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Illinois and the Korean War, May 1951

Posted by Admin On April - 18 - 2011
 
The State of Illinois is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War by supplying information each month about the state’s involvement in the conflict. 
 
 The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Korean Memorial Association, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are sponsoring “Illinois Remembers the Forgotten War” along with media partners the Illinois Press Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  For more information, visit www.Illinois-History.gov or www.veterans.illinois.gov.
 
    Illinoisans killed in action in Korea, May 1951
By county of residence
(Source:  U.S. Department of Defense records)
 
Adams           Pvt. Leroy D. Kooper, Army, May 29.
                Cpl. Eugene B. Kramer, Army, May 19.
 
Clark           PFC Vernie D. Simmons, Army, May 28.
 
Cook            Pvt. Eric G. Allen, Army, May 30.
                HN1 John D. Bagaee, Navy, May 17.
                PFC David M. Barrett, Army, May 29.
                Pvt. William M. Benn, Army, May 18.
                PFC John Beskon, Army, May 21.
                Cpl. James T. Bolsum, Army, May 23.
                PFC Samuel E. Brower, Army, May 18.
                PFC Hugh M. Brown, Army, May 18.
                PFC Francis Burke, Army, May 18.
                1st Lt. William H. Butts, Army, May 20.
                Pvt. Henry Davenport, Army, May 14.
                1st Lt. Harry P. Davis, Jr., Army, May 24.
                PFC Frank J. Divis, Jr., Army, May 28.
                PFC John H. Doherty, Army, May 18.
                1st Lt. George A. Galion, Army, May 19.
                PFC Nelson R. Geddes, Marines, May 31.
                PFC George E. Koestler, Army, May 19.
                PFC Robert Laufer, Army, May 26.
                Pvt. Donald J. Lilek, Army, May 28.
                Pvt. Frank M. Marassa, Army, May 20.
                Pvt. Weldon E. Mayfield, Army, May 20.
                Pvt. Edward J. Moore, Jr., Army, May 29.
                PFC Edwin J. Myslinski, Army, May 20.
                PFC Wataru Nakamura, Army, May 18.
                Pvt. Joseph J. Nalepka, Army, May 18.
                Sgt. Paul Rivera, Jr., Army, May 29.
                Pvt. Clinton R. Rogers, Army, May 24.
                PFC Lawrence H. Sloan, Army, May 18.
                PFC Horace Sparks, Army, May 19.
                PFC Walter Staskiewicz, Army, May 18.
                Pvt. Johnie Sutton, Army, May 25.
                Pvt. Connie L. Tibbs, Army, May 31.
                PFC Joseph R. Zich, Jr., Army, May 19.
 
Douglas Pvt. Robert O. Titus, Army, May 18.
 
DuPage  PFC Walter C. Fort, Army, May 18.
 
Fayette         Sgt. William C, Kelly, Army, May 25.
 
Johnson Cpl. Robert D. Mahan, Army, May 19.
                PFC Thomas W. Miller, Army, May 25.
 
Kane            PFC Charles A. Andresen, Army, May 17.
 
Lake            PFC Richard A. Brown, Army, May 14.
                PFC Winfred A. Stusse, Army, May 28.
 
Macon           Cpl. Jesse E. Walston, Army, May 19.
 
Madison Cpl. Joseph Patrick, Army, May 23.
                PFC Jerrold R. Smith, Army, May 18.
 
Marshall        Cpl. Byron K. Armstrong, Army, May 17.
 
McLean  PFC Kenneth W. Meints, Army, May 18.
 
Mercer          PFC John J. Burns, Army, May 2.
 
Peoria          PFC Thomas Pemble, Army, May 18.
                Pvt. Jessie R. Stanton, Army, May 18.
 
Rock Island     PFC Joseph Gomez, Army, May 28.
                PFC John Papademetri, Army, May 12.
 
St. Clair       PFC Billy C. Huxhold, Army, May 18.    
 
Sangamon        Capt. Edmund D. Poston, Army, May 19.
 
Tazewell        PFC Marvin E. Moseley, Marines, May 29.
 
Warren          1st Lt. Jack D. Pierson, Army, May 19.
 
Wayne           Sgt. Robert D. Scott, Army, May 18.
 
Will            Pvt. Dennis Irving, Army, May 20.
                Capt. Adam P. Tymowicz, Air Force, May 29.
 
Williamson      PFC Frankey D. Beltz, Army, May 18.
 
Winnebago       Sgt. Henry C. Aniszewski, Army, May 31.
                1st Lt. John W. Nystrom, Army, May 18.
                PFC Wesley L. Piper, Marines, May 19.
 
Key events during the Korean War
May 1951
 
May 1951 began with United Nations forces hanging on to territory just north of Seoul where they had just stopped the largest Communist offensive of the war.  Communist armies suffered an appalling high 70,000 casualties during their spring offensive, but in spite of the heavy losses they would soon attack again.  
The second Communist Spring Offensive began on May 16.  Although the attackers advanced about 20 miles in some sectors, their cost was again very high; the battle became known as the “May Massacre” when scores of Chinese soldiers, charging to the noise of bugles, were wiped out by United Nations defenders.  In a repeat of the previous month’s battle, the advance was halted on May 20 by determined United Nations infantry, artillery and air power.  Then, with the enemy’s supply lines over-extended into South Korea, the U.S. 8th Army counter-attacked on May 21 and by the end of May had regained all of the territory lost during the previous two Communist offensives.  
The month of May also saw a significant increase in the use of United Nations air power.  A 300-plane strike on May 9, the largest to date in the war, attacked enemy installations on the Yalu River near the North Korean-Chinese border.  Then, on May 20, the Far East Air Force began Operation Strangle, an all-out air interdiction campaign against Communist forces to disrupt their lines of supply and communication, an effort that proved devastatingly effective.  U.S. Air Force Captain James Jabara became the first jet air ace in history on May 20 when he shot down his fifth Communist aircraft.
On the home front, the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees held hearings on the war.  General Douglas MacArthur, who had been fired as commander of all forces in Korea in April, appeared before the committees and once again advocated for taking the war to China, including a naval and air bombardment of the Chinese mainland, and use of Chinese Nationalist troops in Korea.  But the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saw things very differently.  General Omar Bradley summed their thoughts up best, calling it “the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy.”  
May ended with the two sides facing each other over roughly the same territory they had controlled earlier in the year before the two massive and costly Communist offensives were beaten back by United Nations forces.   
 
Illinois Korean War Memorial
 
The Illinois Korean War Memorial is located in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery, the same cemetery that contains the Lincoln Tomb.  Oak Ridge is the nation’s second most visited burial ground behind only Arlington National Cemetery.
        Dedicated on June 16, 1996, the memorial consists of a 12-foot-tall bronze bell mounted on a granite base.  At the circumference of the base are four niches, each with a larger-than-life figure representing a branch of the armed services.  Inscribed on the base are the 1,754 names of Illinoisans killed in Korea.
        The Illinois Korean War Memorial is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and may be visited daily free of charge. 
 
Korean War Veterans Oral History Project
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
 
        The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s Oral History Program offers “Veterans Remember,” a collection of interviews with Illinois residents about their wartime experiences, at the Library’s website,  www.alplm.org/oral_history/home.html.  The interviews concern the experiences of Illinois veterans who fought in several conflicts, including the Korean War, as well as the experiences of those on the home front.  Visitors to the website can listen to or watch the interviews in their entirety.  Several of the interviews have transcripts, and most have still images as well.
Website visitors will need a computer capable of playing MP3 audio files or MPG compressed video files in order to listen to the interviews.  The transcripts and still images are also accessible.  Volunteers conducted and edited many of the interviews and developed the transcripts that accompany them.   
 
Korean War National Museum
 
        The Korean War National Museum (KWNM) celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War with a new Board of Directors, new professional staff, and a renewed focus on getting a world-class museum built now, in the lifetime of the Korean War veterans.  Recent news media reports outlined a proposal of the KWNM to obtain 7,000 square feet of prime space on Navy Pier in Chicago for a state-of-the-art, world-class museum where visitors could come to honor and learn about the service and sacrifices of the Americans, South Koreans and their UN Allies in the “forgotten victory.”  Those plans are continuing to be developed, and the KWNM hopes to be able to share some exciting news soon.  Meanwhile, the Denis J. Healy Freedom Center, located at 9 South Old State Capitol Plaza in Springfield, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is free, but donations are accepted.  The KWNM welcomes donations of photographs, documents, diaries, and artifacts of those who served in the Korean War. To learn more about the KWNM, or to volunteer or donate, please visit www.kwnm.org or look for the Museum Facebook.
 
Korean War Booklet
 
        The Illinois Korean Memorial Association, an all-volunteer organization, has published a booklet, A Brief History of the Korean War, copies of which have been provided free of charge to public libraries, high schools and junior high schools in Illinois.  Individuals may obtain a copy by sending a $10 check or money order to:  Illinois Korean Memorial Association, P.O. Box 8554, Springfield, IL  62791. 
        Tax deductible donations are welcome.  One hundred percent of all donations go to the book project and to the upkeep of the Illinois Korean War Memorial. 
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