Hero’s Welcome: Remains of Army Private and Nash County Native Return to NC from Korea After 70 years

RALEIGH – One result of the recent detente between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was an agreement for North Korea to return the remains of fallen soldiers from the Korean War decades prior. Of the remains returned, two were identified, and one of them was Nash County native Army PFC William “Hoover” Jones.

Thursday Jones’ remains arrived back in North Carolina, nearly 70 years after leaving with the Army as a teenager to fight North Korean and Chinese communists. Arriving at RDU International Airport, Jones was then escorted to Nash County where he grew up. Along the way he was given a hero’s welcome by firefighters and others, hanging American flags over bridges on the route.

From WRAL:

“[…] Jones’ sister, Ida Dickens, was there for the water salute. She remembers that day in 1950 when her little brother was rushing to meet the taxi to Fort Bragg.

“He was going down the road, looking back, waving,” she said. “As long as he could see. [He was] hanging out the window, waving.”

Jones was 18 and bound for the war in Korea.

Dickens said he wrote a lot of letters.

“He was hoping to be home for Christmas, and maybe they would try to be home for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Then, the letters stopped. And there was a heart-crushing telegram: Hoover was missing in action.

Sixty-eight years would pass before the family learned what happened to Hoover. He was killed when Chinese forces launched a surprise attack along the North Korea border. His remains had at last been identified. […]”

His surviving family members said they never lost hope, and now at last his remains are back home. Friday, Jones’ remains head to Raleigh where they will lie in state at the State Capitol rotunda from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In August, he will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with many other heroes of the Korean War.

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