This is a Korean War story about my Dad, a Sargent in the Korean War.
He had told me bits and pieces over the years, mostly when we were Deer Hunting in the cold Minnesota Northwoods.
My younger sister who is a writer got this from Dad a couple of years before he passed.
I Knew Him.
Rex Perry Blow, he was a rifleman. He was just a private, only up there for a few days on the front line, Bloody Ridge, thats the name it got because it was a nasty battle. This is a story about Rex Blow and I (Herbert J. B.). Rex and I met in basic training in Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, he was in the same company as I we did things together, socialized together. Before he came into army, he worked in Michigan building Greyhound buses. We met in Schofield Barracks. We went on the same ship, the General Anderson, from Hawaii to Tokyo, Japan. From Japan we went to Korea on airplanes. We got on a train in Korea and went up to where the second division was engaged on the front lines. We got out into a staging area and stayed there one night. They took us on a truck up through the valley where we met Lt. Johnson from the 9th infantry, second division, company K. He took 20 of us up the ridge to where the people were who were on the front line for that unit. He turned us over to a person who said he was a squad leader in company I. And company I, L, and K were all the people that were there. What you see is what we have left. He placed us in foxholes with a person who was already up there. We spent the rest of that day and that night in those positions. Foxholes are not very big; two men in one touch shoulder to shoulder. I dont remember when we camped there, just remembering finding him (Rex). The enemy tried to dislodge us that night, but they didnt get it done. The next day we attacked a knoll that was in front of us, we were up on a mountain. We took it, but the enemy counterattacked and in the long-run, drove us off. Thats the night when the people left. There were about ten of us, we didnt know that they left. They didnt tell us. The ten that were left were all new and we were excited. We were concerned that we would be captured or killed. How will we get out of this? How will we get find our company? Its pitch dark again.
I found the communication wire that had been brought out there from the old position, I called out. We followed it back to the other men who had left. Like how you take a tin can and put a wire between them.
You would whistle to identify yourself. When we reached the other men, we called out to say, We’re GIs, dont shoot! Let us come in. Here is a strange thing, my friend, Mobley was up there, he called out dont shoot, its Herb when I heard his voice, I called him by his first name. He called me by my first name. The commander said, Are you sure thats Herb? Okay, you can come in, one at a time, and you (meaning me, Herb) come last. The next day or the day after, I had taken over a machine gun, nobody was on it, I took it over on top of the ridge. We did not go into attack that day. In the afternoon, I looked over to my left and I saw Rex Blow laying there. I called to him. No answer. So I crawled over there to where he was and kept calling to him and no answer. I go next to Rex and said, Rex, whats up. his eyes are wide open, he looks like he is just lying there. Then I see it, a bullet hole right there (Dad indicates the middle of his forehead between his eyes). I closed his eyes for him. Im sure he was doing what he was supposed to be doing and a sniper just got him. I called to the medic and said, we’ve got a dead man here, youd better come and get him. I crawled back to my position. Then I saw two men coming to get him. The last I saw of Rex, he was being carried down the hill. That evening, this is on September the second (1951), a new lieutenant came up and he was to lead us in the attack to take that hill back the next day. He got two riflemen with him and then he came over to me and said he wanted me to come with them with my machine gun for cover if they needed it. They put me on a knoll. Ten minutes later, I heard a fire fight. Five minutes later the two men came carrying the lieutenant. Cover us, cover us! I saw a Burp Gun and fired at them. A Burp Gun sets on a tripod. I went into my old position, sitting on the ridge in our position on the hill. The medics again picked up the lieutenant who was dead and carried him down to the rear. I found the lieutenants name by looking up on the Korean War Projects website. He was the only officer in that day and his name was Lt. Frank Llewellyn Brown. We didnt go and make any more attacks on the hill. Two days later the 23rd infantry of the second division were told to go and take Bloody Ridge. At about 2:00 in afternoon, I saw these men moving up past me in my position. They went up there and did not fire a shot. At the hill that we couldnt take before, they didnt fire a shot. Went all the way up there on Blood Ridge all the way. The enemy had left. The next day we set up another line behind them in case the enemy attacked. The next day we re-organized our units. After re-organization, we went back on that hill and occupied it for some time, two three weeks. October 6th, 1951 we went back over to Heartbreak Ridge. That day our platoon leaderwe were to go up to continue the attack on the hill he was shot between the eyes looking out over the hill to figure out how we were going to attack. Lt. Richard Allen Cope. When it happened, word came across, Our lieutenants killed, shot in the head! I, with my squad, the 4th squad, were over to the right of where the lieutenant was. Lt. Johnson came to me and said, I want you to go out and take that hill. I said, Ill do it, but not the way you guys did it. Im going up the back door. By afternoon, we had our hill. So you see, Rex Perry Blow would have been part of all this stuff because many of those people who were his friends. I hope this will give some closure to his relatives and friends to know about Rexs battle. Yours truly, Sergeant Herbert J. B, Company K, 3rd platoon, 9th infantry regiment, 2nd division Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge battles, 885 men killed.