Graybeards - Korean War Veterans Association

kwva.org

Graybeards - Korean War Veterans Association

60th Anniversary Memories

the invasion of South Korea did not concern me particularly,

since I did not think it would involve me. In any case, I was

agreeable to our intervention in the war, even if I did not know

where Korea was until I found it on a map.

Needless to say, I ended up in Korea with the U.S. Marines.

I remember well the night patrols, Bunker Hill, and Boulder

City. As trying as they were, I have no regrets about my

involvement in Korea, especially after revisiting South Korea

in 2003 and 2008.

The war was definitely worth what was accomplished by all

who were there. South Korea is a thriving country today, and

the South Koreans are very grateful to everyone who gave so

much to help them gain their freedom.

Ron Remily, 27301 Meridian St., Hemet, CA 92544

It was an honor to have served

I can’t remember where I was on 25 June 1950, and I had no

idea where Korea was. I went overseas trained as an infantry

rifleman. However, I ended up with one of the best jobs in the

U.S. Army. I became Chief Administrative Clerk at 8th Army

Headquarters for all the U.N. troops in Korea for the Rest &

Recuperation (R&R) program.

If you went on R&R in 1951 and 1952, I helped send you. I

spent 18 months in Korea and millions of U.N. troops passed

through my hands on their 5-day leaves to Japan.

I do not regret my time spent in Korea doing the job required

of me. It was an honor to have served in the Korean War.

Leland E. Regal, 382 6th Ave., Marion, IA 52302

Friends sometimes not coming home

I have a chapter in my book, The Lucifer Patch, about the

beginning of the Korean War. I was living in Independence

County, Arkansas, and everyone took the news seriously. We

were not that many years away from World War II, and everyone

remembered the pain of family and friends going off to

war—and sometimes not coming home. We were fearful that

this could be a repeat of those bitter years.

Here is the beginning of that chapter:

Chapter Three

TROUBLE IN ASIA

Sunday, June 25, was a typically hot summer day, and Leon and

I were going swimming that afternoon at Miller’s Creek, a popular

local swimming hole a few miles away. We expected to see other

friends there, and maybe some of the neighborhood girls would be

out. I was approaching my fifteenth birthday and looking forward to

getting back in school.

I heard on the radio that morning something about North Korea

invading South Korea. It didn’t mean anything to me as I had no idea

where Korea was, just a vague notion that it was somewhere in Asia,

around India, or maybe Tibet. My older brother, Harold, came home

after church. He was 21 and attended summer school at a junior college

in a neighboring town a few miles away. He was concerned, as

he could be expecting a draft notice if the United States got into

another war.

We listened to every news broadcast we could find on the radio

that evening trying to learn what was happening. This was before TV

came to Independence County. It seemed from the reports we

heard—after dark the radio reception was much better and we could

pick up stations from all over the Midwest—the United States was

taking this seriously, and President Truman might even send U.S.

troops. We hoped he would, because we were sure that when a few

Americans showed up, the North Koreans would hightail it back

across the border where they came from.

The next few days, Korea was the main news topic on the radio.

The United Nations had voted to send troops to help the South

Koreans kick out the invaders. Since the United States had soldiers

in Japan already, we were the logical country to provide them. We

heard about the fall of Seoul, the capital city.

A couple days after the July Fourth holiday the shocking news

came that U.S. troops had been badly mauled and generally routed

in their first combat encounter with the North Koreans. This wasn’t

what we expected at all. At a press conference, a reporter asked

President Truman if this was just something like a “police action” for

the United Nations. Truman allowed that was about what it amounted

to, and the name stuck....

Excerpt from The Lucifer Patch, © 2010, Bertram L. Brent

Bertram L. Brent, P. O. Box 338

Ashville, AL 35953

If South Korea fell, Japan would be next

On 25 June 1950 I was on the kill floor of a beef slaughter

house performing part-time work to stay in college. I was pretty

sure the invasion of South Korea would be a minor military matter.

I guessed that I would somehow become involved in the conflict.

I would be a USMC Reserve Training Officer after graduation

in 1951 from Mankato State Teachers College, where I was

in Platoon Leaders Class

As I viewed it, the UN and U.S. were correct in intervening in

the situation. If South Korea fell, Japan would be next. I knew

where Korea was. It was called Chosen in my geography studies.

Well, I got to Korea. My most significant memory is of the

evening before the armistice. There was an untold dropping of

leaflets on our headquarters position by a North Korean plane

that night. The North Koreans told us in the leaflets that they

always knew our location, and they could have taken us out any

time. I wanted a leaflet as a souvenir, but I was instructed to turn

it in to the C.O. So I did. Nothing more was ever said about the

incident.

In the sixty years between 1950 and today, I have had the

chance to reflect on what happened back then. As part of that

reflection, I have revisited Korea.

I had no contact with civilians there while on active duty as a

Captain with no duties waiting to go home. That was less than a

month after the Armistice. No civilians were allowed between

23

The Graybeards

September – October 2010

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines