Friday, December 7, 2018

Philip's Last Journey

March 21, 1951.  San Francisco, California.  Cargo from the USS General Randall carries the remains of personnel killed in the Korean War.  These were the first of over 34,000 remains to be repatriated. For the first time in the history of American warfare, the policy of repatriation was implemented to the greatest extent practicable. The U.S. Army established a mortuary affairs facility at Kokura, Japan, where a Coca-Cola plant was converted to an assembly line for the processing of remains.  These tasks involved the proper identification of individuals, embalming the remains, and disposition of personal effects.  All of this took time, so many of the remains were interred in temporary graves while they awaited processing.
Pvt. Philip Hughes, killed in action on September 12, 1950, began his last journey in late 1951.  Philip was shipped in a flag-draped casket held in a rugged shipping container like those shown here. His container was transshipped to a rail car that carried him to the Defense Department's east coast mortuary hub in New York.  The last leg of his journey took him by rail to Washington, D.C, and ultimately, Arlington National Cemetery, where his final interment took place on February 27, 1952.

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