I plan to publish it next month.
Although the book is finished, I am still doing some writing, specifically the “stories behind the story” for some of the articles included in this collection.
And I am still “discovering” a forgotten war.
Today, while writing the back story for a series of articles I had written on the 2000 commemoration ceremony for the Northern Campaigns during the Korean War, specifically the fierce fighting around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, I recalled the interview I had with Medal of Honor recipient and USMC retired General Raymond Davis. The interview took place in the Hartell House on the Yongsan Garrison.
I had forgotten the name of the house, so when I did a Google search, I was surprised to learn that the house was named after Lieutenant Lee R. Hartell, a forward observer with the 15th Artillery Battalion, Second Infantry Division, who had been mortally wounded on August 27, 1950 during fierce fighting along the Pusan Perimeter. For his actions and bravery, he was posthumously awarded the MOH.
The citation for his MOH:
1st. Lt. Hartell, a member of Battery A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. During the darkness of early morning, the enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge. 1st Lt. Hartell, attached to Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer, quickly moved his radio to an exposed vantage on the ridge line to adjust defensive fires. Realizing the tactical advantage of illuminating the area of approach, he called for flares and then directed crippling fire into the onrushing assailants.
At this juncture a large force of hostile troops swarmed up the slope in banzai charge and came within 10 yards of 1st Lt. Hartell’s position. 1st Lt. Hartell sustained a severe hand wound in the ensuing encounter but grasped the microphone with his other hand and maintained his magnificent stand until the front and left flank of the company were protected by a close-in wall of withering fire, causing the fanatical foe to disperse and fall back momentarily. After the numerically superior enemy overran an outpost and was closing on his position, 1st Lt. Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire both batteries continuously. Although mortally wounded, 1st Lt. Hartell’s intrepid actions contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to maintain the strategic strongpoint. His consummate valor and unwavering devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.
This bit of historical irony might have been lost on me that bitterly cold November day in 2000 when I interviewed Davis in a house named after another MOH recipient, but not anymore.