Editor’s note: Bill Moore, 86, served in the U.S. Air Force from April 1952 to April 1956. Served in Texas, Wyoming, South Korea and Washington State. Spent one year in Korea 1952-‘53. Units, 7th Communications Squadron, 5th Communications Group, 5th Air Force.
I served with the 7th Communications Squadron in Taegu, Korea, assigned to the 5th Communications Group, 5th Air Force. The following is my story.
My job in the Air Force was that of a teletype operator. I had completed Air Force specialty school at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I worked in the HQ of the 5th Air Force (Rear) in Taegu, South Korea. Taegu, in September 1952, was 100 miles or more from the “front.”
We were issued M1 Carbines, which was a common weapon used in the Korean War. However, the only time I can remember ever carrying it was for night guard duty at the 7th Communications Squadron compound. Guard duty was “passed around” so every now and then you got called on.
When I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in April 1952 at age 19, the Air Force was only about five years old. It was organized in 1947. Many of the folks enlisting then were issued the old Army Air Force olive drab uniforms. Somehow or other, we got lucky and were issued the new Air Force blue uniform. I thought they were really sharp looking. They even included the blue “Ike jacket,” which was a short waist-cut jacket.
As for our work uniforms (fatigues) we were not so lucky as we were issued the old dumpy looking one piece uniforms. They were baggy looking, even with the 3-inch cloth belt around the waist. Those were government issued. We quickly found that we could invest, with our own money, in two-piece fatigues, which most of us very happily invested in. They looked much more presentable.
The winter of 1952-‘53 was very cold in Korea, with lots of snow. My mother had sent me a pair of hand warmers (chemical reaction) which worked very well. I quickly found that they not only provided your hands with warmth, but they were very thin and could be easily slipped down into the sides of your boots and keep the feet warm. Problem solved. We were also issued headgear that had big ear flaps on them. They were sheepskin lined and tied under one’s chin. Very warm, too.
The function of our unit in Korea was mainly that of a HQ function, sending and receiving all sorts of military information, yet loosely tied to operations at K-2 Airbase, which was a few miles outside of Taegu. We handled no classified information, as that was handled by our crypto section, which I was not a part of. I still have a few mementos that I have kept from that time in my life.
Thank you to The Lima News for what you have done for veterans over the many years that you have printed this edition.