Memorial Day: Honoring Casualties of War
United States Army Sergeant Robert Edwin Graves served valiantly in the Korean War and is still unaccounted for. Here is the story:
In late November 1950, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division were ambushed by massive counteroffensive by Chinese Communist Forces along the Chongchon River in North Korea. Under intense pressure, the U.S. lines began to fall back putting some units in danger of being encircled.
On November 28, the 1st and 2nd Battalions and Headquarters units of the 5th Cavalry were forced to quickly withdraw from the town of Pongmyong-ni in the face of continuous overwhelming attacks by the Chinese Communist Forces . Units found their withdrawal route blocked by more CCF units. An intense battle ensued, but despite their efforts, U.S. troops could not break through and they were forced to pull back and seek an alternate withdrawal route.
Sergeant Robert Edwin Graves, from Georgia, served with the Headquarters Company of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He became a prisoner of war (POW) during the intense fighting along the route. After being captured, he was taken to a temporary holding camp in the Pukchin-Tarigol Valley, there he died of illness, malnutrition, and pneumonia in February 1951.
He was buried there, but U.S. recovery teams have not been able to access the area, and SGT Graves has not been associated with any of the remains returned to U.S. custody. Today, Sergeant Graves is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Uncle Robert's name is 12th from the top of the third row from the left on the Korean War memorial in Atlanta, GA and serves notice that he, among so many others bravely served our country, giving it their all.
His only son, Randolph Edwin Graves, a 21-year old helicopter gunner in the U.S. Army was later killed in action during the Vietnam War.
God bless them all, for they are the true heroes of the United States of America! May they always be remembered, honored and loved!