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Memories of a U.S. 3rd Infantry Division man on 50th anniversary of service

Featured in Legiontown U.S.A.

One night about 50 years ago this March, in the Chorwon area in North Korea, there was an earthquake. I was serving with the Third Infantry Division. The next morning - early - I crawled out of my foxhole, made it to mess hall and asked my sergeant if I could go off premises and look around. He said OK.

I walked about a quarter or three-eighths of a mile parallel to the frontline trench, and I saw some fresh dirt to my right. I went about 200 yards and there was a hole in the ground about 40 or 50 feet across, and the dirt on top of it had fallen against the side nearest me. I went down into this hole. It was dim and scary down there but I could see a good ways on either side. Seemed to be an old mine.

There was shallow water everywhere and all kinds of Japanese Army material - guns, monitors, shells, grenades and so on. Green clothes floated about in three or four piles on top of the water. I suspect beneath were the skeletons of Japanese soldiers.

As I started to look for souvenirs, I remembered what we had been told: not to go in or around caves, tunnels or old mines because in that part of the world there lived man-eating tigers.

At about the same instant - whether real or imagined - it seemed I heard a big tiger running through the water. I immediately departed. When I got back to the mess hall, I told my sergeant I, like General MacArthur, had returned. He said OK.

In all this time I have never told but two or three people about this for fear of being court-martialed.

 

 

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