Our Men’s Club Vice President Bob Holloway was an honoree on Thursday, Sept. 15, at a ceremony at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base recalling the 66th anniversary of Operation Chromite, which was the landing at Incheon, Korea, in 1950.
In the presence of Marine Corps generals, Bob and approximately 69 other Korean War veterans were presented with special medals by Key Cheol Lee, who serves as Consul General in Los Angeles for the Republic of Korea.
A presentation script read; “You fought in the Korean War which lasted from Jun. 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953 to protect peace and humanity. To honor and remember the noble spirit, pieces of the DMZ barbed wire fence and cartridge cases used during the Korean war have been used to craft this medal of appreciation. We present you this appreciation medal with a certificate of all Koreans’ respect and gratitude.”
Having joined the Marine Corps at 17, Bob was too young to participate in the Inchon landing, but he arrived in Incheon in February 1952 and immediately was assigned to an outpost where his unit listened for tanks, troop movements and artillery fire.
Subsequently the Marines learned that there was another outpost nearby – one manned by North Korean soldiers. On February 25, 1953,” his unit staged a raid on the Communist outpost. “A mortar came in and knocked me unconscious and really screwed up my left leg,” Bob recalled. “I got gangrene and at that time there wasn’t much you could do, but there was a new antibiotic—terramycin—and that saved my leg from being amputated.”
While he was lying on a gurney, his commanding officer hovered over him for the few seconds it took to present him with a Purple Heart. “It’s not much of a war, but it’s all we got,” the officer told him.