On this Veteran’s Day my guest writer is my father-in-law, Robert Holst. This is his story of his service during the Korean War.
I joined the National Guard for three years. I was in it awhile before I graduated in 1949. We used to have fun at summer camps. We’d go down there for two weeks and drive a big truck. I drove a big six-wheel drive truck into Salt Lake once. One day I went with a friend to Ogden to join the Army. A newspaper boy came by and said that the 204th had been called into active duty. We went back to Brigham and reported to the armory where doctors came and gave us a physical. Every day we reported to the Armory to train and get our equipment ready to be sent to Fort Lewis. Each day we marched down to the Hower Hotel to eat.
When it was time to go we got on a train that took us to Fort Lewis. I was there about one month while we trained and I got my GI driver’s license. Then they sent me on a train to mechanics school in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. There I passed a test so they put me in a Master Sergeant class where I was the only Private First Class they had ever had. When I was done I went home for a visit and my Mom, Dad and Janet took me to Fort Lewis. There we got our equipment ready to be sent overseas.
Pusan and Inchon
At night we boarded the A. E. Andersen and by the next morning we were in rough seas and were all sick. When we got to Pusan we trained and waited for our equipment and then trained for another month. They loaded us and all our equipment on a ship and took us to Inchon. There we drove our equipment across a pontoon bridge into Seoul. From there we crossed the 38th parallel. I was put on guard duty on an outpost above a Korean cemetery. There was a place that was dug out and it was pitch, pitch black, no moon out. They put three of us up there and we didn’t know what to expect. All three of us sat there and stared all night wondering what the crud was going to happen, scared to death. That was the first night I was up on the front.