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Harold Schwerdt, Purple Heart recipient and former POW, laid to rest

Longtime Southold resident Harold Schwerdt, a two-time Purple Heart recipient during World War II, was laid to rest Monday at Calverton National Cemetery.

Mr. Schwerdt, who served in the U.S. Air Force and had been recognized as the oldest prisoner of war by New York State, died Jan. 9 at East End Hospice Kanas Center for Hospice Care in Quogue. He was 98.

A funeral service was held Monday at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck. The funeral procession then continued to the American Legion in Southold for a military honors ceremony. He had been a commander at the American Legion.

Mr. Schwerdt was a gunner on a B-17 that was shot down over Cassel, Germany, in 1943 and he was a POW for two years. He attained the rank of technical sergeant.

Photos by Kate Nalepinski