Purple Heart medal given to sister of World War II hero

It took two years, but a Purple Heart was finally returned to its rightful place in Belmar.

News 12 Staff

Oct 18, 2019, 10:27 PM

Updated 1,685 days ago

Share:

It took two years, but a Purple Heart was finally returned to its rightful place in Belmar.
Ann Bucholz, 96, received the medal that was awarded to her brother, James J. Murphy, in 1945.
Murphy married his high school sweetheart Eleanor Riley during his 30-day furlough from the Army in 1944. Just seven hours after the wedding, Murphy was shipped back off to fight in World War II.
"It was in the middle of the wedding," Bucholz says. "He was told he had to go back right away and he had to leave as soon as his wedding was over. They didn't even have a night to themselves."
Sgt. Murphy went missing in action in the Black Forest of Germany and his body was never recovered. The Purple Medal was given to his wife.
Eleanor Riley later remarried and started a family, who knew little about her first husband. When she died, her children were cleaning out her house in Manahawkin and found the medal in the closet engraved with a name they'd never heard of.
Mary Rawa, of Colonia, found the Purple Heart medal engraved with a name she didn't recognize in her late mother's closet.
"I didn't think anything of it so I left it there and my husband saw it and said 'Mary, this is a purple heart," Rawa said.
The Jersey City and Hudson County Offices of Veterans Affairs eventually found Murphy's sister.
"He sees this," Bucholz said. "I'm sure he does."
 
 
 
 


More from News 12
2:25
Congestion pricing set to begin next month

Congestion pricing set to begin next month

1:33
Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

2:07
Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

2:08
‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

2:22
Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

0:31
Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

0:50
Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

2:09
Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

2:15
Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

0:23
Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

1:56
New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

0:29
Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

0:23
Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

0:24
Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

0:52
Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

0:26
$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

0:20
Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

1:32
Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

0:20
Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!