Norwalk parents receive letter from son in Korea
(Letter received yesterday by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hecklman from their son, Sgt. Ted Heckelman.)
Dec. 18, 1950
I suppose you are pretty worried by now after reading about the great ambush of the 5th Marines and the ten days of “hell” that followed. Well, you can rest at east again as I am safe in Masan, South Korea.
We were hit pretty hard on the 27th of November and it took from then until the 12th of December when we boarded ship at Hungnam. The reason it took so long is that we had to fight our way back to civilization and believe me we had to fight all the way. Lost many men, equipment, money and we did gain a lot of experience from those Chinese.
While we were up there it got as cold as 25 below. So naturally a lot of guys turned in with frozen feet and frost bites — incidentally Art turned in at Hagnam with frozen feet. Believe me! His feet were like raw hamburgers, then they started to turn real black — of course he is only one of many.
At the present time we are in Masa. What we are going to do I don’t know. We are going to reform the 1st Division as we are sure beat. What our next assignment will be I don’t know.
Oh! Yes — when I boarded ship at Hungnam I tried to look Buck up at the Amtrack Battalion but no luck. Then when we were on ship and headed for Pusan I was sitting half awake and half asleep in a deck chair when who should walk by but Loren Weilnau. He looks about the same. He has lost a little weight, but other than that he looks great. We both have the same ideas; get out of the Marine Corps and enjoy life. This fighting wars and being shot at doesn’t agree with us.
This morning I was walking around the 1st Marine area and who should I see but Jim Bogsian from Cleveland. He is the one who wrote you folks a letter asking about me. We sure did have a “bull session” of past events. Tomorrow we are going to get a jeep and visit Don Peters of the 11th Marines Artillery. Don went through boot came with us in ‘48.
I have received all of your packages and letters. Please don’t send anything else except that fruit cake. Got sick on the sweets, guess I can’t take it anymore.
Well please tell all the friends I’m okay. Tell them I appreciate their concern. If you should happen to run across Elmer Dials tell him I said “Hello.” He and I used to talk and play football when I was in school. Sure is a grand guy.
Still pretty tired and beat so I guess I’ll catch a few winks before chow. Hope you folks are all fine and in good health — I won’t be back home or in the states for Xmas or New Years so I’ll extend my greetings to you now. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all!