James T. Mainhart (Tom)
September 22, 1931 - November 30, 1950
31st Infantry, I Company
This page is in memory of my Uncle, James T. Mainhart, who was killed in action at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
(By Tom Mainhart)
Tom was born in Cabot, PA. on September 22nd, 1931. His parents were James D. and Lydia E. Mainhart. He attended school in West Winfield in Butler PA. He had two sisters and four brothers.
Tom joined the Army October 19th, 1948. He was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky with I Company, 31st Infantry, 7th Division. He was sent to Japan on April 18th, 1949. There he was a cook in the mess hall. On September 15th, 1950, he was part of the Inchon invasion in Korea. From there Tom went to Pusan and to Wonsan. After that he went to the Chosin Reservoir. There he was killed in action on November 30th, 1950, along with 7 other members of I Company on that date. His remains were never sent back and remain unaccounted for, to this day. On February 7th, 1951, James T. Mainhart was awarded The Purple Heart (posthumously).
After 50 years have passed, only 2 of his older brothers are left surviving.
I started the search for information on my Uncle sometime in the spring of 1999. I actually stumbled on the Korean War Project on the Internet by mistake one day. After finding information on him, there and other web sites, I decided to find out everything I could about Tom, and to see if there was anyone out there who remembered him. My Dad and his twin brother are the only family left and their recollections are all I had to start with.
I have been in contact with many Veteran organizations and dozens of the Vets themselves. I posted letters in many of the news letters and web sites. I recieved his Deceased Personnel File, Company Rosters, Morning Reports and visited the National Archives in Washingtion D.C. I recieved a lot of help from some very generous people along the way. I recieved letters, phone calls and E-Mails from all over the United States. They sent me places to look, people, addresses, telephone numbers of who to contact. Many of the Veterans called me or wrote and even though they did not know Tom, shared thier stories of the ordeal at the Chosin Reservoir. I began to have a new respect for these men and what they had been through. Then on June 23, 2000, I got an E-Mail from a lady who said her Dad had seen some pictures I'd sent Karen Smith to put on her Photopoint site.
Her Dad had served with my Uncle Tom in Japan and Korea was was with him when he was KIA. Since then, I've been in touch with him and he's answered many of the questions we've had for such a long time.
There are many people out there looking just as I have, and my best advice would be to never give up and to contact as many people as you possibly can. You never know where you will find the right person. Thanks again Karen.
Morning Reports-Camp Drawing-East Of Chosin book Excerpt-Casualty List-Aliff-Bielecki-Fukumae & Takahashi-Japanese American Veterans-Mainhart-Monterosso-Morris-Shannon-Shannon & Scalph-Dad and I Co-