By Becky Coffield, HUSC Historian 2021-2022
Named for General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Southwest Pacific in World War II (1939-1945), oversaw the Allied occupation of postwar Japan, and led the United Nations forces in the Korean War (1950-1953) as the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Pacific until 1951.
In April 1942, MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific and awarded the Medal of Honor for his defense of the Philippines. In June 1950, Communist forces from North Korea invaded the western-aligned Republic of South Korea, launching the Korean War. MacArthur was put in charge of the American-led coalition of United Nations troops. That fall, his troops repelled the North Koreans and eventually drove them back toward the Chinese border. MacArthur met with President Truman, who worried that the communist government of the People’s Republic of China might view the invasion as a hostile act and intervene in the conflict. The General assured him the chances of a Chinese intervention were slim. Then, in November and December 1950, a massive force of Chinese troops crossed into North Korea and flung themselves against the American lines, driving the US troops back into South Korea. MacArthur asked for permission to bomb communist China and use Nationalist Chinese forces from Taiwan against the People’s Republic of China. Truman flatly refused these requests, and a public dispute broke out between the two men.
On April 11, 1951, Truman removed MacArthur from his command for insubordination. In an address to Americans that day, the president stated, “I believe that we must try to limit the war to Korea for these vital reasons: To make sure that the precious lives of our fighting men are not wasted; to see that the security of our country and the free world is not needlessly jeopardized; and to prevent a third world war.” MacArthur had been fired, he said, “so that there would be no doubt or confusion as to the real purpose and aim of our policy.”
MacArthur’s dismissal set off a brief uproar among the American public, but Truman remained committed to keeping the conflict in Korea a “limited war.” Eventually, the American people began to understand that MacArthur’s policies and recommendations might have led to a massively expanded war in Asia.
In April 1951, MacArthur returned to the US, where he was welcomed as a hero and honored with parades in various cities. On April 19, he gave a dramatic televised address before a joint session of Congress in which he criticized Truman’s Korean policy. The General ended with a quote from an old army song: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” In 1952, MacArthur became chairman of Remington Rand, a maker of electrical equipment and business machines.
MacArthur died at age 84 on April 5, 1964, at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. He was buried at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia.
Red Cloud Circle:
Named in honor of Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., who was killed in action during the Korean War against the Chinese Communist Forces on the November 5, 1950, while serving in the 19th Infantry Division.
Red Cloud was born on July 2, 1925, in Hatfield, Wisconsin, to parents Mitchell and Lillian. He had a little brother named Merlin, and they were all members of the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe, also known as the Winnebago. Red Cloud attended Black River Falls High School until he was 17, when he asked his father if he could join the Marine Corps. His dad said yes, so on August 11, 1941, the teen enlisted.
The US joined World War II a few months later, and Red Cloud was deployed to the Pacific. He fought in Guadalcanal, where he suffered from malaria but refused a medical discharge. He continued to serve through the end of the war when he was injured in Okinawa.
Red Cloud left the Marines in November 1945. He returned to civilian life, got married and had a daughter, Annita. But his family said he grew restless as a civilian, so he decided to return to active duty in October 1948, this time for the Army. His brother later said he was interested in serving in all the military branches.
Red Cloud was part of the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. The unit was first assigned to occupation duty in Kyushu, Japan, before being deployed to Korea when war broke out in the summer of 1950.
On November 5, 1950, Red Cloud's Company E was in position on Hill 123 near Chonghyon, North Korea. The 25-year-old corporal was manning a listening post at the hill's ridge, right in front of the command post, when he realized Chinese Communist forces were approaching. Those forces instantly charged at him from the brush about 100 feet away.
Red Cloud immediately sounded the alarm with his automatic rifle, firing it toward the enemy as they closed in on him. He was quickly knocked down by gunfire, but he pulled himself back to standing by wrapping his arm around a tree, which he then used to steady his rifle so he could keep firing. The enemy onslaught was too much for him to bear alone, though, and he died where he fell from gunshot wounds. Prior to the skirmish, part of that enemy force had already crept up on Company E's position from behind and killed several men, many of whom were sleeping. The company's commander credited Red Cloud with delaying the front-facing attack enough for the unit to reorganize and tighten its defenses, essentially saving the rest of them.
Red Cloud's fearlessness, courage and self-sacrifice earned him the Medal of Honor. On April 3, 1951, his mother received the medal from famed World War II General Omar Bradley in a ceremony at the Pentagon.
Red Cloud was initially buried at a United Nations cemetery in Korea; however, his body was repatriated to the Decorah Cemetery near his hometown in March 1955. His medal is currently housed at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, Wisconsin.
To honor his warrior ethos, Red Cloud's name lives on. In 1957, the Army renamed one of its Korean installations in his honor; Camp Red Cloud was used by US troops until its deactivation in 2018. In 1999, the US Navy commissioned a Watson-class cargo ship named the USNS Red Cloud, which was christened in San Diego by the fallen corporal's daughter.
Various military facilities and parks across the US also honor Red Cloud's name. One monument that stands in his honor at Black River Falls, Wisconsin, has an inscription that reads, "The son of a Winnebago chief and warriors who believe that when a man goes into battle, he expects to kill or be killed, and if he dies, he will live forever.
The Battle of the Punchbowl was one of the last battles of the movement phase of the Korean War. Following the breakdown of armistice negotiations in August 1951, the United Nations Command decided to launch a limited offensive in the late summer/early autumn to acquire better defensive terrain and deny the enemy key vantage points from which they could observe and target positions.
By October 1951, 2nd Infantry Division, ROK I Corps, French battalion and 1st Marine Division forces controlled the lines of hills north of the Punchbowl. The fiercest action battles of Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge were also fought within the Punchbowl. The name Punchbowl comes from the bowl-shaped terrain of Haean Basin, which is an eroded, extinct volcano in the Taebaek Mountains. Today, it is part of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Bunker Hill Tower:
The Battle of Bunker Hill (Hill 800) was fought between August 9 and September 30, 1952 between United Nations Command and Chinese forces over several frontline outposts. In March 1952, the US 1st Marine Division was transferred to I Corps and moved onto the Jamestown Line, the UN’s main line of resistance across Korea. Opposing the Marines on the Jamestown Line, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) had the 65th and 63rd Armies, totaling 49,800 troops. The succession of Marine companies that took over Bunker Hill had to repel seven attacks before the end of August, but only one, on the night of August 25 and 26, threatened to overrun the outpost. The struggle for Bunker Hill cost the Marines 48 killed, 313 seriously wounded, and hundreds of others who suffered minor wounds. The number of known PVA dead exceeded 400 and total casualties may have numbered 3,200. The month ended with Bunker Hill in US Marine hands.
Pershing Tower: Named for General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, a distinguished US Army General with service in the Spanish-American War, as part of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders,” the Philippines in the early 1900s, pursued Pancho Villa in 1915, and as Commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in World War I. When he returned from WWI, Congress made him the second only person to be honored with the rank of “General of the Armies of the United States.” He later served as the Army Chief of Staff from 1921-1924 and remained a military advisor for decades. He has commanded many young military leaders such as George C. Marshall, George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D. Eisenhower. He died in 1948 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
General George S. Patton, a distinguished US Army General, began his military career leading cavalry troops against Pancho Villa in 1915 and then became aide-de-camp to General Pershing. In 1917, Patton went along with Pershing to Europe, where he became the first officer assigned to the newly established US Tank Corps. He soon earned a reputation for his leadership skill and knowledge of tank warfare. After the war, Patton served positions in tank and cavalry units at various posts in the United States. Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Patton was given command of the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions and organized a training center in the California desert. Patton headed to North Africa late in 1942 at the head of an American force; before the initial landings on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, he presented his troops with an expression of his now-legendary philosophy of battle: “We shall attack and attack until we are exhausted, and then we shall attack again.” Patton’s lust for battle would earn him the colorful nickname “Old Blood and Guts” among his troops, whom he ruled with an iron fist. With this formidable aggression and relenting discipline, the general managed to put US forces back on the offensive after a series of defeats and win the war’s first major American victory against Nazi-led forces in the Battle of El Guettar in March 1943. In early 1945, Patton led his army across the Rhine River and into Germany, capturing 10,000 miles of territory and helping to liberate the country from Nazi rule. In the months following Germany’s surrender, the outspoken general caused another firestorm of controversy when he gave an interview criticizing the Allies’ rigid de-Nazification policies in the defeated country; Eisenhower removed him from command of the 3rd Army in October 1945. That December, Patton broke his neck in an automobile accident near Mannheim, Germany. He sustained spinal cord and neck injuries and passed away from a pulmonary embolism as a result of the accident in a Heidelberg hospital twelve days later. Patton’s memoir, titled “War as I Knew It,” was published posthumously in 1947; his larger-than-life persona later made its way to the silver screen in an Academy Award-winning 1970 biopic, starring George C. Scott.
Named for General Creighton W. Abrams Jr., the distinguished US Army General who commanded the 37th Tank Battalion in WWII (the spearhead for General Patton’s Third Army), and the 4th Armored Division’s combat command B during the Battle of the Bulge. General George Patton said of him: "I'm supposed to be the best tank commander in the Army, but I have one peer—Abe Abrams. He's the world champion.” Abrams joined the Korean War late in the conflict due to him being in Europe and at the Army War College, but he successively served as chief of staff of the I, X and IX Corps in South Korea (1953–1954). After several high-ranking positions for the Armor Corps and Chief of Staff for Reserve Components, he served first as deputy commander, then as the commander, of the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, from 1967 to 1972. He was the Army Chief of Staff from October 12, 1972 to September 4, 1974. As Chief of Staff, Abrams led the Army in the final stages of the Vietnam War, supervised force reductions, and oversaw organizational restructuring. He directed the formation of a Ranger Battalion as well as the transition to an all-volunteer force. He died while in office, on September 4, 1974, in Washington, DC. The M1 Abrams Tank is named after him, in service from 1980 to present.
Named for the Boeing AH-64 Apache Helicopter which replaced the AH-1 Cobra. In service 1986-Present. The AH-64 Apache has a four-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor. The crew sits in tandem, with the pilot sitting behind and above the co-pilot/gunner. Both crew members are capable of flying the aircraft and performing methods of weapon engagements independently. AR 70-28, dated 1969, specifies that Army aircraft should be given the names of American Indian tribes or chiefs or terms. The name should appeal to the imagination without sacrifice of dignity and should suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. The name also should suggest mobility, agility, flexibility, firepower, and endurance. For brevity, it is suggested the name consist of only one word. The names given Army aircraft are primarily for use in public releases and other documents as a ready reference but have proven popular among Army personnel. AR 70-28 was eventually rescinded.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the US Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter. This was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have also been developed. Modified versions have also been developed for the US Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In addition to US Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. In service 1974-Present.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting of Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Washington state. In service from 1961 to present.
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Lange. Katie. “Why Army Helicopters Have Native American Names.” US Department of Defense, November 29, 2019. (www.defense.gov/News/Inside-DOD/Blog/Article/2052989/why-army-helicopters-have-native-american-names/). October 20, 2021.
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“Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr.” (www.cmohs.org/recipients/mitchell-red-cloud-jr) October 20, 2021.
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