On Top of Old Baldy
MK add-on: While I await an add-on that Poe might have, I will tell you: I didn't get to Company A until nearly three months after this very bad day. Then, Poe and I were together in Company A until he left for (as he puts it) " ... the land of round door knobs ... " near the end of June, 1952. Therefore, I missed his very bad day and he missed mine, July 31, 1952. All that seems fitting. No man should have two days as bad as those were; but, I know that many did and some of them are in the Bunker with us. MK.
MK late add-on (4 Aug 2001): Poe now has given us his memoir of his first few days in Korea - before, during, and after the assault by Company A on part of the hill mass known as Hill 487, but better known to those who were there as "Old Baldy". That memoir describes what happened at the scene of this photo and is happening there as you now view the scene. Click on Baptism of Fire (here or below) for a great read. MK.
MK late late add-on (2 Jan 2002): Poe has told me that, in making the photo display imaged above, he had used a photo he found in a magazine put out at an open house held at the Marshall Army Airfield, Ft Riley, Kansas, in the Korean War display section. Now, Poe has relayed to me another image of the same photo which he received from Donald Sonsalla (#3) and, because it is a better representation of the original photo, some of the men of Company A who were then on the hill can be better seen. I have left a space below the photo for whatever comments Poe wishes to add about those men and the original photo. MK.
Poe says (7 Jan 2002): The men in this photo, taken a very few days after 29 Sep 1951, were all members of the Weapons Platoon of Company A. The two men standing and looking to the rear toward the squads are squad leaders. They are relaying data to the squads from the seated observer near the 57mm recoilless rifle in the forward slope. I am not sure whether the observer is Sgt Delgado or, perhaps, the Platoon Sergeant.
The magazine where I first found this photo called the depicted hill Bloody Ridge. Knowing that hills, from time to time, took on the name given them by the particular unit then holding it, I temporarily accepted that as one of the names for the hill which we of the 3rd Inf Div had known as Old Baldy during its assault to take Hill 487 on 29 Sep 1951.
However, after that, as I made attempts to find the exact location of Hill 487, I discovered that there were those members of the 2nd Inf Div who believed this photo to be of "their" Bloody Ridge and that the photo was taken at the time members of the 2nd Inf Div were on that hill - this even though a map, which appears in the same publication as does this photo and is of "their" Bloody Ridge area, shows none of the hills actually located to the right of the hill shown in this photo.
I would only like to add that whoever of the 2nd Inf Div (or anyone else) thinks that this photo is a scene of the Bloody Ridge of the 2nd Inf Div is as wrong as two left shoes or, if you prefer, full of ******. Anyone who was on their Bloody Ridge would know that any such claim is bogus. I know what I know because I was there in this photo which was taken only a few days after 29 Sep 1951 and I was then under far less pressure than I had been under on that day, my first day there. 'Nuf said! J.C. Poe.
3rd Division Page
IBB Map and Photo
IBB - Page Two Baptism of Fire
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