Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the Purple Heart award, created by General Order of General George Washington on August 7, 1782. For a complete history on the award, see:
According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart webpage, “the Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.”
For more information on the Military Order of the Purple Heart organization, for which some readers of this posting may be eligible to join, please see:
A number of 371st Fighter Group Members are listed as receiving the Purple Heart in the group’s warbook, “The Story of the 371st Fighter Group in the E.T.O.” (Hat tip to Mr. Robert H. Jones, 404th Fighter Squadron, for loaning us his copy of this hard-to-find book – we will return it soon!)
According to the group’s warbook, originally published by Army & Navy Pictorial Publishers, Baton Rouge, LA, 1946, the following men of the group were awarded the Purple Heart.
Please note these names are probably only the Purple Hearts given to the living and available to receive the award during the war. Most of the names of the honored dead lost in action (55 names, see an earlier posting on this blog titled “Frisky Remembers the 371st Fighter Group on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013” for a full list), who were most surely awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, are not reflected in these listings. Nor are the names listed for a number of 371st men wounded in action, which can be found throughout the various chapters in the warbook. But formally listed as Purple Heart award recipients are the following men, shown on the warbook page indicated:
371st Fighter Group (Call Sign Van Dyke, on page 72)
Lt Col. William J. Daley (Killed September 9, 1944, in taxiing accident at Coulommiers, France)
404th Fighter Squadron (Call Sign Kismet, on page 96)
Capt Harry W. Hohl, Jr. (Killed in action over Eastern France, January 2, 1945)
1st Lt. Willis R. Brown
1st Lt. Wesley R. Izzard
1st Lt. Daniel A. Naymik
405th Fighter Squadron (Call Sign Discharge, on page 118)
1st Lt. Leon L. Hooper
2nd Lt. James L. Kendall, Jr.
406th Fighter Squadron (Call Sign Yearling, on page 144)
Major Edmond A. Goolsbee
1st Lt. Robert W. Meade
1st Lt. Henry W. Parslow
1st Lt. Henry A. Pax
With time and effort we hope to compile a more complete listing of 371st Fighter Group members who received the honored Purple Heart award during WWII. We appreciate anyone contributing information, documents, and/or pictures to help in this effort.