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Monday, April 16, 2012


Homecoming, Reflections, and Epilogue 


I do not recall the day or any special events leading up to the time he got home from the time Dad wrote his last letter.  I am sure there must have been some discussion about Dad’s homecoming but I do not recall any single event except Christmas morning of 1954. 

We had as usual put up a tree and had plenty of presents underneath.  I was as excited as a second grader would be for Christmas morning.  My grandfather and grandmother were not happy at all.  A sadness permeated their face.  I was eager to open my presents and was allowed to do so, but they told me that they wanted to wait and open theirs when Dad got home.  I remember thinking why would they want to wait with all those packages just begging to be opened.  I cannot recall any particular present I got that year.  It would be a nice touch to this narrative for me to say the best present I got that year was Dad coming home and it was but only in retrospect.

While I was playing with whatever I got Mama and Baba just sort of went about their business trying to pass the time away and even going to the front door now and then to see who had just pulled up in front of the house.  I remember Baba going out in the front yard just standing their smoking cigarettes looking up and down the street while Mama busied herself in the kitchen. 

I don’t know how long it was after Christmas when Dad did arrive, but it must not have been that long, like two or three days, because I was still on vacation from school and was allowed to stay up late at night.

My grandfather was working the night shift at Westinghouse and Mama was in the kitchen when I heard the porch door open and though the window pane of our house Dad looked though the glass smiling. 

I am sure that my grandmother must have cried while they hugged and the only thing I remember is Dad telling her it seemed like home had been a world away the last two years. 

My Grandfather got home around and they sat down and opened all the remaining presents.  I even had a couple to open that Mama had hid.  I was glad to get them and while they stayed up and visited I sat next to Dad on the couch and drifted off to sleep.


When I started this blog, which consists of copying almost 300 letters, I thought that I would gain some long awaited insight into Dad’s character..  I have to say that I did not.  Nothing about him was revealed that I had not known for a long time.  What I did gain from this toil was a lot of memories of things that had taken place and that enabled me to put them in perspective on what was going on in the world and my life at the same time he was away. 

From a social historical stand point there were a lot of things that happened.  The Bobby Greenlease Kidnapping, the Korean cease fire, the bank robbery in Fairmount, my jacket with all the army patches which were a big hit at school, the two TV stations (soon to be three) that had come on the air, the impact that the Korean War had on our small community with all the neighborhood young men being drafted, the way they seemed to run into each other so far away from home while overseas,  the comments he made about Mom from time to time, his girl friend Margie, the national and international events that took place, the movies that he had seen that are now classics, the prejudices that he and the country held, and how important letters are to soldiers.  The list could go on and on.  But I will leave an in-depth analysis to social historians that might read these letters some day and there is a good chance they will.  I have made arrangements for the letters to become part of the military archives of Missouri, where they will be preserved and catalogued for future generations.  I don’t mind letting the letters out of the family because it is better they be in an archive someplace than sitting around in a shoebox for another 58 years.

The one thing that stands out the most is how one solitary soldier being drafted not only affected his life but the lives of all who knew him and others in the family.  Needless to say Mama and Baba were profoundly affected.  They like many parents worried all the time and I am sure had plenty of nightmares about never seeing Dad again.  It brought the whole family closer together for Dad was the only one of our family generation of the time to go into the Army.  J.Q. was 4F and Larry and Mike were two young.  His aunts, uncles, and cousins made an effort to keep in touch with him by the letters they wrote and genuinely missed and worried about him almost as much as my grandfather and grandmother.


Dad joined the Army Reserves, or perhaps he was forced to join, I am not sure how it went back then.  They had weekly meetings in Independence on the square somewhere.  He stayed in for two years that I know of and made Master Sgt and then First Sgt.  I have all his Sgt stripes still.

Dad went back to his old job at Westinghouse but I don’t know how long he stayed.  He used the GI Bill to continue his flying lessens and he got rated on twin engines, a commercial pilot license, a flight instructor rating and eventually became an instructor for instructors.

He was Chief Flight Instructor for Air Way Flight Service and Wilson Flying Service out of the down town air port.  He tried to get a job with the airlines but there were too many pilots being discharged who already had more experience than he.  After a short tenure with U.S. Engineering as a corporate pilot and estimator, he retuned to pilot instruction and became very well known in the flight community and was an active member of Quiet Birds, an honorary organization that I have no idea what they stood for or did in their meeting.

He was recruited by the CIA once but turned it down.  He was on their watch list because of that special training he had in the army and eventually at the age of 42 landed a job with the FAA where he ended up retiring as a GS 15.

I am not sure but I think he might have tried to get together with Mom but Mom told me years later that “too much water had gone under the bridge but that Dad was the only man she ever truly loved.”  I know the feeling.  Dad ended up meeting and then marrying Doris, the eventual mother of my brother Brian and my sister Traci.

That marriage lasted a while but then they divorced and after a couple of years he married a lady named Marsha.  He and Marsha stayed married for over 30 years.  They had the normal trials and tribulation of married people but they stuck it out though sickness and health all the way until Dad died in 2002 while I was in Alaska.  I did not attend the funeral, it cost too much for me to return, but many people did show up.

Dad was not really an outgoing guy but had a side to him saved for his close friends that his children rarely saw.  He could be funny, he had a very dry since of humor and seemed to attract all kinds of people as friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, priests to outlaws. 

Dad joined the VFW and after his retirement from the FAA became marginally active in the organization.  He had joined the Masonic Lodge and was a member of the Horse Mounted Guard in the Shrine.  He even went to New York and rode in a parade once.

He visited Washington, D.C. once before the Korean War Memorial had been constructed and said he was walking around some sort of park or something when he saw a bench that had an inscription.  “Dedicated to Korean War Veterans.”  Dad said he sat down on the bench and cried.  I guess Korea was not that far away after all.

Dad some how became active in 5th RCT  reunions but don’t know if he ever ran into anybody he served with in Korea.  I know he went to a couple of reunions in Branson.  The last time he went and shortly before he died there was a parade scheduled in Branson.  Dad decided not to march in the parade because he didn’t think he would make it all the way so he went home without even going to the parade.

Dad very seldom talked about Korea, at least to me.  I did hear him tell his cousin JQ, when JQ asked Dad to go camping and Dad said no, a little of his feelings..  JQ didn’t let the matter drop and kept pressing Dad as to why he didn’t want to go camping.  “Have you ever gone camping,” JQ badgered.  “Yes” Dad said, “Once for 16 months but we called it Korea.” He never mentioned his friends he had made in the army and with the exception of Don Underwood , who was in the reserves with him later and Zink, since he just lived three doors down the street, he never saw any of them again.  I have wondered what ever became of Theiderman and Simnonie.  Jim Rountree and Arkie had been Dad’s friends before he went into the army and he did see them frequently after words but even they drifted away eventually and he had no contact with either of them for many years.  Every now and then after I received my commission he would mention something about the army and Korea in general but nothing of any consequence other than some details about that special training he had but wouldn’t tell me anything other than he had some letters for me he wanted me to have after he died  Perhaps I should have asked more questions but Dad was never the type of guy you asked a lot of questions of.  He could stare right though you and melt you in a second.  I could identify with that kid he reprimanded in the army once that started to cry without Dad ever raising his voice.  However, Dad and I were not estranged, we were just never real close.  I never had a problem with Dad.  I remember some fun times especially the one time we went to my father-in-law’s place in Tennessee for an extended weekend to attend a pig roast, but there were not many.  I was always proud to tell people that Dad had been in the army, had served in Korea, and was a pilot.  He never said much to me about me, but told me once he just wanted me to be happy.  Marsha told me once that Dad was very proud of my accomplishments, those of which I have always taken for granted, but they seemed important to him.  Dad never told me any such thing. 

However Dad and I had come to an unspoken understanding and I can truthfully say that when he died there was nothing left unsaid between us.  I have told each one of my children that if I were to die suddenly that for them not to think they should have said this or that, that I already new how they felt.  I guess that is the legacy Dad left me.  Should it be the same for all of us.

Teddy Stone McAnally
Oct 6, 1928Sept 28, 2002
 Son, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather
 United States Army 1952 to 1954                                                  
 Korean War Veteran

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Letters Date November 26 to December 6, 1954

Nov 26, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Another day and nothing much to write about.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  We had a big meal yesterday for dinner.  I guess you had quite a day of it too.  It has rained most of the day and has been cold and windy today.  I had 2 letters from you and a box of pecan cookies.  They sure were good. I really enjoy them   The letters were Nov 18 and 19.

Have you heard about this Netural Inspection Team here in Korea.  Well the team that is here in Pusan has two Polish Officer on it and the Korean Provost Marshal want s them out of Korea within a week.  That’s been 3 or 4 days ago.  They are communist and they check on the amount of troops, arms etc coming in and out of Korea.  I see them in the dock area all the time.  No one is allowed to talk to them and they have MPs guarding them and escorting them around Pusan with riot guns.  Since this trouble everyone in the dock area has to carry a weapon.  They are expecting trouble with the Koreans.  Let you know the out come.  You should be getting my letters more often now.  I didn’t write much in the file d but since I have been back I have written quite a bit.  I think the mail has been held up some place.  Haven’t her from anyone lately.  No more news about going home as yet.  They are just up to Dec 10.  The next big drop should get me but don’t think I will make it by Xmas.  I guess they are getting busy down tow with Xmas shopping etc.  don’t seem possible its so close.  Well not much more to write about so I will close.  Will write again later.
Love, Ted

Nov 28, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper. 

Today is Sunday and I got a day off from guard.  I was supposed to go on guard at and wont have to.  Seems good to have a day off.  A lot has happened since I wrote last time.  Friday night 26 Nov the 55 QM burned down in Pusan.  It is located in the dock area.  It sure was a bad fire.  All the clothing, food, oil, gas and all other supply coming into Korea were there.  All most everything burned up and what they saved (3 tuck loads) were stolen by the Koreans, trucks and all.  We were alerted to go down and guard the area around it.  The sky was cloudy and the fire reflected all over Pusan and lit the town up with orange light.  I was just going on guard at and I got to see most of what was going on besides posting some guards all around the fire.  The army moved the Koreans out of their houses and took bull dozers and cleared out a 100 yard strip around the firs so it would spread.  They took the bull dozers and pushed housed and all over.  People were moving out in all directions from the fire carrying what they could on their backs.  You will probably read about the fire in the paper.  It was a several million dollar loss.  That is the third big fire they have had in Pusan since I have been here in Korea plus a couple is Seoul.  We had a 4 man drop yesterday that took up to Dec 14.  There should be a couple more drops this week so I might make it.  Don’t count on it though till you get a letter form me.  Thiderman called yesterday from Co C 1st Bn and left word for me to call but when I called I couldn’t get though.  Guess he just wanted to talk.  He is mess Sgt at C company.  I think you remember me speaking of him.  Not much more to write about.  Haven’t had any more mail.  I am going to mail another box of fatigues home in a few days.  I’ll let you know when I send them.  Well not much more to say so I will close.
Lots of Love, Ted

29 Nov 54

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well I had 2 letters today, Nov 20 and 22.  Glad to hear everything is going OK.  Haven’t done much of anything today.  Same old thing.  I guess this is the letter we have all be waiting for.  I just found out I am leaving Korea so don’t write me anymore after you get this letter.  I sure was surprised.  As much as I know now.  I will clean post tomorrow and leave the company Dec7.  So it will be 7 or 8 days from now before I will leave here.  Then I will go to a replacement center and process and wait for a ship.  I hear there is a ship leaving Dec 10 so I will probably be on that ship.  It wont give me much time to get home for Xmas but I might make it in I am lucky.  It will take a least 10 or 11 days to get to the states and 3 or 4  days to process on get home so it will be close.  Don’t look for me before Xmas though and not till you see me coming.  Be sure and not write any more as I wont get the mail you are sending now most likely.  It sure don’t seem  possible from some reason as I have been gone so long now.  Sure will be glad to get home and see all of you again.  About the first thing you can do is have all the gang in, Daisy, Edith and family, Evelyn and Jim, Larry and Mike, JQ, Merlyn and all the rest.  Well I will keep you posted on any new or ideas when I will be home.  Will write again soon.
Lots of Love, Ted

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Nothing much new for me to write about so this wont be much of a letter for you.  Yesterday I turned in all my field equip and some other things I don’t’ take with me.  I gave a lot of things away and I packed another box to send.  Will mail it in the next couple of days.  The usual things.  As far as I know now I will be leaving the Co on the 7th and may be on a ship “General Anderson” which leave the 10th.  Working on the dock and knowing the desk Sgt at the Port PMO I can find out what ships re leaving and the day and that the next ship after the 7th of Dec.  I am on guard in the morning an it looks like it may be a bad day.. it’s cold and windy out and looks like it might rain.

I got paid yesterday.  I drew $119.  Wong get paid for SFC till next pay I get and I wont get to draw much for that as they will most likely discharge me when I get to the states and all I will have coming will be for part of Dec and Nov.  It will make a difference on my leave time I have coming.  I had 3 letter today Nov 23 and 24.  Also one from Jim.  Jim said he got order for the Far East.  Probably Japan.  If you see him tell him I will be in Ft Lewis before long.  He will probably get on the same boat I get off of.  That’s the way things work or else I’ll pass him some place at sea.  Well guess everything’s I normal in KC and at home.  Don’t look for any more mail after I get on the ship.  So you wont hear for me till I get home.  I wont call when I get to the states unless I get held up some place.  Write again soon.
Love, Ted

6 Dec 54  Monday

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I am leaving the company in the morning and will go to Pusan Replacement to process and wait for a ship.  I am all packed and ready to go.  I don’t think I will be writing any more so don’t look for any more mail after this one.  I am sending some pictures and some envelopes and some other things and another package.  It doesn’t look like I will make it for Xmas so don’t’ look for me.  Sure has been cold the last few days.  I am glad to be leaving here.  It was down to 25 the other night when I was on guard.  I don’t seem to have to much tow write about.  So then I will close.  I wont write again unless I get held up some place.  So look for me when you see me coming.  Tell everyone hello for me and that I’ll see them soon.
Lots of Love, Ted

This was the last letter Dad sent home.

Next: Homecoming, reflections, epilogue, and miscellaneous items.

Friday, April 13, 2012

letters Dated november 20 to the 23rd, 1954

Sat Nov 20, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Just a few lines this morning to let you know everything is OK and going about the same.  I go on guard in a little while.  I got a few pictures that were taken just before we went to the field.  They are two pictures of me with Kim and Jimmy.  Kim is the biggest boy.  Jimmy the littlest one and the one that go the clothes.  We are having an inspection today and we had to get up early to get ready.  The inspection starts after I go on guard.  I had a letter yesterday.  I ordered two music boxes the day before yesterday.  Hope you get them before Xmas.  I might mail one more air mail.. It takes quite awhile after you order them before they get sent.  You could give one you have away but I don’t know whether you will get the same tune or not.  Each box has a different tune.  Well I don’t know much more to write about so I will close.  I’ll write you later.
Love, Ted

Nov 21, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Another Sunday today and nothing much new to write about.  I haven’t had any more mail for a couple of days but should get some today.  It’s a nice day today and the sun is shinning and the sky is blue but it’s a little cool.  The fire feels good.  Seems like this winter just came all at once without any notice.  I go on guard tonight at till .  Guard is not so good any more because we are pulling with Fox Company and they are not so good at it.   We don’t catch any slicky boys when they are on.  One of my pier Sgts hit a Korean for stealing canned meat and broke his nose and they had to take him to the hospital.. I had to see a major the Korean worked for and he was pretty soar about it.  I made a report on it and our Rgt Commander, Col Donaldson when down and talked to this major and he set the major straight.  That’s one thing the Co will do is back you up if you have something like that happen or guard.  Well no more news about rotation.  They are up to Dec 10 now and the next couple of drops should get me.  You better not look for me to be home by Xmas now.  I thought for awhile I would make it but I don’t think I can now.  It wont be long after that before I am home.  Wish I could fly back.  That would be about the only way I could make it unless I leave in the next week or so.  Well I’ll write you a line later on, might get a letter today yet. ---Haven’t got a letter yet but have some pictures I took in the field and of the Carnival they had a couple of months ago.
Love, Ted

Nov 22, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

How are things back home.  From the letters I got today everything seemed to be normal.  I got the Thanksgiving card today.  Sure was nice of you and I had about forgot about Thanksgiving.  Even now I don’t know what day it is.  Haven’t done much today.  With the house boy to make my bed, shine my boots, wash my clothes, pistol belts etc I don’t have much to do.  Our new 1st Sgt took over today, the one I wrote about.  The colored Sgt, M/Sgt Reed.  I think he will be OK.  He has 17 years in the army and has been a 1st Sgt for quite sometime in the companies.  He is a lot like Sgt Oliver in the 5 RCT.  You can sue tell the old timers when you seen them or hear them talk.  Hope the new job goes OK.  I sure was surprised to hear you changed jobs.  You will probably like it a lot better.  Nothing new to write about at this end.  I go on guard at tonight.  It’s a funny thin but there is a SFC who relieve me from Fox Company who only has 6 months to go was a Captain and a Company Commander in the 34 Rgt.  He was reduced to Master Sgt because they had to many reserve Captains.  After he was a Master Sgt he was busted to SFC and that same ay he made major in the reserve.  Sure is funny.  He doesn’t’ know much it didn’t look like to me.  I think he drinks a lot from the way he looks.  Well we have an inspection in 20 minutes so I thing I will get my platoon out and give them a going over.  So I’ll write again soon.
Love, Ted

Nov 23, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Thought I would write you a short line and let you know all is well.  You may have noticed on the letter I mailed yesterday (on the envelope) I had SFC on it.  Right after I sealed the envelope I was told about making it.  I sure was surprised as I didn’t even know I went in for it and didn’t figure on it.  One other Sgt made SFC.  He had been in the army for 9 years or so and had been a Sgt for several years.  He was or is a mess Sgt.  A year ago I would never have believed I would make SFC before I went home because I wasn’t even a PFC yet.  I made PFC Nov 26, 53, Cpl Mar 1, 54, and Sgt June 17, 54 and Sgt First Class Nov 22, 54 (just for the record)  Next step will be Master Sgt but wont get that.  No one ever gets that in even 3 or 4 years and I figure I was plenty luck to make SFC in less than two years.  Don’t see that much any more.  I have only seen 2 or 3 make it since I have been in Co G of the 5 RCT and the 19th Rgt.  Well all ready they figured what money I get for a re-enlistment, $1480.00.  Right now I am making $175.81 base pay and 20.00 over seas pay and then the 77.10 for Snapper and that make a total of 272.91 a month plus my clothes and meals, medical insurance etc.  Sure make me think a lot about staying in as that is hard to beat on the outside.  If it wasn’t so far being form home I wouldn’t think twice about it.  When I collect my reserve time I will be drawing a base pay of 191.10 plus.  Well I haven’t had any mail today.  The weather is nice but cool at night.  I can’t think much to write about so think I will close off.  No more new about rotating.  Shouldn’t be much longer anyway.  I’ll write you again soon.
Lots of Love, Ted

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Letters Dated November 6 to November 17, 1954

Sat Nov 6, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well I have spent a week in the field now.  Guess you wondered why I haven’t written you but I have been so busy I haven’t had much change and it gets dark early.  I have been going to bed at and because it get dark and cold and there isn’t nothing much to do.  I haven’t had but a couple of letters this week.   That was a real letty you wrote Roy on (note:?)  I bet that color TV is really something.  Bet they get the price down even more when they get going on it.  They have a lot of different tunes on the music boxes I guess.  The one I looked at was Auld Lang Syne and they sent Gold and Silver Waltz.  The one I wanted was China Night.  I’ll still send another one.

I wrote on my last letter that the 34 and 21 Rgt of the 24 Div was moving to Japan.  I didn’t tell all.  They told the 1st 3 grades that they could transfer if they wanted to and go with the 34 and 21.  I only have 30 or 40 days left the way it looks so I didn’t bother to do it.  I think the 19 Rgt will move soon after the 34 and 21 move.  To bad everything has come at the wrong time for me.  Moving with the 5 RCT and now Japan.  Haven’t got the word about when I am leaving over here but it shouldn’t be much longer.  Sure be glad to get out of the outfit.  I can’t see how 2 outfits can be so much different.  Well we have one more week here.  I think we will go in about next Sat the 13.  This week went fairly fast so should the next one.  We are in the same area that we were in with the 5 RCT.

Not much more to write about so I will close .  Will write again later.
Lots of Love, Ted

Sunday Nov 7, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Just a few lines today to let you know I am doing OK.  Nothing new to write about.  Looks lie it may rain tonight.  Hope not.  It has been nicer everyday since we have been out here.  I haven’t had any mail for about 5 days now.  I think last Tues was the last time, guess it is tied up some place.

I have taken a few pictures since I have been out this time.  I got a roll ready to get developed and a new roll of color film that I just put in the camera.  Nothing to much to write about.  Everything is going about the same.  Well there is just 41 day left till I was supposed to rotate.  So it wont be long now.  One of these days I’ll write and tell you not to writer me anymore as I will be leaving soon I hope.  Can’t think of much more to write as I haven had any mail to answer so think I will close.  I’ll try to write more this next week.
Lots of Love, Ted

Sunday Nov 14, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well we left the field yesterday morning and got back about .  Didn’t do much yesterday afternoon but clean equipment and straighten out a little bit.  Went to the club last night.  I am still platoon Sgt.  Don’t know how long I will be as they may want to give it to some one who has more time to go than I do.  I sure didn’t write much  while I was out in the field as it was to cold and dark at night and in the day I didn’t write as we were training etc.  Guess it has been a while since you got any letters.  I have had several from you.  I gave little Jimmy his pants and shirt which he go which we go when in the field.  He sleeps in the hut with all the 4th platoon Sgts and 1st Sgt.  I sent him over to take a shower and clean up and I gave him the clothes to put on and they just fit him good and he was really proud of them.  The pants were a little big around the waist but they fit OK.  He must be about Snapper’s size when Snapper wore those clothes.  He told me when I wrote my mother to thank her.  He sure is smart.  From what I have found out he has lived on a ship for quite some time and he can’t speak Korean.  He has been to the states a couple of times. 

I will send you a couple of music boxes for Hortenz and Sandra.  I will try to do that this afternoon if I can.  Don’t send any money for them though.  I have plenty.  Think I will send about 3 of them.  We can have on extra you don’t need to say anything about.  Will let you know when I send them.  Doubt if they will get there by Xmas. 

The way they are shaking up Westinghouse you better write Roy about that job for your self.  Glad they didn’t strike but it a shame they laid so many off (note: even though it wasn’t a strike there were some demonstrations.  I guess that is what I remember) and they changed their rating on those jobs.  Westinghouse is good at that I guess.  That’s the way they fight the Union.  Which is the only way to do it. 

Don’t do to much to that room of mine.  No hurry about it as it still may be awhile before I get out of Korea and then you can figure when I get my papers it will be 6 days before I leave the company.  3  to 5 days o process and get on the boat and about 11 to 14 days to get to the states and 3 to 5 days to get my discharge so you can figure about 30 days at the most after I get my notice that I am rotating.  I think there are rotation drops coming down.  They are up till the 15 of Nov now and they say the next drop will be everyone till Dec 15, 

I didn’t hear anything about Arkie getting a divorce.  What all did he say.  I haven’t got that letter from Daisy yet either.  Are you going on days yet.  You wrote my pay was 1.82 per hour.  I think that was about what I was making when I left there.  They should give me a raise.

Well that sounds like a pretty good deal with Knox Chem Co.  About the only thing I can do is let it ride till I get home.  What and who do the sell, Industry or Dept Stores etc.  As far as insects over here.  Don’t know much about them.  Plenty of rats over here and poor extermination of the part of the army and civilians. Etc.  AS for insects the army had mennside and the old stand by DDT.  The ships usually fumigate in the states and the kitchen has a little spray they mess men use when they have trouble and as usual they don’t get rid of them with out the hand of an experience exterminator. 

I will send those letters back.  I would like to get back on the road again and travel Mo and Kan.  I always liked that.  I would still be doing it if I hadn’t been for old George Eaton and his old lady.  Well we will just let it ride for now.  You better keep it lined up for yourself at least. 

Glad to get out of the 19 Rgt.  SFC Carpenter got busted one stripe for stealing sugar last time we were on guard.  The old man (Col Donaldson Rgt Commander) caught him with 50 lbs of sugar in his jeep coming back to the company.  It that would have been in the 5 RCT they would have patted him on the back and promoted him to Master Sgt.  Glad I didn’t get caught.  Write again soon.
Love, Ted

Nov 15, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well today went pretty good.  Most of the day was care and cleaning and a shot inspection.  We have a good platoon leader.  He is a 1st Lt and from Long Island, New York.  Just  a few years younger that I am.  He is a colored officer but he is OK not like most to them and he is a college graduate.  He lets me rank the platoon and if he makes a suggestion I don’t like it I tell him and its Ok.  Goes ahead and lets me do it my way.  We got rid of the colored 1st Sgt we had and thought we were going OK and today we got another one in.

Well we start pulling guard on Wed.  I get the 1st Shift of Sgt of the Guard and I will be over piers 1,2,3, and 4 plus Quay 2 and some other post.  Probably have my own jeep.  That’s the way we did last time. 

I forgot to tell you the other day I got the box of cookies you sent.  They sure were good. 

Today I had several letters.  I got the one from Daisy and one from Jim and several from you with the $10.  I think I will send that back.  Today I wrapped a box and mailed it.  It had 4 sets of fatigues that I have had for awhile.  They are tailored to fit me.  When I leave Korea they take all my clothes and I wanted to keep them so I too the chance of mailing them.  I have some T shirts, sweat shirts and pictures and a roll of color film you can send and have developed, also some other items I thought I would send rather than to carry home when I leave.  Let me know when you get the box..  I am going to send some more things before long.  Hope it gets there OK.  The fatigues will be good to work or loaft around in.  They fit me tight now so if I get fat I probably wont be able to wear them but wanted to keep them anyway.

I didn’t understand what you said about Zink.  You say he has left of Inchan.  I am beginning to doubt if I will be home for Xmas now.  All the drops are not getting to the Rifle Companies.  They don’t seem to get past Hqs Co and Service Companies etc.  Glad to hear Sipes made Sft and got to go to Hawaii.  A good break for him  I figure most of the boys would make Sgt before they went home.  You see Arkie again tell him hello and I’ll see him soon.  To bad him and Joy are getting a divorce.  Did he seem to feel bad about it.  Jim didn’t say much in his letter.  Same old thing.  Like to see him when I get home.  Daisy didn’t have much to say either.  I’ll send you the letter.  It was a sweet letter.  Tell Sam Coomer hello for me and all the rest of the boys.  Tell Dwight and Arlene to save me a place at the table as they are my first visit when I get home. (Dwight and Arlen were Mom and Dad’s best man and made of honor at their wedding.  They lived up the street.  Dwight later got killed in a parking lot accident.  And to show you how small a world it rally is, years later a guy worked for me that was an Electricians apprentice under Dwight.)

Sounds like Snapper is growing up a lot.  Sure is smart.  I had to laugh about him falling off the horse. (note: I remember doing that at a friend’s farm.  I didn’t think it was that funny.)  I will let you know when I get the music boxes ordered and how many.  Hope you can get the same tune.  Don’t send anymore money. 

I read where the Democrats took over again.  Sure is a good thing.  To bad mom couldn’t vote Dem.  I would have. 

Well the weather over here is about the same.  Days are warm enough.  The nights are cooler and it gets dark early.  We wear OG shirts. (olive green) and field pants.  They are heavier than fatigues and warmer.  We can’t wear fatigues any more that’s why I sent them home.  Not much more to write about so I will close.  Will write soon.  Lots of Love and hop to see you before much longer.

Nov 16, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Just a few line to let you know everything is going about the same.  Well the months is more than half over now and its only 34 days till Dec 20.  I found out last night from the Co Clerk that my name is on the master roster.  He left it off the company roster by mistake but the don’t go by the Co roster .  Names come down to the company from Bn Hqs. 

We had an inspection this afternoon and at we went to a USO show and it was fairly good.  1st one I had seen since I was in North Korea I think. ( note:  I guess they had not officially named and divide Korea yet.)  Haven’t had any mail today so far.  So nothing to write from this end.  Will pull guard this week.  Our company starts Thursday morning a .  It will work about the same way this time as it did last.  They transferred quite a few guys out today for Japan.  They are going with the 34 Rgt.  I think Don Underwood went with them.. Don’t know, just guessing.  Well everyday I write I am getting short and when you get this letter I am shorter and when I get an answer I am even shorter.  Shouldn’t be much longer.  I don’t think I will make this next drop but should be on the one after that.  Will let you know.  Write later on.
Love, Ted

Nov 17, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I had a letter today dated Nov 11.  Glad to hear from you and I was sure surprised to hear that Dad changed jobs.  Sound like you got a better job and little easier work, a lot of responsibility but think you will like it OK. (note: he got a different position with Westinghouse.)  Why did they lay off so many operators.  Glad to hear Don made Sgt.  Think you said one he had a desk job in Bn Hqs or some place like that.  They make it once ina while on those jobs but not often as usually a clerk is only a Cpl.  When is Larry and Emma Ruth going to get married,  Dec or sooner. 

Well the wind is strong today and cold.  Our company went on guard today at .  They pull it 4 on and 4 off and 4 on.  George Co and Fox Co are the only two companies pulling it.  Each company has two relief’s.  I start tonight at .  Leave here at .  I’ll have a jeep and go on for 8 straight hours.  All I will do is check the guards, take care of any trouble they have and pick up slacky boys etc and take them to jail.  I’ll be over the Pusan Dock area guards.  I think I will have about 60 guards spread out over 3 or 4 mile area.  Sounds big but there is nothing to it.  I’ll be working with the guards from booth Fox and George Co.  They are pulling Sgt  of the Guard so I will be on 8 hours and off 24 hours.  Wont have much to do on my off time but sleep, eat etc.  There are 6 of us who sleep in our own hut.  1st Sgt Reed, Field First Sgt Stinchcomb, SFC Krinkard, Sgt Boblett, Sgt Carpenter and my self.  The house boy makes are bed, shines our boots, washes our clothes and presses and then hangs them up etc.  So I don’t have anything to do.  Well I don’t have much more to write about so I will close .  I’ll write you more.
Lots of Love, Ted

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Letters Dated October 27 to the 31, 1954

27 Oct 54

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I had two letters from you yesterday, Oct 19 and 20.  Had one from Jim Rountree and one from Marian.  They didn’t have much to say.  I am glad you got you china and the picture Album and jewel box.  What is the tune on the jewel box.  The one I looked at was the Korean National Anthem, some of them have China Night.  That’s the one I wanted to get.  Better not look for me to go home in Nov.  There is a good chance but you know how things go in the army.  Don’t count on it.  I should be home by Xmas thought.  Most likely I will leave about the 1st of Dec or so. 

To bad KC didn’t get in the big league.  That would sure help KC out in a lot of way. (note: he is talking about KC not being picked to have a professional baseball team.  They still had the KC Blues which were a farm team for the New York Yankees.)

Well they made 16 Sgts in the Company, 6 corporals and no Master Sgts or Sgt First Class or PFC.  Sure would like to make it.  They made 4 SFC in Easy Company, but George Co didn’t put any in for it.  I think they are going to put some in for it this month (Nov)  Might have a chance to get it.  But I don’t look for it to much.  I am not bucking for it hard enough. 

We finished our guard today.  We go to the field next Monday the 1st of Nov for about 2 weeks.  Sure hate to go.  Hope something comes up so I won’t have to go.  It’s nice day today.  The sun is out bright and it is warm.  The company is training this afternoon.  I am not out because I got CQ tonight.  Will write soon.
Love, Ted

Oct 27, 1954 (second letter that day)

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well I am on CQ tonight.  Thought I would write another letter.  I got one from you Oct 21.  I saw the Rgt Rank List.  I saw Clifford Zink Company K made Sgt.  I said that there were 16 in the last letter that I wrote, it was only 10 who made it.  Glad to hear that McLaughlin is doing better.  I will send another jewel box after payday.  I can get on OK.  I think the name of the tune is China Night.  The one I looked at is Auld Lang Syne but you should know that one.  Hope you can get another one with China Night.  They only cost about 4 dollars.  Don’t remember just what for sure. 

Well you don’t have to worry about me treating the Korean boys to ad as we are finished with guard for awhile.  We go to the field and stay for 2 weeks after Monday and will probably start pulling guard when we come back.  Well I looked at the company rotation list and they don’t even have me down for the 20 Dec now.  Looks like I got pushed back some.  Just about like this outfit to do that.  They can’t keep me to much longer any way as they have to send you home 45 days prior to your ETS (discharge date)  Still think they will send the guys who rotate in Dec early so they will make it home by Xmas.

Well not much more to write about for now so I will close off.
Lots of Love. Ted

Sunday Oct 31, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I’m all set to go to the field in the morning.  I got promoted to a new job yesterday.. I’m the 4th Platoon Sgt now.  Sure got it at a bad time going to the field etc.  I know the 60 mortar and the 57 booth so it shouldn’t be to hard for me to make out.  I sure never thought when I came over here last Sept that I would ever be a platoon Sgt before I left. (note: for those of you that are not familiar with the army rank structure that really is an accomplishment for a draftee.)  I think I will like it OK.  It’s less work in a physical way but more mentally and more responsibility than just being a section leader.  I got 2 sections now rather  than just one. 

We got paid at today.  I drew $118.  I wanted to put some more money in the Soldiers Deposit but they told me I was to short to put ay in as it might not get on the record before I went home.  For the first time I have felt like a short timer.  Looks like I might not make another payday in Korea.  I wanted to build it up to $1000 but I have $900 in anyway and with my leave pay and the pay I draw between now and the time I get out plus the 300 dollars mustering out pay the money I have at home I should be set up when I get home.  I have enough money in my pocket to get a camera and a jewel box when I came back from the field. 

Sure turned cold.  We got our stove going an it sure feels good.  12 men are going home on the 6 Nov so that should put me down to about 14 or 15 now on the 5 RCT rotation roster.  Tell the truth I don’t much want to leave over here till about the 1st of Dec.  I could still get home by Xmas.  One reason is that I might have to take a 30 day leave before I get a discharge etc.  Loose more money and time by that way and I would still be away from home.  Anyway I shouldn’t have over another month to do over here.  I haven’t had a letter for a couple of days.  Probably get one tomorrow out in the field.  Probably wont get to write as much as I have been as it gets dark early and we wont have much time to write in the day so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get any mail for a few days at a time.  I’ll write soon and as often as I can. 
Lots of Love, Ted

PS:  The 21st and 34th Rgts of the 24 Div are moving to Japan right away.. The 19th Rgt is staying here   for a few more months.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letters Dated from October 14 to 25, 1954

Oct 14, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Just a few lines t let you know everything is OK.  Had 3 letters today.  Two were kind of late, Sept 30 and the other one was Oct 6.  I liked the color picture.  I sue was good.  I am going to buy another camera payday.  I have been wanting one ever sice I have been over here. (this certain type.)  It’s a 2 inch I-Kenta Centessa.  A German camera which cost over $150 in the states.  They were always $94 in the PX but they came down.  The PX finally got in 3 of them the other day.  I didn’t have the money to get one but Simonie had 66 dollars so I loaned him $10 to get one.  Hope they have one left pay day to get one.  They are hard to get for some reason and the PX officer wouldn’t hold it for me.  If I get it I am going to send you mine.  It’s a good camera and worth about $75 or so in the states.  You should have a good camera as long as I can get them cheap. This new one I want is the same size and make only it’s a better camera.  Has built in range finder and light meter plus a lot more things.

How did Paul Harder get.  Sure hope he make it OK.  Might send my regards.  To bad about Marian’s next door neighbor.  I remember when her husband died. 

Well I guess the 5 RCT is back in the state by now and starting to get set up for training.  We are going to the field Nov 1 or Oct 30.  Sure hat to go as it will be cold.  Was hoping we wouldn’t have to go.  I think we stay out about 10 days. 

Well I got 3 Slicky boys last night. (Slicky means to steal.)  They were stealing about 300 tooth brushes.  I go on again about and have to get up at so will close .  Write again soon.
Lots of Love, Ted

PS  Hope I make it home for Larry’s wedding.

Sunday  Oct 17, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

No mail today so far.  I had two letters yesterday Oct 7 and 8.  Sounds like everything is going OK.  Nothing new here.  Still pulling guard.  I caught a Korean yesterday fooling with Uncle Sam’s mail.  Didn’t know what they will do with him as yet.  To bad about Charlie Archer.  Seems kind of young.  Where are they going to take him.  Does he have any other family. 

That job you wrote about sound pretty good.  I don’t think I remember Knox Chemical Company.  Le me know more about it.

Well I went on guard at tonight.  I got off at A, eat breakfast and went to bed and slept till this afternoon.  I am going to eat dinner and then take a nap till time to go as we will be up all night.  I like the guard OK.  Sure is better than the field now as its is cold in the pup tents.  Well not much more.  Write soon.
Love, Ted

Oct 18, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I had 3 letters from you today.  Everything sound good at home.  Nothing new here.  I only had one ship on the pier last night and no hot cargo to speak of and only had 2 guards on the pier.   One on the gang plant and one in one of the hatches they were unloading.  We had the hard ship last night.  Went on at till then we were off 4 hours and went on at till . 

Our mess hall hasn’t been able to get any sugar so the Sgt of the guard, myself, Simonie and a jeep driver went scouting for sugar.  We found some on pier #3 in on of the whore house.  The Sgt of the guard got the guard away for a second while Simonie and myself loaded up the jeep with 100 lbs in 10 lbs sack.  We did this on the 4 hours we had off.  That is about all there is on that.  We got sugar for coffee and cereal now.

Seems funny you haven’t heard from Jim anymore.  I had a letter after he go to Ft Lee and I answered it and haven’t heard anymore. 

Well there is a strong chance I will get out of Korea Nov.  There are a lot of troop ships leaving now and that is good.  Probably get everyone who leaves up to the 1st of Jan.  Don’t count on it though.  If I do I have about a month her and if not only about 2 months.  Still think I will be home by Xmas. 

That job you write sound good.  Find out more about it.  I always like to travel Mo and Kansas.  Might be what I need. 

Well that is about it.  Have to work on my stuff a little bit and go to bed as I get up at to go to the docks.  Will writer later.
Lots of Love, Ted
Thursday Oct 21, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

Well this moths is over half gone now.  Seems to have gone fast enough.  Haven’t written for a couple of days.  I had 2 letter from you yesterday Oct 14 and on the day before Oct 12.  I haven’t much of anything but the usual thing, guard, eat, and sleep.  The Koreans were going to strike yesterday but they didn’t, it was all the Koreans all over Korea because the army isn’t paying them.  The reason is that the Bank of Korea save the Hawn (Korean Money) at 180 won for a dollars.  The black market rate is about 400 or 500 per dollar.  Everything is based on that rate of exchange.  I don’t understand it to much but you have probably read something about it.  Anyway the Koreans haven’t been getting paid.  There hasn’t been any hot cargo on the pier I work on and I have only had 2 or 3 guards the last couple of days.  I don’t mind.  I spend a lot of time in the ship drinking coffee and eating rolls etc.  The seaman treat the GI’s and MP’s pretty good.  I even had a glass of mild.  That’s something we don’t get in Korea is mild and it tasted pretty good.  We get this powdered milk and you can’t drink that, you just put it on your breakfast food.  Some of thee ships are pretty nice.  All of them are cargo ships operated by civilians and have civilian seaman on them 

They had another fire in Pusan last year about this time.  It was right across the street from the docks.  481 homes.  I didn’t see the fire.  I saw it a couple of hours after it was about out on the way to guard.

Seems like you get all my letter all at once.  They sure get tied up some place.  Let them know it will you.  You didn’t say anymore in your last letter.  We haven’t had any rain here for quite a few days now.  I never did get Snapper’s report card you wrote about sending.  Did you send it.  I got the letter his teacher sent but not a report card.  (note:  the letter ends here at the bottom of the second page Nothing followed.)

Oct 22, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I had a letter from you yesterday.  Oct 16.  I didn’t recognize any one in that picture you sent of the guys voting.  I guess there are a lot of new people at Westinghouse now.  I thought I wrote about the greenback you sent in the bill fold.  I got two from Evelyn so that makes 7 dollars.  I thought those cookies tasted like pecan pie.  They sure were good.  Can’t wait till I get some pecan pie when I get home.  I don’t remember you writing about Mary Ellen and Marvin having a baby but I don’t remember everything since I have been over here.  Probably forgot a lot of things when I get home.  I heard something about married men only staying 12 months and single men 14 months but it is not official yet.  So far the tour over here is still 16 months .  Think Don Underwood will probably leave about the same time I do.  If he didn’t he will probably leave about the 20 or 25 of Dec because they have to send you home 45 days prior to your discharge.  I hear that everyone who is going to rotate in Dec will leave in Nov.  They have what they call Operation Santa Clause which they send guys home early for Xmas.  They also have operation Reindeer.  That’s when they fly you home for Xmas.

I bought a watch from Simonie.  He gust got it last payday.  It’s a Benrus Citation.  Cost 37.50 in the PX.  I think its about 65 or 70 in the state.  I bout it for 30 dollars.  I wanted to get a new one before I went home and thought that was a good chance and a good buy.  So fare I have done pretty good.  I got a new watch, and a good camera and all so a parker 51 set.  Still want to get that camera before I go home.  If I can’t I still have a good one anyway.  Let me know if you want the Electric Iron.  Its not an expensive one but it’s a Westinghouse and its pretty good.  I’ll bring it home with me or I may send some of that stuff when I come home.  Let me know.

\Well not much more to write about so I will close.
Lots of Love, Ted

Oct 25, 1954

Dear Mom, Dad, and Snapper

I had two letters from you yesterday just before I went on guard and I didn’t get a chance to answer them.  They were Oct 17 and 18.  Glad you got your China and you liked it OK (note: my oldest daughter now as the set) and none of it was broken.  I didn’t know if it was what you wanted or not.  AI got it at the PX and I had to order it from pictures.  I was hoping it would be OK.  You had said something about sending a report card from Snapper.  I never got that.  I got a birthday card from Snapper and it was signed Snapper.  I only got one from him.

Well when is Westinghouse going on strike.  Will you still get to work. (note: my grandfather was in supervision.)  How much  raise are they asking for.  Hope they get a raise without going on strike.  (note:  It was a pretty big strike and a little violent.  I remember seeing in the paper that cars were over turned and everything.)

There isn’t much to write about at this end.  The weather runs about the same.  Some days its colder than other.  Today its not to bad.  We haven’t had any real cold days for awhile.  We stop pulling guard Wed morn the 27 at .  1st Bn is going to take over.  Guesws we will be going to the field soon.  Probably about the 31 of Oct or 1st of Nov.  Sure hat to go but it should be my last time.

Did I tell you I ran into quite a few guys I went to basic with here.  A lot of them are in the 2 Bn of the 19th Rgt.  2 of the guys are in this company.  One of the guys told me Jerry Thiderman, one of the boys I stayed with after basic is in Charlie Company just went to the 40th and when he went back to the state he was transferred to the 24th Div.  I have been wondering about Sipes who was in the 25 Div.  Wonder if he went to Hawaii.  I haven’t seen Zink any more either.  Guess he is in the 24th.  Probably the same company he was in like I was.  He is in the 3rd Bn and they are about 50 miles from here.

Well hope to be leaving and get home  before to much longer.  It’s less than 2 months now.  Will write again soon.
Lots of Love, Ted