Korean War marine story


Jan 28, 2010
On August 2nd, 1952 a machine gun platoon commanded by my grandfather StSgt. Albert Oleson was attacked by a overwhelming force of Chinese troops on a small outpost overlooking an important highway. His machine guns opened up as soon as the Chinese were in range and started to decimate their human waves with .50 and .30 caliber bullets. He then called in a mortar strike on the Chinese but there were only 3 81mm mortars available and they were low on ammo. Nevertheless, these mortars caused massive casualties on the Chinese as they were dropped right in the middle of their second wave. Oleson then opened fire with his M1 Garand rifle as a squad of Chinese charged his foxhole, he shot 8 of them and then killed the other 2 of them with his .45. This fighting went on for many hours untill my grandfather was finally forced to retreat or be overun and have his unit slaughtered. He had lost 13 men killed and wounded so far and led the rest down the rear slope of the hill and called in a Coursair to drop napalm on the crest of the hill to keep the Chinese from shooting his men in the back. When he was halfway down the hill one of his men broke down and refused to move from a foxhole he was in because the Chinese had started to drop mortars on the platoon. My grandfather told this Private "You don't have to worry about all these fucking mortars dropping round us, if you don't get your skinny ass out of this foxhole I'll fucking shoot you myself." That got the private to move out of the foxhole but just when my grandfather moved 5 feet out of the foxhole a mortar round landed right on top of the scared private and shedded his legs with shrapnel. He ordered his men to go on without him but they had two men carry my grandfather on a stretcher to a jeep that would bring him to a nearby aid station. When they were almost to the jeep they were ambushed by 4 Chinese soldiers carrying Ppsh-41 submachine guns, but my grandfather shot them with a carbine that one of the stretcher bearers gave him. He took one of the Ppsh's to bring home from the war. He was transfered to a hospital ship in Japan and later rejoined his men to fight the rest of the war on the front. He later recived the purple heart for his wounds in battle and now resides in Middleton, Wisconsin.
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Great story! Many things sound familiar to me! They wouldn't allow most of us to bring the PPSH's home, because they were full-auto. As I recall there was also some rule about Russian supplied weapons too. (CRS makes me forget what that was all about.)


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Nice story, send a Shadow Spear thank you to your grandfather for his service. PS Marines is always capitalized.
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This reminded me of something that happened to me in Korea! I had picked up a nice Chinese Mauser both Action rifle, in 1951. It was in pretty good condition when I picked it up. I had a friend in an Ordinance unit, that took it and really worked it over for me and it was really nice after that.

Supposedly, Chinese non-full auto weapons were ok to take back as souvenirs without any paper work. So, I kept it and hauled it around with me until I was boarding the Ship to leave Korea.

There was an Army 1st LT. standing at the top of the gangway next to the ship, he asked me for the paperwork for the rifle. I said it's my understanding, there isn't any paper work need for this type of weapon. He said oh yes paper work was needed! Of course, there was a line of troops anxious to return home waiting to board the the troopship behind me. I had no papers and he was an Officer, so I had to hand over the rifle to him. I just know the SOB took that rifle home with him! It still PO's me to this day! :mad:


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Ole, great story!

You have every reason to be proud of your grandfather!

Nice story, send a Shadow Spear thank you to your grandfather for his service. PS Marines is always capitalized.



Trip, that sucks about that rifle! What a mofo! :mad:
My grandfather gave the Ppsh to the other Marine as a gift, he never tried to bring it home after the war was over.