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 1 to 24

Letter 1 - Written By:

 

Will Johnson


November 2, 2006

Dear James, John, Robert, Morris, Les, Ernie, Press,
Carl, Baron, Leonard, Tommy, John L., Philip, Donald,
Jerry, Billy, Michael, Philip N., Paul, Edgar, and
Terry:

Never a day goes by that I don't reflect on your
memory and the sacrifice you yielded for our freedom.
I thank you for my family and the opportunities I have
had these past forty years.

My life has been filled with joy and sorrow as is to
be expected. Yet, but for your personal sacrifice and
service to America it would not have been the same.

I was CQ on November 2, 1966 when the initial ambush
took place. I can only trust that I performed my
duties as was expected of me. Yet, I have been
haunted all these years that my communication skills
were not up to par and that response time was lost.

Such is the burden I carry.

Regards,

Will

Editor Note: Korea, along the DMZ 1966



Letter 2 - Written By:

 

Suzi Horowitz (Cherry)
Atlanta
GA

Dear Daddy,

I was almost 5 years old when you went missing in action in July 1951. Mommy was left with myself and 2 other daughters.

I only remember one thing about you. Your arms outstrectched to me to pick me up. Mommy is gone now too and always had trouble talking about you. I learned more from your brother and sister than from anyone.

I know that you were an Eagle Scout, a bomber pilot and loved this country very much.

We moved around alot Daddy. We lived in Idaho, Nevada, California and Florida. Mommy always said I looked most like you and that caused some problems because Mommy couldn't deal, became an alcoholic and was abusive.

I went to school in all those places, graduated from high school in Florida and went on to Beauty School. I practiced 11 years as a cosmetologist and married Gary Horowitz, a Viet Nam helicopter pilot, in 1968. He was a wonderful person, gave me two beautiful sons and died of cancer in 1999.

I started working for physicians as a medical biller and administrative assistant in 1980 and am now, after working with internal medicine doctors, surgeons and eye doctors, working for a company that sells hearing aids and does hearing testing.

I still miss you and cry for the lost times. You were so young, 25, and never really got a chance to live.

I was told that you had an injury to your back and almost didn't get in the military but you fought very hard to be able to join, did, and served your country proudly. We've wondered over the years if you were still alive somewhere and at various times people contacted Mommy and said you were cited. Those times were doubly hard.

I have kept in touch with your family. Your Mother and Father are gone now. Your sister is still alive in Iowa and your brother may not be alive now. He has brain cancer and I have been unable to contact his wife lately.

I still love you and miss you so very much. The only satisfaction I have is knowing you were doing something you loved.

I think you would be proud of me. I pride myself on being a caring, good person.

I love you, Daddy.

Suzi Dee Horowitz (Cherry)
Atlanta, GA

Editor Note: 17th Bomb Group, 34th Bomb Squadron



Letter 3 - Written By:

 

Katherine B. Ware


November 9, 2006

Dearest Bruce,

It is Veterans' Day down here and, as always, I am remembering the wonderful life we shared together. But, I think of you every day, not just on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. I've been determined that you would not be forgotten.

I am writing because a wonderful, dedicated group is going to read aloud letters to MIA's on November the 11th, on what used to be Armistice Day, from the site of the Korean War Memorial. Brucie, your daughter, will write you herself. She and I are very close; we have been so ever since she was born; I was determined she would know her father's family. Dixey eventually did marry again, but she never stopped being in love with you. Still, the man she married was a wonderful parent to Brucie.

Dixie died several years ago, but I am sure you know that, since you and she are together up there. You, our wonderful mother, Tom and Gardner and my fantastic husband, Joe Bres, all have died. Joe died just 3 months ago.

We had six children, and seven grandchildren. I want you to know that as many as we could gathered together in the Spring of 2001 to commemorate a place for you, with a headstone provided by the Navy, in a special section of Arlington National Cemetery. It was a marvelous, marvelous time together; I felt that you were right there with us through it all.

I hope you hear this letter, Bruce. Please know that your name is a household word in my family; you will never be forgotten. I love you with all my heart - your sister, Jere LT(jg) Bruce Bowen Lloyd, USN was born on June 2, 1926 in Washington, DC. His parents were Ada Clarke Bowen and Thomas Leslie Lloyd. With his mother and his sister, Jere, Bruce moved to Shreveport, LA in 1930. He graduated from Byrd High School in 1943.

Bruce then began his Navy career by enrolling in the Navy's V-12 program at Louisiana Tech during WWII. His service lasted three years and included assignment to the Great Lakes Training Station in Chicago. At its completion, Bruce had a brief exposure to the family business of his half-brothers, Tom and Gardner Lloyd, in Albion, Michigan. He then attended LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In 1949 Bruce left LSU to rejoin the Navy and reported to the Pensacola Naval Air Station for flight training. He won
his wings in mid-1950. As an Ensign, USN, he was transferred to Moffett Field, CA to await orders to a carrier in the Pacific Fleet. Back in Shreveport, on Nov. 11, 1950 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church - where for years, Bruce served as crucifer - Marilyn Margot Dixey became his bride.

Tom, Gardner and Jere were members of the wedding party.

In late Spring 1951, Bruce was deployed to the USS Princeton, then operating in the Sea of Japan, and was tasked with flying strike missions against land based supply activities in the Hwachon Reservoir area of North Korea. He
flew an F9F-2 Panther jet with Squadron VF-23, Air Group 19X, VF 191.

On July 28, 1951, during an armed reconnaissance mission, his plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. The plane burned and crashed on a hillside near Majon-Ni. Bruce was not seen to leave the plane. Search and rescue efforts found nothing at the site except burned ground. Bruce was immediately
classified as MIA. (Later, during bureaucratic proceedings in January 1956, his file was reclassified "Killed in Action.")

On January 14, 1952, Bruce's daughter, Marilyn Bruce Lloyd ("Brucie") was born to "Dixey" in Shreveport. Some years later, Brucie was legally adopted by her stepfather, Albert Cowan. Brucie was married in 1972 and her children - Bruce's granddaughters - are Ashley Lloyd Glassell Farr, Marilyn Michael Glassell and Wesley Piper Glassell.



Letter 5 - Written By:

 

Dennis E. Skorheim
Park River
ND

October 30, 2006

Dear Clyde Bearstail,

You were in front of me June 8th 1951 when a round came in and took you from us, a day I have never forgotten. I am so glad you told me you were from Newtown North Dakota, so that I could one day find a part of your family.

After 47 years I finally met your daughter Gwen and her family. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and so many of your family were there. Your Native American family are great people with so much respect for veterans.

I met your daughter Kathy in California a couple years later, you have two wonderful daughters. Kathy, who was not born when you died. Now you have grandchildren and great grandchildren.

My life has been good. I have 6 children, 17 grand children and 6 great grandchildren.

My first wife died from cancer in 1989. I was lucky enough to get married again in 1993.

Life has been good for me but I shall never forget each of you who didn't come home.

I fly the flag each day to honor each of you, I shall never forget you.

God Bless You,

Dennis Skorheim



Letter 6 - Written By:

 

Donald B. Geddes
Sonoma
CA

Dear Cliff,

Since I last saw you in Udam-ni North Korea I have accomplished many of the things you could not since they put your body to rest in Hagaru.

After discharge I met and married a beautiful young lady and we had seven wonderful children, who to date have given us 22 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren. A great and wonderful posterity. When I look at them, I sometimes think of you being denied these blessings.

Soon after discharge I entered the civilian work force, and not having completed high school began cleaning toilets for a large oil company. The dream of every Marine. To be "head man". I began night school under the G.I. Bill and eventually graduated with a B.A. in art education. Finding a position in a hight school I anchored myself there for 29 years before retiring.

I and my wife and family have had many wonderful experience.

Living in Mexico for one year while working on a Masters Degree, and later after the children left the nest to China for one year (that's right, CHINA) to teach English. I met one Korean veteran there who could have been the one that shot us both.

I have since come to the realization that in spite of the wars and inhumanity men and nations inflict on each other, there is a God who grieves over what we do to each other. But He rarely intervenes because He has given us all "free choice" and all will be accountable for there actions.All who are, or have been responsible for the carnage and lost lives will get their reward. I will, as we all must, join you on the other side of that veil called death in a different and glorious eternal relationship. Save a place for me.

Semper Fidelis

Don



Letter 7 - Written By:

 

Janis (Jan) Curran
Diamond Bar
CA

Nov 1, 2006

Dear Dad,

Today is my birthday so I thought this would be the perfect day to write this letter. It has been difficult for me, I have pondered over what I wanted to say for days and every time I try to write it, I find it is too hard for me and so I postponed it. We have missed you every single day that you have been gone, over 55 years now. Some days are harder than others, especially the happiest days like weddings, and the births of your grandchildren and great grandchildren, even one great-great grandchild. I wish you could have known them.

I feel the worst when I think of how sad you must have been after you were captured and then realized you were probably not going to get home to us. I’m sure you worried about how your loss would affect our entire family. When I am feeling selfish, I find myself wishing that you hadn’t been quite so brave to put yourself in harm’s way, but most of the time I am proud that you were the type of person who risked his own life for the benefit of others.

Thank you for making my family so proud.

Love,

Janis

Editor Note: Lt. Garrision flew with VF-884 off the USS Boxer



Letter 8 - Written By:

 

Anonymous


October 23, 2006

Thanks for the letter Hal.

I wish I knew how to write such a letter. I lost a lot of friends over there. Several pilots, navagators and gunners. I was a gunner and had a job to do. I still get nightmares about it. I was told by several pilots that I could fly with them anytime as I did what I was trained to do.


Editor Note: the KWP has received dozens of similar replies. I am sure that all of us understand. Thus, the few shall speak for the many. - Ted Barker | Hal Barker



Letter 9 - Written By:

 

Bonnie O'Lee


October 24, 2006

Dad you did survive Korea...You are gone from us now.

You never really talked about what you did for our Country. I pieced together some things and I looked at your scrap book.

I now know why I was almost half an orphan when I was born. You were MIA for awhile. I know when you finally came back to your group you didn't know I had been born until you asked what they were celebrating.

And I honor your friends that didn't make it back. I saw their pictures today actually.... The scrap book.

Still being stubborn and such. Life is good as you would call it....Brad is taking good care of me. No worries. I'm still have a job and we still have the house.

You should take a look at the potters shed we put in the back yard. Even you would be proud. The wind mill is still there and so is the bird bath..

Love,
Bonnie



Letter 10 - Written By:

 

Bob Justus


October 24, 2006

Echoes from the Hills
Don't forget our POW-MIAs
Bob N. Justus


The following letter was written by TSgt Mike Minton, AFRES, and printed in the Tehachapi News, Tehachapi, Calif. (near Bakersfield). The POWMIA Riders Veteran’s Motorcycle Club, of which he is a member, keeps the Missing MIAs before the public. Raleigh Patterson, my friend, the retired police officer of Antioch, Calif., is a member of this motorcycle club.

It seems there are more flags displayed on the July 4 than any other American holiday. While my allegiance to the flag is unwavering, there is another flag, not as prominently displayed as Old Glory that is equally worth of respect and tribute, the POW/MIA flag.

There are 58,249 names listed on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. Approximately 1,200 of these names are listed as missing (MIA’s, POW’s and others). I cannot imagine the emptiness one must feel to have to grow up not knowing a parent lost to war, or worse, not having the closure of knowing what happened or where it happened. To countless families and comrades this feeling of emptiness is unremitting.

So why do we fly the POW/MIA flag?…We fly the flag as a symbol of our concern and commitment to achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans who still remain unaccounted for...You are not forgotten, four simple words that represent so much to so many. Take a moment to reflect on this when the nation honors its POW’s and MIA’s on Sept. 15.

In Korea men were killed or came up missing in my outfit, but something happened to someone important to me that had a profound effect upon my life. I, too, cannot forget the MIAs.

Col. Sherman R. Beaty commanded the Third Bomb Group at K-8, Kunsan AB, on the west coast of South Korea. The three squadrons; 8th, 13th and 90th of the Group flew B-26 Invaders or "Night Intruder" twin-engine bombers, which were fast and capable of carrying heavy loads of bombs and other armament. Since the Communist Chinese and N. Korean troops and supplies moved mostly at night, the B-26 bombers specialized in low level night attacks against truck convoys and trains. Bridges and factories were also targets. Flak was often heavy.

Col. Beaty was a veteran of bombing missions against the Germans in the European campaigns. He had a few happy years with his family before the Communist North Koreans suddenly invaded South Korea. As a young enlisted clerk I worked in a small room off the colonel's office. He was always calm no matter how urgent the problem or how hectic the situation. He earned our respect and affection by inspiring us with his dedication and leadership qualities. He led from the front and flew dangerous missions along with other combat flight crews. He and another pilot were tied for the lead locomotive ace with 12 destroyed.

From time to time Col. Beaty came into my room for a cup of coffee from the always ready coffee pot. Often he had another officer with him and they would chat about events. At times when alone he would talk to me in a natural, unassuming way that put me at ease. Like others in his command I began to look upon him as not just a remote CO but as someone who really cared for me as an individual and whose presence reassured and gave comfort.

One night Col. Beatty and crew failed to return from a mission. I saw officers with eagles and oak leaves on their shoulders with tears in their eyes. I also shed tears. Many flights were made over his proposed route trying to find a crash site, but without success. Then his and the crew's names went on the Missing in Action (MIA) list. One year later, though I did not know it then, he and the crew were reported “presumed dead.

When the Korean Armistice was signed the UN Allies failed to hold the Communist North Koreans and Chinese properly accountable for missing American servicemen. There were many reports in later years that some Americans were still POWs in North Korea, China or Russia. As of June 1, 2000, for the Korean War there were still 8,176 unaccounted for Americans (KIA, MIA, POW, etc), per the All POW-MIA website. From time to time some bodies are still being found.

Sept. 15 is the official National POW/MIA Recognition Day. In the same week we honor patriots on Patriots Day, Sept. 11. Our missing veterans merit the same high honor. They are our patriots too.



Letter 11 - Written By:

 

John Scott Porterfield


October 24, 2006

Forgive me but I feel compelled to write this all of you who helped me find the "who" that my Father was. I make no excuses for sounding melodramatic about my emails to you. I mean them. I write them as I feel them from the bottom of my heart.

I sit here, 50 years after that terrible battle of Jackson Heights, and wonder at the courage, the bravery, and pain that was on that bloody hill. I move on. I can't remember my Father, but over the years, I believe I have felt him near me.

He was not around to teach me how to fish, play baseball, or how to box down the bullies that tormented me in my youth.

I carried his dogtags around my neck from the time I was fourteen until I was 35. The burden became to much to bear at that time. I just figured I would never know who he was. I had to cast it aside.

The years droned on. I found the Korean War Project page one day and put a note out there regarding my Father.

Things began to happen.I open up my email one night and
there is a note from a gentlemen who wants to know if I am the son of John D. Porterfield, Jr. who was with his brother in law in Korea.

He says that something my Father wrote is on his brother's memorial. Suddenly, I can't hear anymore. I then remember letters written from brother to brother during that terrible conflict.

I find them.

The name that is spoken in the email, stares back at me in a letter 50 years old, yellow and tattered.

I then get an email from the son of the co of the other company stuck on that terrible rock on that terrible day. He gives me his Father's phone number. We leave several voice mails and then we connect.

I am not ashamed to say that after speaking with this hero, I hang up and call my brother, Gary, who was six months old when our Father was killed, and was unseen by the man who gave him his name.

I made it through about half a sentence and I can't talk anymore. My wife picks up the phone and makes excuses. I then get an email from Col Clark , whom I speak with and correspond with to this day.

I then talk with the soldier, who with my Father, went out under enemy fire to rescue their comrade, whom they found dying. They brought his body back and mourned him greatly.

I have listened to the voice of this dead hero's sister, who misses him. He taught her to fish when they were smaller.


She has not been whole without him, lo these many years. But have any of us, who have lost friends and loved ones during that awful time? I think not.

I fly to Little Rock and spend the day with Bud Cronhkite, who shared that bloody ground with those heroes on that day. I think of him often.

I have spoken several times with the forward observer, who felt that awful shell whistle over him and strike the command post and make heroes,orphans, and empty men for the rest of our days.

In the past week, I have spoken with the radio man who was several feet away when what was a man vanished before his eyes.

I have become aware that all of you that survived that war, somehow feel guilt that you did. I would reply to you....that it was not your time.

You were left behind to have families, teach your sons and daughters to play baseball, fish, and knock down bullies. I am glad that you had this gift of life to do those things. I am glad that you had this time to talk to me.

Best,

John Scott Porterfield

Editor Note: John D. Porterfield was with the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ID when he was killed on 10/21/1952

John Scott and I met on July 27th 1995 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, overlooking the crowd from the dedication of the National Korean War Veterans Memorial. - Ted Barker



Letter 12 - Written By:

 

Sylvia Groden
Forest Hills
NY

To P.F.C. Alfred Gold - Lost since July 6, 1953 from his sister Sylvia Gold Groden

Dearest Freddie,

There is not a day that passes when I don't think about you -- What could have, what would have been if you were with us!

Ivan and I love you and our children and grandchildren know everything there is to know about you.

Karen and her husband Joel -- Our oldest daughter have a daughter and a son. Arlene, who was born two years later ( and named after you ) has two sons. You can be very proud of your nieces and grand nephews and grand niece ( who we call our "Princess"). All have graduated from college and hold responsible jobs.

Karen's son Jason is an opera singer and as an extra job he sings the National Anthem at the Nassau Colliseum before every New York Islander Hockey Game.

Arlene's son David is based on Wall Street, lives in Manhattan and is doing very well.

Melissa is a successful administrator at Hofstra University.

Your aunt Arlene lives in Rosewell, Georgia and her youngest son, Evan, is a Phys Ed teacher only 15 minutes from her home.

Ivan and I have both been retired since 1991 and for two old folks we are doing quite well.

I am glad to have this opportunity to express our love and devotion to you. You will always be part of our lives.

I have done everything I could to find you. We have even established an Alfred Gold Scholarship Fund in one of our local schools here.

You are always in our thoughts and have never given up the thought that someday you will be brought back to your own people who love you.

Your Sister

Sylvia Groden



Letter 13 - Written By:

 

Reva ( Miller ) Cox-LaFountain
Rochester
MI

Private Herbert King
Heaven
C/O God

Dear Pvt. Herbert,

You were married to my sister Allie, but by that time I was already married and had moved away to Michigan. I did know and remember you as a likable and kind young man, and was very happy that you were to be my brother-in-law.

Our parents loved you and trusted you. The had a small grocery store at that time and if you needed something, they just handed you the key. They just let you get what you needed, and that was before you were their son-in-law.

We were very, very sad that you had to leave our family at such a young age. Now your wife Allie has gone to be with you in heaven.

Reva (Miller) Cox-LaFountain



Letter 14 - Written By:

 

Eva M. Wagner
Buhl
ID

Paul Richard Wagner
Buhl Idaho
KIA May 27, 1952

My Dearest Brother Paul,

This is the first letter I have ever written to you. I was so little when you left for the Army - only six years old and most of my memories are from hearing our family and friends talk of you. I have seen so many photos of you that I feel I would know you were we to meet on the street. Your Army picture is still on "Mom's" dresser in "her" room. I feel so cheated that I was not able to know you in our short time together.

Our family and friends speak so highly of you - and our life on the farm. Wars are such a terrible tragedy and so many families suffer heartaches.

I know you are happy with God and His Mother, Mary and the other Angels and Saints, and that you are there to welcome all of our family as they enter their Eternal Reward. Tell them all hello and that I remember them in my prayers. Momma, Daddy, and our brothers.

You are my "Soldier Hero" - and I look forward to reuniting with you - But, not too soon!

You are always in my prayers and I have grown to love you.

Your littlest sister,

Eva Marie (Wagner)

P.S. I still have and cherish the picture you had someone paint of me and Barbara in our plaid school dresses!!



Letter 15 - Written By:

 

Robert (Bob) Fuoco
Plano
TX

October 25, 2006

An open letter to Harold McMunn

Dear Hal:

Seems so long ago. Seems like yesterday.

Our gang "The Errors A. C." battling on the ball park on the empty field at the end of Easton Avenue (we called it Sleepy Hollow) in Hyde Park (Boston) Massachusetts.

We didn't win many games, especially with the guys from "The Island".

There was the street sign at the beginning of our hangout spelled "Easton Avenue" and one at the end that read "Eastern Avenue".

The railroad tracks on one side of the street and the Neponset River on the other. And the big cement retaining wall halfway down on one side of the street where we played hand baseball. I always could beat you.

We were hanging out at Houghton's Pond when we heard over the portable radio that North Korea had invaded South Korea. You asked, "Where is that?"

Soon after, all the guys decided to go up to Cleary Square and join the Marines. I wasn't quite old enough and had to remain behind.

I often dream of that day. I was waiting in front of my house when you all came walking down the street. You were walking slowly behind the guys and I remember that you had tears in your eyes. You told me that you couldn't be a
part of the gang when they went to war.

I said to you, "Why not try the Army - they will take anybody." So you went into the service and then off to Korea.

I wrote to you often and sent you the local newspaper. One day the Hyde Park Tribune came back to me stamped "Missing In Action".

It wasn't until over fifty years later that Betty (Paden) Fata, now living in Marshfield, sent me an email saying that you were a prisoner of war and died in one of the camps.

When I heard that you were missing in action I ran down to your house and had a good cry with your Mom at the kitchen table. Then I got on the bus all by myself and went to the Draft Board on Cummins Highway in Roslindale. I was on the list and my number probably would have come up in about six months or so. I volunteered for an early draft and eventually went to Korea myself.

I never forgot you Hal. Next to me you were the best looking guy in the gang and had a way with the girls. I don't think we saw a girl for the first seven months moving up and down Korea. I remember thinking how you wouldn't like this.

I never forgot you through all these years and thought of you often. Because of you and the rest of the gang I never found time to get into trouble. We did our battle on the ball field. We played almost every sport. You are my hero. You wanted to go to war and defend your country. You didn't look to dodge the draft or protest the war. We didn't think of things like that back then.

I could write many words about you Hal but I think you know how I feel.

Until we meet again.

Your old gang buddy,

Bob Fuoco
Editor Note: Harold was with the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd ID. He died at the May Massacre, 5/17/1951.



Letter 16 - Written By:

 

Jim FaJohn


Hal,
my Dad made it through Korea but suffered from PTSS symptoms that went undiagnosed until three years ago. He passed away last October after a full life. While he did come home from Korea in one piece, he definitely left part of himself behind when he did and it had an effect on his life and ours too.

We all miss him and consider him as one of our "Lost Forever".

Jim FaJohn



Letter 17 - Written By:

 

Marie and Ray Garcia


October 24, 2006


What a great idea. We fortunately haven't lost anyone close but our prayers will be with those of you who try so hard to do the right thing. God bless you.

Marie and Ray Garcia

Editor Note: Ray and Marie express many hundreds of similar email that we have received since Oct 23, 2006



Letter 18 - Written By:

 

Ray Walton
Modesto
CA

October 24, 2006

To all you that lost your lives due to the Korean War.

"You are not forgotten". Tosha and I will carry the torch in your honor.

Ray and Tosha Walton, Modesto California - vh

Editor Note: Ray and his wonderful dog, Tosha, volunteer at area VA and hospitals for Veterans who can benefit from personal contact.



Letter 19 - Written By:

 

Virginia Chun
Cornelius
OR

2nd Lt. Elvin Milo Lee - 5th Regiment Combat Team

November 7, 2006

Dear Dad,

I sure miss you and can't believe it's been 56 years since you first went away. I was only three when you left and I don't remember saying "goodby" or asking "where are you going?" I still talk to you at times, do you hear me?

Mom, Sis Mildred and I really missed you a lot. Just before Mom was notified that you were killed in action, I had that awful dream - got up screaming that you were not going to come home; not coming home! When you did come home I was 8 years old; I didn't get to see you or touch you. That pain increased with the loss of Mom in 1991 and then Sis Mildred in 1997. I believe and know you are all together now in that special place, and believing that one day I, too, would be there, made it OK for them to go.

Mom kept your letters from Korea and I read them all the time. I know you loved us and always thought about us, because your letters always asked "How are my girls doing?" "Tells the girls hello and kiss them for Daddy every day and night." "Does my little girl, Virginia, still cry for her Daddy?" I still cry for you!

I'm 59 now, retired in 1999 (after 32 years of Federal service). I worked my first eight years in Federal service at Schofield Barracks, Hawai'i, the base where you were stationed at and departed from to serve in Korea. Somehow, being there and knowing you were stationed there just felt right and kept you close to my heart. I did visit the DMZ in Korea and "yes" there really is such a place where it all happened.

I have a wonderful husband of 37 years and we have a family of our own now. Although we moved to Oregon from Hawai'i five years ago, Hawai'i will always be home; it's where my roots started. Sis Mildred's family all still live there. We wanted to be close to and be able to help care for and enjoy our grandchildren, your great-grandchildren. We have three sons and three grandson's with our first granddaughter due in January and Mildred has three children (2 sons and a daughter) and six grandchildren (4 grandsons and 2 grandaughters). Your family is growing!

I attended the Dedication of the Korean War Memorial in Hawai'i in July 1994, and that helped ease the pain because so many remembered. The inscription on the memorial reads: "As long as the ocean, mountains, and sky bless Hawai'i, we will not forget our fallen warriors." I won't forget, can't forget, because when I do, it is then and only then, that you truly will be gone!

Love you, Dad. Tell Mom and Sis I said "Hello, miss them, love them." I'll stop by for a visit on my next trip home.

Love,

Your daughter, Virginia



Letter 20 - Written By:

 

Lanny Asepermy


October 24, 2006

Fallen warriors and prisoners of war of the kiowa, comanche and apache nations

This tribute is dedicated to the thirty-one kiowa, comanche and apache combat veterans who were either killed in action, died of combat wounds, declared dead while missing in action, died in captivity or were prisoners of war while serving in the armed forces of the united states.

Poor is the nation that has no heroes…….shameful is the one that, having them,forgets them

This tribute was researched from individual military records, Department of Defense files, interviews with families, relatives and friends, newspaper articles, obituaries, telephone inquiries and individual personal death files. The research began in 1992.

Private First Class Silas Wayne Boyiddle, Kiowa/Apache
Died in Captivity on July 11, 1950

Sergeant Luke Buddy Tainpeah, Kiowa
Killed in Action on March 28, 1951

Corporal Dennis King Karty, Comanche/Kiowa
Died in Captivity on May 18, 1951

Corporal Austin Klinekole, Apache
Killed in Action on September 16, 1951

Lieutenant Colonel Meech Tahsequah, Comanche
Declared Dead while Missing in Action on February 28, 1954


Research courtesy of:

Lanny G. Asepermy, Kiowa/Comanche
Sergeant Major (Retired), US Army, 1966-90
Vietnam War, 1969-70

Editor Note: Lanny included WWII through Vietnam. The Korean War Casualties biographies will be listed.

------------------------------------------------------------

Private First Class Silas Wayne (Poauty) Boyiddle
Kiowa/Apache

Us Army Air Force & Us Army, Korean War Company L, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment 24th Infantry Division (The Victory Division)

Reported Missing In Action On July 11, 1950
Declared Dead While In Captivity In October 31, 1950

PFC Boyiddle was from the Boone-Apache area. He served in both the US Army Air Force, toward the end of World War II, and the US Army during the Korean War. PFC Boyiddle was a Light Weapons Infantryman. He and his unit were ambushed near Chockiwon by enemy mortar, small arms and tank fire forcing them to withdraw and reorganize.

After being surrounded, low on ammunition and rations he and ninety-nine members of his company were reported missing in action, seven others were reported wounded after being over-run by both North Korea and Chinese Forces. He was later declared a prisoner of war.

Several days after his capture American planes accidentally strafed the area where he and other POW's were being held causing a number of casualties. While in prison at Manpo, North Korea it was reported he became sick and malnourished causing his death. According to 'Johnson's List' he died on October 27, 1950.

A fellow surviving prisoner told family members he was buried in the prison cemetery. His awards include the Combat Infantryman Badge; the Prisoner of War Medal; the Korean Service Medal; the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

His remains have not been recovered. PFC Boyiddle will forever be 25 years old (DOB June 27, 1928).

------------------------------------------------------------

Sergeant Luke Buddy Tainpeah, Kiowa

US Army Air Force & Us Army, World War Ii & Us Army, Korean War Company B, 1st Battalion, 187th Regimental Combat Team 11th Airborne Division (The Angels)

Killed In Action On March 28, 1951

SGT Tainpeah was from Caddo County and a veteran of World War II serving in the European Theater. He served from September 26, 1942 to December, 1945. SGT Tainpeah was wounded in the knuckle of his right hand by a German grenade while serving as a rifleman with the 35th Infantry Division.

He was an outstanding Golden Gloves boxer and earned the nickname 'Mule'. The combat wound forced him to retire from boxing in 1946. SGT Tainpeah enlisted in the US Army in January, 1948 and departed for Korea on October 10, 1950. He was a Light Weapons Infantryman Leader. SGT Tainpeah made one combat jump during Operation Tomahawk near Munsan-Ni near the Korean DMZ.

It was during that ten-day operation that SGT Tainpeah was killed during heavy fighting against both the North Korean and Chinese Armies near Songan-ri, South Korea by a gunshot wound to his head, neck and lung.

His mother received a letter from a SGT Tainpeah's Platoon Sergeant a few days after her son's death that said in part Chief was a squad leader in my platoon.

We had to take a hill. We were in position for two hours waiting for the Air Force to clobber the hill. We talked about home and the little things a man thinks about.

Chief spotted a machine gun on the hill. When it came time to go Chief got up, fixed his bayonet. He smiled and told me to be careful. We jumped off in the attack and went up the hill.

Chief got the machine gun and was after another when a sniper got him. I wish you to know that Chief was a very brave man and every inch a soldier.

A memorial was held in his honor about a year after his death at the Saddle Mountain Indian Mission. SGT Tainpeah's father, Guy, gave the mission a flagpole, to be erected on the grounds, in honor of his son. He was buried at the United Nations Cemetery near Tanggok, South Korea until his remains were returned and reburied at the Fort Sill Post Cemetery in October, 1951.

SGT Tainpeah will forever be 27 years old (DOB November 1, 1923).

------------------------------------------------------------

Corporal Dennis King Karty, Comanche/Kiowa

Us Army, Korean War Company B, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment 2nd Infantry Division (The Indianhead Division)

Captured On May 18, 1951 Died In Captivity On March 30, 1952

CPL Karty was born in Lawton and enlisted while living in Adair County. He was a Light Weapons Infantryman Leader.

CPL Karty was captured during the battle called the May Massacre which took place from May 11 through June 11, 1951.

On the early morning of May 18th the situation within the sector held by Companies A and B of the 1/38th became critical with Chinese on all sides. There was heavy fighting and the two companies were cut off from their main forces. They suffered heavy casualties and were extremely short of ammunition and rations.

His unit was overcome, blanketed in swarms of Chinese who stormed the surrounded companies until there was no hope of holding any longer.

A surviving prisoner told family members CPL Karty was wounded several times, including in the hip and shoulder, resisting capture.

Research indicates he was detained and died at Camp 4 near Wiwon, North Korea.

Three of CPL Karty's brothers served in the Armed Forces.

His remains were returned in 1954 and buried at Highland Cemetery. CPL Karty will forever be 21 years old (DOB October 8, 1931).

------------------------------------------------------------

Corporal Austin Lewis Klinekole, Apache

Us Army, Korean War L Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment 7th Infantry Division (The Hourglass Division)
Killed In Action On September 18, 1951

CPL Klinekole was from the Boone-Apache area. He was a Light Weapons Infantryman and the only known Apache to be killed in action while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.

It was during what one 7th Infantry Division historian described as the best fighting in the entire Division's history when the 7th captured five important hills.

A soldier from his unit said CPL Klinekole was killed during bloody and intense fighting for a hill called Old Baldy. Old Baldy was also known as Hill 840 located in the area of Pung Gol and Hugunto-ryong, North Korea.

Another soldier from his unit wrote, "I escorted CPL Klinekole's body off the top of Old Baldy on a stretcher after the hill was taken and secured."

Records indicate he was killed by small arms fire.

CPL Klinekole was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge; the Purple Heart; the Good Conduct Medal; the United Nations Service Medal; the Korean Service Medal and the Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.

He is buried at the United Nations Cemetery near Tanggok, South Korea until his remains were returned and reburied at Cache Creek Cemetery in January, 1952.

CPL Klinekole will forever be 20 years old (DOB August 19, 1931).

------------------------------------------------------------

Lieutenant Colonel Meech Tahsequah, Comanche

Us Army Air Force & Us Air Force World War Ii And Korean War
3rd Maintenance & Support Squadron

Reported Missing In Action On December 6, 1950
Declared Dead On February 28, 1954

LTC Tahsequah was from the Walters area on enlisted into the US Army Air Force as an Air Cadet on July 14, 1941. He was a veteran of World War II flying 31 combat missions and logging over 300 combat hours aboard a B-24 Liberator Bomber.

Two members of LTC Tahsequah's crew were killed while he received minor wounds when as he was flying his 'ship' through one of many deadly anti-aircraft barrages.

During the Korean War LTC Tahsequah was a passenger aboard a B-26B Invader Bomber when the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed 30 miles north of Susa, North Korea.

The Navigator, who bailed out and made his way to friendly lines, said Tahsequah and the other crewmember bailed out before crashing. It was thought at one time he was a prisoner of war as his name was mentioned by North Korea propaganda.

His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal for heroism; the Air Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; the Purple Heart Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters; the EAME Medal w/1 Bronze Service Star; the World War II Victory Medal; the United Nations Service Medal; the Korean Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

His body has never been recovered and he will forever be 35 years old (DOB October 27, 1918).



Letter 21 - Written By:

 

Dan Nicolas


October 24, 2006

I was asked to write a letter to someone I lost in the Korean war.

I don't recall exactly how old I was, I just remember the guys with cameras asking questions about my father. I was about 4 or 5 and my mother was being told my father had been found and was on a hospital ship and would soon be home.

My dad never did come home! He had been captured up on the Chosin with members of King company U.S. Army who were over run by Chineese forces and removed NORTH of the Yallow. He and 26 (?) others jumped their guards and escaped.

As I recall my dad said something about carrieing a LT across the Yalu only to find he had bled out during the crossing of the frozen river.

Now you might ask, if I have all this information why is it I'm writing this.

See my dad never returned, his body was here but his mind was nowhere connected to having children or what to do with them.

My dad had PTSD and I grew up without knowing OR understanding why he didn't want to play ball teach me to fight or many of the normal father son relationships.

Soon after returning home (NO DECOMPRESSION TIME) He had an accident, while cleaning his 45 he accidently shot himself in the thigh right in front of me.

I thought the world of my dad I still do but its taken me years to understand what that war did to him and today I'm not so sure it was an accident.

My fathers body is resting at Fort Snelling Minnisota. GOD BLESS HIS SOUL! My restless mind wonders if he ever found PEACE with himself and forgave himself for all the possible mistakes he had made and lost friends over.

I did my time in Viet Nam and it didn't take long to understand that my father never returned from Korea. He was able to cope enough to exist but just under the wire.

I've hated my dad for his lack of a relationship and only after my experiences did I come to realise I LOST MY FATHER IN KOREA AND I MISS HIM!!!

Dan Nicolas
Son of SFC RICHARD EARL NICOLAS

MAY HE REST IN PEACE



Letter 22 - Written By:

 

Mark Hartford
Columbus
OH

October 24, 2006

Dear Brothers:

For 40 years I have carried your memory in my heart. Each of you
made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Korea during the 13
months that I was also stationed there, north of the Imjin River,
along the DMZ. I was in the zone the nights you were attacked and
killed. I was in the zone during the days you were ambushed and
killed.

Recently, I have tried to bring a small measure of recognition of
your sacrifice. Originally, I was planning a moment in time, this
veteran's day, to place a small plaque in your memory at the Korean
War Veterans Memorial in DC. I had intended to be alone.

Since then, I have met a group of really talented and committed
veterans of Korea. Some served during the war, others in defense of
Korea after 1953. Thanks to them, we are now going to be there at
11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, 40 years after the start
of the DMZ war. It will all be about you.

You remain my comrades in arms, your memory remains fresh in my mind
and heart. I hope that this effort causes more Americans to remember
your valor, sacrifice and commitment to freedom as well.

In loving memory...

Hensley, Sgt. James - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 11/02/66; Benton, Pfc.
John - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 11/02/66; Burrell, Pfc. Robert - 23rd
Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 11/02/66; Fisher, Pvt. Morris - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID -
d. 11/02/66; Hasty, Pvt. Les - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 11/02/66;
Reynolds, Pvt. Ernie - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 11/02/66; Tyler, SP4
Press Jr. - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 02/12/67; Mueller, SP4 Carl R. -
23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 05/22/67; Smith, Pvt. Baron J. - 23d Rgt., 2nd
ID - d. 05/22/67; Ashforth, SP4 Leonard - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d.
07/16/67; Boyd, Pfc. Tommy D. - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 07/16/67;
Gibbs, Pfc. John L. - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID - d. 07/16/67; Boudreaux,
Pfc. Philip - 31st Rgt., 7th ID - d. 08/10/67; Czaplicki, Pfc. Donald
J. - 31st Rgt., 7th ID - d. 08/10/67; Skaggs, Pfc. Jerry D. - 31st
Rgt., 7th ID - d. 08/10/67; Cook, SP4 Billy J. - 23rd Rgt., 2nd ID -
d. 08/22/67; Vogel, SP4; Michael E. - 76th Engr. Bn. - d. 08/28/67;
Rivers, Pfc. Curtis - 76th Engr. Bn - d. 08/28/67; Corp, Sgt. Philip
N. - 38th Rgt., 2nd ID - 08/29/67; Lund, Pfc. Paul G. - 38th Rgt.,
2nd ID - 08/29/67; McKee, Pfc. Edgar A. Jr. - 38th Rgt., 2nd ID -
08/29/67.

Thank you Ted and Hal.

Mark Hartford
Korea DMZ Veteran
Co. B 1/23rd Inf. 2nd ID
7/66 - 8/67

Editor Note: See Columbus Dispatch 11/11/06



Letter 23 - Written By:

 

Kelly G. DeWolfe


October 24, 2006

Hey Dad!

I couldn't pass up this opportunity to put into words how I'm feeling
today.
You served in Korea, but that was before I was thought of. You made it
through what was probably one of the most harrowing times in your young
life! I'm sure this didn't compare to the loss of your Mom and then Dad
only a year apart in loss when you were aged 5 and 6. You and your older
Brother were orphaned then, only to be split up and raised by your Aunt
and he by an adoptive family. I remember you were upset when you retold
how he legally changed his name when he turned 18 to his adoptive
parents name, him being a junior named after your Dad.

All through my youth, my fondest memories have always been spent with
you! I was indeed Daddy's little girl, but, not for want or need, but
only to be the best and make you as proud of me as I have always been so
very proud of you! I remember, too, how you didn't much talk of the
horrors you may have seen in war, but of the friends you made and the
smiles you and they were able to share in spite of it! I recall many a
time spent glancing through your Army issued photo journals, looking at
the pictures and trying to understand what was happening or perhaps
wondering if the men whose pictures I was glancing at had survived the
war. I wish I had those books now, as then, to see if I could capture a
picture that may have been taken of you then, during that time of
strife.

You put up with so much in your short lifetime.

My Brothers and Sisters lost you on October 09, 1976 after many years of
aches, pains, and ill health. You were still a young man, only 42. You
were so strong for as long as I'd known you! A good man, hard worker,
great Dad - the best!

You loved us kids, and were truly able to be our best friend and Dad,
too! You never lived to see our successes (and failures), but
especially the Grandkids you always yearned for! Sean, Charles John II,
Michael, Geoff, and even Kelsey!
The only DeWolf Granddaughter!! Oh, and how they would have loved and
cherished you! As I do ...



Letter 24 - Written By:

 

Jim Pankey
East Carondelet
IL

Korea was the forgotten war, and I lost a great friend and cousin, Lester Ralph Sitton, Jr. there.

"Puzzie" was 24 when he died serving our country to keep us safe; the last time I saw him, he asked to ride my bicycle (I was ten). The tire blew and he took it two miles, repaired it, and brought it back. I was mad, not grateful, and he went away while I cried angrily. That was a sendoff I have kicked myself for since. I should have told him I loved him and how grateful I was to have him around. He went off to war only to get a dear john from his girlfriend...she had found someone else; I found this out many years later, of course.

Korea was a sad cause for a war, because it was not politically correct to call it a war at that time. It was a 'police action' we were told. Yet I lost my cousin--and have cried more than a few times since, realizing how lonely he was and how he endured being wounded and captured, and the official cause of death according to the government was pneumonia contracted while a prisoner of war. I've often wondered if he was abandoned there, too, on the battlefield.

Now I cry for the souls of the lost, and see Puzzie give and give more, until he finally gave the ultimate sacrifice. I also think of Arlie Pate, one of the '23 who stayed'. He had a miserable home life before his going to war and after his return. He should be forgiven, and the reasons for war examined more intently before sending our youngsters to their fate. Small towns like East Carondelet, Illinois suffer more than Washington, DC. I think politicians should be the first to sacrifice, but they apparently haven't learned the meaning of the word.

I think Puzzie taught me to be a giver rather than a taker, and can only hope that the government learns that the road to peace is not through blood sacrifice, but through good government that may result in the defeat of war, hunger and disease through adherence to principles of healing rather than destruction throughout the world. We have to give--and remember that ultimately the cost of war is too high. Certainly peace is cheaper and healthier.

Thanks, Puzzie, for repairing my bicycle. And thanks for giving your all. I've learned from you.

Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)
for Puzzie
MSGT USA
from East Carondelet, Illinois

Editor Note: Lester was with 2nd Engineer Combat Bn, 2nd ID and lost at Kunu-ri 11/30/1950


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)

 

Copyright 2006 - Korean War Project - All Rights Reserved
Letters To The Lost