This unusual Meritorious, officially engraved, Purple Heart was awarded to Captain Andrew Wood on March 14, 1933. Captain Wood was awarded a Meritorious Service Citation Certificate by General Pershing on April 19, 1919 for services with the 20th Enginers. The Purple Heart serial number is 32306. The accompanying award cards show that Wood was awarded a MSCC by CG., AEF, 4-19-19, for services at Tours, France. Tours was the location of the 20th Engineers Headquarters. The award card indicates that this was MSCC number 765 (out of about 1400 issued in WW1.)
The 20th Engineers was the largest regiment ever to exist in the United States Army. The organization included 14 battalions deployed to France, with another 14 battalions and additional company-sized units attached, and 15 more battalions still organizing in the United States. Its missions were among the most diverse of the American Expeditionary Forces, from operating within direct combat range of German forces, to units scattered along the Spanish border; its soldiers were among the first to arrive in France, and among the last to return home. The primary function of the 20th Engineers was forestry–to produce lumber and timber for Allied forces–but its flexibility and command structure allowed for a wide range of other engineer missions.
All in all, not counting the units that were never shipped to Europe, the 20th Engineers had more than 500 officers and 30,000 soldiers assigned or attached by the time of the Armistice. It was the only organization in the A.E.F. that had a soldier from every State in the Union.