More than 60 years after dying in battle in North Korea, a Hinckley Township Marine is coming home to be buried.
“In 60-some years, we thought about him being in North Korea,” Richard Huff said. “This is a big thing — him coming home.”
Huff’s brother, Cpl. Clarence H. Huff Jr. — better known as “Bud” — was 20 when he was reported killed in action on Dec. 2, 1950, during the Battle at Chosin Reservoir. He was a member of the Item Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
His body was returned four years later during an exchange of remains of war dead, and he was buried with hundreds of other unidentified servicemen in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Bud’s brother, Robert Huff, said.
Robert, 66, and Richard, 79, didn’t learn that there was a good chance their brother’s body was buried in Hawaii until they attended a meeting several years ago of the Defense Department’s Joint Prisoner of War Missing in Action Account Command.
“It was quite a relief to know he’s not over (in North Korea) anymore,” Richard Huff said.
Better news came last month when Richard, Robert and Bud’s other surviving siblings received word that their brother’s remains had been identified.
Robert Huff said that was a difficult task. He said his brother’s body was among about 800 servicemen who died in Korea who were preserved with chemicals that destroyed DNA.
He said his brother was identified by a military laboratory in Hawaii that uses new medical techniques to match chest and dental X-rays of remains with X-rays taken when soldiers enlist.
“They do a wonderful job on that,” Robert Huff said.
Bud Huff was born in 1930 and grew up in Hinckley Township with his eight siblings. He graduated from Hinckley High School in 1948.
He will be buried with full military honors Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.
The funeral procession will travel from Brunswick through Medina down to Rittman, Robert said.
“My mom waited and waited for this, and unfortunately she died in 2002,” he said. “Now that we’re getting everything set up, it kind of hits home. Now they know where he is.”
Contact Michelle Sprehe at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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