Kindness in Real LIfe: WWII soldier’s posthumous Purple Heart delivered to Gales Ferry man

The lost Purple Heart medal of Private First Class Bennie Nordgaard now has a home in Gales Ferry, thanks in part to an American Legion post in North Dakota and American Pickers.

Nordgaard’s medal was recently returned to his great-nephew Michael Nyberg, a veteran who lives in Gales Ferry with his wife Jill and son Dominic. The medal was reunited with the family in a ceremony hosted by the nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited, which works to return medals of valor to veterans and their families.

According to a release, Nordgaard was born on Nov. 21, 1911, in Kidder County, N.D. He never married or had children and enlisted in the Army in May 1942, serving as a rifleman until he was killed in action near Dornot, France, in September 1944. He was buried in Kidder County, but his medal was lost and eventually turned in at American Legion Post 231 in Dawson, N.D. With some help from the staff of the History Channel show “American Pickers,” the post contacted Purple Hearts Reunited to connect Nordgaard’s lost medal with his family in Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit purpleheartsreunited.org.

Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in The Times. To submit, email times@theday.com.

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