Search billions of records on Ancestry.com


Purple Heart Stories


Harold J. Haack, Jr.'s Story

Our Company(G. Co. 5th Cav were trying to take a hill outside of Yonch'on when we were hit by Chinese 120 mm Mortors. I was a Medic at the time and was trying to assist some of our wounded when a round hit close by and I was wounded. I was sent back the the 5th Cav Collecting and from there to the 121st Evac Hosp in Pusan. After returning to the Company I was assigned to the 5th Cav Collecting Co. till I rotated home. Before becoming a Medic I had served in G Co as an infantryman and was also awarded the CIB.


Clarence Habeck's Story

128th Infantry; also awarded Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman's Badge & Dist. Unit Badge.


Gurden Haber's Story

Army, I was assigned to a recon platoon & our mission for that day was to look for the enemy & try to draw there fire. While on patrol there was no contact with the Germans but on the way back all hell broke loose. I dove into a ditch on the side of the road & didn't remember anything after that until I woke up in a farmhouse. I was sent back to a hospital in Paris where I stayed for one month & then went back to my recon platoon until the end of the war. God Bless America & all our men & women in the Armed Forces.


Karl Frederick Halinen's Story

My father also won the silver star for saving his company from a German attack. He rolled underneath a blew up a tank that was going to kill his whole company. He won the purple heart by being in the Mountain Troops in Italy. The war had just been declared ended and his company was coming down out of the hills and were ambushed. Almost everyone died he was wounded almost fatally, but survived. It was that incident that won him the purple heart. He had lied about his age to join the service and was just a kid when he enlisted. He was in the beach landings shown in the movie "Searching for Private Ryan."


Garland Rush Hall's Story

Awarded a previous purple heart on September, 1944 in France where he was wounded in the face by a German sniper. Awarded the Bronze Star on March 4, 1944 for preventing the destruction of a critical bridge by German engineers. Expert Rifleman Good Conduct Medal Combat Infantryman's Medal.


Gary Lynn Hall's Story

Army, was awarded Bronze Star w/Oak Leaf Cluster and 'V' Device, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Combat Infantryman's Badge and Basic Paratrooper Wings with Combat Jump Star and Vietnamese Ranger Qualification Badge.


Raymond Glee Hamilton's Story

Marines, Presidental unit citation, ribbon bar with star Aisatic-Pacific campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal. Buried grave 275, plot 2 First Marine Divison Cemetery Okinawa.


William H. Hamley's Story

Army, Company L, 376 Regiment, 94th Division, 3 Bronze Service Stars, Good Conduct Medal & WWII Victory Medal.


James J. Hammell's Story

James J. Hammell entered the U.S. Army on April 22, 1942. He fought in the European Theater, Normandy, Rhineland. In June, 1944, he was shot, tended to, and sent back to his company. In December, 1944, he received shrapnel wounds which caused him to be in a number of veterans' hospitals for nine months. He was sent back to the U.S. on the Queen Mary Hospital Ship in January 1945. In addition to the Purple Heart, he also received the following medals: Bronze Star, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, Presidential Unit Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Marksman Badge w/rifle bar, Combat Infantry Badge & Good Conduct Medal. He was discharged on August 25, 1945.


William G. Hammerle's Story

Army, Company C, 32nd Infantry, 7th Division Awarded Combat Infantryman's Badge, Korean Service Medal, UN Service Medal.


Horst W. Handrow's Story

Prov. Squadron G., Air Corps; also awarded President's Citation, silver star, Dist. Service cross, Dist. Flying Cross, Air Medal & 1 Oak Leaf Cluster.


Richard F. Hannigan's Story

Navy, Was a Chaplain in U.S. Navy serving with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, south of Danang, Vietnam. He was wounded by a mine and spent a year in hospital recovering from the wounds.


Anderson Harper's Story

Army, Killed by German machine gun fire crossing a road in Normandy as part of the 121 Infantry Reg.


Robert L. Harper's Story

Army, Airborne Ranger in E Company, 52nd. Infantry Detachment (LRP) assigned to the First Air Cavalry.


Charles David Harris' Story

Army Infantry, I was awarded the Purple Heart for the above. In April 5, 1954 received the certficate but to this date have never received the medal itself. Can not understand why, for I was wounded in action.


Michael Harris' Story

My husband served with the 2nd battalion, 5th marines as an 81 mortar forward observer. He was wounded three times. Just recently he received his third Purple Heart in a ceremony in Seal Beach, California. He also received a Bronxe Star W/"V" for heroic action During Operation Ballistic Charge in September 1967 during an enemy ambush of his company. He was wounded once by a booby trap, a second time by a VC RPG fired at him, and the third time by bullets fired at him outside Hue city during the tet offensive in 1968. His unit was located at "Ah Hoa," just south of Danang. They rotated to Hue/Phu Bai area in early January 1968.


Rex Rice Hart's Story

Company C, 1st Battalion 23 Infantry Regiment 2nd Infantry Division (Indian Head) U.S. Eighth Army Service Branch: U.S. Army Rex Rice Hart was killed in action on 1 September 1950, in Korea and his body was later found and returned to his home town. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery, Greenville County, South Carolina. Rex was a WWII wounded veteran. He was wounded in France on 25 August 1944. He received many metals including: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combate Infantry Badge, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign, Europe, Africa, Middle Eastern Campaign, and WWII Victory Medal. He also received many more medals for his service after WWII. Rex Rice Hart was born, 2 March 1920, in Judson Mill Village, Greenville County., S.C. and died, 1 Sept. 1950, in the Battle of Naktong River, Pusan Perimeter, South Korea. He is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Greenville County, S.C. His last service was with Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Devision, Eight Army, US Army. He was a Corporal. Rex was the youngest child of Charles Martin Hart and Sarah Ellen McAbee Hart. Rex at the age of eighteen entered the Army. After his basic training, he was sent to Panama, where he served with the 11th Infantry Div.


Raymond B. Harton's Story

Marines, Operation Swift, "M" Co/3rd/Bat, 5th/Mar 1st Marine Div. Was involved in large scale search and destroy mission, ambushed by North Vietnamese force. During action, 12 marines were killed, 14 wounded. One Marine, Sgt. Lawrence Peters, killed (Medal of Honor) and one Navy Chaplain killed, Chap. Capadanno, Medal of Honor.


Fred Thomas Hartson's Story

Navy, USS Lex CV-2. After launching aircraft, while proceeding across flight deck to assist the gun crews on the forward port side 5 inch battery, a bomb struck the ammunition causing an explosion which blew me across the flight deck.


Hans-Juergen Hartung's Story

Army, Assigned to C Co, 1/508th Abn Inf, 3rd Bde, 82nd ABN we had been patrolling the woods West of Firebase Patton in the Tai Ninh province. While on patrol we encountered sporadic engagements with the enemy and discovered a large bunker compound. On or about the 19th of May 1969 our unit was designated to enter the woods with 10 50 pound charges to try and destroy some of the bunkers. Once the charges were placed, we departed the area and waited for the charges to go off. Out of the 10, if memory serves me right, we had 7 of them go off, and the other three were either duds, or defused. For the next several days we pulled ambushes and patrols in the area, without entering the woods. On the 22nd of May we received orders to re-enter the area. Our platoon leader had 4 of us, stay near the entrance to the woods, just inside the tree line. After several minutes, I was asked to get the flame thrower from the chopper that was coming to pick up the dog handler. Myself and one other person went to get the flame thrower, and headed back to our designated waiting area. From within the tree line, the dog handler came out and was heading to the helicopter. As he was departing from the tree line, 4 NVA soldiers emerged from a foxhole just inside the main entrance to the area and opened fire on the dog handler and my group. Fortunately, not any of were hit, but while scrambling for cover, I heard this loud pop, then was picked up and tossed through the air. When I came to, I was covered by large red ants, and bamboo trees. Within a few seconds the medic, and couple other people came over and uncovered me and helped me to my feet. I had a searing pain in my back, and was thinking that I had a large hole in my back. The medic assured me I did not have a large hole in my back, but had burn marks. He then went to aid the soldier, "Herbert Hilbert", who'd taken the full brunt of the explosion in his chest and prepared the 4 of us for medical evacuation. When I arrived at the hospital, they were tending to Hilbert with all they could, but he didn't make it. They let the other two go after some medical evaluations and I was admitted with 2nd and 3rd degree burns of my back. I was at the 25th Medical Evacuation Hospital for approximately 50 days recovering. After that, I was then rejoined with my unit after that. While in the hospital, our commanding general came and presented me with the purple heart, which I sent home with a letter.


George B. Harvey's Story

Army, My father-in-law received two purple hearts. He never spoke about his experiences as a POW, except to my son after he enlisted in the Army. In our hearts, he will always be a hero.


Glenn Harwell's Story

81st Tank Battalion, Lt. Harwell was under Captain McNab, His platoon ran into another anti-tank ditch and as they were crossing this obstacle an enemy anti-tank gun from the left flank scored a direct hit on the mired vehicle and set it afire. The shrapnel effect of this round splattered Lt. Harwell as he was attempting to extricate the vehicle from the mud. This round also injured Tec 5 Nothwehr and PFC Matthews, wounded Corporal Bercot, the gunner and mortally wounded PFC Burggraff. Lt. Harwell was also awarded the Bronze Star on Jan. 24, 1945.


John Edgar Hash's Story

Army; My brother was in the battle that the movie "Hamburger Hill" was made. I don't know exactly where in Vietnam this happened - I can't bring myself to watch the movie. My brother stepped in front of a fellow soldier to protect him from being hit by rifle fire. My brother was hit in the upper arm. My brother doesn't talk about it, so I can't give you much information other than what I've told.


Marvin Francis Hash's Story

Army, Marvin also received the Bronze Star, in addition to the American Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars.


Arthur Edward Hass' Story

Army, My dad died in Nov 1984, but I have the letters he sent to my mom while he was overseas. Piecing the events together from those letters, here is the story:

"Somewhere in Belgium - Tuesday, Jan. 30, '45, 9:40 PM
That promised mail didn't get here today. On top of that I've had quite a day - went thru another dose of shelling while out on reconnaissance - boy, I was lucky again! The cold weather hasn't let up but they say it's raining outside now instead of snowing. The Col. and I went out in my jeep on reconnaissance - got stuck in the snow several times and finally got a "weasel" to pull us out. Those weasels are really OK in the snow - they are small tractors with real wide tracks and they go over the snow without sinking in. We're supposed to get a few of them but haven't so far.

The war news sure sounds good - sure hope those Russians can continue on to Berlin. We thought for a while we would move up today but didn't. We'll probably have to move tomorrow but I hope not. [Major] Al [Albrecht] is our CO again. Don't know if it will be permanent or not - hope so. That's about all I can tell you in case you're wondering what happened. Wish I could tell you all about it but am not allowed to."

"Somewhere in Belgium - Thursday, Feb. 1, '45 - 10:40 PM
No mail today but am still in pretty good spirits - everything has been running so smoothly since Al took over. We moved up today and for once our move was without the usual confusion that accompanies a move. Right now we're within spitting distance (almost) of the German border. We may have to move again - the doughfeet ahead have been moving pretty fast. We're in the town where I got shelled a couple of days ago when our new Col. got hit - he and I were up here on reconnaissance. But it's quiet around here now except for the booming of our own guns.

The weather has continued to be fairly warm and the snow is still melting. This country was pretty a couple of days ago when everything was covered with clean snow. But now the snow has melted down to where you can see all the shell holes, dead horses & cows, dead Germans, etc. Also it's slushy and getting muddy - isn't pretty at all now.""Frankenmarkt, Austria - Wednesday, May 30, '45, 9:15 PMFinally got an order today awarding me the Purple Heart for the scratch I got from a shell fragment last January when Col. Enemark got hit - it doesn't mean anything but it counts five points. I think I told you a fragment hit my right thumb, cut the glove, and scratched my thumb. It was some more luck - if it had been 1/4 inch closer it would have taken my thumb off, or maybe my hand."

This is what the Hq 752nd FA Bn Journal report for 30 January 1945 says:
"0930 - Col Enemark and Capt Hass on preliminary recon in vic[inity]of Maspelt and Lommersweiler.
1200 - Col Enemark seriously wounded by mortor shrapnel in Maspelt.
1200 - Major Albrecht assumed command of Bn.
1300 - Major Albrecht to 29th FA Bn.
1445 - Major Albrecht and Capt Hass to see Col Enemark at Clearing Station.
1515 - Lt Hunt to map depot for purpose of getting maps.

6 H&I missions fired throught day and night.
1 TOT fired for 29th FA Bn.

Lt Frankstone with 29th FA BN as LO.
Lt Honea and S/Sgt Howland with 1st Bn, 8 Regt.
Lt Hanauer with 2d Bn, 8th Regt.

120 rounds expended."


Melvin Gottfried Hass' Story

Army Air Corps, I have copies of letters that were written to my uncle's widow and his sister in the weeks after Melvin's death. They will tell the story:

"It is with deep regret that I write to you in regard to the death of your husband, 1st Lieutenant Melvin G. Hass. However, I do wish to extend to you sincerest sympathy from myself and from all officers and enlisted men of my squadron.

On the 13th of December 1944, while returning from a successful bombing mission, our entire formation of planes was forced to fly under dark storm clouds. At this point, Capt. Richards' plane in which Lt. Hass was flying, suddenly lost power in several engines forcing the plane to fall out of the formation. The pilot exerted all possible strength in preventing the plane from diving into the ocean, and was successful in leveling the plane before striking the water. Captain Richards and two enlisted men succeeded in reaching life rafts, while two other enlisted men and another officer were seen to clear the plane before it sank. Unfortunately, Lt. Hass was never seen after the crash, nor could they find any evidence indicating that any others survived. Capt. Richards and the two enlisted men whom he rescued and helped into life rafts were picked up at sea as was one of the other enlisted men. An extensive search for the remaining crew members was continued for four days but without seccess. On 13 January 1943, in view of the evidence, all missing members of the crew were declared dead officially.

Lt. Hass was regarded, by those in a position to observe the high degree of skill which he displayed in performing his job, as one of the best bombardiers in our group. In addition to his recognized ability, your husband was popular among his fellow officers and enlisted men in this squadron, and had many other fiends throughout the group. He will be remembered by all of us for his good-natured friendliness and cooperative spirit.

Memorial services for Lt. Hass and the others who were lost, were held here by Chaplain Milton L. Dowden on 29 January 1945. These services were attended by all of the squadron officers and most of the enlisted men.

Again, Mrs. Hass, please accept my sympathy, and I do hope that I have answered the questions which may have been on your mind, as best I could. If, however, there is any way in which I can be of service in the future, please do not hesitate to write me. -Benjamin A. Karsokas, Lt. Colonel Air Corps"

Letter written to Melvin's sister from the wife of one survivor:

"I am sorry I haven't written to you sooner, as I know you are anxious to hear about your brother.

It is very hard for me to write you this, but he was killed in the crash. My husband saw two of the crew killed; he didn't give me the names. He was so nervous, he didn't talk much about the crash. But what he told me, I'll pass it on to you. They were returning from a mission over the Philippines; they were radioed to go to some other island to land, their island was so foggy. As they were almost at this island, they were radioed to return, their island had cleared. They were stationed on Anglo Island, a member of the Palau Islands. Captain Richards told them to make up their damned minds, they were almost out of gas. About fifty miles from Anglo, engines 1 & 2 went out, as they were flying so low they didn't have a chance to bail out and, too, it was so sudden. Elmon said your brother was one of the best fellows he ever met. He said there would never be another crew like that one. The plane sunk as soon as it hit the water. My husband was almost drowned when he got his leg loose. He said he was about 30 ft. under water. This happened about 5:30 PM Dec. 13. Those that remained were picked up about 9 or 9:30 the next day."

Letter written to Melvin's sister from one survivor:

"I have just received your letter written on Feb. 4. I am sorry that I didn't get the letter sooner but it takes a long time for mail to go overseas and back again. I don't know just how to go about answering your letter but will try. You have probably learned more by now but I will tell you what I know. We had been on a mission over the Philippines and were on our way home. We got in a storm and was forced to fly lower than is safe but there was nothing else to do. We were flying about 400 ft. above the water when two of our engines stopped and the next thing I knew we had hit the water. Just before we lost the two engines, I saw Lt. Hass run under my feet on his way back to the rear of the ship but I know that he didn't have time to get back there. As far as I could see, all of the boys that were in the mid section of the ship were crushed and that was where he was when we hit. As far as any of the boys being alive, that is impossible. If they were, they would have already been found. I hate to destroy your hopes but I know you will feel a lot better after knowing the truth. The crash was something that could not be helped and the four of us that got out are plenty lucky.

I am very, very sorry that this had to happen because every man on the crew was a swell guy. We got along real good and I liked them all."

856th Bomber Squadron, 494th Bomber Group (Heavy)
Mission Summary for 13 December 1944:

"Target, primary: Installations LAHUG A/D, Cebu Is, P.I.
Alternate: Installations OPON A/D, Mactan Is, P.I.

Enemy A/C destroyed: None.

Ships sunk: None.

Our Damage: A/F #730 received flak hole 1" in diameter in inspection plate at side of nose door.

Our A/C: A/P #688 observed to crash at sea at 130650A at position 07 degrees 05'N, 133 degrees 13'E. Search instituted. Narrative report will follow.

Our casualties: Ten crew members, one passenger down at sea. Narrative report will follow. Four of crew eventually rescued."

1st Lt. Melvin Gottfried Hass posthusmosly received the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, First Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, and Bronze Service Star on the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon.


Danny E. Hatch's Story

Marines, WIA 8/12/67 with ECHO Company 2Bn. 9th Marines and 6/12/68 with CAP Papa 6 both in the I-Corps area between Dong Ha and the Rock Pile.


Homer T. Hatch's Story

Also received: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal. Went in to active duty on 21 August 1943. He died in a bombing while "stringing a phone line". The funeral was a closed casket and he is buried in the Panguitch Cemetery in Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah.


Warren Douglas Hatch's Story

Marines, Warren Hatch was killed on Iwo Jima while serving with the 4th Marine Division WWII.


Larry E. Hatfield's Story

U.S. Army March, 1965 to April, 1989. Retired Command Sgt. Major (E-9), BSM, MSM (6), PH (2) & more.


James Eldon Hatley's Story

Bronze Star, Oversea bar, Asiatic-Pacific medal, 186 Infantry 41st Divison. Wound left eye result of Japanese granade explosion. Lost sight of the Left eye. He was 17y 4m old when he went in to the services on 29 April 1943. Came home on September 14, 1944. Lived in Point TX moved to Dallas Texas in 1950 and worked at LTV for 35 years.


Kenneth Dailey Hatton's Story

Kenneth Hatton is my father. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for valor among numerous other commendations. There could never be another man so proud of his country. He is a wonderful man. He has written a poem about the battle for which he was awarded the Bronze Star that has since been published.


Gary Lee Hanynes' Story

Army, B/3/187 101st Airborne, Was also awarded two Bronze Stars, one for Valor and one silver star. Gary died 30 years to the day after his unit began their assault on Hamburger Hill.


Macon Haynes' Story

Army, KIA along Soy-Werpin Road. Was member of 75th Inf. Div., 290th Reg., Co. L, one of the brave companies of green soldiers who took the La Roumiere hill, which ultimately aided the rescue of Task Force Hogan in Battle of the Bulge. He was buried on 12-30-1944 at the American Temporary Cemetery Henri Chapelle, Belgium plot UU row 7 grave 131. Remains returned to Alabama and buried there.


William V. Hearn's Story

Army, 337 Regiment, also awarded the Presidential Unit Citation & Combat Infantryman's badge.


Angeline Hebert's Story

Air Force, I recieved the Purple Heart after I was injured in a terrorist attack on Khobar Towers. This was the housing complex where we were staying. I was 21 years old when this occurred. Now I am 25 and I am still on active in the Air Force. That is one day that I will remember for the rest of my life.


Sylvester H. Heinz's Story

Army, On September 17, 1943 my father made a landing in Italy near Naples. General Mark Clark was his General at that time. They fought through to Mount Lungo and were stopped by the German Army where the Division he was in; the 3rd Division; was taken off the front lines and put on a L.S.T. ship and made a landing 60 miles behind enemy lines to relieve the pressure on the other front. They landed at Anzio, Italy January 22, 1944. They were on that back of 90 square miles for 4 months. They made the push for Rome, Italy on May 24, 1944. It was there he got hit from shrapnel at 9:00 a.m. He was in the hospital for 6 weeks. My dad received other awards and medals including: A Combat Infantry Badge, 7 Bronze Battle Stars, 1 Silver Battle Star, Good Conduct Medal, 4 Overseas Service Bars,and an European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon. He was in the 15th Infantry of the 3rd Division of the Army.


Floyd N. Henderson's Story

Army, My grandfather, Floyd Noble Henderson Sr. served in the United States Army in WW I. He was a private in Company D of 317th Infantry, 80 Division. On October 5, 1918 he was wounded through both legs and as well as being gassed, he was left for dead. Somehow he survived, but the rest of his life he spent in constant pain as a result of those wounds. In 1940 he was issued the Purple Heart for wounds received in 1918.


Gerald M. Henderson's Story

Born May 16, 1919, also awarded the Distinguished Service, Tech. Sgt. Gerald Henderson landed overseas in the European Theater of Operations August 1, 1942. In November 1942 he landed with American forces in North Africa where he was wounded and received his first Purple Heart. Later he participated in Sicily where he again received the Purple Heart. Then he was in the historic D-Day Operation Overlord where he gave his life. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Brig. Gen E. A Zundel for his extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on June 5, 1844 in Normandy France. "For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in Normandy France. on D-Day Technical Sergeant Henderson, while exposed to intense enemy artillery mortar, machine gun, and small arms fire, heroically supervised the unloading of men and vehicles from his landing craft. Observing that a vehicle from an adjoining craft had stalled, he voluntarily drove a truck along the fire swept beach, plunged in the water and fastened a cable to the disabled vehicle. After towing it safely to shore he personally carried two wounded occupants to covered positions and rendered first aid. He returned to the beach and amid bursting shells and devastating small arms fire, courageously continued his rescue work. While carrying a wounded solider across the beach to safety a shell landed near this valiant soldier fatally wounding him. His heroic achievements during the initial landing resulted in the saving of many lives and much vital equipment. The self sacrificing devotion to duty, personal bravery and valorous leadership displayed by Technical Sergeant Henderson exemplified the highest traditions of the armed forces. (auth: go 92, HZ, 1st US army, 8 Dec. 1944, T/SGT 18th infantry antitank company).


Eldridge Henick's Story

Feb. 1944 while my father was serving with the Twenty-Fourth Marines, Forth Division as a machine gun section leader the division was engaged in action against the Japanese forces during the landing and battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll. My father was cited for "Courageous and Outstanding devotion to Duty" by the Secretary of the Navy James Forrstal. In his letter Mr. Forrstal states " Sergerant Henick, ignoring his own danger, made a personal reconnaissance of each machine-gun position before directing his men to it. As a result no casualties were suffered. Because of his great valor and intelligent employment of his guns, he materially aided in the successful outcome of the operation. Sergent Henick's leadership and heroic example were an inspiration to his men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navel Service".


Charles R. Henley's Story

U.S. Army, Chuck was 20 years old when he stepped on a mine and bought it. He got to Vietnam on September 25, 1967 and died on July 15, 1968. His body was recovered and sent home for burial. He was regular Army and a single, caucasian man. He was in the Infantry and used to tote the M-79 grenade launcher.


Richard M. Herman's Story

He was on a patrol in northern Iraq near Tikrit in early 2005. They where hit with 122mm rockets and returned fire. He was hit while running over to a civillian to cover him. He has been decorated, but doesn't feel that he is a hero.

Was also awarded: Conspicious Service Cross, Bronze Star, 2 Army Commadations National Defense 3rd award, Iraqi Campain with 2 stars, Iraqi campain Expiditionary award, Global War on Terrorism, Soulthwest Asia campain, Army Reserve Mobilisation with a 10 hour glass, Overseas training ribbon and a Combat Action Badge, Up graded to a Combat Infantry Badge.


James Russell Herron's Story

Army,This soldier received two purple hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He was on Hamburger Hill and later spent a great deal of time on patrol, walking through the jungle with Agent Orange dripping from him and his uniform. He has more medals, but won't show them to anyone. When he returned home, people at the L.A. airport spit in his face and called him a murderer. He wasn't allowed to join the V.F.W. in Pierre because they said he hadn't fought in a real war. He was then stationed in Germany where his fellow servicemen would yell out "Incoming", just to see him hit the floor. They thought it was hilarious and made fun of him for serving his country in Vietnam. The year he received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, he was the only U.S. Soldier who was honored with it.


Kurt Hesselden's Story

Army, B Co. 4th Btn. 12th Infantry 199th Light Infantry Brigade Tet I and Tet II January 1968 - May 1968.


Robert J. Hewitt's Story

III Corp Advisor, Police/Resource Control Advisor, Republic of Vietnam, was also awarded; Awarded Bronze Star w/oak leaf, Combat Infantryman's Badge, 5 Campaign participation stars, RVN Campaign Medal.


Robert William Hickman's Story

He was coming back from a mission to the oil fields over Bucharest Romania, June 28th, 1944 when there plane came under attack. Every man but one was hit and the plane was on fire. My dad had been hit several times including the head. Somehow by the grace of God they managed to land in Bari. Their entire crew was awarded the Silver Star for bravery. My dad was the tail gunner on this B-24 called Flak Shak and is alive today because of the bravery of his crew mates that kept him alive. There is a write up in a book called "Missions By The Numbers" that tells of this mission.

Was also awarded a Silver Star, Presidental Citation, Medal w/ 3 Bronze Stars, Air Medal, Two Oak Leaf Clusters.


George Francis Higgins' Story

Dad had just graduated as an architect from the University of Illinois and had begun practice when he was drafted and inducted 9 November, 1943. On 10 June, 1944, he was attached to Co. C, Corps. of Engineers. This is last time I saw daddy but I just don't remember his embrace, as I was only ten months old. Dad was on ship from 16 June, 1944 to 27 June, 1944 as he sailed from New York to Liverpool, England; and then again from 1 November, 1944 to 2 November, 1944 when he sailed from Newport, England to France to enter the war. Dad was promoted to Pfc. and the Army Specialty "Scout" on 24 January, 1945, and became driver of a reconnaissance jeep in HQ & HQCo., 358th Inf. Regt, 3rd Army, 12th Army Group, 90th Div. During the time dad was overseas, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, 7 Dec, 1944; authorized to wear 1 overseas service bar, 16 Dec, 1944; authorized to wear the European-African-MidEastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon, 1 Jan, 1945; awarded the Good Conduct Medal, 29 Jan, 1945; and earned the Purple Heart, 16 March, 1945. Dad was Killed In Action that day during the final push to the Rhine when I was 19 months old. Mom learned that Dad was driving his jeep somewhere near Brodenbach, Germany when the convoy was strafed by aircraft. Another soldier wrote to my mother saying dad was killed instantly and died with a look of astonishment on his face. My search of the National Archives in 1999 revealed that the gunner in the back of the jeep was also killed, and that the interpreter who was riding next to dad, was injured. The After Action Report also revealed that the aircraft was unfortunately for all, a P-47, one of our own. I would like the pilot to know that I feel sadness for him if that instant in time has caused him or his family anxiety. My daddy would certainly have embraced his comrade in arms as I do, saying there is nothing to forgive and that our families share the horror of war. To my daddy: your fraternity brothers said it eloquently in their 1945 dedication to you, "Every man in the fraternity that knew George with his humor, and the good fellow that he was, will miss every bit of Higgins. Results of war has taken some of our best men. George was one of the best because everybody, yes everybody liked George Higgins. One of our true arch stones has departed."


James A. Hilgart's Story

James (Jim) was born and raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin and worked as a logger during the early years of his life. He was called to serve during WWII under selective service and after training as a Motor Transport Operator with the Quartermaster Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington, was assigned to the Invasion Force then scheduled to invade Italy. He was reportedly killed by small arms fire while moving fuel and supplies forward to front-line units heavily engaged with German forces. Jim had four brothers who also served in the Army during WWII, three in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Norman, the youngest of the four, was killed in action at Trier, Germany while serving with Patton's 10th Armored Division.


John M. Hilgart's Story

Army, John was born and raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin and graduated from Lincoln High in May 1950. He entered the US Army in October 1950 as a volunteer and after training as a rifleman (MOS 4745) at Camp Pickett, Virginia, was assigned to Company F (2nd Bn), 5th RCT (Korea) which at the time was one of the three regiments assigned to the 24th Infantry Division. He became a prisoner of war on the date he was wounded while in conflict with an armed enemy. This action was the start of the Chinese Spring 1951 offensive when some units of the 2nd Battalion were overwhelmed by massive Chinese forces which broke through the main line of resistance (MLR) as a result of the failure of the adjacent ROK 6th Division to hold its position. John was a POW until released during the POW exchange period on 17 Aug 1953.


Kenneth Charles Hilgart's Story

Kenneth served in the Artillery, US Army. At this date it is not known how he was killed. He was carried as missing in action for some time before his remains were recovered. I suspect his gun crew was overrun during a defensive action and his remains were only recovered after the terrain was re-captured. He is listed as Killed in Action in the Korean War Casualty List.


Norman J. Hilgart's Story

Norman was born and raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin and worked as a farmer and logger during the early years of his life. He was called to serve during WWII under selective service and after training as a rifleman was ordered to the European Theatre of Operations (ETO). He was killed while serving with the 20th Inf Bn, 10th Armored Division of Patton's 3rd Army. Norman had four brothers who also served in the Army during WWII, three in the ETO. James, the oldest of the four, was killed in action at Anzio while serving with Mark Clark's 5th Army.


William G. Hill's Story

Marines, William G. Hill, my father, not only received one purple heart in 1965, he received five more in the total of three tours of duty he spent in Vietnam.


Charles D. Hillsamer's Story

Army, About 6 miles near Road 9 into Laos from Kay Son, Also Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, NDSM, CIB and RVN Campaign Medal w/date. Wounded both legs and upper right arm by small arms fire while asg TDY to SF unit from 8th Army, 7th Log, Tague, S. Korea.


Charles David Hinkle's Story

Charles Hinkle was my grandfather, he died when I was 8 years old. I have his Purple Heart that he received.


Tommy Douglas Hintz's Story

Then Corporal Tommy Douglas Hintz, United States Marine Corps, distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty on 26 December 1994, while serving as Team Leader, Detachment Force Reconnaissance 3rd SRIG, 3rd Marine Division at Marseille International Airport, Marseille France.

In Algiers, Algeria on 24 December 1994, four members of the Groupe Islamique Arme dressed in Air Algeriers uniforms boarded Air France Flight 8969 bound for Paris France at approximately 1115 hours. The terrorists brandished their automatic weapons and demanded cooperation from the passengers and flight crew.

Forty hours into the standoff, after three innocent passengers lost their lives, the immutable efforts of the negotiation team liberated 63 women and childeren. During this time, authorities learned that the aircraft was laden with more than twenty sticks of dynamite and the GIA planned to fly the plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The negotiation team quickly formulated a plan to divert the flight to Marseille International Airport some five hundred miles south of Paris.

The French and US forces landed just twenty minutes before 8969 touched down at Marseille-Marignane Airport on the coast of France just after 0330 hours. Tired from the two day stand off, the hijackers maintained radio silence until late morning when the terrorists demand they receive nearly 27 tons of fuel; considerably more than needed to make the five hundred mile flight to Paris. It was believed that the hijackers wanted as much fuel as possible, making the Airbus into a flying bomb.

At 1708 hours the day after Christmas, Corporal Hintz and his Marines were poised along with the GIGN to take the plane, however the Air Bus began to move on the runway, heading towards the Air Traffic Control Tower. All of the careful positioning done to conceal the Special Forces units from being detected was altered as the enormous aircraft moved to within thirty meters from the Air Traffic Control Tower.

Suddenly, the distinctive sound of an AK-47 erupted from the cockpit of the Airbus, shattering glass in the control tower. The signal was given and the Special Forces moved in towards the Airbus onboard mobile staircases and catering equipment. Snipers already positioned in the tower began to return fire, being careful not to hit any of the crew in the cockpit. As the mobile staircases reached the right hand door to the first class area, Corporal Hintz manipulated the hatch's exterior mechanism as bullets riddled the thin aluminum exterior of the aircraft.

The pilots had crouched down in the cabin as far as they could, the Marines tossed stun grenades into the cockpit and first class section as they boarded the aircraft. Corporal Hintz caught the first hijacker off guard as he was sprinting down the aisle, but the other hijackers in the cockpit area returned a barrage of automatic weapons fire that struck Corporal Hintz in the Chest. Unexpectingly one of the hijackers tossed a grenade down the aisle, as the commandos scrambled to get out of the way, Corporal Hintz with complete disregard for his own personal safety, rolled a mortally wounded hijacker over the live gernade and layed on top of him to provide cover for the passengers. The device exploded sending shrapnel into the legs of nearly everyone in the first class compartment.

The ensuing firefight lasted nearly twenty minutes and left the four hijackers dead.

Corporal Hintz's extraordinary heroism and dedication to duty were in keeping with the highest standards of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the United States Marine Corps.

The Silver Star and Defense Distinguished Service Medal were also awarded for this incident.


Cecil F. Hodges' Story

Born Jan. 27, 1924, Died June 6, 1944, buried at Birchlawn Cemetery Pearisburg VA. (Giles Co.).


Rudolph Elmer Hoff's Story

85th Division, 337th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company G. Bronze Battle Star, Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon.


William J. Hoffman's Story

Squadron 4, D.A.A.F.; also awarded Air Medal, 4 Oak Leaf Clusters and a Silver Star on November 7, 1944.


Claude William Monroe Holder's Story

Army. Claude was my uncle that I never got to see as I was born 9 years after he was killed. My mother (his sister) has told us that he was born Sept. 22, 1920. He was 2 years younger than my Mom. He was only 24, in the US Army, WWII when he was standing guard somewhere in Italy. He was hit (from a grenade or bomb) that was off aways, fragments hit him in the chest, stomach and legs. We only hope and pray that he died instantly. It took several months for his body to be returned to the states. He is buried in his home town at Gamble Cemetery. What a very sad day that was for mom and all his family. We will always miss him.


Roland D. Hollada, Jr.'s Story

MCFA, I was in the 2nd Battalion 11th Marines 105 Howitzer battery. We were mortared during the night and I was struck by shrapnel in the back of the head. This attack cause much damage to the battery but the cong were silenced by an immediate return barrage and assistance from air support. I also received a Navy Commendation Medal with combat V during my 13 month tour of duty from 1966-1967. I am very proud to have served and would do so again if called upon.


Leslie H. Hood, Jr.'s Story

Air Force, Les was a pilot on a B-26 Marauder in the 587th Squadron, 394th Bomb Group in the 9th Air Force. His plane was shot down over Germany on his 50th mission. Les died 7days later, on February 28, 1945, after having right arm amputated in a German hospital in Muenster from his injuries. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery. Lt. Hood was awarded, posthumously, the Air Medal with one silver and four bronze clusters and the Purple Heart. He also received the Distinguished Unit Citation.


John Thomas Hooks' Story

Army Air Corps, J.T. was awarded the Air Medal, posthumously, on May 10, 1946, for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained operational flight missions in the Southwest Pacific Area, from 18 November 1943 to 29 May 1944. John Thomas Hooks was born on Mar 6, 1916, in Georgia. He was the son of Ezekiel Robert and Laura Pauline Hooks. He had one brother and two sisters. J.T. was assigned to the 376th Bombardment Squadron, 309th Bombardment Group in Columbia SC, from March 1943 until July 1943. He was assigned to the V Air force, V Bomber Command, 33rd Bombardment Squadron, 22nd Bombardment Group, the "Red Raiders", in July 1943 as a radio Operator on a B-24. J.T. was killed in action over the Philippines on September 1, 1944. J.T. completed 30 combat missions, totaling 199 hours and twenty-five minutes. These missions included strikes on Wewak, Hollandia, Palau, Biak, Geram, Calebes, Halmaheras and the Philippines. J.T. was awarded the Air Medal, posthumously, on May 10, 1946, for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained operational flight missions in the Southwest Pacific Area, from 18 November 1943 to 29 May 1944. J.T. was also awarded the Purple Heart.


Harold Hoover's Story

Harold's Medals, letter & telegram along with other information was donated by the submitters to the Cudahy Historical Society in Cudahy, Wisconsin.


Bernard William Horn's Story

U.S. Army, Calvary, heavy weapons crewman, received his Purple Heart, was also awarded: Good Conduct Medal, One Bronze Campaign Star, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon & Philippine Liberation Ribbon.


James Martin Horn's Story

Shot in right thigh, # 3260997, Honorably discharged at Camp Pike, Arkansas, 28 March, 1919.


Billy Lawrence Horton's Story

Billy was shot through the face on the morning of February 3, 1968 by a lone V.C. with an AK-47. Billy survived, I was wounded the next day in the same area of operations. When I made it to the E-Vac hospital, I asked to see Billy. The ward nurse knew who I was looking for as soon as I told her that Billy had been shot through the face. The nurse wheeled me into his ward, I shook his foot to awaken him. He woke and asked how I had gotten there, so I told him I had been shot that morning in the leg. In the loudest voice that he could muster, he said "You shot yourself to visit me?" and then laughed. Not funny at that time, with all the brass in the ward at the time, but you had to know Billy.


Christopher Sean Houlihan's Story

On a route security mission in Bravo sector on route michigan in Habbaniyah Iraq my Bradley fighting vehicle was struck by an 57mm antitank rocket. The rocket pierced the rear troop hatch and exploded in the coleman cooler we carried water in. I was the driver and recieved shrapnel in my back and the BC {Bradley Comander} SSG. David Speer got shrapnel in his left leg.


Alton L. House's Story

Alton L. House also received the Silver Star for his actions in the Sixth Armor's drive to take Brest.


Russel Junior House's Story

Marine, Recieved the "Navy Cross" when his unit encountered enemy forces during the taking of the airfield. He was hit by small arms fire at the time he was setting up a 75mm recoiless weapon to defend his units position. His action resulted in several of the enemy being killed when he threw grenades to deter the enemy. The "Navy Cross" was awarded to him and was posthumously given to his mother in a ceremony in Ames, Iowa. At the time of his death this was the highest medal awarded in the state of Iowa to anyone who had or was serving in the Korean War.


Jerry Elmer Houston's Story

SFC. Houston also holds a second award of the Purple Heart for serious wounds received on December 13, 1966. He also was awarded the Bronze Star w/V device (Valor) for action on 1 November 1966. He also has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Jungle Expert Badge and numerous other Federal, State and Foreign decorations and awards. Sgt. Houston was the Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division and was wounded on 30 June while leading his rifle platoon in an assault on superior Viet Cong forces which had ambushed a US forces convoy on Thunder Road aka Highway 13. While in close combat with the VC, Sgt Houston was shot through the left testical and groin, cracking the pelvic bone and exiting the left buttock. He was evacuated to Buckner Army Hospital, Okinawa where he recuperated for 3 months before returning to his unit.


Malcom James Howard's Story

1962 graduate United States Military Academy. Army, Infantry, Was also awarded: Silver Star, Bronze Star with "V" device, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, CIB & MSM.


Darrell Howe's Story

Army, Hill was almost over run, puff the magic dargon was called out to provide support until daylight. I put Mr. Howe on dust off chopper.


Larry P. Howell's Story

3Rd. Bn. 1St. Marines Base Camp (Chu Ha) 2 miles south of Nue Kim shun (Snipper Round), 2 Presidential Citations, MUC, NUC, Combat Action Ribbon, VSM/w3 Bronze stars, Vietnam Cross Of Galitry, Vietnam Civil Action/w Palm. I was fixing to have a going away party and we started taking snipper fire from the tree line and I took a head shot.The round deflected off my forehead bone and went straight back taking out all the Temple Bone on. The left side.....Was Med-Vaced to The Navel Hospital DaNang and on September 7, 1967 E-Vaced me back to COUNS.....I was Medically Retired with 100% disability on February 23, 1968.


Theodore Vincent Hromadka's Story

Major Hromadka was leading a ruse in capturing the bridge across the Ludwig canal in Kelheim while 3rd Army, under Gen. Patton, crossed the Danube river later at Regensburg. In the approach to Kelheim, Major Hromadka was blown out of his jeep and suffered a severe injury to his shoulder and cuts to his arm. Nonetheless, he continued the mission and, despite small arms and artillery fire, captured the bridge at Kelheim. In spite of his injuries, he led his troops across the bridge and captured the town of Kelheim.


Frank W. Hulett's Story

Capt. Hulett; an engineer, enlisted in the United States Army in August of 1917 and sailed for France on December 31, 1917. He was killed in action at the Battle of Chateau Theirry on June 6, 1918 and was buried there. On May 9, 1921 he was brought home and buried in Lewiston, Maine in Riverside Cemetery. Hulett Square in Lewiston was named in his memory as was Auburn/Lewiston VFW Post 1603. On July 8, 1997 I requested any medals due my grandfather be sent to me as next of kin. On Saturday, October 21, 2000 I received the medals including the Purple Heart.


Robert John Huot's Story

Army, Served from 1940 to 1945, other awards include Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman's Badge, American Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, EAM Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, German Occupation Medal, and Belgian Fourragere.


Clyde Dwight Hutson's Story

The Unit Name Was 1st Air Cav. B. Troup Bravo Blues. Was wounded in action 30 days before tour of duty was up. There was a book written about the unit called The Headhunters.


Back to main page

Click here to go back to the H surnames