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Hostile DMZ Deaths after January 31, 1955

 
The following material is supplied to The Korean War Educator by Martin O’Brien of Augusta, Maine. The statistics come from Mr. O'Brien's book, The Forgotten War: Forgotten Soldiers of a Forgotten War….No Longer Forgotten!.  His book discusses 98 post-war deaths; 34,461 validated deaths; 17,355 other deaths; and 2,452 un-validated deaths. It also questions other government statistics. The material shown here is taken verbatim, and with Mr. O'Brien's permission, from pages 69-73 of his book.

DEATHS CAUSED BY HOSTILE ACTION –
DEMILITARIZED ZONE (DMZ), AND OFFSHORE
KOREA AFTER JANUARY 31, 1955

BACKGROUND: POST-ARMISTICE DEATHS [BETWEEN JULY 27, 1953 AND JANUARY 31, 1955]

The Korean War, officially styled as the Korean Conflict, raged in Korea from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, the date of the signing of an armistice between the United Nations Command (UNC) and the military forces of the North Korean Peoples Army (NKPA) and the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF).

The truce in Korea still is in effect; the military representatives of both sides continue to meet periodically to discuss alleged violations of the long-standing period of relative peace in that troubled land.

Although a truce was in effect, through January 31, 1955, another 641 Americans, mostly Air Force, would die from "Hostile" and "Non-Battle" actions on the ground and in the air in Korea.

As mentioned elsewhere in this booklet, their names are included in the "Selected Korean Conflict Casualties" and data base maintained by the DoD DIOR (See Part I); the list is available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The list is current as of October 27, 1994 (as amended) and supersedes all previous DoD lists.

According to Roger D. Jorstad, Director, Manpower Management Information Division, DoD DIOR:

"The record data has been revised in order to correct erroneous data, reexamine casualty status, and to include an accounting of those individuals who died from nonhostile causes for all Services except the Army. Dates of death range from 1950 to 1955. Of the 641 deaths with Casualty dates after July 27, 1953, the majority are classified as hostile, Died while missing (presumptive finding of death). Most of these deaths were Air Force personnel."

The "Non-Battle" deaths listed in the DoD data base pertain only to USN, USMC and USAF personnel; with respect to any post-Armistice Army "Non-Battle" casualties (July 27, 1953-January 31, 1955), please refer to Part II of this booklet.

AN ENDURING OUTRAGE

Although the shooting war officially ended on January 31, 1955; from February 1, 1955 to date, another 98 men would die in Korea as a result of "Hostile" and combat-related actions.

According to researcher Tom Murray, Kingman, AZ, "….another 814 American soldiers died from non-hostile causes in Korea from 1961 to the present." They too must be remembered.

SOURCES:

  1. Headquarters, Eight U.S. Army, June 1996; Eight U.S. Army Staff Historian’s Office, November 1970;
  2. Naval Military Personnel Command, 1996;
  3. VFW Magazine, "Fighting Brush Fires on Korea’s DMZ," August 1996;
  4. C. David Benbow, author, Statesville, N.C.; and
  5. Tom Murray, Jr., 3375 N. Fairfax St. #66, Kingman, Arizona, has compiled a list of deaths in Korea for the years 1966-1969; most of the deaths occurred in or around the DMZ.

POST-WAR "HOSTILE" DEATHS [AFTER JANUARY 31, 1955]

According to Headquarters, Eight U.S. Army, Korea, June 26, 1996, 60 USFK servicemen died as a result of post-war North Korean "Hostile" actions between August 17, 1955 and December 17, 1994.

In addition, according to VFW Magazine, August 1996 and the Naval Military Personnel Command, 30 Navy personnel and one Marine were shot down in an EC-121 aircraft on April 15, 1969 over the Sea of Japan; and, one seaman was killed in the USS Pueblo incident off the coast of Korea in January 1968.

Name/Serial Number

Rank/Rate

Unit

Date
(DDMMYY)
Anderson, DeLynn E. LTC 6146 AFAG 20-04-61
Anderson, James L.
51664279
SGT USASG JSA 14-04-68
Anderson, Thomas L. SFC 2 ID 12-07-79
Arcemont, Terry G.
18641199
SSG 2 ID 07-10-67
Ashforth, Leonard
51976565
SP4 23 INF, 2 ID 16-07-67
Balderman, Louis F. ADR2 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Ballinger, Robert M. CDR UNCAAD USN* 20-11-74
Barrett, Mark T. 1LT USASG JSA 18-08-76
Bass, Joseph A. SSGT 32 INF, 2 ID 18-08-68
Benton, Johnny W.
52407162
PFC 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Bisbee, Robert R.
67010504
PVT 31 INF, 7 ID 21-04-68
Bonifas, Arthur G. MAJ USASG JSA 18-08-76
Boudreaux, Philip
18274522
SFC 31 INF, 7 ID 10-08-67
Boyd, Tommy D.
5456315
PFC 23 INF, 2 ID 16-07-67
Brophy 1SGT C Troop, 7ID, 10th Cav 1960-61
Brown, Charles W. CPT Eight USA 17-08-55
Burrell, Robert W.
55842617
PFC 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Capp, Raymond Jr.
(Name is spelled Kapp in
the 1996 USFK roster.)
PFC 1 CD* 18-08-63
Cayer, Joseph E. Jr. SP4 2 ID 27-09-68
Chartier, Stephen C. AT1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Colgin, Bernie J. AT1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Connors, Ballard F. Jr. ADR1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Cook, Billy J.
55845325
SP4 23 INF, 2 ID 22-08-67
Corp, Philip N. SGT 38 INF, 2 ID 29-08-67
Czaplicki, Donald J.
51772548
PFC 21 INF, 7 ID 10-08-67
Dessart, Charles T. III PFC 9 CAV, 1 CD 29-07-63
Dillingham, Jimmy E. 2LT 1CD* 08-10-62
DuCharme, Gary R. CT3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Dzema, John N. LT EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Fischer, Morris L.
19887215
PVT 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Gibbs, John L.
51643644
PFC 23 INF, 2 ID 16-07-67
Gleason, Dennis B. LT EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Graham, Gene K. ATN3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Greiner, LaVerne A. AEC EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Grimes, William E. PFC 7 ID 18-10-69
Grissinger, James R. SSG 7 ID 18-10-69
Hargrove SP4 C Troop, 7th ID, 10th Cav 1960-61
Hasty, Leslie L.
54437073
PVT 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Haynes, Robert C. SGT 17 AVN GP 14-07-77
Hensley, James
16826833
SGT 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Hilemon, David W.*** CW2 17 AVN BDE` 17-12-94
Hodges, Duane D. SN USS PUEBLO 23-01-68
Holmdahl, Jan S. SP4 7 ID 20-07-68
Hopkins, Jerry L.
56712593
SGT 32 INF, 7 ID 18-08-68
Horrigan, Dennis J. ATR2 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Johnson, James A. SP4 1 CD 20-11-62
Johnson, Richard M.
5234632
1LT 2 ID* 10-07-68
Kincaid, Richard H. ATN2 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Larion, George F. CPL 30 ART, 7 ID 30-07-63
Lindsey, Calvin Lee PFC 23 INF, 2 ID** 15-03-69
Lund, Paul G.
56957468
PFC 38 INF, 2 ID 29-08-67
Lynch, Hugh M. SSGT EC-121 USMC 15-04-69
Martin, Paul W.
54378275
SGT 23 INF, 2 ID 24-01-68
McKee, Edgar A. Jr.
12965001
PFC 38 INF, 2 ID 29-08-67
McNamara, Marshall H. ADRC EC-121 USN 15-04-69
McNeil, Timothy H. ATR2 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Miles, Joseph A. CW2 17 AVN GP 14-07-77
Miller, John A. CT3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Mojica, Salvator T.
18852832
PVT 72 ARM, 2 ID 26-01-68
Morris, Jack T. SP4 7 ID 18-10-69
Mueller, Carl R. SP4 23 INF, 2 ID 22-05-67
Nassani, Stephen A. SP4 2 ID 05-10-68
Overstreet, James H. LCDR EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Perrottet, Peter P. LT EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Peterson, Terrance A. PFC 38 INF, 2 ID 05-08-68
Potts, John H. CT1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Prindle, Richard T. AMS3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Randall, Frederick A. CTC EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Reynolds, Ernest D.
(Awarded Silver Star)
PVT 23 INF, 2 ID 02-11-66
Reynolds, Michael Bruce PFC 2 ID 27-09-68
Ribar, Joseph R. LTJG EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Rimer, Richard J. PFC 15 ART, 1 CD 03-10-62
Rivers, Curtis Jr. PFC 76 ENG BN 03-10-62
Roach, James L. AT1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Rymarczuk, Michael SP4 24 INF, 2 ID 30-07-68
Seiler, David A.
55849986
PVT P CAV, 1 CD 29-07-63
Singer, John H. LT EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Skaggs, Jerry D.
11702875
PFC 31 INF, 7 ID 10-08-67
Smith, Baron J. PVT 23 INF, 2 ID 22-05-67
Smith, Richard E. CTC EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Sundby, Philip D. CT3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Sweeney, Richard E. AT1 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Sykora, Robert J. LTJG EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Taylor, Charles E. Jr. SP4 7 ID 18-10-69
Taylor, Robert F. LT EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Tesmer, Stephen J. CT2 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Turner, David L. PFC 38 INF, 2 ID 23-10-68
Tyler, Press Jr. SP4 23 INF, 2 ID 12-02-67
Vogel, Michael E.
16870518
SP4 76 ENG BN 28-08-67
Weeks, James L. 2LT 2 ID 20-07-68
Wells, Ronald SGT 17 AVN GP 14-07-77
Wilkerson, Norman E. LTJG EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Willis, David M. ATN3 EC-121 USN 15-04-69
Wood, Larry M.
54813991
SP4 USASG JSA 14-04-68

LEGEND: AFAG = Air Force Advisory Group; USASG = U.S. Army Support Group; JSA = Joint Security Area; UNCAAD = United Nations Command Armistice Affairs Division; Bn = Battalion; Gp = Group; Bde = Brigade; 1CD = First Cavalry Division; 2ID = Second Infantry Division; 7ID = 7th Infantry Division; Inf = Infantry; Cav = Cavalry; EC-121 = Type of Aircraft; USA = U.S. Army; USN = U.S. Navy; USMC = U.S. Marine Corps; USFK – U.S. Forces, Korea.

*Although listed as a "Hostile" death by Eight U.S. Army in June 1996, a compilation published by the Eight Army’s Historian’s Office in 1970 indicates that the deaths previously were determined to be accidental; whereas,

  • Ballinger was killed in an explosion when a tunnel was discovered in the southern portion of the DMZ;
  • Capp was killed when his group became disoriented and opened fire;
  • Dillingham stepped on a flare and mistakenly was killed by a ROK patrol;
  • Johnson was killed while on patrol by another American patrol when the two patrols mistook each other for NKPA infiltration teams

**Shortly after Lindsey’s death in a firefight, a U.S. Army helicopter carrying soldiers wounded in the same firefight crashed and burned resulting in six deaths. At the time, the deaths were reported as accidental casualties; killed in the crash were:

Kern, Peter M. SP4 23 INF 7 ID 15-03-69
McKinney, George T. SSG 23 INF 7 ID 15-03-69
Park, Benjamin Jr. (doctor) CPT 121 EVAC HOSPITAL 15-03-69
Rothwell, James C. (pilot) MAJ 377 MED CO 15-03-69
Stoller, Edwin L. (crew) SP4 377 MED CO 15-03-69
Zanchi, Carroll C. (crew) SP5 377 MED CO 15-03-69

McKinney’s casualty status is unclear. 1 Of the six, his name also is carried as a "Hostile" casualty on the 1996 Eight Army roster.

***David Hilemon was the last US serviceman to die as a result of "hostile" action in Korea.  He was killed when his helicopter went down over North Korea.  His body was returned on 12/22/94.

Airplane Crash Near K-13 - 4 January 1954

On 4 January 1954, a US Navy P2V-5 Neptune (BuNo 127752) of VP-2 departed NAS Iwakuni in Japan and headed toward the west coast of Korea. The flight continued north across the Korean DMZ, then along the North Korean coast to the coast of China before turning south. After reporting engine difficulties, the aircraft head towards the K-13 base at Suwan. The engine difficulties might have been a result of a hostile attack on the Neptune. The aircraft reached the vicinity of K-13 before crashing, possibly the result of an additional attack by a US Navy AD-4B Skyraider on night patrol. The crew of Jesse Beasley, Fredric Prael, Rex Claussen, Gordon Spicklemier, Lloyd Rensink, Bruce Berger, James Hand, Robert Archbold, Stanley Mulford and Paul Morelli were all killed.

Shot down by two MiG's - 15 April 1969

On 15 April 1969, while flying a patrol mission over the Sea of Japan, a US Navy EC-121M of VQ-1 (BuNo 135749) was attacked and shot down by two North Korean MiG-17 Fresco fighters 90 miles off the coast of Korea. All 31 crew members, James H. Overstreet, James L. Roach, John Dzema, John H. Potts, Dennis B. Gleason, Louis F. Balderman, Peter P. Perrottet, Richard H. Kincaid, John H. Singer, Dennis J. Horrigan, Robert F. Taylor, Frederick A. Randall, Robert J. Sykora, Stephen J. Tesmer, Norman E. Wilkerson, Hugh M. Lynch, Marshall H. McNamara, Gene K. Graham, Laverne A. Greiner, David M. Willis, Richard E. Smith, Gary R. Ducharme, Ballard F. Connors Jr., John A. Miller Jr., Stephen C. Chartier, Philip D. Sundby, Bernie J. Colgin, Richard Prindle, Timothy H. McNeil, Richard E. Sweeney and Joseph R. Ribar, were all killed in the attack. Two bodies and some wreckage was recovered by search vessels.

US Army Ch-47 Chinook Shot Down

[These casualties are listed in the Post-War Hostile Deaths after 1955 table above.]  On 14 July 1977, a US Army CH-47 Chinook was downed over the Korean demilitarized zone by a North Korean MiG-21 Fishbed. The CH-47's pilot was captured and the other three crew members, Robert Haynes, Joseph Miles and Ronald Wells, were killed. The pilot was released after 57 hours of captivity.

Post-Korean War Wounded in Action

After January 31, 1955, a total of 132 men were reported as wounded in action.

Full Recognition is long overdue

No medal was awarded for post-war service in Korea after the war through September 30, 1966, and it is unlikely that the government will ever do the right thing, even though 14% of the post war deaths occurred between January 1955 and March 1966.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars lobbied for some 10 years to award the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal to personnel who served in Korea during that period of time to no avail—the major reason why the VFW changed its bylaws to admit all Korea service veterans.  The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was authorized between the period October 1, 1966 and June 30, 1974.

Although Hostile Fire pay became effective on April 1, 1968, the Combat Infantry Badge was authorized only to those who served and met the criteria for the award after January 4, 1969. Six of the post-war deaths occurred between June 1974 and December 1994.

 

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