In Japan 1953-54 - more photos belowIn 1952 I was drafted into the Army. Because of my raining as a Psychiatric Technician by the Menninger Foundation, I was assigned to medical basic training. I went to Virginia for thiss
This was during the time of the Korean War. In 1953 I received orders to be shipped to Korea as a medic. My hope was that, because of my training, I would be stationed in a hospital working with psychiatric casualties. But in the Army one never knows - I could have become a front line medic. I took a short leave and reported back for my shipment to Korea. I reported to San Francisco and as I was loading on the boat to Korea I was pulled out of the line and taken back to the orderly room. I had been advised that my orders had been changed. This was all I knew.
A few days later I was again in line to get on another boat headed for someplace in the Far East. This time I was loaded. Upon loading on the boat I immediately went to the ships hospital and told them of my training and background and volunteered to work in the hospital while I was on the ship. I was assigned one of the spare private hospital rooms and went to work. I first started acting as a medic taking care of the troops who got sea sick. I was then assigned to the job of taking care of the baby formulas for the babies of the wives that we had on board. These officer wives were going to join their husbands. At this time I knew that the ship was not headed for Korea but for Tokyo Japan.
There is another story that connects to all of this. I had a first cousin who was a West Point graduate and a Colonel in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Tokyo as the Advisor to the Japanese military police force. He found out that I was headed to Korea and was aware of my special training. He reached out, at the last minute, and had me pulled out of the boat headed toward Korea and instead had me shipped to Tokyo and stationed at the 8167th Army Hospital on the Sumida River in Ryogoku section of Tokyo. That you cousin Chuck.
The 8167th hospital was a direct support hospital for psychiatric casualties from the front lines in Korea. It was our job to receive these casualties, evaluate them, send them back to the states for further treatment or to return them to Korea. We only kept them a few days. Again because of the training I had received in Topeka I was chosen to be an instructor of Psychiatric Technicians who were assigned to the hospital. I had about four hours of class a day, of which I taught two hours and the nurse in charge taught the other two. The rest of the time was my own and I used it to check on my students while they were on duty performing the things I had taught them. The nurse and I were able to switch back and forth as to what we taught and when one of us wanted to take some time off the other would work in their place. Because of this I had a chance to do some traveling in Japan.
In 1954 my military time was coming to an end and I was sent back to the U.S. and discharged from the Army and I returned to Topeka to Sue and college.
There are a million stories that I could tell about my time in Japan. It was a wonderful experience for me but while I was there I never thought that I would end of marrying a Japanese lady some 34 years later.
You can click on a picture below and see an enlarged version of the picture.