Now THAT'S Cold.

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Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Tim Terrell » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:56 am

I'm reading "Retreat Hell! We're Just attacking in Another Direction" The Epic Story of the 1st Marines in Korea. (By Jim Wilson)

Many wounded lived because their blood froze and kept them from bleeding out-- Marines urinated on their BARS, machine guns and M1's to keep the actions from freezing in the cold. But it was this entry that really got me...
---------------------------
"Saunchegrow's (Cpl. Don Saunchegrow, 1st Marines was driving a ton-and-a-half personnel carrier with 25 British Commandos in the back) section of the convoy was getting hit pretty hard. Every time they stopped, mortar shells fell on them. A few trucks carrying Army troops had been hit and were on fire. Soon the convoy came to a halt again, and eased off to the side of the road. Minutes later, several tanks roared by, heading to the front, where the heaviest fighting seemed to be.
Saunchegrow spotted a long line of Chinese crouched in a ditch along the road off in the distance, waiting for the convoy to pass. Their arms were in position to hold a rife, but none had a weapon. They were frozen.
"Apparently, somebody had come by and taken their rifles after they froze," Saunchegrow said. "There was a long row of them. God, it must have been a mile. Covered with ice and snow. All frozen."
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby sthwht24 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:13 pm

That is wild like I can’t even imagine.

I’m certainly no expert on any of the old wars but Korea is easily the one I am least familiar with- that needs change.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rat Creek » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:22 pm

My father served in Korea and described it as the coldest he has ever been.... up and until he ran an NCO club the rest of the war. :thumbsup:

Our side suffered, but nothing like the soulless and evil communists inflicted upon their troops. I have heard the telling of the lines of North Korean and Chinese soldiers frozen to death, and my father relayed events where wave after wave of enemy charged at them. Many of the enemy were unarmed until they got to a fallen enemy soldier, and then the enemy would pick up the weapon of the fallen soldier and continue the charge. It was not bravery, it was suicide because if they did not, they would meet a worse death at the hands of their officers. :sad:

My father described to me that while they were away from the front and living in tents during the winter that when it came time to sleep, they put on every piece of clothing they had, then they zipped their sleeping bags up completely and breathed through a small slit they cut in their bags. :no: No thank you, but thank you to the vets who endured it. :thumbsup:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:50 pm

The fellow that introduced Dad and I to duck hunting was from Minnesota but also served in Korea.
He said it was the coldest he ever endured in his life.
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Boatman » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:01 pm

I lost my Uncle there, that sucks.I still go to his grave site to thank him, and my grandparents and my mother who are beside him, for my freedom.

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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Tim Terrell » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:59 pm

"The ground was frozen to a depth of about fourteen inches, which made digging in close to impossible. Barbed wire couldn't be strung effectively. The ground was too hard. So they strung wire through piles of bricks, then poured water on them to freeze the wire in place.
Water was always a problem. Trailers froze during the brief time it took to get from the water point to the company area. Canteens burst. Barrett's men had hotcakes for breakfast one morning but it was so cold the syrup, although boiling when served, turned to ice before they finished eating. Mess gear could not be cleaned.
Fuel oil for stoves in the warming tents froze. To prevent this you had to keep the fuel cans within 3 feet of the stove. Automatic weapons worked at half their capacity. Bolts froze. When a round was fired, the heat generated moisture in the chamber that promptly froze, preventing the next round from entering the chamber.
Grenades would not explode, or the timing would be off. Propelling charges in mortar rounds were off, resulting in many short rounds and many casualties to marines in their holes. The cold affected the powder charges in artillery shells, making it very difficult to get really accurate fire.
The clothing worn by many marines was designed for use at temperatures down to zero, but most of the time the weather around the (Chosin) Reservoir, at Yudam-ni, Hagaru, and Koto-ri, was many degrees below zero. (One night recorded a low of -40 degrees!)
Their shoes were disastrous. Only an evil person could have devised something so deadly to the feet. They were airtight, and when you walked any distance, they generated much moisture which very quickly froze."
--Lt. R.L. Barrett, Jr-- 1st platoon, H Company 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:32 pm

Tim Terrell wrote:Propelling charges in mortar rounds were off, resulting in many short rounds and many casualties to marines in their holes...


Until reading that, I'd always thought of a "short round" as a machine gun round that's improperly seated in its belt, which results in a jam. Just another example of how we, or at least I, tend to filter thing through our/my own narrow experience.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Mike the Fox » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:48 pm

Good thread. I’ve never seen or read much about Korean War. Very interesting.


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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:06 pm

The more I read, the more I hear, the more I learn about war veterans, the more admiration, respect and gratitude I have for what they have done for me and my freedom.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Mike the Fox » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:53 pm

Agreed. [emoji631]


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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby HNTFSH » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:53 pm

Well said. Many of us take way too much for granted in our daily lives.

Dad was USCG and in Korea under the shifting Navy/USCG agenda initiative during the conflict/war. He was proud of that and the Army time. Proud of the service, the branches, and the men he served with.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Tim Terrell » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:02 pm

My Dad was a Korean War veteran, but he was not at Chosin Reservoir. He was 1st Cav, 82nd Field Artillery/HQ. He started out as signals, running communications wire since he was a lineman for Indiana Bell Telephone when drafted. He finally got the chance to drive a jeep for the Colonel. Looking for the break and splicing a cut commo-wire was a good way to get yourself killed. Enemy loved to cut the wires and wait to ambush the 'repairmen.
He told me of doing guard duty between the lions that guard the entrance to the Capital building in downtown Seoul. The Colonel had them set-up their howitzer 'tubes to fire over the walls of the compound. He told them they were not giving another inch. Seoul changed hands a couple times and there wasn't much left by then. Dad said he wrote his name in the inside of the dome in the top of the Capital building. I wonder if it's still there?
He talked as though he never saw close combat being with an artillery unit, but he said he remembered seeing rows of dead GIs. What caught his eye was the fact they hadn't been 'in-country' long enough to get their new field-jackets dirty before they were KIA.
Dad showed me a picture of his high school classroom once-- and pointed out all the boys that enlisted and/or were drafted and sent to Korea. And their fates. More than a few never came home.
Dad was able to do the 'Honor Flight' to Washington DC before he passed in 2016-- the 'walking platoon' monument to the Korean War veterans is absolutely haunting. Never forget.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rat Creek » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:57 am

A little on the lighter side of things.

When my father was drafted, he was sent to Ft. Leonard Wood (MO). After going through demolitions training, he decided serving state side seemed like a good idea and applied for the company clerk position. He practiced typing at nighttime and ended up with the job. He described his commanding officer (CO)as the typical guy who just signed everything that came across his desk without reading it. :yes:

By happenstance, he ran into a returning soldier he knew from home. The guy was worn out and ready to go home, but after all of his service in Korea, was still a Private. My father thought what a disservice it was that these guys would be going home to their families at the same lowest rank, after risking it all in a foreign land. :no:

Being young and dumb, these longtime acquaintances concocted the idea to have the CO sign a promotion making this guy either a corporal or sergeant (I don’t remember). Now, my father was not pure in this as the guy also gave my father a few bucks for the deed. And it worked as planned. :beer:

Following that, the word got out, and as my father saw other Privates returning from frontline duty, he offered up this service. And business was good for a while,,, too good, until Army auditors noticed an uncharacteristically high number of promotions coming from the one commanding officer. :eek:

And it hit the fan, big time. :eek: :eek: :eek: The CO was knocked down a full rank and relieved of his duty at Ft. Leonard Wood, and given the choice to Court Martial his company clerk or send him to Korea. :help: The CO stated he wanted him dead and sent him not just to Korea, but to the frontline. :hi:

First stop was San Francisco where my father managed to get beat up badly by two Airmen outside a bar. That delayed the trip to Korea by two weeks in the hospital. He carried the split lip and scar above his eye as lifetime reminder of that bad choice. :oops:

Soon after arriving in Korea, Two MPs literally drove him in the back of a jeep to a unit preparing to return to action at the front. :eek:

After several months with this unit, happenstance occurred again when he “heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend” that the guy who was running the NCO club was done in Korea and was shipping back. This guy recommended my father to the CO and somehow he finagle his way into running the Club for the remainder of his time. Said all in all, it was the time of his life... for a 19-21 year old. :yes:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:19 am

Running one of the clubs is a great way to give yourself a heck of a bonus. Even better than supply sgt.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rat Creek » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:37 am

Rick Hall wrote:Running one of the clubs is a great way to give yourself a heck of a bonus. Even better than supply sgt.


That's what it sounded like. :thumbsup: Said he would bribe Airmen with booze to bring essentials back from Seoul. Essentials meaning craps and blackjack tables, slot machines and even a piano. :beer:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:50 am

Rat Creek wrote:A little on the lighter side of things.

When my father was drafted, he was sent to Ft. Leonard Wood (MO). After going through demolitions training, he decided serving state side seemed like a good idea and applied for the company clerk position. He practiced typing at nighttime and ended up with the job. He described his commanding officer (CO)as the typical guy who just signed everything that came across his desk without reading it. :yes:

By happenstance, he ran into a returning soldier he knew from home. The guy was worn out and ready to go home, but after all of his service in Korea, was still a Private. My father thought what a disservice it was that these guys would be going home to their families at the same lowest rank, after risking it all in a foreign land. :no:

Being young and dumb, these longtime acquaintances concocted the idea to have the CO sign a promotion making this guy either a corporal or sergeant (I don’t remember). Now, my father was not pure in this as the guy also gave my father a few bucks for the deed. And it worked as planned. :beer:

Following that, the word got out, and as my father saw other Privates returning from frontline duty, he offered up this service. And business was good for a while,,, too good, until Army auditors noticed an uncharacteristically high number of promotions coming from the one commanding officer. :eek:

And it hit the fan, big time. :eek: :eek: :eek: The CO was knocked down a full rank and relieved of his duty at Ft. Leonard Wood, and given the choice to Court Martial his company clerk or send him to Korea. :help: The CO stated he wanted him dead and sent him not just to Korea, but to the frontline. :hi:

First stop was San Francisco where my father managed to get beat up badly by two Airmen outside a bar. That delayed the trip to Korea by two weeks in the hospital. He carried the split lip and scar above his eye as lifetime reminder of that bad choice. :oops:

Soon after arriving in Korea, Two MPs literally drove him in the back of a jeep to a unit preparing to return to action at the front. :eek:

After several months with this unit, happenstance occurred again when he “heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend” that the guy who was running the NCO club was done in Korea and was shipping back. This guy recommended my father to the CO and somehow he finagle his way into running the Club for the remainder of his time. Said all in all, it was the time of his life... for a 19-21 year old. :yes:


Cool story! :beer:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:57 am

My uncle served in the Korean war with the USMC. This uncle lived in Florida, so I didn't see him very often and when I did, he never talked about the war. I asked my dad about his brother's experiences in Korea and my dad said he would generally change the subject and chose not to talk about it much. My experience is that most war veterans don't talk much about it. There is a guy in his mid 90s that lives down the street from me with his daughter and son in law that flew 3 missions on D-day. I've chatted with this guy several times and never knew this about him until his daughter called and asked if I could help them move a piano into their basement. The walls in one room were covered with medals and other WWII items. I asked about it and his daughter told me about his service. Not many of these guys left and I can only imagine the stories these guys could tell.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Rat Creek » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:50 am

Some do not want to talk about it because they are trying to forget, but my experience is many are just good and humble veterans who see it as just doing their job, thus want no fanfare.

Most people never realized my father served in Korea. He never brought it up, but if someone else did, he had no issue with sharing his experiences and asking about their experiences if they were also vets. He was able to compartmentalize it as just something that happened, some of it bad, some of it good and some of it exciting, but most of it boring.

On the other hand, my father's uncle was some kind of special forces commando in WWII. I was really young when I would see him at family gatherings (Christmas usually) and he always struck me as a troubled and dark fellow. :sad:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:59 pm

Rat Creek wrote:Some do not want to talk about it because they are trying to forget, but my experience is many are just good and humble veterans who see it as just doing their job, thus want no fanfare.

Most people never realized my father served in Korea. He never brought it up, but if someone else did, he had no issue with sharing his experiences and asking about their experiences if they were also vets. He was able to compartmentalize it as just something that happened, some of it bad, some of it good and some of it exciting, but most of it boring.

On the other hand, my father's uncle was some kind of special forces commando in WWII. I was really young when I would see him at family gatherings (Christmas usually) and he always struck me as a troubled and dark fellow. :sad:


Having had some interaction with those suffering from PTSD, I can't even begin to imagine the nightmarish chit some of these war vets have seen and experienced. Those guys and gals are national treasures.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Mike the Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:17 pm

Every fall I guide for a close friend and outfitter. His operation caters to many veterans. Mostly younger guys who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the guys don’t talk much about their experiences to the staff but later in the evenings after a couple beers they tend to group up and the stories start flowing between them. It seems easier to open up to others who can understand what they have been through.


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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Mike the Fox » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:21 pm

https://youtu.be/hf-2p4QWyzk

Hope that link works. I’m proud to call Adam my friend. Anytime I’m having a bad day I think about him. If his story doesn’t recharge you batteries...I don’t know what will.


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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:22 pm

Mike the Fox wrote:https://youtu.be/hf-2p4QWyzk

Hope that link works. I’m proud to call Adam my friend. Anytime I’m having a bad day I think about him. If his story doesn’t recharge you batteries...I don’t know what will.


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Hell yeah, Adam! I got choked up watching this as he described the loss of his daughter and divorce. Adam is a great example of overcoming adversity and a testament to the American spirit!

Thanks for sharing the video, Mike. :beer:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:39 pm

X2! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby SpinnerMan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:29 am

Locked&Loaded wrote:
Rat Creek wrote:Some do not want to talk about it because they are trying to forget, but my experience is many are just good and humble veterans who see it as just doing their job, thus want no fanfare.

Most people never realized my father served in Korea. He never brought it up, but if someone else did, he had no issue with sharing his experiences and asking about their experiences if they were also vets. He was able to compartmentalize it as just something that happened, some of it bad, some of it good and some of it exciting, but most of it boring.

On the other hand, my father's uncle was some kind of special forces commando in WWII. I was really young when I would see him at family gatherings (Christmas usually) and he always struck me as a troubled and dark fellow. :sad:


Having had some interaction with those suffering from PTSD, I can't even begin to imagine the nightmarish chit some of these war vets have seen and experienced. Those guys and gals are national treasures.

It wasn't Korea, but my grandfather went through hell in Europe. All I knew from him of his service was he trout fished while there. While on guard duty, pulled his weapon on a drunk officer returning after dark that didn't know the pass phrase that was trying to force his way in. Sent Reussian POWs back to Russia that didn't want to go because of fear if what would happen because they were captured. And he enjoyed being in Greenland.

After he passed, my father (his son-in-law) told us how my grandfather told him about the hell of having to help clean up the concentration camps. My father seems to be the only one he ever told. When my parents passed, they had his discharge papers. It said he was in the European Theater of Operation long before he said that he was. It makes me wonder if there was more hell that he never shared. Not that he needed to share. It does seem to explain a lot about him that seemed contradictory.
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Re: Now THAT'S Cold.

Postby sthwht24 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:41 am

Great thread, really enjoy the stories.
I see Tim Terrell quoted “Retreat Hell...” in his first post, does anybody have any additional recommendations as far as books or good documentaries on Korea?
I’ve watched most everything Netflix has on WW2 and listened to several episodes of a podcast series. Read a couple books on Civil War & Gettysburg, but like I said I am sadly ignorant on all things Korea.
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