Boot camp: Parris Island
Dates of Service: USN 1945-1947; USMCR 1949-1951; USMC 1951-1960
M.O.S. : 0301 - Infantry Officer | 0802 - Field Artillery Officer | 1803 - Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) Officer I) |
3002 - Ground Supply Officer
Duty Stations: 1st Mar Div, 2d Mar Div, Parris Island, Quantico, Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, Portsmouth, VA
Memorable Events: A couple that stick in my memory:
1. Marching in a parade at Camp Lejeune in November 1955. The occasion was a change of command ceremony -- Major General "Chesty" Puller was turning over command of the 2d Marine Division and retiring from active duty! Parading was the entire 2d Marine Division plus all hands from Force Troops FMF Atlantic. I think that somewhere around 15,000 Marines passed in review on the post parade field that day. (A few years ago, Dave Erkson told me that he too remembered marching in that parade.)
2. The "invasion" of Tok Chok To. This was an amphibious landing (unopposed) by one of the infantry battalions of the 1st Marine Division on a small island off the west coast of Korea. My armored amtrak platoon (6 amphibious tanks) left our position on the line one dark night and proceeded by water about 20 miles down the Yom Ha tidal estuary to the port city of Inchon. We stayed on the beach in Inchon for a couple of days and then proceeded out on the Yellow Sea to an LSM anchored a couple of miles offshore and climbed our tanks onto the "ship." I'll never forget the wonderful odor -- the cooks had just baked a week's supply of fresh bread! (My platoon devoured the entire week's supply at our first meal on board, but the swabbies happily baked another huge batch.) We sailed over rough seas that pounded the flat bottom of the little LSM. A day or two later we made a rehearsal landing on Tok Chok To and the following day we made the "D-Day" landing. Then we returned to Inchon and on back up the Yom Ha to our old platoon position on the line. That was like a 10-day R&R for all of us!
Here's one showing the government housing I lived in while in Korea (1952-53) on the banks of the Han River, which runs from Seoul out to the Yellow Sea. Just over the ridgeline in the picture the hill dropped down about 150 feet to the edge of the river. The Gooks (either Chinese for North Korean troops) occupied the other side of the river. The bunkers we built into the hillside were made out of big timbers and sandbags and were unfinished at the time this photo was taken -- we later mounded 3 or 4 feet of dirt on top of them. They were surprisingly warm in the winter. About six guys sleeping inside provided enough body heat.
It's hard to believe that was over 60 years ago!
Here's another old photo from Korea (1952 or 1953). This one was taken on the beach of a little island (named Tok Chok Toe) in the Yellow Sea just off the west coast of Korea. Our platoon was part of an amphibious landing there. No Gooks on the island to greet us -- it was just a practice exercise for the reserve battalion of the reserve regiment of the 1st Division while the rest of the division was engaged with the North Korean and Chinese forces. But it was still an interesting adventure and a chance for the platoon to get off the line for a week or ten days.