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Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.-- Ernest Miller Hemmingway
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I, with about five hundred other prisoners of war, arrived at Elmira about the first of August, 1864, after a confinement of forty five days at Point Lookout. I spent the first day in a thorough examination of my new abode, and its advantages as a home until fortune would release me from its durance. It contained several acres of ground, enclosed by a plank fence about fourteen feet high; some three feet from the top on the outside ran a narrow footway, or parapet, of plank, supported by braces.
It was January 28, 1951. I had been with my platoon for five days. The platoon leader, Lieutenant Mitchell, called us into his hut and informed us that we would be going on a motorized patrol the next day. He emphasized that it would be dangerous since a patrol had gone into the same region on the 28th without finding the enemy.
The following is a summation of my recollections of the Korean War while stationed at Kimpo Air Force Base. I was assigned as a radio man to the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron a photo reconnaissance squadron. The squadron flew the World War II P-51's which were actually designated RF-51 (Reconnaissance Fighter) but we always referred to them as P-51's or Mustangs.
We have been stationed about 5-6 miles off the coast of Vietnam. Our job is to repair the river patrol boats. They would tow, push, shove or sometimes just putt their way out to us for repair. We keep seeing the same patrol boats and repair them, send them back, repair them, send them back.
I should have mentioned that it was Lieut. A.S.Miller whose company caught most of the bombs, and from what I learned later, Sandy Miller behaved like the little gentleman he was.
First of all, let me say that Tony White was a first class doctor and man. When the 5th Battalion went to Vietnam on its first tour; the average Company Medic was ill trained and poorly equipped, especially by American standards. The training received at the School of Army Health was very basic, and involved more about how to work in a hospital ward than how to treat casualties.
I was flying C&C for an operation in lower III Corps, near the end of the Plain of Reeds, actually further SE, near the Thumb and the Testicles, if you know the area. Our Company XO, a fairly new Captain and aviator and a great guy, was my PP.
The keel of the most famous vessel of modern times was laid in the shipyard of Thomas F. Rowland, at Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in October, 1861, and on the 30th of January, 1862, the novel craft was launched. On the 25th of February she was commissioned and turned over to the Government, and nine days later left New York for Hampton Roads, where, on the 9th of March, occurred the memorable contest with the Virginia.
The day first of July, at six o'clock in the morning, the enemy army main force commanded by General Shafter, composed at least of 15,000 men, with plenty of modern artillery, without counting the insurrects groups, attacked the lines of the city towards the East and Northeast, that is, El Caney, defended by General Vara de Rey with 520 men and two Plasencia type guns and the position of San Juan, occupied by two companies of 250 soldiers.
It began with a bit of a buzz over the mortaring the night before and the normal scuttle butt as information slowly emerged as to damage and casualties. Willie and I where a bit hung over we had a party in our tent the night before when the mess closed, and had a few over the prescribed 2 cans per day (so did the company HQ radio ops who where with us).
July 18th 1918 Dear Mother, Well there has been great activity in the line of warfare since my last letter. I never realized before that destruction of material things as well as human life could possibly occur in a few hours. Just a few days ago we witnessed the greatest artillery fire, and also its effect, since the war began.
United States' Frigate Constitution, off Boston Light, 30 August 1812.
I have the honour to inform you, that on the 19th instant, at 2 PM being in latitude 41, 42, longitude 55, 48, with the CONSTITUTION under my command, a sail was discovered from the mast-head bearing E. by S. or E.S.E. but at such a distance we could not tell what she was. All sail was instantly made in chase, and soon found we came up with her.
The year was 1967. We frequently received incoming RPG or mortars rounds at Cu Chi, RVN. The siren would go off, we would suddenly hear the 'plump - plump' of mortars or the flittering noise of the RPGs followed by their exposion and we would charge off to hit the bunkers.
I was stationed at Albuquerque, New Mexico, as paymaster in the United States army when the war-cloud appeared in the East. Officers of the Northern and Southern States were anxious to see the portending storm pass by or disperse, and on many occasions we, too, were assured, by those who claimed to look into the future, that the statesman would yet show himself equal to the occasion, and restore confidence among the people.
I don’t know if those of you that were in Viet Nam during the war remember the custom of poc time. If you remember, this will be a refresher. If you never heard of poc time, well it’s time you learn about this Vietnamese tradition. What follows are my observations based on my brief time in country.
Note: by Robert D. Pryor, Detachment A-344, 5th Special Forces Group (ABN) First Special Forces. 6014 Reads
1861: Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, 50 year-veteran and leader of the U.S. Army at the onset of the Civil War, retires. General George McClellan is appointed general-in-chief of the Union armies.
1911: Italian planes perform the first aerial bombing on Tanguira oasis in Libya.
1941: President Roosevelt announces that the U.S. Coast Guard will now be under the direction of the U.S. Navy.
1943: American troops invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
1950: The 24th Infantry Divisions 21st Infantry Regiment achieved the northernmost progress of any U.S. ground unit in Eighth Army as it captured the village of Chonggo-do only 18 miles from Sinuiju on the Yalu River.
1950: The 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, began movement from the port of Hamung on the east coast to the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir 56 miles to the northeast.
1950: MiG-15 jet fighters made their first appearance during the Korean War as they flew along the Yalu River to contest the Fifth Air Forces then complete dominance of the skies over North Korea.
1950: Admiral Struble disbanded Task Force 7, the Inchon Invasion force.
1950: The 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division became the first U.S. unit to engage the Chinese in major ground combat when its 3rd Battalion was overrun at Unsan and suffered 600 killed or captured out of a strength of 800.
1951: The Algerian National Liberation Front begins guerrilla warfare against the French.