The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
John J. (Jack) Kronenberger
Jack Kronenberger graduated from high school in Scranton, PA in 1949. He had wanted to join the U.S. Navy and right after graduation he vol unteered. He went through all of the necessary tests and was told that he would go to New York City for his induction physical and then go directly to Great Lakes for his Boot Training.
So back to civilian life and Jack worked for a local grocery chain, his first taste of the retail business. He was told, by his uncle who worked for Sears that they were looking for a clerk in their service department. He applied and got the job, $40.00 a week for 42 hours a week and that was okay with him, the year was 1951. In the summer of 1952, he received his letter from Uncle Sam and was drafted and left for Fort Meade, MD, where he went through induction
and the Army doctors couldn't find the heart murmur or flat feet. So he was a member of the U.S. Army. He was inducted I November 1952.
They were shipped to Camp Breckenridge, KY, 101st Airborne Division. Jack really did not want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but fortunately they were inactive. The night that they arrived at 3:00am, they were marched to their training company and given a "warm welcome" and the 1st Sgt. said he needed three volunteers who could type. They were tired and wanted to get some sleep so a buddy of Jack's said let's do it, so they volunteered. His buddy, Joe, became the Company Clerk and Jack became the Supply Clerk. Great duty as the rest of the Company was out training,Jack spent his time clerking in a nice warm supply room. If you remember Basic Training was 16 weeks then and when the time was up the entire Company received orders for FECOM.
The Company Commander said no way as you two clerks don't even know which end of the rifle the bullet comes out of, so you are going to repeat 16 weeks of Basic Training. What a kick in the behind that was as this time they had to be trainees. When they finished, they had about 36 weeks in the Army and Jack decided that he would sign up for Leadership School, eight weeks and then he would most likely stay stateside for the rest of the tour.
Wrong,there were 104 guys in the class, 52 got EUCOM orders and the 52nd guy was Harvey Kiltz (Jack will never forget that name). The first person to get orders to FECOM was Kronenbeger, John J. He really wanted to go to Europe as his parental grandparents were still living and he had never met them.