Andrew Jack Cleveland was born on March 27, 1932, in Temple, Texas. He graduated from Temple High School in 1949 yet does not recall learning anything about Korea until the Communists invaded South Korea. After learning about this, he decided to do his part and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended naval training in San Diego, California, and was then assigned to the 7th Fleet and left for Japan. He was assigned to serve as a radarman on a destroyer, the U.S.S. Richard B. Anderson, in April of 1951. He recalls monitoring the radio desk on his ship. He was also a minesweeper and found downed pilots using radar in the East Sea. He returned home in September of 1954 and attended the University of Texas, thanks to the G.I. Bill. After college, he went into business and returned to Korea many times.
Andrew Cleveland recalls never being attacked by enemy aircraft, but he does remember being attacked by mines. He remembers constantly looking for submarines, although he could not remember finding any. He shares he was generally out of harm's way from major combat. He remembers going through a typhoon, with waves so big that they split open part of the ship. He recounts not knowing if the ship was going to sink or turnover at the time, but adds they survived the storm and were able to repair the ship.
Life Aboard a Destroyer Ship
Andrew Cleveland recalls what life was like on a destroyer ship. He remembers it being cramped though not as bad as a submarine. He recounts sleeping in a rack with only about eighteen inches between his bed and the next bed above and below him. He shares how everything one owned as a sailor was placed in a small cabinet on the ship deck. He recalls having a toothbrush and hair comb. He comments on how the food was a good mixture of meat and vegetables, sometimes even soup and sandwiches, and recollects being out at sea for six months at a time, with tankers coming regularly to refuel the ship.
Leaving Korea after the Armistice and Returning to Korea
Andrew Cleveland recalls leaving Korea earlier than planned in September of 1954. He shares how after the armistice was signed, soldiers who signed up for college could go home and attend school. He recounts attending the University of Texas after leaving Korea, thanks to the G.I. Bill. He shares how he returned to Korea twenty-eight years later on business, specifically to coordinate the manufacturing of new products for his company. He describes befriending a Korean manufacturer and visiting Korea multiple times a year for many years in a row. His shares how his grandson captured this friendship in a work of art.