Martin Markley

Looking east across the Chorwon Valley towards Whitehorse Mountain in Korea during the winter of 1952 (Photo by Martin Markley)


Command Report

15th Inf. KIA on OP Harry

M Company

K Company



Seoul Korea


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Upon arrival in Korea late September 1952, I was assigned to the Third Infantry Division joining the 15th infantry Regiment in a reserve area. I assumed command of M Company and was informed that the battalion would move on line to the Iron Triangle area the next day. Following a quick reconnaissance of the new position, we moved on foot in the morning. After spending a night just to the rear of the MLR, we occupied the bunkers and trenches of the company relieved. All the heavy weapons were left in place. The first day was spent verifying and registering mortar concentrations and machine gun fields of fire with particular emphasis on the final protective fire plans. The sector we occupied extended from the railroad tracks on the West to the area by outpost Dick on the East. Action primarily consisted of support by the 81mm mortar platoon. During a prolonged fire mission on Jackson Heights the tubes became overheated. The heat thawed the frozen ground which caused the base plates to sink. At times the heat of the tubes ignited the propellant charge.

The battalion came off line near the end of December. During this short period, extensive training was conducted at all levels and equipment replaced as necessary. I spent one day as an umpire with Major Eisenhower judging the effectiveness of a Greek company's simulated combat attack.

In preparation of moving back on line all 15th Infantry reconnaissance members replaced the 3ID patch with the 25ID patch and vehicles were temporarily marked as 25ID. The move on line was made at night by vehicle. As we settled into position the CCF, over loudspeakers, welcomed the 3ID back. Obviously, the CCF intelligence was better than our secrecy. The battalion was again in the Iron Triangle area. I was assigned to the battalion S3 section. During this time I worked with division artillery in development of coordinated fire plans to support a raid north along the railroad to Jackson Heights. I accompanied a unit raid that passed through Outpost Dick with the CCF's Old Charlie as the objective.

I assumed command of K Company in February while they were on line behind Outpost Dick and East across Happy Valley. K Company remained in this location until relieved by N Company of the Greek Battalion in Late May. Activities during this period was primarily night patrolling and improving the defenses. While in this area, I went on R&R to Japan and also was sent to a joint Army/Air Force coordination course. My Air Force roommate was Lt. Frank Borman, who became the first astronaut to circumnavigate the moon.

Following relief by the Greeks, the battalion went to reserve in Camp Phiney. During this time all equipment was inspected and replaced as necessary, and time was spent improving rear area defensive lines. 

On June 5th K Company was alerted to prepare for a move to Outpost Harry. Vehicles arrived later that day and the company went on Harry June 5, assuming responsibility from the 65th Infantry Regiment on 6 June.

The initial effort on Harry was to prepare for the anticipated CCF attack. With considerable help from the engineers the battle positions, bunkers, trenches, and barbed wire placements were improved. Every soldier acquainted himself with his defensive responsibilities. Artillery and mortar concentrations were verified and adjusted to ensure the best possible final defensive fire. On June 10, I was called to a meeting at headquarters. I was told of the imminent attack and informed that having more than enough points for rotation, I did not have to return to the outpost. Upon returning, everyone was briefed and the waiting began until heavy CCF artillery signaled the time had come. The company repelled two massive attacks by the CCF. With our ammunition running low, the CCF were able to enter the trenches and hand-to-hand combat ensued. VT artillery was called on the outpost and reinforcements drove the CCF from the outpost. I was evacuated with other wounded and was in the Tokyo Army Hospital when the truce went into effect.

ęCopyright 2006 Martin Markley.  All rights reserved.