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First Name: John

Last Name: Rice

Birthplace: Winnebago, NE, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Raymond

Date of Birth: 25 April 1914

Date of Death: 06 September 1950

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Years Served:
John Raymond Rice

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


John Raymond Rice
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army

John Raymond Rice was born on 25 April 1914 in Winnebago, NE. His Native American name was Walking in Blue Sky.

Rice served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a Sergeant First Class, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed in action 6 September 1950 in South Korea.

However, it was the circumstances surrounding his burial for which he became most well-known. Sergeant Rice, who was part Native American, was married to a Caucasian woman, Evelyn.

Evelyn made the funeral arrangements for Rice to be buried in Memorial Park in Sioux City, IA. During the funeral, cemetery officials noticed that many of the mourners were Native American. These officials stopped the funeral and denied him interment in the "white" cemetery. The resulting uproar gave Sioux City the reputation for bigotry and prejudice.

The matter eventually reached the highest ranks of the U.S. Government, and President Harry S Truman personally intervened and arranged for a burial plot in Arlington National Cemetery, where Rice was finally laid to rest. His grave is located between the graves of General John J. Pershing and General Walton H. Walker.

Medals and Awards

Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Sergeant First Class John Raymond Rice was killed in action on 6 September 1950 in South Korea during the Korean War. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2996   Created by: MHOH




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