Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Dec. 21, 1950
WITH THE 1ST MARINE DIV IN
KOREA (Delayed)- His feet were too frozen to make the long march away
from the Chosin reservoir sector, so the big, nameless, sergeant,
almost tearful, was hauled aboard a truck loaded with others like
The frozen roads were jammed with men and trucks
and small groups of Korean refugees, and the enemy waited to pounce
on the convoy.
In one of these raids, a Korean woman, carrying
her small son, was hit. The big sergeant's truck drew alongside. Desperately,
the woman looked at the Marine driver, talking rapidly in her native
tongue and holding out the child.
The driver, intent on maneuvering his clumsy vehicle
along the busy route, did not see her.
With an impatient grunt of pain, the big sergeant
moved to the side of the truck. Leaning over, he took the child from
the woman. Its feet were frozen and its hands cracked and bleeding.
For nine long hours the sergeant sat without moving.
He cushioned the child's body against the bumping, jarring truck with
He had placed the boy inside his parka. When enemy
mortars halted the column and machinegun bullets whined, the sergeant
pushed his chin down against the boy's head and sucked on his dead
When the column moved again, it drew white phosphorous
shells in the light of enemy flares. The sergeant sat his ground.
When it was finally over, the big sergeant moved
his body for the first time. Lifting the boy from the truck, he hobbled
across the snow to an aid station.