I remember my time in the Army. The Army
Security Agency, to be exact. I remember the
anxiety of enlisting in downtown Pittsburgh, and
being examined and shipped out the same day. The
panic of not knowing, yet looking forward to, what
was coming next. The feeling of loneliness, even
though being surrounded by hundreds of others in
the same circumstance, and the frustration of being
told what to do, during every waking moment in
basic training. The feeling of pride when finished
with Basic training, and radio school, and being
assigned to a regular Company. The feeling of
belonging to something great when wearing the
uniform. A feeling of satisification for having served
my Country in time of War.
Charles E. Kelly 329th CRC Korea 1951-1952
It was late in the winter of 1951, and four of us had gone up to visit some buddies, camped out on the
MLR (main line of resistance) along the 38th parallel in Korea. I was going mainly to see a buddy of
mine, Jack Baustert, whose job it was to operate a walkie talkie, along with an interpeter in a front
line bunker, trying to intercept enemy patrol communications. They also had a 30 caliber machine gun
in case of attack. Jack was originally a member of a DF (direction finder) team, and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t
know if he volunteered for this assignment or not, but here he was in the middle of up front action.
Jack was bedded down in a pyramidal two man tent, on the backside of a mountain, and the bunker
they operated from, was just over the peak, looking out on enemy territory in the valley below. The
tent was pitched above a round hole about four feet deep, that was dug in the ground. With the tent
over top, it not only gave protection from the weather, but sleeping below ground level also gave
some protection against a sudden volley of mortars or artillery. There was an oil stove in the middle
that kept the hole warm. While Jack and his bunkmate had cots to sleep on, we had to sleep in our
sleeping bags on the ground while we were there
Anyway, our visit was over, and it was time to catch a ride with the supply truck, back to our own
detachment, about forty miles to the east, and a couple of miles behind the MLR.
The truck that we were to ride back in was a 2 Ã‚Â½ ton all purpose truck, commonly called a 6 x
6. It was used to haul everything from supplies to troops. The bed of the truck was covered with a
canvas top, and had canvas flaps in the front and back, and each side had fold down benches for
seats when transporting troops. Since the cab only had room for the driver and one passenger, three
of us had to ride on the benches in the back of the truck.
That would have been fine, except for a couple of things. The canvas covering the front was in
disrepair, and allowed the wind to flow through the front and out the back, like a wind tunnel. Couple
that with the fact that the weather was somewhere around 20 below zero, and we had a sad situation.
Even with our winter Parkas, and shoe Packs, a few miles with that wind whistling through, had us on
the verge of frostbite.
Then, Lo and behold, salvation appeared! It was in a form of a bottle of whiskey one of the fellows
had brought with him. On the verge of freezing to death, he brought out the bottle, and we all had a
few nips to warm ourselves up.
For the rest of the trip back to our detachment, we would pass that bottle around, and whether it was
the whiskey keeping us warm, or whether it was because we were three sheets to the wind, and just
didn't care, we survived that trip back, with out freezing to death.
However, there was one thing we didn't count on. We all had one hell of a hangover the next day!
Me, looking out from Jack
Charles Kelly 329th CRC