Thornton, Cordus Hamilton, 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1950-1950, POW/MIA
Service Years
1943 - 1950


First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt. S. Kimbrow to remember Thornton, Cordus Hamilton, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Dallas, Texas

Casualty Date
Nov 01, 1950
Hostile, Died while Captured
Intentional Homicide
Korean War
Location of Interment
Remains Not Recovered, Korea
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Memorial Marker

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Korean War Fallen
  1950, Korean War Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry 24th Infantry DivisionPOW/MIA
  1950-1950, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry
  1950-1950, 24th Infantry Division
  1950-1950, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1950-1950 Korean War
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)/Battle of Osan
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
During WWII, he served as a 1st Sgt. and was awarded the Bronze Star 26 July 1944 in Italy.

At the outbreak of the Korean War, 1st Lt. Cordus Thornton served with L Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. His unit was involved with second engagement of the North Korean iinvasion at the Battle of Pyongtaek, South Korea. He was one of the many men taken prisoner on 15 July 1950.

He was shot to death by the infamous North Korean major known as" Tiger" on the Tiger Death March during the march from Manpo to Chunggang-jin, North Korea.  He was the first victim of this evil person, on the first day.

He was buried near where he fell by fellow POWs.  

Lt. Thornton's remains were never found. 

A memorial grave marker was placed in Forest Park Cemetery,  Greenville, Hunt County, Texas and at Clinton Cemetery,  Clinton, Hunt County, Texas.

He left a wife and daughter at his passing.
Notes/Links: (WWII awards)  (Shorty Estabrook, "The Tiger Survivors' Story--Capture and Beyond," ) (descripton of his murder by the NK "officer") (awards)

Larry Zellers, In Enemy Hands: A Prisoner in North Korea, University of Kentucky Press, 1991, pp. 89-92 (description of the incident in detail)

Helen Greene Leigh, Sacrifices for Patriotism: A Korean Pow Remembers the Forgotten War, Balboa Press, Indiana, 2012, pp. 90+

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