Treacy, Edgar J. [Col CO 3Bn5thCR]

The 3/5: Commanded by West Pointer (1935) Edgar J. Treacy, thirty-six, this battalion had been the 3d Battalion of the 14th Infantry Regiment at Camp Carson, Colorado. Treacy, a combat intelligence expert in the ETO and Southwest Pacific, had not before led troops in combat; but his battalion was full-strength (900 men) and it had been trained in mountain climbing and cross-country skiing. Its men were thus in excellent physical condition.[9-54]

In contrast, Marcel Crombez resented the arrival of Edgar J. Treacy in the 5th CR. During World War II Treacy, a handsome, bright Army "comer," had become a protégé of XIV Corps commander Oscar W. Griswold and was promoted to full colonel  on a par with Crombez, who was ten years his senior. As such  the story went  Crombez and Treacy had crossed swords someplace. One account had it that Treacy had served on a board which had recommended Crombez's reduction in rank to lieutenant colonel after the war. Whether this was the case, or whether, as others in the 3/5 analyzed it, Crombez was "jealous" of Treacy's high Army connections and "command presence" and obvious bright future, there was an instant personality clash between Crombez and Treacy which would lead to extreme difficulties for the 3/5 and ultimately, some would charge, to Treacy's death. The S3 of the 1/5, James M. Gibson, remembered: "The Third Battalion hated Crombez and vice versa."[9-58]

Birth:  Jan. 10, 1914
Nassau County
New York, USA
Death:  May 31, 1951, North Korea

West Point Class of 1935, Colonel Treacy was a decorated veteran of World War II. In Korea he commanded the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. He was taken as prisoner of war while rescuing a comrade near Chipyong on February 15, 1951 and died on May 31, 1951 of malnutrition. His remains were not recovered. For his leadership and valor, Colonel Treacy was awarded the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

After so long in a combat zone, soldiers were allowed to take a break called Rest and Recuperation (R&R). I was third in line to go on R&R when on 15 February 1951, my company became a part of Task Force Crombez and was sent to the aid of the 23d RCT. Crombez was Col. Marcel Crombez, West Point 1925, Regimental Commander of the 5th Cavalry. The 23rd Regiment, along with the French, were trapped at Chipyong-ni, so we were put on top of 24 tanks and sent to rescue them. Col. Edgar Treacy Jr., West Point 1935, 3rd Battalion Commander, and Capt. John C. Barrett did not want to put their men on the tanks because it would make targets out of us, which did happen.

En route, we were riding our tanks when we came under fire from all sides. S/Sgt. John Sollie was killed that day. He had been my buddy from the beginning to the end. The two of us shared a foxhole (a bunker would have been safer, but we were never in one), made jokes, and sang songs like "Maresedotes." John was killed and I was shot in the left knee. The tanks stopped and I got off to find cover (there was none) and to return fire, but I wasn't of much use. I had no mobility. Lt. Colonel Treacy, who had been shot in the mouth, carried me on his back to about 15 feet off the road. He also gave me his first aid pouch. The tanks bugged out, leaving eight or nine wounded behind.

Once off the road, about 15 Chinese swarmed in on us and we were all captured. Because I was shot in the knee and couldn't walk, Colonel Treacy carried me. We were taken to a wooden building (like a gazebo) with no walls and no furnishings. It was one big room in an open area close to the top of a hill. That was the area where all of us were before they took two men away. I don't know who the one man was taken from our group--I just remember that he was very tall. We never saw him again. He was probably shot. The other man taken away that night was Colonel Treacy. I learned years later that he died in a POW Camp on 31 May 1951 of malnutrition. He remains my strongest memory of Korea. Had it not been for him, I would have been murdered like the six that were with me who were shot in the head. I was next, but I put on a first class show of hysteria, not all of it simulated. I had heard that the Chinese believed if you were insane, they thought you were worse off than if dead and they left you alone.
From the memoir of Carroll Gifford Everist
Mulvane, Kansas-

Korean War Veteran of the United States Army
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Died while a Prisoner of War, North Korea
Created by: Eamonn
Record added: Apr 01, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13814796