Some Experiences in Korea That I Remember
(No bloody War Stories!  If you are a combat verteran, you already know enough War Stories,
and if you are not a combat veteran, you wouldn't understand, anyway.)

No, I'm not about to tell you all the "war stories", but there are a few incidents I feel free to expound on.  First of all, I was not a war hero - nope - far from it.  I was scared stiff most of the time in Korea, and keeping alive with all my limbs intact was a primary goal.   My second goal was to go home, and get out of the Army with an Honorable Discharge.  I achieved both goals.  I'm gonna tell you a few of the experiences which remain in my memory, and you can take them for what they are worth.  Some are funny, some are not, but none of them are gory.  After all, the Korean Police Action did become known as "The Forgotten War", and is frequently overlooked due to its happening between the carnage of WWII and the Vietnam War.

My new "Home", Company "C", 89th Tank Battalion

I became a replacement for men lost during the retreat from the Yalu River when the Chinese entered the war.  My Company had lost many of it's twenty four M4 Sherman tanks.  The Russian T-34's manned by the Chinese or North Koreans, out-gunned our Shermans.  By the time I arrived, the lost tanks had been replaced, and most of the replacement men had arrived.  Our tanks were the  M4 Sherman tanks which remained in service after World War II, and saw action throughout the Korean War. The United States replaced the Sherman with the M48 Patton main battle tank during the 1950's near the end of my tour in Korea.   These Sherman's were replaced by the newer M48 Patton main battle tank, which had more armour, a bigger gun, more powerful engines, and was easier to maneuver.  Our Company "C" consisted of twenty four M4 Sherman tanks at the start, one armored personnel carrier, one tank retriever (basically a wrecker for tanks) and about 150 men and officers.  Each tank had a five man crew, and I was in the mechanics squad charged with keeping the equipment operational.  There were twelve of us in that squad, plus one Korean civilian who I will mention later in the story. 

Arrival in the Mung Dung Ne Valley

The first place where I joined my Company was in a valley called Mung Dung Ne, which was about fifty miles north of the town of Chin Chon.  Our Company was camped along a creek in the valley, and the Chinese occupied the high ground about 2 or 3 miles in front of  us.  I was reassured that we were out of reach of enemy fire at that distance, although we were in plain view.  Not to worry, they said.

Our encampment had a Turkish operated search light to our rear, which shined at night over our heads and into the eyes of the Chinese to keep them blinded and prevent them from coming without us knowing it. Once each hour this search light had to have it's bulb replaced, which took about 5 minutes. When this happened, it was very dark, and we could see nothing.

The first night in this base, I was put on walking guard, and my job was to walk around amongst the tanks, keep watch, and alarm the camp if anything happened. Now, running thru our camp was a fairly large stream, and it had a wooden bridge crossing it. As I was walking guard, I could see a jeep coming from our rear, and approaching the bridge. At the same time, the search light bulb burned out, and it became totally dark. I heard the jeep stop on the bridge, as they could not see where to drive.

When the search light came back on, I could see the jeep still sitting in the middle of the bridge, not moving. No one was moving. I alerted my Sergeant and he sent a squad over to see why the jeep was still there. There were four MP's in the jeep, all dead. Apparently some Chinese had sneaked up that stream, and waited until the search light went out to do their damage.  


You can see the Mung Dung Ne Valley to the extreme right side of this photo.  
The Chinese were on the hill with the smoke.

A New Sargent Arrives

A week or so later a new sergeant was assigned to our company.  Until he got settled in, he was sleeping in my bunker with about 10 other guys.  I had been walking guard again, and the protocol was to wake up your replacement when your guard time was up.  My replacement was sleeping in my bunker.  I went down into this dark bunker to wake my replacement and someone grabbed me in a leg lock and tried to grab my rifle.  I pounded him several times with the butt of the rifle.  I was trying to get my 45 pistol out of the holster, while pounding him with that rifle butt.   I intended to shoot him, thinking he was a Chinese.

Someone finally got a light on, and it turned out it was the "new" sergeant.  He was drunk out of his mind, and scared, and laying on his back near the bunker entrance.  He thought I was a Chinese coming in!   I had done him a lot of 'hurt' with that rifle butt.  He was beat up pretty bad.  We were never friends after that, which did not bother me at all.  

Not to Worry, They Said

One day my Buddy, Robert Clark, and I were performing some job around the area when suddenly we got a bunch of incoming artillery. We were not supposed to be within range, they told us, but no one told the Chinese that!  He and I ran as fast as we could and got behind a small hill and laid down until the shelling stopped.  As we got up to go back to work, we noticed these small metal things sticking up out of the ground all around us.  We were in the middle of a mine field! Plain luck that we didn't hit one when we ran in, but obviously we didn't.  It took us quite awhile to exit that mine field, I can tell you that - we were very careful where we walked.  Later, we had some troops come in with mine detectors and "flag" the mine field.   

Bed-check Charlie

Many evenings, about dusk, there would be a small plane about the size of a Piper Cub, come fly near our encampment. We called the plane "Bed-check Charlie" and it was the only enemy plane I ever saw in Korea. I suppose he was a spotter for artillery or something.   Sometimes we would half-heartily shoot a 50 Cal machine up at him, but we never hit anything.  Mostly, we ignored him.

Another Move, Another Valley

And a Great Thirst For Budweiser Beer

After a month or so in the Mung Dung Ne Valley, our outfit, along with the Turks, moved to another valley. We were off the line, about 5 miles away from the front for a week in which to preform maintenance on the tanks and other equipment.  Sorry, I don't remember it's name, we were only there for about a week. A few things stick in my mind, one being this funny happening.  We had in our Company a "Goofus" who was always getting into trouble, we thought on purpose in order to be send home on a Medical Discharge.  It was the practice that each soldier was issued three cans of Ballentine beer every two days.  Now, many of us did not drink, so those who did not drink passed their ration on to someone who did.  As a result, about everyone who wanted this Ballentine beer had about all they could handle.

This "Goofis" decided one night that he would get some extra beer for everyone.  He proceeded to the Motor Pool and stole a 2-1/2 ton truck which was to be repaired - it ran, but something was wrong with it, I don't remember what.  He took this truck about sundown one evening and drove it to Chin Chon, about 50 miles to the rear.  Over dirt roads and mountains.  

In Chin Chon, he located a supply depot and somehow obtained a truck load of Budweiser beer.  He probably stole it, who knows?  He drove this truck load of beer back to our area, and about 300 yards before making it back to where he stole the truck, it broke down and quit running.  This was about 3:00 in the morning.  He walked to our squad's maintenance tent and woke all twelve of us mechanics and told us he needed help.  We all got up, went to his truck, and saw that he had three hundred cases of Budweiser beer in it.  We started carrying cases of beer, and stacking it in one end of our squad tent.  We moved all the cots to one end, filling the other end with cases of beer - stacked to the roof in the inside of the tent, completely blocking the back exit door.

Wouldn't you know it - about 8:00 that morning, our First Sargent told us we had a new Battalion Commander who was coming for inspection at 10:00 that morning.   We did the best we could.  We cleaned our weapons, put on the cleanest clothes we could find, and was standing at attention at the foot of our cots when the Big Brass came.  They came in the tent, looked around at us, and without saying a word, or asking about the 300 cases of beer filling one end of the tent, turned around and walked out.  That night, we distributed two cases of beer to every person in our Company, including our Company Commander.  The question of where the beer came from, how it got there, what was the story behind it was never asked.  About a week later, the "Goofus" was transferred to a M.P. Company somewhere, and we never saw him again. 

Going Fishing

After working on a tank, it was necessary to take it out for a "road test" to make sure it was working as well as it should.  There was a trail about 5 miles long that we used for this purpose, and part of the trail followed a large creek.  One day, two of us were taking this tank out for a test drive and we stopped at the creek at a deep hole to see if we could see any fish.  Yes, we could.  We got several hand grenades and threw two or three in the water.  This killed a bunch of nice fish, and we took them to the cooks.  They cooked them, and we all had fresh fish.  No, none of us knew what kind they were, but they tasted good.  We didn't know how much that cost the tax payers!

The Bunker Spirit

We got moved to another valley, name not remembered, with a nice stream running thru it.  We could see the Chinese positions, and they could see ours. We had no protection behind any mountains or anything.  We relied on our bunkers, camouflage, and the armor on our tanks for safety.  We had one tank with a bulldozer blade on the front.  When we moved into a new area, we used that tank to scoop out a deep hole in which we built a bunker.  W used logs, railroad ties, sandbags, or what ever was handy for building material.  It was middle of summer, and hot.  Someone (not me) got the bright idea of filling our air mattresses with cool water from this creek.  It worked!  My first water bed!

Our Company had about ten or twelve Korean orphan boys, ranging in age from 10 to 16 years old, who were too young for the Korean Army.  They also had no home, no parents, and were on their own for existence.    These boys followed our Company and served as K.P.'s, laundry boys, and other such chores for their food and protection.  These boys had been taught to believe that everything had a spirit, whether animal, plant, mineral, or even rocks.  Quite similar to some of the American Indian beliefs.  One day, the Chinese started to lob some mortars on our positions and everyone dived for either a tank or a bunker.  One of the Korean K.P. boys came diving into our bunker, and sat on one of these cots with water in the air mattress.  When he sat on one end of the mattress, the water surged to the other end, then came back and lifted him up about three inches or so.  (Like water surging back and forth in a trough).  Well, the poor guy thought the bunker spirit was mad at him, and he ran out as fast as he could go.  No one could convince him that the bunker spirit was not mad at him, but he never again came back into that bunker.

Lost Our Strength

In this same location, that we had yet another new Battalion Commander.  He was greeted by this scene;  My air mattress had sprung a dripping leak, and I was trying to fix it, but it was necessary to get all the water out first.  An air mattress is very heavy when filed with 30 or more gallons of water.  And rather than to drain the water into a bucket or something, I got three or four guys in my squad to help me drag this air mattress up out of the bunker so I could pull the plug and drain it.  We were all pulling and dragging this air mattress up out of the bunker, with much dust flying and effort being expended.   Unknown to us, the Company Commander and the New Battalion Commander was atop our bunker watching this.  The Battalion Commander asked the Company Commander, "What's wrong with your troops?  Are they so weak that it takes all those guys to drag an air mattress?"  "It can't weigh over five pounds!"  Our Company Commander was bug-eyed and speechless.  We then explained that the air mattress was really a water mattress, that it has sprung a leak, and that we were not weaklings.  They wanted to know if it worked in keeping us cool while sleeping, and we answered in the affirmative.   Before long everyone was carrying water for their air mattresses. 


Our squad consisted of twelve mechanics, and one Korean Civilian. His real name was "Dee Huan Dogg", but everyone called him "Joe".  Joe was too old for the Korean Army, he was probably in his late forties, I would guess.  He hated the North Koreans and the Chinese, so he was unofficially a member of our squad.  He wore the American uniform, carried weapons the same as us, and was for all intents and purposes one of us.  He was a remarkable guy, and we all thought a lot of Joe.  Before the war he taught in some University in Korea.  He was fluent in English, Chinese, Japanese and naturally, Korean.  His great ambition in life, other than defeating the North, was to bring his family to the States to live.  He did not get paid by the military, so each of us in our squad gave him $5 per month, for a total of $60.  This was more than a Colonel in the Korean Army made!  We were told that the average Korean worker made the equivalent of 27 cents per day at the time.  He sent this money home and saved every penny of it so he could get his family to the States when the war ended.  I don't know if he succeeded in this or not, I hope he did.  He was in our Company when I got there, and he was still in our Company when I left.

Dodge Ball Game

While in this valley, we had two squads of tanks (10 tanks, 50 men) on a ridge line facing the Chinese which were about a few hundred yards in front of the tanks.  The rest of the Company was about 2 miles or so to the rear, behind some hills.  In our Company we had a "Personnel Carrier" which was a tracked vehicle, open topped, that was designed to rapidly transport troops during battle.  The Carrier ran on tracks, similar to the tanks, and had two Cadillac engines, coupled to the drive.  This vehicle would do about 80 MPH in a straight line, but it you tried to turn at that speed, it would throw off it's tracks.  About 50 MPH was it's practical top speed.  

Daily, we had to supply those 50 men with food, water, ammunition, and anything else they needed.  To get to their positions, we had to drive a straight road between rice paddies for about 3/4 of a mile which was in direct line of sight of the Chinese.  The Chinese were very adept at using mortars.  They would "sight in" this section of road, and when we started across this open space, they would start sending 60MM mortar rounds at us.  So, we would enter this stretch at high speed, go maybe 200 yards and stop.  The mortar rounds would hit the road where we would have been if we had not stopped.  Then, we would speed up again, slow down, speed up erratically, and the mortars would land back where we had been or where we should have been.  We crossed this open stretch in a start-stop, speed up-slow down, manner and they never once hit us.  This was a daily trip, and was somewhat like a guessing game, both for us, and for the Chinese.  A deadly game, but we always "won".

Clearing Timber

Once we got to this ridge where these 10 tanks were located, we had another "game".  After making our deliveries for the day to the 50 troops, we would get in the forward trenches looking out over the Chinese positions.  We would pick out a pine tree in their direction, and start firing our rifles at the base of the tree.  We would see how many shots it took to "cut" the tree down.  Depending on the size of the tree, and our aim, we could cut a 12" diameter tree in about 10 or 12 shots.  This served several purposes - it kept the Chinese in hiding.  It  made them keep their heads down.  It made a clear field of fire for our tanks.  It was kinda fun, and we needed some fun.  But most importantly, we had a daily quota of ammunition that we were required to fire - even though we had no clear target - it kept the Chinese worried, as if we were "really mad".  It also told them that we had ammo to spare if they decided to come our way.  As nearly as I can remember, we had to fire so many boxes of 30-caliber, so many boxes of 50-caliber, and so many 76 MM shells from the main tank guns every day, or report to Battalion Headquarters as to why we didn't use up our quota.  I wonder what this policy cost the taxpayers? 

Joe Meets an Acquaintance

One cold, dreary, miserable morning, all the troops, including Joe, were lined up going thru the chow line for breakfast.  The cooks had done their best in that miserable weather, but everyone was grumpy.  As we were going thru the line getting our dried scrambled eggs and coffee I noticed Joe was in line right behind me.  The Korean KP boys were dishing the food out when all of a sudden, Joe jumped over the food tables, grabbed a Korean KP, got him down and held a knife on him.  We all wondered what had gotten into Joe to act like this - we thought he had "snapped".  Nope, it turned out that the "KP" was from North Korea, Joe had known him from before the war.  The guy had sneaked into our ranks during the night, and no telling what damage he was planning.  He was immediately arrested and sent back to the rear to spend the war in a prisoner of war camp.  No doubt, we had done him a big favor - people in our prisoner of war camps were way more better off than the Chinese or North Korean soldiers were.  More about this later in this story.   

Moving to the "Punch Bowl"

Once again, our Company was being moved to a new location.  This time, it was on the very rim of the so-called "Punch Bowl", a crescent shaped ridge of mountains.  In the far distance to the East,  on a clear day we could see the Sea of Japan, about 20 miles away.  Five of our tanks were positioned on the rim, astradle of the trench the Turkish Infantry had dug.  We would fire into the Chinese occupied area whenever a target was spotted.  After firing, the tanks would back up and get off the ridgeline so they were no longer in line-of-sight of the enemy.  Fortunately for us, the Chinese had nothing bigger than 20MM guns which they fired at our tanks, but did little damage even if the tanks were hit.  Of course, they had 60MM mortars which they dropped in on us, but these, too, could do little damage to the tanks.  

We occupied one ridge, the Chinese occupied another ridge about 200 yards in front of us.  It was close enough that we could yell back and forth.  We would yell "Mao Se Tung No Good".  They would yell back, "Harry Truman No Good".  We would cheer, and they would cheer.  Once there had been a railroad running between these two ridges.  But, all the rails and ties had been taken and used for building fortifications, either by the Chinese or us.  Which leads to the next two stories - - - -.

Case of the Run-Away Pig

The Chinese had no refrigeration, and likely no storable food other than rice.  So, they brought up livestock from time to time to have fresh meat.  One day, a big fat pig got away from them, and started running down this old railroad bed.  The Chinese were shooting at it with their rifles - their food was escaping.  We were firing at it because we didn't want to Chines to have it.  That darned pig just kept going.  Apparently no one ever hit it, and for all I know it lived happily ever after.

Entertaining the Chinese

About once a week we would set up a screen on which movies could be seen from the opposite side. After dark, we would play them a movie, showing starving Chinese families, and asking they why they were there in a foreign country while their families were starving.  We would show them movies about how great life was in the United States, South Korea, and elsewhere.  Being in Chinese, we understood little of what was being said, but it was all to make the Chinese troops want to desert their units.  After the movie was over, we would fire 60MM mortars over their positions which would explode very high in the air.  These mortars were packed with leaflets printed in Chinese on one side, in English on the other side.  It was a "Free Pass", that if they came over to our lines and surrendered, we promised them a clean shower, clean clothes, cigarettes, a hot meal, transportation to a prisoner of war camp, and also guaranteeing them that after the war they would never be forced to return to China, unless they wanted to return.

It worked.  Almost every morning, at first light, we would hear a Chinese yelling "Free Pass, Free Pass".  They would leave their positions during the night when it was very dark, crawl to near our trenches, and wait for near dawn.  They would put their rifles up on a stump or rock so we could see they were not armed.  It was ticklish business for them - if it was light enough to be seen, their "buddies" would shoot them for deserting.  If it was not light enough so we could see they were not armed, we would shoot them.  During my six weeks at this location, several dozen took advantage of our "Free Pass".  I don't remember any ever being shot while trying to use this Pass, and we did honor the promises we made.  

Yes, The Chinese Used Propaganda, Too!

Most, but not all, of our tanks had shortwave radios. With careful tuning, we could find a station in Australia, one in Moscow, and one in Japan that broadcast in English.  The one in Moscow was a propaganda station, and it played Country and Western music, and, about every half hour, it would tell us the "News".  The "News" usually consisted of how badly we were losing the war, we were about to be captured, Chinese troops were coming in by the millions, etc.  We didn't buy all that nonsense, but we did appreciate those Country and Western songs!  Yes, it made us homesick, which was the purpose of the station.

Christmas Eve, 1952, we were in this position on the rim of the Punch Bowl.  At the place where the old railroad bed separated us from the Chinese.  Right after dark, a flat bed truck came out of the Chinese lines with all it's lights on, and a fully lit Christmas Tree mounted on the bed in back.  It was followed by another, then another, then another.  They were driving along the old rail bed.  In the background they were playing Christmas records.  They were trying to make us homesick.  They did.  It worked.  We watched this parade for about 30 minutes, and not a shot was fired by either side.

Inspection, Turkish Style

As mentioned before, my Tank Battalion was assigned to a Turkish Infantry Regiment.  The Turks were fighters.  They were tough.  If there was to be a patrol sent into enemy lines for any reason, the Turks drew straws to see who was lucky enough to go on the patrol.  They bought regular G.I. style "C" rations, the same as us G.I.'s ate, but they got double rations.  Yes, it was rumored that they purchased those rations from the U.S. Government, which is in itself a novelty.  Each Saturday, they had inspections.  Every Saturday.  Regardless of where they were, or what the weather was, or what the enemy was doing, they had those inspections.

Us G.I.'s would watch in fascination during these inspections.  The Turk soldiers would dress in their finest, stand at attention while the officers looked them over.  Their weapons were examined,  their general appearance was taken into account.  If any of the Turk soldiers "failed" the inspection, the inspecting officer would draw back his fist, and hit him square in the face knocking him down, right there in front of everyone.  They were pretty careful to not fail the inspections.   

The Great Lottery

Our "C" Company had a P.X. of sorts.  We had one small supply tent, or bunker, depending on where we were at the time, which had tooth paste, cigarettes, gum, candy bars (sometimes) and other odds and ends that we could buy with our Military Script.  This Military Script was issued to us each month as a substitute for American dollars.  In the Far East, at that time, this script was accepted as proper U.S. currency.  Rarely did this P.X. get anything of much interest, except on this one occasion, they received two "Superheterodyne" battery operated radios, (I've forgotten the brand name).  These radios were very powerful, and had AM, FM, and shortwave bands.  They were capable of picking up some stations in the U.S., Australia, Japan, and elsewhere.  Their ability to pick up stations in the U.S. made them very desirable to us.

My good buddy, Robert Clark, had a great desire for one of these radios, and there being only two available, the Company Commander decided that he would have a lottery for whoever wanted to buy one.  If you wanted to buy one of these, you would write your name on a paper, put the paper in a helmet, and the first two names drawn could then buy a radio.  Well, Clark, to increase his chance of getting one, talked me into putting my name in the helmet.  Then, if my name was drawn, I could buy the radio and sell it to him.  You can guess what happened.  Both of our names were drawn.  Clark got one, and so did I.  These danged things cost around $200 or so, and I really didn't want one, but since my name was drawn, I had to pretend that I was elated to be so lucky.

We bought our radios, and since Clark and I were in the same bunker, these two radios were side by side most of the time.  A day or so after buying these, I took mine outside where I was listening to it while working on a tank.  We had some incoming artillery fire, so we all dived for a bunker.  After the excitement was over, I went to get my radio and it was in pieces.  A piece of shrapnel had destroyed it.  (Karma?)

Tip Meets Up With His Friend, J.D. Weant

And, I found out that J.D.'s outfit was about 1/2 mile down the front line from where I was on the rim of the "Punch Bowl".  We had not seen each other since the day we joined.  I got permission from our company commander to walk down the trench to see if I could find him.  He was in the Infantry, and I was in the Armored Cavalry (tanks).   I did find him, he was in a bunker asleep after being on guard duty all night.  He was in a bunker very similar to mine, like in the photo below.  I woke him up, and we had a few hours of a great reunion.  This was the last time I saw J.D. alive.

About 14 or 15 years later, I acted as a pallbearer for J.D.   He had been killed somewhere in Arizona in a fight - I never did get any more details of his death.


That's me on the right, along with two buddies inside, and one outside the bunker.   This photo was taken near the rim of the "Punch Bowl".  When we were not "on duty" we spent most of our time in the bunker, usually sleeping.  We had five tanks up there, supporting the Turkish Infantry.  J.D. Weant's Infantry outfit was about 1/2 mile to our right.

Leaving Korea

As mentioned before, I had a good buddy, named Robert R. Clark. He and I had been together from the day we enlisted back in Kansas City. I think our names being so close alphabetically was the reason we were assigned to the same tasks and to the same places during our "tour" of Korea.  We were  together in basic training in Fort Riley, Kansas, the same ship to Japan, the same Track Vehicle School in Eta Jima, the same outfit in Korea, and even in the same squad, the same bunker.   Which leads to the next story.

During this period, a soldier earned 1 point per month for being in Japan, 2 points per month to be in the "safe" rear of Korea, 3 points per month for being near the front line, and 4 points per month for actually being on the front line, where the fighting was.   When we accumulated a total of 36 points, we were supposed to "rotate" back to the States.  Therefore, Clark and I had exactly the same number of points.  

Clark and I had been out all night fixing a broken down tank that was in direct sight of the enemy.  Therefore, we had to work at night, in the dark, and the cold.  We came in at daybreak half frozen, and crawled into our sleeping bags in the bunker to warm up and try to sleep.  We were just dozing off when the First Sargent came into our bunker and told Clark to get up, pack his stuff, he was "rotating" or being put on a truck heading for home in one hour.  I, hearing this, was elated!  Clark and I had exactly the same points, so I just knew the Sargent would come to me next.  He did not.  He left the bunker.  I was devastated.  I could not believe I had missed my chance of going home.  I was at the lowest point in my entire life!  If there had been no one else around, I would have had busted out bawling!

About 10 minutes later, a new Sargent came into the bunker and told me to get my boots on, I was to tow in a tank that had broken down.   In broad daylight!  As I was getting ready to go after this tank with another tank that we called a "Tank Retriever", the Company Commander saw me and asked what I was doing.  I told him.  He said "Who ordered you to go?"   I told him, and he called that Sargent to join us.  He asked the Sargent how many points he had.  He replied "About 5 or 6".  The Company Commander then told the Sargent, "Well,  Corporal Coleman here has 38 points.  He should have rotated by now.  And you are sending him, in broad daylight, to go after that tank?"  "What's the matter with you?"   "Sargent, I'm ordering you, personally, to go get that tank, and I'm going to see that Corporal Coleman gets on that truck with Corporal Clark - they are both starting for home within the hour!"  And that, my friend, is what happened.  Within 30 minutes, Clark and I were on a truck heading for home!

Korea to Japan, on Way Home

(Being Disinfected)

Clark and I were on this truck with about 6 or 8 other guys who were going home.  We had all our things with us, shaving kits, duffel bags, field packs, rifles, pistols, etc.  We were taken about forty miles to the rear where we were put on a narrow gage train car (again without heat).  This train car had several dozen G.I.'s on it, all heading for home.  The train car had an overhead rack on which we put some of our duffel bags and other stuff, in order to have enough room to be halfway comfortable.  Sometime during the night, this rack collapsed, dropping all that stuff on us.  No one got seriously hurt, but we would not have told anyone if we had been.  We were heading home, and no stopping for any reason!

We arrived at a processing tent somewhere west of Seoul, on the coast.  We were given a waterproof bag to put our wallets, shaving kits, and other small personal things in so they would not get wet.  All other items, duffel bags, field packs, weapons, and even the clothes we had on were "checked in" by a soldier.   Then, we were hearded  into one end of this tent, walked thru some disinfectant, walked thru some showers, emerging at the other end where we were issued a complete set of new clothes, boots, duffel bags, etc.  We never saw again any of the things we had "checked in" earlier.  I for one, had a M-10 30-06 Springfield rifle that had been captured from a Chinese, which I had intended to bring home.  (It was not Government property).  Other G.I.'s had other thing they were wanting to take home, but none of us were allowed to take anything!

Heading for Japan

After being disinfected, we were loaded onto a Landing Ship, Tank (LST), taken a few miles out into deep water where we were put on a regular ship.  This ship took us to Yokahama, the trip taking a couple of days, maybe longer.  No one cared how long.  We were out of Korea, and headed for home.  (Well, we were headed for Yokahama, Japan, on our way to a regular troop ship.)  We were in a processing center in Japan for a day or so, where they confiscated all our script "money" and exchanged it for American money.  They de-briefed us, gave us a medical inspection, checked us out to make sure we were fit to return home, and we were finally put on a troop ship, the "Marine Phoenix".

"About age 4"
"About Age 5"
"1st Grade"
"My 2nd and 3rd Grades"
"My 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade"
"7th Grade"
"8th Grade"
"High School"
"9th Grade"
"10th Grade"
"11th & 12th Grades"
"Joining the Air Force (Almost)"
"Joining the Army (For real)"
"Time in Korea"
"Back from Korea"
"Where are the People"
"Back to Index"