WINDOL M. HAZLETT

Sergeant | Infantry

 

The first summer of the war was brutally hot and humid with a smattering of monsoon like rains.  The soldiers tossed into the war fought on the run from one or two man foxholes in the months before the fighting became stagnant on the 38th parallel.  Hazlett, then a Corporal, was one of the first replacements on the front lines.  After the two companies of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry were decimated at Osan, the 25th Division was stripped of men who were sent to replenish the straggling B and C Companies of the 21st Infantry.  There was little comradery for the replacements.  The veterans of the first few days and weeks of fighting had lost so much already - they did not want to make friends and they did not want to run into such a situation again.  Norman Fosness warmed up to Hazlett, however, and the two became close through the rest of their war together.  Fosness had just retreated from Osan when Hazlett arrived.

The Koreans bury their dead on top of the ground under mounds of dirt.  One particular hill that B Company had to take was more or less a cemetery.  The hillside was littered with these mounds.  Hazlett turned to Fosness as he was digging in.  "Move over bones, I'm comin' in!"

 

On February 6, 1951, he was shot in his left hand during a battle on Hill 296 in the vicinity of the Han River.  B Co. was first probed by about 40 enemies armed with small arms at 0130 hours, and then by a reinforced company of enemy at 0205 hours.  The situation cleared at 0600 hours.  His uniform bears a nice but aged set of plastic coated ribbons, as well as the uncommon Panmunjom Peace Conferences shoulder cord and "Korea" loops on the shoulders.

    EXHAUSTING & DIRTY WORK - THE RCM COLLECTION

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