Korean War: Recollections of Glen Thompson
Recollections of Glen Thompson
Charlie Company, 14th Infantry Regiment
Here's the makeup of the 14th Infantry Regiment as I remember it:
The regiment consisted of twelve line companies plus a tank company, a mortar company, a service company, and the headquarters company. The twelve line companies were broken into three line battalions (first, second, and third). Each battalion consisted of three rifle companies, one weapons company, and a headquarters company. In the first battalion, the rifle companies were A (Able), B (Baker), and C (Charlie). D (Dog) was the weapons company. Each rifle company in turn consisted of three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. A rifle platoon included three rifle squads (approx. 9 men) and a weapons squad.
When you include all the support people, a fully manned platoon numbered about forty and a company about two hundred warm bodies. A battalion numbered about one thousand troops and the 14th Infantry Regiment probably numbered about five thousand when it was fully staffed. Hey, this is simply an estimate based on my rusty memory.
Infantrymen fought the Korean War with heavy, cumbersome, outdated weapons. As a machine gunner in a weapons company, for example, my weapon was a model 1917 water cooled machine gun. The gun, which weighed forty-two pounds, was mounted on a fifty-three tripod. Yet, my weapon was light when compared to the 75mm recoilless rifle, the 4.2 inch mortar and the 81 mm mortar. The riflemen carried the clumsy Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)... carry it a mile and you would swear it weighed a ton.
Discussions about the 14th Infantry Regiment in Korea would be incomplete without some reference to the Turks. We fought alongside, relieved and were relieved by the Turks. The Turks earned the reputation as fierce fighters in Korea. Talk with almost any Korean War veteran who served in the 14th and you are likely to hear a Turk story (some true, some half-true, and some complete fabrications). Still, most Turk stories are believable for those of us who had some contact with the Turks in Korea.
Charlie Company, 14th Infantry Regiment.