Sgt. Thomas Jefferson Barksdale was killed in a foxhole near the Chinese/Korean border in 1950. 62 years later, the remains of the Korean War soldier were interred in Millidgeville.
Born 1929 in Macon, Barksdale earned the nickname “Sugar Boy” for his smiling good looks. At 21, he was killed in the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River in northwest Korea. His skeleton remained there until it was recovered 12 years ago in a rare US expedition to North Korean battle sites. The remains were only recently identified as Barksdale’s thanks to advances in DNA technology – a fact for which his first cousin Louise Butts expressed gratitude at memorial services in Macon.
“You cannot imagine how I feel, that finally we know what happened to Sugar Boy,” said Butts.
At the memorial, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert read a proclamation declaring Sergeant Jefferson Barksdale Day in the City of Macon.