Local view: Korean War made do with leftovers
Lest ye forget! We veterans of the Korean War do not wish to detract any honors that were earned by the World War II veterans nor the veterans of Vietnam. But we believe we veterans of the Korean War could get some recognition, too. Yes, it was a...
Lest ye forget!
We veterans of the Korean War do not wish to detract any honors that were earned by the World War II veterans nor the veterans of Vietnam. But we believe we veterans of the Korean War could get some recognition, too.
Yes, it was a war!
We have watched television news and read our News Tribunes, and it is quite apparent we are forgotten orphans.
The Korean War started when North Koreans invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. I was with the 25th Infantry Division assigned to the 65th Combat Engineers. We landed at Pusan on July 8, and along with the 24th Division, the First Cavalry Division and the 5th Regimental Combat Team, we were pushed into what was called the Pusan Perimeter, a very small area.
All of us would have done a much better job on our tour if we would have had better support from the home front.
First, an army is known to run on its stomach, and what food we had in Korea was much less than second rate. Imagine World War II K-rations that were at least 5 years old. We ate them by removing the mold from the cheese with our bayonets and soaking the crackers in what was referred to as coffee. We did have two memorable meals during my first year at Thanksgiving and at Christmas. These came about because we had a mess sergeant who cheated on the head count.
Second, we had terrible small-arms ammunition. It, too, was left over from World War II. Dud rounds were a real thrill, particularly at nighttime.
Then to top it off, our winter clothing issue was given to us in November. At least it was called "winter issue." It was very cold up north, and our clothing issue would have been better served in Kentucky or Alabama.
We cannot let these memories slip by because we were there, and we left many good men behind who never made it back. An old axiom was that if you stick with Mac, you will never get back.
We veterans of the Korean War don't ask for much, but we do wish to be included in the history of our country's conflicts. At least remember those who did not make it back.
Lawrence A. Stovern lives in Duluth.