The Bible that probably saved Cpl Jesse B Holcomb’s life on a hill near the Wachon reservoir in Korea followed the three-times wounded Marine home to Grand Rapids – a torn and worn little volume, but his most precious possession.
He arrived in San Francisco two weeks ago and is now spending a 30-day leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James B Holcomb at 305 Baynton, Av, NE.
Gift From Chaplain
The Bible was given to him by a chaplain at a South Carolina camp a year ago and went with him to Korea last January.
The young Marine, wounded the first time in his hip by shrapnel April 23, said a hand grenade exploded about three feet to his left when his unit was taking a hill near Wachon. He was wounded in a leg and side, but not until the following day when he was taken to Wonju Hospital did he find out that the Bible he carried in the left pocket of his jacket probably saved his life. A piece of shrapnel had ripped the cover and pierced halfway through the book.
“At first I just laughed,” he said. “I looked and looked at it and thought how lucky I was. And I am going to keep that Bible forever.”
Back Into Action
The Bible went with him when he went back into action 11 days later. His luck lasted till June 15 when a tank he was riding on struck a land mine. The tank was destroyed but Holcomb escaped with punctured eardrums and a slight head injury.
Cpl Holcomb thinks he has seen about enough of Korea. When his leave is over, he will serve as an instructor at the Quantico, Va, Marine base. He hopes that 35 months from now he will be able to “get out of the uniform and go back to work.” Then he might very well return to his old job with Grand Rapids Metalcraft.
IT PROBABLY SAVE A Life – Cpl. Jess Holcomb, 20 of Grand Rapids, is convinced that a small Bible can be as useful as heavy armor in war. The New Testament, in his hand, given, to him by a chaplain. stopped a shrapnel piece that otherwise would have entered his heart.
I found this article amazing, and I wanted to share it when my readers, and as always, I love to pass on knowledge. With that being said, I have added some details to the article.
The first paragraph talks about the Wachon reservoir, which is Hwacheon Dam today, and as you can see it is a very hilly and mountainous area, so Jess could have been wounded anywhere in that area.
Grand Rapids is Grand Rapids Michigan, and his parents live there as well.
The South Carolina camp was very likely Parris Island.
I cleaned up the image from the article and colorized it while I had it open in Photoshop.