The Remains Of An American Soldier Returned To His Widow After 63 Years

The Remains Of An American Soldier Returned To His Widow After 63 Years

Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt told his wife Clara she should remarry if he does not return from the war but she said she wouldn’t and she never did.

For 63 years, Clara hoped her loving husband will one day come back home, although the Second World War and Korean War vet was missing in action and he was long presumed dead. But she never lost her faith and that is the reason why she never remarried anyone.

She waited for him on a cold Friday morning, at Los Angeles International Airport, where his flag-draped casket was expected to arrive home. She told the TV reporters how wonderful and understanding her husband was. She said that she loved him and he loved her back and that is what made their marriage complete.

The WWII veteran, enlisted in 1942 and served in the South Pacific. He met Clara in 1946, on a train from Texas to Los Angeles and they got married a couple of years later but they never had any children, the L. A. NOW reports.

He served as a field medic with the Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, during the Korean War. In December 1950 he was taken prisoner by North Korean troops.

According to Bob Kurkjian, executive director of USO Greater Los Angeles Area, Joseph Gantt died in March 1951 but he was only recently identified and his remains brought back to the United States.

As she was waiting for him to return, Clara bought a house and hired a gardener so there would be no work for Mr Gantt to do in the yard. She wanted him to be free to go fishing or to do whatever he felt like doing.

Mr Gantt was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart for his service. His wife keeps his awards in her bedroom. Joseph Gantt is to be buried with military honors at the end of this month.

The whole family has been waiting for their husband, uncle and great uncle to return home.

Airport Police and Army honor guard were there at LAX to meet the plane as it landed from Honolulu.

Another two Korean War veterans have been brought back home during the last 18 months.

Ian Harvey

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