Family member locates missing service member after nearly seven decades
JACKSON, Tenn. — “I’m just finally glad to bring him home, he deserves to be home,” said Tanya Johnson, great-niece of Corporal Benjamin White Scott.
Tanya Johnson said her great-uncle, Corporal Benjamin White Scott, served in the U.S Army’s Infantry Division beginning in 1947.
Three years later, he was declared as killed or missing in action.
“This is my great-uncle, he was my grandmother’s brother, who was M.I.A./K.I.A. in North Korea in the Korean war,” Johnson said.
Johnson said as a little girl she heard many stories of her great-uncle.
After her great-grandmother was unsuccessful in finding him, she started her search for who her family called Uncle Ben.
“I have researched, I contacted the Department of Defense, I’ve emailed and emailed and emailed,” Johnson said.
Johnson said after she reached out to the Department of Defense and sent over a family member’s D.N.A., she got closer to finding the answers she needed.
“I found out that he was actually sent home and buried in the Punchbowl in Hawaii, and he was labeled as an unknown soldier for all these years,” said Johnson.
Then about a week ago, Johnson said she received a call that would bring her search to an end.
“I got on my slippers and stuff and ran over to my aunt’s house, and said, ‘look they found him,’ and we just sat there and cried together. Even though I don’t know him as a person, I know him now a little bit more,” Johnson said.
She said her Uncle Ben had big dreams while he was in the military.
“In the military he wanted to be a paratrooper, that was just his dream,” Johnson said.
She said now that he is found, her great-grandmother can rest peacefully.
“That’s one thing that gives me peace of mind, he’s with his mom and he’s with his big sister, and a lot of his other brother and sisters are up there,” Johnson said.