Earl Radford Purdy was born on September 8, 1918, in Kemmerer, Wyoming. He was the son of William Moroni Purdy and Mae Russell Sharp Purdy.
Earl served in the 330th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bomber Group, as a Staff Sergeant and Rear Gunner of the B-24D Liberator #41-23712 in World War II. Their airplane took off at 7:20 AM on October 29, 1942, with a crew of 12 on an operational U-boat patrol mission over the Bay of Biscay. They turned around at 11:30, but three hours later, due to heavy rain and poor visibility, their plane clipped Bossington Hill and crashed in the marsh at Porlock, England, killing 11 of the crew. SSgt Thorpe was the sole survivor.
SSgt Purdy is now buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, United Kingdom.