Korean War Legacy Project

Joseph Hamilton


As a member of the Army, Joseph G. Hamilton served in the Korean War. He went to basic training in 1951 at Camp Chafee in his home state of Arkansas, a place where he met a great group of friends. He describes his experiences in Korea, including how they kept busy between his office duties and other tasks, including building a log cabin. Joseph Hamilton then explains what he remembers of the devastated Seoul when he saw it. Overall, Joseph Hamilton is very proud of his service and what he was able to accomplish in Korea.

Video Clips

Basic Training at Camp Chaffee

Joseph Hamilton went to basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas after being drafted in 1951. He recalls that they experienced really cold weather, but found a strong, cooperative group of friends. After spending eight weeks in Camp Chaffee, he tells about applying for Leadership School and Officers’ Training.

Tags: Basic training,Home front

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Keeping Busy in Korea

Joseph Hamilton describes his experience in Korea, including how he kept busy. He first explains what his duties were as his did office work. However, his duties did not just end there as he recounts when they had to build a log cabin among the many mountains in Korea. He remembers how they didn’t have cots at the beginning, but fortunately did have ample food and clothing.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions

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Seoul during the War

Joseph Hamilton describes Seoul as he saw it during the war. He explains that it was pretty “rustic,” especially because they had suffered the bombing. He describes how there were a few open shops, but for the most part, there was not much there. He states that the capital city was completely destroyed.

Tags: Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Physical destruction

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]


JH:      Joseph G. Hamilton, J O S E P H  G.  H A M I L T O N

I:          Thank you.  What is your birthday?

JG:      July 30, 1929.

I:          On the year of Great Depression you were born.

JG:      That I was. That I was.

I:          Where were you born?

JG:      Alma, Missouri,


A little small town in Northwest Missouri.

I:          Tell me about your family when you were growing up, your parents, your siblings..

JG:      Well, I’m one of three boys.  Don’t know just how to tell you, but at four, four years old, my mother, we lost our mother in a house fire,


I:          Oh.

JG:      And my Dad continued to keep we three boys together for about a year, and then he was able to put us in the Catholic boarding school. He put my brother and I there together. So we went there to about third grade, and then we moved to this little town of Alma where I was born.

I:          And what school did you go through?

JG:      Ok. At Alma, it was  the Alma Grade School


Which, of course, is gone now, and at the 8thgrade we had moved three miles farther west which put us in another county, and I had, went to Westboro, Missouri High School for all my, through the four years of high school.

I:          What’s the name of high school?

JG:      W E S T B O R O.

I:          High school in Missouri, right?

JG:      Yeah.  No, that was, I was still in grade school, still in grade school.


I:          When did you graduate?

JG:      I did graduate from Westboro in 1946.

I:          What did you do after graduation?

JG:      Well, after graduation, I went, see, I went right from high school, I went to business school for about short of a year in St. Joe’s, Missouri, and then was able to get a job with


the Armour Meat Company, a well-know, one of the big four packers at that time there in St. Joseph, and the war was, World War II was over at that time, and the boys was coming back so fast, and they of course took care of the jobs, so the school guaranteed me a job for quite quickly when one opened to carry the mail and sort the mail and little jobs


like that at Armour Company, and I took the job.  I was on my fourth promotion and been there for five years when I was drafted.

I:          Let me ask this question.  Did, I mean, what was the, World War II and you were growing up, right?  And many people pay attention to World War II, right?

JG:      Yes.

I:          Everybody knew about what’s going on there, right?


How?   How, how did you…

JG:      Well, because it was so little time between World War II and the Korean War that people were tired of war I think it is.  Didn’t get the publicity and wasn’t considered as serious maybe.

I:          I’m asking you about World War II.  How, what did you know? What did you know about World War II?  Were people paying attention to World War II?


JG:      Certainly.  Mostly because of rationing.  You didn’t have gas.  You didn’t have sugar.  You didn’t have car tires.  The meat companies which I later joined, they had to take all their meat and give it to the Armies to feed the troops, so food supply was limited, and fortunately by being in the country, we could slaughter a hog or a beef or raise chickens and garden.  We was


able to be quite comfortable.  But people in the city, some the veterans tell me that they just didn’t have any food during World War II.  It just wasn’t available to them.

I:          Then World War II must be very unpopular.  Was it popular?

JG:      No war is popular.  I missed a word there, excuse me for that, popular because of the death, separating families.


Farmers didn’t have any help. I got out of school at 4:00 in the afternoon.  They moved us up to a little after 2:00, 2:30 maybe, take a while to get bus to home, and I had to walk a mile after I got off the bus, change clothes, walk another mile to help a neighbor and worked till dark and then walked another mile home. It just threw such a load on you, and yes, you get word


a friend’s son had been killed and remember, we had peace for so long.  We wasn’t adjusted to it.  I think the people were adjusting to that type of news and happenings, experiences when the Korean War came on.  And probably other reasons but I never studied it deep enough to really know.

I:          But everybody was


mobilized to support World War II, right?  Working together to support.

JG:      Definitely.  And remember at that time there was no cars made. You had to get along with old cars, no, no big tractors.  You farm, still farming with horses.  It was just a complete change in life.  Korean War, [INAUDIBLE]  Look at my dad.  He went through both of them, suffered through both of them.  So


That, I think that’s more, and I never thought of it till you asked me, and I had not given it any thought.  Old head, don’t bounce back, but I think that’s it.  They was kind of callous to war by the time Korean Conflict came on.

I:          So did you learn anything about Korea when you were in high school?
JG:      Not a thing.

I:          Not a thing.

JG:;     No. No.  It wasn’t heard of.  Of course World War II was on.


I’m trying to think.  That’s a good question.  I vividly remember when the principal called us together to declare war, and listened to Roosevelt declare a Declaration of War on the Nazi’s and that kind, but they didn’t have the communications in those days, either.


A lot was going on with World War II between the countries and Hitler’s actions that we didn’t hear, a little on the radio but not like today with radio in the cars, radio in your hand and tv in the evening.  So it just got more publicity I think.

I:          Yeah.  I think you’re right, yeah.

JG:      I’d like to try to think where I first heard of the Korean breakthrough.  I just can’t recall when it first started.


I:          So when did you join the Military?

JG:      I was drafted in February of 1951 while I was employed at the Armour Meat Company.  I had already worked four years, been out four years before I was drafted.  Many of my Korean veterans today that you probably interviewed, they went right out of high school or if they’s in college, out of college.  But I didn’t proceed to college out of high school,


so man, I was, I’m one of the older Korean vets that was actually drafted.

I:          Where did you get basic military training?

JG:      Camp Chaffeey, Arkansas.

I:          Camp Chpee, Arkansas.  ChaffuI

JG:      C H A F F E Y, maybe a double E, I think it’s double E. I know it is.

I:          How was it?


JG:      Basic training.  In fact, I wrote some articles I want to remember.  February, and there’s still some cold weather, the first week I was there, we hit cold weather.  Get up in the morning, still go out and drill and whatever else we had to do, I got the worst cold and the sorest throat I have ever witnessed in my life just because, and I was out of shape, I was an office worker,


complete physical, the first few weeks was miserable, then I adjusted.  Happened to get in with a good group of fellows.  Hard working, cooperative group of fellas out of the same area that I was in, Kansas, Missouri, they sent us all.  They tried to keep you at a camp close to home. That was planned by the, I think the Military and I think the government just don’t send boys from here to California


if we don’t have to. And so nobody enjoys it, but mine could have been worse.

I:          Had you imagine that you’d be drug into the Korean War?

JG:      Never thought of it, no.

I:          Even during your basic military training, you never thought that you’d go to Korea?

JG:      Oh yes, I knew.

I:          You knew it, right?

JG:      I knew it, yeah.  I did basic training for 8 weeks at Camp Chaffee and applied for Leadership school.


I was selected, so that was another 8 weeks at Korea. Eight weeks in basic, break home, I don’t know remember having any days they give you quite a few.  But it’s a shame I can’t remember that.  Then Leadership was eight weeks, another eight weeks off, and I was selected for Officers’ Training, and again another eight weeks off.


I was almost killed.  Take that three 8’s is 24 out of 52 weeks, I was in Military or home, and then I went to Camp Chaffee it must have been early November because I was there for Thanksgiving.

I:          So you become Officer?

JG:      No, I did not qualify, that’s why I got Korea duty

I:          So when did you leave for Korea?


JG:      Interesting, I got that in my notes.  My first Sunday in Korea was Easter Sunday, so on or about the 15thof April.  It would be 52 by then, see.

I:          1952.

JG:      Yeah, one year.

I:          Where did you land?

JG:      [INAUDIBLE] They needed us, they needed artillery so bad,


the training I got in Fort Sill, when we went there for Officer, and even Leadership was basically artillery.  So I flew from Colorado, I can’t remember the camp there at this time.  They flew us over one night’s stay in Alaska, never going to go back there,


either, and then on down to southern Inchon, Sassavo, Japan and then to Inchon, Korea.

I:          From Inchon, where did you go?

JG:      Overnight there to be assigned to a battery. That’s where I went into the artillery.


Up there I replaced the battery clerk.  He was due to go home, and I had account experience with Armour, I was an accountant with Armour when I was there, and business school. Before I went down to Armour, I was at business school, how many boys would have that qualification for office work. So it worked out very good.  I had good duty there.

I:          What was your unit?


JG:      I tried to look that up. I never kept track of any of my Army stuff when I got home.

I:          What about division?  What division were you?

JG:      25th, and it was, I got the, you can help me with this if you don’t mess up your interview because recently I was represented the Korean Veterans at the Chief’s football game,


November 8, they honored all the veterans, and that’s when I learned more about what area I was in. But it’s in the punchbowl, and I was trying to think what that, but I don’t know what that providence was.  He mentioned the providence when they showed it on tv, so I was in the punchbowl, the Iron Triangle.

I:          Your MOS was office work?

JG:      Yes.


I:          What did you do?  What kind of work did you do?

JG:      Kept track of personnel, who come in, who went out, a list of sick call.  Court martials was the toughest. If we had somebody that was court martialed, I had to free up those charges and the necessary paperwork without error.


In 1951 on an old hand typewriter.  That was tough.  But while there, they kept you busy.  It was 24 hours a day, and you got, other than sleep.  So to keep us busy, they wanted to build a bunker, and we went back into the Southside of the mountain, and you know Korea’s full of mountains,


I:          Yeah.

JH:      and we went back into the Southside and hand dug, not enough equipment released for that, and we built a cutback into the mountain and went up in the woods and cut pine trees, took about eight fellows to carry them and loaded them on a truck, brought down and built a log cabin.  We lined it with the boxes that they ship


the 105 mm howitzers in.  They’d be butt into point in those nice boxes, tear them apart, and we lined, to keep that dirt from coming through them mountains come in, we’d line those logs with those and made it just as good as your wall is here.  Warm, safety.  Take a pretty good bomb to hit right on top of us.  So that was good.  In that tent,


building that building till it was, we built it, it would be the Captain’s driver, the First Sergeant, cook, Supply Sargent, and the Security Sargent.  So that’s how many was in one tent.  Now when we got there, we didn’t have cots yet .  That’s how long the war had been going on.  So our beds, first beds when we got there, and you can imagine,, coming in not expecting that.


Our bed, we lined two poles, one this way and one way and put them in a Y at the, make legs out of fort sticks, and then weave that with telephone wire.  They had ample telephone wire in Korea.  Surprisingly, that gave you a little break, and later on we did get cots.  That’s how long it was from the time that thing started until they could get cots for all the men,


nice clothing, ample food.  Our cook and First Sergeant was good friends, and they’d go South to the old Seoul area and down in that area and secure trade our surplus for product from the engineers like to build that tar paper for the roof that width, food, we were overloaded on trade for better food.  So that, that was good deal.


And then building that log cabin, that was by hand. You carried them logs up.  You nailed every nail by hammer.  So that’s kept you busy.

I:          So you went to Seoul, right?

JG:      No, I didn’t go on that particular trip, but I went through Seoul, I did visit Seoul on another occasion.  I’d be glad to tell you about.  I’m happy to tell you.

I:          Yes, please.

JG:      I had a younger brother, two years younger,


join the Marines. He was in college, boys coming out of college knew they was gonna get drafted.  Some of them, I think they even dropped out figuring let’s get it battled with and come back to college.  So my brother was in the city between Inchon where the.

I:          Your brother?
JG:      My younger brother was in Inchon

I:          What’s his name?

JG:      Harry.  Harry O. Hamilton, still alive, hope you’re in as good of health as I am.


I:          Where does he live now?

JG:      Falls, Falls City, no, I’m sorry.  Rulo, Nebraska.

I:          He was a Marine?

JG:      He was a Marine, yes.

I:          He was there in Korea while you were there?

JG:      Yes.  You can imagine my Dad.  He was not married and had children till he was 38, and  some of us came along later.


Having two kids in Korea at the same time at even your age which is younger than me was, that was a stress on him.  I might add, I would be glad to get a hold of him and set you up for some interviews. Those veterans up there really don’t get much recognition.  They don’t have a group like we have here.

I:          Wow.  That’s unfair.  Two, two brothers from one family, that’s not good.

JG:      You’re the humor.


You got me started, buddy.  By being the battery clerk, I got records of what rules and no rules and what have you.  I’ve learned that you could get a weekend pass to go see close kin, it was limited to maybe cousins or something there because they didn’t know how long you both might be together or might lose one or the other.  So you hitchhiked from where I was up front.


I was in 15 miles of front lines, and he was back just east, West of Seoul between Seoul and Inchon, and I was going to hitchhike.  You’d always get a ride.  Somebody in a Jeep would take you.  The First Sergeant gave me the Captain’s Jeep and driver.  So we head down there and able to visit old Seoul capital.  I’ve got a picture at home of us in the ruins of the Seoul capital.

I:          Why didn’t you bring it with you?

JG:      Beg your pardon?


I:          Why didn’t you bring the pictures with you?

JG:      I was on a trip to Washington.  A granddaughter graduated in Washington, D.C. this past week, and we was out there.  I just got back in one day and I was committed for here.  So I didn’t have that much, I’m behind.  And I think I’ve had trouble finding it. I don’t have it among the ready ones that I got there.  I got some others there, a picture of my brother and I and some of the visits we had.


I:          So, you, did you meet him?

JG:      Beg pardon?

I:          Did you meet your brother?

JG:      Now?

I:          No, no.  In Korea.

JG       Yeah, I went right to his

I:          And so tell me about the Seoul that you saw. How was it?

JG:      Pretty rustic.  They suffered the bombing.  In fact, I remember more of the little shops downtown was the most life I’d seen.  We had quite a busy time.  Just having a Jeep there, we did tour the area around it, quite Military installed, you know.


People between where he lived, if you want to call it that, and the city, they was raising rice right between those areas, and we stopped and tried to visit with them, but none of us could speak English.

I:          Completely destroyed?  How was it?

JG:      The Capital was.  All that was there was the usual rocks and about 2 or 3’ of foundation


And, and open, it was gone, it was gone.

I:          What were you thinking?

JG:      We were just together on a weekend, just like you might take a vacation from work, that was a vacation from the front lines and with your brother and a driver, and he showed us hiw equipment, and he was a loaded heavy lumber and steel to build bridges farther North, and so he showed us his operation there.


And, and, I don’t, we did, we just, remember I was just there a weekend, and so the time we got there and that day then I had to be back at camp, so just, maybe it, two days at the most I was there with him.

I:          Must have been great, isn’t it?  Wasn’t it?

JG:      Oh, it was one of my, certainly.  Few, not too many boys had that opportunity.

I:          Where Harry did work?  Where?  Where?

JG:      Now or there?


I:          No, no. no.  At the time, in Korea.  Where was he?

JG:      It’s a city between Inchon and Seoul.

I:          What did he do?

JG:      He was Marine Corp.

I:          Engineer:

JG:      Yeah.  Engineer, and he loaded lumber and stuff like that. They moved him quite a bit.  They’d have to go someplace else, You want a story teller, you get him.  I’m no, I’ma beginner compared to the stories he can tell.


I:          So he is in Nebraska?

JG:      Yeah, Rulo, Nebraska, right on the Missouri River, North up here.

I:          Please call him.  Is there many Korean War veterans where he lives?

JG:      About three or four of them went with him, but I know he’s lost his best buddy and I think many of the others.  You gonna be at the hotel for a few days?

I:          No, I’m going to leave tomorrow.

JG:      Tomorrow.  Sorry, I’m on the later one from Washington, D.C..


He, he can tell,  being at the back, he can tell more funny stories.  The Marines, they, now this is the truth.  They felt slighted on supplies and stuff.  Saw how many the Army got.  They had midnight requisition some of their food and drinks .  He’ll tell stories like that better than I can. I’d like to tell you about my, maybe you have it on your roster, my R and R trip


had some excitement I’d like to tell you about later if you’d like.

I:          R and R to Japan?

JG:      Yes.  I was eligible like most fellows are.

I:          What was your rank at the time?

JG:      PFC after I got over there.  I got officer’s pay with an officers, I mean Sergeant’s pay when in Officers school.  But once I moved out of there, I was PFC,


made PFC after I was over.  There’s 12 or 15 boys that went up to that front line with me to be assigned.  We all made PFC at the same time.

I:          Did you write a letter back to your father ?
JG:      I wrote regularly to my Mom and Dad and a girlfriend I had at the time.

I:          You had a girlfriend?

JG:      I’d say I’ve been working, had a normal life until I was drafted.  Started working at Armour in St. Joseph, Missouri.


I:          Do you still keep that letter?

JG:      No.  I met another while I was in the Service.  In fact, my buddy lived within 100 and  some miles to the camp.  I couldn’t come clear home, and I had an auto being out here, talking 52 and having an automobile, I think it was a ’49 Chevy and I couldn’t come clear home on a weekend break, so he says ok, come go home with me to


Bentonville, Arkansas where the big grocery chain is yet today, and so I went home with him, and of course that’s where I continued to go times with him then after he went I continued to go up and meet this classmate of his.  So that’s where I met my wife, 64 years now.  I want to tell you about my R and R leave, just humor if you don’t mind.


There’s a slogan in the Army hurry up and wait, and so early morning we go by truck down to the airfield to go to Japan for R and R. So we wait, and all morning long the radio, that’s all we had, was how they were feeding the troops.  And I don’t mean once, I mean every hour,


turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings in the field.  We were here at this little airport.  Here comes our plane in.  It clips a wing, on a telephone pole or something, spins out, nobody hurt. Gentlemen, there’ll be another three-hour delay.  Our group had C-rations.  Just little things that happen that you still remember.


Then I got R and R, and then General Eisenhower was elected, and part of his platform was to settle the Korean War.  So on Thanksgiving weekend on R and R to Japan, he came over on R and R, he came over on Thanksgiving weekend on his own


for some reason. I was on R and R, and they froze all transportation for security because he was, he hadn’t been signed in yet, but he was elected, and it was part of his platform to cease the War.  So he came over to get acquainted with these officers.  He was a veteran, you know, and so we couldn’t, no new boys come in or out.


We were there, and we were stuck there.  Wet, cold, in November I bought my family Christmas stuff while I was there, cold and wet.  Our uniforms got wet.  They wouldn’t replace them.  Wouldn’t let us have, kind of miserable but again, usually stuff that happened on R and R. But min was long and unusual.


I:          Have you been back to Korea?

JG:      No, I’m just not able.  After I came out and got married.  I always wanted to, but raising a family you don’t do that too much.

I:          You know Korean government has a revisit program?
JG:      Yes, I’d love to but family and friends and finance.  A little bit more money over and above is what they furnish, so I would love to when I was younger and healthy enough to do it.

I:          Are you following up with Korea now?


Do you know the Korean economy now?

JG:      I’m active in this Korean Veterans’ group, under Tom Stevens, the President.  I knew him before I met him in the Korean Vets through a mutual friend.  We used to take social trips together with a church group and he would join us.  Yes, we’re well acquainted,


and we visit, and I’m into what’s going on in the Korean Veterans’ now.  I’m active, and he keeps us posted.  He’s national now as well as local and very well at his job.

I:          Have you seen the modern Korea Seoul picture?

JG:      Yes.  I read all, some booklets has been put out, and there’s a gentleman out at Truman Library one evening telling about his life in Seoul, and he was with a car company there after the War, and that was interesting.  He brought us up to date.  Oh yeah, I’ve seen.  I’ve got quite a bit of stuff. I get a lot of magazines from it.  I’ve got three or four books that was issued on Korea.

I:          You remember Seoul, Korea in 1952.   You saw, completely destroyed.  And when you see the modern Seoul?  Tell me about it.  What is it?


JG:      I hadn’t gave that the thought I did on my own experience.  It shows it can be done.  Would that be a way to, We give credit to Korean people for taking that approach. There’s North Korea.  Instead of them, and they have an idiot running that for the past few years, if those two countries would agree to something like that, let’s get better, they can do it.


But this, it’s hard to get ideas in the politicians and governments lie, I guess.  It’s too bad it’s not one nation.

I:          When you see that old Korea and now, do you feel much difference between Seoul in 1952 and now?

JG:      They were raising rice there to live on.  They had rice fields right there, and that was a main diet


where now they live as good a life as we do probably because they work and held jobs and created one of the biggest ship builders or something, cars, Kia or what’s over there, and that’s who this fellow at the Library.  He was with them from the start, and they had a rough start.  My wife and I drove out there that night just to hear about it.


Very interesting meeting.

I:          Do you know, Korea is now 11thlargest economy in the world?

JG:      Yes.  He told that and more recently, and then seems we had some meetings that we got that, oh, we have some veterans’ group visit us once in a while to be in town or something or some job here, of course, Korean, look up Tom


is available to them and we hear their story and his position there is Vice President, Second Vice, I’m interested or I wouldn’t, I read the books.  I have them at home yet.,

I:          So you must be proud of your service, about the success of South Korea.

JG:      I am, and the fact that I served without injury, came out with no,


two years out of my life with a different experience.  Still work, building and doing a job

I:          Has your brother been back to Korea?

JG:      No.  He didn’t have the type of job I had.

I:          South Korea invites Korean War veterans’, and you and your brother Harry, if two of you go together, they will see you as an amazing star, Korean War veteran stars, brothers.

JH:      Yeah.


You want to try?

JG:      Oh, I don’t think so. My wife’s health’s not that well now, and life is, no, I had a situation where I couldn’t make it now.

I:          Any other message that you want to leave to this interview?

JG:      In my notes of stuff, trying to think if there’s anything else.  I want to, first Sunday I told you about driving the, did I tell you about driving the truck?


That was an experience, on that mud.  Ruts was deep from the weight of the trucks and that soft mud, took those boys to MASH and the Second Lieutenant says stay on the ridge.  Don’t go down that hole because you’ll just go deeper and you’ll be stuck.  I drove over, but he drove back.  I wasn’t used to driving a truck.  What was the other that I’d like to tell about Korea?


I spoke to high school kids for two years about my experience in Korea.  They wanted us to, from Headquarters

I:          Tell America Program.

JG:      It must have been.  My son was in one of the bigger colleges right here, school’s here close, and his teacher was just tickled to death to have it, then I went out to, I belong to a Catholic Church, and our principal of our school, grade school went out to high school


and I called him and he invited me, and I went there.  And then Tom and I was asked by offices group that’s got a social group here in town come to tell about our experiences, and that was interesting even though they didn’t serve in Korea.  They just had that duty, and that was an interesting meeting.  I was gonna tell you about that if you had had the time for this kind of stuff.  The, let’s see. I told about


R and R, building the cabin, my duty.  That’s about all I got on that note to tell you about I think.  I didn’t fight, didn’t fuss it and didn’t mourn.  Come home in, say I came home in, oh, I do want to tell you about one.  We, toward the end,


I was in that, in that nice place, built that log cabin home and that, and then we got orders to move.  We had to move, clean everything out of, they was gonna leave nothing and, paint, gallons of it, and we had to care for our facilities, had to dump anything that we couldn’t carry.  So the First Sergeant and me had a Jeep, assigned a Jeep, and I hadn’t drove one for ages,


just short hauls, and we had this big move to make.  We left early that morning, boy that night, my back, leg ached from shifting that thing, wasn’t used to it.  So that was our first move.  Well that night, I slept under the Jeep because we got there, the place was full, and the other unit was supposed to move out and they didn’t get out and we sat there, so I just slept under the edge of the Jeep.


Next morning there’s 2” of snow on the ground, and I slept clear through [LAUGHS] and missed breakfast.  The Sergeant let me sleep. I missed breakfast.  That was, and then we moved again, and it was muddy and wet, thawed some way, and I remember our tent got muddy on both sides, trying to put it up, and that night,


the Second Lieutenant came in to talk to us, and he says he felt the boys well informed was better soldiers than what’s going on, and so he came in to talk to us, and what they had planned, they had moved all the artillery back into a straight line, miles back, and then left a small crew up front of infantrymen to defend, and they had rumors from a captured prisoner


that there was going to be a big drive, and all the time I was over there, they was in that, meetings to try and settle that thing, but they really didn’t trust the Communists. They thought possibly, you probably know this, that they was feared that they was holding those meetings and wouldn’t agree to something, majorly exchange of prisoners, so they could build up more manpower and weapons to come again.  So once they got that rumor, prisoners they caught and


they’d been hearing that they was ready to make that drive.  So he come .The theory was hold us back, if they did make a drive pull those small corp. that were left back, pull them back and level that ground from the South with artillery because see they bunched them.  Airplanes from the North, and his exact words there won’t be a place for man to stand.  That’s war for him.  That’s war.


I did have one accident while I was in Korea while we was going over hills full of mountains and we was doing some work around my cabin there, and the Sergeant said I’m here for the Jeep to the fire direction center to pick something up that we needed, and so they graded the security around our camp there,


And there were those bulldozers came down from the line up there, they put their blade down, and they’d dig up dirt and make a mound.  That slowed them down because it was that steep.  Well, when I turned that Jeep into that low cavity that blade had made, it tipped over.   Now here comes a Jeep, I’m in the driver’s seat.  I did hurt my arm.  I was sent to the hospital that night to be sure it wasn’t broken.  Partner,


I missed that back wheel by that far.  Now imagine being in a Jeep tipping over, young enough, grassy enough that you could cover the back end of a Jeep was probably farther than you’re in the back of that chair.  That’s how close it was.  Miserable night that hospital.  Boys was crying from burns and injuries and I wasn’t, just arm didn’t probably slung yet. But the nurses and the officers didn’t and the doctors didn’t do much about it.


They done all they could do, and that cold, I had to go get covers for the boys myself.

I:          You’re lucky man.

JG:      I feel I am.

I:          Did you pray?

JG:      Catholics pray a lot you know.  Oh yeah, certainly.  Well you did, well I guess it was religious training, you do that.  I still pray today, partner, still pray today. Yeah.


I:          So, your service there has contributed to the modern Korea.  We were given opportunity to rebuild our nation because of your service there.  So we would like to thank you, Joe, for your service.

JG:      Everybody does.


[End of Recorded Material]