By Cathy Stuehmeier
The remains of Sgt. Howard “Gordon” Malcolm, U.S. Army, were laid to rest in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on July 11, 2023 with full military honors after he was returned to his homeland in Southern Illinois. Born July 11, 1928 in Belle Rive, he grew up in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
He had been taken prisoner while fighting the enemy in North Korea on Dec. 1, 1950 and died on August 31, 1951 at the age of 23 while a prisoner of war. His remains were recovered at Camp-5 Pyoktong in North Korea at the end of the Korean War. Following his death and the recovery effort, he was respectfully interred at the Honolulu Memorial Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii. Sgt. Malcolm remained there pending DNA and Odontology identification prior to his survivors being notified as part of the military operation, “No One Left Behind.” His remains were accounted for on Oct. 25, 2022 in Hawaii and he was escorted home after 72 years.
Sgt. Malcolm’s remains were received with honors at St. Louis Lambert International Airport by Sutherland Rankin Funeral Home’s Amanda Sutherland Ponyi and Myron Lloyd, who were in charge of all arrangements. Standing by as well were members of the District 6 and 7 Patriot Guard, Mt. Vernon American Legion, VFW and the U.S. Army, who accompanied the remains of Sgt. Malcolm from the airport to Sutherland Rankin Funeral Home in Salem, and after visitation and services from the funeral home to Bethel Memorial Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.
During the procession leaving the funeral home, many people paid their respects by lining the streets and waving flags, demonstrating their thanks for St. Malcolm’s service and his paying the ultimate price as so many did.
Sgt. Malcolm still has survivors in the area, including niece Theresa Slater and husband Lloyd of Salem, nephew Rick Malcolm and wife Michelle of Odin, and sister-in-law Martha Malcolm of Salem, along with several great nieces and nephews. Sgt. Howard “Gordon” Malcolm, may you rest in peace. May Almighty God bless and keep you.
Pictured above: In the center, Amanda Sutherland Ponyi and Christy Lockwood of Sutherland Rankin Funeral Home line up with members of the Honor Guard of the U.S. Army in honor of Sgt. Howard “Gordon” Malcolm.