Missing Dog Tags: my review


Missing Dog Tags: Kenneth Eaton

 

Sometimes your choices do not always turn out the way you want them to or expect. Sometimes when you hope to do something positive a negative comes your way. Kenneth Eaton was a corporal in the 9th tank Company of the 2nd Division, U.S. Army. Kenneth decided to reenlist for another tour and his story will break your heart, endear you to this amazing and courageous man and create a visual picture in the minds of every reader as to what our soldiers endured when captured by the North Korean and Chinese. Kenneth was the only survivor to make it out of the Chinese Communist POW Camp #5 at Pyoktong in North Korea. As you hear his story told in his own words, feel the sting of the bullets as they riddled the many bodies of his fellow comrades and you feel the pain inflicted on him and the cruelty you will enter along with Kenneth a world that he will never forget and one we all hope no one will ever encounter again. Missing Dog Tags: Kenneth Eaton: Here his voice in this review.

 

From the moment he and his friends were taken prisoner the Chinese were baffled and did not know now to react at first. Claiming that would not brutalize them and care for their needs they prepared them to walk endlessly until coming to their destination a small village. Claiming that the village was devoid of food and that they could only feed them in the morning they claimed they were the Democratic Chinese Party and would take nothing from the prisoners. But, the end result was they had to steal food from trucks when the guards turned their heads, they had to walk over 20 miles without a stop and but in the end more men were shot, killed and the worst has yet to come.

Learning more about his captors he realized that helping anyone shot or hurt would be futile, as they had no medical supplies to save lives. Forced to leave the wounded when they left the camp really tore into Kenneth. Told under no uncertain circumstances that the wounded would be left behind because as they stated, “They will die anyway and slow them down,” what happened when they left no one wanted to know. The thoughts that entered their minds were never revealed. One cruel guard that inflicted pain and much more was left behind as they started on their next trek in the cold. Geronimo the name sort of fits as he enjoyed inflicting pain on others and much more as the beatings continued if anyone disobeyed the guards and the author graphically describes what some went through.

 

Seeing his commanding Sergeant Rose again brought some life back into him but plans came into his mind and hope to escape in more than just his prayers. Then, another friend dies from lack of care but the Chinese really do not care. But, the first escape was only short lived and what followed was not something anyone would want to think about or endure. The bombings continued and the marching too. The treatment horrific his endurance great and the tortures kept coming but his ingenuity and cleverness to get some perks from the guards will make you smile. Of course every time he knocked one out or got one of them to back off you wanted to applaud. Escaping three times and recaptured three times he managed to survive the horrors of being a POW in North Korea. As you hear his voice telling the story, the denial of food, starvation, the operations inflicted on some by the Chinese and the misery he went through you wonder just what made him keep going. As he made his way by himself he finally got some help from an old Korean fisherman but what happens next will make you smile as the man and his wife not only gave him food but shelter too. But, he was recaptured in the house as somehow they knew he was there. But, the broken ribs that followed, the beating that would kill the person who was kind to him and more will not only make you angry but wonder where anyone was to save him and the rest. What he describes next will make you cringe as he was locked up with so many that were injured, brutalized, sick, infected and much more. The pictures that he paints will anger the reader and the end result will not endear you to his captors. After hours in the dungeon he and Ozouski were headed toward Pyongyang, the Northern Korean capitol nicknamed the Lion’s Den.

 

Poyngyang was their next stop and with bombers overhead they had hope to survive. This is a memoir that will enlighten many as to what really went on during this little known war. Starved, tortured and lectured by the Chinese and brave enough to survive and honor us with his story. One Korean officer would befriend him and what follows will make you wonder. He then stayed close to the jail and would remain with the guards as some would not understand how to deal with Americans and others would prefer them dead. Staying in the capitol for three or four weeks and then visiting mama-sans the Japanese lady who helped him to start. Then, he realized that something was wrong and the lack of vitamins and nutrition caused his ankles to swell and he now had beriberi. The death march continues. Walking ten more miles to the next village.

 

Another kindness and he is given some money so he can buy food for the men that survived but not by much. As you learn more about his life those two years you wonder how he survived, how he managed to not give into the guards and how clever he was to trick his captors, use his strength and finally escape for good. Begging for food, living on almost nothing, hoping not to get hit or struck with a gun or worse, Kenneth, Flag and so many others went to fight a war for South Korea and wound up fighting for their lives. Then, a miracle found by an American officer who had sent the Chinese to get him and the 16 remaining men but they never did. But, he was not released and he was captured the Lieutenant said but perhaps the worst was over. The Lieutenant’s name was Fox, he introduced them to a doctor and would they ever get out?  Then a man named Bill Granger came into their camp and he learned more about what happened to the soldiers, the bombings and one man that helped him to survive. He and a man named So-Gee made trips to China and back for supplies and the stories he told will definitely be more than just an awakening. But, what happens next you just won’t believe. The third escape and he describes it every step of the way and how he hid from the Chinese, found food, killed and the end result as to where he finally wound up. What he describes next you might have to read with someone else as it is really quite graphic and difficult when visualized. This is a story of courage, friendships, betrayals, loyalties and one man who would never give up on himself or his friends. If there was a way to save someone he did it and if there was a way to take out the enemy he did.

 

Arriving at the main camp many died and no one was segregated by rank. The final outcome you have to read for yourself and he remained in Camp five for two years. He wrote this to tell everyone about the death marches, his capture, what he witnesses, the Bean Camp, Mining Camp 1 and Mining Camp 2 and all the bodies he saw mutilated and much more. Read the articles attached at the end of the book and hear his voice when he tells you his story from start to finish. Remember: this really happened and our soldiers who went to fight for South Korea wound up fighting their own private wars. This is one book that everyone needs to read and one story everyone needs to hear.

 

Missing Dog Tags: So many not unaccounted for.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

To let you know it really happened and to honor the man who shared his story. Fran

 

 

Name Kenneth L Eaton
Year of Birth  
Serial Number 19259491
Dossier C8055346
Rank Sergeant
Camp  
Date Captured February 11 1951
Date Released August 12 1953

Kenneth L. Eaton

Status: POW

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Prisoner of War MedalSee more recipients of this awardAwarded for actions during the Korean War
Sergeant Kenneth L. Eaton (ASN: RA-19259491), United States Army, was held as a Prisoner of War after he was captured during the Korean War on 11 February 1951 and was held until his release on 12 August 1953 after the signing of the Armistice.
General Orders: NARA Database: Repatriated Korean Conflict Prisoners of War, 7/5/1950 – 10/6/1954
Action Date: February 11, 1951 – August 12, 1953
Service: ArmyRank: Sergeant
Division: Prisoner of War (Korean War)

 

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One Response

  1. This book “Missing Dog Tags” by Kenneth Eaton is incredible. You will not be able to put it down. He writes with such incredible interest that you can almost invision youself there with him. When he escapes and is recaptured you can feel you heart sinking. Tears will stream down your face as you feel his pain. It is amazing he did not give up. I got my book off amazon.com.

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