Purple Heart To Be Returned To Family Of WWII Vet

A Purple Heart medal that was donated to a military museum in 2012 will return to its rightful owner in Greenville this weekend.

Prior to achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Louis H. Cotton was a Field Artillery Officer and Alpha Battery Commander within the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 101st Airborne Division during World War II.

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Cotton was wounded in the leg by enemy fire as he parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. Cotton retired from the military in October of 1963 having earned many awards and decorations.

In July 2012, a public affairs officer in the US Embassy in London was sorting mail when he came across an envelope with no return address. Inside he found only a Purple Heart medal with Louis H. Cotton’s name and information engraved on the back. When a search of military and genealogical records produced no results, the medal was donated to the Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum at Fort Campbell.

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Last December, one of Cotton’s grandsons reached out to the Military Order of the Purple Heart to inquire about the medal following a search for his grandfather’s name online.

This Sunday, January 18, the nonprofit organization Purple Hearts Reunited will conduct a public ceremony to return the Lieutenant Colonel Louis H. Cotton’s Purple Heart to his son, Louis H. Cotton, Jr., of Greenville, himself a retired lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force. The public is invited to the ceremony, which will take place Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in the Bradford Community Room on Main Street in Greenville.