Korean Vet Honored

Many young men in the early 1950’s joined the National Guard to avoid serving in the infantry. Many served in an Engineering Brigade out of Huntsville. Others were drafted and sent to the infantry.

Junior Prince was drafted. He served along the DMV (the front battle lines). Along the way, he marched across a new bridge. When he looked at the bridge, he could see the National Guard boys from home standing in waist deep water. They built the bridges he marched over and destroyed them after they crossed.

Last month Mr. Prince, 90, received a call from the Veterans Affairs Office in Guntersville. The Republic of Korea (South Korea) presented an “Ambassador for Peace” medal.

The award says, in part, “It is a great honor and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving our freedom and democracy.”

Mr. Prince was unable to go to the main ceremony in Montgomery. He was presented his medal at the Veterans Affairs Office in Guntersville.

Mr. Prince served in Korea from the spring of 1951 until the spring of 1952. This latest medal is not his first.

On February 29, 1952, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The Bronze Star is an award for heroic achievement in connection with service. Sergeant Junior Prince served with Company “E”, 7th Infantry, US Army.

The award reads, “The company, reaching the base of the hill, was subjected to an intense barrage of enemy small arms, mortar and artillery fire and while seeking cover on the flat, open terrain, the men became confused and disorganized. Immediately realizing the seriousness of the situation, Sergeant Prince, a squad leader, left his defilade (protective) position and fearlessly exposed himself to the withering fire to reorganize his squad, lead it to cover and to direct its fire on enemy targets.”

Mr. Prince was also the recipient of an Honor Flight trip to Washington D. C. to see the Korean War Memorial.

Mr. Prince said the true heroes were the World War II veterans. He said “Shile servicemen have served for long deployments since then, they know when they will get to go home. In World War II, servicemen were sent for the duration of the war. They did not know when or if they would come home.”

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