Thanksgiving Week at Freedom Bridge
Thanksgiving week of 1967, as a platoon leader with 2nd of the 23rd, I was the
Officer-In-Charge of security at Freedom Bridge. In the event of a major North Korean
attack, I was to run to the location on the bridge where the explosives to blow the bridge
could be armed and call in on the designated frequency to receive the code necessary to
blowup the bridge...and probably myself.
Because of this situation, I could not leave the bridge area for the entire time I was
assigned the duty. I released the enlisted men who were not on security so they could use
the showers at the nearby compounds that, at that time, were occupied by 3rd of the 23rd.
Each afternoon, a squad of engineers came to the tent area where we were quartered and
asked me if I wanted a hot shower. If I said yes, they would run a Herman Nelson heater to
heat the water for the shower tent. I would walk across the snow covered ground from my
tent wearing just combat boots and a towel wrapped around me. Invariably, the hot water
would runout before I was completely finished, the water would turn to ice on the wooden
pallettes used as flooring, and I would walk back across the snow in my boots and wet
towel. It was a strangely hygienic, otherwise forgettable, week.
B Co. 2/23
2nd Infantry Division