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Praetorian
08-19-2009, 01:51
Today marks the 58th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Bloody Ridge, Korea (August 18, 1951 - September 5, 1951). It was immediately followed by the "Battle of Heartbreak Ridge".

My father in law was with the 2nd Infantry 37th Field Artillery Battalion.

He passed away several years ago, but my wife recently gave me his "war diary" which I have been transcribing which contain his accounts of the battles.

In memory of him and all the young men who fought that summer.

[Battle of Bloody Ridge - August 18- September 5 1951]


Wed 22 Aug

Here I am again another week gone but not much happened until yesterday. Then the stuff hit the fan. Fired 1800 rounds yesterday. Have about another 5000 more to expend in the next three days. Raining quite a bit again.


Tues 28 August

Haven’t done much past week. Rained a lot. Fired 250,000th [round] this week. Moving today north of yangu. Rained all day. Got stuck in the mud. Stranded by a river. Only thing between us and [expletive deleted] was space. 9th [infantry] pulled out.


Wed 29th

Pulled out this morning in a wide open valley. Got some incoming into valley last night. 38 F.A. is directly behind us. Can see a hill that the [explative deleted] have. Our F.A. is throwing some stuff on the ridge about 2 ˝ miles in front of us. Nothing bad. We are close enough for them to see us. Sun is out bright & warm this morning. Got real cool last nite.


Sat 1 Sept 1951

Well the [infantry]. Is still trying to take the hill to our front. Air force and Navy both made strikes on it today. Napalm Rockets & strafing . I don’t see how anyone can stand to be up there. Must have been several tons of [High Explosive] thrown in there today. But seems to be doing little good. Boy you can sure tell fall is in the air. Got downright cold last nite. Maybe some of the rain will stop now.


[Battle of Heartbreak Ridge September 13 1951- October 15, 1951]


Fri 14 Sept 1951

Have moved several times in past two weeks over almost impassible roads. Have been firing quite a bit. Are pretty close to front lines now. Get incoming every day. One hit on the hill side about 75 yards from the tent. Put a small hole thru our tent. One thru kitchen tent. Fired better than 2000 rounds yesterday. Firing up a storm this morning. Infantry made an attack yesterday and we are in direct support. Guess thats all for now.


21 Sep 1951 Fri

Well yesterday was a day I will never forget. We got the hell shelled out of us. 5 of our men injured and 2 men from service battery. One shell got six of them at one time. This same shell hit about 10 yards from where I was laying. The only thing that saved my life and Hathaway’s was a small barricade we built about 2 hrs before to sit behind while we were on fire missions. It was all big stuff. This morning we got some more. They hit our ammo dump and gas dump also.


Mon 24 Sept 1951

Left this morning to go on Forward Observation with Lt. Lampert. Don’t know what the outcome will be. Went to mass & Communion yesterday.


Wed 26 September

Finally got on the hill Mon Eve early. Passed a lot of dead G.I.s on the way. 3rd Battalion of 23 where we are is about 1/3 strength. Situation here is the most screwed up I’ve ever seen. Lt. Lampert says its worst he has seen also. Don’t know when we will get off here but I sure hope its soon. This place is no good.


Wed 4 Oct

Another week has gone by. Came off the hill Sat after noon 29th. Had a snack of french toast and fried weenies when we got in and a pot of hot coffee. Boy it sure was good to get off C rations after a week. we got mortars and [Self Propelled Artillery]’s on us every day. One day they kept us in our holes for 2 ˝ hrs. Some of them came mighty close too. One mortar [round] hit about 10 ft from our bunker. Boy I don’t ever want any thing that close again. Lt. Lampert is a fine man & Officer. As fine a gentleman as I have ever met or come in contact with. When we started to leave a sniper cut loose with a big gun every time one of the guys came over the ridge line. None were hit tho thank the lord. Boy I’m sure thankful I’m in the F.A.


16 October 1951 Tuesday

Long time in between lines again. Well the Battle of Heart-break is over. Finally after a month’s of hard fighting. We sure fired a lot of rounds into that area. Went to mass and Communion on 14 Oct. From all we know now we will stay here for the winter. I sure hope so anyway. Firing has cut down about 1/4 or for 500 rounds per day. Nothing much else today.


-Sergeant First Class Paul D. Makowsky- August- October 1951- “Heartbreak Ridge” Korea.

Stras
08-19-2009, 06:25
Thank you for sharing this!!!!

Richard
08-19-2009, 07:37
Once transcribed, a copy needs to go here for archival purposes.

http://www.koreanwarcenter.org/index.php/archives

A copy to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning and Artillery Museum at Fort sill would be appropriate, too.

http://www.nationalinfantrymuseum.com/

http://sill-www.army.mil/Museum/HOME%20PAGE.htm

Richard's $.02 :munchin

dirt_diver
09-15-2009, 19:44
Quote: "Fired 250,000th [round] this week"

That is crazy. Thanks for the post!

Praetorian
09-15-2009, 20:19
Quote: "Fired 250,000th [round] this week"

That is crazy. Thanks for the post!

That one struck me as well.... I assume he meant his 250,000th since he got to Korea???

MARMAK
09-21-2009, 20:13
Praetorian,
Thank you for sharing this. I was unaware that this diary existed. How much have you transcribed? Do you need help? Looking forward to the rest of the story.
He was 23 years old when he wrote this portion.

Take a look at what he wrote exactly 58 years ago today:

21 Sep 1951 Fri

Well yesterday was a day I will never forget. We got the hell shelled out of us. 5 of our men injured and 2 men from service battery. One shell got six of them at one time. This same shell hit about 10 yards from where I was laying. The only thing that saved my life and Hathaway’s was a small barricade we built about 2 hrs before to sit behind while we were on fire missions. It was all big stuff. This morning we got some more. They hit our ammo dump and gas dump also.

If things were to have happened just slightly differently in just a blink of an eye 58 years ago yesterday, he would not have written this, we would not be reading this, I would not be writing this.

I still think about Dad every day. This has given me a new perspective on his life as well as mine.