Graybeards - Korean War Veterans Association

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Graybeards - Korean War Veterans Association

KOREA: MY ARMY LIFE (1951-53)

Continued from the July-August,

2010 Issue; Vol. 24, No. 4

By Paul Bonham

The hills all had names. The Chinese

were entrenched on many of them; the

Americans, Turks, Greeks, and British

held many more. The Chinese forces

would wait until night and then try to

retake the hills by infiltrating them or by

direct assault. During the time of OP

Harry, a hill in the 3rd Division sector,

the 9th FA Bn. would fire steady all night

long. It got to be that a person off duty

could sleep right through a 1,000-round

barrage without waking.

On days when there would be a lull in

the action, the men played softball,

horseshoes, or just rested. Of course

there was always care and cleaning of

equipment, and the trucks were continuously

bringing up ammo, fuel, and supplies

to be unloaded and stored.

Sometimes our ammunition dump was

full. Just that quickly it would be depleted.

The roads were always busy and it

took a top-notch motor pool sergeant to

keep all the vehicles running and ready to

move at a moment’s notice.

The bunkers were constantly being

up-graded, and weekly inspections kept

them ship-shape. At night we had movies

on a hillside in the Headquarters Battery

area. The hillside was located almost

directly under the guns of Baker Battery.

Sometimes the show was given a boost,

when ‘B’ Battery had a “fire mission.“

The theater also served as the church for

the Battalion on Sunday mornings.

The time for R and R arrived none too

soon. After being taken to Kimpo Air

Base, we flew to Tokyo in a C-130 transport

plane. There were men from all the

divisions and countries involved in the

fighting. We had quite a few from

Belgium in our group. We stayed at the

Ernie Pyle Hotel and just rested and

toured the town. We called home and did

some shopping at the Ginza. It was good

to be in class A’s for a while, but we had

to get back to the front after about 10

days.

Sometime during these days, Richard

and I took a Jeep and driver and went

down to Kimpo Air Base at Seoul to see

our cousin, Tom Laymon. He was in the

#2 on the way

courtesy of “B”

Btry., 9th FABN,

3rd ID in July

1953 at Kumsong

Air Force, assigned to a transport unit

there. It was good to see him and catch

up on the news from home. He never did

come up to our area to see us. I wonder

why.

The rain, snow and mud made movement

slow, and the practice “RSOP’S”

were sometimes a lesson in futility.

However, in this time of stalemate, the

practice missions kept everyone ready

for all kinds of action. Firing at bunkers

during the day and interdictory fire at

night became a routine that we endured.

The gun crews had their howitzers in

great condition.

I was promoted to First Lieutenant on

June 17th and named the Battery

Executive Officer. I now was in charge of

6 howitzers, their respective gun crews,

and the fire direction center.

66

“B” Btry. area, with crew bunker in foreground and gun bunker ahead

Capitol ROK troops moving off line on 15 July 1953 during action in

Kumsong sector

September – October 2010

The Graybeards

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