Family receives Purple Heart, other medals for deceased WWII Heartland veteran

Medal given to family of WWII veteran

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A family received the Purple Heart and six other medals for Army WWII war hero Eugene O. Hahs in Cape Girardeau on Saturday, Feb. 9.

U. S. Representative for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District Jason Smith petitioned the National Personnel Records Center to find the records for deceased WWII Veteran Eugene Hahs. Unfortunately, some of his records were damaged in a fire back in the 1970′s.

Hahs’ discharge papers were found which listed the medals that he was awarded. Those medals were given to his surviving family.

Hahs died in August of 2004. The medals he was awarded were the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and Bronze Star attachment double, WWII Victory Medal, the the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Star attachment triple and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.

Hahs’ daughter Gena Welker of Patton, Missouri, along with her family came by to claim the medals for Hahs.

"I'm very proud and humbled about everything that he did," Welker said. "I know that he received a Purple Heart for his injuries. This was not something that he talked about a lot so it's very overwhelming to get this information."

Hahs spent time over in the Philippines during the war and was injured after he was shot twice in the back.

"When my dad got shot, that was actually a sniper in a tree," Welker described. "He then turned around and shot that person, after he had already been shot twice. I just heard that story in the last month."

Welker said her father didn't speak much at all about his time during the war.

"He was in the New Guinea area," Welker said. "I'm not sure about everything because that was one thing our friends had talked to us about. If we could map out some history about where these medals came from, then we could know exactly where he was at during all this time."

Welker said it makes her sad that her father never really wanted to talk about his time during the service.

“I just want to say that I have an enormous amount of respect for all the veterans,” Welker stated. “Especially the WWII Veterans because I think that they never told their story. There was a lot there that we’ll never know.”

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