On August 18, 1952, there was a flash flood in the river near
Inje. According to a feature story written by Kelly Sullivan
in the Chariho Times (Rhode Island), July 27, 2017, forty-one
men from E Company, 279th Infantry, 45th Division, were returning to
battalion headquarters from field training exercises. Earlier
that week there had been a typhoon and heavy rains. The men
were crossing a sandbar waist-deep in a river near Inje when a flash flood from
a nearby mountain sent a rush of water down the river. The
water level increased to nine feet, and then a nine-foot rush of
water crashed over the men in the river. There were eight men
and ammunition in a truck following the men on foot. That
truck overturned and the men were washed downstream. Stg.
Monte Daily of Sargent, Nebraska, shouted to try to warn them,
but it was too late. The water came rushing upon them and
31 men died. The
platoon leader tried to rescue his men, but he also drowned.
The river was later dragged and some, but not all, bodies were
recovered. Those not found were presumed dead in December of
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- Becton, Cpl. Arthur Edward - Missouri
- Beggs. Pvt. Gerald Lester - Missouri
- Bellavigna, Pvt. Alfred - New York
- Bolognani, Richard - Vermont
- Brandt, Cpl. Walter John - Chicago, Illinois
- Brooks, Cpl. James E. - Cuyahoga, Ohio
- Cressey, Pvt. Allen Ray - Cuyahoga, Ohi0
- Fletcher, 2Lt. Clyde - Dickenson County, Virginia
- Goss, Cpl. Theodore Lawrence - Georgia
- Graf, Pvt. Alton Elmer - North Dakota - body not recoveed
- Jansma, Pvt. Henry - New York
- Kesler, Sgt. Lester Milton - Mississippi
- Krey, Pvt. Henry - Bronx, New York
- Litwinowicz, Pfc. Edmund John - Wayne County, Michigan
- Martin, Pvt. Sylvester - New York
- Morisako, Pfc. James Mitsuru - Hawaii
- Parkman, Cpl. Henry Daniel - South Carolina
- Payne, Cpl. Sterling Jr. - Indiana
- Pennington, Pvt. Doyle Douglas Jr. - West Virginia
- Perez, Pvt. Jose Santos - native of Guam
- Pharr, Pvt. Bobby Jack - Mississippi
- Pierce, Pvt. Joseph Paul - Kentucky
- Porter, Pfc. Percy Bernard Jr. - Washington, DC area
- Shettler, Pvt. Richard Jesse - Pennsylvania - body recovered
- Smith, Pvt. Henry Ed - Pine Apple, Alabama
- Souders, Pvt. Gordon Dean - Missouri
- Spice, Pvt. Paul Floyd - Indiana
- Stoppiello, Pvt. John - New York
- Strickland, Pvt. Royce Urah - Alabama
- Tefft, Pvt. Frederick - Rhode Island
- Valenzuela, Pvt. Edward Salcido - Arizona
Bios of the Victims
Arthur Edward Becton
Arthur was born January 23, 1930 in Missouri, son of Arthur
L. Becton and Minnie Becton. He is buried in Jefferson
Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri.
Gerald Lester Beggs
Gerald was born December 08, 1929 in Missouri, the son of
Finus E. Beggs (1910-1996) and Dorothy E. Adkins Beggs
(1908-1976). His siblings were Carol Sue Beggs Sneed and
June Ann Beggs Haynes Hart (`926-2013). Gerald's marker is
in New Morley Cemetery, Morley, Scott County, Missouri.
Alfred M. Bellavigna
Alfred was born in New York, a son of Alfredo Bellavigna
(died 1951) and Antoinette Bellavigna. His siblings were
Mrs. John Iacona, Mrs. Thomas Esposito, Mrs. John Lenzo, Mrs.
John Fortino, Antoinette Bellavigna, Dominick Bellavigna, Joseph
Bellavigna, and Edwin Bellavigna. There is a marker for
Alfred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
Richard L. Bolognani
Born January 29, 1930 in Bennington, Vermont, Richard was a
son of Alfonso F. Bolognani (1894-1963) and Carmela E.
Cristofolini Bolognani (1903-1976). His siblings were
Mario Alfonso Bolognani (1928-1934) and one other sibling.
There is a marker for Richard in Readsboro Village Cemetery,
Walter John Brandt
Walter is buried in Irving Park Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.
James Edward Brooks
Born September 25, 1928, James was from Cuyahoga County,
Ohio. He was seriously wounded by the enemy in North Korea
on June 22, 1952 and returned to duty on June 25, 1952.
There is a memorial to him in Highland Park Cemetery, Highland Hills, Cuyahoga
Allen Ray Cressey
Allen was born March 17, 1932, a son of James Russell Cressey
Sr. (1906-1971) and Olga H. Kelley Cressey (died 2004).
Allen's siblings were Mrs. Daniel (Virginia Carol Cressey)
Podolny and James Russell Cressey Jr. (1951-2013). There
is a marker for him in Maple Shade Cemetery, Independence,
Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Clyde W. Fletcher
Clyde was born September 24, 1929. There is a marker
for him in Phipps Memorial Cemetery, Clintwood, Dickenson
Theodore Lawrence Goss
Theodore was born May 26, 1929, a son of Tate and Serena
Goss. His siblings were Rubye L. Goss, Charles A. Goss,
Virginia Goss Hughes, and Katie M. Goss (died 2009). There
is a marker for Theodore in South View Cemetery, Atlanta,
Alton Elmer Graf
Alton was born October 12, 1930, in Napoleon, Logan County,
North Dakota, a son of Samuel Graf (1900-1975) and Emma Himerich
Graff (1900-1975). His siblings were Gladys Graf Schneider
(1927-2019), Violet Graf Henderson, Arthur Grafand Edwin Graf.
There is a marker in his memory in Kintyre Cemetery, Kintyre,
Henry "Hank" Jansma
Hank was born November 28, 1928 in Osceola County, Iowa, a
son of Frank Jansma (1892-1965) and Dena Kolkman Jansma
(1894-1981). He was employed in Worthington, Iowa before
he was inducted into the Army on February 8. He had been
in Korea only 17 days before he drowned. His wife was
Winifred Feenstra Jansma (1930-2006). Winifred later
married William Smit and she and William had six children.
His siblings were Mrs. Dick (Nellie Jansma) Zylstra (1916-2004),
Frederick "Fred" Jansma (1918-2000), Mrs. Arnold (Henrietta
Jansma) Bosma (1922-2001), Mrs. Curt (Dorothy Jansma) Meyerhoff,
Raymond "Bud" Jansma, Dean Jansma, Mrs. Ed (Gertrude Jansma)
Bonnes, Mrs. Clarence (Frances Jansma) Bosma (1925-1999) and an
infant brother Donald Jansma. There is a marker for Hank
in Holman Cemetery, Sibley, Osceola County, Iowa.
Lester Milton Kesler
Lester was born May 21, 1929, son of Clarence L. Kesler
(1896-1960) and Velma "Mac" Scott Kesler (1905-1986).
There is a marker for Lester in Pratts Cemetery, Baldwyn, Lee
Henry Albert Krey
Henry was born December 31, 1928. His next of kin was
Elizabeth Krey of the Bronx. Korean War casualty records
also list Harry Richard Krey, a field wireman with the 23rd
Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Henry died in
the flood on August 18, 1952. Harry died in the
Chipyong-ni area on January 29, 1951. They are both buried
in Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk
County, New York.
Edmund John Litwinowicz
Edmund was born on April 25, 1930 in Michigan, a son of
Sylvester Litwinowicz Sr. (1890-1976) and Helen Litwinowicz
(1897-1968). According to Findagrave, his siblings were
Sylvester Litwinowicz Jr., Lusia "Lucy" Litwinowicz, and Raymond
Litwinowicz. There is a marker for Edmund in Mount Olivet
Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.
Sylvester Hayden Martin
Sylvester was born August 11, 1927. There is a marker
for him in Saint Stephens Cemetery, Delisle, Mississippi.
James Mitsuru Morisako
James was born November 09, 1931 and was from Honolulu, Hawaii.
His sibling was Fred Seiji Morisako Sr. (1928-1995). There
is a monument for James in the National Memorial Cemetery of the
Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Henry Daniel Parkman
Henry was born April 04, 1928, the son of Edgar Herbert
Parkman (1888-1981) and Lula May Ouzts Parkman (1895-1956).
His siblings were Toodie Katherine Parkman Kemp (1923-2019),
Mrs. Jack Bernard (Carrie Sue Parkman) Jones (1926-2009), and
twin sisters Lula May Parkman (1934-2019) and Fay Parkman.
There is a marker for Henry in the Good Hope Baptist Church
Cemetery, Big Creek, Saluda County, South Carolina.
Sterling Payne Jr.
Sterling was born September 03, 1930, son of Sterling Payne
Sr. and Virginia Louise Williams Payne (died 1995). There
is a marker for Sterling in Crown Hill National Cemetery,
Doyle Douglas Pennington Jr.
Doyle was born April 18, 1933. There is a marker for
him in Parsons Cemetery, Parsons, West Virginia.
Jose Santos Perez
Jose was born on February 4, 1934 and was from Agana, Guam.
Is name is listed on the National Korean War Veterans Memorial,
Bobby Jack Pharr
Bobby was born January 03, 1931 in Tishomingo County,
Mississippi, a son of Thomas Cleveland Pharr (1888-1965) and
Mary E. Sparks Pharr (1895-1983). His siblings were James
Tulon Pharr (1913-1973), Dalton Jack Pharr, Paul T. Pharr,
Thomas C. Pharr, Grace Pharr Goodenough, Vivian Melinda Pharr
Hacher (1915-2007), Mary Glattee Pharr Silva (1924-1973), Bettie
Pharr Yarbrough, Maxine Pharr (1922-1922) and Dexter Paul Pharr
(1934-1935). Bobby Jack was a 1949 graduate of Tech High
School in Memphis, Tennessee. He worked for Blair of
Virginia Warehouse and Distributing, a cosmetics firm, and the
Hunter Fan and Ventilating Company. He was inducted into
the Army in October 1951. He went overseas in July 1952.
A member of the Methodist Church, Bobby was married to Etoyle
Smith Pharr. There is a memorial to him in Belmont City
Cemetery, Belmont, Mississippi.
Joseph Paul Pierce
Joe was born May 30, 1922, a son of Leo Pierce (1904-1957)
and Alma G. Pierce (1912-1990). His siblings were Walter
L. Pierce (1931-2008), who was also a Korean War veteran,
Charles and Anthony Pierce, and sisters Wanda Pierce Higdon,
Beatrice Pierce Carnes, Rosella Pierce Saltsman, Vinetta Pierce
Cantrell, Johanna Pierce Roberts, Lorena Pierce Meredoth, and
one other sister. There is a marker for Joe in Saint
Anthony Cemetery, Peonia, Kentucky.
Percy Bernard Porter Jr.
Percy was born on February 26, 1931, son of Percy Bernard
Porter Sr. His sister, Gladys Harris, said that her
brother was highly educated and wanted to be a doctor.
There is a marker for him in Arlington National Cemetery,
Richard Jesse "Dick" Shettler
Dick was born March 19, 1933, a son of Leo R. Shettler
(1910-1980) and Oma A. Jordan Shettler (1915-1994). He
attended Knox (Pennsylvania) High School and then enlisted in
the Army on January 18, 1951. He received basic training
at Camp Polk, Louisiana and was sent overseas in June of 1951.
That December he was sent to Korea. He was in combat for
eight months, serving as a squad leader in a 60-millimeter unit.
He was due to rotate home in just one week. His siblings
were Robert (a corporal serving in Germany at the time of Dick's
death), James, Joyce, Theodore, Patricia Shettler Organsky,
Dorothy, Virginia, and Barbara. Dick's body was recovered
from the river and he was buried in Knox Union Cemetery, Knox.
Henry Ed Smith
Henry was born December 19, 1931, a son of Robert Alexander
Smith Jr. (1882-1965) and Clara Louise Melton Smith (1895-1956).
His siblings were Robert A. Smith, Louise Smith Dickson
(1922-1998), and Doris Smith. There is a marker for Henry
in Magnolia Cemetery, Greenville, Alabama.
Gordon Dean Souders
Gordon was born November 28, 1930 in Missouri, a son of Henry
Jacob Souders (1879-1960) and Edna Vernon Gruner Souders
(1889-1982). His siblings were Herbert Cecil (1910-1961),
Floyd M. (1913-2004), Dorothy Catherine Souders Gleize
(1918-1994), Maurice Leonard (1919-1985), William Frank
(1922-2018), Arlie Opal (1925-1925), Betty Lou Souders Musgrave
(1927-2015), and Shirley Souders Christopher. There is a
marker for Gordon in Bloomfield Cemetery, Bloomfield, Stoddard
Paul Floyd Spice
Paul was born October l;12, 1930, a son of Sidney Spice
(1890-1961) and Hester Grace Ulerey Spice (1897-1950). His
siblings were Clyde Garrett "Sid" Spice (1922-2005) and Donnelly
"Don" Dean Spice (1925-2018). Paul is buried in the Akron,
Indiana IOOF Cemetery.
John J. Stoppiello
John was born in 1931, a son of Arthur Stoppiello (1897-1973)
and Antoinette Stoppiello (1900-1986). His siblings were
Catherine (1926-2005) and Louis J. (1923-1992). There is a
marker for John in Saint John Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens
County, New York.
Royce Urah Strickland
Royce was born January 25, 1930, a son of Benjamin Wilson
Strickland (1885-1951) and Lula Strong Strickland (1891-1966).
His half siblings were Mrs. Oliver Wendell (Eva Pauline
Strickland) Perkins (1914-2007), Mrs. Loyd Markus (Geneva Louiza
Strickland) Allen (1916-1984). His other siblings were:
Lois S. Strickland Johnson (1920-2001), Mrs. Herman (Mary
Strickland) Leigeber (1921-2002), Bennie Mae Strickland
(1923-2004), Mrs. Bernard Joseph (Lavada Strickland) Heslin
(1924-1989), Buddy Wilson Strickland, and Norma Strickland
Chandler. There is a monument to Royce in Enon Baptist
Church Cemetery, Enon, Alabama.
Frederick was the son of Lester Charles Tefft and Ethel May
Lewis Tefft. He attended Richmond Grammar School, Hope
Valley (Rhode Island) Junior High School and Westerly High
School. He was a mechanic at Main's Auto Service in Hope
Valley and a member of the Hope Valley Fire Department and the
Grange. He enlisted in the Army on January 19, 1951,
completing basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, and combat
training in Japan. In December 1951 he arrived in Korea
and spent seven months on the front line. He was scheduled
for rotation home at the time of the drowning. His body
was recovered from the river and he is buried in Pine Grove
Edward Salcido Valenzuela
Edward was born August 14, 1931. There is a marker for
Edward in Evergreen Cemetery, Bisbee, Arizona.