My House in Korea The Original Dugout Tent My House in Korea My New House 12. Army GI Builds House in Korea - 1950

My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was 3648, which is "Radio Repair Specialist." My company in Korea was the 581st Radio Relay Company. We operate transmitters and receivers to relay telephone messages between Army and Corps, Corps and Divisions. My job is when transmitters or receivers fail; I am to repair them. Also I help set up the equipment, align antennas, and calibrate transmitters.

On Hill 1157 (the numbers are the height in meters) we operated 8 transmitters and 8 receivers for four 2-way sets of communications. We were all living in dugouts like pictured on the left. This was in an area with the temperature as low as 10 degrees F. Also in the ground like that it is quite damp and with no headroom and a very small space. The roof was simply canvas that barely kept out the rain and none of the cold.

Being a resourceful young man and having learned to read, write and speak Korean I went into town one day and found a contractor to build a house for me. After I specified what I wanted, I transported the work crew up the hill and work began. The new house pictured on the right has a hollow floor with a fireplace in front and a chimney in back. The floor is baked mud covered with straw mats. The walls are mud and the ceiling is straw with canvas on top of the straw. It was quite warm and comfortable. It was about 10 by 12 feet. It cost me $14 to build.