It was a bittersweet homecoming for the family of US Marine PFC Grady Crawford. It was 70 years since his family received the telegram that he went missing in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. On Friday, his remains returned home to Dallas, Texas.
At 2:17 p.m., Friday, a flag-draped casket carrying the remains of the Marine killed in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, one of the most historic in Corps history, arrived at DFW Airport on a Delta Air Lines plane traveling from Los Angeles. The casket was flown overnight from Honolulu to Los Angeles.
Grady’s surviving relatives, including his sister-in-law and four nieces, met the flight Friday afternoon on the tarmac. As they stood nearby, an honor guard of seven Marines in dress uniforms received Grady’s casket and escorted it to a hearse.
Crawford grew up in Dallas, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1947. His brother joined the Merchant Marines and also became a Korean War veteran. Grady was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. The last time he was seen was December 1, as the Marines fought their way out of Chinese Troops that vastly outnumbered them.
The temperatures outside were -25 degrees, and the Marine casualties numbered 1,500. But their defining act of victory came in retreat against a foe that swarmed their numbers, while rescuing Koreans along the way. You can read about that harrowing battle at this link and this one.
What the family did not know, was that Grady’s remains were in the US since 1954, after an exchange of war dead. Due to the lack of technology to identify the remains, he was originally buried in the tomb of the unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery in Honolulu. The DPAA eventually identified them, and notified the remaining family members that he was coming home.
“It’s beautiful. We are overwhelmed with joy for a beautiful closure. There’s so much to love about Grady — his service and his passion to serve his country. He was a warrior.”
PFC Grady Crawford was laid to rest at 4pm (today) Saturday at Restland Funeral Home in Dallas.
Rest In Peace, Marine. Semper Fi.