Corporal Roy John Hopper was born to Richard Hopper and Helen (Schultheis) Hopper on August 25, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA. Roy was the oldest son, followed by Richard “Dickie” Hopper, Ronald “Ronnie” Hopper and Annelle (Hopper) Bowman. The family would later move to Miami Florida. Roy joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 when he was 16 years old, with his father’s permission, and was stationed at Catalina Island. He then joined the Army in 1947, where he deployed to the Republic of Korea. That is where he met his tragic end on July 31, 1950. While leading a detail bringing ammunition to the front, he and his men were ambushed. Roy stayed behind to allow his men to escape, and he was killed by a sniper in Chinju, Korea. His men all survived this ambush. Roy was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously for his courageous actions that day. Roy was recovered without identification and was buried in the 25th Infantry Division Cemetery in Masan, Republic of Korea as an “Unknown”. He was then moved to the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Unit in Japan and then again to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1955, where he was buried with full military honors.
Neither his family, nor the Army, ever gave up on trying to bring CPL. Roy Hopper home. The army continued to use all the technology at their disposal through the years, to ensure that he would one day be reunited with his family and be buried with them in attendance. In June of 2017 they were finally able to identify his remains using a new DNA process. On April 6, 2018 Roy Hopper will be laid to rest one last time at Dayton National Cemetery surrounded by his family, and with full Military honors. Roy’s remains will be escorted from Honolulu, Hawaii to Dayton, Ohio by his Great Nephew, Sargent Christopher “Ryan” Reynolds.
Roy is preceded in death by his parents and is preceded in final internment by his brother, Dickie Hopper of West Carrollton, OH, and is survived by his brother Ronnie and wife Lena (Cheveliar) Hopper of Paducah, KY, as well as his sister Annelle (Hopper) Bowman and husband Larry of West Carrollton, OH. He is also survived by 10 nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews.
A public viewing will be held on Thursday, April 5th from 5:00- 8:00 pm at Newcomer Funeral Home 3940 Kettering Blvd. Kettering, OH, where the funeral service will be held at 11:30 am on Friday, April 6th. Roy will be laid to rest at Dayton National Cemetery following the service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation http://www.koreanwarvetsmemorial.org/the-memorial/. A special message may be left for his family at www.NewcomerDayton.com.