David Ray Young was born March 2, 1930, in Cullman County. He was the son of Harvey and Lillia (Seay) Young of Ebenezer. Young enlisted in the United States Army and served during the Korean War.
Young was a telephone switchboard operator assigned to Headquarters Company, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division (The Victory Division). From July 14-21, 1950, the 24th Division fought North Korean forces in the Battle of Taejon. The 24th were outnumbered and were lacking in communication equipment and heavy weapons.
After three days of fighting, the United States suffered heavy losses and withdrew. The Commander of the 24th Infantry was taken prisoner, 1,128 were killed, 228 wounded and 2,400 were missing or taken prisoner. Although U.S. forces withdrew, the 24th’s weeklong engagement is credited for allowing other divisions time to establish strong defensive positions in Busan.
Young was reported missing July 20, 1950, and his body was never found. He was presumed dead Dec. 31, 1953, at the age of 19. He was awarded the Purple Heart and is now memorialized at Courts of the Missing National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also honored on the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, Ebenezer Cemetery in West Point and Cullman’s Veterans Memorial Park Korean War Monument.
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