Comment by harold goldstein on June 24, 2020 at 10:10am Delete Comment THE COLD WAR 1958: A YEAR IN A 19 YEAR OLD G. I.’s LIFE
We were searching through the woods until we finally found him; a big guy by the name of Elliott. I don’t remember if that was his first or last name. He was crying like a baby while reading a roll of toilet paper his fiancée had sent him. It started with “Dear John”. We were on alert and although he was very depressed, Elliott knew he had to work, so his team put him in their jeep and off they went.
I’ll never forget a night I was outside the barracks and I heard the Sergeant screaming my name. There is an emergency at the border because nine of our guys crossed the border into E. Germany or Czechoslovakia and were captured. The company needs me and my team to rush there to open direct communications to D.C. and Ft. Meade on an Embassy Net. We stayed at the Air Force base in Hof, a border town, for over 2 weeks. The Top Brass decided they did not want non commissioned soldiers on this Embassy Net and brought in an Officer Radio Operator and his team. My group and I returned to HQ home base in Nuremberg.
Some days later a Messenger came to Nuremburg to drop off a classified document. Security put him up in the Transient Billets for the night. He was free to walk around our compound. The following morning someone found him dead, shot himself through his mouth and blew his head off with his own 45. He was found in the underground tunnels which Hitler had constructed.
A couple of weeks after, we went on alert again. Rumor had it that we are going into Lebanon as a peacekeeping force. All Vehicles; Weapons, Tanks, Personnel Carriers, 2 1/2 ton Trucks, 3/4s and Jeeps, Radios, and all Personal Weaponry were all cleaned, maintenance performed, and inspected. I burned all my personal letters in fear of other people reading them if I didn’t come back.
In the field, a buddy of mine, name of Avery, was banging his head against a tree. He was teary eyed and holding a diamond ring his girl sent back in the mail with a Dear John Letter.
We (The 2nd ACR) are gearing up for combat. Elliott was on his radio (Morse code) cursing, angry and trying to reach the field troops. I knew it was him as my training was to read handwriting signals. Unwillingly, I reported him and he was relieved of radio duty.
Some days later we found out we were not going to Lebanon. They were sending in the Marines from a troop ship that was already in that area. Almost simultaneously, a U.S. Convoy from one part of W. Germany loaded with provisions and supplies heading to Berlin through E. Germany were stopped by the E. Germans. This was supposed to be an agreed upon safe open route for the Allies. They were stopped and it became a ‘Lock and Load” situation. All three of our Battalions were assembled on the border ready to move in. The E. Germans finally let the convoy continue through. Our troops stood their ground and never let the enemy search their vehicles.
March, 1959 I was Honorably Discharged with a Good Conduct Medal and upon entering the Army Reserves, achieved the rank of Sergeant (E-5)
A close Army buddy from Versailles Kentucky named Sam Alves came to Brooklyn from Germany. He stayed with me in Brooklyn for about a week and then went on to his home in Kentucky. I guess he did not tell his wife he was coming home. He committed suicide there the following week.
Avery on the other hand, met and married a German girl and wanted me to meet her. They stopped by Brooklyn on their way home, so went out to celebrate. I still keep in touch with my roomie, Owen Tussing who lives in Ohio. He became a great grandpa twice now. I speak with another buddy, Chuck Dixon, who lives in Atlanta. We talk every few weeks to make sure we’re both still alive and kicking.
To the best of my recollection, all names, places, incidents, and dates are true and
Wadley, I remember when we were in basic trng at Ft. Meade, you faked being out cold or dead or something of that nature, you freaked everyone out incl the NCO's, you got lucky getting transferred to Bravo Company, I moved there after my Summary in 1960!
Hi Robert, hope all is well with you, wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a prosperous ThanksgivingIt is supposed to be a nice sunny day here. This will be our first Thanksgiving where we will be going out for our thanksgiving dinner. the kids (4) are all going seperate ways and Becky is recovering very well from a knee replacement so my choice was to not have her stand on her feet and then have all the mess to clean. She is kind of dissapointed cause we always get together with family. Two of our 4 work in the food industry so they will be working. Take care and enjoy!
turned the radio on and was waiting for the red light to go out, that meant I was ready to send and the antena was loaded. I was ready to hit the key and the back door of the PC opens and there stands the company clerk with a cup of coffee in his canteen cup using the antena which the driver forgot to release in his hand using the antena to stir the coffee. Needless to say I could have fried him and the coffee both. Boy did the driver get a royal chewing from the Com. SGT.
Robert, heres a CW story you will like and it's true. My ANGRC-18 was very powerful and I operated with a leg key that cliped on to my upper thigh so i had one hand to send and could receive with the other. It was so powerful that if you touched the antena with a lead pencil after the set was loaded the pencil would ignite in flames. We were on alert and it was the job of the PC driver after we were in position and the engines shut down to let the antena up as we traveled always with it secured to the top of the PC. we had pulled into position and the engines shut down,and I had ( TBC )
Robert, isn't this ironic, I took CW training in Nurenberg and operated a CW radio, I think an ANGRC-18 if I remember right. Took 12words per and sent at 13 per. Can't remember my MOS and now vaguly remember my code.
Thought you might enjoy the M-59 Pictures, lots of memories. I was radio oper. and part time driver, yeah those exhaust manifolds were great for heating up "K" rations provided you made sure to vent the cans otherwise you had a mess. Hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend. Gettin ready to go fishin this mornin.
Robert, at 70 you are still young, I turned 78 on the 6th of May.an still feel young. I don't expect to give up, I'm a die hard. I still have not heard from some of mine, they will have to deal with it, I am going on down the road. Even with me in this wheel chair, I am moving on. Again have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Hope you had a good one, butI have to warn you that I keep friends for a long time , some for life so I think you are stuck with me ( ha,ha,). My flights to the reunion took me thru Texas both way, going: thru Dallas by way of El Paso because of bad weather in Dallas. Missed my connecting flight and spent the night there and returned thru Houston. From Huston to here ( Ontario ) was not a good flight either, got in late monday night and was picked up at midnight by my wife, home is an hour by car so it was a real flying adventure. One I hope not to repeat. There was some rumor about the next reunion maybe being in texas.