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.