The Purple Heart Project Searches for Families of 2 Michigan Men

The Purple Heart is awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the military.

And for those serving during World War I on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Tampa ship, 84 of those Purple Hearts remain unclaimed.

Two of them have ties to Michigan.

The Tampa was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine on Sept. 26, 1918.

The ship sank in under three minutes and killed 130 men, including 11 members of the Coast Guard.

This was the single largest loss of life for the Coast Guard during the First World War.

More than 100 years after Tampa was lost, the Coast Guard is still attempting to identify those families who have yet to receive their ancestors’ Purple Heart

The U.S. Coast Guard’s historian’s office lists two Michigan names.

One is Alfonso Joseph Busho, who was 21 years old at the time of the sinking.

The second Michigan name on the list is Francis Richard Scott, who was 26 years old and from Muskegon Michigan.

If you think you have ties to any of the crew of the Tampa and are interested in learning more about the Purple Heart Project, head to

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