Korean War (40)

RCR

By 1 April 1953, George Company/ 3rd Battalion/1st Marines, (mentioned in the previous post), had moved to Hill 229, also known as Paekhak Hill, located about a mile from the Panmunjom Corrider.  It was the second most important position on the MLR.  6 April, the POW repatriation was still the main snag in the peace talks; the communists agreed to voluntary repatriation.

POW camp, view from guard tower

POW camp, view from guard tower

Back at the Chosin Reservoir, 28 months before, Captain Carl Sitter had given Genorge Company the nickname of “Bloddy George” and it was still applicable here on Hill 229.  The new XO, Lt. Richard Guidera stated:

On the evening of 17 April 1953, we were sending out a combat patrol led by Lt. Jack McCoy.  I remember kidding with him that afternoon when I had completed his briefing and final arrangements.  He always wore his .45 hanging like a jock strap in front.  We all would laugh, including Mac.  Anyway, that dark, and if I recall correctly, moonless evening, he led 33 or 35 Marines down through the wire and out from Hill 229 between 2 small ridges, or fingers, leading out from the hilltop and the MLR.  The Chinese ambushed them a long way down, in an area possibly closer to the MLR than to Outpost Kate, but between the two.

CCF soldier in the snow w/ a Soviet burp gun

CCF soldier in the snow w/ a Soviet burp gun

While I talked to Jack McCoy by radio, I could hear much confusion at the ambush site.  He was asking for 81mm mortar support and telling me the location of the patrol when communications stopped.  His PRC 6 went dead; he had been hit and evidently killed instantly.  The radio which he dropped was seen the following day lying on the ground way out front.  So to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, we shot it out with several rounds from a M-1.

M-3 burp gun

M-3 burp gun

Jack had been a good and courageous man.  It was a shock to hear him alive and vital, talking to me one moment, and then not at all.  What a tough night.  Of all that patrol, only 3 were unscathed and 3, including Jack McCoy, were KIA.

Soviet burp gun

Soviet burp gun

Sgt. Jess Meado found himself as the ranking NCO and had no time to reorganize a resistance.  He stated that they were well in front of their lines when they were hit by the ambush.  “They fired burp guns and the ground blew up all around us…”  Then the mortars started wounding more Marines including Meado – again – but he was in charge now that they were without McCoy and their guide.  The enemy was finally forced back and the men began looking for the wounded.  Of the 33 man patrol, 26 were wounded and 3 KIA.  The 4 men on point were the only ones that were not wounded.  Sgt. Meado received the Silver Star.

Silver Star w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Silver Star w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Click images to enlarge.

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Helping Veterans – 

veteran Karl Burtzloff & new friend, Hero

veteran Karl Burtzloff & new friend, Hero

Boynton Beach, Florida is the base for Awesome Greyhound Adoptions.  To defray costs of training, food and medical care, they are running a contest between the Army, Navy & Marines to see who will donate the most.  They not only give a veteran beautiful companions as service animals and friends, but this is a second life for the dogs as well.  A double blessing so to speak.

 

Pictured at right is Iraq war veteran Karl Burtzloff with his new friend, Hero.  This story and photo is courtesy of The Palm Beach Post.

 

The charity is looking for sponsors and trainers.  Email Barbara Masi – barbaramasi@comcast.net or call 561-737-1941 or go to AwesomeGreyhoundAdoptions.org

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Farewell Salutes – 

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Costas Anifantakis – Albertson, NY; US Army, 1st Sgt., WWII, ETO

Richard Brown – Northcote, New Zealand; WWII, F/O RAF,  Service No. 199509

John Paul Buckley (87) – Washington DC & Ft. Myers, FL; US Navy Pentagon Service 40 years

Murray Hennick – Boca Raton, FL; US Navy, WWII

Robert “Sport” Horton – Los Angeles, CA; US Navy, Korea, fighter pilot, Purple Heart

Hokoda Katsumi (86) – Poway, CA, US Army

Mary Lesperance – Arlington, VA; US Navy nurse, Korea

Leo Marks – Chicago, IL; US Air Force, Korea

Edwin Michelson – Wheaton, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Sam Ure-Smith – Australia; 30th NSW Scottish Regiment, WWII, PTO

Gary Tucker – San Antonio, TX;  US Army Lt. Colonel (Ret.) 1st Infantry Division

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I certainly hope the readers take a little time to back-track occassionally to view the comments of previous posts.  We have been lucky in receiving additional war information and fellow bloggers such as Gallivata have added names to the Farewell Salutes.  We also have:

Audrey Williams – Tasmania, “Idle Woman”

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/audrey-williams-war-brought-a-bargees-life-before-move-to-tasmania-20140114-30sz9.html

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 25, 2014, in Korean War, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. I only wish I had found this site earlier – it’ll take me some time to work through your posts yet I will. Great stuff!

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    • The part beginning in September 2012 is where I had started to put my father’s scrapbook (put together by my grandmother) together. Due to age and circumstances the book is seriously crumbling.

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      • I have spent a little time piecing together my now deceased father’s time in a POW camp in Silesia – as best as I could because he only started imparting the story when he had dementia near the end of his life. Annoyingly he never said anything about it when he had all his marbles. Still those small clues he gave me and a bit of research have given me some knowledge. By the way have you photographed the pages of the scrapbook? That would maybe be a way to store them and preserve the book itself – forgive me if you have already thought of that.

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  2. I appreciate your posts and also the added touch of the salutes, military history is recorded with every bit that is added, including the names.
    Regards
    Ian

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    • Thanks, Ian. I wish I could fit them all in the salutes. Hopefully a descendant of theirs will google their great-grandfather in the future and VIOLA it appears here and they know someone somewhere read that person’s name.

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  3. I can safely say I would not have been a good soldier, Marine or otherwise. War is vicious and one inch to the left or right could mean life or death…and these boys knew it.

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    • I don’t think anyone knows for sure how they will react as a soldier until they’re confronted with it, the human body and mind can suffer and endure much more than we give it credit for. We read and write about the ones that did step up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant and mesmerizing – you bring the past to life!

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  5. The obituary from the Sydney Morning Herald was excellent reading, especially as a few weeks back I was reading a review of a book about the canal girls of WW2 http://fleurfisher.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/maidens-trip-by-emma-smith/
    And, sadly, another one for the Farewell Salute: Raymond John Pearson, WW2 Lance Corporal #238722 passed away 25 January 2014, Christchurch, NZ.

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  6. That patrol really became sitting ducks. They had done the predictable, so someone in command was to blame.

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  7. Great post. I love reading about the front-line experiences of the men who were there. Also the fund to pair greyhounds with veterans is an excellent idea.

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    • I believe it is a worthy organization. Once those dogs are finished racing, many unspeakable things have been know to happen to them. This idea saves two-fold.

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  8. Interesting and different story about Audrey Harper. What a life it must have been having to flee countries periodically because of political conflict.

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  9. Interesting as usual. Thanks.

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  10. I always enjoy your site. So very interesting and in spite of the often grim subject, informative. I like about greyhounds. A friend of mine works for a greyhound rescue organization. they are wonderful dogs. Keep up the good work!

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  11. I have never understood the notion of a strategy that did little more than give the enemy good opportunities for target practice on our troops. Lieutenant McCoy wasn’t the first officer to be ambushed, and history tells us that he was far and away from being the last … and the story reminds us of how difficult … how deadly military service is. We cannot thank our combat veterans enough, and we ought not be ungenerous giving them the materials they need to win, win, win.

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    • I have always felt that way, and in reading history ( my father, Smitty and MacArthur also felt that way), it seems most everyone feels that way – until it gets to Congress. I also aggree that we can not thank our veterans enough! Thanks for commenting, Mustang.

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  12. Even for those not in war, the thought of a person suddenly ceasing to be is a difficult thing to come to grips with. Whenever I read these articles, and read of specific persons dying, it brings to mind people I have known and who died much too young (cancer, drunk driver, motorcycle accident). Even thirty years later, I can recall their smiles and conversations . . .

    That is the difference between reading “1,000 men died” and “Jack died” . . . the first is difficult to get one’s head around other than in an abstract way, the other brings it to a personal level, and a reminder, often a stark reminder, we too are mortal.

    Perhaps therein lies the power of the Vietnam Memorial . . . the seemingly endless list of names.

    Thanks again for your efforts.

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    • You have explained it far and above any way I could. The mere mention of the Vietnam Memorial brings back way too many memories and faces; too many of my old friends are there on the wall and exist only because we refuse to forget.

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  13. The photos are quite expressive and especially good illustrations of the story.

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  14. Forgotten War no more…

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  15. War is definitely hell. I do love the story about the greyhounds being trained as service animals for soldiers. It’s a proven fact that dogs provided to soldiers with ptsd have had an amazing and positive effect for the soldier.

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    • It was such a pleasant article, I thought it was time to add in some good news for a change – we can all use that and in this one, the veterans benefit. Thanks for your comment, Linda.

      Like

  1. Pingback: Korean War (40) | tamaratthompson

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