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“Once More Into the Fire”

Military History, A two-part serial article in Assembly Magazine

A true story from the West Point class of 1950’s baptism in battle early in the Korean War. Centered on Lt. David R. Hughes, who like many of his classmates, was ordered to report as a platoon leader in front line units – without benefit of up-to-date infantry branch school training – the narrative follows Lt Hughes in King Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, several members of his class and other classes, in the bitter first year of the war, in which the historic 7th Cavalry Regiment of George Armstrong Custer fame, sees victory at hand by Christmas 1950, then suffers great loss and retreat when the Chinese intervene massively across the Yalu River in late October of that year. Lt Hughes progresses from platoon leader to company commander in the year of the “yo yo war”, and, with the 1st Cavalry Division and all its regiments is pulled off the line in November 1951, from a position on the crest of Hill 347 – which looks down to the northeast on Outpost Pork Chop.