Biography

Blair, Melvin E.
[LtCol CO 3Bn24thIR]

 

September 5, 1950

Both the 2/24 and the 3/24 had several temporary commanders during the next several weeks, until Corley settled on two men with World War II combat experience: George A. Clayton, thirty-three, for the 2/24, and Melvin R. Blair, thirty-four, for the 3/24. Blair seemed a fitting prospect to fill Corley's big shoes in the 3/24. He had won a DSC and a Purple Heart and other awards fighting with Merrill's Marauders in the Burma jungles in World War II.[9-19]

November xx, 1950

At Hamch'ang, Col. Henry G. Fisher, commanding the 35th Infantry, received early that morning an erroneous message that the North Koreans had driven the 3d Battalion, 24th Infantry from Yech'ŏn.

He started for the place at once. He found the battalion commander [Lt. Col. Melvin E. Blair] about five miles west of the town, but was dissatisfied with the information that he received from him.

November 30, 1950

On November 30, the 3/24th was at Kunu-ri, on the division's open right flank, with Chinese troops behind it. With the help of air support, the battalion extricated itself, losing one soldier killed, 30 wounded and 109 missing. Overall, the 24th Infantry lost one-fifth of its officers and one-third of its enlisted men in the withdrawal across the Chongchon.

Colonel Corley blamed the disarray of the 3rd Battalion on its commander, Lt. Col. Melvin E. Blair, whom he summarily relieved.