Alvin A. Gould
Alvin A. Gould was born in Janesville, Wisconsin on September 21, 1929. After high school, he attended the Rizzo School of Music pursuing a degree in classical accordion. In 1952, he tried out for the US Army band as a clarinet player and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic training and infantry training and was surprised to be sent to Korea as an infantryman later that year. Through a twist of fate, he was reassigned to the 10th Special Services Company to play the accordion with a traveling group musicians for troops throughout Korea. Over the next year, he took part in shows near the front line, as well as shows for MASH Units and President Syngman Rhee. After returning the the US in 1954, he finished his degree and started a successful music company. Today, he lives in Wisconsin and still enjoys playing his accordion.
Arriving in Korea
Alvin Gould talks about arriving at Incheon in December 1953 and traveling to Seoul. He describes leaving the ship and his impressions of the capital city. He mentions that one of the few buildings standing was called the Chosin Hotel.
The 10th Special Services Company
Alvin Gould describes the 10th Special Services Company. He talks about the formation, organization, and mission of this unit that was put together to entertain troops. He mentions that they often performed their shows in dangerous areas near the front lines.
Daily Routine on the Road
Alvin Gould talks about the daily routine of the 10th Special Services Company. He describes how the entertainers were selected, the kinds of acts that were part of the show, as well as some of the specific entertainers that he toured with.
Sleeping though the Night
Alvin Gould recalls going to sleep one evening near the front lines. The next morning, he awoke to news that several Chinese soldiers had overrun the line the previous night and were captured. He also talks about playing in shows to many UN troops, including Turkish and British units.
Keeping up Morale
Alvin Gould talks about the important job of the 10th Special Services Company, keeping up troop morale. He also tells the story of refusing to be awarded a Purple Heart after injuring his leg during a show at a MASH unit.
Songs from Korea
Alvin Gould, a professional accordion player, plays songs that he played for troops during the Korean War while on tour with the 10th Special Services Company.