John Bierman was born in 1928 in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from high school in 1945, he went to New Mexico Military Institute to attend Junior College. John Bierman’s mother suggested he apply for Naval Officer Training School and after listening to his mother, he graduated from there in 1951. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and he was ordered to Naval Amphibious School in Coronado, California. After completion of that school, he was assigned to an attack cargo ship called the USS Winston. During the Korean War, John Bierman’s ship was stationed off the coast of Korea where he trained for amphibious assaults.
Smoke During Amphibious Assaults
John Bierman was assigned to a smoke boat and amphibious assaults. The smoke boat is typically one of the first boats in and last boats out during amphibious training. Diesel fuel was mixed with water to make a heavy white cloud of smoke to protect landing craft boats during the Korean War.
Deceptive Amphibious Assaults
The ship that John Bierman was stationed on made deceptive amphibious assaults 3 different times on the coast of Korea during the war. This was a way to draw opposing troops away from the front line. North Korean troops were tricked, so John Bierman received incoming fire and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in 1951.
Military College: Preparing For Military LIfe
John Bierman grew up during WWII and joined the Boy Scouts of America so that he could collect aluminum along with bacon fat. During the Great Depression, he would eat one piece of bread with warm milk poured over with as dinner. After graduating high school, he graduated with a pre-engineering degree at a military college in 1947.
The Holloway Program
John Bierman applied for the Holloway Program which was the Naval version of the ROTC. He was accepted after interviews and an exam, so he was sent to the University of Oklahoma. He studied chemical engineering and Naval Science until he graduated in 1951 as an officer.