February 16, 2007
Oroville Mercury Register 1951
Blood Proved Lifeline For Wounded In Korea
“They need whole blood in Korea. They need plenty of it, and
they need it now.”
words were spoken yesterday by Sgt. First Class
Richard E. Nicolas,
Thermalito veteran of the bitter October and November fighting near
the Manchurian border in the Korean campaign. And Sgt. Nicolas
should know, because it was vitally needed transfusions that aided
in his recovery from shrapnel wounds and frost-bitten feet and hands
suffered in escaping from Chinese Reds who had captured him during
the ill-fated United Nations offensive in North Korea last fall.
Nicolas was captured on October 30 at Usan, 15 miles from the Manchurian
border on the west coast of Korea, when his regiment was overrun
by a screaming horde of Chinese communists. “I’ll never forget
that Halloween,” the sergeant said, “The Reds really put on a show
for us. They came charging over a hill with drums beating,
horns blowing and whistles screaming and out-numbered us about 100
to 1. That was our first experience with the Chinese communists.”
The Sergeant and 26 other American soldiers were captured and taken
behind the communist lines where they were questioned by Red officers,
all of whom were Chinese. They were told that they were to
be taken to Manchuria, then to China then they would be sent to
the United States.
the men had been in captivity for 12 hours, American B-26 bombers
struck the enemy camp and the 27 Americans made a break for freedom.
Sgt. Nicolas became separated from the group headed back toward
his own lines, and the next day ran into eight other American soldiers
who had been cut off from their outfits and were also trying to
get back to friendly territory.
days later, the group merged with 26 more Americans, who were also
lost , and shortly after that, the whole group was surprised by
a company of enemy troops. Only seven men lived through the
ensuing battle and safely returned to American lines.
Nicolas and the other six men reached American positions on November
9, where they were immediately sent to the Swedish Red Cross Hospital
at Pusan. “That Red Cross hospital was wonderful,” said the
sergeant, “They are doing a magnificent job in Korea, but they need
help. Most of all, they need whole blood that really does
the job for the wounded. If the American people could visit
the wards in that hospital where men from almost every country in
the world are patients-including enemy wounded- they would see tremendous
part that their donations of blood are playing in the fight against
Nicolas is spending his 30-day convalescence furlough with his wife
and two children in Thermalito. At the end of that time he
will report to Camp Roberts where he will be stationed as an instructor.
His family will accompany him and make there home the base.
Oroville Mercury Register February 7, 1951
Communists Reeling Under Heavy UN Blows Tanks
Pace Drive Within Sight of Capital City
Oroville Mercury Register March 7, 1951
Take War To China Or Face Stalemate, MacArthur Warns,
Fighting Rages As Both Side Launch Attacks
Approved Ceiling On Armed Forces Committees Okeh Troops to
Senate voted today to place a 4,000,000-man ceiling on the armed
services. Democratic leaders backed the limitation to block
a lower one, 3,500,000, proposed by Republicans. The 4,000,000-man
figure, offered by Sen.
A Willis Robertson, (D) Va., was adopted on a roll call vote
of 49 to 41. The Republican drive for the 3,500,000
ceiling was let by Sen.
Wayne Morse, (R.) Ore. He offered it as an amendment
to the pending 18-year-old draft bill. He said it would give
Congress a “constitutional check” on the military.
Defense department plans call for a total armed force of 3,463,000
men some time this summer. In an effort to head off the Morse
amendment, Sen. Lyndon B.
Johnson, (D). Tex., produced letters from the nation’s
top military leaders. They said the 3,500,000 figure would
be a “direct gamble with the national security” and might lead to
World War III.
The Korean campaign sounds like a party, not a war where our men
are dying. A war it was. I wonder what happened to
a Thermalito Hero.