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Soldier's remains returned to NC nearly 65 years after Korean War

Posted November 24, 2015

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— Sixty-four years after he died in the Korean War, the remains of an Army veteran from Henderson were returned home Tuesday to his family in North Carolina.

A Delta plane was welcomed by a water cannon salute and a full color guard at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Cpl. Charles E. Ivey's coffin was draped in red, white and blue as veterans and family members stood to salute him.

Ivey, 21, died on Nov. 29, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near Hajoyang, North Korea, Department of Defense officials said Friday.

"I'm really proud for him to come back after being lost all of this time," said Ivey's younger brother Harold. "He actually dropped out of school and lied about his age to go to Korea to join the service."

Harold Ivey never had the opportunity to meet his older brother, who died 11 months before his birth.

"Even though I never met him, I am still proud of him," Harold Ivey said.

Ivey, who was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, was declared missing in action following the battle, and he was declared deceased in March 1953 after prisoners of war returned home and reported his death.

Ivey's body was identified with the help of circumstantial evidence, dental comparison and DNA analysis, which matched two sisters, officials said, although that process took more than 20 years.

Ivey's remains were among hundreds of others that were returned by North Korea between 1990 and 1994. The commingled remains arrived in the U.S. in 208 boxes, and officials said the remains of as many as 600 U.S. servicemen could be in those boxes.

Ivey will be laid to rest in Henderson, 65 years to the day after he was reported missing.

"It's the last thing I can do for him, for him to be honored in this way," Harold Ivey said.

About 7,800 Americans currently remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

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  • Dwight Fields Nov 25, 2015
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    As a very proud son of a Korean War veteran who did come back, welcome home Sir. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Several of my Dad's army buddies still get together every October and how proud I am when I see these unsung heroes together.
    Salute to you and the Ivey family.