Navy/Marine Corps Purple Heart Medal with gold 5/16 inch star and lapel button in presentation case. World War II. Wikepedia Commons image; click to view full citation.
Fifteen years after a Purple Heart and other lost WWII medals disappeared during a robbery, they have been returned to the family from whom they were stolen.
The medals belonged to James Dillion Adkison, a Lubbock, TX soldier killed at Pearl Harbor in 1943. A niece of James’ told a reporter that “Uncle JD’s” death left a huge hole in the family. Her mother grieved the loss of her brother for years, particularly on the Pearl Harbor bombing anniversary and Memorial Day.
The entire town and police department are credited in this news article for helping to reunite the medals with JD’s family.
We love stories like these! They shine the spotlight on the often-invisible efforts of family historians, antique collectors, and others who try to return lost items to their families. You can click here to read about a WWII dog tag that was returned to a family after many years. That post also tells how you can help a blogger who dedicates efforts to returning lost dog tags to families. It’s inspiring!
A letter written to his infant daughter by an American soldier during World War II finally reached her–69 years later. She never knew him. He died in Italy in 1944.
A television station in Charleston, SC recently reported a woman’s reunion with this letter along with 16 other letters written to her mother, her father’s Purple Heart and Bronze Star medal and other personal effects. They’d been found years before in someone else’s attic, but it took this long for that person to locate his daughter, Peggy.
As a genealogist hearing this story, it reminds me to NEVER give up! You never know what evidence may be just around the corner (or in an attic), waiting to connect you with your relatives. It also makes me grateful for those genealogical good Samaritans–those who find important family artifacts and then work to reunite them with their long-lost families. Check out the video here: