Letters from Readers- Armchair General September 2014 | HistoryNet MENU

Letters from Readers- Armchair General September 2014

4/11/2017 • HistoryNet

ACG in the Classroom

I am a middle school social studies teacher in Moore, Okla. I have been using your magazine in my classroom to stir discussion and generate interest in history. My students love your articles and especially the interactive ones. In group settings, they have to justify their choices as a historical figure or military leader, explaining why they took a particular action.

I am a veteran of the 1/37 Armor Battalion (The Abrams Battalion), 1st Armored Division, in West Germany and was a member of 2d Platoon, B Company, from August 1986 thru August 1989. I have used the leadership skills I learned in the Army in dealing with my students to get them to stretch to their full potential.

Last May, Moore was hit by a deadly tornado and many of my students lost their homes. They have taught me what tenacity and resilience are by coming to school and still wanting to learn in spite of having to live out of motels or temporary housing. I am very blessed to be their teacher.

HART BROWN

VIA EMAIL

Philippines Subscriber

The March 2014 issue’s Hard Choices, “MacArthur and the Liberation of Manila, 1945,” is another superb article by Dr. Jerry D. Morelock telling us of a little known piece of history – Japanese commander Iwabuchi’s personal motivation that drove him to butcher 100,000 residents of Manila.

EDUARDO L. CARLOS

PASIG, PHILIPPINES

D-Day Issue Cover Photo

I thoroughly enjoyed the July 2014 issue and was particularly intrigued by the cover photo of 1st Infantry Division assault troops heading for Omaha Beach on D-Day. I have not seen this D-Day photo before. The Soldiers packed into the landing craft heading into deadly combat is an actual, real-life image of that riveting movie scene portrayed in the film Saving Private Ryan as Tom Hanks’ U.S. Army Rangers approach Omaha Beach. Do you have any more information about the 1st Infantry Division Soldiers in your cover photo?

ED KELLY

VIA EMAIL

The Soldiers in the photo are members of 2d Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, and the unit landed on the Easy Red Sector of Omaha Beach at 10:30 a.m. on D-Day. They were part of the fifth wave of landing craft hitting the beach that day, following 16th Infantry Regiment (first and second waves); 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment (third wave); and 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division (fourth wave).

ACG thanks Steven E. Clay of the Combat Studies Institute at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College for supplying this information. He is the author of Blood and Sacrifice: The History of the 16th Infantry Regiment From the Civil War Through the Gulf War (Cantigny First Division Foundation, 2001).

I just finished reading your May 2014 issue and was particularly interested in the article “Task Force Faith: Heroism in Korea, 1950,” by John Walker. I was there. I was a young kid, a Marine sniper attached to 1st Marine Regiment with Chesty Puller and later with 5th Marine Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Ray Murray.

On page 30, Walker says, “In zero-degree weather, the Chinese prepared to strike that night.” Actually it was colder than that. A lot colder. In the book Give Me Tomorrow, author Patrick K. O’Donnell writes, “According to the meteorological officer assigned to the 1st Marine Division, the mercury dropped to -60 with a 65-knot wind. The combination created a windchill factor of -124.” Now, that’s really cold.

Lucky for me it was so cold. That night I got my third Purple Heart. I took 13 slugs in my right shoulder from a Chinese burp gun. My blood froze and perhaps kept me from bleeding to death. And my feet, hands, ears and nose all had frostbite.

Now, 60 years later, every time it starts to snow at night, I find myself listening for the pop of a flare overhead and the sound of Chinese bugles signaling an attack.

Semper Fi,

BLAINE KLOPPENBORG

FORMER MARINE SERGEANT

SCOUT SNIPER

WEBSTER CITY, IOWA

Thank you for your service to the nation and for sharing with us your combat experiences at “Frozen Chosin.”

 

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Armchair General.

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