Fallen soldier buried in Chilton Co. 63 years after Korean War - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fallen soldier buried in Chilton Co. 63 years after Korean War

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VERBENA, AL (WSFA) -

A funeral was held Sunday for a soldier gone missing 63 years ago. Chilton County native, Master Sergeant Olen Berry Williams was declared missing in action on December 12, 1950, during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea.

After years of hearing nothing from him, he was declared Killed In Action, December 31, 1953. More than a half century later, the military positively identified his body.

Thursday, Williams was given a military escort from the Birmingham airport back to his home town.

Sunday afternoon, Sgt. Williams was given a proper funeral. Friends and family, who knew him, and many coming just to honor a soldier, filled the Martin Funeral Home in Clanton, during the viewing, before his burial at the Evergreen Cemetery in Verbena. He was given full military honors.

Master Sgt. Williams was a highly decorated non-commissioned officer who served 10 years in the military and saw combat action during World War II and the Korean War. As a member of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, he went ashore as a member of the first unit to land in Normandy at Utah Beach during D-Day on June 6, 1944. Despite being wounded, he was able to rejoin his unit and continue the fight until the war's end.

Of the 3,288 U.S. Army soldiers who were attacked in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, 2,504 soldiers, including Sgt. Williams, were listed as MIA. His unidentified remains were discovered on the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir and were repatriated by the Chinese government on September 15, 1954. His remains were buried alongside many other unidentified servicemen at the National Military Cemetery in Hawaii.

In 2012 his case was reopened. After using forensic identification tools and biographical information, on April 2, 2013, a positive match was made confirming the remains were those of Master Sgt. Williams.

Sgt. Williams is survived by nieces and nephews. Relative buried him next to his parents and younger sister.

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