Purple heart

zboys

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Several years ago I bought this at Rietta Ranch flea market from a guy that did estate cleanouts, I dont know if he ground the info off or it was done before him. I thought it was cool enough to buy.
It's sad it left the original family, but I have no attachment to it and was wondering what is the best thing to do with it? Any ideas.
I have another one around with no engraving on it, could these be purchased without earning them?

20200607_122816.jpg20200607_122832.jpg20200607_122910.jpg
 

greencobra

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what's that cluster on the medal ribbon? looks like oak leaves. wounded more than once?
 

Picton

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what's that cluster on the medal ribbon? looks like oak leaves. wounded more than once?
Yes. Second award.

OP, there might have been a time that there was a complicated process for getting these. Now, they’re available in the PX.

ETA: They were twenty years ago, anyway. Almost everyone I knew in the army maintained a couple different sets of ribbons. They just bought new ones when needed. I will say I think it's highly unusual that the name is ground off. I'm not a medal collector, but if I was, a ground name would immediately indicate probable stolen property at some point. It's hard for me to think of a legit reason for taking the name off. Also, OP, the ribbon is obviously missing from the set.
 
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Rat187

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Yes. Second award.
ETA: They were twenty years ago, anyway. Almost everyone I knew in the army maintained a couple different sets of ribbons. They just bought new ones when needed. I will say I think it's highly unusual that the name is ground off. I'm not a medal collector, but if I was, a ground name would immediately indicate probable stolen property at some point. It's hard for me to think of a legit reason for taking the name off. Also, OP, the ribbon is obviously missing from the set.
My PH awarded in the hospital during TET had no name.....the bullet did
 

Picton

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My PH awarded in the hospital during TET had no name.....the bullet did
This.

I THINK most US decorations are issued unengraved, but there's a spot on the reverse for the recipient to engrave their details later. By contrast, the British always engrave their decorations to the recipient around the rim, even campaign and service medals.

edited 'cause I'm wrong!
 
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Rat187

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I believe most PH's that were issued during the Vietnam war were actually minted in 1944-45, as the proposed invasion of Japan was upcoming.

The bean counters in the US 'War Room' estimated 1 million US casualties, thus 1mil PH's were minted. .Gov was prescient enough to use them through the Korean & Vietnam War The B-29 'Memphis Belle' changed the strategic dynamic and ended the war. When I did my DD-15 amendment I got the rest of my Medals and a dupe PH that had my name engraved....lol As if I'd forget..
 

Picton

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I believe most PH's that were issued during the Vietnam war were actually minted in 1944-45, as the proposed invasion of Japan was upcoming.

The bean counters in the US 'War Room' estimated 1 million US casualties, thus 1mil PH's were minted. .Gov was prescient enough to use them through the Korean & Vietnam War The B-29 'Memphis Belle' changed the strategic dynamic and ended the war. When I did my DD-15 amendment I got the rest of my Medals and a dupe PH that had my name engraved....lol As if I'd forget..
Wow, so they engraved it for you before they issued it? Or was this a replacement?

Go figure. Makes sense the DoD would have absolutely no coherent policies about anything, ever.
 

greencobra

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a friend, bob, got his in an evac hospital. when he got back to the states he was awarded a second (and a certificate stating it was awarded), his name is on that one. still has both after all these years. he sometimes muses that he was surprised there was never a knock and someone coming to retrieve the first one.
 
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...
The B-29 'Memphis Belle' changed the strategic dynamic and ended the war.
...
Memphis Bell was a B-17, flying and fighting in the European Theater.
The ships that participated in the final bombing of Japan were Enola Gay and Bockscar. They were B-29’s and reside in the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC and Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH.
 
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Len-2A Training

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Yes. Second award.

OP, there might have been a time that there was a complicated process for getting these. Now, they’re available in the PX.

ETA: They were twenty years ago, anyway. Almost everyone I knew in the army maintained a couple different sets of ribbons. They just bought new ones when needed. I will say I think it's highly unusual that the name is ground off. I'm not a medal collector, but if I was, a ground name would immediately indicate probable stolen property at some point. It's hard for me to think of a legit reason for taking the name off. Also, OP, the ribbon is obviously missing from the set.
The ground off name could indicate either stolen or perhaps Kerry's personal PH. :mad:
 

zboys

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The ground off name could indicate either stolen or perhaps Kerry's personal PH. :mad:
Kinda what I thought, I tried to get the estate name from the flea market seller but he just blew it off like it didn't matter. My intention was getting it back in the right hands.
Anyhow, I dont feel right owning it and would gladly pass it on if anybody wants it. I only paid a couple bucks for it. It's free and I'll pay the shipping.
 

smokey-seven

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Regarding the oak leaf cluster designating a second award, that means Army service. If it was CG, USMC or USN, it would be a star. If the owner was an Army awarded PH, and then served in the CG, USMC or USN, and was decorated a second time, he would wear both the OLC and a star. My mind is fuzzy, I have read that the star is silver, but my recall is that the star is bronze. If the owner was unfortunate enough to be multiple stars, I thought that the first 4 were bronze and when the 5th was awarded, it replaced the 4 bronze with a silver star. Would that be right?

Air force I have no idea.

Now for the bronze oak leaf clusters, if multiple awards, are they also added for each additional time? 3 PH = 2 bronze stars. What happens on the 5th award?

To the OP, you will have to determine what will become of that medal. I personally do not buy decorations unless they are to be returned to the original owner or family there of. Without a clear line to the owner, they just stay with the person selling the items.

Now if you ever see a Medal of Honor for sale, that is just flat out illegal.
 

HorizontalHunter

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Kinda what I thought, I tried to get the estate name from the flea market seller but he just blew it off like it didn't matter. My intention was getting it back in the right hands.
Anyhow, I dont feel right owning it and would gladly pass it on if anybody wants it. I only paid a couple bucks for it. It's free and I'll pay the shipping.
Try contracting Purple Hearts Reunited and see what the suggest.

Bob

Home - Purple Hearts Reunited
 

Skysoldier

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I find it fishy to find the name scratched off.
I highly suspect someone was trying to claim it was theirs, when it wasn't.

You can buy unengraved ones at a lot of Army/Navy stores (Ranger Joe's) or at any Post or Base Exchange.

I was awarded twice in Vietnam, but they weren't engraved. The clerk would just hand you the Medal and a set of orders,
and tell you "when you get back to the states, take this to the Post Clothing Store with your orders, and they will engrave it for you."
 
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SERE

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There are nefarious reasons ribbons that are taken from the rightful owners. Unfortunately divorce comes to mind. MOH 'gone missing' by flame, trash or theft is heart breaking. [angry]
 

Picton

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Air force I have no idea.

Now for the bronze oak leaf clusters, if multiple awards, are they also added for each additional time? 3 PH = 2 bronze stars. What happens on the 5th award?
Every five bronze OLCs is a silver OLC. Same for the Air Force. The only exceptions I know of are NDSM (which I think is a little tiny star) and the Air Medal (which are numerals).

Actually Kerry confessed some years later that he never threw his Purple Heart(s) over the White House fence.....He threw a dupe.....could this be it ?
Again, almost everyone I knew in the Army had doubles of all their stuff anyway. Certainly the officers. Different era, but still.
 

SERE

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Most likely a Veterans death....
Sorry. I was too long winded and then cut out too much with the personal information. It was his divorce and then the MOH was lost. How? Depends on who you talk to . :(
 
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Picton

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Air Medals were issued during the Vietnam war used the Oak leaf system ....no numerals
Seems to have changed over in '68. They were giving out WAAAAAY too many of the things, apparently.
 
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