Purple Heart lost for 70 years returned to soldier's sister

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 6:41 PM

TACOMA, Wash. - Gladys Terry had been upset about the missing Purple Heart for 70 years.

Terry, 91, received her brother's Purple Heart 70 years after it was issued in 1943.

Her brother, James Mohn, a radioman with he Army Air Corps disappeared during World War II.
In 2010 searchers found the wreckage of his plane in Bhutan.

The Fife Veterans of Foreign Wars post honored the Tacoma native in August.

A very grateful Terry mentioned she never received her brother's Purple Heart, which she had hoped to someday pass on to relatives.

Ray Mohn, who has no relation to the James Mohn, could not believe what he was reading when he spotted an article on the ceremony.

"It made chills go up the back of my neck," said Mohn.

Last fall a Puyallup neighbor gave Mohn a Purple Heart with the name "James Mohn" engraved in the back.

The neighbor hoped Ray Mohn might have been related to James Mohn.

He wasn't, but the former Navy sailor felt obligated to find the family it belonged to.

"To see something like that happen to one of our veterans who gave everything he had, it's amazing," said Mohn.

He tried finding Mohn relatives, but had no luck, until he read the story in the newspaper.

After he contacted the VFW, Quartermaster Elmer Clark flew the Purple Heart to Alaska to present it to James Mohn's sister.

"I said, 'Sorry it's a little tattered, but it went through the war, just like James'," said Clark.

Terry said she was very grateful.

"Never give up," she told KTVF TV in Fairbanks.

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