The Lighter Side of Front Line Duty

MK note: This is another of Major Pearson's tales as told to Poe and (with permission)
emailed to me for your reading. The title was given to Poe by Major Pearson.
I have no comments because I hadn't joined Able co quite yet.

One night in early Dec 1951, 1SG James Welcome brought in a Sgt who had just been assigned to A Co 1/15 Inf. The 1SG introduced us and I could see that he was in his late 40’s, and he seemed very nervous. I ask him what he had done for the last 10 years or so and he replied that he had been assigned to a state side operations job in a division.

I then told him it was a mistake assigning him to a front line rifle company (to which he heartedly agreed). He was then told that I would contact Bn and get him assigned to a rear area job. He was asked if he knew where the mess tent was located below the ridge we were on in the command bunker. He nodded that he did and he was told he would spend the night there. He saluted smartly and was on his way. In the darkness he became disoriented and wandered off to his right. About that time the 1SG and I heard several shots about 50 yards away. We grabbed our weapons and ran out of the bunker, heard another shot over near the A Company slit trench (latrine). We ran over there and the new Sgt yelled, “I got him and he fell in there”.

Thank God he had missed, as it was one of our cooks who had dived into the slit trench to get out of the rifle fire. We took the Sgt’s rifle from him, unloaded it and gave it back to him. The cook smelled like what he had jumped in to. The Sgt said that at Regt they were talking about Chinese, dressed in white snowsuits, slipping thru the line and slitting throats in the rear area at night. We assured him that Able Company men were on 50% alert every night and kept the enemy from slipping through the line in this area.

The cook took the Sgt back below the ridge to the mess tent where the Sgt spread his sleeping bag and went to sleep. The cook stripped and cleaned up with the little water available under the circumstances. The next morning we took them both back to Bn where the Sgt was reassigned and the cook got a shower and clean cloths at the forward shower tent.

L. P. Pearson
Always Able, Able Co
"Sir, Can Do? Hell,
we have done it.”

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