|I was commissioned an army second lieutenant in the spring of 1951 through the ROTC program at the
University of Arkansas. I entered the army in August, 1951 and completed the Infantry Company Officers’
Course at Ft. Benning, Georgia, before being sent to Japan to complete 90 days of training with an infantry
unit—in my case the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division. When I joined the unit, the division
had just arrived in Japan from combat duty in Korea.
After the infantry training, I was shipped to Korea
to the 17th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division. During my tour, the 7th Division sector was
always located in the mid-section of Korea, about 20 miles north of Seoul near the towns of Chorwon and
Kumhwa. While the division sector remained static, regiments and battalions were shifted around quite often.
For instance, the 17th regiment was assigned to Koje Island, just off the southern tip of Korea, to guard
North Korean prisoners for two months during my tenure. I should further point out that I was in H Company,
2nd Battalion, of the 17th Regiment.
I arrived in Korea in early August, 1952, and rotated out in
mid-April, 1953. For those unfamiliar with army units, a battalion consisted of three rifle companies, a
heavy weapons company and a headquarters company. Our rifle companies were E, F, and G. H Company was
comprised of a platoon each of machine guns, 75mm recoilless rifles, and 81mm mortars. The mortars were
always assigned together to cover the entire battalion front. The machine guns and recoilless rifles were
assigned to the rifle companies equally, a section to each company. The rifle companies had a specified
sector of the line to protect while H Company had no specified sector to cover but supported the rifle
companies in their sectors. The company commander of H Company was a battalion staff member and was
domiciled in the battalion headquarters compound.
The kitchen and motor pool of H Company were located at
battalion rear headquarters, a couple of miles behind the line. During my assignment to the company I served
as machine gun platoon leader, recon officer (exec to the company commander) and company commander.
Hopefully this gives some needed background which may serve to explain some of the pictures and text that
Click HERE to view Don's Photo Album