A Fallen Veteran

In the early spring of April 1953, a Korean War Veteran, 24 year old Corporal Robert Wayne Smith, left Alexandria, La for a 30 day leave. He had just returned from Korea in March and was no doubt eager to reconnect with family, friends, and normal stateside life. He was ordered to report to Camp Carson in Colorado by May 14 for discharge. 

He visited his family back in Cimarron, Kansas and a girlfriend in the area of Alexandria, Louisiana he had meet before going overseas.

He attended church on Easter Sunday, April 5 with the girlfriend, Cora Lee Johnson. He stayed too long, spent to much money and with just a dollar left decided to hitchhike to Camp Carson. According to Army information, he was last seen by a Alexandria youth named Walter Gatlin, getting in a vehicle with four men outside a tourist court near Alexandria, LA on April 6, 1953.
A 15 year old farm hand was walking across a pasture when he stumbled on a badly decomposed, and decapitated, body weeks later on May 25, 1953.  The body was found in the six inches of shallow creek in a pasture near Perry, Oklahoma. A day later his head was located nearby. His wallet was found hear him.  His body was taken to Fort Sill where formal identification took place through dental records.  He had been shot with a .45 caliber weapon in the chest.
A few weeks later, around June 13, his luggage was found 2 miles west of Wellston, Ok. The bag, camera, shaving kit and miscellaneous personal items were searched.  The bag's contents provided few clues to explain why this soldier had died, who had killed him, or where they were going to be found. It had been found in an area where an old road had been turned into a dead end due to construction of the new Turner Turnpike.
Smith was the son of Pete Smith and Helen Moots, long time residents of the south central counties of Gray and Hays Kansas. 
As the anniversary of the last time, potentially, the man was ever seen alive nears, it is fitting to remember him.  He served his nation in a time of conflict and deserved to live a long and happy life back home.  A soldier who had bypassed death on the battlefield only to be waylaid by a twisted fate far too soon once he was home. 

No Clues Found in Death of GI, Oklahoman, June 14, 1953, pg. 22
Luggage is Found in Mystery Death, Oklahoman, June 13, 1953, pg. 24
Cimarron Man's Body Identified, Salina (KS) Journal, Mary 27, 1953, pg. 11

No comments:

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!