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"KOREA"

Author: SSGT James G.Harris, "B" Co, 70th Tank Bn. Korea 1950-51


There was a time when men were young
The call to war had just begun.
They left their homes and families there
To fight a war, they knew not where.

They were sent to camp, to train and learn
To live or die and some to burn.
To give their lives or take away
The enemy they faced that day.

To take a life is hard to do
You take it though, it could be you.
It claws and keeps you well aware
It lets you know you really care.

You load your tanks and keep them well
You've planned a trip, it's straight to Hell.
You're on patrol behind the lines
The roads are narrow and laid with mines.

The troopers say to stay away
You're drawing fire and we will pay.
The morning fog was thick and low
Their tanks were coming very slow.

The pass was narrow, the roads the same
They came to us with guns aflame.
The lightning flashed and thunder roared
As the battle raged, our rounds had scored.

The fog was gone and we could see
We lost none and they lost three.
We left early that very day
With four more kills along the way.

The war goes on and so do we
We're moving north to set men free.
The weather is bad and very cold
Our charge is fast and very bold.

Our tracks are steel and they do stick
The tanks do move, but not so quick.
We're told to stop and that's not right
we're told to halt and not to fight.

The Chinese came and came and came
They sprung the trap with us the game.
The orders came for some to leave
Except the tanks, they got no reprieve.

Guard the roads and let the troopers out
We did our job without a doubt.
The tanks were left and some came out
And some still guard the roads today.

They gave their lives so we may be
A nation proud, a nation free.
The war goes on and more men die
And life goes on, we wonder why.

God gives us grace to live with death
A nation free, a nation blessed.
And now we're old and now we say
God Bless you sirs that guard the way.


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REPLACEMENT 56109191

Author: William Hitt, K Co, 32nd Regt, 7th Div


His body lays suspended on barb-wire just above.
Breathing. . . minutes before,
I don't know his name

Gaping chest wound. . . a rivulet of red
mixes with muddy water and seeps down,
I don't know his name.

His eye's are open . . . A look of surprise.
He watches my every move,
I don't know his name.

God I wish he could close them.
My mouth is dry. He knows I'm afraid,
I don't know his name.

A Sabre scream overhead,
Napalm scorches the hill above.
Chaos tears my gut,
I don't know his name.

His life soaks into my flak-vest.
Time to move forward.
I know I must take his place,
But I don't know his name.


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"THE HILLS OF KOREA"

Author: E.G.B. 25th Div
Submitted by: Richard L. Marshall



There is blood in the hills of Korea,
It's the blood of the brave and the true,
Where Gl's battled together
For our banner of red, white, blue.

Forward they went into battle
With faces unsmiling and stern;
For they knew as they charged up the hillside
There were many that would not return.

Some thought of their wives and mothers,
And some of their sweethearts fair,
And some as they plodded and stumbled
Were silently saying a prayer.

There are graves on the hills of Korea
Of men who are now in God's land,
And the soil where our soldiers are resting
Will forever be part of our land.

There is blood on the hills of Korea;
It's the gift of the freedom we love.
May their names and faces live in glory forever,
And their souls rest in Heaven above.

Remember the hills of Korea,
And the blood, the dust , and the rain.
And remember our buddy's always
So they shall not have died there - in vain.


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A G.I.'S THOUGHTS

K-13, 1952-Written and submitted by Kenneth Hayes


I was walking my post on a Korean night,
The wind was cold and the area quiet,
I was thinking of home, and the loved ones there;
Over here friends, those thoughts aren't rare;

Of the end of the war and the time of return,
And the things back home for which I yearn.
I could see the flash of the guns in the sky,
And I prayed for those who tonight would die

For a cause and belief they knew was just;
Secure in their faith, for in God is their trust.
Dying for freedom and a sincere peace;
Praying for the day when hostilities cease.

They are only young men doing a war's dirty work,
Guarding our freedom from the evils that lurk
In the acts and teahings of the tryant race'
For the rest of the world, setting the pace

In the fight for freedom and a lasting peace
Aggression, and all its' fears must cease.
These things I thought as I walked my post,
And it seemed to me, I could see the host

Of men who had died in freedom's fight
Being joined by those who passed on tonight.
As I walked with God a prayer I said,
"Peace for the living and rest for the dead."


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ONE DAY AT THE FRONT

Feb 1952-Written and submitted by Kenneth Hayes


I heard the roar of an airplane
Diving for the kill,
Heard the chatter of its' guns,
Saw men dying om the hill,

Heard the crash and thunder,
Saw the flash of the heavy guns,
Heard the rumble of the tanks,
For the battle's just begun.

I heard the scream and boom of shells
Tearing up the sod,
Heard the voice of a GI
As he softly prays to GOD,

I heard the cry of a wounded soldier
On a hillside swept with snow
Saw the hurrying forms of medics
Taking the wounded down below.

I heard the whine of a glancing bullet
Screaming toward the sky,
Heard the thud of another,
Saw a GI fall and die.

Heard the whistle of a large shell,
Saw the foxhole where it hits,
Heard the boom of its' explosion,
As it blow a man to bits.

I hear the order being given
For the men to take a hill,
See them meet a wall of hot lead,
See some fall and lie still.

After many bloody hours,
And the loss of many men,
Thay have taken the objective,
To be driven back again,

Leaving more good men dying
On the hillside as before.
I hear the order being given
To retake the hill once more.

Another village we have taken,
But on the outskirts of this town,
In a ditch, we saw some GIs
Where the REDS had shot them down,
Their hands tied behind their backs
Tied with barbed wire so tight,
There was blood on everything,
I will ne'er forget that sight.

Men are fighting and are dying
On the battlefields of war,
Pray for them, my fellow townsmen,
Even if you do no more.


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A KOREAN VETERAN

1976-Written and submitted by Kenneth Hayes


We just said goodbye to a good man,
A husband, a father, a friend,
A buddy to all who knew him
In that land where young lives did end,

A loving and devoted grandfather,
All these and just one thing more;
A neglected combat veteran
Of the forgotten Korean War.

Over fifty four thousand men died there,
Proud to answer their countries' call.
Over eighty one hundred still missing,
For no one could see them all fall.

No black granite wall for their tribute,
No statue to honor their dead,
No names were written in concrete;
Just a lonely white cross at their head.

No Hallowed ground foe their sleeping,
No flags to wave in the wind,
Just the hills where their blood flowed so freely
And the faithful boys' there did end.

The hills hold all the memories
Of the men who gave up their lives.
They are the monuments to honor our soldiers,
They'll endure through mans' anger and strife.

The first men died south of Suwon,
In the retreat back to Pusan;
Here they held to a small fragile foothold,
Against the enemies waves, they held on.

They finally broke out of the preimeter
And north to the Yalu they fought.
There the Chinese joined in the conflict
And made all the dying for nought.

There was Glouscester, Hamburger, and No Name,
The peaks of Jane Russell took an iron will.
The summit of Old Baldy came down a few feet,
And blood ran in streams down Pork Chop Hill.

They left blood in the harbor at the city of Inchon,
And in the battle for Seoul many a good man fell,
At the reservoir of Chonjin they were surrounded,
And the retreat to Hamhung was a cold, icy Hell.

There were victories, just dig in and hang on.
It was a vicious, long, dirty, small war.
The young men who fought in this conflict
Became old men, changed evermore.

When hundreds of Chinese charged up the hill,
And the guns became too hot to hold,
They became so sick of the killing,
Their young spirits became so hard, and cold.

Their blood consecrated all of the mountains,
And the rivers flowing through the land.
Became the only monuments to all these men,
And in honor they'll evermore stand.

When my life on this Earth is over,
And I shall dwell down here no more.
Just say "We have buried another veteran
Of the forgotten Korean War."


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INCHON,KOREA 1950

02-02-2000-Written and submitted by Kal Kalnasy, 1st Marine Div.


Inchon 1950 There it is just ahead
I've been thinking of it since they dragged me out of bed
Standing there by the ships nets
On being alive in the morning I'm taking no bets

Scrambling down the nets to the LCVP
Wondering if anyone will survive especially me
The noise of the rockets and guns pounding in my ears
Trying to stop shaking trying to conceal my fears

The ramp is dropping were hitting the beach
Racing across the sand looking for cover that I can reach
Terror in the afternoon and even more terror at night
Courage please don't leave me especially if I have to fight

Digging your fox hole at least five feet deep
Lord if I don't dig it deeper I'll never sleep
Then comes the word saddle up we move out in five
Heading for the Han River when we get there will we all be alive

Waiting for the thirty-first army they should be there at first light
I sure hope that when they get there They are prepared to fight
They're marching out onto the field like they're on public display
A mortar shell lands they leave the field I guess they're not to fight today

Our tanks are exposed they're on the bridge with no place to go
Mortar shells are coming in landing on the bridge and also below
Why did this happen how could it be
Look there are dead Marines one two- three

Well I'll be damned look I'm wounded in the ass
How? I know it's the only part of me that was touching the grass
Finally were breaking through the Korean mortars are dead
Oh my God don't look at my buddy don't look at his head

Corpsman, Corpsman come quick please save those you can
Not him not my buddy he's dead just save that man
Lord none of this would've happened if only the army had stayed
My buddy won't be home with his kids he won't see them as they played

Here comes the chopper I'm to be medi-vaced out
Some day I'll have to see his wife and tell her what this was about
War can be so stupid and war can be so dumb
My god what has happened Dear God why am I so numb

Here I am on a hospital ship covered with a clean white sheet
Thinking Lord why them instead of me at this time death would be so sweet
I don't think that we should cry
I think we'll just say SEMPER FI

Out on patrol with twenty- one men
Don't know if we'll be back or when
Watch out look to the right
I just caught a flicker of movement in the moonlight

Hit the deck hit the deck as fast as you can
Come on Marines I don't want to lose another man
Come on guys keep your eyes peeled what do you see
There he is at two o'clock who's got the Springfield O-3

Squeeze that round off he's all yours
Breath slowly remember we can't afford Maggies drawers
On my motion move forward please keep low
That's it keep your heads down move low and slow

Intelligence reports there are gooks up ahead
Heads down look sharp I don't need any more dead
Up ahead there's a house off to the right
You can just make it out in the morning light

You take the right flank I'll move straight ahead
Look sharply men remember what intelligence said
Keep down keep down that's a rifle I see
I'm going to recon ahead keep your eyes on me

There off to the left in that clump of trees
Looks like a platoon of gooks grouped in threes
They're heading for that house over by that ditch
I wonder if I should take out that last son of a bitch

Lifting my arm pumping one two three
Bringing my men up grouping them next to me
Letting my men see what I had found
Telling them to be careful to hug the ground

Firing off a round from a three point five
Crawling forward to see if anyone is alive
There at that window they're firing back
Jesus Christ they got our radioman in the back

Open fire men blow those bastards to hell
Corpsman corpsman I hear a marine yell
The firing is so loud it sounds like the fourth of July
Then there's an explosion as fire lights up the sky

Checking my men to see who's dead or alive
Eight men are wounded My God I've lost five
As much as I want to I just can't cry
All I can say is SEMPER FI

Driving through Korea like a run away train
Not stopping for sun cold or rain
Sweeping opposition aside like so much trash
Eating our k-rations sometimes ham sometimes hash

North Koreans running as fast as can be
No fighting to speak of no soldiers to see
Word comes down there's trouble ahead
Our convoys are being ambushed or so they've said

Marines are stretched out to the Manchurian border
Into the trucks keep them covered is the order
We'll try to surprise them it's the supply convoys they attack
If they ambush us we'll be prepared to strike back

The roads in this part of Korea are rough and narrow
You would swear they're not wide enough for a wheelbarrow
At the head of the column is a Patton tank
We huddle in our trucks no matter our rank

The road is shaped with twists and curls
We sit in our trucks napping and thinking of girls
The lead tank goes around the bend and disappears from sight
Suddenly there's an explosion loud enough to give you a fright

Then the sound of machine guns as they open fire on you
No one killed in our truck but they've wounded a few
We leap from the truck as fast as can be
Searching the hillside yelling what do you see

There by that tree I see two-three or four
Killing them with a light machine gun looking for more.
We've smashed the attack we've made them pay
My men and I are safe for another day

The road must be cleared so we can get on our way
We must supply our forward Marines before the end of the day
While the supply trucks continue towards the Manchurian border
We dig in at a place called Koto ri and bring the camp to order.

The engineers build an airstrip cut out of the field
Orders come down from Colonel Chesty Puller We will not yield
Rumors start flying that Chinese troops have been seen quite near
What happened to the promise we'd be home by the end of the year

We do what Marines do and do so well dig foxholes and prepare
God don't let them attack please tell me they wouldn't dare
I'm going to grab some sleep or at least try
What more can I say except SEMPER FI

The sounds of bugles break the stillness of the midnight air
Those eerie sounds seeming to come from every where
The ground vibrating from the rumble of horses hoofs in the night
I crawl out of my sleeping bag not knowing if I should run or fight

Word comes from Yudam-ni the Chinese have entered the war
They've crossed over from Manchuria with three divisions or more
They're being cut down like stalks of corn they're piled six and seven high
We don't know if they can be stopped but we've got to try

We're out of ammo fix bayonets comes the cry
As we charge they retreat I guess they don't want to die
Pull back dig in are the orders that we receive
Here they come again like water through a sieve

Our perimeter is collapsing we're being over run
Get our wounded and our dead keep firing that machine gun
Then comes the most beautiful sight the corsairs are here
Guns and bombs and napalm to the Chinese bring nothing but fear

Under cover of the massive air attack
We are able to regroup as we pull back
This is not a retreat that is something Marines never do
We are just attacking from a different view

We fight our way back to hagaru-ri bringing our wounded and dead
Winter is here the temperatures dropped just one more thing to dread
Writing letters home saying everything's fine everything's dandy
Sipping on a hot cup of joe but keeping your rifle handy

Sending out scouting parties at dawn trying to take a prisoner or two
Coming back after six hours in the hills with fingers turning blue
Trying to keep the lines open to prevent the Chinese troops
From over running our positions destroying their attaching groups

Three thousand men bottled up at the Chosin Reservoir
They need a safe place to regroup before the Chinese kill any more
Chinese attacking again and again trying to over run our position
Trying to kill as many as we can sending them to perdition

Bulldozers digging a hole in the frozen ground to bury our dead
Enemy fire so heavy our wounds and blood are running red
Evacuating our wounded by cargo plane with tanks leading the way
Firing at everything straight ahead making the Chinese troops pay

Maintaining our defensive positions is more valuable than gold
No matter how many Chinese attack we're totally committed to hold
Counting our wounded and counting our dead makes one want to cry
Yet all I can do and all I can say is SEMPER FI.

Again and again the Chinese ninth army group charges in another attack
Again and again the first the fifth and the seventh Marines throw them back
Casualties are heavy we're dying one by one yet nobody runs
We dig in deeper close our ranks and teach them the law of the guns

Wave after wave of screaming Chinese throw themselves at our lines
They're killed by our Marines with rifles mortars and hidden land mines
Still they keep coming like pigs to the slaughter we wonder when it will stop
We pile them up two and three high and still they come over the top

We throw ourselves to the ground so our machine guns can do their work
Then up on our feet with bayonets fixed we meet them like we've gone berserk
Cutting and slashing lunging and parrying we meet them face to face
We scream we holler we lunge we kill of reason there is no trace

We push them back but at what cost more Marines are lying dead
You know in your mind that soon you'll be killed but still you move ahead
You hear the sounds of Chinese bugles calling their units back
On the cold ground with a cigarette and cup of joe waiting for the next attack

Marine fighters blanketing the sky dropping napalm all around
You roll up in a blanket grab some sleep your body hugging the ground
Then comes the word the rest of our Marines from Hagaru-ri are coming in a wave
Here they are carrying their wounded and dead I've never seen anything so brave

We tighten our lines and close our ranks so we can give them a little rest
For in all the History of the Marine Corps these men are by far the best
We know that for every Marine lost The Chinese have lost twenty-five
We're bound and determined that what ever it takes we will keep them alive

For ten days and ten nights we hold our lines as casualties continue to mount
We have killed so many attackers that after a few days we no longer count
Then word comes down break camp prepare to move out at first light
We start the long trek back to the sea and with every step taken we fight

On the hills to our right and the snow to our left the Chinese are everywhere
The wind is so cold the temperature drops we fire our weapons with care
We open our mouths take deep breaths it feels like our lungs will freeze
One of the greatest fears that we have is that we'll have to sneeze

As dusk settles in we are ordered to camp to dig our foxholes deep
We finish our jobs then pull down our tents and march again with no sleep
Casualties mount frostbite sets in many of us find it difficult to walk
We keep plodding on fighting every inch of the way too tired even to talk

Finally we arrive at the port of Hungnam and see the harbor filled with ships
We fight our way to the boats crawl aboard with a thank you on our lips
During the march fighting every inch of the way I thought I would die
Now on the evacuation ship all I can say is SEMPER FI.


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CLEAR DAY, 50 YEARS OF MEMORIES

01-01-01-Written and submitted by Kal Kalnasy, 1st Marine Div.


Woke up this morning with a terrible dream
Sweating so profusly I wanted to scream
Memories flooding into my mind
Memories the kind you don't want to find

Thinking of the horrors of Korea fifty years ago
Horrors that seem to pass ever so slow
Remembering a mass grave dug at Koto-ri
Thinking of all the men I would never again see

I have been very lucky these past fifty years
Being able to bury the memories and the fears
Thinking back to Masan Korea listening to Chesty speak
Remembering so much from that epic week

New Years day nineteen-fifty-one
The sky so overcast no sight of the sun
Looking around to see how many of my men were there
Seeing so many are missing, wishing I didn't care

Wondering how this could have happened to me
Realizing it's the price we have to pay to be free
But to lose so many men so many boys
Thrown away like so many broken toys

Politicians sitting in their offices so smug
Tossing the war reports in their desks with hardly a shrug
Complaining of the snow and the difficult drive
Wondering if they'll miss the cocktail party at five

Caring only that they have won another term
By God this year they'll get a raise on that they're firm
And in Middle America there's a knock on the door
It's Western Union saying your son won't be home anymore

To the window you go to hang that Gold Star for all to see
Your husband your son died so they could be free
Buried in a hole in the frozen Far East
As his Senator sits down for a New Years feast

Troops coming home broken some with frost bitten feet
Hands shaking so hard they can't hold a fork to eat
Trying to put their lives back together trying to forget it all
Sitting in a chair with glassy eyes staring at the wall

Being so moody so withddrawn never speaking at all
Shutting down all the memories rom winter to fall
Yes I woke up with these memories in Two-thousand and one
These memories of Korea from Nineteen-fifty-one


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