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Can Anyone Identify My Dad’s Marine Buddies

Can Anyone Identify My Dad’s Marine Buddies

Hello, my name is Lisa. My Father was GEORGE ORLOW BALL, he is the man in the middle of this photograph. But I do not know who his friends were. Can you identify the other two men for me??? And possibly where and when this photo was taken???

George O. Ball was born August 8, 1930 in Johnson City, NY. Son of George L. Ball and Olna M. (Demming) Ball. He enlisted into the Marine Corps August 10, 1948 in Albany, NY. At the age of only 18. He served in -Hq. 2nd Shore Party Battalion, 2d Marine Division, FMF. He held the rank of Sgt. when discharged. He enlisted at DHRS, Albany, NY in Aug. of 1948. Honorably discharged Aug. of 1952 from Camp Lejeune, NC. He participated in the Korean War ("Conflict" my ass, they weren't shooting rubber bullets over there!) In fact, he was shot thru his helmet in the head. Thankfully it was one of those shots that "grazed" the side, whereas it just went thru his helmet, to the top layer of skin and ricocheted around underneath the scalp. At the time, as he put it, the doctors etc, were "Too Knife Happy" and chose to not have it removed. When I was a little girl, I'd sit on his lap, and you could see the bullet there, and there was no mistaken that it was, in fact, a bullet! I'd rub the bullet and ask him if it hurt. His reply was just laughter, and "No honey, it doesn't hurt anymore". Certainly, at that age, I had no idea of knowing what else may have hurt him even more than that during his "Korean" experience!

Later in years, he began to have seizures like "passing-out-episodes" and it was contributed to Lead poisoning from the bullet. One time, he had a seizure, and did a "Header" down a flight of stairs, and broke his nose. Instead of going to the nearest VA Hospital, he set his own nose himself! When he finally went after a couple of days, the doctor's said they couldn't have done a better job of resetting it. As I watched him do this, I wondered after everything I had seen this man do throughout my life, (bandage himself after a chain saw accident, put himself out when a friend accidentally set him and his snowmobile suit on fire with gas, and take care of, and heal his own thumb after the end of it had been cut off by an imbecile who couldn't hold his end up on a boat trailer hitch, etc., etc.,and NO Lie, he re-grew the end of his thumb) the list goes on……I wondered then, that this man has been thru a lot of shit and is still tough enough to withstand whatever is brought his way. He carried that bullet in his head until he died, Dec. 11, 1988.

He participated in action against aggressor forces, Northern Koreans along the Naktong Kang River line, in the assault and seizure of Inchon, in the capture and securing of Seoul, In the Wonsan-Hungnam-Chosin Campaign, Northern Korea. And also participated in actions against enemy forces in the South and Central Korea.

George Orlow Ball died at the early age of 58 in Spokane, Wa. I would very much love to hear from any of his pals, and anyone who knew him. George Ball was a man that most people called "A silver-tongue devil, with a double-bladed edge" because he always had a "comeback" to anything dished to him. With wit and grace, most of the time, but sometimes, not so "graceful and nice" at other times. He spoke what he thought, and sometimes, that wasn't so eloquent, to say the least. But if nothing else could be said of this man, I'd like to express it now "He Was A True Man!" In every sense of the word, and a true Marine! He also taught Combat Judo in the Marine Corps, (with the philosophy of "Kill or be killed" and was a cross-country prison chaser. This was a man to truly, tread – lightly around. Certainly, doing 100 "male" push-ups a night, before I went to bed, was not something a little girl thinks she should do, it just pissed me off. But to this day, I thank him for the way he raised me, to be tough, because this life is not easy and he taught me to be tough and take it as it comes my way.

If you knew George Ball, I'd love to talk with you! And I could tell you a whole lot more about this remarkable man, who was my Father. Please email me at

Thank you ALL for the sacrifices you all made for me, and my children, not to mention their children and beyond. You are all "True Men" for your sacrifices and patronage to this country, that we call the "US of A", and that sometimes it is no longer "The Country Of The Free"………….. Lisa Mansfield

UPDATE: I just wanted to let you know, I found out who the other two men are pictured with my father, George Orlow Ball. And again, I'd like to thank you so much for posting the photo of him and my story on your "BS" page. Here's the additional information to add to the photo.

This photo was taken Feb. 6, 1949 at the Enlisted Men's Club on Guam-Marianna Islands.
Left to right- Bill Gradwell, George Orlow Ball, and Jacklyn Smith.

I found out that due to my father's dark skin, he originally had the nick-name of "Mex" or "Mexie". But he was in fact, Native American Indian, not that of the Mexican heritage.

Thank you for updating this information. Wouldn't it be nice to get in contact with these other two men, to listen to their stories?

Lisa Mansfield

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