July 4th, 1953, The Bridge to Pork Chop Hill

| July 4, 2013

MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) sends us a story written by Capt. James A. Brettell, the commander of Company A 13th Engineer Bn. of his experiences on the 4th of July 60 years ago;

On July 6, the Chinese, launched their last attack of the Korean War at Pork Chop Hill under the cover of darkness and the rains. It was ferocious and unrelenting. The 17th infantry suffered heavy casualties in the initial onslaught.

Pre-arranged counter attack plans were implemented immediately. Each of these plans included use of “A” Company supporting engineers. A squad of engineers were assigned to each company of the 17th and regularly practiced counter attack procedures. The engineer troops had pre-arranged basic loads of ammunition, satchel charges, bangalore torpedoes. mines, radios and rations that each individual carried with him for use in the counter attack.

You should read the rest.

Category: Historical, Real Soldiers

Comments (6)

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Sounds like they weren’t working under a union contract. Night work without sufficient lighting; constructing a bridge over raging water without safety harnesses and nets; working in torrential rains; injured men working; changing design on the fly–and there’s that other business of doing all of this while being shelled, mortared, and sniped. Nope. Not a union job.

  2. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:


    Thanks for posting this.

    The surviving men of the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion will most appreciate the gesture and assistance in keeping the 13th and “Forgotten War” in all of our collective memories.

    My dear departed father SGT(T) Peter “Irish” XXXX served with these fine men from early 1951 through the end 1952. He landed and departed in Pusan. In 1987 I stood on the very pier he landed on some 35 years earlier.


    PS: Citizenship did not come cheap back then. If you were a skilled and productive legal resident you had to pay your dues before gaining citizenship. In my father’s case, he was quite skilled, successful business man, very productive and a civic leader in the Irish community throughout the NYC metro area. The path to citizenship was arduous. The Irish knew that if the aforementioned was done, then military service in war time would seal the deal. In my father’s case and that of ten of thousands like him … 2 years active duty down range and 6 years in the IRR was the end of the path to citizenship. Of course, there was an exhaustive interview with a federal judge, test, reading and writing samples, and on ceremony day you had to proclaim, pledge, and swear allegiance in a series of songs and verses.

    BLUF: My father’s Honorable Discharge Certificate reads, “Army of the United States” Feb 1, 1957. He was sworn in as a citizen two weeks later!

  3. OWB says:

    Great story, Chief! A most appropriate one for this of all days. Thanks for sharing it.

    (Yeah, my thanks are for both the posted story and the personnel reflections.)

  4. Beretverde says:

    A dear family friend Bobby Cook was a 2nd Lt at Pork Chop Hill. He was wounded in that battle. Later on he fought in Vietnam.

    Thanks for posting. So many unknown battles, unknown heroes.

  5. When I read what the troops had to do in past wars, it makes our little adventure in Iraq seem like scout camp.

  6. El Marco says:

    Truth and Courage…..Buffalo!