DES MOINES, Iowa — Graveside services will be held Monday, June 14 at 11 a.m. at the Evergreen Cemetery in George, Iowa, for U.S. Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek of Sibley, Iowa, who was killed in action in December 1950 during the Korean War.
Cpl. Beek will be buried with full military honors by the Iowa National Guard. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the services.
Iowa and South Dakota Patriot Guard riders and state troopers from both states escorted Beek’s remains Thursday from the Sioux Falls airport to George.
In late 1950, the 20-year-old Lyon County native was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Beek was reported killed in action Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
Beek’s remains could not be recovered following the battle. In July 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
In order to identify the Iowan’s remains, scientists from the U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Beek’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Beek’s military awards and honors include the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal (with three Bronze Service Stars), Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, Combat Infantryman Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korean-Korean War Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
The Iowa governor has ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, June 14 in honor of a fallen U.S. soldier from Iowa, according to a statement.
Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.
The governor urged individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.