"Eight on the 7th" event to reunite Purple Heart medals with families of Fallen Heroes
By Zachariah Fike
Founder, Purple Hearts Reunited
At 5:00 p.m. on 07 August 2017, National Purple Heart Day, the non-profit foundation Purple Hearts Reunited will reunite eight families with their lost Purple Heart Medals, including the family of one soldier from World War I.
Themed as “Eight on the Seventh” (a tie into 8-7-17), this day will honor families who represent our nation’s heroes from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the War on Terror.
PVT Frank L. Dunnell, Jr., USAThe event will take place at Federal Hall, located at 26 Wall Street, New York City, New York. This is the same historical location that the founding father of the Purple Heart, President George Washington, swore in as our first President on April 30, 1789.
This ceremony is open to the public.
When servicemen and woman are wounded or sacrifice their life at times of War, our country awards them or their family with a prestigious award in the form of the Purple Heart. As times pass, certain circumstances can lead to these medals being misplaced, lost, or even stolen. Below is a short description of the eight medals being returned in August.
1. WWI, Private Frank Lyman Dunnell, Jr:
Frank was born 21 December 1892 in Buffalo, New York and later enlisted for service in World War I on 27 July 1917. Assigned as an Infantryman with Fox Company, 107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, Frank was wounded on 02 October 1918 as his unit encountered fierce resistance and heavy fighting during the Somme Offensive, which was the allied forces attempt to pierce the German’s Hindenburg defensive line. His medal was discovered at the Bank of New York many years ago and will be returned to his Great-Niece, Mrs. Carlson of Burlington, Vermont.
2. WWII, Sergeant George W. Roles:
George was born 10 April 1921 to George G. and Vera A. Meade Roles in Edna, Kansas. He later enlisted for service in the U.S. Army on 08 September 1942 and was assigned to the 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division. On 14 July 1944, his unit received orders to attack the town of St. Lo, France. The Germans showed stubborn resistance and a thorough knowledge of defensive tactics, and repeated enemy counter-attacks throughout the battle. It was during this intense fighting that SGT Roles lost his life the next day on 15 July. George was survived by his wife Pauline Freeman and a 2-month-old son, George Nicholas, whom he had never seen. His medal was recently discovered in a home in California and will be returned to his son, Mr. Nick Geasland of San Diego, CA
Read more: "Eight on the 7th" Event to Reunite Purple Heart Medals with Families of Fallen Heroes
Treasure trove of WWI film coming to video at National Archives
By Sonia Kahn
U.S. National Archives History Office
It is almost eerie to watch the silent black-and-white footage, panning over the rubble remaining from small villages of France and Belgium, seeing cannons fire, and watching a zeppelin drop bombs on London rooftops, all without a sound. These are just some of the haunting images captured on the reels of recently digitized footage of World War I.
Scaling a wall at Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina, 1918. Scenes of U.S. Army troops in training are in films such as Training of the 83rd Division, Camp Sherman, Ohio. (165-WW-151B(8))The National Archives houses the largest repository of World War I documents in the United States, and it encompasses not just paper records but also still pictures, microfilm, and motion pictures related to the conflict.
Many of us undoubtedly associate the harrowing feats of the World War II with footage of the action we’ve seen in 1940s-era films and documentaries, but most people do not associate World War I with moving pictures.
One may be surprised to learn, however, that we hold more than 1,600 reels of documentary film regarding World War I. The film is spread out over a number of record groups, but there are four larger collections.
Two of the record groups, the U.S. Army Signal Corps Historical Collection and the CBS World War I Collection, focused on documenting the activities of the Great War, including soldier training, daily camp life, and combat.
The Ford Film Collection documents similar aspects of the war, as well as some home front activities such as raw materials rationing, Liberty Loan drives to help fund the war, and footage of the eventual Armistice celebrations.
The final record group, the Durborough War Pictures, contains original footage taken by American press photographer Wilbur H. Durborough, who documented what he saw as he traveled Europe in the midst of the fighting.
To take just one example of how so much footage wound up at the National Archives, consider the case of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Historical Collection.
From 1917 until 1939, when the footage would eventually be transferred to the National Archives, the War Department invested heavily in creating and later editing and storing the footage.
The total cost amassed to make and maintain the footage was between $2 million and $3 million (that’s $36.5 million to $54.8 million today!). It was only in 1939, with the world on the brink of yet another international crisis, that the footage produced by the Signal Corps made its way to the National Archives.
Read more: Treasure trove of WWI film coming to video at National Archives