Major Stephen Uurtamo comes home

| June 17, 2018 | 32 Comments

USAF Retired sends us a link to the news that Army Major Stephen Uurtamo of Headquarters Battery, 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division is coming home finally after being held as a prisoner of the Chinese Army since late 1950. His 76-year-old daughter, Carol Elkin, will be there to say ‘goodbye’;

For the Uurtamo family, the service is the final chapter of a story that began in late 1950 when the 32-year-old career soldier was declared missing in action after fierce fighting in one of the bloodiest battles of the war near the Ch’ongch’on River in North Korea.

He was declared dead after several returning U.S. prisoners of war reported that Uurtamo had been captured and died at a war transient camp where prisoners who survived came home with stories of watching their buddies starve to death.

“He died from malnutrition and pneumonia,” Elkin said.

The whereabouts of his body remained a mystery for decades. Then, in 2005, a joint U.S. and North Korean military recovery team recovered 32 sets of remains from a burial site. About eight years after that, Elkin went to a Chicago hotel for one of the events the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency holds around the country in which people like her are updated about their missing loved ones and given a chance to provide DNA samples for comparison with DNA pulled from recovered remains.

Hondo told us that his remains had been identified last year.

Category: We Remember

Comments (32)

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  1. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Sir. Rest in peace in your home soil. God be with your family now.

  2. HMC Ret says:

    Rest in Peace, Brother. You were gone but not forgotten.

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Major Uurtamo’s wife, Beatrice, died in 1999. Her obituary states that she served with the Army Nurse Corps in WWII and that her husband, Major T. Stephen, served with the 45th Division in that war and the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. She relocated to New Mexico in 1955 and, apparently, never remarried.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Major T. Stephen? No. Sorry. That was to have read, Major Stephen T. Uurtamo.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home, Major Uurtamo.

    Those guilty of horrible war crimes like this may have cheated justice on this plane of existence, but doubtless will have to answer on the next.

    Enough esoteric cosmology for today.

  6. Hondo says:

    MAJ Uurtamo was accounted for on 29 September 2017, and DPAA announced his accounting that same day. His return was announced in this TAH article:

    Welcome home, elder brother-in-arms. Rest easy.

  7. 2banana says:

    The Chinese and the NK let our POWs starve to death…

    America has a long memory. One day there will be a payback.

    • W2 says:

      Doubtful our national memory is long at all. Our president just shook the hands of the soulless commie grandson of the butcher responsible for this death. He even said nice things about him too.

      • AW1Ed says:

        Sins of the father, and grandfather? This President has done more to to end 60+ years of war than the last four Presidents have done combined.

        • W2 says:

          Yawn, he met with a total asshole that murdered his own family with quad 20mm anti-aircraft cannons. Regularly starves his people while torturing his dissidents in gulags. We just gave this commie thug legitimacy. Ronald Reagan would have never done that. In the end, the president will get trick fucked by Kim ad you’ll look like a fool for thinking these thugs ever wanted a deal.

          • W2 says:

            Oh, and step away from the Fox News talking points. Kim is a punk, but not a fool.

          • Hondo says:

            People said the same about Nixon and Mao pre-1972.

            I suppose in your world Reagan would never have met with Gorbachev for SALT-II or ended the Cold War, either. Yeah, he REALLY got screwed by crafty old Gorbachev, didn’t he?

            My point: as times and situations change, a nation’s friends and adversaries perforce change as well.

            Time will tell how this one turns out.

            • W2 says:

              Yeah, well, I never remember President Reagan telling the nation he’s know about a beautiful deal just by his touch. And I’m pretty sure he never said he didn’t need to prepare for meetings with his soulless communist adversaries.

          • AW1Ed says:

            “..the president will get trick fucked by Kim ad you’ll look like a fool for thinking these thugs ever wanted a deal.”

            Crystal ball much?

            “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”
            Lord Palmerston

            • W2 says:

              I know, our mortal enemies the British and Canadians have finally shown us they’re stripes.

              • AW1Ed says:

                I seem to recall that around 1812 the Canadians and Brits WERE our mortal enemies, and the Brits before that.

                But thanks for playing. Please refer to Lord P’s pithy and most astute quote.

                • W2 says:

                  You’re so right. I am counting down the days until I can visit a gulag in NorK. I’d have to invest some time, which I won’t, but I am sure you weren’t preaching detente when everybody here was dog piling on ndtbf. Guess it’s ok wen your hero does it though, huh?

                  • W2 says:

                    I wonder how Bolton has kept from choking on his stupid mustache? Him wanting to nuke the whole place and all. Sold his neocon soul I guess.

                  • AW1Ed says:

                    “You’re so right.” Thanks!

                    Pro tip, W2. When getting personal slamming someone, do try to use proper grammar, syntax, spelling, and common usage. Also, some examples of your accusations would be helpful. Just trying to help.
                    Until next time,
                    AW1Ed out.

                    • W2 says:

                      I am such a moron, and you are so much better and smarter than me, one might even say “Viking better”.

          • USMC Steve says:

            Hate to tell ya W2, but he is also the head of the Nork government. That means he gets to make the decisions there. As to legitimacy, he already had that since, you know, he is the head of North Korea. Even though you don’t like it. I am sure you had no problem with Homey the Clown collaborating with various muslim terror groups, though, did you? Grow the fuck up.

            • W2 says:

              Wrong, didn’t much care for anybody dealing with the douchebag. What puzzles me is all of the sudden people are fine with this. The guy is a mass murderer, plain and simple. And just because I don’t agree with this policy you’ve got to assume you know my politics? Pound sand. Why don’t you stick to eating crayons and glue usmc Steverino?

    • David says:

      2banana, I assume you have never owned a Japanese or German car? You are sending this from your Chicom-built phone or computer?

  8. NHSparky says:

    Rest easy, sir.

  9. RGR 4-78 says:

    Rest in Peace, Major.

  10. UpNorth says:

    Rest in peace, sir.

  11. Thunderstixx says:

    Welcome home Sir; Mission Accomplished…

  12. Green Thumb says:

    Welcome home, Major.

    Rest well.

  13. Ex-PH2 says:

    Welcome home, Mr. Uurtamo.

  14. Davin Uurtamo says:

    Major Stephen T. Uurtamo was my grandfather and although I never met him and I can say with clarity he would have appreciated all of you for remembering him. Thank you from our family. Beatrice was indeed a nurse in the Army as well. I did meet my grandmother. I am hopeful for other families to find their loved ones too.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Thank you for reaching out, Mr. Uurtamo.

    • OWB says:

      Davin, you have sympathetic folks here. Among us are included those who lost family members in Korea. My Dad served there.

      No, we will never forget. Your sacrifice was much greater. All we who got to grow up with our loved have to do is remember that there are many who did not have that experience.

      We hope that you and your family find comfort in knowing you are not alone in your journey.

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