When I wrote a few days ago about my research into the Purple Heart, I mentioned that I’d come across a resource/museum located in upstate New York called the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Babe was not among the “Mauros” listed on the site, so I looked at what it would take to add him to their database. The requirements include:
- The DD-214 or other discharge forms listing awards.
- Medical forms.
- A photograph of the back of the medal bearing the recipient’s name.
- Or other supporting materials.
The back of Babe’s medal is not inscribed with anything. And I don’t have the discharge form (DD-214) or, frankly, much paperwork at all, given that Babe’s records were reportedly burned in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. I did, however, have a letter my grandmother had received from the adjutant general’s office from 1946, after she wrote to the army in June that year seeking more information about Babe’s service.
A PDF of that letter is attached here for your review. I’ll probably come back to it later in this project.
I sent the hall of honor an email on Tuesday with a copy of the adjutant general’s letter and photos of the medal. On Wednesday, I received this reply:
Thank you for sending us information for enrollment on the Roll of Honor at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. We truly appreciate your interest and support in helping us further our mission to collect, preserve and share the records of all Purple Heart recipients.
We are pleased and honored to let you know that the enrollment process is complete. Visitors to the Hall may view the profile at one of our computer kiosks. An abbreviated version of the profile may also be viewed on our website at: www.thepurpleheart.com.
So far, more than 195,100 recipients have been enrolled. While this is a significant number, it is small compared to the estimated 1.8 million Purple Hearts that have been awarded since 1932.
As a New York State facility, administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, we do not automatically receive documentation about Purple Heart recipients. We rely on friends, family and recipients to share their information with us so that we may honor them on the Roll of Honor. We would be most appreciative of your support and assistance in helping us spread the word about the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor by encouraging recipients and/or their relatives to share their stories with us.
Thank you for helping us to honor all Purple Heart recipients.
I checked and indeed, Babe’s name is now listed with four other Mauros wounded in action in the center’s database. If you know of anyone who is a Purple Heart recipient and you have some documentation, I encourage you to contact the hall of honor. They seemed very eager to work with the families of recipients.