..News From The Korean War ..
65th Infantry Regiment
January 28, 1952
Korean Earth To Puerto Rico

SOMEWHERE IN KOREA (INS)- A can full of Korean earth, hallowed by the sacrifices of   Puerto Rican American soldiers, is on its way to Corozal, Puerto Rico,where it will become part of a monument to Puerto Ricans who gave their lives in Korea. Col. Julian B Lindsay, commanding officer of the 65th Regimental Combat Team, dug the symbolic earth out of the frozen ground last Monday, and placed it in a special container. Looking on were Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Cross, 3d Division Commander and five American Red Cross officials. The can of Korean dirt was handed over to the Red Cross, which will forward it to the Lion's club of Corozal. The frozen, snow-covered soil was taken from ground over which the Puerto Rican Regiment has battled, and from an area where men have died. It will be placed in the cornerstone of the Corozal monument.

January 28, 1952
Puerto Rican Named
WITH U.S. 3D DIV- Lt.Col. Bentance-Ramirez - Hato Rey, Puerto Rico,
has been named commander of the 2d Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Div.
He is a veteran of World War II.

February 8, 1952
65th Puerto Rican Reg't Gets New CO

    bat Team - one of the first national guard regiments to be fullyWITH U.S. 3D DIV (UP)- Col. Juan Cordero of San Juan, P.R. has taken over as commanding officer of the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment, it was announced Tuesday. Cordero replaced Col. Julian C. Lindsey. He was former commanding officer of the 296th Regimental Combat Team in Puerto Rico, in which about two thirds of the 65th's soldiers trained before coming to Korea. THIS IS CORDERO's second term of duty with the 65th. During World War II in Europe, he was battalion commander in the regiment and later became regimental executive officer. In 1946, he organized the 296th Regimental Com organized since the end of World War II.

February 11, 1952

    NEW COMMANDER- Col. Juan Cesar Cordero (second
from left), new commander of the 65th Infantry (Puerto Rican)
Regiment, 3d Division, shakes hands with former CO, Col.
Julian B. Lindsey (center), recently assigned deputy assistant
division commander of the 3d Division. Present at the hand-
clasping ceremonies, were Lt. Col. Norbert Cools (left), com-
mander of Belgian forces in Korea, Lt. Col. H.B. Tuazon
(second from right), executive officer of the Philippine forces
and Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Cross (far right), commander of
the 3d . (U.S. Army Photo by Pvt. Peter Pineiro)

February 15, 1952
Puerto Rico Raiders Make Exposed
Dash To Save Harassed

    A harrowing ten minute dash across an open field- in a deliberate, successful attempt to draw enemy fire - recently one patrol of the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Division, to save another regimental patrol from heavy casualties. The heroic run under enemy mortar fire was made by the Raiders, a battle patrol of the 3d Battalion, led by 2d Lt. Pedro Torres-Garcia, Rio Blanco, Naguabo, Puerto Rico. LEARNING that a Company K patrol was pinned down on the frozen bank of the Imjin river, with four men wounded and the escape route covered by exploding enemy shells, the Raiders, who had been on a nearby reconnaissance mission, lost no time in coming to the rescue. When the Radiers approached the enemy positions, however, Torres realized that, without heavy weapons, he could not assault the Reds. Both patrols were now under hostile mortar fire, and the patrol  leader made his decision: the Raiders would make a break for safety, exposing themselves, so that the Company K patrol, with its wounded, could make its way back to friendly lines. THE BOLD decision made, the Raiders stripped off their heavier garments and began running across the frozen rice paddies, in full view of the Chinese gunners. Sprinting, slipping and stumbling, they were halfway to safety when the Reds shifted their fire. Stopping only for their wounded - three minor casualties were suffered - the Raiders finally reached the cover of a hill and fell, gasping for breath, to the frozen ground, They later learned that the selfless device had been successful. During their exposed flight, the Company K patrol escaped.

February 20, 1952

WANNA BURP?-SFC Virgilio Agosto-Baquero (left,
Canovanas, P.R., and M/Sgt. Austin Montero-Negron, Utuado,
P.R. examine a Chinese "burp gun" captured during a recent
attack in Korea. The men are members of Company L of the
65th Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment. (U.S. Army Photo by
Pvt. Peter Pineiro)

February 26, 1952
Puerto Rican Delicacies Sent to 65th Regiment

With U.S. 3D DIV - Anyone care for a dish of pasteles, arroz con pollo, or arroz con gandules? Sixteen cases of Puerto Rican native culinary delicacies recently were distributed among troops of the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Division. A gift of the Lions club of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the packages were accepted eagerly by Borinqueneers grown accustomed to Army chow during their service in Korea. Distribution was made by Ernest Cafege, Red Cross field director for the 65th Infantry Regiment.

March 19, 1952

NEW CONSTITUTION-SFC Gilberto Acevedo (left), San
Germano, P.R., and PFC Aponte Martinez Santos, Lagas, P.R.,
both with the 3d Infantry Division, read a part of their coun-
try's new constitution in the 65th (Puerto Rican) Regimental
newspaper, The Maltese Cross is publishing the docu-
ment by instalments so that all Puerto Rican soldiers in Ko-
rea may have the opportunity to read the new constitution.
(U.S. Army Photo)
65th Regiment Gets Copy Of New P.R. Constitution

WITH U.S. 3D DIV - Men of the 65th Regiment, 3d Division, now have something new to fight for - their own constitution. The document, recently approved by the Puerto Rican legislature, is similar to the Constitution of the United States which formerly was the only constitution under which Puerto Ricans lived. MRS. INES M. DE MUNOZ MARIN, wife of the Puerto Rican governor, sent a copy of the new constitution to the Borinqueneers, saying that this was another democratic institution the Puerto Ricans are fighting for in Korea. "All Puerto Ricans are proud of their regiment in Korea," she continued,, "and we hope this constitution will give further assurance of the freedoms you are defending so gallantly. "HAVING ENJOYED these freedoms for many years under the constitution of the United States, the men of the 65th received word of the new constitution with interest. "We know and understand the things we are fighting for in Korea," said Cpl. Manuel Ramirez of Bayamon, P.R., "but of course it is better to have a document of our own, stated in the words of our people." "NOW WE HAVE two constitutions to defend," added Cpl. Servando Castro Hernandez, also of Bayamon. The new constitution will not affect the Puerto Ricans' American citizenship, conferred upon them by the organic act of 1917. That same act granted Puerto Ricans the right to elect their own legislature.

April 12, 1952
CHAPLAIN ROTT (below) chats with Pvt. Felix S. Marinda, of Ponce, P.R.,
before holding Sunday services. The chaplain's driver is PFC Osvaldo S.
Flores, of Luzon P.R.

    DISPLAYING a religious fervor like the Crusaders of old, the 65th (Puerto Rican) Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division today is carrying the Maltese Cross (La Cruz de Malta) in Korea. Religion holds an important place in the Puerto Rican family. It is not neglected by the soldiers in Korea.
On Sunday, only the most necessary duties will keep the Borinqueneers, 90 percent of whom are Catholic, away from mass. The Protestant soldiers, although fewer in number, are equally as faithful in chapel attendance, according to Chaplain (Maj.) Ralph B. Rott of Marisdale, Pa., who is regimental Protestant chaplain. When the priest arrives at the company chapel area for Sunday mass, the men have already assembled, waiting for him. This is the climax of their week, the day they lift their minds and hearts to God. Mass in the 65th is said in Latin, but the prayers and sermon are in Spanish. More than 500 Spanish missals have been distributed to the regiment by the 3rd Division chaplain. The demand for new missals is high in the regiment. Religion in the 65th is not limited to attendance at Sunday mass. At night, small groups of Borinqueneers gather to worship and pray to God, through "Our Lady of Guadalupe," patron saint of the regiment. Rifle Companies E and F have initiated a nightly rosary devotion, a practice commonly followed by families in Puerto Rico. Most of the men wear rosaries, medals and scapulars around their necks, as a symbol of their faith in God. Sacred pictures, brought by the men from Puerto Rico, adorn many of the bunker walls. When one of the Borinqueneers is killed of is listed as missing in action, amass is said in his behalf. Some of the soldiers write to Puerto Rico to have special masses offered for their departed comrades. Recently the mother of the Headquarters Company mess sergeant died in Puerto Rico. For three nights in the mess tent, without the services of a chaplain, the cooks knelt- their heads bowed in prayer for repose of her soul. In time of trouble, the Borinqueneers turn to God. During their attacks and patrols, they pray silently, putting complete trust in the Lord who has watched over them before. After a safe return, they thank Him. The Borinqueneers are devoted to their chaplain. In Puerto Rico, the priest is the central figure of the village life and is often called upon for legal and social as well as moral assistance. This practice is continued by the soldiers in Korea.
Maj. John C. Brucker of Springfield, Mass., regimental Catholic chaplain receives three times as many callers in the 65th as he did with continental units under combat conditions. "In most cases they want moral assurance and some one to talk with," said Major Brucker. "When something goes wrong in the family, the first person they think of is the chaplain. On the other hand, they give the chaplain a respect and cooperation rarely found in our modern society." The chaplain, to the Borinqueneers, is a reminder that God still watches over them in Korea.

August 25, 1952
P.R. Casualties Rise
    WASHINGTON(UP)-Puerto Rican announced casualties in Korea
went past 2000 Sunday as reports from the front said the islands
65th Infantry Regiment was engaged in heavy patrol clashes.

September 5, 1952


APO 468 C/O PM San Francisco, California

                                                                                 5 September 1952

        General Robert M. Bathhurst
          USARFANT & MDPR

          Dear General Bathurst

                I have heard so many favorable comments about the last group of
           replacements coming from Puerto Rico, that I thought you should know
           about it as I am sure you will feel very happy to know the results of
           the good training conducted by the RTC at Camp Tortuguero.

                Although most of the comments heard have been regarding the last
            group, nevertheless, I can assure you that all the groups that we have
            received since I have been here in Korea have made an outstanding demons-
            tration of discipline and training. All of them with little efforts
            integrate into the different combat teams and behave like veterans.

                I was amazed the last time we went to the lines.  With a thousand
            replacements recently received we were committed into combat and, while
            moving in approach march towards the front line positions under an enemy
            Artillery concentration, all the new men advanced with the least excite-
            ment and an outstanding discipline and courage in spite of being their
            first experience in combat.  Their movement forward under artillery
            shelling was so well controlled and organized that it looked like a field
            excercise instead of an actual operation. Apparently the men were not
            afraid of the artillery, and while advancing did not show any indication
            of fear.  When we started to receive artillery fire I was somewhat
            concerned and was afraid that some of the new men might get excited,
            nervous, and confused, but on the contrary I was surprised of their calm,
            discipline and courage. I attribute this commendable attitude to the
            Battle Indoctrination given at Salinas with overhead fire in which you
            required the RTC and 296 RCT to hold the artillery concentration as
            closed as possible to the advancing elements.

                I have talked with several men from the different groups and all
            show a high spirit and a great desire to participate in combat.  None
            of them want to stay back.  All prefer to be with the forward units.


            Certified true copy:
            John J. Early, Maj. Inf
            Information Officer

September 19, 1952
Battle-Riddled Flag Retired By P.R. Unit
By Richard Applegate

WITH 65TH REGIMENT SEPT. 19 (UP)- A battle-scarred Puerto Rican flag riddled by 20 shrapnel holes while flying on "San Juan Hill" was hauled down for the last time yesterday and a new flag run up. The new flag, presented by the San Juan newspaper El Mundo and a second battle flag from the United Press Bureau in San Juan were turned over to the commander of the 65th Regiment of the U.S. 3d Division, Col. Juan Cesar Cordero of Santurce. A COLOR GUARD headed by Regimental Sergeant Major

September 28, 1952
Puerto Ricans Vow Changing Hill's Name
By Warren Franklyn

    WITH THE 65TH REG'T, Sept. 28 (UP)- Los Borinqueneers have vowed to plant the "Lone Star of Puerto Rico" on Kelly Hill and rename the blood-stained height "Los Hiberos" in honor of their Puerto Rico countrymen. Col. Juan Cesar Cordero, commanding officer of the 65th infantry regiment, told his battered battalion: "In our determination to hold and take Kelly is the prestige and glory of the 65th regiment. "The Eighth Army is depending on the 65th Infantry Regiment to tell the Reds, we are on Kelly to stay on Kelly. "MAY THE GOD almighty help us and guide us in what we believe is a just cause to redeem the right of a free mankind which we wish to pass on to our sons in a better world." Los Borinqueneers remember Sept. 24. An assault unit carrying the Puerto Rican flag was driven from Kelly Hill by fanatical Chinese defenders on the second anniversary of the regiment's arrival in Korea. "Nuestro Regimento" disembarked in Pusan on Sept.24, 1950, during the dark days of the Korean fighting when the Communists surged to the Pusan perimeter. One year ago Los Borinqueneers were bitterly fighting on the western front against the Chinese troops that had used the Kaesong armistice lull to strengthen their defenses. YESTERDAY, Puerto Rican troops smashed to the crest of Kelly, carrying their flag, a symbol of the newly achieved semi-statehood. A suicidal Chinese defense- Red commanders called artillery in on their own troops - forced the bleeding Borinqueneers to retreat. Ambulances and helicopters worked long hours in evacuating the dead, dying and the wounded. SIX DAYS AGO A Chinese battalion infiltrated and virtually annihilated the Puerto Rican force defending the bloody outpost. The gallant defenders had been ordered "to hold the hill to the last man." "Our men did not retreat," Cordero said, "Because we cannot label as a retreat the withdrawal of a handful of valorous soldiers who made our lines only through a supreme effort despite their pain and loss of blood." It was only recently that United Nations and Chinese troops ended their "gentlemen's agreement." The Communists stayed on Kelly Hill during the night and UN soldiers manned the hill's trenches during the day. "IT WAS AN UNWRITTEN gentleman's agreement with the gentlemen only on this side of the line," Cordero said. Rains drenched the sector of both Borinqueneers and Kelly Hill. In the misery and mud of the rain-soaked and crumbling bunkers, men of the 65th cleaned their weapons, sharpened their bayonets and remembered. Yesterday- the regiment's second anniversary in Korea- will not be forgotten.

November 5, 1952
Puerto Rican CO Lauds Islands' Fighting Forces

Tokyo, Nov. 5 - Col. Juan Cesar Cordero, former commander of the 65th Puerto Rico Infantry Regiment in Korea, is here in Tokyo on his way to the United States. In speaking of the 65th Regiment, veteran of some of the most savage fighting in the Korean campaign, Col. Cordero said, "I feel very proud of having commanded such a group of loyal, brave, and aggressive fighters. It is with regret that I leave them. I shall pray that God will protect and guide them in all their future action." UPON HIS RETURN to Puerto Rico, via Washington, D.C., Col. Cordero plans to return to his position as executive director of the Puerto Rico housing authority and housing coordinator for the governor of Puerto Rico. The former commander of "Los Borinqueneers" (citizens of Puerto Rico) is due to be separated from active duty some time in December. Cordero served with the 65th Regiment during World War II as a battalion commander, regimental supply officer, and later as regimental executive. The unit participated in the North African, Italian, and European campaigns. IN 1946, the colonel formed and commanded the 296th Regimental Combat Team (National Guard). This unit was later called to active duty and after extensive training was used to fill rotation vacancies in the 65th Regiment. Col. Cordero then volunteered and was granted the opportunity to serve with the veteran Korean unit. On Feb. 5, 1952, he became the commanding officer. COL. CORDERO'S family resides in Santurce, Puerto Rico, his wife, Mrs. Elvira Rabell Cordero, and three children. Col. Cordero was graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1925 and received his commission through the ROTC.

November 14, 1952
Pacific Stars & Stripes
Ridgway Puerto Rican Praise Backed Up
By Medal Figures
FORT BROOKE, P.R., Nov. 14

    "Look at their faces. Their faces tell us what they have been doing and what they are capable of doing," said General Matthew B, Ridgway, commanding United Nations forces in the Far East, as he described Puerto Rican soldiers last year. "The Puerto Ricans of our Army have done more than we expected of them," he declared. Just how much more the men of the 65th Infantry have done is revealed in a list of figures released by the Army information office. THESE FIGURES show that 246 Korean veterans have been decorated in the Antilles Command as of Oct. 24, 1952. Of this number, 2 have won the Distinguished Service Cross; 49, the Silver Star; 1, the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star; 3, the Soldier's Medal; 154, the Bronze Star; 12, the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Bronze Star; 24, the Commendation Ribbon, and 1, the Service Star. These figures do not include the medals presented to Puerto Ricans while they were in Japan or on the battlefields. BRIG. GEN.  PAUL E. Peabody (Ret.) in a story in Vision magazine gives an unofficial figure of 700 madals won by Puerto Ricans in the service. His total includes Puerto Rican servicemen from the continental United States. Gen. Peabody said that four Distinguished Service Crosses, 134 Silver Stars, and 562 Bronze Stars had been won by Puerto Ricans. In battles which include Kumpchon, Yonghung, Wonsan, Hungnam and Pyongyang, Puerto Ricans have won these medals demonstrating their courage and their capabilities.

November 23, 1952
P.R. Bn Gets New CO

WITH U.S. 3D DIV, NOW. 23 (UP) - Lt. Col. Loyd E. Wills, Hartford, Ala., has taken over as commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, 65th Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment.

November 29, 1952
Puerto Rico Officer Cites Island's Role In Korea

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (AP)- The commander of the 65th (Puerto Rican) Regiment in Korea said today that men from the island make about 8 percent of the total United States combat strength on the battleline in the Far East. Col. Juan Cesar Cordero, who recently left his command in Korea, told reporters at a Pentagon conference that in addition to the personnel of the 65th Regiment there are from 1500 to 2000 other Puerto Ricans attached to other U.S. divisions. IN THE 11 MONTHS he commanded the regiment he was constantly besieged by Puerto Ricans in those other units for permission to join the 65th, he said. Cordero expressed the opinion that at least two additional Puerto Rican battalions could be formed in Korea and attached to the 65th. The colenel thought this would be a good idea and that it would help the already very high morale of the regiment. Cordero pointed with pride to the persistent refusal of the men of his regiment to withdraw in the face of heavy enemy onslaughts during the bitter fighting in September and October. HE SAID THAT one detachment numbering 125 men suffered 100 percent casualties in refusing to vacate an outpost position. The only survivors of the detachment, he said. were 13 seriously wounded men who managed to roll down a hill to eventual rescue by U.S. troops. THE 65TH IS a regular Army regiment which reached Korea in September, 1950. Subsequently the regiment has been replaced with men from the 296th National Guard Regimental Combat Team of Puerto Rico, but the 65th designation has been retained because of the great pride, the colonel said, that its members and the people of the island take in the unit. Cordero is returning to San Juan in the near future to resume his post as executive director of the Puerto Rican housing authority.

December 27, 1952
Puerto Rican Losses Climb

            WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UP) - Puerto Rican losses in the Korean War passed - the
              3000 mark today with the announcement of 31 new battle casualties sustained this week.

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