Intermission Stories (13)

Conrad "Connie" Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw

213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Conrad Grimshaw joined the National Guard in 1947 at Beaver, Utah.  When he was ordered to Korea, it was with the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion from Cedar City, Utah in July 1950.

In his memoirs he remembered,  “Kapyong [Korea] was quite a pretty place with streams of water coming out of the hills in two directions and flowing to the Han River on the south side of the valley.  Our firing batteries were placed up in the canyons to the north and east.  These canyons were very steep and seemed to me to be a cross between Bakers Canyon and the Big Twist in Utah, with only one road in.  This made it difficult and very easy to get trapped.  Next to our artillery batteries were units from the 6th ROK and the Australian infantry.  We spent a lot of time in this area.

The Kapyong Valley

The Kapyong Valley

“On one of the ammo runs up the main road of Chunchon, we spotted a big truck down by the water’s edge.  We told the motor section about it because we were always looking for truck parts to keep everything running.  She looked pretty bad because it had been an old 2-boom wrecker that had been rebuilt at the Tooele Army Dept.  It got the name “Old Never Run”, but before long the boys had it started and running.

“On 21 April, the CCF started the spring offensive and began to push south of the 38th parallel.  We were in the middle of the push.  Not long after we had set up Service Battery, our firing batteries were pulled out of Kapyong canyon and moved to an area by the Hwachon Reservoir above Chunchon.  The first artillery rounds were fired by B Battery the next day.  Later, they were moved back to stop the Chinese push against the Australians and ROKs.

“Around 9pm that night, W.O. Puffer came to me and said that Capt. James had ordered him to go up to HQ and find out if we were to pull back.  He wanted me to drive him up there.  I drove a ¾ ton weapons carrier with Roy Puffer as the only passenger.  I would say that going up the canyon with all the South Korean soldiers pouring out of the hills was like driving through a herd of sheep.  W.O. Puffer was given instructions to have Service Battery move back as needed to safer ground.

213th Armored Field Artillery

213th Armored Field Artillery

“We got as much as we could, but we were forced to leave behind a 105 howitzer and a half track, as well as a stack of C rations and some ammo trailers filled with ammunition.  I heard later that the Australians got the C rations and the retreating firing batteries used up the ammo.  They then hooked up the trailers and brought them down to us.  We lost the howitzer when it slipped off the road’s edge and onto a rocky ledge…we had to leave it behind.”

Connie Grimshaw’s story shows how each job compliments the other and each one is important.  He returned home in July 1951.  This story was found in the Korean War Educator Memoirs and condensed.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Bartley, Jr. – Amesbury, MA; US Navy, WWII, airplane engine mechanic

Med-Evac

Med-Evac

Leonard Cousins – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Everette Frye, Sr. – Richmond, VA; US Army, Korea, MD

Katherine Jamison (92) – Washington D.C.; Intelligence Research Specialist

James Manning – Washington D.C.; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), WWII

Fritz McClory – W.Palm Beach, FL; US Air Force (20 years), Korea & Vietnam

John W. Murray – Waikato, NZ; British Merchant Seaman, WWII

Guy Robertson – Brisbane, Australia; RA Infantry, Major (Ret.) & Queens Own Rifles of Canada; Vietnam

John Trussell – Cleburne, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers

Francis Vogelman – Philadelphia, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 511th Regiment

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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 April 21, 2014, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. Enjoyed that story, we have quite a few Korean vets still alive here in Australia that have many a story to tell, we do have a Korean memorial day here also, called Kapyong day.
    That old Howitzer would be great in a war museum somewhere.
    Cheers
    Ian

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  2. I love your blog and the honor and respect you bring to our warriors. It is a ministry.

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  3. It’s tragic that we have these stories but thank God for all of these unsung heroes. Thanks to you, their stories are being heard! 🙂

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  4. Another interesting post GP. ANZAC Day is coming up on Friday, 25th. That’s when we commemorate our (Australian and New Zealand) fallen soldiers and remember what they did for our freedom. It’s quite a sobering day.
    http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/anzac-tradition/

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    • Thank you for the link Norma. I was just discussing ANZAC Day with Gallivanta and asked if my scheduled posting of Saturday would be an insult, being the following day. She said it wouldn’t – your thoughts?

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  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am so fascinated by your stories. I have passed your link along to my brothers-in-law and my husband, who will all (I think) enjoy it immensely

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    • Thank you very much for passing my site along to your family. We have a wonderful group of people (who have become my friends) here and each and everyone of their blogs is worth a look-see as well. If there is a story of the military you would like to share, please, feel free to do so right here in the comments!

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  6. I am not sure if you will be able to see this link but it relates to your post in the sense that every one has a part to play. https://www.facebook.com/WW100NZ/photos/a.525827530765627.137246.452218181459896/824745120873865/?type=1&theater It is a photo of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade Field Post Office, Gallipoli, 1915. One tends to forget about the important role of the post/letters/messages in war time.

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  7. Thanks for liking a post on geokult-travel.com. Your blog looks interesting so am following 🙂
    Cheers
    Tracey

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  8. Personal anecdotes like these flash out the bones of history. Much appreciated. The British comedy team known as ‘The Goons’ (mad as hatters, all three of ’em) included Spike Milligan who served as a gunner in Italy.

    At one time their bloody great howitzer fired a round then slithered over the edge to the bottom of a ravine where it ended up amidst some infantry tents. Two of the Goons first met then and there, when Spike lifted up the flap of one of the tents and conversationally asked the recently bulldozed incumbents “Has anyone seen our missing gun?”

    (They told it better …)

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    • I got a pretty good chuckle over it – though I doubt the men on the receiving end did!! I don’t do many stories of the ETO, but I might have to look into them – unless you have one? Let me know.

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  9. I read more of his memoirs just now… Thanks for the share. I also read up on the 105mm howitzer (shown in the photo). While there are a number of career military reading your blog, I was amazed at its range: seven miles. It takes about 10 seconds to impact. A crew could fire three rounds a minute with HE rounds having a kill/blast radius of 30 meters. Quite terrifying to be at the receiving end.

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  10. Thank you for sharing yet another story of our brave soldiiers. RIP to all those listed who have gone on to their final reward.

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  11. I love how soldiers call their battle buddies ‘boys’. Chris Kyle does that too (I just finished his book).

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    • Well, outside of the fact that they are risking their lives in a country they barely heard of and are in the best physical shape of their lives – most of them are 18-19 years old; I suppose to any officer over 25, they were still boys under their wing? Thanks for reading, Jacqui. 😉

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  12. More fascinating snippets covering less-often-told aspects.

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  13. Reblogged this on aksharaalu – Best Collections and commented:
    Life at edge of death – real patriots on borders

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    • I am very honored that you have reblogged this story. It makes me even more thrilled that I located the memoir and asked all of you, my friends, to help me remember these men. I hope your readers also enjoy the article.

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  14. I like every one of your stories even though I am constantly nagged by the question, “Why, in the name of sanity, do we humans persist in maiming and slaughtering each other?” For another gut-wrenching story that raises all of the same feelings, I suggest reading the book, VANISHED by Wil S. Hylton. It is about B-24 crews in the South Pacific during WWII but it is all very similar.

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    • I believe philosophers have been asking that same question for a millennium now and all any one seems to come up with is – it’s human nature. That to me is a cop-out. Thanks for the book title, Jim, I’ll go looking for it.

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  15. Love these stories.

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  16. His description of driving with the soldiers coming out reminding him of sheep really creates a picture of the scene. Indeed everyone played a role.

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  17. Pierre Lagacé

    As always GP thanks for sharing these stories of unsung heroes.

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  18. So, the C-rations and ammo did not go to waste or fall in CCF hands.

    Why was it designated “Armored” Field Artillery Battalion – why armored? Did they have self-propelled guns or because of their complement of half-tracks?

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    • I was glad myself that the rations, etc. didn’t go to waste. As far as the Armored question, I can only suppose that it contained both armored and artillery equipment for the highly active area he was in. Although it was not usual for armored and artillery to travel together, I have found a number of these listed. Thanks for the comments and curiosity, Eric.

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  19. My dad was a mechanic in WWII in the Philippines and New Guinea. He didn’t share many stories about the war but the few that he did made me understand that it wasn’t like working at the corner garage. Everybody served.

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