Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Memorial Marker Placed on Grave of 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford

CONCORD - It took 73 long years, but 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford finally came home to Concord, Georgia. The Pike County, Concord and Chinese communities were finally able to honor this hometown hero on Sunday, June 11, 2017 when he was laid to rest in Magnolia Cemetery. Today, this memorial marker tells the story of a missing airman who finally came home.

By the time that the funeral began, there were over 250 Chinese in attendance from the greater Atlanta area, and some flew into Atlanta from Philadelphia and New York to attend the funeral. Not one of these visitors to our community knew Eugene personally, but they came to show their respect and honor to a man who had given his life not only for our freedom, but for theirs.

Since then, visitors have come to the Concord community to show their respects after reading Lt. Oxford's story. A sign has been placed in Concord with lettering in English and Chinese to point visitors to the grave of 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford. Photo courtesy of the City of Concord.

Gene Oxford contacted Pike County Times to let me know that the memorial marker has been placed on Eugene's grave. It reads as follows:
Robert Eugene Oxford
Born October 23, 1919
1st Lt. U.S. Army Air Corps WWII
China - Burma - India
Bombardier on B-24 "Hot As Hell"
Lost While Going "Over the Hump"
January 25, 1944
December 7, 2006
Finally Home
June 11, 2017

Tommy Oxford and Fred Oxford prepared the wording for this memorial marker. Fred was the only one of Eugene's brothers and sisters to learn what happened to him in 1944. Fred passed away before he could see Eugene come home, but he never gave up hope that his brother would come home one day. Photos courtesy of the Oxford Family.

Click on the link for "BREAKING NEWS: Bringing 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford Home - Part II" below to find out more about Eugene's family and their long wait for closure. These links tell a story that finally brought closure for the family of a lost airman this year.

Family of Missing Airmen Still Unable to Bring Their Family Members Home and original articles from 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Bringing 1st Lt. Robert Eugene Oxford Home: A Celebration of A Hero from Two Cultures

Chinese Community Pays Its Respects to a Long-Lost Hero, By Guest Columnist Al Zhang, Courtesy of Atlantachineselife.com

BREAKING NEWS: Bringing 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford Home - Part I

BREAKING NEWS: Bringing 1st Lt. Robert "Eugene" Oxford Home - Part II

Atlanta Chinese Welcome Pike County Visitors to Johns Creek

Even today, we remember and honor the entire crew of “Hot As Hell” and mourn their loss for their families:

Pilot 1st Lt. William A. Swanson, O-728935 (MIA / KIA) Proctor, VT
Co-Pilot F/O Sheldon L. Chambers, T-000291 (MIA / KIA) Altoona, PA
Navigator 1st Lt. Irwin G. "Zipper" Zaetz, O-791661 (MIA / KIA) Burlington, VT
Bombardier 1st Lt. Robert E. Oxford, O-663308 (MIA / KIA, BR) Concord, GA
Engineer SSgt Charles D. Ginn, 15084114 (MIA / KIA) Crete, IL
Radio SSgt Harry B. Queen, 11021096 (MIA / KIA) Onset, MA
Gunner Sgt James A. Hinson, 14188472 (MIA / KIA) Greensboro, NC
and Gunner Sgt Alfred H. Gerrans, Jr., 34315848 (MIA / KIA) Kinston, NC.

To read more about the quest to bring home the rest of this crew, click here: Bring Them All Home: The Continuing Story of the "Hot as Hell" Crash in India.