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Dec-27-2013 12:00printcomments

Remains of Soldier Returned to Wife Who Never Remarried, After 63 Years

Services for SFC Gantt: Korean War POW returns to US, Inglewood, Saturday, 28th of December

SFC Gantt was born in Maryland in 1924 and joined the Army in 1942. He served with distinction in the South Pacific during WWII.
SFC Gantt was born in Maryland in 1924 and joined the Army in 1942. He served with distinction in the South Pacific during WWII.

(LOS ANGELES) - (Note from editor: There are some people in this world who will never be honored enough. This is a chilling story about love and dedication to country and family that is nearly unrivaled; the U.S. segregated Black troops until 1948.)

Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Gantt, whose remains were returned to his wife and family 63 years after the former POW was captured during the Korean War, will be laid to rest with full military honors on Saturday, December 28, 2013. - Mrs. Clara Gantt and hundreds of mourners to pay final respects to deceased POW after 63 years

- Army Honor Guard to escort remains at cemetery

- Gun salute and full military honors to be rendered at cemetery - Public invited to gravesite service

- Condolence cards and emails, and donations in support of funeral service expenses, may be directed to:

Checks should be made to USO Greater LA with “Gantt” in memo section. Inglewood Park Cemetery – 3803 West Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301

Parking: Follow signage and directions of cemetery staff

Access: Open to the public.

Veterans, particularly of the Korean War, are encouraged to attend

1300 – Internment service, Army Honor Guard carries casket from hearse to gravesite.
1305 – Pastor’s remarks/program
1330 – Military honors
Folding of flag and presentation to Mrs. Gantt
(presenting officer TBD)
Bugler – Taps
Three gun salute
1345 – Service concludes

Background

nbclosangeles.com

SFC Gantt was born in Maryland in 1924 and joined the Army in 1942. He served with distinction in the South Pacific during WWII.

He met his wife, formerly Clara Edwards, on a train from Texas to Los Angeles in 1946 and married in June 1948.

They had no children, and Mrs. Gantt never remarried, holding out hope that one day they would be reunited. SFC Gantt was assigned as a Field Medic, Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division when he was taken Prisoner of War while defending his unit’s position near Kunu-ri’ Korea’ on 1 December, 1950 and died while a prisoner on 27 March, 1951.

For his combat leadership and heroic actions on December 1st, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal w/ Valor (posthumously).

Other awards include the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation “This is a bittersweet homecoming, for Mrs. Gantt, 63 years in the making,” said Bob Kurkjian, Executive Director of USO Greater Los Angeles, whose Families of the Fallen Committee plays a unique role in providing logistical and emotional support services for families of military members killed in the line of duty. “SFC Gant was a true patriot, and answered the call of his nation not once, but twice, and made the ultimate sacrifice. USO Greater LA is committed to making sure that the more than 7,900 American troops still unaccounted for in North Korea are not forgotten and receive a proper return in Southern California.”

About USO Greater LA

USO Greater Los Angeles Area, Inc., an independent, not-for-profit organization, lifts the spirits of more than 130,000 troops and their families annually throughout the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. Anchored by airport centers at LAX, Ontario and Palm Springs, USO Greater LA also provides high-quality on-base programing and support to bases throughout Southern California including critical support and morale boosting efforts and services. USO Greater LA receives no funding from the federal government or Department of Defense, relying on the generosity of individuals, corporations, community organizations and philanthropic giving to support its work. Since 1941, the USO Greater LA.  Find out more at www.BobHopeUSO.org

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