicago, IL. He was raised by his mother Catherine and stepfather Raymond Siemers and lived with his three sisters and three brothers in Seattle. After graduation from Lincoln High School, class of 1965, he enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. Assigned to Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force, PFC Denhoff was deployed to Vietnam. During combat operations on 29 April 1966 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, PFC Denhoff was hit by enemy fire and later determined Killed in Action on 04 May 1966. He is buried in Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, Washington, Panel 7E, Line 24.
PFC Denhoff’s awards and decorations consist of the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 device, and Combat Action Ribbon.
PFC Denhoff’s Purple Heart was recently discovered by a carpet cleaner in Oregon. Knowing the medal needed to find a home, the finder enlisted the help of retired Marine Colonel, David Lane Ferguson. Colonel Ferguson reached out to PHR for assistance and they were able to locate the family.