After death, quest for middle Tennessee WWII veteran’s Purple Heart continues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Only on Fox 17, an update on a midstate veteran trying to get his Purple Heart.


Peter Zafferes has since died.

But the push for this World War II veteran’s Purple Heart continues.

A friend of Zafferes– a military veteran himself– says he won’t stop after talking to Zafferes’ family at his funeral in July.

Fox 17 had the pleasure of meeting the 90-year old veteran a year and a half ago, telling the story of his battle wounds in Germany during the war.

He says a truck he was riding in, ran over a landmine and sent him flying.

A Bible Zafferes carried in his pocket is credited for saving his life that day — in May 1945.

Zafferes told Fox 17 about his injuries to his intestines and back which he said still bothered him 70-years later.

But there are no records to show this event ever happened.

They all burned in the St. Louis National Archives fire in the 1970’s.

And the only records that are attached to Zafferes’ name are someone else’s.

Operation Stand Down Tennessee has vowed to step in and help get zafferes his purple heart.

And Retired Colonel Gary Herr is demanding the Army corrects Zafferes’ record.

“The burden of proof that he didn’t deserve the Purple Heart is on them.”

Herr has helped Zafferes petition several Tennessee Congressmen, government agencies and even written letters to the President– with no success.

Fox 17 will continue to update you on this push for Zafferes’ Purple Heart.


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