[First update December 9, 2008. See photo at very bottom.]In honor of those who died in Pearl Harbor, I got out some old photos from my father. He was in Korea sometime in 1952-1954. His highest rank was Sargent First Class.
He gave me his dress hat, his sargent stripes and his Third Infantry ID patch (blue and white diagonal stripes) when I was too young to appreciate them. I played with them when I was approximately 6-8 years old, but have long since lost them. I sure wish I had them now.
He was approximately 22 years old in the photos. My older sister was conceived before he shipped out and he never saw her until she was approximately 2 years old. My older brother was born 9 months after he returned home. I was an unwanted accident later. Thank God abortion wasn’t legal back then. 😉 My father died several years ago, but he would have been 77 if he was still alive. Attached are some photos that were taken approximately 55 years ago.
On the back of the top photo Dad wrote: “Vern Rystad & I. Vern is from Fosston Minnesota.” On the bottom he wrote “A “Willy Peter” shell 106# [White Phosphorus]
Dad is front right on top, middle in bottom (yes, he was height challenged, 5’9″. I outgrew him by 4″ as did many men of my generation.
The back of the bottom my father wrote: “#6 gun, 155 [mm] Howitzer” [battery C would have several different guns, and this is gun number 6.]
I’m sure some of these photos were posturing for my mother. They were childhood sweethearts who married before he was drafted. He graduated in 1950, she in 1951.
Thank God for all our brave men and women who have fought to keep us safe!
Not to leave anybody in suspense 😉 here is a photo of my father about 10-11 years later (I’m guessing at how old my sister is in the pic). I’m on the left.
Korean War (1950-1953)
When North Korea invaded the border of South Korea in 1950, the 3rd Infantry Division was one of ten active divisions in the U.S. Army. Manpower shortages resulted in the 30th Infantry Regiment and the 41st Field Artillery loaned out to replace members of other units. The 3rd Infantry Division was brought up to strength with Republic of Korea replacements and the addition of the “Borinqueneers”, the 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico. The division arrived in Korea in September 1950 and joined in the operations in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. On November 23, 1950 China entered the war and the massive strength of the Chinese Army was felt all along the front. The Allies were forced to retreat. From November 30 to December 24, the 3rd Infantry conducted the most massive beachhead evacuation in American military history: 105,000 troops, 100,000 refugees, 17,500 vehicles, and 750,000 tons of cargo. By 1951, elements of the 3rd ID helped recapture Seoul, the Korean capital, and the Chinese were pushed back to the 38th Parallel. As the Chinese tried to recapture the capital, the brunt of the attack fell on the 3rd Infantry Division’s sector and the Marne division became the “Rock of Seoul.” Again the Chinese were driven back to the 38th Parallel and the 3rd Infantry Division settled into front-line duty, defending all attempts by the Chinese to seize strategic positions. The war ended in July 1953 and by October 1954 the division returned to Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Amazing huh? Korean War lasted 3 years. Iraq, 6 years and counting. I’m starting to think we don’t want to win this war.
We are STILL in Korea, Steve. There have been flare-ups in the years since along the DMZ. For all intents and purposes, the war in Iraq is over. We will be gradually drawing down the troops.
I served in the 3rd ID for 2 1/2 years and still have some 3rd ID shoulder patches. Email me an address if you want one and it’s yours.
The Korean War has never officially ended. A cease fire was reached in July 1953, dividing the Koreas at the 38th parallel, but there has never been an accord to formally end the conflict.
N. Korea frequently reminds the world they have successfully “repelled Imperialist U.S. forces” since June 25, 1950. By my count, we are at 59.5 years and counting.
The U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division (and other units) still monitor the Korean border – which with the fall of the “Berlin Wall” became the most highly fortified border on the planet. Live fire exchanges still happen from tim to time.
Lipton, I never saw these two comments by you. I would LOVE to have one! John Doe, Powhatan Correctional Institute, Inmate Number 785068, Powhatan, Virginia 23139.
You got it. Give it a few days. Now take your address down fool!
hehe = love it.
My dad served in Korea, 1953-1955; can’t remember the name of his division but he was based in Pusan, South Korea.
I was in the USAF. I spent most of my time in New Mexico.
I was in SAC. The Strategic Air Command. If Russia had decided to attack us we were the ones that would have retaliated.
Every Veterans Day I have noticed that the Korean War Veterans or the WAR is never mentioned. I lost friends that did make it to Korea. There are others that were wounded and spent a lot of time in Korea. One friend is an alcoholic now.
I guess that the Korean War is an imbarsiment to the government. Nothing has been mentioned by the news media for several years now. I doubt if it mentioned in the history books also.
I had my 80th birthday last month.
I feel I am fortunate to have lived a long life.
I have 3 grandchildren that the ones that died in Korea never had a chance to.
I think about all of the guys that didn’t come home all of the time.
I am a fortunate guy.
Thanks for stopping by. I have met several Koreans who now live in America. They sure are glad that the U.S. defeated communism, at least in their part of the pennisula! Millions of them would be behind the iron curtain right now but for our government’s “mistake.” The only mistake we made, imho, was not liberating all of korea.
20 field artillery here…
Was with A Bty 9Th FA. 3id from June 52 till June 53. Hot in the summer and Dxx Cold in the winter.