WWII veteran receives purple heart after being injured 70 years ago

Richard Faulkner


oday is a day to remember for Staff Sgt. Richard Faulkner. He received a purple heart nearly 70 years after being injured in World War Two.

Faulkner was a 19 year old ball turret gunner for the United States Army. Nazi soldiers shot down his plane in March of 1944. He was the only surviving member of his B-17 bomber.

Ann Pennell is Richard Faulkner's daughter. "He had to wait until the German had looked for him, they had seen somebody come down. After they left after nightfall started, the farmer came out and found him and started him through the French underground," says Pennell.

Faulkner refused to purple heart seven decades ago because he felt others were more deserving. "I don't deserve this. There's a lot of people who should of been honored, that weren't," says Faulkner.

Saturday, Congressman Dan Maffei presented Faulkner with the purple heart at his Auburn retirement home. Faulkner said he's now receiving the award to show his grandchildren and great grandchildren his accomplishments.

"Just to be a part of that a part of teaching the next generation about the importance of sacrifice and that you can't take our freedom for granted -- it's a tremendous honor for me," says Maffei.

John Marwinczok is a veteran. "He didn't compete for it, he earned it the hard way and anyone that's been in battle deserves to be recognized," says Barwinczok.

Faulkner's family says he did not even talk about his service for more than 6 decades, but hopes this story inspires other veterans to share their experiences with a new generation.