Mrs. Clara Gantt and hundreds of mourners to pay final respects to deceased POW after 63 years Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 1PM
INGLEWOOD, CA: Army Sergeant First Class Joseph Gantt, whose remains were returned to his wife and family 63 years after the former POW was captured during the Korean War, will be laid to rest with full military honors on Saturday, December 28, 2013.
SFC Gantt was born in Maryland in 1924 and joined the Army in 1942. He served with distinction in the South Pacific during WWII.
He met his wife, formerly Clara Edwards, on a train from Texas to Los Angeles in 1946 and married in June 1948.
They had no children, and Mrs. Gantt never remarried, holding out hope that one day they would be reunited.
SFC Gantt was assigned as a Field Medic, Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division when he was taken Prisoner of War while defending his unit’s position near Kunu-ri’ Korea’ on 1 December, 1950 and died while a prisoner on 27 March, 1951.
For his combat leadership and heroic actions on December 1st, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal w/ Valor (posthumously).
Other awards include the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
“This is a bittersweet homecoming, for Mrs. Gantt, 63 years in the making,” said Bob Kurkjian, executive director of USO Greater Los Angeles, whose Families of the Fallen Committee plays a unique role in providing logistical and emotional support services for families of military members killed in the line of duty.
“SFC Gant was a true patriot, and answered the call of his nation not once, but twice, and made the ultimate sacrifice.
"USO Greater LA is committed to making sure that the more than 7,900 American troops still unaccounted for in North Korea are not forgotten and receive a proper return in Southern California.”
The details and schedule are as follows:
Condolence cards and emails, and donations in support of funeral service expenses, may be directed to:
Mrs. Clara Gantt, c/o USO Greater LA at 203 World Way #200, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Checks should be made to USO Greater LA with “Gantt” in memo section.
Inglewood Park Cemetery – 3803 West Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90301
Parking: Follow signage and directions of cemetery staff
Access: Open to the public. Veterans, particularly of the Korean War, are encouraged to attend
1300 – Internment service, Army Honor Guard carries casket from hearse to gravesite.
1305 – Pastor’s remarks/program
1330 – Military honors Folding of flag and presentation to Mrs. Gantt (presenting officer TBD) Bugler – Taps Three gun salute
1345 – Service concludes