Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story

By Jack R. Siewert | Go to book overview

2
Close and Join

FIRST DAY, 0730 HOURS

Our motor march from the Charlie Company bivouac area to the 2nd Battalion was just over six miles. White Front Bridge, over the Imjin River, was a new trestle-bent structure that replaced the old pontoon bridge. Although the bridge was rated at a capacity to handle the fortyeight-ton weight of an M-46 tank, we still crossed the structure gingerly. Only one tank was permitted to cross at one time; all crew members except the tank commander and driver had to dismount and walk—the same way we proceeded through a minefield. The idea was to approach a potential hazard with the view of minimizing casualties. A river route was available, but I rejected the option yesterday because the march was much longer and required fording the Imjin River at three locations. The depth of the river at any of the three fords could be a serious obstacle for a tank, and at the moment I had no sure knowledge of the condition of the Imjin. The route with the fewest obstacles was the preferred way to approach tank movement in Korea.

Of the many barriers to tank travel, the worst were minefields and ice. Both these obstacles were deadly. Fortunately, Charlie Company, and my platoon, faced only one minefield during my tour of duty. It was our own minefield, unmarked on the maps we had, and the consequence was merely rerouting our column and extending our motor march. Charlie Company was not so fortunate with snow and ice conditions. Late in

-12-

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Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • 1 - Reconnaissance Up Front 1
  • 2 - Close and Join 12
  • 3 - Hill 199 28
  • 4 - Stuck in the Mud 63
  • 5 - Outpost Kelly Is Lost 76
  • 6 - >the Fight for Outpost Kelly 92
  • 7 - Return to Home Station 136
  • Epilogue 143
  • Notes 147
  • Glossary of Terms and Acronyms 151
  • Bibliography 155
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