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WWII POW to Finally Receive Nine Medals


Imagine fighting in World War II, surviving four years as a Prisoner of War at camps in Japan and China only to have the U.S. Military lose your records.

Lost paperwork is not uncommon in the military especially if those records date back to World War II when everything was typed with carbon copies.

Credit www.axpow.org
The Prisoner of War Medal

But that is the reason why 94-year-old McPherson Plecker never received the nine medals earned during his Navy service from 1940-1946.

The Navy Fireman First Class served on the destroyer, USS Schley (DD 103) and volunteered to go to Wake Island.

Plecker is now a patient of Suncoast Hospice. And like many veterans, he never mentioned his missing service medals. But when his hospice care team learned about his service and the lack of recognition, they contacted the Department of the Navy and worked to rectify the 67-year oversight.

Saturday at 10 a.m. former Congressman Mike Bilirakis will present Plecker with nine service medals including a Purple Heart for his injuries suffered during the battle at Wake Island. He'll also receive the Prisoner of War Medal and the American Defense Service Medal.

The ceremony is planned at the Plaza at the Palms of Largo, 385 Alternative Keen Road, Largo. which is dedicated to veterans.

Plecker's story is part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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