Melvin R. Laird
Awards and Accolades
The Purple Heart was awarded to Melvin Laird after he was wounded during a Japanese Kamikaze (suicide) attack in January, 1945 while serving aboard the
U.S.S. Maddox in World War II.
The Order of the Purple Heart is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded or killed by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.
Created by General George Washington, the Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world in present use
and the first award made available to a common soldier.