The body of a Central Illinois hero from the Korean War will be passing through Montgomery County on his return home after 70 years on Monday, May 10, and the Illinois Army National Guard is asking people to honor him by paying respect as he goes by.
The body Cpl. Asa E. (Bud) Vance will be passing through Litchfield, Raymond, and Harvel on his way back home to Decatur after 70 years missing in action. Tanzyus Logan Funeral Service and Care will be transporting Cpl. Vance from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis to Decatur on Monday with the support of the Patriot Guard and the Illinois State Police.
The transport will stop at Mr. Fuel Travel Station on Corvette Drive in Litchfield between 4:45 and 5 p.m., then get back on Interstate 55 and exit at Raymond. The procession is expected to pass on Route 48 through Raymond at about 5:30 p.m. and through Harvel at 5:35 p.m.
“It is suggested to park in large parking lots, be outside of your vehicle standing when the procession moves through,” according to SFC Craig M. Moore of the Illinois Army National Guard. “Please be silent and place your hand over your heart as the procession passes. If you are in uniform, please render a salute. If you have American flags, please bring them. Show the family your support, and let’s welcome home Cpl. Vance.”
Serving in Korea, Vance was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division when he was reported missing on Dec. 2, 1950, following an engagement with the enemy as his unit withdrew from Sinhung-ni in North Korea. He was not identified among remains returned to the U.S. immediately following the war, and was presumed dead on Dec. 31, 1953.
His body remained missing for nearly 70 years until it was identified in September 2019 after the North Korean government finally returned 55 boxes of war dead remains to U.S. custody following a 2018 meeting between the leaders of the two countries. Analysts eventually identified Vance among the remains.
He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.