As stated by the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, around 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since the medal’s official establishment in 1932. It means approximately 2 million brave soldiers have sacrificed their lives to protect the country. All these American soldiers were war heroes and made significant contributions to the betterment of the US.
The Purple Heart award is one of the oldest military awards which was originally distributed to a member of the Armed Forces of the United States until 1942. President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1942 that any member of the Armed Forces who was killed or wounded in the battle can receive this award.
How many Purple Hearts can one person receive? There is no particular limit to receiving the medal. But a person can earn only one award for more than one injury received at the same battle.
How Many Americans Have Been Awarded Purple Hearts?
- A. 4.8 million
- B. 2.5 million
- C. 1.8 million
- D. 1.1 million
World War 2 Purple Heart recipients
We have rounded up some of the military soldiers who received the most Purple Hearts during World War II.
Staff Sergeant Albert Ireland
Staff Sergeant Albert Ireland has been holding the top position for earning the most Purple Hearts of any individual among all branches of service. In his 12 years of service, (1941-1953) Ireland was injured nine times. He was injured five times during World War II. During the Korean War, he was injured four times.
Col. Richard J. Buck
Richard Buck served in the Korean War and was injured four times. After the Korean War, he continued his service in the Army and joined Special Forces to fight against Vietnam where he was wounded four times. He received eight Purple Hearts in his career. He retired in 1970.
Gen. Robert T. Frederick
Major General Frederick joined World War II as a Lieutenant Colonel with the 1st Special Service Force. He was injured many times. Frederick was promoted to lead the 45th Infantry Division during the war. Major General Frederick earned eight Purple Hearts for his contribution to World War II. Frederick retired in 1952.
David H. Hackworth – Army
Colonel Hackworth received eight Purple Hearts for his service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Hackworth worked with many elite units ( 8th Ranger Company, 25th Recon Company, and the 27th Wolfhound Raiders) during the Korean War. He was awarded three Purple Hearts for his contribution to Korean War. He went on many tours in Vietnam and is best known for building the Tiger Force. He earned five more Purple Hearts. He was known for receiving the most Silver Stars.
Joe Hooper – Army
In 1960, Joe Hooper joined the US Army as an Airborne Infantryman. He went to several places for the deployment to Vietnam. Hooper’s contribution outside of Hue helped him earn one of his Purple Hearts. He earned eight Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, and the Medal of Honor.