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Combat Jumps in Korea

 

Introduction

The Korean War Educator is seeking information about the men who participated in combat jumps in Korea.  To add your memoir or information to this page, contact Lynnita by e-mail or call her at 217-253-4620 (home).


Page Contents:

  • Combat Jumps in Korea
  • Your Names Engraved

Combat Jumps in Korea

  • October 20, 1950
    • 187th ARCT, 2nd Battalion
    • Operation DZ Easy
    • Troopers - 1,203
    • Dropzone - Sukchon
       
  • October 20, 1950
    • 187th ARCT, 1st & 3rd Battalions
    • Operation DZ William
    • Troopers 0- 1,470
    • Dropzone - Sukchon
       
  • October 21, 1950
    • 187th ARCT
    • Operation DZ William
    • Troopers - 671
    • Dropzone - Sukchon
       
  • March 23, 1951
    • 187th ARCT, 2nd & 4th Airborne Ranger Co’s
    • Operation Tomahawk
    • Troopers - 3,486
    • Dropzone - Munsan-ni

Your Names Engraved

On Good Friday, March, 23rd , 1951,
A major Airborne assault, had begun....
145 combat cargo planes, filled the sky,
Thousands of communists, about to die....
3,300 troopers of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team,
Did "hit the silk", each man, lean and mean....
Hitting the ground, their weapons readied,
Their enemy, 20,000 strong, there was a plenty....!

Behind the Paratroopers, came the heavy drops,
The 674th Field Artillery, battle ready, completed the lot.....
A first, this jump, made Airborne history,
But would "Operation Tomahawk", end in victory....?

Landing south of Munsan-ni, nine miles from North Korea,
Behind enemy lines, could they fulfill this panacea.....?
After securing the vast drop zone,
Fight, then advance, they set their tone......

For two bloody days, they kept this pitch,
Always in the open, no cover, nary a ditch....
Fight, hurry, reach Uijongbu, cut the enemy supply route,
Rain, wet ground, heavy, ,muddy, sloshing,-jump boots....

Day break, Easter Sunday, secure the hill ahead,
The cost, be much blood and dead....
In a horizontal formation, they moved out,
Crossing flat land, they suspected, a gory bout...

All of the sudden, all hell broke out,
Came swarms of enemy, "charge", in Chinese, they did shout....!
For awhile, the "Rakkasans", held their own,
Just too many bastards, how their numbers had grown.....!

Swinging and firing, "burp guns", from the hip,
Troopers falling, "slap, slap," as they were hit....!
Deadly enemy fire, slowing their advance,
"Keep moving forward", must take the chance.....!

The 187 opened up with a roar,
Killing Chinese, by the score....!
But still, troopers fell, with moans and shrieks,
Such depleted ranks, their outlook bleak....!

This bloody place, called Parun-ni,
Many a soldier, faced eternity.....
Not able to advance, nor retreat,
Suddenly artillery, boom, boom, repeat, repeat....!

The enemy dispersed and scurried away,
The 674th had saved the day....!
For a few moments, they caught their breath,
Not enough time, to eat or rest....

It rained, again, as the "Rakkasans" counter-attacked,
Avenging soldiers, they'd offer no slack.....!
The enemy dead, piled up before them,
Enemy strength, no longer a quorum.....!

Chasing the Chinese, up and over, the objective,
Now, total annihilation, the enemy, would be subjective....
To their front, loomed, another great hill,
Reaching its peak, they set up the kill.....

It's a mountain!, as they surveyed that rise,
A large land mass, met their eyes....!
With such depleted ranks, could they hold them back?
To their despair, bugles sounded a full attack....!

The entire rise, covered by charging Chinese,
Grey swarms, as far, as the eye could see....!
Wave after wave, the enemy attacked,
By sheer numbers, they'd break their backs.....!

With "Rakkasans" backs, thrown, against the wall,
Out of ammo, rifles swinging, many did fall....
Others firing their 45's, desperately, trying to stay alive,
Now facing, their annihilation, would any survive....?

Suddenly, support companies were on the scene,
Laying down murderous fire, heard the enemy scream....
Dropping their "burp guns", leaving their wounded and their dead,
Suffered much, as they fled.....

This is how Easter Sunday came to an end,
As "Rakkasans" gathered their injured and dead....
Down the hill, a priest is saying mass,
Survivors joined in, to the last....

After Service, finally, eating hot C's,
Soothing hot coffee, easing many a worry.....
But then came the order, "move it out",
Enough strength left for another bout...?

Heading back towards Munsan-ni,
Hills 519 and 322, entrenched, a hidden enemy....
As the paratroopers, scaled these mountains,
Mortars and machine guns, pounded them....

Over their heads, swish, swish, swish,
The 674th granting, yet another wish.....
The deadly mortars and guns, now silent,
The sounds of digging, becoming most evident....

At the top of these mountains, boot high snow,
By aerial observation, an entrenched enemy, clearly showed....
The paratroopers attacked, facing strong resistance,
Despite casualty, after casualty, they went the distance....

Finally, after much blood, carnage and death,
The 234th Chinese Regiment, was laid to rest....!
The surviving troopers, now realizing, they had won,
To North Korea, retreating communists, on the run....!

Catching them withdrawing, in an open ravine,
"Rakkasans" machine guns created a gory scene....
Destroying an entire army of North Korean and Chinese,
Total victory was achieved....!

Many of the "Steel Berets", had met their fate,
But quick to reach, Saint Peter's Gates....
As God welcomed these heroes inside,
You could hear him cry....

To you heroes, who did survive,
This horrific battle, just won't subside.....
But be it known, you have earned your place,
Your comrades await, your presence, inside the gates.....

The highest entity, did not forget your war,
As you know, he's been keeping score....
To his angels, he sings your praise,
In his book of the faithful, YOUR NAMES ENGRAVED.....

The poem "Your Names Engraved" was written by Vietnam War combat veteran, Peter Griffin and appeared in his first book, Thoughts, Memories and Tears.  Peter was a paratrooper and Silver Star recipient.  He dedicated the poem to his two brothers, John and William.  John was killed in action on the Munsan-ni combat jump in Korea.  William was a member of the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division.  He was an atomic vet who participated in "Operation Buster/Jangle" in October/November 1951.

Peter's website includes poems he has written to honor veterans, but it is also a highly informative website about Post Combat Stress Disorder.  To learn about the complexities of PCSD and to gain some understanding about those who suffer from it, visit the "Griffin's Lair" website here: http://www.grifslair.com

The poem "Your Names Engraved" also appears courtesy of Peter Griffin on C.J. Magro's site about paratroopers.  Magro's site includes stories and details about other paratroopers of the 1950s:

http://home.hiwaay.net/~magro

 
 
 

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