5.28.2018

The Queens Own


The 1/32nd Infantry Battalion was first organized on 7 August 1916, on Oahu, Hawaii, Hawaii from elements of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions. At its activation, it was known as "The Queen's Own" Regiment, a title bestowed by the last queen of Hawaii, Liliuokalani.

During World War I, units of this battalion were used to escort German prisoners of war being transferred to the United States from Hawaii. On 20 July 1918, the 32nd was transferred to Camp Kearny, San Diego, California, where it became a part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade, 16th Infantry Division. A short time later, many of its men were transferred to the 82nd Infantry Group and remained with this organization until it was demobilized in 1919.

The 2nd Battalion was reactivated in October, 1939, by the transfer of men from units of the 7th Infantry Division, and on 1 July 1940, the remainder of the regiment was reactivated as a part of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 32nd was moved into defensive positions along the West Coast.

As the job became apparent, the troops began intensive training as a motorized unit at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Vast maneuvers were held in the Mojave Desert to prepare the 32nd for participation in the defeat of the German Afrika Korps, led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. A change in Allied strategy, however, turned the 32nd overnight toward its role in amphibious assaults from the Aleutian Islands to tropical jungle.

Rushed to the Aleutians in the spring of 1943, after the Japanese had landed on Attu Island, the regiment played a major role in retaking American territory. It was here Private Joe P. Martinez, Company I, earned the Medal of Honor. Seeing his unit pinned down by enemy fire, he single handedly charged the enemy emplacement and destroyed it. While rallying the men he was mortally wounded.

For action on the Attu, "E", "I", and "K companies of the 32nd received Distinguished Unit Citations.

After their baptism of fire in the Aleutian campaign, the 32nd sailed to Hawaii for intensive training emphasizing amphibious landings and jungle fighting.

On 1 February 1944, the 32nd assaulted Kwajalein. During the five days, the 32nd, along with the 184th Infantry Regiment, eliminated all the enemy personnel on the island, with the exception of a few battle weary Japanese who surrendered.

The regiment returned to Hawaii on 14 February where it went through additional intensified jungle training for an expected invasion of Yap. Arriving at Eniwetok on 25 September 1944, the orders were changed and the 32nd joined General Douglas MacArthur's forces, spearheading the first landings on Leyte. Fighting in the swamps, tropical jungles, and over rugged mountains, the 7th Division battled over 37 miles (60 kilometers) in 60 days of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific.

The regiment's last campaign of World War II started 1 April 1945 with the landing at Okinawa. During this battle, the 32nd won the nickname Spearhead because of its continuous attacks against the enemy. After only three days of rest, the 32nd embarked for Korea to receive the surrender of the Japanese troops south of the 38th parallel. During its campaigns through the Pacific, the 32nd traveled 16,910 miles - more than any other regiment in any war, up to that time.

During the regiment's occupation stay in Korea, infantrymen obtained a preview of their tour in the Korean War. Units of the 32nd rotated on outpost positions along the 38th Parallel. The troops formed a tight perimeter against southbound guerrilla bands and were assigned the mission of eliminating the wholesale movement of black market goods across the boundary.

In December 1948, the 7th Infantry Division loaded on ships and sailed to Japan where its zone of occupation responsibility included almost half of the total land area of Japan. The 32nd replaced the 11th Airborne. During its stay in Japan, the strength of the regiment dropped by almost half of its paper strength.

On 25 June 1950, the North Korean Army crossed the 38th Parallel, taking Seoul and pushing all the way to the Pusan Perimeter. The 32nd began immediate preparation for deployment.

Intensive training for a proposed amphibious landing in Korea highlighted the training for the Regiment. A big problem faced the 32nd in the integration of several hundred ROK soldiers who were to fight alongside of American troops. Demonstrations, sign language, and a smattering of Japanese were used during the intensive military training. The ROKs were integrated at the squad level and introduced to the American "buddy" system in combat. American soldiers were responsible for the training and integration of the assigned ROK troops. After six days of loading supplies and equipment, the 32nd boarded troopships, departing for Inchon.

They went ashore 16 September 1950, met by small arms, mortar, and tank fire. The 32nd advanced north toward the Han River, the last natural barrier to Seoul. The Buccaneers, in the cold morning hours of the 25th, crossed the Han under intense enemy fire and captured their first objective at 1030 hours, a dominating hill mass outside Seoul. Its capture provided the 32nd with sufficient momentum to gain all assigned objectives. With the capture of the surrounding heights overlooking and dominating the city, Marine elements were able to resume their advance. The Navy Distinguished Unit Citation went to the Buccaneers for relieving the pressure on the Marines.

The division was relieved of the responsibility for the Seoul area on 30 September and moved 350 miles overland, arriving in Pusan to begin training for another proposed landing, this time at Wonson, North Korea. Departing from Pusan harbor on 28 October, the mission of the 7th was changed to land at Iwon and advance to the Korean-Manchurian border.

Landing at Iwon in the 29th, the 32nd moved quickly northward with the 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir and the 2nd and 3rd in the Fusan Reservoir area.

At that point there were definite indications of PLA intervention. Information three enemy divisions had arrived at Yudam-ni on 20 November 1950 reached intelligence personnel via prisoners of war. On the ground, no contact was made in the Chosin Reservoir area.

On 29 November 1950, when the full force of the Chinese struck the UN forces, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions stood their ground until UN elements further north moved to join the battle. Together all these UN elements made an orderly withdrawal from the Fusan area.

The 1st Battalion on the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir was with elements of the 31st Infantry and the 1st Marines, who were cut off by the PLA. Only after long and bloody fighting did these forces work their way south to Koto-ri, and then to the Hungman perimeter. LTC Don C Faith, Jr, 1st Battalion Commander, distinguished himself in this action.

During the five day period from 27 November 1950 to 1 December 1950, LTC Faith personally directed his troops across the ice-covered reservoir and continually placed himself with the forward elements of the Battalion. He was mortally wounded while attempting to destroy an enemy road block with hand grenades. For his leadership, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

With the signing of the truce, The Buccaneers busied themselves in defensive preparations on the Korean peninsula, until it was reorganized and activated as the 1st Battalion 32nd Infantry Regiment for a short period.

On 28 May 1978, the 1/32 Infantry Battalion stood down as part of President Carter's effort to withdraw troops from Korea. Just prior to that, Colin Powell and Stephen Silvasy respectively, served as battalion commanders.

Richard Kidd was the 1st Sgt of B Company from 1977 - 1978 and later became the 9th Sergeant Major of the Army !!! Hooah and Semper Fi


David Apperson, Age 17
Camp Howze Korea



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1.23.2018

Military Service


To PFC David Apperson, a comrade in arms, with sincere thanks for your service on the Korean DMZ and actions as an MP in harms way.

John K Singlaub
Major General, US Army Retired



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During the months of February and March of 1978, Soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry (Buccaneers) were manning Guard Posts (GPs) Collier and Quelette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the North (nK) and South (ROK) Korean border in the vicinity of the jointly ROK/US manned Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom.

During daylight hours Buccaneer Soldiers observed nK activities to ensure the safety of ROK/US soldiers working in the JSA. At night US Soldiers from Collier and Quelette conducted small unit (squad sized) ambush patrols in the two kilometer area between the MDL and the ROK southern boundary fence to interdict nK Ranger Cammando teams who were trying to infiltrate the DMZ.

David Apperson was a member of B Company and participated in these operations in the bitter cold of the Korean winter where below zero temperatures were not uncommon.

Stephen Silvasy, Jr (Major General, US Army Retired)
Commander, 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry (Buccaneers) from 1976 to 1978



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Specialist David Apperson, USA, Veteran

David,

I can confirm that during the period of May 1977 and February 1978, B Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, Third Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division did participate in the following live ammunition combat missions.

Thunderbolt Mission ... reaction force.

DMZ duty on Guard Posts Collier and Quellette ... conducting guard duty, observation post duty, and also conducting combat patrols.

Special Munitions Security Mission

All of these missions are actual live ammunition ... security combat missions. These missions are held in all types of weather from extreme heat to sub zero weather. And that you were a member of the Company during these missions and were a participant.

Finally, I can certainly validate (even though the statement presented by a former Battalion Commander at the time in question and ultimately retiring as a Major General) needs no validation, the information provided in his statement.

I assumed the duties of First Sergeant B Co, 1.32 Infantry in May 1977 and departed in Feb 1978 and I ultimately retired as the Ninth Sergeant Major of the Army, having served with Chief of Staff, Army General Gordon R. Sullivan and Secretaries of the Army, Michael P.W. Stone and Togo West in July 1995.

Richard A. Kidd
Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA #9), USA, Retired



.............

As a law enforcement officer for over 25 years, I affirm and attest that the following information is true and accurate to the best of my recollection and belief.

I confirm in this message that PFC David W. Apperson served under my leadership as Squad Leader for Bravo Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 2nd Division Camp Howze Korea 1977 - 1978 and that the following events took place:

1. PFC Apperson, while being assigned duty as a Unit Police Officer was on duty at the camp gate when an argument started with three individuals, which resulted in a physical altercation with PFC Apperson; and

2. PFC Apperson was ordered to fire upon a squad-sized unit when we were on assignment on the DMZ; this event was due to miscommunication over passwords. The radios were jammed and the password was misinterpreted from the unit that was conducting patrols. As the unit advanced toward the top of the hill, they were not recofnized as authorized personnel without the proper password, and they were fired upon; and

3. While preparing for a parade, the order was to fix bayonets, and PFC Apperson was stabbed with a Bayonet just before our company was to perform at a military parade in Seoul, Korea. He was field-dressed, and PFC Apperson continued in the parade even though later, upon return to the main camp, when taken to the medical facility, it was determined that he needed stitches in his left arm: and

4. Our unit, while going hot at Camp Humphries was called to the DMZ after a helicopter was shot down one mile north inside of North Korea. We were ordered to scamble, since we were on the quick strike alert. We loaded up Chinooks and orders were to set a perimeter on the down helicopter. Orders were scrached as we were hovering on the border of North korea; the co-pilot was captured, so our mission was canceled; and

5. Another incident with a downed helicopter occurred while doing maneuvers. After one-week in the field, the Huey helicopter that was bringing us hot meals crashed in a valley and we were assigned to set a perimeter around that helicopter until relieved by investigators; and

6. As demonstrated by the examples above, duty with the 1/32nd Infantry regiment was at times very dangerous. Our duties included many situations where death or severe injury could occur at any time.

Respectfully submitted,

Carlos Loya,
US Army Staff Sergeant



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David Apperson saved my life !



Jose J. Melendez Ruiz
C Company, 1/32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division

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In 2013 David Apperson was honored by the State of Texas for his military service and was encouraged to attend the Medal of Honor Convention in Gettysburg where his Volunteer Service at the convention (making sure Medal of Honor recipients had clean, safe, and unadulterated drinking water) was recognized.


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Volunteer Service


Image of David Apperson (DMZ Veteran) receiving award on Christmas 2011 from north Texas VFW post for completing 10,000 hours of community service -



While volunteering at the Medal of Honor Convention in Gettysburg I was eternally humbled by Medal of Honor recipient Allen James Lynch who blessed me with his personal Medal of Honor medallion (challenge coin).

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Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit's successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army.

Allen James Lynch



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Sequentially, in my home town I was blessed by Robert D. Maxwell with a second medallion at a meeting with the Oregon Band of Brothers, a great group of "American Patriots".

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and 3 other soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20mm. flak and machine-gun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machine-gun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.

Robert D. Maxwell



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And sadly, I miss my good friend Wilburn K. Ross who died before he saw the VA adjudicate my claim. But it was through his encouragement and motivation over 15+ years that I kept my eye on the prize. And yes, I cherish the moment Wilburn gave me a third medallion !

Medal of Honor Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty near St. Jacques, France. At 11:30 a.m. on 30 October 1944, after his company had lost 55 out of 88 men in an attack on an entrenched. full-strength German company of elite mountain troops, Pvt. Ross placed his light machine-gun 10 yards in advance of the foremost supporting riflemen in order to absorb the initial impact of an enemy counterattack. With machine-gun and small-arms fire striking the earth near him, he fired with deadly effect on the assaulting force and repelled it. Despite the hail of automatic fire and the explosion of rifle grenades within a stone's throw of his position, he continued to man his machine-gun alone, holding off 6 more German attacks. When the eighth assault was launched, most of his supporting riflemen were out of ammunition. They took positions in echelon behind Pvt. Ross and crawled up, during the attack, to extract a few rounds of ammunition from his machine-gun ammunition belt. Pvt. Ross fought on virtually without assistance and, despite the fact that enemy grenadiers crawled to within 4 yards of his position in an effort to kill him with hand-grenades, he again directed accurate and deadly fire on the hostile force and hurled it back. After expending his last rounds, Pvt. Ross was advised to withdraw to the company command post, together with 8 surviving riflemen, but, as more ammunition was expected, he declined to do so. The Germans launched their last all-out attack, converging their fire on Pvt. Ross in a desperate attempt to destroy the machine-gun which stood between them and a decisive breakthrough. As his supporting riflemen fixed bayonets for a last-ditch stand, fresh ammunition arrived and was brought to Pvt. Ross just as the advance assault elements were about to swarm over his position. He opened murderous fire on the oncoming enemy; killed 40 and wounded 10 of the attacking force; broke the assault single-handedly, and forced the Germans to withdraw. Having killed or wounded at least 58 Germans in more than 5 hours of continuous combat and saved the remnants of his company from destruction, Pvt. Ross remained at his post that night and the following day for a total of 36 hours. His actions throughout this engagement were an inspiration to his comrades and maintained the high traditions of the military service.

Wilburn K. Ross



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Again, let me say I am truly humbled to know that men of this character noticed my volunteer service to other veterans and that I will forever cherish what these patriots have done for me and this country.

Signed and Attested by David W. Apperson.




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