Victory in World War II in
response to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
was an achievement of the remarkably seamless work of all services.
World War II is a vast subject, and while we don't pretend to cover it in anything more than a simplified way here, the American WWII Orphans Network is proud to honor and remember our Fathers through selected images and sounds.
This page contains information about Pearl Harbor, The Telegram, the Purple Heart, and stories that affected the entire generation.
For service-specific memorabilia (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) click one of the service insignia above.
The USS Arizona burns out of control.
The two photos above are courtesy of The National archives and records Administration.
The video above was shot as a Memorial to those who SURVIVED the attack on Pearl Harbor,
but (who later) wanted to be buried with their shipmates -- for all eternity.
To see the complete text of
F.D.R's speech to Congress on 12/8/41, Click
More than a million of our fathers served in World War II. Leaving their wives and children,
they traveled overseas, where many paid the highest price in service to their country.
Families of the latter got "The Telegram," the Purple Heart, and a Gold Star Pin.
Click the graphic to see a larger image of The Telegram.
The Purple Heart began with George Washington, on August 7, 1782, when he designed the Badge of Military Merit for his men. "It was a figure of a heart in purple cloth edged with narrow lace or binding and was worn over the left breast. Only three were presented, each for gallantry and extraordinary fidelity."
"In February of 1932, the U.S.. War Department revived the decoration in metal form. It is in the shape of a rich purple heart bordered with gold and has a bust of George Washington at the center. The revived decoration was made retroactive to WWI. It is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is the nation's oldest military decoration and combat award."
The Gold Star lapel button, approximately 16mm in diameter, consists of a gold star on a purple circular background, bordered in gold and surrounded by gold laurel leaves. On the reverse is the inscription, "United States of America, Act of Congress, August 1947," with space for engraving the initials of the recipient.
The Gold Star lapel button is furnished by the US Government, without cost, to the widow or widower, to each of the parents, to each child, and to the brothers, and sisters and of a member of the Armed Forces who lost his or her life while in active military service.