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Died in Captivity

The "Korean Conflict Casualty File" (KCCF) described these men as "died in captivity." Many of these men were starved to death, many were plainly and simply murdered. When a gun is put to a prisoners head and fired he dies but he has been murdered.

 

The Forgotten War

By Lieutenant Colonel Ralph "Eli" Culbertson
L/21/24, Camps 2 and 7

The cold, bleak hills of Korea
Are far away from the USA
Where we fought the fight for freedom
And the right for human liberty.
And, as POWs in captivity, we saw
The worst of inhumane treatment
That man can give to man.

It happened in the Bean Camp, Pak's Palace,
The Mining Camp, Death Valley,
In the Cornfield, and on the Death March.
It consisted of beatings, murders, and starvation,
Brainwashing, mock trials, and isolation,
Kneeling bare-chested in the snow.
Standing with arms held high
While the Bull or the Whip beat you over the head
With corn cobs, sticks or rifle butts.
And all were allowed since each guard was
His own judge, jury, and executioner.

And this was done in the name of
Stalin and IL-Sung Kim.
Whether the "Tiger" led it
Or by "Dirty Pictures Wong,"
It is still remembered in my mind
As a long ... dark ... dreary passage of time
Which many of us could not endure.

It was really not "give-up-it-is."
The flesh was weak and the mind unable to cope.
But why did some of us die
And others live?
I know not why.
Sometimes I've said, simply, that
"I would not let the bastards kill me."
And, yet, there is more to it than that.

As Father Coyos reminded me at my daily prayer,
"Please God, increase the value of this food."
It brings to mind what our captors used to say,
"Well, if you believe in God, then let him feed you."
So, I suppose in many cases, such as mine,
He did.

But how can we live today
Without remembering the past?
We cannot.
And, most importantly, we must remember
Our buddies who did not make it.
Thornton, Jester, Anderson, Cox, McKinley,
And the Roll Call goes on.

Left behind. Somewhere on the cold
Korean hillside or beside the road.
Let's bring them home.
If not their remains, at least their Roll Call,
Enshrined forever in appropriate memorial,
As at the Punchbowl:

TO THAT FORGOTTEN WAR

 

Alford Raymond K RA14337264 died 2/27/51
Ambeau Donald F RA16317440 died 11/1/50
Ampon Joseph O RA36000547 died 1/20/52
Bailey Charles V RA16250564 died 1/22/51
Berrier Jackie G RA17245491 died 1/5/51
Boyer Charles E RA16260292 died 1/28/51
Boyiddle Silas W RA18221819 died 10/27/50
Bunting Worth L RA14249782 died 1/8/51
Cox Robert C RA13166998 died 1/8/51
Daniel Richard A RA19336196 died 10/31/50
Danowski Alex RA 6574713 died 3/17/51
Easterday Charles W RA16279136 died 11/16/50
Frantz George A RA16311766 died 12/5/50
Fullerton Harold O RA13289019 died 10/1/50
Haggard Billy M RA14299633 died 6/26/51
Hoak Charles R RA13290334 died 12/7/50
Jester William R RA15276540 died 6/16/51
Kendall Richard RA15229747 died 7/8/52
Kolberg William V RA33377774 died 12/28/50
Morgan Melvin H RA14261058 died 12/6/50
Nelson Woodrow W RA35206461 died 10/19/50
Nichols Robert A RA15413856 died 1/3/51
Plotner Gerald R RA15271451 died 3/6/51
Raburn Cleon RA 6386342 died 12/26/50
Shertzer Gordon R RA13314915 died 5/29/51
Smith George R RA19350217 died 12/12/50
Srogoncik George J RA13280987 died 1/8/51
Stewart Robert E RA16267761 died 12/26/50
Szczepanski Anthony A RA13299799 died 11/2/50
Tiernan John J RA12293869 died 7/29/50
Wilder Harold D RA13320189 died 2/28/51
Williams Leonard J RA13299677 died 12/7/50
Williamson Claud H RA13300399 died 11/12/50
Wilson David H RA17257758 died 11/26/50
Wright Chester A RA16302743 died 1/13/51

Most of the dates attached to these names come from Johnson's List. Wayne "Johnnie" Johnson kept secret records in prison camp.  Johnnie was captured at Chochiwon along with 55 other Love company soldiers. If "Johnnie" had not kept his list we would not know. Below is a link to Johnson's List. Joe McKeon, 24th Division Historian, contributed some information that Johnnie's list did not provide including date of death for Gordon Shertzer, the only man from L company to have been captured after July 1950 to my knowledge. I was on the hill with Shertzer at the time he must have been taken prisoner; February 6, 1951. Jim Fine

Johnson's List - The List

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 Last updated 11 October 2006