TAYLOR COUNTY—After nearly 70 years, a family has answers and a hero is coming home to be laid to rest on American soil.
After he went missing in action on December 2, 1950, Corporal Jackey Dale Blosser’s loved ones were riddled with emotions and questions. Years later, they would receive the closure that they had so long hoped for, when the serviceman’s remains were identified and returned to the United States.
Like many other young men in the late 40’s, Blosser, a Pickens native, entered the U.S. Army on September 14, 1948, with a strong desire to serve.
Just over two years from entering the United States Army, 21-year-old Blosser received orders to load up with Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regimen of the 7th Infantry Division to carry out military actions in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.).
During the battle, Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) attacked his unit as they withdrew from the Pungnyuri Inlet to Hagaruri, North Korea.
It has been reported that late on the evening of November 27, 1950, the Company D was stunned by a surprise attack and began fighting them off. Just before midnight, the CCF forces attacked once more.
Fighting continued throughout the night and into the early morning hours. American forces sustained heavy casualties at the hands of the Chinese forces.
During the next day, the enemy’s activity backed off, but once night fell, the CFF hit hard again. Seeing a need to consolidate forces, the team decided to make their move the following day, but even the combined forces faced a larger opponent.
It has been reported that on the evening of November 30, the CFF launched their largest and most aggressive attack yet. The American team was unable to hold their position, as their ranks dwindled in the throes of war.
The next morning, December 1, the team began its withdrawal south. Because of the number of non-ambulatory wounded and a limited number of operable vehicles, American forces were tasked with making the hard decision to leave their fellow soldiers behind.
Men wounded during the withdrawal were loaded on to trucks, but those who had perished were left where they had fallen.
The Chinese forces continued to close in and were close enough that they were able to throw grenades into the trucks filled with wounded soldiers.
By the afternoon of December 2, most of the survivors had made it to Hagaru-ri, but American forces continued to filter in throughout the next couple of days. It was during that time that Blosser was believed to have been lost.
Interviews were held with surviving members of the American team; however no further details were obtained.
The Army asserts that Blosser’s name did not appear on any POW camp, holding area, interrogation center or medical facility. Nothing indicates that he was alive in enemy hands.
Unfortunately, the exact details leading up to Blosser’s death are unknown, and American forces were unable to recover his remains. The Army issued a presumptive finding of death on December 13, 1953, after there was no evidence of continued survival.
For years, the young soldier’s family wondered what had happened to him, and if he was in fact killed in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. In 2018, they received some of the answers that they sought.
In June 2018, President Donald Trump and D.P.R.K. Chairman Kim took part in a summit meeting in Singapore. It was during that assembly that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and D.P.R.K. representatives came to an agreement to allow 55 boxes of remains to be tested in August of the same year.
According to family members, DNA was acquired from the family in 1999, which was used in the analysis of the remains, and after testing, it was revealed that it was, in fact, Blosser’s remains. In November 2019, the family was notified of their findings.
CPL Blosser was awarded with a Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.
He is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Blosser’s family is happy to report that they will soon be able to bring him home and will be holding a private memorial service on Friday, July 31 at Calvary Baptist Church, where they will be able to recognize and honor their beloved soldier.
Following the service, at 9:30 a.m., the family will make their way back toward Route 119 North to Riverside Drive, onto Route 50 West, and then to the West Virginia National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest, with full military honors.
They are asking that community members to show their love and support for another fallen hero, by lining the route to Blosser’s final resting place.
“It would be an honor to see citizens of this great town lined up along the highway as he takes his final journey to his forever resting place. Please give this hero, who was killed in action in the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, and whose body has laid in a mass grave in foreign territory a hero’s welcome home,” said Debbie Young, niece of CPL Blosser. “Join us along the highway honoring him as he passes by. Remember to be aware of social distancing. We would greatly appreciate your support!”