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I Company, 5th Marines, fire-fight on Hill 125

About 76 days after my ship Wantuck landed I/3/5 at Green Beach, a bare 20 of those 200 Marines were still standing. This fight for a hill on the way to Seoul was one of the many reasons why.

The Capture of Seoul

>5th Marines capture Hill 125

I Company, 5th Marines capture Hill 125
Marine Rescued Under Heavy Fire, 9/50

Colonel R.L. Murray's 5th Marines fought many desperate battles, from the Pusan Perimeter through the fight-out from the Chosin Reservoir. Here, I Company takes heavy casualties as 3rd Battalion captures the hill positions overlooking the Han River, preparatory to the Marines crossing it in their advance on Seoul.

The dead Marine in the foreground lies where he was dragged by his comrades, while they cover the rescue of another wounded Marine.

I was on Wantuck, APD 125, when we picked up I/3/5 at Pusan and took them into the assault at Green Beach at Inchon. Several years ago I ran across a book that gave me insights into many questions I have had for 57 years: "Dark Horse Six: A Memoir of the Korean War, 1950-1951" by Robert D Taplett, CO of 3rd Bn, 5th Marines.

One thing that always bothered me was why I/3/5 seemed to be conducting a little Boot Camp during the 5 days we had them aboard. Another was why, over the years, I've met many veterans from G/3/5 and H/3/5, but never any of the troops that I helped carry into the assault on our LCVPs. I now realize I/3/5 badly needed their basic weapons re-familiarization. They had been in the reserves, driving buses or pumping gas only two months before being thrown into an infantry company and facing and defeating NK veterans on Wolmi-do. And they continued to face and defeat them at the Han and at Seoul. And they went on to face 12 Chinese divisions at Chosen.

About 76 days after we assaulted Inchon, a bare 20 of those 200 Marines we debarked were still standing.

Dark Horse Six gives similar insights into the ordeal of G/3/5 and H/3/5; into the battle for survival of Division Recon Company; into the desperate seconds when Corsairs flew just overhead, pouring supporting fire and napalm on almost overwhelming enemy forces only yards away; into the crisis moments when life or death decisions were made and paid for by the lives of ordinary men.

We are so fortunate that Col. Taplett managed to get Dark Horse Six printed before he died. If you care about our magnificent Marine Corps, if you care about any of our sons and brothers in any of our military services who defend our nation with their lives, you will be entranced by Dark Horse Six. If you can find a copy.

Semper Fi and GO NAVY!

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