Congressman Ben Chandler presented a Kentucky man a Purple Heart Monday afternoon for his service in WWII, during a service in Scott County.
After enlisting in the United States Army in 1942, Master Sergeant Joseph Schmidt served as a pilot during WWII in both Germany and the Pacific Theater, earning the WWII Victory Medal and the Army Occupation Medal for his efforts. While serving in the campaigns of New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzon, he was part of one of the first units to land in the Philippines. He also served in the Korean War.
Schmidt was working on an air field in Leyte when he was hit in the leg by shrapnel during combat. Despite being wounded, he decided to stay with his unit for the remainder of the battle. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his act of bravery.
“Mr. Schmidt is a person of courage and determination, who put his life on the line to protect and defend our nation in its time of need,” said Congressman Chandler. “We could never thank him enough for all he has sacrificed for his country.”
He left the army after over 20 years of service in July, 1962. At the time, he was serving as Army Adviser to the Kentucky National Guard at Fort Knox. After retiring, Mr. Schmidt remained in Kentucky with his wife and worked at the Bluegrass Army Depot until he retired.