I was born in Virginia in 1928. A brother of mine came up to Ohio, and I soon followed in 1948. On Nov. 7, 1950, I was drafted into the U.S. Army. The Korean War had started in June of the same year. I took my basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., and then traveled to Fort Belvoir, Va., for additional training. My military occupation specialty was 4727 and had to do with water supply and purification.
In March 1951, I was deployed to Korea. It took our ship 16 days to navigate the Pacific to Korea, with a stop off in Hawaii. In Korea, I was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion. We moved around Korea, following our troops as they went north in pursuit of the North Korean Army.
Water, as you know, was a very important commodity for our troops. I was in charge of a four-man detail, and we supplied and purified up to 20,000 gallons of water each and every day. In the winter, with very low temps, this was a major chore. We had to keep the water moving or it would freeze. Each division had a “water point,” and it was responsible for providing good usable/drinkable water to their units. In order to stay close to our troops and to be available for water supply, we normally were about 2 miles from the front lines. We often moved our location any number of times each month.
While in Korea, I attained the rank of E-4. After my service in Korea, I was sent to Fort Carson in Colorado until my discharge in August 1952. I was married to my wife, Mary, in August 1956. After my discharge I worked for two years at the Lima Army Tank Depot, and then on to the ExCello Corp. for some 38 years. I really don’t see any connection between what I did in the Army to my civilian employment. I was just happy to be gainfully employed for so many years.