Gerald Land

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Gerald Jake Land Sr. (82) was born in Bay Shore, Long Island, NY. He was a volunteer firefighter in the Smithtown fire department, as well as was working with a landscape company before he was drafted. He arrived in Incheon with the 40th infantry division, 224th infantry regiment, and was stationed in the front lines of Heartbreak Ridge as a part of the Howell Company of heavy weapons, as well as the Punchbowl area. He both entered and was discharged as a PFC. His specialty was driving a military jeep with a “105” Recorlis Rifle that was mounted on the rear end of the Jeep. He had to drive the vehicle to the highest point of the ridge to fire. He was also assigned to a 50-caliber and 30-caliber Browning machine gun on an outpost in Kumwa Valley. Gerald was awarded the CIB, The Korean Service award, Good Conduct, and UN Service medal for his commitments. He left Korea after the ceasefire of September 1953, and says that he went home to Long Island to surprise his folks that he was home. After being discharged in 1954, he married his first wife and got a job with his father in law. The most memorable experience of the war for him was the “Cease fire,” which he says with quotation marks. What impacted him most was “being able to help Korean people” and helping them “keep the ‘Commies’ out of their country.” His hobbies now include weight lifting, collecting de-cast fire tricks, photo taking of fire scenes, feeding birds, being with his new wife.

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