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Korea Occupation

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#1 Art Morneweck

Art Morneweck

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 05:38 PM

WWII Unknown Stories

This is what I remember. If it helps good, if not it's something different.
July 8, 1945 I arrived at Leyte Island, July 25, 1945 arrived at Panay Island.
Japan surrendered August 14, 1945.
Sept. 8 or 15, 1945 we arrived at Inchon, Korea and took a train to Taegu, Korea. We were the first Americans the Koreans ever saw. We marched into the Japane4se compound past the Japanese guard and stopped in front of a 2-story building we were to use as our barracks. Being in the first squad we marched to each guard post, the Japanese soldier fell in the rear of our column and one of our men took over the guard post. I took guard of the ammo dump and it was raining very hard. The Japanese soldiers were very cordial and bowed to each of us as we replaced them. When we got back from guard duty the Japanese were gone. The following night we were just getting in bed and the C.O. came in and told our squad to make a full field pack (with rations), get our rifles and ammunition, because of some trouble in town. We packed up (13 in our squad) and were taken to the city hall. We just got there and were standing at the gate when up from three directions came three Japanese soldiers running at us. To us it looked like the whole Japanese army was coming at us. Those rifles of our got loaded really quick and ready. The Japanese just came up to surrender to us Americans. They were afraid of the Korean Police. We were to guard some important criminal and political papers. My guard post was two vaults and it was pitch black. Here comes the kicker!! We were the regular army troops, but the only ones there so we were given M.P. helmets, M.P. arm bands and 45 caliber revolvers and we worked with the Korean Police. We set up our radios in police stations to talk to our jeep. There was a city block of houses, built side by side, no back door, and facing the courtyard. Only one way to get in and we were there to keep G.I.'s out from this whorehouse district. I don't know how they would get in but a Korean madam would come out saying American, American ad we would have to go in and check each room and kick them out. Four of us were put at an out-post many miles from town at bottom of some mountains. Every morning a jeep with a hot stove would come and make us hot breakfast, the rest of the day k-rations or one time two of us took our rifles and got a few ducks. We were guarding a large barn. One day we looked in the barn and it was full of rice bowls. Many miles away another 4-man post was guarding parachutes. The Korean toilets were oblong holes in the floor and they had Honey dippers who would take away the human waste and spread it on their food gardens, everything grew twice as large as ours. We were not aloud to eat anything that came from the ground. We did not destroy any arms; I assumed the Japanese took them home with them. There was a room that had a few things we could have, I brought back a sword. We did turn in our rifles and they dunked in some preservation gook. I left Korea Feb. 26, 1946 and was dis-charged March 20, 1946. When I was at Taegu, we (GI's) had no problems with the Korean people and knew nothing about political problems, we just wanted to go back to the states. I was in the 40th Division, 185th Infantry, Company E, 1st Platoon, 1st Squad. I have a few pictures of farmers, Korean Police, and our M.P.'s if you need them.

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