LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - National Purple Heart day honors those who have been wounded or killed while fighting for America's freedom.
On Tuesday though, Lubbock took a slightly different focus; reminding us as well about the 'forgotten war' and then men who remember everything.
"To our Korean war veteran who has endured the hardship of war and carry with them the horrors of the costs of freedom, whose commitment to the war against communist aggression endured that its evil traits never took root, freedom is not free," Benny Guerrero, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said during the tribute.
In history class, many are taught that the Korean War is the 'forgotten war'.
Guerrero says, "We mourn the loss of life, we mourn when our fallen, but our soldier truly dies when he's forgotten, and our job is to not allow you to forget."
Purple Heart Day is a day of observance that commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart Medal in 1782. It's awarded to those who were wounded or killed while serving in the U.S. military.
Tuesday morning, attendees gathered at Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial at 82nd and Nashville at 7:55 am to pay tribute to those who served. This year's ceremony is also special because of the recent homecoming from North Korea. 55 fallen soldiers returned to U.S. soil from North Korea for the first time in decades. These fallen Americans, as well as all Korean War Veterans were honored.
The ceremony also payed tribute to Medal of Honor Hero, Lt. Colonel George Davis, who was killed in Korea. His body was never found. His grave marker is located at the City of Lubbock Cemetery. Davis is one of 431 Texans from the Korean War who were classified as Missing In Action. His son, Chuck, will be representing the Davis family. Chuck's mother was seven months pregnant with him when Davis was killed. She never remarried.
Information on George Andrew Davis Jr. provided by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 0900:
George Andrew Davis Jr. (December 1, 1920 – February 10, 1952) was a highly decorated fighter pilot and flying ace of the United States Army Air Forces in World War II, and later of the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Davis rose to the rank of major, and was promoted posthumously to lieutenant colonel and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in "MiG Alley" during the latter war. He was the only flying ace of the United States to be killed in action in Korea.
Born in Dublin, Texas, Davis joined the United States Army Air Corps in early 1942. He was sent to the Pacific Theatre after pilot training and flew in the New Guinea and Philippine campaigns, scoring seven victories over Japanese aircraft. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled pilot and accurate gunner whose "daredevil" flying style contrasted with his reserved personality.
Davis did not see action in Korea until late 1951. In spite of this, he achieved considerable success flying the F-86 Sabre fighter jet, quickly rising to become the war's ace of aces and downing fourteen North Korean, Chinese, and Soviet aircraft before his death in February 1952. During his final combat mission in northwest Korea, Davis surprised and attacked twelve Chinese MiG-15 fighter jets about to attack friendly aircraft in "MiG Alley", downing two of the MiG-15's before he was shot down and killed.
Davis is the fourth-highest US scoring ace of the Korean War with a total of 21 victories. He is one of seven US military pilots to become an ace in two wars, and one of 31 US pilots to be credited with more than 20 victories.