On the way to Korea, aboard the Gen USS Freeman, 21 days from Seattle to Korea.
The shores of Japan in sight, needless to say rumors were flying about what to do if we got leave
while docked. HA None of the lower ranking enlisted set foot on shore. It would be another eight months before I was to sample Japan
A tug brought out a harbor pilot to take us the last few miles
In the harbor
This was the dock were we tied up, lots of cars and trucks were unloaded from below deck
EM Club, Camp Kaiser, Korea 1957
When I arrived at Camp Kaiser, the 17th was still a Inf regiment. I was assigned to its heavy tank company. A few months later the 17th was reorganized as a Brigade. It lost its tank company, but did keep four tanks for the Brigade assault gun plt. With each tank went a driver. I was one of the four drivers. What became of the rest of the tank company I have no idea.
This is a picture of Hqs Company street, the 1st Quonset on the right was my home for the next year. early fall of 57
Assault Gun Plt, outside of us four drivers, no one else had any tank training, we didn't know much but we managed to bluff our way through.
Each of the four tanks had a Korean Army soldier assigned as a loader. Their english wasn't that great but we we able to get along very well.
Not sure but it looks like guard duty, we didn't pull KP but we made up for it pulling guard.
The assault gun plt, had a little sliver of space close to the front gate. The Only place to wash a vehicle was the river. (camp Kaiser Sept 57)
This shot taken from our tank park, in the background is the hill where the ammo dump was. A very lonely place to pull guard on a cold winter night.
My pride and joy, #69, M46 Heavy Tank, weighing 45 tons with a 800hp Continental V12 gas engine with dual carbs and a two speed auto transmission top speed 30-32 mph. RPM was limited to 3200 by a heavy duty mechanical governor that was located deep inside the engine. A heavy rod came out of the engine and was connected to the throttle linkage. (Camp Kaiser winter of 57/58)
Being a leadfoot from the age of 14, one of my 1st acts was to disconnect this governor linkage. Not sure how fast it went, but one time when playing war games I caught and forced off the road a
aggressor M41 light tank which had a top speed of 45mph. We were parked when this M41 went by firing 30 cal blanks at us, It took less than two miles when I caught and ran him off the road. The expression of disbelief the tank commander had on his face. A umpire had been watching and came down and made us turn the aggressors loose, he just shook his head and said we weren't supposed to catch the bad guys. Me and my crew got a 3 day pass to Seoul for that one.
To start these babies when it got cold was a art. You removed the air cleaner hose to both carbs, threw a cup of raw gas into the carb intakes and with a crewman standing on the back deck with a fire extinguisher you hit the starter button. Almost always the engine would backfire through the carbs and then start, reason for a crewman on the back deck.
You old tankers will remember the term "Hydrostatic Lock" here was the only time I ever encountered this lock.
The transmissions were not that strong, coupled with a souped up engine, it was nothing to replace a trany every month. Yes we did everything, pulled engines, even tore one engine apart and replaced a bent rod.
When you say tank, that is just another word for hard work, We figgered it took 11 to 12 hours maintance for every hour we were in the field.
A good friend (Elicker)who as watching my loader (Pak Sou Yon) remove the blast deflector
Pak was a very good friend, I often wonder how he did in life.
Rifle range that was just outside the back gate
8th Army rifle match 1958, I was a target puller,
being a fair rifle shot I was very interested in this sport, durning basic training at FT Ord I had won a three day pass for the highest score for our Bn.
Years later I coached a Tanker rifle team at Ft Lewis during what was known as a rattle gun match.
We took 1st place beating out every Inf rifle team on the post
Rifle range helicopter pad
This was NE of Camp Kaiser, part of our traning area
One of many small villages near Camp Kaiser
This was a small tank range about a hours tank drive from Kaiser, we would spend a day and a night there firing the main gun and 50 cal once per month. The M46 had a telescope mounted on the right side of the 90 mm gun tube, with a little practice 1st round hits on targets was fairly easy.
A mean weapon when the headspace and timing was set correctly
Firing at dusk, the flame that shot out made some good pictures
About a 1/2 sec after the fire ball, the smoke really billowed out
Range guard detail,
This young lady was named Son Cha, she worked in the village barber shop right outside of the main gate. I suspect that a lot of young fellows thought she was pretty sweet. On my 2nd and 3rd tours in Korea I discovered her working at 7th Div HQs barber shop. (camp kaiser 57/58)
My 2nd tour in Korea, Camp Beavers in the background 1961
Cleared to return stateside at the end of 2nd tour, picture taken small village just north of Camp Beavers
3rd tour in Korea 1964/1965
This is a photo of the cover of a Book of the 2nd Battalion, pictures and names of everyone in the unit, below pictures came from this book. The M46 tank had been replaced by the M47 tank, the main difference between these two tanks was the main armament aiming system. The M46 used a simple telescope, the m47 used a complicated rangefinder system which I never did like
I was in A Company which was located about a hours drive north of the rest of the BN. We had our own private compound "Camp Johnson"