Friday, January 26, 2018

Master Sergeant Samuel E. Scott

If ever there was a “typical” background for the first batch of young U.S. Army soldiers committed to Korea in July 1950, Master Sergeant Samuel Edward Scott fit that profile.  Known back home as “Sammie,” he was the fifth of six children born (as of 1930) to Sam and Emma Scott of Weakley County, Tennessee.  When little Sammie was born in 1924, his father, a farmer, was age 51. His mother was 36.  The Great Depression undoubtedly wore on the Scott family; both of Sammie’s parents were dead before 1950. Young Samuel Scott came of age just in time to enlist in the Army for service in World War II.  He earned a Purple Heart medal for wounds received in the European Theater of operations.
Scott was one of many enlisted reservists hurriedly recalled to active duty after the outbreak of war in Korea.  He returned at the rank of Master Sergeant with a military occupational specialty (MOS) of rifleman - exactly the sort of duty that was consuming lives faster than the Army could provide replacements.
There are no records indicating when MSG Scott arrived in Korea, but it must have been before September 1, 1950. He was one of the survivors of the 34th Infantry Regiment, which had been ruthlessly mauled during July and August.  Like PVT Philip Hughes, MSG Scott was relegated to King Company of the 19th Infantry Regiment after the 34th was disbanded on September 1.
Also like Philip Hughes, Samuel Scott would serve with the 19th only for a matter of days before his luck ran out.  On Saturday, September 9, 1950, MSG Scott was killed by North Korean forces encroaching on Hill 300, located on the western side of South Korea’s Hyongsan Valley, just north of Kyongju.
The Western Union telegram announcing his death was sent to his older sister.
Slowly, over time, photos of PVT Philip Hughes’s brothers-in-arms are showing up on line.  MSG Scott was my latest discovery.

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