April 17, 1929
Richard John Seadore was born April 17, 1929, at Stamford, Jackson County, South Dakota to John and Ella Seadore. He was the first living child of a family of 10. At a young age his parents moved him to Milaca, Minnesota, the home of his Mother's Father. They later moved to Nebraska and lived in the Johnstown and Wood Lake areas before settling in Long Pine. Richard worked for a couple of different farmers in the Johnstown area, so he lived away from home once he was old enough to work. Richard enlisted in the Army when he was 19 years old and went to artillery school in California, and was sent to Japan when the North Koreans crossed into South Korea in June of 1950. Richard's unit was one of the first to be sent to Korea. In August of 1950, he suffered an injury to his arm, but after healing was sent back to the war zone to fight against the North Koreans and the Chinese who had entered the war. After a fierce battle in December of 1950, Richard was listed as AOL, then MIA and eventually a POW. After a "death march" that took four weeks, he ended up in the North Korean POW camp, and later died on April 18, 1951, the day after his 22nd birthday. Richard was awarded two Purple Hearts, one for his arm wound and one for his ultimate sacrifice. Richard's parents, John and Ella Seadore, and infant sister, Esther, Johnny Seadore, Katherine (Mrs. Leo Debolt), Rosie (Mrs. Eldon Warnke), and youngest brother, Larry Seadore are deceased. He now leaves to mourn his passing and rejoicing over his homecoming, his siblings; Margie Seadore, Raymond Seadore, and Albert Seadore and wife, Lois, all of Callaway Nebraska, and Shirley (Mrs. Gordon Hitchcock) of Ainsworth Nebraska; his sister-in-law, Margaret (Mrs. Johnny Seadore) of Long Pine, and a host of nieces, nephews and other family members. Graveside services were held on August 4, 2017 at the Grandview Cemetery near Long Pine, Nebraska. Presiding over the service was nephew, Pastor Wes Hitchcock. Special music of "Statue of Liberty" was sung by Danny and Kathy Bennett, (friends of the family.) A Violin instrumental of "Amazing Grace" was provided by Mrs. Nate Seadore (Laura, nephew's wife.) Full Military Honors were provided, along with representation of the area American Legion Post's. Representation was also shown by the American Legion Riders and area Iron Horse Riders. ***Korean Soldier finally coming home*** Richard J. Seadore LONG PINE — Sixty-six years ago, Corporal Richard John Seadore died in a prisoner of war camp in North Korea. Finally, on August 4, at 2 p.m., his remains will be received by his family at Grandview Cemetery here with a full-military service. It was last month that Seadore family members — Shirley Hitchcock and Albert Seadore — met with representatives of the U.S. Department of Army Casualty office based at Fort Knox, Ky., and the Casualty Assistance Center from Fort Riley, Kan. It was at that meeting where Janette Gray and Michael Hagen presented and explained the detailed written report of what likely happened to Richard Seadore and how his remains ultimately were recovered. Although Hitchcock and Albert Seadore were only 6 and 4 years of age when their older brother was reported missing in action, they felt their mother's pain through the years. Ella Mae Seadore's pain was compounded when the family was informed that no remains could be sent home for burial. But shortly before she died in September 2001, a sample of her DNA was taken, as well as from Richard Seadore's brothers — Albert and Johnny. At one point, the Army reported that Richard's remains were unrecoverable. But that did not discourage this mother's hope that someday her son would "come home." * * * Enlistment and Korea Richard's military journey began in the winter of 1949 when, at 19 years of age, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His brother, Johnny, only 17 at the time, also wanted to go but needed his mother's written permission. With much reluctance, she signed the paper and the two brothers were off to basic camp in Arkansas together. During that time, Richard contracted measles so he had to temporarily withdraw from training. In the meantime, Johnny completed basic and was shipped to Korea. But they would not see each other again even though, at one time, it was learned that the two brothers were fighting the enemy across a road from each other. Later, as a result of an accident, Johnny was sent back to the Unites States and that is when he learned that Richard was missing. In December 1950, Richard was in Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. United Nations forces were winning the war earlier in the year; they reached well north of the 38th parallel. But when the Chinese joined the North Koreans, the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) staged mass attacks and U.N. troops were forced back south. Positioned about 30 miles north of Seoul, South Korea at Uijong-bu, Richard's regiment was hunkered down defensively. On December 14, 1950, the CPVF attacked the unit in a battle that lasted all night. By morning, Richard's unit had prevailed and even pushed back the enemy. But as the unit prepared to move, Richard could not be located. He eventually was reported to be missing in action. On Dec. 26, 1951, a year after his capture, North Korea sent out a propaganda broadcast with a list of soldiers' names of whom they had custody. The report said that Richard had died in their camp. But the Army waited because such reports out of North Korea often were found to be either false or mistaken. Proof still was needed that he had died. The Army assumed that Richard was a prisoner. Army officials also knew of the horrific conditions in which the captured soldiers had to endure. Reports from released POWs and other soldiers told of the "death marches." It is thought that Richard was among soldiers on such a march that took four weeks from Uijong-bu, South Korea, to Suan County, a destination well north of the 38th parallel in North Korea. Amid temperatures that dripped to 30 degrees below zero and wearing just summer-weight clothing, thousands of American soldiers died. Cholera and dysentery were common coupled with scant rations. On occasion, there were prisoner and war dead exchanges. An exchanged soldier who was in a POW camp in Suan County, confirmed that he recalled Richard and that he had died after contracting a disease. When the armistice was being negotiated in the fall of 1953, the Army released an official list that confirmed Richard had died on April 19, 1951, a day after his 22nd birthday. The information indicated Richard had suffered wounds in his arm from shrapnel in a battle before his final one. He was the recipient of two Purple Hearts: for being wounded and for giving the ultimate sacrifice. * * * Excavations prove helpful In 1954, North Korea turned over 4,000 sets of remains — 2,900 of those were American war dead. Of those, 860 were deemed as unidentifiable and were later buried at Honolulu Hawaii National Cemetery. Richard's remains were not among them. That is when his remains were determined to be unrecoverable. While that announcement was heartbreaking for family members, it was not unusual. There are still 7,400 Americans who still remain missing from the Korean War. In addition, between 17,000 and 18,000 Americans are still missing from World War II and 500 MIAs from the Vietnam War. Excavations are still underway as a way to uncover more remains. Army officials said teams are periodically given permission to journey to North Korea to excavate battlegrounds and, more recently, former POW camps. The excavation teams are under heavy guard and there are restrictions on where they can dig. On May 28, 1992, North Korea sent back 15 crates of remains. Initial optimism turned to dismay when it turned out the manifests were inaccurate and the remains were mostly co-mingled. Sometimes dental records and clavicle samples help ID a soldier. Clavicles are as unique as fingerprints and if the soldier had a chest x-ray before deployment, a match could be made. Richard apparently did not have such an x-ray, although part of his recovered bones included clavicles. In 1997, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) began using DNA to test remains, linking bones to families. The Seadore family was notified and Ella Mae, Albert and Johnny gave samples in hopes of a successful conclusion of their search for Richard. Then in 1999-2000, permission was granted to go into Suan County (where Richard had been held and died). The excavation teams were able to recover some skeletal remains from the former camp with the help of hired local villagers. Using a variety of scientific methods, a partial skeleton of Richard's remains was assembled. Some bones were from the crates of jumbled remains returned in 1992 and some from the Suan excavation. A positive ID was made on April 25, 2017, when Richard's DNA was determined to be a match to his brother Albert's. Albert Seadore said,"It surprised me that after 60 some years, I get pretty emotional every time I tell it." It was the end of a long journey.
Richard John Seadore was born April 17, 1929, at Stamford, Jackson County, South Dakota to John and Ella Seadore. He was the first living child of a family of 10. At a young age his parents moved him to Milaca, Minnesota, the home of his Mother's... View Obituary & Service Information
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