6:14 | As company clerk, John Meyers had several responsibilities, the captain's morning report, letters home to parents of men killed in action and writing up awards recommendations. He wrote up the recommendation for Charles Gilliland, a seventeen year old, whose heroic actions made him the youngest soldier to receive the Medal Of Honor in the Korean War.
Keywords : John Meyers Korea Charles Gilliland Medal Of Honor (MOH) Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Chinese .45 cal pistol
John Meyers was drafted in 1950 and thought that basic training was pretty good for a young man of 22. On his way to Seattle to ship out for Korea, he was broke but came up with a great way to get some money and enjoy some beer in the bargain.
He nearly froze in Korea because of the light gear he was issued. John Meyer remembers that and the guard duty in the wee hours when he imagined all sorts of enemy swarming around in the dark.
After three weeks on the front line in Korea, John Meyers was made the company clerk. The captain's morning report was his responsibility and this led to a chilling experience when he had to visit graves registration. Since he had to go to the front every day, he was still subject to artillery and mortar fire.
After the Chinese intervened in Korea, John Meyer's unit was constantly on the move, often in retreat. He worked in the rear, so he saw the huge masses of refugees fleeing the fighting, some of them receiving medical treatment while there.
Strange things happen in war and John Meyers saw his share in Korea, from the gruesome to the humorous. He recalls some of them here, including the escapades of Hogan, a notorious character.
He was ready to come home from Korea and he loved the welcome he got in San Francisco, but John Meyers had about three months left to serve. He was made a platoon sergeant at Fort Ord and managed to make a difference to those men, who were in a poorly performing unit when he arrived.
While Thielke and his comrades were back in reserve, they used a helmet to wash their socks. A British soldier came upon their invention and praised their ingenuity. A few days later, the men were cooking a stew over a fire, and when the same British soldier realized what the men were using to cook their stew, he ran off in disgust.
Robert Weisbrodt thought he would join the Army, serve his time, see the world and get out, but it didn’t work out that way. Before he got to Korea, he proved valuable to his unit using a skill learned growing up, jumping from car to car on a train.
After the war ended in the Pacific, Eugene Whitfield decide to make a career of it and served aboard many different carriers. A visit to Hiroshima was a sobering experience, and a search for a missionary led to an amazing coincidence.
Hearing tales of adventure and travel from his veteran older brothers, Robert Weisbrodt enlisted for some of the same. But they did not tell him about Agony Hill at boot camp. He goes on to talk about what else he remembers from basic training.
He thought he had a promise to go to technical school, but Bob Bruffey was frustrated for his first two years in the Air Force. Finally he got his wish and, after working on F-51's for a while, shipped out to Korea where he retrieved downed planes for repair.
After long preparation, the complex Inchon landing was finally underway. Going ashore with his heavy weapons company, Marine Bill Bates joined the fighting in and around Seoul. The men were urged on by the most decorated Marine in history, Chesty Puller.
Gene Sullivan says it took a long time to get over the fear and the noise of combat in Korea. Sometimes at night he can still hear the screaming of the wounded and still see the grenade that wounded him coming in.
At first the tank battalion supported the line around Pusan, but then they became a part of the huge landing at Inchon. Tank Driver Curtis Banker drove his vehicle ashore with only one boot, which still makes him laugh.
Just before his time in Korea was up, Robert Weisbrodt saw the aftermath of the North Korean retreat when his unit came upon a POW camp where they had just massacred the prisoners instead of leaving them. He remembers finding out that he was coming home.