Ed Doyle served as an Army Ranger in Korea, where he earned a Purple Heart Medal and Bronze Star Medal, and later in Vietnam, where he ended his 26-year career.

Today’s veteran: Ed Doyle, 85

Born: New York City

Residence: St. Marys

Service: Army, 26 years

Duties: Ranger

Rank: Sergeant major

Recognitions: Distinguished Service Cross; Purple Heart Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; Korean Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal

Duty stations: Korea (two times); Vietnam; Germany; Holland; Congo; Afghanistan; Israel; Fort Benning

His story: The Korean War had just broken out when Ed Doyle completed his Army Ranger training.

He volunteered for the rigorous training to challenge himself physically, with no idea how it would shape his Army career.

“I thought it would be worthwhile,” he said. “I really learned something about myself.”

He arrived in the Korean peninsula just as the fighting escalated, forcing American troops to retreat because they were facing overwhelming numbers.

“I got to Korea in time for the Chinese to get involved,” he said. “It was very savage. Very difficult.”

He earned a Bronze Star Medal in Korea for helping a wounded soldier. He also earned a Purple Heart Medal for shrapnel wounds to his face during the intense fighting.

“It was a terrible experience,” he said. “The only thing that saved our lives were the fighter bombers. They put the ordinance down where it was needed. They saved our bacon.”

He volunteered for a second tour of duty in Korea where he and other soldiers parachuted behind enemy lines to disrupt the Chinese communications systems. After they completed their missions, they had to work their way through enemy lines to safety.

He returned to Fort Benning, where he decided to re-enlist. In 1960, he was part of a NATO Rapid Reaction Force stationed in Europe. He was sent to Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan, where his job was to set up listening stations to monitor Chinese communications.

“The Chinese didn’t like us listening in on their electronic conversations,” he said.

His unit was also sent to the Belgian Congo to rescue American missionaries caught in the middle of a civil war. The experience made him understand the sensitive nature of some of his missions.

“I figured I’d be soldiering,” he said. “I enjoyed it immensely.”

After he returned from Europe, Doyle was recruited into Army intelligence, where he took additional training, including attending a language school before he was sent to Vietnam. He worked for a unit directly under the command of the president.

“We did missions that were ordered by the president of the United States,” he said.

His work in Vietnam was classified, but Doyle said he managed to return home “unhinged,” though he did get his jaw broken when he was hit in the face with the rifle butt by an enemy soldier.

“I went down, but I maintained consciousness,” he said. “I shot and killed him.”

Doyle left the Army after serving in Vietnam, with memories of participating in two wars.

“They were different wars,” he said. “They were fought different ways.”

Our Veterans runs Wednesdays. Contact Gordon Jackson at or at 912-464-7655 to suggest a veteran for a column.

More from this section

Extensive underside damage to the final chunk of shipwreck in the St. Simons Sound will require considerable alterations to the dry dock barge that will haul it away, extending by at least “several days” the removal of the last visible vestige of the Golden Ray in the waters between Jekyll a…

A new set of faces on the third day of jury selection produced a familiar pattern — plenty of Glynn County residents with knowledge of, opinions on, and connections to the highly-publicized killing of a Black man by three White men on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Feb…

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey believes the city has done a poor job in showing voters how the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax can positively impact a community.