Selma loses more Korean War veterans

Published 2:05 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By JAMES G. SMITH | Guest Columnist 

There is an old saying, “Father time waits on no man,” and that proves out to be very true. The case in point is the Korean War veterans whose numbers are dwindling. From a group of about 22 that used to meet here and rehash the war, only three remain.

One of the remaining, F. Slayton Crawford II, US Navy – USS Whetstone (LSD-27) Korea – 1950-1954 -(Featured in the Selma Times-Journal Sunday, March 4, 2007) moved from here several years ago to the Auburn-Opelika area. The two regulars of the group still here are Charles V. Pollack, US Army – 89th Tank Battalion – 25th I.D. – Korea 1950-1952 (STJ – Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006) and Joseph S. Knight, USMC – 1st Marine Division – Korea 1951-1954 (STJ – Monday, Dec. 11, 2006).

Just in the past few weeks, the Korean War veterans here have lost two of their members. It was not broadcast on the 24 hour news media circuits, but rather quietly observed by family and close friends.

It was amply as newsworthy due to the sacrifices made by these men enables the news media and others to exercise their God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

First to be called home was Edward D. Carter, US Air Force – Radio Operator – 5th Air Force – Korea – 1950-1953 (STJ – Sunday, Jan. 8, 2006). Better know as Don to family and friends, he flew low level missions over Korea in an unarmed C-47 cargo plane dropping leaflets, flares and supplies. One of the topics that always comes up when these men get together is how cold it was in Korea. On more than one occasion, I recall Don telling the group if they thought it was cold in those steel tanks and in the foxholes, they should have been in an airplane with the bay doors open making deliveries.

Last week another of the group, Walter C. Myers, US Army – “C” Battery – 52nd Field Artillery Battalion – 24th Infantry Division – Korea – 1949-1952 (STJ – Friday, Jan. 14, 2005) was laid to rest. Walt had the distinction of being in the first unit to respond to the invasion from the North Koreans. The 24th Infantry Division stationed at Kyushu, Japan got the call and responded. The task was to stem the tide of North Koreans and to keep them from overrunning the South.  They accomplished their goal and made the trek from the southernmost tip of Korea to the northernmost point, the Yalu River, before being pushed back by the hoards of Chinese entering the war. Walt recalled crossing the 38th parallel three times on attack and three on retreat during his tour.

One of the most appropriate compliments of the men who fought in Korea I know, is attributed to Major Glenn Dorhmann USAR (Ret) however unverified. “These fine men do not beg medals, only the undying gratitude of the South Korean people, and of their own great homeland, the United States of America. We all knew the price of freedom could require the highest sacrifice.”

I have monitored this group of American patriots for a number of years and find no group more honorable and patriotic.

They exhibited intrepidity which is characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude and endurance in carrying out their duties as American soldiers, sailors, and airmen during the Korean War.