WWII veteran’s Purple Heart returned to family in Keltch Park

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KELTCH PARK -

The niece of a World War II veteran was reunited Friday with her uncle’s Purple Heart, which was found unexpectedly.

The award belonged to Rubin Keltch who died in 1943 trying to save his shipmates after his Navy boat was attacked by a German submarine. Keltch received the Purple Heart for his bravery after running back into the sinking ship.

Jeff Kaufman, of Vermont, found the Purple Heart among a collection of items his father had purchased at a flea market.

"I was going through his estate about four months ago and sure enough it popped up,” said Kaufman. “I didn't really think about it but sure enough there was a name on the back."

It was returned to the Keltch’s niece Florinne Abramwitz at Keltch Park in the Bronx – which was named after her uncle.

“I am so proud, so happy, but sad in a way that he wouldn't see the recognition that he received…I wish he could be here today," she said.

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