Pomp and Circumstances

MK comments (16 Dec 2002): Bart Soto, a good friend to all of us in our Bunker, has given me the makings for this George Jackson (#47) photo page. For openers, Bart sent me this email:

"Merv, I want to share some pictures taken last Friday.

"For over three years I have been researching the 65th Infantry Regiment. Last Friday, 6 Dec 2002, I finally succeeded in getting the Silver Star for Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) George D. Jackson, the former Company Commander of G Company, 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment.

"He received his award fifty years and two months after his heroic actions during the bloody battle on Hill 391 of Iron Horse Mountain, a rise which now bears the name Jackson Heights.

"The award ceremony was held here in Headquarters, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia. Our Commanding General, four star General Larry Ellis, pinned the medal on LTC Jackson in a formal ceremony here with a band, color guard, and over one hundred people watching.

"Among the VIP special guests were: Master Sergeant German Silva, Sergeant First Class Vidal Cordero, Sergeant First Class Isidoro Leon, and my father, Staff Sergeant Gabriel Soto, all four of whom served with the 65th during the Korean War; Esther Betances, the widow of the late LTC Carlos Betances; and, about the entire Jackson family including his grandchildren.

"During the ceremony, all the vets of the 65th were awarded the Korean War Service Medal by the Vice Consul of the Republic of Korea. In the picture which shows the Vets lined up and receiving those medals, my father, Staff Sergeant (Ret) Gabriel Soto, is the gentleman nearest the camera.

"It was a glorious ceremony! At least one vet and some in the audience had to choke back tears.

"Very respectfully, Bart."

The Pinning                    Part of the Group

George Jackson (left) and Bart Soto

This photo of the then Captain Jackson  was taken at about the time that he was in the command of G Co of the 65th Inf Rgt during the "doings" on Outpost Kelly in September of 1952.

That story is fully told, and well, by Bart Soto on his 65th Inf Rgt on Kelly page.

Those events on Kelly were the first of the two sets of circumstances to which the title of this page refers. The second of those sets of circumstances were those which, as you may have just found out, happened a little later on Jackson Heights which is to the east of "our hills".

The A Short Biography of Carlos Betances-Ramirez page, written by Bart Soto, also has this photo (along with others) and tells the tale of our Bunker Buddy Carlos Betances (#46), recently deceased, who was also decorated. He received a Bronze Star for his actions during the "doings" on Outpost Kelly while he was serving as the Battalion Commander of the then Captain George Jackson and the other Company Commanders in the 2nd Bn 65th Inf Rgt.

We are all honored by having all these honored men of the 65th in the Bunker with us. I hope that other men of the 65th who fought on and around "our hills" will jump in our Bunker too.  MK.

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