Imjin Buddy Bunker - Page Two
Entry #2 - 11 Dec 2000.
J. C. Poe
928 Plains Drive
Junction City, Kansas 66441
E-mail: J. C. Poe
Phone (work): 785-239-9775
Phone (home): 785-238-5259
Served in Korea: 26 Sep 1951 to June 1952 in Weapons Plt, A Co, 15 Rgt, 3rd Div.The Story: After Old Baldy, 29 Sep 51, we spent the Korean winter 1951-1952 on the south bank of the Imjin River across from Little Nori with the 65th Inf on the right flank, the river running thru the line on our left flank between Able Co and Baker Co. Major Lendon P. Pearson (then Cpt) was our Company Commander until the 1st Bn moved to the POW Compound near Pusan. I was the fastest 60 mm Mortar Gunner in the Heavy Weapons Platoon (correction, in Korea) until I returned to the land of round door knobs from the POW assignment. My story is to be out on this fantastic web page created by my good friend and Korean War Veteran, if the good Lord is willing and the river don't rise too much!!!!!! J.C. Poe, Msg E-8 (Retired) good friend and fellow A.
MK note: To view the pages making up Poe's photo album and to read the stories that go with those photos, you may start with On Top of Old Baldy or with "Can Do'' Photo Album (#02) - where there is an index to all of Poe's photos and the stories that go with them.
(4 Aug 2001): Sgt Poe has now given us his memoir of his first few days in Korea - just before, during, and right after the Company A assault on part of the hill mass of Hill 487, known then to those there as "Old Baldy". Baptism of Fire is the memoir's title. MK.
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Entry #3 - 12 Dec 2000
Sonsalla, Ph. D.
E-mail: Donald Sonsalla,
Served in Korea:11/11/50 to 3/24/51 in B Co, 15th Rgt, 3rd Div.
The Story:I was in Baker Company from November 1950 to March 24, 1951, when I was wounded on Easter Egg Hill. This is a good site and I wish you luck with the development of it. Baker Company has a reunion every year. For details, please E-mail me at above E-mail address.
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Entry #4 - 12 Dec 2000
E-mail: Dick Lawrence
Served in Korea:January 16, 1952 to November, 1952, in the 4th Sqd, 2nd Plt, Co B, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story:My first full daytime patrol, with the 2nd Platoon in full strength under command of Lt. Ross Sitler, took place on Jan 29, 1952 - a day along with Feb 4 and July 31, 1952, I will never forget. On the 29th, we left our positions in the morning, moved down into the valley to the left of Kelly, proceeded toward the Breadloaf, passed Cavite, and eventually crossed the Imjin towards low-lying hills 119 and 121. We came under attack from mortars and small arms fire. A fellow who I had met at Camp Drake and came the whole route to Co. B, by the name of Lou Conde, was the point man that day. He was the first one hit. Rather than go into lengthy details at this time, I will summarize this by the following: we suffered heavy casualties and did not get back till just before dark. I was the last one to return alone as we were scattered all about. Lou Conde never returned, was listed and, to this day, is still listed as MIA and is presumed dead. MK late add-on (16 Feb 2004): I nearly forgot to tell you: that, on Lou's Page, Dick has made a remembrance of Lou Conde (#15) and recounted more fully some of the events of 29 Jan 1952 and, that Dick, on Doc's Page, also has made another fond remembrance, this one being of Deroy F. Kammerer (*23), and recounted some of the events of 31 July 1952, a date of particular importance to me. MK.
MK add-on (22 Jan 2001): Dick had found a note which I left, early last year, on some Veteran's web site. When I asked if there were any old light .30 cal. machine-gunners left around and his answer started off with, "Hell yes ... " I knew then that he was my kind of guy; and, both of us soon realized that, on 31 Jul 1952, we had spent one of the biggest days of our lives on and around the same hill in Korea. So, we started trading emails back and forth, but not much of that mail was meant to be public or will be seen here. Then, just before last Christmas, he sent me an email which I requested to publish. Today, I got the go ahead and this is it:
"Merv, (... the IBB ...)is evoking many memories of the times we shared the same small plot of ground and the names of hills which meant so much.
"About a month ago I sat down and wrote to my buddy John Fennimore the following words regarding our stint in the land of the Morning Calm so long ago:
So long ago in a far off land,
A mere speck in the world of geography,
Many of us were sent to make a stand.
Korea was its name,
Stop the spread of evil communism,
Save the free world was to be our fame.
For God and Country we fought,
Some were killed and maimed,
Vague shadowy places and fuzzy faces,
Are all that remain in our thought.
As the years advance and our end grows near,
Let us give thanks that we are still here.
(25 Jan 2001): I have posted photos furnished from Dick on a page for which he suggested a name - the 300 Pound Gorilla page. MK.
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Entry #5 - 12 Dec 2000
Served in Korea:January, 1952 - October, 1952, in the 4th Plt., Co. B, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story:They called me Papasan because I was 23 years old. Went on the line for the first time by OP Kelly. Went to the prison camp outside Pusan the end of April 1952. Then back to retake OP Kelly.
MK add-on: Yep, the day Baker Company retook Kelly was July 31, 1952. The 2nd Platoon of Able Company (including me and my trusty .30 cal light MG) was sent to Breadloaf for support fire. It was a very bad day for all; but, worse for Baker than for Able.
MK note: To see him in 1952, click Two ROKS and a Jim.
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Entry #6 - 16 Dec 2000
Served in Korea:Feb 52 to Feb 53 in G Co, I Co, and Hq 3rd Bn of 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story:I was assigned to G Co and was on Hill 355 which was first Co to right of Aussies. 355 was directly in front of Hill 317. After 106 days, we moved into reserve at Tong Du Chon (Camp Casey) and were relieved by 65th Rgt. We moved back on line in July to the right of 355. My medical
MK note: Arc has come up with a "topper" for the meal stories of Pearson, Poe, and Key posted at Pearson's Entry #11. To read it, click on 355 Meals.
To see what Arc looked like in 1952 and 2000, click on Arc and Co-Pilot.
Click onArc, Roger, and Buddies to see photos of Arc and his buddies on Hill 355 and at Camp Casey and read the tales that go with the photos. MK.
MK add-on: (19 Jun 2002) I was asked by R. H. "Pat" O'Connor (#21) to check out the web pages of a buddy under whom and with whom Pat served on "our hills" during parts of 1951 and 1952. Warren G. Reed served on and near "our hills" as CO of Company G, as S-3 of the 2nd Bn, and as Asst S-3 of the 15th Inf Rgt in the 3rd Inf Div.
The tales on Warren's website, which he named For Your Information, are well told at length and the photos there shown are great - so, your time will be well spent in giving his pages a look-see. I hope you make it back to the Imjin Buddy Bunker.
Arc also asked me to make a link to For Your Information here and I did.
In the Bunker already are two other buddies of Pat, Arc, and Warren. They are Henry H. Burke (#30) and Roger Peterson (#31). MK.
MK late add-on: (14 Mar 2003) Arc has told some Korean Stories which I advise you to read by clicking on the name of the page. Also on the page are one of Arc's most precious photos and my selection of a couple of (new to the IBB) "golden oldies" for you to hear if you want. MK.
MK late late add-on: (25 Mar 2003) Arc his prior error by allowing me to publish his Memories of War. It's his poignant recollection of what war is like to those in the front lines (what our British comrades call "the sharp end") of that war. This is a must read keeper - so, do yourself a favor by clicking on the link I just gave you. MK.
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Entry #7 - 18 Dec 2000
2110 Fulton Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35810
Phone (home): 256-852-5378
Served in Korea:10/1952 to 10/1953 in Co L 15th Inf Rgt and Hq Co 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story:In October 1952 I was assigned to Company L, 15th Inf Rgt. During my stay in the company we were on line in Chorwon Valley. I received my CIB in DEC 1952. The 15th Inf covered three outposts: "Tom" for 1st Bn, "Dick" for the 2nd Bn, and "Harry" for us, the 3rd Bn. Jackson Heights was farther to the north of outpost Harry. We conducted night patrols in the Valley and surrounding hills during the winter of 1952-53. Will have to consult my notes for finer details. I spent three days in the 44 MASH for a Sprained Ankle that occurred on line and was later transferred to HQ Co 15th till Rotation time in Oct 1953.
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Entry # 8 - 20 Dec 2000
(Gerald) Dudley Snyder
Served in Korea: KIA31 Jul 1952 (at base of Outpost Kelly) while in 4th Sqd, 2nd Plt, Co A, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story (to be added by his buddies and family):MK add-on: Please honor him by visiting Snyder's Pages and viewing a remembrance, three letters, and another link to Snyder's Photos where you will find some sad pages along with some happier pages with photos by and of "my" Snyder, the best foxhole buddy and dearest friend I had in Korea. MK.
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Entry #9 - 20 Dec 2000
William H. Grover
Served in Korea: KIA31 Jul 1952 (at the base of Outpost Kelly) while in 4th Sqd, 2nd Plt, Co A, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story: MK add-on: I have added a fond remembrance of him and a sad remembrance of the events surrounding his death on Grover's Page.
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Entry #10 - 29 Dec 2000
Arthur P. Hanks
Served in Korea: KIA 4 Feb 1952 on Outpost Kelly while Plt Sgt, 2nd Plt, Co B, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story: John Fennimore and Richard J. Lawrence have posted remembrances of him on Hanks' Page and his first cousin once removed, Randy Willis, has furnished two photos which are now on the page named Phil in Korea and at Home along with a little more of Phil's story.
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Entry # 11 - 30 Dec 2000
Pearson, Maj (ret)
Served in Korea:Company Commander of Able Company, 15th Inf Rgt, 3rd Inf Div.
The Story: His story will be told through J. C. Poe (#2), an Imjin Buddy, and maybe others. All of you who served under him or knew him are welcome to an "add-on" by emailing it to me. MK.
J. C. Poe add-on:I served in Able Company under Maj (then Cpt) Pearson during the winter of 1951-1952 on the Imjin River portion of the MLR. Maj Pearson, who is not into computer messaging, recently mailed me a story and gave his permission to tell it here for him. It's entitled:
CHRISTMAS DAY 1951
Early on the morning of 25 Dec 1951, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree was observed on Hill 117 in front of OP Nori. The tree contained several brightly wrapped gift packages. The platoon on OP Nori wanted to know if they could go out and get the gifts. My answer was no! No Able Company men were to go near the tree and orders were verbally issued to that effect. A Belgian Commander, whose Bn was in blocking position to our left rear, called on the landline and wanted to know if my company was going to get the Xmas offering the Chinese were making. My answer was no! Any Able Co men who go near the tree would be violating my orders. "That Xmas offering is a booby trap."
The Belgium Commander informed me that I did not have any Christmas spirit. The Chinese were making a Christmas peace offering. Furthermore, if I did not want to take advantage of the good will offering, could he send a detail through my lines and gather the gifts. I informed him: "Col, I will permit your men to pass through Able Co OP Nori to the tree, however, I will not send my men out to gather your dead when the tree explodes, Sir." He told me I had no Christmas spirit and his men would accept the Chinese good will gesture.
About an hour later, about 20 of his men passed thru OP Nori out to the tree. When the first package was pulled on, the entire area exploded, killing a majority of the detail and the remainder came back through OP Nori. About an hour later, a platoon from the Belgian Bn passed through OP Nori and retrieved their dead and wounded.
Actually, the story should have stopped with the dead and wounded, however it did not. Our Bn Commander, Col Hatfield, called on the landline asking could we teach the Chinese a lesson? I told him I would let him know in about 30 minutes. I got Sgt Bailey, who had been a Canadian Commando, and we came up with an idea that had a chance of working. Our 1st Bn was informed that we thought we could get revenge, but we would need a 20' 2" pipe, 50 pounds of composition 2 explosives, a pull type detonator, and a quart of axle grease.
These items were supplied; then, Sgt Bailey with 4 other men and me went out to Hill 117 that night. We filled the pole with C2, tied an American flag to the top of the pole and greased the pole with axle grease. We then sunk the pole in a 3ft hole loaded with C2 and a pull type fuse attached. The next morning approximately 20 Chinese soldiers with an officer appeared on hill 117. They tried to climb the pole to get at the flag but could not.
The Chinese officer and his men attempted to pull the pole up, killing and wounding most of the Chinese. I was glad revenge was the day after Christmas and not on Christmas Day. LPP
MK add-on: Poe was amazed that I remembered nothing of the Christmas Tree fiasco. My only excuse, except for a slight case of OLDheimer's disease, is that I, with a group of about ten replacements, had arrived at Able late in the day of that Christmas Eve, had spent a nervous and sleepless night alternating guard duty with them (just for practice, I presume, because we were all in the Company warm-up bunker), had listened attentively to Captain Pearson's orientation the next morning (that Christmas Day) with only one interruption of note (a burst of automatic weapon fire and a cry of pain not far away - but, not to worry, someone had dropped his BAR and shot himself in the leg) while the Cpt pointed out where the Chinese were, AND had been led to the machine gun bunker to which I had been assigned, only to find my future foxhole buddies were all sound asleep while snow was amassed atop the machine gun. That last event made me relax a little bit.
Cpt/Maj Pearson has more great stories to tell and Poe and I have gotten some of them posted other than in the "Can Do" Photo Album. One tale is named The Lighter Side of Front Line Duty and that's what it's about. That page is a link to the (slow loading) Letter of 28 Nov 2000 to Poe which has even more tales and deserves a read too. MK.
MK late add-on (22 Oct 2002):Along the way Cpt/Maj Pearson has told yet more great tales. They are now in the "Can Do" Photo Album along with some great photos, including one of all the Co A officers in the winter of 1951-1952. The first one is Christmas Dinner 1951 and it continues the tale about that 1951 Christmas Day. MK.
MK late late add-on (30 Apr 2003): I just received a "sad news" email relayed to me by J. C. Poe (#2). The news was very sad for J. C., me, and, I am sure, all of our buddies who were in Company A/15/3. Here is the email message J. C. relayed to me:
Dear Mr. J.C. Poe,
I came across a hand written note from dad telling me to contact you if he should pass on.
My dad passed away March 27th while at home with his family surrounding him! What a good and brave soldier he was all his life!
Should you want to contact us, please feel free to do so. 830-899-4400.
God bless you.
The Lendon Pearson Family:
Bill & Rosemary Burkhardt
P.G & Chenyl Pearson
Bill & Lenesa Pearson
2831 Lakeview Drive
Canyon Lake, Texas 78133
Here is a flame lit in remembrance of our Captain while we were "camping" along the Imjin River during the winter of 1951-1952.
I also noted the sad news on the IBB Last Man Club page. MK.
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Entry #12 - 1 Jan 2001
Milton Vernon Crouch
Served in Korea: KIA 4 Feb 1952 on OP Kelly while in in the 2nd Plt, Co B, 15th Inf Rgt.
The Story: John Fennimore has posted a fond remembrance of him on Crouch's Page.
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