Purple Heart and Wound
American North Russia Expeditionary Force
The Purple Heart medal.
Beginning in 1917, the US Army began awarding the Wound Chevron to those who were wounded or killed as the result of enemy action.
In 1921, President Wilson requested artist E.H. Blashfield to design an illustration for use on a certificate that would be presented to every veteran wounded in action during the recent World War. This design was later authorized for use in the official emblem of the Disabled American Veterans of the World War, now known as the Disabled American Veterans.
Below is the framed certificate that was awarded Private First Class Andrew C. Leak, with a close-up of the inscription at the bottom:
The incsciption at the top reads, "Columbia Gives To Her Son the Accolade of the New Chivalry of Humanity". The handwritten inscription at the bottom has the soldier's name, rank and unit, followed by the printed words "Served with Honor in the World War and was Wounded in Action", followed by the printed signature of Woodrow Wilson.
The Wound Chevron award was discontinued when General Washington's Badge of Military Merit was revived as the Purple Heart award in 1932. President Truman signed an Executive Order on 12 Nov 1952 authorizing World War One era recipients of the Wound Chevron to exchange their award for the Purple Heart.
Here is a listing of those who were killed in action or died as a result of wounds received in action during the North Russia campaign.
Here is a two-page document ordered by Colonel Stewart and dated March 10, 1919 that lists the names of 80 officers and enlisted men who had been wounded during fighting in North Russia (mostly during the period Dec. 1918-Feb.1919) and thus were authorized to wear the Wound Chevron:
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Here is another two-page document from the Bentley Library's Hugh McPhail Collection that lists all of the officers and enlisted men of Company A, 339th Infantry Regiment who were wounded while in North Russia, along with the date it happened. Some of these names also appear on the Stewart document.
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Below is the webmaster's attemp to list the remainder of the ANREF soldiers who were wounded in action and thus eligible for a Wound Chevron/Purple Heart award. There is overlap with the Stewart and McPhail documents where additional information is known about individual circumstances.
This list is still under construction; if
you know the name of a "Polar Bear" who was wounded in
and is not named in the Stewart or McPhail documents, please contact the Webmaster.
|First Name||Rank||Company||Hometown||Date of Wounding||Additional Information|
|Adamson||John||Cpl.||B, 339th Inf.||Detroit, Mich.||26 Nov 1918||Gunshot wound to the right knee (source: Bentley Library Polar Bear database)|
|Andreas||Orin O.||Pvt.||A, 339th Inf.||Walkerville, Mich||07 Mar 1919||(source: Bentley Library Polar Bear database)|
|Andrews||Ernest O.||Mech.||C, 339th Inf.||West Branch, Mich.||14 Feb 1919||(wounded, not sure if in action, source: Bentley Library Polar Bear database)|
|Arini||Carlo||Pvt.||E, 339th Inf.||Detroit, Mich.||31 Dec 1918||(source: Bentley Library Polar Bear database)|
|Doe||Charles Rowley||Pvt.||A, 310th Eng.||Brimley, MI (Sault Ste Marie, Mich.)||15 Nov 1918||"sent to England, 5/15/1919" on HMHS Kalyan; Charles' middle name provided by his granddaughter, Cynthia Doe Wineman. (more)|
|Ensing||John||Pvt.||B, 339th Inf.||Lucas, Richland Twp., MI||11 Nov 1918||wounded (possibly gassed) at the Battle of Toulgas; information provided by his grand niece, Lisa Bekken-St. Arnold|
|Franczak||Joseph||Cpl.||A, 339th Inf.||Edwardsville, Penn.||22 Jan 1919||Wounded while firing his machine gun in the defense of Ust Padenga, resulting in the loss of his left hand. (more) (source: his granddaughter, Sue Franczak Lucas)|
|Keller||John G.||Pvt.||M, 339th Inf.||Cross Village, Michigan||14 Oct 1918||His knee was shattered while fighting along the railroad front on October 14th, 1918. (source: his daughter, Mary Keller Knapp)|
|Leak||Andrew C.||Pvt. First Class||H, 339th Inf.||Kalamazoo, Mich.||(unknown)||Illustrated certificate with the caption: "Andrew C. Leak, Pvt. 1st Cl. Co. H, 339th Inf., Served with Honor in the World War and was Wounded in Action", (signed) Woodrow Wilson|
|Murray||James A.||Cpl.||H, 339th Inf.||Detroit, Mich.||31 Dec 1918||per his record in the Bentley Library Polar Bear database (also reported by his son, David M. Murray)|
|Stark||Louis H.||Pvt.||G, 339th Inf.||Erie, Mich.||03 Dec 1918||Karpagora, Pinega River Front (source: family)|
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