Cold Ground's Been My Bed: A Korean War Memoir
Dan Wolfe was a Bronx, New York, teenager whose passions were baseball, fooling around in school, and hanging out at the candy store in the 1940s. In 1951, three years out of high school, he was drafted and sent to Korea. "Cold Ground's Been My Bed" is his no-holds-barred memoir of the experience, from his deployment into Company L, 15th Regt, 3rd division; a frontline infantry platoon.
The title of his book is derived from a blues song sung by his first bunker buddy. It speaks to the conditions experienced by soldiers when suddenly faced with the reality of war. Feeling inadequate about handling the Browning Automatic Rifle in basic training, he expressed his doubts to a cadre man, who assured him, "You don t have to worry about it, kid. It's given to the biggest men in the squad." The day he arrived on the front line, Dan, five-foot-seven and 133 pounds, was assigned the twenty-pound BAR. When his platoon was ambushed, Dan crawled over fire-swept terrain to retrieve the body of his sergeant. Under fire, with his sergeant in his arms, he skidded down a forty-foot cliff and into the Imjin River in order to wade to a friendly shore. Decades later he learned that he'd been cited for the Silver Star, but the Jeep carrying the papers was blown up by mortar rounds. When a GI was killed by negligent "friendly fire," the victim's buddy carried out a revenge murder when the company was returned to the line.
In recounting his story, Dan never pretends to be more than he was, a young man being shocked and shaped by the reality of war.
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