7 decades later, Purple Heart given to daughter

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 19, 2013 at 8:26 am •  Published: September 19, 2013
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Seven decades after a Missouri soldier died in World War II, the daughter he never met is about to get his Purple Heart medal, along with the emotional letter her father wrote just weeks after her birth.

Pfc. John Eddington was stationed in Texas when his daughter, Peggy, was born on Feb. 5, 1944. Eddington died in Italy four months later.

About 14 years ago, Donna Gregory was helping her ex-husband clean his grandparents' suburban St. Louis home when she found a box containing the medal and letter.

Gregory spent years searching for Eddington's daughter. With the help of Facebook she found Peggy Smith in Dayton, Nev.

Gregory is traveling to Nevada this week, accompanied by a patriotic motorcycle group. A ceremony giving Smith the medal and letter is Saturday.