Pusan Perimeter

Pusan Perimeter

After nearly a half decade of instability and violence on the peninsula, North Korea attacked South Korea on June 25, 1950. Three days later, the North Koreans captured South Korea’s capital, Seoul. As South Korean forces buckled, the United States decided to intervene, and the United Nations pledged assistance soon after. Ill-equipped and understrength U.S. units took high casualties in the first weeks of the intervention and were quickly forced on the defensive. The series of battles fought around the Pusan Perimeter from August-September 1950 temporarily reversed the course of the war in the U.S.-led United Nation Command’s favor.

On August 1, 1950, the U.S. 8th Army withdrew east of the Naktong River. Behind this river, U.S. and South Korean forces set up a defense perimeter around the port of Pusan, an important logistical hub on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. As North Korean pressure built outside of the perimeter, 8th Army Commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker sought a way to divert some of the North Korean troops massing near Taegu where the 8th Army had its headquarters. On August 7, 1950, Task Force Kean launched a counterattack southwest of the Pusan Perimeter. Led by Major General William B. Kean, the Task Force was composed of units from the 25th Infantry Division, 5th Regimental Combat Team, and 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. From August 7 to 14, the Task Force fought a series of engagements against North Korean forces around Masan. Both sides took heavy casualties, including seventy-five American artillerymen that were captured and summarily executed on August 12 in what is known as the Bloody Gulch Massacre. The bodies of many fallen soldiers were unable to be evacuated when Task Force Kean withdrew to its original positions. The fighting around Masan continued until the 8th Army broke out of the perimeter in mid-September.

On the night of August 5-6, 1950, just north of where Task Force Kean was preparing to attack, the North Korean 4th Division crossed the Naktong River on the western edge of the Pusan Perimeter, beginning a two-week engagement known as the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge. A large bend in the river made this section of the perimeter particularly difficult to defend, North Korean forces successfully advanced following their initial surprise attack. U.S. forces counterattacked on August 7, halting the enemy’s advance. After ten days of heavy fighting the remainder of the North Korean 4th Division withdrew over the Naktong. U.S. forces took over fifteen-hundred casualties but had prevented the North Korean Army from penetrating the Perimeter.

Despite these setbacks to the west, the North Koreans kept up the attack. Three North Korean divisions struck north of Taegu but were held back by the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division, and when North Korean forces attacked near the Naktong Bulge to cut off Taegu from Pusan, counterattacks by the U.S. 2nd Division and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade pushed the North Koreans back.

The successful U.N. landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950, forced North Korean forces to withdraw north and allowed the 8th Army to breakout of the Pusan Perimeter the next day. The U.S. defense of the Pusan Perimeter had stopped North Korea from capturing the entire peninsula and bought time for reinforcements to arrive. The divisions that held Pusan took heavy casualties however, and many men lost outside the perimeter were unable to be found when U.S. and U.N forces pushed north in September.

The search for remains in South Korea started before the armistice was signed in 1953. From 1951 to 1956, Army Graves Registration Service and divisional quartermaster units recovered remains for over 25,000 individuals. DPAA maintains a semi-permanent detachment in Seoul which looks for remains year-round. Since the end of the war, North Korean and U.S. military authorities have conducted exchanges of remains and information. In 1954, North Korean representatives returned over 3,000 remains in an exchange known as Operation Glory. From 1990 to 1994, North Korean representatives gave U.S. officials 208 boxes of human remains that Department of Defense scientists estimate may hold over 400 individuals. From 1996-2004 and in 2011, North Korea granted U.S. search teams access to crash sites, battlefields, and prison camp cemeteries. Excavations done in those areas have resulted in the repatriation of over 220 U.S. remains. Outside of disinterments, DPAA has conducted archival research. From 1997 to 1999, North Korea provided the U.S. with documents and artifacts for review. In the U.S., veterans from the 2nd Infantry Division and other units have been interviewed at reunions and other venues.

Efforts to account for service members who went missing during the action at Pusan Perimeter are ongoing.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The Inchon Campaign

The Inchon campaign

The summer of 1950 went poorly for the United States and the rest of the United Nations Command. North Korea attacked South Korea, a vulnerable country the American military was advising. Loss after loss piled up as U.S. forces and other United Nations allies scrambled to come to South Korea’s aid. By August 1950, U.S. and South Korean forces established the Pusan Perimeter, a defensive line surrounding Pusan, South Korea, and its critical port. The Pusan Perimeter enabled the U.S. and South Korea to blunt North Korea’s attempts to unify Korea under a Communist, pro-Soviet Union government. Execution of a bold amphibious landing at Inchon reversed the war’s course entirely. This landing, and the U.S.-led offensive that followed, caused many to believe that the war would be over before the end of the year. Reviewing this moment captures the great instability that typified the Korean War in its first year.

The process of getting the Inchon plan to fruition was not easy. Military authorities at the highest level of the U.S. government doubted whether the plan could succeed. Navy planners feared the Yellow Sea’s tides, which varied by as much as 30 feet at times. Marine Corps strategists worried about the difficulty in having Marines scale the large sea walls that surrounded Inchon. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were concerned by what would happen if the operation failed. They knew the U.S. did not have ready reserves to replace the men who were lost. Douglas MacArthur, head of the Far Eastern Command, viewed the plan for the landing as a great opportunity to change the course of the war. His advocacy shepherded the bold Inchon landing plan over the Joint Chief’s objections.

MacArthur activated the X Corps to take part in the landings. Led by Edward Mallory “Ned” Almond, the X Corps was composed of the 7th Infantry Division, 1st Marine Division, and South Korean troops. On September 15, 1950, the soldiers, sailors, and Marines of X Corps landed at Inchon. Even though the Inchon plans had been leaked in U.S. media and throughout Japan, North Korea was unprepared for the landing. Key objectives were taken with far fewer casualties than past U.S. amphibious operations. MacArthur’s gamble was a smashing success.

After the fall of Inchon, U.S. forces focused on the former South Korean capital, Seoul, an objective twenty-five miles away. The Han River and over 20,000 North Korean soldiers occupying the city made capturing it more difficult. With the 7th Infantry Division on the 1st Marine Division’s southern flank, the Marines were able to fight toward Seoul. By September 22, 1950, the X Corps reached Seoul’s western edge. A hard fight for the city ensued. On September 29, 1950, the city fell to U.S. forces. A brief ceremony gave control of the city to South Korean president Syngman Rhee.

U.S. and South Korean forces made progress in southern Korea as the fight for Inchon and Seoul was waged. The Eighth Army broke out from the Pusan Perimeter. After some resistance, the North Korean forces were defeated at Waegwan, Chungam-ni, and the western port of Kunsan. While some North Korean forces broke into a chaotic scramble, others waged a fighting retreat that involved holding tight to certain positions in South Korea. These examples of North Korean resistance cost U.S. and Allied forces significant casualties. Despite this, North Korean soldiers soon found out that they could not defend the X Corps attacks near Seoul and Inchon and hold allied forces back in southern Korea.

Costly but thrilling victories after a painful summer caused United Nations leaders to debate going beyond the pre-war boundary set during the post-World War II U.S.-Soviet occupation of the peninsula. Military authorities believed that the North Korean Army had to be destroyed before real security could be achieved. A wounded North Korean Army would always lay in waiting to attack south. Others in the U.S. National Security Council cautioned against crossing the 38th parallel because they thought it might set off a Chinese and Soviet intervention. President Truman sided with his military advisers. On September 27, 1950, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed MacArthur to move across the 38th parallel and destroy North Korea’s military. By October 9, 1950, U.S. forces had crossed the border. Before the month was over, important cities like Pyongyang and Wonsan fell to U.S. and allied soldiers. The war’s end seemed like it was on the horizon.

Given the optimism of this moment, Chinese intervention at the end of November 1950 came as a great surprise. Intelligence sources across the U.S and allied countries had reported Chinese concerns about their security. However, the excitement of Inchon and the bold offensive that followed caused U.S. leaders to underestimate the danger of Chinese involvement. Chinese intervention brought the war into a new phase.

The search for unaccounted-for remains from the Inchon campaign to the Chinese intervention started before the end of the war. From 1951 to 1956, Army Graves Registration Service and different divisional quartermaster units sought remains in South Korea. Though the rapid movement of units during this phase of the war made locating remains more difficult, over 20,000 individuals were located in this period. The DPAA currently maintains a semi-permanent office in South Korea to search for remains year-round. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification also assists U.S. teams.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Korean Air Battles

korean air battles

While air power played a vital role in the Korean War, its function is often portrayed as less significant than that experienced in WWII. However, quick dismissal of the air war must be tempered by the understanding that vital historical resources remain inaccessible in foreign government archives and that the conduct of the air war has never been subject to detailed historical analysis. Furthermore, resources which are available bias towards their specific remit or are concealed within larger service/historical narratives.

The Korean War air campaign largely centered around three main roles: Air superiority/interdiction, strategic bombardment, and close air support. During this first conflict of the emergent Cold War, the nascent US Air Force (USAF) both would fly fewer sorties and would drop fewer munitions compared to the Second World War. The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC), focusing on close air support (CAS) compared to the USAF’s focus on interdiction and strategic bombardment, would fly nearly equivalent numbers of missions to those of WWII while dropping some 75% more bomb tonnage. Moreover, the number of overall sorties flown by both sides saw an unbalanced deployment of airpower. UN Command (UNC) flew some 700,000 sorties (US pilots accounting for 93% of these sorties) compared to the 90,000 sorties flown by Communist forces. The limited number of Communist sorties likely results from the USSR’s intention to limit overt, full military assistance to the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) / Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) in an attempt to contain the conflict to the Korean peninsula.

Air Superiority and Interdiction

Caught by the surprise and force of the DPRK’s 25 June 1950 invasion, Republic of Korea (ROK) forces and their US advisors initially operated a confused withdrawal toward the southeast of the peninsula. However, the initial shock of invasion soon turned into a concerted defense around Pusan. Critical to the stabilization were aerial assets both within the ROK and those based in Japan. Air superiority over the DPRK air force was gained within a month. The establishment of air superiority re-opened debate on the application of air power. USAF leadership promoted establishment and maintenance of air supremacy, interdiction to slow or halt Communist movements, and strategic bombing to blunt Communist war-making ability. US Army, Navy and Marine Corps leadership desired continued close cooperation of air and ground forces. The debate on which aerial strategy to prioritize largely reflected the present status of the war. More broadly, the debate was deferred by moving forward with all options at varying intensities.

The UNC air superiority gained through the warring powers’ numerical and technological imbalance did not go uncontested. General McArthur’s failure to heed his command’s intelligence, Washington’s directives, and PRC warnings saw him commit UNC forces up to the Yalu River in October 1950. The perceived danger of US forces on the border of Manchuria saw Beijing make good on its thinly veiled threats and commit PRC ground and air assets to the on-going conflagration. CCF intervention brought vast resources to support North Korea’s continued survival. First UN contact with CCF forces came in the vicinity of Unsan on October 25, 1950. Soon Communist presence was manifest in the skies with the introduction of Soviet-piloted jet aircraft. The new Soviet-developed MiG-15 swept wing, jet-powered aircraft eliminated established UNC air supremacy. The older, piston engine aircraft deployed by the US were soon replaced with the more advanced jet-powered aircraft including the F-86 Sabre, a swept wing fighter comparable with the Soviet MiG-15. While the early imbalance of piston versus jet combat was keenly felt, the limitation on range provided some stabilization.

Most contests for air supremacy, both piston-versus-jet and jet-versus-jet, were concentrated near the northwest DPRK-PRC border (i.e., the Yalu River). This region—generally bounded by the Yellow Sea, the Ch’ongch’on River and the Sui-ho Reservoir—came to be known as MiG Alley. Communist forces benefitted from nearby bases, concentrated air defenses, and increased flying times due to closer proximity to the active combat area. Conversely, UNC forces had limited loitering time due to more distant air bases. The limited patrol time of approximately 20 minutes meant that much of UNC efforts dedicated to re-establishing and maintaining air supremacy were defensive, patrolling airspace or reacting to Communist incursion flights. Efforts by the Communist forces to expand their movement in concert with the Chinese-directed offensives of late-1950 and 1951 were aggressively crushed by UNC air attacks.

Component to re-establishment of UNC aerial supremacy were incursion flights into PRC airspace. Officially, the UNC prohibited “hot pursuit” of Communist aircraft operating north of the Yalu River. However, in theater this limitation was often ignored with UNC airmen quietly pursuing Soviet/DPRK/CCF aircraft inside Manchuria, patrolling Manchurian airspace for targets of opportunity, and engaging CCF bases and air defenses. Few MiGs were observed outside the northern border regions—MiG Alley in particular—following the 1951 UNC spoiling missions. UNC air superiority, initially won through a numerical and training imbalance, was re-established and maintained through a combination of better training, better experience, and more aggressive pilots.

Close Air Support

More critical to the daily prosecution of UNC operations was effective application of tactical air support. While the USAF advocated for airspace interdiction and strategic bombardment as the primary role of airpower on the ground, it was CAS that more often saw aircraft engage with ground targets. The quantity of historical research into CAS is more limited than that discussing the role of air-to-air combat or strategic bombardment. However, available scholarship on the subject (Edwards 2010: 85, 87) reinforces the central role of CAS in the air war (accounting for approximately 15% of all UN sorties) and provides CAS as assisting in stabilizing UNC lines during critical points. The steady withdrawal to the Pusan Perimeter in July/August 1950 and the maintenance of the same was greatly assisted by CAS aircraft. During the Pusan fight, CAS is credited with inflicting equal enemy casualties as ground assets while destroying nearly three-quarters of DPRK mobile equipment and artillery. Likewise, during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, CAS is credited for 50% of CCF casualties. While CAS aircraft provided critical tactical support to ground forces, proximity to enemy infantry and air defenses negatively affected loss statistics.

Conclusion

Information on the air war in Korea lacks the fullness of preceding and following aerial campaigns. Nonetheless, specific trends emerge. The air war over Korea reflects the maturation of piston aircraft technology during the Second World War, the strategic contest of emergent jet and rocket technologies during the early Cold War, and the political restrictions of a limited geographic conflict. Concern over the entrance of the USSR and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into the conflict—and the possible expansion of the conflict from the same—dictated UN strategic focus for much of the Korean War. The eventual entry of the PRC into the conflict modified the UN/US air campaigns from predominantly close air support, interdiction, and strategic bombing to also include establishment and maintenance of air supremacy. The skies over Korea provide a critical linkage between established Second World War and developing US Cold War air doctrines.

 

DPAA Research

During the Korean War air campaign, the US suffered 2,714 aircraft destroyed and 4,055 service personnel killed. The circumstances of air losses in the Korean War drive much of the on-going research focus. While much of the early war was fought within the ROK, the majority of the conflict—especially the air war—was fought within the DPRK. Therefore, the geographic location of air losses presents accessibility challenges. Archaeologically, air losses are often single site, high velocity impacts of diminutive size. Fragmentation and burning of aircraft, as well as post-war site clean-up, presents additional challenges to site location and recovery. Moreover, losses related to undocumented “hot pursuit” both on the DPRK-PRC border and within the PRC present substantial historical and archaeological research challenges. The DPAA has completed 57 Joint Field Activities (JFAs) in the ROK to date including collaborative historical and archival research and site identification, survey, and excavation programs. The DPAA completed 33 JFAs in the DPRK before temporarily suspending in-country research in 2005.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Battle of Unsan

Battle of unsan

Unsan is located in the eastern section of North P’yŏngan province, roughly 60 km northeast of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Between October 25 and November 4, 1950, Unsan was the site of one of the most devastating battles for U.S. forces in the Korean War. Unsan marked the surprise entry of the People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) of China, also known as the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF), and the beginning of their First Phase Campaign to support the fleeing North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) forces that were retreating toward the Yalu River. On October 25, the Republic of Korea (ROK) 1st Infantry Division attacked what they thought were remnants of the NKPA at Unsan. Very soon after, captured Chinese soldiers alerted the ROK soldiers to a 10,000 strong Chinese force waiting north of Unsan to join the fight. ROK forces fought for positions in the hills around Unsan, but by the following morning, found themselves surrounded by enemy forces to the north and the west, on the road between Unsan and Yongsan-dong.

The U.S. 6th Medium Tank Battalion and the U.S. 10th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group were ordered to provide support to ROK troops trying to break through Chinese lines to little avail. General Walton Walker of the U.S. Eighth Army ordered the 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division to fight with the ROK 15th Regiment in a northward attack. The 8th Cavalry Regiment had taken up positions around the town, with its 1st Battalion defending the north of Unsan by the Samtan River, while its 2nd and 3rd Battalions defended the areas west of the Unsan by the Nammyon River. Lack of UN manpower, however, created a 1-mile gap between the 1st and 2nd Battalions, which Chinese forces exploited on November 1. By later that night, the ROK 15th Infantry Regiment had been decimated and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 8th Cavalry were severely low on ammunition. UN forces were ordered to withdraw by Major General Frank W. Milburn, commander of the U.S. I Corps.

The UN withdrawal from Unsan proved extremely difficult, as Chinese forces continued to pour into the gap between the 8th Cavalry’s 1st and 2nd Battalions. Surrounded by the 347th and 348th Regiments of the PVA 116th Division, these units had to mount an escape by infiltrating the Chinese lines and abandoning most of their vehicles and heavy weapons along the way. They managed to reach UN lines the following day. Their brethren in the 3rd Battalion, however, were not so fortunate. They were initially left alone during the night while Chinese forces were attacking the 1st and 2nd Battalions, but a company of Chinese commandos from the 116th Division, disguised as ROK soldiers, infiltrated the 3rd Battalion command post and caught them in a surprise attack that killed many while they slept. After being pinned down, the U.S. 5th Cavalry Regiment was ordered to mount a rescue attempt. The 5th Cavalry lost 350 soldiers in attacks against the PVA 343rd Regiment in their attempts to help and were eventually ordered to retreat. Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion (8th Cavalry) continued to endure attacks from Chinese forces until less than 200 were able to make it to UN lines on November 4.

More than 1,000 men from the 8th Cavalry Regiment were initially listed as missing in action from the Battle of Unsan. As the days passed, about 400 men managed to return to friendly lines. Enemy sources later indicated the Chinese captured between 200 and 300 men at Unsan. From 1990 to 1994, the DPRK returned 208 containers of remains to U.S. control, sixteen of them reportedly from Unsan. They returned six more caskets of remains in 2007. In addition, DoD teams from Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CILHI) and later the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted operations in the Unsan area in 1996 and 1997 and from 2000 to 2005. Identification of remains from those recovery initiatives has resolved over 55 of the unaccounted-for service members from this battle.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir

chosin reservoir

The Chosin Reservoir is a man-made lake located in the northeast of the Korean peninsula. From the end of November to mid-December 1950, it was the site of one of the most brutal battles between UN and Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) during the Korean War. For approximately seventeen days, roughly 30,000 U.N. soldiers and marines faced an enemy force estimated at around 120,000 over rugged terrain in lethally cold weather.

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East, superseded his orders and advanced his forces north toward the Yalu River to push North Korean forces into China. In late November 1950, the U.S. Eighth Army advanced in northwest Korea and the X Corps advanced along the east side of the Korean peninsula to sever enemy supply lines near the Chosin Reservoir. The U.S. 1st Marine Division, commanded by Major General Oliver P. Smith, advanced up the west side of the Chosin Reservoir while elements of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, led by Regimental Combat Team 31 (RCT-31), advanced along the east side. The 3rd Infantry Division guarded the Marines’ flanks and a major supply base and airfield was constructed south of the reservoir at Hagaru-ri.

On November 25, the CCF engaged the U.S. Eighth Army forces, catching them by surprise and forcing them to retreat, but X Corps continued to advance, believing that the Chinese forces north of them were weak. On November 27, the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments attacked from Yudam-ni along the west side of the reservoir. Two CCF divisions stopped the Marines’ advance while a third division cut the road south between Yudam-ni and Hagaru-ri. On the east side of the reservoir, RCT-31 advanced north and was surrounded by a far superior Chinese force. By November 28, UN forces at Hagaru-ri and on both sides of the reservoir were isolated. On November 30, X Corps began to retreat from the Chosin reservoir.

The hastily organized Task Force Drysdale was ordered to attack north from Koto-ri to open the road south from Hagaru-ri, where a withdrawal could be organized. After a bitter fight, the airfield was opened on December 1, allowing UN forces to bring in reinforcements and evacuate the casualties. Air support provided by the 1st Marine Air Wing and the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 77 covered the withdrawal of UN forces to Hagaru-ri. After a short rest, the 7th Marine Regiment lead a breakout from Hagu-ri and fought south through Hell Fire Valley, Koto-ri, the Funchilin Pass, and Sudong – where Task Force Dog of the 3rd Infantry Division repelled the pursuing Chinese forces. UN forces reached the port of Hungnam on December 11 where they were evacuated farther south to bolster the 8th Army, then in full retreat toward the 38th Parallel.

Over a thousand U.S. marines and soldiers were killed during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign and thousands more were wounded in battle or incapacitated by cold weather. Many men were buried where they fell, and due to the cold weather and the retreat of UN Forces from the area, hundreds of fallen marines and soldiers were unable to be immediately recovered. During Operation Glory in 1953 and 1954, the North Korean government returned the remains of thousands of war dead from UN cemeteries in northeastern North Korea, including over 500 isolated burials from the Chosin battlefield. The Central Identification Unit at Kokura, Japan, was able to identify all but 126 of the remains, which were buried as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. From 1990 to 1994, the North Korean government returned 47 additional containers of remains which they attributed to the Chosin campaign. DoD teams from Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CILHI) and later the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted investigative and recovery operations in the Chosin Reservoir’s eastern sector from 2001 to 2005. From these recovery efforts and the continued forensic analysis of unknown remains, DPAA and its predecessor organizations have identified over 130 of the unaccounted-for service members lost in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Missouri Korean War POW/MIA List

Missouri - Korean War POW/MIA List

These reports include the U.S. personnel from the state of Missouri who have been accounted for and unaccounted for (including POW returnees and POW escapees) and all personnel whose remains have been recovered and identified since the end of the war.

This information has been sourced from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Korean War POW/MIA List – Missouri (Accounted for)

Accounted-For: This report includes the U.S. personnel who have been accounted for (including POW returnees and POW escapees) and all personnel whose remains have been recovered and identified since the end of the war.

Korean War POW/MIA List Missouri (Unaccounted For)

Unaccounted-For: This report includes the U.S. personnel who are still unaccounted for.

Veteran’s Day Observance at National WWI Museum and Harry S. Truman Museum

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

Concurrent Resolution of Congress, June 4, 1926,
recognizing the official end of World War I .

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.

Excerpt from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

This weekend the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum have events observing the national holiday.

As the commemoration of World War I Centennial continues, there is no place more fitting to recognize and honor those who have served their country on Veterans Day Weekend than at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. During the weekend (Friday, Nov. 10 – Sunday, Nov. 12), veterans and active duty military personnel receive free admission, while the general public receives half-price admission.

On Veterans Day, activities include a public ceremony at 10 a.m. featuring dignitaries, a keynote address from Major General Maria R. Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center, and inspirational performances from The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble and the Regency Place Special Chorus. The Museum is offering a host of activities throughout the weekend, including the ability to “find your WWI connection” through research stations, the chance to climb aboard/inspect a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, child-friendly programs and more.

The weekend also marks the debut of the Hope 22: Dark to Light photo exhibition showcasing stories of local veterans through a series of photographs designed to raise awareness about a Veterans Affairs report that, on average, 22 veterans are killed by suicide each day. For the complete schedule of events, visit theworldwar.org/veteransday.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum features the 6th Annual Honorable Ike Skelton Veterans Day Salute on Sunday, November 12 from noon to 5 p.m. A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m.

The museum salutes America’s veterans, with free museum admission, patriotic activities and a public program featuring Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, USAF (Ret.), a 29-year veteran of the Air Force and current Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The event will also include a musical performance, a 21-gun salute and a presidential wreath-laying ceremony on the gravesite of President Truman. Find the full event schedule for the program at http://www.trumanlibraryinstitute.org/events/veteransday/

RSVP Join us as we honor America’s heroes, rain or shine. Activities throughout the day are free, but RSVPs are requested if you plan to attend the wreath-laying ceremony and public program featuring General Mordente. http://12130.thankyou4caring.org/events/2017-veterans-day-ceremony

Content for this post provided by the National World War I Museum and Memorial [Website] and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum [Website]

Charles Richard Long, Medal of Honor Recipient

Sergeant Charles Richard “Buddy” Long was a true American hero in every sense. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he served his country valiantly both in World War II and the Korean War.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for bravely facing down a numerically overwhelming force and voluntarily remaining at his forward position to direct mortar fire until he was overrun and killed.

His actions helped his company to withdraw, reorganize, counterattack, and regain the position. As a result, he saved countless American lives while exacting heavy enemy casualties.

Growing up and leaving a legacy in Kansas City

Sergeant Long was from Independence, where his namesake the Charles R. Long Army Reserve Center is now located, and where the Truman Memorial Building now holds a display about him.

He delivered newspapers for the Kansas City Star as a teenager, and graduated from Northwest High School in 1941. He then worked at the Fairmount Inter-City News as an apprentice printer before following his brother’s footsteps and joining the Army.

Heroic military service

Long served in Europe and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. So strong were his feelings for his fallen brothers that upon returning home, he expressed an interest in participating in the escort service to bring back war dead. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so because he had high blood pressure.

He stayed in the Army reserve and recalled to active duty in 1950 when tensions in Korea reached led to the outbreak of war. On Feb 12, 1951, while serving as a sergeant with Company M of the 38th Infantry Regiment, he was acting as a forward observer for the company’s mortar platoon when an enemy force, which outnumbered them greatly, attacked their position.

The order was given to withdraw, but Sergeant Long voluntarily stayed behind to direct mortar fire at the enemy as they advanced. Unflinchingly, and in the face of certain death, he coolly emptied his carbine and threw hand grenades while using his radio to order volley after volley of mortar fire in and around his position.

U.S. Army Camp Long in Wonju, South Korea is named for him, and Sergeant Long’s Actions will also always be remembered through the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Archive Note: Interview May 25, 2015

Dave Deatherage

For our members that are not aware our beloved Dave Deatherage passed away on July 22, 2020. Dave always gave his heart and soul to our organization without hesitation and did so with a passion that inspired everyone around him. Dave was involved with the design of our Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial patches, lapel pins, and our challenge coin. Not only was he involved in the design of our memorabilia, but Dave was also a premier salesman for our paver stones as well.

Dave never missed any of our MKWVM meetings and you could always count on him to have his jar with money that he had made from sales with him. He was a true inspiration to all that knew him and set a wonderful example for all to strive to emulate, a true gentleman and patriot. His kindness and humor will be truly missed, may God bless him and keep him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time.

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/kansas-city-mo/david-deatherage-9273813

#mokoreanwarmemorial #neverforget

Video Source: David Siry/westpointcoh.org

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