Harvey F. Levine (1952/11/02)
"Mom, I might as well give you the straight scoop on things so that if you do worry it will be for something," Harvey wrote to his mother.
Harvey Franklin Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 30, 1932, to Charles and Rose Levine. In 1947 the Levine family, which also included sons Arnold and Saul, moved to Santa Cruz where Charles had opened the Arnold's Surf Court Motel. Harvey enrolled in Santa Cruz High School and soon had acquired the nickname "Brooklyn" from his fellow students. While in high school, Harvey performed well academically, played on the lightweight football team and became a popular cheerleader. After graduating from high school in 1950, he enrolled in the College of the Pacific in Stockton and remained there until April 1951, when he enlisted in the US Marine Corps.
After completing basic and school-of-infantry training at Camp Pendleton, Private Levine was shipped to Korea in December 1951, where he joined Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. After his arrival, Harvey Levine was immediately thrust into combat and fought at the Hwachon Reservoir. During the Chinese spring offensive, Harvey Levine earned a Bronze Star.
In a letter to his family in October Levine shared his impressions of the conditions at the front:
“October 31, 1952
Dear Mom and Dad:
I guess that I can start calling myself a short timer now that the 15th draft has been relieved of duty and is due to leave Korea in about five days. That gives me anywhere from 30 days down to about 20 days left, its all up to which rumor you want to believe.
Mom, I might as well give you the straight scoop on things so that if you do worry it will be for something.
I have been back in Able company since last August and have been on the line since September 6, steady. You have probably read of The Hook, and of Warsaw where the fighting has been going on.
Well, Mom, you can thank God that I'm alive cause the whole machine gun section and third platoon that was on Warsaw was killed. We still haven't found all the bodies, so we have 'em down as missing. They left three 16th drafters behind because we were so short, but when it hit the fan, we went up and took back the Hook and Ransom. We are still on the line, even though it has quieted down and we got out looking for bodies. No one knows how many men were killed or missing so many were buried under, and have to be dug out. Able company and Charley company have joined together to make one company and together we are still under strength.
The Scotch "Black Watch" is coming up in a couple of days to relieve us. Someone has to. The regiment has been on the line for 60 days with no reserve time and tax on casualties.
But I'm still all right. I had a little concussion, but not enough to bother me or to cause me to turn in, not when you seen men ripped in half by 76's or mortars. They sure throw a lot of Chinks at us.
All for now. By the time you get this we ought to be in the rear.
On November 2, 1952, while fighting in an area of Korea known as The Hook and Warsaw, Private First Class Harvey Franklin Levine was killed in action by an incoming mortar round. His remains were initially buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno but were later moved to the Home of Peace Cemetery in Santa Cruz. In addition to the Bronze Star his awards include the Purple Heart.
(ABMC; USDVA; Baker-one-seven.com 7th Marine Regiment History, http://www.bakeroneseven.com/7thregiment.htm [16 September 2008], SCSn November 9, 1952, January 2, 1953 1, December 26, 1952 1:4)