August 15, 2003
Oroville Mercury December 7th, 1950
BATTLE AGAINST HOPELESS ODDS
Described by GI U. N. forces now seeking to prevent entrapment by
Chinese Reds in North Korea ran into stiffening resistance as they
neared the Manchurian border, according to Pfc. Lawrence Keifer
17, of Oroville, Army infantryman. Keifer, who participated
in some of the heaviest fighting of the war before he was sent home
suffering from frozen feet, is a patient in Letterman General Hospital
in San Francisco. A former Oroville high school student, he related
some of his experiences when members of his family visited him at
the hospital over the weekend. His father, Glen Keifer of Montgomery
street, said young Kiefer's feet were frozen when his outfit was
attacked by a superior force of Red Chinese near the Manchurian
border. In escaping across the river, Keifer had to jump into the
icy stream, and with fellow GI’s spent a day and night holed up
in a riverbank. At one time Keifer killed a truckload of the enemy
with a burst of machinegun fire, and their truck plunged 150 feet
into a canyon, he told his father. In another battle, he shot six
men from cover of a machine-gun nest before they located his station.
He abandoned the gun, changed his position, and continued firing
with an automatic rifle. When he returned to his machine gun it
had been wrecked by fire. Keifer took part in the Inchon invasion,
but his company was held in reserve during that drive. Later, it
spearheaded a drive for the Manchurian boarder. Although he had
bullet holes in his clothes, and one wrist was scarred by a bullet,
he escaped without a wound after fighting from September until he
was pulled out of the battle line last month. At the time he left,
only two members of his squad, consisting of eight men and a medic,
were still at the front. The others were casualties. Keifer, who
is the son of Mrs. Mary Morris of Quincy road, and Glen Keifer,
may be able to come to Oroville on hospital leave by Christmas,
his father believes. His right foot is badly frozen.
SOMEWHERE IN IRAQ E-mail from Sgt Deborah Shaner August
“Well my platoon is going to be staying on post for the next 30
days with an option to go on mission when needed. We will be working
at the command distribution center yard (the dust bowl ugh!). This
is where all the shipments we deliver and pick up for our road missions.
Our job will be to supervise the loading and unloading of cargo
from the Iraqi civilian trucks. I start my first shift tonight at
10:00PM. On my last mission to Baghdad International Airport, which
should be opened soon, I am told, our interpreter picked up my American
flag and sad the darnedest thing. He said some Iraqi’s wish they
could become the state of Iraq under the US. He and his brother-in-law
both work as interpreters for the Iraqi civilians and they are very
pro American as are all the drivers. It has been very rewarding
working so close with the nationals. They have been very respectful
to me and follow my direction well. I was kind of surprised to not
get some opposition to me being a female in charge of their direction.
They are very generous and offer us food from their truck kitchens.
They make a very good like pita bread. Their trailers are set up
with a large cooler box and a fold out table to cook on. Gotta go,
Stu 's notes: I'm still searching for more information on Pfc.
Claude Holt and his ties to Oroville. Since the August 1st story
I have found more. I have talked to his daughter, Claudia, in Washington
D. C. She knows very little about her father as she was adopted
after he was killed in Korea. She learned just 3 years ago that
she had a brother in Reeds Springs, Melvin Holt, whom I talked to.
We will try to put the pieces together. Last week I wrote about
Pfc. Howard Hawes an Oroville High School student killed in Korea,
17 years old. He should have graduated with the class of 1950 or
51. I hoped for a call about him. Doesn’t someone know about this
young man who gave his life for us? August 8th I wrote
about Pfc. Lawrence Keifer, today I write more about this brave
Oroville “boy,” 17. I have heard he had a logging company in Grass
Valley. I would like to contact him.