WWI 100th Anniversary Tribute Project

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Over the last three years, Purple Hearts Reunited has rescued/purchased close to 100 WWI era Purple Heart Medals, Wound Certificates, or Purple Heart Certificates.  With the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entering the Great War (06 April 1917) fast approaching, our goal will be to locate each one of these families and or find a home of honor for these items in order to commemorate these Soldiers and their families, educate the community, and bring general awareness to the 100th Anniversary of World War I.

We need the support of all volunteers on the Valor Task Force to assist with spreading this project through social media platforms and word of mouth.  This will be a huge financial endeavor and we have set a fundraising goal of $100,000 to cover the cost of 100 returns (Medal Rescue, Framing, and Travel Logistics). Also, one of our goals is to foster relationships with fellow American’s, Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), or like minded businesses and would like to team up with them to help support this project.  If you know of individuals, VSOs, or businesses that would be interested in supporting this project, please have them contact our Development Director, Mrs. Sarah Corry at  [email protected].

Hearts We’ve Found Homes For:

Check back frequently for updates and stories about newly-returned hearts and medals.

#18 PFC Alfred James Lensen

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 10 NOV 2016 Location: Washington, D.C.

Private First Class Alfred James Lensen served with Company D, 103rd Engineers, 28th Infantry Division during the Great War.  He was “wounded severely” on the French front by receiving a shrapnel wound on his left side under his left shoulder blade. His Wound Certificate and medal were rescued from eBay…

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#17 1LT John Frederick Voge

U.S. Army 06 JUN 1919 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 06 NOV 2016 Location: minneapolis, MN

1st Lieutenant John Frederick Voge, son of recent Austrian immigrants Johann and Marie (Dauck) Voge, was born 11 April 1879 in Black Creek, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, and lived his entire life in the neighboring town of Appleton, Wisconsin. Before enlisting in the war effort, John worked as a clerk, cashier…

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#16 PFC Selvin Lars Nygaard

U.S. Army 12 SEP 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 06 NOV 2016 Location: minneapolis, MN

Private First Class Selvin Lars Nygaard (SN: 2855908), son of Lars O. and Ingeborg (Thorsdatter) Nygaard, was born 27 April 1892 in Sverdrup, Otter Tail County, Minnesota, and after the war lived the rest of his life in North Dakota. He is buried at the McVille Cemetery in McVille, Nelson…

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#15 CPL William Frederick Zartman

U.S. Army 22 JUL 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 28 MAY 2016 Location: Hanover, PA

On 28 May 2016 at 1pm, a long lost WWI Purple Heart was returned to the grandnephew of CPL William Frederick Zartman.  The ceremony took place at VFW Post 2506 in Hanover, PA. Corporal William Frederick Zartman (a.k.a. “Fred” and “Frederick”) was born 20 April 1901, in New Vienna, Clinton…

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#14 PVT Nicholas Hoekstra

U.S. Army DEC 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 06 NOV 2016 Location: Saint Paul, MN

A farmer in Iowa, Private Nicholas Hoekstra enlisted on 14 February 1918 and was assigned to Company H, 118th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division. During combat operations in France, he was wounded in December of 1918. His Wound Certificate and a Replacement Medal were returned to his Daughter Catherine, still…

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#13 PVT Louis Vandevelde

U.S. Army 16 OCT 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 16 JUL 2016 Location: Longwood, FL

Private Louis Vandevelde, son of Fredericus “Fred” and Philippina (Thielman) Vandevelde, was born 01 May 1894 in Norway, Dickinson County, Michigan.  His family recently immigrated to the U.S. from Belgium and moved frequently when Louis was young – to Michigan in 1894, to Illinois in 1896, back to Antwerp, Belgium…

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#12 PFC Jacob Samuel Nailor Jr.

U.S. Army 08 October 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 04 NOV 2016 Location: Naples, FL

On 04 November 2016 at 7pm, a long lost WWI Purple Heart was returned to the grandson of PFC Jacob Samuel Nailor Jr.  The ceremony took place at their family home in Naples, Florida. Jacob Samuel Nailor, Jr., son of Jacob Samuel and Clare (Crist) Nailor, was born into a…

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#11 PVT Hyman Boress

U.S. Army 05 NOV 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 17 MAR 2016 Returned: 11 SEP 2016 Location: San Pablo, CA

Private Hyman Boress served with Company A, 316th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division during WWI. He was Wounded in Action on 05 November 1918 in Verdun, France. His medal was rescued by our Valor Rescue team and was Purple Heart Medal #24265, which is a very early issue. A special…

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#10 PVT Frank Lyman Dunnell Jr.

U.S. Army 02 OCT 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: UNK Returned: 13 SEP 2016 Location: Shelburne, VT

PVT Frank Lyman Dunnell Jr. was born 21 December 1892 in Buffalo, New York to Frank Sr. and Susette B. Barnes Dunnell. He would go onto enlist on 27 July 1917 and was assigned to the 107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division.  During combat operations at Mt. Kemmel on the…

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#9 CPL Frank Baszynski

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 26 AUG 2016 Location: milwaukee, wi

Corporal Frank Baszynski, son of Frank and Mary (Galinski) Baszynski, was born 08 October 1898 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and lived his entire life in Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin until his death on 22 January 1972 at the age of 73. He is buried at Saint Patrick’s Cemetery…

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#8 PVT Boleslaw William Adamski

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 26 AUG 2016 Location: Greenwood, WI

Private Boleslaw (aka William) Adamski was born 25 September 1891 in Biatzstok, Poland to Stanislau Adamski and Mary Kaminski.  He immigrated to the U.S. on 09 July 193 at the age of 22 and entered the service in Milwaukee on 25 July 1917. He would branch into the Engineers and…

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#7 LCPL Elmer Graham McCracken

U.S. Army 31 OCT 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 27 JUN 2016 Location: St. Louis, MO

Lance Corporal Elmer Graham McCracken, son of Thomas H. McCracken and Maude S. Graham, was born 20 March 1889 in St. Louis, Missouri, and lived in the St. Louis area his entire life until his death Sept 20, 1983 while living in Shrewsbury, Missouri. He is buried in the cemetery…

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#6 PVT Harold Francis Suprenand

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: July 2015 Returned: 04 July 2016 Location: Corona, CA

Private Harold Francis Suprenand was born 14 September 1897 in Wisconsin to David and Emma Suprenand. He enlisted into the U.S. Army on 05 August 1917 and was wounded during Combat Operations in France in WWI.  He was released from the service on 13 March 1919. After recovering from his…

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#5 PVT Harrison B. Virtue

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2016 Returned: 01 JUL 2016 Location: Galena, IL

On 01 July 2016 at 11am, a long lost WWI Purple Heart was returned to the family of WWI hero PVT Harrison B. Virtue.  The ceremony took place at the Grant Park Pavilion in Galena, Illinois. Private Harrison Boyd Virtue (SN: 2087247) was born on 07 September 1888 in Galena,…

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#4 CPL Ernest Homer Wright

U.S. Army 01 NOV 1918 WWI
Lost: UNK Found: 2013 Returned: 01 JUL 2016 Location: Watertown, NY

Corporal Ernest Homer Wright (SN: 2940119) was born 18 October 1892 to Charles E. and Minta E. Benjamin Wright in Watertown, NY.  His father was a painter by trade and once a member of the Watertown Police Department.  He and his family lived at 234 High Street. He would later…

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#3 PVT William W. Withington

U.S. Army 29 SEP 1918 WWI
Lost: UNK Found: 2015 Returned: 01 JUL 2016 Location: Watertown, NY

Private William W. Withington (SN: 1679134) was born 26 October 1894 to Frederick Albert and Emma Fannie Hubbard Withington in Watertown, NY.  He had two brothers, Dewitt William and William Ward, and one Sister, Betty May. He would later enlist in the U.S. Army on 22 February 1918 in Adams,…

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#2 PFC Joseph Conrad Gilbers

U.S. Army 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 10 JUN 2016 Location: St. Louis, MO

The long lost WWI Purple Heart for PFC Joseph Conrad Gilbers was donated to the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum located at 1315 Chestnut, St. Louis, MO 63103. Private First Class (PFC) Joseph Conrad Gilbers was born 26 October 1892 in St. Louis, Missouri to Bernard C. Gilbers and Gertrude Knester…

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#1 PVT Clarence Tilton Singer

U.S. Army 02 AUG 1918 WWI
Lost: Unknown Found: 2015 Returned: 05 JUN 2016 Location: Dunmore, PA

On 05 June 2016 at 10am, the long lost WWI Purple Heart was returned to the daughter of PVT Clarence Tilton Singer.  The ceremony took place at their family home located in Dunmore, PA. Clarence Tilton Singer, son of Francis W. Singer and Clara A. Slicker, was born 30 November…

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2LT Robert Russell Nolan

Army 14 October 1892 WWI
Lost: N/A Found: N/A Returned: 12 FEB 2016 Location: Burbank, CA

On 12 February 2016 at 7pm, a Purple Heart was presented to the granddaughter of WWI hero 2LT Robert Russell Nolan. The ceremony took place at her family home located in Burbank, CA.   2nd Lieutenant Robert Russell Nolan was born 20 December 1892 in Boston, Massachusetts to John and…

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