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eMedals-United States. A Purple Heart to Sergeant Kenneth Dwight Hartley, KIA at Umch'on, Korea, October 6, 1952

Item: AZ041

United States. A Purple Heart to Sergeant Kenneth Dwight Hartley, KIA at Umch'on, Korea, October 6, 1952

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United States. A Purple Heart to Sergeant Kenneth Dwight Hartley, KIA at Umch'on, Korea, October 6, 1952

A Korean War Purple Heart, to Sergeant Kenneth Dwight Hartley, Reconnaissance Company, 1st Marine Division Headquarters Battalion, United States Marine Corps, KIA at Umch'on, Korea on October 6, 1952 ; Purple Heart (two-piece construction, bronze gilt with purple and white enamels, engraved "SGT KENNETH D. HARTLEY USMC" on the reverse, 34.5 mm (w) x 43 mm (h), original ribbon with brooch pinback, intact enamels, accompanied by its 36 mm (w) x 9.8 mm (h) Ribbon Bar and its 17 mm (w) x 3.7 mm (h) Enameled Ribbon Bar with button hole attachment, in its hardshelled case of issue, marked "PURPLE HEART" on the lid). Light scuffing on the exterior of case. Extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Service Records.

 

Footnote: Kenneth Dwight Hartley was born in 1932, the son of Hobart Hartley (1897-1966) and Elizabeth Hartley (1892-1985) of Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky. He enlisted as a Private (1119400) at the Recruiting Station in Louisville, Kentucky on January 23, 1950. Three weeks later, he was transferred on February 14, 1950 to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, arriving on February 16th, where he was to do his Under Recruit Training. A little over three months later, Private Hartley was transferred again, this time joining the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina on May 26, 1950, where he trained as a Radio Operator (Low Speed). After fifteen months training at Cherry Point, he was transferred to the West Coast, where he was posted to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California on August 19, 1951. It was here that he joined the 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Training and Readiness (T&R) Command on October 11th. Hartley later achieved the rank of Sergeant and was transferred overseas for service during the Korean War in early 1952. It was here that he joined the Reconnaissance Company, 1st Marine Division Headquarters Battalion, United States Marine Corps. He was designated as a Radio Telegraph Operator on May 1, 1952. Sergeant Kenneth Dwight Hartley was in action with his unit as a Radio Operator at Umch'on, Korea, on October 6, 1952, when he was hit by a great deal of artillery and mortar fire, suffering multiple wounds to his left shoulder, leg and chest, killing him instantly. His remains were evacuated and shipped by air to Kokura, Japan aboard plane number 7920 on October 9th, where they were temporarily stored in a mausoleum. Sergeant Hartley's remains were ultimately returned to the United States on November 12, 1952 and interred in a cemetery in his hometown of Versailles, Kentucky on November 15th. He is buried with his father, Hobart (died 1966) and his mother, Elizabeth (died 1985) in the same plot, as indicated on their grave marker. In addition to the Purple Heart, he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star, the National Defense Service Medal and the United Nations Korea Medal for his Korean War service.

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