CVF seeks public help with Korean War veterans’ stories

Published 1:00 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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NOTE: This column was provided to the Andalusia Star-News by Covington Veterans Foundation Operations Manager Robert Evers.

This coming November, the Covington Veterans Foundation plans to honor local veterans of the Korean War through historical exhibits, a magazine, and a public performance. We invite the public’s help in identifying surviving Korean Veterans as well as the families of those who have passed who served in Korea.

The Korean War of 1950 to 1953 is often referred to in the United States as the “Forgotten War.” It is overshadowed by the Second World War, which had ended only five years earlier, and the soon-to-follow Vietnam War. The war also took place during a time of peace and prosperity of post-World War II. Furthermore, the Korean War was never officially declared a war, but rather a “police action” or a “conflict” and did not end in a clear victory for either side, with the two Koreas remaining divided to this day. It was also the first war fought by racially-integrated U.S. Armed Forces.

Against the backdrop of the larger geo-political Cold War, the war was fought between North Korea, backed by China and the Soviet Union, and South Korea, which was supported by the United States and other United Nations member countries. The war began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, the border between North and South Korea, and invaded South Korea.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the invasion and authorized military intervention to repel the North Korean forces. US-led UN forces intervened in the conflict, and after several years of intense fighting, a ceasefire agreement was signed in July 1953. The agreement established a demilitarized zone (DMZ) along the border between the two Koreas, which remains in place to this day. The war resulted in the loss of an estimated 2.5 million lives, including civilians and military personnel.

Approximately 1.8 million United States service members served in the conflict. Of these, more than 36,000 were killed in action, and another 103,000 were wounded. There were 7,140 POWs, of whom 4,418 returned, 2,701 died in captivity, and 21 refused repatriation. Alabama lost 700 service members in the war, 10 of whom were from this county.

The following list is the known men from this county to have died in the war along with their rank, service branch, and date of their death or disappearance.

  • Stewart M. Baker, Jr. 2LT, US Army, September 19, 1950
  • Carnell Edward Booth. PO3, US Navy, November 16, 1952.
  • C. Clark, Jr., Pvt, US Army, July 5, 1950
  • Tellis W. Donaldson, MSG, US Army, November 30, 1950
  • Rudolph “Buddy” Farmer, SFC. US Army, September 22, 1950
  • Lawrence D. Grantham, PVT, US Army, June 15, 1953
  • James L. C. Jeter, PVT, US Army, April 17, 1953
  • Charles Smith, 1LT, US Army, January 14, 1953
  • Ernest C South, PFC, US Army, July 19, 1950
  • Wilmer T. Wyatt, SGT, US Army, April 27, 1951

If you have information regarding a local veteran of the Korean War you wish to share, please contact the Covington Veterans Foundation at or call Robert Evers, CVF Operations Manager at 334-343-6890.