Community helps in search for Purple Heart family

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
An obituary dated Oct. 13, 1945, reads that Crabbe, a technical sergeant and member of the B-24 Liberator, was killed in action. He grew up in Rockville Centre, New York, and died in Germany, but his Purple Heart somehow ended up in North Fort Myers.

WINK News set off on a search to return a Purple Heart, and since our story first aired, we’ve seen a great number of people step forward, wanting to help.

The medal found itself in North Fort Myers eight years ago, stuffed in the cushions of a secondhand sofa. It belongs to Charles W. Crabbe, and a lot of you have emailed us to share information you thought might help find his family.

When Brenda Carlson reached out and said she wanted to get the word out about the Purple Heart in her possession, it was with the hope that someone would know the Crabbe family.

No one did, but that didn’t stop people from trying to help. The search for the medal’s rightful owner touched a lot of you.

“It’s been heartwarming because there’s so many people; genealogists reached out to me,” Carlson said.

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