The first enlisted casualty of the Korean War, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on August 23, 1950. Family members were present, including his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Russell Turner and a brother, Robert, a wounded veteran of World War II.
Another brother, Sergeant Day G. Turner, was awarded the Medal of Honor after his death in World War II.
News Report During World War II:
Five In Family Serve Overseas
Three sons and two sins-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Turner, of Nescopeck, RD 1, are serving in the present war with four of the five now overseas and with the fifth in a Georgia hospital as a result of wounds suffered along the German border.
Private Ernest K. Turner, 30, sent home some exceptional souvenirs, including a giant Nazi flag that arrived yesterday. He is a veteran of nine years of army service. Private Turner was in the Hawaiian Islands when war broke out and came back to the U.S. to train selectees. He gave up a Sergeants rating in that work to volunteer for the infantry and to go to Europe. Souvenirs received yesterday include an eight by 16 German flag with the German eagle in the upper right hand section in addition to a giant swastika in the middle of the flag. Other Souvenirs include an unusual collection of epaulets and various types of arm and collar emblems from German uniforms in addition to Nazi armbands for both enlisted men and officers. A set of service ribbons from a German’s uniform includes one with crossed swords of metal.
Private First Class Robert Turner, 32, father of four children and a resident of Millville, was wounded in October when one thumb was shattered and the ligaments of a leg were torn by bullets. He is now in the Battery General Hospital at Rome, Georgia. His wife and children live at Millville.
Latest news to be received concerning Private First Class Day G. Turner, 23, was received in a “Special to the Enterprise” item published Thursday that informed the parents their son had received the “Combat Infantryman’s Badge for exemplary conduct in action against the enemy.”
Sons-in-law of the couple who are serving are Pfc. Richard Stout who was wounded in Belgium.
Berwick Soldier Suffers Serious Wound In Korea
Sergeant Ernest Karl Turner Wounded July 24; Was Wounded In World War II, Brother Killed
Serious wounds were suffered by Sgt. Ernest Karl Turner, 35, of Orange Street, in the fighting in Korea according to a telegram received by his family today. The wounds were sustained on July 24th.
Sergeant Turner was also wounded in World War II, while fighting in Germany. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Turner, 1300 Orange Street, and a member of a family with one of the most exceptional war records in the state.
Sergeant Turner’s brother, the late Staff Sergeant Day G. Turner, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously, for exceptional heroism in the European theatre during World War II. He was killed at the age of 23 in Germany. Another brother, Robert H. Turner, 37, has not yet fully recovered from the serious wounds he suffered in Germany during World War II. He is now living in Cleveland.
Arlington Burial For Sergeant Killed in Korea
G.I. Killed In Korea Buried at Arlington
First Enlisted Man of War to Have Funeral There
Washington, Aug. 23- Sergeant Ernest K. Turner of Berwick, Pennsylvania, who lived through months of front-line combat in World War II only to be killed soon after going into battle in Korea, was buried today in Arlington National Cemetery.
He was the first enlisted casualty of the Korean War to be buried in Arlington. Second Lieutenant Howell G. Thomas Jr., of Washington, was buried there last week.
The thirty-five-year-old soldier was his family’s third war casualty. His brother, Robert Turner, of Cleveland, who was wounded in Europe during World War II, stood with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Turner of Berwick; at the graveside. A third brother, Staff Sergeant Day G. Turner, was killed in Europe in 1945 after winning the Congressional Medal of Honor.He is buried in the 3d Army Cemetery in Luxembourg.
Secretary of the Army Frank Pace Jr., and other high military officials attended the special services in the chapel of Fort Myer, Virginia, and at the graveside. Troops of the 3d Infantry Regiment of Fort Myer and the Army Band formed a guard of honor for the horse drawn caisson, which bore the flag-draped casket to the grave.
Impressive Ceremony Marks Sergeant E.K. Turner Rites In National Cemetery Today
Washington, August 23 – Sergeant Ernest K. Turner, of Berwick, Pennsylvania, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery today in special rites marking the first burial there of an enlisted casualty of the Korean War.
His body was interred 200 feet from that of Second Lieutenant Howell G. Thomas Jr., of Washington, the first Korean casualty to be buried in Arlington. Thomas was buried last Tuesday.
His brother, Robert, who stood with his parents at the graveside, was wounded in Europe during World War II.
A third brother, Staff Sergeant Day G. Turner, was killed in Germany in 1945 after winning the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is buried in the Third Army cemetery in Luxembourg.
Army secretary Frank Pace Jr., and General Wade H. Haislip, Army Vice Chief of Staff, joined the Turner family at the graveside of the 35-year-old GI who died in a Tokyo hospital on July 28, four days after being wounded on the Korean front.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Homiston, Fort Myer chaplain, during services in the Fort’s chapel prayed that; “…We who have entered into the heritage of their heroism and self-sacrifice may so honor their memory and so preserve and further their high purpose that the nation which they defended may stand for righteousness and peace. Unite all the people in this nation in a holy purpose to defend the freedom and brotherhood for which these men lived and died.”
From Berwick, came Turner’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Turner of 1300 Orange street, will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, on August 23 according to word received last night by the parents.
Sergeant Turner was wounded on July 24 in Korean action and died four days later in a hospital in Japan. According to the first of two telegrams received here, the body arrived at San Francisco on August 17 and will arrive at Arlington, Virginia, on Monday.
A brother of Sergeant Turner, Sergeant Day G. Turner, was killed in Germany during World War II and is buried there. It was the desire of bother men that they be buried near the scene of their death if it should come.
However, in the death of the second son, no choice was given the parents in view of the fact that he died in a hospital away from the scene of the battle.
Mr. and Mrs. Turner, believe that they will be following as nearly as possible the wishes of their son in placing the body with that of thousands of other Americans who had given their life for their country.
The second of two telegrams received yesterday explains arrangements for burial and is as follows in part; Special military service honoring the late Sergeant Ernest K. Turner had been scheduled for Wednesday 23 August at 2:00 pm, eastern daylight time. Please advise following information by collect telegram if date and hour of service satisfactory to you, religion denomination of deceased, names and addresses of immediate family who plan to attend services. Cemetery representative will meet family coming by rail at military police booth union station. Members of family arriving by automobile are requested to report to administration building. Arlington National Cemetery not later than 1:30 pm, 23 August 1950.
GI Buried in Arlington, First From Korean War
Washington, August 23 – Beneath a rain soaked canopy, the body of Sergeant Ernest K. Turner of Berwick, Pensylvania, was buried with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery today.
Sergeant Turner, a 35-year-old infantryman with eight years of Army service, was the first enlisted casualty of the Korean fighting to be buried in the cemetery where rest the Unknown Soldier and other national heroes.
The services were attended by high military, government, congressional and diplomatic representatives.
Family members present included the sergeant’s parents, Mr. and Mrs.Russell Turner, and a brother, Robert, a wounded veteran of the last war. Another brother, Staff Sergeant Day G. Turner, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death in World War II.
Sergeant Ernest Turner has been in the service for 13 years. He had gone to Japan in April, 1949. His parents received no direct word concerning their son going to Korea, but they had learned through an Enterprise wire story that the 24th Division had, about two weeks ago, been cut off by the Communists for a time, before getting back to other U.S. forces. Their son is a member of that division.
The telegram received today by the parents is from Adjutant General Edward F. Witsell. It read, “ The Secretary of the Army has asked me to express his deep regret that your son, Sgt. Ernest Karl Turner has been seriously wounded”
Sergeant Turner Died On Day He Was Reported Wounded; Second Son To Die For His Nation
A telegram from the Adjutant General’s Office to the parents of Sergeant Ernest Karl Turner, 35, who was seriously wounded in Korean action, reveals that his death occurred on July 28, four days after he became a casualty.
Sergeant Turner is the first fatality in the present conflict from the Berwick area and is the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Turner, of 1300 Orange Street, to die in the service of his country. Staff Sergeant Day G.Turner, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously, for exceptional heroism in the European Theatre of Operations during World War II, was killed at the age of 23 years in Germany.
Another brother, Robert H. Turner, 37, of Cleveland, Ohio, is still suffering from injuries received in World War II.
The telegram received last night by the parents of the late Sergeant Ernest K. Turner, reads as follows; “The secretary of the army has asked me to express his deep regrets that your son, Sergeant Turner, Ernest K., died of wounds in Japan, 28 July 1950. Confirming letter follows – Edward F. Witsell, Adjutant General of the Army.”
No details surrounding the injuries received or the direct cause of death have been received. However it is believed that the confirming letter will give more complete information.
Death brings to a close an army career of 13 years. Sergeant Turner was stationed at Japan in April, 1949, with the 24th Division. A War Department Telegram received by his parents on July 28 the day that he died, reported that he had been seriously injured, but that the family should continue to write. It was learned that Sergeant Turner had suffered shrapnel wounds of the face and body and a number of fragments had been removed.
Members of the soldiers family, in addition to the parents and brothers, are three sisters; Mrs. Lois Hutton, Orange Street, Mrs. Jane Stout and Mrs. Marjorie Stout, both of Nescopeck.
The deceased hero was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Berwick.
Chief of Chaplains, began the service with a prayer, then read from the Scriptures, including the 23rd Psalm.
“Sergeant Turner has bequeathed to us freedom,” the chaplain said. “We must highly resolve that we shall not forget.”
Now the shoulders of the frail mother shook with utter bereavement as Chaplain Parker so fitly listed the milestones of the sergeant’s military career. His enlistment in 1936 after leaving Berwick High School. Spending 256 days in bitter combat, during World War II, and winning, through valor, the Silver Star.
Borne On CaissonThe band began playing “Nearer My God to Thee,” as the remains were lifted onto the caisson, borne by six gray horses, then started “Our Fallen Heroes,” as the solemn procession moved away from the chapel. The rain still came down heavily.
At the grave-side, canopy had been erected for the mourners and the family filed reluctantly to seats by the open grave.
The rain beat down relentlessly on the canvas roof while Chaplain Parker prayed and said, in the words of Jesus on Calvary, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
The escorting military company now drenched snapped to “present arms” with bayonet-fixed rifles. The squad of riflemen fired three sharp volleys into the sodden dreariness of the sky.
Then, in final tribute, a solitary bugler sounded “Taps,” his clean tones coming back muted through the trees from another bugler across the way.
The soldier pallbearers folded the American Flag, which had covered the casket and presented it to the stricken parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Turner have two flags now and only one son. Staff Sergeant Day G. Turner gave his life in World War II and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for military valor.The only surviving son, Robert, was seriously wounded in World War II fighting.
Now the dignitaries filed past to offer condolences to the humble family group-“A Great American Family.”
After Army Secretary Pace came Lt. Gen Haislip, Army Vice Chief of Staff; Senator Francis Myers, Senator Edward Martin, Representative Leon Gavin of Oil City, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Sae Sun King, charge d' affairs of the Korean Embassy, and others.
No one mentioned Korea or the Korean fighting during the services. The boiling cauldron of the Far East, where other Sgt. Turners are fighting to preserve Liberty for all mankind, seemed far away.
COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Ernest K. Turner
Born at Columbia, Pennsylvania, in 1914.
Sergeant, US Army
Died of Wounds July 28, 1950 in Korea
Sergeant Turner was a member of the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded by an enemy missile near Taejon, South Korea on July 24, 1950 and died of those wounds on July 28, 1950.
TURNER, ERNEST K
SGT INF USA
- DATE OF BIRTH: 09/16/1914
- DATE OF DEATH: 07/28/1950
- BURIED AT: SECTION 12 SITE 6829
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard