Nearly 104 years after the fact, Key West Conch William Weech received an honor he richly deserved — a Purple Heart for being one of the first members of the U.S. Coast Guard to pass away in the line of duty.

Born in Key West in 1887, Weech enlisted in the guard at 17, where he eventually went on to serve on the USCGC Tampa, a vessel re-christened from its previous name of Miami in honor of the Florida west coast’s largest commercial port.