Major Charles Hearn’s WWII Heart Shield Bible

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book


Before 1943


Wisconsin (United States)




Printed on Paper


4.5 × 3 × 0.8 in. (11.5 × 7.8 × 2 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

During World War II, many American soldiers were issued New Testaments; some came with a metal cover. Because they were often carried in shirt pockets, they are known as “Heart Shield Bibles.” The Heart Shield Bibles were a durable edition made for the battlefield—and a source of encouragement for many GIs. This New Testament, No. 818 by Whitman Publishing Company, was given to Major Charles A. Hearn by Lottie Bille. Accompanying this Bible is also an identification card for Major Hearn signed by the issuing officer, John Rostic, Major CMP.

Created before 1943 by Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin.[1] Acquired by 1943 by Lottie Bille;[2] Gifted after 1943 to Major Charles A. Hearn.[3] Acquired by Rusty Maisel, private collector, Texas; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry), under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] While the title page does not contain a print date, the presentation card from Know Your Bible Company is copyrighted 1943. [2] The presentation card pasted to the inside cover states that it was gifted by Lottie Bille; it is unclear what her connection was to Major Hearn. [3] The presentation card pasted to the inside cover states that it was presented to Major Hearn. The accompanying identification card with Hearn’s name on it expired in 1949.

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