82nd Airborne Division present bronze star purple heart to WW II paratrooper

More than 76 years after being wounded, U.S. Army representatives will finally present the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart to Army veteran Marvin Cornett for valorous actions in combat during World War II.

Cornett, who will turn 100 on July 1, will receive the awards on February 22, in Auburn, California.

Marvin Cornett was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division during WW II in Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He participated in the combat parachute assault into Salerno, Italy and then stormed ashore at Anzio Beach where he was wounded in action during combat operations along the Mussolini Canal on January 31, 1944.

When the Army didn’t follow up on orders for Bronze Star and Purple Heart, he never thought to pursue it.

His wound prompted reassignment to the Parachute School at Fort Benning, Ga. where he served as an instructor and also where he met his wife, a Women’s Army Corps parachute rigger assigned to the school’s rigger shed. Cornett was discharged after World War II, but re-enlisted three years later and served a full career. He retired as a Sgt. First Class and Army Recruiter.

It was during the course of researching his career at the family’s request, a veteran-founded company, Heritage Arsenal in Colorado Springs, Colorado, discovered the missing Bronze Star and Purple Heart on his official record. The Vice President, a former Green Beret and friend of the 82nd Airborne Division, helped guide the family through the process to request and receive the awards.

The ceremony is being coordinated by Heritage Arsenal and the Cornett family and will be hosted by the American Legion in Auburn, California.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division, will be the virtual guest speaker. U.S. Army recruiters assigned to NORCAL will present the two awards to Cornett who will be wearing his full dress uniform during the event.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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