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Monday, May 16, 2011

December 3, 1953

Dec 3, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I got a letter and a package from you tonight.  The cookies wee really good.  I was glad to get Lewellen's address.  I wrote to him a while back but haven't heard from him.  He said he was in the 65th Rgt.  They are just down the road about 3 miles. 

Today was a fairly good day.  We just had classes.  Yesterday was a real day.

About 4 PM a major came to our class and asked for 12 people to go on a raid on a camp just outside of the school area.  He said it may be a communist group or guerrilla outfit.  I think about everyone raised their had to go.  I was one of the guys who got selected.  We got 4 clips of ammo and left.  I knew that they had some money and clothes stolen in our camp area and other GI stuff.  Also women had been found going in and coming out of GI tents in the night making money off the boys.

We slipped up to where the camp was ans spread out in a line.  We attacked the camp and moved in.  Another guy and I were the first ones there and we ran up on some one laying on the ground covered up with blankets.  We held our rifles on them and hen took hold the blanket with our other hand and pulled it off.  There were two moosie (note: Korean women) sleeping there.  We liked to scared them to death.  After they calmed down they thought we had come up to see them but the Major showed up.  We searched the mossie or GI money, they had all kinds in the blanket.  We also caught a Japanese boy running away.  The other squad caught 3 mossie one Korean civilian boy and another one got away.  We took the 5 mossies and the other two back to camp.  The major said the boy could be a red agent and he would let us know if they could find anything out.  It was an interesting experience and I will probably always remember it. (note: he might have always remembered it but he never mentioned it later in life, at least not to me.)

Well last night I went to the show and saw a fairly good pictured with Guthmiller.  Tonight I got a haircut and my laundry and took some more shirts to be tailored.  I got guard tomorrow night - I will be on the gate. 

Well I guess that's about all I know for now.  I'll try to write again later.  I got a letter from Jim Prather tonight also.  That lets me know where everyone is except Reynold and Thiderman.
Love, Ted

PS: The cookies were really good, thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Slite Departure

Spy Dad

Dad left me two items when he died. One was a box of letters he had mailed home from the time he went into the army until he was discharged. The other was an envelop with letters from a woman who I shall call Marcia Smith. The letters dad sent home are interesting and when I read them it is sort of like visiting with him when he was 25 years old. Those letters will comprise a section of my blog at a later date.

The letters from Marcia however were the letters I had waited several years to review. There were about 12 letters. They were mailed the first of each month to Dad while he was in Korea. The letters are a little newsy, nothing romantic, just friendly little tid bits of information from back home. Marcia however lived in Eldon, Missouri and Dad of course was from Independence. Marcia was doing something very common back then, sort of a patriotic thing - writing the boys who were fighting the bad guys to keep them remembering what they were fighting for.

My name was mentioned a couple of times in the letters but mostly just in response to letters Dad had apparently sent her. For the most part the letters were humdrum, poorly written many times, awkward sentence structures, but I guess for a soldier far away any news about the home front is welcome. So why might you ask yourself had I been looking forward to reading these letters for several years.

When I retired from the military Dad told me that he had a box of letters with my name on it and when he died he wanted me to open it and read the contents. He then went on to tell me that there was a series of letters in the box from a Marcia Smith of Elden, Missouri and I was to pay special attention to those letters. Marcia he said was his "handler." He went on to tell me a story.

After receiving some special training by Naval Intelligence, Dad and some other men were sent to different parts of Korea. Their job if they happen to be captured was to supply information through letters handled by the Red Cross as to what was really happening in the POW camps. The information the army had been receiving about those camps were incomplete and confusing and together with the fact that there had been fewer escapes from prison camps than in any other war, they wanted to know why.

They gave him an address of Marcia Smith, 221 Elm Street, Eldon, Missouri. After he arrived in Korea he was supposed to write her, send information in code to keep from losing the skill he had committed to memory, and she in turn would write back in code answering questions he might have asked and asking new ones. They continued their correspondance for a year.

Dad said that the last letter he sent to Marcia said he was returning home the following month and would really like to meet her. She responded that she did not think that would be a very good idea because the boy friend she had now was the jealous type and it would just cause problems. Dad said he wrote back and told her he understood and it had been nice visiting with her and would send her a Christmas card or some such thing. She wrote one more letter back and said that that would not be a good idea either but she would make it a point to keep track of him and if she ever needed anything she would contact him. Dad dropped the issue, will almost.

When he got back to Independence one of the first things he did was to borrow a car and drive to Eldon. He found that 221 Elm Street did not exist.

Twenty years went by Dad was a chief flight instructor for Wilson Flying Service. One of his students was a local secret service agent who wanted to learn to fly so it would be easier to transfer to the border patrol. He said the service was sort of boring anymore. The agent said he just stood around and watched people and made pointless contacts for other agenicies. After one of the lesson the agent said he had a friend that wanted to meet Dad. Sure Dad said, where and when. The agent told dad that the parking lot at Wilson's would be fine and how about midnight that night.

Dad was a little taken aback, but went along with the plan. Dad did not recall or choose to tell me the conversation that took place that night but the up shot was that the guy he met asked Dad if he would be interested in running an airport for the firm he represented. Dad said he might be but where was it exactly he was talking about. The guy told Dad he could not tell him right then, but it was some place in southeast Asia. The guy told him they did not need an answer right then but did in a day or two. He would be in touch. "Oh, by the way," the guy said in parting, "Marcia says hi."

Dad turned down the job and never mentioned anything about it to anyone except my grandfather and me.

At Dad's funeral there were two retired FBI agents as honorary pallbearers and some flowers from some one that only signed the card, "Thanks, MS"

Friday, May 13, 2011

December 1, 1953

Dec 1, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I finished another day today.  About the same as yesterday.  I got the pictures back that Guthmiller took one day.  They were developed in the Korean PX.  They don't do to good a job but I thought you might like to have them anyway.  I think my first talk will be a week from tomorrow.  It will be 10 to 12 min long. I don't know what I will talk about yet.

I got you letter you mailed Nov 23.  I forgot about Corley and Stafford (note: neighbors.) I am glad you had their address on that piece of paper.. 

You asked about the school.  It is about 2 or 3 miles down the road from the 5th RCT.

I haven't got the packages you wrote about yet.  Not since the Thanks Giving package.  I will probably get all the packages here and a little later.  I will be here Xmas too.  I think I will try to go back to the company. 

It rained and hailed last night and today.  Hardest I have seen it.

I am squad leader for 3 days now.  We change every 3 days.  I may get to be platoon Sgt or leader before I leave. 

I bet you all look nice in your new clothes  I am glad you get to buy new clothes once in awhile. 

I got paid today and drew 93 dollars.  I put 50 in deposit.  Next month I may put a little more.  I should draw 109 next month.  I still have my cough.   It doesn't bother me to bad but enough to wake me up once in awhile and make me a little horse.

Well I don't know much more to write.  I don't have much time to write but I will try to write as much as I can.  I clean up every night and clean my rifle and then I study for awhile each night.
Love, Ted

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

November 30, 1953

Nov 30, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I finished my first day.  This morning a Col talked to us and that was the first hour.  After that we had a class on map reading, PT, and leadership.  My first talk will be next week some time.  It will be from 10-12 min.  I don't know what to talk about yet.  I hope I make it OK.  We have two more talks after that, one for 18 min and the other for 25 min.  You have to get 700 points to graduate and if you get 900 points you get a promotion when you get back to your outfit.  There are 1000 points altogether.

Our food here is plenty good compared to what we get at the company.  Tonight I took some fatigue shirts to the laundry and bought some PFC stripes and patches at the Korean PX.  I got a hair cut at the PX last night.  They have a movie here every night but I haven't gone yet.  We wear our thermo boot here in the morning.  They have had 5 cases of frost bite in the last class.  Today was payday.  I didn't get paid yet.  I think they will bring my money up tomorrow.  I don't really need it though.  Well I don't have much more to say.  My mail will be 2 or 3 days getting here.  I'll try to write a letter every day.
Love, Ted

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Letters to Dad

When I open envelopes from Dad, now and then I come across letters that were sent to him by others that he wanted to save.  He had mentioned that he did not save letters sent to him by my grandparents (which would have been interesting if he would have) because he didn't have room.  However several he received while in Korea he sent home so my grandparents would save them.  I have blogged one letter like that,  here are two more I just came across.


Sept 2, 1953

Dear Ted

Well I am betting you are thinking why I never wrote sooner.  Well I went to leadership for 3 weeks and boy that was plenty for me so I dropped out and went down to the 507 for about a week before I got my orders.  Well I am pretty darn happy where I am now.  I am assigned to Ft. Lewis, Washington.  I am in the a TO&E out fit.  All we do is train and train but we are able to live off post and I brought my wife and car back here.  If we ever go any place it will be to Alaska for three months and we will come right back unless another war starts.

Ge Ted I wish you would have come to Leadership School with me and we could have dropped out together. We would still be together.  I sure miss the the good times we had. Well may be after we both get out of the service we can get together again.  Guess where I am, I am on guard so I have time to write a letter.

Say, remember Livingston and Gillard, they both were in the second platoon.  Well they went to Division Training Facility at Camp Roberts and were on the rifle committee.  You know Camp Roberts is closing.  Well the last of the trainees went though the rifle training and the two guys were assigned up here in the same Bn I am.  I ran into them the other night.  Funny how you run into two guys you thought you would never meet again.  I sure wish you were here with me but you might have a pretty good dear where you are.

I am sending this letter to your mom.  I hope she sends it on to you.  Please write as soon as you can Ted.  I would like to hear where you are and how you are getting along.
Your Buddy Martin

This is my address:
Pvt Wilford O. Martin
US 17335090
Co C, 123 Inf. Reg
44 Div.  Fort Lewis Washington

(note:  Martin was Dad's best friend in basic training.  I have wondered if they would stay in contact.)


Sept 24, 53

Dear Mac

Sure was glad to hear from you.  Yes we sure did get split up.  I never saw you after we got off the landing craft.  We were lost all that night and we got to the 25 Rept about 8 in the morning.  I went from there to the 27 Wolfhound Regt.  We are a line company.  I am in the 1st Bn, Able Company.  We are about 3 miles from the front.  At the present time we are the reserve unit and we are digging positions in the mountains behind us.  I am in a 57 recoiless rife squad.  At the present time I am an ammo bearer and carry a carbine.  By the end of the month or the beginning of next month I will be a gunner or asst gunner or even squad leader, the two guys ahead of me are going home.  Then I will carry a .45. 

We have to pull guard duty about every 4th night.  It is a bitch.  I sure do miss the gang.  I was on guard last night and this morning so I have the rest of the day off.. It is kind of warm so I opened me up a can of beer.  We get a case or 2 a week a piece.  I am turning into a drunkard. 

I can't explain to you exactly where I am at because I don't even know myself.  I haven't heard from any of the other fellows yet.  They had another USO show last night, it was all colored people so I didn't go.  I saw the same USO show that you saw.  The one where they played the electric guitar.  It was pretty neat.

Are you near any towns?  I haven't seen one since the night we came here.  The rest of the squad went to Seoul last Sat, but since I had guard I didn't get to go.

A couple came down with VD in the other Co so that ends that.  Well Mac I guess I will close for now and finish my beer and may be another one.  Write soon and send the other guys addresses if you have any.  After we find each other we may be able to get together some weekend and visit.  There should be at least two of us near each other.  So long for now MAC and write soon.

Your Buddy, Gary

Pvt Gary D. Sipes
US55337895
Co A, 27 Inf Regt
APO 25% PMSF

(note:   Dad has mentioned Sipes several times in previous letters.  They were in that special school they went to and Sipes was the nephew of Dad's ROTC instructor when he went to Northeast High School.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

November Thoughts

November Thoughts

It seems to me that Dad was doing well and adjusting the first part of the month but as the holidays, Thanks Giving in particular, approached he started getting down in the dumps.  GI Blues is common they say.  I still am amazed at how many of his friends in the neighborhood were in the army and how many seemed to be around where he was.  I guess Korea was not that big and most of the draftees were scattered along the front.  It also sticks out to me how much letters and packages meant to him and how hungry he was for news from home.

It will be over a year before he comes home probably and discharged and already he is wondering what he will do when he gets out of the army.  Some times the army I have noticed from my own accounts sort of make you do stupid things you think just to keep you busy.  This is done on purpose I suspect to keep the young soldiers especially from thinking to much. 

As usual I have not read ahead and don't know how he does in the NCO School (which seems to have lifted him out of his blues or depression for the time being) nor do I know how Christmas away from home will work on his mental state.  Remember he is only 25 and this is really the first time he has been away from home.  I was 55 before I spent a Christmas alone, everyone ought to do it at least once in their life. 
Many GIs before Dad spent long periods and many holidays away from home, he certainly wasn't the first and unfortunately wont be the last.

November 29, 1953

Sunday Nov 29, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Now I am at the 3rd Div NCO Academy.  I got here about 3 PM today.  It's not far from the 5th RCT.  I don't know much about this place yet.  This is the first letter I have written since Thanks Giving.

Friday I stayed in and worked in the area.  Friday night I went to the show and saw "Hans Christian Anderson."  It sue was a good picture.

 Sat we had an inspection and that's about it.

The Old Man sure has his eye on me.  When he came up to me in the ranks he asked me who the Bn Commander was and who the exec officer was.  I told him.  I was the only one he asked in our platoon.  He just wanted to see if I knew.

Sat night I was on Bn guard so I didn't get a chance to write.  This morning I packed all my clothes and stuff up and left the Co at 1 PM to go over the Regt HQ to come to school.  I think I will like it here OK.  There are about 1000 men here all the time.  They talked to us a little bit and also a Major has.  I saw Guthemiller.  He is in the tent across from me.  He is in his second week now.  I will have some one to help me out when I need it.  At least for 2 weeks.  I will be here for 4 weeks.  The food is good.  They have a good PX, showers, beer hall, barber shop, laundry, tailor, etc.  I think it will be OK after I am use to it.  They told us that if you are high ranking or out standing in your class you will get a promotion.  If I can do that I will be a corporal and then I would have a good chance to make Sgt.  About the hardest part for me will probably be the classes.  But I thin I can get around that if I try hard enough and know the truth (note: I think Dad might have been referring to a portion of his religious up bringing as a Christan Scientist.  He was taught in Church that "You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free.") This is the same as leadership in the states except you get 8 weeks in 4 week and they say it is better.  I am glad I didn't go in the states now. 

I still have my cold and I am trying to get rid of it.  I haven't take anything for it since last weekend.  It doesn't seem to help anyway. (note: if he is trying to get rid of it and not taking anything for it--hint of the Christian Scientist comeing out again.) I had a few letters from you and also that news clipping.  I enjoyed reading them , also the picture of Jim Rountree.  Is that Massie boy married now and out of the army.  Did you know the boy who found the Raccoon.  Tell Snapper to write good and draw some more pictures of soldiers. (note:  I use to draw pictures of solders marching and send to him.)  That was nice of Mr. Sharp to give you a box of candy. You might take some of my money and buy Jim and Rosalie something for Xmas.  I will try to send some money back but I don't know yet. 

I am glad that Westinghouse is expanding.  You should go for that job dad.  May be you will have Jessie's job before long.  It is nice you get some extra time off for the holidays.  They should get more. 

I don't know what I want to do when I come home.  I would like to do somethig worth while.  It dosen't seem to me that there is much futre at the plant for me.  Seems like the older men get the breaks and it would take me to long to get a good job that would pay faily good money.  I still have a long time to think about that anyway.  I should have been saving more money than I have for the last few years.  I guess you could call what I got out of my car as saved. 

Well don't have much more to say .  I have a big day tomrrow so I will clsoe for now.  I'll wrtie more about the school as I go along. 
Lots of Love, Ted

November 20, 1953

(note: this letter was in another envelope for some reason and is being blogged out of sequence)

Nov 20, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I thought I would write a little tonight.  I didn't write one last night.  Yesterday I did the usual.  I worked in the area in the afternoon.  I went to the show last night and saw "The Girl Next Door" with June Haven and Dan Daily.

I haven't had much mail the last 2 days.  I got a letter form Dad.  Today we had the day off to get ready for our 4 day problem.  I guess we will leave tomorrow at 4 PM.  I haven't heard about going to school this weekend so I guess it will be next week.  We have to pack all of our clothes up and turn them into supply and then carry our sleeping bag in our cargo pack and our full field pack.  It is going to be hard to get all of my clothing in a duffel bag.

I went to the PX last night and bought some things.  They got a shipment in.  I got 6 cans of tobacco, a box of candy and a hand warmer.  I thought I would try it out.  They didn't have any  lighter fluid.  I will have to borrow some.  It's hard to get. 

It sure has been cold here the last few days.  It stays cold even in the day time now. 

We will go on our problem Sat and come back Tues or Wed.  I think I will take some writing paper with me and write a couple of letters.  I don't know whether the mail will come in tonight or not so I will wait and finish this letter later.--------The mail came in and I got  one letter from you.  It was dated Nov 14, 1953.

I have most everything ready to go now and I am just about ready to go to bed.  I don't know much to say.  I am sure getting tired of Korea.  There isn't anything to do here and it get pretty boring.  I sure feel bad sometimes when I wake up in the morning and get up in the cold and think about having to say here for another year.  It sure is discouraging.  It might not be so bad if there was something to do.  There isn't any place to go, no amusements and the shows only come to our company about once a week.  All you do is work and train and you don't get anything for it.  I'll sure be glad to get away from here.

I found out that they have me scheduled to leave here Jan 17, 1955 but I get discharged Feb 9, 55 so I will probably leave here Dec of 54, unless they change the present system.  I think they might.  Most of the GIs who are South of the 38th have it a little better.  There is more to do back there and they get a lot of the things we can't.

Well I guess I'll close for now.  I will try to write a letter tomorrow before I leave and a letter or two while I am gone.
Lot of Love, Ted

Sunday, May 8, 2011

November 26, 1953

Nov 26, 1953   Thanks Giving Day

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well we sure had a big diner today.  We had turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, shrimp cocktail, peas and carrots, celery, radishes, onions, olives, tea, nut mix, candy, ice cream, fruit, cake and pumpkin pie.  It was fixed pretty good.  Better than I expected.  We had a big breakfast too.

We didn't do anything all day but take it easy.  Zink came by today for awhile and talked.  Nut much new to say.  I took a couple of pictures. 

I still have my cold.  I can't seem to do much for it.  I didn't sleep  very good last night.  I wish I could shake it off but it seems to get worse instead of better.  I think I will go to bed early tonight.  We will probably train a little tomorrow.  I don't know what it will be yet.

It was nice all day today.  How do you like this stationery.  It's the only sheet I had.  One of the guys had a couple of sheets and he gave me one.  The PO is an old one.  It use to be 301.  It has our 5th patch with G on it for our company.  The other is a Korean service ribbon.


I guess about right now you are getting ready for your dinner.  This is the first time I have been away from home this far away for Thanks Giving.  I thought about home and wondered what you were all doing.

Well I don't have much more to say right now so I guess I will close.  Thanks for the packages you sent and the cards.  I hope I can come home next year by this time.  Well lots of love and I miss you.
Love, Ted

PS:  I wrote Frank Tucker a short letter at last.  Tell him he can fix it up if he wants to put it in the paper.

(note:  Frank Tucker was the editor and publisher of the local news paper called the Inter City News that circulated in parts of the unincorporated area of Jackson County between Independence and Kansas City.  The paper was located under the Standard State Bank in Fairmount.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

November 25, 1953

Wed 25 Nov 53

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

How is everything at home.  I went to bed fairly early last night.  I still have a cold and is a little worse than it was before.  Today I went to the Bn aid station and go something for it.  I got a shot.  They don't give them out to much.  I hope I can get rid of it before I go to the NCO school because I will sure need my strength and my voice. 

We haven't done anything all day.  I took a shower this morning for the first time in 2 or 3 weeks I think.  That is one of the bad things about this place.  This afternoon I cleaned my pistol for inspection and got ready for inspection. 

I was told today that I am a PFC now.  The Sgts told me. I had better get some more before I leave here.  I think may be I can make Sgt before I leave here if I do good at the school.

The cookies were #1.  I finished those already and also some of the spice cake.  I woke up once during the night and got hungry so I reached my hand out of my sleeping bag for the cookies and finished them.  All the boys in the tent say you are sure a good cook and know how to make cake and cookies.

I got some film for my camera and I am going to take some more pictures.  Guthmiller is getting some of the 120 film developed at the NCO school.  I should get them back before long.

I just got a letter from you mailed Nov 19.  I guess the mail does slow up quite a bit.  I write every chance I get but once in a while I don't write everyday, but almost.  The weather is cold most all the time lately until today.  I warmed up quiet a bit since this morning.  You could go out in your t-shirt.  We have tomorrow off and we are supposed to have a big dinner tomorrow for Thanks Giving.

No I haven't seen Carlin yet.  What did you say he headed his letter as.  The area map of here that I saw yesterday was the Chipo-Ri (Re) valley.  I think I saw the name of the place he is and he wasn't to far.  I guess I was as close to Joe Chink as I  ever have been and hope to be while I am here.  I could see the hills where their trenches and bunkers are.  Their hills had snow on them (note: On the night problem he just returned from I guess took him to the front lines where he could see into North Korea.  The term Joe Chink is a slang term the GIs used to describe the Chinese and North Koreans.)

It is nice that Mr. Sharp could stay with you for awhile.  I have his name on one of the Xmas cards I have.  I haven't mailed them yet.  I think I will wait for awhile.  I got a kick out of what you said about Mr. Sharp going to church.  He sounded like he has been in the army the way he made the excuse.  (note:  this Mr Sharp thing is really getting to me.  I asked mom about him and she can't remember anything about him other than a faint recollection of the name but she associates it with a lady, which might be correct because I surmise that Mr. Sharp's wife has just died.)

Isn't Mrs Peek going back to Calif to live (note: don't know who she is either.)

I can't remember the name of the China I looked at.  I think I know what you want now.  They will probably have more in Japan.  Was that Violette you spoke of, was that like something pink and dainty.

I enjoyed reading in the Star about the Turkey for Xmas.  Turkey wouldn't be much of a treat for us.  We have  turkey and chicken a lot.  It doesn't taste as well as it does at home.  A good steak would be better.

I enjoyed the letter Snapper wrote.  Looks like he is doing pretty good with his reading and writing.

I hope the kidnappers get what they deserve.  I haven't read all the clippings you sent yet.

I hope I can save some money while I am here.  The money I put in Soldiers Deposits will draw 4% till I get out of the army.  I can't be able to get t out except in an emergency.  So I will probably have it for quiet awhile.  I am going to try and put some in every month.  I don't need much money except for R&R and I think I can save some each month for that and if I need any more I could have you send some of the money I have from home.  A PFC draws 109 a month over here.  I should be able to put a least half of it away.  I don't know when the promotion went in to effect so don't know how much I will get this month.

There has been a lot of talk about making this tour 12 months rather than 16.  I hope so.  There sure isn't anything for us here at least any place north of the 38th.  All the rear troops have everything easy.  Good quarters, house boys, all the PX items and the best food just like that article said in the Star.

How come you are not going to be with Evelyn and Harley this year. (note: This Evelyn is my grandmothers foster sister, not to be confused with an Evelyn mentioned now and and then that was her biological sister.)
You didn't say in your letter.  You always were with them for Thanks Giving, Xmas.

We got some new GIs in the company from the states.  I thought may be it would be the group that came with Don but they came from Ft. Lewis.  We will be getting a lot of replacements before long.  The old timers are starting to rotate out now.  It sure makes you feel good seeing them go home.  The more that leave now and then will make it sooner for us.

Well don't have much more to say so I'll close for now.  I'll write you another letter again tomorrow and tell you about our lives.
Love, Ted

Friday, May 6, 2011

November 24, 1953

Tuesday  Nov  24

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I just got back about 2 hours ago.  We sure had quite a time.  We left our area Sunday or rather Mon morning at about 4 AM.  We have been of the move ever since.  Last night we stopped at about 6 PM and camped and got up this morning at 4 AM.  We were on the move all day today too.  I went up one hill and down the other.  I was the 4th platoon radio operator and went along with the platoon Sgt ahead of the rest of the mortars.  Because I was a radio operator I had to go a little more than the rest of the guys.  We ate C rations at  noon each day and they were cold.  No way to heat them up.  Our company were the aggressors against the 3 Div. 65 Regt.  We moved right through them and made them retreat all the way. 

Last night I got about 3 letters from you and one long letter from Evelyn with the picture of Larry and Mike.  It sure was a nice letter.  I haven't answered yet but I am going to.  I am to tired tonight but we get tomorrow off except for a rifle inspection tomorrow eve and the morning I can take a shower between 8 and noon.  So I should have time...I also got the nice Thanks Giving card, one with cake and another card, and one with cheese and crackers, candy and shaving lotion.  Thanks a lot.  The cookies were really good and I haven't got to the rest of it but I know it's good too.

Well I don't have much of anything else new, I will probably go to NCO School this Sunday.  They forward mail there now. 

It is nice Pop Sharp is staying with you now.  I guess he is lonesome.  Tell him hello and tell him I am going to learn to talk one of these days.  I remember one time he told me I should learn to talk. (note:  I have no idea who he is talking about.  I don't remember anyone staying with us while Dad was away.)

Well I am pretty tired and worn out so I think I will go to bed and I'll write tomorrow and try to answerer the letters you wrote.  Thanks for the boxes and everything.
Lots of Love, Ted

Thursday, May 5, 2011

November 22, 1953

Sun  Nov  22,  53

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

How are you doing?  Right now I am laying in a pup tent writing this letter.  Yesterday we didn't have anything to do but pack our stuff and lay around all day.  We left the company about 5 PM last night and drove for about an hour to where we are now.  Yesterday it was cloudy and cold all day long.  It was down to freezing most of the day and the wind made it plenty cold.  It was dark when we got here and started setting up our tents.  I thought it would be cold sleeping but it was warm in that sleeping bag and on the air mattress.

I am going to be the radio operator for the platoon on the problem that starts tomorrow.  I am sleeping with the medic today and it warmed up some.  We are right up on the line.  We can see Joe Chink's Hill in the distance.  The hill is covered with snow.  The hills here are almost mountains.


It rained and sleeted here last night but it did not bother us much.  We are wearing our parkas now and they are sure warm.  I have had my long underwear on and wool sweater and my fatigues.  I didn't bring anything in my field pack but a wool shirt and 2 pairs of socks.  It is not to heavy that way.

This problem starts about 6:30 in the morning.  The 5th RCT is the aggressor army (enemy) in a 3rd Div problem.  I guess we will be on the move all day tomorrow and Tuesday.  We should be back Tues night.

I guess I will be going to the NCO school next Sunday the 29th for 4 weeks.  I'll probably be there Xmas.  I sure hope I can make good there as it will help me get promoted. 

I shouldn't be to far away from going on R&R the way they have been going lately.  May go sooner than I think.  Feb or sooner.  I'll probably go twice while I am here if I have to stay another year. 

We should get our mail here.  Some tonight I think.  I just got a letter from Jim the other day telling about that new job he is thinking about.  Septic tanks or something like that.

I am glad Snapper is doing good in school.  Hope he keeps it up.  He will be in the 2nd grade when I get home.  I haven't been able to get him anything for Xmas yet.  Take some of my money and buy him something.  What ever you want.  Also same for you and Dad.  Buy some clothes and toys.  When I get to Japan I will send something too.  Well I think I will close for now.  I probably wont get to mail this till I get back to the company.  If I get a chance I will write again.
Lots of Love, Ted

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

November 18, 1953

November 18, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad and Snapper

Well I got two letters last night and one today.  I didn't get a package.  It may get here later tonight.  I was glad to get Bill's address and I wrote him a letter and also had a letter from Jim and wrote him too.

I have been doing about the same thing as usual.  Yesterday morning I went out on detail to cut some logs.  We are making an arch in front of our company.  It will sure look nice.  Last night I was radio operator for the Field First and the Old Man.  Captain Book asked me last night what I thought about the NCO school.  I told him I would like to go.  He said I would probably go for an interview today at Bn.  I went this morning and the officer there said OK, so I guess I will be going before long.  May be this weekend or the next.  I hope to go this weekend so I wont have to go on maneuvers for 4 days.  That other deal I told you about is not as good as this and I didn't want it (note: he is talking about the Training NCO slot.)  That was the TIE.  That school was only for a week and it wasn't in my line and I think the captain knew I was going to this other school when he asked me about that.  My name was first on the list and I think he wanted to send me to that any way (NCO school)  It has more advantages to it. 

Your remember one time I said I did not get along with my platoon sgt very well.  Well he became field first and we have another plt sgt now.  The field first and I get along good now and he puts in good words for me.  I like him OK.  We just didn't click at first. (just like Adams and I)  I sure hated to see him leave the platoon. He was one of those Regular Army men with a lot of time in the army.  He came here after I did from the states and Germany.  He was a master sgt and got busted one stripe to sgt first class.  He will get his other stripe back before long.

Today I worked on the arch again and saw a move on the atom bomb.  Tonight I went to the aid station and got some pills and cough syrup (GI Gin)  for my cold.  Hope it gets it.  I don't want to go to that school with a cold.  That school will consist of 2 twenty minute talks, giving PT, close order drill etc.  I don't think it will be to hard.  I sure hope I can make a high mark in the class and not let the Old Man down.  He is only sending the ones he thinks will do good.  If I can rank close to the top of the class it will sure help me get promoted.  I don't think giving a class will be hard.  It is not that I would be scared, all I have to do is know what I am talking about and talk.  I wont have any trouble giving PT or close order drill.  The school is 4 weeks long.

Still haven't heard if I have made PFC or not.  I should know in the next few days.

I am glad you mailed a lot of packages to the Christmas Party.  They can use what ever you send. 

Did Don Underwood stop in Hawaii on his way over.  If he did he was lucky.  Send me his address as soon as yo can.  Sounds like I will be get a lot of Xmas packages.  I guess I can use them.  Most of the guys don't get many packages.  I haven't seen Carlin Talent yet. 

It is pretty cold any more  to be going any place.  He probably wont make it.  You say you think you missed a letter.  Did you get the one that I mentioned about the pipe tobacco mixtures 79.  You never did say in your letters. 

Boy, Junior must be big.  I sent him a Xmas card (note: Junior was one of my grandmother's sister's son who lived in Hutchinson, Kansas.  Junior went on to be a commercial pilot for Eastern Airlines.)

Well not much more to say now.  I'll write you again later.
Love, Ted

November 16, 1953

Nov 16, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I got 2 letters tonight.  One from Dwight (note: was Dad's best man when he married Mom and lived in the neighborhood.  Small world, years later a guy worked for me that was an electrician apprentice to Dwight.)  Dwight said that Don Hodson was going to a Private Detective school.  I sure got a kick out of that.

I went out this afternoon and fired the Mortar again.  This morning we had crew drills.  We came back about 5:30 and after dinner we saw a movie  "CBR" a training film on chemical warfare.

Right now I am drinking a cup of instant coffee.  It is OK.  I still have a cold and it seems to get worse every day.  Hope I get over it before this weekend.

We didn't celebrate Armistice Day here.  It was just another day.

They were talking about bringing in the jet engine plant from the east when I left KC.  It sure would be nice if they did.

I have guard from 2-3 in the morning.  I'll sure be glad when they send those two guys to the stockade. 

The weather today was fairly nice.  Hope t stays that way for awhile.

I polished my boots tonight and have been trying to polish my holster (.45)  It's in pretty bad shape though.  I need some black and cordovan dye.  I never thought about asking you to send some before.

Well I don't know much more.  I haven't heard whether I made PFC or not yet.  Well I'll write again tomorrow or Wed.  I think we have a problem Tues night.
Love, Ted

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

November 14, 1953 enclosure

(note: this is a letter that was enclosed  with the one sent on Nov. 14.  It is from his friend Gary Sipes.  He was in that special school with Dad and the nephew of Dad's ROTC instructor.  Dad mentioned getting this letter several letters ago and I guess he wanted to save it, that is why he sent it home.)

Nov 6,  53

Dear Ted

Just a line to tell you I haven't forgotten about you.  Glad to hear that Cliff is so close to you.  I have been trying to find out where you were at but nobody seems to know.  I went to Seoul with a couple of my buddies last Sunday and we had quite a time.  Will tell you about it when I see you.  I looked all the way down there for the 5th RCT but didn't  see it.  We went on 33A. Are you on that road.  I am tent guard today so I thought I better drop you a line.  We have been digging on the hill everyday.  It sure does get tiresome.

I'm gunner on the 57 R.R now and made PFC the 24th of Oct. That isn't to bad.  We are going to have classes on mortars.

It is really getting cold here, how is it where you are.  The ROCKs are pulling guard  now so we only have it about once a week which is a lot better.  How do you like the winter uniforms.  What does Cliff have to say about Korea.  Tell him to write me f he has a chance.  They wont let us have beer here, toddy's or cokes now. I think I will get it later.  My wife still hasn't had the baby.  She should have it any time.

Do you all have wooden floors in your tents yet.  We are supposed to get ours soon.  Some of the tents now have them.  They only give us 2 1/2 gallons of fuel oil a day, so we have to take it easy.

Yes, I got a letter from my friend and didn't have any trouble with it.  I still haven't answered yet. (note: He is referring to the person that was assigned to write them in code and they were to answer back in code.  It was to keep in practice in case they ever needed it.  This is explained more on my other Blog called the Adventures of Conley McAnally, entitled Spy Dad I posted back in Oct of 2010)

I sure wish we could get together some time as I would like to see you.  I might have a chance .  If you ever get down this way stop by the 27th,  1st Ban. A co and I'll try to be here.  If I can find out where you are at I will try and come see you.  Don't catch to many Moshoes. HaHa.
Gary

November 14, 1953

Saturday  14 Nov 53

Dear Folks

I had kind of a slow day today.  I was on Bn guard last night.  I didn't do anything this morning and this afternoon we didn't do anything either.  I got my new boots before I went on guard last night and wore them.  They sure keep your feet warm.  Shouldn't have any trouble this winter.  We drew some more clothes today.  I got a parka, liner, field pants with liner.  Sure have a lot of clothes now.  Will probably wear them before long.  We also got mittens.

I bought some new Xmas cards last night.  I have 22 now and I don't need but just a few more.  I think I will send them out about the first week in Dec.  I send them to almost everyone.  Send me JQ's address and also James Glover's address and anyone else you think I should send one to.  I am sending one to Sharp and McDonald and a few others.

I took a roll of film yesterday.  I might send the roll to you as it is hard to get them developed here. 

Some Greek Soldiers have been coming around selling ornaments the last few weeks.  I don't know where they get them but they have a lot of them, I think they are to high.

I went to see Zink tonight.  He didn't have much to say.  About the same old line.  I guess next Sat the 21st we are going on a 4 day problem in the field.  I sure hate to because it's getting colder.  I hope they call it off.  I probably wont get to write much while I am away so don't be surprised if you don't get a letter for a few days.

Some of the guys just came back from R&R in Japan and they sure bought some nice stuff to send home.  There is a list of things I want to get and send home.  I hope I can before long.  I think may be March.
Zink is behind only 133 guys and I got here just a little after him so I should not be that far away from going.  Sometimes they send you to Hong Kong China for you R&R if you want to go but I think mostly that is for Sgts and Officers.  I would sure like to go there.  It would be better than Japan.

Well I think I will close now and finish up tomorrow night.  I got a letter by the way tonight dated Nov 8.  What was that pictures "Blowing Wild" about, was it a western.  Thanks for send the packages for the kids  They will enjoy it a lot.---------

Well no letter came in today or tonight either so I guess I will finish this letter.  Last night I went down to Zink's and talked to him (I guess I told you about that)  This morning I got up and ate breakfast.  I fooled around this morning and addressed some Xmas cards.  After lunch I went over to the Triple Nichol and saw that friend of mine, Don Cummings.  There was another kid there from KC who knew Jim Prather from KC and gave me his address.  I wrote to him awhile ago.  Jim told this guy to look me up.  He didn't know at first I was the guy Jim had told him about till we started talking.  Jim Prather is one of the guys that was with me at Alameda.  I came back this afternoon and haven't done anything.  It's been cloudy and cold all day. 

Guthmiller left for the NCO Academy today.  I hope I hear something before long.  I should hear about  PFC tomorrow some time.  I hope I make it.  It means a little more a month besides being my first stripe.

I guess the whole 5th RCT is going on this 4 day bivouac net Sat.  The Triple Nichol (that is the field artillery for the 5th) is going and so is the 3rd Bn, so I guess it is going to be a big thing.  I hear we are going to be the enemy force for the 3 Div. 

Well don't know much more to say.  I will write again tomorrow night.
Love, Ted

Monday, May 2, 2011

November 12, 1953

.  Thurs  Nov. 12, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I didn't get but one letter last night and it was Mrs. Sears (note: my mother's mother.)  It was a nice letter.  Didn't have much to say.  She said she had wrote a book and had it published. (note: it was called Let Me Speak.  She wrote and published it while she was bed ridden with a broken hip and Lupus)  I haven't had any mail yet but it should be here before long.

Today we have been training as usual.  We started wearing our pile caps instead of our helmet liners.  Winter is the same as here now.

This afternoon we had a big parade.  Bigger than any I have been in here at the 5th.  They had all the jeeps, tanks, artillery etc. in it.  It was a big deal.  I snowed a little while it was going on.  I wouldn't doubt it if it snowed tonight.  Well that is about all that is new here.

I like the new toothpaste you sent.  It sure cleans  teeth nice.  I think I will go to the show tonight at Easy Company they are showing "Rouges March."  Sounds like it would be good.

Sure wish they would sign the truce and start sending troops home before winter sets in.

 It is sure going to get cold.  I have picked up a little cold.  Seems like it gets a little worse each day.  I hope I can shake it before  it get to bad.  You know how hard it is for me to get rid of a cold.

I hope you get the presents I sent from IX Corps before Christmas.  I want to send some more things if I can get a chance but don't know yet.  If I don't I will send them when I go on R&R.  I probably wont go before Feb or March. 

May be we will move to Hawaii this spring.   Things look pretty bad in Trestn (note: I can not make that word out as of yet.)  You can never tell what will happen any more.  Well I guess I will close  till I come back from the show and may be I will have some mail by then.---------Well I just got back from the show.  I saw "Rouges March."  It was and English picture.  It was just fair. 

I had three letters and a Westinghouse paper when I came back.  The letters were dated 4,6,7 Nov.  I got the pictures.  I wrote back what they were and I am sending them right back.  I may pick up the pictures that I had taken in Seoul when I go back sometime.  I don't think they are to good.  I never did see them though.

Whatever you sent in the Xmas box will be OK for me.  You always have good taste.  I will be glad to get it.  I usually pass my boxes around a little any way so there wont be to much in them to lay around.  Also what ever you send for the children here at the Xmas party will be OK.  Thank Mr Sharp and Mrs Stafford.  You don't have to send much but what ever you send it will be a big help.  Also thank Evelyn and Harley.  The Old Man might not know where they are from if you name isn't on the packages but it wont make any difference.  He will be glad to get them.

You sure have a lot of trouble with Snapper's jacket. (note: I use to forget it at school for some reason.)  but I guess if he likes it is worth it. 

I don't know how the boy is that got shot.  You never hear about anyone when they leave the company.  He was in bad shape.

I have a flash light and I get my battery's from the commo tent.  I use my little light to.  Don't worry about the camera.  I will probably buy a good one one of these days.  They are plenty cheap here.  So far I haven't needed any razor blades and I don't think they are hard to buy.  I have some that Jim gave me when I left home.

We don't have any light in our company as of yet and I don't think we will get any for a while anyway.  Some company's have them.

They say or mortar was damaged when the moved last time and hasn't been replaced yet. 

The instant coffee will be OK.  So far we haven't had much coffee at night in our tent but we might later on.  I always like it.

So you had some snow.  You are ahead of us.  I didn't understand what you said about voting democrat next time.  What is wrong with the Republicans, not that I don't think it is OK but why the change of mind. 

I enjoyed looking over the Westinghouse paper and seeing some old faces.  Well I have about run out of things to say.  I don't know much of anything more or what we will be doing tomorrow.  I will write again soon.
Love, Ted

November 11, 1953

Wed Nov 11, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I thought I would write a line today.  I didn't write Monday night and last night we had a night problem.  Monday I got 2 letters and another package from you.  The cookies sure were good and so was the bottom of t I the can.  I got the film and Kane will take some pictures soon and send them to you.  I got another letter just now.  Let me know when you send the Xmas box for the kids and who to and what was in it.

They sure had some bad car wrecks in KC.  Guess they will always have them.

You must have a lot of trouble with that cat climbing trees.  You will be able to climb up and getting him better than I can climb hills.

Monday I went out on the range.  I did about the same thing this time as I did last time, except they were machine guns at us instead of M1. 

Monday night I went to the show and saw "Down Among the Sheltering Palms" and "Glory Brigade." Sunday night I was a radio operator on the night problem.


It sure has been cold here the last few days.  It gets below freezing every night now and doesn't warm up to much during the day time.

I have been guarding the two prisoners to day, all day, and I am right now.  They are putting doors on the platoon CP while I am writing this letter.  One is going to get 18 months and the other at least 5 years.  Their court marshal is coming up soon.  I'll be glad because I am sure getting tired of guarding them.

I got a letter from Gary Sipes.  He is a gunner in a 57 recoiless rifle now and he made PFC.  They don't have floors in their tents and only get 2 1/2 gal of oil a day for their stove.

The medics sprayed the floor today for mites and fleas that the rats carry.  Sure smelled things up.  Reminded me of when I  was an exterminator.  I could show them a few things.

All most anything can happen around here.  They started burning the dead grass and bushes off the hill in back of us  awhile a go, and some 30 cal rounds were there and when the fire hit them they started going off.  Sure made a racket.  They wouldn't hurt anyone because they didn't go off with a force but it gives you a funny feeling.

Well that is about all I have right now..  I'll finish the letter this evening.------Well it is about 8:15 now.  Nothing new and no mail came in so I guess I will close for now.
Love, Ted

Sunday, May 1, 2011

November 8, 1953

Sunday  Nov  8,  53

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

How are you this evening?  I worked all day on the floor in one of the other tents.  I has been cloudy all day.  They had a fire at Regt Hequts. this afternoon.  Some Koreans were cleaning a floor in the hospital with gasoline.  There were painting and were cleaning spots off the floor.  There were only 2 ROCKS and a GI in the building.  It blew up.  Two Koreans were burned pretty bad and the GI, a medic, burned in it.  It was pretty bad.  You can't be to careful with the gas and stove.  I sure am careful with the stuff.

Today one of the boys was going to the NCO Academy and he had to check out at M-1.  He turned in his .45 pistol and I checked it out.  So now I have a weapon to keep clean.  I bought a straw rug for my floor around my cot.  They are the same thing the Koreans use for their homes.  I am  getting so I live like these Koreans now.

One of the Koreans went out today and ate a lot of Kimichi and Sake.  He came in drunk and he smelled up the tent.  You have no idea what that stuff smells like.


I bought some Korean Xmas cards at the PX today.  They sure are pretty.  I could only get one box at a time.  I will get some more later.  I only have 12 now.  I think I need 12 more.

I got the Westinghouse news today and that is all I have today.  Not much else new.  I smoke my pipe almost all the time now.  I don't smoke many cigarettes now.  Well I guess I will close for now.  I'll write again soon.
Lots of Love, Ted