I got this about six weeks ago and somehow it slipped through the cracks on me. But this is the story of James Edward Ferris, a homeboy from Liverpool, NY. Here he is on the CSPAN broadcast of ceremonies commemorating the signing of the armistice ceasing outward hostilities on the Korean Penninsula back in July;
Here he is with Joe Bite Me at the same ceremony;
And Leon Panetta;
Here’s what he was wearing;
Here’s where the trouble begins;
Right off, anyone who can count can see that he’s wearing more than the four awards that are in his records. His records also say that he was in the Pacific with the 3rd Marine Division. Wiki says the 3rd marine Division never went to Korea;
The Division was reactivated on 7 January 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California. Immediately after its activation and still in its organizational state, the Division began intensive combat training, including new tactics and maneuvers based on lessons learned in Korean War. During the remaining part of 1952 elements of the Division participated in numerous exercises and training problems, including vertical envelopment (helicopter landing), airborne operations and attack, and defense against atomic weapons and missiles.
In August 1953 the Division arrived in Japan to support the 1st Marine Division in the defense of the Far Eastern area. In March 1956 the Division moved to Okinawa and remained there in a readiness posture until 1965.
By the time the 3rd Division got to Japan, a cease fire had been signed the month before and major combat operations in Korea had ceased. it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t get to Korea, but it is his fault that that he’s told several journalists that he was in Korea in 1952 while hostilities were raging, when, in fact, he was at Camp Pendleton, CA.
Of course, Wiki isn’t a real source, so I went to the 3rd Marine Division Association‘s website, and there is a big gap in their history between World War II and Vietnam. Another website mirror’s Wiki’s history;
The 3rd Marine Division was reactivated on January 7, 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California. This was the Korean War era, but the Division did not deploy to the theater. Instead they undertook training that involved both experimental tactics and lessons learned from Korea. In August of 1953 the Division arrived in Japan to support the defense of the Far Eastern area. In March of 1956 the 3d Marine Division moved to Okinawa and remained there until their deployment to Vietnam in 1965.
So, who is James Edward Ferris? Well, he is the national director of the Korean War Veterans Association. Technically, his service in Japan qualifies him for membership in the Association. Their website says;
If you have EVER honorably served in Korea as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or served outside of Korea June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955, you qualify to be a Regular Member of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.
So all of that bling is unnecessary for his position. I can’t find the top ribbon, so it may be somehow connected to the Association, but I do see a Combat Action Ribbon, his Army of Occupation Medal is on upside down and neither are in his records. But his National Defense, Marine Corps Good Conduct, Korean Service and UN Service Medals are all there. I didn’t bother looking up the rest that stuff, and I’m guessing that the badge above it all is part of the Association’s stuff, since I don’t recognize it. Maybe you guys know more.
ADDED: I have text to several interviews he did in which he said he was in Korea in 1952, but he couldn’t have been since the 3rd Marine Division was at Camp Pendleton in 1952. Those articles, from July, have mysteriously disappeared from the internet. Wearing a CAR for Japan after the Korean War is like wearing a CIB for Iraq while he was stationed at Doha.