Widow gets remains of soldier lost in Korean War - New York News

Widow gets remains of soldier lost in Korean War

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Andrew Renneisen, Pool) (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Andrew Renneisen, Pool)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went off to war 63 years ago, leaving behind a wife who never gave up on his return.

On Friday, 94-year-old Clara Gantt stood up from her wheelchair and wept in the cold before the flag-draped casket.

Sgt. Gantt was finally home.

"He told me if anything happened to him he wanted me to remarry. I told him no, no. Here I am, still his wife," she told reporters at Los Angeles International Airport, where his remains were carried from a jetliner by military honor guard.

Gant was a field medic who went missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950 during the Korean War while serving with Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, according to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Washington, D.C.

According to the office, elements of the 2nd Infantry Division were attacked by greater numbers of Chinese forces near the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea. The division disengaged and withdrew, fighting its way through a series of Chinese roadblocks. Numerous U.S. soldiers were reported missing that day in the vicinity of Somindong, North Korea.

After a 1953 exchange of prisoners of war, returning U.S. soldiers reported that Gantt had been injured in battle, captured by Chinese forces and died in a POW camp in early 1951 from malnutrition and lack of medical care. His remains were only recently identified. Information on when they were found was not immediately available from the missing personnel office.

Nearly 7,900 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Korean War. According to the Defense Department, modern technology allows identifications to continue to be made from remains turned over by North Korea or recovered from that nation by American teams.

"Sixty-some odd years and just receiving his remains, coming home, was a blessing and I am so happy that I was living to accept him," Clara Gantt said.

She met her future husband in 1946 while on a train heading to California. Two years later, they were married.

She lives a few miles away from the airport in Inglewood. She bought the home in the 1960s to await her husband's return and even hired a gardener because he hated yardwork, she told the Los Angeles Times. (http://lat.ms/1dYMORj)

One wall of her bedroom is covered with photos of military certificates and photos but Gantt said she hasn't displayed his posthumously awarded Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor for fear they would be stolen; there have been many break-ins over the years in her neighborhood.

Over the years she worked as a caregiver for the disabled and children. But she never was tempted to marry.

"I am very, very proud of him. He was a wonderful husband, an understanding man," she told reporters. "I always did love my husband, we was two of one kind, we loved each other. And that made our marriage complete."

Joseph Gantt is to be buried with full military honors is scheduled for Dec. 28 in Inglewood, Calif. Gantt said she plans one day to be buried next to him.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices