6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2021 3:13 PM by joan stachnik

    Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West

    Pamela Risher Newbie

      Can I get a replacement/duplicate Purple Heart if my grandfather, Charles West, never married or had any other children than my dad? He received a Purple Heart in WWII.

        • Re: Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West
          Thomas Richardson Tracker

          Dear Ms. Risher,


          Thank you for posting your request on the History Hub!


          For Army personnel, NARA's National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals.  For requesting medals and awards, please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and send it to NARA's Military Personnel Records, National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  Provide as much information as possible in Section II under "other."


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

            • Re: Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West
              Pamela Risher Newbie

              Thank you, Thomas for the information.  I have attempted to send in one form in the past, but a grandchild was not listed as a relative for the request for any documents like his DD-2214 or medals.  The only family listed was mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter, if I can remember correctly.  Maybe, I can get further on the this form.  I'll give it a try.


              I just learned he was my grandfather this past year, as my dad was adopted and he passed away in 1986.  Through AncestryDNA and 23andMe and family members, I was able to find out who his biological parents are.  I was so honored to find out that Charles Robert West was my grandfather was a WWII veteran and received a Purple Heart. He was KIA in the city of Rheinburg, Germany on March 5, 1945. He was a Tech 4 in the 36th Battalion in the 8th Armored Division. "The Thundering Herd"  I have his DOB, Serial and orders #.  So, I should have the information I need to get his records.


              My grandfather, never married or had any other children, so if anyone would be entitled to receive any documents or medal, I feel I should. 


              Thanks again for your help!!!

            • Re: Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West
              Mark M Jones Newbie

              Are you looking to have another medal issued for him through official channels?  This might involve many steps and a lot of time. Otherwise I’m certain that you could locate one on E-Bay or Amazon.

                • Re: Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West
                  Pamela Risher Newbie

                  Yes, I think I'd rather go that route. 


                  Thank you for your response though.

                    • Re: Seeking replacement/duplicate Purple Heart of Charles West
                      joan stachnik Tracker

                      Pamela, I requested replacement medals for my dad a few years ago. I believe I wrote to the NPRC (see https://www.archives.gov/veterans/replace-medals.html) with all the information I had, along with a copy of my dad's separation papers. It took about 6 months, but everything was sent. His replacement Purple Heart had his name engraved on the back. And for the Army (if that is the branch of service) a grandchild is considered next of kin.

                      • For the Army, the NOK is defined as: the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild


                      If your grandfather was KIA, you might want to request his IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel File) when the Archives reopen (right now they are only addressing emergency requests for veterans), as there would not be separation papers for him. Usually IDPF includes correspondence with the family regarding the soldier's final burial and sometimes more. These files were not affected by the 1973 fire which destroyed many service records from WWII. Hope this is of some help to you. joan