Jackson Township man killed in Korean War receives medals nearly seven decades later

January 18, 2020
In The News

Harry “Bus” Amigh died, far away from his Jackson Township home, fighting in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, deserving of several medals that the nation bestows upon those who courageously serve in combat.

But – to this day – his brother, James Amigh, does not know why the family never got them.

Almost seven full decades have passed since Amigh was mortally wounded during the Korean War on Nov. 28, 1950. And, now, his family finally has the honors due to him.

His siblings – James Amigh, Irene Bailey and Catherine Grove – received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation during a ceremony inside the Ebensburg Borough Office on Friday.

“It's kind of humbling because I know he would have been embarrassed or something like that to have it done for him,” James Amigh, a Mundys Corner resident, said. “He died a horrible death over there. I have letters at home. They won't let them sleep in their sleeping bags because the Chinese would sneak in at night and cut their throats. And it was 30 below.”

The medals were presented by U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Centre, 15th Congressional District, who previously recognized Amigh with a speech on the House floor.

“There are few things that are as emotional and important as recognizing a fallen soldier, a fallen service member,” Thompson said after the ceremony.

The congressman added: “What we did today was just provide – I hope – a little bit of closure in terms of recognizing his service and what his sacrifice meant to the nation.”

Amigh, one of 13 children who lived on the family farm, was born on April 15, 1930. He and a group of friends, including Bruce Boring, joined the military service in 1948.

“We were the best of friends,” Boring said. “Bus' mother used to bake bread and rolls. It smelled up the whole neighborhood, and everybody came to Bus' house. It was a great friendship. We both went in the service together. And he didn't make it.”

The last time Amigh, who rose to the rank of sergeant in the Army, and Boring were together in Germany, they ripped apart a 10-cent scrip note, hoping to one day reunite them. On Friday, Boring attend the event with his half of the bill, alone in a plastic baggie.

“I tried for years to come up with the other half of that 10-cent piece, but there was no luck,” Boring said. “We lost it.”