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Illinois and the Korean War, December 1952

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[December 01, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- 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, along with media partners the Illinois Press Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Association, are sponsoring "Illinois Remembers the Forgotten War." For more information, visit or

Illinoisans killed in action in Korea, December 1952
By county of residence
(Source: U.S. Department of Defense records)


  • Pvt. Raymond E. Wardell, Army, Dec. 17.


  • Pfc. Lawrence A. Bailey, Marines, Dec. 27.

  • Capt. Donald H. Clark, Marines, Dec. 5.

  • Cpl. Stanley T. Dybal, Army, Dec. 22.

  • Pfc. Glenn E. Hamilton, Army, Dec. 22.

  • Sgt. Richard C. Harang, Marines, Dec. 27.

  • Master Sgt. Edward W. Lewis Jr., Army, Dec. 9.

  • Pfc. Charles O. Stroemer, Army, Dec. 30.

  • 1st Lt. James J. Anderle Jr., Air Force, Dec. 31.


  • Cpl. Richard S. Wyatt, Army, Dec. 9.


  • Pvt. Harold L. Underwood, Army, Dec. 10.


  • Sgt. Charles E. Parlier, Army, Dec. 3.


  • Pfc. James L. Lynn, Army, Dec. 11.

Rock Island:

  • Pfc. Richard E. Hoehn, Army, Dec. 10.


  • Pfc. Raymond E. Hubbard, Army, Dec. 11.


  • Cpl. William D. Shurts, Marines, Dec. 14.


  • Cpl. Harold R. Shreve, Army, Dec. 2.


  • Cpl. Joseph H. Highley, Marines, Dec. 29.

Key events during the Korean War, December 1952

President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower made good on a campaign promise and visited the commanders and troops in Korea Dec. 5-8, 1952. Admittedly a public relations event with little impact on strategy, the visit by the World War II hero and soon-to-be commander in chief bolstered the spirits of the American troops who were spending their third December in the harsh winter conditions of Korea. Eisenhower repeated his pledge to bring an end to the war, something he would help bring about during the next year.

Meanwhile, the United Nations troops did not get a holiday vacation from the fighting. The war was increasingly defined by massive artillery duels. The fighting between South Korean and Chinese forces at Big and Little Nori, near a horseshoe bend of the Imjin River, was typical of such actions. The Chinese attack lasted only four days and was centered on a tiny 300-yard front. Nevertheless, United Nations forces fired 120,000 rounds of artillery during the battle, plus 31,000 mortar rounds and 4,500 tank rounds, while 177 air sorties were flown in support. In return, the Communists fired 18,000 artillery and mortar rounds against the U.N. positions. For all of this, the South Koreans suffered 750 casualties, while Chinese casualties were estimated at approximately 2,500.

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On Christmas Day, Chinese forces launched an attack on the United States 38th Infantry Regiment, part of the 2nd Infantry Division, in what became known as the Battle of T-Bone Hill, named for the shape of the terrain defended by the American units. A savage, two-day battle ensued and the U.S. forces sustained heavy casualties, but they were able to repel the attacking Chinese.

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 names of 1,754 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 oral history program at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum offers "Veterans Remember," a collection of interviews with Illinois residents about their wartime experiences, at the library's website, 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, or KWNM, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Korean War with a renewed focus on getting a world-class museum built now, in the lifetime of the Korean War veterans. 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, visit or look for the museum on 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. All donations go to the book project and to the upkeep of the Illinois Korean War Memorial.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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