Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Alfred G. Bensinger from Oklahoma City, who was captured during the Korean War and later declared killed in action.
Alfred G. Bensinger was born Feb. 16, 1925, in Oklahoma City and served in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II from 1943 to 1946.
In the Korean War, Bensinger served with Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. During the battle of Kunu-Ri, after days of brutal fighting in the cold in November 1950, U.S. and U.N. troops withdrew through a mountain pass. Bensinger and the 2nd Engineer Battalion held off the enemy assault long enough for the other troops to safely evacuate.
Receiving the full brunt of the enemy with their window of escape closing, the 2nd Engineer Battalion set their equipment on fire to prevent the Chinese from capturing war trophies.
More than 700 troops died or became prisoners of war, including Bensinger. The Army listed him as missing in action Dec. 1, 1950. The Army changed his status to killed in action Jan. 19, 1951.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), several returning American POWs reported that Bensinger died in mid-January 1951 at the prisoner of war transient camp known as the Hofong Camp. DPAA identified Bensinger’s remains in July 2017.
The 2nd Engineer Battalion continues to honor their fellow soldiers from the Kunu-Ri battle each year by “Burning the Colors” in a unique ceremony.
Bensinger received a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal.
He was interred at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma, Section 2, Site 735.
We honor his service.
As it did last year, this year National Cemetery Administration is collaborating with Carry The Load for Memorial Day to honor fallen Veterans. Both NCA and Carry The Load are honoring select “Veterans of the Day” with remembrances on social media during May.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Graphic artist: Steve Ellmore