1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 2, 2021 1:10 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking Purple Heart citation for Robert Ritter

    michael horton Newbie

      I am seeking purple heart citation for Marine Robert Wendell Ritter, Serial Number 493368, awarded during WW2 battle on Tarawa.



      Robert Wendell Ritter
      Casualty Date:21 Nov 1943
      Casualty Type:WIA
      Service Number:493368
      Collection:US Marine WWII Casualty Card Database
      Location:TAB RIS-RIZ
      Item ID:65966
        • Re: Seeking Purple Heart citation for Robert Ritter
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Mr. Horton,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We are unaware of any centralized set of records listing Purple Hearts awarded to members of the U.S. Marine Corps. Purple Heart awards can be difficult to locate because they can be awarded at any stage of the Marine’s care, recovery, or final disposition meaning that it could have been awarded by the US Marine Corps or the US Army depending on where the Marine was taken to be processed for either care or burial.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Casualty Case Cards, 12/1941 - 1975 in the Records of the U.S. Marine Corps (Record Group 127). If a Marine was wounded or killed as a result of enemy action, that may be evidence that he received a Purple Heart. These cards have not been digitized. We also located Muster Rolls and Personnel Diaries, 1/1941 - 12/1980 in Record Group 127. The muster rolls will indicate if a Marine was killed or wounded, however it will not provide details about the circumstances of the injury or death. Some of the muster rolls have been digitized and are available using the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Information about awards should be contained in the Marine’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Marine Corps who were separated from service after 1904 and before 1959 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests


          If the OMPF cites a specific general order as the authority for his Purple Heart, it may be possible to locate that general order in the organization records at RDT2. However, please note that general orders for Purple Hearts simply list the personnel that were awarded one by a given organization in a given period of time. They do not provide narrative descriptions of the circumstances under which a Marine was injured, nor do they provide details about the nature of the injury.


          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.  Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. 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 this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


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


          [Information provided by Nate Patch, Subject Matter Expert]