Declared Dead At War, He Returned Alive To Get Their World Had Moved On Without Him

Declared Dead At War, He Returned Alive To Get Their World Had Managed To Move On Without Him

Walter Dixon along with his son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps meeting in Waynesville, Mo. Modupeola Oyebolu/StoryCorps hide caption

Walter Dixon and their son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps meeting in Waynesville, Mo.

StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative documents tales from people of the U.S. military and their loved ones.

Walter Dixon have been married just for five times as he shipped down to Korea for his 2nd war implementation.

Of a later, at age 22, he was declared dead year. Whenever their obituary had been posted when you look at the paper that is local their spouse home in Waynesville, Mo., had no chance of realizing that the news headlines had been untimely.

In fact, Dixon had been alive behind enemy lines.

In a job interview at StoryCorps last thirty days, Dixon, a 90-year-old veteran of three wars, talked to their son Russ Dixon regarding how, after an instance of mistaken identity, he came back house to locate that their globe had shifted without him.

Dixon had been serving into the Army’s 38th Infantry Division when, he claims, he had been captured while wanting to help their other troops.

He had been in regards to a half-mile from his post as he saw five guys from his product down get shot by the artillery round. “One of ‘em’s feet were both broken, thus I took my industry jacket and covered around their feet to together hold them,” he states.

As he came back to their tool, Chinese forces giving support to the North Koreans came up behind him.

“When i obtained captured, those dudes for the reason that gap with my field coat here, they simply got blown all to heck,” Dixon claims.

If the systems had been later found, Dixon’s coat, which carried letters from their spouse into the pouches, ended up being the piece that mistakenly linked him up to a deceased other soldier.

“I’m certain this is exactly why they reported me personally dead as opposed to captured,” Dixon states.

For the following two . 5 years, he ended up being held prisoner in a north camp that is korean.

It absolutely was an experience that is harrowing Dixon recalls. To remain hot, he’d shop around for lumber to burn off and, in some instances, prepared rats as sustenance. 1 day, a guard thought he strayed too much.

“I began to make smarter headway and also this guard hollered I didn’t,” he says for me to halt, but. “therefore, he stuck me personally together with his bayonet. Sort of a time that is rough here.”

Dixon escaped five times, but each time he had been caught, and punished. Whenever fighting found a halt, the Red Cross found the camp and notified the prisoners of the launch.

Back, because Dixon have been reported killed, their spouse had managed to move on. She remarried and had a young kid with another guy.


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In the right time, Dixon claims, he don’t have much to express.

“we can not blame her. I became dead. Then she learned I became alive. The only real apparent thing to do would be to divorce certainly one of us.”

Dixon along with his spouse would divorce. But he could not resent her, he states.

“Anger do not can you a bit of good on something such as that, you cannot do absolutely nothing about any of it,” he states. “You simply gotta handle it the easiest way you understand how.”

Despite every thing he experienced, Dixon made a decision to stay static in the armed forces. It is a choice that their son Russ nevertheless wonders about.

“It had been my entire life,” Dixon stated. “when you proceed through all that, you ain’t frightened of nothing.”

Russ stated he could be happy with their dad, who went on to provide in Vietnam. “we tell many people about your seven Purple Hearts and all that, and I also brag about any of it pretty much every time,” he told their daddy.

In terms of Dixon himself, he states he could not care exactly exactly how other people keep in mind him. It is sufficient he made for him alone to know the sacrifices.

“I’m able to keep in mind me personally,” he states. “I do not have desires or requirements of memory. I simply enjoyed my armed forces solution . I would repeat. And I also’m pleased with it.”

In terms of that neighborhood obituary journalist? Dixon finished up marrying her and achieving three kiddies together, including Russ.

Sound produced for sunday Edition by Kelly Moffitt.

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