Monday, January 15, 2007

Our Friends and Associates

While my principle love falls to my beloved Guns. We must never forget about those who walk beside us, arm in arm, with their own particular brand of destruction, the rocket man. As I have said in my earlier posts there is undeniably a certain level of danger having that odd shaped instrument in your hands and the only way you make it out to the other side of a fight is by knowledge, iron will, intensity and protection. If the enemy has done their homework at all they will try figure out where the Machine Gunner, the Rocket Man, or the Sniper are and take them out of the fight early to ease their day....or at least attempt it. Somehow, more often than not, Marine 'Weapons-Types' tend to counter that by not simply waiting for the evil men to come to them, we'll walk in to their fire and terrorize them so they know that we are built by something different. We'll attack them when they think their safe, when they believe we could not possibly be there. Like two brothers ousting a particularly destructive bully, we gunners will rush out and 'hold' the enemy while the others deliver the finishing blow. This is something that the 2/1 rocket-men who teach at my school have always enjoyed getting together on whenever we can put a range out with our M240's & SMAW's. It is simply because we appreciate the value of one another. Those perfect bonds of brotherhood.

While my heart will always beat as that of a Machine Gunner. One 2/1 Rocket Man in Korea has always impressed me since I heard his story. The story was written by a 2/1 Marine Machine Gunner from Korea named Charles Greenwood. The book is called "OnceUpon a Lifetime" and in it is a true Machine Gunner's tale. However, GySgt. Greenwood (USMC ret.) pays particular homage to his friend and fellow warrior in this tale. The Rocket Man's name is Walter C. Monegan. He recieved the Congressional Medal of Honor post-humously and he HUNTED TANKS! Many rocket men claim that title simply because someone put a rocket in their hands, but he did it because it would seem it was what he was born to do it. At my behest, the 1st Marine Division Schools Leadership Award for the Anti-Armor course is now the Walter C. Monegan award, perhaps in reading this you will understand why.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rocket Gunner attached to Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near Sosa-ri, Korea, on 17 and 20 September 1950. Dug in a hill overlooking the main Seoul highway when six enemy tanks threatened to break through the Battalion position during a pre- dawn attack on 17 September, Private First Class Monegan promptly moved forward with his bazooka under heavy hostile automatic weapons fire and engaged the lead tank at a range of less than 50 yards. After scoring a direct hit and killing the sole surviving tankman with his carbine as he came through the escape hatch, he boldly fired two more rounds of ammunition at the oncoming tanks, disorganizing the attack and enabling our tank crews to continue blasting with their 90-mm,. guns. With his own and an adjacent company's position threatened by annihilation when an overwhelming enemy tank-infantry force by-passed the area and proceeded toward the battalion Command Post during the early morning of September 20, he seized his rocket launcher and, in total darkness, charged down the slope of the hill where the tanks had broken through. Quick to act when illuminating shell hit the area, he scored a direct hit on one of the tanks as hostile rifle and automatic weapons fire raked the area at close range. Again exposing himself he fired another round to destroy a second tank and, as the rear tank turned to retreat, stood upright to fire and was fatally struck down by hostile machine-gun fire when another illuminating shell silhouetted him against the sky. Private First Class Monegan's daring initiative, gallant fighting spirit and courageous devotion to duty were contributing factors in the success of his company in repelling the enemy and his self-sacrificing efforts throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his lie for his country.

Such an amazing battle and one more where the heavier gun needed to be brought to bear for the good of the many.


De'on Miller said...

This was a great post and I love reading about people like this. Somehow it comforts me more than all the sugar or chocolate in the world. It makes me feel safe to know that men like this are born. They are born a Warrior and it can't be explained.

I try to explain. I do. But these stories and instruction, written by one born of the same spirit enables our readers a first hand glance at those who take the fight to the enemy.

Thank you and Semper Fi,

Andrew said...

Rock on brother