8:38 | When it was time to act, Bill Minnich came through. On a night watch, as he caught sight of a Chinese patrol, the only question was, rifle or grenade? When the unit was pinned down and no one responded to the order to move out, he cussed them all out and charged forward. And when he fell wounded, it was a sure thing that he would get up and scramble through the bullets landing at his feet.
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It was good incentive to survive. Bill Minnich received his GED while in basic, and as soon as he returned from Korea, he could get the diploma. Right away it was tough as he faced challenges from monsoons to mortar fire.
Bill Minnich recovered from a bullet to the shoulder and returned to action in Korea. It was a lot less action, but he learned that the Army radios must weigh at least three hundred pounds. He learned what fertilizer was used on the rice paddies, and he learned a lot about the spirit of the Korean people when he was sent to stop a POW riot.
How close was Fred Fletcher to the enemy in the firefight? He was hitting them with his rifle butt. The Chinese had entered the war and the Marines at Chosin Reservoir were finding out just how many there were. He made it through the initial attacks but there was fighting all the way down the long steep road to the South. At Hagaru-Ri, he nearly froze his feet just before he ran out of luck dodging enemy fire.
Bill Ozmint remembers leaving Korea and returning home, which his company was ready to do after their year in-country. After returning home, he was able to find work through a family friend and was able to secure his future career in the pharmaceutical industry.
Lawrence Snowden was one of only 95,000 active Marines when war broke out in Korea, drawn down from a force of over 500,000. His superiors wanted him to stay in his planning role, but he pushed for a transfer to the action.
Robert Weisbrodt went right into the fray of battle when he arrived in Korea, moving North from Pusan. Enjoying some rare beer in his rations, he had to take cover under his tank and watched as the beer spilled from the shrapnel pierced cans.
Their second night at Chosin Reservoir, they were nearly overrun. The Marines were pushed off Hill 1240 by a horde of Chinese and they regrouped and retook the hill, twice. After the enemy scattered, Fred Fletcher and his buddy Ray Fairchild were at the end of the line keeping watch over a ridge line. They had not noticed that everyone else had withdrawn. Then, a mortar shell exploded.
When The Korean War ended, Ben Gross had to leave Japan and move to Korea to guard Chinese prisoners. On a Navy ship taking him there, he remarked to the sailors that they “had it made…bacon and eggs for breakfast.” Infantry had to make do.
Bill Ozmint remembers his upbringing in rural South Carolina and joining the ROTC during college, which got him introduced to the military. Since he knew so many people involved in the war, joining the military was always on the table for him.
Robert Weisbrodt’s tank crew took part in the landing at Inchon and saw MacArthur land on the beach after the assault. They then saw fierce fighting at Suwon. For the first time, he knew the pain of seeing friends injured before his eyes. Moving as far as the Yalu River, he learned how to advance to the rear when the Chinese attacked.