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January 19, 2007
Oroville Mercury Register January 3, 1951

Core of Experienced combat Men Give GIs in Korea Top Leadership
Major General, U. S. A. Retired Written Exclusively for the Oroville Mercury
When the censorship was lifted, we knew just before Christmas that the entire X Corps had been evacuated from the Hungnam beachhead under an umbrella of fire from naval guns and air bombardment and with a covering force manning an ever diminishing beachhead until the last soldier and the last bit of equipment on board the transports. The X Corps now taken it’s place with the Eighth Army – and that is the tip-off on our immediate future policy in Korea; had the corps gone back to Japan it would have indicated we were to abandon the peninsula. (I say immediate because policies often change.) Incidentally the magnificent withdrawal of this corps under pressure was done as any military man could have foretold, just exactly as it is taught in our higher defense schools of war – and it puts to shame the great bulk of war correspondents and self appointed military experts who wrote as columnists in various newspapers that we were faced with “annihilate a modern American army corps, there is too much fire power and will to fight. As I wrote long before the embarkation, at Dunkirque the British got away with no equipment and practically no wounded and with only disorganized mobs in any kind of boats they could lay hands on, over the Straights of Dover. In this case we not only took our corps but thousands and thousands of civilians. They can laugh that one off.

The 3rd Division was the covering force and manned the final beachhead. This is the same division that so magnificently withstood the great counterattack of the German army on Anzio beachhead in Italy in 1943. Undoubtedly among the personnel of that division are several who were also with it at Anzio. There has certainly been no time in the history of the Army or Navy or Air Force of the United States when the country has been blessed with such superior leadership in a war from General MacArthur right on down to the captains. Most of the older general officers commanding divisions and on the staffs went through World War I as junior officers or enlisted men, some of them even were with Pershing in Mexico. Most of them were general officers throughout World War II. In the grades from Captain to Colonel, they are all graduates of combat service in World War II as officers or as enlisted men. Many of the enlisted men have had World War II experience.

So the mothers and fathers of the boys who are in the fighting can be sure that they have wonderful leadership, and experienced commanders. Without the wealth of experience and background it would have been impossible for them to have done the things they have done ever since the Korea campaign opened. Every move has been a military classic. To top them all off no soldier in any army in the world had the battle experience and wealth of strategic and tactical planning as has General MacArthur. He was retired as Chief of Staff of World War II to become governor general and field marshal of the Philippines. He was a general officer in World War I. Everyone knows what he did in World War II. To indicate his span of military prestige in the U. S. Army, General Marshall was a lieutenant colonel, Generals Eisenhower and Bradley and Spaats and all their contemporaries were majors, Admiral Sherman, a lieutenant senior grade General Collins a captain and all of the general officers now serving under MacArthur in Korea were first lieutenants or captains or the equivalent in the Navy – when MacArthur was a major general and chief of staff.

Stu’s Notes: When Gen Wilson’s letter appeared in the OMR. Out troops along with the United Nations troops, which in that war unlike now consisted of almost all of the Free World, were in a very orderly, but still a retreat from overwhelming communist North Korea and Chinese troops. As a young boy I remember seeing a movie on this, which was said, “Retreat Hell we’re just attacking in a different direction.” This was almost a shocking word in those times. We did soon attack in a different direction and pushed the Commies back into what is now North Korea. To this day each side glares at the other across no man’s land. Gen. Douglas MacArther, hero to many of his troops, despised by others. He had a long military career, served his country with honor. He did make some bad decisions and soldiers died.

I have written before of General Wilson, see Aug. 4th, 11th,2006, Feb. 2003, Sept, Oct Nov 2005 and July 2002 OMR. Oroville’s most Famed Soldier Dies. He served his country very well for a long time.

Our Memorial is taking a new direction and we will have to raise a lot of money.