The Graybeards - KWVA - Korean War Veterans Association

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The Graybeards - KWVA - Korean War Veterans Association

The mine sweepers came and removed the mines again at which

time we again headed for Wonsan. Well, this same thing occurred

a total of five times causing us to be six days late for the invasion

of Wonsan.

It is unfortunate that the Lt Col Biteman has passed away, for

I would like him to know the real reason for the task force’s

delay.

Daniel W. Moore Lt. USN Ret.

193 Crescent Ave.

Gibbstown, NJ 08027.

Chaplain revisits Korea with veterans he served

We paid the Air Fare for our trip and the Korean Government

and the KWVA paid our hotel, meal and in-country travel

expenses, during our visit from 7/23-29/03. It was a truly memorable

experience. I served as an Army Chaplain in Korea, from

May 1, 1953 - May 1, 1954. During the last 3 months of the war,

I served for a bit over a month with the 224th Regiment of the

40th Inf. Div. and for the rest of my year there, with the 223rd

Inf. Regt. During most of those 3 months, I was the only

Chaplain with a over-strength Regiment (of about 4,500 men;

when the normal strength would have been about 3,000 men,

with 3 assigned Chaplains). During my year in Korea, I conducted

268 Worship Services (with 100 during the final 2 months of

combat: 47 in 6/53 & 53 in 7/53). The Armistice was signed at 10

a.m. on 7/27/52 and became effective at 10 p.m. that night, the

day of my 26th birthday - a happy coincidence! We were privileged

to be among about 5,000 people in Panmunjon, the site of

the Armistice signing, for the 50th Anniversary Observance, on

7/27/03.(Which was also my 76th birthday).

On the following evening, 7/28/03, the Tour Group Leader

scheduled a final meeting of the (some 79) participants in our

particular group, at the Sofitel Hotel in Seoul. He (Ret. USMC

Col. Joe Mueller) asked me to lead in a closing devotion that

night. I lead in a brief devotion, based on Ps. 34:14 b. (“Seek

Peace & Pursue it”), which had been the text for my sermons for

Worship Services during the week after the shooting stopped;

then to use a participatory prayer & to end with the OT

Benediction.

Near the end of my meditation, during which I had cited several

specific examples of ministry in the Unit, 3 men jumped-up

and said, “We want to say something” (when’s the last time

you’ve seen that happen during a Service? - that almost “got me

unglued”). The first 2 men affirmed the importance of having a

resident Chaplain in their Unit: the third said: “I’m Charlie Smith

- I’m from Arlington, TX (that’s near Dallas) - I attended your

Services in the Spring and Summer of 1953, and you changed my

life!” WOW! It was difficult for me to continue. I did say:

“Charlie, I didn’t change anyone’s life, but you have given a

powerful testimonial to something that I have always known, but

have at times overlooked - namely, that God works in mysterious

ways and that at times He works through us! I was there as a

`Pastor in Uniform’, which was a privilege and an honor. I don’t

remember you personally, which is probably a factor of my having

been the only Chaplain with a over-strength Inf. Regt.,

whereas you remember me as the only Chaplain you saw during

that period. I thank God for this happy coincidence!” It’s a joy for

me to realize that this recognition and celebration is occurring 50

years later! What a joy this is for me!”

Eugene W. Beutel was born in Sanborn, NY. He is a graduate

of LaSalle High School In Niagara Falls. He was ordained on

July 27, 1952 (his 25th birthday) and retired in the Summer of

1992, after 40 years of ministry. This included service as a

Military Chaplain, as a Pastor Developer of two congregations

and in Church wide roles in administrative capacities as an Area

Service Mission Director and, for the final five years, as Region

8 Coordinator for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Gene’s military service began in 1946, when he entered the

Army as a Private. Later that year, he was commissioned a 2nd

Lieutenant following graduation from OCS at Ft. Belvoir, VA.

He subsequently served on Okinawa for a year with the 301st

Fighter Wing. After returning to civilian life in October 1947, he

remained active in the Army Reserves, being recalled to active

duty as a Chaplain in 1952. After completing almost 34 years of

total military service, he retired in December 1979, as a Colonel.

His military decorations include the Bronze Star (awarded in

Korea), the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service

Medal.

Gene holds the B.A degree from Capital University and the

B.D. degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary (both located in

Columbus, OH). In addition, he also holds the Th.M and D. Min.

degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife,

Dee, reside in Camp Hill, PA. They have 3 adult sons and 8

grandchildren. For further information, Gene may be reached at

(717) 731-8747.

I knew Father Craig in Korea

I was startled when opening The Graybeards (vol. 17, no. 6)

and reading the memorial in recognition of: “Father Craig A Hero

Among Heroes”. I was there along with perhaps twenty troopers

who had attended Father Craig’s final Mass before he and his

young Aid perished but a minute later in that God-awful explosion!

The interval was so very brief that as he drove off across the

field, and we his last parishioners gathered our belongings and

walked to our unit’s trucks, he and his Aid were gone forever!

I had stepped on to the tailgate of the vehicle and making the

last placing of my foot on the truck’s bed I forcefully turned

about to witness the immense cloud totally engulf the point to

which his jeep had been headed. Of course we could only surmise

that the jeep had triggered a land mine and we knew in our

hearts what the result would be.

To digress briefly! Most individuals might not remember that

in January of 1951 the then female Secretary of War ordered up

inactive Reservists to fill positions in the Korean war. These poor

devils for the most part had not seen combat in WWII nor did

they have the training or experience of the active reservists.

When they reached our outfits they walked around in near perpetual

state of shock and for sometime were barely functional. I

myself had entered combat in the first week of September 1950

and was by April 1951 one of the last original combatants that

had not been rotated Stateside.

There were a number of high priced portable radios in the unit

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The Graybeards

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