Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll a Purple Heart Recipient?

With your help we are building a database of Purple Heart recipients from all branches of service, all wars for which the Purple Heart was awarded, and from all across the nation. In order to be enrolled we require documentation of receipt of the Purple Heart. This can include a variety of materials including:

  • The DD-214, DD-215 or other discharge forms listing awards
  • General or Permanent Orders
  • A photograph of the back of the medal bearing the recipient's name

We are also looking for photographs, telegrams, letters home, news articles or other materials that help to tell the story of each enrolled Purple Heart recipient. Please complete the enrollment form and return to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with proper documentation.

For Adobe PDF files, download Adobe Reader. Adobe Acrobat

Enrollment Form   Adobe Acrobat (547kb)

How do I obtain DD-214 or other discharge papers?

To obtain a copy of the necessary documentation, please contact the National Personnel Records Center. If you are not a veteran or the next of kin, you must complete the Standard Form 180 (SF180). This form is available at National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

How many Purple Hearts have been awarded?

As there was not a consistent record kept since the award was established in 1932, we can only estimate the total number which have been awarded. At this time, it estimated that there have been 1.8 million Purple Hearts awarded. The award was first retroactive to those who received "wound chevrons" and "certificates of merit" during World War I as well as to those from earlier wars who chose to apply for the award. (From 1932-1942 recipients had to be living veterans or military personnel). The earliest conflict for which there are recipients is the American Civil War. From 1942 on it was limited to service men and women wounded or killed by enemy action on or after 5 April 1917. Records were sometimes lost during wartime when headquarters were overrun and unfortunately many were lost during a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973.

Where is the National Purple Heart located?

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is co-located with the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in New York's Hudson River Valley. Just sixty miles north of Manhattan and twelve miles north of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Cantonment was an extensive military post housing some 7,500 soldiers and 500 civilian dependents in the closing years of the Revolutionary War. Officers met here in a chapel and meeting hall called the "Temple of Virtue" to review candidates for the Badge of Military Merit, the inspiration for today’s Purple Heart. In 1932, 137 veterans of World War I received their awards on these very grounds.

What is the "Roll of Honor"?

The Roll of Honor is a database created to preserve and share the stories of Purple Heart recipients. It can be accessed at six interactive computer kiosks at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Visitors to the Hall can learn about individual Purple Heart recipients by reading the stories, and looking at the photographs and other documents that have been submitted to the Hall of Honor. Enrollment is voluntary. If you are interested in learning more about the enrollment process please refer to "How do I enroll a Purple Heart Recipient?" above.

What is the "Roll of Honor Online"?

The Roll of Honor Online is an abbreviated online version of the Roll of Honor. You can use it to search for and learn about the Purple Heart recipients who have been enrolled with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

How do I locate a Purple Heart recipient in the Roll of Honor Online?

First select "Roll of Honor" from the links at the top of the page. Second, type the name of the individual you are looking for in to the first and last name boxes on the search page. Select the search button.

When the name appears on the screen, click on the last name. You will then have displayed a page on that recipient.

If you are unable to find the recipient you are looking for try varying your search: Conduct a search using the recipient's last name leaving out their first name. Then, look through the list of search results. Or, you might want to try alternate spellings of the name you are using for your search.

If you are still unable to locate the recipient you are looking for, are you certain that this recipient has been enrolled with the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor? For more information about enrolling at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, please refer to "How do I enroll a Purple Heart Recipient?" above.