Korean War

The Tootsie Roll Marines

The Tootsie Roll Marines

On November 26, 1950, 10,000 men of the First Marine Division, along with elements of two Army regimental combat teams, a detachment of British Royal Marine commandos and some South Korean policemen were completely surrounded by over ten divisions of Chinese troops in rugged mountains near the Chosin Reservoir. Chairman Mao himself had ordered the Marines annihilated, and Chinese General Song Shi-Lun gave it his best shot, throwing human waves of his 120,000 soldiers against the heavily outnumbered Allied forces. A massive cold front blew in from Siberia, and with it, the coldest winter in recorded Korean history. For the encircled allies at the Chosin Reservoir, daytime temperatures averaged five degrees below zero, while nights plunged to minus 35 and lower. Jeep batteries froze and split. C-rations ran dangerously low and the cans were frozen solid. Fuel could not be spared to thaw them. If truck engines stopped, their fuel lines froze. Automatic weapons wouldn't cycle. Morphine...

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1LT James Earl Jones, U.S. Army (1953-1955)

1LT James Earl Jones, U.S. Army (1953-1955)

Before gaining fame as the iconic voice behind Darth Vader in 'Star Wars,' James Earl Jones had a significant chapter in his life. During his youth, Jones responded to his country's call and served in the United States Army during the Korean War. His military experience profoundly influenced his character and laid the foundation for his exceptional journey in the entertainment industry. James Earl Jones’s Early Years James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931, in Arkabutla, Mississippi. His father, Robert Earl Jones, a boxer and actor, was largely absent from his life growing up. At an early age, Jones was raised by his maternal grandparents on their farm in Michigan. He is of Irish, Cherokee and African descent. Jones developed a severe stutter in childhood, which left him terribly self-conscious and shy around other children. He refused to speak in school until a teacher helped him out of his silence during his high school years. "I had a great English teacher who believed in...

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Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Lt. Russell J. Brown, U.S. Air Force (1948-1955)

Jet fighters first made an appearance in the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but the technology had come a long way by the time the Korean War started in 1950. At first, the North Korean air forces were flying Soviet-built propeller-driven fighters, and the United States forces were flying American-made P-51 Mustangs and Vought F4U Corsairs. As the war dragged on, both sides got substantial upgrades.  When the Korean People's Air Force started flying the MiG-15, it was clear that the propeller fighters were outmatched by Soviet-built aircraft and Soviet-trained Chinese and North Korean pilots. MiG-15s were very good at intercepting B-29 Superfortress bombers and engaging their fighter escorts. They wreaked havoc on prop fighters. They were faster and more numerous than anything the United Nations forces could muster.  While the F-86 Sabre was sent to Korea to counter the growing MiG-15 threat, they would not arrive until December 1950. Until then, the U.S. Air Force...

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Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

Korean War – The Pusan Perimeter

In the early days of the Korean War, things looked pretty bleak for the American and South Korean forces in the Korean Peninsula. The sudden Communist advance across the 38th parallel took the allies by complete surprise, and despite stiff resistance, North Korean troops almost pushed the U.S. and South Korea into the Sea of Japan. Those defenders fell back into a 140-mile battle line around the port city of Pusan (now Busan) at the southeastern tip of the peninsula. They determined that this Pusan Perimeter would be their last stand until they were either relieved or overrun.  For six weeks, the Americans and South Koreans held out until reinforcements could be brought en masse. After landing a large force in the North Korean rear at Incheon, the besieged troops inside the perimeter broke out of the line and sent the Communists scrambling back to the North Korean border - and beyond.  Logistics in the Battle of Pusan Perimeter On June 25, 1950, North Korea decided to...

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The Dark Side of Glory by Richard McMahon

The Dark Side of Glory by Richard McMahon

In this page-turning suspense novel, Richard McMahon expertly switches between two settings and time periods, the earlier being the Korean War and the current a who-done-it mystery in a world of surprises where nothing is as it seems. The book opens in the present time (the early 1970s) as Biographer Matthew Clark is asked by Miriam Coursen to write a biography of her deceased husband, U.S. Army Major General Philip Coursen, a highly decorated Army officer. When Clark agrees to write the biography of General Coursen, he has no idea the layers of deceit and deception he'll uncover, not to mention a brutal covered-up murder, a secret mistress, an abandoned illegitimate daughter, and a tragic love. Nor does he realize his own life will be forever changed in the process. The story is principally told through the lives of five characters: Philip Coursen, who appears at first to be the perfect Army officer, but who seems to have an increasingly mysterious dark side; Miriam Coursen, equally...

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The Last Stand Of The Glorious Glosters

The Last Stand Of The Glorious Glosters

By April 1951, the Korean War had raged for nearly a year. The initial assault by North Korea into separate South Korea had been driven back to the 38th parallel - the border between the two nations. The North, aided by Chinese soldiers and Soviet resources, was still intent on conquering the South. United Nations troops, predominantly American but including forces from elsewhere in the world, were protecting the South. The Communist Army had been weakened by supply problems over the winter, but by March they had recovered and been reinforced. As UN troops under General Ridgway pushed north in the center, the Communists massed to attack in the west, where UN troops were deployed in defensive positions along the Imjin River. This stretch of the UN line was held primarily by the British 29th Brigade, led by Brigadier Brodie. Belgian forces guarded their right flank. With the majority of UN troops concentrated for Ridgway's advance, Brodie's forces were thinly spread. His four...

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SFC Ronald Rosser, U.S. Army  (1946-1962) – Medal of Honor Recipient

SFC Ronald Rosser, U.S. Army (1946-1962) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Medal of Honor Recipient Ronald Rosser passed away on Wednesday Aug 26, 2020 in Bumpus Mills, Tenessee at the age of 90 from issues related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was awarded the medal for his bravery during the Korean War. Ronald Rosser was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1929. His father was a coal miner. When he turned 17, his mother gave birth to twins. He decided there wasn't enough room for him at home, so he followed his brother into the military in 1946. He served for three years and was a part of the occupations of Japan and Germany after World War II. When he left the Army, he returned home to work in the coal mines alongside his father. Rosser's younger brother, Richard, was killed in action during the Korean War. Rosser re-enlisted out of a sense of vengeance. "…I made up my mind that you can't kill my brother and get away with it," he said. Ronald Rosser's Service in the Korean War During the war, his platoon was charged with capturing a hill from the Chinese and...

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SSgt John (Johnny) R. Cash, U.S. Air Force (1950-1954)

SSgt John (Johnny) R. Cash, U.S. Air Force (1950-1954)

Johnny Cash, also known as the "Man in Black," is a legendary figure in the world of country music. He received numerous prestigious awards throughout his career as a musician. He won 15 Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996. Cash's contributions to American music also earned him inductions into several other halls of fame, including the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. But before he became a music icon, he served his country in the military. Cash's military service played a significant role in shaping his character and influencing his music. Although his time in the military was relatively brief, it had a profound impact on his life and career.  Johnny Cash’s Early Life The legend who would become Johnny Cash was born in 1932 into the Cash family of poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas. Known simply as J.R. growing up, Cash grew up in a government resettlement...

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PV2 Robert Duvall, U.S. Army (1953 – 1954)

PV2 Robert Duvall, U.S. Army (1953 – 1954)

Robert Duvall is best known for his 70-plus years in Hollywood, playing such iconic military roles as Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in "Apocalypse Now," Maj. Frank Burns in "M*A*S*H" and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the TV miniseries "Ike: The War Years." But did you know that before his acting career took off, Robert Duvall served in the Army, shortly after the end of the Korean War?  Robert Duvall’s Early Life Actor and filmmaker Robert Duvall was born in San Diego, but grew up a Navy brat — an endearing term for a child whose parent is on active military duty. Duvall's father was Navy Rear Admiral William Howard Duvall. His tenure included the time of the Tailhook scandal; he and Rear Admiral John E. Gordon were tasked with conducting the investigation. Robert Duvall’s mother was a relative of American Civil War General Robert E. Lee, and a member of the Lee Family of Virginia, while his father was a descendant of settler Mareen Duvall. Admiral Duvall wanted young Robert to attend...

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Sergeant Reckless: America’s War Horse

Sergeant Reckless: America’s War Horse

The young filly showed great promise every time she ran a race. Many believed she would be a prize winner. But she never got the chance. In June 1950, North Korean troops stormed across the border between South Korea in a surprise attack that changed life on the Korean Peninsula. It also brought the sport of horseracing to a standstill. With no races to run, owning racehorses became a financial liability for their owners. Like many others, she was abandoned at the Seoul racetrack. A young Korean stable boy named Kim Huk Moon took overfeeding, watering and grooming her. Why Did Kim Sell His Horse? In October 1952 some U.S. Marines from the 5th Marines' Anti-Tank Company's Recoilless Rifle Platoon discovered the young filly and decided she'd be valuable for carrying supplies into combat. The platoon leader, Lt. Eric Pederson, paid $250 of his own money to buy her. The only reason Kim sold his beloved horse was so he could buy an artificial leg for his older sister, Chung Soon, who lost...

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Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

Lt Gen Lewis “Chesty” Puller, U.S.Marine Corps (1919-1955)

"Lewis Burwell ' Chesty' Puller, born in the 19th century, fought in the heaviest fighting of the 20th century and is now a legend in this century. The most decorated Marine to ever wear the uniform, and also the most beloved, Puller left a mark on the Marine Corps that would define its culture for years to come." - Michael Lane Smith Biography of Lewis "Chesty" Puller The son of a grocer, Lewis "Chesty" Puller was born June 26, 1898, at West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller. He loved hunting and fishing and was a military history buff who grew up listening to old veterans' tales of the American Civil War and idolizing Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. He was forced to help support his family after his father's death when he was ten. Puller attempted to join the U.S. Army in 1916 to take part in the Punitive Expedition to capture Mexican leader Pancho Villa, but he was too young and his mother refuses to grant parental consent. In 1917, he followed his martial interest to...

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Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Ola Lee Mize was born August 28, 1931, in Albertville, Alabama as the son of a sharecropper. He was forced to leave school after just the ninth grade to help his family put food on the table, as was very common throughout the United States in that era. Mize's Military Service Mize tried several times to enlist in the Army but was rejected for being too light at just 120 pounds. He finally got in when his mother signed an affidavit to affirm his age since a tornado had destroyed all his town's records while he was young. But once in the Army, a bigger problem was looming. Mize was virtually blind in one eye, which had been accidentally pierced with an ice pick when he was five years old. The vision exam for the Army at that time involved holding a paddle over one eye and looking at the chart with the other. He passed the test by briskly switching paddles in a way that made it look as if he was switching eyes. He had practiced this bit of subterfuge with spoons beforehand. Ola Lee Mize...

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