|Article in Washinton Top News.
By Kathy McCormack.
Return of Purple Heart
from WWII turns up missing family
CONCORD, N.H. A Purple Heart
awarded to a soldier from New Hampshire killed in World
War II's Battle of the Bulge that turned up recently
after a woman's death has brought together two branches
of a family that never knew of the other's existence.
Eugene Victor Call, a U.S. Army technician, was killed
March 2, 1945, with seven other platoon members near
Kapellen, Germany, at 32. He was assigned to the 2nd
Platoon, Company C, 643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, 83rd
Infantry Division.Recently, the Vermont group Purple
Hearts Reunited got a call from Rick Daigle in Fitchburg,
Massachusetts. Daigle's wife had died, and among her
possessions were Call's Purple Heart, other medals, a
pocket knife, razor and family photos.It turned out her
mother had been married to Call at the time of his death.
A military veteran himself, Daigle wanted to make sure
they got back to family.The search led to a namesake
great-nephew in Newport, New Hampshire, and to
grandchildren in California.Ceremonies honoring Call are
planned in Newport on Monday and California on
Thursday.In Newport, Eugene Victor Call Jr., 49, knew he
had a great-uncle who died in the service."I knew I was
named after him, but other than that, nobody really said
too much," said Call, a truck driver. His father also
had the same name.One thing he didn't know was that his
great-uncle had a young son who was taken to California
at 8. That son, David Eugene, lost contact with the
family and died in 2004. He left three sons and a
daughter.One of those sons, Mark Morris in San Diego,
was floored when he heard about the medals and the
family connection."This week's been quite a roller
coaster ride," he said. "It's been almost 71 years since
he died, but I'm almost reliving it - it's almost
brand-new to me."Morris said his father had no memories
of his dad."He, of course, mentioned him through the
years, and he always kind of wanted to find family back
there, and he tried a few times, just to no luck,"
Morris said.Morris, 52, a carpenter, said that since he
was contacted about the medals, he has spoken to Call in
Newport and to other relatives on Facebook. They shared
some old photos of his grandfather. Morris just wishes
his father were still alive to see them."I'm loving
getting the medals," he said, "but just finding out
about all the family is awesome."