Romeo's Page

Memorials posted in the Korean War Project.

Remembering PFC Reginald E Romeo
KIA 31 Jul 1952

Submission 3157 (24 Nov 1999) by (David) Mervin Key:

Yes, I remember Romeo. He was a member of my Platoon, but not my Squad, and was killed the same day as my fellow squad members, Gerald D. Snyder and William H. Grover, of whom I have also posted a remembrance. I remember that I was near Romeo when he was hit but didn't know he was killed until visiting here - more than forty-seven years later. I was told only that he had lost his lower jaw and we all consoled ourselves with thoughts of the miracles the medics were accomplishing. I am not for sure whether he was killed by the same mortar round that got Snyder and Grover or by an artillery round earlier in the day. I think the latter.

4 Feb 2001 add-on: While working on the IBB, I've necessarily had to spend time thinking of some events that I had not wished to dwell on previously. I remember now that Romeo was killed by an artillery round (whether theirs or ours not being known by me) after we had been on and had bugged off of Breadloaf (westward of Kelly) but before Snyder and Grover were killed at the base of Kelly.

Between those two events, the remains of our Platoon had been sent out from behind the MLR to a hill (Tessie, I think, but maybe Nick or Betty) eastward of Kelly. The purpose of our going to that hill remains a mystery to me - very few of our weapons were still operable after the events of the last eighteen hours or so, and there seemed to be nothing to do there except to be exposed to a heavy barrage of artillery fire.

The new Platoon Leader (a young 2nd Lt who had remained in the reserves at the end of WWII and, unexpectedly, had been called up for active duty and a visit to Korea) and I were very busy trying to dig on the same hole, I with my helmet and he with his bare fingernails (neither of us being burdened by an entrenching tool at the time) when I heard a round hit nearby and Romeo's scream.

The Lt asked me, a mere corporal, "What should we do?" I, of course responded with something like, "Get the hell off of this hill!" He quickly gave his loud order to "Bug Out". That we did.

Although I didn't know Romeo well, I had joined in with the gentle ribbing he endured over his name. I hope I have atoned for it by having left the original remembrance of him and adding this explanation of the circumstances surrounding his death.

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