Transporting Troops

By Major Thomas 

 

During the war we transported many Army and Marine troops for “attacks” in various areas.  When we picked them up at Sasebo, Japan, they would be aboard for a least a couple of days, during which time we would become acquainted with some of them.

The troops had living compartments between the stern and our living quarters.  When we walked through the compartments, they would talk to us.  We would ask them where they were from and they would ask the same about us.  We took this one particular company to the east side of the peninsula for a counter attack around the Wonsan area.  The men had a little dog for their “mascot”, which many of us would have gotten to pet during this travel time.

We hit the beach, dropped them off, and not long after, we heard “Moscow Molly” announce over the radio, “ Well I see the USS LST 1122 had just made a counter attack at Wonsan, and we just wanted you sailor boys to know that the entire company, including the dog, has been killed.”

I will never forget the guys I met, spoke with, and the dog we petted.   How terrible!  It still remains in my mind, those words of Moscow Molly.  It could have been a propaganda statement and really not the truth, but I don’t think that I will ever know for sure.

Major Thomas, age 84, served three tours in the Korean War from 1952-1956 as an Engineman Second Class in the Navy.  He was raised in Owensville, Missouri where he returned after his enlistment.  He and Marge are retired and enjoy working with stained glass, antique tractors, puzzles, and writing his memoirs.

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