Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Grand Strand Chapter and Unit 354

Marker ID:  
Location: Warbird Park next to Myrtle Beach International Airport, Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 39.671    W 078° 55.721
  33.66118333    -78.92868333


Grand Strand Chapter and Unit 354

On August 7, 1782, the Badge of Military Merit was first announced to the Continental Army at the Headquarters in Newburgh, NY. Designed by Washington in the form of a purple heart, it was intended as a military order for soldiers who displayed unusual gallantry in battle or extraordinary fidelity and essential service. After the Revolutionary War. the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse although it was never officially abolished.

In 1932, the United States War Departme authorized the new Purple Heart Medal for soldiers Whnhed previously received either a Wound Chevron or the Army Wound Medal. At that time, it was also determined that the Purple Heart Medal would be considered the official “successor decoration” to the Badge of Military Merit.

From the Evening Sentinel
Thursday, September 22, 1932
Purple Heart Association of United States Formed
First Chapter Organized Last Night at Gathering of Veterans
at State Armory in Ansonia, Connecticut

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. Oufty of Shelton secretary; Patrick F. Reidy of Ansonia, treasurer, and William J. Burke, Derby, sergeant at arms.

Pvt. Frank J. Cushner WWI, USMC, is credited as the founding father of the Military Order Purple Heart Organization