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Purple Heart Stories


James E. Thomas

James was with the 319th INF of the 80th DIV. He was KIA during the Battle of The Bulge. He was an ammunition bearer at the time.


Bascom H. Tabor's Story

Army, Also awarded Bronze star based upon the award of the CIB. Discrepancies in date of death. He is listed as KIA 11 Sep 44 and this is on his headstone at Epinal. However other records list him as KIA on 15 Feb 45 at Nennig and Tettining, Germany, several hundred miles and six months after the first date. This mystery has yet to be resolved.


Charles A. Tabor's Story

Army, Awarded the DSC for holding off several enemy tanks with a mortar during retreat near Taegu. Also awarded SS for action several days earlier. Received the Purple Heart for wounds resulting in his death when his position was eventually overrun by the North Korean tanks.


Henry Irving Tannenbaum's Story

Army, A platoon from the 83rd Division, 331st Regiment, Company F was shot at by German snipers near Ottre, Belgium. My father, Private Henry Irving Tannenbaum was the point man and appeared to die immediately. As other in the platoon cried out from their wounds, a German soldier in massacred the remaining men except for the platoon sergeant who played death, while the German soldiers stripped the bodies of their watches. Then the German ran tanks over the dead and dying bodies leaving them in very grotesque positions. They left my father's body untouched. The sergeant went back to town and told the sentry, Tony Vaccaro on duty of the massacre. The two went back to the site and Tony took a picture of my father which he later called "White Death - photo requiem of a dead soldier- Private Henry I. Tannenbaum." Tony took the picture because my father's body looked so peaceful as contrasted with the chaos surrounding him. Tony went on to become a photo journalist for LIFE and LOOK magazine. "White Death" circulated as part of traveling exhibit for over fifty years in Europe and recently was voted picture of the century by a Frankfurt newspaper. I knew nothing of these facts until 1996. My mother thought my father was alive and eventually she went into a state mental hospital. My father had a form of hemophilia and bled to death very quickly. I found Tony through a friend in Luxembourg who a met at an American World War II Orphan Network (AWON) conference in 1996.


Paul E. Tardiff's Story

Army, Wounded while serving with I Company, 7th Regt, 3d Infantry Division. Was in country 9 months - shipped to stateside hospital. Served in Vietnam 1966-67. Past commander Joshua Chamberlain Chapter 1865, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Brewer & Bangor, Maine. Retired US Army.


Joseph L. Tate's Story

As part of the 7th Field Artillery Bn, 16th Regt Combat Team, 1st Inf Div (Big Red One), took part in the invasions & battles of N Africa and Sicily. Received Bronze Star with V for action at El Guettar, Tunisia. Killed during the invasion of Normandy.


Harley R. Taubenheim's Story

Bombing Squadron; was also awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, Oak Leaf Cluster, air medal & Good Conduct Medal.


Alvin O. Tawney's Story

My grandfather received basic training at Camp Walters Texas. He was serving in the US Army 134 infantry 35 division (the Santa Fe division).


Donald Taylor's Story

Was killed when enemy artillery hit his armored vehicle; He is buried in N. Africa, but there is a memorial for him at Riverside Cemetery, in Iola Wi.


Walter C. Taylor's Story

Army, was KIA in Colmar area in France, the La Maison Rouge bridge head at the ILL River.


Robert Joseph Tehan's Story

Navy, second pilot of a Liberator B-24. A member of the first aviation training group to leave St. Louis University. He engaged in campaign to sink German U-Boats. After attacking one U-boat another surfaced and together shot down the bomber as it continued it's attack on the German submarines. He was born in Columbia, Missouri on November 18,1921. Name on memorial in Soldiers Square St. Louis, Missouri. Was also awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation and World War II Victory Medal.


William Teicholz's Story

Bronze Star for Bravery during the German winter offensive in Southern Belgium issued by Major Robert Chaney, battalion commander.


Fred Tesar's Story

Army, European African Middle Easter Theater Ribbon with 5 Bronze Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart GO #6 Hq 95 Evac Hosp 10 Mar 44 Meritorious Unit Award GO #364 7th Army 4 Aug 45 Bronze Arrowhead. In addition, Fred and another man were bearing a stretcher with a third man when the bomb hit. The other two men were killed. Fred's injuries were confined to shrapnel in the calf of one leg.


David Clinton Tharp's Story

101st Airborn 502nd, EAME Theater ribbon w/ 4 bronze stars/bronze arrowhead (5 bronze stars)--American Theater ribbon, Purple heart /1 oak leaf cluster, WWII Victory Medal--Distinguished Unit Citation/ oak leaf cluster (Presidential Citation). One bronze star was for holding his position as the radio operator while under heavy fire at the Battle of the Bulge. The other incidents he never spoke of---but one is for Carentan according to his war buddy.


Herbert E. Thiel's Story

My Uncle Herbert was aboard the HMT Rohna, in convoy to India. They were attacked by the Luftwaffe and struck by the first guided missile incident. 1015 troops were killed. The unit, 853 Avn Engineers was not functional afterwards.


Alan Dale Thomas' Story

Marines, was wounded when the U.S. retook the merchant ship Mayaguez from Cambodian Forces.


Douglas R. Thomas' Story

Army, My father, as of this writing, is alive and well. He landed at Omaha Beach on July 6, 1944, four weeks after the D-Day landing. He was Captain of B Co.(?) 35th Division, 137th Infantry. The day he was wounded, his company was working its way through the hedgerows of St. Lo. As his two platoons worked forward, his command element somehow moved between them and he found himself and his immediate comrades out in an open field between hedgerows. He had an uncomfortable feeling and signaled his men to "hit the dirt." At some point he looked up to see if he could determine their situation and he was immediately hit in the head by enemy machine gun fire. His helmet received most of the brunt and was destroyed. He was knocked unconscious and received numerous wounds to the face and head from the exploding helmet. When he came to, he heard his men calling him from behind the hedgerow. With suppressive fire, he was able to return to the safety of the hedgerow, however, his radio operator was killed as they ran back. After recovery, he returned in time to make it into the bulge. In all, he participated in five campaigns. His military career continued until about 1965 when he retired. He was also in the Korean War as a Battalion Commander. There he received the Bronze Star for valor. He has two awards of the combat infantrymans badge. He received wounds again in Korea but was never put in for another Purple Heart. He has been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, The Army Comindation Medal, Three Bronze Stars (one with "V") the Purple Heart and all the medals that accompany the campaigns he was in. My father is the greatest Dad in the world and is my hero. A son could ask for no better of a father.


John Edward Thomas' Story

Army, 101st AirBorne, 501 Prcht Inf., Co C. EXTRACT states " ... enlisted men for wounds received in action somewhere in Holland on the dates set forth after their names: John E. Thomas 18170181 Pvt Co C, 501 Prcht Inf, 101 AB Div. United States Army, wounded 21 Sept 1944. Memo was dated October 6, 1944, Machine gun wound on upper right leg. Died 2-6-1998. Buried Tahoma National Cemetery, Plot 199. Outside Kent, WA. Has several bars but I don't know what they mean.


Morris W. Thomas' Story

101 Airborn Army, was awarded: Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf, Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Pin, European Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal & Presidential Unit Citation. WIA 5 October 1944 during Operation Market Garden. MIA - KIA - Field Grave Found December 1971.


Bill Thompson's Story

Bill was awarded two Purple Hearts, the Silver Star and Bronze Star. The Silver Star citation reads "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a Fire Team Leader of Company D, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 23 April 1951. With his squad leader killed and another comrade seriously wounded during a night attack on his sector when a large hostile force, supported by withering automatic-weapons, mortar and small-arms fire, advanced to within a few feet of his position, Corporal Thompson bravely carried the wounded man to safety in the face of heavy fire and immediately returned to his post. Finding the squad badly depleted, disorganized and short of ammunition, he promptly assumed command, established a new firing line and, personally obtaining ammunition from an adjacent unit, directed a devastating volume of fire upon the attackers which completely halted the assault and inflicted heavy casualties on the hostile troops. By his outstanding courage, exceptional leadership and aggressive fighting spirit, Corporal Thompson served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." Bill is buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Oklahoma.


Curtis Oliver Thompson, III's Story

We were on patrol and had set up a base camp for the night. I was called to the cp and as I was returning to my position I stepped on a booby trap. I sustained wounds to both legs, right hip, right side of my chest, right arm and hand.


John Bryan Thompson's Story

Sgt. Thompson. U.S. Army Co.A, 18th Infantry 1stDiv.Recieved 2 Bronze Stars. 1965 Eden High Graduate, Son of Lt.Robert Thompson WWII Battle of the Bulge also received 2 Bronze Stars.


Lloyd George Thompson's Story

175th Infantry, 29th Division; is buried in Margranet Holland, Plot N, Row 17, Grave #7.


David J. Thorn's Story

Marines, It happened on the way to an ambush. One of the first things you learn in the bush is to follow in the footprints of the guy in front of you. Well the guy behind me did not do that. The next thing was this big explosion. I flew about 20 feet and landed on an ammo can I was carrying. Knocked me out for a couple minutes. It was a booby trap, I received multiple fragment wounds to my back and thighs. I spent eight days in the hospital. My hands are starting to shake and sweat writing about this, so I'm going to leave it at that. To this day I don't know if that guy lived or died. In addition to the purple heart, I received the Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/ Palm & Frame, Vietnamese Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action, Color 1st Class w/ Palm & Frame and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal w/ device.


Thomas Greene Tice's Story

Navy, Thomas Greene Tice was killed in action along with the Sullivan Brothers somewhere in the North Pacific. He was on the SS Juneau.


Robert Arnold Tillquist's Story

Army, He was a platoon medical aid man with 2/12 Co.B. He was killed while administering aid to the 3rd soldier he had gone out for, through a steady stream of heavy enemy fire and was shot in the back at point blank range. He was awarded The Distinguished Service Cross, The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and another Vietnam medal that I don't know what it is.


Ronald Tomkins' Story

Army, He was a member of my crew (V-100 armored vehicle). Ronald was also recommended by me for a Bronze Star with V (Valor) and received it. We were caught in an ambush and he distinguish himself, along with Roger Wamsley, in support of my efforts to break up the ambush and rescue wounded soldiers.


Walter Tondettar's Story

Army, 9th Infantry Division. Participated in Invasion of North Africa, Invasion of Sicily, and Invasion of France (D-Day + 2, I believe).


Antonio R. Torre's Story

Army, My Dad was wounded when his troop transport was struck by a Japanese suicide plane. He was a member of Co. A, 77th Infantry Division, 242nd Combat Engineers. He also received the Bronze Star for meritorious service on Guam and fought at the battle for Leyte. Medals: Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, Bronze Star Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star, Purple Heart. As a result of his wounds of April 2nd he had a steel plate in his head for the rest of his life. He died on Sept. 29, 1966. I'm proud of my Dad and his accomplishments, I would also like to thank him and everyone who fought in WWII. I am proud to say he and all his fellow soldiers are truly, "The Greatest Generation".


Diamon Kelly Torres' Story

Army, NDSM; Prcht Bdge; VSM; VCM W/DVC 60; AM; Purple Heart 1ST AWD & 2ND AWD; Air Medal; ARCOM; SPS (M-14); ARCOM (1ST OLC); Combat Infrantryman Badge; Vietnam Gallantry Cross With Bronze Star. In service 16 Jun 67 - 26 feb 70. VN Service 19 Dec 67 - 26 Feb 70. Deceased 1 August 2000. 11 F 4P Inf Op & Intel Spec. Co. E, 2d Bn, 502d Inf, 101st Abn Div (AM).


Don M. Tresca's Story

Marine Corps, C Company, 1st Tank Bn,. His tank was hit with 3 RPG rounds in the city of Hoi An, during the Tett Offensive. He has spent the last 21 years in Law Enforcement in the state of California.


James Add Tritt's Story

In the Pacific, off the coast of Okinawa, on the USS Suwanee, During a Kamakazi attack he was declared MIA and then KIA.


Russell C. Trombley's Story

Army, also received oak leaf cluster, good conduct medal and a victory ribbon along with a combat infantry badge and European and American theatre ribbons.


Frederick K. Trost's Story

Army, 381st Inf Regt., also awarded: Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon & Good Conduct Medal.


McKie M. Trotter, III's Story

My late father was one of the 1800 American ground forces (i.e. infantry, artillery and armor) officers held by the Germans at Oflag 64 in Szubin, Poland. In January 1945 the Russians were advancing steadily towards Germany, so in order to keep these 1800 American officers from being liberated the Germans decided to move them. On January 21, 1945 the Germans began of forced march of all the POW officers that were well enough to walk. There was 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground and bitter cold temperatures. This column of poorly clothed and poorly fed men were marched northwest towards the mouth of the Oder River. Men were falling out of the column the entire way. Dad made it 15 days and 150 miles to Siedlice, Poland before his frostbitten feet couldn't go any farther. There he and 175 other starved and frozen POWs were put into box cars - 60 or so in a car designed to hold 8 horses or 40 men (an "8 & 40" car). In my dad's own words: "We remained on those boxcars for one week. We got one cup of meal soup during this trip. Had we not been able to trade cigarettes for food we’d have been in pretty bad shape. The guards would get no water for us. We usually drank warm water from the train’s engine. The guards got their rations daily but made no effort to get the prisoners any." It was for the frostbite and starvation while in German hands that Dad received the Purple Heart.


Dale J. Trueman's Story

Army Air Corps, He was a member of the 450th Bomb Group, 721st Bomb Squadron. He was one of six crew members killed; four men parachuted from plane and were taken prisoner by German soldiers.


Moody G. Truitt's Story

My Grandfather was a Combat Medic in Company "C" 320th Medical Battalion. Was also awarded: American Theatre Ribbon, EAME Theatre Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Ribbon, Victory Medal.


William J. Trujillo's Story

Co. A 61st Armd Inf Bn 10th Armored Div. Also recieved Bronze Star While reading a map with a buddy somewhere along the front lines Co A was hit with German mortar fire, the first explosion hit directly on my fathers buddy. He still has that shrapnel in his shoulder. This occurred during our march to what would become The Battle of the Bulge. After recovering in Paris he was sent back to the front lines to fight in the Bulge.


Grady W. Tucker, Jr.'s Story

Air Force; Military Police Officer, Was wounded by a terrorist bombing at Khobar Towers. Staff Sergeant Grady W. Tucker, Jr. was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor for Heroism for actions taken immediately after the terrorist bombing. Additionally, Sergeant was awarded another Air Force Commendation with oak leaf cluster and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star device for duties performed while deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm.


Melvin Oscar Tuley Story

USMC, Was awarded his Purple Heart Posthumous on Jan. 6, 1966. Was also honored with a plaque in the Harris County Courthouse.


Guyler Neil Tulp Story

Marines, Guy was a classmate of mine at Clifton High, Class of 1966. He left just before graduation to join Marines. The Class of 1966 misses him.


Marvin E. Turley's Story

Was also awarded 4 Bronze Stars, Combat Infantryman's Badge & Good Conduct Medal.


Joseph B. Turner's Story

Army, Vietnam Service Medal w/3 Bronze Service Stars, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Meritorious Citation w/Palm Cluster, National Defense Medal, Expert Combat Medic Badge & Presidential Unit Citation.


Stanley J. Turowski's Story

Army, My father was in Company K, 60th Infantry, 9th Division, World War II He received the following medals/awards: Purple Heart with cluster, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Belgian and French Forgierer (Unit Citations), European Theatre Ribbon with Five Stars.


Douglas Tyree's Story

Other decorations include, European-African-Middle Eastern service medal, with four bronze stars,& Good Conduct Medal. Battles and Campaigns include, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Centeral Europe. Company F, 117th Infantry, out of Fort McPherson, Ga.


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