Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan

War

Korea
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A young Marine grimaces as he looks at the dead body of a Korean soldier laying in the field right next to him.

"Trained as he was, the young Marine who dived into the rice paddies alongside the road did very well and entirely eluded the Red gunners. But nothing in all of his experience, through all the camps and special courses, had prepared him for the shock of meeting his first enemy soldier face to face. Especially with the man dead . . . and most of his head blown away by a Marine bullet. Possibly it took more courage for that boy to grip his cans of ammunition and crawl over the dead man's body than for anything he ever had to do again in warfare. And he had to do it, for he was blocking the path of other men also under fire, men who were veterans, who stood up and charged right toward the enemy guns without even a downward glance as they sloshed over the body below. [Korea, September 1950.]" This Is War!, p. 24.