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Post 211 Honors Return of Soldiers Remains, 62 Years Later

Avon Lake councilman helps lead Honor Guard for Corporal Clarence Huff Jr.

Returning a soldier’s remains home is never easy, but paying respects after more than 62 years after missing in action is an honor members of Honor Guard has carried out twice in two months.

The Post 211 Honor Guard and a contingent of US Marine Corps personnel greeted the return of the remains of Marine Corporal Clarence H. "Bud" Huff Jr. on Aug. 14, 2012 at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Huff was reported killed in action on Dec. 2, 1950 in the Battle at Chosin Reservoir, Korea. His body was never recovered.

The Post’s Color Guard also was present on July 8 when the

Gobble was reported as missing in action, also near Chosin Reservoir.

Veteran Green Beret John Shondel, anwho serves as the Post 211’s Sergeant at Arms, led the honor guard along with Post chaplain Jake Lundy, who is also a Korean War veteran.

“John Marynak, our Post's 2nd Vice Commander volunteers at the Cleveland USO facility at Cleveland Hopkins Airport so is alerted whenever this happens,” Shondel said of the Post’s involvement.   

Other Legionnaires in attendance were Service Officer Al Pina, Executive Officer James McCoy, Decorated Vietnam Veteran Ernie Minichello, co-chairmen of the Post's Korean War Commemoration Committee, Ken Karpy and Mike Pippin, Post Auxiliary Representative Kiyara McCoy and Historian Bob Quinlan, a Korean War veteran who is credited with the photos. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Division from Brookpark served as pallbearers to welcome a fellow Marine.

Huff, of Hinckley, served in the U.S. Marine Corps I Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. In 1954 the UN and Communist Forces exchanged the remains of war dead (Operation Glory) to Kokura, Japan for analysis.

Huff's remains returned to Hawaii from Japan in 1956 as an unidentified Marine. He was laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) in Hawaii with fellow unidentified servicemen. After being listed as Missing in Action for 62 years, Huff’s remains were identified on May 18, 2012 from chest x-rays and dental records by the Joint POW/MIA Account Command Center Identification Lab in Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. 

Burial with full military honors will be held on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio.

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