Check, Gilbert J. [LtCol 1stBn27thIR]


biography   biography

Lt. Col. Check Is Awarded Silver Star

Lt. Col. Gilbert J. Check, USA, only living son of Mr. and Mrs. John Check, 827 D Ave., has been, awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, his parents learned recently. The citation in part is as follows: “At about 1000 hours, 24 July 1950, near Sangn-Yong, Korea, the 1st Battalion was attacked by an overwhelmingly superior number of enemy infantry and tanks which penetrated the lines and fired on the battalion command post from the rear. “Although his unit was untried in combat, Lt. Col Check, by his steadfastness, calm direction of operations and outstanding personal example of courage in the face of enemy fire, inspired his men to repel the three-hour attack, inflict heavy casualties on the enemy and maintain the battalion position.”

Two other sons, Lt. Comdr. Leonard J. Check and Capt. L. Check, died fighting for their country in the last war. Leonard, 'skipper of a squadron of Grumman F6F Hellcats, was lost in the Pacific in January 1944. Raymond, pilot of a Flying Fortress, was killed over France six months before, on what was to have been his last mission completing his operational tour.

Mrs. Gilbert Check and daughter Befhel Ann, 9, live in Osaka, Japan. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Check, have lived here for the past four years.


He [Lt. Col. Gilbert J. Check] took up defensive positions in the evening near the village of Sangyong-ni, south of Poŭn. The battalion assumed responsibility for that sector at 1700 after ROK troops fell back through its position.

August 2, 1950


August 3, 1950

The town of Chindong-ni, where Colonel Michaelis had his command post, lies astride the south coastal road at a point where mountain spurs from the north come down to meet the sea. High finger ridges end at the northern edge of the town, one on either side of the dirt road from Chindong-ni via Haman and Kŏmam-ni to the Nam River. The ridge on the east side of this north-south road terminates in a high, steep bluff at the northeast edge of Chindong-ni. The 27th Infantry regimental command post was in a schoolhouse under the brow of this bluff.

In the school courtyard a battery of 155-mm. howitzers (A Battery, 11th Field Artillery Battalion) had emplaced. Close by was the 8th Field Artillery Battalion . Colonel Check's tired 1st Battalion and the attached four medium tanks had bivouacked there at midnight.

It was a stroke of the greatest good fortune for  Colonel Michaelis and the 27th Infantry Regimental headquarters that Colonel Check and his 1st Battalion had returned to Chindong-ni during the night. The next morning, 3 August, just after the regimental staff had finished breakfast in the schoolhouse command post, a sudden fusillade of small arms fire hit the building and came through the open windows. [14-31] This first enemy fire came from the top of the bluff above the schoolhouse. It heralded an enemy attack which came as a complete surprise.

September 5, 1950

At the time of this enemy infiltration, a white officer and from 35 to 40 Negro soldiers left their position south of Haman at a roadblock and fled to the rear until they reached Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, command post a mile and a half away. There, at 0500 this officer said 2,000 North Koreans had overrun his position and others near Haman, including the 24th Regiment command post. Check reported this story to General Kean, and then sent a platoon of tanks with a platoon of infantry toward Haman to find out what had happened. Some of his officers, meanwhile, had stopped about 220 soldiers streaming to the rear. Colonel Check ordered these men to follow his tank and infantry patrol back into Haman. Some of them did so only when threatened with a gun. The tank-led column entered Haman unopposed, where they found the 24th Regiment command post intact and everything quiet. [24-66]