RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) — The remains of a Korean War prisoner of war are back in his hometown of Red Wing. Gudmund Johnson Jr. enlisted in the Army in 1949, seventy years ago, and four months shy of his 20th birthday.
Corporal Johnson died in a North Korean prison camp of malnutrition in 1954. That was after the fighting in that conflict had officially ended.
Later that year the United States and North Korea exchanged was casualty remains as part of “Operation Glory.” More than 4,000 remains ended up in Hawaii for identification.
Decades later, on August 27th of this year, researchers finally matched Johnson with the remains cataloged as X-14693.
The President of Hiawatha Valley Beyond the Yellow Ribbon said the family is happy to bring him home. “It was amazing to watch this family talk about this guy and all the stories and to just relive and say we can finally say we got Gudmund back home it was like an ultimate thing it really is.”
Garrick said the family is still in disbelief their loved one is finally back home.
There will be a full military funeral at Mahn Funeral Home in Red Wing. The burial will take place right after at St. John Cemetery. Garrick said they are inviting all veterans and the community to partake.
Governor Tim Walz declared Friday November, 8th, Gudmund Johnson Jr. day.