My1st cousin,once removed, Arthur Phillip Hanks was killed in action, February 4, 1952, on a hill called Outpost Kelly, in the Korean War.He was raised in Long Leaf, Louisiana and is buried at the Paul Cemetery in Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
John Fennimore wrote me: "Randy, I was assigned to Sgt. Hanks training Platoon in 1951 at Ft. Reily Ks. After about 2/3rds. of our 16 week training period Sgt. Hanks was reassigned to Korea, I completed Basic and due to his good training was sent to a leadership school for eight weeks advanced training. I was then also shipped to Korea. Lo and behold when I was assigned to a platoon over there Sgt. Hanks was my platoon Sgt.. again , it was a pleasant surprise to see some one Iknew.This was in mid January 1952 I cannot recall the exact date. According to the Army the War had wound down but in our sector no one knew that. We were contacting the Chinese almost daily, by going out on Patrols probing from one to three miles into their territory with much of the action on and around O.P. Kelly. By February 4th we had been on several of these patrols with some but not a lot of casualties. Sgt.. Hanks was a good leader and all the men liked him he took his turn in the lead squadwhich he did not need to do so often as he did, he was a brave man.The night of Feb. 4th. 1952 we had orders to retake O.P. Kelly , which the Chinese had taken the day before . we were perhaps 50 feet from the top when the Chinese started throwing grenades, firing all kinds of weapons etc.. at us there was also shells and mortars directed at the hill, which were falling on both them and us.Our Lt.. ,and several men were hitI think 5 or 6 men killed. one of these was Sgt.. Hanks.Sgt.. Hanks gave the order to get back down the hill to regroup and then went back to get Lt.. Sittler, this is when he was killed, ,we brought all of the men back with us as we pulled backbut Sgt.. Hanks was one of the K.I.A.s. After 50 years hardly a day goes by that I don't think of him and many others,Until the Internet came along I knew of no way to become in touch with anyone as I only knew him as Sgt..Hanks with no address or first name but he was a brave and fine man who cared about his men."
Randy Willis www.randywillis.org email@example.com