World War II vet gets replacement for long lost Purple Heart


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A Purple Heart that belonged to a Navy veteran was lost many years ago, but Harry Cadwell is getting the recognition he deserves and a replacement. 

Employees at Senior Commons describe Cadwell as one of their more quiet residents, but his service during World War II spoke volumes. 

At age 15, Cadwell enlisted in the Navy and served on the U.S.S. Sellers. He suffered burns during an enemy attack.

For his heroism, Cadwell received The Purple Heart, but the medal was lost between moves. His family thought it was gone forever.

“Words can’t describe how proud we are and how proud we are that he’s almost 93 years old and this is the highlight of his life,” said Janet Loftus, Cadwell’s daughter.

With the help of his family and the employees at Senior Commons, Cadwell was awarded a replacement Purple Heart. 

“It’s probably the highlight of my professional and personal career. To do this for Harry was a big deal, very special,” said Maureen Rittenhouse, the resident life director at Senior Commons.

With a smile on his face and a piece of cake in hand, Cadwell was able to share this special moment with his family.

“It just makes me feel so proud of him and so glad for him that he’s alive and well and able to take all this in and remember it. It’s going to be a great memory for everyone,” Loftus said.

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