We disembarked at Inchon. We were 8,000 troops. We arrived on October 18, 1951. They took us to Seoul where Regimental Headquarters was stationed. There we rode a train that took us to Young Dong Po where the regiment was on relief. I was assigned to Company “Adel”, 65th Infantry Combat Regiment… our regiment. They sent us where things were hot, in the Chokori area. Immediately upon arriving at the battlefront on November 28, 1951, we had our first encounter with the Chinese and North Koreans at about 2 in the morning. Even though we were new there, we were wide awake.
From then on they called us the “Happy Triggers” of the 3rd Platoon, of Company “A”. In that company, we even went hungry. They treated us worse than if we had been the enemy. The Lord our Savior was with us. He knew what was happening and for that reason always protected us. We were mostly young men of 20 years or more. In that area, we had three more encounters with the Chinese who numbered ten of them to one of ours.
The continental troops would be 2 or 3 weeks in the front lines and often had their lines breached. We went up on November, 1951 and came down in February, 1952. In other words, we were there for 4 months and no one cared (we were Puerto Ricans, you understand.
Two weeks after we had returned from the front lines, they breached the lines of the 15th Regiment and us kids had to go and bail them out. This happened in March, 1952 and by April, we were back on the front lines. This time we were next to the 7th Regiment (separated only by a river).
It was summer of 1952 when we were sent to a contact mission.Supposedly, we would be receiving support of everything – artillery, planes, tanks… well, everything. They were just waiting to kill us. We were saved by a small surveillance plane that told us how far the enemy was. As soon as the plane passed by, the “mambo” began. We were in an open field where they had the advantage since they were in the heights and we were in the valley. The promised support never arrived. We were instead greeted by the Chinese artillery. God is almighty and he helped us get out of the infernal hell. He was our support. The support from the continentals never arrived. I get the impression that our American (continental) support wanted us dead.All this occurred in the west part of Korea.
Everyone knows what happened at Kelly Hill and Jackson Heights. Our people were massacred; just like when a baby lamb is sacrificed.
Again we are taken to Chokori which was an inferno. It was the month of June. We already knew that area. We were in “blocking position”. The enemy to our front and both sides. Our platoon, the “Happy Triggers” of the 3rd of Company “A” had to cover that whole area. On July 15, we had a mission on Hill 268, better known as “Old Baldy”. That night was horrible for us. Numerically overwhelmed, we confronted them and succeeded. Finally, the regiment is withdrawn and receives relief in September, 1952. While on relief, I received the good news that I would be rotating home. I won’t deny it… I cried as the young man I still was… I had already turned 21. I remain… yours.
Felipe Aponte Colon
“A” Co. 65th Combat Regiment
An interview in Spanish of Felipe Aponte Colon who served in Co. A, taped on February 17, 2016 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Felipe passed aways 18 days after the interview. Video provided with permission by the Korean War Legacy Foundation (http://kwvdm.org/).