The Forgotten War by Tony Koonce

This portion of the Bond County Veterans Memorial, on the courthouse square in Greenville, is dedicated to those who served in the Korean War.

Local veteran Tony Koonce shared the following with WGEL this week…

Recently, another milestone in American history has passed by with little, if any recognition.

June 29 was the 70th anniversary of the beginning of American soldiers fighting in the Korean War. The first American casualties of that war were sustained on that day when five soldiers were wounded while shooting down a Korean Yak with an M-55 machine gun at Suwan Airfield.

The first Americans killed in action would come during the invasion of North Korea on July 4th. Nearly 2,000 lost their lives during the invasion from July 4th through August 3rd.

Being billed as The Forgotten War, the war would carry on for three long, cold years with a total of 1,587,040 Americans serving in Korea, leaving 33,651 killed in action and over 103,000 wounded. There were also 7,140 listed as missing in action or prisoners of war.

Bond County would have five young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice during that war:

Private Roy Thacker on August 10th, 1950

Private First Class Dewey Tidwell on August 30th, 1950

Private First Class Ivan Elam on October 13th, 1950

Private First Class Jesse Stockwell on October 4th, 1951

Private Zacharia Bone on August 22nd, 1952

July 27th is Korean War Armistices Day. In honor of those who served in that war, and in memory of the five soldiers who gave their lives, the flags at the Bond County Veterans Memorial will be lowered to half-staff.

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