Brewster, MA family receives Purple Heart in honor of great-uncle lost in WWI
By Ethan Genter
via the Cape Cod Times newspaper (MA) web site
CHATHAM, MA — Nearly 101 years ago, Norman Wood Finch was out to sea aboard the Coast Guard cutter Tampa, a 190-foot-long vessel that was one of six ships on convoy duty in European waters during World War I.
On Sept. 26, 1918, the Tampa was sailing alone in Welsh waters en route to load a fresh supply of coal at the port of Milford Haven when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. All 130 men on the Tampa died, with Finch among the 111 Coast Guardsmen aboard.
For about 20 years, the Coast Guard has been working to honor the people aboard the Tampa. On Monday, Finch finally got his due when legislators and Coast Guard officials gathered at the Coast Guard Station Chatham and presented a Purple Heart to his two great-nephews, Bradley and Steven Finch, who live in Brewster.
The pair never met their grandfather’s brother — he died at 23, before their father was born — nor did they know much about his service.
“People didn’t talk about it much,” Bradley said.
Read the entire article on the Cape Cod Times web site here:
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