Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: 1953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-29



Political/Military Tags

1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9

Geographic Tags

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Social Tags

Basic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

Albert Grocott

Memories of the Front Line

Albert Grocott finds it challenging to discuss his involvement in the Battle of the Hook, as those memories are ones he would rather not dwell on. However, he does remember a prisoner exchange near Panmunjom, specifically the Peace Bridge where Chinese prisoners were exchanged. He emphasizes that the soldiers simply carried out their duties every hour of every day, doing what was necessary without hesitation. He shares his experiences of enduring flashbacks of events he witnessed while in Korea, including the loss of close friends.



Gerald ‘Gerry’ Farmer

Battle of the Hook 1953

Gerry Farmer describes the Battle of the Hook and how he was wounded. He says the Hook was action from the start compared to Hill 159. He recalls there being four or five solders in the bunker which connected to trenches and other bunkers. He adds there were different types of patrols.



Wounded

Gerry Farmer describes being wounded at the Hook after he volunteered to drive a jeep to Area 3. He remembers he was blown forty yards from the jeep, and adds he still has injuries and shrapnel in his back. He recalls being transported to a Norwegian MASH and then to Seoul where he underwent three operations.



Joe Larkin

"Battle of the Hook" at Panmunjeom

An outcrop of land between two main lines resembled a hook.
Joe Larkin's Marine Division was sent to Panmunjom to hold the line of resistance against the Chinese. His unit helped with reinforcements by bringing in timber that they would move at night so the enemy could not detect their movement. The outpost was attacked and both sides suffered casualties, but with the help of his division, the UN troops took over the area.



John Fry

"A Vicious Time"

John Fry shares that he served in the Royal Australian Regiment as a rifleman. He recalls being sent to Korea in 1953 after having joined the military due to unemployment increasing in the textile field. He remembers Korea being in terrible condition as many people were living in cardboard boxes. He shares his memories of arriving in Pusan before heading North. He comments on his involvement in the Battle of the Hook, an experience he calls a “vicious time.” He shares his amazement of the unbelievable progress Korea has made since the war.



Keith Gunn

A War That is Worthy

Keith Gunn recounts his first impressions of Korea upon landing, expanding upon his opinion regarding the worth of the war. He details Korea's poor state at the time, comparing it to England. He speaks highly of the progress Korea has made since the war, ultimately agreeing that the war was worth the effort.



Kevin R. Dean

Introduction to the Front Line

Kevin Dean recalls how he was introduced to the front line in Korea. He recounts a World War II veteran offering him advice, telling him to keep his head down and to get used to the smell of the place. He shares his thoughts on the problematic situation of being young, scared, and sleep deprived during war. He comments on the difficulties of caring for the wounded.



Leslie John Pye

Covering Little Gibraltar

Leslie Pye provides a description of his experience as a signaler covering Hill 355, known as Little Gibraltar, in the Battle of the Hook. He offers an overview of the amount of artillery activity during the period of March to the end of April 1953. He does not recall receiving incoming fire but did experience a projectile exploding just outside of one of their gun barrels.



Reassignment to the British Royal Tank Unit

Leslie Pye elaborates on his transfer to the 1st British Royal Tank Regiment and the training process for the British Centurion British Tank. He recounts his experience as a gunner sent to Hill 355 as a replacement tank supporting night patrols. He shares how most of the firing was done at night and explains some of the limitations they experienced.



Michael Fryer

Recollections from the Battle of the Hook

Michael Fryer recalls his experiences as an ammunition carrier for troops during the Battle of the Hook. He explains seeing large amounts of explosions and men who were machine gunned down. He describes watching as the bodies of deceased men were carried down and lain in a road.



Mike Mogridge

On the Front Lines

Mike Mogridge details being in combat on "The Hook." He recalls Chinese artillery tactics as well as the Chinese suicide attacks. He recounts being lucky as he was in the rear trenches for most of the battle where they did not receive so much fire or action. He vividly remembers recovering the bodies of the enemy dead and using them as a wall to protect the hutches in which his unit stayed.



Combat

Mike Mogridge speaks about his first experiences in combat at the Hook. He recounts witnessing the deaths of two of his fellow soldiers. He remembers being lucky to survive an occasion when the Chinese dropped five mortars on him and two other soldiers.



Norma L. Holmes

Silence about the War

Norma Holmes shares what she heard from her husband about the Korean War. She tells a story of how her husband was ambushed at The Battle of the Hook. He told her mostly about the good times, including the fun that they had in Japan. She believes that this is because he was instructed not to share any details about his time in Korea.



Patrick Vernon Hickey

Straight to the Front

Patrick Hickey recalls leaving Japan for Gimpo Airport and heading straight to the front lines. He describes changing specialties in Korea and joining a unit responsible for repairing guns. He explains that Unit 163 (Easy Troop) supported Hill 355 and the Battle of the Hook.



Cold Guns and Ingenuity

Patrick Hickey shares that he woke up at five each morning to remove guns from action for maintenance. He recalls that during the heat of summer the routine was fairly straightforward but adds that the guns froze in winter. He shares how he developed a mix of oil and kerosene to prevent the gun components from freezing, an innovation that spread quickly to other units. He describes the winters being so cold that soldiers had to disassemble their guns at night and place the parts by the fire so the guns would fire in the morning.



Writing Home and Killing the Tiger

Patrick Hickey and his wife Joy describe their correspondence as being about everyday topics at home. Patrick shares how he did not want to worry Joy. He recalls that the battles were tough, and he describes the last battle of the war, the Third Battle of the Hook. He remembers that on the third night of the battle, thousands of Chinese attacked. He recalls how the United Nations forces killed one million Chinese soldiers in three nights and how the Chinese withdrew to sign the peace treaty.



Peter Elliott

Nothing Glamorous

Peter Elliott sheds light on the living conditions around the Battle of the Hook. He recalls how the men lived in dugout habitats with weather conditions that were either very hot or very cold depending on the season. He remembers that there was a lot of activity occurring before the major battle.



Rex L. McCall

Battle of the Hook

Rex McCall described his experiences in the Battle of the Hook. He shared how there was sporadic fire from the Chinese and recalled how he went on night time patrols. He remembered he would try to sleep in a bunker farther down the hill during the day. He commented on how it reminded him of trench warfare during World War I. He sighted the Chinese only being about 450 feet away. He remembered seeing an arm of a dead Chinese soldier still holding a potato masher hand grenade.



Taking a Risk

Rex McCall needed to carry a stretcher but it exposed him to enemy fire. He realized he was taking a risk. He was never scared fighting in Korea but understood the consequences. As a young man, he considered it an adventure. He hoped if he was ever hit it would be a clean shot that would kill him instead of maim him.



Richard Davey

Working with Americans While Stationed at HQ

Richard Davey recounts being stationed at the Royal Army's Headquarters (HQ) during the May 1953, 3rd Battle of the Hook. Due to bombing and busy telephone lines, he recalls having to hot loop (go around the regular telephone communication system) to communicate with other HQs. During that battle, over thirty-eight thousand shells were used during the fight.



A Bunker and a Radio, What Else Would You Need?

Richard Davey shares that his job in HQ was to man the radio to maintain and assist communication between the frontlines and HQRA. Therefore, he had to store many pieces of equipment to keep the radio running all day and night. He recalls being able to stay in a bunker inside of a trench and adds that he was even able to maintain a bookshelf with books to share with the American soldiers that he was stationed with at the time.



Ronald C. Lovell

Hill 759 and the Hook

Ronald C. Lovell and his unit transitioned from Hill 355 to Hill 759, ultimately taking part in the Battle of the Hook. They engaged in combat whenever they encountered Chinese forces in the area. Lovell highlights the cooperation with the ROK Army while stationed at Hill 355 and the collaboration with the British after moving to Hill 759. Spending two years in a special forces unit, he fondly remembers the joy everyone felt when the armistice was announced.



Ronald Shaw

Lucky to Be Alive

Ronald Shaw describes a time during the Battle of the Hook when he felt like he was lucky to be alive. He explains how there was a Chinese officer near him, but he was able to blend in with the sandbag. If his Bren Gun (light machine gun) had not been set on single shot, the outcome of the situation could have been deadly for Ronald Shaw.