Vincent Purple "Bill"

U.S. Air Force 1942–1951


Vincent J. “Bill” Purple grew up in Athol, in north central Massachusetts. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, and would learn how to fly B-17s and B-24s. Stationed with the 379th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force in England, Purple took part in 35 missions, mostly over Germany. In 2013, Purple received the French Legion of Honor. He also earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters.

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