abc
QUICK LINKS:

Stolen Purple Heart Returned to Minn. Family after Nearly 6 Decades

Updated: 01/29/2014 8:25 PM
Created: 01/29/2014 7:06 AM KSTP.com
By: Steve Patterson

After nearly six decades, a stolen war medal was returned to the family of a Minnesota veteran.

George Johnson died during the Battle of Hwanggan in the Korean War on July 28, 1950, and his parents were presented with a Purple Heart Medal and a Bronze Star Medal.

The medals were stolen years ago during a burglary of the shop Johnson’s father owned, but the Purple Heart popped back up last year in a box of "junk" found on a farm that was bought by a couple in Otsego.

On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson’s brother William got it back during a special ceremony at Fort Snelling. When he heard it had been found he said he was, "Shocked, completely shocked."

More than a half century has passed since his brother's death, but to William, the return of the stolen medal brought his legacy back to life saying, "He was a very young man, only seventeen years old, but yet he served our country, and I guess I've got to be really proud of that."

William Johnson, right, receives his brother's Purple Heart from Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.
Photo: KSTP/Steve Patterson

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Overcast
66°
85° | 65°
  • Feels like: 66° F
  • Wind: S 8mph
  • Humidity: 96%
  • Mon Morning showers and thunderstorms
    79° | 58°
  • Tue Times of sun and clouds
    81° | 62°
  • Wed Morning showers and thunderstorms
    83° | 66°
  • Thu More sun than clouds
    84° | 65°

Video

KSTP NEWS