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Deaths in 1955

Although open hostilities ended in July 1953, Korea was still a very dangerous place after the cease fire.  Casualties continued to mount as North Korea violated the truce agreement and our nation's servicemen died of "non-hostile causes" while serving in the line of duty.  American troops also lost their lives in other parts of the world during the Korean War timeframe.  The information in the material on this page of the KWE was gleaned and compiled by Lynnita Brown of the Korean War Educator from Department of Defense records.  Casualty details came from the American Battle Monuments Commission website at www.abmc.gov.  To add information about a 1955-only casualty in Korea or elsewhere around the world that year, send it to Lynnita Brown.
 
Name Death Date What Country Cause of Death
Baker, Sgt. Perley Albert Jr. January 25, 1955 Korea Other Causes
Biesterveld, ENS Thomas Clarence February 24, 1955 Korea POW - remains not recovered - presumed dead
Brooks, Capt. Robert N. April 17, 1955 Korea Killed in action - aircraft shot down
Brown, Charles W. August 17, 1955 Korea Unknown
Brown, Sgt. Jack Rayfull August 6, 1955 Korea Fiery vehicle crash
Brown, Sgt. Warren Russell Jr. June 10, 1955 Korea Other Causes
Cates, Pvt. Richard A. February 24, 1955 Korea Killed in action - bridge demolition
Cochran, Ltjg. Billy Edward March 1, 1955 Korea POW - remains not recovered - presumed dead
Kunzmann, 2Lt. James Francis March 10, 1955 Korea Aircraft crash
Neighbors, Maj. Lacie C. April 17, 1955 Korea Killed in action - aircraft shot down
Newell, Pfc. Charles November 16, 1955 Korea Wounded in action - died of wounds
Petersen, 2Lt. Fred Loren January 13, 1955 USA (Texas) Aircraft crash
Walls, Pfc. George Clifford November 22, 1955 Korea Killed in action on security duty
Weeks, Pfc. Garnett February 27, 1955 Korea Other Causes

Details of Death

[KWE Note: This list was compiled by the American Battle Monuments Commission and is not the work of the Korean War Educator.  All credit for the list goes to the ABMC.  The ABMC website is www.abmc.gov.]

Baker, Sgt. Perley Albert Jr.

Sergeant Baker was a member of the U.S. Army serving in Korea. He died of other causes on January 25, 1955. Sergeant Baker was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.

Biesterveld, ENS Thomas Clarence

Ensign Biesterveld was the pilot of a F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 193 aboard the aircraft carrier USS PRINCETON (CV-37). On April 29, 1951, while on a combat mission over North Korea, his aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire and he parachuted safely to the ground about four miles east of the Hwachon Reservoir. He was taken Prisoner of War and died while a prisoner on February 24, 1955. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. For his leadership and valor, Ensign Biesterveld was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Gold Star, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Brown, Sgt. Jack Rayfull

Sergeant Brown was a member of the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. On August 6, 1955, he was leaving his unit's position on the Demilitarized Zone in Korea to go to Japan for rest and recreation, when the military vehicle in which he was riding crashed the guard rail of a bridge and plunged into a gorge 40 feet below and burst into flames. Sergeant Brown was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Brown, Sgt. Warren Russell Jr.

Sergeant Brown was a member of Company A, 519th Military Police Battalion. He died of other causes on June 10, 1955 near Hungchen, South Korea. Sergeant Brown was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Brooks, Capt. Robert N.

Captain Brooks was a crew member of a RB-47E Stratojet reconnaissance aircraft with the U.S. Air Force. On April 17, 1955, while patrolling the airspace during the Korean truce, his aircraft was shot down. Captain Brooks was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Cates, Pvt. Richard A.

Private Cates was a member of the U.S. Army serving in Korea. On February 24, 1955, while under fire from the North Koreans, he was hit on his head by a bridge timber during its demolition by explosion near Kohyon-ni, Korea. Private Cates was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Cochran, Ltjg. Billy Edward

Lieutenant Junior Grade Cochran served with the 7th Fleet Staff. He was taken Prisoner of War while engaged with the enemy in Korea on June 14, 1951. He was presumed dead on March 1, 1955. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. For his leadership and valor, Lieutenant Junior Grade Cochran was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Kunzmann, 2Lt. James Francis

Lieutenant Kunzmann was the pilot of a F4U-5 Corsair fighter with Marine Fighter Squadron 212, Marine Air Group 33, 1st Marine Air Wing. On March 10, 1955, his aircraft crashed, killing him. Second Lieutenant Kunzmann was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Neighbors, Maj. Lacie C.

Major Neighbors was the pilot of a RB47E Stratojet reconnaissance aircraft with the U.S. Air Force. On April 17, 1955, while patrolling the airspace during the Korean truce, his aircraft was shot down by MiG-15 fighters over the Kamchatka Peninsula. All three crew members are missing. Major Neighbors was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Newell, Pfc. Charles

Private First Class Newell was a member of the 1st Marine Division serving in Korea. He was Wounded in Action while fighting the enemy in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and died from those wounds on November 16, 1955. Private First Class Newell was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Petersen, 2Lt. Fred Loren

Second Lieutenant Petersen was a pilot of a T-33 jet trainer. On January 13, 1955, during a training flight, he was killed when his aircraft crashed in Texas. Second Lieutenant Petersen was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

Walls, Pfc. George Clifford

Private First Class Walls was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while serving on security duty in the Demilitarize Zone from a shot in the back by a Korean ex-convict on November 22, 1955. Private First Class Walls was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Weeks, Pfc. Garnett

Private First Class Weeks was a member of the 1st Marine Division serving in Korea. He died from other causes on February 27, 1955. Private First Class Weeks was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

 

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