FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Some 70 years after his ship was hit by Japanese bombs, a World War II veteran has received a Purple Heart for his service.
Eighty-eight-year-old Roy Kratt thought his family was gathering for a reunion on Wednesday. But when television crews surrounded him, he knew something was up.
The Fort Myers News-Press reports U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers presented the long overdue medal to Kratt.
With his wife Margaret and sons Bob and Richard by his side, Kratt examined the medal.
He was 17 when the USS Meredith was struck. The 81 survivors treaded water for three days before they were rescued.
The records documenting Kratt's injuries were lost in a fire but daughter-in-law Nancy Kratt contacted the doctor who treated him, setting in motion the ceremony.