Historian Gary Knepp is hoping that someone out there can come forward and help him solve the mystery of the white star flag.
The flag, featuring one white and 47 gold stars on one side, was draped over the casket of Corporal James Taylor of Goshen; he died during combat on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War.
“I’ve done a lot of research and can’t figure out why the stars on the American flag are predominantly gold,” said Knepp. “There was a French company that made flags during World War II that might have made the gold and white star flag for a special reason. On the other side of the flag, there are initials PDQ, but I can’t find a reference to a company by that name. I am hoping someone out there can help me solve this mystery.”
Knepp, through letters written home by Corporal Taylor and conversations with family members, has put together a profile of a young man that loved country music and trips to the Glen Este Speedway; he was drafted into the war and served with the U.S. Army at both Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge. “In his last letter home, he talked about getting his first bath in 42 days!” said Knepp. “He told his family it was tough climbing hills with his toiletry supplies, so he asked his family to replace the items he had discarded. He also enjoyed corresponding with young women who had written to him from all over the country.”
Information sent to the family indicates that Corporal Taylor died when an enemy shell exploded over his foxhole.
His body was returned home in a closed casket, along with a Bible that he had carried with him into combat. If you have any information about the white and gold star flag or the flag initials PDQ, contact Gary Knepp at email@example.com.
To watch an interview with Knepp about the mystery, visit the website www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w-ZJUV0innI.