Following one Purple Heart's trail: A military merit's long journey home after 70 years

Team uses detective skills to find family

DRY RIDGE, Ky. – The Purple Heart. It’s a symbol of heroic measures to preserve our freedom, no matter the cost. It’s a badge of military honor, distinction and merit, not to mention bravery.

But one gold-colored beauty, dangling from a purple sash, never found its way to the family of a Marine — a Marine who was wounded on July 27, 1944 on the island of Guam during the Pacific campaign of WWII.

Until now.

It took a team at The Kentucky State Police’s Post 6, including a high school student, to track down Pfc. First Class Herman A. Bowling’s family through many sources including social media and online ancestry sites. After several hours of researching over a span of months, they were finally able to honor Bowling’s family with the grandiose heart-shaped medal.

WCPO Insiders can read the incredible story of how this tribute made its way home.


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