Long Overdue Purple Heart For World War II Fighter Pilot

On Veterans’ Day, Bonnie Boyce Evans accepted a Purple Heart on behalf of her late father, Newton Boyce, during a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Park in Greene, N.Y. Nov. 11 would have been Boyce’s 94th birthday. Boyce was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received on Jan. 24, 1943, when his fighter crash-landed in Tunisia due to enemy fire and shrapnel from the aircraft’s fuselage became lodged in his hand. At the time, he was a first lieutenant flying with the 4th Fighter Squadron. Boyce was captured and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war of Nazi Germany. Months later in captivity, a British doctor, a fellow POW, treated his hand and removed the shrapnel. After the war, Boyce attempted numerous times to receive the Purple Heart, but the authorities repeatedly told him that he had to prove that he required medical treatment for his wound. In September 1990, Boyce finally had the proof he needed, but he died a month later. Boyce’s nephew Wayne Brown provided the Daily Report with this information.