Letters from the War Zone

Lavar Hollingshead Letters

 
Close this window
 

Forward by Conrad Grimshaw
Beaver, Utah

Lavar was always a close friend of mine and for years we were always messing around with old cars, hunting rabbits, and building things that had motors on them. When the Guard Unit was organized, we joined and later became non-coms and section chiefs, etc. Lavar was about 22 and was never interested in girls. He was a real tough kid. If it didn’t have a motor on it, he wasn’t interested in it. Along came this young 17-year-old girl and melted his heart. I don’t know exactly where Patsy’s motor was, but she talked him into marrying her. They were married on the 19th with the rest of us and we all moved to Fort Lewis and all found our little homes next to each other and lived there for 4 months before they shipped us overseas to Korea.

Lavar had nicknames for a lot of the guys. "Senator" was the name he gave Clyde Evans who was a young kid who came from Minersville, just west of Beaver. Lavar’s wife came from there also. Lavar became his Mentor. In all these letters he refers to Clyde as Senator or Snuffy. Clyde was also my Jeep driver for a while.

Lavar died four years ago. He lived mostly in Pioche, Nevada, and when he found out he had cancer, Patsy brought him back to the Beaver Hospital, where he died. Patsy gave me the copy of his letters that I am sending you. She was here in Beaver last week for a funeral of a friend and I got her permission to send a copy of the letters to you.

My history covers some of both of us while we were in Korea. [See the Memoirs of Conrad Grimshaw, Veterans’ Memoirs, Korean War Educator.]


Memoirs of the Korean War (The Forgotten War)
Taken from letters that Lavar Hollingshead sent to his wife from Korea

[KWE Note: The following letters have been edited by the KWE for grammar and spelling, but not context.]

February 12, 1951:

We have just arrived in the port of Yokohama, Japan, and this is the first chance we have had to send any mail off from this damn ship since we left Seattle. From what they say we are going on to school at a place they call Pusan. I guess we will spend our vacation there for a while. Right now I have a feeling of hate for the Navy. Some of the junk they feed us on this tub, the fish won’t eat when it is thrown overboard. It turns the water pink.

I don’t want you to worry too much about me. I think the war will be over soon with the way it sounds now.

We just had mail call and I had three letters from you. You don’t know how happy I am to hear from you. Another mail call and I just got six more letters from you. That makes nine letters I got from you today, and two from Mom, and one from Dee. Please keep on writing the way you have been. You don’t know how great it is to hear from you when I am so far away from home. I am afraid I am going to be over here for quite a while. I let Senator read one of your letters, I hope you don’t mind. His morale has been so low. He is still chuckling about some of it.

Senator and I have been trying to find out where Grant’s ship is, but so far, no one seems to know. We will find him if we have to swim to his ship. If you know where Grant is, write and tell us in your next letter.

I just got one more letter from you. You can’t imagine how much letters have cheered these guys up. Keep on writing, keep on writing.


February 13, 1951:

They are going to let us off this ship for two hours this morning, so I think I will take a look at this city. They say it is quite a modern city and from the looks of the people around here, they wear the same style of clothing that we do at home.

I think we will be leaving here at one o’clock today for Pusan. I don’t know what we will do when we get there because our equipment hasn’t gotten there yet.

Just got back from the city. I have never seen so many pretty things in my life. I wish that I had enough money to buy some of those pretty things for you.

You ask about going to church here on the ship. They have had Sacrament Meeting twice and I went both times.

Jack has some film for this camera so I will send you some pictures of me when we get to Korea. Please send me some airmail envelopes and writing paper. It is hard to get around here.


February 15, 1951:

We are about to land in Pusan. I guess we will stay and train there awhile. I will be really glad to get off this boat. I need to move around a little. It is getting so it stinks worse than a pigpen

I haven’t had any more letters from you since I got the nine letters in Japan, but I guess you haven’t forgotten me. There will more than likely be some mail waiting at Pusan. I have been reading your letters over again every night before I go to bed. It makes me feel closer to you.


February 17, 1951:

We are about six miles north of Pusan now. We finally got off from that ship and it was about time, too. It was 22 days that we were on it. I don’t think I would make much of a sailor. We are living in tents here and it is sure cold at night. The weather is a lot like the weather around home. This sleeping bag is sure nice to sleep in on cold nights. Some of the guys just about froze last night in those damn Army sleeping bags.

These Korean people are the dirtiest people I have ever seen. They stink so badly you can smell them a block off. People can say all they want about our American Indians, but they are polished brass compared to these people.

We will be here for about a week and then we will move out to some place north of here and train for a while--I think for about three weeks or more. They made me Battalion Motor Sergeant. Now that we are off the boat, I should get a promotion.

We heard on the radio last night that the U.S. was not going to send any National Guard troops overseas. I wish you would write and tell them they are damn liars, and who are they trying to fool, the Chinks or us.

They are feeding us good here. I wish the food on the ship would have been this good. Sure hope we don’t have to stay over here too long, but seeing that we’re over here, I guess they will keep us as long as they want to. If you can send me a radio battery for this radio, I need a spare. By the way, my APO # is 301 now.

February18, 1951:

I just got back from taking my first bath since we left Seattle and it sure felt good to get that old dirt washed off. We wash our faces and hands in our helmets and also our clothing. The helmets are the best piece of equipment we have with us.

There was a Master Sergeant killed in town last night by some of the South Koreans and as far as I'm concerned, I wouldn’t trust them any more than I would the North Koreans. I hear they will steal you blind if you don’t watch every move they make and they say they will kill a man for a dollar. I carry my pistol with me all the time. I am sure there are a lot of North Koreans mixed in with the South Koreans, because the streets are covered with people coming in from the north where the fighting is.

I just got back from Sacrament Meeting, so I’ll finish this letter. Senator and I went down to the Red Cross Club last night and we had a good time. They serve coffee and donuts, all you can eat and drink. I tried one cup, but that was enough for me. Don’t worry about coffee becoming a habit with me.

I haven’t got the package you said you sent me. I guess it takes longer to get packages here, so I won’t give up hope of getting it.


February 19, 1951:

Just received two letters from you today. While sitting here reading them, I realized that we have been married for six months today. Is that an anniversary? I’m afraid that we won’t be together on our one-year anniversary either, but we will be able to be together some day.

Today a Korean woman wanted to sell me her two babies for $1.25 each. If you want them, just write and let me know. They are two little boys, with dark eyes, and cute as can be. Just look at all the points I could get for them, then if we could find one more, I could get a "Dependent Discharge" and come home to you. Think about that won’t you?

We will be paid on the 28th, and they don’t take any Income Tax out, so I should have a pretty good check. I get paid $16.00 more a month for being here. As far as I’m concerned Uncle Sam can keep the $16.00 and send me home to you.

The way your letters sound, you haven’t had any letters from me yet. But I have been writing to you about every day and I am going to keep writing to you every day as long as I can.

Last night Walter Messinger woke up about 12 o’clock and there was a Korean stooped right over the side of him. Walt said he yelled, "Get the hell out of here," then he pulled the blankets up over his head and lay there and shook. Then a little while later, Max Lewis came stumbling in the door of the tent and Walt thought it was that Korean back again trying to steal something and Walt threw his boot at him. He broke Max’s nose.


February 21, 1951:

Today I received two letters from you, one postmarked the 12th and the other postmarked the 13th. I was sure glad to get them. I wish that some of the other guys could get as many letters as I get from you. It sure makes them feel bad when they don’t get a letter for 2 or 3 days at a time.

It has been raining here for two days and the mud is getting real deep. These rice paddies are one hell of a place to be camped when it’s raining.

We had an air raid alert the other day and we all run for holes. Then to top it off, I had to pick an old latrine to dive into. You should have seen me when I came crawling out. The guys wouldn’t even let me in the tent to take my clothes off.

They sent Marshall to the hospital in Japan. He had a growth on his lip they thought might be a cancer, but they weren’t sure.

Jack just came in and gave me some fruitcake he had won down at the Red Cross Club, playing pool. It sure tasted good.


February 23, 1951:

It has quit raining here at last, and the sun has come out. I haven’t worn a coat for the last two days. I hope it doesn’t get as cold as it was when we got here. It wasn’t any colder here than it is at home this time of the year. But when you live in a tent you can feel cold a lot easier. When you want to know how the weather is here just listen to your radio and you will hear how many sorties the Air Force make for the day and they will also tell you the weather conditions they were flying in. The weather here is just like the weather up north by Seoul. The Air Base that all the sorties are flown from is only six miles from here and all of their planes come right over us when they fly up to the front. You can see the bombs and their rockets hanging from their wings as they fly over.

If you haven’t sent that radio battery to me yet, never mind. Some of the Army batteries fit this just fine.

Senator is here writing a letter with me and he is sure put out because he hasn’t been getting very many letters from home. But he seems to be having quite a bit of fun.

I shouldn’t have said anything about the rain stopping, because it just started again. The mud will be ass deep to a giraffe instead of a tall Indian.

If I don’t get some stationery pretty soon I will have to write on the backs of your letters and send them back to you.

The Koreans stole two trucks from the 204th and they can’t find them any place. I wish they would steal everything we have and maybe they would send us home.

We are going to leave here on the 28th and we are going to a training area. We will be there for quite awhile.


February 24, 1951:

I received four letters from you today. Great! We are listening to my little radio. The Hit Parade is playing "Thinking of You" right now, and that’s what I’m doing.

This list is so bad in here I can’t hardly stay on the lines of this paper. All we have for lights are some coal oil lights made out of beer cans. We bought them from some Korean kids for $1.00 each. I think they kind of beat us in the deal, but we have to have some kind of light to see in this tent.

I didn’t get this letter finished the other night, so I am finishing it now—it’s the 26th. I have been working at the Port the last two days and I haven’t been able to finish writing to you until today. We got our equipment the night of the 24th and I have been going night and day since then. Some of it has been broken up pretty bad. The bad part about that is we can’t get any more equipment here to replace it. I got a big box last night that I thought was a light plant. It was on a two-wheeled trailer and boy was it heavy. When we tore the box off from it I was madder than all hell. There were six Singer sewing machines in it. I put the box back on it this morning and took it back to the docks and I told them that we made a mistake and got the wrong trailer. From now on I am going to look in the box before I take it.

When Grant told you it was hell over here, he wasn’t kidding. These people over here are all but starving to death. There are 50,000 of them that don’t even have a place to sleep and more are coming in from the north all the time. This morning I saw someone lying in the middle of the road dead. This was while I was going into the docks to check on some trucks there. Maybe when I get home I will have a burlap sack wrapped around me and go from door to door saying "chop chop." That means food. If I came to your door, would you feed me?


February 27, 1951:

I went into the docks today to bring back a tank. While I was down there, it started to rain and it is still raining tonight. I guess it will rain for two or three more days now. When I was coming back, I ran out of gas and I had to walk for two miles in the rain. Boy, did I get wet. I got my clothes washed right on me.

As you can see I have some new writing paper. I didn’t have to steal it. Ronald Smith’s mother sent him a whole box of paper and envelopes and he gave some to me.

I am going to get paid tomorrow. I think I will get around $300.00. I will send you a money order for $250.00 and you can do what you want to with it. You said you needed new clothes, so use what you need.

We have a Korean kid with us now. He is 18 years old and is about 5’5" tall. He lived in Seoul before the war started. He can talk as good as a lot of Americans I have listened to and he is quite smart. I will send you a picture of him soon. He is living in our tent and I can say one thing. He is the cleanest Korean I have seen yet. He washes and brushes his teeth every night.

I have a nosebleed right now so I will close. I have a head cold, so that is probably what is causing the nosebleed.


February 28, 1951:

I got paid today and they beat me on it again. But this time I filled out some papers to have them get me the rest of my pay. I got $150.00 and I should have gotten better than $200.00. They didn’t pay me my overseas pay, which is $16.00 a month, and they didn’t take my income tax from my pay record, so they kept $12.00 out of my pay for income taxes. I will send you a money order for $125.00 and when they make up the rest of my pay, I will send it to you. I am going to keep $25.00 to buy a few things for myself.

It has been raining here for the last two days, and it is still raining. We can’t even get the trucks out of the motor pool without getting them stuck in the mud. We had one of our tanks sink about two feet in the mud when it was setting still. I don’t know how we will get it out.

Some of the guys have lost all of their money already playing poker. Jack has lost $55.00 playing poker. I bawled him out about it, but I don’t know if it will do any good. He doesn’t act like he cares much about anything.

Senator hasn’t been feeling too good lately. I think he is worrying a lot about going into the front lines. Some of these guys around here keep telling him a lot of tales and they scare him so much that he won’t pull guard duty without somebody with him. Just before we went on guard duty the other night, hey told him that there were some Korean war prisoners running loose around here. He got sicker than a dog and they couldn’t put him on duty.

Don’t lose too much sleep worrying about me. I can pretty well take care of myself. Tell some of the people around there to write to Senator.


March 2, 1951:

We are leaving here in the morning. We are going to a place about 25 miles north of here and we will stay there for three weeks or more. I think it will depend on how the war is coming out for the length of time we have at the place we are going. It has finally quit raining here and it has got colder than all hell.

I received a letter from you yesterday. It sounds like you haven’t received any mail since we were in Japan. I don’t know what the matter is. It takes 7 to 8 days to get a letter from you.


March 4, 1951:

We have moved to our new area, and I like it a lot better than I liked the other place at Pusan. We are living in 12-men tents. They only have dirt floors, but that is a lot better than all the mud we had at the other place. We are only one half of a block from a good-sized river. It is the only clean water I have seen since I have been in Korea. We are about 25 miles north of Pusan and it is quite a bit warmer here. When I said that we were camped on dirt, I should have said sand because this whole area is clean sand and gravel that has been washed in here by the river.

I got a letter from you yesterday and one today. I got a parcel from Mom too. I still haven’t received the parcel you sent me yet.

Senator is really a’hopping around here now. They told him he could take his pick of the jobs around here and Senator can’t make up his mind which one is the safest. He has asked me 20 times today which job I think is the safest. He is driving Beeson crazy. Beeson says he is going to trade Snuffy to the Koreans if he doesn’t find something that Snuffy can do without causing a lot of trouble for him.


March 8, 1951:

I haven’t been able to write for the last two days because I have been working until after dark both days. I have been going back to Pusan in the mornings and not getting back here until after dark. The road I have to drive over is about like one of our cow trails back home. I spend all day trying to get parts to keep these damn old trucks running. All of the parts I get, I have to steal from some Ordnance outfit. I guess when I go to see St. Peter and see if he will let me through the pearly gates, and they hand me the chalk to mark down my black marks on the way up the steps, I will more than likely run out of chalk and have to come back down for more.

It rained here yesterday, but it didn’t get muddy at all. I was sure glad of that. Last night it sure got cold and the way it feels tonight, I think it will be just as cold.

I sure wish I had the old shotgun over here, because there sure are a lot of pheasants here. The Battery has been going to get us a shotgun ever since we got over here and they haven’t got it yet. I don’t suppose we will ever get one.

From the way the radio sounds, they have started the rotation plan to work and I guess if it works out all right, we will be coming back in about six months. I guess some of the 18-year old boys aren’t too happy about the draft law they passed, are they?

They sure are feeding us good here. Better close for now.


March 9, 1951:

I haven’t received a letter from you for three days, and I don’t know what is the matter. I just got through writing a letter to Mom and Dad.

They killed a North Korean over on the road today. He was dressed in a G.I. uniform and he had some Russian-made guns hidden under his clothing.

It has been quite warm here today. I’ll bet it gets hot here in the summer time. I still haven’t got the parcel you sent me. I guess someone else has it by now.

Have you heard anything about Marshall lately? We haven’t heard a thing about him since he left us two weeks ago. From what they say, he won’t come back to us when he leaves Japan. Can’t think of anything else to say except I miss you.


March 11, 1951:

I finally got a parcel from you. It had popcorn and cake in it. Did you make the cake? It sure was good. I also got eight letters from you, and was I glad.

Senator has been getting letters just about every time I do. Sure makes a difference in him.

Jack has some film for his camera now, so he will more than likely send some of the film home to be developed.

You don’’t have to send any more writing paper and envelopes. We just got a shipment of it. They have issued it out to us and I have plenty of it now. But if you can send me a wash cloth and towel.

How are the boys taking the new draft law? Still crying over it? Has Noal Wood left for the Army yet or are they still trying to get him out of it?

Is Grant going to get out of the Navy this year or is he frozen in for the rest of this war? As far as I can see, they could fight over here for 100 years and not gain one thing. There isn’t anything over here worth fighting for. I wouldn’t have it if they gave me the whole place. You can’t hardly trust one of them. If they did win the war with the North Koreans, they would have to turn around and fight the South Koreans to keep them from stealing everything we have. They kill two or three of them every day around here trying to steal ammunition from us.


March 12, 1951:

Just a few lines before I go to bed so you know how things are going. I still have some of that cake you sent me and I still don’t know whether you made it or not. It sure is good. If you made it, just keep up the good work.

I got a little scarf in town yesterday and they sure took me on it. It cost $1.00. I got it for a souvenir just so I can remember this damn place when I get home. The black market prices are higher here than the prices of things at home. In the PX you can’t buy anything except cigarettes, but you can walk across the street into a gook store and buy all the American goods you want. A bar of soap costs you 25 cents. They should drop an A bomb on the whole works and they would have peace from then on.

If you tell a South Korean that the U.S. is going to stop at the 38th Parallel, it scares them to death. They want us to take all of Korea for them. These Koreans are all alike, north or south. If you take three of them out to do some work, two of them will be bosses and the other will do the work. There isn’t one out of a hundred worth shooting. Guess you’ve heard me cuss them enough, but the more I see of them, the more I dislike them.


March 13, 1951:

I received three more letters from you today. You sound like you have the blues. I guess we all have them at times. Try not to worry. Go to a movie and have some fun with the girls.

They have put Senator in my section now as my Jeep driver. I think he will be quite content now. I’ll try to watch over him.

About Max Lewis’s nose, they found out it wasn’t broken, but it sure was swollen and they thought it was broken for a while.

The 204th moved up here by us the other day. I guess they will be training with us. The way things sound now, I wouldn’t doubt if this war is over soon--that is, if they stop at the 38th parallel.

I got a letter from Bill Cox today. I guess he is doing fine now. The boys sure miss him, so do I. He is sure a lot of fun to have around.

Don’t listen to all the rumors you hear, just keep those letters coming.


March 22, 1951:

I received a letter from you today, and I was sure glad to hear from you again. It has been two days since I heard from you. I guess the mail is messed up on both sides of the water.

I’m sorry that you are not going to have a baby. It would make it a lot easier on you, and take your mind off your worries. I think it will be better if you were older before you had a baby. You are still too young. I know the waiting wouldn’t seem as long until I came home if you had a baby. I am afraid we are going to be over here for quite a while by the way it looks now.

Senator and I got picked up by the MP’s today in Pusan. They were going to send us back to the front lines. It took us quite a while to convince them that we had never been up at the front lines. After about an hour, they let us go. One of them tried to steal my pistol from me while we were at the MP station. I had to tell them that I was going to call the Battalion commander if they didn’t hand my gun over to me.

These dried peaches you sent me sure have a potent smell to them. They smell just like my feet. They taste pretty good though.

Have to close now. Remember I love you and miss you.


March 24, 1951:

I received three more letters from you tonight. Sounds like you worry too much.

They put me on guard duty tonight. I guess I am the only one around here that doesn’t cry about it, so they take advantage of me. Service Battery hasn’t been pulling guard duty until tonight. The rest of the Battalion went out on a two-day problem and left us here by ourselves.

I received two letters from Mom tonight also. She told me that I should be glad that I was able to find a wife as nice as you. Believe me, she didn’t have to tell me that. I found that out already. It’s nice to have people tell me what a nice girl you are, anyway.

Tomorrow is Easter. It sure won’t be like last Easter will it? When I think of all the things that have happened to me since last Easter, I hope to hell that this many things don’t happen to me within this year.

Better close and get some sleep. I have to get up in four hours and go on guard again. Remember I love you and want you to go out and have some fun, not stay home all the time. I agree with your dad. You don't need to baby-sit every day.


March 25, 1951:

It seems that no matter where you are, it always rains or snows on Easter. Well it’s raining here today. I really don’t care much because I would like to see the ground get wet again and maybe there won’t be so much dust flying around here. It has been quite hot here the last week or so and has really dried things up. I know this place is not as cold as it is at home because there isn’t any snow on the mountains around us. I guess it just seems cold because we are living in tents. I would hate to live in a tent at home, at this time of year.

Polk and I just got back from Pusan a little while ago. We went out to the airfield to see what we could steal from them, but they had everything locked up because they didn’t have to work on Easter.

The other day Senator, Paul Thompson, and I went into Pusan. On the way back, Senator said he was going to pick up one of the girls that were hitch hiking along the road. We told him that he didn’t dare, but he did. I made him get in back with her and I drove. He was really acting up and having the time of his life.

Some of the guys in the Battalion have been hitting the "Cat Houses" pretty good lately. There is one just up the hill from us. Every time you go past there, the girls come out and try to get you to come in. Don’t ever worry about me stopping there. I hear there are six cases of gonorrhea in the Battalion.

I received a big candy Easter Egg from Mom today. Since you sent me all of that candy in your parcel, I have really got filled up on candy. I haven’t opened two of my parcels yet. Bob Low got some cheese from home today and is it strong. I can smell it all over the place now.

Bear in mind that I love you very much and I promise that I will not do anything that you wouldn’t, so you know I will be good like you.


March 26, 1951:

Just a short note. Jack took these pictures. I forgot to put them in the letter yesterday. I sure look pot-gutted in this one. Scribe Gillies is in back of the ambulance pulling faces. The other picture has Bob Low, Rondo Farr and Don Yardly in the center sitting down. Love you.


March 31, 1951:

The way your letters sound, you haven’t been getting very many letters from me. You should have until the last four days, I haven’t even had time to get a good night’s sleep. I think we are going to move out of here in the next week. We will go back to Pusan and load our equipment on an LTD and go up the coast to Inchon and from there to Seoul. We have finished our training here.

It has started to rain again tonight, but I don’t mind the rain here at all. It isn’t like the rain at Fort Lewis. It is more like home weather. Spring is setting in around here now and it is getting quite pretty around the hills and the grain fields. We hardly ever wear our coats.

We got paid today and I got $115.00 for this month. They still owe me about $40.00 from last time we got paid.

I went to a picture show last night and it was pretty good. It was called "Kim." I don’t know if you have seen it or not. Better go now. Love you much.


May 5, 1951 – Saturday:

I received two letters from you yesterday. The mail has been pretty slow getting here lately. I know I haven’t been writing to you every night like I should be doing.

I got two money orders today and I am sending them with this letter. What are we going to do with all of our money anyway? Shall we go get on a big drunk and spend it all? We could sure have a lot of fun, don’t you think so?

I haven’t seen Jack for about a week now. I guess I will have to go up on the firing line and see him. They can’t find any "Chinks" up there to shoot at, so all they have to do is eat and sleep, and pull guard duty of course. Some of the "chickens" up there can’t sleep without a lot of guards. That’s the officers you know.

Did I tell you about Senator the night the Chinks run us out of Kapyong? Well, everybody thought he would be scared to death if he had some Chinks chasing him. But it turned out the other way around. He wasn’t half as scared as the "brave" ones around there. While I had all of the guys loading up the trucks, Senator drove up in his jeep and asked me when I wanted him to leave. He had all of his things loaded in the Jeep with him. I told him that he might as well get out of there as soon as he could. So he went all alone. Some of the boys were so scared that they didn’t know what they were doing. You bet they don’t tease Senator anymore about being afraid of the Chinks.

Oh yes, I’ve got a shotgun now, and I got two big pheasants this morning. There sure are a lot of them over here. Better close now.


May 9, 1951:

I heard of your Grandpa’s death and I can’t believe it could have happened to him. He always seemed so healthy. I guess you had a bad time with losing your Grandpa during Grant’s wedding reception. I’m sure sorry.

We have moved again. We are about one mile east of Inchon. I am getting pretty tired of moving every two or three days.

I don’t know if I told you that I received a big parcel from you or not. The cake was sure good. Did you make it? I also received two parcels from Mom. I am sure glad you are sending me these parcels because they sure do come in handy when we are moving from place to place.

The gun batteries are about 20 miles behind the front lines now. Jack is still with them though. I think we will be moving up again pretty soon now. They say that the "Chinks" are clear back at Kapyong where we were at when they run us out of there.

It is getting hotter than hell over here now. I hope it doesn’t get too much hotter, or we will roast for sure. We can hardly work in the afternoons now. I guess we’re just not used to the hot weather. I’ll close for now and get some sleep. Lots of love.


May 21, 1951:

It’s raining again and the way it looks, it isn’t going to quit very soon. I guess the rainy season is sitting in now. But then, I would rather have rain than dust.

I got a big parcel from you yesterday. I sure like the candy, but Honey, I have got so much gum now that I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t think I will need any more for quite a while. I just opened a parcel that Mom sent me before we left K.P. Yong. That was a month ago. It was a fruitcake with white icing on it, and it sure is good.

We got some Japanese beer today and some are getting drunk. They say it sure is good.

I went to Inchon today to get some parts for our Caterpillar. They sure have got a lot of salvage Caterpillars and other big equipment rusting away down there. But I got what I went after. Inchon is 115 miles from where we are now.

You asked in one of your letters if my radio was still working or not. Well, it’s working fine. I am sure glad that I have it here with me. It is the only way we have of finding out what is going on around the world. And every night we listen to the request songs that are broadcast from Japan to the GI’s over here. The requests come from the folks at home.

Honey, I have about forgotten what you look like, and you haven’t sent me any pictures of you, so please do. I wish I could be with you now instead of being so far away from you. Love.


May 27, 1951:

Well Honey, we have moved again and I guess we will be moving again pretty soon. It seems like we are always moving.

We are just about back up to Kapyong again. The firing batteries have gone within three miles of the 38th parallel. I guess they are really shooting the hell out of the Chinese from what they tell me. They seem to be giving up and surrendering pretty fast now. From what we hear around here, there is a lot of talk about the Chinese wanting to quit the war. The air observers say that there are more Chinese going back across the Manchurian border than there has ever been coming across into Korea here, at one time.

I just got three letters from you and I sure was glad to get them. You said that it is snowing at home. It should help out a lot this year. I also got the graduation announcement you sent me. I’m glad that you could graduate.

It seems that our mail comes to us in spurts, with three or four letters at a time, then none for several days.

It is raining here again. This place might be as bad as Fort Lewis for rain. And they tell me the rainy season hasn’t started yet.

Some seem to think that we will be out of here pretty soon, but I don’t think we could have any luck of that kind.

Jack and Scrib went hunting Chinese on foot today. I don’t know whether they got any or not. Four of our boys went hunting Chinese today and brought back 400 prisoners with them. I guess Jack and Scrib have been having quite up there the last few days. The Chinese are surrendering by the thousands today, because they are trapped on all sides.

Well Honey, I will quit for now, so remember that I love you more than ever and I hope we can be together again soon and make up for some of our lost time.

Tell Mom not to worry too much over Jack, because he is quite safe at his job and I don’t think he takes any chances he doesn’t have to. Lots of love.


June 2, 1941:

How are things going with you, Honey? I am sick again. The old one-holes we have just about grew to my butt in the last two days. I’m doing pretty good tonight though. All of the boys have been sick, I think it’s the water that is causing us all to get sick. I guess there are too many dead "Chinks" in the river where we get our water.

I don’t know if I told you before that we were north of Chunchon now or not. We are about three miles north of there now. We moved up all of a sudden the other day.

We got paid today. This month went by pretty fast. I hope that all of them slip by just as fast.

I have some negatives of pictures taken by Sergeant Teazel. Some of them are pretty good. All of the Battalion motor section is in some of them. Have some prints made for me will you?

I got a letter from you yesterday. I guess you old gals have quite a BS session when you get together, from the way you talk in your letters.

Senator went to Japan today on a 7-day furlough. I’ll bet he has quite a time if one of those little Japanese gals get a hold of him. They say if you will treat them good, they will hang on to you as long as they can.

We don’t know for sure when we will be rotated. Some say in two months from now and some say longer, so you can see that no one knows for sure. Some of the ERC are getting out of this outfit this month and are getting out of the Army. I do know one thing for sure and that is, they won’t get me in the National Guard again with their damn lies. Remember I love you very much.


June 14, 1951:

I have been sent on an advanced detail and I haven’t had a chance to mail any letters for the last three days, so don’t think that I have forgotten you. I am driving a Cat. We are on the south side of the Hwachon reservoir building roads and digging gun pits for our big guns. All of the Army units up at the front are going to pull back and dig in and wait to see if the Chinese want to quit fighting or not. Some seem to think they will, but there’s no way of finding out until we all pull back and see if they are going to come back after us.

Jack is still with HQ Battery. They are about 20 miles from here. Our Battery has already pulled back from the front lines now.

I haven’t had any mail from you for 5 days now. I guess they have it messed up somewhere in the Battalion.

Connie Grimshaw is leaving for home tomorrow. I guess I won’t get a chance to see him before he leaves. Three other guys are leaving with him from Service Battery. Seventeen men are leaving from the Battalion. They are enlisted reserves that came into the outfit when we came over here.

I have buried 20 dead Chinese in the last two days with the Cat. Some of them were still in their foxholes. All you have to do to find them is just take a big deep breath of air and you can walk right to them. The civilians are dying off like flies around here. They are getting Typhoid Fever out of the water. I walked over to a little shack the other day and looked in it. I found two little girls setting over in the corner of a little room and in the next room their father and mother was lying on the floor dead. They had been dead for about a week or two. We got the little girls out of the house and set it on fire. We have burned five houses with dead people in them so far. We’re feeding about 15 kids from around here. I don’t know where they come from, but every day when we eat, here they come. After we feed them, you can’t find any of them anywhere. They were so dirty you couldn’t see them, so Puffer had some soap sent up here and last night I took it up to a place where five families were living and I made the women take their kids down to the creek and give them baths. When I got them down there, the old gals, kids, and all went in for a bath. Boy, did some of them old gals have black old bodies.

I’ll close for now. Honey, don’t ever let yourself get that dirty. It might remind me of Korea. Loads of love.


June 18, 1951:

I just received eight letters today. Six of them were from you. They were the first I have received in ten days now. I don’t know what is happening to the mail, but I sure don't like it. You said in your letters that you haven’t had a letter from me for two weeks, so I guess the mail is messed up some place along the line. I always write every two days when I can and never let it go over three days at the most.

Connie Grimshaw left for home yesterday. He felt pretty bad over leaving all of the guys behind. They gave him and two others a farewell party the other night. All three of them started to cry when the cooks gave the three of them a cake each. They had "Good-by Buddy" written on them with white icing. I went down to Service Battery the day before yesterday to say goodbye to Connie and the others. Connie asked me what I thought about him going home before the rest of us. He feels like he’s running out on us, but he still wants to go home, and I sure don’t blame him. Anyone who has been over in this damn place would want to get as far away from here as he could. If Jack and Scribe would have stayed in the Guard instead of going into the Army for a year, they could be going home with Connie too. So I don’t think Connie is pulling anything by getting out.

I am still digging gun pits but I don’t know whether they will get to use them. The Chinese don’t act like they want to stop fighting. If they don’t we will move back up to the front line.

It sure is hot today. That is why I am writing this letter now. I have to take time off until it cools off a little.

You said you weren’t feeling very good. What does the doctor say? For hell sake, don’t be sick when I get home--that is, if I ever get home from this damn place. I’ll close for now, just remember that I love you very much and I always will.


June 19, 1951:

Well, Honey, there’s not much to write about around here now but I have some time so I’ll write anyway.

There is going to be quite a few guys going home next month, from what they say at Battalion HQ. But they say the officers are going to be the very last of us to go home. I guess they haven’t got everything in their favor, and I wouldn’t give a hell if some of them had to stay over here for the rest of their lives. That’s kind of a bad way to be talking isn’t it?

It’s cooled off today, I guess it’s going to start raining again. It sure rained here the other day. I was about a block away from the tent and I was soaked before I could get there, and the sun was shining just as bright as ever. A little black cloud can come floating through the sky and if it’s coming your way, it will rain on you for sure.

The mail just came in and I was the only one that didn’t get a letter. I guess they have my mail mixed up again down in Battalion some place. That is where it was the last time I didn’t get any for just about two weeks.

I had my hair cut "Teddy" before I came up here from HQ Battery. It is just long enough to keep the flies off. That’s about inch long. I look like a big German when I take my hat off, but it sure is easy to comb now.

Have you got those pictures I sent you yet? There are some pretty good ones in them of Scribe and Bob Low.

Old Senator got back from Japan a few days ago. He bought a guitar and radio over there. Ronald Smith says that he has just about driven him crazy since he got back. He sure thinks those Japanese girls are cute as hell. He said if he could go back to Japan he would stay there for the rest of his life. If you ever write to him, ask him if those little Japanese girls are nice girls or not. I really had him going the other day when I went down to see Connie before he left. I told Senator that I was going to write and tell June that he was chasing Japanese girls.

Well Honey, I better close for now. If you get a chance, send me some of this writing paper with lines on it. Lots of love.


June 21, 1951:

Looks like we’re going to move back to the Battalion today, so maybe I might start to get some mail again.

I went hunting pheasants last night and I got a big one. There’s quite a few of them around here now, but they’re sure hard to run out of the brush. This is quite a pretty valley. After you get some place, you can see it all.

They say we are going back up to the front in two days so I guess this stop fighting deal was just a lot of B.S. This deal over here makes you wonder who in the hell we are fighting over here after you see all of the equipment that is made in USA that they have. All of the Chinese smoke American cigarettes, so they must be shipping them to China all the time. All of the medicine they have is made in the USA, so they must be shipping that to them also. I think we all should come back to the States and take care of those Reds there and let these over here go. If they don’t have someone else to fight with, they will start fighting among themselves.

They say they are having picture shows down at HQ Battery now, so maybe I will get to see one tonight. I haven’t seen one for so long I don’t know what it will be like.

I’ll close for now, loads of love.


June 23, 1951:

Well Honey, I am back with Jack again at HQ Battery and I haven’t had a thing to do since I got here.

It is sure getting hot over here now. You can’t even lay down and rest because it’s too hot and you start sweating. I sure like it up here with HQ Battery. I am sure glad that I’m not with Captain James and Service Battery now. They say that he is getting more chicken every day. Somebody will shoot him yet.

I got a letter from Mom today, but I didn’t get one from you. I should get two or three from you tomorrow.

I would sure like to know what is going on over here with the war. Some say that the Chinese are getting ready to make another big push pretty soon now. Others say that the war will soon be over. So we are all in the dark around here on what is going on over here. The little radio doesn’t work too good up here where we are. I guess it’s just a little too far away from Japan. All my love.


June 27, 1951:

I received two letters from you yesterday and I was sure glad to hear from you again. It has been four days since I heard from you last.

I hope that the operation cleared up whatever is wrong with you, and that you get feeling better. I don’t think we can have that much luck anymore. I think you have been cut up too much already and I hate the thoughts of them cutting you up anymore. Write and tell me all about it as soon as you can, Honey.

It is sure hot here now. We can’t work in the afternoons around here. All we can do is hunt for a cool spot and they are damn few. I have been going swimming just about every afternoon for two or three days, and I am getting a pretty good sun tan. It is getting pretty dry around here now. It hasn’t rained for about two weeks now, but it looks like it is going to rain tonight by the looks of the sky.

You asked me how long I was signed up in the Army for. Well. I’m on my one-year extension now, so I will get out of the Army about the 3rd of next March. They are going to start rotating us about the 15th of August. I don’t know when I will get home for sure. All of the ER’s will be on their way home by the first of August and there are 127 of them in the Battalion. About 30 of them have left already. All I can say is that NG boys sure got it poured on them over here. All my love.


June 29, 1951:

I haven’t had any mail from you for two days now, so I hope I will get a letter from you tomorrow.

Senator came up to see me today. He said that his girl friend has a new boyfriend from Minersville and he is pretty heart broken over it. I don’t know if it is true or not, but Lenzy Hoopes got a letter from his girlfriend and she said something about a certain girl that she knew was doing that to one of the guys in Service Battery, so it might be right. Anyway, poor old Senator is sure heart broken over it. He said he had to talk to someone about it, so he came up to see me.

I think we are going to move up to the front lines again in three or four days. I wish this damn war would stop. I have had enough of this running around all over Korea. About what is going to happen, the Chinese will drive us back down the country for a hundred miles or so before we can stop them again.

Douglas McShane and a few guys from Headquarters Battery are leaving for home today. I guess Connie isn’t the only lucky one. There are quite a few NG boys going home now. They are the ones whose enlistment day is coming up soon. They get sent home ninety days before their time runs out. Always thinking of you, loads of love.


July 1, 1951:

We have moved back up to the front again. We’re six miles south of Kumwha. We’re 4000 yards from the front line and we are the only artillery outfit this far north of the 38th parallel in all of Korea. They all think we’re fighting fools over here, so they put us right on the front lines. We’re all waiting for the war to end and all of the boys are saving their whiskey for the end of it and then they are going to have a big party. They said today that we will know in 48 hours whether we are going to have peace or not. If we don’t, all hell will break loose around here. We were doing a lot of shooting last night. I guess the Chinese were moving around a little during the night.

Did you ever get the $200.00 I sent you last month? I can’t remember if you said anything about getting it or not. When you write to me again, tell me if you received it or not.

We’re camped on top of a big mountain now. It is just like camping up in our mountains. It is a lot cooler than it was in the last place we were in, and we haven’t got a place to go swimming. We have our tents put up right in among the pine trees and it is nice and cool. I have a pup tent that I sleep in now. I think it will keep the rain off from me, but it hasn’t rained for three weeks now. It’s going to rain pretty hard one of these days now, soon.

It is the first of July today. The last month has sure slipped by fast. I hope that this one goes by just as fast. Tomorrow is payday again. I think I will send you $100.00 and keep the rest with me, so that if I get the chance to go to Japan, I will have some money to buy a few things to send home to you.

Have the shots they are giving you been doing you any good, or are you going to have to have the operation? I sure hope not, honey.

I haven’t had any mail now for four days. Some of the guys said there was a lot of mail came to Service Battery today, so I should get two or three letters from you. Lots of love.


July 4, 1951:

I received a letter from your mother day before yesterday, saying that you had to be operated on for appendicitis. I hope that is all that was wrong with you. Honey, I hope you will feel a lot better and won’t have any more trouble. I wish to God that I could be home with you, instead of in this hellhole over here. I have been hoping that I would get a letter from you so that I would know that everything is all right now.

It sure looks like its going to rain tonight. I’ll bet it just pours on us.

Bob Osborn and I just got back from washing our clothes down at a creek about two miles from here. I had a whole box full of dirty clothes. Bob said, "If our wives could only see us now." We were really pounding on our clothes with our paddles. We looked like a couple of old "gooks."

It’s the Fourth of July over here today but it’s just another day to us. I guess you are up and around and going to see the parade today. I hope you can have lots of fun, Honey.

Well it’s supper time so I guess I had better go and eat while it’s still hot, so I’ll finish after supper. I sure wish it was your supper I was eating and that you were sitting across the table from me.

I guess there is to be another meeting tomorrow to try for a cease fire with the Chinese. I sure hope they stop fighting and maybe we can come home for the "Deer Hunt." I think the Chinese want to quit fighting because they have started to pull their men back the last two days. Loads of love, sweetheart.


July 6, 1951:

I received four letters from you last night. I was beginning to think that you had forgotten me, but you haven’t, not after last night.

I am sure glad that you are starting to feel better, Honey. I hope that you will be all right now, don’t you?

It finally started raining last night. They say we can expect 15 inches of rain this month. I would like to see half of that much rain get back home where they could use it. So far this month we are having very good weather. It stays nice and cool all day long. Thinking of you, all my love.


July 8, 1951:

I received four more letters from you last night. That makes 8 letters from you in three days. I am sure glad that the mail is coming through now. I am a lot happier to know how you are doing, and the only way for now is in the mail.

Why don’t you make some fudge candy and send me some. Scribe got some from home the other day. It was sure good. I can’t eat this damn candy they give us over here because it’s so old and stale when we get it.

Scribe went to Japan yesterday. I guess he will have a wild time over there. They say that the Japanese people sure treat you good there, especially the young girls, (ha ha). Some of the boys have said they would stay in Japan for 10 years if the Army would let them. But there’s only one place for this lad, and that’s right back home, tied to your apron strings.

I have run out of words, honey, so I will quit for now. You can never tell about things over here. Loads of love, honey.


July 9, 1951:

How are you feeling now, honey? I hope life is wonderful with you by now.

I received a parcel from you last night. Thanks ever so much, honey. Jack said to tell you thanks too. The boys sure are getting a kick out of the funny books, but Bob Low said that he wished you would send some "True Love" funny books to me instead of those Donald Duck type. We don’t get very many magazines or books to read around here, so when we do get one it don’t last very long when they all start quarreling over it. Boy I wish you would have sent me two or three cans of shrimps. They sure are good for a change.

I heard over the radio last night that they had their first peace meeting and it turned out pretty good. So maybe they might come to some terms on the peace plans. It’s worth its weight in gold if we have peace.

It’s going to rain tonight again. I’m going to take a picture of my bedroom and sent it to you. It’s a pretty good one if I do say so. It keeps out the rain and keeps the mosquitoes out, and more than anything else, I get plenty of fresh air.

I just got a letter from you tonight, again. Don’t you think I worry just as much about you as you do about me, especially when you haven’t been feeling good? You are all I care about in this world. I didn’t know I could miss anyone until I had to leave you and come over here. Before I was married, I could leave home and stay away for months and never get homesick to see anyone. But now, honey, I’ve got you and I have never wanted to see anyone so bad in my whole life. If I didn’t know that I had you waiting for me at home I wouldn’t give a hell if I never got home. Now I know why Jack acts the way he does sometimes.

The rain is just pouring down now. I guess we’re in for another soaker tonight. The Battalion just started to let go with everything we have, that’s the big guns, if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I guess the Chinese are pulling a banzai attack. They take dope and it makes them go crazy and they don’t care if they get killed or not. They have been having quite a few of them lately.

I’ll close for now, honey. Remember that I will always love you with all of my heart and soul.


July 12, 1951:

Honey, I hope I get some mail from you tonight. It has been three days since the last letter, so it is today that I should get two or three.

I bought a camera the other day. It is a $75.00 camera, and I bought it for $35.00 brand new. It’s a 35MM camera and it takes 35 pictures on one roll of film. Will you send me two rolls of film when you can? I have one roll now, but I want to get as many pictures as I can of this place over here. Some of the guys have really got a lot of good pictures now. I also bought a 17-jewel wrist watch for $16.00. It’s about a $40.00 watch if you bought it in the States.

Senator came up to see me today. He is down against the whole world now. He said that he is going to see if he can’t stay in Japan when we get to go home. He said that the Japanese girls are always loyal to their men and that’s the kind of woman he wants. He said that he wrote and told June that he wanted all of his things back that he gave her, because he was going to give them all to a Japanese girl that he could trust instead of a damn thing like her. But he still can’t see why she would do a thing like that to him and go with that other guy. Anyway, old Senator is feeling pretty bad about it. But I think he will live through his crisis all right.

I don’t know what to think of their peace plans now. We are still shooting "Gooks." C Battery captured 8 Chinks yesterday afternoon. They’re sneaking in behind our lines somehow, but only in small groups. I haven’t heard anything about how the peace talks are going. Some people over here think that everything is going to come out all right. Still, I can’t quite make up my mind whether to believe that they are going to stop fighting or keep on going the way they are now.

Jack Benny is over here putting on road shows. I went to one of them last night. He’s quite the boy, that Benny. He had Errol Flynn and Marjorie Reynolds with him.

Honey, how are things going with you now? Just a minute, I just got two letters from you. Why don’t you wait until I get home and we’ll go nuts together. Don’t you think that would be more fun? If you want to go camping with the 4-H that’s okay with me. Go have some fun. I’ll close for now. Lots and lots of love.


July 13, 1951:

Well honey, here goes the end of another long day. I wonder how many more there will be until we are together again. I hope there’s not too many more left.

It sounds like we have peace over here, that is if everything works out the way they have things planned. But if it doesn’t end, we’re going to have the damnedest fight on our hands that we have ever had. There are thousands of Chinese and North Koreans back in the hills on their side of the lines and I think all their waiting for is to see if they get the peace terms the way they want them. I hope the hell they give them the whole place. I know they won’t have much when they get it, and that it is only a headache. You should see how these airplanes of ours give them hell. All I can say is, I would hate to be those Chinks at times.

I am sending a little scarf to you. I traded two packages of cigarettes for it when we first landed at Pusan and I have had it with me every since. So I am sending it to you so that I can get it out of my way and don’t lose it. It is something that I can remember Pusan by. As always loads of love.


July 17, 1951:

I received a letter from you tonight, honey. I was pretty sure I would get one though. I also got a letter from Doug Farnsworth. I guess he is having quite a time around there now. He said they were going to move away from Beaver.

I have been pretty busy the last two days, inspecting all of the vehicles in the Battalion. Mr. Nelson passed it on to me, because I was the only one around here that knew how to inspect all of the different kinds of vehicles in the Battalion, or so he tells me. But I think he was too damn lazy to do it himself, so he pushed it off on me. Anyway, I sure haven’t been getting in any hurry doing it. I have to do it alone, so it will be another two days at least before I’m through.

Honey, Puffer told me that sometimes the government will pay for a hospital bill if it was an emergency--that is, if you couldn’t get to an Army hospital. He said that when I am overseas, the Army is supposed to take care of my wife. If you get to see the doctor up to Beaver, ask him what he knows about it. I will try to find out more about it around here. I’m sending you loads and oceans of love.


July 19, 1951:

I received three letters from you last night. The mail seems to be getting here pretty good lately.

It looks like they’re going to have peace over here now, doesn’t it? I hope so, and maybe we will be coming home before long. Things have sure quieted down around here in the last three days. We are going back on a training program like we were on at Fort Lewis, so there must be something coming up. If they don’t send us home as a unit, it might be two or three months before I get out of here. If they rotate us, the men that have been overseas before will be rotated first and then those with the most dependents will go second. They are supposed to start rotating us on the 15th of August. But if this war stops they will have to ship all of the National Guard outfits home. I should say, that they are supposed to send us home, but you can’t tell what they will do over here. If the war ends, the national emergency should be over, shouldn’t it?

It’s started to rain again. The moss is starting to grow on my backbone now. Do you remember about me telling you about the lizards packing a canteen of water and a pair of sun glasses with them, because it is so hot? Well, honey they’re all trading them in for paddles and Mae West life jackets to keep from drowning. So you can see what we are up against over here.

Honey, one of the guys just came up and said that he could see a pheasant up on the hill, so I took the shot gun up there and got him. Then we skinned it and rolled it in flour, and fried it. It sure was good. It only took us twenty minutes to kill it, cook it and eat it. Pretty good time, don’t you think, honey? Well hon, I’ll close for now. I love you more and more each day.


July 22, 1951:

Well, honey, we’re damn near drowned out. It has been raining for four days steady, without stopping once. It has finally stopped this afternoon and the sun is starting to shine a little again. I am sure glad, because all of my bedding is wet from the moisture and steam that comes up from the ground. You can’t get dry no matter what you do. All of my envelopes are stuck together now.

The peace plans don’t look too good the last two days do they? I don’t know what to think about the way things keep turning out. One day things look like they’re going to make peace for sure, and the next day, they’re talking about fighting it out again. I know one thing for sure. If they don’t come to some terms for peace, there’s going to be an all out war with China and that will mean that we will never get out of this damn army. They can’t do anything else but start a major war with China, unless China just pulls out of here and quits. I don’t think they will do that. If we go any closer to the Chinese border, they will come after us with airplanes. The only way we will be able to stop them is to go over the border after them. If we do that, we will have to declare war on them, and we all know that it is the only thing we can do if we don’t have a peace treaty pretty soon.

My new watch broke on me so I am going to send it home to you. The main spring is broken, I think. You can more than likely get it fixed pretty cheap. I got another one yesterday, but it’s not as good as the new one.

I haven’t had any mail from you since I got the letter saying you were going up in the mountains with the 4-H, so I guess you weren’t able to mail your letters from up there. I would like to have been with you up there in the mountains instead of being over here camping in these mountains. All my love, honey, and I love you a hell of a lot.


July 25, 1951:

Honey, I got four letters night before last. I would have written and answered than last night, but Jack, Bob Low, and I went down to Service Battery to say goodbye to Polk. He is leaving for home tomorrow morning. He said that he might come down to Beaver when he gets home. So if he does, he will look you up. He is sure happy to be leaving here and I can’t blame him.

I guess you had quite a lot of fun up in the mountains, huh? I’m glad you did, because it’s good for you to get out once in a while.

I got a roll of film for my camera yesterday, so I will be sending the film home to you to get it developed.

Today is the day that will tell if we have peace over here or not. I don’t give it much hopes. I sure wish that they would fool me though.

About you going back to work, honey, just be sure that you are healed up good, and feeling all right. You make up your own mind about it, if you want to or not. You’re your own boss, now. I just help you make up your mind, sometimes, don’t I, honey.

I should get a letter from you tonight, so I’ll write to you tomorrow. I love you so much, if I don’t get to be with you pretty soon, I going to get me a rowboat and start across this ocean to you. Lots of love.


July 26, 1951:

I received three letters from you last night. I didn’t expect to get that many, but it sure was nice.

I got two Angel Food cakes from Mom, two days ago. They looked like somebody put both cheeks of their big butt right in the middle of both of them. I was sure mad about it, but they still tasted good, even as flat as pancakes.

The war sounds like it will soon stop, the news we are hearing today. I wonder what will happen tomorrow. You just can’t be sure about anything over here.

I have been taking pictures all day with the new camera I bought. I don’t know if they will come out because this camera has more gadgets on it than a French Girdle and I don’t know how to work them all yet. I guess I can learn in time.

The firing batteries have been shooting the hell out of the "Chinks" in the last two days and nights. They killed 76 of them in one bunch yesterday. The Chinks made an attack about six miles down the road this morning, but our guns shot them up pretty bad and stopped them. The airplanes were really shooting them up over the hill to the north of us today. I guess they’re going to show the Chinks that we are not quitting until they sign the peace treaty.

Honey, I have run out of words tonight, so I will close for now and write to you tomorrow. Loads of love.


July 28, 1951:

I got your two letters tonight. I sure feel bad that something like that would happen to a young boy like Melvin Carter. It makes you wonder what the hell is the matter with this life we try to live. It seems to me that the more a person tries to live a good, happy life, the more life turns against him or anyone. If you could see the kind of life some of these guys over here live, you would wonder what keeps some of them from killing themselves to hide their rotten conscience from themselves and others. But it seems like that they’re always the ones that come out of the battle and go home without a scratch, while the guy who tries to live right lies dead after the fighting is over. I don’t know why it is true, but it sure seems to go that way all the time. And I don't think it’s luck, because the same people get away with it time after time. Jack Brinkerhoff said that it didn’t matter how good or how bad you were living, because when your time comes, it will get you whether you’re driving 100 miles an hour or lying sleeping in bed. It sure looks that way with Melvin. I don’t know the answer, but honey, if you do, tell me. I have been looking for the answer to that for a long time.

It’s raining again. We had a cloud burst this afternoon. I thought this hill we are camped on would wash away. It was the first time I have heard it thunder over here. You should have seen the lightening flashing around here. I didn’t know whether to jump for my foxhole or stay in under my pup tent. I guess it will rain all the rest of the night now.

Tomorrow will make it a month we have been up here in this place. They should be sending us back to the rear area for a rest pretty soon. Then maybe I will get to see a picture show again.

There is another bunch of guys going home on the 3rd of August from this outfit. There are a lot of rumors around saying we are going home as a unit pretty soon, but I think it’s all talk right now. I think if this war ends pretty soon, we will come home as a unit. But I don’t think we would leave until September, at least.

Bob Osborn is signing up for three more years and getting a 2nd Lieutenant rank. Boy, he can have it. Three years is a long time to put in this damn army, as far as I can see.

Well honey, I’ll close for now. Remember I love you very much and we WILL be together one of these days pretty soon.


July 30, 1951:

To start with, honey, it’s raining again. It’s just about as bad as it was at Fort Lewis, only here the sun shines once in a while.

I got two letters from you last night, and a big box of candy from Mom.

Most all of the officers got drunk last night, and they sent Puffer back to Service Battery to stay. He is going to lick a captain. Don’t know what it was all about.

Jack is going to be motor sergeant at Service Battery now. He’s going down in the morning. I think he will make out all right down there.

I am going to try to see Clair Farnsworth in the next couple of days. He is only 256 miles from here now. Arlow just found where he is at, so we are going to try and see him.

It sure looks like they’re going to try to have peace over here, doesn’t it. You sure wouldn’t think so if you could hear all of the shooting around here at nights. Our firing batteries have shot better than 35,000 rounds of 105 Howitzers shells since we have been here. They shot 1000 rounds the day before yesterday, so you can see the war isn’t over with yet around here.

I’ll close for now. I love you a bushel and a peck and a couple hundred hugs around the neck.


August 1, 1951:

I received a letter from you last night. It’s the first of August. One more month is over with and I hope this month brings an end to all of this fighting over here. It kind of looks like it will by the sound of the news lately.

I would sure like to taste one of your cherry pies with a big scoop of ice cream on it right now, honey. I’ll bet you are getting to be a good cook.

I rolled over in bed this morning on top of a ground hornet. Boy, you should have seen me come up out of the bed. It sure did hurt for a while. Bob Low was eating some Cracker Jack popcorn and there was a hornet in it. He didn’t see it when he put the popcorn in his mouth, but he sure felt it. He let out a war hoop that you could hear for five miles. He looks like he’s got the mumps now. They are the same kind of hornets that we have up in the mountains at home.

Max Lewis and Scrib are up here now. Jack went back to Service Battery to take over his new job. Bob Low took over Jack’s M32 Tank Retriever.

I guess I have run out of words now honey, so I will close for now. All my love.


August 3, 1951:

Honey, I haven’t had a letter from you for four days now. I don’t quite know what to write about without answering your letters. We are all damn near to go crazy around here wondering what is going on and what we are going to do next.

I got so tired of sitting around today, that I went up to the front lines and stayed all afternoon. Boy, things were sure happening up there. The South Koreans were taking a hill from the Chinks and they were sure having a fight trying to take it. We were across the canyon from them and could see everything that happened over on the hill. There were about ten South Koreans going up a slope towards the top of the hill they were trying to capture, and they got about 50 yards from the top when a Chink mortar landed right in the middle of them. It blew two of them down the hill for 50 feet, killing both of them. Two of them got up and ran back down the hill for a ways. The rest of them were wounded pretty badly. Two more mortar shells hit down below us about one hundred yards, and they threw dirt all over where we were. Four P80 jet fighters dropped napalm bombs and shot rockets at a bunch of Chinks in bunkers just down from the top of the hill on our side, so we could see everything. You should have seen the poor beggars come running out of those bunkers when they dropped the napalm bombs on them. Some of them were running and their clothes were on fire. We could see the Chinks and the Koreans throwing hand grenades at each other. They brought nine dead Koreans back past us while we were there and 23 wounded. They had 160 dead and wounded since last night, so you can see they were having quite a fight around there. That hill will go down on the books as Hill 307l. All of the mountains and hills have a number on them. It is the only way they can find the mountains and hills on the map.

Well honey, that’s about all I know, so I will close for now. I hope I get a letter from you tomorrow and maybe I will be able to write something you will be interested in. Loads and loads of love.


August 4, 1951:

I received two letters from you tonight. I was sure glad to get them, honey. It is raining again tonight. We had two days of sunshine though--the last two days, that is. When it isn’t raining there is fog all around us and it is just as wet as the rain.

I’m afraid it’s going to be quite a while after my birthday before I leave here. I might not be home for New Year’s Day, for all we know now. They should start to rotate us on the 15th of this month, but I don’t think they will. Replacements aren’t coming over here as fast as they say they are. I don’t think this war is going to end either. It doesn’t sound like they’re getting anyplace with their peace talks. I think it’s just a big stall the Chinks are pulling. But as I said before, I hope I’m wrong again. I would hate to be an officer over here, because they have to put in 9 months before they can even think of rotating and then it’s hard for them to get out of here. Officers are hard to get around here, now. I could get a commission if I would apply for one, but I wouldn’t have one now for anything. I wouldn’t stay in this army one minute longer than I have to.

You must have bought colored film for me if it cost more than $5.00 a roll. The regular Super XX film only costs $1.89 a roll. That colored film will take some real pretty pictures though. I have taken 22 pictures since I got a roll of film. We haven’t had any good days to take pictures around here. I wish I had taken my camera with me up to the front lines yesterday. I could have taken some real good pictures up there. I’m going back up in a couple of days and I will take it with me then.

Well Honey, I guess I will close for now. I love you so damn much, Honey. I hope we can be together before too long and maybe we can forget all about this damn war and have a lot of fun together again. I am so glad that you wanted to get married before I came into this army. If I didn’t have you, Honey, to write to and think about all the time, I know I would either go crazy or to the dogs. I am only thankful that I was lucky enough to get a wonderful girl for a wife. Loads of love.


August 5, 1951:

The airplane that brings our mail in from Japan didn’t come in today, so there is no mail. It quit raining this morning and the sun came out again. It sure feels good to get dried out again. When the sun isn’t shining, the moisture in the ground keeps everything wet and sticky. Our clothes just stick to our skin like they were glued on.

I am setting in bed writing to you, Honey. It’s nine o’clock at night now. I have a pretty good light in my little pup tent. It runs by flashlight batteries, and it lights things up good enough to read and write letters. It is quite hot tonight.

I guess Jack is getting along pretty good down at Service Battery as motor sergeant. They say that he has all of the truck drivers down there working like hell on their trucks. So if he can get those guys to work, he must be doing all right.

They had church today. I went but didn’t enjoy it without you, Honey.

We are getting just like a bunch of old women around here. Every time we get mail, we sit around and gossip. We find out who is chasing who, and who is pregnant, and all kinds of good stuff like that.

I can’t think of anything to tell you so I will close. Always thinking of you. Love.


August 7, 1951:

I got your parcel last night, Honey. The fudge was really good, but it was all smashed over the whole box. The box must have had some rough treatment on the way over here. I guess I should have thought to tell you to put the fudge in a coffee can, so it wouldn’t get smashed all over, but I forgot to. Anyway, Honey, it was really good. I didn’t know you could make candy that good. It kind of surprised me when I tasted it, because it was so good. The film is the colored kind all right. When I send them back to you, all you have to do is write the address of the place where you got them on the little red bag, which is in the can that the film in, and send it to them. They will develop them and send them back to you free of cost. The cost was included in the price of the film. And, Honey, thanks for sending me all of these magazines you sent. I sit up just about all night reading some of them. You just don’t know how much it means to have something to read and look at over here. Some of the old magazines we have around here I have read at least three times. It is sure a dead life over here, so the love stories really hit the spot.

I haven’t had a letter from you for three or more days now. If I don’t get one tonight, it will be four days, but I know I will get one tonight. I would like to know what is the matter with the mail because I know that you write to me every day if you can.

We are going to move back from here on the 10th from what I hear. Maybe I will get to see a movie. It has been two months since I have seen one, at least.

I have changed my mind again about going to Japan. I’m going to go and just as soon as I get there, I’m going to call you on the phone and talk to you for as long as we want to, providing my money holds out.

It’s been raining again today. I’m afraid I’ll have web feet and be walking like a duck when I get home if it doesn’t stop raining pretty soon.

I’m finishing this letter tonight. I was waiting to see if I was going to get a letter from you, but I didn’t. I thought sure I would, I’d like to know what is wrong.

I am taking a college correspondence course that the Army puts out. I got the lessons tonight.

I have a certificate which they gave me when we crossed the International dateline on the way over here on the boat. I am sending it to you before it gets lost or something. It’s just a souvenir. Guess I’d better close for now and get to bed. Good night, Honey. All my love.


August 14, 1951:

Well, Honey, we’re still up on this wet old mountain and we can’t get off unless we walk. It has been raining for the five days without stopping. It cleared up this afternoon for a little while, but it is raining again. All the roads were washed out for two days and we couldn’t get any food for the two days. I would sure hate to see the "Chinks" come after us now, because we would have to leave our tanks here and go out of here in trucks and Jeeps. They can get trucks up to us now, but the roads will cave off if we try to take our tanks over them now. We were going to leave here and go back for a rest the other day, but we will have to wait until the roads dry out. The way it’s been raining, we might get out of here for a week or more.

Senator is up here with us now. Ge is taking Bob Low’s place while Bob is in Japan on R&R. Senator and the boys are down in their tent singing cowboy songs now. One of them has a guitar and Senator is playing it for them.

We haven’t had any mail for three days. I guess this rain is stopping it from getting here to us.

The cease fire talks don’t look like they’re going to work out, do they? I haven’t heard any news for three or four days, so I don’t know how things are going now.

Did I tell you about Senator up on the front lines the other day? I can’t remember whether I did or not. We were right up where they were fighting. We watched them shoot mortar shells at some Chinks over the top of a hill. When he left old Senator said, "just wait until Grant Wood hears about me being up on the front lines and he won’t think he’s so smart. I don’t know what Grant has on Senator, but he’s always trying to do something to show Grant off when he gets home.

They just said the mail just came in so I will finish in a few minutes. Honey, I got three letters from you. I am sure glad to get them. They were sent on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of August.

You asked if it was Pelkey’s wife who wanted a divorce. It was a guy named Hale. He’s from Washington, too. Hale hasn’t given her the divorce yet. He says he’s going to let her suffer a little while longer. I’ll bet she’s living with the other guy, anyway.

Well honey, I’ll close now. It’s 11 o’clock and I had better see if I can get some sleep tonight. I wish I could hold you in my arms tonight and tell you how much I love you instead of just writing it to you on a piece of paper. All my love.


August 15, 1951:

There’s not much doing around here today. We’re getting ready for an inspection on the 17th. Senator and I have really been washing this old tank retriever to get it ready. I wish Bob Low was here to take care of it instead of me.

It looks like it’s going to rain, but I don’t think it will tonight. I hope it rains on the 17th. That would fix that old General who’s coming up to inspect us.

Senator just turned on a bug bomb and he’s damn near fumigated me. If I had wings, he would have got me for sure. The mosquitoes are bad here.

I bought a radio today for $4.00. It’s a big portable one. It plays pretty good too. I had to work on it for awhile to get it to work.

Honey, I guess this is a little short, but I’ll write a longer letter tomorrow. Always thinking of you. Loads of love.


August 16, 1951:

I received another letter from you last night. Is it still raining there? We have had sunshine for the last three days and it sure feels good to get dried out again.

You should have about all the canning done by now, shouldn’t you> Or are you just getting a good start on it? I sure would like to set down to a table right now and have a big dish of peaches to eat. That is home bottled ones, I mean. No more of these canned peaches like we get over here, when we get them.

I guess we will be moving out of this place in two more days, anyway. That’s what they’re telling us. They told us that we would only be here for a month when we get here, but it’s been 49 days today. That’s quite a long month, isn’t it?

We have some Ethiopians camped by us now. They are all around us, so we don’t have to pull any guard duty now. I wish they had been here when we came up here. I guess we are expecting a Chinese attack pretty soon, so they have sent this Battalion of Ethiopian Infantry to patrol around us.

Senator is still having troubles over June. He talks about when he gets home and buys his new car, so that he can drive around where she can see him and get jealous over him. He thinks that when she sees him, she will want to go with him again. But he says he will tell her to go get the old grandpa she’s been chasing. I tell him that she will throw rocks at him so that she won't have to look at his ugly mug. Boy, it sure gets him down to have me tell him that. He thinks every girl in Minersville and Beaver will be crazy about him. I tell him that the only thing they will be crazy over, is crazy with fear that they might see him. He got madder than heck over that. I’m kind of mean, aren’t I, Honey? When I’m teasing him, it keeps him from feeling sorry for himself.

I went out and took some pictures with that colored film. They should be good ones because it is real pretty around here.

You know, Honey, I would sure like some more of your fudge if you ever get time again. Only if you do send it, put it in a big coffee can so it won’t get smashed again. It’s too good to let that happen to it. Never mind sending me any other kind of candy. But the shrimps are all right. We can get plenty of lemons over here so you don’t need to send them.

It’s damn near the 19th, isn’t it Honey. It doesn’t seem like I have been in the Army that long, but it seems like I have been gone from you for ages. I hope it never has to be this way again. I wish I could send you something on our first anniversary, but I can’t go anyplace to buy something for you. So, Honey, I guess all I can send you for now, is my love. If I get to Japan, I will get you something real pretty for you. Lots and lots of love.


August 20, 1951:

We have finally moved back to what they call a rest area. We have been cleaning on these two M32’s since the day before yesterday. That’s when we got down here. I didn’t have a chance to write to you in the last two days. We had our inspection today. I’m glad it’s over.

Boy, it’s hot down here. Makes you wish you were back up on top of that mountain. It was at least cool up there.

That was sure a cute anniversary card you sent me, Honey. I only hope we can be back together soon too. I wish I could be home having a war with you now, Sweetheart. I like the kind of wars you make.

We are about one mile from Service Battery now. We’re staying with C Battery where Es Beeson is 1st Sergeant. They treat us pretty good too.

Jack is doing pretty good with his new job and I don’t think my old pal "James" is bothering him either. James and I had a few words again the other day. I have been after him to get us a six-man tent for some time now, so the other day I told him if he didn’t get it pretty soon for us, I was going to the Battalion Commander and tell him about it. Boy, old James sure started to shout then. He was going to do everything to me then. I asked him if he was going to keep living in Cedar City when he got out of the Army. He asked me why I wanted to know that. I told him that Cedar City was only 54 miles from Beaver and I thought that I would be able to find him pretty easy when I came over to settle a few things. He just turned around and walked off. He’s the biggest coward that ever lived.

I went swimming a little while ago. The sun isn’t shining, but it’s still hot enough to sunburn you. I even did my washing while I was swimming. I can sure see what Mom went through every weekend.

Honey, I lost my old pen. Could you send me one. I don’t want an expensive one, just one that cost one or two dollars would be fine. I’m using one of the other guy’s pens.

Those are sure good letters you have been writing to me lately. You were right when you asked if all I had to do was lay around and think of you. That's about all I do. When I go to bed nights, I just lay and kind of daydream about you until I go to sleep. Do you ever do that? Sometimes they get almost real. It seems that I am talking to you and you are talking to me. I got four letters with that card you sent me. They were postmarked from the 8th to the 12th.

When they were making those records you heard on Cedar’s radio station, we were with Headquarters Battery up on the front. They make them at Headquarters Battery, but they didn’t let us in on it, or I would have talked to you on it, Honey. They are all out for themselves and to hell with anyone else.

Well, Honey, I just had my supper. They had rice pudding and it was pretty good. These boys are better cooks than those in HQ Battery. I’ll close for now Honey. Always thinking of you, all my love.


August 23, 1951:

I received two letters from you last night. They were postmarked on the 13th and 14th.

I finally sent that watch and film to you. I have $150.00 I need to send to you soon. Bob Osborn is going on R&R on the 28th of this month. He said he would buy a present for me to send to you. I told him to get a housecoat and pajamas set for you. I saw them in Yokohama and I thought they were kind of cute. They have some pretty Chinaware sets over there too. If he has time I am going to get him to send you a set of them too. They are 90 piece sets.

It’s been raining all day and it doesn’t look like it’s going to quit. If it doesn’t quit pretty soon, we will have to move out of this riverbed we’re camping in.

The last two nights I have seen a movie. They were called, "The Prince who was a Thief" and "Raw Hide." I think you told me you saw "The Prince who was a Thief" just a couple of weeks ago. They’re going to have a show every night as long as we are down here.

I have a picture of me that was taken up on our forward observation post on the lines. I stayed up there all one day watching the Chinese. We were trying to see what they were doing. About all we could tell was that they were building bunkers. We shelled them that night and really blew the hell out of things.

Old girl killer "Senator" is still talking about his women. He has just about driven me crazy with it today. I sure wish he would make up his mind which girl he is going to chase when he gets home. We have a big quarrel with him every day over him and his hundreds of women lovers.

You don’t need to be afraid to tell me your troubles, Honey. It helps me take my mind off my own.

Don’t worry about Grant. They won’t do anything to him for being two hours late reporting back to ship. They might not give him a pass for three or four days, but that shouldn’t hurt him now.

We will have 30 points by the end of this month. The last bunch of guys who went home had 41 points. It is down to 40 points now. So it will be two months before we will be rotated out of here unless something else comes up for us. Better close for now. Always loving you.


August 25, 1941:

Honey, we have moved again. We are about five miles below Hwachon. That is where we were camped yesterday. It is a lot cooler down here than it was at Hwachon.

We haven’t had any mail for three days now, but I think we will get some tonight.

Jimmy Dean was transferred down here with C Battery. James and him have been having quite a lot of trouble lately, so Jim asked for a transfer. It sure made old James mad. Jim will be able to get a sergeant rank out of it down here, but it will take him two or three months to work up to it. If he had stayed in Service Battery, he wouldn’t be able to make any rank at all, because James won’t give him a break of any kind.

Senator has been sick for the last two days with a cold. You would think he is going to die if you could hear his complaints every time he sees one of us. All he wants is some sympathy, but he sure won’t get any in this tent. We sure have a time with Snuffy.

There sure isn’t much to write about, so I think I will wait and see if I get a letter from you before I finish this letter.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Your old man is sure getting old fast, isn’t he, Honey.

Well, we didn’t get any mail at all. It’s all fouled up in Japan from what they say.

Jack got his sergeant rank today. He and James get along pretty good. He sure thinks Jack is doing a good job in Battery Maintenance.

I guess I will close for now, Honey. I’ll write a longer letter tomorrow night. Maybe I’ll have more to write about. Loads of love.


August 26, 1951:

My 23rd birthday. Boy, Honey, you sure had that parcel timed right. I got a parcel from you and Mom tonight. I also got three letters from you. Your parcel got here in pretty good shape this time. I got a cake from Mom too. You don’t need Sharlene to help you make candy, Honey. Yours is plenty good.

I sure had a lot of fun today. I just sat around on my bed wondering what to do with myself. That’s the way to spend a birthday, isn’t it? I was so glad to get those letters and parcels from you.

If I have to spend another year in the Army, I would apply for Japan and send for you. It costs about $300.00 to fly to Japan from the States. The Army furnishes a good modern home to live in and a houseboy and maid for $67.50. We could sure live high then, couldn’t we, Honey. Sergeants get all their belongings shipped free too.

I have some pictures I’m sending you. They were taken over north of Kapyong where we killed all of those Chinese. These are some of them. The ones who are standing are some of the prisoners we captured there.

Yes, Honey. I’m in charge of both of these old M32’s. An Englishman was looking at them a while back and said to me, "I say old man, those are some bloody hunks of iron you have there." And I think he hit the nail right on the head when he said they were a hunk of iron, because that’s all they are.

It’s starting to rain tonight. It will be muddy as hell tomorrow. It’s been nice and cool at this place we are in now.

I sure chewed on Jim Dean’s butt for not writing to Rhea Dean. He said that he would write to her tonight. He only writes to her every four or five days.

Well, Honey, I don’t know of much more to tell you right now. I know that we won’t be coming home for two months anyway. But after that, we should know for sure when we are coming home. All my love. Thanks for the parcel and letters, Honey.


August 27, 1951:

Honey, I got two letters from you last night. I have received five letters from you the last two days.

It rained all last night and today, and it’s sure muddy around here.

I don’t know of any of the boys who have been taken to the hospital lately, as you asked me about.

I let Bob Osborn take $120.00 to Japan on R&R. He is going to send some dishes and nightgowns to you for me. I hope you will like them. They’re some fancy ones. If there is anything you would like me to send you, just let me know, Honey. All of the stuff in Japan is really cheap, so don’t be afraid to have me get something you would like.

It seems like ages since I have seen you. I hope it won’t be too much longer until we are together again. I’m glad that I have the biggest part of my time in over here.

I’ve run out of words for now, so as one lover to another, Honey, I love you.


Sept. 1, 1951:

Hwachon, Korea. We are back up on the front again. It was sure a short rest, those dirty b_____ gave us. We were supposed to get a month of rest, but this is the way it happens every time. Bob Low and I are staying with B Battery now. Scrib and Max are with C Battery.

I received one letter from you yesterday. It was mailed on the 20th of Aug. We got up here four days ago, and this is the first chance I have had to write you. The Chinese shelled this area around us for the first time last night. It had the boys in C Battery a little worried for a while. Old Jim Dean was laying under a truck. They told me he had to crawl out from under the truck seven times to go potty. Jim said there was two times he didn’t make it. So, I guess he was pretty worried about things too. But when you hear one of those shells come screaming over the hill, it makes cold chills go up your back. We were up all night last night shooting back at them. B Battery shot 960 rounds at them during the night, so you can imagine how much noise there was around here. It will more than likely be the same way tonight. Anyway, Jim and the guys he sleeps with have a foxhole seven feet deep. Jim said he doesn’t know which is worse, hearing James scream, or hearing shells screaming over your head. I told him that nothing could shut James up when he goes crazy, but we can do something about the Chinese.

It sure gets cold up here at night. I have damn near frozen the last three nights. I put another blanket on my bed today, so I will see how that works out. They say it usually starts to snow around the first of October and the way it feels I believe them.

I guess you know the peace talks turned out to be a big flop. All the Chinese wanted was a little time to get ready for another big drive, and they got it. And believe me they’re ready too. But I think we will hold them this time, because there are sure a lot of artillery and tanks up in here.

Those guys who are sending winter clothes home are the ones who didn’t turn theirs in this summer, so they are sending them home now so that they can get some new winter clothing. I had my winter clothing stolen from me, and all of my T-shirts and shorts went with them. They were stolen about three weeks ago. I got some shirts and shorts from Jack, and Clarence gave me ten pair of stockings, so I am pretty well off now. I carry all of my clothes in my sleeping bag now. It has pouches built in both ends for clothes. Honey, if you have any old sheets, that don’t have too many big holes in them, send me one of them, because this one I brought over here from home is getting mighty thin. I got a sheet off from the ship we came over on so that I would have a spare, but it was stolen with the rest of my stuff. I would sure like to find the person who took them.

I got paid yesterday. I have $240.00 and I need to find some way to get a money order, so I can send it home before I lose it or something. I haven’t been able to get money orders since we came up to this damn place two months ago.

I’m afraid snow is going to be flying pretty heavy before we leave Korea, Honey. So lots and lots of love, always yours.


Sept. 3, 1951, Kumwha, Korea:

Honey, I got another letter from you today. It’s finally catching up with us again. I doubt if Service Battery knows where we are now.

It was pretty quiet last night. Our guns didn’t do much shooting and the Chinese didn’t try to shell this area around here either.

What did Snuffy tell you in that letter about me? He said that he was going to tell you that I was chasing after every little Korean gal I see, and I wouldn’t doubt it that isn’t what he did. I told him I would kick his butt if he did, but he just laughed at me and told me that when you got through with me, I wouldn’t even be able to think about kicking his butt. He isn’t up here with us this time. I don’t think he wanted to come when he heard we were coming up here on a "Task Force" to run the Chinks out of a little town about ten miles north of here. It fell through when we got back up here. They always do though.

I’m still planning on getting out of the Army on the 9th day of May in 1952 and just let anybody try to stop me.

Sam Hickman is leaving for home on the 7th of this month. He is sure glad to be getting out of here.

I got another pheasant today and I knocked one down, but I couldn’t find him. The grass and bushes were too thick.

Well, I didn’t get very cold last night after I put another blanket over me yesterday, but I could sure sleep a lot warmer if I had you to keep me warm, Honey.

If the fudge you’re making doesn’t turn out too good, send it anyway, Honey. I’m not very hard to please. I still have a little of that fudge left that was in that last parcel you sent me.

Well Honey, I’ll close for now and get to bed. Loads of love.


Sept. 4, 1951:

Well, how’s my little business manager doing now? I got a letter from you and one from Sonja this morning. It had been sent to C Battery last night.

Seeing that I have a redhead in my family now, you had better send me a picture of you so I can see what you look like now, Honey.

I didn’t get any more pheasants last night, so I guess we won’t have a fry after all.

I don’t know which would be the best to do. Stay here for three months or go to Japan for a month. I guess when snow starts flying, I’ll be able to make my mind up in a hurry.

It sure looks like it’s going to rain tonight. It hasn’t rained for almost two weeks now, but the ground stays wet all the time whether it rains or not.

By the way things are going now, it looks like we’re going to have an all out war again. They’re really having some battles all along the lines now. Our airplanes have really been hitting the Chinese the last few days. We see three or four air strikes up here every day. Our guns did quite a lot of shooting again last night.

I have been doing my lessons on Diesel Electric Engineering today. I’m on lesson number three. It’s on AC and DC voltage regulators, if you have any idea what they are. It’s pretty hard too. I got 100% on both of my other lessons. I have to send them to Japan to my teacher. That’s quite a system, isn’t it?

I just got a Beaver Press, and Bob Low is looking for the latest news. He’s looking in the cradle corner to see who has new babies.

Well, Honey, I can’t think of anything else to tell you except I love you more than words can tell and I could go on forever telling you that. Lots of love.


Sept. 6, 1951:

I received the pen and the fudge and also two letters from you. I didn’t expect to get the pen so soon. It seems to be a pretty good one. And, Honey, if that fudge is what you call "not too good," then just send all of your old no good fudge to me.

I just got two more letters from you tonight and one from Mom. One of the letters I got from you was written on the 22nd of August and it was sent to APO 707, wherever that is. Anyway it’s been around quite a bit, because the other letter was written on the 29th of August.

The way Mom talks, Bill Firmage sure must have blown his top over at that meeting they had in Cedar City about the National Guard. Good for him. We need somebody to put a few of those big shots straight and make them do the things they said they would do.

I’m glad you got your Mother’s camera back because I’m sure looking forward to getting some pictures of you.

Last night I was laying in bed, just about half asleep and a big rat ran right across my face. I damn near went right through the bottom of my sleeping bag. When I got my flashlight and looked out from under my blankets, there he was down at the foot of my bed. I gave a big kick and he went off on the floor, I mean ground. Well, he ran under Bob’s bed, so I grabbed my .45 and shot its head off. Boy, old Bob thought the Chinks had him for sure. You should have seen him come up out of that bed. Everybody in the Battery was up here to see what was the matter. Next time a rat comes in this tent, I’ll just quietly hit him in the head with the gun barrel and go back to sleep. Bob talked all the rest of the night in his sleep and Honey, has he got a lingo.

Honey, those "Love Stories" you sent in that last parcel are sure getting better all the time. I sure do miss your loving.

Sam Hickman is leaving for home tomorrow. I wish I was going with him.

We have been having corn on the cob for dinner the last two days. It sure is good. We go out and get it out of a "Gook" corn patch. Bob and I got a Jeep this afternoon and went down to C Battery and picked up Scrib and Max, then drove down to Kumwha looking for a good corn patch. We saw a Gook with a big watermelon on his back. I was just about to hit him over the head with a gun and drive off with the watermelon. We looked all over down there for a watermelon patch, but we couldn’t find any and we know there are some down there. I guess we will have to look again.

I just killed a mouse. I hit him over the head with a flashlight instead of shot him. These mice over here are just like the people here. They all like chocolate bars.

Why didn’t you buy that swimming suit and have your Mom take a picture of you in it so you could send it to me?

Well, Honey, I will close for now. Thanks for sending me this pen, fudge, and everything else. When I get back to you, I’ll make it all up to you. Loads and loads of love.


Sept. 7, 1951:

Jimmy Dean was here this afternoon and he was telling me a lot of gossip. I don’t know whether to believe it all or not, so I am writing you to see what you know about it. What is happening to Beaver? Is it true about all the stepping out? Jim also told me that his Battery Commander told them this morning that they were going to start rotating NG men on the 15th of October. I would sure like to believe that.

I made out a money order today for $150.00, so you should get it soon. And as soon as Bob Osborn gets back from R&R, I will send you another $100.00, which he borrowed from me. I hope he sends those dishes and stuff for me. More than that, Honey, I hope you will like them.

If we don’t get to doing something pretty soon, I’ll get to be the laziest bird that ever lived. I haven’t hardly done a thing for two months now. All I have done since we came back up here is lay around on my bed and wonder what I can do to make some excitement. If it wasn’t for a few rats and mice we would all go crazy.

I sure have a sore right eye today. I think that damn Bob hit me in my sleep last night. This pen you sent me sure writes good, Honey. XOXOXO. That’s for sending it. One can of your fudge is gone. It sure is good.

If that old doctor told you that the operation would only be $150.00, just pay him that much and let him wait until I get home and then we can go and see him together. Maybe he’s trying to pull one.

I’ll close for now, Sweetheart. Lots of love.


Sept. 9, 1951:

My little Darling, I received two letters from you last night. They are starting to get our mail up here to us a little better now. Bob Osborn got back from R&R the day before yesterday and from what he told me, he must have had a good time over there. He sent you a pajama set, but he didn’t buy the Chinaware because they only had second grade sets. I am still going to get a good first grade China set.

One of the guys at HQ Battery sent to Yokohama and got a real pretty set, so he is going to send and get one for me. It will be sent right from Yokohama to you and it’s first class Chinaware.

Is that jeweler going to fix my watch, Honey? This other watch I have isn’t a very good one. It keeps stopping. I am going to see if I can get it fixed over here. If not, I will send it to you and let you get it fixed somewhere. Also I hope what’s left of films turn out all right.

You said that Hoddy Gale and Gail Farnsworth both got drafted huh? Those boys are going to be our replacements. Bob Nowers was smart to join the Air Force before they drafted him. The Air Force is a good deal, any place you go. They sure don’t do without anything.

Jack, Paul, and Mitch Martin went to Inchon to see Jerry Robinson. They heard that he was docked there for awhile. They will have a good party out of it, even if they don’t find Jerry. I would sure like to go down there for a few days just to have something to do for a change. I guess I will close for now, Honey. They’re calling for supper, so I’ve got to go. Lots of love.


Sept. 12, 1951:

I can’t think of very much to write about but I guess I had better keep writing anyway so that you will know that I am still thinking about you, Honey.

We haven’t had any mail for three days. One of the mail agents said there was something wrong at Chunchon and he hasn’t been able to get any letters from there, but he has been getting parcels from there all the time. I think we will get some mail tonight, though.

I am sending two money orders with this letter and I will send you another $100.00 as soon as Bob pays me back.

I have one roll of that colored film all used up now so I will be sending it to you in the next day or two. I am going to send another watch to you with the film. If you will be able to get it fixed and send it back to me. I will still have another watch here with me. I sure have good watches. Three of them, in fact, and not a one of them runs.

I saw the movie called "Half Angel" with Loretta Young and Joseph Cotton. I saw the "Duchess of Idaho" night before last. I think you and I saw it somewhere, didn’t we? We only have to go up the road from here to see a movie. It’s not very far. We can walk up there in five minutes. Our Battalion could have movies, but those chicken officers are afraid the Chinese would see it in their airplanes and bomb us. We can go to another outfit who are up here with us and see a movie with them. We have some good officers in this Battalion, but they can’t do anything against the click in HQ.

I heard over the radio the other night that they might let the NG units go home as units. They said that they would let all of the units over here know within seven days, so we should know anytime now. Everyone seems to think that the biggest part of us will be on our way home within two months. Things seem to look a little better for us all the time now. I’m glad the people of Utah are starting to raise a fuss over the NG boys. That is the only way we will get out of here within the next month or two, is as a unit.

Jack just sent me up a feather tick mattress and pillow. They’re pretty fancy too. He bought them in Seoul for $5.00. He didn’t get to see Jerry Robinson, he had left Inchon about a week before they got there. Well, Honey, I will close for now. I love you very much, and miss you so damn much. Loads of love.


Sept. 14, 1951:

Honey, here is that film and a watch. I hope the film turns out pretty good because there should be some pretty good pictures in them. Do you think you could get two prints of them? Bob Low would like one of them. This old watch isn’t too good but if it can be fixed, I will have you send it back to me. That’s about all my troubles right now, lots and lots of love.


Sept. 14, 1951:

It’s getting cold pretty fast now. Winter will be here before we know it. I wish we had a little stove of some kind right now. I would make us a oil stove if I could gather up enough parts around here. Bob has been taken back to Service Battery to stay and there is a Bland kid staying with me now. He is from St. George, Utah, and is a NG man. Bob is going to get some parts to make a stove and send them up to me, but it might be one or two months before they get here if I know the way Bob does things.

I haven’t received any mail from you for five or six days, I can’t remember which. I haven’t got much of a memory anymore. When the mail does come through I will more than likely get five or six letters from you. But, I hope my letters are getting through to you.

I finally got a letter from you tonight. It was written on Sept. 5. I hope you don’t get the flu. The Koreans get sick with something just like the flu, and lots of them die from it. I saw some of them that had it when I was driving cat over by the Hwachon reservoir. Their stomachs would turn blue and all they could do was roll around on the ground and moan. Anyway, that’s what it looked like they were doing.

Would you like to be going to school this year? Maybe you should go to college. It would be good to have something to do and you could get out more. I’ll bet you could have a lot of fun.

I’m kind of feeling a little low today. I’m getting so damn tired of sitting around wondering what’s going to happen next that sometimes I think I’ll just go crazy and forget the whole thing. It’s sure getting on my nerves lately. If you thought I used to walk the floor a lot before, just watch me when I get back home from here. Better close for now. So remember that I love you more than anything else in this world. XOXO.


Sept. 16, 1951:

Honey, I got those lost letters of yours--three of them, in fact. They were mailed on the 4th, 5th, and 6th. I got one from you the other day that was mailed on the 5th and that is why I ask you if you had written to me between the 31st of August and the 5th of Sept. I don’t know where they have been this time but just as long as I get them I will be happy.

Honey, what would you say if I told you I got drunk yesterday? Well I did, in a manner of speaking. I was down in the bottom of the tank retriever washing it out with gas. "Boy, what potent gas." I had a gallon can full of gas. When I went to suck the gas out of the bottom corner of the tank with a little hand pump, I could only get enough to cover the bottom of the can. The rest had evaporated and it was about then that I could tell it. Bland was sitting down watching me. I never felt so funny in my life, and when I looked up at him I started to laughing and I don’t know what I was laughing at either, but I couldn’t stop. When I tried to stand up to get out of there, my legs wouldn’t lift me. So I went to reach up and get a hold of the top of the tank to pull myself out and I couldn’t even feel my arms raise up. Boy, you could have hit me in the head with a hammer and I would have never felt it. I finally crawled up through the top of the tank. When I stepped down off from the front of the tank to the ground, it felt like I stepped for a mile. I didn't think I was ever going to get to the ground. Anyway, I landed right side up and I was still laughing as hard as ever. I started to walk to our tent and I was making 20 feet to the step, just like I was stepping over barrels. I looked back once and Bland was just crawling out of the tank and he was laughing too. I knew damn well if I flapped my arms I would start to fly. When both of us got in the tent you should have heard us. Bland was lying in the middle of the floor, between our beds, and I was down on my knees hanging on to a bed, trying to get my breath. Anyway, that’s the funniest I have ever felt in my life. Now I know why Dee would act so crazy when he would come back from over to Carlos Murdoch’s gas plant. Dee would put his face right down in the hole that Carlos puts the gas into his gas trucks. Now I believe in laughing gas.

It sure is cold tonight. I have got a little gas lantern to the side of me and I’m still cold. I think I will go to bed. Honey, I love ya.


Sept. 20, 1951:

How is ya, huh? I’m pretty good because I got two letters from you last night. It’s nice and warm today, but I’ll bet it gets cold again tonight. I finally got an oil stove made, so it can get cold now for all I care. It’s a pretty nice little stove too, even if I did make it, and it gets red hot if we turn it up very high. I am going to take a picture of it and maybe I will go into the stove making business—ha-ha—when I get home.

I went to a movie, The Flying Dutchman, the other night. It had Ava Gardner in. It wasn’t a bad show.

James never did get us a tent, but if we could get a little more canvas for the front of this thing we have now, I think it will be good enough for us. There are some pictures with our home in them in that roll of film I sent home to you.

There was a big task force left here today. I’m glad we are not going on it, because with all of the tanks that are going with it, I’ll bet they are really going up after the "Chinks" and there is a mighty lot of them to go after.

I’ll close for now. I love you so much it hurts.


Sept. 22, 1951:

I received a letter from you night before last. I wasn’t surprised to hear that you have the flu. I hope you’re not very sick.

I just came back from the movie, it was called, "I was a Communist for the FBI." It was pretty good. I saw "Francis goes to the Races." It was the first Francis picture I have seen, and I got quite a charge out of it.

I heard them say over the radio that the peace talks are going to start again. I think they will stop fighting this time. I think the Chinese know that if we start after them again, we will run them right out of Korea, and we have enough men and equipment over here now to do it. Our forces have pushed them back all the way from 6 to 10 miles all across the front and they really killed a lot of them doing it.

That girlfriend of Bob’s must be pretty smart if she can outwit Bob. She is working and buying furniture, and Bob is sending her half of his pay, and she’s banking it for him. I guess they are getting married when Bob gets home. I can’t think of much more, so I might as well close and go to bed. I love you.


September 23, 1951:

This morning I got three letters from you, Honey. I was surprised to get them in the morning. I guess they have been all over the Battalion before they came here. I’m glad you are getting my letters OK now. I try to write every day, but sometimes it is only every other day.

I don’t get quite as nervous as Jim Dean. I don’t bite my finger nails like he does, but I get so I can’t sit still at times.

I guess those colored films I sent you are there by now. If you can, Honey, try to have them enlarged and have those others enlarged also. All of the trees and bushes are turning colors now over here. I am trying to get some good pictures of them with this roll of colored film I have in the camera now. They should be pretty good.

Honey, I still have two pieces of your fudge. It sure keeps good in a coffee can. I want you to pay your Mom for the sheet she is giving me. When I leave here, I want to get my sleeping bag sent home. I think I can. When I move the sleeping bag, I move home with me. It never gets too hot that I can’t take a few blankets out, or if it gets cold, I can put more blankets in.

I have my fourth lesson back on Diesel Electric engineering course. I’m doing pretty good, too. I get 95 or 100% on every lesson, and they are hard too. I send them to a branch of an Electrical Engineering College in Tokyo.

I just shot another pheasant, Honey. I was sitting on my bed writing this letter and I heard him crow. I ran out of the tent and saw him land over on the side of a hill about 100 yards from here. That’s number 115, and he’s pretty big, too.

I guess you know Bob Osborn took that commission they offered him. He had to join up for another three years and if we don’t go home as a unit, he will be stuck here for a year, I’ll bet. I think Bob is planning on staying in the Army for a few years anyway.

I sent my other watch to Japan to get it fixed. If they don’t’ fix it, I will send it to you and have you send the other one to me. I sure have troubles with watches, don’t I?

We are all planning on the first bunch of NG men leaving here about the 15th of next month. That is, if we don’t come home as a unit. I’m not planning on much until November and then things better start happening to get me out of here, or I might start down the road

You know that "Task Force" I told you about, Honey. Well, they came back out from where they went. They said old "Joe Chink" didn’t like their company and didn’t want them to stay. We had six tanks knocked out and it killed seven tank men. We had about 45 infantrymen killed, and 300 wounded. They said they killed 5000 or more Chinese in two days. There is a rumor around that they’re going to have another one three times bigger, soon.

Well, Darling, that’s about the amount of it. I think I will go to the show tonight and Honey, don’t’ worry about little old me too much, will you? Old "Joe Chink" ain’t a going to get very close to me unless he can outrun me, and sometimes I’m pretty fast on these little ole feet of mine. You sure have been good about writing letters to me, Honey, and I really love you for them. Lots of Love.


September 24, 1951:

Kumhwa. How’s my gal getting along now? I hope that mean old sore throat is better now. You know, I got another letter from you last night, and one from Mom, also. That made four letters from you yesterday. It will probably be a couple of days before I get any more. They usually drop off a few days, after I get so many at once.

I saw Senator yesterday afternoon. He is sure put out over June getting married. Everybody is ribbing him about it. I told him that’s what he gets for writing mean letters to her and trying to break her heart. The other guys just tell him that his game’s backfired on him. He doesn’t seem to mind much anymore, though. He just laughs.

Honey, do you remember those film negatives I sent home to you? If they are still around there, put them in one of the letters and send them to me. Some of the guys want to get some copies of them. If you don't have them, forget about it, okay?

It’s been quite warm here this last week. This weather here is just like the weather at home. It seems colder because we have to live out in the weather here. It doesn’t get any hotter here than at home either.

James broke Ronald Smith back to Corporal the other day. I don’t know what it was all about, but he didn’t give Ronald a trial to prove him guilty. The Army law says that a Sergeant has to be broke by a court of officers and other Sergeants working as a jury to determine whether he is guilty or not. James just broke him without doing anything to prove him guilty. It won’t work if Ronald wants to push it. But I think James will give him back his sergeant rank next month, so Ronald is going to wait and see before he does anything about it. If a jury found Ronald guilty, they would break him of all his rank, so it’s best to wait and see what happens don’t you think?

Well my Darling, I have written it all for today. Bye for now, Pat. Loads and loads of love.


Sept. 26, 1951:

Well Honey, I see you have been on a little trip. I hope you had a chance to enjoy yourself. Did it scare you on that roller coaster? Two years ago when I went to Camp with the NG, Jay Gillies and I went for a ride on the roller coaster at Lagoon, and that scared me before I got off that thing. We had to be big boys and ride in the last car, and it’s the one that’s never on the tracks.

I’m glad you got to go to Mexico too. I’ll bet you had fun. You weren’t looking at those Sailor boys, when you visited the ship Grant is on, did you?

There’s not much going on here, now. I have been inspecting halftracks today, and tomorrow I am going to inspect the M1 tanks in the Battalion. It’s just a lot of BS, but I have to do it anyway.

I guess they’re going to take our tanks away from us and make us a 155mm outfit. They’re towed artillery instead of being self-propelled like these 105mm guns we have now. The 155mm guns shoot a 95 pound shell and the 105mm only shoot 45 pound shells, so you can see the guns we are going to get are quite a bit bigger than the ones we have now. I hate to see them change now, because those big guns are so hard to pull around over here in the wintertime, and they haven’t any protection for the gun crews, like the M7 tanks have.

I got another pheasant yesterday, #16. If I’m not careful I will get all of the pheasants over here and there won’t be any left for the Koreans. But they sure taste good.

I would sure like to get out of here. It’s starting to get me down a little. I would just like to go on R&R, just so I could get out of here for a while.

I guess they have started up those peace talks again. I wonder how long they will last this time. In a way, I have a feeling that they might have a cease fire agreement and pull back out of here, but you can never tell what either side will do.

It’s dry and dusty over here now. All of the leaves are turning. It’s a little colder tonight than it has been for the last week or so. It looks like it might rain in the next day or so.

Well, Darling, I will close for now. Just remember I love you so very much and I’m always thinking about you and about the things we are going to do when we’re together again like we should always be. Lots of love.


Sept. 28, 1951:

Honey, guess what! It’s raining and it’s 11:00 o’clock and I just got out of bed. I sure am getting lazy lately.

I haven’t received any mail for two days, but it should get here tonight, that is, if those air boys dare fly in the rain.

We are going to get our bigger guns on the 2nd of October. I guess I will be without a job then, because I don’t think we will keep any of these M32 tank retrievers. We will more than likely all go back to Service Battery. I don’t know how I will be able to get along with James, but I’ll stay just as far away from him as I can. We’re not going to have Mr. Nelson down there to bother us anymore, because he hasn’t got a job anymore either, and it sure is worrying him. He is afraid they will put him in one of these firing batteries. Boy, I wish they would, just to watch him sweat it out. If I don’t get along very good with James down there, I’m going to get a transfer out of this outfit, because he will try every way he knows to break me. I guess I had better wait and see how things go first. We have a new maintenance officer now, and he and I get along pretty good, so he might put Brother James in his place if he gets smart. He’s a Captain too.

It’s sure a fine life we are having isn’t it, Pat. Married and can’t even be together. Maybe someday we will be able to have a little happiness together. I hope it can start soon, don’t you, Honey?

I went to a show called "Texas Rangers," but it wasn’t much of a show. I saw one night before last. I can’t think of the name of it, but it was one of the best shows I have seen for quite a while.

I have been outside of the tent, digging a drain ditch around the tent. The water was starting to run in under the sides. This rain will probably last all night too. It is a little cold too but we have the stove going. I’ll bet it turns off cold for a few days after this rain stops.

I’ll close for now. I love you more and more each day, and I do miss you something awful. All my love.


Sept. 30, 1951:

Well, Honey. It’s the 30th and I haven’t had any mail from you for four or five days now. It seems like it has been shut right off from us. I don’t know whether you made it home all right or not, but I guess you have. Did you enjoy the trip back home from California, Honey?

I guess we will be going back to Service Battery in two days. I don’t know what I’ll be doing down there. Service Battery will lose 25 men from this new change we are having. Battalion maintenance will lose six or more men. They will all be transferred to the firing Batteries, so I hear. There are only going to be two sergeants in battalion maintenance now. Maybe I’ll be one of them, I don’t know. Jack will still be the battery motor sergeant though.

It has started to rain again tonight and it really poured down for a while.

Honey, remember when I told you I was having some chinaware sent to you? Well, I haven’t had them send for it yet. They have ordered three sets of it so far, and none of it has got home to the guys’ wives yet. I am waiting until they get word that it has reached the wives before I have yours ordered and sent to you. Have you got those pajamas yet, Honey? They should be getting to you by now.

I woke up last night, at two o’clock, and my back was hurting me so bad I had to lay on my stomach or I couldn’t lay at all. I finally had to get out of bed, so I spent the rest of the night sitting up on the bed. I sure don’t know what was the matter, but it sure hurt. It has been feeling pretty good today, but it’s hurting a little tonight. I hope it doesn’t get like it was last night.

Well, Pat, I can’t think of very much to write tonight, so this letter is going to be a little short. Just remember Darling that I’ll always love you and I miss you.


October 2, 1951:

Well my darling, another month behind us, but still no good news about our rotation. Something worse than that, no mail for a week now. I haven’t been getting mail from anyone, so it’s not your fault I know. I’ll bet that when it does get here, there will be dozens of letters for me.

Today is payday again. I should be able to send you another $150.00 as soon as Bob pays me the $70.00 he owes me. I hope you get that other $150.00 all right.

Clair Farnsworth came to see me this morning, Arlow was with him. He said he has been planning on going home for the last two months now, but hasn’t made it yet. He’s a sergeant now, but other than that, he is still the same old shag.

I guess we are not going back to Service Battery for a few more days now. But I guess it will be sometime around the 8th or 10th, you can never tell anything for sure over here.

I hope you put a lot of envelopes in that parcel you have sent me, because I’m right out of them. This letter will take my last envelope and I haven’t been able to get any of them lately. I will have to bum a few until yours get here, or until I can get some myself.

I think I will go to the movie tonight, "big deal". It will be better than sitting around without anything to do. Well, Honey, I have to make these letters short. I don’t have much to tell you lately and these letters aren’t very interesting I know, but they’re all I can think up.

Loads of love, Honey.


October 4, 1951:

My Darling, I finally got my mail, 8 letters. Six from you and two from Mom. I was sure glad to get them from you. There was one for every day from the 19th to the 25th and I got one of those traveling letters. It was postmarked on the 13th. I wonder where it has been. You said you got one like that from me in one of those letters. I don’t care where they have been just as long as I get them, because Honey, I don’t want to miss one thing you write and tell me.

I have been out hunting this afternoon and I must have walked ten miles. I just got back in time for supper and I left right at noon. I found a peach tree and had a pretty good feed, even if they were a little green. I didn’t get anything else though, except tired feet and legs. These mountains are sure getting pretty over here now. I saw a tree today, and I have never seen one like it before. The leaves on it looked like big saucers hanging on the limb, and they all faced the same direction, to the west. I don’t know if that means anything or not. It was sure an interesting sight.

Honey, when you get homesick for me and feel bad, you can tell then just how I feel and I sure can’t blame you when you say you would like to cry at times. But Pat, maybe we can wait a little while longer until I get back to you and we can both have a good long cry on each other’s shoulders, and forget about this whole damn thing if we can.

I’m glad you received that $150.00. I’ll send some more in a few days. Hon, about how much money have we got saved up? Do you think we will have enough money to buy the furniture we will need, or do you think we should try to make a down payment on a house to live in? I have been thinking if we could get a place to rent, which didn’t cost too much, we could get what furniture we needed and just put a down payment on it and make monthly payments. If we can, I would like to try to keep a little money saved up just so we have a little something to fall back on. But Pat, I’m going to let you do what you want and whatever you do, it is what I want also.

There is something in the air around here on our rotation, but it hasn’t come out yet. I kinda think that some of us are going to be leaving here before people think so. Anytime now is good enough for me. I’m going to tell them that just so they won’t be holding up that rotation just cause they are thinking I don’t want to go home. "Ha ha."

Well my little darling, I will close for now and finish the rest of this chapter tomorrow. I’m thinking of you always, and I love you very much.


October 5, 1951:

I received another letter from you tonight. I have been to the movie and just got back. It was called, "No Questions Asked." It was a pretty good show. It wasn’t very cold up there, so that made it a lot more enjoyable I think.

I got another lesson back from Japan, tonight. Another 100% on it too.

Honey, I sure do like pine nuts. They have them over here, but you have to use a hammer to break the shell on them. They are a little bigger nut than ours at home, but they taste the same.

Pat, I don’t like to see you working if you don’t have to, and I don’t think you have to either. But you know what you want to do. I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do all the time. So Honey, you just do whatever you would like to do and if I don’t like it, I’ll kick your pants and tell you why. Just promise me you won’t get like some women, just lay around on a couch all day and read love stories, until you get as lazy as they are.

Honey, when we come home, do you think you could come meet the boat? Jimmy and I have talked about having you and Rhea Dean come and meet us. We could spend a week or so just having some fun. Think about it.

I’ll close for now, Darling. I’ll have to bum an envelope from someone to send this in. I love you.


Oct. 7, 1951:

Maybe you will think I’m crazy for writing a letter on the back of this letter from you, but I’m out of writing paper also. So in order to see that you keep getting letters from me, I have resorted to this, and it’s a lot better writing paper than I have been using. I received this letter and another last night. I hope that parcel gets here soon because everyone is having trouble getting envelopes and I can’t get many around here.

If the Indians are getting $1.25 a pound for pine nuts, they will be driving Cadillacs around in the hills pretty soon, won’t they? I don’t think anyone but the school kids can afford to pay that much for them.

I saw a good movie last night. It was called, "On the Riviera" with Danny Kaye and that cute French girl. Well I have to close for now. I guess there is no use telling you that I miss you. It doesn’t do much good. I love you so much.


Oct. 8, 1951:

We are moving up today, Honey. I don’t know for sure where we are going or how far we are going. It will more than likely be about six miles from here because the lines aren’t much farther away from here than that. I guess the lines are about eight miles from here because these 105MM guns can just reach them. We haven’t received our bigger guns yet. They are supposed to be up here today, but they sure must be taking their time with them. This moving before they get their other guns is the craziest thing I have ever heard of, but this Battalion has some of the nuttiest officers I have ever seen, so I guess that is the reason.

I wish they would tell us if we are going back to Service Battery or not. They will probably wait until we get moved from here and get our tent put up and then tell us to go back to Service Battery.

There was a guy named Darrin McKnight here to see a little while ago. He used to live in Punk, but his family lives in Milford now. I have seen him before down in Milford. He said he knows you, but the last time he saw you, you were just a little girl. I told him that you weren’t a little girl anymore. He said, "I’ll bet she’s got a couple of kids by now." I said, "Nope, not yet." He didn’t know that I was the old man of the family and he looked a little silly when I told him I was married to you. I guess he has heard about all the rest of the young gals down there and thought you must have been like them, but Honey, I set him straight. He said that the biggest part of the guys he came over here with have been rotated home and he is leaving here this month. From what he said, he hasn’t been over here any longer than we have. You know Honey, I think we are getting the short end of the stick. He is going to go down to Service Battery and see those guys. He knows a lot of them and he was sure surprised to know there were so many of them down there.

I haven’t received any mail from you for a couple of days, but I think I will get some from you tonight. That is the way the mail comes in after we get a lot of it all at once.

I’ll close for now, Sweetheart. Sending you bundles of love.


Oct. 9, 1951:

We have moved, Honey, but we are staying with "A" Battery now. B Battery moved up above C Battery so we are all down close to one another now. B Battery got their bigger guns today so guess it won’t be long until the rest of the Batteries get theirs.

Pat, I got that parcel you sent me. It had all been torn apart and was wrapped over by someone along the line. It had a note on it that said it was received in poor condition. Well, anyway, there weren’t any cookies in it. Just a few crumbs. There weren’t any pine nuts, and only six pieces of fudge. Two magazines, and a sheet and a sack of candy. That was it, so I guess the rest of it was lost out of the package on the way over here. Honey, you must not be wrapping or packing that kind of stuff in a heavy enough box, because every one I get from you have been re-wrapped and marked saying that they were in poor condition when they received them. This one was the only one which was short anything though. It wasn’t in a box of any kind, just had paper wrapped around it. I might as well quit crying over it and forget it. Oh yes, I did get some envelopes and a writing tablet in that package, so I’m not really so bad off.

I got a letter from you last night also. I sure wish you could get feeling better. This knowing about you being sick and feeling rotten all the time kind of worries me. Mom said she was going to take you to the doctor in Cedar City if you didn’t start to feel better soon. Patsy, I hope you don’t stay cooped up in the house all day long, because that is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.

I’d better close for now. Please try to start feeling better. I love you so much.


Oct. 12, 1951:

I haven’t had any mail from you for two days, so I don’t know too much to write about.

Leon Swindlehurst left for home yesterday. I don’t know how some of these guys get all the luck.

The firing batteries just got the rest of their big guns today, so I guess we will be going back to Service Battery tomorrow, unless something else turns up. We’re still with A Battery.

It’s sure been warm this week. The flies are just as thick as they ever were. It looks like it might rain pretty soon. I wish it would start raining good tonight, ad wet these roads down good. You can hardly see the road at times, the dust gets so bad. I sure hate to drive this old tank retriever on dusty roads because you couldn’t get any dirtier if you laid down in the road and rolled around.

Honey, I found one cookie in that parcel and it sure tasted good. I thought it was a piece of fudge until I took the paper off from it. What a surprise.

I went to the show last night. It was called "Two of a Kind." Liz Scott was in it. What a woman. Max Lewis said they could end the war if they put Liz in a big fast tank and headed it north, then told the Army that the first guy to catch her would get her. Even the "Big shots" from the rear would be up here getting shot at with the rest of us. Max said in 48 hours we would have all the North Koreans captured, and even if you didn’t catch Liz, look at all of the fun you could have trying.

I can’t think of much more to write about, only there is a big Task Force going up after the Chinese in the morning. I would sure like to watch it. I’ll bet it will really be a "shoot ‘em up Charlie" up there, because it’s the biggest force yet.

I will close for now, Sweetheart. They say that there might be about 50 men leave here around the last of this month. I sure hope so. Lots of love.


Oct. 13, 1951:

I received two letters from you last night. I had to walk up to B Battery to get them though.

Hell, I hope whatever is wrong with you isn’t too serious. I would die if anything happened to you, Darling. I don’t care how many doctor bills I have just as long as they help you to feel better and be happy. You take good care of yourself for me, Honey, and when I get home I will take over. You will be in real good hands then, because I love you so much I wouldn’t let anything bother you.

Pat, I don’t know for sure if I will be home for Christmas or not, but I think I should take a chance saying that I will. So for right now don’t plan on sending Christmas packages over here. If I have any reason to think I won’t be home I will let you know in time to send them.

That big Task Force jumped off this morning and there is sure a battle going on up there. I have never heard so much noise in my life as there is around here. There are eight battalions of artillery around us and right now they are shooting so fast they sound like machine guns. These big guns we have now will just about throw you out of bed when they go off. I have a headache tonight from the blast they make. They can take their big guns, and give them to someone else. They will deafen a person in a week at this rate. They have been bringing a lot of dead and wounded GI ‘s back past here today. I guess there is a lot of Chinese up there by the way this artillery has been shooting since four this morning, I’ll bet they are slaughtering the "Chinks". The sky has been full of our planes today. They have been giving them hell too.

Well Sweetheart, I will close for now. I didn’t go back to Service Battery today, but I am pretty sure of going tomorrow. Take care of yourself and don’t let anything happen to you. Lots of love.


Oct. 16, 1951:

I am back at Service Battery now. I got here two days ago. I hope that by the time this letter gets to you, you will be all better. I haven’t had any mail from you for four days. I got a letter from Sonja tonight. It was the first for four days, too. I hope those damn planes start coming in with our mail better than they are now. I got a letter from you four days ago which was mailed on Oct. 4th and so tonight I get a letter which was mailed on the 4th too. Sometimes it makes me wonder.

Last night Jack had a battery blow up in his face and the acid hit him in the eyes. They took him across the road from here to a receiving hospital. It happened the night before last, instead of last night. Anyway, yesterday morning they shipped him down to Yongdongpo. I went over to see him before he left. He said his eyes didn’t hurt as long as they were bandaged up, but he said he could see all right. He will be down there for a week or so. They didn’t have room for him over here because the hospital is full of wounded men, so they sent him down there. It’s a lot better down there because they have buildings to stay in instead of tents like they have at this one across the road.

Captain James might send me back up to one of the batteries from what I hear, but he hasn’t told me anything about it yet. I am supposed to check on the maintenance in the batteries if I go up there.

I also got a quart of pine nuts from Mom tonight. She said Ray got them out to Pine Valley and baked them himself. They sure tasted good, but I can’t stop eating them now.

It is a lot warmer down here than it is up where I was. And you should see the dust down here. I would just as soon be up with the firing batteries as be down here.

Old Senator is getting along pretty good down here now. He said he gets a few letters from you every once in a while. I showed him that picture of you and he thinks that you have changed a lot too. You have grown up. Not a girl anymore. He says I shouldn’t have shown him that picture. Now he is going to start writing love letters to you. He said he is going to beat my time. I told him he would have to stop writing to you. He thinks I’m getting jealous over him writing to you and he is sure getting a kick out of it. Honey, why don’t you write him a big love letter? I want to hear what he will say. I’ll close for now. All my love.


Oct. 17, 1951:

I received two letters from you tonight. They were written on the 5th and 6th. I am sure glad to know that you are getting better now. I hope it’s not long before you are all better and feeling good.

Never mind having that watch fixed, if that is the case. If you can, send me that other watch back. The one I sent to Japan with Rondo Farrer was stolen from him on the way over there.

Jack came back today and he’s all right. His eyes are pretty red though, but they don’t bother him much. He said he traveled all over Korea in the last three days.

I am going back up to the Battalion tomorrow sometime. I’m not going to hurt myself for them either.

I have old Senator thinking that I’m jealous about him writing love letters to you. Boy, isn’t he having fun with me, he thinks—ha ha.

I have run out of words so I will close for now. And Honey, please don’t think these letters of yours have crazy writing in them. They’re wonderful letters. Keep them coming. I love you.


Oct. 20, 1951:

I received two letters from you last night. I am staying with HQ Battery now and I don’t know how long I will be up here. We are going to move tomorrow. I think we will go up towards Kumwha, about three miles from here. I am Sergeant of the Guard tonight. It’s been raining all day and I wouldn’t be surprised if it snows tonight. It sure feels like it’s going to. It’s been pretty cold all day. I think our good warm weather is over with from now on.

Jack is back at Service Battery now and his eyes are all right. They were really blood shot. He looked like he had been on a big drunk.

Honey, why don’t you tell that old Doctor to make up his mind and tell you if you’re getting better or not. I would like to see you go to another Doctor to make sure what is wrong with you.

Captain Firmage left here this morning on his way home. He should be home in three or four days. They were flying him to the States.

No one around here can tell for sure when we will be able to come home. We all know that if we don’t get some replacements pretty soon, none of us will leave here. The Battalion is about 75 men short now and they can’t get enough men to fill us up as it is. I would sure like to know what is happening to all of those men they are supposed to be shipping over here to replace us. I will still be sure of letting you know whether or not to send those Christmas packages in time for them to get here. I am sure hoping you don’t have to send them. At the end of this month we will have our 36 points and if we can get replacements enough, some of us will be able to leave this damn place next month, so it all depends, as you can see, Honey.

All of the firing batteries have moved up closer to the front. B Battery is only 3000 yards from the Chinks who are on the other side of the hill from them. B Battery knocked out eight of the Chinks big guns the other day. Our forces are still pushing the Chinese back all along the front around here. They found four dead GI’s with their heads cut off today. The Chinese had cut their heads off and put land mines under them, so if someone tried to move them, the mines would blow up and get them too. They had to bury them on top of the ground because they couldn't move them. They never did find their heads anyplace. They think the Chinese took them.

Things don’t look so good over around Egypt does it. I hope we get out of here before anything over there happens.

I will close for now so remember that I love you very much.


Oct. 22, 1951:

I received two letters from you tonight and was really glad to get them. Honey, you had better take a trip to Salt Lake to that Doctor up there. I would like to know for sure what is wrong with you. This two or three year business is worrying me quite a lot. I can’t see how anything can stay with a person that long and not harm them. Iris Osborn had about the same thing wrong with her didn’t she? Anyway, it was about the same thing. She had water retention in her legs and arms and she couldn’t eat salt either. All I hope is that you are going to be alright. I’ll say my prayers every night for you, Honey.

We have moved now and this is a pretty good place where we are now. At least we don’t have to walk up a hill to eat our meals now. It’s getting real cold around here now, and it froze ice last night. It is just like the Deer Hunt over here. I guess everybody is hunting deer around home now, and I guess your Dad has got his deer by now.

Ronald Gale and Bryce Barton are leaving for home in two days. They’re having a party for them tomorrow night, so I am going down if I can get away down there. Paul Thompson is going to Japan tomorrow morning and Doug Briggs is going with him. They borrowed $105.00 from me today to go on so they must be going to have a good time. I hear that Jack and I might go on R and R together. That would be something wouldn’t it?

I went to Chunchon today after a small light plant for Headquarters Battery. They sure have a time keeping one running so they can have lights at night.

Honey, did I tell you about me telling Senator that he was going bald. Anyway, he sure did believe me, he had all of his hair cut off today when I saw him. I damn near died laughing when they told me had it all cut off because of me.

I will close for now, Sweetheart. Whatever you do, don’t start thinking that you are not going to get better, because you have to get better for me. Loads of love xoxxoxo.


Oct. 24, 1951:

Well, Honey, I got two more letters from you tonight and I sure don’t like the sound of them either. I sure hope that the Doctor in Salt Lake can help you to get better soon. Darling, I hope you never get so sick that they have to send for me. I would like to come home to you, but not that way. If I ever get word to come home to you in a hurry it would scare me to death, but if you find some way to send for me and you’re going to be alright, do it.

Last night I went down to Service Battery to the party they were having for the boys leaving us. It turned out to be a pretty good drunk too. Your little cousin was really on one. You should have seen him. He came up to me and he started to bawl because I thought he was writing love letters to you. I had to promise him that I didn’t think he had ever done anything like that. Anyway, about 10:00 p.m. they had to carry him by his arms and legs and put him in bed. The Burton boys sure hated to leave each other. I guess it’s pretty hard for them.

I found out tonight that Jack and I are going to Japan together. We’re going on the 10th of next month. I will call you on the phone as soon as I get over there, but they say it takes two days to get the call through.

We have about 100 new replacements in the Battalion, in the last two days, so now we are filled up in all of the batteries. I am sure we got them because it will help our rotation a lot.

It’s raining tonight but I won’t say it is going to snow though. Last time it rained I told you that it was going to snow but it didn’t. It is getting cold enough to snow anytime now. It is freezing ice every night around here now.

Well, Honey, I can’t think of much more to say. But there is one thing I want you to know, don’t worry about spending our money because I don’t care if you spend it all if it helps you to get better soon. I only pray that you do get well soon. I’m not going to spend very much money when I get to Japan, so I will send you some more money soon. I’ll close for now, so just try to get well for me won’t you. All my love.


Oct. 26 or 27 – I don’t know which:

I received a letter from you tonight which you wrote in Salt Lake. We have moved again and I didn’t get a chance to write you for two days. We are all settled down now and I think we will stay here for quite awhile now. We are about six miles north of Kumwha, and the Chinese are about 3000 yards to the west of us. Our forces have got them trapped in there so I guess they’re just going to starve them until they give up.

I would sure like to know what that Doctor found out about you. I hope he’s wrong about you having that all of your life.

It is getting colder than hell around here at nights now, but in the daytime it stays nice and warm. I guess I should put my long johns on but when I wear them to bed, I get so twisted up in them I can hardly move. I have been having trouble with this stove I have. It keeps flooding with gas because the float in the carburetor keeps sticking. I have been working on it for the last 15 minutes and if it doesn’t work now I never will get this letter finished. I’m living by myself in this area. I have a pretty nice little place here if this damn stove would work right. Right now it’s a little cold in here. That’s the breaks, huh?

Mom sent me a picture that she got from Faye. It’s got Jack, Faye, you, and me in it, and you were really cute. The last picture of you looks like you have really grown up.

Another of our officers went home yesterday. He was Major Fenton from Cedar City. His wife was sick and the Red Cross sent for him. That makes three men who have left here that way. One of the guy’s Mother died before he got home though. That’s the reason I don’t want to come home that way, Honey. I sure wish that something would come out on our rotation. We have plenty replacements now, we have more men in the Battalion that we’re supposed to have. Clair Farnsworth is on his way home. He’s put in 11 months over here. I hope to hell we don’t.

Well Sweetheart, I will close for now. So God bless you and loads of love.


Oct. 31, 1951:

Honey this old month is just about over with and I wish the rest of the months I have to spend over here were over with too.

I haven’t had any mail for the last two days so I don’t know how you are getting along, but I hope things will look better for you from now on. I would really like to know how that Doctor in Salt Lake sized things up for you. I haven’t written to you for two days and I sure am getting behind on my letters to you and Mom.

It has been raining a little today, but I can’t figure gout why it hasn’t snowed yet. I’m not complaining because it hasn’t though. I don’t think our good weather is going to last very much longer, but I would like to see it last until the first of the year, like it does at home.

I went down to Service Battery today to get my pay, so now I have $280 to go on R&R on the 10th of November. If I can I think I will do quite a lot of shopping while I am there. Jack, Ray Pearce, and I are going together and I think we will go to Tokyo.

Old Senator thinks that I wrote home to you and told you not to write to him anymore because he hasn’t been getting any letters from you lately. I sure had him going today over him getting drunk the other night.

Paul Thompson and Doug Briggs came back from Japan the day before yesterday and I guess they had quite a time over there.

There is not much going on around here now. Our firing batteries haven’t been shooting very much since we moved up where we are now. Our forces are going to make another little push tomorrow, and then dig in for the winter. We have a big bunch of Chinese cut off over to the west of us and I guess we are going to starve them until they give up. None of our forces are going to push further north until these peace talks are over with.

I haven’t heard much about our rotation the last while, but I know there is something going on that we don’t know about. A lot of the guys think some of us will be leaving here around the middle of next month. I sure hope so.

These last few letters to you have been pretty short, but I don’t know of anything else to write about so I will close for now. Always thinking of you with love.


Back in the USA

The last letters from Korea were lost. LaVar went to Japan on R&R. While there the Red Cross contacted him, and had him fly home immediately, as his wife was very ill. He served the rest of his Army time in Camp Stoneman, California, and Camp Carson, Colorado, where he was discharged in April of 1952.

At the beginning of this compilation of letters, we put only what we though of as more historical. But as we went on with the letters, we decided that we wanted our children and especially our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know that we did love each other and that it was okay to tell each other. After all, I was only 17 years old and LaVar turned 22 years old just before he went to Korea. We had only been married about 4 months when LaVar shipped out to Korea. The names of those in the service with LaVar were not mentioned to in any way to hurt or degrade anyone, merely to state the facts as LaVar recorded them in his letters.

There is little mention of the court martial of Captain James for desertion in the face of enemy fire, though both LaVar and Eslin Beeson, as sergeants in Service Battery, did testify against Captain James. Nor is there any mention of the $60,000 worth of new radio equipment left in a tent when James left the area and was not found for four days. LaVar accompanied Captain Lamb from Headquarters Battery and some of the Sergeants from HQ back to that tent with cans of gas, in the middle of the night, and set the radio equipment on fire to prevent it from falling into Chinese hands. Both LaVar and Es Beesin were moved from Service Battery, but stayed within the Battalion during their tour of duty in Korea.

You will note that there are no letters for the whole month of April. This was during the time of intense fighting, the "Big Bug Out" and total confusion. The following is LaVar’s memories of that time:


The "Big Bug Out"

We all remember Kapyong. In the afternoon a couple of the guys came into our camp from the other batteries on foot. They told us that their halftrack was tipped over up the canyon about a mile above us. We needed to get it back on the road again, so we took the big wrecker up there.

At that time things were getting pretty hot up the canyon. There was shooting on all sides of the canyon. Our guns were firing salvos just above where the halftrack was laying on its side. We couldn’t figure out how the halftrack had run off the road where it did, as the road was straight as could be, but it was off the road and lying on its side. After we got it back up on its wheels and tracks, we could see a line of machinegun bullet holes right through the armor plate, and that was a great surprise to me. I didn’t think machinegun bullets would go through that armor plate, but they did. I could then see why the halftrack was where it was. The guys had "hit the floor boards" and had run off the road. When it was righted, the guys got in and went back up to their unit. I later learned that they were bringing orders for Service Battery to get ready to pull back to a certain point.

When we returned with the wrecker to Service Battery, we had to pull off the road for Captain James to pass us in a ton weapons carrier. He was standing over the windshield screaming, "Priority, priority." He was gone. When we got into Service Battery area, 1st Sergeant Beeson came running over to me and said, "Var, have you seen Captain James?" Service Battery was in complete turmoil at that time. The guys had heard something about orders to pull back.

Beeson was not able to get hold of HQ by phone, as the lines were gone. When everyone heard that James had left them, they all panicked. They had left tents, bedding, clothing, and everything but what they had on their backs. Everyone was leaving and Beeson told me he would take the outfit down the canyon five miles, pull off and park in some trees, and wait for all of us to catch up. My maintenance crew pulled down all of our tents and loaded all of our equipment. We had an ammo truck that did not have a second rear-end in it, but we chained up the springs to the frame, and put Rondo Farrer in it to drive it with just front wheel drive. To show how wild the situation was, Rondo drove about 10 feet, and hit a tree. He jumped out of the truck and run around the truck and tree. On the second time around the truck and the tree, we jumped on him. We pinned him down on the ground for just a minute. He got back in the truck, and drove it down the road just as calm as could be.

That left Bob Low, Senator, and myself. Senator was in the jeep waiting for me. We went to the crossroads and stopped. That was my orders, to wait there for the guns to come down. Bob and I were in the tank retriever, Bob driving. I sent Senator on down the canyon to wait with Beeson. We sat there waiting. It was near dark. We could see enemy soldiers about 600 yards from us running along the top of the ridge. Low was shooting at them with the 50 cal. machinegun that was mounted on top of the turret. All I could see was that he was hitting was limbs off trees. Every time he cut loose with the gun, he started to giggle. The limbs were flying through the air. He shot 250 rounds, and was hollering for more ammo. We had to change the barrel on the gun, it got so hot. There were so many empty shells on the floor boards, we could hardly stand up.

Just at dark, the whole Battalion came down to the Kapyong crossroad. They had lost one gun. It was hit in the side with a bazooka, or what we called a French 75mm cannon. They told me not to go after the gun, as it was burning. No men were hurt. We were lucky guys. The gun had been hit low in the tracks, not in the side, or it would have killed some of the guys. At that point, Battalion lined 17 guns across the canyon, side by side, pointed north, up the canyon. That was to support the Australians who were coming down the canyon. It was just after dark when the Australians got back and were up on the ridges around us. The orders went to each gun to fire up the canyon at tree top level.

At the time when the firing commenced, we ran into a problem we hadn’t ran into before. The guns were so close together that, when two guns fired at the same time, the shell went off about 200 feet in front of the guns. We were shooting a new radio VT fuse that went off when it got within 50 feet of anything. We had to fire each gun one at a time, starting with #1 to #17. It was continuous for several hours. It lit up the canyon almost like daylight. The Australians estimated that about 10,000 Chinese were coming down the canyon in big waves. It turned out to be quite a slaughter. In the meantime, Major Fenton couldn’t find Captain James to find out where Service Battery had the ammo for the big guns. We were starting to run short on ammo.

Major Fenton was on one of his stomping fits. He came stomping and raging over to me, and asked where Captain James was. I told him the Captain had left before anyone else, and that Service Battery had gone on down the canyon toward Seoul. Major Fenton went back to the Colonel just stomping and cussing. Just a few minutes later, here came a Lieutenant from Battery B, wanting to know if I knew anything about any ammo. Two or three days earlier, I had dug a pit near Service Battery, and Hard Ward Marqueson had unloaded about a dozen ammo trucks into the pit.

All the gun Battery sent their halftracks, and I went with them back up to the camp. We loaded them with ammo, and sent them back to the guns. That was about 9:00 o’clock at night. About midnight, the guns were shooting so fast and hard that they had to wrap blankets around the barrels and pour water from the creek on them in order to keep shooting. The canyon was full of powder, smoke, and steam. About that time, Captain Lamb came over to me and asked me if they had loaded the new radios up and took them out. That was the first I had heard of new radios. They were in a tent by themselves, stored. I then told Captain Lamb that Service Battery had loaded nothing but what the maintenance took. Everything else was left. He went back to the Colonel, and returned to me in a few minutes and said the Colonel wants us to see if we could go back up along the creek (we didn’t dare go on the road) and take two 5 gallon cans of gas and burn the radios. They were the latest model out, and we didn’t want them to fall into Chinese hands. Captain Lamb,two other Sergeants, and I went back up there, about 1 miles back up. We poured gas over the whole stack (they were in crates). We threw a match in the door and ran like hell. We got back to the guns about 3 or 4 in the morning, and by that time they were almost ready to pull out and go on further down the canyon.

About two days later, we wound up just south and east of Seoul on the Han River. That ended the "Bug Out" or the advancing to the rear. It took the MPs four days to find Captain James. He was somewhere down around Taegu when they found him. That was about 30 miles south of Seoul. After the Court Martial of James, both Beeson and I were moved out of Service Battery. Beeson went to A Battery (Richfield) and I was Battalion Bastard, going from one Battery to another. Out of a dozen or so of the sergeants who signed the complaint on James, Beeson and I were the only ones who showed up to testify. We were the chief witnesses and the ones in charge that day and night. During the Court Martial, I heard the IG Colonels tell Captain James that the crime was punishable by death in front of a firing squad. James came out of the tent, and was holding on to a tree, sobbing. I felt sorry for him then. The two IG colonels came out and got hold of Beeson and me, and they handed us both a slip of paper with their names and how to get a hold of them. They told us if there was any rebuttals or hostility against us for testifying in the Court Martial, we were to contact them. This was in front of the whole group of officers and sergeants at the court martial. Anyway, the colonel couldn’t leave us in Service Battery with James, and that is why Beeson was sent to "A" and I was given a position as battalion motor officer. The only one I answered to was the colonel. No one bothered me after that. I didn’t have to pull guard duty or anything. Jack was then sent to Service Battery to fill my position as Battery motor sergeant. This is the way it was as I remember the war and those months in Korea.

– LaVar Hollingshead.


"Six Hundred Stripling Warriors"

"And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand stripling soldiers, to the support of the people in the borders of the land... And they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." – Alma 53:18-21; 56:47 –

Could a comparable scenario take place in our modern day and time? It not only could, but it did.

It was the night of May 26, 1951, near Sanghong-jong-ni, Korea. The Guard was camped in a narrow valley with sagebrush higher than a man’s head. They bedded down on hard earth under tarps attached to their vehicles on one side and staked to the ground at the other.

Patrols had returned with word of an enormous enemy force numbering in the thousands pausing for the moment barely over the next hill. The grim order went out: "Nobody sleeps tonight!"

Lt. Col. J. Frank Dalley of Summit, Utah, felt enormous responsibility for the safety of his men. There were six hundred of them and they hailed from the small southern Utah towns of Cedar City, Fillmore, Beaver, St. George and Richfield. They made up Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Batteries A, B, C, and Service Battery of the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion of the Utah National Guard, and Col. Dalley was their battalion commander.

These "weekend warriors" were not hardened soldiers lusting after the thrill of battle, but scholars and farmers, gentle, honorable men who were also brothers, cousins, uncles or nephews-relatives and lifelong friends. They were young. Except for a few officers, they were "green" to the rigors and hardships of war. They hadn’t joined the Guard because they hungered for or even expected a fight. Most devoted weekends and two weeks in the summer to training maneuvers in order to finance their college educations.

But they had done exceptionally well in training. Levels of education and intelligence among the six hundred were extremely high, as was their spirituality. Col. Dalley muses, "I would never expect to see another group of the same caliber, with the same dedication to righteous principles, gathered in one spot again in my lifetime."

Col. Dalley was assisted in command by Major Patrick Fenton, executive officer. Third in command was Major Max Dalley, battalion operations officer. They were men he could trust and he knew that they, also, were close to the Lord.

This was an LDS battalion. Numbered in their groups were bishops, high counselors and a counselor to a stake president. Like the stripling warriors of Book of Mormon fame, they were "men of truth and soberness for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before Him." And they had been taught to honor their country.

Now, almost without warning, they found themselves suddenly called up, federalized and shipped to the Korean conflict, involved in battles at uncomfortably close quarters and sometimes in hand-to-hand conflict with an enemy so vast in numbers and so ferocious that prospects of returning alive to families in those southern Utah homes seemed dim indeed.

Except for one advantage. Their hope lay in turning their safety over to the Lord directly, and their prayers for His aid were earnest and consistent—all the way to the top. Every morning their colonel’s tent flap was lowered for a space of time and they knew he must not be disturbed. He was pleading with the Lord for guidance.

The battalion arrived in Korea on February 16, and in less than a month they’d completed shakedown training and were in the thick of serious battles. Several times they were separated from all friendly forces. In their very first encounter, the Republic of Korea units they were supporting fell back with no warning, enabling the Communists to encircle them almost completely before the trap was detected. All alone and outnumbered in a foreign land, surrounded by enemy soldiers committed to their destruction, their annihilation seemed a foregone conclusion.

Col. Dalley says, "For moments I suppose I was almost dazed. Then instinctively my thoughts turned to our Maker. I humbly and sincerely asked for help, as I knew and felt others did who were near me.

"The change in my feelings is hard to explain. Our course became clear. All the men calmly and instantly responded to a rapid series of instructions, and in superhuman time the Battalion assembled and headed for the temporary safety of friendly lines. For nine grueling hours while we picked our way over rough, steep canyons a prayer remained in our hearts. And we made it."

That was only the beginning. By the night of May 26, they’d already assisted a number of the army’s finest infantry divisions and their reputation as soldiers of merit was rapidly growing.

Yes, they were honorable men, gentle men, but they were convinced they were fighting to make the world safer for their families, and if they did their job well, their sons might be spared.

The Guard established some military procedures which were unusual for artillery units. One such practice was to send out nightly scouting parties, pinpointing exact locations and strength of their adversaries.

That’s how they became aware of the thousands of troops poised to attack just over the hill. And they were startled to learn that once again they were alone and vulnerable. With no word of warning, their protective infantry had quietly crept ahead in the dead of night, hoping to locate their enemies and surround them.

It was 2:00 a.m., Gordon Farnsworth’s turn to stand guard. He was lacing up his combat boots when, literally, all hell broke loose.

Four thousand Chinese soldiers, finding themselves surrounded by the infantry, made a desperate bid to break through by the only escape route available—the narrow valley where two hundred and forty men of Headquarters Battery and Battery A were camped—a minor obstacle in their rush for freedom, and the four thousand launched a vigorous attack.

During those early morning hours the fight for survival was ferocious. They fought hand-to-hand in the darkness, but miraculously the two hundred and forty were able to hold their ground against the four thousand, enabling their comrades to continue firing in support of the distant infantry.

At dawn the enemy attacks abated. In the temporary lull, the two batteries organized a combat patrol of eighteen men, using a self-propelled 105 Howitzer as a tank. Captain Ray Cox rode at their head in the open, non-turreted Howitzer with automatic weapons on either side. Following his lead and with guns blazing, the eighteen (most of them on foot) hurtled down the valley. They engaged the enemy wherever they found them, hiding behind every bush, rock or tree. Numerous machine-gun emplacements were destroyed as they fought their way forward.

These scattered, bitter engagements continued for several hours until the opposition finally withdrew, attempting to climb surrounding slopes under an intense artillery barrage by the men of the 213th. That devastating fire convinced them escape was impossible and they turned back in massive surrender.

With the roar of guns stilled, the artillerymen returned to count the cost. Hundreds of soldiers lay limp and dead, but not one was from the Utah National Guard. There were Guard injuries, but none that proved to be fatal.

Three hundred and fifty of the enemy lost their lives in that night-to-morning encounter, and eight hundred and thirty surrendered. Likewise, casualties among the American infantry were tragically high. But not one man from the Guard had been killed.

Before rejoining their infantry, these "warriors" performed a humanitarian act that set them apart as sensitive, caring men. They paused long enough to be sure the enemy dead were properly buried.

A newspaper clipping from the Stars and Stripes states, "Certainly few artillery units have ever fought as aggressively at close-in fighting as have these men from the Beehive State. As artillerymen they are classed the best in the business."

They were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their "unshakable determination and gallantry" and the Citation further states: "The extraordinary heroism displayed by the members of these units reflects great credit on themselves and upholds the highest traditions of the military service of the United States.".

Frank Dalley and his officers brought all six hundred relatives and friends home safely. Thirty years later we still detect more than a trace of hero worship from the men in Frank’s command. In answer to my question, "Why were you able to make it home?" they say it was a combination of Col. Dalley’s dedication to making that happen and his common-sense, sometimes-unusual military strategy. But more importantly, they attribute their safe return to the will of God.

So does Col. Dalley. He was a guest on Edward R. Murrow’s national radio program, "This I Believe," and was invited to air his conviction that they were guided from on high. He sums up their experience like this: "Early in 1951, I found myself in Korea in command of a Field Artillery Battalion, with the immediate prospects of taking these men into battle against the Communists. Many of them were relatives or personal friends and practically all of them were from my hometown or nearby communities."

"With this to face I knew I must have help. I was taught from childhood to seek help from God through prayer. I believed in God as a Supreme Being and believed in the power of prayer, but the events that happened in my battalion’s participation in the Korean War did much to strengthen this belief. Although the situation was precarious, not once was the outcome doubtful to me.".

Col. Dalley was dedicated to bringing every one of his men home alive. Striking physical changes in appearance attest to the price he paid for shouldering that awesome responsibility. He began their year in Korea weighing 179 pounds and his close cropped hair was dark brown. At the end of that year he went home weighing a slight 147 pounds and the hair on his head had turned white.

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles: and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith." - 2 Nephi 27:23

The 213th Field Artillery Battalion earned battle participation credits for the following campaigns during the Korean operations: First UN Counter Offensive, Chinese Communist Forces Spring Offensive, UN Summer Fall Offensive, Second Korean Winter, Korean Summer and Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter, Korean Summer Fall 1953.

On October 28, 1954, the 213th Field Artillery Battalion was returned to the Utah National Guard. Even though the unit designation of the 213th remained in Korea until 1954, the men of the unit returned to southern Utah where the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (National Guard of the United States) was federally recognized October 5, 1953, with Headquarters at Cedar city, Utah. On December 1, 1953, the battalion was reorganized as the 202nd Field Artillery Battalion and given federal recognition in the home stations of the 213th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (NGUS).

 

Close this window
 

2002-2016 Korean War Educator. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of material is prohibited.

- Contact Webmaster with questions or comments related to web site layout.
- Contact Lynnita for Korean War questions or similar informational issues.
- Website address: www.koreanwar-educator.org
 

Hit Counter