LIBERTY, Ind. – A fallen Indiana soldier will return home this week decades after leaving the Hoosier State to fight in the Korean War.
Corporal Gerald I. “Bud” Shepler was officially listed as missing in action for decades. Shepler, a paratrooper with U.S. Army Company K, 3rd Battalion, 187th Airbourne Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was unaccounted for after an ambush near Hajoyang-ri, North Korea on Nov. 29, 1950.
Witnesses said a mortar exploded within ten yards of Shepler, though he could not be found after the ambush.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned several boxes of remains from the Korean War. Last year, DNA testing involving Shepler’s family helped identify his remains, reports Kicks 96.
Shepler’s military honors include the Purple Heart awarded posthumously to his family, Army Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal with Bronze arrowhead device and three bronze stars, Combat Infantry Badge, and Parachutist Badge with one bronze star, according to his obituary.
Shepler enlisted in the Army on Aug. 4, 1948. While on leave on Aug. 4, 1950, he married the former Marjorie Smalley, who survives. He is also survived by three sisters and several nieces and nephews.
On Thursday, Shepler’s remains will return to Union County during a military procession.
A full military funeral will take place on Saturday at Dunlapsville Cemetery in Liberty. The service is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and will include the Indiana National Guard Ceremony Unit, American Legion Post #122 and VFW Post #1472.