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.
They were not hurting for supplies. The problem was being outnumbered ten to one by the Chinese. When they began "advancing in a different direction," Corpsman Archie Parrish remembers destroying a lot of material so the enemy would not get it. As they approached Koto-ri, he had to dive from an exploding ambulance onto the frozen ground, where he had a chance encounter that would change his life. Part 4 of 4.
Growing up splitting time between China and the United States, Martin Overholt decided to join the Marine Corps in the hoped of being able to travel more. While fighting in Korea, he sometimes had to fight against the Chinese, which felt strange since he had grown up with them.
Gene Owen wakes up alone in his foxhole to discover the Chinese Army marching into a hot zone where they faced an awesome display of US firepower. The scene is reminiscent of a Basic Training exercise known as The Mad Minute.
After moving around South Korea, Records Clerk Lou Pardy prepared to head into North Korea to Hungnam. The unit was in relief of Marines, whose tanks were not winterized. It was bitterly cold and there was a constant stream of refugees to screen in addition to regular duties. Finally, as the Allies lost ground, the city was evacuated in almost disastrous fashion.
The area where Joe Nemastil was sent as a replacement had seen plenty of action. Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill had been hard fought over and then abandoned. Sent to reinforce an outpost on the next hill over which had been attacked, he saw the aftermath of the worst of war.
They were a little short of funds to continue in college so Joe Nemastil and his cousin talked to a recruiter to see what they could get in the Army. Promised a place in Officer Candidate School, he went off to basic training. The conditions were rough and the Kentucky winter came blowing right through the wall boards of the old barracks. Then, surprise! No OCS and orders for Korea.
They got the word that the Armistice had been signed and to cease all firing. That gave Joe Nemastil a chance to find out what was actually in the no man's land below his position. Checking his weapons, he made his way down the hill and very soon, spotted a Chinese soldier walking right toward him.
After contracting a deadly illness, Gene Owen is saved by an observant medic and sent to a military hospital in Yeongdeungpo, where he is diagnosed with hemorrhagic fever. Soon after, he is rotated back home, reunites with his family, and returns to school. For Gene's actions in Korea, he was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.
As soon as the troop ship cleared Seattle and headed for Korea, they hit a storm and Joe Nemastil was seasick the rest of the way. He was on his way to join the 7th Infantry Division at the front. It was only three months before the armistice was signed but it was three months of combat on the static lines. For Joe, the worst enemy was not North Korean or Chinese. It was something in the bunkers.
After the war in the Pacific, Curtis Banker got married, but the Army still beckoned and he reenlisted in 1947. After a year of driving a target tank on the Fort Benning firing range, he got orders to ship out to Korea, where a desperate force was clinging to a perimeter around Pusan.
Lawrence Abel was called back into service for the Korean War. The Air Force maintenance technician kept the planes flying over the 38th Parallel, then he was selected for a secret unit based in Japan. He made a career of it and even took his family with him to his favorite post in England.
Hospital Corpsman Archie Parrish did not care for his first assignment following boot camp, helping deliver babies in the Dependents Ward. He was told he could always volunteer for the Fleet Marine Force. Despite not knowing exactly what that was, he was soon integrated with the 2nd Marine Division training at Camp Lejeune. The mission of the Corpsman? To have as many Marines as possible firing as many guns as possible for as many days as possible.
A ferocious firefight in the Iron Triangle, as the 3rd Infantry holds the line in a broad front-line offensive. The battle becomes a textbook example of the effectiveness of intense firepower against overwhelming forces.
Martin Overholt shares some humorous memories from his time in the Marine Corps after returning home from Korea. His service in the Marine Corps gave him many opportunities and memories he can look back on.
They were ordered to push to the Yalu River and the Manchurian border. Encountering only light resistance, the Marines moved deep into the mountains. Archie Parrish was with them and he recalls how Douglas MacArthur said that the Chinese would never attack. Colonel Chesty Puller knew better, and General Oliver P. Smith also knew that they were being drawn into a trap. Part 1 of 4.
Curtis Banker's armored unit was part of the force that came into Hungnam to support the Infantry and Marines who were "advancing in a different direction" out of North Korea. After the evacuation of thousands of civilians and Allied personnel, and as they were sailing away, he saw the warehouses full of supplies burning, torched so the enemy would not benefit.
He wasn't even eighteen, but after seeing The Sands Of Iwo Jima, Archie Parrish and his pals tried and failed to enlist in the Marine Corps. But the Navy recruiter next door told him how to hide his real age and he set off to boot camp. This allowed him to escape his strict brother, who was overcompensating for a missing father.
Max Ferguson was arriving in Korea just as the armistice was being signed. Deployed near the 38th Parallel, he flew Korean generals and American Colonels around, but only one at a time. The cabin was a clear bubble with two seats. The biggest danger along the DMZ was simply that is was poorly marked, so you had to be careful.
They were freezing immediately, and filthy in a matter of days, after arriving in Korea. The Marines were entering a stalemate situation in deep winter conditions. Richard Hawes enjoyed serving with the Turks and the South Korean Marines, although he was unsure of the South Koreans' interrogation tactics.
When the Korean War broke out, Hospital Corpsman Archie Parrish had been training with the Marines for two years at Camp Lejeune. His Warrant Officer discovered that he lied about his age to enlist and implied that all would be well if he volunteered to go to Korea. So off he went with a hastily assembled division that combined seasoned veterans with raw recruits.
His father was career Navy, but Richard Hawes, after a two year stint in the Navy himself, went for the Marine Corps after being prodded by a colleague of his father's. The Korean War caught the Corps with a lack of junior officers, so an Officer Candidate Course was begun and he was in the first class. The Drill Instructors were specially chosen to deal with college graduates instead of the usual mix.
When the Korean War broke out, Max Ferguson was receiving an Army commission out of ROTC. Training as a combat engineer, he found out there was a need for engineer pilots, and he succeeded in becoming one. Then he switched from fixed wing to helicopters, which are more difficult to fly and a greater challenge.
Inchon was a great victory for Douglas MacArthur, but the Chosin Reservoir waited for him just a few months away. After moving the Marine field hospital from Inchon Harbor to Seoul, Corpsman Archie Parrish began operating with different detachments in the area. Soon, he would be a pawn in a game between MacArthur and Harry Truman, which led to the absurdity of men dying to take same territory repeatedly.
The Army evaluated him and sent him to radio school. Then, Arthur Hurst shipped out for Korea, where he was assigned to Headquarters of a tank battalion on the line. He enjoyed working with the sophisticated equipment, but the extreme weather was miserable.