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Old 07-11-2013, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 5,677,612 times
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This is Gatliff showing his rotted-out boot. About a third of the toe-box was gone and we couldn't get new boots or uniforms in the early days in Korea. National Guard uniforms and weapons were hand-me-down WWII stuff from the Regular Army. We were armed with carbines which were completely worn out to the point that on the firing range a 12 inch pattern was considered good. But when we got to Korea, except for uniforms, we initiated an "exchange" program with the South Korean Soldiers. We soon saw that they were armed with brand new M-2 carbines, so when we saw one of them so armed, we exchanged with them, which left them very unhappy Later we started "exchanging" our new carbines for M-1 Garands[sp?]. By the time I came home in mid-October 1951, I think everyone in our Battery had M-1s except a few who were officially armed with 45 cal. "grease-guns", were armed with Thompson .45 cal. sub-machine guns picked up on the battle field. You do what you gotta do .
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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After writing the above Post I remembered another thing that happened on my way home. I spent about two weeks in Sasebo[sp?] Japan and was put on a detail in the "shake down inspection" building. The G.I.s coming through on their way from Korea to their next duty station had to come through there. They had stripped down to their shorts and were caring their duffel bag of stuff. They would place the duffel on the table, we would dump everything out, and we had a list of things that we were required to remove. When I dumped the duffel of one man I found it was about half full of little girls clothes. I stood there for a couple of minutes trying to decide what to do because civilian clothes was on the list. Finally, he said he had a three year old daughter waiting for him at home and these were for her. I stuffed all the clothes into the bottom of the duffel, covered them with "legal" stuff and moved him on.

The next stop past here was where they/we were issued new uniforms, which actually fit!
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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This was the remains of a textile mill on the north side of Seoul. In the power room we could see the updating of the mill. It had a wood fired furnace, then coal fired, thengas fired, then last before it was destroyed were huge electric motors. They were all in a row, side-by side. Also in this building was a wing which appeared to be barracks and we suspected that was where the mill workers lived. And we found a vault full of hanks of silk thread. Several of us got duffel bags if them to use for bedding on the ground. We probably were the only combat soldiers who ever had silk beds .
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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Spring 1951 we were in an assembly area getting ready to move to the line. This is MSG Junior Hensley, our Chief of Firing Battery, telling Howard Kipple he needs a haircut. Hensley was in the same Mena National Guard Battery in WW II. Kipple received a Battlefield Commission when he was about 19 years old, but his personnel file showed him to be over 21. Mena has always (even today) been a military minded town and back then if a kid looked like he was 17 1/2 years old and a parent would sign the papers, he would get into the Guard.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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This is "G.I. Scrip" we were issued to use for money. It was exchanged periodically (unannounced) for another style so the black market people would be left holding un-usable old money. Although the exchange date was secret, the black market people always found out in advance and were unloading the old stuff pennies on the dollar. If our families back home would send us good old American green-back we could get filthy rich. It got so bad that finally we were limited on how much we could exchange.

I collected those signatures when I was getting ready to come home. There's more on the back.
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Last edited by ArkansasSlim; 07-20-2013 at 06:51 PM.. Reason: More info.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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Gatliff getting ready to fire the 155mm cannon. Sanders standing in the Number 2 Cannoneer position. You can see the mountains in the background and they don't have much vegetation left of them. It had all been blown or burned away.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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Nellie Dyer of Conway, Arkansas, was a Methodist missionary who'd survived being a prisoner of war of the Japanese in the Philippines during WWI and been reassigned to Korea, where she, along with other Western missionaries, clergy (many of them elderly) and teachers representing different faiths and denominations, along with their families in many cases (including small children), became prisoners of war of the North Koreans shortly after the start of the Korean War.

As winter approached, the civilian prisoners of war and a large group of captured American soldiers were sent on what became a death march on foot along narrow roads and paths through desolate snow covered mountains, while wearing ragged summer clothing and being provided with minimal food and water. The death rate, illness, and tremendous suffering caused by these conditions were exacerbated by the psychopathic cruelty of the North Korean leader in charge of the prisoners, an officer who became known as "the Tiger". Many died of exposure and duress, but many others, particularly the American soldiers, were shot or beaten to death when they could go no further - their bodies simply tipped over the edge of the mountainside road. The death rate was appalling and it's unclear if "the Tiger" was ever brought to justice for these war crimes.

Nell, a tall, strong woman, literally carried her weaker companions on her back, and was heroic in her tenacity, courage, and loving care for her fellow prisoners, yet her remarkable story has never been widely known outside of Arkansas. It does appear in a book or two about the Korean War, and googling her name will pull up additional information about her. She was truly saintly in her dedication and self-sacrifice.

I met Nell when I was a young child, shortly after her release, when she visited my Arkansas grandparents, long-time friends of her and her family. Told that she had had a very hard time and was frail because she'd been a prisoner of war, I was scared of her, as I only knew that a "prisoner" was someone who'd done something bad! I so wish I had known her when I grew up.

Nellie Dyer continued to live a very productive life after her release, and died at age 97.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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Thanks CC for sharing that story. That's another sad chapter of that war. I/we continue to complain about the thousands of solders/sailors/marines/airmen whose remains have never been recovered, but there were hundreds of civilian remains in the same boat that we never hear about. I don't know if there is a consolidated list of them as there of the military. If not, there should be!
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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This is a cropped photo of FRED (FREDDIE) ROSE, JR who was our Battery's first or second KIA. He and WALTER L. BRUMMETT were ambushed and killed by unknowns 12 June 1951. Freddie was from Polk County and Walter was a reserve filler from Oklahoma who was assigned to us at Camp Hood TX.

Freddie's official personnel records state he was born in 1932 but his actual birth date was more than likely 1933 or 1934. Our Battery Commander tried to get him to get a copy of his official birth certificate so he could be sent home, because of his age, but Freddie refused because he wanted to stay with us. One night while we were in position at the above textile mill, they set down with him and "made" him write a letter home requesting the BC. He was killed a week or so later and when they were going through his personal effects to send home, they found the letter he never mailed. He was determined to stay with us.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
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The old photo is of Charles (Rube) Rowton and his gun "Alta's Ankles" and the new photo is of a copy of Rube's original gun that is setting in front of the Mena National Guard Armory as a memorial for us that went to Korea from the Mena NG battery. The copy was a functional gun we trained with at the armory and summer camp until the unit was reorganized from artillery to infantry. At that time they drove the gun up Rich Mountain to the Wilhelmina State Park, demilitarized it, and put it on display as a memorial to us. I found out after-the-fact that they drove it up there and it broke my heart because I would have loved to drive it that last trip. MSG Hensley, whose photo was posted earlier, drove her up there. The Park decided they wanted the gun and a steam locomotive removed so the gun was hauled back down the mountain and set up where it is now located. At least I got to help bring it back down. Later the battalion Chief of Maintenance decided to repaint the gun as a memorial and asked if I had any photos of it in Korea and I had some of Alta's Ankles so he decided to paint it as the "new Alta's Ankles", even painted the same W#. He decided to not add the female torso, afraid some would find it offensive.

O.K., 60 years ago today the war "ended", but as has been posted here earlier, it ain't over yet. This will be my last Post on this Link until next year when I'll be back bichin again, maybe. There aren't many of my buddies remaining. We are rapidly fading away. So, everyone take care, stay safe and in good health, and thanks for plowing through my Postings. I do hope they provided some useful information and insight.
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