MIA But Not Forgotten
For those of us working at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, Veterans Day is incredibly important to recognize, because we’re constantly surrounded by artifacts that represent the stories of St. Louisans who served in the military, as well as their families. One of the St. Louisans represented in the Soldiers Memorial collections is Francis “Gene” Lindsay, who served as a tank crewman in the army's 24th Infantry Division (70th Medium Tank Battalion, Company B) during the Korean War.
In 1950, Lindsay was sent to Unsan, North Korea, amid rumors that Chinese troops were lending aid to the North Koreans. In early November that same year, two Chinese divisions surprised the American and South Korean troops, quickly flanking them and overwhelming their defenses. All told, almost 400 American soldiers either died or went missing—Lindsay was among the latter, officially listed as missing in action in 1950 and presumed dead on December 31, 1953.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. In July 2000 his remains—among them his dog tags and a ring given to him by his mother—were recovered from a farm near Unsan. More than six years later, on November 15, 2006, Lindsay's remains were officially identified. In June 2007, they were reinterred at Arlington Cemetery in a ceremony attended by Lindsay’s three surviving sisters and his daughter.
In 2012 one of those sisters, Beulah Pickett, donated a number of objects to Soldiers Memorial, including Lindsay's burial flag and ribbon bars, his Republic of Korea War Service Medal, news clippings, and a scrapbook. Collections like Lindsay's are so important to the mission of Soldiers Memorial because they help us tell their owners' stories and enable us to honor the memories of St. Louisans who served.
—Shay Henrion, Collections Manager, Soldiers Memorial Project