During the Korean war, my Grandfather served as a combat engineer from early August 1950 to 18 January 1951 with the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, US 2nd Infantry Division. He was in the thick of the fighting during the defence of the Pusan Perimeter – where he was wounded by shrapnel – participated in the advance into North Korea, fought against the Chinese at Kuni-Ri and took part in the withdrawal back to South Korea, where his team destroyed the last Bridge over the Han River in the 2nd Infantry Division sector. In early 1951, the equivalent of a whole North Korean Division had infiltrated through South Korean lines behind the 2nd Infantry Division. His squad was ambushed by one such North Korean unit and my Grandfather was the only survivor. Severely wounded, he evaded capture and was rescued the next day. He went on to serve another 6 years in the US Army, ending his career as a Master Sergeant.
One of the more humorous stories he talked about is that, which is portrayed in this little Vignette and described on the back of the base:
One day we were allocated a beer ration and we got more than enough beer for all of us, three cans each. But before we could drink it, we were ordered to attack a hill. Witaker and I took an empty box that was laying around, put the beer in it and we each held a handle and our weapons in the other hand. We ran up that hill, firing until the clip was empty, went down in the grass to reload and continued like that until we reached the top. I don‘t think there were any North Koreans on the hill but we wouldn‘t have hit anything anyway. But we still had the beer!