Group consists of cased Purple Heart; ‘LEWIS A BARNETT JR’, Lightning Division badge, letter from the 25th Infantry division, this folded and damaged as its clearly been in the purple heart box for years. Also rather poignantly, two dog tags, one named to Lewis Barnett, the other to Caroline Jernigan. This with a small silver key, a love heart engraved ‘Carol’ and ‘Louie’ and a good luck charm, all tied together with a blue ribbon.
PFC Lewis A. Barnett Jr, RA19305713 was killed in action February 14th, 1951 in South Korea whilst serving in Company ‘K’, 35th Infantry regiment. At the time of his death Lewis was 20 years of age and was from Los Angeles County, California. Lewis' Military Occupation Specialty was 4745-Light Weapons Infantryman.
The 25th ‘Tropic Lightning’ Division, of which the 35th Regt were part, moved from its base in Japan to Korea between 5–18 July 1950. The 35th fought out of the Pusan perimeter and was part of the successful drive into North Korea in October 1950. In a sudden and unexpected reversal, however, an overwhelming number of Chinese Communist troops crossed the Yalu and pushed back United Nations forces all along the front. The 35th Regiment was forced to carry out a systematic withdrawal and ordered to take up defensive positions on the south bank of the Chongchon River 30 November 1950. Eventually, these lines failed. However, after a series of short withdrawals a permanent battle line was established south of Osan. Then followed the see-saw battles that finally evolved into static warfare along the Iron Triangle into 1952. Fourteen division soldiers were awarded Medals of Honor during the Korean War, making the division one of the most decorated US Army divisions of that war.