Corbin soldier finally coming ‘home’ from Korea

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CORBIN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Corbin soldier who was only 18 when he died during the Korean Conflict is among the remains returned two years ago by North Korea, the state and military officials announced Thursday.

“It took a long time to get him home, but we honor the sacrifice of Corporal Billie Hash no less,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in announcing the details concerning Cpl. Hash. “All of our veterans and their families have earned our respect and compassion for their service.”

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According to the military Hash, an Army corporal, died during the December 1950 battles near the Chosin Reservoir.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: “While assigned to Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, Cpl. Hash went missing in action on 6 December 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir, D.P.R.K (North Korea) near the town of Hagaru-Ri. American forces did not recover his remains.

“In June 2018 U.S. President Trump and D.P.R.K. Chairman Kim conducted a summit meeting in Singapore. As a result of that meeting, and following a joint forensic review involving Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) personnel and D.P.R.K. representatives, the DPAA accessioned 55 boxes of remains into the laboratory for analysis and possible identification in August 2018.”

One of those boxes contained human remains that based on their location and the last known location of Cpl. Hash, allowed DPAA to conclude that they are his remains.

“The date of Corporal HASH’s death was previously established by the U.S. Army as 31 December 1953. Based on the available evidence, the cause of death cannot be determined to a sufficient degree of medical certainty, and is best certified as ‘Undetermined,’” according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Based on the historical record the manner of death is certified as ‘Undetermined.’ The date of death is more consistent with the date of loss 6 December 1950. If additional remains of Corporal HASH are recovered and identified, disposition of those remains will be in accordance with the wishes of the next of kin.”

Services for Cpl. Hash have not been set. Beshear said he will order flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Cpl. Hash on the day of his interment. He was the son of Robert L. Hash and Liza Whitis Hash.

According to the Korean War Project, he was a member of Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was just 18 at the time of his death.