Military History/Please help verify Purple Heart
Mr. Horrell, Could you please help me verify that my Great-Uncle John F. Stein received a Purple Heart? He was an Army PFC and was assigned to the 44th Infantry Division (71st Infantry Regiment). He is buried in the Epinal American Cemetery in France. He died on Jan 4th, 1945, which I find odd and unfortunate because from what I can gather, his 71st Regiment was put on reserve on Jan 3rd, 1945. My grandfather (his brother) and my family never said a word of him for the 48 years of my life. Now that his siblings have all passed and decades later, with only the ancestry website and google to get information, I am at a loss for information of this true hero. Thank you for any help. Sincerely, Jeff Royer
Dear Mr. Royer,
Thank you for your question. Also, THANK YOU for referring to me as "Mr. Horrell". Good manners NEVER go out of style.
In your question you typed "Could you please help me verify that my Great-Uncle John F. Stein received a Purple Heart?" Sure! PFC (pay was $54.00 per month) John F. Stein, who entered the U.S. Army from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, "received a Purple Heart". Assigned [assigned] to Company A, 1st Battalion, 71st Infantry Regiment (New York National Guard) an organic element of the 44th Infantry Division, P.F.C. Stein was K.I.A. January 4, 1945. As to P.F.C. Stein's family being awarded a Purple Heart Medal posthumously, I have no idea what-so-ever.
In your question you typed "He died on Jan 4th, 1945". In fact, he was K.I.A. on January 4th, 1945.
In your question you typed "which I find odd and unfortunate because from what I can gather, his 71st Regiment was put on reserve on Jan 3rd, 1945." May I ask for your source that you gathered this information from? From my sources, the unit history of the 44th Infantry Division & the unit history of Seventh Army, the 71st Infantry Regiment (New York National Guard) was fighting for its very existence near Sarreguemines, France during the Alsace portion of the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign (December 16, 1944-January 15, 1945).
In your question you typed "with only the ancestry website and google to get information". Those are two adequate sites IF all you desire is "information". However, IF you desire FACTS, then I suggest you obtain P.F.C. Stein's I.D.P.F. (Individual Deceased Personnel File) & read:
History and Pictorial Record of the 71st Infantry Regiment
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Army Navy Publishing Company 1946
Good Luck with your quest.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections