1952 newspaper recalls valor, honor of Vicksburg-born soldier

Published 11:22 am Friday, November 10, 2023

Linda Fox Taylor of Raleigh, N.C., has a special edition of the April 19, 1952, Jackson Advocate with a banner headline, “Vicksburg Honors Negro Korean War Hero.”

That hero was her brother, Vicksburg native Sgt. Oliver Lawrence Fox.

“I’ve always known his story,” she said. When she found the Jackson Advocate article about the ceremony, “I found out a lot more about him.”

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Fox, who died in 1990, was a sergeant in the 7th Infantry Division. He received the Silver Star, America’s third-highest decoration for valor in combat, for his actions during combat in Korea during the Korean War.

According to the website “Traces of War,” Fox’s Silver Star Citation “contains recognition of repeated acts of high valor, both before and after being wounded, during which he not only led his contingent in combat inflicting heavy casualties on an enemy force heavily out-numbering his own and after being wounded himself succeeding in rescuing a number of his seriously wounded comrades from certain death or capture by the (Korean) army.”

On April 11, 1952, the City of Vicksburg and Warren County honored its hometown hero.

According to the April 19, 1952, edition of the Jackson Advocate account, Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient Fox was “given a hero’s honor in an impressive ceremony with city and countywide recognition and representation at the McIntyre School auditorium in Vicksburg.”

The Jackson Advocate article quoted Brig. Gen. Peter A. Feringa, the principal speaker for the Vicksburg ceremony, who used the citation for Fox’s Silver Star to emphasize the fact that Fox as a soldier not only brought honor to his native city and state but upheld the highest character in a democracy and brought honor to all who love the United States.

“They had a parade for him down Washington Street,” Taylor said, adding her brother was an exceptional person.

“He was not only a war hero; he was a hero to us as our brother,” she said. “He was a role model for all of us. He was a person everybody liked; that was his personality. He was just a born leader.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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