Declared Dead At War, He Returned Alive To Locate Their World Had Managed To Move On Without Him
Walter Dixon and their son Russ Dixon at their StoryCorps interview 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 stories from people in the U.S. military and their loved ones.
Walter Dixon was indeed hitched just for five times when he shipped down to Korea for their war that is second implementation.
In regards to a later, at age 22, he was declared dead year. Whenever their obituary had been posted when you look at the regional paper, their spouse home in Waynesville, Mo., had no chance of understanding that the headlines was untimely.
In fact, Dixon had been alive behind enemy lines.
In an meeting at StoryCorps final thirty days, Dixon, a 90-year-old veteran of three wars, spoke to their son Russ Dixon regarding how, after an instance of mistaken identity, he came back house to get that their globe had managed to move on without him.
Dixon ended up being serving into the Army’s 38th Infantry Division when, he states, he had been captured while wanting to assist their troops that are fellow.
He had been of a half-mile from their post as he saw five guys from his product get shot down by the artillery round. “One of ’em’s feet were both broken, therefore I took my industry jacket and covered around their feet to together hold them,” he claims.
As he gone back to their gun, Chinese forces giving support to the North Koreans came up behind him.
“When i acquired captured, those dudes for the reason that gap with my industry coat there, they simply got blown all to heck,” Dixon states.
As soon as the systems had been later discovered, Dixon’s coat, which carried letters from their spouse within the pouches, had been the piece that mistakenly linked him to a deceased other soldier.
“I’m certain this is exactly why they reported me personally dead rather than captured,” Dixon claims.
For the following two and a half years, he had been held prisoner in A north korean camp.
It had been an experience that is harrowing Dixon recalls. To remain hot, he’d look around for timber to burn off and, often times, prepared rats as sustenance. 1 day, a guard thought he strayed too much.
“we 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 along with his bayonet. Variety of a rough time appropriate here.”
Dixon escaped five times, but each right time he had been caught, and punished. When fighting stumbled on a halt, the Red Cross found the camp and notified the prisoners of the launch.
Home, because Dixon was indeed reported killed, their spouse had managed to move on. She remarried together with kid with another guy.
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During the time, Dixon claims, he did not have much to express.
“I can not blame her. I happened to be dead. Then she discovered 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 do you realy a bit of good on something similar to that, you cannot do absolutely absolutely nothing about this,” he states. “You simply gotta handle it the easiest way you understand how.”
Despite everything he experienced, Dixon thought we would stay static in the army. It is a choice that their son Russ nevertheless wonders about.
“It had been my life,” Dixon stated. “when you proceed through all that, you ain’t frightened of nothing.”
Russ stated he could be pleased with their dad, whom continued to provide in Vietnam. “we tell many people about your seven Purple Hearts and all 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 just 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 claims. “I do not have any wants or requirements of memory. I recently enjoyed my army solution . I would repeat. And I also’m happy with it.”
In terms of that local writer that is obituary? Dixon finished up marrying her and achieving three kids together, including Russ.
Sound produced for Edition by Kelly Moffitt weekend.