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Loyd groupGrandson Perry James (left) will receive the World War I Purple Heart medal of his grandfather Perry Loyd (right) in Army ceremonies October 13.

A Purple Heart for Sergeant Loyd

By Renee Wedges, Wallace McBride, and Chris Isleib
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site

There will be a very special event on October 13th at the U.S. Army Training Center (TRADOC), at Fort Jackson, in Columbia South Carolina.

Brigadier General Milford H. Beagle, Jr., Commanding General of TRADOC, will host a Purple Heart Presentation Ceremony in honor of Sergeant Perry Loyd, a deceased World War I Veteran.

Sgt. Perry Loyd served in the 371st Infantry Colored Regiment within the 93rd Division at what was then known as Camp Jackson; he was wounded in action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front from September to November, 1918.

Sergeant Loyd never received his Purple Heart, which was secured a few years ago by his grandson, Perry James. Mr. James will accept the medal in honor of SGT Loyd.

The saga of SGT Loyd, and of Perry James research into his grandfather is a remarkable one.

Mr. James interest in his grandfather was rekindled after visiting his grave, and learning that a Purple Heart he had earned had never been delivered. He set about correcting that problem, but history had erased many of the records of his grandfather's life. His military records were destroyed by a fire in St. Louis, while many of his personal effects were lost in a house fire years later.

"From a forensic standpoint, it was very difficult to get verifiable information," James said. "Through networking with people, I was able to talk to a gentleman at the National Archives, who was able to dig through the archives and find evidence of his service and his injury."

The presentation of the Purple Heart will take place at one o'clock in the afternoon. The location is the Fort Jackson Noncommissioned Officers' Club, 5700 Lee Road, Fort Jackson, SC.

Read the full version of the article on the Army.mil web site.

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