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The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Lewis M. Ewing, Editor
May 2016

     Marine PFC. Hector A. Cafferata, Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, died April 12 at the age of 86.

Hector Cafferata

     Cafferata was a rifleman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, on Nov. 28, 1950. More than 10,000 Chinese troops had surrounded Gen. MacArthur's UN forces at the Chosin Reservoir, including 8,000 from the Marine Division. On a frozen, rocky promontory, the 230 or so marines of Company F had

been assigned to protect the Toktong Pass, a narrow escape route through the Nangnim Mountains.

     The other members of Cafferata's fire team became casualties at the pass during the initial phase of "a vicious attack launched by a fanatical enemy of regimental strength agains his company's position." With temperatures hovering around 30 below zero, the lone warrior rushed from his hooch wearing little more than a light jacket. Armed with grenades and a rifle, he squared off against relentless fire from automatic weapons, rifles, grenades and mortars. When the smoke cleared, Cafferata had killed at least 15 of the enemy, wounded countless more, and forced those who remained to flee.

     Enemy reinforcements arrived in the morning and a grenade landed in the shallow entrenchment in which wounded Marines found cover. The 21-year-old braved the gunfire, grabbed the grenade, and threw it clear of his fellow Marines. Cafferata's right hand and arm were seriously wounded in the explosion. Despite his intense pain, he continued to fight until struck by a sniper's bullet.

     He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at a White House ceremony on November 24, 1952. (He was not a member of our Chapter, however, he deserves our recognition.)


ally, we don't hear about a member in need until the need is over. We ask that you help by telling us as soon as you hear of someone who is sick, or in the hospital especially if you are the one in need. My thanks go out to the members of the committee! They are doing an excellent job!

     We were very pleased to see James Berry at our last meeting, but since he cannot be with us very often, please give him a call from time-to-time and let him know we are thinking of him. He is still with his daughter in Ruckersville. James may be reached on his cell phone at 540-533-2000.

Raleigh Watson, Chaplain

     For those of you who may not know, the Chaplain/Membership Service Committee provides services to our comrades who need our prayers, visits, and other contacts such as a phone call now and then. We are functioning very well in that regard, but occassion-

Rev. Raleigh Watson


    Don Jones

    Paul Campbell

    Lew Ewing

    John Moreland

    Muriel Simanek

    Alfred Carter

    Tom Wiseman

    Paul Bombardier

    John Staples

    Joe Dodd

    Raymond Carter

    Ed Clevenger

May  4, 1929

May  6, 1933

May  8, 1934

May 10, 1930

May 11, 1926

May 13, 1930

May 13, 1931

May 14, 1932

May 17, 1936

May 24, 1950

May 25, 1929

May 30, 1928

"Laws are spider webs through which big flies pass and the little ones get caught."

French Novelist & Playwright - Honore DeBalzac.

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