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Pearl Harbor Sailor's Lost Purple Heart Discovered In California (Video)

A Purple Heart discovered on a Bakersfield street was returned this week to the family of Robert Bates, who died on board the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The Bakersfield Californian reports that earlier this month, a man came to the VFW Post 97 in southeast Bakersfield with a box he found on a nearby street that contained a Purple Heart.

The date December 7, 1941 was engraved on the Purple Heart - "a date which will live in infamy" - that marked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


Bakersfield High School history teacher Ken Hooper and his students played detective, and were able to track down the family of the young sailor, killed aboard the USS Arizona, who had earned the Purple Heart in question.

The Bates family of Tyler, Texas was floored to find out how and where the Purple Heart was discovered. Texas television station KLTV picks up the rest of the story. I've posted that report up top.