The World War 2 Guys held our first ever Korean War reenactment on Saturday, June 24 in the Loess Hills just north of Mondamin, Iowa. In attendance were Eric, Matt and Jon representing the Marines of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and Will representing a soldier of the U.S. Army. For our uniform and equipment, we chose the Pusan Perimeter battles in the summer of 1950 as our time period. We arrived on site in the late afternoon and immediately set to finding our outpost location and digging in. The weather was actually gorgeous for late June with afternoon highs in the 70's and a nice strong breeze cooling us down. The position we dug was a long trench about 20 feet long with a sandbagged front wall. We were situated on one of the highest hills overlooking the entire area and the views were pretty amazing! We stopped for an early supper and then made our way back down the hill to bring up extra supplies. Thank God for Jiffy Mart in Mondamin! We got back to our outpost just before sunset which was spectacular. It was then time to collect the firewood so Will could cook our second dinner. As with most reenactments, story time soon followed as we sat back and took it all in. Most of us dozed off to sleep around midnight under a sky full of stars. Temperatures dipped into the 40's by morning so Highneck Sweaters and M43 Field Jackets became a necessity. Right around 0430, a nearby pack of coyotes made there presence known so we got the fire going again. It felt good to warm up and Will's hot coffee is always a welcome treat. We packed up our gear and made our way back down the hill by 0600. It was a great event and a fitting way to honor the beginning of the Korean War which started on June 25, 1950. Korea has often been referred to as the "Forgotten War", but 36,574 dead, 103,284 wounded, 7,926 missing in action, and 4,714 POWs is nothing to forget about.
On Saturday, May 20, the World War 2 Guys put on another great display at the La Vista Cabela's annual Armed Force Day celebration. The festivities kicked off with the Quilts of Valor Foundation presenting their custom designed and hand-stitched quilts to eight local veterans. The quilts were amazing this year and the veterans were very appreciative. For our military display, Jeff presented an assortment of U.S. Navy and U.S. Army uniforms and equipment. Jon was our 507th Parachute Infantry representative and primarily presented a medical and Airborne display. Eric was representing the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. A special sign was created to honor Pfc. Edward "Babe" Gomez from Omaha who was killed in action on September 14, 1951 and posthumously received the Medal of Honor. In addition, Eric also created a sign to remember the 69 men from Omaha, Nebraska who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War. Cabela's was once again a wonderful host and we were so appreciative to get the chance to interact and teach dozens of visitors throughout the day.
Eli and Eric represented the World War 2 Guys at the first annual Heritage Days Timeline Event at Ft. Atkinson on Saturday, September 5. Eli was portraying a soldier of the 2nd Infantry Division in World War II and Eric was representing a U.S. Marine from the Korean War. We set up a small encampment early in the morning near the Council House. We were treated wonderfully by our hosts at Ft. Atkinson who offered us coffee and breakfast as soon as we arrived. My Korean War display had an assortment of U.S. Army field gear and uniform items under a half shelter and I also had a Marine Corps shelter tent I named the "Korea Hilton Hotel". Eli set up an early WWII style shelter tent filled with typical WWII U.S. Army gear. After squaring away our camp we made our way down to the fort where we spoke with a few of the 1820's reenactors as well as members of the public. We met an amazing gentleman named Charlie Money, a 1st Cavalry Division veteran of the Vietnam War. He spoke to us for nearly half an hour recounting story after story from his time in country. After speaking with Charlie, we downed some grub back at our base camp and later took part in a weapons demonstration. Along with our 1820's counterparts, we demonstrated the differences between firing techniques and loading speeds from the 19th century to the 20th century. At the end of the day we were also honored to take part in the flag lowering ceremony for the fort. Eli and I were feed some really good rice and beans for dinner and then we packed up our gear and headed home for the night. It was a great experience and one I know we're both excited to take part in next year.
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.