By Jon King /

A local veteran who was instrumental in the release of a U.S. general being held hostage was laid to rest with honors earlier this month.

Joseph Charles Cherup of Fenton was 92 when he died April 24th. The lifetime member of Fenton’s VFW Post 3243 served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. According to a tribute made by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, he played a pivotal role in a famous incident during his service in Korea.

In remarks read into the Congressional record shortly before he passed, the 8th District Democrat said that then-Captain Cherup was an officer at the Koje Do POW island prison camp in May of 1952. Brigadier General Francis Dodd was commander of the United Nations-run camp when he was taken hostage by North Korean POWs during a camp uprising. After being held for 78 hours, Dodd was released, which Slotkin said Cherup was “instrumental” in arranging.

Upon his return from service in the war, Cherup became a business owner, opening the Trade Winds Bar in Detroit as well as becoming a founding member of the Leelanau Conservancy.

Following services on May 3rd, he was laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. Slotkin said that throughout his life Cherup “generously donated his time and his money to charities and causes that help others.”

Top Photo - Sharp Funeral Home
Bottom Photo - Dana Fitrakis