• Note from Paul Black on May 2nd 2018

    Oh yes I remember the day I was drafted, like it was yesterday.

    I was drafted late in 1957. At that time I was working in a cabinet shop helping build kitchen cabinets. In fact to this day I am good friends with the daughter of my then boss.
    I entered into the Army on January 15th, 1958 and left from the Federal Building steps.
    Whenever I see that Federal Building in a picture I think of those steps outside the building.
    Only about 8 of us guys took the bus to Ft. Knox, Kentucky that cold winter day.

    I had been on a similar trip in that direction not long before as our high school basketball team was playing an All Star game vs the Kentucky All Stars in the Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.
    It was also a very cold night when we left to go back to Indiana.

    Going to Ft. Knox was a day trip and no snow that 15th of January day.
    All of us guys had been given tests to see what we were best at doing for the Army.
    I seem to have picked up my mothers Administrative skills during the testing. I remember I was not good at music. I was fairly good at math, and math is part of music. I was always dismayed at my music numbers that included the math ties.

    I headed off to bed just after I left the Federal Building in my Indiana home town.

    I think there were about 8-10 of us guys on the bus headed to Ft. Knox, Kentucky on that Cold January day back in 1958.

    We were put up in old WW II wood barracks that were supposed to have just a 20 year lifetime.
    So if they were built in 1943, was time for a new building in 1963.

    Actually these barracks were so basic, what could go wrong with them. Maybe the roof might leak or the plumbing might go bad?

    Anyway we had 8 weeks of Basic Training ahead of us, then another 8 weeks of schooling.

    Unfortunately for me this was the 3rd coldest winter ever recorded in Kentucky.

    Sleeping outside in a pup tent at 10 degrees above zero isn’t good. We were supposed to stay out there 3 nights, but they let us go back to the barracks after just one night.

    Almost every Basic Training Sgt’s were Korean War Veterans. They were rough on us.
    I think each barracks had about 100 men in them for sleeping. Lights out was at 10:00 pm and we were woke up at 5:30 am. After going to formation we then went to have breakfast before heading out on a cross country march up and down hills.

    I remember one morning while double time running a guy slipped ahead of me and my rifle butt send him flying off into the snow and ice on the road. I just kept going.

    After the first 8 weeks I was sent over to the Army Clerk School for another 8 weeks of Army Administrative Training. During this period you were assigned a MOS number.
    Not sure if they use this job description system anymore. All Administrative numbers began with a 700.00. I graduated as a 716.10 so I was qualified to be a Company Clerk.
    This involved making out the ” morning report ” which is sent to Washington, DC every morning to keep track of where people are located. This report does not allow for any typing mistakes what so ever. GI’s are moved around by what they call ” General Orders “.
    Every trooper had a Serial Number. Since I was drafted I was a US 55-619-078 person.
    This number was dyed onto even my underwear, every thing I owned.
    If I had enlisted I would have been a RA or Regular Army with a number.
    It turned out all the RA guys did a lot of complaining and the US guys took it in stride.

    My parents drove down to Ft. Knox to see me for a week end pass. While driving my dads Buick on base a 1st Lt ran into the back of my dads car. No damage, but a issue. My dad and the 1st Lt. were concerned, but not mad at each other since no damage was made to the car.

    Then another week end my girl friend came down to Ft. Knox and we went to Louisville to eat lunch and dinner. She went back that evening.

    After the 16 weeks of Training and having Orders for Korea my parents, girl friend and aunt and uncle all came to Ft. Knox to wish me off to Korea.

    Of course during the 16 weeks I made a number of Army friends along the way.
    We were taken to the Louisville, KY airport and took a flight to the Chicago Midway Airport where we boarded a Northwest Orient DC-7C aircraft and made an overnight flight to Portland, Oregon and then on into the Seattle, WA airport and then we were taken to Ft. Lewis, WA near Tacoma, WA. I stayed there a week as more troopers arrived from across America.

    We were then taken to the Seattle Port where we boarded a Troop Ship headed to Inchon,
    South Korea. We took a rather great circle route coming close to Alaska before stopping over night in Yokohama, Japan. The ship was met about 1 day out from Yokohama by a Japanese ship who had painters on board. By the time we docked in Yokohama the ship was freshly painted and looked like new. Many of the Japanese painters were women.

    The next morning we headed for Inchon.
    Once in the Inchon area we were put on smaller tender boats to go ashore.
    Then we were given our mail from the last 2 weeks.
    It so happened the mail man was from my home town too.
    He was more excited about me getting Mail from Indiana than I was.

    I remember Inchon looked much smaller than I had expected, even though it was over 100,000 residents at that time in 1958.
    Luckily I was able to ride in the cab of a Army 2 1/2 ton truck on the way to Seoul and the Yongsan base.
    Along the way the Army driver forced a Korean man with an Oxen off the road and into the ditch.

    The next day I reported to the SAC Hq Det 8096 unit.

    I never worried about being in Korea at all. I began my work assignment in the Personnel Office.
    I was charged with 4 units with about 100 men in each unit.
    Most of my administrative work had to do with the men rotating back to the US.
    This was very unlike working in a Personnel Office in a State Side Army Base.

    That’s my story of how I got to Korea.

    The photo below was taken at Fort Lewis, Washington prior to my trip to Korea

  • Note from Paul Black in March 2018:
    Hi Coco,
    Here is a couple of my photos I took as President Rhee passed by Camp Kim.
    I think it’s the same car that is in the Museum these days?
    Maybe that building behind the wall on the left side is still around?

    I had a friend look up the year of the Cadillac that was used by the Korean Government for the President.
    My friend operates a large car site on the Internet. I have a good number of my car photos on his car site.
    So if the car in the War memorial Korea is a 1956 Cadillac, it’s probably the very car I photographed as it passed Camp Kim.
    How good to see the car I photographed again.
    I’m not so old after all.

  • Note from Paul Black
    I don’t remember a thing about Halloween being celebrated on the Yongsan Base.

    As far as Thanksgiving goes, I think most of the NCO Clubs fixed the meals a bit better for Thanksgiving.

    I do remember Christmas while in Korea and going to that Standard Oil building to have a very nice meal.

  • Note from Paul Black

    I think it’s a great idea transforming that area into a City Park.
    As I think most Korean living in Seoul are living in high rise conditions.
    People need parks to relax properly I think.
    Our back yard is our Park. Not huge but enough green space to feel free.
    Tampa has a pretty good Parks Department. Our local City Park is called Friendship Park.
    It has nice things for young children to have fun on. We have taken the young members of our families there often in the past.

    Many different types of groups use the park for get togethers.
    Our neighborhood association hold our annual picnic in this park. I was the Neighborhood Treasurer for 6 years in the past. I got to know a good number of our neighbors.
    It is a Neighborhood Association, not a neighborhood such as a deeded community where fees are mandatory.
    People were not required to donate any money to be a member. We only asked for $ 10.00 a year to be a good member. We had plenty of funds to operate normally.

    Clara and I made a number of trips to the bank to deposit donations. After 6 years that got old.
    We had a great President when I was the Treasurer.

    I do wonder what will happen to the current USO building when all the troops are down at Camp Humphries?

    If they keep the Old PX and the USO building in tact I will be happy

    There are probably a number of building on the Yongsan Base that could be used in a City Park?

    Please keep me informed about the progress of the new park for the citizens of Seoul.

  • Coco Cugat commented on a Photo in the group Group logo of 1958 Yongsan in Color1958 Yongsan in Color 11 months ago

    Note from Michael Nettrour: I went there in early 1972. Used to ride the bus from Humphreys. The Townhouse, now American Eatery did not exist and was a Class VI store.
    • Coco Cugat commented on a Photo in the group Group logo of 1958 Yongsan in Color1958 Yongsan in Color 11 months ago

      Note from Darrell Brown: Two for one steak nights were great. Bad thing, to many smokers lighting up after dinner was not healthy. Great Bologna and egg sandwiches from the grill hit the spot on cold winter nights.
      • Coco Cugat posted an update in the group Group logo of 1958 Yongsan in Color1958 Yongsan in Color 11 months ago

        Note from Paul Black:
        Hi Coco,
        In the second photo looking SW is where the SAC NCO Mess Hut sat.
        I don’t think that street existed back then but the ROW did.
        Back then I think that street location was a drainage ditch which crossed underneath Hangang Ro?
      • Coco Cugat posted an update in the group Group logo of 1958 Yongsan in Color1958 Yongsan in Color 11 months ago

        Paul @paulblack: Was this phone box there when you worked at the current USO building? I took this photo after the YSL#3 Talk
        Answer from Paul Black:
        I wonder how it ever found it’s way into that building?
        That USO building didn’t smell all that great in 58-59. Not real bad, just not refreshing.
        I think too many cardboard boxes and wood crates was the reason. A lot of full Budweiser beer bottles were warehoused inside that building too.
        As I remember the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer out of Milwaukee didn’t hardly sell at all back then.
        Budweiser and Viceroy cigarettes were Mr. Woo’s best sellers. Mr. Woo was from Manchuria.
        He could speak Korean and English very well too. He did have a little bit of an accent, but not sure from what language? No one had any problems understanding him.
        Most of the Korean laborers spoke very little English. All of them knew what was going on and did their job very well. The labors did carry one elderly Korean man as I remember. He was much older than most of them. Their supervisor dressed very well and never did a bit of work and tried to take their earning by playing cards with them. He was to protect the working men if the Army expected too much work from them. That never happened once as far as I know.
      • The USO Building on Camp Kim
        Note from :Paul Black Jun 14 2017
        To: Coco Cugat
        Hello Coco,
        After looking at the inside the on Facebook the USO building looks nothing like it did in 58-59.
        I’m sorry I don’t have any photos of the inside of the building.
        It was being used as a warehouse back then, not very nice inside at all. Each room housed a different product. I wish Mr. Woo could see it now.
        The most striking thing I remember was the door ways were only about 6′ or less throughout the building, as per average height of a Japanese person.
        I am happy to know that a building I frequented is still in use and has been brought up to date inside.
        What will happen to Camp Kim once the Yongsan Base closes and all the GI’s are gone?
        What about the roof, is it the same tile as installed in 1959? That could be a stretch even for a tile roof?
      • Note from Paul Black:
        I do consider myself fortunate in being able to interact with Korean people for about 10 months.

      • From: Paul Black Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 8:33 PM
        To: Coco Cugat
        Hello Coco,
        Check out the link far below.
        Yesterday I got this message from an unknown person talking about Tim Norris’s book called ” Seasons in the Kingdom “.
        Neil Mishalov took the cover photo and there is one of my photos inside of the entrance to Ascom City. I am not sure if Ascom City is still around these days?
        Ascom City was an US Army replacement facility just west of Seoul, sort of on the way to Incheon today.
        I will send you 2 photos from the book.
        I have the book.
        Paul

        http://nandupress.wixsite.com/nandupress/seasons-in-the-kingdom

      • Seasons in the Kingdom:
        from: Paul BlackMon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:33 PM
        To: Coco Cugat
        Hello Coco,
        Here is the page you might like to look over sometime?
        I think there is some good information listed on this page.
        Paul
        http://nandupressfocus.blogspot.com/p/note-on-language.html

      • Darrell Brown: Bought many books in that store.
        • Comment from John Nowell. @janowell Just to the left of the Library (former PX) and adjacent to the Finance bldg was a small outlet for the Stars and Stripes Bookstore in the late 60s, through the 70s, 80s and 90s. That was where you would get a copy of the Stars and Stripes as well as shop for magazines, other newspapers and books. That was when the daily life on Yongsan Garrison was very robust with people all over the installation. There was so much going on throughout the day and night, until curfew that is.
          • note from John Nowell: The tank is no longer there. The HQs, 8th US Army bldg would be across the street to the right and Knight Field was just in front of the Library. The tank which is unseen in this photo was just on the corner to the left. This bldg has been used as a part of the ACofS, G3, Training Office since the library moved into the former PX facility beside the APO.
            • Response from Paul Black: Hi Ron, I think it was located just down the street from the Chapel. Someone told me there is tanks across the street from that building these days on display.
              • Note from Ron Nagy: Paul, additional details on where this was on post?
                • @jeffrey-allen-klose were you familiar with the 21st T-CAR Motor Pool that Darrell Brown mentioned? seems that it was back in 1963
                  • Comment from Darrell Brown: Last shop there, when it was a PX, in 1963
                    21st T-CAR Motor Pool provided sedans and drivers for SAC Staff. Motor Pool was located to the left of Gate 3 up the hill. ROKA Officers club located on the corner now. In photos you can see civilian drivers waiting in their vehicles. I guess in those days it was authorized to have government vehicle at the PX. The Jeep looks like a M151, issued in 1963 when I was in 7ID at Camp Casey.
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