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  The 2nd Combat Jump by the 187th ARCT during “The Forgotten War”  
  The mission of the 187th RCT at Munsan-ni was to destroy the enemy at the restricted withdrawal route at the Injin River crossing and to smash elements of the 19th North Korean Division.  The drop would be made currently with the departure of a column of U.S. tanks from the 6th Armored Battalion located at Seoul.  The link-up was originally scheduled to be within 48 hours.  The first tanks reached their destination around 1830 hours, which was less then 12 hours.  
  Two dropzones were designated for this landing.  The 2nd and 3rd Battalions from the 187th RCT, along with the 674th Abn. Field Artillery Bn, plus the 2nd and 4th Ranger companies were to drop on the North DZ.  The South DZ was selected for the 1st Battalion from the 187th RCT.  In addition, a Medical team from India was scattered among the 187th troopers.  Records show that a total of 3,486 troopers made the jump at Munsan-ni.  The 1st Battalion was assigned fifty (55) C-46 Commandos to jump from and the 2nd and 3rd Battalion were assigned eighty (80) C-119's to transport them to Munsan-ni for their jump at the North DZ.  
  During this operation, like some in the past, it was soon noted that all plans do not go as scheduled.  The 1st Battalion of the 187th RCT did not jump on the South DZ.  Shortly after take off, the command plane (under Col Wilson) for the 1st Battalion encountered engine problems and returned to Taegu.  The flight continued, but proceeded at an erroneously flight pattern to the north, where they exited over the further zone.  Upon the return of the Col Wilson’s command plane at Taegu, he commandeered another plane and jumped on the South DZ at Munsan-ni.  Being the South DZ had not been cleared of enemy forces, he and his staff were rescued by B-187th.  
  Little has been written about the 1st Battalion of the 187th jumping on the wrong DZ, it had little effect on the outcome of the operation, and I will add only a short overview.  At the time I was in the HQS section of C-187th, the company C.O., Capt. Daniel Melvin knew me when we both served in G-511th PIR in Camp Haugen, Japan.  He also knew that I had a pretty good handle in speaking Japanese, and being Japanese was the spoken language in Korea since the early 1900’s (he was aware that most Korean’s spoke Japanese) he assigned me to a special task.  First he assigned me as the last man in my stick, with instructions to make sure all C-187th troopers exited the plane.  Second, he instructed me, (after landing) to round up a number of Koreans, with A-frames and gather up all the equipment bundles that had been dropped in our immediate area.   
  I was seated in the last bucket seat on the left side of our C-46 and it provided me a good view into the cockpit and out of the pilot’s window.  There was not much to see out the window, so I locked my sight onto the altimeter.  When the red light came on (as we approached the dropzone) I remember seeing the needle waving near 800 feet. When green light came on, and the first trooper departed the C-46, I looked over my shoulder one more time at the altimeter – it read 600 feet.  Being our plane was crossing a valley; (right angle to it) I would guess the last members on our plane departed the plane at an elevation between 350 – 400 feet.  I recall only oscillating about two or three times, and yet with all the equipment we were carrying, it was one of the softest landings I ever had.  
  For the equipment retrieval, I was successful with my limited Japanese, to locate several Korean peasants, have them gather their A-frames and recruit a few helpers to load, unload and stack the equipment bundles.  What cooperation a person can gain, “with the reward of a parachute and a few cigarettes.”  I was not so successful on my first assignment, when the red like came on, one C-187th trooper, who was seated four seats ahead of me, would not stand up.  No amount of prodding would get him to move.  He then threatened to spill his reserve on the deck of the plane.  At about that point the green light came on, so rather then jeopardize the jump for several, I suggested they bypass him and head for the door.  I did not know the troopers name or ever heard if he was court-martialed.  Parachute Maintenance plus a few others jumped in the following day, my guess is he was given a second chance and he took it.  There was not a word about a court-martial upon our return to our home-base at Taegu.  
  John Dominis and Joe Scherschel photographed the jump for Life Magazine on March 23, 1951.     A copy of that magazine (containing the photos) was preserved for me by my wife, Donna.            (Below are photos of her and myself - then.)  
  She presented the Life Magazine copy to me upon my return from active duty in the fall of 1951.  Most of the 187th troopers that made the Munsan-ni jump, relate to it not only as occurring on March 23, 1951 but also add “Good Friday,” because March 23, 1951 fell on Good Friday that year.  I associate that day not only to “Good Friday” but also the day of my wife’s birthday.  Yes, you can be assured, I had a few thoughts of her birthday party during our flight from Taegu to Munsan-ni.  
  Within 1/2 hour after the landing of the heavy support equipment, General Ridgeway landed on the drop-zone, in a piper cub to check how his boys (187th ARCT) were doing. Ridgeway replaced McArthur after he was sacked by Truman. Gen. Ridgeway passed away at the age of 98 on July 26, 1993.     
  General Taylor was fluent in 7 languages and once give a speech in Korean (to the Korean public) during his tour of duty. Gen Taylor passed away at the age of 85 on April 26, 1987.