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Subject: Archive: Kenneth R. Shadrick, July 5, 1950


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Often called the first US soldier killed in the Korean War
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Date Posted: Sunday, July 05, 04:06:59pm

Kenneth R. Shadrick (August 4, 1931 July 5, 1950) was a United States Army soldier who was killed at the onset of the Korean War. He was widely but incorrectly reported as the first American soldier killed in action in the war.

Shadrick was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, one of 10 children. After dropping out of high school in 1948, he joined the U.S. Army, and spent a year of service in Japan before being dispatched to South Korea at the onset of the Korean War in 1950 along with his unit, the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. During a patrol, Shadrick was killed by the machine gun of a North Korean T-34 tank, and his body was taken to an outpost where journalist Marguerite Higgins was covering the war. Higgins later reported that he was the first soldier killed in the war, a claim that was repeated in media across the United States.

His life was widely profiled, and his funeral drew hundreds of people.

His death is now believed to have occurred after the first American combat fatalities in the Battle of Osan. Since the identities of other soldiers killed before Shadrick remain unknown, he is still often incorrectly cited as the first U.S. soldier killed in the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Shadrick

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