Edmund Richard Mech

Edmund (“Eddie”/”Ed”) Richard Mech was drafted into the United States Army on July 5, 1951. He left his home in Chicago, Illinois, shortly after, bound for Camp Chaffee Arkansas. At Camp Chaffee, he went through basic training with the 5th Armored Division from July 23, 1951, to November 10, 1951. During this short time a Camp Chaffee Arkansas, Eddie met a girl who worked in Fort Smith, Arkansas, at the local diner. The two kept in touch, writing letters back and forth while he was away on active duty.
After completing basic training course No. 6-600-1, Eddie boarded a train destined for Seattle, Washington. From there, he, along with his unit, boarded a ship bound for Japan. The trip took twenty-seven days, many in rough seas. While in Japan, he earned a Medical Aid-man degree on March 22, 1952, from the Far East Medical Service Specialist School. He served in the Ambulance Company of the 120th Medical Battalion.
While in Korea, Eddie spent much of his time evacuating wounded from the front lines along the 38th Parallel. While on duty one evening, Eddie and his company were taking fire from the enemy. Eddie threw a hand grenade into an enemy “pill box”, eliminating the threat. He earned the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star for this act. He also earned the Combat Medical Badge. Eddie left Korea, however, before ever physically receiving his Bronze Service Star. Since then, records at Camp Chaffee were destroyed in a fire, and he still has not received his medal.
Edmund Richard Mech was honorably discharged on June 8, 1953, at Ft Lewis, Washington. He immediately returned to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to find the girl he met during basic training. By chance, Eddie was standing on the street in Fort Smith just at the time Jerry, the girl he met during basic training, was driving by with her sister and cousin. They saw him and told him to jump in the car with them. Eddie tossed his bags in the car and drove off with the group.
Twelve days later on June 22, 1952, Edmund Richard Mech and Jerry Lee Hartman were married. As of this writing, April 7, 2021, Eddie and Jerry have been married for 69 years and reside in Valparaiso, IN. They have six children, thirteen grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.

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May 16, 2021 11:04 pm
Barry Hayes
Such a thorough and interesting profile, particularly about the 'enemy pillbox'.
May 01, 2021 02:55 pm
Mary Huffman
Thank you so much for creating a profile on Edmund Richard Mech. I can feel your pride and excitement about Mech's service in the Korean War. I love it! I also love all the pictures that you included in your profile, but my favorite is the picture toward the bottom of your profile of Mech with his friends in Korea. I can tell that they are so proud of their service and I feel blessed to have learned so much about Mech!

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Edmund Richard Mech - Ambulance Driver

Cpl. Ed Mech poses on the hood of a U.S. Army ambulance. Mech was an ambulance driver in the Korean War.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - "Mad Mile Road"

Cpl. Ed Mech poses in front of a sign marking “Mad Mile Road”, the route to the front line in the Korean War.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Christmas Card

Ed Mech kept this Christmas card from the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division. It was given to him in Korea in 1952.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Drawn Portrait

Ed Mech shows a drawing of himself as a soldier during the Korean War. A Korean man in Seoul drew the portrait.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Service Photo

This photo of Cpl. Ed Mech dates back to his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Base Camp

A view of the base camp in Korea with trenches branching out from the base.

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Certificate of Service

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Graduation

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Military and Medical Certificates

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Edmund Richard Mech - Korea

-- Cpl. Ed Mech's Son - Rick Mech

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Korean War - Key Events

January 12, 1950

In a speech to the National Press Club, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson outlines a U.S. Pacific defense posture that includes Japan and the Philippines but does not explicitly include Korea. In fact, he states that, “so far as the military security of other areas in the Pacific is concerned, it must be clear that no person can guarantee these areas against military attack.”

These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica

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