Lost: Unknown Found: Unknown Returned: November 2014 Location: Salem, Oregon
A framed Purple Heart was returned to Rudolph P. Arndt of Salem, OR, the cousin of its original owner. The Purple Heart was earned by World War II veteran Norman W. Steinfeldt and awarded posthumously. The framed medal will be sent from Vermont to Oregon in time for Veterans Day 2014.
Norman W. Steinfeldt was born in Marinette County, Wisconsin in 1923 to Gustave and Martha Steinfeldt. Norman was the brother of Geraldine and Vernon Steinfeldt. Steinfeldt enlisted in the Army Infantry as a private, and lost his life in France on 13 DEC 1944. This sacrifice was honored with a posthumous Purple Heart, and Steinfeldt is buried in Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, Minnesota. Unfortunately, a fire at the U.S. Military’s record archive in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973 destroyed PVT Steinfeldt’s service records; specific details of his service are unknown.
PVT Steinfeldt’s Purple Heart was found by John Tipping, who had become aware of Purple Hearts Reunited after reading about a military medal return in Portland, Maine. Years prior, Tipping had found an engraved Purple Heart in an apartment building in Madison, Wisconsin. The medal bore the inscription “Norman W. Steinfeldt.” Tipping reached out to Purple Hearts Reunited on 02 FEB 2014 for help locating the family. The foundation was able to locate Arndt and arrange for the safe return of the medal just before Veterans Day.
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