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W.Va. flags to fly at half-staff for Korean War soldier

Flags will fly at half-staff at state buildings today to honor a Korean War soldier from West Virginia whose remains went unidentified for years after he went missing in action during combat.

U.S. Army Cpl. Alva Clifford Groves died in captivity in 1951 during the Korean War. Services for Groves are being held today.

“Sixty-three years ago, Corporal Groves answered the call to serve our country and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a press release. “Today, we honor him and his memory after he returns home to American soil and to his family in West Virginia.”

The West Virginia Army National Guard Honor Team will conduct full military rites at the service. They will also escort Groves with the Patriot Guard Riders to his final resting place at the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton.

Groves enlisted in the Army in 1949 and deployed to serve in North Korea in 1950.

Several months into his deployment, Groves and the 38th Infantry Regiment were engaged in battle defending the town of Kujang-dong, North Korea. After the battle, Groves was reported missing. Groves was captured and imprisoned by opposing forces in Pyokdong County, North Korea.

Groves’ remains were recently identified after years of military investigation. After his death, he was promoted to corporal and awarded the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and a Combat Infantryman Badge.

— staff reports

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