On 28 August 2015, a long-lost WWII Purple Heart medal was dedicated to it’s new home of honor in Fentress County, TN. The event occured at the Jamestown Courthouse located at 101 Main Street, Jamestown, TN 38556.
Technician Fourth Grade (TEC4) Malcolm S. Shepard (SN: 36362552) was born in 1918 in Fentress County, TN to Tilman Leonie and Herta Dunkleburg Shepard. Hailing from Tennessee, the family would later move to Chicago, Illinois and that’s where TEC4 Shepard would enlist into the military on 08 August 1942. He would go on to serve with Headquarters Company, 473rd Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self Propelled), 8th Armored Division “Thundering Herd” and was Killed in Action on 23 April 1945 in Bad Lauterburg, Germany. He and two other Soldiers were captured by the German SS and then later executed. One of the Soldiers survived to tell the story. TEC4 Shepard is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery and Mausoleum, Evergreen Park, Cook County, Illinois.
His father eventually returned home to Fentress after his son’s death and ultimately died there 1966. Fentress would ultimately be the location the medal was discovered. The medal was discovered on some property in Jamestown, TN by a Mr. James R. Wortham in an old dresser. He would later enlist the help on the local Fentress County Veteran Service Office and Mr. Jeffrey D. Tinch reached out to Purple Hearts Reunited for assistance. Purple Hearts Reunited was able to reach several distant relatives of TEC4 Shepard but they weren’t up to date on that side of their family and believe several of his family has since moved out of Tennessee.
In an attempt to keep local history local, the lost Purple Heart of TEC4 Shepard was presented to the Fentress County Historical Society. The guest of honor was the great granddaughter of WWI Hero and Medal of Honor recipient SGT Alvin York, Ms. Deborah York, and our good friend from Nashville, music artist Beau Davidson, performed his hit song “Blessed”.