8104th Theater Headquarters

Photo by Hal Barker

4 Messages

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Entry: 68718
Subject: 8104 1954 TO 1956

Vito Colonna wrote on January 17, 2009

City and State: MONTEBELLO CA

Unit: 8104TH

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Thank all of you guys for serving with me. You're the best!

Keywords: Basketball team manager Vito Colonna

Entry: 61510

Benjamin Budowsky wrote on July 3, 2007

City and State: NO MIAMI BEACH FL

Unit: 8104TH AU

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: I arrived in Okinawa in Nov of 1954; I left for home and separation from service in Jun 1955. Some of the names I recall:
Tom Melton
Gene Budroot (deceased)
Larry Hayes
Vito Colonna
I would love to write ( and perhaps visit) to others who remember me

Keywords: Nickname is Ben or Bernie

Entry: 35059

Erasmo F. Valdes wrote on June 23, 2003

Email Update Needed

City and State: EAST BRANCH NY


Service or Relationship: -

Comments: I was a cook, but I forgot my unit, does anyone remember me.

Please contact me.

Thank You.

Keywords: I used to be called OMAR.

Entry: 26755

John R. Carpenter wrote on July 5, 2002

City and State: LA MESA CA


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Subj: Korean War 1953 Bloody Ridge

I am researching combat action between the dates of 20 June 1953 to about 27 July 1953 by an American Provisional AA Battery on Bloody Ridge. Bloody Ridge was then controlled by the ROK Capitol Division on the left flank of the Kumsong salient in the ROK IX Corp area during the last Chinese military offensive.
PLEASE NOTE: This unit was under the direct control of 8th Army Command.

This Provisional Anti-Aircraft (AA) Battery was in support of the ROK Capitol Division just behind the main line of resistance in a bunker complex near a small airfield being constructed. They were testing battlefield radar in conjunction with AA weapons for groundfire against expected enemy action. Provisions to keep the equipment and operators out of enemy hands if over run had been made.

This group had come from Germany (most voluntered from the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division and were at Erlangen before they shipped out) to combat test the battlefield radar and had entered the line in Korea on 15 May 1953. During the ChinCom offensive, and for about 14 days they were surrounded. This group of 28 American and some 180-190 ROK troops held off or interdicted several enemy Divisions. Only 14 Americans and less than 100 ROK survived this bloody battle in the bunker complex.

Cpl. (acting Sgt.) Richard L. Carpenter was given a battlefield promotion by radio to 2nd Lt. (and as a ROK Major) shortly after the group was isolated and cutoff on the third day after all above him were killed or seriously wounded. He rejected twice the enemy's offer of surrender and provided a forward communications to interdict enemy movement and resupply.

Second Lt. Carpenter repeatedly rebuilt the automatic weapons knocked out of action from parts, maintained radio contact with 8th Army Command, provided interdiction information and helped keep most of the battlefield radar units operational for most of the battle.
Even though wounded, he managed to maintain his position against several strong enemy attacks severely crippling enemy action and movement in the area along Bloody Ridge and the valley it overlooked. Only 14 of the 28 Americans survived after being reinforced by elements of the ROK 6th Infantry Division on the right flank then from elements of the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division from the left flank in the afternoon of 20 July 1953. This area was not secure until 24 June 1953.

Because the battlefield radar was rated "Top Secret" and the end of the hostilities not much has been documented on this action. The radar units in combination with .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine guns (later dismounted) and 40 mm anti aircraft guns (knocked out early) disrupted many of the enemy attacks while they were forming up and attacking at night. Radio contact and observation of the valley roads at night by radar allowed friendly artillery to concentrate on the enemy supply and logestic units. This severely hindered the major enemy push. Air drops of batteries, medicine and ammo helped maintain the position.

The ChinCom wanted this position and the equipment it contained. They were attacked by Chinese field artillery and heavy artillery, bombed and straffed by Migs at least three times and assaulted by enemy ground troops repeatedly. Three offers of surrender were offered to the defenders. At least three major human wave attacks got close enough to engage in grenade and hand to hand combat. Artillery and automatic weapon fire aided by radar broke up most of the attacks before they could close.

Richard Carpenter is my father and I am slowly documenting the actions of his unit by historical records. As a side note, my father also engaged in long range sniping at distances of up to 2,500 yards (2280 meters) which took out several Chineese officers including at least one high ranking officer who had six body guards. This was done with a 32x power rifle scope drilled and tapped into a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun that was fired single shot.


John R. Carpenter
5850 Yorkshire Ave.
La Mesa, CA 91942-2821
(619) 466-5735

Keywords: Bloody Ridge, Kumsong Salient,Steel line, ROK Capitol Division, Top Secret Battlefield Radar (in 1953!)
28 came from Erlangen, Germany 14 went home.
Battlefield commission to 2nd Lt - Richard Carpenter by radio by 8th Army Command
Quad 50, Twin 40s, Radar, Sniping with a .50

4 Messages

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