The Town of Brookline, in conjunction with Congressman Joe Kennedy III (4th District – MA), the Stephen F. Rutledge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 864, and American Legion Post 11, is honored to award the family of Commander Melvin Lederman, US Navy the Purple Heart for his extraordinary valor in saving the lives of servicemen in Vietnam.
Commander Lederman was killed in action along with five Marines and one sailor on November 29, 1969 south of Denang in the Republic of Vietnam when the rescue helicopter (YK-9) he was riding in exploded in flight. Initially the incident was listed as mechanical failure and the seven deceased servicemen were not awarded Purple Heart medals. However and investigation determined that the aircraft was struck by hostile gunfire causing the crash. The records of the five Marines were adjusted to Killed In Action and they were awarded the Purple Hearts. However, the records of Commander Lederman and Naval Corpsmen James M. Garrett were not adjusted.
The family of Commander Melvin Lederman spent the next 47 years working to correct his record and to give him the honor of the Purple Heart. This would be the fourth Purple Heart this brave American received while serving in two wars. The office of Congressman Joe Kennedy took up the cause of the Lederman family and within ten months the records were corrected and the Purple Heart was issued. The brave naval personnel are now honored for their sacrifice to our country.
Date: Monday, May 23, 2016
Location: Brookline Town Hall lobby, 333 Washington St., Brookline MA
All participants are invited to a light collation at the Veterans Post at the corner of Cypress St. & Washington St.