RESPONSE BY EDWARD GRYGIER
Published in the
[At the time this response was written (November 1999), Ed Grygier was a National Director of the Korean War Veterans Association and a founder of the Cpl. Allan F. Kivlehan Chapter of that organization.]
I would like to answer all the reports about (Korean)
civilians killed in July and August 1950.
I was 17 and on
On July 15, we were overran by the 4th North Korean Division. Falling back, we hit a roadblock. Civilians dressed in white almost slaughtered our battalion. We had to walk eight miles over mountains to reach Taejon. Going over the mountains, we watched these civilians slaughter our wounded. Arriving in Taejon, we were still allowing civilians through our lines. We were again surrounded by civilians in white. Only after Taejon was the order given to shoot anyone in your front dressed in white.
I would like your readers to put yourself in the position of a 17 year old on July 29, at Chinju. You are on a hill by the side of the road, eight civilians dressed in white coming through your lines. Do you welcome them or do you call for a fire mission?
By the way, these so-called civilians cost us out of 1,100 men in four weeks. 658 dead, wounded, and captured. After the fall of Taejon to American forces in September, we found our POWs hands tied behind their backs with barbed wire and slaughtered.