"Woodrow Wilson Keeble: The Man Called Chief" by Merry Helm
"Woodrow Wilson Keeble: The Man Called Chief" is the Korean War account of Woodrow Keeble's heroic actions on October 20, 1951 during Operation Nomad by Merry Helm, a freelance researcher and writer in Fargo, ND.
Lulu Marketplace, paperback, 101 pages, $19.70, also available as a file download, $9.90.
On October 20, 1951, Master Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Keeble saved his men by taking on three Chinese machine gun bunkers by himself. This is the story of the battle and how Keeble persevered despite being wounded three times during five days of round-the-clock combat.
Fifty-eight years later, Keeble was finally awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in North Korea. Keeble was a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe in North and South Dakota. He is the first full-blood member of the great Sioux Nation to receive the nation's highest award for valor.
"The Man Called Chief" Comments on by Al Oppedal
I was impressed with this book and with the fine work Merry Helm has done not just in telling the story of this great American hero, but in documenting the great hardship of those who served in this forgotten war. The deep respect and affection those who served with Keeble expressed in this book perhaps tells us more about the qualities and character of this great Sioux warrior than the recognition he received decades too late.
The deep sense of brotherhood these men of different races and backgrounds shared during times of extreme hardship perhaps provides us with the best lesson we can apply to our lives today.
I first became acquainted with Merry Helm when she assisted me in helping a friend of mine learn more about what had happened to a man with whom he had served in this battle. My friend was in Fox Company of the 19th Infantry Regiment. Keeble was the top sergeant of George Company of the 19th.
My friend had been involved in the action on October 19, 1951, or the day before Keeble's action that would ultimately recognize him with the Medal of Honor. His platoon led the attack that day and was nearly wiped out. My friend saved a man while himself wounded. He lost track of his friend and was not able to determine what had happened to him.
Through Ms. Helm's efforts, he learned that his friend had returned to his home and became a minister. He had died a few years earlier. He also received the heartfelt thanks of the man's widow and his family. All of this happened a few days before his own death in November, 2006. Thanks to Ms. Helm, he was able to achieve closure and a sense of peace. This had never been off his mind since the day it happened. My friend was never able to fully express his feelings about those days.
Merry Helm's book about Keeble, at least to me, tells it for him.