Claude Walker joined the US Army in 1941 with the world embroiled in World War II.
He started with the basic training at Camp Upton on Long Island and then was deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division. He was sent to North Africa on November 17, 1942. It was the first stop in a service that took him around the world. He was involved in the liberation of North Africa and Sicily. He made numerous amphibious landings in Italy and was in the final push into Germany in 1945.
Walker was awarded numerous medals for his service, but he never received any of the medals during his lifetime.
His family finally received those medals.
Walker earned the Soldiers Medal when he saved the life of another soldier that was drowning in 1944. He also earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star when he was shot and wounded in the “Blood and Fire” Division’s invasion into Germany.
Additionally, Walker was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American-Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Silver Service Star, Honorable Service Lapel button WWII, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar.
Rep Sean Patrick Maloney presented the awards to Walker’s family in a ceremony, Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
“Without Rep. Maloney my family never would have had this opportunity – and my children would never have had the chance to meet my father in a way that’s this special,” Walker said.
“None of our veterans or their families should have to wait seven decades to receive the medals they’ve earned – that’s why I am so proud to finally present Private Walker’s family with the medals he earned more than seventy years after being injured in World War II,” Maloney said.