Wayne Barton Gill, Jr
Born April 19, 1930, Wayne grew up in the Woodburn, Oregon area where he attended Woodburn High School. The youngest of three children, he always was fascinated by uniforms and frequently brought home Oregon National Guard members for dinner, much to the chagrin of his mother.
I never consciously knew my Uncle Wayne. I was born in June 1947, and apparently I was the apple of his eye. I have no real memories of him during my young years. He enlisted in the Army and was gone so suddenly that the family has very few if any photographs of him as a soldier in uniform. We know he was stationed in Okinawa and he didn’t have great favorable memories of being there. He wrote about the rain, the rats, and the boredom. I, as his niece, on the other hand, was mentioned in almost every letter home. He was always asking how I was doing, what I was learning, etc. It is through these letters that I began to have some connection with him.
In the 1980s, his sister (my mother) Corinne Gill Steiger and I found his name on the wall at the Punchbowl. In our naivety we believed he had been found. This name on the wall gave his mother (my grandmother) a modicum of relief. Years later, my cousin sent an article from the paper looking for relatives of missing Korea War military members. My mother and I made contact and then found out about the Annual MIA/POW accounting in Washington. DC. My mother and I have been to two of the events. Each time we find out a bit more.
My mother is 94, and I am 70. Who knows if we will ever have any answers for our loss. One can only hope.
Written by Pam Brekas
The Coalition is excited to present Memorials for Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs. These single page websites are ways for families to honor their missing loved ones and broaden awareness of the mission to learn answers to the missing men's fate.
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