John Murphy - Chinese attacks

Running time
2 min 45 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I was in one platoon, A Company, and a sergeant came around and gave us two extra grenades that was all the extra ammunition, it looks like where're going to be, we could hear the shots following the Chinese as they started to intermingle with the South Koreans and refugees and they were stirring it up and we knew they were going to get through and we knew that we were going to be surrounded because once the refugees and the South Koreans retreated the Chinese would just go down and we'd be surrounded so we knew we were going to be in for it. Sure enough, we heard the whistles going and we knew how they attacked.

They used whistles, the squads used whistles to gather them together when they were attacking a position and then they sounded a bugle and I'm not sure what the bugles were for, whether they were signals or for shoring up there courage but it didn't give us courage and then there was silence and then they had these grenadiers with the grenades. They either had satchels, these grenadiers, these canvas satchels full of these stick grenades or buckets full of grenades and they would move up close to your position and start hurling these grenades but luckily enough they were eight second grenades and they give you plenty of time to pick 'em up and chuck them back again or duck well down in your gunpit so they wasn't too bad, you know, and then, of course, you knew after the grenadiers came the Chinese and they came five times up to, they started about a quarter to ten that night and they came at us, one platoon, about five times until one o'clock in the morning and by that time we'd lost seventeen killed and wounded in our platoon.

I'd been flattened by a grenade, you know, bowled over by a grenade but was lucky enough to still function and a few more of the thirteen were much the same way, hit by fragmentation from the grenades. If the company commander hadn't decided to pull out the last of us up, up to company headquarters, we didn't have enough ammunition to ward off another attack because we knew it was coming, we could hear the whistles going and bugles and then this company commander, sent down two runners and the medical orderly said 'Right, pull back up to company headquarters' and as we were pulling back the Chinese were going in and jumping into our weapon pits. If he hadn't have given that order, we were gone, gone to the world, we'd either been killed or prisoners of war.

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