Recently Identified Korean War Vet Was Laid To Rest On Saturday, 63 Years After He Died

The remains of Sergeant Gantt have been returned to his wife Clara last week, after 63 years. Clara Gantt, aged 94, waited for her husband’s body to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. She married Gantt in 1948 and although he asked her to remarry if he doesn’t return home, she never did.

A funeral with full military honors was held on Saturday for Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt, who went missing in action over 60 years ago, during the Korean War. But Clara Gantt never lost her faith that her loving husband would one day come back home to her.

During a talk with CBS Los Angeles, the widow said she prayed to God to keep her alive just to see herself reunited with her husband.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Gantt was captured by Chinese forces in 1950, was reported missing in action on November 30, 1950 and died in 1951 due to malnutrition and lack of medical care. He served with Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, which was attacked by a large number of Chinese troops near Kunu-ri, North Korea. Several American soldiers went missing that same day, nearby Somindong, North Korea.

In 1953 took place an exchange of prisoners of war and the American soldiers who returned home reported that Sergeant Gantt had died two years back, in 1951, from lack of medical care and malnutrition.

Family, friends and war vets from all over attended the funeral procession to pay tribute to the Korean War hero, the Mail Online reports.

For Vietnam War veteran Robert Hernandez it was a very special and unique moment, he told CBS Los Angeles. ‘For this lady to have her husband come home, after 60 years of not knowing where he was at, this is just a special, special occasion.’

Ms Gantt never lost her love for her husband but she remembered him dearly. She said she had a wonderful time being married to Mr Gantt and that all she wished was that he could have been brought to her sooner.

Only one day after the remains of Sergeant Gantt were returned into the country, the funeral procession was held. ‘He told me if anything happened to him he wanted me to remarry. I told him no, no. Here I am, still his wife,’ recalled Ms Gantt, proud of her ‘wonderful husband’ and ‘understanding man’. She confessed that she always loved him and they loved each other and that ‘made our marriage complete.’

Clara and Joseph met on a train from Texas to Los Angeles. They married in June 1948, just before he was sent to Korea to serve as a field medic.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE