Korea

Sunday Sep. 7th 

1952

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Hi! Dad & May:

    Just a few lines to leave you know I’m fine and in good health, hoping this letter finds you all the same.

    Well the fairs are all starting back home again, sure wish I was home now.

How is the weather still rainy yet? We sure are getting plenty of rain here too. I bet we had as many rainy days as nice days since I been here in Korea.

    There isn’t much scenery to look at where I am, nothing but hills, and rice paddies. The Korean people all bury their people on the sides of the hills it is full of grave yards over here. As for the towns and villages I haven’t been in any, only the day we moved up toward the front, we passed through a few towns and villages.I can’t see how these people can live like they do. They’re a filthy bunch of people, and a lot of them carries diseases. The women especially. So I been told. There is another disease over here that is bad, it's a fly carried by the rats. And I don’t think there is a cure for it. “Himaracket disease”. I seen plenty of them rats around too gives me the cold chills when I see rats. The houses that they live in are made of nothing but straw and mud and stones. the surroundings is filthy and stinky they use human waste to fertilize their crops. We are back in the rear after spending 6 days up on Bunker Hill. You all probably read in the papers about that hill some pretty rough fighting took place on that hill already.

    We got attack about four hours before we were to get relieved by another company. We had quite a few casualties the first couple days we were up there and a couple dead but that was caused by the gooks throwing in mortar and artillery shells.Then we had 17 or more killed in the fighting and over 59 some wounded anyway it comes pretty close to a hundred. I seen some pretty horrible looking sights I and my buddy are lucky to be alive today.

Just before the fighting started the gooks started throwing in mortar rounds and artillery. And while we were hugging the ground in our fighting holes the gooks sneaked up in front of us and opened fire with rifles and burp guns keeping us busy while an outfit of gooks worked their way around us and came up through the valley behind us and attacked us from the rear. Throwing hand grenades and firing on us. What gets me they came in right under their own mortar and artillery fire. I’ll bet some where killed by their own people. But that is the way they fight. They’re “die hards” lives don’t mean any thing to them. They didn’t get the hill we were on we fought them off. But there were dead gooks laying all around. The barb wire entanglements that we had set up was laying all full of dead gook that our machine guns mowed down. We were actually surround by gooks.

    The fighting hole I and my buddy was in was so darn small we both couldn’t maneuver around. We threw grenades and fired our weapons a few times, but when the gooks who were behind us started firing at us and throwing grenades at our hole we stopped because we couldn’t throw grenades or fire in back of us on account of hitting our own men. We kept quiet and watch the front so they wouldn’t come in from the front. Maybe that is why we are alive now.

We weren’t scared one bit, in fact we started laughing. It wasn’t funny when we seen how serious it was after the fighting was over. I helped carry a lot of dead away and wounded. I felt ok till I seen our boys laying around. A shell hit one of our bunkers where a marine was sleeping, he was on watch during the day and slept during the night. The shell landed right on top of the bunker and blew it to splinters he was killed he had big cuts in his face and I don’t know what all he never knew what happen. There was another marine in the same bunker with him, he wasn’t even hurt. He crawl out of the wrecked bunker and into another one close by. There was a corp man and my squad leader in there. He said Johnson is dead. Well afterward the corp man and my squad leader left to go some place leaving him in there, they came back later and he wasn’t there we didn’t know what happen to him we found him later on that morning about 30 feet down the hill from the bunker. His whole right side of the face was blown off and his brains and parts of his skull laying on the ground beside him. I helped pick up the stuff and put them in a sand bag. We picked him up and put him on a stretcher to carry away when I got a hold of his arm the bones cracked. I don’t know maybe he had broken ones too. I was credited with the capture of a wounded gook who we caught about 3 or 4 o’clock that afternoon he came up the hill in back of us and fell in a grave yard. We don’t know if he was unconscious and laying down at the bottom of the hill or if he was waiting for it to get dark so he could slip back to his own lines. So I might get R & R in Japan along with the corp man and a few other guys. R & R is a week of rest and enjoyment which you get for doing some thing big. You get a whole week to yourself.

    Well its getting too dark to write anymore so I’ll have to close for now.

    Hope to hear from you all soon.

    Love Marvin

PS. We have 11 cases of beer to drink between 5 of us fellows. I have a feeling to get stinkin drunk.

© 2019 Susan Nothstein Grim and Kevin Grim