Skip to comments.Remembering our Army at war in Korea
Posted on 03/11/2007 8:01:05 PM PDT by WSGilcrest
During the stalemate in March 1952, elements of the 40th Infantry Division were occupying positions on the central front. Among the men assigned was Episcopal Chaplain Robert M. Crane. The 40th Division was a National Guard unit that had relieved the 24th Infantry Division little more than a month before. Although Crane, like many of the men he served, had had previous Army experience, his second tour had begun only 12 months earlier. He spent most of that time in Japan where the two National Guard divisions, the 40th and the 45th, trained and provided security while high-level commanders debated over sending them into combat. When the units were finally shipped to Korea, however, they quickly demonstrated their effeetiveness.100
On 11 March Chaplain Crane had just concluded a worship service for a unit of the 160th Infantry Regiment near Kumsong, North Korea. As he was leaving the area, an incoming artillery round nearly scored a direct hit on his jeep. The blast beside the road mortally wounded him. Robert Crane was the last U.S. Army chaplain to be killed in action in Korea. Nearly a year later the final Army chaplain casualty was added to the list when fellow Episcopalian Kenneth C. Wilson, 54th Quartermaster Battalion, died of non-battle causes on 23 January 1953. There was tragic similarity between Cranes loss and the sacrifices of the Minutemen-chaplains of the American Revolution dying among citizen-soldiers who struggled to protect the independence of a tiny and, to many people, unimportant nation.101
The men of the 40th Division collected over $5,000 during worship services to help build a Robert Crane Memorial Chapel in northern Honshu, Japan, where the chaplain had expressed an interest in serving as a missionary after the War. The same division contributed more than $29,000 toward relief work in Korea during their service there. Their contributions were typical of thousands of dollars donated by American servicemen around the world for Korean relief, particularly among war orphans, in drives often sponsored by Army chaplains.102
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In a world full of "big" events, it's sobering to stop once and a while and put a name, a life, a personality to something the scope of war. Men like Chaplin Crane died for the right reasons and we aught not forget their sacrifices !!!
Grandad flew P51D's in Korea, then went on to F86 Sabers .... killer handsome guy back then and a super GD tody .... I love that guy .....
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