Thursday, September 22, 1932 – Purple Heart Association of United States Formed

First Chapter Organized Last Night at Gathering of Veterans at State Armory

The Purple Heart Association of the United States was formally organized last night at a meeting held at the state armory. Election of officers took place, Frank J. Cushner of Ansonia being chosen Commander; Stephen M. Honas of Shelton Vice Commander; Edward J. Duffy of Shelton, secretary; Patrick F. Reidy of Ansonia, treasurer; and William J. Burke, Derby, sergeant at arms.

An executive committee was elected consisting of the officers and August Miller of Seymour. T. W. Worley of Ansonia and F. O’Shaughnessy of Derby.

A membership committee was named, consisting of one member from each of the towns which took part in the Washington Bicentennial – Purple Heart observance. It consists of Fred Hummel of Seymour, Michael Ahern of Ansonia, Martin Lombardo of Derby, George H. Hummel of Shelton and Maurice Berger of Orange.

A constitution was adopted and it was voted to leave the charter open until the next meeting so that all purple heart veterans who wish may become charter members. It was voted to have a committee of three consisting of Patrick F. Reidy, Stephen O’Shaughnessy, and John Compy confer with Judge Frederick M. McCarthy regarding articles of incorporation.

The order of the purple heart was established by General George Washington who awarded it to only three men during the Revolutionary War. All three men were residents of Connecticut, so it is especially fitting that the first chapter of the Purple Heart Association be organized in Connecticut.

All from Connecticut

The original recipients of the purple heart were Sergeant Daniel Bissell of the Second Connecticut Regiment, of Sergeant Daniel Brown of the Fifth Connecticut Regiment,and Sergeant Elijah Churchill of the Second Connecticut Dragoons.

It was announced that Frank H. Gates, honorary chairman of the Bicentennial – Purple Heart Association, had made a donation of $10, desiring to make the first contribution to the treasury of the new organization. The group passed a vote of thanks to Mr. Gates for his thoughtfulness and the veterans also voted to extend their thanks to all who worked to make the Bicentennial – Purple Heart observance a success. The Purple Heart Association really had its inception on Constitution Day, Sept. 17.

The following is the preamble of the constitution that was adopted last night:

“We, veterans of the wars of the United States, in  order to perpetuate the principles of national patriotism and justice, do hereby ordain and establish the Purple Heart Association, a union of those who saw active service in such wars and who because of their valiant service have been awarded the medal of the order of the purple heart founded by our first President, George Washington, and revived during his bicentennial.

“We pledge ourselves to foster those ideals of liberty, justice, and common welfare, which have made the United States the great nation that it is today and we pledge ourselves to form this union of veterans in order to perpetuate those principles which are the foundation of our national life. So believing and so pledging ourselves, we establish this as our constitution”.

The Purple Heart Association received a communication from the adjunct of a Legion post in Providence, Rhode Island, in which he sought cooperation in establishing a department of the association in the state of Rhode Island.

From the beginning made last night, the Purple Heart Association is expected to grow into a patriotic order of large proportions, and the interest that has been shown elsewhere in the purple heart celebration here and the founding of the Purple Heart Association of the United States augur well for the success of the organization throughout the Union.


The George Washington Chapter #1, Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Washington Bicentennial – Purple Heart celebration held four days earlier