WWII medals returned to veteran’s family
GLADSTONE, OR — Several World War II medals found in a Gladstone home, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, have been returned to the veteran’s family.
Gladstone Police officers found the medals tucked away in a corner of a home in May. The medals belong to Lt. Col. Frank Wilson, who previously lived in the home.
Officer Eric Graves began looking for any clues to who Wilson was, mainly through social media.
A group of amateur genealogists heard the story and helped in the search. They found and created a family tree of the Wilson family.
The family tree helped lead officers to Wilson’s daughter, Bliss, who lives in Mexico.
Unfortunately, Bliss couldn’t make it up here, but Wilson’s great niece lives in the Portland area and received the medals on Monday.
“Just want to commend Officer Graves, he has been really helpful. It’s a really great honor and these are really special medals,” said Nancy Wilson.
“It’s an important piece of our history that we need to get it back to the family, where it belongs. It can’t go to an evidence locker to just sit there and collect dust. It needs something to be done, and for the amount of sacrifice that our military people make for our country, it’s literally the least I could do,” said Officer Graves.
Gladstone Police Department put the medals and the news articles in a framed case so the family could display them with pride.
Lt. Col. Wilson served the United States for 22 years, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He spent the rest of his life in Hawaii and died in 1976.
Nancy said while she never knew her great uncle, she said her father has great stories of visiting his uncle on the islands after college.