Reconnaissance Company - Marines


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Entry: 23446
Subject: RECON 1957-1959

Tim Palmer wrote on February 24, 2002

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: theese guys served with my father in the usmc around 1957-1959 sonys dad owened aplace on bourbon st my dad wishes he could find them i am trying to help. sempre fi.

Keywords: sony consenera,Art lebeau,Paul debella,probably special forces recon1957-1959

Entry: 23056

Ron Hedl wrote on February 10, 2002

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea

   Friends have, from time to time, shown an interest in the adventures I enjoyed during my Marine Corps. years. To indulge that interest, I've put together this memoir. I hope it entertains you. First, of course, a few dry historical facts. After that, the lies begin.

   I enlisted in the Marine Corps. in November 1948, shortly after my eighteenth birthday. I served just short of four years. I really enjoyed those years. I learned lots about myself and the world. I felt like I 'grew up' during those years. I feel real proud I wore that uniform.

   Let me tell you how I ended up in the Marines. I wanted to get away from home real bad. For reasons I no longer recall, I wanted to join the Navy and go to submarine school. When I talked to the Navy recruiter, he told me I'd have to wait 6 to 8 months (at 18, forever) till I could join up. As I slouched out the door of his office, scuffing my feet, head sunk in my shoulders, looking at the toes of my shoes, I heard this large, deep, strong voice ask: "What's the matter son, didn't they treat you right?" I looked up. There stood this 6'2" guy with shoulders like Atlas, chin like the Rock of Gibraltar, wearing what looked like 10 rows of ribbons on his undress blues. 30 minutes later I walked out - the newest member of "The few, the proud, the Marines".

   After Boot Camp I got orders to Radio Operator School at Camp Delmar, CA. When I finished Radio School, I received orders to the 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton. Colonel Kulak, the smallest man, at that time, in the Marine Corps commanded the 5th Marines.

   I served as the CO's radio operator and chief gofer till transferred to Recon. Co. Then came the war. After getting wounded during the pull out from Koto-Ri I spent a few months in the Naval Hospitals at Yokosuka and Otsu, Japan patiently manufacturing scar tissue. About mid 1951 I got transferred to Hdqtrs. Co., Quantico, VA. where I worked as a teletype operator and manned the Western Union office. Early in 1952 I got transferred to the Naval Air Station at Opalocka, FL. Where I took my discharge in Sept. of 1952.

   Let me tell you a little story about my time at Quantico. The Marine Corps. had located its Officer Candidate School at Quantico. All freshly minted Marine Second Lieutenants had to attend that school. Second Lieutenants littered the grounds like trash after a rock concert.

   One night, while I had the duty, 4 or 5 lieutenants-in-training came by to send messages. One of those guys decided to give me some shit. He felt very impressed by his bars. I ignored his bullshit for a while but grew impatient. I beckoned to him and the other lieutenants-in-waiting. I gently said, "come closer". They did. I said, quietly, "Do you know why the Marine Corps. has to turn out 200 new Marine Lieutenants every month?" "No", they said, "Why does the Marine Corps want to turn out 200 new lieutenants every month?" I beckoned them closer. They leaned towards my little western Union window. I said, even more quietly, "Because any half-way decent Marine platoon in combat will go through at least 2 lieutenants before anyone else gets hurt."

   I had other adventures with low ranking officers. One of the guys in Recon. Co. buddied up with me. His dad worked as the chaplain for some ivy-covered school back east. He, my buddy, dated some of the Rockefeller girls. Upper crust folks. He felt as proud of his membership in Recon. as I did.

   One day, while on a little R and R in Sasebo, Japan, 5 or 6 of us enlisted pigs walked down the street looking for fun. A group of young naval officers passed us coming from the other direction - probably looking for the same thing. All of us, except for my ivy-league friend, tossed them a salute.

   We could hear the navy guys prodding one of their gang, obviously the group puppy, to take exception to this one missing salute. He ordered us to halt; walked back, and said something to my buddy about his failure to render the proper signs of respect to the uniform. My buddy then looked the navy guy, an ensign, up and down and said, "I don't salute no one who ain't (he said ain't; probably for the first time in his life. Probably the first time he ever used a double negative, too.) been in combat". We all took off running. We spent the next two or three hours hiding out in various bars and restaurants waiting to get picked up by the MPs. They never caught us. Or, maybe, they never looked for us. I ate froglegs for the first time that afternoon.

   I joined Recon. as a PFC and left a Corporal. Lt. Shutler, my commanding officer, promoted me while on board a ship called the Horace Bass. We carried out raids on both coasts of Korea while aboard the Bass.

   I got word, one afternoon, to report to the officer's quarters without a hint of why. I knocked, heard encouraging words and stepped into the closet they described as officer's country, took 2 steps forward, saluted and etc. Lt. Shutler said something not meant for the ages, maybe shook my hand, and said, "Dismissed". I did a smart about-face took 2 steps forward and impaled my forehead on the corner of a piece of angle iron used to support the pipes that writhed everywhere just below the low overhead.

   Lt. Shutler showed some concern at the amount of blood that began to stream down my face. I told him I'd find the corpsman and left. When I arrived at the squad bay, you can just imagine the comments as the blood dripped off my chin. The corpsman, a Cajun, who spoke English as a second language, trimmed what little hair the 1st. Sgt. had left me and plastered my forehead with some fast setting goo to staunch the blood. For days I looked like I'd taken a direct hit from enemy fire.

   I can still get into my blues. I wore them for the first time 54 years ago. I put them on once or twice a year and feel real proud that I once wore the uniform (and can still fit into it). I wore them to my stepdaughter's graduation from Annapolis. Me and a bunch of admirals had lots of fun saluting each other. I told the commander of the Academy that I had to cut off a ponytail so I could wear the uniform. He asked me why I didn't take off the mustache too. I told him that age has some privilege.

   I've got lots of stories to tell, but I no longer feel that they, for sure, reflect facts (and nothing but the facts). I no longer recall the actual events but only my memories of the stories I've told about those events. I tend to 'improve' stories for the entertainment of those I talk to. I no longer can tell where facts leave off and 'improvements' take over. Sorry about that. Ah, well; I've learned to live in a vaguely fictitious world. I hope you folks feel willing to enter a vaguely fictitious world.

   When I served in the Marine Corps., my fellow marines considered me, if not exactly gay, effete and cultured. When I did my time at the Univ. of Chicago they, my fellow students, considered me, if not exactly a gorilla, a member of Der Lumpe or some kind of atavism. "Just goes to prove all things relative

   Prior to my joining the Marines, during my high school years, I took ballet lessons. I competed as a free-style roller skater and took the lessons to improve my performance. I enjoyed the lessons and, though I never performed on stage, took the training seriously. I danced well. At least, many people said so.

   As lessons wore on, my ballet slippers wore out. I made a habit of using the worn slippers for house-shoes. When I packed my little bag for the journey to boot camp I, unthinkingly (world class stupidity), included my house-shoes. That first unpleasant morning (4AM) after arrival, I shuffled into the head wearing them. I might as well have worn a lace nighty.

   I had to whip or get whipped by at least one third of my platoon before they decided either to abandon their beliefs they had a queer in their midst or, at least, they would find me a pushover. The drill instructors stood by with beatific smiles on their faces. I wore them son-of-a-bitchin' shoes till they became threads.

   Let me give you one word of advice, designed to save your sons hours of anguish: Tell them this story, and tell them, when they head for boot camp, to check out their little bags with it in mind.

   Time passed. I ended up, as I said, at Camp Pendleton, California. HdQtrs. Co., 5th Marines, 1st MarDiv. That summer, '49, had more than its share of bad forest (brush really) fires. We spent weeks fighting fires. One night, about 2:00 in the morning, after I'd spent hours lying on my belly chopping brush while other folks stood over me pulling the brush out to make paths so we could get to the hot spots, I felt the sudden need to lie with my knees pulled up to my chin and scream. The officer-in-charge, after hearing my loud complaints, figured out he and the state of California would get no more fire fighting from me. He arranged, by radio, to have me removed to the base hospital. This produced problems. 1st, our little group of fire fighters stood, or in my case lay, near the top of a mountain, ringed on all sides by fire. 2nd, a mile or more lay between us and the nearest approach jeeps could handle. 3rd, The officer-in-charge, in keeping with Marine Corp custom, did not want to send able-bodied men to the rear. He solved this problem, in Marine Corp style, by 'volunteering' 2 guys, who'd suffered burns on their hands and faces, to carry me, strapped to a stretcher, down the mountain, through the ring of fires, to the waiting jeep. The jeep left its headlights on so my stretcher-bearers could find it in the dark.

   I never got to know those stretcher-bearers real well, but I can vouch for their command of the darker side of the English language. The energy produced by their magic words nourished all three of us. My moans and their curses blended like we'd practiced. They managed to find paths through the blazing woods which, though snake-like, in the end, ended up at the jeep. 2 or 3 hours later I found myself in the base operating room. My appendix must go.

   The surgeon who removed my appendix had stopped at Camp Pendleton, while on leave, to use the BOQ (Bachelor Officer Quarters) rather than pay for a hotel room. I've done much the same sort of thing (as enlisted pig, not officer) many times while hitchhiking about the country. I could stop at any military post and claim a meal and a bed. The quarters would never remind you of Motel 6, but no one, not even Motel 6, could beat the price.

   They woke him up, I found out later, because they knew him as one of the Navy's best surgeons. As they say, "the rest is history."

   Shortly before the operation, while the surgeon drank coffee and rubbed sleep out of his eyes, 3 or 4 strong men pulled my knees down from my chest and one of the corpsman shaved off my pubic hair.

   Like Samson, I felt my strength ooze away. Maybe, cutting off my curly locks didn't really steal my strength; at about the same time I got my hair-cut some guy squirted one of those wonder-drugs into my spine; I felt the pain leak out through my toes. I like the Samson version better; more poetic. Not only that, I like to include Samson and me in the same sentence; more macho. Speaking of macho, my courage quickly returned to fill up the empty places left when the pain drained away. Human nature abhors vacuums.

   Shortly after, I ended up in one of those very shiny rooms hospitals feature, cared for by 3 or 4 experts. They performed like the Marine Corps silent-drill-team while, without stumbling, over-flowing with kindness. I admired that trait in them. At that moment, I could, without surfeit, consume all the kindness they could produce.

   The impact of this story loses much of its punch because the large mirror that most times hung over the operating table, which would have allowed me to watch the action, had, 2 or 3 days before, gone into the shop for routine upkeep. I lucked out. One of their medical artists sat in on the seance and produced, while seated on a high, over-looking stool, 8 or 10 color drawings of the process. As he finished each one, he'd hand it to one of the near-by nurses who would show it to me. The surgeon, who took 17 minutes from first cut to last stitch, gave me detailed, step-by-step accounts of what he did, as well, and answered any questions I had. I don't recall either the questions or the answers now. As you might guess, I've very warm feelings for all the folks involved.

   At the end of the operation, I mentioned I felt really thirsty and one of the nurses helped me drink. That water really tasted good. I can still taste it with my memory. I told her I'd rather have beer. Got to keep up the macho image.

   The scar on my belly matches the length of Camel (classic) non-filter cigarettes. I smoked in those days.

   I mentioned before that my fellow Marines often thought me odd. Well, I love military parades. I always enjoyed taking part in them. I never told my fellow marines of this strange, (in their eyes) perverse pleasure. I bitched just enough to keep my cover. When march music comes up on the radio I often arm myself with our broom and march around the house, shouting out commands. My children always shake their heads, sadly, and then try to ignore me.

   I also liked to go on maneuvers. I took the top-sergeant aside and asked him to "volunteer", (assign) me when they needed extra men for the 'enemy' troops when other groups went out on maneuvers. The other guys thought he really had it in for me. They thought I had the patience of Job, because I bore up under his "picking on me" so well. Again, just the amount of bitching required to maintain the fiction.

   During the Korean War, the 'Generals' assigned my outfit, Recon. Co., in concert with a detachment of UDT guys, to make a series of raids on the east coast of Korea, and a couple reconnaissance missions on the west coast. To that purpose we boarded the Horace A. Bass, a destroyer escort converted to carrying sneaky folks like us.

   I recall the day we boarded the Bass. About 10 guys, members of the UDT, sat on the fantail and gave us the glad hand, etc. One of them, a large, impressive guy, crushed my hand with his and said, "You don't know me, but you done read about me". He might've said something like "You don't know me, but you've seen my picture in the papers." You get the idea.

   I liked him right off.

   We practiced many drills with the UDT guys. Among them, getting picked up out of the water after a mission. A tough trick. A guy, sitting on the pontoon of a landing craft moving about 5 or 10 miles per hour, would hook arms with the swimmer and lift him, using the motion of the boat, out of the water and onto the rubber raft. When he would pick us out of the water, he would pull us up, out of the water and, more or less, onto our feet in the rubber raft tied to the landing craft that cruised along picking us up. He belonged in the UDT. Lesser beings would barely get us onto the pontoon.

   We (me, at least) enjoyed the adventure of two typhoons while on board the Bass. I recall the thrill of seeing the ship sliding down the backside of huge waves, diving into the oncoming wave, burying the bow all the way to the bridge under water and then slowly, shuddering, straining, the bow would start to lift up out of the water and huge chunks of blue water would come hurtling back and crash into the bridge structure.

   During one typhoon, the Bass lost a landing craft that the waves got hold of. One of the curved, tapering I-beam structures (I forget their name) that the landing craft hung from, got twisted 90 degrees by the force of the landing craft getting torn off. During the worst of the storms, the cooks managed to produce sandwiches, which we ate while tied in our bunks.

   The Bass had a gun-tub just below and in front of the bridge, which folks could enter, from below decks, through a hatch. Folks on the bridge couldn't see the tub. I used to, during the typhoons, climb into the gun tub from inside the ship and play with the storm.

   I tied a couple lengths of rope around my waist. I'd wait till I could feel that the ship had arrived at the top of a wave. Then I’d open the hatch, climb through, secure it, and tie myself in to the 3/4" inch or so rod that served as a handhold near the top of the tub and wait for the next wave. The ship would slide down the backside of the wave; dive into the next wave and then as it lifted free, the wind would throw tons of blue water straight aft. I'd duck down below the top of the tub just before the water crashed into the tub and bridge structure. The whole tub would fill with water. When I looked up I could see solid water above me. The tub would drain and I'd stand up and wait to dodge the next wave. Real fun. I don't think anyone else knew of my little game. The folks on the bridge would deploy shields over the bridge windows (windows?) during the storms that restricted their vision and made my little game possible.

   I love to tell this story: During the Korean War, between missions, we had 4 or 5 days of R and R in Japan. During one lark, We snuck into the off-limits Korean village that bordered the base where we got quartered during the R and R. We found some local taverns and commenced to get real drunk and real 'boisterous'.

   After while, the landlord got tired of our busting up chairs and tables, pinching the bar maids and, in one way or the other, acting like soldiers at war. Despite the ease with which we parted with our money, he called the Shore Patrol. Lucky for us, the Shore Patrol always responds to these complaints with sirens blasting. We heard them coming and left. We hurried. We split up and made our way, by ones and twos, through the village, back over the 10 or 12 ft chain-link fence that ringed the base and, after this or that drunken mistake, to our quarters. Our training helped.

   One of the guys in our squad, Joe, didn't make it with the rest of us. We last saw Joe as he passed, head first, like superman, through a window.

   2 or 3 hours later Joe appeared, looking like something from a horror movie about swamp monsters and smelling like something that had stayed waaay too long in the ice-box. He flopped down on his bunk and passed out. God, he stank.

   3 or 4 of us got up, picked the cot up by the corners, carried it out of the squad-bay, down the barracks hall and out onto the sidewalk. We set it down and went back to bed.

   In the morning, the Japanese workers employed on the base came trotting down the street past Joe and his cot. They had lots to say. I wish I could report some of their comments but they spoke, of course, Japanese. I could, sort of, tell what they said by reading their "body language". Many of them held their noses and walked way out into the street to avoid Joe and his cot.

   In time, Joe woke up. If only TV cameras could've captured that moment. Before he could open his eyes, he had to scrape some of the caked muck off. He looked down at himself, looked at his hands, gagged and began to puke. Man, did that guy have talent. I swear, some of what he had to eat or drink the night before cleared 15' before touching down. He raised himself off the cot and, still gagging, still puking, took off all his clothes right there on the street. Leaving cot and clothes behind, Joe made for the showers where, without pause, he spent the next 3 or 4 hours scrubbing. (And gagging.)

   We figured out Joe, when he went through that window, neatly landed in the tavern's honey-pot. One of those large, deep honey-pots. One of those honey-pots with the special features only public use can produce. Too drunk to notice at the time, he staggered around in the dark and managed to avoid (or maybe they managed to avoid him) the Shore Patrol and, in the end, like Ulysses, returned, after many exploits, home. The cot and the clothes vanished. We never mentioned the affair to Joe again.

   Some months later, during the Seoul campaign, we had the same kind of thing happen. The fortunes of war had dropped us waaaay out on the right flank, 4 or 5 miles from the nearest friendly troops. They sent us there to watch for any attempt by the North Koreans to counter-attack and turn that flank. Believe me, we felt very lonely. Because of rice paddies and terrain, only this one road would allow the North to make that kind of move. We set up our roadblock: 2 .50 cal., jeep-mounted machine guns, and 8 or 10 real nervous marines.

   About 10 or 11 o'clock, during one of those dark, cloudy nights wars seemed filled with, we heard motor-sounds coming up the road; from our side; but, as I said, we felt real nervous. One of the guys shouted the usual "halt! Who goes there?" 2 or 3 times but that motor (no lights of course) kept on getting closer. One of the guys manning the .50s figured they'd got close enough and cranked off about 10 rounds, 2 or 3 of them tracers, about 6 or 8 ft. above the road. The motor sort of wandered off into the rice paddy and stalled. Moments later we heard American voices and relaxed.

   One of those American voices sounded, at first distraught, and then about as mean as any I've ever heard. The owner of the voice raised the act of cursing to levels only heard before in the Old Testament. Off and on, the voice would stop and puking sounds would, for some few moments, replace it. After 5 or 6 minutes, 2 Marine lieutenants from G-2 appeared followed by the twin of that other swamp monster. The guys from G-2 looked dusty and scuffed from having bailed out of their jeep without stopping it first. The swamp monster, it turned out, had spent time with our outfit in the past. One of those news-guys who moved around looking for death and terror. He'd hitched the ride with the G-2 guys to visit us and see if we'd gin him up some exciting copy. I bet he felt some terror that night.

   He cussed and shouted; telling us even our mothers would hate us when he finished dragging our names through the mud. That guy had vigor when it came to raising hell. We couldn't very well stay on alert for our foes movements with him making so much noise. Our C.O. got some guys to 'volunteer' to take him to the near-by village where he could clean up at the village well. We had, between us, enough extra clothes to replace his very icky duds.

   You guessed it; he bailed out of that jeep right into one of the ever present, roadside honey-pots. Somehow he missed the concrete sides and emerged sullied but unbruised. He hung out with us for a couple of days. I swear I could still smell him if he got close - despite 2 or 3 baths. We never let on we could smell him, but no one hung real tight with him, newspaper reporter or no newspaper reporter. We all wanted our mamas to see our names in the paper but not at that cost. Lucky for us and much to his disgust, the North Koreans never moved our way.

   Romance did not put in more than brief, imaginary appearances during my time in Korea. I recall hundreds (probably dozens) of Marines flashing Maggie Higgins as she drove around an airport in or near Seoul we'd ended up camped at. I don't think that counts as romance, even taking the situation and the terrain into consideration.

   One of our sergeants ended up in the same hole with Maggie during the landing on Wolmi-Do. He reported that she kept insisting that he get up and attack the enemy. He told her that if she wanted the fucking enemy attacked she could do it herself.

   I wish that I'd ended up in a hole with Maggie. I admired her. I believe I would've done heroic deeds if she had stood by taking notes. She would’ve made a better Marine than me.

   After the campaign for Seoul ground down to an occupation the whole company came down with what we identified as dengue fever. Believe me, it felt fatal. I swilled paregoric like Budweiser had bottled it. You don't want me to draw you a picture.

   We managed to stay in a comfortable alcoholic purgatory till the symptoms became an evil smelling memory. Seoul had several breweries. The Engineers used pumps to remove the beer from huge vats. (After all, it would've only spoiled.) Whoever of us could drive a jeep would pull a trailer filled with empty 5-gallon cans to the nearest brewery and fill 25 5-gallon jerry cans with beer. We'd sign for it with names like the 125th underwater mess gear repair battalion, or the 75th balloon observation squadron. Good beer.

I was wounded by shrapnel and gunshot during the pull out from Koto-Ri. By chance (Bad Karma), I ended up the third to the last Marine out of Koto-Ri. I did not look forward to those next few hours. The first few lines of an old song kept streaming through my mind: "Oh how I hate to see the evening sun go down." I used to hum them in the late afternoon when the Corsairs headed home. I got wounded early but managed to keep moving and shooting.

Koto-Ri sat at the top of a long, steep valley that dropped, with very steep walls down to roughly sea level. About 3 or 4 miles below Koto-Ri a bridge connected the top half of the road to the bottom half. Without that bridge, the Chinese could only send handfuls of troops against us. Recon. Co. had the job of holding back the Chinese troops long enough to let the division get across the bridge. When the radio brought the word that the division had passed and we could break contact, we hurried.

Words cannot convey the relief I felt when I walked across that bridge or, a few minutes later, when the bridge broke into a lot of little pieces and dropped into the valley. I didn't move under my own power for the next month or two. I locked up tight within minutes after I laid down. Adrenaline can do great things for a man in combat.

Friendly hands hoisted me and other wounded onto a tank where the exhaust would keep us warm. Later, those friendly hands transferred me to a jeep and then to a train which hauled lots of wounded down to the harbor. Landing craft ferried us out to the hospital ship, a converted dependent's transport. They operated on me during the night; took me, the next morning, ashore to an airport and flew me, along with many others, to Japan. The war had ended for me.

As I said, I ended up on the deck of the hospital ship that stood by off the coast. Me and another hundred or so guys. They could tell I wouldn't die in the near future so I pretty much got ignored while they took care of the guys who might. Chaplains hovered about, eager to give final rites and that sort of thing. One of the chaplains, Catholic, knelt down by my stretcher and whispered, "Son, can I do anything for you?" I had one urgent need. I whispered back: "Duck, Padre, duck. Get a duck." He didn't know what I meant. He thought I'd started to lose touch. "Duck, Padre, duck", I whispered fiercely. "Tell the corpsman. He'll know".

Looking doubtful, he stood up and wandered around till he got one of the corpsmen to listen. He pointed at me, and said something about I wanted a duck.

The corpsman handed him one of those odd-looking things and hurried on. The Padre came back looking confused. He knelt down.
"I can't move Padre. I'll piss my pants soon. I need to piss in that." He had to unbutton my 3 or 4 layers of clothes, unwashed for 2 months and full of blood, pull my pecker out and put it in the duck. I filled it twice. The first time he stood up, looking lost. "Over the side Padre", I whispered. He came back and drained some more.

After he dumped the second load he came back and asked me again if he could pray with me or for me. I told him he'd done all he could for me; go help someone else. He wandered off with the duck. I sure hope he found some one who needed to pray instead of piss.

   I spent a few months in the Naval Hospitals at Yokosuka and Otsu, Japan, patiently manufacturing scar tissue.   They sent me home after that and I finished out my Marine career at Quantico, in the Western Union and teletype office, and at The Opa Locka Marine Corps air station in Florida doing routine communications work.

Corpsmen, on battlefields, expose themselves to awful danger to take care of the wounded. We saw them all as heroes. They have to find, somewhere, extra strengths and extra courage to do their job. Both the corpsmen assigned to our outfit did things above and beyond the call of duty. Both got hurt real bad. They've got special seats for corpsman in Valhalla.


Entry: 21755

Erin McRae wrote on December 26, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: BEULAH MI


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My name is Erin McRae. My grandfather was a sargent in the Korean War. He landed in Inchon in 1953 and was brought up to the DMZ. He doesn't know I am doing this, but I know that he would be very happy if someone he knew from the war would email him. He has been looking for his lost comrads, but he hasn't tryed internet. His email address is If anyone knows this man, please email him.He will be happy to hear from you. Thank you very much.

Keywords: Richard Greyerbiehl
1st Marine Div. Recon. 1953-1954

Entry: 21360

Johnny Woodhouse wrote on December 10, 2001



Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: Doing an article on Marine Cpl. Billy Head,
who was wounded twice in Korea while
serving with Marine recon unit. He played
college football for Florida and Tampa
universities, is a retired high school teacher in
Hawaii and is dying of Loy Gehrig's disease.
Anyone who served with Billy can contact me
at woodhouse@

Keywords: 1st Marine Div. recon 1953-54

Entry: 20364
Subject: RECON 1950-1951 1ST MARINE DIVISION

Charles Gould wrote on November 4, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: WOONSOCKET RI


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea



Entry: 20177

Olan Carder wrote on October 27, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: CHARLOTTE NC


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My Dad was in Marine Recon during the Korean War. I am interested in finding out some information about him or those who served with him. It would mean a lot to me. His name is Olan Carder.


Entry: 19098

Lynn Warner wrote on August 31, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: METUCHEN NJ

Unit: NMCB 21

Service or Relationship: Friend of Veteran

Comments: I am seeking information for my girlfriend about her father. He was a US Navy Reserve radioman serving on a ship in port somewhere in Korea when the war broke out. He was shipped over to a Marine unit to operate radios. At some point in time he was actually discharged from the Navy and became an active duty Marine where he eventually rose to the rank of SGT. He is hesitant to discuss his service but when he learned I am a Seabee he opened up a little. He talked about several battles for hills, being wounded and captured, only to escape. His wife mentioned the Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star and other awards.

How do I collect more info? Is it legal for his daughter to request copies of his DD214 and award citations? I would like to help her gather information about her heroic father even though he is not cooperative.

Thank you


Entry: 18896

Chuck Burrill wrote on August 23, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: DALLAS NC


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea

Comments: I was in Korea in 1952-53 and served with 1st Marine Division Recon Company.Most of our work was at night behind enemy lines. Lost alot of great friends during my time there and one was my best friend.

Semper Fi



Entry: 17670
Subject: RECON CO. MEMBERS 1954-1955

Robert Cawein wrote on June 30, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: LINCOLN NE


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea

Comments: Would like to here from anyone who served in the Recon Company during the 1st year of the truce, 1953 to 1954. Also, would like to here from anyone who served in the Recon Company at any time.

Keywords: Red Dog Saloon, Ed Barker, Charlie Davis, Trad, Khangwa Do, Han River, Grover.

Entry: 14337

Roy Baugher III wrote on January 15, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State: ROANOKE VA


Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: My name is Roy Baugher III, and I am the Administrative Assistant at the History Museum of Western Virginia, in Roanoke, Virginia. I am conducting research on the history of the USS HORACE A. BASS APD-124 and her embarked units during the Korean War. This research is for a display about the HORACE A. BASS within the Museum's exhibit "Ships and Shipmates," plus a special collection, or archives, on the history of the ship at the Museum. The HORACE A. BASS was named in honor of Ensign Horace A. Bass, Jr., who was born and lived in Roanoke, VA, before he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Bass served as a fighter pilot during WWII in the Pacific Theater. He fought at the battles of Midway (4 Jun. 1942) and East Solomons (24 Aug. 1942). It was at the latter that he went MIA. Bass earned the Navy Cross for his actions at Midway. In 1944 the Navy announced it would name the high-speed transport after Bass. The ship would serve both in WWII and the Korean War. It was decommissioned in 1959.

In August 1950, an element of Recon. Co. of the 1st Marine Division was embarked on the HORACE A. BASS with Navy Underwater Demolitions Team One, (UDT-1). This group, the USS HORACE A. BASS, UDT-1, and Recon. Co. (minus) 1st Mar. Div., were collectively designated "Special Operations Group," or SOG, of the Navy's Amphibious Group One. The SOG conducted three raids on railroads along the NE coast of Korea from 12-16 Aug. 1950. Recon. Co.'s task was to form the defensive perimeter around the target area, while UDT-1 did its job of placing and wiring the explosives at the key points of the target area. From 20-25 Aug. 1950, the SOG then went to the west coast of Korea to conduct hydrographic surveys of alternate landings sites to that of Inchon. For these operations of 12-25 Aug. 1950, the SOG was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

I would like to contact former members of the Reconnaissanc Co. 1st Mar. Div. who were members of the SOG. I am in the process of writing a questionnaire about their experiences aboard the ship, as well as the SOG operations. I am also requesting any photos, documents, or copies thereof for the Museum's archives. If you would like to help, please contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Roy Baugher III. History Museum of Western Virginia, P.O. Box 1904, Roanoke, VA 24008; (540) 342-5724.

Keywords: Reconnaissance Company, Recon. Co., 1st Marine Division, Special Operations Group, SOG, Amphibious Group One, August 1950, UDT-1, Underwater Demolitions Team One, USS HORACE A. BASS APD-124, Navy Unit Commendation

Entry: 14044
Subject: THIS SONG?

Debbie Patrow wrote on January 3, 2001

City and State: SHULLSBURG WI


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Does anyone recognize this song? " 7 hills to home?" My dad was in Korea from 1950-1953. He wants to have this song but I can't find it. This might not be the title, I don't know who sang it. It has become very important to my dad to hear this song again. Thanks for any help.


Entry: 13788

Michael Rodes wrote on December 23, 2000

City and State: TALLAHASSEE FL


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Doing research on my father. Found his DD-214 and it show that he received the Navy Cross. Would like to find out where I could find information to validate this. I am building a Shadow Box for my mother and would like to place this in the box. I know that he was in Korea from 51-53. (Two tours) Any information would help.

Keywords: Thomas J. Rodes (Mickey)

Entry: 12197

Leo Charrette wrote on October 7, 2000

Email Update Needed

City and State: SAN DIEGO CA


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea

Comments: 1ST. DIV RECON


Entry: 8755

Joseph Gatz wrote on May 18, 2000

Email Update Needed



Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: Left recon to join up with S-2 2/5 stayed with them till we took hill 812.Finished my enlistment at Boston navy gaurd co.In Aug 1952

Keywords: Landing at Inchon,seoul,wonsan,was the last Platoon out of the Chosin,we were the rear gaurd protecting the tanks,keeping a buffer between the refugees,and the tanks.

Entry: 4862

Bryon J. Paez wrote on November 13, 1999

Email Update Needed

City and State: ALBUQUERQUE NM


Service or Relationship: Marine Veteran - Korea

Comments: Good Morning....
My name is Bryon Paez, Capt. USMCR, and I am trying to get information on recipients of the Silver Star during the Korean War. The primary purpose of this is that my Uncle, Evaristo Bustos, has mentioned that he received the Silver Star during the war. He was part of a Recon Unit and from our brief talks, he was one of the first Marines to go over and fight.

Just recently, he has become ill and I am trying to track down as much information as possible.

Thank You and Semper Fi....


Entry: 3706

Bob Burden wrote on October 22, 1999

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Friend of Veteran

Comments: I had a friend who spent 32 years in Marine Recon, Retireing in 1985, I believe as a command Sgt/Maj. He was awarded the Navy Cross For the Korean Conflict, But wouldn't elaborate. His name is A. J. Rappold. Can you provide any information on this, or tell me of a link where I may be able to find a list of Navy Cross recepients?

Keywords: Marine Recon

Entry: 1979
Subject: RECON

Renae Turner wrote on November 20, 1998

Email Update Needed

City and State: STERLING VA


Service or Relationship:




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