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Milam County, Texas

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Milam County, Texas: List of Honor --
Individuals Who Have Given Their Lives in the
Defense of Their Country from World War I through Vietnam

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Riley William Graves, Jr. [1] [2]

Private First Class (PFC), U.S. Army, Korean War


Service No.: 18345258

Born: 2 Jun 1929 at Potter Co., TX [3]

Died: 1 Dec 1950 per U.S. Army Records and per his first-cousin Emmett Vernon Parker, he was killed on 29 Nov 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea [4]

Age at time of loss: 21 years, 5 months, 29 days

Home of Record: Buckholts, Milam Co., Texas

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: Ranch Hand

Attended: Sharp School, Milam Co., Texas

Religion: Methodist

Nickname: Bill or Tex

Physical Description: Height-6', Weight-153 lbs., Eyes-gray, Hair-brown

Prior Service: World War II ???

Entered Service: 2 Jul 1948

Overseas Duty: Oct 1950 landed at Inchon

Ship/Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division

Awards: Medal of Merit, Purple Heart

Casualty Type: Hostile, killed-in-action (MIA)

Cause of Death:

Casualty Location: near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea

Soundex Code: G-612

Census: None available

Parents: Riley William Graves and Gertie Owen Graves McQuary Martinec, Temple, Texas

Brothers: None

Sisters: Juanita Gertie Graves Bales

Paternal Grandparents: John Graves and Florence French Graves

Maternal Grandparents: Oliver Owen and Kate Smith Owen

Wife: None

Children: None

Burial: Body Not Recovered

Arrangements: None

Memorial Gravemarker: Friendship Cemetery, Buckholts, Texas

Milam County War Memorial:

Memories of Juanita Graves Bales [5]

According to PFC Graves' sister, Juanita Graves Bales, she and her brother lived most of their lives and attended school in Milam Co., Texas. She remembers that their first-cousin, Emmett Vernon Parker was in the Korean War with her brother.

Memories of Vernon Parker [6]

Vernon's unit, Ivanhoe Security Company, 2nd Infantry Division, was following behind PFC Graves' unit, the 7th Infantry. Emmett was captured by the North Koreans and became a Prisoner of War (POW) on the same day, 29 Nov 1950, that PFC Graves was killed. In a fluke of events, Emmett was original listed as killed-in-action, but in fact, he had been capture. Both families received telegrams on the same day informing them of both boys' deaths. It wasn't until Emmett was released that his family found-out he was alive.

Letters Home

Oct. 19th 50
on the USSN Marine Lynx Korea

Dear Mom,

Well here I am again, but still don't know any thang to write about, except that I am fine. How are you all getting along these day's. I am now on another boat, but where we are going I don't know, but given it can't be any wroses than the last place we got off. I don't know when this will get mailed but will write it any way. The boat I came over here on was the USS Gen. H. W. Butnes. I received a letter from the girl you told me about in your last letters. I really did enjoy hearing from her, it was a very nice letter. I will answer it while I am on the boat or we have a lot of time on this, isn't any thing to do but lof around on deck and wish you were some where else beside here. But I've got to see a lot of different places. So for I've been across Japan two times and Port's of Korea, sailed the Pacific ocean, the Japanese and the Yellow sea and still have a lot more to go I guess the way it look's. How is uncle George getting along does he every come around given he is still working for Dr. Woodron. I sure wish I could get some pictures if you had any. Well will close for now. all my love. R.W.

Nov. 1950

Dear Mom,

Just a few lines to say I got your letters and glad every one is fine, as for my self I am o.k. and doing o.k. Thangs here have been pretty fair the last couple days. Not much going on reight now but any thang can break out here. I thank maybe it won't be long till it will eather be over or worse. We have come about 50 or 60 miles since we landed in inchan now we are about 15 miles from Suwon and we are ready for a long drive but all we know is we are going to Pusion I guess that's how you spell it. Did they have a very big stack expsition at the fair. I guess Dr. Barnd got Champton being Dr. Woodson didn't have any there. over. Well thes is never any thang to write about over here. there isn't any thang but hill's and more hills. all the towns are bombed or brunt out. I sure will be glad when I get some pictures or this I have are getting pretty worn. You ask me what I would like for Christmas. I just like to have a bill fold as mine is almost worn out. Well I don't know where the 7th Div will go to after this is over I hope we go back to Japan but never can tell, well will close for now hope to hear from you soon. tell ever one hello all my love R.W.

"Mother Receives Medals of Son Killed in Korea" [7]

Pfc. Riley (Bill) Graves of Temple, who was killed in the Korean War, has been awarded the Purple Heart and the medal of merit. The medals have been sent to his mother, Mrs. Gertie Martinec of 812 South Fourth street.

Mrs. Martinec also received a communication from President Truman attesting to the bravery of her son in Korean fighting.

He went to Korea in July, 1950 and served with the Seventh division. The Seventh division and the First Marine division were the first to enter the South Korean capital of Seoul.

Pushing into North Korea with his outfit, Pfc. Graves was killed near Chosin reservior on Dec. 1, 1950.

Mrs. Martinec said she hopes to have her son's body brought back to Temple for reburial some day.


[1] Casey, p. 147.

[2] Individual Deceased Personnel 293 File, U.S. Army Total Personnel Command Center, Alexandria, VA

[3] Birth Certificate No. 51493, Potter Co., TX

[4] Death Certificate, None found in Milam Co., TX

[5] Interview with on 29 Jan 1998.

[6] Interview with on 29 Jan 1998.

[7] Undated and unnamed newspaper article provided by family.

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Created 26 Dec 2004 and last revised on _______ 2004