Aug. 21—ALGER — An Alger man killed during the Korean War was laid to rest Saturday morning in Preston Cemetery.
Army Pfc. Wilbur T. Tackett was 18 when he was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when enemy forces attacked his unit near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
Tackett was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery, 7th Division.
In July 18, North Korea agreed to turn over 55 boxes containing the remains to American service members killed during the Korean War.
In August of 2019, one set of bones belonging to Tackett were confirmed through DNA testing.
Tackett’s sole surviving relative was a nephew — Ed Howard, of South Dakota.
“I just remember grandma, when I came in on his birthdays. She was sitting there holding the picture, crying. I remember that very well and she asked me — she made me make a promise that if I ever found him to make sure he was buried with the family and I’m keeping that,” Howard said.
Tackett’s casket was taken from Hanson-Neely-Allison Funeral home in Alger to Preston Cemetery, led by the Ohio Patriot Guard riders.
“It’s important for the family to have this closure and to see that their loved ones have been brought home and given a proper internment,” said Kevin Miller, District 4 Captain for the Ohio Patriot Guard riders.
Master Sergeant Justin Tumlinson was representing the Army at the service.
“When a soldier is identified it goes through a process. The family’s notified and then Fort Knox is notified that we have a survivor of that individual soldier in our area and then we are assigned to the case to go assist with the family and help them with whatever they need in their time of grief,” Tumlinson said.
Tumlinson considers it a privilege to serve in this capacity.
“It’s a great honor to help families but also recognize the veterans of past wars that were either missing in action or prisoners of war. It’s a huge honor to be part of that. The Army, we always say ‘Leave no man behind’ and we truly believe that and these are the examples of what we’ll go through to make sure that every soldier is brought home,” Tumlinson said.
Reach Sam Shriver, reporter, at 567-242-0409.