For Posterity - An Event From 71 Years Past is Documented

(posted 6/11/2023) - Over Memorial Day weekend I took to the internet to try and find out more about the events that led to my father (divorced before I was born) receiving a Silver Star citation for bravery during the Korean Conflict. As a marine aviator he engaged multiple MIG-15 jets and shore battery to provide cover for a sea-rescue attempt of a fellow pilot from his squadron that had been shot down. What follows is what I learned about that time and place.

In December of 1952 Captain Charles Macon Wallace was flying ground support/attack missions into North Korea from the deck of the USS Badoeng Strait (an escort carrier - aka baby flattop). His squadron was the VMA-312 which at that time flew the Corsair (F4U-4) single seat prop fighter.

On December 27th his fellow squadron member 1LT John Baptist Goery was shot down over North Korea and parachuted into the Taedon-Gang Estuary. An air-sea rescue was attempted but the frigid waters, enemy fire, and possible wounds received by the pilot resulted in a failure to recover Goery.

During the period that recovery was being attempted Captain Wallace flew overwatch and engaged multiple enemy aircraft and enemy shore battery so that a rescue helicopter could drop a line to the downed pilot (who was unresponsive at that point and did not attach).

The above description is what I gleaned from the following resources. I've converted the original website linked documents I found to PDF and JPG since things on the internet have a way of disappearing every few years (relinked to other sources often).

WebSource: Valor.MilitartyTimes dot Com converted to PDF Silver Star Citation .

Published (Checkerboards) VMA-312 History mentions Goery being shot down on 12/27/1952. The yellowed out section on page 2 is about the relevant event.

Websource: Here is the VMA-312 history PDF in its entirety.

Here's a PDF copy of a restricted access NSCI web-source which is a reminiscence of flying "The Early Early" flights off the 507 ft. Essex class carriers.

Found 1LT Goery's remembrance page and other service member recollections of him at the Korean War Project website:

Jon writes -- I checked the pilots in Carr's remembrance post and actually Major Cleeland, Captains Gillon, Mullins, Wallace, and Watson each received a Silver Star citation for their efforts during Goery's recovery attempt.

Here's the last post Carr made on the Korean War Project remembrance page.

Carr passed away in 2013 in Wisconson; here's his obit page. Too bad Carr wasn't aware my Dad was available as a resource for his project on Goery.

Here's another poster on Korean War Project about Goery.

At this point in time the actors have mostly left the stage. But if we truly live in a "block universe" as Einstein postulated then the events of our past are just as alive as the events in our futures; a kind of eternal storyline!