More than one million men and women have received the Purple Heart since its creation as an award "for military merit" in 1932. This book provides a brief history of the Purple Heart, with a focus on how the decoration's award criteria have evolved. The book then takes a representative look at Purple Heart recipients from all the services by conflict, concluding with Afghanistan and Iraq.
Among the recipients highlighted are: Civil War veteran Pvt. Oran Randlett, who, in 1937, received two Purple Hearts for wounds received at Chancellorsville in 1863 and Cold Harbor in 1864; Brig. Gen. Robert Frederick, who received a record eight Purple Hearts for wounds in World War II; and crew members of USS Panay, who were awarded Purple Hearts fifty-five years after the 1937 Japanese attack on their gunboat.
Fred L. Borch, a U.S. Army lawyer for twenty-five years, serves as the Regimental Historian and Archivist for the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He is the author of Sea Service Medals, among other books, and is a resident of Charlottesville, VA.
Praise for For Military Merit
“For Military Merit presents quite an interesting collection of vignettes about American men and women who have suffered wounds in defense of their country. Readers who want to learn about the heroic acts that have caused many of these wounds will find the book to be an enjoyable read."
— The Journal of America’s Military Past, Fall 2011