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US Veteran Monte Geddes, Shares Thoughts On Military Life In The Korean Conflict
(-Part two of a five part series by Monte Geddes, Mediapolis, Iowa formerly of La Harpe)
Writing this it suddenly came to me that a lot of people way younger than I probably have no idea how the Korean War began. I will try here to bring everyone up to date on what was happened.
With the war over in Europe Russia decided to declare war on Japan. The United States were not real happy with this move on their part. Allied forces were closing in on Japan one island at a time. On August 6, 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima followed by another three days later on Nagasaki. Japan asked for surrender on August 15, 1945 and the official documents were signed on the deck of the Battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945.
In Korea, a nation that had been under Japanese forces for several years, the American and Russian forces both occupied the nation. On August 10, 1945 with an agreement between the two nations the 38th Parallel was established. The north under Russian control and the south under U.S. control. Looking back Russia got what it wanted a toe hold in that part of the world to spread communism in China as well as North Korea.
In the next few years the American presents in South Korea went down to about nothing. In Japan U.S. Occupation forces were more interested in seeing that nation rebuild. By now Russia had spread their form of communism over Eastern Europe and were a threat to take over all of Europe. Needless to say the most combat ready U.S. Forces were deployed in Europe where they would be most needed in case Russian Forces attack. The American public was sick of war, WW-II had not been over long and the idea of spending more blood and money was not a popular idea. The United Nations had been formed and everyone put a lot of faith here. After all it is much better to set across the table from your enemy instead of the battlefield. The entire free world bought into this idea and many thought we will have at last world peace.
On June 25, 1950 the North Korean Army attack south across the 38th parallel with a strong armored and infantry assault. The new Russian T-34 tanks lead the way and were an excellent weapon from all reports. General Douglas MacArthur had to act fast go get a force into South Korea to slow the North Korean advance. This was not an easy project even though the U.N. condemned the action.
On the way! Our 4th Gun Section fires a round. Note the next round on the loading tray. These projectiles we fired were about 85% made at the Iowa Ordinance Plant in Burlington, IA.
Monte Geddes holding a 200 lb projectile something most gun crew members did for a picture to send home. Howitzer in parapet with breach block open and ready line makes up your work area. Note the winter boots "Mickie Mouse" on the feet. They were absolutely great in the Korean winter.