Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story

By Jack R. Siewert | Go to book overview

Epilogue

The events of those three weeks in July 1952 occurred more than fiftyfour years ago. I have forgotten many of the details, yet I was surprised at how much remained to be brought back to the surface of my memory. Although the memories remained dormant for many years, the stimulus of concentration on the chronology brought back events and even fragments of conversations. With the long view of time for my perspective, I believe my understanding of those events is clearer and more intense now than it was fifty-four years ago.

In December 1952 the 3rd Infantry Division awarded me a combat decoration, the Bronze Star Medal (Meritorious). The citation that accompanied the medal summed up, in a brief paragraph, what has taken me many pages to depict in this story. In six sentences the U.S. Army captured the entire thrust of Outpost Kelly. The operative phrase of the citation is “so that he might be with his platoon to direct supporting fire for the infantry as they assaulted an enemy position referred to as ‘OP Kelly.’ “ The phrase inferred a military victory, the retaking of a hill held by the Chinese. In July 1952, a victory at Outpost Kelly was a rational conclusion. Years later, I have acquired a more comprehensive understanding of the Korean War, and today I ask: How meaningful was the victory on Kelly that day? An enemy position was assaulted and secured, but to what end? Outpost Kelly had been lost on 28 July 1952 and retaken on 31 July 1952. We got the hill back—temporarily. On 18 September 1952, the 65th Infantry Regiment lost control of the hill, which

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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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