William McCollum

William “Billy” McCollum was born on June 19, 1931 in Anderson, South Carolina to Hattie Jane McCollum and Lonnie Adolphus McCollum. In January of 1949, at seventeen years old, McCollum was inducted into the U.S. Army at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Corporal McCollum was transferred to the battlefield.

In November 1950, McCollum’s unit reached the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea and endured repeated attacks from the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces before withdrawing on December 1. After the unit regrouped, McCollum could not be located and was declared missing in action December 2, 1950. McCollum was presumed dead on December 31, 1953, with his family receiving an Army telegram. Following the war, the location of his body was unknown.

In the 2018 summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un, fifty-five boxes of American remains were agreed to be returned to the United States. The boxes were believed to contain remains of soldiers killed during the 1950 Chosin Reservoir Battle.

On August 1, 2018, the remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory was able to identify McCollums remains on September 11, 2019.

After seventy-one years, McCollum returned home.


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September 30, 2021 11:37 am
Mary Huffman
I'm also from South Carolina and it makes me so proud to see that Billy McCollum was able to home. Thank you for sharing such a powerful profile.

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Korean War - Key Events

April 25, 1951

Vastly outnumbered UN forces check the Chinese advance on Seoul at the Battles of Kapyong and the Imjin River. Two Commonwealth battalions—the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment—rebuff an entire Chinese division at Kapyong, and 4,000 men of the British 29th Brigade stage a successful delaying action against nearly 30,000 troops of the Chinese 63rd Army at the Imjin River. Some 650 men of the 1st Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment (the “Glorious Glosters”), engage in a Thermopylae-like stand against more than 10,000 Chinese infantry at Imjin. Although the overwhelming majority of the Glosters are killed or captured, their sacrifice allows UN forces to consolidate their lines around the South Korean capital.

These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica

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