Little Girl's Purple Heart
The U.S. Navy played a vital role in crossing the Rhine River at Remagen. The Navy was called upon to ferry troops and equipment across the Rhine River and lend whatever support they could during the amphibious operation. The units were organized in England and code named Operation Delaware. Chief Machinist Mate James Trammell's Boat Unit One was advancing towards the Rhine River. The column was hauling LCVPs landing craft along the narrow congested roads.
A few weeks earlier Trammell had been awarded the Purple Heart for a hand wound. He carried the decoration in his pocket. On March 11, 1945 near the outskirts of Remagen, an artillery shell whistled inslamming into a farm house. The exploding impact pitched a little five year old girl out of a second story window. She lie broken and bleeding on a pile of rubble. Jim Trammell rushed to her side. He dropped to his knees but there was nothing he could do. She was calmly laying there looking at the sky but still breathing. He remained with her until her breathing stopped moments later. Her expression never changed. The sailor reached into his jacket pocket and removed the Purple Heart. He pinned the decoration to her little blue dress. He wept, said a prayer and rejoined his unit.
Memoirs: James Trammell USN of Beaumont, Texas