WWII soldier's Purple Heart returning to his Connecticut family; medal found in Hudson Valley


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WAPPINGERS FALLS, New York — A Purple Heart medal posthumously awarded to a Connecticut soldier killed in World War II is being returned to his family at the Hudson Valley veterans organization where it was found.

The medal was awarded to 25-year-old Tech. Sgt. Emilio Ricci, a New Haven native who was killed in action in the Pacific 71 years ago Friday. Ricci was a combat medic serving with the Army's 43rd Infantry Division.

His Purple Heart was discovered in 2011 in the attic of VFW Post 5913 in Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County. A VFW member wounded in Iraq contacted Vermont-based Purple Hearts Reunited, which helped track down Ricci's family.

The medal will be given to Ricci's nephew, David Ricci of West Haven, Connecticut, during a ceremony being held at 11 a.m. Friday at the VFW post.

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