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The Correspondence Page

 
Introduction

The volunteer staff of the Korean War Educator always enjoys and appreciates hearing from our readers. To correspond with the KWE, send your messages to lynnita@koreanwar-educator.org.
From Ramon A. Daguio – February 4, 2002:
Subject: More Wolfhounds

I was 17 when I was assigned to the Wolfhounds in Japan in January 1950. We entered the Korean War in July 1950, and I rotated back home to Hawaii in July 1951. The Wolfhounds have always been under the 25th Infantry Division since the old Hawaiian Division was disbanded in 1940 and reorganized into two infantry divisions, the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions, respectively. While the Wolfhounds fought alongside the 24th Infantry Division in the role of a "Fire Brigade" while under the Eighth Army in reserve, we were never under the 24th Infantry Division. The 25th Infantry Division has the distinction of being the only infantry
division that has never served in the continental United States.

I thank you for what you are trying to do for the Wolfhounds. I know that
other former members of the Wolfhounds that served during the Korean War will
appreciate what your website has to offer

From Ed Clanton, North Carolina – January 27, 2002:
Subject: Korean Freedom Medal

Hi Lynnita, I attended the Korean Freedom League presentation yesterday at Ft. Bragg and was very impressed. They put on a two-hour show of Korean Culture, Music, Sword Handling, etc., and it was great. At the End of the show they presented all Korean War Veterans present with a large Freedom Medal around the neck from the Korean Government and I felt that I had won the Olympics. It was a nice. - Ed

From Satch Beasley, Tennessee – January 24, 2002:
Subject: Unknown Fate of Cape Cod 3

Hi Lynnita,
I have been keeping up with your website, it's still great and continues to get better.
 
Just to up-date you with some information on what is going on here. Over two months ago the Vice Presidents office wrote and said the DOD would be contacting me directly about opening the case or explaining their answers to me earlier---nothing yet but I feel that in the near future it will come to pass.
 
Last week Daddy's old disestablished squadron VP-2 wrote and informed me that they were going to purchase an old Neptune, refurbish it and place it on a stand as a memorial at Whidbey Island, Washington Naval Airbase. The memorial will be dedicated to ALL who served and died flying the Neptune from the Whidbey maritime patrol community. The letter was dated January 4, the 48 anniversary of the loss.
 
Also in the works are new rules for dealing with military losses during peace time and not due to hostile attack. This is welcome news and may have some effect on how the case of 3 Cape Cod is addressed in the future. As always, it is happening because of caring, compassionate Americans like you--God bless you and thanks. - Satch

From Ramon Daguio – January 23, 2002:
Subject: Wolfhounds

Please check out this regiment. The Wolfhounds landed in Korea soon after
the 24th Infantry Division and was one of the "fightingest" units during the
war's first year. In checking further, you will find that:

 - The commander of the Wolfhounds was a Lieutenant Colonel "Iron Mike"
Michaelis, who because of the Wolfhounds fighting ability, was promoted to
Brigadier General before he was 39 years old.

- The Wolfhounds Company E had two Congressional Medal of Honor winners. Capt.
"Easy" Desiderio, Company E, (posthumously) and his successor, Capt Millett
(still alive).
 
- That this company was the last company-size unit in the Army
to engage and defeat the enemy in a battle with the bayonet charge.

- The Engineer company attached to the Wolfhounds was once utilized as an
Infantry Unit and its members earned the Infantry Combat Badge as a result.

- The Artillery Battalion attached to the Wolfhounds was nicknamed "The Bark of
the Wolfhounds."

- The Wolfhounds and its attached units earned the Presidential Unit Citation
twice.

- Throughout the Korean War, the Wolfounds continued to sponsor an orphanage in
Japan, and still contributes funds to that orphanage today.

- The Wolfhounds are currently stationed in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and I'm
sure the unit historian will provide you any data you might need for your
website.

- A former member of the Wolfhounds.

Everett Sennholz to Michelle Brooks – January 22, 2002 (copied to Lynnita) - Subject: Marine Funeral Escort

I can't tell you to much about what happened in Korea to your great uncle (Tommy
Jenkins), after I returned from Korea (in September 1952) I went to a military school
(for the job I had in the U S Marine Corps) and after I finished the school I was
transferred to Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY, while there they
asked for volunteers to accompany Marine's bodies to their homes for burial. I was
sent over to the Army Facility in Brooklyn where we where briefed as to where we
where going, the funeral directors name, then I and the Deceased Marine would travel
by hearse to the train station where I stayed with the casket until it was loaded on
the train. After I made sure that the casket was placed right in the baggage car I
went my seat on the train, at every stop I had to go to the baggage car and and stay
with the casket until the train started moving again (to make sure that someone
didn't put the casket off at the wrong stop, as I would be embarrassing for me and
the Marine Corps if I arrived without the casket). We were never told anything about
how he died, if I did hear anything it was usually from the family or the funeral
director after I arrived at the hometown. I will say that when I brought Marine
Tommy Jenkins home everyone there treated me very well from my arrival until after
the funeral when I said my good-byes to the your relatives that were there. It was a
memorable experience, that's why I volunteered to escort another one. That Marine
was the Last Marine and the Last Serviceman killed in the Korean War, Marine PFC
Harold B. Smith, of Oregon, IL, he was killed 16 minutes before the truce took
effect. I know more about him because someone in Rockford knew me and sent my mother in Oshkosh, WI the newspaper clippings of the funeral. Another Marine escort that brought another Marine home from that area came over to that funeral and talked to me (it seems the other family was a little disturbed that there was so much fuss over
Marine Smith and no one was paying any attention to the fact their son was killed
too). I didn't get as nice a reception from Marine Smith's family (they told me I
had killed their son, I know they were very broken up, but I was there to do a job
for the family and the Marine Corps) When the funeral was over I tried to hand Mrs.
Smith, the flag from her son's casket and she refused to touch it, her husband
finally took it from me. After that I never volunteered again for that duty.

It’s been a long time (49 years) since I brought your great uncle home, I don't
remember too much other than how nice your relatives treated me, to tell the truth I
can't remember the town he was from, because I can't find copies of my orders (to
refresh my aging memory) for either of the escort duties I performed.

Sorry I can't tell you more, if you like I can come there later. I would like to pay
my respects to your uncle again. Also I do have a lot of copies of the Marine
magazine "Leatherneck" and the last couple of years they ran a number of articles on
the "Korean War 50 years ago" if you would like I can copy some of the articles it
might have something about his unit if you know it. When I was in Korea, when I
first arrived there in Aug 1951 the 1st Marine Division was on the eastern part of
the line and then in early 1952 the Division was pulled out and sent to the western
area near the truce talk site.

Respectfully, Everett M. Sennholz GySgt (E-7) Retired

Michelle Brooks wrote:

Mr Sennholz - My Great Uncle (Tommy Jenkins) was one of those two that you escorted
home. I never had a chance to know him, he died at the age of 18. My grandma (his
sister) just passed away last year. I have been trying to learn as much as I can
about my great uncle and what happened over in Korea. I was hoping you could fill
in the gaps a little. And I also just wanted to Thank You for getting his body back
to us safely. – Thank you, Shelli

From Dr. John Bartlett – January 14, 2002
Subject: USS Consolation

Dear Lynnita - Thank you for calling me today. I have looked at your web site and it is grand. I will pass it on to all the shipmates of the USS Consolation in the next newsletter. I have your address from the web site and will send you a copy of the newsletter. If you need any pictures of the Korean War, the wounded and the hospital ship, I will send them to you. You have made a great contribution to the history of the "forgotten war". I hope to meet you someday and if by chance you ought to come to our reunion next October in Bloomington, MN and meet the real people. Maybe you can give a talk at the reception. God Bless what you have done and doing. We all appreciate it.
 
Sincerely - John D. Bartlett, M.D. FACS
Captain, MC, USN Retired.

Ed Clanton, Lumber Bridge, NC – January 11, 2002
Subject: Sinking of USS Benevolence

Good Morning Lynnita, On Aug 25, 1950, USS BENOVELENCE (AH 13) was sunk just outside Golden Gate Bridge and 18 people were killed including 4 Navy Nurses. The ship was not yet in Commission but was being prepaired hurriedly to go to Korea and is a real horror story yet no one mentions it or shows it being lost during the Korean War. We (Buck) were sent out to rescue survivors and spent all that night in a very dense fog looking but when we arrived on the scene, all that survived had been rescued or had made it ashore. I can find no mention of that. Ed.

Charles Berry, December 23, 2001
Subject: Visit to Korean War Educator website

Rec. your e-mail, adv. of your website, as a Marine Veteran of the Korean War, I'm SO proud of what you have done, a very fitting tribute to  the men and women who protected us all in those hard times. Even though I was in the combat areas also, everyone there watched my backside, so that I could return and follow the path that was laid out for me all these years.I am grateful, more that I can say. God bless each and every one.Respectfully Former Cpl.Charles E. Berry,USMCR, Anti-Tank Co., 7Th. Marines,1St. Marine Div., Feb.51 to Mar52 .......Semper Fidelis

Orlin Highland, November 26, 2001
Subject: 65th Combat Engineers

I have been reviewing your web page and I really enjoy it but I see no mention of the 65th Combat Engineers, a support group of the 25th Infantry Division. I was there from the middle of 1951-to the middle of 1952 serving on the front lines for the most of that time. I am not complaining, it is that I never see them mentioned in any of the veterans articles that I come across. I suffer with PTSD and did not know what my problem was as I suffered for years until I came to the Danville-IL V.A. center where they found what my problem was. We have support group meetings and they have been a great help. .I am very grateful for all the great support I have received at the CENTER. - Orlin Highland, Danville, IL highland@soltec.net

Syd Sydnam, November 24, 2001
Subject: Death of Bud Kohler

Troops - I'm sadly reporting to all of you, and ask you to pass it on to all the
other Bandits, that our Comrade and dear friend Bud Kohler passed away today
of a massive heart attack at his home in Minnesota. His daughter, Janet
Dueweke, called us to send the information. She lives near us here in
Centerville, VA. No further details are available at this time, but I will
forward them whenever arrangements have been made. I'm sure we all join in sending Fran our most heartfelt condolences and prayers. - Semper Fi to all, General Charlie

Tom O’Brien, November 23, 2001
Subject: Suicide Bombings, Etc.

Much has been said about the Korean War and nothing much has been said about how it was fought. As with the war with Japan, there were many suicide attacks against us. Japan had their own aircraft and used their own people and whomever they could find to use in suicide attacks or had bombs attached to their bodies. The same took place in the Vietnam War and the way through the World Trade Center. Exactly whom did we fight in Korea? We know North Korea, China, and Russia had so called advisors there plus their weapon system. If you are going to educate and present history everything must be put on the table.
 
Life wasn't great for us that served in Korea. Everyone told us that it was just a police action. It took the VFW along time to accept us. The same with the Vietnam War. It was an undeclared war. And hey! There was China again with their AKA’s, mines, and rockets. We have poor military leadership and they do not look at our wars and setup defense plants. What kind of chemicals were dropped on us in Korea? Is it still secret?  We have been too silent for too long. Isn't it great with all the American jobs going to China? I served with G-3-7 Marines. Thank you for letting me say something. - Tom

Charles "Mac" McKellar, November 23, 2001
Subject: Death of Ray Lefler

It is with a sense of a deep personal loss I advise you that Ray Leffler made his final muster on November 9, 2001. He was interned with Military Honors on November 13, 2001. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Helen, their three children and five grandchildren. As many of you know Ray was the chairman of the 2001 reunion of the Battalion at Branson MO.
 
Bob Hickox – November 05, 2002
Subject: POW Camp #5
 
Dear Lynnita - I was just browsing through your POW/MIA link and came across the picture of the above subject POW camp. This is the camp that I spent nearly 3 yrs in from '50-53. This is the first picture I have ever seen of the camp and, of
course, it brings back many memories, mostly bad.

However, since it is a part of my life and experience, I now have a picture
that I can show my family and friends. Thank you, sincerely. You have a
wonderful cite, and yes, it is up and working pretty well now.

Is there a link that has the names of ex-POW's from Korea? I have never found
a complete list although I'm sure one exists.

Thanks again for a terrific site. - Bob Hickox, USA Ret'd, POW Korea '50-53

From Don Oschwald, March 20, 2001
Subject: Heartbreak Ridge and the book "Wonju"

Hi, Lynnita. When I took my book to coffee with me, there were three other vets of
Korea in the group and one started opening up. He served at "Heartbreak
Ridge" and did not know how many times he went up and came down from that
place. He was never hit but changed places with someone at their request, and
they were hit. Once he was out on patrol in thigh deep snow and a Chinese
attack started with all the noise they make. He radioed back to his lines the
news. He was told to come back in, but he knew he could not make it. There
was a huge tree laying on the ground and he and his men buried themselves in
the snow up against the tree. They heard the Chinese vault over the log (both
directions) and they were undiscovered. After the Chinese pulled back, they
made it back to their lines.

In this book "Wonju," in the first part of the book he gives his
version of "The Forgotten War."  The term could be used to describe the
failure of the armed services to remember the bitter lessons paid for in
blood during WWII. The Air Force forgot how to provide close air support. The
Army forgot how to shoot, move, and communicate because the ranks had never
been taught. So far it is a blazing criticism of intelligence and those
fearful of telling MacArthur what was really happening in North Korea if it
did not agree with MacArthur's rhetoric.

Thanks for coming to the aid of us who were there. I never expected
any understanding of what that time was and didn't get any. But then I did
not see the rough stuff either and have no sympathy coming. Those that were
in the bitter end that I have talked to never expected any special
recognition. I like "Citizen Soldier" by Stephen Ambrose and "The Greatest
Generation" by Tom Brokow. THERE are some great stories.

Thanks again and I hope your dream there at Tuscola comes around to be
something you can be proud of. - Don

 

 
 
 

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