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Library of Congress

Military Quotes

Go forward until the last round is fired and the last drop of gas is expended...then go forward on foot!

-- General George Patton Jr
Fuel Run7809 Reads  Printer-friendly page

Korea Herb and I always had the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 loaded with 18 drums of gasoline. We took it to where they told us to. We'd hang around the CP. When we heard there was a fire fight up front we knew that the medics would need the gas for the meat wagons. So that's where we'd go. We called our truck a mobile POL dump. I guess that described it pretty well. We were on the spearhead towards Pyongyang.

We got apart from the column and settled down for the night. We had with us a 3/4 ton truck mounted with quad 5O's. I set up my cot and dozed off. About 4 am the motor sgt. rousted us out. There was a tank that got ahead of the column and was out of gas.

Herb and I checked the map and saddled up. On the way up the shell pocked road we could smell the fire. Stronger than the smell of cordite and burning flesh that was always around us. It was the village up ahead completely enveloped in flames. Herb gunned it. I held on to the ring mount as we bounced through the conflagration. When I looked up there was no sky. It was a sheet of flames. As we dodged shell holes I thought of the leaky drums of gasoline right behind me. We finally got to the other side of town and away from the fire.

Dawn was starting to break. We came upon an MP road block. "Hey, you guys," they yelled, " are you nuts? you don't know what's out there." They had a point but we pushed on. The road was smoother now, a little elevated with rice paddies on each side. There was a small hill ahead.

As we rounded the hill we saw the tank. Pulling up along side, I jumped on the deck and helped Herb get the drum on the tank. We fastened the spout and tipped the drum. The gas flowed into the tank. The crew kept watch while we filled the tank.

When we were finished and slowly driving away, we could see the turret of the tank slowly rotating It dawned on Herby and me that we were way in front of our lines. Time to scoot back.

When we arrived at our encampment the whole area was in disarray. The tires on the 3/4 ton were flattened. The windshield was shattered by bullets. The bodies of at least ten North Koreans lay on the ground. Evidently, after Herb and I left, an enemy patrol stumbled on our camp and turned their patrol into a Banzai attack. We didn't loose a single guy. The quad 50 on the 3/4 ton took care of the shooting and slashing North Koreans. The motor sgt. came over to me and told me to look at my cot. It was slashed through the middle. He laughed as he said, "And you griped about being sent out early in the morning."

Note: by George Wegener


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