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A Veteran's Voice: Arthur Gentry

Credit: 23ABC News | Bakersfield
Published on November 15, 2019 - Duration: 04:55s

A Veteran's Voice: Arthur Gentry

It's A Veteran's Voice that took part in one of the toughest battles of the Korean War.

Arthur Gentry enlisted in the United States Marines in 1948 and like many recruits, at the time he was following his brother into the Corps.

It was a chance to see the world.

An opportunity that came quickly and one he wouldn't forget.

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A Veteran's Voice: Arthur Gentry

ARTHUR GENTRY ENLISTED IN THEU-S MARINES IN 1948..

AND LIKEMANY RECRUITS AT THE TIME..

HEWAS FOLLOWING HIS BROTHER INTOTHE CORP.IT WAS A CHANCE TO SEE THEWORLD.AN OPPORTUNITY THAT CAMEQUICKLY..

AND ONE HE WOULDN'TFORGET.NATS - PARADE SIRENART GENTRY WAS RIDING IN STYLE..DURING THIS YEAR'S 100THVETERANS DAY PARADE.IT'S NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS'GRUNT' WAS IN THE SPOTLIGHT..STARRING WITH DOZENS OF OTHER'MARINES' AS EXTRAS IN THEJOHN WAYNE MOVIE "SANDS OF IWOJIMA" IN 1949.HE PORTRAYED A CASUALTY ON THEBEACH.BUT THIS LOCAL VETERAN IS VERYMUCH ALIVE... RIDING THROUGHTHE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD IN ARESTORED 1949 WILEY'S JEEP.NATS - 69 YRS SINCE I SAT INTHIS..

YUP..

ATTHE RESERVOIR.THE CHOSIN RESERVOIR..

ONE OFTHE BLOODIESTBATTLES IN MARINE CORP HISTORY.A FROZEN CLASH BETWEEN U-NFORCES AND CHINESE TROOPSTHAT RACED ACROSS THE BORDER INSUPPORT OFNORTH KOREAN FORCES.NATS - JEEPSIX THOUSAND MILES FROM THE WARMSOUTHERN CALIFORNIASTREETS HE GREW UP ON.:18 - ART - MY FRIEND, LET'SJOIN MARINES...GENTRY WAS 17..

GROWING UP IN ELMONTE.HE SIGNED UP AND ATTENDED BOOTCAMP IN SAN DIEGO..

WITHADVANCED TRAINING AT CAMPPENDLETON..ART SAID IT WAS THERE..

THAT AGRIZZLED MARINE CAPTAIN GOTTHEM READY FOR BATTLE..

NOT LONGAFTER THE END OF WWII.1:45 - SAID GET YOU GUYS READYWARGAMES..THE GAMES DIDN'T LAST VERYLONG..IN JUNE OF 1950..

GENERALDOUGLAS MCCARTHUR VOLUNTEEREDTHE 1ST MARINE DIVISION FORCOMBAT DUTY INKOREA.ART WAS A BAZOOKA MAN IN THEANTI-TANK INFANTRY..

5THMARINES..

2ND BATTALION..

EASYCOMPANY.THE MARINES ARRIVED IN POSAN INAUG.

1950..

AFTER SOUTHKOREAN AND U-S FORCES HAD BEENDRIVEN BACK TO THE EDGE OF THEPENISULA..

FOLLOWING A SURPRISEATTACK BY THE NORTHKOREAN ARMY.SOT - 340 - WE CAME IN PLUGGINGHOLESWHERE N.

KOREA BROKE THRU LINES.BUT THEY DIDN'T STAY LONG..GENTRY WAS PART OF THEAMPHIBIOUS LANDING ATINCHON ON SEPT.

11TH, 1950.SOT 505 - FIGHTING GOT INTENSE,CUT OFFENEMY FROM NORTH, PUSEHD BACK TOSEOUL OCT.

1ST.FROM THERE..

THE MARINES PUSHEDON..

DRIVING NORTHKOREAN FORCES TO THE CHINESEBORDER RIGHT BEFORETHANKSGIVING.GENERAL MACARTHUR ARRIVEDTELLING TROOPS THEYWOULD BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS..WHEN THE NORTH RECEIVED A GIFTFROM CHINA.SOT - 705 - HEARD CHINESEVOLUNTEERCROSSED BORDER, 2,000.BUT THAT NUMBER WAS INACCURATE.IT WAS MORE LIKE 140,000...SOT - THERE WERE IN CAVES..

DUGINWAITING FOR US.THE CHINESE ARMY SPRUNG THEIRATTACK AT THE CHOSINRESERVOIR ON NOV.

27TH..SOT - 905 - 'HEARD BUGLES,HUNDREDSOF THEM..

WHERE EVER FIRED, HITSOMEBODY, RETREATED..

HERECOME ANOTHER WAVE, WET ON TO DAYBREAK..

THEN THEY VANISHED.BUT THEY WEREN'T GONE..OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS..MARINES AND U-N FORCES ENGAGEDIN FIERCE FIGHTING..

SURROUNDEDON ALL SIDES..

IN 40BELOW TEMPERATURES.THE ENEMY BLEW UP A BRIDGE TOTRY AND TRAP AMERICANFORCES..

BUT A RISKY AIR DROP..AND SOME INGENUITY..HELPED THE ALLIES TO BREAKFREE..SOT - 1045 - HAD US TRAPPED, NOFBRIDGE, WE HAD TO GET TANKS,TRUCKS LOADED WITH DEAD BODIES..LOST 3,000MARINES.BY THE TIME THE MARINESEVACUATED..

THAT NUMBER WASHIGHER.THE CHINESE LOSSES WERE MASSIVE.THERE WERE 17 MEDALS OF HONORAWARDED DURING THEBATTLE..

THE MOST IN ANY SINGLEENGAGEMENT.NATS -ART HAS THE HONOR OF BEINGCALLED ONE OF THE 'CHOSIN FEW'.A SURVIVOR..

AND HE'S NOTALONE..

BUT THAT NUMBER ISDWINDLING.SOT - 1330 - WE HAVE REUNIONLAST 20YEARS, EVEY 2 YRS, THIS DEC INSD..

FIGURE BE LAST ONE..EVERYONE AT CR BEAT LEAST 86 YRS OLD.NOW AT 89..

ART WAS RIDING INTHE VETERANS PARADE FOR JUSTTHE THIRD TIME.A RELAXING CRUISE THROUGHDOWNTOWN..

FOR A MAN WHOEARNED IT..

ALMOST 70 YEARS AGO.WE WANT TO TELL YOUR VETERANSSTORY.

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