Chapter 43: Remembering the Sacrifices of our Military

In an earlier post, Chapter 28, I told you about Col. Amous Nanney, who was the great grandfather of both Wade Nanney and Mary Glenn. The Colonel’s sister, Alzira, married Porter Owenby Morgan who became a Captain in the Confederate Army. Porter was a prisoner of war and probably died in Fort Delaware, N.J. Some say Point Lookout. His great grandson Boyce Morgan Sr. retired from the US Army as a Chief Warrant Officer. He never made it back to live in Union Mills or Nanneytown, but he survived to do extensive genealogical research that traces the Nanney clan through every generation back to Adam!

I also told you in an earlier post, Chapter 31, that Col. Amous Nanney’s grandson, Morris Nanney, had a great fondness for this area and stayed here his entire life. (He went to Round Hill Academy). However, his son Lt. Col. Stancil Nanney of Atlanta, GA, and his grandson Lt. Col. Charles Burgin of El Paso, TX, retired from the military and never returned. But they kept in touch. In fact, Stancil was also instrumental in tracking down genealogical information.

There were many Nanneys that served our country. I also told you about Charles W. Nanney. His service in WWII motivated him to become an ordained Baptist minister, mostly in South Carolina. Upon retirement in the ’80’s, he returned to build his house near the Nanneytown home place. He used the back porch door from the 1800’s house built by the original Nanney settler, Shadrack. “It was two-part so the top could be opened to let in light while the bottom half kept in the babies,” recounted Wade.

Then there was Staff Sgt Charles N. Nanney who was awarded a Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in Vietnam. No matter where, when, or how long family has been gone, they are welcomed back into the fold.

A most amazing story ended in a huge celebration in 2014. Cameron Morrison Flack was the son of I.K. and Texie Jaynes Flack of Union Mills where he went to school at Union Mills High School (first called Round Hill/then Alexander). Cameron joined the Army in 1949 at the age of 17. He trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was sent into combat as a member of Company L. 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

When Cameron left home, he was following the path of his three brothers already engaged in the conflict on the other side of the world. They returned. Cameron was reported missing in battle at the Chosin Reservoir in 1950, but the high losses within his unit reflected internal chaos. “They were in 35 degrees below zero temperatures and were completely surrounded by the Chinese and outnumbered. Two days of battle and they just about wiped out his regiment,” reported Harold Davis, an Army veteran in Wilmington who helps families locate missing soldiers.

“On December 14, 1993, Koreans turned over 33 boxes containing remains believed to be unaccounted for US servicemen from the Korean War,” wrote Jean Gordon in an article on jgordon@thedigitalcourier.com.

Fifty years after the ceasefire with North Korea, Jean Gordon told about the phone call she received from Jack Nanney who was hopeful that the remains of his cousin Cameron Flack could be identified by matching DNA. This was  in January of 2005, and finally in August 2013, Cameron was found. His niece Sherry Brooks Parker of Marion was the first to receive the call from the Dept of Defense.

Cameron was not the only Rutherford Countian listed as MIA from the Korean War. “Others are William Harold Pate, Thomas Wray Yelton and Frank Robert Barrett. DNA has been submitted,” according to an article by Gordon in August of 2014.

Through the efforts of family members, Cameron was identified and brought home, escorted by the Patriot Guard, to rest with his ancestors in the cemetery of Round Hill Baptist Church. Members of the Rolling Thunder advocacy group were present. They started in 1988 requesting full accountability for POW and MIA service members. See http://www.ask.com/wiki/Rolling_Thunder_ (organization). Their annual motorcycle rally in Washington, DC, is on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day, and the number of participants and spectators has swelled to 900,000 according to reports.

Article by Mike Conley in McDowell News at Round Hill on November 2, 2014

Article by Mike Conley in McDowell News at Round Hill on November 2, 2014

The Rev. John Cope conducted the funeral services on November 2, 2014. He said he had heard about Cameron in the 2nd grade. Cope is Shirley Mace’s pastor today. “This young man gave it all,” Cope said. “Why would a young man lay down his life for strangers? So we might stand here today.” “If it weren’t for men like Cameron, we wouldn’t have freedoms.” A 21 gun salute and Taps were presented by members of the United States Military Honor Guard from Fort Bragg. The folded American Flag was presented to Cameron’s sister, Shirley Flack Mace, who was 12 years old when he left.

“He chose to go and we are here today not just to mourn, but to honor him,” said Cope to the hundreds who attended the services for the Korean War casualty.

Great-nephew Rev. Brian Parker addressed the emotional crowd. “Money was tight and jobs were scarce when 17 year old Cameron Morrison Flack” went to war. He also said that Cameron sent his paycheck home so his sisters could have something nice to wear. “A man that age is not expected to provide for a family, but he went to help his sisters and he went because he loved this country.” In a recounting of the service, Parker was quoted. “Somebody had to stand and draw a line and say, ‘we’ll take no more of this.’ He tried to stop the spread of Communism. It was probably the most miserably cold weather. Lots died of frost bite as they faced heavy battles. Many soldiers fought bravely and their efforts were not in vain.”

Grave of Cameron Morrison Flack  Died in Korea in 1950, Buried at home in 2014

Grave of Cameron Morrison Flack
Died in Korea in 1950, Buried at home in 2014

All these years, a marker has kept Cameron’s place in the family plot until he came home to claim it. Next to the grave of his parents marked humbly with dandelions, Cameron’s gravesite finally wears full honors. Until the final trumpet call, may he rest in peace.

We are thankful for the service of all troops.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2015 Georgia Wilson

 

 

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