Denzil Batson was ayoung southwest Missourian sent in the winter of 1951-1952 to fight in Korea's hills and rice paddies in a war America never called a war and now, sadly, if nearly forgotten.
Batson grew up on a dairy farm near Republic, MO. Eighteen and just married to his high school sweetheart, he was a sergeant as the Second Platoon of F Company, 3rd Division, recaptured a hill called Little Gibraltar from the Chinese. In We Called it War, he recounts the two-day assault of a 60-degree slope, creating a picture of constant terror, mass confusion, dread of harassing artillery fire, the wrenching loss of close friends, heart-sickening screams for medics--sights Batson would remember for a lifetime. Sometimes he shut his eyes to block ou the horror.
When the bloody struggle ended, half of Batson's platoon had been killed, or wounded.