Lt. Col. Eric Shwedo, commanding officer of the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area, presented a POW/MIA flag, Korea Ministry of Patriots medal and Korean War 60th Anniversary medallion to Anita Mathews and Elsie Rivera, sisters of Pfc. Fernando Rivera Jr.
Rivera was a member of the Army’s Co. L, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was taken prisoner while fighting near Taejon, South Korea, on July 20, 1950, and was forced to march to North Korea on the “Tiger Death March.” Rivera died during the march between Manpo and Chung-Gang-Jin, North Korea on Nov. 2, 1950. His remains have not been recovered.
A POW/MIA flag was also presented to Corp. Hisashi Morita, who was captured on May 18, 1951, and held prisoner of war for 27 months in Camp 1, North Korea. He was released on Aug. 16, 1953, after the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, at Panmunjom, in Korea’s demilitarized zone. Morita was a member of Co. I, 23rd Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Members and spouses of Korean War Veterans Big Island Chapter No. 231 and three Korean War veterans from Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home attended the ceremony, which took place March 11 in the veterans home.