Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Rex Sanderson for providing all of the information to make this possible.

HOUSTON – The Korean War, often dubbed the “Forgotten War,” due to its proximity to World War II and Vietnam, was a conflict that took place from 1950-1953.

Many Americans lost their lives in the war, and eight of those were from Chickasaw County.

Some of these brave people were returned home, to receive a proper burial, some were never recovered, lost to time and only a set of statistics remain, to all except those that knew them that is.

The Memorial Day Program this year focused on Korean War deaths.

The names of those from Chickasaw County who perished include:

James Alfred

Armstrong

Armstrong was born on Dec. 22, 1928 to Mr and Mrs. Alfred Thomas Armstrong of Houston.

He was a student at Houston High School and worked at Horn’s Grocery for approximately two and a half years before he enlisted in the service.

He enlisted with the First Calvary Division in July 1948. He served as a Corporal in the United States Army in the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

Armstrong was killed while fighting in the Battle of Chochiwon on July 12, 1950. He was 21 years old.

Armstrong was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Armstrong is buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

Clarence Edward

Morgan, Jr.

Morgan was born on December 1, 1928 to Clarence and Frankie T. Moore Morgan. He lived on what was called “Reid-Houlka” road.

He attended the University of Mississippi Law School.

Morgan was a Sergeant in L Company, 35th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Division, U.S. Army.

He was taken as a prisoner of war on November 28,1950.

Morgan died as a POW on January 27, 1951 in North Korea of unknown circumstances. He was 23.

He received the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

Morgan’s remains were never recovered.

Wilma Ray Neal

Neal was born on April 24, 1928 to Deffie Eugene and Letha Myatt Neal of Woodland.

Neal’s older brother Max was killed in WWII.

Neal served in Company B, Engineers, Mississippi National Guard.

He was inducted into the Army on September 11, 1950, and nine days later, he shipped out to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.

Neal was killed in action on October 10, 1951, while fighting on “Heartbreak Ridge.” He was 23.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

He is buried in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.

Raymond Nicholas Reifers

Reifers was born on January 1, 1923 to Edward Nicholas and Hilda Jolly Reifers of Okolona.

He completed three years of high school before starting a career in construction.

He enlisted on September 22, 1943 at Fort McClellan, Al.

He made the rank of Staff Sergeant in the 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Infantry Division in the U.S. Army.

Reifers was killed in Action in North Korea on November 27, 1950. He was 27.

His remains were not recovered.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, 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.

Charles Marion Bevels

Bevels was born on July 23, 1931 to John Vardaman and Alice Bevels of Pyland.

He served as a U.S. Army Sergeant in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

He was taken as a Prisoner of War while fighting near Chochiwon on July 12, 1950.

He died as a POW on December 24, 1950 in Hanjang-ni, North Korea. He was 19.

He was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

His remains were not recovered.

J.D. Davis, Jr.

Davis was born on April 20, 1928. Not much is known about his early life.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 27, 1950, where he served as a Private, First Class Field Artillery Cannoneer in Battery B, 3rd Infantry Division.

He was killed in action on October 22, 1951 in North Korea.

He is buried in New Hebron Cemetery in Egypt, MS.

Charles Edgar Hood

Hood was born on September 26, 1931 to Johnnie Mack and Lucille Cooper Hood of Okolona. He attended Okolona High School.

He enlisted in the army on October 12, 1949.

He was trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and he was deployed to Korea on August 4, 1950.

He was a Sergeant in Company C of 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division.

He was seriously wounded by a missile in South Korea on February 15, 1951.

He succumbed to his injuries on February 16, 1951 at the age of 19.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, republic of Korea War Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

His funeral was held on November 8, 1951, and he was buried in Oddfellows Cemetery in Okolona.

He was also the first casualty from Okolona.

Thomas J. Hulsey, Jr.

Hulsey was born on July 27, 1928 to Thomas J. and Minnie Dell Mahan Hulsey of Van Vleet.

He enlisted in the army multiple times, first from Sep. 1946-Feb. 1948 and then again starting in Jan. 1949.

He served as a Sergeant in Battery A, 25th Anti-Aircraft Artillery.

He was killed in action on September 6, 1950. He was 22

He is buried in Houston Cemetery.

A special mention is William Benson Mitchell, Jr. He was born in Jackson in 1930, however, his family resides here in Chickasaw.

He was a member of the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

He was seriously wounded by an enemy missile on July 16, 1950, and he died of his wounds on July 31, 1950.

He was awarded the Purple Heart.

This Memorial Day, let us remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who died to ensure our freedom.

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