Monday, May 25, 2015

Former Korean War POW Recieves Diploma from Hometown High School Before it Closes Down Forever

This story is actually a couple of years old, but I recently found out about it and thought it would be worth re-visiting on Memorial Day weekend nonetheless.

Some 56 years after he left high school in his west Texas hometown of Spade to join the Army in the early stages of the Korean War, veteran Sherman Jones was invited to receive an honorary diploma from the class of 2006- the last class that would graduate from Spade's high school before it was closed down forever.

After 2006, students attending Spade's high school were combined with classes from the neighboring Olton school district.

Although Sherman would eventually receive enough credit for a high school diploma and would go to college after his military service, he never had a ceremony where he received his diploma.

Jones was taken prisoner with about 1500 other American soldiers after his unit was encircled and they ran out of supplies and ammunition. As a POW, Jones endured what historians call "Korea's Bataan Death March" where he was only one of 17 survivors. He was found bleeding from gunshot wounds by advancing American forces and would later have to undergo 65 surgeries and would eventually lose his right foot in 1957.

The high school in Spade had to close due to decreased class sizes and lower enrollment. Jones was just one of six members of the 2006 Spade H.S. graduating class