Korean veteran receives medal posthumously

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Features Editor

Clyde Myers Johnson was the first Pike County veteran of the Korean War to receive the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal.

The medal was awarded posthumously during a ceremony at the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office March 27.

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"This medal was established by the Republic of Korea to honor Americans who served between the outbreak of hostilities June 25, 1950, and the date the armistice was signed, July 27, 1953," said Randy Ross, veterans affairs service officer for Pike County.

Johnson was a native of Pike County. He was the son of John and Irvin and Rubye Myers Johnson who lived in the Hopewell Church community.

On March 27, 1951, Johnson entered the U.S. Army. After his training at Camp Gordon, Ga.,

he was assigned to to Company B, 185th Battalion in Korea.

His duties included clearing routes for supplies to be transported to the forward areas of the battle zones. He fulfilled his assignments in a commendable manner, having been awarded several medals, Ross said.

"We gathered to honor Clyde’s deeds and dedication of past years," said his brother, Clem Johnson. "Clyde would be honored and proud to accept this medal and recognition from the the Korean government and our Veterans Affairs office."

A certificate of appreciation from Kim Dae-jung, president of the ROK, accompanied the medal.

"I would like to offer my deepest gratitude for your noble contribution to the efforts to safeguard the Republic of Korea," Dae-jung wrote. "We Koreans hold dear in our hearts the conviction, courage and spirit of sacrifice shown to us by such selfless friends as you who enabled us to remain a free democratic nation. We honor you and reaffirm our friendship, which helped to forge the blood alliance between our two countries. We resolve to work with all friendly nations for the good of humankind and peace in the world."

According to Ross, to qualify for the medal, a Korean War veteran must have been on permanent assignment or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days of 60 non-consecutive days. The veteran must have performed his or her duties within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent to or in aerial flight over Korea, participating in actual combat operations or in support of combat operations.

"This is a very distinguished medal and one that I hope all qualified veterans will receive," Ross said. "The Korean War has been called the ‘forgotten war.’ We have a large number of Korean War veterans in Pike County and this recognition by the Republic of Korea lets them know that they have not been forgotten by them. In the United States were are involved in a three-year recognition of our Korean War veterans to let them know that we have not forgotten them either."

For information about the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal contact Ross at the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office.