Korean War Vet, Retired Charlotte Firefighter, to Get Medals Earned in 1951

From The Charlotte Observer by April Bethea, January 19, 2013

Six decades after he was injured and held captive for more than two years, a Korean War veteran is finally set to receive a Purple Heart medal.

Joe Ford, 80, will be presented with the honor, along with a Prisoner of War Medal he earned at a ceremony Saturday in Asheville. The N.C. Army National Guard will present the honors, officials said Friday.

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Army Cpl. Joe Ford. Photo courtesy of North Carolina National Guard

Ford is a retired Charlotte firefighter, who spent 24 years with the department, said John Elskamp of the Veterans’ Legacy Foundation.

The foundation, which is based in Harnett County, researches military records to help veterans receive awards they earned while in service but never received.

In 1951, Ford was a corporal with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, 15th Field Artillery Battalion. He was fighting on the Korean Peninsula in February of that year when he was injured and then taken captive by the Chinese and North Koreans, according to a news release . He was held for two and a half-years, officials said.

Officials say Ford never told his captors about his injuries, but mentioned the wounds to American officials once he was freed.

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Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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