After being missing in action for seven decades and presumed killed in action while fighting in the Korean War, U.S. Army Corporal Henry Lewis Helms received full honors with funeral rites and burial in Ringgold, Georgia.
Funeral services were held Saturday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wilson Funeral Home in Ringgold.
Born September 19, 1926 in DeKalb County, Alabama, Cpl. Helms and his family moved to Ringgold, Georgia during the 1940’s. Helms enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the last year of World War II. Cpl. Helms reenlisted in the U.S. Army on August 12, 1948. During the Korean War Cpl. Helms served with Dog Company (D Co), 1st Battalion (Bn), 32nd Infantry (1/32INF), 7th Infantry Division (ID).
On December 2, 1950, Cpl. Helms, then 24 years old, was reported missing in action near the Chosin Reservoir in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was a brutal, 17-day fight in frigid weather conditions that claimed the lives of 3,163 U.S. Army personnel, 4,385 U.S. Marines and 2,812 South Koreans. Almost 30,000 Chinese personnel perished.
During a June 2018 meeting, North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un promised then-President Donald Trump he would repatriate American remains collected from the Korean War. In August 2018, the United States received 55 boxes of remains for scientific analysis.
Regina Worley, Cpl. Helm’s niece, said her family was contacted to provide DNA samples to help confirm his identity. Helms remains were positively identified in box number 39.
“My mother, Evelyn Snyder, experienced so many emotions upon learning that her long lost brother was identified and returned home,” Worley said. “Our family has always talked about him over the years, but we never knew what happened to him. We did not know if he was taken prisoner or killed in action, but we feel so relieved now knowing that he can finally be laid to rest.”
Cpl. Helms is memorialized at the Ringgold City Hall MIA/POW monument and in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
U.S. Army Cpl. Henry Lewis Helms was brought home to rest at Anderson Memorial Gardens in Ringgold. Rolling Thunder Tennessee 2 had the honor of escorting Cpl. Henry L. Helms to his final resting place.