A Marine from Toledo whose unidentified body was buried in a military cemetery in Hawaii for 63 years ago was laid to rest today at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park for what relatives hope will be the final time.
Cpl. Harold W. Reed, who was killed in action in North Korea on Nov. 29, 1950, two days shy of his 24th birthday, was buried with full military honors next to the graves of his mother, Mildred Reed, and sister, Millicent Power, in a family plot Mrs. Reed had bought after learning of his combat death.
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After a Navy bugler played Taps, two Marine sergeants carefully folded up the American flag from Corporal Reed’s coffin, with one of them presenting it to his widow, Dorothy Sobczak, who learned of his body’s return to Ohio through media coverage earlier in the week.
“I thank whoever did all this. They had a time finding me,” said Mrs. Sobczak, who added that she had remarried 10 years after Corporal Reed’s passing, but only after receiving a vision of him telling her she could.
About 100 people turned out for the graveside ceremony in the West Toledo cemetery, many of them veterans who stood at attention and saluted during key moments.
“We rode in the Toledo [Memorial Day] Parade, then we came here to honor this veteran,” said Doc Roth, a retired Army specialist from Wauseon who was part of a group of motorcyclists at the burial.
The identification and return of Corporal Reed’s body to Ohio, he said, “shows a commitment on somebody’s part to repatriate those who were missing.”
Corporal Reed was initially buried on the Korean War battlefield where he died. His body was returned to the United States in 1954 but, with no identification, it was interred with several hundred other unidentified Korea veterans in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific -- commonly known as the Punch Bowl -- in Honolulu.
Relatives led by Billy Power, Millicent Power’s husband and an Army veteran of Korea, began efforts to identify Corporal Reed’s body several years ago after learning of efforts to DNA-match the buried unknowns. It was an old chest X-ray, however, that confirmed Corporal Reed’s identity once DNA suggested a possibility, said Timothy Power, Billy’s nephew.