|Remains of Gary soldier killed in Korea returning home
GARY, Ind. - The body of a soldier from Gary
killed during a Korean War battle is heading home nearly 55 years after he was killed.
The remains of Pfc. Lowell W. Bellar will be buried July 15 with military
honors at a Schererville cemetery.
Bellar's family pretty much gave up hope of recovering his body decades ago,
said his brother, George Bellar Jr., 75, of Munster. "I couldn't believe it," he said.
Lowell Bellar, who enlisted in the Army on July 15, 1948, his 17th birthday, was 19 years old when he was
killed Dec. 1, 1950, amid fighting near the Chosin Reservoir.
It was the scene of fierce battles in November and December 1950, when American forces were overwhelmed
by a surprise Chinese army assault and was forced to withdraw under fire, leaving behind many who had been
hurriedly buried in shallow graves.
Bellar was part of Task Force Faith, named for Lt. Col. Donald Faith, who also was killed in the weeklong
battle near the frigid village of Hagaru. "It was the scene of huge losses," said Larry Greer, a spokesman
for the U.S. Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office.
Bellar's family was first told that Lowell was missing, but in January 1951 the military said he was
killed. Greer said he was still officially listed as missing in action until his remains were identified.
In 2001, George Bellar learned that remains thought to be his brothers had been found in a grave, with 11
other skeletal remains, by a joint Korean-American team. It took until this spring, however, for the
positive identification to be completed by matching DNA from the soldiers bones to DNA samples from his
sister and her daughter. Dental remains also matched Bellar's dental records.