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Highlighting the World Wars I & II Memorabilia Collection of Dave Sleeper

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Airhart, Ralph J.


Rank: Private
Serial Number: 117502
Military Branch: 51st Companty 5th Marines, 2nd Division
Origin: Ohio
Date of Death: 1938-4-21
Crown Hill Cemetery, Orrville, Ohio
Featured: No

Ralph Jay Airhart was born February 20, 1899 in Shereve, Ohio. He enlisted in the Marines in Akron, Ohio on April, 26, 1917. He was wounded at Belleau Wood on June 15, 1918. He was overseas with the AEF from July 3, 1917 until September 25, 1918, apparently returned due to his wounds. Airhart spent some time at the Naval Hospital at Great Lakes. He was discharged October 18, 1919.

Ralph Airhart married Luella Swires in West Virginia in 1930. An article in The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyia, Ohio showed tht he died when struck by a Pennsylvania Railroad passanger train while he was in his car. The article states that he had 3 children at the time.

This group contains his officially engraved WW1 split brooch Purple Heart edge stamped with the number 36258, internet research, and copies of his official Marine Corps records.One of his records shows that he received a Good Conduct medal and Certificate #55275 for his service from April 26, 1917 to October 18, 1919. Interestingly, he was court marshaled May 8, 1918 for failing to wear his gas mask, and found guilty and fined 5 dollars. That document was signed by the CO of the 51st Company, Captain Lloyd Williams.