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The Bridges At Toko-Ri------The Real Story  
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

Many have have probably read James Michener's book, "The Bridges At Toko-Ri"......some may even have seen the movie which was based on the book; the book was based on an actual bombing raid by Skyraiders and Corsairs which was carried out by Air Group 5, attached to the U.S.S. Essex, the flag ship for Task Force 77, which was at the time, was 100 miles off the coast of North Korea.

This raid was carried out on 12 December, 1951; this was kind of an "eye opener" to me when I read about it, because I enlisted in the U.S.N..... on 17 December, 1951..........5 days later. One of the other things that caught my attention when I read about this was......that the Essex was under way, 100 miles off the coast; why does that surprise me ? Here's why;

I enlisted with my best friend and Class of 1950 classmate, Bill "Wee Willy" Perkins; I never have figured this out, but I was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago for boot camp, and my friend was sent to San Diego, Ca. for boot camp. after boot camp, then 19 weeks of shipfitter's school in Norfolk, I ended up on the U.S.S. Fulton, AS-11, which spent about 85% of the time tied up to State Pier at New London, CT. My friend ended up on the aircraft carrier Philipine Sea, which was ordered to Korea shortly after we went aboard her; we frequently stayed in touch by letter; (hey, email is great, but it wasn't even invented yet in 1952! ) Willy would tell me all the time, "wow, we're so damned close to the coast that we can almost see the people shooting at us" ! ( One of my reasons for enlisting was to "see some action"; so I kept putting in "chit" after"chit", trying to get any married guy on the Philipine Sea to "swap" duty with me; I'm sure there were plenty who would have loved to, but the Navy likes for people to "stay where they put them"........so I stayed "put" for a year or so on the Fulton; one day I got a letter from my friend Willy; "Holy s**t.......we just took several hits from shore-based 5 inch artillery today........so the C.O. took the ship out 5 more miles!

So, here we see one C.O. getting HIS carrier "in close" for the pilots (who's lives often depend on how much fuel they have left after risking their butts carrying out their missions..........while other C.O.s stay safely 100 miles off the coast, and their pilots can use up 200 miles worth of fuel, just getting to the coast and back.
.
That's why I was so surprised that Essex is launching bombing raids, ( with short-legged corsairs and skyraiders), from 100 miles off coast ! ( Of course, it's the Admiral's flag ship, and we mustn't "endanger the Admiral" !

This is something very common in the military, especially with certain high-ranking "brass". ( lots of "brass" but very small b***s..........(IMHO)

OK......back to Korea; some "people" had just watched the movie on late-night TV about the raid on the "Bridges At Toko-RI"; one of them happened to know a retired Naval Officer, Capt. Paul N. Gray, U.S.N.A. class of '41; in Dec. 1951, Capt. Gray wasn't a "four striper" yet, but he was the C.O. of VF-54, one of several squadrons from Air Group 5 which carried out the ACTUAL raid on the bridges at Toko-Ri;

As otten happens, James Michener made the raid very exciting, but in Capt. Gray's telling of the events of that particular cruise, it wasn't necessarilly the most interesting; if you go to the link, you can read the whole story from the man who commanded one of the units that destroyed "The Bridges at Toko-Ri"

https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#inbox/13dfafdd71c1f89f

Well.......I have copied and pasted the link from my browser four times now, and it still won't work; if it won't work now, how did it get to me in the first place ?

If I copied and pasted the whole thing, it would probably be deleted for possibly being copy righted. I have no way of knowing if it is or isn't copy righted.

Any suggestions ?

[Edited 2013-04-11 19:44:26]


Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

Is it the same as this?

http://www.usshelena.org/toko-ri.html



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5018 times:

Quoting oly720man (Reply 1):
Is it the same as this?

Thank you oly720man ! I'm afraid Captain Gray is no longer with us though, and if so may he R.I.P.
what a remarkable story; I only wonder what happened to the idiot C.O. that gave such a stupid order....



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
I only wonder what happened to the idiot C.O. that gave such a stupid order....

Looks like he got this

http://projects.militarytimes.com/ci...s/recipient.php?recipientid=300225

got promoted and died as a rear admiral in 1953, buried at Mount Hope Cemetery

http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=cem...ople%2Fhm%2Fmounthope%2Fwar%2Ehtml

"Rear Admiral Austin W. WHEELOCK (1903-1953) US Navy Admiral"



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4977 times:

I always wondered about that. I lived in Toko-Ri for a year and a half while with the 1/38th and never could figure out where those bridges were. It was before I realized Mr. Michener wasn't the best source of accurate history.


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4675 times:

Geezer,

Thanks for your informative and interesting postings, especially the historical ones. I'll never get tired of reading and learning about what happened when. Keep it up, please.


User currently offlineboacvc10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 613 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
I'm afraid Captain Gray is no longer with us though, and if so may he R.I.P.
what a remarkable story;

Amazing connection to the U.S. Space program from a epilogue to the event, per his narration:

Quote:
LTJG Neil Armstrong another fighter pilot became the astronaut who took the first step on the moon.



Up, up and Away!
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4095 times:

Thanks again oly720man ! Boy there are a lot military brass buried in that cemetery ! Admiral "Wheelchock" may have been a good officer as far was the Navy was concerned, but when you order something as bizarre as he did, he sure made a lot of enemies among the Naval Aviators.

RIXeat.......great to hear from you ! Actually I hadn't been on A.net very much until I ran across a couple of great military stories that I thought some of the people on this forum might be interested in. Ever since I got married back in December, my wife keeps me so busy I don't get to play on the computer as much. Now that the weather is getting nice enough to work outside, I'm going to have even less time on here, as I have a lot of outside work to do around my place.

boacvc10...........I'm really glad you caught that ! Neil Armstrong grew up in Wapokoneta, Ohio, which is only about 80 miles north of where I was born and raised; also, after he retired from NASA he took a job with the University of Cincinnati teaching aerospace engineering for a few years; My oldest son received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from U.C.

Armstrong also bought a farm near Milford, Ohio which is only 10 or 15 miles from where I lived for about 50 years.
Very few few people ever had the opportunity to speak with Neil Armstrong; he was an extremely "private" person, and had no desire to be in th limelight.



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
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