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Gay Lewison - Korean War

Gaylord (Gay) Lewison enlisted into the U.S. Army in late 1949. He had just arrived at his first duty station in Okinawa when his regiment was alerted and immediately sent to help defend the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea in July, 1950. His unit, the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, was decimated at the battle of Hadong. The survivors then transferred to the 27th Infantry Regiment, part of the 25th Infantry Division, and Gay served out the rest of his one year tour with that unit, taking part in some of the toughest combat of the war. He made the Army a career, and served during the Vietnam War as well, this time as a Master Sergeant. He retired as a Sergeant Major, serving as a Regular Army advisor to the Illinois Army National Guard.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Ambush at Hai-Dong

Abstract

Interview session 01 (Audio)

Early life, military training and Korean War

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Korean War, plus Vietnam War and advisor duty with IL National Guard

Transcript


Photos

Caption

Private Gay Lewison’s photo taken during Basic Training at Ft. Riley, Kansas in late 1949.

Where:

Ft. Riley, Kansas

When:

Late 1949

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

These newspaper articles on Gay Lewison’s unit, the 27th Infantry Regiment of 25th Infantry Division, appeared in the fall of 1950.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Fall of 1950

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Gay Lewison mailed this postcard home in December 1950, after a tumultuous five months of combat in Korea.

Where:

Unknown

When:

December 1950

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Gay was only able to write a few short lines on the postcard he sent home in December, 1950.

Where:

Korea

When:

December, 1950

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This cartoon appeared in the Army’s newspaper, Stars and Stripes, circa 1951.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1951

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

These two KATUSAs (Korean Augmentation To U.S. Army) were assigned to Gay’s platoon; ‘Harry’ and ‘Dick,’ with Tom’s foot visible in left of photo, circa 1951.

Where:

Korea

When:

Circa 1951

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gay on R & R in Tokyo in 1951. He is in center of photo, with Private Walker of his unit to his right. Others in the photo are unknown.

Where:

Tokyo

When:

1951

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gay and Ruth Lewison at Ft. Riley, Kansas, circa 1952.

Where:

Ft. Riley, Kansas

When:

Circa 1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

The Lewisons gathered for this family portrait in 1959, while Gay was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. From left to right are Joe, Gail, Linda, Ruth with Billy on her lap, Dean and Gaylord.

Where:

Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri

When:

1959

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Lewison is promoted to Master Sergeant (E-8) in Panama in 1962. COL Olson does the honors, with CPT Bovine watching. When Lewison was a MSG in the 1950s, his pay grade was E-7. The army changed the NCO ranks in 1958.

Where:

Panama

When:

1962

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Pina Range in Panama, circa 1962.

Where:

Panama

When:

Circa 1962

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ruth Lewison pitched for the softball league in Panama, 1962.

Where:

Panama

When:

1962

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



Caption

The Advisor Group-Headquarters for the 23rd ARVN Division. Gay is in the back row, center, with glasses. (This image is considered to be in the public domain.)

Where:

When:

Circa1962

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Lewison children gather for a picture in front of Panama’s Bridge of the Americas in in 1963. From left to right are Joe, Dean, Gail with Billy on her lap, and Linda.

Where:

Panama’s Bridge of the Americas

When:

1963

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gay and Ruth at the Bridge of Americans, Panama in 1963. The bridge connects North and South America on the Pacific Ocean side of the canal.

Where:

Panama

When:

1963

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

First Sergeant Lewison stands during a formation in front of the unit of advisors to which he was assigned. Lewison served in the 2nd Corps area of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1966.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1965 to 1966

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo.

Caption

Master Sergeant Lewison is at his desk at Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam during his tour of duty there in 1965.

Where:

Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam

When:

1965

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gay Lewison received the Silver Star for action in South Vietnam in October, 1965. The medal was awarded while he served as an advisor with the Illinois Army National Guard in Springfield, IL after his return from Vietnam. Photo from Springfield State Journal-Register.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

October, 1965

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain



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