Purple Heart Parade



The 5th Marines was detached from the 24th Division's operational control on the twentieth. The Marine Brigade then returned to a reserve position in the agricultural flatland near Masan known as the "Bean Patch." Accolades soon came pouring in from the 24th Division commander and Eighth Army headquarters.

South Korean president Syngman Rhee visited the 1st Brigade on 29 August. Eighty-seven Marines were decorated in what was commonly called the "Purple Heart Parade." In a moving speech, Rhee promised that each member of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade would receive a special decoration, then declared: "You have brought us victory when all we had known was defeat." But the official proclamations were not nearly as important to the morale of most of the assembled Marines as the hot chow, refreshing cold baths, and the opportunity to catch up on much needed sleep that they enjoyed during this break from frontline duty. Replacements, most of them volunteers from units already in the Far East, filled spaces left by the casualties. Unfortunately, plans to release the regiment to its parent 1st Marine Division, which had just arrived in Japan, had to be shelved when the NKPA once again crossed the Naktong.