Letters To The Lost From Korea

From Hal and Ted Barker - Throughout Veterans Day and the coming days, we will be placing Letters To The Lost online. Thank you

231



Home Page Letters To The Lost

(1 - 24) (25 - 49) (50 - 74) (75 - 99) (100 - 124) (125 - 149) (150 - 174)
(175 - 199) (200 - 224) (225 - 249)


LETTERS 150 to 174

Letter 150 - Written By:

 

Anonymous Author


Darling Herbert!

On December 1st 1950 you got captured by the North Koreans. And on the 16 of December was your Birthday. And then you got to spend Christmas with the North Korean's. But on February the 10 1951 God came by and got you out of that horrifying place and took you home with him.

I know you are safe and have the best God has to offer his faithful Servants.

But I was left with all the wonderful memories of you. Your beautiful brown eyes the happy smile and the cheerful laughter.

It will soon be fifty six years ago that God come and got you. And all through the years my memory hasn't faded one bit you are with me day and night and will be till God comes for me.

I don't have to sign my name to this you know who I am.

Love you forever



Letter 151 - Written By:

 

Howard W. Rudolph
Wernersville
PA

October 24, 2006

A Letter to My Best Buddy and Crew Who Died instead of Me

I have not forgotten the last night we talked, about your new born son just before you and your crew was to take our place over North Korea so we could have a few days of rest.
I have thought of your son whom you have never seen and prayed that he might grow up proud of what you his father had been and done to free others from tyranny.

This year I traveled to Korea and as we approached Inchon for landing I read your names in honored remembrance in the Korean airspace were you gave your all that others might have a life as free to choose as you.

I want you to know that the world can see a map of the world taken at nights which shows "all of South Korea" covered in the bright light of glorious freedom and may each light shine out as a memorial beacon of thanks to you and for all who gave their lives in unselfish dedication and service to all freemen everywhere.

We never talked about life after death, but following yours I searched to know how to stand before our ALMIGHTY GOD! I want you to know I know the great Love, Mercy and Forgiveness of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST and I seek to make HIM known of all men. That they may know the greatest of freedoms, salvation through the Love of GOD in CHRIST!

Hanging in my study is a golden frame where your names are held in Honored Remembrance and my Korean War Medal is hung there in your memory.

Your buddy who has "not forgotten"

Howard W. Rudolph

-

In Honored Remembrance

Of those who fell instead of me

On the night of September 13, 1952 our Bomber crew was scheduled to bomb a target over North Korea. Instead we were ordered to stand down and take a few days R&R (Rest). Our sister crew and my Buddy were assigned to take our place. This crew taking our place met with heavy and accurate AAA fire, a direct hit caused the bomb load, 20,000 pounds and 3,000 gallons of high octane gasoline to explode in mid air  no, survivors!

These are the names of those who died instead of me.

Bloesch, Fred E

Brown, Nelson M

Dunne, Robert L

Hobday, Jimmie R

Kelly, Henry B

Kelly, James W

LaBaron, James R

Lowe, James A

Peters, Spiro J

Phillis, William K

Royer, Ted R

Trosclair, James 0


Operational summary no. 00257 for the 64tth IAK(Russian unit?) in Andung for September 13, 1952, reported, from 2235 till 0106 (Between the hours of 10:35 until 1:06 AM) the 87th anti-aircraft artillery division fired on 35 B 29's at altitudes ranging from 6800 meters to 7500 meters. Two (2) B-29's were shot down and two (2) more damaged. Part of one (1) downed B-29 and five (5) bodies were found.
*From Soviet document F.10.1 - F. 10.10

The B-29 crew names that were spared are:

Aheron, William D
   
Cayori, Paul G
   
Cox, Junius B
   
Hardebeek, William

Horn, Walter

Hystad, Wallace L
   
Masserini, Albert R

Meshew, Allen D

Montgomery, James D

Rudolph, Howard W

Sopoci, Robert



Letter 152 - Written By:

 

Susan Horn
Loomis
CA

October 24, 2006

Cpl Roland E. J. Horn

2°d Inf Div, B Company, 1/38 Regiment North Korea

Dear Uncle Roland,

This is your niece, Susan, writing. I'm your brother Orland's daughter. Yes, that's right, he actually got married and had two children. (He was the last to get married! Your Mom was getting worried there for a minute). He moved from Illinois out to California in the 1960s because he couldn't take the snow and the cold any more. I'm sure you can appreciate that, considering you fought in much colder weather in North Korea.

Your brother, Orville, became a pastor later in life. I'm sure you can't believe that! (Don't know if you were aware that both he and Orland had joined the Air Force hoping to maybe catch up with you overseas). He was married and had three children and two grandchildren then finally settled in Burkburnett, Texas. He passed away on your birthday this year, January 3. All the brothers came out for the memorial service back home on the farm in Essex. Orville wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread on the farm.

Your brother, Art, is still living on the farm! He is married and has six children and 4 grandchildren. The old house is still standing in the same spot when you left in 1949. Guess the house is now over 140 years old.

Your brother, Arnold, is living in Bourbonnais now. He also married and had three children and has seven grandchildren AND one great-grandchild.

You will be happy to know that your mother is buried next to your memorial stone. She passed away on August 15, 1978. I'm sure if she was alive today she would have written to you as well.

Our thoughts are that some day you will return home. When you finally come home, please forgive us that it took so long to bring you home. We also beg forgiveness from your fellow servicemen who also wait alongside you. We shall never forget.

God bless you, Roland. Your brothers miss you and wonder what could have been...

Love,

Susan



Letter 153 - Written By:

 

Charles P. Egan
Centralia
WA

Dear Sirs,

I lost two high school classmates in Korea. They were 1st cousins and both graduated from a small high school in Henning Minnesota. Charles Melvold graduated in 1948 in a class size of 31 students. Gaylord Melvold graduated in 1951 in the same class as I did. Our class was 35 students strong. As freshman in high school I had the pleasure of playing football with Charles. We both lived in the town of Henning and I was well acquainted with Charles and his sister Shirley, including his family. His father ran the local clock and watch repair store in our little town. After graduation "Charlie" enlisted in the Marines and after one tour of duty in Korea, then he returned for his 2nd tour when he was killed in action in 1951. As you can well imagine he is greatly missed by everyone in our small town.

Gaylord Melvold enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school and served in an artillery unit in Korea. A North Korean unit overran his artillery emit in June of 1953. He was wounded and survived several days, but died from his wounds just a few days before the Korean Conflict (as it was called) ended in 1953. Gaylord was an only child, who lived with his parents on a farm just a few miles out of Henning.

Our class, which has class reunions every 5 years in Henning Minnesota, always has a moment of silence in his memory prior to our celebrating. "Gay" was a real quiet soft-spoken young man, but he was a joy to be with. It is really sad that he isn't around to celebrate with us during our class reunions. This past July we held our 55th class reunion. We had 22 classmates in attendance, out of the possible 29 surviving classmates, traveling from Florida, Washington and many points in between.

We all sit around and talk, sometimes exaggerate, about situations that occurred during high school classes or during other parties or meetings held outside of school. I am sure he would have had as great time as we all do. We all miss you "Gay".

Charles P. Egan

US Army 1953 - 1955



Letter 154 - Written By:

 

Christine (Byrne) Percherke
Pittsburgh
PA

October 24, 2006

Dear Uncle Joey,

I'm writing to you today because I wanted to let you know how much your family has missed you since you were taken from us that day in Korea. My mother, Evelyn, spoke of you often and I still have your wallet and a couple of letters that she saved all of these years. She could never bear to part with them and when she passed away I brought these things to my house. When I see them I think of you and of all the stories your sisters and brothers told about you. Almost all of your family is gone now, Ann and John are the only two left and it breaks my heart to see you all go. I'm hoping that you all have hooked up again in heaven and are enjoying each other like you did while you were here together.

I don't remember you because I was only a baby when you left for the war, but I know that I took my first steps to you. Somehow knowing about that has always made me feel a special bond with you. You look so handsome in all of the pictures we have of you. My mom loved you very much and I don't think she ever got over losing you. Your sister Ann ended up with your Purple Heart medal and my mom often wished that she had gotten it because she wanted to frame it along with the photograph of you in your uniform. Aunt Annie told me that she is going to leave me the medal in her will. When she does I am going to fulfill my mom's wish and frame it just the way she wanted. We have never forgotten you Uncle Joey. I only wish I had gotten to know you better, love you longer, spend more time with you and walk more than just a few steps in your company.

Love,

Your niece Christine

P. S. I'm not a little baby anymore Joey, I just turned 58 years old.....all of those years that could have been spent with you are gone, but in all of those years you have never been forgotten.



Letter 155 - Written By:

 

David A. Velasco
Houston
TX

Frank A. Velasco

MIA 12/1950

East of Chosin Reservoir North Korea

Dear Big Brother,

It has been a long time. There are only two of us left at home that you knew (Rue and me).

But there are kids and grandkids. You know the Velasco "red blotch" on our foreheads. Well, our kids and grandkids have it too! Mom is really strong in my oldest daughter, Virginia.

Our grandbaby, Michael, Virginia's son, looks just like you. He has your dimple and smile. You'd think he was your kiddo, he looks so much like you.

We'll keep you in our prayers till you come home! Love,

Your Little Brother,

David



Letter 156 - Written By:

 

SFC Curtis J. Banker US Army Retired
Schuyler Falls
NY

Sgt. Howard W. Hall

Scout Section

73rd Heavy Tank Battalion

Dear Howard,

I am writing to let you know what I have been doing since leaving Korea. A lot has happened since then.

I rotated back to Ft. Lewis, WA. In June, 1951. From there I went to Ft. Dix, NJ and went home to northern NY on leave. My wife and children were glad to see me, as well as my other relatives. I was assigned to Brooklyn as a National Guard instructor, then to Camp Drum, near Watertown, with the 278th Infantry.

We had winter maneuvers there. In January, 1953, I rotated to Bad Kissingen, Germany. I was assigned to the 14th Armored Cavalry which was patrolling the border of East Germany. There was no housing for my family so they were left in NY during my tour.

In Jan., 1956 I rotated to Fort Benning , GA. I was assigned to the 714th Tank Bn., which was being rotated as a unit, to Schweinfurt, Germany. We could take our family with us on this tour. We left in January, 1957 on operation Gyroscope, where a whole unit replaced another unit.

In Dec., 1959 my family and I rotated to Fort Hood, Tx. and I joined the 2nd Armored Division. This was the last unit I served in before retiring with 20 years of service on Dec. 1St, 1963.

After retirement I worked on several different jobs. My first real job was in Connecticut, at North Haven, where they made parts for Jet engines for the F-111. After 4 years, my wife had eye surgery. I left that job to be with the children and went to work at the Hospital for the next 5 years as a steam boiler operator.

In May of that year, I moved my family to Chicago. I was employed, as a security guard, for a private Investigator Agency. I lived there for a year and moved to Russellville, Missouri. I was employed at the State Correctional Facility as a correction Officer and was Elected as Alderman, in Russellville, where I had bought a home.

In 1983, I was getting close to retirement age. I decided to return to someplace closer to my family so I went to work for Terradyne, Inc. in Nashua, NH. As a machine operator. I remained there until I was old enough to get Social Security and retire on June 1st, 1986.

Getting used to retirement was very hard to get used to so I volunteered for veterans organizations and did some gardening. In 1996, I decided to start looking for old buddies and formed the 73rd Tankers Association of which I am still president. I am still locating members from Korea, to present, that served in the 73rd . We have a reunion every year in different States. This keeps me busy and gives me much pleasure.

I must close now. I miss you my friend.

Your Comrade in arms,

SFC Curtis Banker, US Army - Retired



Letter 157 - Written By:

 

Rhama Powell
Phoenix
AZ

WILLIAM S. POWELL (Bill) RA19352913

US ARMY

KILLED: Sept. 2, 1950

Dear Bill,

I was only 9 when you gave your life so we could have the freedom we so cherish today.

Today, I am 65 years old, live & work in Phoenix AZ and hopefully can retire next year and move closer to the mountains. I remember you loved going to the mountains in the jeep fishing & hunting with your friend, Earl and our family.

Our parents grieving over the loss of you was so difficult for them and for us, your brother, Steve, sisters, Gay, Nera, Layne and me. Every day a box or letter would come from the government with your belongings and our mother's heart would break again.

I married John in 1959 and have three beautiful children, Lori & her husband Darryl, who have 2 daughters, Ashlee & Morgan and a beautiful granddaughter, Kylee age 2. They live in Beaverton Oregon.

Chad, we don't know where he is and I worry every day about him. He is a lot like you in personality and sensitivity. I'm asking you to keep an eye on him and keep him safe.

Russell is married to Jodi and has 3 beautiful children; Julia, Dawson & Karstyn. He has his own business with 2 stores.

My family is my life and you are a part of it; on your birthday, on the date you left us and when I see anything patriotic I think of you.

I miss you, think of you and I'm making a scrapbook so my children and grandchildren will know you. I do not miss the little thumps on my head you seemed to think was cute.

I'm sorry you only had 20 years of life but so grateful to you for the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy our lives in freedom.

I love you, Bill.

Your little sis,

Rhama



Letter 158 - Written By:

 

John R. Dawson
Norwalk
OH

October 28, 2006

Dear Leo:

I remember well the positive influence you had on me as a young boy. One who lived down the street from you. You were like the big brother I never had. My being a new guy to the area I was taken under your wing which helped me adjust to the difficulties which a youngster can face after changing schools at the age of nine. Yourself being a foster child may have been what brought out the big brother qualities.in you.

As was not unusual in those early days before the Korean War, you left high school for whatever reason, and joined the Army. I can still recall when you brought me a box full of your "stuff" to keep for my own before you were to leave.
I remember when you came home for the first time after boot camp. You were walking over to my house when I seen you coming. I ran across the yard, and you swept me up in your arms for a big hug.

For a gift you had secreted away from the rifle range a half dozen or so spent shell casings to give me which made me feel so proud! You looked so soldierly in your khaki uniform. Soon thereafter you went off to war, and once again all too soon, you were reported as missing in action. I still remember my mother showing me the little article in the paper which made the announcement, and that was some 56 years ago. I was too young to realize the full seriousness of the moment, but it did make me unhappy. That is also still a memory.

We moved away from Creston, but you were not forgotten. As I grew to adulthood I thought of you from time to time and at age 19 I enlisted in the Marines. My 3 years were served without a wartime incident so I never experienced the horrors of combat which you went through. Not to mention the terrible deprivations that you must have endured in the hands of your vicious North Korean captors Were you wounded? Did they brutalize, and torture you? They were noted for that!

We never knew what happened to you even though I made inquiries over the years. I did however, learn of a website for Korean War veterans which led me to discover that you were declared officially dead in 1954, and that you were listed as a POW. I found out what unit you served with through the site, and also learned of a program to collect DNA samples from relatives of those who did not return. I was then inspired to write a letter to the editor of a paper who served the area in which Creston is located requesting that any of your known family members get in touch with me.

I received several responses to the letter. One was from a lady who said that she thought that you were once a little sweet on her, and that you would ride your bike out to their farm. She was able to provide me with the names of a brother, and sister who would have been your niece, and nephew. Unfortunately their mother, your sister, had recently passed away, but I was able to contact the children, and your nephew said he would check in at the website to make the necessary arrangements for the DNA samples.

Times are again troubled with North Korea, and I fear it will be a long time before search teams will be allowed into that country to resume their search for the remains of those who did not return. I believe your spirit is in a better place, and is in peace. However, my great hope is that in my lifetime your bodily remains will be returned to your country, and be laid to rest in a place of honor, for you are one of my heroes.

Sincerely, your boyhood friend

John (Johnny) Dawson



Letter 159 - Written By:

 

Douglas W. Downey
Northbrook
IL

11 November 2006

Dear Ronnie,

Most of the members of our class  the Glenbard High School Class of 1947 - went off to college. You stayed behind, unable to afford tuition costs, and joined the Army. You were sent to Japan as part of the occupation force. Your unit's equipment was not updated - all of the top materials went to Europe  and your superiors failed to provide a high level of training. When the North Koreans crossed the 38th Parallel and we sent in our troops, you were included. You and your comrades fought well, but you didn't have much of a chance against the overwhelming odds in those early days.

You were barely 21 years old when you were killed, in August, 1950. Your high school classmates were about to become seniors in college, confident that the war would be over before they had to worry about it. But three of us  Ed, Bob, and I - eventually ended up in Korea. The only other casualty from our class was my close friend Carlos, who died when his F-86 crashed during a training mission in Illinois.

We remember you, Ronnie, and we remember Carlos. We also remember Fred  brother of our classmate Pat  who was killed in 1945 on Okinawa.

Your classmate,

Doug



Letter 160 - Written By:

 

Carol (Swetnam) Cassady
Monroe
GA

October 25, 2006

Corporal Bobby Ellis Akers RA13338113

Dear Bobby,

You may or may not remember me. I am your cousin Carol Swetnam. My mother, your Aunt Edith, was your fathers sister. I know you will remember my brother, Buddy, as the two of you spent time together. I was only eight years old when you jointed the army and when off to war.

You were only nineteen at the time. Boy do the years fly by! What do I wish to tell you since you left West Virginia?

Bobby our family would visit your family through out the years. We often had Akers get together at your parents home through the years. I remember you because of pictures I have of you. Your parents left your room just like you left it. We could look in the room as children but were never allowed to enter that I can remember. Your passing must have left a large whole in your parents heart. I was just to young to remember some of the things. One of the memories I have of your mom was lemonade and cookies. When we would visit with mom and dad your mom would always have lemonade and cookies.

It has been many years since I was by your home place in Princeton. I was taken by surprise when I discovered it was no only there but I continue to remember it and the good times we had as a family.

Well most of the family has passed on Bobby. I heard from your sister a couple of times through the years. Aunt Evelyn, your only dads sister, is still alive and living in Ohio. My brother, Buddy, passed away four years ago with cancer.

I left West Virginia in the 1960's and went to Washington, DC to work. I met my husband, Royce, while he was in the Air Force.

Bobby I would like to hug your neck and tell you many things. I would say Bobby I am sorry that you life was taken in the war. I will never forget you and the sacrifice you made. You will always be a wonderful memory to me. You are not forgotten! I am so proud of you and the service you rendered for me and all of us in America.

Oh the courage you had for entering in the service of the Army. Freedom continues today to be very fragile. So many have given their lives through the years for me and all of America. I have great pride in you and the sacrifice you made of laying down your life that I might have the freedoms I enjoy in this great land of America!

Bobby, God bless you and God bless America!

Until we meet again.

Your cousin,

Carol (Swetnam) Cassady



Letter 161 - Written By:

 

Clark L. McMinn
Hamlet
NE

Erwin Alfred Havranek
   
Nick Name Yo-Yo

B Co. 38th Inf. Regt. 2nd Inf. Div.


Hi Yo-Yo old buddie, I looked for you for 5o years and then found out you had been a POW and then was killed in action. I have been trying to find some of your relatives to get a DNA but no luck so far but will keep on looking. I made it home with 2 purple hearts. Worked on a farm and then took up the electrical trade. I married and have 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl,and now have 7 grandchildren.

Have always told my kids and others about what you and I did in the short time we were together. How we almost got a section 8, that we didn't want, for the things we pulled but with what happened to you maybe it would have been OK.

I am retired now and have been going to alot of veteran reunions. Sure wish things could have ended up different so we could nave been together at the reunions so we could have told alot of old war stories my wife and I helped put together

My wife and I helped put together a Korean War Museum in remembrance of all you guys that didn't make it back, but the guy in charge took all the money and pocketed it so that was the end of the museum.

We sure enjoyed doing the museum to honor you all. We have not forgotten you.

Well Yo-Yo I hope that where ever you are that you are doing OK. Keep your chin up and maybe we will meet again someday. Your name is on several memorial plaques so you are not forgotten.

Your old buddie Clark

The guy with the dog



Letter 162 - Written By:

 

Dan L. McKinney
Clovis
NM

To SFC Dave Grass Jr.

I hope you remember me, cuz I sure remember you. We were on a train, first part of our journey to God knew where to do God knew what. I knew you were a good, kind man, just for the fact you let me get some sleep in your bunk on the train. I remember talking with you, sharing stories about family and such. I also remember that you were married and had a son. I wondered about you while serving over there. We ran into each other at the hospital, wounded, and that was the last time I saw you.

After I got released I heard that you had been killed in action not too far from where I had been captured, and that you died a hero serving your country. I guess if you had to be called Home, I can't think of a more honorable way to go. I was held prisoner for most of the war, and have no idea why some of us got out alive, and others didn't. I guess as long as we are still on this earth we will never understand why. Some day though, when we are all together again in the Presence of our Lord and Savior, we will fully understand the reason for everything. We can only hold onto that hope.

I want you to know that over the past few years I have gotten to know someone who I know is very special to you. It was sort of by accident, but I think that probably there was a much bigger reason. A young man by the name of Ken got in touch with me. Turns out that he had a dad who was killed in Korea that he had never met. Well, right away, I knew that he was your son. Had to be. Just so you know, your wife raised a fine young man. You would be so proud of him. He is a band director at The University of Tulsa, and married to a very nice lady named Judy. He thinks he is lucky to know me, and even calls me "Sarg." However, just between me and you, Dave, I am the lucky one. He is a good man. He has tremendous love and respect for his dad that he never even got to know. I knew he was your son right away because he has your same kindness and giving spirit in his soul. You have actually been apart of him his whole life and he is living it, in very loving memory of his hero - his dad.

I just wanted you to know that you have been missed, loved and honored. You did not die in vane You have not, nor will ever be forgotten. Your name lives proudly on in a wonderful man named Ken Grass. I have had the most fortunate opportunity to meet father and son. I am so thankful for that and my life has been made richer for knowing both of you..

With much love and respect,

Your friend

Dan L. McKinney



Letter 163 - Written By:

 

Jan Hardy Williams
Lewisville
TX

To Sgt. Edgar Warren Hardy

Dear Daddy,

Where do I start? I have been talking to you for years in my head, but I have never sat down and put what I want you to know on paper. Let me start by saying that I feel that I was cheated because I never got to know you. Those who did know you said that you were quite a guy. I also found out that you had a kind of strange sense of humor, so between you and Mother, I guess I was marked to begin with.

Our childhood was good. You did a really great job when you picked Mother out to have your children. She was a wonderful mother. Considering some of the things that we did to her, I am surprised that she didn't lock all three of us in the closet. We could, at times, be a trying bunch. We used to choose sides to decide who to pick on, two against one. It pretty much changed every day. However, when somebody else was picking on one of us, we became a solid line and stood up for each other.

After we graduated from college, my husband and I moved to Gallup, NM, where we spent the next 32 years. Curtis and I are both teachers. He teaches history and PE and I mostly taught PE, but have also taught English, history, and home economics. After retiring from the Gallup Schools we moved to Lewisville, TX, where we present¬ly live. I teach home economics at a middle school.

Curtis and I have two beautiful sons, Nathan Warren and Eric Curt. You can really tell they are your grandsons because they both have your eyes and your mouth and chin. I am so lucky to have two such great young men.

Nathan is 28. He and his wife, Teisha, live in Kempner, TX. Nathan is an athletic trainer at Copperas Cove High School and Tee is a labor/delivery room nurse on base at Fort Hood. So far, they have no children but are trying to start a family. Nathan loves to read and to play with his guns. He hasn't done too much hunting, but he target shoots and is learning to do reloading.

Eric is 25. He graduated from high school at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. He received three appointments to go to West Point. After his plebe year, he decided that he really did not want to belong to the US government and left the Point. (I know that this is selfish on part, but considering the war in Iraq, I am so glad that he made that decision.) He lives in Chicago where he is trader in Euro dollars at the Mercantile Exchange. I do not have a clue what it is that he does, but he does it well. He is not married.

Jody and Sherry both have beautiful families. Jody has 2 boys and 3 girls and Sherry has 5 daughters. Between them there are 15 grandchildren. Fourteen of them belong to Sherry.

I know that you already know that we lost Mother to a drunk driver and Jody to Hepatitis C because I am sure they are both up there with you where you can take care of them again. Mother was killed the year before Nathan was born, so my guys were cheated twice, because they did not have the opportunity to know either you or Mother.

Sherry and I have been lucky enough to meet up with a group called the Tiger Survivors. These are the guys that were in the same prisoner of war camp you were in. We have met a couple of guys who knew you, one when you were in Japan and one who was in the same room with you at the camp. They both told us that you were truly a good person.

You should be so proud of Jody. He joined the army when he was 17. At one time he was in the Honor Guard in Arlington and later went to Vietnam with the Big Red One. I need to tell you a Jody story because I am sure he would never tell you this. He was never one to toot his own horn. He did not tell me this story, because he knew it would make me cry and Jody would never have done anything to make me cry. One of his jobs in Arlington was to guard the Tomb of the Unknown. He told Tim Casey, who is one of the men who works with the Tiger Survivors, that at night when it was cold and dark and he was guarding the tomb that he would think, "This one is for you, Dad." Although he always told me that my standards were not very high, Jody was my hero.

Sherry and I live about 25 miles from each other now and I cherish the time that we are able to spend together. We try to get together at least every other weekend and do something together even it is just to raid fabric stores. (That is Mother's influence.)

Daddy, I am so sorry that we lost you before we ever got a chance to know you and I appreciate the things that you did to make this country a good place for me and my children to grow up. I hope that, whatever cloud you are on, you know how proud I am that you were my dad and how much I love you. Take care of Mother and Jody. We will catch you later.

Love, Jan



Letter 164 - Written By:

 

Irene Krakovsky
Elkin
NC

Dear Ted,

I know you will hear my letter, because I pray for you all the time and I know you hear my prayers. So where should I begin to tell you about how I've grown up and my family.

Ted, I know you would like my husband, Joe. Joe is from the old school, if you know what I mean. He is of Slovak descent. I think you would have liked Joe's father, too. I was very fortunate that Joe's family liked me and they were always nice to me. Joe's sisters even told me that they never received a dozen of roses as I did when I had my first son.

My children are very special, and I know you would approve of how we raised them. Even Uncle Walter told us that we had the best children in the family. We have four children, but I guess you know that: two boys and two girls. I have spoken of you frequently to our children and I think they feel as they know you.

Our daughter, Ronnie, (really it's Veronica Marie, but the siblings could never get out such a difficult name, so we called her Ronnie), took me to the Korean Veterans Wall when we were close to Washington, DC, and I did find your name. How proud, and sad, I was to see your name there. I would have preferred that you came home to us and lived with us, but life doesn't always give us just what we want. We have to learn to live and accept God's will. As I said before, you are always in my thoughts, and always will be! I love you, Ted.

I still remember ironing your heavily starched uniforms and I was very proud to do it. I always thought how strong you were, to carry 25# of flour and 25# of sugar, all the way up the hill so Mom would have supplies to bake. I know you liked dogs, and our Ronnie bought me a Collie pup. I never actually had a dog of my own, but I am learning to take care of him and live with a puppy.

How I wish I could see you, Ted, and talk with you. Maybe you can visit me in a dream sometime and we will be able to talk I often wonder how our lives would turn out, if you were able to return home. You will forever be very special to me, and perhaps, in the future, in another life, we will meet again.

My Dear Brother, I did not approve of losing you, but I was so proud that you were in the service. I will continue to pray for you daily.

Love, your youngest sister,

Irene



Letter 165 - Written By:

 

Dale Keller
Sandy
OR

October 29, 2006

REMEMBERING: HOMER JAMES LANDERS, PFC, USMC

BORN FEBRUARY 11, 1931

KIA MAY 29, 1951 NEAR YANGU, KOREA

Dear Jim:

It is Veterans Day 2006 and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since we lived across the street from each other in Seattle in the late 1940's. I'm sorry I have not written to you sooner but like everyone else, you get involved with family, activities, work, etc. and just keep putting off the letter writing.

I'm sure you can recall the good times when the "7" of us guys hung out together. Remember, we called ourselves the "Cassolotti Boys" and each of us had a nick name. Those over night party's at your moms house and the one's we attended on Magnolia were really great weren't they. The old Ford Model "A" rag top that you, Burton and I purchased was eventually sold to our good buddy Doug Froling. I must say however, I never received any of my money back and I'm not sure if you ever did either prior to your going to Korea.

The summer of 1949, when you, Jim Burton and I spent working on road construction projects in Montana was probably the hi-lite of the 40's for me. How about you?? By the way, I do see Burton quite often at the monthly luncheons that about 25 of us attend at the Yardarn Tavern in DesMoines Washington. All of us think of you quite often and wish you could be with us, unfortunately, life is not always fair to all Marines.

I served as a Marine in Korea some time after you did so I am aware of the terrain, landmarks, villages etc. About 6 years ago I spent a lot of time researching Marine Corps Records to determine exactly when and where you were KIA and what your company objective were at that time. The data I obtained from the Marine Corps Records and History, was shared with all of our old friends. I was surprised to find that you were actually wounded in February of 1951, however it was not very severe so you were obviously sent back on the line after 3 weeks re-cooperating. In retrospect, it's to bad your wound couldn't have been more severe because if it had, you could have been sent home and I'm sure you would be joining us every month for lunch at the Yardarn Tavern.

Jim, I also want you to know that about 5 years ago I was able to locate your two brothers, a nephew Tom Jr, who you never knew and a friend Dick Kelley, who lived with all of you in the Queen Anne house in the late1940's. Since none of your family live in the area, for the last 6 years on Memorial Day, my wife and I place flowers on your grave site, located in Willamette National Cemetery here in Portland Oregon. Last year two of my grand children attended the visit with us as we both feel it is important the current generation be aware of the sacrifice that good people like you have done for all of us living today, this Veterans Day, 2006.

Unfortunately, we still have problems in the world. North Korea is even stronger today than it was in the 1950's and is still a threat to our country and the world.

Semper Fi Dale Keller USMCR



Letter 166 - Written By:

 

James S. Beggs
Bayonet Point
FL

October 25, 2006

To those Korean Veterans left behind

I visited you at the Military Cemetary in Seoul on or about July 27, 2003 along with my now deceased wife along with 400 other US Korean military veterans. With us were 800 other Korean veterans from the other 21 countries who served with us in Korea.

Our purpose in being there was to celebrate the signing of the 50th year Armistice agreement between north and south Korea at Pan Mun Jom.

We saw each and every one of your names inscribed on the Wall of Fame at the war museum in Seoul. We traced the names of familiar names and brought them back to the US for friends. The inscribed wall and the number of graves at the Cemetery told quite a story, one I'll never forget.

My cousin Bob Strachan was one of you. He was captured and held as a POW in North Korea. He has since died and unfortunately never did recover mentally from his captivity with the North Koreans.

Personally, I was a crew member of an Air Rescue unit who flew combat missions over the fighting in 1952-53. Our unit rescued several downed pilots who fortunately did not make the Wall of Fame or the military cemetery. Our Air Rescue motto was "These things we do that others may live". You died for us and hopefully, not in vain. You are gone but never will be forgotten.

The theme for our 2003 visit to Korea was "Freedom is NOT Free". You, our hero's, proved that by giving up your young lives that we may live.

God Bless each and every one of you and your families.

J.S. Beggs



Letter 167 - Written By:

 

Brenda Paynter
Huntington
IN

Dear Brison,

This is your niece Brenda. I am writing because I want you to know how very proud we all are of you. I never got to meet you but I feel that I know you through mom and the family. I have researched to find out all that I could about you. I wanted to know some of the things that you liked to do.

My children, Michael and Heather are so proud of you. They ask about you from time to time. They have taken your photo and infonnation about your service to school and displayed it on Veterans Day. They had such pride for having a great uncle like you. I wish you could have known my children and my family. One of the things you liked to do was draw. My son, Michael loves to draw and enjoys reading. You also loved to write letters. My daughter, Heather loves to write. She writes poetry and short stories. Both of our kids have been in the spelling bees. Our son has made it to Washington, D.C. for the last 3 years. We visited the Memorial there each time.

I have your picture along with my other two uncles, your brothers, sitting by my desk. I am so very proud of all of you. I had the best uncles that I could have asked for. I am so lucky. You all fought for our country and for our freedom. I thank you so very much for watching over us.

Before I go I just want to say that I love you so very much. You will always be important in my life. I will never forget you. I am sending you a BIG HUG! God bless you.

Love always,

Brenda Paynter



Letter 168 - Written By:

 

Sally King Russell
Port Charlotte
FL

EDMUND KING

He was the love of my mother's life. Young, tall, handsome, and he loved my mother. I had only her stories of him, and stories from his devoted sister, Shirley, to teach me know who he was and how he lived.

Before going to Korea, he came home briefly to see his two sons. I was the little surprise left behind. While in his letters it was obvious he wanted another "little soldier", he got a daughter. He never knew that, as he was captured, and all of my mother's letters announcing my arrival were returned.

Growing up, I believed that we had buried the wrong person, and my father was still in Korea, with amnesia! I knew he would someday remember who he was and come home.

As I grew older, I realized that was never going to happen. My mother raised us as best she could, even re-married briefly; but to know her and talk to her, she never loved anyone as she loved her "Ed".

I have known that kind of love, and I know its power. I know my mother, deceased since 1967, is with my father in heaven and together at long last.

I wish I had even but one memory of my father that was my own, not a recount of someone else. But, I do not. It has not, however, stopped me from loving him and knowing how my mother's love for him influenced my life.

Edmund King. Lover, husband, father, and soldier.

Sally King Russell



Letter 169 - Written By:

 

Robert Richison
Siren
WI

November 12, 2006

Hi Mendoza:

Many times I think of that terrible day and that firefight, and you remember Ron Sanchez and l carrying you back, to go to the Aid Station. Remember Miranda was hit too and he was carried back along with us. Hope you understand when you asked what was on your face and mouth, and I said "mud". It was blood, but I wanted you to feel that there was hope. Then we were pinned down by snipers, but we got you guys out of there.

I know you're doing well and am so glad to have known you, if just for a short time.

My life has been good. I have a perfect wife and two perfect sons, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I made my living as a musician and then a barber. I do have a spine disease but after what we went through I have no complaints. Tell God "hi" and I'll see you down the road somewhere.

An old Army buddy,

Rich



Letter 170 - Written By:

 

Ed D. Beard
Aurora
Co

Letter to Bob

PFC(E-3) Robert C. Orris RA 13382749

38th Inf Rgt, 2nd Inf Div

Hi Bob,

Hard to believe it's been 55 years or so since I last saw you. what a deceptive guy you were. You were a quiet, shy, but confident young man. But when it came to any sports you participated in you became such an aggressive, but clean player, and excelled in all of them.

I knew you had enlisted in the us Army in 1952, because you always had that demeanor that good solid American patriots possess.

I enlisted in the AF in 1952 with the hopes of being assigned to Korea
to see you again. when I finished my technical training in march of 1953, insted of being assigned to Korea, i WAS picked off, against my will, to be a technical instructor. I did not know at the time, you had made the supreme sacrifice for your nation.

I arrived in Korea in Jan 1954 and found out then what had happened to you. As I travelled around that devastated country I was overwhelmed at the brutality of the weather and terrain, and was humbled greatly by knowing the conditions when you were there.

After leaving Korea, i decided to make a career of the Air Force. From Korea I was assigned to a remote Island in the Bering sea, where we kept a close eye on the soviet Air Force located at Provadynia Air Base, some 60 miles away.

After that I came back to the states, got married, and became of all things, a weather forecaster. what a great job, and I developed a great admiration for those who flew our aircraft.

My wife and I had four children, one of whom we lost in 1998. This daughter was the only one of my kids who married, so we have only 2 grandchildren.

I have thought of you so often over the years when we used to run around with Dwight Good (who is also gone now) and Ron Kepple. what golden days those were! Knowing you, you would have been a terrific dad and would have instilled your great sense of morality, and of right and wrong in your children. You, and so many like you, will always be my personal heroes. Thank God such men as you continue to exist. Our guys in Vietnam, Desert storm and in Iraq had such a tremendous set of boots to fill. It was people like you, my friend, who led the way.

This nation can never thank you enough.

Ed Beard

CMSgt, USAF, Retired



Letter 171 - Written By:

 

Alton J. Nelsen
Federal Way
WA

October 26, 2006

Frank Miles, Detroit, MI

H/3/5, 1st Marine Division

KIA 03/26/53

Well Frank, a lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last 50 plus years, there's been several wars and an awful lot of young men, like you, have died in the defense of our way of life. I have thought of you often over the years and, even more since all the attention that was paid to the Korean War during 50th anniversary functions a few years back.

I got back home to Seattle in early 1954 and was discharged in May of that year. I went back to the factory job I had before I enlisted and resumed my life about the same as before I went in. I started taking evening classes at the local college and continued going to college on and off until I earned a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Washington. I bet you never thought I would ever be a college graduate.

I married in the mid 1950's and my wife and I have two sons who grew up to be fine men. We celebrated our 50th anniversary this year and are in reasonably good health. One of my sons was in Korea on business early this year and visited the war memorial that they have there. He took a photo of your name on the list of KIA and sent it to me.

I often wonder if we would have connected again if you had made it through, we sure had fun when we went on liberty together from Camp LeJeune. Remember the time we spent the night in the Wilmington, North Carolina jail? They trucked us back to the base the next morning in an MP vehicle and dumped us in the middle of the company formation.

I guess this pretty well summarizes what I have been up to since I last saw you Frank. Life has been pretty good to me and I sure wish you had made it through to see all that has happened since the end of the Korean War.

Your good pal,

Al



Letter 172 - Written By:

 

Dr. Michael R. Hebert
Minneapolis
MN

This letter is written to my father, Capt. Robert R. Hebert. He was a B-29 bomber pilot and died in a raid between Okinawa and China. It was in 1952.

Dear Dad:

Growing up without you was difficult. I was 8 years old when you were declared MIA. The telegram came to the house and it was devastating. Your wife, Lola, took it very hard. Her life was never the same. She suffered from depression and never remarried. She loved you until she passed away in 1999. You were always her number one guy through all her years of loneliness.

She did her best to raise the three children. But there wasn't much money. She really could have used your help.

All three of us grew up as normally as you could expect. We all went to college. I even went on to earn a PhD. Our sister, Pam, was killed in an auto accident in 1967. This was also devastating.

Fast forward to the present. Lola and Pam are gone. Rich, the younger brother, is still living in California. But we are not close. The family disruption caused by your death left severe scars. Not your fault, I know. We were just dealt an unfair hand. I often wonder how things might have been had you been sent back home to us a month before your plane exploded...as they had promised. But this speculation leads to nothing positive. All these years, and it is still painful.

I have been in Hawaii to the Punchbowl Memorial where your name is inscribed. I have sat down and had imaginary conversations with you. But it doesn't help. Nothing helps. My bitterness will never go away.

I am 62 now. Not much time left for me.

I wish we could use a "do-over" and replay the years leading up to your being called to Okinawa. Maybe there would be a way to change the reality that we all had to endure.

But there are no do-over's in life.

I heard that you were a very good man. I hope you are resting in peace.

Love,

Your Son

Dr. Michael R. Hebert



Letter 173 - Written By:

 

Peggy J. Wurtz Atteberry
Kanosh
UT

November 11, 2006

Dear Arthur:

In the Army they called you Clyde, but your friends and family knew you as Arthur. In just a few days (November 15) it will be your 76th. birthday, but on November 25, 1950 the Army reported you as missing in action. That was such a horrible time for your whole family.

Now some fifty-six years later they are holding a Memorial Service in Washington D. C. to honor those who served in Korea and to honor Those Who Were Lost Forever by reading a letter written by someone who misses you so much. I am a member of the Korean War Project and that is how I found out about the Memorial Service honoring with a letter. I still have the two letters, from you, one dated September 29, 1950 and the other written November 23, 1950 the last one mailed December 2, 1950 by someone after you were reported missing.

Even though we are just cousins I have always had a special place in my heart for you. It is impossible to bring you up to date as to the progress of our families. Your Mother never was the same after hearing that you were missing in action, she missed you so much and the fact that you were never found was especially hard for her. She passed away in 1971 at the age of 69 still wondering where you were. Junior (later used his given name, Henry) joined the army after the news that you were missing hoping to find you in Korea, but with no luck.

All of your aunts and uncles have since passed and all but one of your siblings. Bobby is still the renegade as he was when he was younger but from the last report is alive and doing his thing. He doesn't keep in contact much with your many nieces and nephews, but I talked to him a few years ago and he sounded like the old Bobby we always knew. Your two half brothers, Dick and Gene Jones are still around. I saw them at a high school reunion about three years ago and they were as neat as ever.

I have some wonderful news to tell you. We (meaning some very smart people) now have a new way of identifying and connecting remains of someone to a family member so that if your remains are located they can check the DNA bank and hopefully find a match. Your sister, Kate's, daughter Caroline Keeling and your half brother Dick Jones gave their DNA. It is very complicated to try to explain but has done so much not only with lost and missing people, but with finding criminals and finding birth parents.

I am doing good, living in Utah because California is over-run with people. Therefore everyone needs their own car and the freeways (supposed to be easier driving) are loaded with cars going in all directions, so most of us natives of San Dimas have taken to living in more remote areas, mostly out of California. Lyle lives in Arizona and Donnie is in Oregon. We are all grandparents and great grandparents, just getting older and older each day.

So with this little bit of news I will close. There is so much more to tell but if every one writes a letter to those that have served it would take a very long time to read them all. With the DNA bank, hopefully one day you can come home where you belong and we can all put a closure to your missing and that will makes us all happy.

Hurry home, until then I remain, your Cousin and Friend,

Love,

Peggy



Letter 174 - Written By:

 

Dale W. Cain Sr.
Buckeye
AZ

October 24, 2006

To the lost on Pork Chop Hill, 1953

In memory of all those who were lost to us forever. The men I knew. Men of Company A, 17th. Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

It has been over 53 years since I last stepped foot on Pork Chop Hill. If I could stand on that ground again I would tell you that your sacrifice is not Forgotten nor did it go for naught. You and men like you have kept us free through the ages. The sad part is that there are people out there that don't care and will challenge democracy now and in the future.

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE and your loss speaks loud and clear. May we all hold up the standard for those who follow us.

I fly the MIA Flag and will, as long as I am able, or until all of you are returned home. I fly the MIA Flag right beneath our honorable "Ole Glory" in memory of all of you. I could put a name to many of you but that would not be fare to the rest that I did not know.

Many were drafted and some volunteered to serve but in the final call you all fought like all valiant Hero's. Each and everyone gave your all. We have not thanked you for this offering but as we look upon our past, may we never forget you and those you left behind.

Because of you, I was able to return to the states and finish my enlistment. After 21 years in police work I tried to retire but you kept me going. I now have two married children and one served in the Air Force.

Each day as I walk out my front door I look up at "Ole Glory". I am reminded of the sacrifice you made to keep our country free.

I AM FREE--THANK YOU.

Dale W. Cain, Sr.

Corporal Dale W. Cain

RA 19358197


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