Intermission Stories (15)

Earl Hufford in Korea

Earl Hufford in Korea

Private First Class, Earl R. Hufford

11th Evacuation Hospital, Medical Corps, Korea

Earl R. Hufford hailed from Perrysburg, Ohio.  He went to Bowling Green State University and received his preacher’s license for the Methodist church after high school and then found himself drafted into the U.S. Army destined for Korea.  The following article is condensed from an interview he gave the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

At one point, he was sent to a MASH unit:  “If you ever watch M*A*S*H* on television, that’s the way it is.”  Earl’s aptitude for things medical landed him in a series of courses and even learned how to do autopsies.  We even had a Klinger.”   Earl R. Hufford was a medic.

Earl Hufford w/ the 11th Evac hospital

Earl Hufford w/ the 11th Evac hospital

It took several days to get to Korea aboard ship.  He had a tendency to become so seasick, he buddies would bring him fruit to eat.  He would then have to be tied in to stand his guard  or he’d fall overboard.  At first, he was sent to Inchon, but the army still wasn’t quite certain what to do with him; they made him a chaplain’s assistant and he started a newspaper for the 11th Evac. hospital.

After Inchon, he was sent to Wonju along with the rest of the 11th and even ran the first dialysis machine invented (the other one was in Germany).  “I felt bad for the — real bad for the wounded and I felt bad for their families.   But I just did my job and I thought I did it pretty good.  You have to move on to the next person…there’s no time for sentiment…I always said a prayer for them.”

Hufford (on right) w/ friend at the the 11th

Hufford (on right) w/ friend at the the 11th

The 11th Evacuation hospital also went North and took care of the North Korean wounded because they had no facilities, the wounded were left to die.  They even built them a hospital, but they didn’t return the favor.  Hufford spoke of having to remove their Red Cross sign because it made them too much of a target for the enemy.

 There were a lot of hemorrhagic fever patients to take care of too. (the fever, caused by rats, makes a person bleed internally).  “I felt very fortunate on saving those boy’s lives.  We had a lot of rats.

a later photo of Earl Hufford

a later photo of Earl Hufford

After 15 months, Earl Hufford returned home.  “And it was wonderful to see the Golden Gate Bridge.  But, I’m not sorry that I was there, because I’d do it all over again.

The final line of his interview stated, “I dedicate this tape to all the veterans and servicemen and women in service today and may God bless them all.

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Farewell Salutes – 

A Farewell Salute

A Farewell Salute

Clarence Anderson – Ogden, Iowa; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Maurice Archer – Greenbay, VA; US Army, WWII

John Debalek, Jr. – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII, ETO, 745th Tank Battalion/1st Infantry Division

Larry DeCelles – Kansas City & Phoenix, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Dennis Gavin – Wanganui, NZ; RNZ Navy # C/SSX16068, WWII, ETO

John Hogel – Sultan, WA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Fred Moss – Holiday Island, AR; USMC, WWII

Dante Romano – Sun City W., AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII

John Spinella – W.Palm Beach, FL; US Army, Vietnam

John Towers – Oak Brook, IL; US Air Force, Korea

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 28, 2014, in Korean War, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.

  1. He is a very good human being indeed. Thanks for sharing his story, gpcox.

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  2. A great story on Earl, a lot of medics did actually have to enhance their skills whilst in the field.
    Ian

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  3. wonderful, wonderful post. I enjoyed it so much, my admiration and awe go out the patriots who sacrificed so much. I recently visited the Veterans of Foreign War museum here, my second visit. It is breathtaking with items from the wars, art by Hitler (copies) uniforms of german soldiers, A very large Japanese flag, it’s bright Sun against Duck cotton or very heavy linen, not sure, it is very large, taking up a good portion of the wall. They tell us the flag is of great value to the Japanese gov’t and they are negotiation the return of it. It is fascinating and nostalgic, reliving a time of the past that must not be forgotten. Thank you gp, love t his blog.

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  4. Enjoyed hearing his story as it showed how his faith was shared during his service. Also liked the pictures of him during service and later in life. Sounds like a great man …and from our beautiful Ohio!

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    • In listening to the memoir, he was cute as he talked about MASH and having their own Klinger – he made a point to mention that Klinger was from Ohio! Glad you enjoyed the article, Bev.

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  5. Another great tribute, thank you for doing this! Always a great read.

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  6. Harrowing but noble service.

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    • Yes, being on the front with nothing but a handgun and knowing your hospital is a target – yes, I guess harrowing is a very good description. Thanks for commenting, Allan.

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  7. It is heartwarming to read that with all the hatred engendered by that war, enough humanity was retained on our side for the enemy troops to be looked after when they had been written off by their own.

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  8. I am constantly amazed by how normal these guys/gals are. They could be my neighbor. Thanks for sharing.

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    • They very well could be, Jacqui. That’s why I’m always asking people to check it out. If a community has a clubhouse or the town has a civic center, nursing home, etc. put a notice on the bulletin board to interview them. Thanks for reading today.

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  9. I humanity of this guy really shows through !

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  10. He maybe looks a little more like Radar than Hawkeye Pearce, but there is no courage more extraordinary than that of the guy who doesn’t quite fit yet sticks to the task just the same. Especially in those conditions. I’d salute him!

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  11. Another dandy post. Thanks for reminding the world that there was indeed a miserable damn Korean War where milliions suffered. The verisimiltude of TV’s M*A*S*H is a real tribute.

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  12. Another nice story. Thanks!

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  13. So MASH was real! Great post. The boys were very fortunate to have him there it seems.

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  14. Good to read a medic’s story. I was reading a chaplain’s story (WW1) in the paper today. Absolutely amazing story.

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  15. Pierre Lagacé

    They have to be remembered…

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