Freedom Fighters: Gene Mahan Part 2 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Gene Mahan Part 2

By Joan Hallmark - bio | email

RUSK, TX (KLTV) - Gene Mahan had one more bombing mission to complete in Korea before gong home. He was sure nothing more could happen to him. After all, he had already been wounded four times. But Mahan had one more Purple Heart waiting for him and this one would be the most devastating of all.

On His way back to base after completing his mission, the engine of Mahan's plane went out and he was forced to bail out over the Sea of Japan. During ejection, his leg was caught in the upside down plane and pulled back over his head. The water he fell into was so cold, Mahan had only seven minutes to live before being rescued just in time by an American destroyer.

Mahan remembers very little until his "out of body experience" in a Japanese operating room. As he was floating above the scene, he heard the doctor say "he's gone." As Mahan struggled to let the doctor know he was alive, he saw a little Korean girl leading his Marine company through a field. He cried out "wait for me" but a voice behind him said "not yet Lieutenant". Mahan's body began to sweat and at that point the doctor realized he was alive.

During months of recuperation Mahan was awarded his fifth Purple Heart by President Harry S. Truman and invited to the Whitehouse where he was presented a Silver Star in a special ceremony.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Sheriff: Rusk Co. explosion caused by tannerite detonation

    Sheriff: Rusk Co. explosion caused by tannerite detonation

    Monday, February 19 2018 1:43 AM EST2018-02-19 06:43:57 GMT

    A loud boom heard in the Lakeport area Sunday evening was caused by an explosive, according to law enforcement.

    More >>

    A loud boom heard in the Lakeport area Sunday evening was caused by an explosive, according to law enforcement.

    More >>
  • School threat deemed a prank in East Texas

    School threat deemed a prank in East Texas

    Sunday, February 18 2018 11:25 PM EST2018-02-19 04:25:49 GMT
    An East Texas school district is informing the public that a prank was taken seriously enough to cause them to go to high-security measures. White Oak ISD officials say a picture was posted online Friday that threatened harm to the school system. District officials are not saying exactly what the picture was, but the threat was taken seriously enough to cause increased security measures at the schools. By mid-morning Saturday the district determined the threat was not a real threat...More >>
    An East Texas school district is informing the public that a prank was taken seriously enough to cause them to go to high-security measures. White Oak ISD officials say a picture was posted online Friday that threatened harm to the school system. District officials are not saying exactly what the picture was, but the threat was taken seriously enough to cause increased security measures at the schools. By mid-morning Saturday the district determined the threat was not a real threat...More >>
  • Fire Marshal is seeking the cause for General Dynamics fire

    Fire Marshal is seeking the cause for General Dynamics fire

    Sunday, February 18 2018 11:22 PM EST2018-02-19 04:22:29 GMT
    Four departments were called to a fire that lit up the sky in Kilgore. The fire started around 5:30 Saturday night at 'General Dynamics' in the 42-hundred block of Longview Street. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but according to investigators, one structure was a complete loss. Crews from 4 departments converged on the building on Saturday trying to isolate a building that was burning to keep it from jumping to other areas. "When the arriving units get there, they're ...More >>
    Four departments were called to a fire that lit up the sky in Kilgore. The fire started around 5:30 Saturday night at 'General Dynamics' in the 42-hundred block of Longview Street. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but according to investigators, one structure was a complete loss. Crews from 4 departments converged on the building on Saturday trying to isolate a building that was burning to keep it from jumping to other areas. "When the arriving units get there, they're ...More >>
Powered by Frankly