“Search for downed plane conducted 16 through 20 Nov 50: Patrol attempted to get to area of crash on 16 & 17 Nov without success due to impassable terrain i.e. cliffs, dense timber, no trails etc. . . . On 18 Nov 1st Lt. Perry W. Wales, Co C, 31st Inf, patrol leader, and 9 men started out on different route with rations for two days. They went by vehicle to point A, dismounted and proceeded on by foot. . . . At point C they saw 8 men, 6 women and some children. One civilian had a leg wound. Civilians stated that they had heard of a plane crash to the west. . . . When the patrol reached point E two men had a slight case of frost bitten feet. The patrol leader . . . sent the two men with bad feet plus two others back . . . . When the 4 men arrived at point C they stopped in a house to eat their rations. As they were eating one man, who was on watch at the door, saw an armed civilian approaching. The guard reached for his rifle and the civilian jumped into a ditch. A few shots were traded with no casualties. After this incident . . . . all four started back for point F. While passing point X the 4 men were involved in a short firefight with two guerrillas. They felt they had wounded one due to stains in the snow. The guerrillas then fled. . . . the four men caught up with the patrol. The patrol leader selected a high, inaccessible knoll as a bivouac for the night. . . . The night was uneventful. From point D to G there were no trails whatever. The patrol had to rely entirely on the compass. At no point could the patrol get into position to compare the lay of the land with the map due to the dense timber and undergrowth. At 201130 Nov the patrol reached the scene of the crash. . . . The pilot’s body had been placed in a cellar and covered with brush by the local civilians. The pilot’s body was completely nude and the patrol leader stated that he believed that his clothes had been blown off during the explosion when the plane crashed. . . . The area, covered with 6 inches of snow, was thoroughly searched for documents, dog tags, wallet or a watch. Nothing could be found. The civilians were thoroughly questioned and they stated they had taken nothing from the plane or the pilot’s body. . . . The patrol then had the civilians construct a litter. Five civilians carried the body about one mile where the patrol commandeered an ox and sled. The body was then transported on the sled to point I where the patrol met the 3rd Bn Commander and party. From this point the body was transported via jeep . . . . The patrol then marched on to I Co positions . . . and spent the night with the company. . . . Upon reaching a ration supply all men ate at least a double meal or more before they were satisfied. . . . It was estimated the men had walked over 50 miles through the roughest terrain in Korea. At times it was necessary for the patrol to slide down steep snow covered slopes or to crawl under or climb over acres of fallen timber. As a climax, while crossing the ice on a frozen river the patrol saw a Korean woman with a baby on her back break through the ice. The water was rather shallow and only covered her just above the waist, but she was unable to crawl out herself. The patrol leader and his assistant shed their packs, worked their way out and saved the woman and her child.” – 1st Lt. Perry W. Wales, “Special Patrol Report, 24 Nov 50, 31st RCT War Diary”

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