Sunday, October 17, 2010

FOIA request - Harry Brassfield

I mentioned Harry Brassfield in an earlier post in August. I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to see if I could get some additional information. I received a reply and a single page of information Which I have transcribed after the jump.

Name: Harry Brassfield
Branch of Service: Regular Army
Service Number: 6 804 544
Dates of Service:
November 29, 1929 to January 7, 1933
January 8, 1933 to December 21, 1935
August 3, 1941 to August 23, 1942
September 22, 1949 to July 31, 1951
Duty status: Death
Rank/Grade: Master Sergeant
Assignments and Geographical Locations:
8th Cavalry Regiment 1st Cavalry Division
21st infantry company Third stud[ent] training regiment ISCC Fort Benning, Georgia
Schofield Barracks
Mount Carmel, Illinois

Decorations and Awards:
Prisoner of War Medal
Purple Heart Medal
Combat Infantry Badge
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
It is interesting information, but raises as many questions as answers. He was born in 1911 and apparently first enlisted in 1929 at the age of 18 and getting out of the Army in 1935, and returning just prior to the US's entrance into World War II in 1941. He stayed a year during WWII and got out again only to rejoin just prior to the Korean War at age 37. He was captured in Korea at Unsan, probably during the Battle of Unsan, on November 2, 1950. He died in captivity July 31, 1951. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Plot: Sec: 33, Site: 6007. (Find a Grave)

He had a wife and daughter at the time he returned to active duty in 1949. 

The decorations listed are all Korean War era decorations, nothing was listed on the FOIA request for World War II.

I also found an item that appears to be related to  Harry Brassfield:
The article "Remembrance held for POW/MIAs at Wright-Patterson" talks about a Harold Brassfield, which might be referring to Harry Brassfield. There seems to be only one POW that died in Korea that is Harry or Harold, so the article must refer to him. The article quotes former Korean War POW, Harley Coon:
"A lady called me, and said that she was four at the time her father, Harold Brassfield, died. She asked me about him, and I said, 'I can tell you he died a hero.'"


James Harry Brassfield (1911-1951)  was a 4th cousin to Floyd Gipson Brassfield, my great grand father. I discovered this using the Relationship Calculator on Brasfield-Brassfield Genealogies website (click the link to see the relationship).They are connected by John Brassfield (1735 - 1790), so it's a distant connection, but they are related.