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Howard Wayland Ogden

"Glory lights the soldier's grave."

Inscription on the headstone of Howard W. Ogden

Howard Wayland Ogden was born on March 10, 1928, in Silica, Randolph County, West Virginia. While his headstone in Mount Olive Cemetery is engraved with the date March 10 and a Buckhannon Record death notice confirms that date, the death registry created when his remains were returned to West Virginia for interment states that his birth date was October 10, 1951. It seems likely, given the other records, that the date on the death registry was an error.

Howard Ogden's parents were Willis Earl and Sylvia Josie Hawkins Ogden. Though his life began in Randolph County, Howard, his sister Levaughn, and his parents lived in Upshur County when the 1930 Federal Census was taken. Mr. Ogden worked in a lumberyard. In 1940, the family still lived in Upshur County and had been joined by another daughter, Delores. Mr. Ogden was a miner in a coal mine. They were eventually joined by another daughter, Martha, and another son, Robert. A third son, Joseph, was born in 1931 and died in 1934, the young victim of an accident.

On March 11, 1946, Howard Ogden registered for military service during World War II. His draft registration card shows he was a senior in high school. However, there is no evidence that he served during World War II.

During the Korean War, he was inducted in the Army on November 7, 1950. ("Korean Casualty To Be Buried Here," Buckhannon Record, 15 February 1952.) He had been living in Arlington County, Virginia, and was the manager of a Safeway store.

In the Army, Howard Ogden was placed in the 5th Infantry Combat Team and reached the rank of sergeant. The 5th Infantry Combat Team was reactivated as an independent combat team, attached first to the 8th Army at the Pusan Perimeter, until July 1950. The 5th reinforced the 25th Infantry Division for two months and then served with the 1st Cavalry Division. In September, the 5th supported the 24th Infantry Division. With the 24th, the 5th Infantry Combat Team fought in every major campaign of the war. ("5th Infantry Regiment [United States]," Wikipedia, last edited 1 January 2021, accessed 8 January 2021,; Chris Kolakowski, "The 5th Infantry Regiment," American Battlefield Trust, accessed 30 December 2020,

In October 1951 came "the big fall push." During this time, the 24th was to "fight hard" for a nine-day period to secure a series of objectives, starting on October 13.

According to an article in Military History Online,

Meanwhile, the 5th Regimental Combat Team, jumping off from their positions on Line Wyoming and doing its part on the central and eastern front sections they were assigned to for NOMAD-POLAR, would lose 73 men dead in these same ten days of combat. These men died in 5, 10 and sometimes 15-man groupings as they fought around little hamlets and areas with names like Sangyang-ni, Hudong-ni, Chinyon-ni, Pandangdong-ni, Sam-Hyon, Tusok-Tong, Wonnam-Myon, Muto, Chuktae-ri, Inam-ni, Kokiae-ri, Yongon-ni, and Takpau. (Anthony J. Sobieski, "1127 Days of Death—A Korean War Chronology—Part II, 1951," accessed 8 January 2021,

During fighting at Kokiae-ri, Howard Ogden lost his life on October 19, 1951. His body was returned to West Virginia in early 1952 for interment in the Mount Olive Cemetery at Hinkleville in Upshur County. Services were held February 13, 1952, with several of his classmates serving as pallbearers.
military marker

Headstone and military marker for Sgt. Howard W. Ogden in Mount Olive Cemetery. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens
December 2020


Howard Wayland Ogden

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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