Declared Dead At War, He Returned Alive To Locate Their World Had Managed To Move On Without Him
Walter Dixon along with his son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps meeting in Waynesville, Mo. Modupeola Oyebolu/StoryCorps hide caption
Walter Dixon along with his son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps meeting in Waynesville, Mo.
StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative documents tales from users of the U.S. military and their own families.
Walter Dixon was in fact hitched just for five days when he shipped down to Korea for his war that is second implementation.
In regards to a later, at age 22, he was declared dead year. Whenever their obituary ended up being posted when you look at the neighborhood paper, their spouse back in Waynesville, Mo., had no chance of understanding that the news headlines had been untimely.
In fact, Dixon ended up being alive behind enemy lines.
A 90-year-old veteran of three wars, spoke to his son Russ Dixon about how, after a case of mistaken identity, he returned home to find that his world had moved on without him in an interview at StoryCorps last month, Dixon.
Dixon had been serving into the Army’s 38th Infantry Division when, he claims, he was captured while attempting to help their other troops.
He had been in regards to a half-mile from their post as he saw five males from their product get shot down by an artillery round. “One of ’em’s legs were both broken, therefore I took my industry jacket and covered around their feet to together hold them,” he says.
As he returned to their gun, Chinese forces giving support to the North Koreans came up behind him.
“When i obtained captured, those dudes for the reason that gap with my industry coat here, they simply got blown all to heck,” Dixon claims.
Whenever bodies had been later discovered, Dixon’s coat, which carried letters from their spouse into the pouches, ended up being the piece that mistakenly linked him to a deceased fellow soldier.
“I am sure that is why they reported me personally dead rather than captured,” Dixon states.
For the following two . 5 years, he had been held prisoner in A north korean camp.
It absolutely was a harrowing experience, Dixon recalls. To keep hot, he’d shop around for lumber to burn off and, often times, prepared rats as sustenance. 1 day, a guard thought he strayed too much.
“we started initially to make smarter headway and also this guard hollered for me personally to prevent, but i did not,” he states. “therefore, he stuck me personally together with bayonet. Form of a rough time appropriate here.”
Dixon escaped 5 times, but each time he had been caught, and punished. Whenever fighting stumbled on a halt, the Red Cross stumbled on the camp and notified the prisoners of the launch.
Back, because Dixon was indeed reported killed, their spouse had managed to move on. She remarried along with kid with another guy.
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During the time, Dixon claims, he did not have much to express.
“we can not blame her. I happened to be dead. Then she discovered I happened to be alive. The actual only real thing that is obvious do would be to divorce certainly one of us.”
Dixon along with his spouse would divorce. But he could not resent her, he claims.
“Anger don’t can you a bit of good on something similar to that, you cannot do absolutely absolutely nothing about any of it,” he claims. “You simply gotta handle it the easiest way you understand how.”
Despite every thing he experienced, Dixon made a decision to remain in the army. It is a choice that their son Russ nevertheless wonders about.
“It ended up being my entire life,” Dixon stated. “when you undergo all that, you ain’t frightened of nothing.”
Russ stated he could be pleased with his dad, whom proceeded to provide in Vietnam. “we tell many people about your seven Purple Hearts and all of that, and I also brag he told his father about it just about every day.
In terms of Dixon himself, he states he could not care just exactly how other people keep in mind him. It really is sufficient he made for him alone to know the sacrifices.
“I’m able to keep in mind me personally,” he states. “I https://bestbrides.org/russian-brides do not have desires or requirements of memory. I recently enjoyed my army solution . I would try it again. And I also’m happy with it.”
In terms of that regional writer that is obituary? Dixon finished up marrying her and achieving three kids together, including Russ.
Sound produced for Edition by Kelly Moffitt weekend.