'Operation Longhorn' Action
Private Robert Borror, former Knightstown high school basketball star and presently with the U.S. Army Paratroopers, was among those who participated in the recent Operation Longhorn which has been receiving publicity from Texas.
He has written several interesting letters to his mother and step-father,
Mr. and Mrs. Glen Mattix, about his experiences in this operation and The Banner publishes excerpts from the letters as follows:
April 8 1952
Dear Mom and Pop:
Well we jumped as planned this morning even though it was too windy. There was a lot of Injuries and all three jeeps in our company alone got smashed. Our platoon sergeant hurt his ankle enough that
he could hardly walk on it and the first sergeant was taken away with a possible broken back.
That was just two of the many in our company.
I came In backwards and hit my feet and head at the same time. It
didn't knock me out but I sure saw stars! After I hit I started across
the ground about as fast as I came down and had an awful time getting the wind out of my chute. Every
time I pulled around and got on my feet Iíd hit the ground. I just couldnít run as fast as the chute was dragging me. I lit
[landed] on the end of the drop zone and when I ended up I was at
the other end out in the weeds.
After I had gotten up twice and fell down I gave up and rolled over on my back and went along for
the ride. When I got off in the weeds the chute got caught in some bushes and stopped.
I had enough sand in my eyes and ears to build a
sandbox for the girls......
We have our two minefields in and I'm up the road about
two miles in front of them and the front lines waiting for darkness
and watching for enemy patrols.
All you have to do is get your maps out and trace route 16, state highway about four miles north of
the Colorado River and look off to the right of the road in a little
field and there I lay under a tree, writing.
April 9, 1952
stopped the 82nd which is the enemy from retreating last night and
about eight oíclock this morning 1st Division broke through to us
and the problem was over. We won and nobody in our platoon fired a
Out of 3100 troops dropped 221 were
carried off the drop zone and over a hundred more that walked off
didn't stay on their feet and they were carried off to the hospital.
Only one was killed and the rest of them just had broken arms legs
Right now I'm acting as platoon runner for the night. I'm writing
this by the firelight or at least trying to.
I'll remember Texas as long as I live but I'll bet I never come
back, at least on my own.
Sometime in July we are supposed to go to
Virginia on maneuvers.
April 11 1952
This Sunday will mark the first Easter Iíve been away from home for a long time. Last Easter I was
close enough to home to be able to get there, but I'll go to church alone
and be thinking of you. They will have services out here in the field and
afterwards we pull out and start our journey home. I mean back to camp. I
had to go on K.P. but I didnít mind because I got a full dayís credit for it
I just got off about a half an hour ago and I'm writing this by candlelight.
I thought these tents were bad. but they really feel good [compared]
to sleeping on the ground --- especially tonight because it's
I don't think we have to get up in the morning and I hope not
because my clothes will still be wet, but they will probably make us
fall out for police call.
Thatís when you go around picking up all the papers and
things in the area. I donít think there has been 20 days gone by
since Iíve been In the Army that they havenít had a police call.
Last night around three o'clock I
woke up and my arm felt like somebody had stuck a needle in it and
when I looked there was a scorpion on it. I knocked it off and was
outside of the shelter we had built in two seconds flat.
I slept outside the shelter until morning. The medics talked
to us before we came down here that they were poisonous and would
make you sick but so far it hasn't affected me any.
Your son Bobby
P.S. Our first sergeant didnít have a broken
back after all. He just injured his spine.
[The Banner (Knightstown, Indiana) 17
Apr 1952, Thu Page 1]