WORLD WAR II
Medal

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Record 540/959
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description Purple Heart medal, ribbon, and lapel pin in a flat black fiberboard hinged box lined with plush gold colored fabric. Gold embossed decorations on outer surface and the words "PURPLE HEART" in gold on the cover. Medal consists of purple ribbon with white edge stripes and heart-shaped gold medal with gold bust of George Washington in center set against a purple background, white shield and stars at top. Reverse reads: "FOR MILITARY MERIT." Ribbon and lapel pin are purple in center with white bars at each end.

The Purple Heart is America's oldest military decoration and the first American award medal made available to the common soldier. It was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by General George Washington. 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 next of kin in the name of those killed in action or who die of wounds.

Awarded to Adrian Hansen, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during World War II who was wounded in Normandy June 14, 1944. Adrian Donald Hansen was born in Eldorado, WI on February 7, 1919, the son of Margaret May Griffiths Hansen and Pearl Steven Hansen. He attended Slough Bridge School, Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Before World War II, he worked for his father and the Wisconsin Diamond Match Company. He entered the U. S. Army on September 29, 1942. He was in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion of the 325 Glider Infantry. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action in Normandy, France on June 14, 1944. He also received the good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Battle Star (six Campaigns or battles), and bronze arrowhead for combat glider landing; Glider Badge, four oversears Service Bars for two years overseas, Distinguished Unit Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and Glider Wings. His unit received a Presidential Citation for volunteering to go behind enemy lines to rescue troops in the Battle of the Bulge. He served with the 325th glider Infantry in French Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. He was part of the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. He served in Foreign Service for 2 years, 4 months, 16 days. He was honorably discharged on September 22, 1945. He returned to the Diamond Match Company to work until it closed. He worked for the Turner Horse Stables and the Universal Foundry, Oshkosh until he retired at age 62. He died on September 8, 1998 in Oshkosh WI.
Dimensions L-3.125 inches
Dimension notes Length is medal itself. Box is 6.750" long x 3.5" wide.
Year Range from 1940
Event World War II
Year range to 1945
Material Cloth/Metal/Enamel/Cardboard
Object ID 2002.110.50
Object Name Medal
Place of Origin United States of America
Owned Hansen, Adrian Donald
People Hansen, Adrian Donald
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009