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Alumnus, POW to win Purple Heart Medal

19 May 2006

ATTENTION: News desks, weekend general assignment reporters, editors

Contact: Yasmin Anwar
(510) 643-7944 yanwar@berkeley.edu

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Abe Hankin, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, will receive the Purple Heart for surviving the infamous 1942 Bataan Death March in the Philippines. He will also receive the Prisoner of War Medal for his dedication and for the hardships he faced in six POW camps from 1942-45.

Hankin, 86, a San Mateo resident who is dying of lung cancer, will receive these highest U.S. military decorations at a UC Berkeley ROTC commissioning ceremony for 17 Army, Navy and Air Force cadets.

2 p.m., Saturday, May 20

Lipman Room, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley. See a campus map at www.berkeley.edu

Hankin received a bachelor's degree in political science from UC Berkeley in 1941, and returned to the campus after the war to earn a master's degree in business and public administration in 1949. He was also a member of the Cal Marching Band. Capt. Dave Buckey, a Navy ROTC commander and UC Berkeley professor of naval science, will present the medals to Hankin.