Veteran Memorial: Leo Dwaine Andrews

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(Photo from honorstates.org)

 Leo Dwaine Andrews was born June 25, 1932 in Cullman County and called Vinemont home. Andrews enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the Korean War. The young seaman was attached to Destroyer USS Herbert J. Thomas DD-883, part of Task Force 77.  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports, “On the night of March 7, 1953, the Herbert J. Thomas was off the coast of North Korea, and had its lights off due to being positioned in a combat zone. Unexpectedly, a massive wave swept over the decks of the ship, knocking the sailors on deck off their feet and washing SN Andrews overboard into the freezing waters. The crew used flares, searchlights and aircraft in an attempt to locate him but were unsuccessful, and his remains were never recovered.”  

On March 7, 1953, SN Andrews was declared missing and ultimately, declared dead. He is memorialized at Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the Cullman Veterans Memorial Park and Vinemont Baptist Church Cemetery.  

SN Andrews was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon (Navy), Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.  

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com