World War II veteran receives long overdue medals | May 23, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 23, 2014

World War II veteran receives long overdue medals

Palo Alto resident assisted by Rep. Anna Eshoo and staff

by Sam Sciolla

At a luncheon in Mountain View last November, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo overheard John Indergand talking about his service in World War II, mentioning how he had never received an Oak Leaf Cluster medal he was promised after his second combat injury. Later, Eshoo asked him about it and said that with some more information, she might be able to help.

This story contains 845 words.

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Editorial Assistant Sam Sciolla can be emailed at


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 24, 2014 at 8:12 am

> assisted other veterans with similar inquiries before, each time
> embarking on a process that she called "enormously complex."

Part of the problem is that there was a fire in 1973 in the Saint Louis National Archive, which destroyed millions of individual personnel records:

Web Link

A few minutes past midnight on July 12, 1973, a fire broke out at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in the suburbs of St. Louis. At risk was an untold amount of information about Americans who had served in the armed forces in the 20th century.

The center, known as the Military Personnel Records Center (MPR), held about 22 million personnel files of former members of the Army, Army Air Force, and Air Force who served between 1912 and 1963. The ire destroyed vast numbers of these unique records—and its immense impact on U.S. citizens, their rights, and entitlements continues to this day. ---

For some former GIs, this archive was the only source of records for their military service. In other cases, duplicates of some, if not all, of their records had been duplicated and stored in other locations. Finding these records takes a little time (sometimes 4-6 months), but ultimately the records can be made available to family members.

Good to see Mr. Indergand was able to finally receive his long overdue medal.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

This is a nicely written story. Thank you Mr. Indergand for your service. And thank you Rep. Eshoo for helping to complete the story and bringing it to our attention.

Like this comment
Posted by Holy Moly
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Better late than never, they say, but this poor man could have passed away before getting the proper recognition for his service!

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Posted by Abe Mitchell
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

The appreciation this generation hold should always be recognized, we the present generation have a considerable amount of thanks to offer the same. These people fought very bravely during W.W.2 to give us the freedom that we have today, and this is something that should never be forgotton

Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on May 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Thank you to everyone involved in this story. Representative Eshoo for making it happen, Sam Sciolla for this great piece, Veronica Weber for the lovely photo, and most of all to Mr. Indergand for his service to our country. Thank you, sir.

Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Mountain View
on May 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Superb work by all involved here. There are times where the system does work as it should.

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Posted by Arthur F. Adams
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I too served in Europe as an infantryman in the 78th Division. I was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans during the battle of the bulge. Give me a call and let us swap stories. Art 321 4886.

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