Orville D. Musick (1951/02/06)

"Aromas GI's Body Returned," noted the news article; the tug of his roots pulled him home to Iowa.

Orville D. Musick was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1930. His mother's name Gertrude.. While living in Des Moines, the family expanded to include sons Russell, Clifford, William and James and a daughter, Joyce. Sometime during the 1940s, Gertrude moved to Aromas, California, with her sons Orville, William and James. While in the area, she married A. B. Ellison, and Orville acquired two stepbrothers, Robert and Lawrence Ellison. After completing elementary school, Orville enrolled in Salinas High School.

About 1948 Orville Musick enlisted in the US Army. After finishing basic and advanced training, Private Musick became a member of the L Company, 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division serving in Japan. Over the next two years he rose to the rank of sergeant.

When South Korea was invaded in June 1950, the 21st Infantry Regiment was dispatched to Pusan on July 1-2 1950. Throughout July his division was virtually decimated by the North Koreans at Osan, Cho'nan, Choch'iwon, the Kum River and Taejon. Orville's regiment and the remainder of the division then were regrouped and assigned to the defense of the Naktong Perimeter. For his service during the perimeter defense, breakout and the invasion of North, Korea Musick was awarded the Bronze Star.

When his division advanced into North Korea in the fall of 1950 and reached a point eighteen miles from the Yalu River, they came under heavy attack by the Chinese Army. Over the next two months Musick's regiment was forced to withdraw to the south. On February 6, 1951, his company found itself fighting in the Chonyang area of South Korea. The log of his first sergeant, Howard R. Lumsden, records the final day in the life of Orville Musick.
“6 Feb 51 Company began receiving small arms & mortar fire 2130 hrs 5 Feb 51 followed by attempt of enemy to infiltrate. All attacks repulsed until heavy attack supported by automatic weapons & mortar fire forced company to withdraw 0430 hrs 6 Feb 51. Company counter attacked at 0900 hrs & 1030 hrs repulsed by heavy enemy fire Reorganization & counter attacking 1230 hrs supported by heavy FA & mortar fire Company regained positions. Enemy withdrew leaving 50 dead.”

Listed among the dead on Sergeant Lumsden's log was the name of Sergeant Orville D. Musick.

On August 21,1951, the transport Provo Victory arrived in San Francisco with 502 bodies of Americans who had lost their lives in Korea. Among them was that of Orville Musick. His remains were sent on to Des Moines, Iowa for burial in his hometown. In addition to the Bronze Star, he was awarded the Purple Heart.

(ABMC; NARAK; Korean War Almanac Pg. 181-182, WRP November 13, 1950 2:6, August 28, 1951 1:7; Lum's Little Black Book, Morning Report Extract by Jim Fine, http://www. lovecompany.org/extracts.htm, [16 September 2008])

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1950s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-MUSICK


Nelson, Robert L. “Orville D. Musick (1951/02/06).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/4783. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.