Gordon Howard Elton (Alton)*

2021-04-05T12:37:28-05:00
Army Badge
  • Name: Gordon Howard Elton (Alton)*
  • Location of Birth: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Date of Birth: November 16, 1917
  • Date of Death: September 9, 1951
  • Parents: Charles Elton & Emma (Ward) Elton
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: SGT (Sergeant)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Purple Heart
    Korean Service Medal
    United Nations Service Medal
    National Defense Service Medal
    Republic of Korea War Service Medal

  • Military Highlights:
    New article from Deer River News, dated September 27, 1951:
    "Gordon Alton"
    "Mr. and Mrs. Albert Finner received word Sunday that their son, Sgt. Gordon H. Alton of Deer River had been killed in action in Korea Sept. 9, 1951.
    Sgt. Alton was born November 16, 1917 at Prince Albert, Sask. He attended school in Minneapolis and moved to Deer River with his folks when he was 16 years old. About that time the Civilian Conservation corps (CCC) had been activated, and he served two years in the CCC at camp 707 northwest of Deer River. When he was not quite 19 years of age, he joined the army. After two years he was sent to the Phillipines. When the war broke out and Corrigidor was captured, he was taken a prisoner and for four years was a prisoner of war of the Japanese. He was liberated in October of 1945 and remained in the army after the war. He served in Alaska for two years and then was sent to Korea in January, 1951 where he served until his death in action, Sept. 9 last.
    No further particulars regarding the circumstance of his death have been received.
    Gordon is survived by his step-father and his mother, four sisters and two brothers. The sisters are Mrs. Alberta Cater, Deer River; Mrs. Jessie Hobbs, Mrs. Albert Himmler, and Mrs. Joyce McGaughey of Minneapolis, and the brothers are Russell M. Finner and Clifford Elton both of Deer River.
    Arrangements are pending for the holding of memorial service for the deceased or funeral services if it becomes possible to have the remains returned to his home here."


    News article from Deer River News, dated January 3, 1952:
    "Reburial Service Held for Gordon Elton Today"
    "Reburial funeral services were held at 9:30 this morning (Thursday, Jan. 3) for Sgt. Gordon Elton who was killed in action in Korea Sept. 8 last, at St. Mary's Catholic church in Deer River.
    Rev. Fr. John Duffy of Camden, Ohio, officiated at the requiem mass and funeral services. Fr. Duffy was a chaplain in the army when Bataan was captured by the Japanese in World War II and he and Sgt. Elton were among the prisoners of war captured. They were together the three and one-half years that they were prisoners and they became fast friends, and when word came of the sergeant's death, Fr. Duffy volunteered to come and officiate at his services and lend what consolation he could to the parents and other relatives.
    Sgt. Elton was in the army as a career and after hostilities broke out in Korea, he was sent there with his division and saw much action in the Korean campaigns, which culminated in his being killed in action Sept. 8 last.
    The remains were returned to the states early in December to be taken home for reburial. Uncertainty as to when the remains would arrive in Deer River delayed announcement of the date of the funeral until just a few days before the funeral.
    The funeral services were impressive. Military rites attended the funeral, and members of the firing squad, color guard and other former servicemen attended, and the military rites were held at the graveside. Guard of honor accompanying the remains and attending the funeral and military rites at the grave was Gordon's nephew, Sgt. Kenneth Himmler of the army. The Deer River Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts had charge of the military ceremonies.
    Sgt. Alton was born Nov. 6 at Prince Albert, Sask. He attended school in Minneapolis and moved to Deer River with his folks when he was 16 years old. About that time the Civilian Conservation corps (CCC) had been activated, and he served two years in the CCC at Camp 707 northwest of Deer River. When he was not quite 19 years of age, he joined the army. After two years, he was sent to the Philippines. When the war broke out and Corregidor was captured, he was taken prisoner and for more than three years was a prisoner of war of the Japanese. He was liberated in October of 1945 and remained in the army after the war. He served in Alaska for two years and then was sent to Korea in January, 1951, where he served until his death in action, Sept. 8 last.
    Gordon is survived by his stepfather and his mother, four sisters and two brothers. The sisters are Mrs. Alberta Cater, Deer River; Mrs. Jessie Hobbs, Mrs. Albert Himmler and Mrs. Joyce McGaughey of Minneapolis, and the brothers are Russell M. Finner and Lyle Elton, both of Deer River."

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II
    Korean Conflict

  • MIA / POW:
    Killed in Action - Korean Conflict


    Information from the World War II Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945:
    Name: Gordon Howard Alton [Elton]
    Branch of Service: Coast Artillery Corps
    Rank: Private First Class
    Service Number: 6864057
    Sub Unit: Headquarters Battery
    Assigned Unit: Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays
    Source: Information from POW or POW descendants
    POW Camp/Notes: Bilibid-Hanawa


    Information from the World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946:
    Name: Gordon H. Alton
    (Gordon H. Elton)
    Residence Place: Minnesota, USA
    Report Date: May 7, 1942
    Latest Report Date: October 12, 1945
    Grade: Private First Class
    Grade notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aid or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman
    Arm or Service: Coast Artillery Corps
    Arm or Service Code: Coast Artillery Corps or Amp: Army Mine Planter Service
    Area Served: Southwest Pacific Theatre: Philippine Islands
    Detaining Country: Japan
    Camp: Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku) Tokyo Bay Area 35-140
    Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.


    Information from Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957:
    Name: Gordon H. Alton [Elton]
    Birth Date: 1916
    Race: White
    Home State: Minnesota
    Casualty Date: September 9, 1951
    Casualty Country: North Korea Sector
    Casualty Type: Killed in Action or Missing in Action, KIA
    Group: KIA or Missing in Action, KIA
    Branch: Artillery
    Component: USA - RA (Reg Army)
    Rank: Sergeant
    Pay Grade: Sergeant
    Disposed Date: September 9, 1951
    Disposed Place: North Korea
    Organization: Fa Bn Armored 105h
    Service Occupation: Field Artillery Chief


    Information in the World War I, World War II, and Korean War Casualty Listings:
    Name: Gordon H. Alton [Elton]
    Birth Date: 1916
    Birth City: Itasca
    State Registered: Minnesota
    Death Date: September 9, 1951
    Death Country: Korea
    Death Description: Killed in Action
    War: Korean War
    Title: Sergeant, United States Army
    Rank: Sergeant
    Service: United States Army
    Service ID: 06864057
    Notes: Sergeant Alton [Elton] was a member of the 300th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 40th Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on September 9, 1951. Sergeant Alton [Elton]was awarded the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
    Data Source: Korean War Veterans Honor Roll

  • Civilian Life:
    *Last name is spelled two ways--Alton and Elton. Also, there are discrepancies in date of birth and date of death.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):