The Korean War lasted from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953. During the initial period of the war, the United States suffered terrible casualty rates as under-strength, under-equipped and under-trained US Army Divisions were thrown into the fight against Soviet built North Korean tanks, trying to buy time with their blood. By the end of July, the battered survivors of the US Army and Marines had been forced into defensive positions along the Naktong River in the south-eastern corner of South Korea, roughly around the city of Pusan. The Pusan Perimeter held out against continued North Korean attacks and allowed General Douglas MacArthur the time to engineer the amphibious landing at Inchon on 15 September.
Following the landings at Inchon, United Nations forces were able to gather strength and liberate the southern half of Korea. They pushed the North Koreans back over the border, advancing almost to the North Korean--Chinese border on the Yalu River by October 1950. In one of the greatest military intelligence failures in US history, General MacArthur ignored Chinese threats about joining the war in support of the North and failed to notice that at least 12 Chinese Division, numbering hundreds of thousands of soldiers, had crossed into North Korea and prepared to attack the U.N armies. When the Chinese attacked in November, they overran many UN units and forced MacArthur out of North Korea and south of Seoul before the lines were stabilized by the end of January 1951.
The Korean War continued for over another two years, generally being fought around the border areas of the two Koreas. Offensives by one army would be followed by counter offensives of the other. Hills and outposts were captured, lost and recaptured as bloody stalemate ensued. By July 1953, when the fighting ended, over 38,000 American servicemen had lost their lives.
Below is a listing of some of the U.S. servicemen who lost their lives in "The Forgotten War."
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Pfc. Ancel's Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, Korean War Service Medal, and United Nations Korean War Service Medal.
Pfc. Robert M. Ancel, 12325428, 3rd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, HQ Company. Missing in Action -- Presumed Dead on 3 December 1950 near Hukau-ri, North Korea. Born on 8 October 1932, he entered the service on 26 August 1950 from New York, New York at age 17. He had served in the Army for almost 5 months previously from 11 October 1949 to 25 August 1950.
Pfc. Ancel's unit was driving north into North Korea at the time of the first Chinese intervention into the war. Despite intelligence which showed that the Chinese were active in North Korea and intending to push their attacks on US Forces driving towards the Yalu River, General MacArthur ordered the UN forces to continue their advance. By December 1950, the Chinese had pushed UN forces into a desperate fighting withdraw from the Chosin Reservoir in brutal winter temperatures that reached 40 degrees below zero. It was during this withdraw, with Chinese troops firing down from the flanking mountain tops during the day, and attacking all night long, that Pfc. Ancel disappeared. He died saving the life of another soldier, and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
The citation reads, "On 3 December 1950, in the vicinity of Hukau-ri, Korea, Private Ancel did, without personal regard for his own safety, expose himself to intense small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire, in order to retrieve vital signal equipment which had been left in the 'G' company positions when those positions were overrun by numerically superior enemy forces. After the physically exhausting trek up the steep slope and return, Private Ancel discovered that his unit was in the process of withdrawing. He found a place on a vehicle, but after moving only a few yards he gave the place to a wounded man whom he noticed limping by. Private Ancel was last seen by his comrades trudging up the steep mountain road. Private Ancel's display of coolness and courage in the face of withering enemy fire and his concern for a wounded comrade were an inspiration to his fellow men."
His body was never found. He was declared dead in 1953. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge and campaign awards. At the time of his death, he was 18 years, 1 month, 25 days old.
Pfc. Robert Ancel
Sgt. Bain's medals.
|Sgt. John J. Bain, 13311175, 25th Infantry Division, 89th Medium Tank Battalion, Company D.. Killed in Action on 14 June 1951 near Hill 507 on Line Wyoming, Poyngang, North Korea. Born on 20 November 1930, he entered the service on 31 January 1949 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. |
Sgt. Bain was the crew member of a M4 Sherman tank in Company D, 89th Medium Tank Battalion. The tank was commanded by SFC Willie Royal. The Battalion was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division and was supporting the Turkish Brigade in an attack on Hill 507 from the north and east sides. While maneuvering for a better position to support the Turkish assault, three tanks were hit by 57mm anti-tank gun fire, with Sgt. Bain's tank being completely destroyed. Four of the five crewmen were killed.
He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his wife, whom he married the day before he shipped out to Korea, and his parents. He was 20 years old.
Sgt. John Bain in a 1951 Newspaper photograph.
Pfc. Brown's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. James A. Brown, RA13163665, 24th Infantry Division, 19th Infantry Regiment, Company B. Killed in action on 2 August 1950 near the Naktong River in South Korea. Born on 30 May 1929, he entered the service on 8 October 1947 from Bethel, Pennsylvania. |
From 1 August to 4 August 1950, the U.N. Forces in Korea had reached the Naktong River, the last defensible position before reaching the port city of Pusan and the sea. Over these few desperate days, the 19th Infantry Regiment, along with all of the remaining U.N. Forces, crossed the Naktong River and blew the bridges behind them. It was in this period, that Pfc. Brown was killed.
Pfc. Brown was killed by enemy gun fore apparently to the back of the head. The chaotic and desperate days on August and September 1950 cloud a lot of the specific information about Pfc. Brown. The U.S. forces fought for every inch of ground with attacks and counterattacks rolling over the same ground time and time again.
He is buried at the Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York. He was 21 years old.
Pfc. Brown's headstone at the Long Island National Cemetery.
Sfc. Caldwell's Purple Heart.
|Sfc. James C. Caldwell, RA17099614, 1st Cavalry Division, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, HQ Company. Killed in Action on 2 November 1950 in North Korea. Born on 5 February 1919, he entered the service from Arlington, VA. He initially served in the Army from 21 December 1945 to 20 December 1948 before re-entering the service on 1 January 1950. |
The 8th Cavalry Regiment bore the brunt of the initial Chinese assault on 1 November 1950 at Unsan, North Korea. The 3rd Battalion became engaged on 2 November with the Chinese trapping the Battalion. Fighting raged hand to hand and swarmed over the 3rd Battalion's Command Post. Of over 800 officers and men, the 3rd Battalion managed to escape with only 10 officers and 200 soldiers. Reports of Sfc. Caldwell's death were varied for years after the war, with no one seeing Caldwell either killed or captured despite second hand accounts that Sfc. Caldwell was captured by the Chinese. Following the war, Sfc. Caldwell was declared KIA on the testimony of several eyewitnesses who last saw him in the Battalion Command Post, which was a large home in the ground with a log roof over it with one large entrance, located about 4 miles south-west of Unsan, North Korea. At about 2 A.M., on 2 November, the 3rd Battalion was overrun by Chinese troops, who threw grenades into the Command Post and then fired their weapons into the entrance. Following the war, Sgt. Caldwell was promoted to Sgt. First Class.
His body was never recovered. He was 31 years old.
The remains of Sfc. Caldwell were recovered and identified on 12 April 2010. He was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery, Daytona Beach, Florida on 25 April 2011.
Sfc. James C. Caldwell.
(Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Sfc. James C. Caldwell
(Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Sfc. Caldwell's marker at the Greenwood Cemetery, Daytona Beach, Florida.
(Photo courtesy of Patty Foster.)
Pfc. Dern's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Edgar R. Dern, Jr., RA13299416, 2nd Infantry Division, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Company E. Killed in Action on 19 September 1950 during the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter near Changyang, South Korea. Born on 9 August 1918, he entered the service for a second time on 30 November 1948 from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. |
Pfc. Dern was wounded on 10 September 1950 and returned to duty on 18 September 1950 only to be killed the next day. It is reported that Pfc. Dern was killed when a North Korean mortar shell landed near him while he advanced on the enemy's position.
Prior to his service in the US Army in Korea, Pvt. Dern served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He served from 8 July 1940 through 26 November 1945, primarily serving as a member of the Fourth Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion. He was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, New Zealand and Guadalcanal. During his time in the Marine Corps, Pvt. Dern was AWOL on multiple occasions, with at least 83 total days being AWOL. He was given an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps.
He is buried at Sunset View Memorial Cemetery, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was 31 years old His posthumous Purple Heart is a rarity in its style as it is an early serial numbered medal which was awarded during the early part of World War II and must have been missed in the earlier stock pile.
Pfc. Edgar R. Dern Jr. in his Marine Corps enlistment photo taken 17 July 1940.
Pvt. Duncan's Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.
The reverse of Pvt. Duncan's medals.
|Pvt. E. W. Duncan, 55150947, 1st Cavalry Division, 8th Cavalry Regiment, Company F. Killed in Action on 2 November 1951 near Sonybok, North Korea. Born on 20 July 1929, he entered the service on 6 April 1951 from Detroit, Michigan. His full name is Earl William Duncan.|
For his actions on 2 November 1951, Pvt. Duncan was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device. The General Order awarding the medal was printed in the newspaper. It reads:
"Private E. W. Duncan, Infantry, United States Army, Company F, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is cited for heroism in action against an armed enemy on 2 November 1951, near Sonbyok, Korea. During a Chinese assault on the company's outpost, Private Duncan determinedly remained at a forward, unprotected post to assist a comrade in the operation of a machine gun. Seemingly in great waves, the enemy attacked but Private Duncan disregarding his personal safety, refused to withdraw, choosing to inflict as many casualties as possible on the enemy from this position. Private Duncan was mortally wounded while courageously defending the outpost. His selfless devotion to duty and heroism reflect the highest credit on himself and the military service."
He was killed by multiple shrapnel wounds to his head and body.
He is buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan. He was 21 years old.
Pvt. E. W. Duncan
Pvt. Gibson's Purple Heart.
|Pvt. Zollie Gibson, 52178325, 40th Infantry Division, 224th Infantry Regiment, Company A. Killed in Action on 24 October 1952 at Heartbreak Ridge, Chohanggol, North Korea. Born on 11 October 1925, he entered the service on 12 June 1951 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.|
Pvt. Gibson was killed when the bunker he was in received a direct hit from an 82mm mortar. The mortar strike caused secondary ammunition explosions inside the bunker which added to the destruction.
Pvt. Gibson served previously in the US Navy. No dates were given for his service, but he probably served at the end of World War II or immediately thereafter.
He is buried at the Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, New Jersey. He was 27 years old.
Pvt. Gibson's headstone at Beverly National Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Hilton.)
Pfc. Gregory's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Donald V. Gregory, RA12116023, 25th Infantry Division, 27th Infantry Regiment, Company D. Killed in action on 24 July 1950 near Kwang-gun, South Korea. Born on 25 January 1930, he entered the service on 26 July 1948 from Fulton, New York. |
Pfc. Gregory's division moved into the line on 22 July 1950 near Taejon, South Korea. After the Battle of Taejon was lost, the North Koreans continued to advance, pushing the U.N. forces back into an ever shrinking perimeter towards Pusan. Two days after entering the line, Pfc. Gregory was killed in one of the many delaying actions by a gun shot wound to the head.
He is buried at the New Haven Cemetery, New Haven, New York. He was 20 years old.
Pfc. Donald Gregory in a newspaper photograph.
Pfc. Donald Gregory in a second newspaper photograph.
Pfc. Gregory's headstone at the New Haven Cemetery.
Cpl. Hairston's Purple Heart.
|Cpl. Irvin D. Hairston, RA33995755, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, Company I. Killed in Action on 11 August 1950 near Clover Leaf Hill on the Naktong River, South Korea. Born on 7 December 1926, he entered the service from Baltimore, Maryland. |
On 11 August 1950, Cpl. Hairston was assigned to Task Force Bradley, which included the 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. The Task Force was en-route to Pohang-Dong ton defend the airstrip located there from an estimated 2000 communist guerrillas. The Task Force was ambushed by the guerrillas and was engaged throughout the day. Cpl. Hairston was observed driving in a jeep when he was attacked near the house of Kim Yung Taek. Kim Yung Taek observed Cpl. Hairston, at 0300 hours, driving towards the village of Angang-ni when his jeep was hit by fire. Cpl. Hairston took cover in the house of Kim Yung Taek, which caught fire when the jeep's gas tank exploded. Kim Yung Taek took refuge in the mountains, and when he returned on 20 September, he found the charred remains of the American soldier in the ashes of his house. He buried the body near by.
American recovery teams found the grave in 1953 and were not able to identify the body of Cpl. Hairston until almost 1954 as no identification was found with the remains. After a long investigation, the remains were determined to be those of Cpl. Hairston and were returned home to be buried.
He is buried at the Baltimore National Cemetery. He was 23 years old.
Cpl. Hairston's headstone at the Baltimore National Cemetery.
Sgt. Jack Hanley's Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.
|Sgt. Jack Hanley, 39337077, Forward Observer, Battery A, 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 1 September 1950 at the Naktong River Line in South Korea. Born on 7 March 1925, he entered the service on 23 July 1943 from Battleground, Oregon and served in both World War II and the Korean War. |
Sgt. Hanley's Silver Star was awarded for actions on the afternoon of 17 August 1950. Sgt. Hanley volunteered to take part in a patrol with a platoon from C Company, 23rd Infantry as part of a two man officer-enlisted Forward Observer team to provide artillery support for the patrol. The mission was to reconnoiter Hill 409 and determine if the enemy occupied the hill. The enemy was on Hill 409 in great strength in an overlooking position as the patrol approached down a gulley.
Carrying the SCR 536 radio, Sgt. Hanley continued to expose himself to direct fire of six enemy machineguns in order to maintain radio contact with his supporting artillery unit. In doing o, the telescopic antenna of his radio was shot off two inches above the top of the radio. Sgt. Hanley then volunteered to remain in the gulley and provide covering fire for the patrol as it withdrew back down the gulley. He continued to expose himself to enemy fire during this process, risking being cut off, captured or killed. Due to his actions, the patrol was able to withdraw without loss of life and only a few minor wounds.
Sgt. Hanley was killed in action less than two weeks later when he suffered a head wound near Changnyong, South Korea.
He is buried at Williamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. He was 25 years old.
Sgt. Jack Hanley
(Photo courtesy of www.abmc.gov).
Sgt. Hanley's headstone at Williamette National Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Claudia Towne Smith.)
Pfc. Hayes' Purple Heart.
Pfc. Hayes' Purple Heart Certificate.
Pfc. Hayes' Presidential Accolade.
|Pfc. James P. Hayes, 26241225, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters & Headquarters Company. Killed in Action on 17 July 1953, just 10 days before the end of the Korean Conflict by a broken neck and internal injuries caused by his bunker collapsing near Chatkol, North Korea. Born on 19 January 1932, he entered the service on 21 May 1952 from Columbia, Kentucky. |
Pfc. Hayes was killed when his unit was pushed into action on the Kumsong River to halt the last Chinese Offensive of the war. The Chinese had launched the offensive against South Korean units because South Korean President Syngman Rhee was actively trying to sabotage the peace treaty already agreed upon in June by the U.N. command and Communist forces. The South Korean units retreated under the Chinese onslaught and the U.S. 2nd and 3rd Infantry Divisions were used to stop the Chinese. At approximately 0010 hours, 17 July 1953, Pvt. Hayes' bunker took a direct hit by enemy artillery fire which collapsed the bunker and caused his fatal injuries.
He is buried at the Lebanon National Cemetery, Lebanon, Kentucky. He was 21 years old.
Pfc. James Hayes
Pfc. Hayes' headstone at the Lebanon National Cemetery.
Pfc. Henricks' Purple Heart
|Pvt. James H. Hendricks, RA18400426, 25th Infantry Division, 24th Infantry Regiment , Company G. Killed in Action on 7 September 1951 near Sangui-Kagae, North Korea by a bullet wound to the head and a flesh wound on his left side. Born on 10 May 1932, he entered the service on 23 March 1951, from Paris, Texas. |
He is buried in the Hendricks Cemetery, Paris, Texas. He was 19 years old.
Pvt. Hendricks' headstone at the Hendricks Cemetery.
(Photo Courtesy of Robert Shaw.)
Pvt. Hoit's Purple Heart.
|Pvt. Freddie G. Hoit, RA15414206, 24th Infantry Division, 19th Infantry Regiment, Company C. Killed in Action on 16 July 1950 near Balsan-ri, South Korea. Born on 27 February 1930, he entered the service on 28 September 1948 from Guernsey, Ohio. |
Pvt. Hoit was killed in the desperate days of July 1950 when the U.N. forces in Korea were desperately attempting to delay the onrushing North Korean Army. The 19th Infantry Regiment was rushed to the Kum River line north of Taejon, South Korea on 12 July. To make the chaotic days of July worse, the Regiment had arrived in Korea with only 2 of its three Battalions and those at only 70% strength.
At 0300 hours 16 July, the 3rd and 4th NKPA (North Korean People's Army) Divisions supported by at least 50 tanks, poured across the Kum River with a massive barrage for cover. By the evening, the 19th Regiment had to withdraw 25 miles past Taejon to refit and reequip the few men that were still left alive.
Pvt. Hoit's body was located on the 15 feet from the south side of a hill located 1/4 of a mile north-west of Balsan-ri, South Korea. Pvt. Hoit's cause of death was never confirmed but the Army believed that it was possible that he was shot in the back of the head by the North Koreans following his capture.
He is buried in the Northward Cemetery, Cambridge, Ohio. He was 20 years old.
Pvt. Ingram's Purple Heart.
|Pvt. Gene M. Ingram, 15293500, Company G, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 16 July 1950 near Taejon, South Korea. Born on 26 June 1932, he entered the service on 15 March 1949 from Three Lakes, Wisconsin.|
Pvt. Ingram was killed in the initial desperate days of the Korean War as U.N. forces were desperately attempting to stop the advance of the North Korean Army. The 19th Infantry Regiment was rushed to the Kum River Line north of Taejon, South Korea on 12 July, under-strength and under-gunned.
On 16 July, the 19th Infantry Regiment was attacked by the 3rd and 4th NKPA (North Korean People's Army) Divisions supported by at least 50 tanks. The North Koreans assaulted across the Kum River supported by a massive artillery barrage and smashed into the 19th Infantry Regiment. Pvt. Ingram was killed during the day's battle. By the end of the day, the survivors of the 19th Infantry Regiment were forced to withdraw 25 miles past Taejon.
His body was recovered in a common grave with four other soldiers near Palsan-ni, South Korea on 4 April 1951. His remains were not positively identified until February 1952.
Pvt. Ingram is buried at the Three Lakes Cemetery, Three Lakes, Wisconsin. He was 18 years old.
Pvt. Ingram's headstone at Three Rivers Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Barb S. at Findagrave.com.)
Pfc. Jackson's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Jesse C. Jackson, 19325245, 2nd Engineer Special Battalion, 532nd Engineer Boat Special Regiment, Company B, Landing Craft Crewmember. Killed in Action on 15 November 1950 at Wonsan Harbor, North Korea. Born on 11 June 1927, he entered the service on 7 February 1949 from Watsonville, California. He served previously in the US Navy and was discharged in 1946.|
Pfc. Jackson took part in the Inchon landings at Wolmi Do Island on 15 September 1950, and was killed two months latter at Wonsan Harbor. Wonsan Harbor was a major port for U.N. supplies and for the evacuation of troops after the Chinese entered the war in late 1950. Before the time of Pfc. Jackson's death, several U.N. ships had been sunk when they hit magnetic mines in the harbor. On 15 November, Pfc. Jackson was serving on board a minesweeper that hit another such mine. His body was located, along with the body of Sgt. Russel B. Nielson, on a raft floating in the Sea of Japan by the USS Maddox on 19 November 1950. Both soldiers were buried at sea.
He was buried at sea. He was 23 years old.
Cpl. Jarrett's Purple Heart.
|Cpl. John W. Jarrett, 19295927, 1st Cavalry Division, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, HQ Company. Killed in Action on 27 July 1950 south of Yongdong, South Korea. Born on 23 March 1930, he entered the service on 29 July 1948 from Thornton, California.|
Cpl. Jarrett and his comrades of the 1st Cavalry Division were rushed to Korea in late July 1950, vastly under-strength and without experienced officers and NCOs. Only a few days after arriving in country, the 5th Cavalry Regiment was rushed to the line around of Yongdong. From 23 to 25 July, the 1st Cavalry Division took heavy casualties as it tried to slow the rapid North Korean advance with some battalions being virtually destroyed, with the 5th Cavalry Regiment loosing 275 men on 25 July alone. By 26 July, the 1st Cavalry Division was forced to withdraw to Kumch'on, about 30 miles northwest of Taegu. It was during the withdraw, that Corp. Jarrett was killed.
He is buried at the Cherokee Memorial Cemetery in Thorton, California. He was 20 years old.
Cpl. (then Pfc.) John Jarrett.
Cpl. Jarrett's marker at the Cherokee Memorial Cemetery, Thorton, California.
(Photo courtesy of DeepRoots on Findagrave.com.)
Cpl. Kanski's Purple Heart.
|Cpl. Richard A. Kanski, 12314286, 1st Cavalry Division, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, HQ Company. Killed in Action on 2 November 1950 near Unsan, North Korea, on the second day of the Chinese entry into the Korean Conflict. Born on 8 May 1931, he entered the service from Union, New Jersey. |
Cpl. Kanski's regiment was overrun by Chinese forces on 2 November 1950, when they bore the brunt of the Chinese assault near Unsan, North Korea. His body was never recovered and he was declared dead on 31 December 1953.
He was 19 years old.
Cpl. Kanski's name listed on the Tablet of the Missing at the Punchbowl National Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pfc. Marsh's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. George W. Marsh, RA 15299697, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, Company L. Died of Wounds on 23 February 1951 suffered on 14 February 1951 in South Korea. Born on 26 September 1931, he entered the service on 29 May 1950 from Rosedale, Kentucky. |
Pfc. Marsh was severely wounded on 14 February 1951 by an enemy mortar blast in both legs and a concussion. As he lay on the field, he was wounded by small arms fire in the right shoulder and another superficial wound. Despite his severe wounds, Pfc. Marsh was able to be evacuated to the USS Repose where he underwent surgery for his wounds resulting in the amputation of his right leg. Despite the best efforts of the medical personnel, Pfc. Marsh died of acute pulmonary edema at 0100 hours on 23 February 1951.
The photograph to the right was taken on 20 November 1950 northeast of the Chongchon River. It shows Pfc. Marsh on the far right serving as an assistant machine-gunner.
He is buried Evergreen Cemetery, Southgate, Kentucky. He was 19 years old. His grave is without a headstone.
Pfc. Marsh on the front lines in November 1950.
Full photograph of Pfc. Marsh and his machinegun crew.
Pfc. Marsh's unmarked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com.)
Pvt. McAbee's Purple Heart.
|Pvt. Billy L. McAbee, 53111489, Company L, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. Killed in Action on 7 March 1953 near Chohanggol, North Korea by enemy artillery fire. Born on 24 December 1933, he entered the service on 13 February 1952 from Spartansburg, South Carolina. |
Pvt. McAbee was killed at approximately 1800 hours on 7 March 1953 as he prepared for an evening patrol with his unit at the platoon command post. Incoming enemy artillery struck the bunker, peppering Pvt. McAbee's back from head to thighs with shrapnel, killing him.
He is buried at the Whitney Cemetery, Whitney, South Carolina. He was 19 years old and survived by a sister and two brothers.
Pvt. McAbee in a newspaper photograph from 1953.
Pfc. Reed's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Charles E. Reed, 15274481, Company C, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Killed in Action on 3 August 1950 at Kwan-ni, South Korea. Born on 20 April 1929, he entered the service on 10 January 1949 from Moundville, West Virginia.|
Pfc. Reed and the men of the 1st Cavalry Division landed in Korea on 18 July 1950 and were immediately sent into the line near Yongdong, trying to slow the North Korean advance. Unable to stem the tide of the North Korean advance, the 1st Cavalry, along with the rest of NATO forces withdrew to the Pusan Perimeter by 4 August 1950. It was during this withdraw that Pfc. Reed was killed in action.
He is buried at the Mount Rose Cemetery, Moundville, West Virginia. He was 21 years old.
Pfc. Reed's headstone at the Mount Rose Cemetery, Moundville, West Virginia. (Photo from Findagrave.com.)
Pvt. Sebastian's Purple Heart.
|Pvt. Donald L. Sebastian, 52264261, Company G, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Died of Wounds on 29 June 1953 on the hospital ship, USS Repose. Born on 2 July 1932, he entered the service on 11 December 1952 from Campbell, Ohio. |
Pvt. Sebastian was wounded on 28 June 1953 during a ground attack on his position near Kaman-dong, North Korea. Enemy mortar rounds landed near him causing multiple wounds to the head, right arm and both thighs, with the head wound being the most critical. Pvt. Sebastian was airlifted from the 45th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) to the US Naval Hospital on the USS Respose at 2030 hours on 28 June. Despite emergency surgical procedures, Pvt. Sebastian never regained consciousness and he died at 1017 hours on 29 June.
He is buried at the Holy Rosary Cemetery in Lowellville, Ohio. He was 21 years old.
M/Sgt. Sherman's Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
|M/Sgt. Earl W. Sherman, 6940362, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Missing in Action on 20 July 1950 near Taejon, South Korea. Born on 28 December 1919 (some records show his date of birth as 1918 but his parents confirmed that he enlisted at 17 years old), he joined the Army on 13 December 1937 from Laurel, Maryland. |
M/Sgt. Sherman served in the Army from before the beginning of World War II. Records show that he served in Company E, 351st Infantry Regiment, 88th Infantry Division, and Company A, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division before joining the 34th Infantry Regiment. He was wounded once before in World War II with a shrapnel wound to his left leg and was a Prisoner of War from 14 November 1944 until the end of World War II. Following the war, he served as a Guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
M/Sgt. Sherman was last seen in the chaotic fighting around Taejon, South Korea in the first months of the Korean Conflict. On 20 July 1950, the Americans were desperately trying to hold the North Koreans at Taejon. In the morning, heavy fighting erupted to the northeast of the city near the airfield. North Korean tanks broke through the lines of 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment and headed for the city. The order was given to pull out of the city and M/Sgt. Sherman's unit, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, lead the American troops down the Kumsan road out of the city. A tunnel was located on this road, which 3rd Battalion and elements of the Field Artillery unit traveling with the column cleared before the North Koreans sprang an ambush and cut off the rest of the American troops. Attempts to break through the road blocks failed and individuals attempted to make it back to American lines. M/Sgt. Sherman was never seen again and was declared missing on 20 July 1950 and declared dead on 26 January 1954. During the investigation to identify soldier's lost during this battle, the Army contact numerous people who knew M/Sgt. Sherman. One soldier was on leave in the Philippines when the war began and returned to Company L in September 1950. At that time, he said only about three soldiers remained from the pre-war roster. All of the rest were replacements.
In the book, "The Major: Senior Officer in Charge: Commanding Fellow Prisoners of War" by W. Thomas McDaniel, the author recounts that Sgt. Sherman was with him North Korean Prisoner of War camps. It is possible that Sgt. Sherman was captured after 20 July 1950 and died as a POW.
His body was never recovered. He was 30 years old.
Pfc. Short's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Thomas L. Short, 13338374, 5th Regimental Combat Team, 1st Battalion, Company A. Killed in Action on 25 April 1951 near Ukkalgye, South Korea. Born on 8 March 1932, he entered the service on 20 June 1947 from Cumberland, Maryland. |
Pfc. Short originally served in the US military from 20 June 1947 to 12 August 1949 in the United States Marine Corps. He enlisted in the Regular Army on 9 September 1949. On 25 April 1951, the 5th RCT was caught up in the Second Chinese Offensive. They were pulled out of reserve and ordered to cover the withdraw of the 24th Infantry Division. The mounting Chinese pressure forced the 5th RCT to pull out down "Gold Mine Trail." By the time the withdraw began in the afternoon, the Chinese had already moved behind the 5th RCT and ambushed the American column and ambushed the 1st Battalion near Pisi-gol. The resulting battle is remembered as the "Battle of Death Valley." Cut to pieces by the Chinese attack, the surviving American troops, broke off into small groups during the night to make their way back to friendly lines. Pfc. Short was last seen providing covering fire from a ditch on the side of the road. It appears that he was killed by a wound to his left chest.
Pfc. Short's body was not recovered for nearly a year. His body had been secretly buried by a Korean farmer, who later told Americans where to find it. There was no identification on Pfc. Short's body except for a High School Class ring with the initials "D.O.S." on it. The Army was able to discern that the initials matched those of Pfc. Short's wife. This was the key piece of evidence that allowed his body to be identified so that he could be laid to rest at home.
He is buried at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Cumberland, Maryland. He was 19 years old.
Pfc. Thomas L. Short.
(Photo from The Cumberland News, Cumberland, Maryland, 4 November 1952.)
Pfc. Short's headstone at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Sgt. Tindell's Purple Heart.
|Sgt. Edward T. Tindell, RA13212852, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, Company B. Killed in action on 1 September, 1950 near Yongsan, South Korea. Born on 2 November 1927, he entered the service on 23 December 1948 from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.|
Positioned along the last defensible position in Korea and the outer positions of the Pusan Perimeter, the Naktong River, Sgt. Tindell's 9th Infantry Regiment, was hit by the 9th NKPA Division on the night of 31 August, as the North Koreans launched their final attack to drive the U.N. forces from Korea. This opened the battle in what was to be the most bloody and fierce combat of the entire war. Knowing that there was no where to retreat to, and after finding too many American soldiers shot in the back with their hands tied behind their back, the men of the 2nd Infantry Division held their ground and beat off the attacks.
Sgt. Tindell had only recently arrived at the front as a member of 31 black replacements transferred to the 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment on 25 August 1950. Sgt. Tindell would have been one of the first black soldiers to be integrated into previously all white infantry divisions. All of these men were diverted to 1st and 2nd Battalion which was engaged in heavy combat along the Naktong River in the Changyong-Yongsan area. It appears that Sgt. Tindell was serving with Company B, 1st Battalion when he was killed as 10 of the 31 replacements were killed during the night on 31 August - 1 September and there bodies were located in the area where Company B was overrun by North Korean troops in the vicinity of Yongsan and Hill 209.
He is buried at the Baltimore National Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. He was 22 years old.
Sgt. Tindell's headstone at the Baltimore National Cemetery.
Pfc. Turner's Purple Heart.
|Pfc. Ronald L. Turner, RA19358285, 3rd Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Regiment, Company B. Killed in action on 25 April 1951 at Yongwon-ni, South Korea by machine-gun fire. Born on 27 December 1930, he entered the service on 14 April 1950 from Tucson, Arizona. |
On 25 April 1951, Pfc. Turner was struck in the back by enemy machine gun fire during a battle with Chinese troops near Yongwon-ni.
He is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery "Soldier's Plot," Tucson, Arizona. He was 20 years old.