Massachusetts Medal of Liberty honors those killed in action or as a result of wounds suffered while serving
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – Many are familiar with military honors such as the Purple Heart, The Congressional Medal of Honor and the Silver Star medal, among others.
The Massachusetts Medal of Liberty is awarded to Massachusetts service men and women, who have been killed in action or who died as a result of wounds received in action. It is bequeathed on behalf of the governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts as commander-in-chief of the commonwealth.
Michael P. Perna Jr., SMSgt, USAF (Ret) is also the Chief for the Military Records Branch. A resident of Shrewsbury he also works with the Central Mass. Veterans’ Service District.
“The medal is relatively new, about the three years old and is equivalent to the Purple Heart,” he said. “Veterans from WWII all the way up to the current conflicts, who have been killed or died as a result of wounds suffered, are eligible,” he said.
Perna is now attempting to locate family members of 15 Shrewsbury veterans who have been identified as being eligible to receive this medal. Those veterans include:
World War II
Avery, Winthrop – Capt – KIA, Philippines
Fipphen, Richard D. – PFC – Died in service, European theater
Fyrbeck, Carl – Sgt – Died in service, Germany
Johnson, Carl – PFC – Died in service, Germany
Kramek, Bernard – Tec 5 – Died of wounds, Guam
McGarry, Joseph D. – TSgt – KIA – Germany
Maguire, Robert J – PFC – Died in service, European theater
Paton, Walter J. – Lt Col – KIA, Germany
Quaranta, Victor R. – SSgt –KIA, Germany
Salvatore, Harold – PFC – KIA, Saipan
Sheehan, James F. – PFC – KIA, France
Vassar, Homer E. – PFC – KIA, Italy
Wysocki, Edward P. – SSgt – KIA, Germany
Hill, Lloyd – Cpl – KIA
Murphy, Charles – Sgt – KIA
For more information contact Perna at 508-422-1998 or email [email protected]
The medal, designed by Sgt. Kristopher W. Adams, is heart-shaped to symbolize the Purple Heart (a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving) and is attached to a 1 3/8 inch wide ribbon with a black border representing mourning. The center of the medal bears a Gold Star symbolizing Gold Star Mothers Club (American mothers who lost sons or daughters in service of the United States Armed Forces). At the top center of the medal is the coat of arms of the commonwealth of Massachusetts and on the rear side is the recipient’s branch of service and name with the words “In Honored Memory” engraved above and “Service and Sacrifice” below.
For eligibility requirements and an application form, visit