Americans were kept in captivity for many years. U.S. Air Force Major Samuel Porter Logan Jr., shot down during the Korean War, was just one. Some may even come alive.
North Korea on Friday given over the remains of the items it said were American service members killed throughout the Korean War.
According for the Pentagon, 7,697 American personnel remain unaccounted from that conflict. There are around 5,300 teams of remains in the North, and North Korean officials had on various occasions told their American counterparts they possessed about 200 sets. Pyongyang returned 55 sets on Friday, the 65th anniversary from the signing in the armistice that ended fighting.
President Donald Trump deserves credit for, on his own, raising the matter of the return of remains, and also the subject is one of the few included within the Joint Statement signed in Singapore on June 12. Although it is nice that Washington is pressing the Kim regime to come back remains, it’s a great deal more important to get an accounting of those who were held captive following the armistice. Although the chances are slim, a lot of them might be alive.
We need to know now.
At time in the armistice, U.S. Army General Mark Clark, who headed the U.N. Command, believed the North Koreans would not, as required, return all American prisoners of war. Pyongyang retained perhaps as much as 800 Americans, however some think the figure is higher. “Approximately one thousand Americans were kept in North Korea or Soviet Union as soon as the war, mostly inside latter,” Mark Sauter, president with the POW Investigative Project, told us.
Among those not returned, but probably alive at time in the prisoner exchange needed with the armistice, was U.S. Air Force Major Samuel Porter Logan, Jr. of East Nashville, Tennessee.
Logan’s B-29 Super Fortress, the “Little Mike,” was hit by anti-aircraft fire on Sept. 9, 1950 throughout the third and last scheduled low-level run to the day. It was his 19th mission over Korea. The pilot was only two weeks past his 30th birthday when his stricken aircraft fell through the sky. Others on his raid reported seeing five to six parachutes, one unstoppable.
Logan may have survived. The Soviets, who have been aiding Kim I Sung’s North Korea, released an image of him five weeks as soon as the shoot-down. The image is apparently from your video of Logan standing beside a North Korean officer. Both males are just feet from smoking wreckage, presumably a part of Logan’s plane.
Logan’s name, rank, date from the shoot-down, and “27 September” were scratched in to a wall of the Pyongyang jail that later fell into American hands.
During the war, the U.S. military found the wreckage site but didn’t find Logan’s body. A captured enemy soldier said he been told crew from the B-29 were taken prisoner.
On March 31, 1954, the Air Force, citing the absence of “evidence of continued survival,” declared Logan dead.
“What should it take for the Pentagon to admit an American serviceman was captured alive but not returned or accounted for by North Korea?” Sauter asked in an e-mail message if you ask me. “Sam Logan was buried by the Pentagon’s bureaucracy for many years. The Air Force declared him dead, telling his mother reports of his capture had ‘never been confirmed.”
The Pentagon’s Korean War Air Loss Database today still shows him as “MIA.” Logan is not missing. The correct designation, because of the evidence, is “POW.”
No administration wants to admit the implications of North Korea, China, and Russia holding Americans for pretty much seven decades. There have been dialogues and discussions with your governments to acquire an accounting of soldiers, pilots, and sailors lost of what has been termed the Forgotten War, but there continues to be almost no progress. Part from the reason is that Washington, actually, has demonstrated little concern.
A half decade ago, officials in Seoul were estimating that approximately 500 South Korean POWs were alive within the North. The South’s officials have rarely created a vigorous effort to have it well, but they provide an excuse.
Seoul has not had much leverage within the other Korea.
But what about superpower America?
America’s “solemn duty” aside, there is one important reasons why U.S. administrations should put POWs near the top of their agendas. If American officials and diplomats were insistent on getting an accounting-along with the release of the personnel alive-Washington would probably see progress on issues usually considered more valuable or pressing.
U.S. leaders this century have a poor reputation when you get what they desire from Pyongyang, Moscow, and Beijing not simply because they represent a weak nation but because those capitals perceive Americans as believing themselves struggling to accomplish important goals. Demonstrating determination to obtain the discharge of Americans will almost certainly change that general perception of America. Reagan didn’t lead a substantially better America than his predecessor; Reagan was only a great deal more confident and willful.
So every summit, meeting, or conversation having a North Korean, Russian, or Chinese leader or official has to start with these words: “What happened to Samuel Porter Logan, Jr., major, U.S. Air Force, shot down over Korea September 9, 1950.”
Logan’s family has definitely not forgotten him. In 1961, his mother, Ethel, sent the post-capture photo of her son to America’s ambassador to the U.N. “In the naming of decency and humanity, surely a country like ours is not going to unhappy their servicemen who fought to guard us,” she wrote. She penned letters for many years. At some point, she became so upset she sent one on the Chinese government, hoping it could be more responsive as opposed to Pentagon. “My grandmother was extremely frustrated,” Mike Logan, Sam Logan’s younger son, told us.
“My mother waited her very existence to get word,” Logan informed me, saying she thought he could show up anytime. She died at the age of 91 in 2015.
Samuel Logan, if he’s still alive, could be almost 100 now. And in one sense, certainly, he does still live. Mike Logan named his son Scott Porter Logan, keeping his dad’s initials and middle name. Mike’s older brother, David, named his son Samuel Carter Logan. David’s only daughter, Leslie Hill, named her only daughter Porter Hill.
Mike’s daughter, Carol Logan Morton, named her son Samuel Logan Morton. She and her husband wanted his first name to be Major, however they are not permitted register that. They phone him constantly Major anyway.
“Among the worst things about the situation of Major Sam Logan,” Sauter told us, “is there are many more like him.”