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Korean War soldier's remains return home to Iowa 71-years later

Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek was reportedly killed in action during the Korean War.
Credit: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek / Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

GEORGE, Iowa — Nearly 71 years after being reported killed in action during the Korean War, Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek is returning home to his family in Iowa.

Beek, who was 20 at the time, will be honored during a June 14th graceside service which will start at 11:00am. Full military honors will be provided by the Iowa National Guard. The public is encouraged to attend the service.

According to the Iowa National Guard, In late 1950, Beek was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported killed in action on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were then sent off to a lab for identification.

Beek’s military awards and honors include the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (with three Bronze Service Stars), Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, Combat Infantryman Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korean-Korean War Service Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.