Elden Charles Justus
Aug. 19, 1927—December 6, 1950
Sergeant First Class
Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery, 7th Infantry Division
Elden Justus was born on August 19, 1927 in Grady, New Mexico to Elmer and Lois Justus. He was killed in action in the vicinity of Hagaru-ri at the southeastern edge of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on Dec. 6, 1950. He was last seen directing his men in repulsing an enemy attack while covering for the withdrawal of American and Korean troops from the battlefields. His remains were unaccounted for until he was identified from remains recovered from communal graves in North Korea in 2004. In April 2019, the Department of the Army POW/MIA Accounting Agency completed DNA testing of those remains and issued a certification of his identity.
At the time of his death, Elden was survived by his widow Ruth Justus (later McCardie) and their children Jack and Lois; his mother Lois Childs; and his sister Edna Smith as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Today, he is survived by his children Jack Justus (Anna); Lois Justus Hyman (Paul); his granddaughters Jennifer Johnston (Pete) and their children Colton and Kelli and Elizabeth Wolfe (Matt) and their daughter Johanna.
Elden was raised in Arcata. He graduated from Arcata High School in June 1945 and the following October 29, 1945 enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned to Fort Sill in Oklahoma where he completed basic training in artillery after which he was posted to the 33rd Field Artillery Unit and stationed with the American occupation forces in Darmstadt, Germany in 1946.
While in Germany, Elden met and married Ruth Boensel, a German native. Jack and Lois soon arrived completing their family. In January 1950, Elden was posted to Camp Carson in Colorado where his family joined him. On Sept. 14, he departed the continental U.S for Hokkaido, Japan for staging to Korea. Ruth and the children moved to Arcata to await his return nearer to his family.
SFC Justus will receive the following awards and decorations: Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Presidential Unit Citation- Navy, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea-Korean War Service Medal, and Republic of Korea-Presidential Unit Citation.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Paul’s Chapel, 1070 H Street, Arcata.
SFC Elden Justus’ remains will be arrive from Hawaii at the Sacramento International Airport on July 8, 2019, returning to Arcata immediately following and will lay in honor at Paul’s Chapel for public visitation on July 9 and 10.
Funeral will be held on July 11, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Elks Lodge at 445 Herrick Avenue in Eureka, with interment immediately following at Greenwood Cemetery, 1757 J Street, Arcata CA 95521. Reception at Arcata Veteran’s Memorial Building American Legion Post 274 at 1425 J Street, Arcata, CA following burial.
Veterans attending the services are encourged to wear your uniforms, caps and other insignia.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to American Legion Post 274, 1424 J Street, Arcata, CA 95521.