Friday, April 27, 2018

The Determination of Marguerite Higgins

1950.  Korea.  Marguerite Higgins (1920-1966) did not fit the mold of a "war correspondent," that is, a non-combatant who covers war from the front line, armed with little more than a notebook and a pen.  But this is what Maggie did as she witnessed the first weeks of Korean War action on behalf of the New York Herald Tribune.  Hardly a novice, Maggie had already gained journalistic experience in Europe during World War II.  Still, she was petite, or dare I say it, "cute" - an attribute that almost precluded her access to the battlefield. Through sheer grit and determination, she was able to accompany the leading elements of the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division's initial foray into Korea.  She was in the vicinity of Pvt. Philip Hughes and the other wide-eyed American teenagers who encountered North Korean T-34 tanks for the first time near P'yongt'aek on July 6. Maggie suffered not only poor accommodations (fleas, lice and abysmal sanitation), but on a couple of occasions found herself under enemy fire.  Maggie Higgins recounted her Korean War experience in a book entitled "War in Korea: The Report of a Woman Combat Correspondent."

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