Intermission Stories (13)

Conrad "Connie" Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw in Korea

Conrad “Connie” Grimshaw

213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Conrad Grimshaw joined the National Guard in 1947 at Beaver, Utah.  When he was ordered to Korea, it was with the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion from Cedar City, Utah in July 1950.

In his memoirs he remembered,  “Kapyong [Korea] was quite a pretty place with streams of water coming out of the hills in two directions and flowing to the Han River on the south side of the valley.  Our firing batteries were placed up in the canyons to the north and east.  These canyons were very steep and seemed to me to be a cross between Bakers Canyon and the Big Twist in Utah, with only one road in.  This made it difficult and very easy to get trapped.  Next to our artillery batteries were units from the 6th ROK and the Australian infantry.  We spent a lot of time in this area.

The Kapyong Valley

The Kapyong Valley

“On one of the ammo runs up the main road of Chunchon, we spotted a big truck down by the water’s edge.  We told the motor section about it because we were always looking for truck parts to keep everything running.  She looked pretty bad because it had been an old 2-boom wrecker that had been rebuilt at the Tooele Army Dept.  It got the name “Old Never Run”, but before long the boys had it started and running.

“On 21 April, the CCF started the spring offensive and began to push south of the 38th parallel.  We were in the middle of the push.  Not long after we had set up Service Battery, our firing batteries were pulled out of Kapyong canyon and moved to an area by the Hwachon Reservoir above Chunchon.  The first artillery rounds were fired by B Battery the next day.  Later, they were moved back to stop the Chinese push against the Australians and ROKs.

“Around 9pm that night, W.O. Puffer came to me and said that Capt. James had ordered him to go up to HQ and find out if we were to pull back.  He wanted me to drive him up there.  I drove a ¾ ton weapons carrier with Roy Puffer as the only passenger.  I would say that going up the canyon with all the South Korean soldiers pouring out of the hills was like driving through a herd of sheep.  W.O. Puffer was given instructions to have Service Battery move back as needed to safer ground.

213th Armored Field Artillery

213th Armored Field Artillery

“We got as much as we could, but we were forced to leave behind a 105 howitzer and a half track, as well as a stack of C rations and some ammo trailers filled with ammunition.  I heard later that the Australians got the C rations and the retreating firing batteries used up the ammo.  They then hooked up the trailers and brought them down to us.  We lost the howitzer when it slipped off the road’s edge and onto a rocky ledge…we had to leave it behind.”

Connie Grimshaw’s story shows how each job compliments the other and each one is important.  He returned home in July 1951.  This story was found in the Korean War Educator Memoirs and condensed.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes - 

John Bartley, Jr. – Amesbury, MA; US Navy, WWII, airplane engine mechanic

Med-Evac

Med-Evac

Leonard Cousins – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Everette Frye, Sr. – Richmond, VA; US Army, Korea, MD

Katherine Jamison (92) – Washington D.C.; Intelligence Research Specialist

James Manning – Washington D.C.; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), WWII

Fritz McClory – W.Palm Beach, FL; US Air Force (20 years), Korea & Vietnam

John W. Murray – Waikato, NZ; British Merchant Seaman, WWII

Guy Robertson – Brisbane, Australia; RA Infantry, Major (Ret.) & Queens Own Rifles of Canada; Vietnam

John Trussell – Cleburne, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers

Francis Vogelman – Philadelphia, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 511th Regiment

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Easter 1950′s Style

A child's Easter card from the '50s

A child’s Easter card from the ’50s

 

I wish ALL who pass by here to have a wonderful weekend, no matter what your religious belief – we are ALL one.  I hope this site enhances your memories or knowledge of the eras I speak of and you will try to Remember.  I sincerely Thank each and everyone of you for your past and hopefully future cooperation.  HAPPY EASTER, FOLKS!!!

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Typical ads in the '50s

Typical ads in the ’50s

Ready to take that Easter picture '50s style?

Ready to take that Easter picture ’50s style?

 

 

 

 

Fancy baking in the '50s!!

Fancy baking in the ’50s!!

Have a 1950's Doris Day kind of Easter?

Have a 1950′s Doris Day kind of Easter

 

Observe a Passover seder.

Observe a Passover seder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUT, NEVER FORGET WHAT THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WENT THROUGH SO THAT YOU COULD HAVE ONE TODAY!!

 

Captain Emil Kapaun, Chaplain, POW, Hero; Korean War

Captain Emil Kapaun, Chaplain, POW, Hero; Korean War

Men from many countries fought for you.

Men from many countries fought for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information on Father Kapaun can be located at my site which will lead you to Wiki.

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Farewell Salutes - 

Bernie Alwill – Bullard, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, E Co/187th Reg/11th A/B, PTO

George “Bill” Bullock – Little Compton, RI & Juno, FL; US Navy, WWII, signalman16292

Walter “Jim” Hillyer – Christchurch, NZ; Serv.# 275956, 23rd Battalion, WWII

Lathrop Hoffman – South Bend, IN; US Army, WWII, 1stLt., Burma-China Theater

Frank Nowobilski – Tinley Park, IL; US Army, Korea

Gerry Presley – Palm Beach Gardens, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Mark Schindler – Addison, PA; US Army; Korea, Cpl.

Kenneth Toy – Montreal, Can.; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Katherine Vorel – Downers Grove, IL; WAVES, WWII

Sir Owen (Arthur) Woodhouse – Auckland, NZ; RNZNVR

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Intermission Stories (12)

 

Veterans_Day-thanks

Today’s post will in no way be rewritten or condensed by me.  These are short tributes found in various locations to honor the men of three different wars.  Please click on each story to read, they took the time for you.  Thank you.

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WWII update story_____

WWII pilot

WWII pilot

Story from the AARP bulletin.

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Korean War update ______

Distinguished Service Cross recipient

Distinguished Service Cross recipient

From Home of the Heroes.com ( complete citation lists are available at this site).

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A famous Vietnam story ______

Cmdr. Jeremiah Denton, Jr.

Cmdr. Jeremiah Denton, Jr.

This story was taken from the The Week magazine obituaries.

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Farewell Salutes - 

Stanley Brundage – Newark, NJ & W.Palm Bch., FL; US Army, WWII< cryptologist

Thomas Coules – Hartland, WI; US Air Force, Lt., Korea

National Army (AK) Medallion, "Ryngraf"

National Army (AK) Medallion, “Ryngraf”

Charles Hazen (98) – Annadale, VA; US Army, Colonel (Ret.)

Leonard Jagla – Glenview, IL; US Army, WWII

Christina Kloss – Krakow, Poland & D.C.; WWII, National Army (AK) Underground Resistance, National Army Medallion

Tony Merritt – Calgary, Canada; Canadian Forces 27 years

Jack Raleigh – Papatoetoe, NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII, # NZ413613

Wilton Remelius – Oklahoma City, OK; US Navy, WWII, USS Hector

Alexander Schmidt – Sunnyside, FL; US Army, WWII, artillery

Patrick Tully, Jr. – Chicago, IL & Bradenton, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Louis Vella – Palos, Heights, IL; US Army, WWII

Click on images to enlarge.

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Intermission Stories (11)

Sgt. Brian Cooper & Cpl. Ron Walker  on Hill 111 just after the armistice

Sgt. Brian Cooper & Cpl. Ron Walker on Hill 111 just after the armistice

 

Corporal Ron Walker enlisted in the Royal Australian Regiment at the age of 17, July 1951 in Perth, WA.  Both of his brothers were veterans of the Korean War.  Having fought on Hill 159, in the “Bowling Alley” and Hill 111, Walker’s vivid memories in his memoirs  are the songs of the times: “Jumbalaya” -Teresa Brewer, “Moving On” – Hank Snow, “Vaia Con Dios” – Doris Day… and also the American band at Pusan playing “Waltzing Matilda.”  But here we will remember the poems he wrote that express more emotion than long stories are capable of ______

Hook area, Korean War

Hook area, Korean War

KOREAN LAMENT

Just over the Manchurian border, Korea is the spot,
We are doomed to our lifetime, in this land that God forgot.
Down with the snakes and lizards, down where the men are few,
Right in the middle of nowhere and a helluva way from home too.
 
We swear, we sweat, we grumble; it’s more than we can stand,
We’re not a bunch of convicts, but defenders of our land.
We are soldiers of an active force drawing our monthly pay,
Defending our people and country for thirty three bob a day.
 
Living on our memories or our lovin’ waiting gals,
hoping that while we’re away, they haven’t married pals.
The time we spent in the Army, the good times that we missed,
Boys, we hope the draft don’t get you, for God’s sake don’t enlist.
 
Now when we get to heaven, St. Peter will surely yell:
They’re REOS from Korea Lord and they’ve see enough of hell!
2RAR trench collapses after bombardment

2RAR trench collapses after bombardment

 
 
A KOREAN HILLSIDE
 
There is blood on the hills of Korea,
’tis the blood of the brave and the true.
Where the nations they battle together,
Beneath the banners of red, white and blue.
As we marched o’er the hills of Korea,
To the hills where the enemy lay.
 
We remember our general’s orders,
Those hills must be taken today.
So forward we went into battle,
Our faces unsmiling and stern.
For we know as we charge that hillside,
There are many who shall never return.
 
Some thought of their wives and sweethearts,
Some thought of their mothers so fair.
Yet others who plodded and stumbled,
Were softly saying a prayer.
There is blood on the hills of Korea,
’tis the cost of the freedom we love.
May their names live in glory forever,
While their souls rest in heaven above.
 

Ron Walker continued to serve in the military after the armistice, including the Bomb Search and Disposal Squad in Brisbane.  He was discharged on 1 July 1957.  This story was taken from Korean War Online.com.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes - 

Robert Braid – Wilmington, MA; US Army WWII

Edward L. Callahan – Sherman, TX & Los Angeles, CA; US Army, WWII

Signal Corps Regimental Colors

Signal Corps Regimental Colors

Anne Heller – Brooklyn, NY & Santa Fe, NM; US Army Signal Corps, WWII (WAC)

Lloyd Hammel, Jr. – Oregon; US Army, WWII, PTO, Forward observer, Philippines & Korea

Raymond C. Hersey – Guelph, Can.; PPCLT Regiment, Canadian Special Force, Korea

John Krembs – Chicago, IL; US Army, Vietnam

Colin J. Meale – Whangarei, NZ; Service # 42/114919, WWII

James T. Robinson – Jupiter, FL; US Army WWII

Bernard G. Sykes – Norwood, MA, US Navy, Korea

John Wiltshier – Aukland, NZ – RNZAF, Squadron leader & RAF (Ret.)

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We Call Him Chesty

gpcox:

Chesty Puller

Chesty Puller

 

A strong name and a “man’s man” known by some and should be honored by all, is talked about by Mustang on his Fixed Bayonets site. Come join the rest of us in reading about Chesty Puller, USMC.

Originally posted on :

In my younger years, conventional parents and teachers encouraged boys and girls to read stories written about famous Americans.  I recall reading about William Penn, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, George Custer, Ulysses Grant, and Robert E. Lee.  They weren’t academically vetted manuscripts, of course —they were intended for elementary aged children, after all.  It is also true that some of these stories contained as much myth as fact, but it was the reading of these stories that gave children heroes —people who were, according to pre-communist educators, worthy of emulation.

VMI 1917I am not alone, apparently.  Another young man was exposed to these kinds of stories.  His name was Lewis Burwell Puller.  He was born in West Point, Virginia on 26 June 1898 —making him a little more than 8 years younger than my grandfather.  He grew up reading the same kinds of…

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Intermission Stories (10)

Lt. Gerry Meynell, 3RCR

Lt. Gerry Meynell, 3RCR

Lt. Gerry Meynell

The Battle of Hill 187; 3RCR, Korea

On 2 May 1953 at 2220 hours, on a dark, moonless night, a 16 man Canadian fighting patrol faced an ambush position.  The men were from Able Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.  The patrol was in “No Man’s Land” on the floor of the Sami-ch’on River Valley.  They had left Hill 187 to face Hill 166 and the Chinese bastion.  This patrol was commanded by Lt. Gerry Meynell and each man from the onset could sense that they had become the prey rather than the hunter.

Canadian MLR

Canadian MLR

Maynell ordered his men to shift positions and take cover behind a bank of a rice paddy.  Over the radio, he called for illumination and a flare from a 60mm mortar of Charlie Company lit the sky to reveal 60 Chinese soldiers.  The RCR oped fire with small arms and grenades and records later showed, from a very close range.  The Chinese let loose with a devastating burst of automatic fire and Lt. Meynell was killed.

Corporal Joseph C. McNeil, the patrol’s second in command, after a half-hour and ammo getting low, broke contact and led his men back to the friendly lines 400 yards away.  These were the first shots and opening moves of what would become the Battle for Hill 187.

This story was located at the Royal Canadian Regiment site for the Jamestown Line.

Click on images to enlarge.

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By following the advice of Pierre Legacé, I searched and researched for further information on the story above.  The story below is what I found.  I wholeheartedly recommend reading this historian’s site located HERE!  

From the No. 23 Squadron site you can locate his other fascinating and informative blogs.   Remember – keep looking, you never what you’re going to find!  THANK YOU, PIERRE FOR ALL YOUR HELP! 

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John Hall, Francis Bayne & Reg Redknap in front of the officer's mess

John Hall, Francis Bayne & Reg Redknap in front of the officer’s mess

Francis Bayne

Hill 187, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

From Guelph, Ontario, Francis Bayne writes of Hill 187..”.one of the things we did was fire propaganda leaflets at the Chinese.  We were on American rations and Kool cigarettes came with them.  No one liked them, so we fired them at the enemy too.”  But then the story gets all-too serious.

Because every one was dug in, there was a lot of patrolling.  The Chinese would shell an area and then during the attack (always at night), they would rush the minefield and blow it up, lay on the wire and the next wave would go over throwing grenades.  The next wave had the burp guns.  Though we had machine guns, we couldn’t fire them fast enough.  The only way was artillery fire on our own positions.

Propaganda leaflet

Propaganda leaflet

So, the night of 2nd-3rd May, the 3RAR was being overrun and we received the order DFSOS (Defensive Fire ‘Save Our Souls’), drop 200, fire until told to stop.  We questioned the order and were told , bloody well fire it!  So we drop 200, drop 400, drop 800 until we were right on the RCR position.  We fired all night, at least 1,200 rounds.  The barrels got red hot and we were throwing water on them, trying to cool them down.

We did fire often in support of the Hook and Hill 355.  And the patrol – two of my very good friends were killed that night.  Lt. Gary Meynell took a patrol out that night and ran right into the Chinese that wee getting ready to attack.  He was shot in the head and his corporal brought some of the wounded back.  Lt. Doug Banton went out to indicate where they could come back through the wire and he was telling them, “come this way, come this way…” and he was shot.  So, two very good friends were killed that night.

Francis Bayne 2011

Francis Bayne 2011

This story was found in The Memory Project.com

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Farewell Salutes - 

Carlos Brown – Florence, AL & Fort Myers, FL; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Roy C. Burnham (88) – Corvallis, OR; US Air Force, Captain, 22 years; bomber pilot in 3 wars

John J. Coyle, Sr. – Pearl River, NY & Jupiter, FL; US Army, KoreaVeterans_Day-thanks

Irving Doucet – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII

Roderick Hamel – Seattle, WA; US Army WWII

Frank J. Oliva – New Hyde Park, NY; US Army Vietnam

Stuart W. Richardson – Tauranga, New Zealand; Serv. # 280455, WWII

Martin Tully, Jr. – Elmwood, IL; US Army, Special Forces (Ret.)

Hiroyasu Yamane (80) – Montebello, CA; US Army

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WWII Update - 

USMC Cpl. Chester Nez, 90, last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers received the flag from Pfc Tiffany Boyd at the dedication of Code Taker Hall, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va, 4 April 2014.

Chester Nez, 90

Chester Nez, 90

Chester Nez, USMC

Chester Nez, USMC

 

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Intermission Stories (9)

In 1950, The U.S. was not prepared for a major conflict again.  The shortage of logistics personnel was so great that the 8th Army had hired 150,000 Japanese to perform functions at depots and ports; and it takes more than the foot soldier to handle a war.  Approximately 31.5 million tons of matériel was shipped from the States and The Japan Logistical Command in Yokohama had the job of moving that to Korea.  On top of these functions. the US needed to teach the ROK Armies and for this task they developed the Korean Military Advisory Group. (KMAG)

SFG Frank Imparato, RA Infantry Advisor, KMAG, sharing the HQ w/ Col. Walker from the 2nd Battalion

SFG Frank Imparato, RA Infantry Advisor, KMAG, sharing the HQ w/ Col. Walker from the 2nd Battalion

SFC Frank Imparato

SFC Imparato was one of the Army’s new pioneers in the US Military Advisory Group to South Korea, known as the KMAG.  He was called upon to demonstrate a variety of talents – patience, tact, linguistic ability and superior professional knowledge – he had to make a supreme effort to understand people and traditions vastly different from his own.  The KMAG worked side-by-side with the ROKs in all phases of military life, Infantry, Artillery, Signal Corps, etc., and was one of the few advisory groups to operate in both peacetime and war.  They were an integral part of the 8th Army.

mem_imparato_pic3

Frank Imparato enlisted in 1945, took boot, basic and bivouac training and then WWII was over.  Most of the trainees were scheduled for occupation duty overseas to replace the veteran troops, but Frank was ordered to remain as an infantry instructor.  It was during his last year of enlistment that he received orders to report to San Francisco for debarkation to the Far East and he shipped out on the General William O. Black with about 2,000 other soldiers.

mem_imparato_pic5

It was not until the 5th replacement depot that he realized he was headed for North Korea.  In Seoul, he boarded a C47/C54 with other G.I.s wearing parachutes. (timeline would fit with the 187th RCT).  They landed at K-50 airstrip located around Yang Yang and Mundon-ni in the Punch Bowl sector.  (regular readers here know just how dangerous the Punch Bowl was.).

Logistics at work

Logistics at work

He was at first somewhat beside himself to be assigned to an all-Korean outfit rather than a US one, but that was his orders.  Frank was responsible for approximately 200 US military personnel consisting of cooks, motor pool, signal corps personnel, Marine spotters and the Air Force radio jeeps (to keep in touch with downed pilots). ” One US pilot of a P-51 Mustang radioed for help.  His plane’s electrical and hydraulic system was pretty much shot up and he was unable to lower his landing gear.  He was directed to land at K-50 airstrip.  He came in low and fast from a distance, skimming and thrashing through rice fields to attempt a belly landing.  He finally came to rest cross wise on the air strip.  His engine was practically torn out and you could see the P-51 had cracked in half.  The pilot was shaken, but not hurt.  There was a considerable number of aircraft damaged by small arms and artillery fire …This was a common occurrence.”

Broken plane spoken about.

Broken plane spoken about.

On several occasions, Frank was in the company of generals and commanders, all to discuss overall combat status and situations.  He made quite a few visits to M*A*S*H* units – a sight he would never forget.  He returned to the States and was discharged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, February 1953 – 6 days shy of serving 7 years.

Frank says, “I do pray mostly every night that I made a safe return home from Korea with a wealth of information, experiences and memories.  To all Korean veterans — KIA, MIA, POW, the able and disabled veterans I say – God Bless them all.”

More logistics doing the job.

More logistics doing the job.

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Farewell Salutes - 

Francis Adams – Sammamish, WA; USMC, WWII, 1st & 6th Marine Divisions, PTO & then Korea

George “Skip” Allen – Ft. Lauderdale, FL; US Merchant Marines, WWII

Frank Cassara – Chicago, IL; US Army, Korea

Soldier's Prayer

Soldier’s Prayer

Alfred D. Flavell – Frankton, New Zealand; RNZ Navy # 1332, WWII

J.C. Heath – Chickasha, OK; US Navy, WWII

Harold Herritt – Woodbridge, VA; US Army, Korea

Lewis T. Jones – Jacksonville, FL; US Coast Guard 22 years

William P. Leslie – Toronto, Canada; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Edward Novak – Elmhurst, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Mickey Rooney – (93) –  Brooklyn, NY US Army, WWII (beloved actor and comedian)

Robert W. Schutt – Tequesta, FL; US Navy, Korea, USS Wisconsin

Ruth Steglich – El Paso, TX; US Navy WAVES, WWII

Edward Turner, Jr. – Seattle, WA; US Army, WWII

Herbert Wallach, Jr. – Miami, FL; US Army, WWII

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The Hero Who Refused His Medal

gpcox:

A very interesting site by Dan Bjarnason has this wonderful tribute. For the curious – Further information and photos can be found in the link I’ve provided below in the comments.

Originally posted on KapyongKorea:

Ola Mize could have stepped right out of a Hollywood movie. Except he was no actor, to put it mildly. He was the real deal.

Mize came from the humblest of backgrounds and went on to become one of his nation’s great heroes.

Col Ola Mize

Despite the adulation showered on him, he remained an anti-hero, so utterly un-Hollywoodlike; so foreign to the celebrity-centric universe of today’s pop culture. Mize was modest, quiet-spoken, selfless and unbelievably brave.

Born the son of a sharecropper in poor northeastern Alabama he left school in grade nine to support his family. Hoping to better himself, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army, but was rejected because of his puny, 120 pounds. So he put on weight. Then he had to cheat on an vision test when Army doctors discovered he was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident. Mize enlisted in the famed 82nd Airborne in 1948…

View original 527 more words

Intermission Stories (8)

I have been attempting to show different facets of the military and how each one connects to complete a single mission at hand  Jobs that  are not spoken of very often.  This following story is from the U.S. Navy, and a man who operated the little-talked about LSTs.

Wayne Curtis, 1952 Painted by a Japanese artist

Wayne Curtis, 1952
Painted by a Japanese artist

George Wayne Curtis

George Curtis was born in Champaign, Illinois in 1931 and went into the Navy in 1951.  When he got to San Diego, he received more training and then was assigned to the USS Andromeda to ship to Japan.  Once in Yokasuka, Curtis was ordered to the LST 1090, that would become his main ship.  He made Quartermaster 3rd Class and did navigation chart work and learned how to use the semaphore flags, flash lights, etc.  He said he was a cross between that and a signalman.

LST 1090, Korea

LST 1090, Korea

Curtis received more training at Pusan, Korea on loading, off loading, tanks and the LCVPs. (Landing Craft, Vehicle Personnel), for going ashore on leave.  During his enlistment, he served in the Naval Amphibious Forces on: USS Andromeda AKA 15, USS LST 1090, USS Washburn AKA 108 and the USS LST 772.  The 1090 was in the follow-up behind the initial landings in Inchon.  One of his duties was navigation and assist in trying to get into the channel.  “It is treacherous particularly because you could only get into that channel at certain times because of the high tide, and that tide is very high.”

Curtis (left) in the radio shack aboard LST 1090

Curtis (left) in the radio shack aboard LST 1090

“We did have some Marines that were cut off at Inchon.  They directed us to come in with the LST and beach it to get them.  We had to get them out because the Koreans were coming down on them.  We picked them up, backed off and went on down the river.”  Later on during the war, Curtis remembered picking up prisoners of war at Inchon and taking them to Koje-do Island.  There were several hundred prisoners on board, each trip and they had to be fed due to the distance. (A day or two sailing.)  “We also carried some war criminals.  We brought them back separately.  They were actually separated from the other prisoners.  They were criminals that had decapitated 6 Americans.”

Prisoners aboard the LST 1090

Prisoners aboard the LST 1090

After the Armistice, the prisoners were brought to Pusan.  “Some did not want to be repatriated.  They refused to come out of the compounds and that became a problem.  We had to drag them out.”  Shortly after this, Curtis was transferred to the USS Washburn AKA 108 (Auxiliary Cargo Attack ship) shipping fuel oil to Point Barrow, Alaska.

French paratroopers evacuated from North Vietnam

French paratroopers evacuated from North Vietnam

From there, Curtis went to the LST 772 and headed back to Korea and then Indochina where he participated in evacuating French paratroopers, French Foreign Legion troops and civilians out of what would become North Vietnam.  On one trip, a refugee woman went into labor.  The sailors built a birthing room behind a curtain and the child was born aboard the LST.

Curtis in Japan (unknown carrier in background)

Curtis in Japan (unknown carrier in background)

George Curtis flew back to the States in November 1953 and entered the University of Illinois for spring semester 1954.  The last line of his memoir, also found at Korean War Educator, was: “It has been a good life.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Vietnam Memorial - 

Texas Vietnam Memorial

Texas Vietnam Memorial

On 29 March 2014 in Austin, Texas, a new 14′ monument was unveiled on the Texas Capital grounds to represent the appreciation for the sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans.   Gov. Rick Perry’s dedication coincided with an event celebrating the 41st anniversary of the last US troops leaving South Vietnam.  Approximately a half-million Texans served in that war, with more than 3,400 KIA and 105 still missing in action to this day.

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Royal Australian Air Force badge

Royal Australian Air Force badge

 

Royal Australian Air Force - 

The RAAF celebrated their 93rd birthday on 31 March 2014!  I would like to wish them all a very happy belated birthday wish and sincere THANK YOU for their service.  They have a fantastic history behind them.

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Farewell Salutes - 

US Marine Corps emblem

US Marine Corps emblem

Donald Buckius – Lorton, VA; US Navy (Ret. 30 years) USS Wisconsin & Dehaven

Douglas R. Coutts – Toronto, Canada; Royal Canadian Navy, WWII

Cecil A. Edge – Hamilton, NZ; Royal New Zealand Air Force # 428360, Cpl., WWII

Ronald “Red” Gunderson – Everett, MA; US Army, Korea

Michael Ryan Kennedy – Boston, MA; USMC, Sgt., Iraq Campaign (Boston FD Engine 33 – 9 alarm fire)

David S. Light – Brooklyn, NY & Delray Bch, FL; US Army, WWII

Walter Maes – Spokane, WA; US Coast Guard, WWII

Edmond Maurice Murphy – Oklahoma City, OK; US Army, WWII, 189th Infantry, 45th Thunderbird Div, ETO

Laura T. Vogt – Winchester, VA; US Navy (WAVE), Chief Yeoman, WWII

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Intermission Stories (7)

Harold Selley receiving his Bronze Star

Harold Selley receiving his Bronze Star

Medic, Harold Selley

Harold Selley was in the Medical Company of the 7th Cavalry Regiment from the time time he arrived in Korea, July 1950.  He would remain there for 11 months as a medic in a Forward Collecting Station.

Selley related in an interview,” Several times my collecting station was surrounded by the enemy and we were unable to get our wounded to the rear.  Most of the time, we medics provided our own perimeter security for the station.  That meant we took turns in staying in foxholes guarding our station.  Usually we were far enough to the rear of the actual small arms fire that we could operate the station without the enemy invading the area.  Since we received wounded from the entire regiment, we saw practically everyone who was wounded in the entire regiment.”

A medical HQ in Korea

A medical HQ in Korea

Selley was the main person who saw that the proper tag was given to each casualty.  The tag was for identification, brief explanation of the injuries and a record for the regiment.  Such records were essential for future medals, disability pensions, statistics, Army files and family information.

Emphasis was on teamwork. “All of us medics in the station were part of a team,” he said.  “We knew what to do when a wounded man was sent to us.  Often I performed emergency treatment and procedures that the assigned doctor in our station could not do.  He was too busy to do it all.  We had to pitch in and do everything we could.  Often the doctor went from one casualty to another giving advice to the medic as to what should be done.

Medics Crit Nash, Harry Kane & Harold Selley in Korea

Medics Crit Nash, Harry Kane & Harold Selley in Korea

“The doctor knew the medic’s capabilities.  This is not meant to be arrogant in nature.  It simply means that we medics treated so many casualties (hundreds) that we became rather proficient.  We performed emergency amputations, treated spinal injuries, worked on *pneumothoraxes, did emergency repairs on fractured bones, stopped bleeding, removed shrapnel and attended to shock (most were in shock!).

” Many died before we could get them evacuated to the rear.  Dead and wounded were all around us daily.  Often we went without sleep during a heavy fighting.  I went without sleep for 4 days once, working continuously on wounded.”  Selley knew of course that the infantrymen in the frontline battles also went long periods without sleep – for days on end!

“My medical company lost several aid stations, including the doctors and medical personnel.  We were always in danger of being attacked by the enemy.  The medics assigned to the aid stations in the battalions knew their life expectancy was short.  Memory of these men should always heralded as valor and total allegiance to the fighting men, Army and United States.”

doctor and medic w/ wounded soldier

doctor and medic w/ wounded soldier

For Selley, the memories of being under artillery fire, strafed by planes several times and close to small arms fire will always be remembered.  But for him, the most memorable thoughts are the wounded.  “I saw about every possible injury that could happen.  I got to the point that no injury was too tough to handle, that is, too tough to examine or treat.  But, when the wounded died in my hands, that is when I realized I was so inadequate in helping someone.  I was drenched in blood most of the time.  I tried with all my being to help people live, and when they died, I felt so helpless.  I didn’t have time to feel sad or even weep over them.  That came later, much later, after I returned from Korea – and still to this day.”

Selley returned to his home and college only to find the younger students did not share his thoughts on America.  They had not been through a war and were conditioned to be isolated from the unpleasantries of life.  The final line of his story reads  - “Let us not make this a forgotten war!”____Harold Selley 2001

*pneumothoraxes: an abnormal collection of air in the area between the lung and chest wall; usually caused by blunt force trauma during combat.

This story was taken and condensed from HERE>

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Farewell Salutes -

Alwyn Berland – Toronto, Canada & Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII

George Allen – Bethesda, MD; US Army, WWII, ETO

U.S. Navy emblem

U.S. Navy emblem

Leonard Coleman – Delray Beach, FL; US Army, WWII

Walter “Mick” Hocker – Portland, ME; US Navy, Capt. (Ret.)

Colin G. Mitchel – New Zealand; Australian Imperial Force, WWII # 120010, Cpl., Sig. 35th Infantry Battalion

Raymond Monte – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

William Ridenour – Wilshire, OH & Lake Worth, FL; US Navy, WWII

James Skene – Fairview, TX; US Navy, Korea

Edward K. Steffen – Ahwatukee, AZ; US Navy, Vietnam

Andrew A. Turner – Auckland, NZ; Regt. # 596141v, SA Air Force

Nicholas Vitucci – Riverhead, NY; US Navy, SeaBee

Richard J. Watkins – Papatoetoe, NZ; RAF # 4078049, Korea

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