My uncle was on occupation duty in Japan when the war started. He said they had them report with their gear on a Saturday and by Monday were in country. When he disembarked in korea his unit was handed 10 rounds and told to try and not waste them. Talk about a what the hell! moment for him.
He talked about the north korean tanks and how the first early WWII era bazookas would just bounce off the sides of the T34’s. His unit would form a line get hit, fight until they couldn’t hold, call in artillery or an airstrike if they could get it, which wasn’t much in the early days. Then bug out and try and find another defensible position.
Him and a buddy separated from their unit during one of the pull backs and was MIA for 3 days. They ran up one mountain and down another with the enemy right on their tails. They would hit a mountain peak, look down and there was the north koreans at the bottom. They finally ran into a South Korean army unit and made it back to US lines.
They finally of course held at Pusan. And then when we went on offense his unit fought all the way to the Yalu and he was around the CO of the unit when his officers asked do you want to form a defensive perimeter in the town below the cliff area they were on overlooking the river? He said the CO thought for a second and said no, we stay up here and set up. Later that night around 2:00am all hell broke loose then the Chinese entered the war. It was then one long retreat and then the counter offensive.
He was in the town that Gen. Dean was in when he was captured, his unit was one of the last to get out of the town. He said he went through the north korean capital Pyongyang and saw a north korean tank with a 90mm shell that had hit in the end of the barrel and it made him laugh because it looked just like a cartoon and had pealed the barrel back like a banana. He also said when they got through with Pyongyang and red square it didn’t look all nice and pretty like they show on tv.
He endured handed to hand fighting and nearly went crazy with PTSD after the war. It took him nearly a dozen years to calm down and control the PTSD. When I was a young kid in the 70’s he finally started talking about the war. He earned two bronze stars while in the service.
He preferred the full auto M1 carbine when dealing with the human wave attacks the chinese would throw at their lines. Two 30 round mags taped together and bandoliers full of more magazines and ammo. He on one occasion picked up a russian burp gun and carried it around for a while along with his M1 but said it was so damned heavy he ditched it and just carried the carbine.
Yeah, similar story with my uncle. After he finally left the army, he suffered from PTSD terribly and became an alcoholic. He NEVER talked about his war experiences up until a few years ago when his health started to decline and I started asking him about it.
A story I heard once, about the opening days of Korea, was that the 7th Infantry Division was hastily shipped over from Japan armed with Garands (which require that eight-round clip)...fine and dandy. The idiots who assembled their supplies sent a massive cache of .30-06 ammo...IN TWENTY ROUND CARDBOARD BOXES!!!
Those poor guys were left scrambling to police up and reload the clips they brought over in their cartridge belts until Supply managed to ship them enough clips or preclipped ammo...you gotta wonder how many guys paid a high price for that.