Battle Honors Deserved

 
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Raymond Beringer
 

RECOMMENDATION FOR THE SILVER STAR

Luxembourg Army Corporal Raymond Beringer, serial number L/310903, distinguished himself by selfless, heroic action while serving as chief of a heavy machine gun team, heavy weapons company, Belgian (B.U.N.C.) Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.

3rd Infantry Division. The Belgian Battalion was deployed in defensive positions along the "White Horse Mountain Line" east of the village of Chatkol as the 3rd Infantry Division s far right element adjacent to the Republic of Korea s 9th Infantry Division. During the night of 7-8 April 1953, Chinese Communist forces launched a bitter assault to penetrate the United Nations lines. Initial enemy successes swept back the forward positioned outposts and threatened to break through the battalion s right flank. On his own initiative and with complete disregard for his personal safety, Corporal Beringer single-handedly relocated his heavy, water-cooled, .30 caliber machine gun from the protected confines of his bunker to an exposed position on top of it so as to have a better field of fire. Despite heavy mortar and artillery shelling, which was pinning down his fellow comrades, Corporal Beringer delivered accurate and crippling fire for several hours into the waves of assaulting Chinese troops, estimated to be of regimental strength. His determination and coolness under fire blunted the enemy attack and was crucial to the successful defense of the battalion s exposed flank. Following the engagement upwards of twenty dead and wounded enemy were found within 200 meters of his bunker.

At the time of this action Cpl Beringer was an extended volunteer, his mandatory tour of duty having expired three months earlier, when the Luxembourg contingent returned home. In recognition of his heroic feat, he was cited in the official Belgian dispatch of 22 April 1953 by his battalion commander, and promoted to the rank of sergeant. His company commander advised him that he was being recommended for a valor decoration, and gave him the choice of an Belgian or American award. He chose the latter, but apparently the paperwork never reached US channels. The only US awards Cpl Beringer ever received were the Korean Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. He served in Korea a total of 24 months, from 27 February 1952 to 25 February 1954. In August 1992, upon confirmation that no official records existed in US Army files concerning his recommendation for the Silver Star, he was presented a "certificate" signed by Secretary of the Army Stone commending his combat service in the Korean War.

 

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