WAEGWAN, South Korea — Soldiers from 6th Ordnance Battalion and 84th Ordnance Company scaled Hill 303 at Waegwan June 19 to pay tribute to their fallen comrades from the Korean War.
Soldiers from 6th Ordnance Battalion and 84th Ordnance Company scaled Hill 303
to pay tribute to our fallen comrades from the massacre that took place at Hill 303
in August 1950 during the Korean War. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Adrianna N. Lucas,
19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Public Affairs.
Soldiers, Korean War veterans and middle school students attended the 7th annual memorial service at the top of the hill.
The most rewarding part of this experience was giving the new Soldiers an opportunity to learn about the history of why we are here in Korea, and to give insight on what Soldiers during the war experienced, said Capt. Thomas C. Smith, 84th Ordnance Company Commander.
Forty-one U.S. Soldier Prisoners of War, whose hand were tied behind their backs with their own boot laces, were marched to the bottom of Hill 303 and gunned down after being starved and deprived of water for two days Aug. 17, 1950.
“They come up and stick their burp guns in our stomachs with one hand and with the other they reached out like to shake hands, but they grabbed our rifles. One jerked on mine and I jerked back. Then he jerked again. I said to myself, ‘This ain’t no time to argue,’ and let go. They stripped us down and took our helmets. They took my watch and billfold that had $11.81 in it. My girl’s picture was in it, too. They took that out and looked at it and kept it. They like girls’ pictures,” said Pfc. Roy Manring, a survivor of the Hill 303 massacre, as quoted by Time Magazine.
There were five survivors from the incident that were able to make it back to American lines. One of the survivors was able to identify four of the North Koreans who murdered his fellow battle buddies.
“The Reds walked up and down the line of prisoners, shooting. I was hit in the leg. I reached down to my leg and got some blood and smeared it on my head and I laid down under a dead man. I didn’t move a muscle. When they came back along the line I got shot in the arm but I didn’t yell,” continued Manring in his interview with Time.
A few of the survivors came back to Hill 303 many years after the massacre to find peace of mind and closure, said Smith.