Monday, May 31, 2021

In Memorium


Private John Purky

My father's older brother, John Purky, fought in WW2 and was killed in action January 16, 1945 while serving with the Sixth Infantry Division on Luzon, in the Philippines.

He received the Purple Heart and the Silver Star, the hard way; his citation is shown below

The citation states that Uncle John volunteered to lay communication wire to an adjoining battalion over 2,000 yards of terrain. I think that he was in the Signal Corps, as some of his personal pictures show a Wire Team Section and a Radio Section. He died from enemy fire while carrying out his volunteer mission.

Here are some images of the two medals. I have had these stored away in the family archives vault and forgot that we had them.

Silver Star (left) and Purple Heart (right).

Obviously I never met my Uncle John since I was born in 1952. He was quite the musician, having learned how to play the trumpet, saxaphone and the clarinet and some of his letters to my grandmother talk about him getting together and jam with some guys from another section. He sounds like he was quite a guy and I am sorry that I never got to meet him.

Rest in Peace John Purky. You are not forgotten.


  1. Jim,

    Your Uncle John was a true American hero. May the values and beliefs for which he made the ultimate sacrifice never - never - be forgotten.

    Thank you very much for sharing his story.


  2. Eternal memory to the glorious guys who defended the world from Nazism and Japanese aggression during WWII. We in Russia will always remember this!

  3. My Father was injured at Pearl Harbor. My Uncle Tommie fought with the 7th Cav in the Phillipines. My Mother trained Tank Destroyer crews at Camp Hood.Must we always be a warrior nation?
    H B Houchins, US Army 1962-65

  4. Also appears to have the combat infantryman's badge. Two criteria were belonging to an infantry unit in combat and exchanging direct fire with the enemy.

    1. Thank you for the ID. I didn’t know what that badge was.