Watertown Daily Times | The tale of a Purple Heart posted in the hope someone here can help..... JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES Zachariah L. Fike, Dexter, holds the Purple Heart of Corrado A.G. Piccoli next to his grave marker at Brookside Cemetery in Watertown. Mr. Fike, who collects war memorabilia, is doing research to try to contact Mr. Piccoli's family and return the medal. JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES The back side of Corrado A.G. Piccoli’s Purple Heart. The tale of a Purple Heart Antique medal: Army captain would like to return award to family of recipient By DANIEL WOOLFOLK TIMES STAFF WRITER THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2011 Army Capt. Zachariah L. Fike has been collecting World War II memorabilia for years, so when his mother saw a World War II medal in an antique store while Christmas shopping in 2009, she immediately paid $100 for it. But it wasn't just any medal she gave her son as a present. It was a Purple Heart. “This definitely needs to go back to the family,” said Capt. Pike, a 1999 graduate of Carthage High School who serves with the Vermont Army National Guard. “This is very special.” Enclosed in an aging case with two award ribbons and a dog tag, the award is engraved, “FOR MILITARY MERIT Corrado A.G. Piccoli.” Those words have driven Capt. Fike to spend the last year trying to find a living relative of the soldier who was killed in action more than 66 years ago. He immediately began researching the name and service number on the dog tag online and in local and national archives. He learned that the soldier was born in Italy in 1923 and was brought to Watertown by his parents, Bernardino and Vincenza, three years later. In 1942, he graduated from Watertown High School and enlisted in the Army in January 1943. The following year, Pvt. Piccoli was shipped to fight in Europe. In August, his parents received a letter telling them he had visited his birth country. But two months later, a telegram from the War Department informed them their son had gone missing Oct. 7. Days later, another message confirmed he had, in fact, died. After researching local and national records, Capt. Fike found out that Pvt. Piccoli's late parents lived at 321 High St. He had six brothers and sisters listed on County War Service Records, but Capt. Fike has had no luck finding any of them. “I don't have any solid contacts for anything here local,” he said. “We need to find out if there's anybody still alive, so we can present them with the medal.” Capt. Fike said he would like to see Pvt. Piccoli inducted into Watertown High School's Hall of Achievement and has enlisted the help of Watertown's Italian-American Civic Association to display the award properly if he cannot find any family members. Capt. Fike's passion to find Pvt. Piccoli's family is understandable, said his mother, Joyce L. Fike, Dexter. Her son was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in a rocket attack in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2009. “His Purple Heart is on the wall in my living room, and he thinks this Purple Heart deserves the same respect,” Mrs. Fike said. Capt. Fike searched for and found Pvt. Piccoli's grave at a family plot in Glenwood Cemetery on Wednesday. Standing next to it, he said the search has been fulfilling. “This forces me to research stuff,” he said. “It's kind of an adventure.” Anyone who can help Capt. Fike find relatives of Pvt. Piccoli can call him at (315) 523-3609.