Letter from A True Warrior, Col. Edward O. Logan, S-3 of the 19th Inf Regt, 1949-50
by Frank Blood, Jr.
What follows is the result of my effort to make a legible, typewritten copy, of a letter Col. Edward O. Logan sent me in 1997. This felt tipped pen written letter was in response to one I had written to him, and was hardly readable. Compounding the problem, the Col. had suffered a stroke with some loss of memory, and parts of the letter were almost incomprehensible.
I served as a clerk typist under the Col., then a Maj., the S-3 of the 19th Inf Regt, Camp Chickamauga, Beppu, Kyushu, Japan in 1949, and embarked for Korea with him on July 2, 1950 as part of the advanced HQ Section of the 19th Inf Regt. The Col. was a true Warrior and I am proud to have served with him. The Country owes him and others like him a debt of gratitude.
Frank Blood, Jr.
(The Col.'s Letter) September 15, 1997 ?
What a nice surprise when I walked down to the box on 1 Sept. ‘Twas almost 47 years ago; that your service to the nation and the nice times in Beppu as we tried to train the "Chicks" for any action, never knowing that it would come so fast in a so-called "Forgotten War." Col. Meloy looked to our S-3 section for most everything that needed to be done, and we responded to every challenge. They were trying times for the U.S. Army — reduced from the world's greatest fighting machine in 1945 to less than 500,000 — filled with dropsters, many unable to read or write; a reduction of one Bn in Regt’l strength; a new Div. Organization without the equipment — weapons, etc. - and old vehicles, ammo, etc. - that would not work — etc.
Yes, I fondly remember the old gang even though my memory is fading very slowly — old age, I suspect.
Yes, how well I remember the little town of Ok-Chan-Ni and our night ride in full moon. KOREA MAP Our mission was to get to the head of the column and show them the road turn to Taejon I had retreated down that route and was familiar with same. You, Ruff Joe, and yes, a reporter from the London Times, British type, who was informed by his boss not to get involved since he would be going to Washington, DC as Bureau Chief. Remember, he wore a trench coat.
As you recall, the 1st Bn. (Col. Nauts) was leading the attack. Mission — proceed as rapidly as possible to Taejon; shoot at anything that moved. We had tanks (Capt. West) Company CO. Somehow we got ahead of the column. How I will never know. Might recall I stopped to examine the road, saw tank tracks and surmised there was a break to column. Proceeded forward right over a small bridge and about 3/4 mile to the north turn to Taejon.
Sure 'nough at the junction there were two tanks facing north. I said, "There they are." I had a my folding carbine and got out. Suddenly the moon came out of the clouds, and there were the Koreans scrambling to get on two tanks [which began] going north.
I yelled at Ruff "Let's get moving; they ain't our troops! " I fired about 20 rounds, and we headed east about 1/4 mile and saw troops moving west on the road. Told Ruff to pull the jeep into a house and we headed for the tall grass behind the house. Shortly after, we heard gunfire; and Ruff said, "They are shooting up my new jeep." We got [it] about one week earlier.
As you recall, we watched the Koreans change into white civilian clothes as they passed us in the tall growth.
I still had a mission of turning our column north to Taejon; but how to stop the column without getting shot? The correspondent stated he could do it. I had given him my 45 pistol; since his coat stood as a civilian, maybe they would stop. Reluctantly I agreed and stayed right behind him. His words on the side of the road while waving his hands "I say, old chaps, Americans, Americans." The response from a GI riding tank, "Blow it out your ass." But no shots were fired. The second tank did slow down; finally the column was stopped, turned around and we stopped for the night before making our last push to Taejon.
You might recall we had a tank battle early soon after Koreans attacked down the road. We lost one tank but destroyed three. It was quite a night; but it was on to Taejon the next day. Quite a story especially the rush to the police station to rescue PW being buried alive and the massacre of civilians on a hill northeast of Taejon (some + thousands).
I prepared a rather lengthy input for "The Forgotten War" for Clay Blair, some 150 typed pages. I was in Saudi Arabia at the time — mailed package — apparently it never arrived. Dumb me, I did not make a copy and was too late to redo and get it in print. I probably had more knowledge of the condition of troops, the list of equipment, weapons the days north of Taejon than anyone else.
As you probably remember I took command of the 3rd Bn, 19th Inf. (Formerly of the 34th Inf., disbanded, colors retired, etc.)
Our Bn. Had the Division lead in heading north to Pyongyang, the capital. We had hoped to beat the 1st Cav Div. at key road junction so the 24" could be the Div. [to] take the Captial. Our route was off ___???___ , they sweeping the west ___ ??? ___. We missed by about one hour reaching the junction that would give us the lead north. I kept the 3rd Bn. in our new movement south until April '51. Then was assigned to GHQ HQ in Tokyo after a few trips to hospital. After two months at GHQ received orders for Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth. On graduation I was requested by General Meloy, who was assistant Cmdt. Of the Infantry School at Ft. Benning. What a great assignment! My third at Benning. I was an instructor for three years in the tactical Dept. as a ___ ???___ officer, after making Regular Army in 1946 in the 1st integration -- 250,000 applicants, only 5,000 chosen. I was delighted, surprised, etc. to be chosen and then assigned as an instructor on graduation.
Col. Meloy was a great individual, gentleman, and great officer. We were fortunate to have him as a CO. On assignment to Japan in 1949. I fought my ass from potential assignment at GHQ, Corps HQ and 24" Div. HQ. I begged Gen. "Nuts" McAuliffe, Div. CO, to get me to a Regt. He agreed and that's how I got to old Beppu and old Monkey Mt. and the steam baths. I was a young 27-yr.-old Major with almost two years in the Pacific with Inf. Regt. and later 6th Army HQ. Knew the Asian type of warfare and was anxious to get with a regiment.
I left Ft. Benning in 1955 for attendance at Armed Forces Staff, Carlise, then to France at G-1 of the Commo Zone; then to Germany as CO of a battle group. Germany to Ft. Riley with the 5th Inf., 1st Div. Then in 1959 selected for Army War College, promoted to full Colonel. Was the youngest man in class. Then to Pentagon, Deputy Chief Far East Pacific Div. Office of Chief of Staff Operations. I was on a fast track for promotion to general (always in the upper one percent of officers but could not make it to Vietnam due to my number three son, born brain damaged in 1952, handsome 6' lad declared retarded; but he came along fine. Later diagnosed as an "aphasia" could not read or write. Finally graduated from high school and worked with retarded children until his death at age 36 from cancer.
I served my last four years with the Secretary of Defense, Weapons System Evolution Group. Retired in 1970. Continued living in Fairfax, Virginia, working as an operations analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then later with Planning Research Corp. as an operations analyst specializing in automation, test, and evaluation of systems. Last five years (1982-1987) was principal analyst for Integration test and evolution of a Saudi Air Command and Control Center making numerous trips to supervise and test a C&C underground control centers at three locations in Saudi Arabia. Retired in 1989. Moved from Fairfax, Virginia, to Birmingham, Alabama. One son lives here
Now a member of the Old Folks Group. Active in most leisure and volunteer work. Served on Shelby County Planning Commission Organized, president of 1,000-member homeowners' association. Play some tennis, some golf — all tempered with a bout with cancer. Travel to see sons in Oregon and San Francisco. Live somewhat hampered by hearing loss. Might recall I was blown off Mt. Peak on New Year's night by Chinese concussion grenade. Both eardrums ruptured, which they can't do much about. Great lip reader. Three of my four sons served in the military — one in the Air Force, two in the Army. All regular army, but resigned after five years!
I have not joined any associations. When the 19th Inf was put to bed; the 5th Inf. Put to bed, I really had no desire to attend. Should have and might still attend some in future. My hearing is rough road to travel with a group discussion.
I appreciate your letter and thoughts. They mean so much at our age. --- Please pass on my regards to any and all the "old hands" — Would be happy to hear from all.
Hope you can read — My little word processor broke down. —Used computers for many years until 3 brain hemorrhages in 2 hour destroyed much memory ----??---- especially short short memory. Dr. say stay away from computers !!!!
Ed & Glennis Logan
[Logan, Colonel Edward O., died on Nov 27, 2006 from congestive heart failure. Colonel Logan served with the 19th Infantry Regiment from 1949 - Jul 1950 in Japan and in Korea from July 1950 - 1951. Ms. Logan passed away in Jul 2006. Col. Logan was born in 1921 to Edward and Sadie Wood Logan in Sprott, Alabama and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He graduated from Tuscaloosa High School, attended the University of Alabama and then joined the Alabama National Guard in 1937. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1940 and quickly became one of the youngest Major's at age 22 and served our country through WWII (Philippines) and Korea. He was on the army staff during Vietnam before retiring as a Colonel in 1970. He was awarded the Silver Star (1 cluster), the Bronze Star (3 clusters) for bravery, the Legion of Merit, Several Commendations, Airborne Badge and Combat Infantry Badge with one Star.]
The following is an account of the events related in Col. Logan’s letter as I remember them after sixty-three yeas of dimming memories; and as confirmed by my comrade in arms and fellow S-3 clerk, Cpl. Joseph P Negrelli.
Maj. Logan was wounded in late July and was evacuated to a hospital in Japan for recovery.
Upon learning of the of the coming UN offensive, then Maj. Logan could not wait to be discharged and went AWOL from the hospital, hitched a plane ride back to Korea and rejoined the Regt. in early Sept.
After the Sept. 15 landing at Inchon the 8th Army was ordered to attack and break out of the Pusan Perimeter.
On or about the 21 Sept the 19th Inf. was ordered to mount a motorized attack from Pusang-dong over the road to Taejon, avoiding pitched battles and just running over, around or through any resistance. KOREA AREA MAP
After racing through minor pockets of resistance it became obvious we were going to run off our issued maps. During a short break, Maj. Logan was ordered to lead the column since he had traveled the route before and would know the intersection in the town of Okch'on-ni, where the column had to make a sharp left turn to take the road on to Taejon, our objective.
He was now in a jeep driven by Pfc William Ruff, accompanied by myself, Cpl Joseph Negrelli, and a correspondent from the London Times. Five people in a vehicle designed for four. The jeep was NOT rigged for battle. The windshield was up as was the canvas top.
Maj. Logan ordered Ruff to pull around the tanks in front of us, with their riding infantry support, and overtake the lead tanks at the head of our column and out of sight ahead of us. He assumed there was a break in the column and there were still some of our tanks with troops ahead of us, a wrong almost fatal assumption.
After driving about an hour, with no tanks in sight, either ahead or behind us, the Maj. ordered Ruff to stop the jeep. He then examined the dusty road about fifteen feet ahead of us. He returned to the jeep declaring there were tank tracks in the road ahead and our lead tanks must be ahead of us. We continued to try to catch up.
After being on the road about five hours and approaching the town of Okch'on-ni, we noticed a guard post on the edge of town with a NK guard talking to a NK motorcyclist. The Maj. ordered Ruff to stop, jumped out of the jeep, dropped them both in the middle of the road with two shots, jumped back into the jeep and ordered Ruff to go. Our troops found their bodies in the road later as the column entered the town. We continued into the town and since the street was lined with NK flags the Maj. shot up the buildings as we sped through.
About the middle of town the Maj. spotted the Taejon road intersection and ordered Ruff to turn left. We couldn't see what was on the road around the corner. Ruff cut left and stomped on the brakes—almost colliding with a NK tank that was stopped and taking on infantry riders as was a tank ahead of it.
By now it was dusk with poor visibility, and the NK's were trying to determine if the jeep occupants were friend or foe.
In a low tone the Maj. said, "Nobody shoot" and ordered Ruff to back around the corner, which he promptly did. We couldn't go back the way we came because of the shoot-out coming into town, so we continued straight on through.
We soon spotted about a platoon of NK's marching down the road towards us. The Maj. ordered Ruff to pull into a drive between two buildings and we all bailed out and headed into the tall grass and low hills behind the buildings. It was now very dark since the moon wasn't out yet. It was so dark that Cpl Negrelli and I got separated from the others. So we just laid low and listened for our column to catch up with us.
We worried about rejoining our column without getting shot by our own troops who at that time had KATUSA (South Korean Troops, assigned to U.S. units) to "Flesh Out" our ranks, which were short of replacements. The problem was that the Koreans understood very little English. We stepped out of the darkness and onto the now moonlit road. Luckily, after some shouting back and forth we were recognized as Americans and weren't shot.
Since the column was stopped and was running low on gas. It was decided to wait in place for our supply train coming up the road a few hours behind us. At last the supply train, 2-1/2 ton trucks loaded with 50 gallon drums of gas, caught up, and all the vehicles were gassed up.
After being re-supplied the column made the sharp left turn and proceeded on the road to Taejon.
About 100 yards past the turn the lead tank hit a mine and was knocked out the, tankers being injured. Troops were deployed with mine detectors and bazookas. It was then discovered that our lead tanks had bypassed a NK tank hidden in ambush under the roof of a Korean house about 50 feet past the intersection. A bazooka team knocked it out and the column proceeded on to Taejon, encountering minor resistance.
The column reached Taejon early that afternoon and proceeded to the Taejon Air Strip. In and around Taejon the troops of the 19th Inf found evidence of many atrocities committed by the NK's against GI POW's and South Korean Civilians.
After regrouping a few days in Taejon the 19th Inf, along with the rest of the 24th.Inf. Division, pushed on to Seoul and then to the 38th Parallel.
Frank Blood Jr. in collaboration with Joseph P Negrelli
Formally Hq & Hq Co 19th Inf. Regt., S-3 Section, Japan and Korea, 1949-50-51
Frank Blood, Jr., Life - #368
PO Box 367
Gardner MA 01440-0367
Joseph P. Negrelli, Life - #1580
36670 Garretts Cove Dr.
Eastlake OH 44095