Above, photos provided by Korean War veteran Dick Munson depict the mountains of Korea, a few miles north of the 38th parallel, as they appeared during what came to be called The Battle of the Outposts in the Korean War.
Friday, November 09, 2012Author: Reed Johnson
(Last modified: 2012-11-09 17:00:44)
Source: The Herald-News
In 1953, bunkers and outposts dotted the mountains of Korea.
The Korean War had raged for over two years, and those outpost facilities, situated on tactically advantageous hills and mountaintops, were becoming the de facto border between two warring groups.
The intense fighting between U.S.-led forces and forces supported by China and the Soviet Union had nearly reached a stalemate.
A line was being drawn in the sand along the 38th parallel, a line that exists today and still has the Korean peninsula split into two halves - one capitalist and one communist.
Members of the U.S. armed forces dug in to the mountainous terrain and defended their hills. Their job: Stop Chinese and North Korean forces from breaking through the line and marching south.
Some of the battles fought among these outposts became well-known, battles such as the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge or the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. However, other battles are lesser known, and even the Korean War itself is sometimes referred to as The Forgotten War.
But then 21-year-old U.S. Army Cpl. Dick Munson, a Nevada resident, would never forget what happened on Christmas Hill on July 18, 1953. He saw Dayton native and U.S. Army medic Charles "Doc" Shipley give his life attempting to render medical aid to a fallen soldier.
"I was the only one there with Doc when he got killed," Munson says. "I thought it was horrible that no one was going to know how heroically he died."
But Munson was determined to tell someone about Shipley's actions, and that singular event would kick off a nearly 60-year search for Shipley's family.
For further details, see the Sunday edition of The Herald-News.
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