If you follow our CGS Blog, you probably know that since 2014 several CGS Members have volunteered their research expertise to the charitable foundation Purple Hearts Reunited (“PHR”) that rescues lost purple heart medals and returns them to the veteran and/or family. On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, PHR’s founder, Major Zachariah Fike, and CGS Board Member and PHR Valor Research Director, Marsha Peterson-Maass, returned a WWII veteran’s lost purple heart medal to his great-nephew in Chicago’s West Loop. Please join us in thanking our CGS Members’ considerable efforts in helping many families to welcome lost valor back into their family. PHR’s tribute to this veteran follows.
Welcome home WWII hero Sergeant Frank R. Owens!
Frank was born in Tampico, Illinois in 1922 to parents John Henry and Myrtle A. (Rasmussen) Owens.
He served with the now-famous 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division that among other things, helped in the liberation of Paris in August 1944 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
The 109th Infantry paid with human life and blood as they won battle honors at Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, the Rhineland and Central Europe and they were honored with the Luxemburg Croix de Guerre and the French Croix de Guerre for action at Colmar.
Frank received two Purple Hearts during his service and was unfortunately killed in action on 16 December 1944 at Bastogne. He is buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery.
After welcoming this valor back into the family, Frank’s great-nephew said,
“In a world where we’re all seemingly against each other for one reason or the other, this makes me believe in good people doing good things for each again. We need this right now.”