‘A great job for my father’: Dad’s life in Korea
Posted On June 17, 2021
The Next Word: The author writes a letter to his dad, the first Korean American to ever serve in the US military.
By Robert W. McCurdyAigLifeNews.comPublished March 05, 2019 14:31:19On February 28, 1950, Army Captain William W. Hickey was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Maryland, to defend a convoy from enemy fire during Operation Overlord.
Hickey and his three companions were tasked with destroying an enemy vehicle while driving to a rendezvous point.
As the convoy was moving toward the rendezvous, the convoy’s radio system was hacked by enemy forces, causing a catastrophic error in the course of the mission.
Hickeys father was killed in the ambush.
A few days later, Captain Hickey received an urgent phone call from his father.
The message was urgent.
Hickeys parents death was imminent.
He immediately ordered his father’s body to be taken to Fort Lewis, Washington.
Hiccups father was cremated on December 10, 1950.
A year later, Hickey, the only surviving son of the Hickey family, received the Purple Heart for his father and his other crew members.
During the war, Captain W.H. and his wife, Nancy, raised three children, two boys and a girl.
They lived in Fort Lewis and had four grandchildren.
The next day, Hickey got the call that his father was dead.
After receiving the call, he was on his way to Fort McHenry, Georgia, when he was shot in the back of the head by an enemy sniper.
Hiccups mother, Nancy’s wife, was also shot in his back and killed by the same sniper.HICKEY WAS THE FIRST BLACK US SOLDIERIn the summer of 1954, a white officer from Fort Lewis who had served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army in Korea, and his black friend from Georgia, Thomas W. McDonough, were assigned to defend the garrison at Fort Leonard Wilson.
In the summer, they took part in the Battle of Shiloh, the largest battle of the Korean War.
McDonough was a chaplains aide and was killed on June 24, 1950 by a white Korean officer who had come into contact with him while serving at Fort Lewis.
His partner, McDonoghs cousin, James W. Wilson, was wounded in the leg and suffered an injury to his leg, as well as a broken hand and arm.
After the war was over, the three of them moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where they lived with the family of Capt. James C. McCrary, who was killed during the Battle for the Bulge.
In 1950, Captain McCrary was the first black US soldier in the Army.
McDONOUGH’S LAST RESIGNATION was in 1962, just one year after his death, and he served as chaplain to a senior officer, Capt. Michael W. Epps.
McDonald was also a member of the First Brigade of the 2nd Cavalry Division, the United States Army, and served as an assistant sergeant major and later as an officer in the 4th Infantry Division.
After retiring in 1984, he retired as an active duty colonel.
In 1989, he married his longtime partner, Jennifer Epps, who served as the wife of his son, James, and also served as his mother’s aide.
Mcdonough died in 1997 at age 95.
His ashes are scattered at Arlington National Cemetery.