Bob Barfield of Philadelphia joined the army at age 17 in 1951. After basic training, he completed Airborne Jump School and was sent to the front lines of Korea with the 5th RCT in the spring of 1952.
Still 17, Barfield was shot through the right shoulder. After recuperating from his wound he requested and received a transfer again to a front line unit and was sent to Co. "F" 7th Infantry Regiment 3rd Infantry Division. On June 14, 1953, Barfield and his company were involved in a bloody hand-to-hand battle for an outpost called the "Boomerang," a battle that lasted about five hours.
According to the National Archive, there were 25 Americans killed, 79 wounded and one man was missing in action. Chinese casualties were 1,255 confirmed killed in action, 865 wounded and three were taken prisoner.
Barfield again requested front line duty and served on line with the 187th Airborne RCT until one week before the truce was signed in Korea. Ten months after discharge he served four years as a parachute rigger for the U.S. Navy. After discharge from the Navy, Barfield retired as a letter carrier from the U.S. Postal Service.
Bob and I have been married 30 years and have six children. Bob, his oldest son and Bob's brother all served in the 82nd Airborne Division, More information about Bob and his recommendation for the Medal of Honor can be seen on his website, robertbarfield.com
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