A CORPORAL'S STORY

PREAMBLE: This epistle covers a period of my life spent in the Korean War during the period September, 1950 to February, 1952. It is culled from some very old documents and a very old and limited memory but in essence it is reasonably accurate and reflects the times that I often think of as a meaningful part of my life.

My Name is George Thomas Hanrahan the only son of Ronald J. Hanrahan and Marie V. Penny, both of Newfoundland and, although born in New York City on July 07, 1927, I was raised and educated in Nova Scotia, primarily in Halifax.

In 1943, while a student at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S., I joined the R.C.A.F. as aircrew, was injured and discharged to Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax in 1944. Subsequently, I graduated from the Maritime Business College in Halifax and was offered a position in New York City in the Spring of 1948; however, since I was eligible to be drafted in the U.S. Army, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and trained as a radio operator at Scott Field near Belleville, Illinois and Keesler Field at Biloxi, Mississippi.

At the onset of hostilities in Korea on June 25, 1950, I was stationed at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was drafted for overseas service on July 26, 1950 with orders to report to Camp Stoneman, CA. not later than September 01, 1950.

At the appointed time I found myself at Camp Stoneman for overseas posting and from there I went to Japan and ultimately to Pusan, Korea arriving there on or about the 10th of that month. At that time there was heavy fighting around the perimeter of Pusan and I was promptly processed and attached for duty with the 934th Signal Battalion, (a combat arm of the 5th Communications Group), that was, in turn, attached to the 1st Marine Division which was in the process of embarking for the invasion at Inchon, a west coast port near the South Korean capital, Seoul; however, in the confusion prevailing at Pusan I was unable to find the 934th. Consequently, on September 14, I found myself on a troop transport enroute to Inchon to take part in that planned invasion.

At Inchon, I disembarked, early in the morning of September 16, via nets to a LCV/P and I hit the beach at a point designated as "Red Beach" on the causeway connecting the island of Wolmi-do to the mainland and after that beachhead was secured proceeded on to Kimpo, the airport serving Seoul. At Kimpo, I made a few surveillance flights, as a radio operator, but was unable to find any USAF personnel in my search for the 934th so I returned to Inchon and finally found that unit, which was leaderless (I was informed that the officer in charge had deserted I believe that he was later tried by court martial and cashiered). After a new officer, Lt. Hunter Dunn, was appointed the 934th boarded another troop transport and sailed with the 1st Marines for a second invasion at Wonsan on the East Coast of Korea.

The voyage around Korea to Wonsan was uneventful and boring. The trip took about 3-4 days and then we went up and down the coast off of Wonsan for about 10 days to enable that Harbour to be cleared of mines (I understood that it was very heavily mined). Quite a few of the troops came down with some type of dysentery and the food, or lack of it, was of WW ll vintage. We had HMS Morecambe Bay as a naval escort. The disembarking procedure was as at Inchon over the side, down the nets with weapons and equipment and into a LCV/P only to wade ashore at the Beach.

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