~~Forty-One~~

Howard Camp

19th Infantry Regiment

24th Infantry Division

U.S. Army

On January 8, 1951, I was inducted into the U.S. Army. I spent sixteen weeks at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for Armored Infantry Basic Training of which 95 percent was infantry training.

After going through Camp Stoneman, California, I left for Korea on the 10th of May, 1951. When I arrived in Korea I traveled through Ascom City before reaching my duty station—Company L, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. A guy that had gone through basic with me was assigned to G Company. His last name was Goff, and he was from Kentucky; he was killed the first day he was in combat.

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It was July and we jumped off into attack. As I was climbing up the hill, I was grabbing onto small trees, or bushes, to help pull myself along. I looked down and noticed dirt being kicked up between my legs. Suddenly, it dawned on me that someone was trying to kill me.

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On another occasion, while we were attacking. I jumped into what I thought was an abandoned foxhole; lo and behold, it was full of small frogs. Apparently, they must have been deposited there as eggs. I found another foxhole.

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On Saturday morning of October 13, 1951, Love Company jumped off on another attack with two objectives. We were successful in obtaining both. That night we settled in, but were on full alert expecting a counter-attack which never materialized.

We took our first objective, along with capturing twenty-two enemy soldiers. We were to send two rifle squads down into the valley, and come in around the back of the enemy, thereby cutting of their escape route.

My squad was hit by mortar fire. I was behind our point man, with the rest of the men following. The mortar shells hit between me and the number three man—PFC Wayne Holland. Out of the ten men in our squad, seven were wounded and PFC Holland was killed in action. I was one of the wounded.

Before returning to my unit, during the first week of January, 1952, I had been to a M.A.S.H. unit, the 121st Evac Hospital, the USS Consolation, and the 279th Army General Hospital, which was located in Osaka, Japan. During this time I underwent three surgeries to remove all the pieces of metal from my body.

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I was relieved from active duty on October 8, 1952.

The U.S. Army was one of the greatest teachers I ever had in my life. When I bleed—my blood is green.

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