Remains of Ohio soldier killed in Korean War return home

NEW LEXINGTON, OH (WCMH) — Tuesday, the remains of a New Lexington Korean War Veteran were flown to Port Columbus. After 66 years buried in an unmarked grave, Cpl. Charles White Jr. is finally home.

He wasn’t identified until the spring of this year.

“He says, ‘oh don’t worry about ol’ Perk, I’ll make it back,'” Those were the last words Cpl. White ever said to his sister June Chuvalas.

“Those words ring in my ear a lot, ‘I’ll be back,'” said June.

Tuesday, more than 60 years after leaving his New Lexington home, his remains were finally brought back.

June Chuvalas, now 82, was on the tarmac as his flag draped coffin was escorted off the plane.

“I never dreamed this day would ever come,” she said.

Cpl. White enlisted in the army in May of 1950 and in September he was deployed to Korea. By Christmas, he was missing in action.

“He ends up walking into enemy territory and gets taken prisoner of war,” said his nephew Rick Chuvalas.

He died at that camp a few months later. But, his family never knew exactly what happened until the phone rang earlier this year.

“For all these years he laid in a national cemetery underneath a granite stone marked unknown, only having a number assigned to his casket,” said Rick.

Friday, he will be buried next to his parents with a ceremony worthy of a hero. 

From Port Columbus to New Lexington, people lined the streets for miles Tuesday. They made signs, waved flags and saluted the passing motorcade.

Cpl. Charles White Jr.–home at last.

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