Killed in Action
Do you know much about the Korean War? I have to admit that I don’t. Thus, when I learned that a second cousin twice removed was killed in action in Korea, I had to learn more.
An Ancestry hint for John Frederick Christy took me to the article about his funeral service.
The body of Fred Christy, 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. John Christy of Carmel who was killed in action in Korea on Oct. 14, will arrive home Wednesday and services will be held at the Carmel Friends church at 2 p.m. Saturday.“Last Rites for Fred Christy on Saturday,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 23 December 1952, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).
Rev. Stacy Wesner, pastor, will officiate and members of the Carmel Post 155, American Legion, will assist in the service. The body will be entombed in the mausoleum at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis.
Friends may calla t the Christy home in Carmel until noon, Saturday. Arrangements are by the Smith Funeral Home.
Hamilton County’s 8th fatality in the Korean fighting, Christy was killed less than five months after he entered combat early last June with an infantry division. He received the combat infantryman’s badge for valor under fire shortly before his death.
A graduate of Carmel high school and a member of the Friends church at Carmel, he entered military service on Oct. 4, 1951, and left for the Pacific Theater last May 26.
Survivors in addition to the parents include two brothers, Russell and Dale Christy, both of Carmel.
Hoping to learn more about how John Frederick Christy’s death, I turned to my normal source — newspapers. I did find an article from when the parents were notified about his death.
Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea
The Carmel community mourns with the John Christys the loss of their middle son, John Frederick Christy. Word came to Mr. and Mrs. Christy at the Halloween Festival last Friday night concerning the death of their son, and the festive mood was killed for all who heard the unwelcome news.“Fred Christy, Carmel Alumnus, Killed in Korea,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 7 November 1952, pge 5; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).
Fred Christy started school in the first grade at Carmel shortly after his parents moved into the community. His older brother, Russell, started his fifth grade at Carmel and both boys were held in high esteem by faculty and students throughout their High School career. Dale Christy, the younger brother is at present a very popular Carmel High School senior. John Christy has given much to the community and the school. Besides the attendance and contributions of his boys in school, he has figured prominently in physical changes of the school with his electrical and plumbing “know how” from the time the cafeteria was moved from the second floor of the school to the basement, to the present when he has been engaged in moving the cafeteria to the new annex.
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Christy have settled in Carmel since his service in the second world war when he served overseas in India in the Signal Corps. He ws drafted into service on June 10, 1943, and gave 35 months of his life to the army. Fred was drafted Oct 4, 1951 and according to the point system, should have returned to Carmel in March or April of 1953.
Russell works at Stewart warner and Dale will graduate form Carmel High School next spring. The Christys are very much a part of Carmel, and many will remember that Fred was in the first Senior class to publish the Pinnacle, the first Senior Class to go to Washington, D.C. and the first Christy to be lost to the community.
Going back in time, I found an article from when John Fred Christy was inducted.
Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army
Nine Hamilton County men were drafted into the Army Thursday.
Cleo Dean Frank
John Russell Wechsler
John Frederick Christy
Norman Allen Merriman
Thomas Lee Williamson
Walter Lewis Anderson
Richard Lee Harvey
Wendell Joy Dillinger
They left Noblesville by bus early in the morning for Indianapolis. They were expected to leave that city, probably for Fort Custer, Mich., late that afternoon.“Nine Hamilton County Men Are Drafted into Army,” The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 5 October 1951, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 19 December 2021).
On Wednesday 22 local men were in Indianapolis for physical examination. Results of these exams are not expected until later this month.
November’s draft quota is expected to be about the same as those received this month. Yesterday Adjutant Gen. Robinson Hitchcock, director of Indiana Selective Service announced that only 628 Hoosiers would be drafted in December. This is about half the normal monthly quota.
He said 60 per cent of the draftees would be summoned in the first week of the month, 20 percent in the second week and the remaining in the third week. None will be drafted in the holiday period.
Since none of these articles provided information about which unit he served in, I turned to Google. Thankfully, Google came thru with some valuable information. On the American Battle Monuments Commission site, I found a ‘certificate’ that lists John Frederick Christy’s unit
Another page on the American Battle Monuments Commission lists the awards that John F. Christy received, including the Purple Heart.
Having identified John Fred Christy’s unit as the 31st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Division, Google and Wikipedia came thru with information about where the regiment was fighting in October 1952. The regiment was part of Operation Showdown in the attack on Triangle Hill.
The Wikipedia article likely describes the battle where John F. Christy was killed.
At 04:00 on 14 October 1952, following two days of preliminary air strikes, the ROK-American bombardment intensified across the 30 km (19 mi) front held by the PVA 15th Corps. At 05:00, the 280 guns and howitzers of the IX Corps extended their firing range to allow for the ROK-American infantry to advance behind a rolling barrage. The concentrated bombardment succeeded in clearing the foliage on Triangle Hill and Sniper Ridge, destroying most of the above-ground fortifications on the two positions. The intense shelling also disrupted PVA communication lines, eliminating all wired and wireless communications in the area.
As the US and ROK forces approached the PVA defenses, they were met with grenades, Bangalore torpedoes, shaped charges, and rocks. Unable to safely advance, US/ROK troops were forced to rely on close-support artillery to subdue PVA resistance, but the network of bunkers and tunnels allowed the PVA to bring up reinforcements as the above-ground troops were depleted. Although the 31st Infantry Regiment was equipped with ballistic vests in the first mass military deployment of modern personal armor; its 1st and 3rd Battalions nevertheless suffered 96 fatalities, with an additional 337 men wounded in the first attack – the heaviest casualties the 31st Infantry Regiment had suffered in a single day during the war.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Triangle_Hill
I’m thankful that I looked for additional information about John Frederick Christy’s death! If I hadn’t done my simple Google search, I doubt I would have found out that he had been award the Purple Heart.