Day: February 7, 2017

The Wrath of GodThe Wrath of God

“I was up on a hill that day at a machine-gun position with a master sergeant named Barber. We saw this long procession of people coming toward our line. I said to Barber, ‘What the devil is happening here?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ So I said, ‘I’ll go and see.’ I went down and found that this was a group of about 100 civilians, all carrying shovels and picks, being escorted by South Korean officers and men. They were being taken to some place where, after digging their own graves, they were going to be executed. They were people who were alleged to have supported the enemy in the city. This was civil war, which is very unlike any other war. There were kids there, some no older than eight, who were going to be shot because they had carried messages for the North Koreans for a stick of gum. Pregnant women were going to be shot; so were old men, ignorant of the issues. All these people were going to be murdered. When the South Korean in charge of the group saw me come down, he stopped—probably thought I was a Marine line officer. Anyway, they soon saw the cross and knew I was a chaplain. I said, ‘You cannot advance any farther until the Marine CO comes down and authorizes it. You must stay here.’ The South Korean captain in charge said, ‘I operate under my own orders, and we are planning to execute these people.’ I pointed out Sergeant Barber’s machine gun and said, ‘Do not move. It is very dangerous if you do.’ ” – Chaplain Glyn Jones, United States Navy (quoted by Donald Knox in The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin – An Oral History)