Lost: Unknown Found: 2014 Returned: March 2015 Location: Ocala, FL
In the first week of March 2015, Purple Hearts Reunited returned a misplaced Purple Heart medal to the daughter of World War II veteran PVT Jack Elmo Martin. Martin’s medal ended up with distant family members in AZ after his death, but a genealogical search revealed much closer family, and the foundation was asked to assist in getting the Purple Heart home. The medal was sent directly to PVT Martin’s daughter Ann in Ocala, FL.
Jack Elmo Martin was born on 26 June 1919 in North Carolina. He enlisted in the Army on 24 April 1944 and served in World War II with the 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, known as “Hell on Wheels.” The 67th Armored Regiment saw action at Algeria-French Morocco, Sicily, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. It is unknown when and where Martin was wounded, but he earned a Purple Heart for his sacrifice. In addition to the Purple Heart PVT Martin received, he was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation. PVT Martin lived through the war and settled in Ocala, FL, passing away on 20 August 1978. Martin had a son, Robert Martin, who was presented with his flag at the funeral, and a daughter, Ann Martin Moore.
After the war, PVT Martin handed his Purple Heart medal to his father, Walter Clarence “Bob” Martin. Bob Martin remarried (Berdena Frazier Martin of Florida) and when Berdena passed away, her son, Cecil Frazier, found the Purple Heart among her effects. While it had never left the family, Cecil and Margaret Frazier of Scottsdale, AZ, knew the medal could be with a more immediate relative, and reached out to Purple Hearts Reunited for help. Purple Hearts Reunited accepted the treasured medal and, with the generous help of the Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery, created a frame with a commemorative plaque and photograph of PVT Martin in uniform. The framed Purple Heart medal was sent directly to PVT Martin’s daughter Ann Martin Moore in Ocala, FL.
On Saturday, 21 March 2015, Ms. Moore was visited by Military Order of the Purple Heart Public Affairs Officer COL (R) John Bircher, and WWII hero Stan Beach, MOPH National Chaplain. In this small private ceremony, PVT Jack Martin’s lost Purple Heart of was officially brought home to his daughter (see photo below).
You can read more about this story in the Ocala Post >> Purple Heart Medal of World War II Veteran Finds Its Way Home
… or in the Ocala Star-Banner >> Woman Accepts Purple Heart on Behalf of her Late Father