Sherman veteran recognized for Korean War service

Photo of Katrina Koerting

SHERMAN — A veteran was recently recognized for his service during the Korean War.

Thomas Alexander White, of Sherman, received the congressional certificate and the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal, which is awarded to American veterans by the Korean government as an expression of appreciation for their service in the Korean War. Eligible veterans must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. It is also available for the veterans who participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955.

Both were presented by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., before a crowd of about 20 people.

“Your tremendous sacrifice on behalf of the United States of America and the honor with which you have served your community and country, both and home and abroad, serve as an inspiration to your fellow veterans throughout our state,” Murphy read from the congressional certificate.

White joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1950. He attended regular meetings in Santa Barbara while he was a student at University of California, Los Angeles. He was called into active duty in fall 1951 and attended boot camp in San Diego.

He was assigned to active duty as a seaman apprentice in early 1952. He served on the battleship USS Iowa, which policed the coast of Korea. He was active for 21 months, spending most of that time at sea. In 1953, the ship returned to the United States ending at the Norfolk Naval yard for repairs, where he was released to inactive duty.

While on board, he was a Yeoman striker assigned to the office of the engineering division, which contains all of the blueprints and service instructions for running the ship. He also served as the ship’s bugler, in the morning awakening most of the ship, and then finally putting them to bed at the end of each day.

Murphy also praised White for his contributions as a filmmaker. White made his only feature film “Who’s Crazy?” in 1965, which gained popularity again recently.

“Your creative contributions after your service helped make the world a fuller, more vibrant place, and created a foundation for your continued storytelling as a documentary filmmaker,” Murphy said. “Your upstanding presence as a veteran, artist, and community leader brings tremendous pride to the State of Connecticut.”