Royal Australian Regiment and The Hook

2RAR bringing ammo to The Hook

2RAR bringing ammo to The Hook

 

9 & 10 July 1953 saw the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) relieving the King’s Regiment at the all too familiar Hook.  The 2nd RAR was given the left forward positions and the 3rd RAR the right flank bordering the Samichon River.  The Chinese defenders were no more than 200 meters from B Company/3RAR, at outposts Green Finger and Ronson.

A lot of work needed to be done at night to repair the bunkers and trenches from the May 1953 fighting.  A Contact Bunker, manned by a corporal and 6 men, situated in the “saddle” of the Hook, was established to connect the C Company of the left flank with the right flank of the 1st US Marine Division.  H Company/3rd Battalion was a 2RAR medium machine-gun position.  This was the Main Line of Resistance (MLR).

Outpost locations at the Hook

Outpost locations at the Hook

Very strong enemy pressure was being put on the infantry and on Hill 111, but this was not the enemy’s main objective; they were after outposts Berlin, East Berlin and Boulder City.  That did not stop the Chinese from battering the men on Hill 111 on 9 July and again, quite heavily, on 19/20 July.

Shelling and mortaring on all positions of the Battalion were constant and accounted for nearly all the casualties.  The nightly standing patrols were seldom missing a fire-fight.  It was afterwards revealed that enemy tunneling had occurred underneath the spur line to Green Finger .  As with all patrolling at this time in the war, the dash to make position first was important.  The loser usually had the most casualties.

A special report dated 24-26 July 1953 reads (condensed):

By 1200 hrs, 24 July, a very heavy build-up of wireless nets opposite the Commonwealth Div. was evident.  In a matter of hours, an attack of considerable size of the enemy were north and northwest of the Hook and others to the west for diversion.  Small groups moved in from the rear of Outposts Warsaw and Long Finger.

Simultaneously, the CCF was moving on OP Betty Grable and along the valley south of Seattle and Ronson, towards a point between Hills 111 and 121.  This latter group was about 5-8 strong and was flanked by 2 groups of about 10-15 each.  The task of these flanking groups was to make a fire corridor for the forward observation groups moving westward in order to allow them to get into position between the hills.

3 RAR, trench fighting patrol, July 1953

3 RAR, trench fighting patrol, July 1953

The movement of the southernmost forward observation group was successful; it got through although its flank guards were badly shot up.  Soon after it was giving fire directions onto friendly mortar positions from a sheltered spot.  The other group ran into difficulties and was not heard from again.  Heavy shelling and firing erupted especially at Outpost Betty Grable, who suffered heavy casualties.  But, the attacks were not very well organized and UN artillery, machine-gun and tank fire inflicted high enemy casualties as well.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Norman Anderson – Seattle, WA; US Army, WWII

Joseph A. Bell – La Prairie, Manitoba; RC Navy, WWII (Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame)

Sid Caesar –  Yonkers, NY; USO, WWII (Comedian)Soldiers_saluting_siloutte1

Edward Cosentino – Chicago, IL; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), WWII

Alvie Followell – Brownwood, TX; WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers, 11th A/B

Patrick V. McCallum – New Orleans, LA & Plantation, FL; US Air Force, Vietnam

Leonard Miller – Burlington, VT & Miami, FL; US Army, Korea

William (Bill) Patterson – Christchurch, NZ; NZAF # 448085, Signalman

Emanuel Quartuccio – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Herman Shooster – Coral Springs, FL; US Army, medic, WWII, PTO

Ralph Waite – White Plains, NY; USMC, (beloved actor)

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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 February 26, 2014, in Korean War, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. I look at the celebrities and stars in this list and despair because almost none of their modern counterparts will have any history of service of ANY kind to look back on when they pass.

    RIP Sid Caesar and Ralph Waite.

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  2. Many old soldiers here still talk of the Hook on ANZAC day.
    Wars have changed since those days, the closeness of combat and the sheer bravery of those involved can only be admired in awe.
    Regards
    Ian aka Emu

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    • If you can overhear one of those stories – put it here in the comments if you do not want to make a post out of it yourself. Thanks for reading, Ian – always a pleasure to see you.

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  3. The trenches make it all look real in a way few things do, at least to me, GP. And I must say the Aussies had their own unique look– like you wouldn’t want to mess with them. –Curt

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    • That’s exactly what I heard from my father, Smitty, as well. They were tough and they knew it; rough and tumble lives (like our farm and ranch boys) that kept them in shape since birth. Thanks for coming by, Curt.

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  4. Interesting and well written, as usual; however, I had to locate the box of tissues when I saw the Farewell Salute included Sid Caesar and Ralph Waite for their service to our country. Thank you for remembering them; in its simplicity, a more stirring tribute to these men than I have seen so far.

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    • I was deeply touched by your comment on the Farewell Salutes; I can not express how much it means to me that wonderful people such as yourself take the time to remember what all these men did. Thank you for reading and sharing your feelings.

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  5. Beautiful post…I can only imagine how it would have looked like but not what the soldiers, the people involved, were feeling and thinking. It’s so hard to know that without being there myself. Words often don’t describe well enough what it must have been really like for the soldiers, and some things just can’t be described with words. And like your other readers, I prefer History without any opinions – just the facts. I loved that poem, too, I just thought it seemed so very sad that they had to ask to be remembered…Nowadays, I find ways to share my grandfather’s and grand-uncle’s WWII stories with my kids just to help keep the memory of their sacrifice alive in my family. I would love to share that poem with my kids – there’s lots of lessons to draw from it. I also loved the Farewell Salutes, what an honourable way to remember those who have moved on.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Mary

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    • First off, thank you for taking the time out of your day to complete so many of the posts; you always were a loyal reader. Second, I agree, only men know exactly what they were feeling and maybe that’s why they did not talk so much – how do you express war? And third – but NOT- last, not only is it wonderful that you keep your parents stories alive with your children, but the poem is a great way to express the reason why we learn and remember history. I printed out the poem myself. Have a great day, and once again – it’s great to see you back, Mary!

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  6. Another great post as usual. Sorry I haven’t commented in a while, I’ve gotten very behind in my reading of the blogs–trying to catch up with everyone. The bravery of these men in times of war just astounds them. God bless them all for their sacrifices.

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  7. I particularly appreciate the topographical map with appropriate symbols. It helps illustrate what’s going on for me much better than many battle narratives manage to do.

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  8. Real history. Thanks, GP. Love your farewell salutes.

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    • Thank you, Linda. Sometimes I become very disheartened looking for these brave men. I’ll go from newspaper to newspaper and see very little info on the deceased soldier, but enough specifics about the tons of relatives for me to pick them out of a police line-up! It is hard enough to realize that we are losing so many of that outstanding generation, but to have their efforts take a back seat to where the “sixth granddaughter lives with her 3 lovely children” is a bit much.

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  9. A beautiful memorial to the Korean War veterans here http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/batterypark/monuments/1930 and also here http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/2942360589/ . The memorial at Liberty State Park has this poem which I think goes well with your post:

    We didn’t do much talking,

    We didn’t raise a fuss.

    But Korea really happened

    So please – remember us.

    We all just did our duty

    But we didn’t win or lose.

    A victory was denied us

    But we didn’t get to choose.

    We all roasted in the summer

    In winter, we damn near froze.

    Walking back from near the Yalu

    With our blackened frozen toes.

    Like the surf the Chinese kept coming

    With their bugles in the night.

    We fired into their masses

    Praying for the morning light.

    All of us just had to be there

    And so many of us died.

    But now we’re all but half forgotten

    No one remembers how we tried.

    We grow fewer with the years now

    And we still don’t raise a fuss.

    But Korea really happened

    So please – remember us. (http://generalmacarthurshonorguard.com/Korean_War_Poem.php)

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  10. OK… You know I’m going to ask…but what are “wireless nets”? 🙂 It chills my spine to read reports of “never seen again”. How horrible. And indeed, Berlin and East Berlin sure got their (un)fair share of attention. All that young blood… 😦

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    • That term was taken directly from the special report and best as I can decipher, it is men – not actually wire – that make the barrier. If a veteran knows differently, I sincerely hope they correct my explanation, but this is the best I can find. True about the young men at the OPs; makes you wonder what is left at home (4-F) to procreate with?

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  11. A fine tribute to the Australians. I think your “Farewell Salutes” honor those who might, otherwise, not be recognized. Thank you.

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    • The Salutes ARE to honor the vets who went through so much for us and hopefully, if a descendant “googles” an ancestor, they’ll see their name and know that someone else remembered them. Thank you for coming into our little group of history buffs here; should you find or know of any stories – feel free to enter them here in the comments. I’m not omniscient and try to continually learn.

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  12. I guess I’d forgotten that the UN was involved in the Korean War in a military nature–‘UN artillery’. That’s member nations–right?

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    • Correct, Jacqui. That is the reason it was considered a police action for so long (like Nam).

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    • All the forces fighting to defend South Korea in the Korean War (Americans, Canadians, British, French, Aussies, etc.) were fighting under the official United Nations banner, as the UN Command. The U.S. provided the bulk of the troops and all the top military leadership, and almost all of the major strategy decisions were made by Americans, but officially and legally it was a United Nations operation, authorized by the UN Security Council in June 1950. The Soviet Russian delegate was boycotting the Council and so was not present to exercise their veto power.

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  13. Again a rather special piece of writing aimed at keeping memories alive. Your efforts in that regard – and this is not just ‘lip service’ – leave me humbled!

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    • I really appreciate that, Mike; but I’m just reporting the facts as I find and confirm them. Now granted, in some cases, dates may be a bit off due the times and date line, otherwise that’s it. I try to keep my own feelings in check in doing a post (comments are another matter entirely). lol.

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  14. The Aussies were a formidable group. I have always been impressed with them.

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    • Strong, determined and brave; very proud soldiers; as were so many others – they all deserve our remembering. It bothers me that so many units drift away in history because they become classified as UN troops or Commonwealth troops – difficult to find the distinct units and give them the credit they deserve. That’s why when any relative or vet comments, I ask – What Unit?

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  15. “Shelling and mortaring on all positions of the Battalion were constant” – I can’t imagine what this must have been like. Obviously, men were killed and injured but even the ones that survived must have suffered in a way we simply can’t understand.

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  16. Exemplary image of brave soldiers in the line of duty. Overwhelmed.

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  17. To be continued…

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