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Just picked up this item.

Know nothing about them.

From the serial number, is it possible to say what year it was awarded ??

Thanks in advance to the more knowledgeable amongst you!

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Thanks to you both. I know very little about these, but this one came from Germany and was (allegedly) picked up by a German soldier in North Africa. It was accompanied by a period Allied map of Cyrenaica/Tobruk.

Am I right in thinking that named Purple Hearts were for those KIA ??

And that this (unnamed, but numbered) one could have been kept in stock for distribution to those wounded in action in North Africa in WW2 ??

Thanks again.

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Paul R   

Robin, the Purple Heart was created and made a part of the US award inventory in 1932. It was originally meant to be awarded for merit on the battlefield. Retroactive awards were made based upon citations. Wounds incurred during this prior service were taken into account when a service member was under consideration to receive the medal. After the Legion of Merit was created in 1942, the Purple Heart became a medal awarded exclusively for wounds received in battle. Language specifically allowing for the posthumous awarding of the medal to those killed in action were approved in 1962. This sorta confuses me because I have seen many KIA Purple Hearts awarded during WW2. Perhaps the military was awarding them due to the fact that those KIA were obviously wounded?

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Herman   

Serialized PHs were awarded into the Vietnam War? :o

Yup. Not many, but occasionally. Some old ones were reribbonned and found their way to Vietnam WIAs and KIAs (engraved to the family).

Regards

Herman

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Herman   

Relatives of KIAs can still order engraved medals from the government as replacements. Offcourse they are of current issue.

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There have been NO new Purple Heart medals made since WW2. More than a million were ordered in anticipation of mass casualties had the US had to invade the Japanese Home Islands (other than Okinawa - which foretold the kind of hideous casualties that were to be anticipated if the invasion of the main islands were to be carried out. It's why the US dropped the A-Bombs). Thank goodness that the US military has not had that many casualties since WW2.

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linden16   

There have been NO new Purple Heart medals made since WW2. More than a million were ordered in anticipation of mass casualties had the US had to invade the Japanese Home Islands (other than Okinawa - which foretold the kind of hideous casualties that were to be anticipated if the invasion of the main islands were to be carried out. It's why the US dropped the A-Bombs). Thank goodness that the US military has not had that many casualties since WW2.

 

There have most definitely been many tens of thousands made since WW2 take a look at a new issue medal and compare it to a WW2 era medal and the differences will be quite clear.

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The purple heart was instituted by George Washington during the Revolution. For merit on the battlefield. I do not really know more than this. I believe this is the reason for his bust on the modern design.To preface Paul's earlier post.

Very nice medal.

Best... George

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Georg14   

     Good day, Gentlemen.   For a long time I can't find PH type 1 navy/marine (sterling).  So, how difficult is to get it, how rare is it (manufactured ~135 000) and what it's real price (may be it's for sale somewhere now?) ?  Thanks.

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