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Local Veterans Recall Korean War 64 Years Later

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Jack Holland, left, of Spring Valley Lake, and Bob Ginn, right, of Apple Valley, are Korean War veterans who served through the armistice, which was signed July 27, 1953. The two veterans recently met for the first time. (courtesy photo)

Op-ed / Column by Robert A. Lovingood:

With the anniversary of the Korean War Armistice on July 27, I wanted to share a story with you. In 1950 during the Korean War, my father-in-law, Bob Ginn, saw heavy combat in an Army artillery unit. As enemy troops amassed, American fighter-bombers would come to the rescue and take out the enemy. Bob says he owes his life to those pilots.

A family friend, Jack Holland, was a Marine Corps dive bomber pilot in Korea and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for a low-level mission to defend American ground forces. While Jack did not participate in the missions that protected Bob’s unit, these two local heroes do have a common bond. And for the first time, they met recently.

For Bob, it was a chance to meet with a pilot who saved units like his. For Jack, it was a chance to meet a soldier who fought bravely and endured the unimaginable as a Prisoner of War for 33 months.

“We’d already pushed to the Yalu River, that’s as far as you could go (in North Korea) you know,” Bob said. “The Chinese were sitting on the border with 400,000 soldiers amassed. They told the U.S. if you go across the 38th Parallel, ‘We’re coming in.’ And we went all the way to the Yalu River. And here they come. Seven-teen thousand of us as a spearhead, and here come, at least at the start probably150,000 Chinese. We had to travel by the roads but they just boxed us in. We couldn’t get no ammo, cut off our food supply and we were just sitting there, trying to get out. They just came in on us, we couldn’t do nothing.”

Bob was riding in a truck, manning a ring-mounted machinegun.

“I was firing this sucker and the Chinese was coming in. They were out there like flies. They were coming in on us, and my machinegun froze up. I’m trying to get it lose, and all of a sudden I feel something land in the floorboard of the truck and I started to jump. It was a concussion grenade … And it went off and put me out on the ground about 10 feet.”

Bob said he felt a stinging sensation all over his body but he wasn’t hurt. He linked up with three other Americans before being surrounded by enemy troops. There was no choice but to surrender.

“There were a thousand of us marching after we got captured,” Bob recalled. “They said 30 percent of them died, froze to death. It was 30 or 40 degrees below zero. They used to put us in houses in the daytime because the planes were so thick. They’d march us all night and put us in these houses in the daytime so the planes wouldn’t get us, because they didn’t know who we were.”

Freezing temperatures, dysentery, beriberi and starvation took their toll. Bob wasted away from 225 pounds when he was captured to 90 pounds when he was released in August, 1953.

Bob and Jack are amazing, humble men. We are fortunate to have them and countless others just like them in our community and across our country. With summer upon us, I hope you will take time to talk with the veterans in your family or pay a visit to one of the area veterans homes. Capture their stories and let them know you appreciate their service and their sacrifice.

Have a news tip or story idea? We'd love to hear from you! Call (760)998-1598 or email News@vvng.com

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Motorcyclist airlifted after crash on Pawnee Rd and Highway 18 in Apple Valley

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A motorcyclist was critically injured in a Tuesday night crash on Highway 18. (Hugo C. Mary's Valdez, VVNG.com)
A motorcyclist was critically injured in a Tuesday night crash on Highway 18. (Hugo C. Mary's Valdez, VVNG.com)

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A motorcycle rider was airlifted following a crash Tuesday in Apple Valley.

It happened at the intersection of Pawnee Road and Highway 18 at 7:35 p.m. and involved a minivan and black 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

When firefighters from the Apple Valley Fire Protection District arrived on scene they requested one airship to land at St. Mary’s Medical Center for the motorcycle rider, who sustained major injuries. Witnesses reported the rider suffered a serious leg injury.

The rider was subsequently airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, and a second ground ambulance was requested to the scene.

Westbound lanes of Highway 18 at Pawnee Ridge were shut down as authorities investigated the crash. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

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Downed Power Lines Blocking Arrowhead Lake Rd in Hesperia

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HESPERIA, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Downed power lines are blocking a stretch of busy Arrowhead Lake Road near Randall Road in Hesperia.

At about 5:22 PM on August 11th San Bernardino County Fire responded to the scene and located the snapped utility pole with low hanging high-tension wires across the roadway. Firefighters requested law enforcement to expedite to the scene and shut down the roadway

Southern California Edison will respond to complete the repairs and at this time it’s unknown how long the roadway will remain closed for. According to CHP incident logs, officials are providing traffic control.

Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

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Rollover crash in Hesperia shuts down 15 freeway Tuesday, 2 airlifted

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HESPERIA, Calif.(VVNG.com) — Traffic along the northbound I-15 freeway remains jammed after it was briefly shutdown to land two helicopters Tuesday.

It was reported at 11:53 a.m. on August 11, 2020, about a mile before Main Street in Hesperia.

For reasons still unknown, the four-door sedan rolled over and landed on it’s roof in a drainage ditch along the right shoulder of the freeway.

San Bernardino County Fire responded to the incident and located two people with critical injuries inside the tan colored vehicle.

Firefighters requested that the California Highway Patrol shut down traffic in order to allow the two helicopters to land on the freeway.

A Mercy Air helicopter landed first followed by a Reach helicopter and both occupants were airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

The Victorville CHP is handling the investigation and anyone with information is asked to call 760-241-1186.

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