PV2 Sterling Geary Jr
In memory of our fallen brother
few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds
his blood with me shall be my brother"
35th Infantry Regiment
"Not For Fame or Reward
Not For Place or For Rank
But In Simple Obedience To
Duty as They Understood It"
The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PV2 Sterling Geary Jr, RA38774734, who died in the service of his country on November 27th, 1950 in North Korea. The cause of death was listed as Captured-Died nonbattle. At the time of his death Sterling was 25 years of age. He was from Cooper, Texas. Sterling's Military Occupation Specialty was 4745-Light Weapons Infantryman.
The decorations earned by PV2 Sterling Geary Jr include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Private First Class Geary was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 27, 1950 and died while a prisoner on March 27, 1951. His remains were not recovered.
Private First Class Geary was awarded the Combat Infantrymans Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Sterling was an African-American.
On April 8 2019, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Sterling's remains had been identified.
(More on PV2 Sterling Geary, Jr., Korean POW)
Last week, Cooper Review reported that Cooper resident Sterling Geary's remains had recently been identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and the family had been notified. Following is more about Sterling's life and family from Cooper resident Marvin Morris, who was Sterling's brother-in-law.
Sterling Geary married Katheryn Morris in the late 1940s. They had a son, Danny Geary.
Katheryn's brother Marvin and Sterling (who was about five years older than Marvin) enjoyed playing on the same traveling baseball team, the Cooper Cobras. Their uniforms were blue, and they bought an old bus and painted it blue. The team made trips to DeKalb, Clarksville, Sulphur Springs, Tyler, Denison, and towns in Oklahoma to play baseball. Marvin said, "Sterling was a great fastball pitcher."
Sterling also played basketball for his high school team.
After Sterling's first enlistment was over in the late 1940s, his family tried to talk him out of re-enlisting, but he did, and he was almost immediately sent to Korea.
After Sterling was taken prisoner in the Korean War in 1950, Katheryn was left to raise her young son. She stayed in Cooper until Danny was about six, and Marvin helped her. Then she moved with her son to Denison. After high school, Danny enlisted in the Air Force, and ironically, was stationed in Korea.
Katheryn moved to Dallas; she never married again. She had one more child, a daughter, Nicey, who currently lives in Dallas.
Danny married while he was stationed in Korea, and he had two sons. The oldest is named Danny and the youngest is named Archie (which is the name that most people called Sterling). Danny brought his family back to Dallas after his tour was finished, but his wife decided to return to her homeland. So Danny and his mother Katheryn raised the two boys. One still lives in Dallas, and the other may be in California.
Danny retired from the Air Force after twenty years, but he has passed away. Katheryn, too, has passed away, and she is buried at Oaklawn.
Marvin Morris reported that the family would like to see Sterling's remains placed at Oaklawn near Katheryn and some of his uncles who were in the military. The decisions about the final service will be made soon by his grandsons.
(Chaplain Wesley Geary Former Chief of Chaplains Eighth US Army, Korea and Sterling's cousin)
During the summer of 1949 I spent six weeks visiting relatives in Cooper, the County seat of Delta County in East Texas. A few days before my visit ended I saw an older cousin of mine for the last time. He was a handsome young man, newly married after ending his first enlistment in the army. He was an excellent baseball player who could have had a future as a professional in that sport. He was a father of an infant son and appeared happy at the time. Several years would pass before I heard anything about him.
When I did receive some news it was not good. Young Sterling (Archie) Geary Jr. had rejoined the Army in August 1950. Being prior service, he was sent immediately to Ft. Riley, KS for training and by late September was in Korea with the 25th Infantry Division's 35th Infantry Regiment's Baker Company. On the night of November 24, 1950, PFC Geary's unit was part of Task Force Dolvin, commanded by LTC Tom Dolvin. This task force consisted of two rifle companies, one from the 35th (Cacti) and the other from the 27th (Wolf Hounds) and a company of rangers along with tanks, mobile assault guns, and reconnaissance vehicles.
According to Clay Blair in The Forgotten War, "On the night of November 25, Eighth Army was almost casually disposed. The men had two successful days of combat under their belts; the task lying ahead did not appear to hold great danger. Few men took the precaution of digging foxholes in the frozen ground.
It was a very cold, clear night with a full moon. Thermometers in some sectors fell to fifteen degrees. The main concern of the Americans was how to keep warm. A few lucky ones found refuge in Korean houses,
but most were out in the open. Only a few had received winter clothing. Some unwisely built campfires. At about 8:00 PM, the Chinese Communists attacked in massive force. They swarmed over the hills, blowing bugles and horns, shaking rattles and other noise makers, and shooting flares into the skies. They came on foot, firing rifles and burp guns, hurling grenades, and shouting and chanting shrilly. The total surprise of awesome ground attack shocked and paralyzed most Americans and panicked not a few."
PFC Geary was captured on Nov. 27 and died in a POW camp in North Korea in March 1951. His young son grew into manhood and retired from the US Air Force. He is also deceased. PFC Geary's widow is deceased as are his father and youngest sister. He has an older sister remaining and two fine grandsons. My friends and I have I been attempting to locate his remains for over twenty years. I am now eighty and would like to place some flowers on Sterling Geary Jr.'s grave in Cooper, TX