CHAPTER CHATTER Page 3
The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Volume 13, Issue 11
Paul E. Bombardier, Editor
Member Bio - Paul E. Bombardier
Paul's Military History
On January 14th, a phone call from the recruiter advised that all Air Force enlistments were frozen as Lackland AFB was putting recruits in tents because of over crowding. We were not leaving as planned. After a short discussion, we all made the wise choice to revise the forms and replace Air Force with US Army. We left on schedule for Springfield, MA. for physicals and transport to Fort Devens , MA. for processing.
It all began just after High School graduation in June of 1950. Out of school and with a full time job. The sun shone brightly. Then two weeks later, on June 25th, everything changed. Hostilities began in a country called Korea, ina location near Japan. Suddenly, the draft board started calling up recruits to fill quotas for the Military. This was not good. Lives were being disrupted big time.
When enough troops were gathered after several weeks, came a week on a troop train headed for Camp Polk, LA. Mid-February began with 16 weeks of basic infantry training with Company H, 180th Infantry regiment, in the 45th Division which was Federalized 1 Sep 1950, and arrived in Korea 5 Dec 1951.
We were in the Army now!!. Three weeks short of the end of basic in May 1951, I developed
1951 - Paul Bombardier - 2020 '
The first impact resulting from this action was the reported death of a grade school class-mate, Roland Burke, on September 11,1950, the first casualty from our town. This was not a police action, as first reported. Knowing that I and many of my friends would soon be drafted, we started plotting ways to avoid the killer infantry duty. It soon became apparent that the Air Force was the clear way to go.
By the end of November, 1950, we, (I and four of my friends), decided to enlist in the Air Force. The recruiter was happy to see us come to boost his quota. All the paperwork was com-pleted, and the departure date was set for Jan. 15th, 1951, in order to spend Christmas at home. Anticipating our departure, notice was given to our employers. We enjoyed family goodbye parties, and packed our ditty bags
problems with both knees during a forced march, and was hospitalized for 21 days. As a result, I did not finish the required 16 weeks of Basic and as the 45th division was un der orders and getting underway to Korea, I was transferred to another unit at Camp Polk, the 560th Field Artillery Battalion.
The 560th was a Virginia National Guard unit activated from the Danville and Chatham area. ( The Original Danville Grays) 560th Field Artillery Battalion (155 MM Howitzer Trac-Drive) Federalized 1 May 1951 and released 18 Mar 1955.
The Service battery was to be my new home. We learned the basics of servicing the Battalion with supplies, such as acquiring and breaking down rations for the five kitchens, supplying ammunition and supplies to the firing Batteries on field exercises, and training on weapons. After several months, was transferred to (Cont.)