Skip to comments.Last seen punching with one hand & his trench knife in the other.
Posted on 03/07/2017 8:20:29 AM PST by ZULU
The first couple of years of the Korean War can easily be described as a seesaw strategic battle for control of the peninsula. However, the same was very much true at the tactical level where control for every field, hill, and ridge would often see a back and forth game of attack and counter-attack. Often changing hands multiple times in one evening, these strategic points became the center of intense fighting.
For Herbert K. Pililaau, this would result in him being the last man standing on hill 931 of Heartbreak Ridge as he covered the retreat for the rest of his squad.
(Excerpt) Read more at warhistoryonline.com ...
Why the hell didn’t they make a movie of this real hero??
I thought it was Gunny Tom Highway.
Because he used a rifle and rifles are bad.
That is it in a handbag. Hollyweird’s idea of a hero is jerk who doesn’t want to use a gun but is willing to be protected by other guys who are.
“For Herbert K. Pililaau, this would result in him being the last man standing on hill 931 of Heartbreak Ridge as he covered the retreat for the rest of his squad. He fired his Browning Automatic Rifle until he ran out of bullets. He then threw grenades until his supply was exhausted.
Moving to rocks, he hurled them as projectiles until there were none within reach. It was at this point he pulled out his trench knife and led a one-man charge. Punching with one hand and swinging his knife with the other was how the members of his squad report last seeing him.
And when his platoon retook the position the next day they found Pililaau fallen, but surrounded by 40 dead North Korean Soldiers. For his exceptional bravery that day, Herbert K. Pililaau was awarded the Medal of Honor and the admiration of every soldier he saved on Heartbreak Ridge.”
Korea, the Forgotten War, had it’s share of Heroes and Badasses.
Thank you for posting this.
Every time I here something about the Korean War I just remember my dad telling me how guys like this fought and died all the way to the Yalu river. North Korea was completely over run and the UN just gave it all back.
My mom’s little brother was an infantryman in Korea. It never set well with him that we didn’t win there. “We kicked their butts twice and Truman lost his nerve” was the way he put it.
He never talked much about his part of the war. We knew he had a Purple Heart and that he nearly drowned crossing a river.
He did let loose once that his best friend took a round in the head from a sniper. Other than that....nothing.
Poor guy is slipping deeper into Alzheimer’s now, he used to “see” kids running across his yard. Now he’s beginning to “see” North Koreans in the woods.
DOSS, DESMOND T.
Rank: Private First Class Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Medical Detachment Division: 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division
Born: Lynchburg, Va. Departed: Yes
Entered Service At: Lynchburg, Va. G.O. Number: 97
Date of Issue: 11/01/1945 Accredited To:
Place / Date: Near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945
DOSS, DESMOND T. Photo
He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces in a cave’s mouth, where he dressed his comrades’ wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.
I like people who shoot back.
I like shooters.
I also like folks who fix broken soldiers.
And I’m generally inclined to respect folks with MOH hanging from their neck.
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