Comrades in arms reunited thanks to the Internet

Comrades in arms reunited thanks to the Internet This photo of Lloyd R. Moses of Vermillion was taken in 1952, while he was commander of the 5,000-unit 31st Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry Division. For his leadership of the regiment during severe fighting for Triangle Hill in October 1952, and for earlier actions, Moses was awarded both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star. by David Lias Back in the days of the Korean War, there were no such things as satellite-linked communications or the Internet.

Soldiers of that era kept in contact with each other the old-fashioned way � radio waves.

That was nearly 50 years ago, though. Times and technology certainly have changed in five decades.

So when C.D. "Terry" Beaver, who lives in Tekamah, NE, decided to find out information about his old Army regiment � the 31st Infantry � he turned to the World Wide Web for help.

He discovered a Web site for the 31st Infantry Association along with some news from a former Army officer, Richard Starbird.

Starbird had information about the regiment's commanding officer � Vermillion's own Lloyd R. Moses, who today is a retired Army major general.

Surprised to learn that his former commander, a veteran of both World War II and Korea, was still alive, Beaver wrote to Starbird for an address. Though Starbird didn't know Beaver, they had served in close proximity in Korea.

Writing from his winter haven in Jupiter, FL, Starbird informed Beaver that Moses, who will turn 95 this fall, lives here in Vermillion, just 90 minutes from Tekamah.

"I was dumfounded," Beaver said in a recent news article published in the Burt County Plaindealer of Tekamah.

He wrote to Moses. Two weeks later Moses called Beaver, and invited him up for a visit.

Early this year, Beaver drove to Moses' home, located just a block from The University of South Dakota campus. "I didn't even get to the door, and it was opened and he was out welcoming me as I walked up the driveway," said Beaver.

They spent hours getting reacquainted and sharing common memories of their time in Korea. Stationed north of the 38th parallel, they were in an area called the Iron Triangle near what once was the village of Kumhwa. Beaver recalls that a lone chimney remained standing to mark what once had been a community.

Moses commanded the 5,000 unit regiment, and Beaver was his radio operator. His job was to maintain contact between Moses and his command base and to relay information from him to his subordinate units.

For five months, they were part of a foursome which also included the colonel's driver and an interpreter.

The Plaindealer reports that Moses left "quite an impression" on the then 22-year-old Nebraska soldier. Unlike most high-ranking officers, said Beaver, Moses had extraordinary rapport with the troops.

"Many enlisted men, including me, didn't think highly of officers, but he was special ? very 'enlisted man friendly.'"

Moses and Beaver shared recollections of one particularly intense conflict involving the capture of Triangle Hill (Hill 598). "It was one of several fire fights we were involved in together. The battle raged for several days," said Beaver. "Our battalion took the hill the first day and were thrown off that night. We re-took it and kept it after that.

Beaver recalls walking with the colonel that second day from a forward observation post to the fighting. "We encountered incoming artillery and mortar fire at the rate of 10 rounds per minute."

His radio was hit and put of of commission and he had to locate another, taking the radio of a forward artillery observer.

Decades later, Beaver confessed to Moses, "I want you to know when we were up on that hill, I was scared."

The retired officer looked at his visitor and said quietly, "So was I."

Moses' dedication and concern for his men was exemplary, said Beaver, including regular visits to his wounded men at aid stations and hospitals.

Beaver remembers once accompanying the colonel up a steep hill under heavy fire. "His troops were waving at him and calling him by name. It was unusual in the heat of battle to have a person of that rank so close to the actual fighting," he said.

Moses, who was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, was an avid hunter. His young radio operator, who had spent his youth along the Missouri River bottom, also enjoyed the sport.

Together, they would check out shotguns from special services and search for pheasants while carefully avoiding minefields.

Beaver was with Moses from June to November of 1952, when the commander was reassigned to 8th Army headquarters.

"My saddest day in Korea was the day he left," he said.

There may be more reminiscing ahead between the radio operator and his commander.

While in Vermillion, Beaver received a formal invitation to stay in Moses' guest bedroom the next time he calls; and Beaver received a promise that Moses would attend the reunion of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association in Laughlin, NV in October.

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