Soldier laid to rest in Reeds after being MIA for roughly 70 years

Lloyd Alumbaugh

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – One final ride for an American hero. After roughly 70 years, Sergeant Lloyd Alumbaugh is laid to rest in American soil. The funeral on Friday, June 25th, being an emotional time for his nephew and oldest living relative Wes Alumbaugh.

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Wes. “We always had his picture hanging in the house. My dad never gave up on finding him.”

Lloyd Alumbaugh was born in Jasper and grew up in Reeds. When he was 21-years-old, he enlisted in the United States Army, and served as a member of the 7th Medical Battalion, 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War. He was last seen alive November 28, 1950, when his unit was attached by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

“It was an ambush actually. They were fighting a war. But they hadn’t counted on an ambush,” explains Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Boldman, a U.S. Military Chaplain who spoke during Alumbaugh’s funeral.

Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. He was not identified among remains returned to the U.S. after the war. It wouldn’t be until decades later, following the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, 2018, that his remains would be returned to U.S. soil. North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and Alumbaugh’s remains were finally identified. He was no longer MIA.

“I have to wonder sometimes on why it took so long. We’ve had 12, 14 presidents since Truman, and took Trump to get him back,” says Wes. “But, all that matters now is it’s finally done.”

After being escorted from Ulmer Funeral Home in Carthage to Reeds Cemetery in Reeds, Alumbaugh was given the recognition he deserves, then laid to rest between his mom and dad.

“The boy deserves to be recognized. Along with all of them who lost their life,” says Boldman.

“Skating was big back in the early 50s and stuff. Said he was one of the best skaters around. He could about out skate anybody. See, I was only a yar and a half old when he died. So I never got to know my uncle Lloyd,” says Wes. “I’ll say again, why did it take so long? But all that matters now is it’s done. I’m feeling glad that he’s not on Korean soil anymore. He’s on our soil. Finally.”

Alumbaugh’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

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