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Biography
Kenneth Viles Ken and wife - 1998
Private Kenneth L. Viles Kenneth and Myrna Attending the Baton Rouge National Convention 1998
Last Name: 
VILES
First Name Middle Initial:
KENNETH L
Nick Name:
KEN
Street:  2710 WEIGEL AVE City & State: VANCOUVER, WA E-Mail: 
Zip: 98660-1149 Phone:  Spouse: MYRNA L
Conflict: KOREA Service Branch: ARMY Unit: 1ST CAV 7 REG
Theater: ETO Where Captured: NEAR CHORWON Date Captured: 09/29/51
Camps Held In: CAMP 1 NEAR THE YALU RIVER How Long Interned: 692 days
Liberated / repatriated: Repatriated Date Liberated: 08/21/53 Age at Capture: 18
Medals Received: KOREAN SERVICE MEDAL WITH 1 BRONZE STAR, UNITED NATIONS SERVICE MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE, PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL.
Military Job: ASST. BAR MAN Company: BOEING AIRPLANE CO.
Occupation after War:  ASSEMBLER LEAD

 

Bio:

Kenneth Leslie Viles was born in Ontario, OR on September 30, 1932.  He was the seventh of nine children (eight boys and one girl) and all of his brothers also served in the military.  Ken joined the Army march 16,1951,took his basic training in Hawaii and was shipped to Korea after a short leave on the Island.  He served as an assistant B.A.R. man until being captured on September 29,1951 when his forward patrol base was overrun by Chinese. He was held behind their lines forced to build bunkers for about two and half months. It was here he dropped from 182 lbs. to less then 100 lbs. due to amebic dysentery and being unable to keep food down. He was then marched to Chaingsong, North Korea where he was held in Prison Camp #1 near the Yalu River until being released at Panmunjom on August 21,1953 the 17th day of operation "Big Switch".

After returning home, Ken married his high school sweetheart, finished his hitch in the Army (discharged March 26,1954 as a PFC, raised four children and worked for 39 years for the Boeing Aircraft Co. retiring at the end of 1994. Ken lives in Vancouver, WA and now stays busy with family (he has 15 grandchildren) and several veterans organizations. He has been active in the American Ex-Prisoners of war since 1986 and served as Commander of Fort Vancouver Chapter for eight years, as WA State Commander for a year, after going through the chairs and has served four years as North West Director.  He also belongs to the Korean War Veterans Association and the American Legion.

 

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