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Buddy Search - Buddies FOUND

Some Korean War veterans have spent years searching for their old buddies from the war years. Queries from these veterans show up on veteran-related websites all over the Internet, including The Korean War Educator. Some found the whereabouts of their buddy too late, and their pal from the Korean War had already died. Some are still searching for friends, and some despair that a reunion with their buddy from the Korean War will never take place in their lifetime.

If you are one of the fortunate ones who found your Korean War buddy, we invite you to post a picture and information about how you came to reunite with your war buddy. Perhaps your story will give a veteran who has "given up hope" the inspiration to keep on trying!

Send your "Buddies Found" story and photo to: Lynnita Brown, 111 E. Houghton Street, Tuscola, IL 61953.

Engel & Riggins Find Each Other

Attached is pictures of Riggins and myself, taken a few months ago. I’m on the left and Hoyle is on the right. Riggins and myself were together through thick and thin. Everybody had a buddy and it stays with you for the rest of our lives. We been searching for one another for 50 years and finely made connections.

I’m From Troy Illinois and Riggins is from Charlotte NC When I found out where Hoyle lived I jump a plane to NC. You can never experience the feelings we had just seeing one another. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever expected to be standing together again. GODS GIFT!
john jecorky@aol.com.

Gronert & Henry Find Each Other

It began with this message to the Korean War Educator on July 27, 2003:

"I have been trying for years to find Ken Gronert. We served in the Marines together; the time frame was the years of 1950-1952. Much of our time was spent at Pearl Harbor and Camp Catlin in Hawaii. Prior to active duty, Ken lived in Cleveland Heights, OH. My name is James M. Henry, 1570 Kent Street, Kent, OH 44240; ph. 330-678-0309; e-mail address: jhenry2@neo.rr.com ."

Lynnita was gone to a Korean War veterans' reunion in Branson. When she returned, she searched the internet and found two Gronerts in Cleveland. One was a relative of Ken Gronert who had his phone number in Colorado. Bob Gronert was Ken's "Dad's brother's son." Lynnita gave Ken a call on July 30. The next day, the KWE received this message from James Henry: I just got a call from my old USMC buddy, Ken Gronert, thanks to you. I haven't seen or heard from Ken in about 50 years. He is living near Denver, CO. Thank you so much for your efforts!"

On August 2, 2003, Ken Gronert wrote to Lynnita: "Just a quick memo to tell you that I called Jim Henry the morning after you called (I decided not to break into his late evening) and to thank you profusely for helping us find each other. We exchanged e-mail addresses (even got it right the first time, so our septuagenarian minds have not atrophied too badly!) and had a great conversation touching back to all the good times! We realized all of a sudden that it had been nearly a half century since we saw each other last! So all the more reason we very much appreciate all your efforts."

Bud Nelson and Joe Carpitcher Find Each Other

The KWE received the following letter from C.L. "Bud" "Nellie" Nelson, a Korean War Marine, on March 23, 2003:

"Joe Floyd Carpitcher was a Seminole Indian from Oklahoma. We were in the First Am Trac Battalion (dismounted) in Korea during 1951-52. When we returned to the States, we were assigned to Baker Co., Third AmTrac Bn., at Camp DelMar, CA.

Joe was one of those special people who knew and loved everybody. He was loyal and he was a good Marine. While on liberty, you had to be careful and not show that someone had offended you because Joe would jump anyone who had the nerve to mess with one f his friends. He was tough as nails and absolutely fearless. He was known to take a drink now and then, but just enough to be courteous.

In early 1953, we loaded our amtracs on LSTs and steamed to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. We didn't know it at the time, but we would be assigned to a Marine Brigade north of Seoul and were on our way back to Korea when the fighting stopped in July, 1953. We came back to Camp DelMar where most of us were discharged in early 1954.

I began to think about Joe after I got back to Dallas and spent lots of time and money trying to locate him by telephone. Over the years, while in college and working and raising my family, I continued to search for him but to no avail. He was searching for me, too. Several of the guys formed a reunion group and sent two to Dallas to search for me. They came to believe I was dead.

When I learned about the internet I asked my son to use his computer and search for Joe. Finally, he gave me a telephone number for a Joe F. Carpitcher in Norman, OK. I called and got Joe's daughter-in-law at the residence of Joe's son. She had heard about me and was delighted to tell me that Joe lived in Canadian, OK, right on the Canadian River. That night he called me and within five minutes it was as if we had never parted. It was absolutely wonderful to find him!

Joe Carpitcher and I had some sweet times together, along with his wife and children. We attended reunions and I visited him at his home there on the river. Sadly, he died from complications following surgery and was cremated in his beloved Oklahoma almost three years ago now. Eleven of us attended the service, conducted by one of Joe's relatives.

Joe was my buddy, he was my friend. He exemplified the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis. I miss him. We all do."

Joe Floyd Carpitcher, November 1998, at home in Canadian, OK.
(Click for a larger view)

Bo and Odie Carpitcher and Joe's grandson with Nellie Nelson at Joe's Memorial Service.
(Click for a larger view)

Marine buddies at a 1996 reunion at Yankton, SD. Left to right - Nellie Nelson, Bob Abler (now deceased), Joe Carpitcher (now deceased),
and Paul Miller.

(Click for a larger view)


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