The Rooster Crows – September 25, 2020

By Bill Anderson

Back on Monday, September 14, Dick Meyers of this community reported that on Saturday, September 12, he had raised a glass and drunk a toast to the memory of LT George Rammer, USMC, a solemn ritual that he has observed, faithfully, every September 12th since 1951. Back on September 12, 1951, Dick had been a 19-year-old machine gunner serving with Company I, then called “Item” Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, in the Republic of Korea. American and United Nations forces in Korea had been advancing northward, pushing the Chinese Army off one objective after another until a particularly nasty piece of terrain called “The Punchbowl” was reached. Here the Chinese made a stand. The Punchbowl consisted of a low basin surrounded by rugged mountain ridges and peaks, and the Chinese held the high ground. The Marines had been assigned the mission of capturing The Punchbowl and of forcing Chinese forces to either retreat or die trying. On September 12, 1951, 2nd Platoon of Item Company was the tip of the spear, assigned to lead the assault, and LT George Rammer was 2nd Platoon’s Commander. Lt Rammer was a Navy veteran of World War II, Dick recalled, but when the Korean War broke out in June of 1950 he had volunteered for service with the Marines, had earned a Lieutenant’s commission and had been assigned as a Rifle Platoon Commander with Item Company. LT Rammer led 2nd Platoon, Item Company, the 2nd Battalion, the 7th Regiment and, ultimately the entire 1st Marine Division in the assault on the key position needed to capture The Punchbowl. Dick said that when he last saw the Lieutenant on that violent day, September 12, 1951, “…he was moving up the hill, not down; forward, not back.” With LT Rammer’s courageous leadership, the Marines carried the crest, carried the day, won the battle, and captured their objective, but LT Rammer was killed in action before the fighting was done that day. He was later posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty. Sometime earlier, another young man well known in this community, Dean “Bobby” Paulson, also serving with the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment, had been seriously wounded in action against the Chinese. Bob was the grandson of the late Hans & Lena Brown of Rutland, and Dick and Bob had been boyhood friends in Rutland. Dick had helped carry Bob to the Aid Station where he was set to the side under the triage system for treating the wounded, as he was not expected to recover. Bob did beat the odds, though, and he did recover, although he carried Chinese shrapnel in his body, and the scars of war both inside and out for the rest of his life. Dick himself was later wounded in action, recovered from his wound, and returned to duty with the Marines until the completion of his enlistment. Back in 1951, George Rammer was in his mid-20’s, and Dick Meyers & Bob Paulson were both 19 years old. There are some people in this country who describe men like George Rammer, Bobby Paulson, and Dick Meyers as “suckers” and “losers,” but here, in Rutland, we call them friends, family and American Heroes. Thank you for your service to our country and our community, Dick. We are proud that you are one of ours, one of us. Semper Fidelis, Marine!

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