Houseman & Young

Please, no wise cracks about Houseman (on the left) having a good understanding.

He is wearing the justly hated "Mickey Mouse Boots" and he had to wear three or four pairs of wool socks with them to keep his feet semi-warm.

The reason those boots were hated (as anyone who wore them knows) was this: when you marched your socks would get wet with sweat even in the bitter cold; and, when you stopped to rest or hide, the sweat might freeze and lead to ...... you know the rest. Later on, our battalion (the 1st) got some great boots which were made of two layers of rubber enclosing insulation material. I hope Houseman's battalion (the 2nd) got them too.

With those new jewels, you needed to wear only one pair of light cotton socks which, when they got wet from sweat, you could wring out and exchange them for the dried out pair you kept inside your long handles and next to your skin.

Since I never knew either of these soldiers whom Herb admires a lot, the most interesting part (to me) of these two photos is the geography they show.

You may notice that the large hill next to Houseman's left elbow, but in the far distance, is the same hill as the large one next to Young's left ear, but also in the distance. It's just that Young is standing further up on the ridge that is a little behind Houseman and to his left.

That large hill seen behind both Houseman and Young is Hill 317 and it was a CCF stronghold from the last part of 1951 on. If you look carefully, the hill just this side of 317 (and a little more to your right) is a smaller hill known as Breadloaf . A little more to your right, but out of the photo, is OP Kelly.

Our battalion (the 1st) saw most of its 1952 action close to and on both sides of the Imjin in the area just to the right (in an easterly direction) of the Young photo. But, our company (Able) spent about a week on Breadloaf one morning - the morning of July 31, 1952.

I just noticed: not only that Houseman is a little further back (and up) on the slope than he and Herb were in the last photo, but also that there is a small bunker just behind Houseman. The bunker must be the starting point of what Herb described as the "bug-out trench" which runs on down the slope.

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Herb & Houseman        The Road to Little Gibraltar
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