. News from the Korean
65th Infantry Regiment
January 13, 1951
Island Really Excited Over Outfit's Showing At
65th Reg't Puerto Rico's Pride And Joy
By MATTHEW T. KENNY
SAN JUAN< P.R. (UP)-
Since they arrived in Korea last September
the men of the Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment have been the top
news of the day on this island. There are few - if any - persons among
the more than 2,000,000 citizens in this American territory who have
not kept up to the minute on the
activities and exploits of their fellow "boricuas"
The 65th has a record of
service in Africa nd Europe in World War II. Most of its present
members are veterans and many of them were in the regiment then.
Rico is prouder than ever of the outfit's record in Korea, particularly
brave action in covering the evacuation from Hungnam. Newspapers and
stations give precedence to dispatches about the 65th over all other
Letters and pictures of
get almost unlimited space in the papers. Casualty lists are front page
under the banner headlines of
dispatches about the regiment. Radio programs and
baseball games are dedicated to the troops and editorial writers have
given the highest praise and appreciation for their sacrifices. Puerto
Rico has not forgotten its fighting men. It has instead, remembered
them well , and the day they finally return is sure to set off a wild
celebration and reception. AN INDICATION of the island's feeling was demonstrated during the second
annual all-star baseball game (Juego de Reyes), played at
night in San Juan last Dec, 27. Sgt. Julio
Enrique Alvarez, a medic on emergency leave
from Korea, was invited to throw out the first ball. He was given a
thunderous ovation by some 11,000 fans. Alvarez was so overcome with
emotion that he suddenly began to cry unashamedly. The stadium hushed
into absolute silence. A radio announcer describing the ceremonies
choked up. The scene was so dramatic that half a
dozen veteran newspaper photographers forgot to "shoot" Alvarez. Before
up its final session of 1950 the island's legislature approved a joint
expressing its gratitude and that of the Puerto Rican people "to the
of the 65th Infantry Regiment for their heroic tasks on the
the Korean peninsula in defense of the principles of democracy." Puerto Rico felt particularly proud
a regiment in Korea after a three-day bloody uprising against the
government by a group of fanatical nationalists. Although comprising
only 1/2 of 1 percent of the total population, the nationalists,
through their violence here and their attempt against President Truman
in Washington, created an unfavorable impression about the island. This
was offset to a large degree by the Puerto Ricans in Korea. Editors put
their biggest headlines on the regiment's rear guard action at Hungnam.
News that combination smoke and tear-gas bombs had been used against it
created a sensation here. COMMENTING on the Hungnam evacuation, the leading newspaper "EL MUNDO"
said: "Now the island can breathe easy and receive the new year with
greater optimism and hope than it had at Christmas. The 65th Infantry
Regiment is safe in Pusan and has covered itself with glory by its
valiant service in protecting the embarkation of marines and
soldiers... We again salute the
men of the 65th."
February 8, 1951
PR Reg't Gets News By Proxy
By Cpl. Neil Mellblom
WITH 3rd DIV. IN KOREA-Men of
Puerto Rican 65th RCT are finding themselves feeling closer to their
island in the Antilles. To bring the UN fighters the touch of home that
been missing, the Puerto Rican government sent a new Magnecord recorder
20-minute tapes jammed with specially transcribed
Spanish tunes, an address from Gov. Luiz Munoz-Marin, and the latest
news of sports highlights on the island. And with the help of the
recorder, folks at home will soon be better informed of their
regiment's activities. The recorder is now circulating around the
regiment, and when all units have heard the tapes, they will be
re-recorded and sent back to be played over over the Puerto
The parks and recreation
administration of Puerto Rico, which is responsible for the project's
start, plans to keep the tapes coming at the rate of two a week.
Although in operation only a short
time, the recorder has already become extremely popular with the
Puerto Rican name bands and singers transcribed special arrangements
the Korea Fighters, including
the Cesal Concepcion, Miluelito Maranda, and Pepito
Torres bands, Myrta Silva, a popular vocalist, the University of Puerto
Rico chorus and the Vegabajero and Los Murcianos trios. Capt. Frank
Madera of the 65th Medical Company got a special musical treat when the
bank he directed
recorded a song for him. Sports fans heard top-notch
Puerto Rican baseball commentators in a round table discussion for them
bringing them up to date on all the season's highlights. Soldier
listeners paid close attention to every word of Governor Marin's
speech. The governor wished the regiment the best of luck in its Korean
mission and expressed the island's deep appreciation for what its men
April 2, 1951
Puerto Ricans Show Pride In Their Men In Korea
WITH 3rd DIV.- Puerto Rico
one more emphatic touch to the pride it has in its 65th Infantry
Regiment fighting in Korea. On each of 50 new buses which travel the
island metropolitan area between San Juan and Rio Piedras, has been
painted a salute to the
The 65th's shoulder patch, a reproduction of the
lighthouse in San Juan bay, and its regimental crest, the Maltese
Cross, are painted on the vehicle's sides.
June 21, 1951
Puerto Rican Regiment Marks
Birthday After 30-Day Holdup
By Jim Becker
SOMEWHERE IN KOREA (AP)- The
Puerto Rican 65th Regiment held its 51st birthday party Wednesday- 30
days late. An uncooperative Chinese enemy delayed the anniversary
fell on May 20. Wednesday was the first chance the 65th had to
the occasion. All of the regiment's enlisted men and half of the
are Puerto Ricans.
IN ADDITION to a birthday party, which combined the
features of a Latin fiesta nd a spit
and polish army ceremony, the 65th got a new boss.
Col. William Harris of St. Louis,Mo., who commanded the regiment for
two years, gave up command of the regiment Wednesday.
The celebration also fell on the
200th day of combat in Korea for the scrapping 65th. A SQUAD from each
of the regiment's companies was chosen to participate in the
celebration. The men bathed for a special mass to honor their war dead.
Then they formed for a parade which Maj. Gen. Robert H. Soule witnessed.
Colonel Harris, who had led his
men in combat for nine months, told his soldiers, "there were many who
under-rated you when you first came to Korea. I can assure you now that
there is no one who does not agree that you have proved yourselves fine
You are damn good and I'm proud of you."
The 65th Regiment was formed in
Puerto Rico and served in North Africa and Europe
during World War II. It arrived in Korea on Sept.23,
last year- more than a month before
the main body of the division. The remarkable saga
65th began almost immediately.
THE UNIT was attached to three divisions and two
corps and engaged in action from
South Korea to above the 38th parallel at Wonsan
November. The men from semi-tropical Puerto Rico battled both the
Korea winter and the invading Chinese and licked them both in Northeast
"We all wondered how they would stand the cold,"says Harris. "Well,
stood it better than I did." A 65th task force rumbled north of Hamhung
early December to meet the withdrawing marines and in the fantastic
when men's rifles and minds froze almost solid, the
omen of the 65th accomplished their mission and
the marines to escape from the
trap they had fallen into.
TODAY the men of the 65th celebrated 51
years of such history. Their families and friends in Puerto Rico who
are so proud of them sent gifts and letters of congratulations.
A rum manufacturer (Don Q) shipped 100 cases of his
product. A traveling Latin band of musicians toured headquarters of the
65th, serenading the Regiment.
After he turned over the command
of the 65th, Colonel Harris looked at his men and
said : " They can do any damn thing they want to do."
December 8, 1951
Puerto Ricans Offer Prayers Before Actions
WITH U.S. 3D- "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
as it is in Heaven."
Before moving out to engage the enemy, men of the 2d
platoon, Company E, of the 65th
Puerto Rican Regiment, kneel in prayer and ask
divine guidance in the mission ahead.
BEAD, prayer by prayer, until a complete rosary has been said, the
hold their simple spiritual services before each
action, from patrol to fire-fight.
L. Felix Vega, 20-year old platoon leader:
I've served with a rifle company, I've found prayer can be the most
stimulating preparation for battle. With their lives
constantly in peril, the men gain a great spiritual uplift by communing
with God for a few moments each day."
patch of ground around the platoon command post, where the services are
is rarely devoid of battle weary worshippers even though attendance is
when Vega calls "Arriba, muchachos," the Borinqueneers grab their
weapons and move
out across mortar swept hills and valleys- their determination
December 9, 1951
Puerto Ricans' CO
WITH U.S. 3rd DIV-
Command of the colorful 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico changed
hands recently when Col. Julian B. Lindsey of Winchester, Va.,
succeeded Col. Erwin O.
Gibson. Col. Gibson, Dublin, Ga., took command of the battling
last June 20 and guided the regiment through several of the toughest
campaigns of the Korean conflict.
Colonel Lindsey, whose last assignment was in
Washington, was graduated from West Point in 1929.
December 12, 1951
Puerto Rican Troubled Can't Speak Spanish
WITH U.S. 3D DIV - PFC Floencio E. Lorenzo is a
native Puerto Rican, but he's having trouble keeping up with his
compatriots, linguistically, in the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment. The
reason ? Lorenzo was only six months old when his family moved from the
Caribbean island to New London, Conn.
ASSIGNED to the Borinqueneers four months ago
as a radio operator with Company F; Lorenzo says, "These Latins talk
too fast for me. Whenever they talk to me in rapid-fire Spanish, I have
to ask for a translation." He's learning quickly, though. "After a
couple more months with this outfit," he says, "I should have a pretty
fair working knowledge of my native tongue."
December 14, 1999
Puerto Ricans Utilize Mouse Trap Play
WITH U.S. 3D DIV-Early in the Korean campaign,
of the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment,
3d Division established themselves as natural born
fighters. And rarely a day goes by that the Borinqueneers don't add new
their combat reputations.
Another example of their
instinctive battlefield "savvy" occured recently when four young
replacements in Company G, averaging less than five weeks of combat
experience, routed a score
of would-be Chinese infiltrators with a clever ruse.
THE QUARTET of
Borinqueneers- led by PFC Benito Maldonado and including Cpl. Miguel
Jose Ramon Ortiz-Velazquez and Pvt. Tomas Siery-Rodriguez- were
to the hazardous job of manning a well advanced observation post.
Through the dark and lonely
night, they peered intently toward Communist lines for signs of enemy
Suddenly, the entire area was bathed in bright light. A booby trap
had been ignited revealing a patrol of 20 advancing Reds directly in
of the observation post.
TO ENGAGE the larger
force in an immediate fire fight would have been suicide, young
reasoned. Quietly, he ordered his buddies, outnumbered five to one, to
and set up an ambush.
It was the old football
mouse trap play, applied to combat. Onward came the Chinese, right into
the Borinqueneers hands. Velazquez, manning a BAR, touched off the
fireworks with a vicious burst of fire, and his buddies soon chimed in
with a murderous barrage of rifle fire and grenades, accompanied by
SO HEAVY and strategically
placed was the quartet's fire that the Chinese, thinking they had
encountered a mumerically
superior force, began a mad stampede for their lines- leaving three
and four wounded Reds in their wake.
Maldonado, the private who
organized the impromptu ambush, later summed it up: "We were faced with
a tough situation, and we had to think fast. One false move and we
would 'have had it'
As things turned out, the Chinks were the ones who
got it. "
Of First White Christmas
WITH U.S. 3D DIV- IT'S doubtful whether troops of
the 65th puerto Rican Regiment are dreaming of a white Christmas. At
any rate, they've never had any. "Christmas weather in Puerto Rico,"
Borinqueneer, "is usually between 60 and 70 degrees. Now that we're in
maybe we can tell our grandchildren that we observed a famous white
BUT SNOW OR NOT; the 3d Division's scrappy Latin
regiment is looking forward to a gala holiday season. On their own
sun-kissed Caribbean island, Puerto Ricans make quite a production of
Christmas. The season lasts from Dec.24, when Good Night is observed,
to Jan. 6, and gifts are exchanged on festive Three Kings Day. In
Korea, however, the "Seexty-Feefth" will conform with their North
American neighbors and hold their principal observance on Dec 25.
Highlight of the day will be a regimental high mass, to be said by
Chaplain (Maj.) John C. Brucker. Protestant services will be held in
HYMNS AND HOLIDAY instrumental
music will be presented by the Borinqueneers' own Mambo Boys, a 14 -
piece orchestral ensemble and chorus. Abandoning their usual Latin
American jump rhythms for the day, the Mambo Boys will present their
hymns and carols before units throughout
the regiment. In addition, they will sing the entire high mass. Col.
B. Lindsey, regimental commander, is going all-out to bring Christmas
the Puerto Ricans.
"WE'LL DO EVERYTHING possible, within tactical
limitations, to provide a holiday atmosphere," he said. According to
Lindsey, a huge
fir tree will be decorated and placed at
the regimental command post site, with smaller trees
throughout the area. Bulbs and trimmings have already been obtained.
Back in Puerto Rico,
families will be sitting down to their traditional
Christmas feast of roast pig and pasteles. The
regiment's cooks already are bending to task of whipping up the biggest
and best meal of the year. In short, everything has been arranged-
except the snow.
December 18, 1951
65th Reg.t Nicknamed
Devils of the Mountains
WITH U.S. 3D DIV - The 3d Battalion, 65th Puerto
Rican Regiment, now has a nickname. And its author, Cpl. Edwin Rosario,
a clerk in Company L won five days of R&R in Japan. In a quest for
a fighting label for his outfit, Lt. Col. john D. Austin conducted a
his troops, with the five day vacation as a reward. Rosario's winning
effort: "Los Diablos de la Montagnas."
For the benefit of those who flunked Spanish, it
means "the Devils of the Mountains." And considering the battalion's
combat record in Korea, it's an apt label. With the nickname went a
unit insignia, designed by Sgt. Jose S. Vega-Torres, of Headquarters
Company, and showing Satan
glaring over a snowcapped mountain.
December 24, 1951
Puerto Ricans Devise Unique Heat Gadgets
WITH U.S. 3D DIV - Orders from division directed
that troops should keep themselves as warm and comfortable as possible
the winter months, and members of the 65th Puerto Rican Rigiment were
to take the cue.
The imaginative Borinqueneers
blossomed out with every type of heating device conceivable, including
gadgets that would turn Rube Goldberg green with envy.
WHEREVER THE scrappy Latins are
huddled against the unaccustomed wintry blasts, may be found ingenious
heat generating units ranging from a blow torch to a full-sized squad
Several command posts on the
frontline contain regulation Army stoves with cut down pipes, while
most of the smaller bunkers are content with charcoal burners.
ONE OF THE most unique heaters
found in the message center of ompany K, 3d Battalion. It's a converted
cracker can, with an opening in the side for the kindling. A perforated
of tin on top allows the smoke to escape slowly. "It's far from
perfect," conceded one Borinqueneer, "but it'll keep anyone in this
bunker from getting frostbite."
December 29, 1951
STATEMENT OF GENERAL J. LAWTON COLLINS
ON THE DISCIPLINE AND TEAM WORK OF
PUERTO RICAN TROOPS IN KOREA AS REPORTED
BY INFORMATION OFFICE'S CORRESPONDENT
"Antilles Headquarters, P.R. - Home training has
definite influence on the discipline of Puerto Rican
troops in Korea,
commented General J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff,
U.S. Army. At
a press conference here last Friday General Collins
said that the fine
discipline and team work shown by Puerto Rican
in Korea seemed
to be a result of the close association and training
the men had
experienced on the island.
"General Collins arrived in Puerto Rico the day
to inspect Army installations and training
here. He has
visited Camp Tortuguero, the Salinas Training Area
and Camp Losey.
"The General praised the achievements of the 65th
Korea. He was not just being polite, he told
He knew of the
excellent record the Island's troops have chalked up
in the fighting.
He was amazed, he said, at the low casualty rate of
one to 16, much lower than that of other units in
29 December 1951
Certified true copy
John J. Earley, Maj., Inf.