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Captain Glyn Jones, CHC, USN (Ret.) (1915-1994)

Captain Glyn Jones, CHC, USN (Retired)Based on five interviews conducted by John T. Mason Jr. from October 1975 through October 1977, the volume contains 390 pages of interview transcript plus an index and appendices. The transcript is copyright 1978 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.

A good deal of the chaplain's career was spent with the U.S. Marines. From time to time he was involved in such controversial issues as compulsory chapel attendance, civil liberties, the rule of law in society, the draft, freedom of the press, and the position of the chaplain in the hierarchy of command. Jones graduated from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1940 and joined the Navy in 1942. His duties included: Third Marine Regiment in Samoa, New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Truk, Bougainville; station chaplain at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island; First Marine Division, FMF Pac in Korea; senior chaplain, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island; director, Marine Corps Educational Center at Quantico; staff of Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; and Assistant for Administration, Office of the Chief of Chaplains.


An index to this volume can be viewed here (.pdf).



Captain Jones: When we went to Kobe to transship and combat load some of the ships, this typhoon hit us. We were torn away from the pier. Several other ships were adrift in the harbor. It was a very nasty thing. We didn't have steam up. It took a while to do that. For­tunately, there was no really serious collision though there could have been. But these transport skippers were very good, very cap­able, stayed out of each others’ way until they got steam up and fought the thing out.

We went then from Kobe through bad seas to the Inchon landing and ran into all the things they'd predicted. It was an easy land­ing, not many casualties. They had to blow up the sea wall to bring in reinforcements and supplies and I lost the one important thing any chaplain has - my communion kit. They blew up the sea wall too soon. Huge chunks of concrete, ranging from the size of that TV set to the size of this room, started to come down. We lost some people, and one of those things landed on my communion set. So in the very first half-hour on the beach, there I was. We went through the city without much opposition. We stopped outside. It had been raining and by this time there was a heavy storm. Our regiment was deployed on either side of the main road to Seoul, The Fifth Marines were on our left.

We had three chaplains in our regiment, great guys. There was a boy by the name of Jim Lewis with the Third Battalion, who is now no longer in the Navy. A Catholic chaplain, Kevin Keaney, was with the Second Battalion, and I was with the First Battalion. The First Battalion was on the line that night, sitting in the ditch of the road, and the ditch was maybe eight or nine feet below the road. We decided to just sit there and sleep. We had our ponchos on.

The night passed, and the run continued heavy. The water com­ing down the ditch started to rise and by the time we got in the morning water was running over our knees. We were too pooped to move. Also we didn't want to move for fear some untrained Marine some place would unload at us. So we were cold and miserable in the morning. But the operation from there on, I think, was quite rou­tine. Outside of Yong Dong Po we had to assault two hills and I banged a knee in the process. We had to assault these hills di­rectly. We lay down heavy mortar fire. When I saw the assault start up one of the hills, I left the one I was on and ran down to get behind the assault to find casualties. I fell and got up limp­ing badly. Later I got a corpsman who tied my knee up. We lost several killed attacking Hill 85 and I wandered around trying to help these people.Lt. Frederick J. Forney, CHC, passing out coffee in North Korea

One of our companies, Able Company, then went ahead of us into Yong Dong Po. That is a city across the Han from Seoul. Bob Barrow, who’s now a three-star general in headquarters, was a captain then, found an opening and knifed right on into the center of the city. He found a railroad passing through and dug the company in on both banks of the railroad. Then, of course, the North Koreans found out that he was there and began to attack. But he was very securely sited and he had machine guns on either flank and cut these people down. He ended up holding out. I’ll never forget one thing that happened, though. The North Koreans were regrouping behind some of the buildings in the city for another assault. They were being harangued by an officer, who was building them up to blood pitch. The Marines could hear this but they didn’t know what he was saying. Barrow called down to the end of the line saying, "Can anybody see this character? What’s he doing?"

Nobody could, so a Marine at the end of the line slithered down the bank and on his belly went across, still in the darkness, until he got into visual range of this man. There he was standing on a kind of rostrum making a speech to his troops. So the Marine very deliberately zeroed in, shot him, and killed him. Then he got back to his position.

Barrow heard the shot and called back, "What the hell happened?" The boy who had shot him said, "Captain, that poor bastard just talked himself to death."

Well, we took long Ding Po, crossed the river, went through Seoul, a very destructive fight going through the city. The Seventh Marines came in about that time, about ten days after we’d been ashore, went in on our left flank. In the middle of the city some of the troops came up from the perimeter down around Pusan, the Seventh Army Division, and there was a failure in liaison. Suddenly we came under heavy artillery fire. The Seventh Division was on what was called South Mountain, looking down into the city and apparently got confused. So we were under heavy fire for a while from them. The Seventh Marines on our left flank continued and we worked through the city. There was a kind of competition about raising American flags in places. MacArthur announced the city had been secured about four days before it was because there was some magical date in his mind, I forget what it was now, that was im­portant for psychological reasons.

John T. Mason, Jr.:  The 15th itself was a magical date, wasn't it?

Captain Jones: I guess it was. Well, the 15th was determined really by the tide. I don't know whether other factors had come in. We ended up outside the city, in defensive positions, waiting for the Army to come up from the south. While we were there, I saw something that I found very hard to believe.

I’d seen a lot of corpses in the city. These were described to me as having been killed by the enemy. But then there came some reason to believe that this was not entirely the case. There had been a Captain Kim, South Korean Army, who had shared a foxhole with me two or three nights. One day he disappeared and didn’t return. In due course, we found to our surprise that he was a North Korean officer and he’d been caught and executed.

John T. Mason, Jr.:  And he’d been sharing your foxhole?

Captain Jones: Yes, and of course accepted. I don’t think there was any danger to me at all from this.

John T. Mason, Jr.:  No, but was he trying to gain some intelligence?

Captain Jones: Oh, he was trying to gain intelligence, and I think he shared my foxhole only through accident, not through any thought that I knew anything that would help him.

John T. Mason, Jr.:  He spoke English, did he?

Captain Jones: He spoke English very well, yes.

When we got to the outskirts of Seoul and were waiting for the troops from the south, one afternoon our battalion commander went off to a conference. He is a very unusual man, Jack Hawkins, a retired colonel now. He had been captured when he was with the Fourth Marines in Corregidor. After a year as a POW, he escaped from Cabanatuan with eight or nine officers and went up into the hills and for another year conducted guerrilla warfare against the Japanese.

John T. Mason, Jr.:  In Luzon somewhere?

Captain Jones: In Mindanao, before he was evacuated. A very cool customer and a very fine officer.



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