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Dean Lynn - Korean War

Dean Lynn grew up on a small Illinois farm before being drafted in January, 1952 into the U.S. Army. By July he was serving in Korea with the 245th Tank Battalion, assigned as a loader in an M-4 Sherman tank. Lynn saw extensive combat over the next several months, and after one incident at Hill 854, was awarded a Bronze Star for valor as well as South Korea's Wharang Distinguished Military Service Medal for his heroic action that day. Lynn shipped back to the states in 1953, shortly before the armistice ended the war.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

The Hardest Part of Service

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Growing up in Mason City, Illinois, being drafted, and basic training

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Experiences during the Korean War as a tanker with the 245th Tank BN


Photos

Caption

Dean Lynn was four and a half in 1934. Shortly after his Saturday morning bath his mother curled his hair, but his father then took him to get a haircut before Dean was to start school.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1934

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Haw Grove was the one room school on land near the McHarry farm, where Dean Lynn grew up. He is standing, second from the left, while brother Charles is standing in front of their teacher, Mrs. Beams.

Where:

Haw Grove School

When:

1936

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean and his older brother with two of their cousins in the late 1930s at the family’s Salt Creek farm. From left to right are Kenny and Jack Lynn, Dean’s big brother Charles, and Dean on the right.

Where:

Salt Creek Farm

When:

Late 1930s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Cassie and Charles Lynn, Dean’s parents, in the 1940s when the family lived on a farm near Mason City, Illinois.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The Lynn family lived in the ‘Big House’, an 18 room house on his mother’s girlhood home, the McHarry farm near Mason City. The photo probably dates from the mid-1940s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Mid-1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean’s Parents, Charles and Cassie Lynn, in the family buggy pulled by Tony, Charles’s parade horse in the late 1940s. They are parked in front of a neighbor’s house in Mason City.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The family’s Salt Creek farm house as it appeared in the late 1940s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean’s mother on Captain in the front yard of their family farm in the late 1940s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The Lynn brothers, Charles, McHarry and Dean, on the family farm northwest of Mason City, Illinois in the late 1940s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 1940s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

This barn, built in 1893, served the Lynn family well on their Mason County farm. The barn was built on a slope, with hay stored above several horse stalls in the bottom level (not seen here).

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

One of the logs Dean’s father harvested while the family lived on the Salt Creek farm. Logs like this one were sometimes cut and used to shore up coal mines that honeycombed much of central Illinois at the time.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Charles on Trigger, Dean’s quarter horse. Dean bought Trigger due to the horse’s distinctive coloring, which was favored by Indians as well.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean Lynn’s high school graduation photo in 1948. He attended Mason City High School.

Where:

Mason City High School

When:

1948

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dean carried this article from the Mason City ‘Banner Times,’ the announcement of his engagement to Roberta Follis, in his billfold all during his service, state side and Korea, from January, 1952 to October, 1953.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Early 1950s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dean Lynn and Roberta Follis during Roberta’s visit with Dean during basic training at Ft. Knox Kentucky on January 1, 1952.

Where:

Ft. Knox, Kentucky

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean Lynn’s basic training photo. He started basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky in January, 1952.

Where:

Ft. Knox, Kentucky

When:

1952

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

A line of M-4 Sherman tanks are standing by for a training exercise during basic training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky in early 1952.

Where:

Ft. Knox, Kentucky

When:

Early 1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean is learning how to dig a fox hole, the hands-on way, while on bivouac during basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky in early 1952.

Where:

Ft. Knox, Kentucky

When:

Early 1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean Lynn during his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1952.

Where:

Ft. Knox, Kentucky

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Roberta Follis (then 18 years old) at home in Illinois in early 1952.

Where:

Illinois

When:

Early 1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean stands in front of the M-4 Sherman tank he was assigned to while serving in Korea shortly after he arrived in country, circa July, 1952. He was assigned to tank 21 in C Company, 245th Tank Battalion.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Several of Dean Lynn’s crew members take up their observation duties some time in 1952. These were some of the crew who fought at Old Baldy, also known to the crew as Quagmire Hill.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean’s tank is loaded down with heavy logs used to lay in the road to give them better traction. Dean is on the left with Lt. Kengla next to him. Above Kengla is Frank Gray, then Wilhelm and Allen in the driver’s hatch. Circa fall of 1952.

Where:

Korea

When:

Fall of 1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Map showing the combat at Hill 854 near Songowol, South Korea, an action in September, 1952 when Lynn won the Bronze Star for valor.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Dean Lynn’s tank platoon takes up a position along a ridgeline on the front lines during the winter of 1952-1953. Note the rugged terrain that was characteristic of most of the front by that stage of the war.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952-1953

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Christmastime at the front in December, 1952. The Christmas tree and garlands mark the location of the unit’s ammunition bunker while they served on the front lines in Korea.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

This is the view that Dean had while on guard duty, looking out into no-man’s land during the winter of 1952.

Where:

Korea

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The troops were treated to a USO show in the spring of 1953 behind the front lines in South Korea. Dean mentioned that the unit’s officers were “evicted” from the show before it started.

Where:

Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean gets a rare chance to relax while the unit was recuperating in the rear in the spring of 1953.

Where:

Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Frank Gray and Dean smile for the camera while the unit was in the rear early in the fall of 1953.

Where:

Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean’s father, Charles rides his horse Tony during a Western show. Donald Splain is also in the photo, which was taken on the family farm in the late 1950s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 1950s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean joins his daughter Tammy Jo Holmes on her wedding day in August, 1984. She was married at the Methodist Church in Mason City, Illinois.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

1984

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean and Roberta on the lawn of their Mason City home in the late 2000s.

Where:

Mason City, Illinois

When:

Late 2000s

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean and Roberta Lynn with their granddaughter Britany and her husband Gregory Neunuebel on their wedding day in August, 2011. The couple were married in St. Louis.

Where:

St. Louis

When:

2011

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Dean participated in an honor flight and visited the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. in April, 2013.

Where:

Washington D.C.

When:

2013

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo



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