Honoring & Remembering

Corporal Carl Carlson

Corporal Carl Carlson was born March 3, 1931 to Lloyd and Emma Carlson in Burke.

Carl was drafted into the United States Army April 22, 1952. He went to Chicago to get inducted and receive his uniform. He flew to El Paso, TX for eight weeks of basic training and eight weeks of advanced training in survival and identifying enemy aircraft from the ground.

The General USS Black, a converted tanker, took him to Korea with a stop in Japan for about one week so they could get enough manpower needed in Korea. Interestingly enough, he came back to the states on that same converted tanker.

The troops traveled at night. They docked at Pusan late one afternoon and bordered a train which traveled during the night and stopped somewhere near Seoul. There were 12 of us from basic training in this group but we were all split up. I went to a place called K-8, an air force airport. I was a replacement, Carl said. My duty at that time was to guard that airport. I was there for seventeen and one half months.

Since they didn't need me at that time for which I was trained I became a parts clerk. Once a week I would pick up automotive parts for the vehicles. There were eighty half tracks, two hundred two and one half ton trucks, and about two hundred jeeps. There was a military supply depot near by that I went to, he said. Parts were really hard to come by. We had a few extra trucks that were hauling supplies. Sometimes supplies were late because there was no vehicle available. Every outfit had borrowed from each other.

You had to be on the lookout for any activity which might be going on all the time. We were the first outfit to identify an unidentified aircraft. It was a Mig 15 that was escorted into Seoul by US aircraft. Six months earlier, General Eisenhower let it be known that he would pay ten thousand dollars for a Mig 15 that was in good shape, Carl said. So, this Korean pilot, who wanted to get out of North Korea, flew this Mig 15 into Seoul.

Carl said Our airbase was close to the Yellow Sea so we always thought the ships were enemy ships. The North Koreans were always trying to bomb the Air Force ammunition supplies. I saw one of our ammunitions supply base being destroyed.

The military didn't want you to know anything. We had bombs go off in and around our unit and could never find out who or what it was for. Most of this type of stuff happened around midnight to 1 a.m. We would go on Red Alert, he said. A siren would wake us up and you headed to the bunker, which was an area surrounded by sand bags. When the all clear was sounded you went back to your tents and slept until Reveille.

The most difficult thing was being out of the US and seeing people by the hundreds almost starving to death.

Carl's brother, Lowell, was in Korea at the same time and in the Army, also. Later on, during peace time, their youngest brother, Everett, served in Korea.

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