WWII Purple Heart found inside flea market record player

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:26am

Simpsonville, SC (WHNS) -- A Purple Heart, earned by a fallen Upstate soldier in World War II, has been returned to his family 70 years later.

The piece was found last October, rattling inside a record player bought at the Anderson Jockey lot.

The finder wanted to find the rightful heirs to Sgt. James Carithers' honor, so he searched online and found a website, Genealogytrails.com. Folks there connected him to an Upstate high schooler. Seventeen year-old Andrew Staton made the connection.

"I'm most amazed by him that he actually took the time to start researching and start trying to piece it together himself, and he contacted us at Genealogy Trails, and we kind of took it from there," said Staton.

He found a post on a genealogy website from 2000 of a woman looking for information about her family. That family includes Sgt. Carithers.

Carithers niece, Arrista Pottle, said she never met her uncle, who died before she was born. She said her mother didn't talk about her brother James much.

"I guess it was still very painful for her that he had died when he was very young," Pottle said.

Pottle said she couldn't be more proud to find that Carithers was a war hero.

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