Hoengsong and “Massacre Valley” — February 12, 1951

I first learned about Hoengsong and “Massacre Valley” when I read Stanley Sandler’s Korean War history, No Victors, No Vanquished in 2000, but it wasn’t until May 2001, when I had the chance to sit down with Oscar Cortez, when I learned more about “Massacre Valley” and what happened to elements of the 2nd Infantry Division.

When I started to write my Korean War novel War Remains in the fall of 2009, I remembered that interview I had with Oscar on our way to another Korean War battlefield, Chipyong-ni when he described the battle he was in north of Hoengseong in February 1951. That’s when I knew how my novel would begin and end and one of the battles which would figure prominently in the book. I wanted readers to know about this battle and to remember the men who lost their lives there.

This is anotheMassacre Valley Nov 6 2010 012r view of the valley and the monument which was dedicated to the United States Second Infantry Division (which is still stationed in South Korea). That’s another irony of this so-called “forgotten war.” One of the divisions which fought in the war, is still here and ready to fight.

And let’s not forget that there are still over 7,900 American service members from that war still listed as MIAs.

Of course, for the family members still waiting for their loved ones to come from that war, it has never been a forgotten war for them.

Three of my Facebook friends and their families are waiting for their loved ones to come home. One of those friends lost an uncle in this very same battle.

Massacre Valley Nov 6 2010 003

It’s been almost four years since I published this novel about the Korean War. I am proud of it and the lives it has touched.

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7 Responses to “Hoengsong and “Massacre Valley” — February 12, 1951”

  1. Charles January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm # Reply

    I was in H company 3rd battalion 7th regiment of the 1st Marine Division. We were among the first to pass through Massacre valley and I describe that experience in chapter 8 of my book Accordion War: Korea 1951 which you can learn about on my website http://www.dochughesbooks.com. Also on my website are links to color film strips of my rifle company H-3-7 showing what we found as we retook that valley.
    http://www.dochughesbooks.com/Home.html

  2. Brett M Miller August 9, 2015 at 9:36 am # Reply

    I am interring with soldiers from Fort Bragg, George LeTell Rights. According to his obituary, http://salemfh.com/obituaries/ his remains were returned to the United States in 1992. He fought in “Massacre Valley” and was marched to an internment (Susan Bean Camp) camp after hostilities for that battle were over.

    I can only hope that tomorrow’s ceremony for him, provides closure for his family and they can rest easy knowing that he has returned to the earth from whence he came.

    SGT Brett M Miller

    • Jeffrey August 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm # Reply

      Thank you for sharing this, Brett.

  3. betty August 22, 2015 at 8:25 am # Reply

    My uncle Pfc Max Hernandez, was one of the men killed that day.

    • Jeffrey February 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm # Reply

      Betty, I am sorry for your family’s loss in this battle.

  4. Leonard Martin May 16, 2016 at 6:23 am # Reply

    In February 1951 I was a loader in an M26 tank with the 1st tank Bn of the 1st Marine Division. In late February 1951 I participated in a tank infantry patrol into and around Hoengsong. I think that we were the first Marine outfit to enter Hoendgson following the massacre. On entering the city on our left was a structure with no walls and the bodies of a number of Army dead. Eventually we went around the city and passed through massacre valley. There were burned out vehicles, tanks, jeeps, trucks and artillery pieces three deep on both sides of the road along with a lot of bodies. Not a pleasant sight.

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