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Purple Hearts facts

While investigating facts about Purple Hearts Meaning and Purple Hearts Movie, I found out little known, but curios details like:

Before Japan surrendered to end WW2, the US armed forces ordered over 1 million Purple Heart medals in anticipation of a difficult land invasion. That stock is still being used today.

how many purple hearts have been awarded?

In early 2016, a woman tracked down the family of a WWII veteran whose Purple Heart she bought at an Arizona Goodwill store for $4.99

What do purple hearts mean?

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what does purple hearts mean. Here are 50 of the best facts about Purple Hearts Drug and Purple Hearts Plant I managed to collect.

what purple hearts mean?

  1. During the initial airborne landings on D-Day, paratrooper John Steele got stuck on a church tower. He played dead for two hours dangling on the side of the church, was later captured and promptly escaped, fought for the entire day and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

  2. The founder of FedEx served two tours of duty in Vietnam, observing procurement and delivery procedures, fine-tuning his dream for an overnight delivery service. He was also awarded a Bronze Star, Silver Star, and two Purple Hearts.

  3. Major Donnie Dunagan was the Marines’ youngest-ever drill instructor & served 3 tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times. He received the Bronze Star & the Purple Heart 3 times. For his entire Marine Corps service, he kept a secret that no one knew– he was the voice of Disney’s Bambi

  4. 3 Honolulu firefighters were killed and 6 others injured after being attacked by Japanese planes while fighting fires at Hickam Field during the Pearl Harbor bombing. For their peacetime heroism, all 9 men received Purple Hearts, making them the only firefighters to awarded as such to date.

  5. A hero of the Harlem Hellfighters routed 36 Germans single-handedly, while rescuing a fellow soldier and suffering 22 wounds at Argonne Forest...then died 10 years later, as a destitute alcoholic, after being denied disability and a purple heart.

  6. Adolf Hitler's nephew William Patrick Hitler served in the US Navy in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart. After attempting to benefit from his uncle's rise to power in Germany, he turned against him and eventually settled in the USA

  7. 87 year old Leo Thalassites is the oldest living policeman in America. He served in all 5 branches of the U.S military, received 3 purple hearts, competed in the Olympic games, and blames modern-day overweight cops who "are quick to pull a gun because they can’t use their fists."

  8. A Jack Russell Terrier sacrificed his life to save 5 kids from two Pit Bulls and posthumously received a PDSA Gold Medal, and a Purple Heart from a Vietnam War veteran

  9. So many Purple Hearts were produced in the anticipation of the invasion of the Japanese mainland in WWII that they are still being issued today in Iraq and Afghanistan

  10. The most decorated American unit in history is the 442nd Infantry Regiment, which was almost entirely made up of Japanese Americans. Out of the 14,000 who served, 9,486 earned the Purple Heart and 21 earned the Medal of Honor. The unit itself was awarded 8 Presidential Unit Citations.

purple hearts facts
What are purple hearts?

Why are purple hearts given?

You can easily fact check why do soldiers get purple hearts by examining the linked well-known sources.

General Douglas MacArthur earned seven Silver Stars in WWI, vomited on the White House steps, wore a kimono while working at home as Army Chief of Staff, was awarded the very first Purple Heart, was Father of the Year in 1942, and told JFK to not get involved in Vietnam

The United States anticipated so many casualties in the planned invasion of Japan during WW2, that it is still awarding Purple Hearts originally manufactured during the war and intended for troops of that invasion. - source

Doris Miller was a cook who saved lives and gunned down Japanese warplanes while serving on a ship during WW2. He had no previous training with an anti-aircraft gun and was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart. Despite his heroism, he was assigned as a cook on Liscome Bay and died by torpedo. - source

Every Purple Heart medal awarded up to date was originally made during WWII in anticipation of the casualties that US troops would suffer in Japan

The US hasn't used up the Purple Hearts minted in anticipation of a bloody landing of Japan in WWII - source

When were purple hearts first awarded?

So many Purple Hearts were made in anticipation of the invasion of Japan that every Purple Heart since World War II has come from that stock.

How many purple hearts can you get?

Submarine Commander Eugene Fluckey, credited with the most tonnage sunk in WWII, incl. a Carrier and leading men on land to blow up a train. He got 4 Navy Crosses, the Medal of Honor, his boat got several Presidential Unit citations and not one of his men got a Purple Heart.

The most decorated US regiment was a japanesse american unit. They won 18,143 awards. Served in almost every theater of war, won 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

Henry Johnson, the "Black Death", was awarded the Purple Heart in 1996, Distinguished Service Cross in 2002, and the Medal of Honor in 2015. He died penniless in 1929 after his wife and children left because he couldn't work due to his injuries.

Marine Col. Henry Pierson Crowe served during WWI, the Banana Wars, WWII, and the Korean War, and won both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star on Guadalcanal, telling his men "You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Maj Donnie Dunagan served three tours in Vietnam, earned a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, was promoted a record 13 times in 21 years...and was the voice of Bambi

When were purple hearts made?

The U.S. had 500,000 Purple Hearts manufactured in anticipation of the invasion of Japan. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these medals in stock.

William Donovan, the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. Donovan was also awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.

Charles D Barger was gassed in WWI, received the Medal of Honor and a record 10 Purple Hearts, became a policeman after the war and was shot 5 times during a shootout. Later in life he was shot by a deputy and died from self-inflicted burn injuries sustained during a mental breakdown.

The U.S. government produced 500,000 Purple Heart medals to prepare for the 1945 invasion of Japan. When the operation never took place, the medals were placed in storage and distributed. All military action since then (including Korea and Vietnam) still has not depleted the supply.

There was a man who fought for Finland, the Nazis, and the US Army Special Forces, escaped a POW camp, was pardoned by the President of Finland, earned a Bronze Star and Five Purple Hearts, and disappeared in 1965, only to have his remains confirmed in 1999.

How many purple hearts?

Enough Purple Hearts were manufactured during WWII in anticipation of massive casualties encountered during the proposed invasion of Japan, that there still is a surplus of over 100,000 today

Although 20 US Presidents served in the military and most of them during war time, only President Kennedy was awarded a Purple Heart.

The 761st Tank battalion. Made up of almost completely African-American tankers, it was considered one of the best tank units of the war and held 1 Medal of Honor winner, 11 Silver Stars and 300 Purple Hearts.

It took nearly 6 years for the Fort Hood shooting victims to receive Purple Hearts because the attack was classified as an act of "workplace violence"

During WW2, US airman Alan Magee fell 22,000 ft without a parachute from a damaged B-17 bomber and survived after crashing through a railroad station’s glass roof. Magee was taken as a prisoner of war, and was given medical treatment. Two years later, he was liberated & received the Purple Heart

Don Crowe, a Vietnam veteran awarded the Purple Heart, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for selling less than an ounce of marijuana to an undercover police officer in 1972; his first offense.

The Purple Heart is the oldest U.S. military decoration; General George Washington awarded the first purple-colored heart-shaped badges to soldiers who fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

Annie Fox who was the first woman to be awarded the Purple Heart for combat following her service as the head nurse at Hickam Field's Station Hospital during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941

The youngest member of the US military in WW2 was 12 years old, and earned a purple heart and broze star before he was 13.

Sergeant first class Jorge A. Otero Barreto aka the "Puerto Rican Rambo" is considered the most decorated U.S. soldier of the Vietnam War: silver star with two oak leaf clusters (olc), bronze star with 4 olc, purple heart with 4 olc, air medal with 4 olc and many others.

Dutchman's pipe produces tubular, S-shaped flowers that grow from the axils of leaves. Flowers of most species are creamy colored and covered with purple markings with wide, heart-shaped opening. Inner part of the flower is yellow colored and covered with purple dots. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs.

Leaves of sweet potato can be lobed, rounded, triangular, and kidney- or heart-shaped. Some types of sweet potato produce differently shaped leaves on the same stem. Leaves can be lime-green, pale green, golden, grey, maroon or purple colored.

Leaves of philodendron are usually very large (3 to 6 feet in length). They can be oval, roundish, heart-shaped, spade-like, triangular or deeply lobed, depending on the species and age. Most species produce green, purple or reddish colored leaves.

Director Oliver Stone enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war and requested combat duty. For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device for his heroism in ground combat, as well as a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster.

Calvin Graham was the youngest U.S. service member to fight in WWII (12 years old). He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. His purple heart was retracted and only presented to his widow in 1994.

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