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Macon Korean War veteran, expert rifleman is a
2-time Purple Heart recipient
“There were so many of us.”
The landing made it possiMACON — From
ble for South Korean allies
meeting Jack Stringer,
to recapture Seoul later that
strangers wouldn’t be able
month.
to tell that a bullet went
Another battle Stringer
into the back of the Korean
vividly remembers was the
War veteran’s head below
Battle of the Chosin Reserhis ear and traveled out
voir, describing it as “very
through his face.
cold; very, very cold.”
Stringer, born and
It was late November to
raised in Moweaqua, imagearly December of 1950.
ined being in the service
Temperatures dropped to
would be very different. He
negative 36 degrees and
grew up with soldiers sharsome soldiers’ toes were
ing stories making World
falling off from frostbite, he
War II sound “fun.” Stringsaid.
er said he was “madder
“We never had the
than hell” when the second
clothing that would take
World War ended before he
care of that kind of bitter
was able to enlist.
coldness,” he said.
He was so intrigued by
Stringer said he and the
the stories that hee left high
hig
other soldiers in the
1st Marine Division
wore boots going
just slightly past the
ankle, so they put
sandbags on their
feet and stuffed paper down into them
to add warmth. But
soldiers, including
Stringer, still got
frostbite.
When
nearly
120,000
Chinese
JIM BOWLING, HERALD & REVIEW // Stringer, a two-time Purple Heart troops came into the
Chosin Reservoir,
recipient, is shown with some of his military keepsakes.
KENNEDY NOLEN

kennedy.nolen@lee.net

school at age 18 and enlisted in the Marines, serving
from January 1950 to January 1954.
“I’d be going to the pool
hall in Moweaqua and listening to these guys that
came home from World
War II and listen to their
war stories,” Stringer said.
“And it sounded like ‘Boy,
that would really be fun’—
all the places they’ve been
and all of the girls, and well,
(war) was more scary than
I thought it would be.”
Stringer arrived in Korea on Sept. 15, 1950, when
the Marines made an amphibious landing in Inchon, Korea.”It gave you a
o security,
y” he said.
feelingg of

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JIM BOWLING, HERALD & REVIEW // Jack Stringer of Macon
served in the Marines during the Korean War.

“that changed the game,”
Stringer said. The troops
cut off the main road and
railroad that supplied the
Chinese troops.”That was
the object,” he said.
It was December 6 or 7
of 1950 when Stringer was
shot in the head and flown
out of the war zone on a
Piper Cub plane. “I don’t
know if it was before midnight I got hit that last time
or after midnight,” he said.
Stringer received two
Purple Hearts while fighting in the Korean War: one
he from the head injury,
and another from shrapnel going into his hand and
knee. Stringer was also an

NOMINATE YOUR SERVICE MAN OR WOMAN: Herald-Review.com/StoriesofHonor

expert rifleman and on a
pistol shooting team. He
left the service as a Staff
Sergeant.
“As far as my feelings,
I know one thing: I didn’t
want to get into any combat
anymore,” Stringer said. “It
wasn’t as fun as I thought it
would be.”
He worked at a factory
for a while after the service,
but the work wasn’t anything he enjoyed. Stringer
went to Eastern Illinois
University and since 1960
has lived with his wife,
Charlotte, in Macon, where
he taught junior high math
and high school industrial
arts.

Some of the
most powerful
stories come
from those
who have
served in the
armed forces.
Recognize their
service, bravery
and sacrifice.

Read all of our Stories
of Honor at

http://bit.ly/DEChonorstories
This story will be added on Monday.

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