These letters are correspondence from my father, Dwight Halfaker to his family and friends during his time in the Korean War. I wanted to make sure that these were available for future generations to see.....
This letter is written from Dwight to his father, Charles Halfaker, Jr. in Bourbon, MO.
Return address on envelope reads:
PFC Dwight H. Halfaker
U.S. 55-334169 Med Co.
31st Inf Regt APO7
a/o P.M. San Francisco, Calif.
Korea (ugh) August 3, 1954
Well, Dad here it is another wet day it is about 6, o'clock P.M. and we have just finished supper. (chow) I will really be glad to get home and eat a good meal for once.
Everyday makes my day to come home that much closer. I got about 10 more days to go and I will have my 12 months (year) in over here. Of course a year is only 3/4 of my time I have to do over here though.
But, one good thing about it when I get home for Christmas, I will be out of the Army.
Dad, I hope you are getting lots of rain at home and I hope it has cooled off back there.
It has been a very good summer over here as a matter of fact it has been quite cool for this time of year.
The way the weather has been for the summer months over here sort of tell these people over here what the winter is going to be like.
Last summer the weather was very hot, so they had a mild winter. They are expecting a rough winter this year though.
"Oh" well, I am hoping I don't have to see much of the Winter this year.
I guess that work is as slack as ever back home. Huh, Dad? "Boy" I don't know what I will do when I get home. The money I have saved isn't enough to do much with when I get home.
Dad, I was sure surprised to hear about Raymond Worley getting married. I guess I am the only one old enough back home that isn't married. Huh?
I would like to meet the right one and get hitched but I would be too big a coward to do it.
Well, I haven't heard from anyone lately but Mother and you, Dad. Tell Janice I sure like to get a note are (sic) from her. And tell the little boys to write me someday soon are I will be home before they have a chance to write and then they have had it.
Dad this letter won't be worth reading for there is nothing to write about. But you will know that I am all right and still trying to write.
Boy, this Army is getting more chicken shit everyday. I already feel like I am off my rocker and they are getting so c.s. that I will really be a loon by the time I get home.
"Oh" well they try to harass the troops all the time but they don't mess with me too much for I don't pay them any attention. I guess that is why I haven't made Corporal before now. They like for guys to run around with their noses up their asses and I don't play that way. So, no soap (cpl)
"Oh" well Corporal doesn't mean anything but $30.00 some dollars a month more. But, I wouldn't be saving too much more than I am now, so I don't care anymore. I may just be a PFC and not worth a damn but there isn't a guy in this company who doesn't respect and like me. (Knock on wood). I am not bragging, I just try to make friends instead of stripes. (That's the secret).
My buddy, Caudill who came down here with me from the 45th just made Sgt. last month. He's a good guy and doesn't 'brown nose' for stripes.
The Regt. Co. jumped our Company Co. and asked him how come a good soldier like Caudill has never made Sgt. So, the company Co. had to jump and make him a Sgt. He probably never would of made it otherwise. Caudill is just like me--when they get on me I will argue with them and they don't like you to do this.
They want you to stand there and say, "Yessir" and "Nosir" and all that shit--whether you are right or wrong, doesn't matter to them.
So, if they get on to me for something and I think I am right, I just tell them about it.
The fellows in the company come to me and Caudill and tell us their troubles like we were their lawyers...Ha....
We got a lot of new replacements last month and the C.O.'s been giving them a rough time. He knew before that he couldn't get us to do what they are getting these new guys to do now.
They make them get out in the rain and dig fox holes and stuff when there isn't any sense in it. If they had of tried that stuff on us, we would of just laughed in their faces. Well, that's enough of that for now.
Dad, did I tell you about tearing up a jeep last May? Well, you see I was behind this 2 1/2 and he was coming instead of going so (CRASH)...That was that. They had to salvage the jeep. We are supposed to be getting a new one for the one I wrecked. Boy, it was really torn up. The boy in the jeep with me got his nose broke and he got cut up a little. I sure thanked God that him or myself didn't get killed in the wreck. Boy, we could have, easily.
And, then in June, we were out all month on Manuevers and while running a company in attact the 1st Platoon of George Co. ran into a mine field and got two Lieutenents and a buddy of mine blown up. My buddy was the Medic fo the 1st Platoon and when they hollered for the Medic. Well, he never even though about himself, he just ran in there (the mine field) and starting giving first aid to a sergeant who had his leg and arm blown off. (He lived--the Sgt., I mean). So, while he was working on the Sgt., a doctor from the 3rd Division came running in there and he set off another mine which killed himself and wounded my buddy.
They sent my buddy (Soloman) to the big hospital back by Seoul where he is still at now. They flew him back by helicopter. He was going to come back to the company last month, but he got worse so I guess he may get a discharge.(He had a bad eye (steel in it) from it). I should come home before we have our next manuevers.
We have been hearing a lot about moving back to "tagul" Korea the 15th of this month but it is just rumor, I am sure.
Well, Dad this is a pretty dry letter but I guess you realize that its hard to find anything worth writing about. So, I will knock off this letter for now and try to write again as soon as something comes to my little mind.
Well, Dad write when you find time and tell everyone hello for me. See you soon.
Your son, Dwight
November 24, 1953
Dear Mother, (Grandma)
I guess you figured I was never going to write you!! But, I finally have gotten a little time to write and tell you I am feeling fine and that everything over here is alright.
Today I cleaned the stoves in our tent and in the morning I am on k.p. again. I hope and pray that everything back home is in good shape. We are still hearing bad rumors but I hoe that is all they are.
Mother if you want some more of these old pictures of me, I will send them in the next few days. Mother, how about writing and tell me how much I have in the bank. I would like to know how much I have for I am making plans on buying some ground and stuff and go into farming when I get home. If you want to know part of what I plan on doing just ask Charles III he knows.
Well, I have to stop for now. We are expecting another alert tonight and I have to get a little rest. So, I will write more tomorrow.
November 25, 1953
Hi there mother. I just finished my dad of k.p. Tell Ellis that I get k.p. about every 9 days or so I keep my hands pretty clean most of the time (Ha).
K.P. is just alot like washing dishes back home only you have your hands in hot water about all day long. Well, I received another one of your sweet letters today and I figured I would try answering it in this letter.
I plan on sending a couple pictures in this letter. The one with me in my parka isn't very clear because the sun was down. Just hold it in the light and you can see that is me though.
Mother, we have heard that the Chinese have built 5 or 6 new jet airbases but it is just probably rumors. If the war should start again it will probably be by them hitting us with a big surprise air attack. I hope and pray that it doesn't start though, Don't you?
Things are sounding bad over around Jerusalem now though aren't they?
November 27, 1953
Well, we had a nice Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday. The Sergents and Officers served us at the table. We had turkey, pumpkin pie, fruit cake, candy, nuts, fruit, shrimp and one can of B-E-E-R! I still have to say though that it was the best meal I have had since I have been in the Army.
Boy, I sure have a long time to go in this blame place, it seems like I have been here for years now instead of months. There was a boy in the 120th that died of spinal manjitis (sic) last night. They think he caught it while he was on R & R in Japan.
The medics claim that we are able to get leprosy after we are away from here for 10 or 20 years.
Well, it has been raining here for the last few days. I hope you are all well back home. I am still fine and wish that I was back HOME with the one's I 'love."
I received a letter from Bert and Ray yesterday. I also received your first Christmas package yesterday. (Me and my buddies about killed the box last night!) Ha Ha.
So far I haven't received a letter for over a week from you all. I guess that the mail is being helt (sic) up somewhere along the line. But, I sure can't complane (sic) about not getting mailf for I am not very good on writing back. (Am I?) I do wish that I could write more but I just don't seem to be able to find anything to write about.
We had some pictures taken yesterday and I will send them as soon as possible. I have been wanting to write Dad a letter and tell him "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" but I just don't seem to ever get around to writing him.
I am going to send this letter and write him now while I am started. Well, guess this is about all for now. I will write soon.
Tell everybody happy Christmas for me (and thanks very much for the nice box for Christmas it had everything I could ever want in it--Thanks again!!)
Korea, 8 March 1954
I may be busy for the next few days and won't be able to write so I want to let you all know that I am O.K. and meaner than ever.
I do hope this letter finds you all happy and getting lots of rain. The weather is just fine over here. (Hope it stays that way). In the morning there is a small party of going up on the Kansas line for a week or so. We will be living in a bunker and I won't be able to write for a few days. All we have to do is go up and see how fast we can get set up. Just like if the war was to start again. It is just another (alert or problem.) They are a pain in the neck but they are 100% better than if you were doing it every day.
The fellows here said that when they (31st Med) were on line that at the end of the war the Chinese were throwing so much stuff that the (litter barrers) had to wash the blood off the litters in the creeks and then run back up the hill and get some more fellows. The creeks were turned red with American Soldiers blood.
So, you see, Jesus has been wonderful to me for I have not had to see such terrible things. I know I do not deserve this but I want to thank Jesus that I am here in peace and not in war. The fellows in here (our tent) are talking about starting to act crazy so they can get discharges. HA
One of the fellows has been here a year and is expecting to go home anyday now. He is setting here twiddling his thumbs. He turns them one way then the other way-he laughs real crazy when he turns them backwards. I tell him that if the old man was to walk in the tent he would think him crazy for sure and send him home quicker. He just laughed and said he's been crazy for 14 months now. HA
Well, this isn't interesting but its all I have for now. No mail again tonight. Well thats all for now. Please write when you find time.
A note from your son and brother,
April 3, 1953
From Charles D. Halfaker, Jr.>>Dad
To: Pvt. Dwight Halfaker
Co. A. 87th Inf. Regt.
10th Inf. Div
Fort Riley, Kansas
We were very much pleased when you called the other night, however I was sort of tongue tied. I didn't know what to say--I think your mother had to stop and think once in awhile too.
Melford said that when his dad got out to Arizona and sent his license back (Melford's licenses are out on his car) that he could come out to see you -maybe Melford and Wilma too.
I've had a sore throat this week. Not too bad just enough to make me be careful. Grandma and Ellis seem to be o.k. Pop and Oma ask about you every once in awhile. Oma is busy taking care of her dad , he has been pretty much bedfast for about 6 weeks. He seemed pretty lively today though.
Jan sure is taking off from school a lot here lately. She had a word battle with Mrs. Stone yesterday. I'll bet she don't finish high school.
Dick was telling me that Russell had to start Basic all over again.
Ben Graddy is in Korea.
We have had quite a bit of wind and rain since the beginning of April but it is very nice today. The sun is shining and the breeze is blowing. Laddie just cut a fit when I drove up in front of the house, he acts like he is really glad to see me and I was only gone from the house about 3 hours.
I'm taking Jan and Alma to Sullivan to get some stuff for Easter for the kids. We had to take Terry to the Dr. this week, he was having pains in his left side but the Doc says it isn't anything very serious.
What did you think of the last letter? Do you have the Old Testament? Has Uncle Ed written to you yet? Be sure to write Pop and Oma a little letter. Pop cried when he read your letter to Bert.
I'm sitting in the truck at Sullivan finishing this letter; waiting on the women! Dr. Walden was asking about you. He is such a busy guy tho he doesn't have a minute to himself. What do you do to pass time when not training? Would you have to get a pass for us to visit you in the camp? Could we visit you while you are in Basic? How much time do you have to go on your 16 weeks? Full of questions, aren't I? Did Alma tell you Willie's are going back to Arizona? Bill leaves next Monday. The rest of them will go about the first of May. Keep praying for us as we are for you.
Tell Russ I'll write right away. I just got his address this morning. Jimmie Housman is home from the Army. Loyd came in too last week. He and his wife are going to live in Elzie's house on Bug Ridge. Gene Summers and Charles Sappington left for the Army April 1. Tom Ryerson goes April 1. Bill Voss went about March first. Bud Miller and Bob Bock are home for 20 days. Bud has gained 18 lbs. Bob lost 10. They look keen. What is the deal with Leadership school? Is that what is means to be the Cadre of trainers? or whatever you call them?