In February of 2001, I was asked to write a short account of my personal experiences as a member of the D.C. National Guard, who was called to active duty by President Truman in August 1950, a few weeks after the outbreak of the Korean War. We were assisting in the 50th Anniversary recognition of the war and the contribution of the African American units and individuals in the conflict. The U.S. Army and the Korean Embassy had several events and a luncheon at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia and I volunteered to notify all of our Company's personnel I could find. It was initially a sad experience. I called several comrades homes, only to find they had passed away, some very recently; and then spent some time talking to their widows and offering my sympathy.
I wrote a short article for the "Pentagram", a small newspaper which is published for the Fort Myer Military Community entitled," D.C. Community Leader Remembers Guard Units Action in Korea"; which was published in the March 30, 2001 edition, I related my experiences in the D.C. National Guard Unit, the 715th Transportation Truck Co. and the fact that I was a senoir in high school when the unit was activated on August 14,1950. My father and mother tried to get me out of the mobilization, stating that I was in high school and that I had just turned 17 when I enlisted in the Guard; to no avail. So I shipped out to Korea with my outfit.
Just as in my family; sometimes there are no written records of every incident or experience and so it is, that there a sometimes few written records, which we can rely on; except oral history.
I related my experience in the article, when some of us were detailed to support the 1st Marine Division, Fifth Regiment, in the "Pusan Perimeter Breakout" in February 1951, the coldest winter in Korea in ten years, with temperatures at 30 degrees below zero. We were surrounded in a valley, by the North Korean and Red Chinese, Army Divisions, for nearly the entire month of February, before we could breakout. I found out later, our operation was called "Operation Ripper", one of the major counteroffensives of the Eight Army, in the spring of 1951.
Well, the Pentagram Staff writer Dennis Ryan (he wrote the article based on my written notes)sent a copy to the Hqs. U.S. Marine Corps, writer and told him I was with the 1st Marines Fifth regiment at Hongchon, in "Operation Ripper". The writer told him it couldn't have been true, that we weren't there. Ryan told him it was true.
Well, I have three battle stars for three "engagements" and one was given to me for "Operation Ripper", by the U.S. Army.
By the way, Anthony powell is checking on some info. on my great uncle for me, so that my writing about my Great Uncle won't be "suspect". Thanks Anthony. Lloyd