Funeral service to be held 62 years after missing POW died in Korean war, bittersweet for family

MENTOR, Ohio - After 62 years, missing POW, 18-year-old Army Cpl . Pryor Gobble, will be laid to rest in Mentor Wednesday giving his family a chance to finally say goodbye.

"It makes it great to know that he's finally coming home," said Cpl. Gobble's younger brother, Glenn Gobble.

Gobble said he finally has peace after 62 years of wondering what happened to his brother. He said Corporal Gobble was only 17 when he sent to the Korean War. He'd only spent a few months in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, before he was shipped off.

"I was only 13 years old and of course a kid like that  you don't realize or expect real bad things to happen during the war," said Gobble.

Shortly after their parents got a telegram saying Pryor was missing.

"It was very drastic for all of us, but more drastic for my mother especially, she had a nervous breakdown and it did take her a few years to fully recover. We didn't really know if he was dead or alive whether he could be possibly in a concentration camp some place and that was the most fearful time for us," he said.

In late November 1950, Cpl. Gobble and soldiers with the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), known as "Task Force Faith," were along the eastern bands of the Chosin Reservoir when enemy forces attacked.
Gobble, along with many other Americans, was listed as MIA as a result of the heavy fighting, according to regimental records compiled after the battle.

In 1994, the Korean government released remains of U.S. servicemen missing in action to the United States. Years later the army tested Glenn Gobble's blood with his brother's remains, as well as their sisters.

"At the time they turned over 14 boxes or remains to the U.S. government and of course the first 13 boxes they were co-mangled remains, different individuals and so on, but in that 14th box remains of my brother were all in there," said Gobble.

For Gobble and his family this is a surreal moment in time that they thought might never come.

"I would just want to tell anyone, never give up hope I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity during my lifetime to see his remains come home, but they did. I'm so pleased to live in a country where we have this opportunity to show recognition of all of our veterans and POWs and MIAs that are still out there unaccounted for," said Gobble. "We want to give him the honor that he deserves because he sacrificed so much, some gave some, but some gave all. he gave all."

On Wednesday, Gobble's family will receive friends at the McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio Funeral Home, 6330 Center St. in Mentor, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The funeral service is set for 10 a.m. and Gobble will be laid to rest in the Concord Cemetery in Concord Township.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in Gobble's name to the Chester Christian Assembly of God Church, 11815 Chillicothe Road, Chester Township.

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