Clifford Heinrich was 17 years old when he joined the Air Force during World War II. The teen fought to defend our freedoms at a most critical time.
Heinrich was aboard a B-17 with nine other men two days before Christmas 1944 when the plane crashed. It had just completed a mission in the Battle of the Bulge when it crashed in a small English town on its return. Heinrich was the only survivor and remembers the others daily. He spent fourteen months recuperating and doesn’t have any memory of the actual impact of the crash.
The veteran never received his medals from his service. Somehow, he never even received his Purple Heart. But, that recently changed when Heinrich was awarded his medals at a Florida elementary school. Some of the family members of those killed in that crash attended the ceremony, which came seven decades late.
A big bright spot is that many young students learned first hand about sacrifice, loyalty and love of country. Heinrich didn’t originally want the five medals, but accepted them in honor of his fallen crew members.
Heinrich now has an American Campaign Medal, a European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, a WWII Victory Medal, an Army Good Conduct Medal, a WWII Lapel Button and a Purple Heart.
Please share this if you support our veterans!