My Hero- Colonel Fox (name changed).

In September of 1968 the Recon. Platoon of the Second Battalion, 38th Infantry (The Rock of the Marne) was operating as the Quick Reaction Force/Strike Force for the Battalion. The mission was to move quickly to any possible sighting or contact with possible North Korean infiltrators who might be trying to cross into South Korea.

On the night of the 18th of September, the Strike Force received a radio call that there had been a penetration of the fence line. The unit of 25 men moved out quickly (reaction time was 2 minutes, 24 hours a day). Infiltrators typically moved along stream beds until they reached the Imjin River and then swam across in the dark of night.

The Strike Force moved to a point where one of the streams passed between a dirt road and an old Korean War vintage mine field. The unit surmised that infiltrators would hide in the mine field. After a 20 minute wait, movement was detected in the stream bed. A flare was popped and the movement stopped quickly just into the tall grass that covered the minefield.

The Strike Force reported the possible location of the infiltrators and held in position until first light.

The 2nd Division sent in an all Korean Counter Insurgency Company. The moved into position along the edge of the minefield, blocking access to the Imjin River. A large force of US troops moved to the other side of the minefield in blocking positions.

A fierce firefight broke out. Within 15 minutes the South Korean unit suffered multiple casualties (2 dead and 7 wounded). The Strike Force offered its services to evacuate the casualties and resupply the South Koreans with ammunition. The General in charge agreed to the request and the Strike Force drove out onto the beach to a position near the South Koreans. Ammunition  was unloaded and several of the wounded in the vicinity were carried into the APC (one of the four that existed-previous post). The members of the Strike Force that would not fit in the now full APC, spread out along the beach to prevent an escape by the infiltrators. Over the next 7 hours, several more trips were made to evacuate wounded and dead South Koreans. During the entire period the Strike Force was under intense enemy fire but was lucky enough to suffer no casualties. At one point part of the Strike Force moved into positions with the South Koreans and were able to determine that several infiltrators had been wounded. At one point, one of them committed suicide by setting off one of his grenades.

After roughly 10 hours the Strike Force brought in 2 more APCs and the unit drove up a steep embankment and into the minefield in an effort to overcome the last North Korean resistance. The four infiltrators were overrun (one was alive and escaped through the South Korean line). After the final assault the unit retired to the beach where they had been pinned down for all those hours. Several more South Korean casualties were brought down to the beach and a single APC drove in from the road. All firing had stopped at this point and the Strike Force and the Counter Insurgency Company were unwinding on the beach.

The APC pulled up and the rear door was dropped. The troops picked up two two dead South Koreans and moved to load them into the newly arrived APC. They were blocked by a Full Bull Colonel. Colonel Fox-the Deputy Brigade Commander. He weighed 400 pounds and spent most of his time playing the slots at the Officers Club. He pulled out his 38 revolver and started shooting in the air. Naturally all on the beach hot the deck assuming they were under fire by remaining North Koreans. When the South Korean Platoon Leader and the Strike Force Platoon leader realized what was happening they jointly disarmed Colonel Fox, pushed him into the APC and sent him off the beach. One of the dead didn’t make that trip due to the Colonel’s girth.

Nine members of the US Strike Force were decorated for Valor  for their actions that day. They received the Army Commendation Medal with “V” for Valor. This is the Army’s lowest decoration for Valor.

Colonel Fox received A Bronze Star with “V’ for Valor for his actions that day.

Several months later Colonel Fox issued a Letter of Reprimand to the Strike Force Platoon leader for having failed to shoot an infiltrator at a range of 300 yards. The letter was rescinded by the Commanding General.


1 Response to “My Hero- Colonel Fox (name changed).”

  1. 1 tecosystems » links for 2007-01-26 Trackback on January 26, 2007 at 5:36 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: