Declared Dead At War, He Returned Alive To Locate 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 his son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps meeting in Waynesville, Mo.
StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative documents tales from people in the U.S. military and their loved ones.
Walter Dixon was in fact hitched just for five days as he shipped down to Korea for their 2nd war implementation.
In regards to a later, at hot russian brides age 22, he was declared dead year. Whenever their obituary ended up being posted into the paper that is local their spouse home in Waynesville, Mo., had absolutely no way of realizing that the headlines had been early.
The truth is, Dixon ended up being alive behind enemy lines.
A 90-year-old veteran of three wars, spoke to his son Russ Dixon about how, after a case of mistaken identity, he returned home to find that his world had moved on without him in an interview at StoryCorps last month, Dixon.
Dixon had been serving when you look at the Army’s 38th Infantry Division when, he claims, he had been captured while wanting to help their troops that are fellow.
He had been of a half-mile from their post as he saw five guys from their product get shot down by the artillery round. “One of ’em’s feet were both broken, therefore I took my field 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 industry coat here, they simply got blown all to heck,” Dixon states.
Once the figures had been later discovered, 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 that is why they reported me personally dead rather than captured,” Dixon claims.
For the following two . 5 years, he had been held prisoner in A north korean camp.
It absolutely was a harrowing experience, 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 past an acceptable limit.
“we began to make smarter headway and also this guard hollered for me personally to prevent, but i did not,” he claims. “So, he stuck me together with his bayonet. Sort of a time that is rough here.”
Dixon escaped 5 times, but each right time he was caught, and penalized. Whenever fighting stumbled on a halt, the Red Cross stumbled on the camp and notified the prisoners of the launch.
Back, because Dixon was indeed reported killed, his spouse had managed to move on. She remarried and had youngster with another guy.
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In the time, Dixon claims, he did not have much to express.
“we can not blame her. I became dead. Then she learned I became alive. Really the only thing that is obvious do would be to divorce certainly one of us.”
Dixon along with his spouse would divorce. But he could not resent her, he claims.
“Anger do not would you a bit of good on something similar to 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 thought we would remain in the army. It really is a determination 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 pleased with his dad, whom proceeded to provide in Vietnam. “we tell lots of people regarding your seven Purple Hearts and all of that, and I also brag he told his father about it just about every day.
In terms of Dixon himself, he states he could not care exactly how other people remember him. It really is sufficient for him alone to understand the sacrifices he made.
“I’m able to keep in mind me personally,” he claims. “I do not have wants or requirements of memory. I recently enjoyed my armed forces solution . I would try it again. And I’m pleased with it.”
In terms of that neighborhood obituary journalist? Dixon wound up marrying her and achieving three children together, including Russ.
Sound produced for Edition by Kelly Moffitt weekend.