Korea has often been called The Forgotten War. I had an uncle, who recently died, Ralph McClarey, who served over there as a combat infantryman in the Illinois National Guard. He had a great sense of humor and would tell me stories about the war. He served during the latter part of the war when fierce battles were fought for outposts. These battles were obscure to most Americans at the time, and completely unknown to most Americans now. This is the story of one of these forgotten battles.
Outpost Harry was a tiny outpost on a small hill in the Iron Triangle, an area 60 miles north of Seoul. The Chinese high command decided to capture this position, assuming that a victory would strengthen their hand in the ongoing truce negotiation. They assumed that it would fall to them easily, after all, Outpost Harry was a small position that could be only held by one company at a time, the four American companies and the Greek company taking turns holding the position. The position was tiny but important. Lose it, and the Chinese could direct fire on the Un Main Line of Resistance and force a six-mile withdrawal to the next defensible line by the Eighth Army. Outpost Harry had to be held.
Aerial reconnaissance from June 1-June 8 indicated to the American high command that a major Chinese offensive was in the offing, spearheaded by the 22nd and 221rst regiments of the Chinese 74th division. (more…)