Family of 1st Lt. Henry A. Schenk reunited with lost Purple Heart medal

1:31 PM, Nov 12, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Tuesday, a Purple Heart medal lost for years was given to the family of the recipient.

1st Lt. Henry A. Schenk was born in Vienna, Austria and migrated to the United States at the age of six. He fought in World War II before he was killed in action in August 1952 during the Korean War. 

Schenk was on a mission to rescue missing American soldiers following Operation San Quinton. His patrol was ambushed, and Schenk attempted to save each of his men, but only two men survived. Schenk's body was never recovered, we are told. He was 30 years old.

The Purple Heart medal was originally presented to Schenk's brother, who also served in World War II and the Korean War. His brother died in 2001, and somehow the medal was misplaced. Someone later found it in a box of books in North Carolina.

Tuesday, one of the ambush survivors, James McEachin, returned the Purple Heart medal to the family of Schenk at the Korean War Memorial in D.C. McEachin is also a Purple Heart recipient as well as an actor and author.

We're told McEachin had looked for Schenk's family for more than 60 years to tell them about how Schenk saved his life. The person who found the Purple Heart in the box used Facebook to contact McEachin after reading about his search for Schenk's family. Captain Zachary Fike of Purple Hearts Reunited and the Military Order of the Purple Heart helped locate and notify remaining family members.

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