Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, died Aug. 10, 2019, after being engaged by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations. (Marine Corps)
Thank you for your service and sacrifice Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer.
There’s a good article about him in the Marine Corps Times. “He served and led Marine commandos for nearly a decade while earning two Bronze Stars for heroism in Afghanistan and in combat against Islamic State fighters in the Middle East.”
For the August 10th remembrance I found Sid Phillips oral history (video below) and also the heartbreaking story of two men who “were both from Massachusetts—Pomroy from Danvers and Mangin from Pittsfield”. The two men went through boot camp together and, as luck would have it, were both assigned to the same company as machine gunners. The men were inseparable, one usually not found without the other close by.” So much of what I read in this article is heart wrenching but our Warriors did not quit “the young Marines, and soon their Army comrades, were weakened to the state of collapse physically but never mentally.” The rest of the story is in the link below.
August 10: Guadalcanal: Marines go on 2/3rds rations
“For the infantryman, the campaign on Guadalcanal was synonymous with misery. The Americans who had the misfortune to serve on the island, particularly from August through October 1942, were denied the very basics of living as we know it. Those ashore faced a constant day-to-day battle of life and death. Death could wear many faces on Guadalcanal. A man could be weakened by tropical disease and malnutrition just as easily as being killed by enemy fire.”
August 11: First use of “SOS”; SS Arapahoe; off Cape Hatteras
On August 11, 1909, off the coast of Cape Hatteras, telegraph operator Theodore Haubner called for help from the steamship, S. S. Arapahoe. He was momentarily confused because a new telegraph code “SOS” had recently been ratified by the Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conference to replace the old “CDQ”, and he wondered which signal he should send. He sent both.
August 12: Battle of Asomante
“The American cavalry pursued the soldiers that had retreated from Coamo, but were not able to reach them until the units had entered Aibonito Pass, a region more commonly known as Asomante.”
August 13: Okinawa USS ‘La Grange’ (APA-124) is the last ship hit by a kamikaze in World War 11
This next story is also told by a World War 11 Veteran who was there and recalls the hit with many details. I’m so grateful for those who’ve asked for the stories and recorded them and for the Veterans willingness to share them with us.
“We were just sitting there visiting, looked out across (the bay) and here come two Jap Zeros, flying just above the waterline. From where we were sitting, it looked like they going right between our legs. I said the quickest prayer I’ve ever said in my life, and a couple of seconds later, Wham! “I can still remember floating through the air from the concussion.”
Sometimes its easy to forget in the day to day busyness of our lives, that there are those who are serving in our Military who are deployed to different areas of the world doing the hard and dangerous things to protect America. So many, like Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer did this past week, have given all. While RED takes a weekly spot on Fridays at The Heartbeat, it should carry you through the week to remember and to pray daily for our deployed and their families.