US Army Corporal Donald Ray Hendrickson, born July 29, 1931, the youngest son of Elsada Alma (Bates) (Hendrickson) (Bothun) Huey and Ray Hendrickson. CPL Donald Ray Hendrickson enlisted in the US Army on January 14, 1949, at the age of 17. He trained at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky with the US Army Airborne Infantry, before crossing the Pacific in May of 1949. In Sapporo, Japan he served as a cook before joining forces in the Korean War. In Korea Donald served as a wireman with the Headquarters Battery (Hq Btry), 57th Artillery Battalion (57 FA), 31st Regimental Combat Team (31st RCT), 7th Infantry Division. In his last letter home dated November 23, 1950, he was north of the Chosin Reservoir in the Changjin Lake Campaign. On December 6th, 1950, after heavy fighting, he was listed as missing by his unit. In January of 1951 the US Army officially listed CPL Hendrickson as missing. He was declared deceased by the army on December 31, 1953. In 2001, during a military recovery at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, the remains of seven military men were unearthed, including Donald. Due to DNA testing all will now rest on American soil.
The family is unable to share many memories of Donald except through his many letters home. He loved to hunt and fish, and could not wait to come home and resume work at Harmony Farms in Janesville. He also loved to write and couldn't wait for letters from home, especially from his mother. Donald remained missing to his mother for her entire life but she never gave up hope in his coming home. She displayed his picture, service metals, and Purple Heart throughout her life.
Members of his immediate family included his sisters, Mildred (Hendrickson) Reidel and Louise (Hendrickson) (Rupp) Pipkin; brothers, Floyd Hendrickson, Charley Hendrickson, and Stanley Hendrickson. All deceased. Additional family members include: Barbara (Rupp) (Pirkel) Truman, of Galien, MI, Betty (Rupp) (Post) Cantu (deceased), Bonnie (Rupp) Dixon, of Wales, WI, Beth (Rupp) (Miller) Elder, Jerry Flood, and Stanley Hendrickson, Janesville, WI, Larry Flood and Ronald Flood (deceased), Margaret (Cohenour) Hendrickson, Ona Jean Hendrickson, Donna (Hendrickson) Hirst, Cathy (Hendrickson) Schlueter, David Hendrickson, Billy Hendrickson, Fred Hendrickson, George Hendrickson, and Tina Sturdevant, Beloit, WI, and Robert Hendrickson, Rockford, IL; along with many great nieces and nephews.
A Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at CARGILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 2000 Wesley Ave., Janesville WI 53545, with Rev. Susan B. Lockman officiating. A visitation will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Church. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery, 1725 N. Washington Street, Janesville WI.
The family asks donations be directed to the VFW Post 1621, 1015 Center Ave., Janesville, WI 53546. SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY is assisting the family.
A heartfelt thank you from Donald's entire family to the United States Army, US Army Central Identification Laboratory Hickam AFB, HI, and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for their continued efforts to bring all service men and women home.