Edward L. McCall (1950/07/14)
McCall was the first Pajaro Valley combat death to occur in the Korean War.
Edward Leonard McCall was born in Seminole, Oklahoma, in 1929, to Edward and Opal McCall. At an early age his mother married Willis Troutt, a railroad fireman and the family moved to Campbell, California, where he and his brother James attended school. The Troutt family later moved to Watsonville.
Edward McCall enlisted in the US army in 1948. After completing basic training at Fort Ord, he was sent to Japan where he joined the 24th Infantry Division. McCall was promoted to corporal and assigned as a truck driver for the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion.
When the Korean War began in June 1950, Edward's unit was sent to South Korea with the initial US contingent. During the UN retreat to Taejon in July 1950, the 63rd FA came under intense attack by the North Korean 16th Regiment at the Kum River.
McCall's unit history chronicles the final period in his life :
“Enemy reconnaissance obviously had located the support artillery and had bypassed the river line rifle companies to strike at it and the line of communications running to the rear. Now came enemy mortar fire. The first shell hit Headquarters Battery switchboard and destroyed telephone communication to the other batteries. In rapid succession mortar shells hit among personnel of the medical section, on the command post, and then on the radio truck. With the loss of the radio truck all means of electrical communication vanished. An ammunition truck was also hit, and exploding shells in it caused further confusion in Headquarters Battery ... [The] enemy machine guns put bands of fire across both the front and the back doors of the building, which held the Fire Direction Center. The men caught inside escaped to a dugout, crawled up a ravine, and made their way south toward Service Battery. In the excitement of the moment, apparently no one saw Major Dressler. More than two and a half years later his remains and those of Cpl. Edward L. McCall were found together in a common foxhole at the site.”
The remains of Edward L. McCall were identified and returned to the United States where they were interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri in March 1953. His awards include the Purple Heart awarded posthumously.
(NARAK; ABMC, WRP July 22, 1950 1:2, March 4, 1953 1:8, March? 1953, May 15, 1953 2:5; 24th Div WD, Disaster at the Kum River Line, Pg. 127 http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/korea/20-2-1/sn10.htm, [16 September 2008])