Arc, Roger, and Buddies
MK note: The words for this page are from the emails of Sherwin ("Arc") Arculis (#6). He will tell you how he got the photos (a most fortuitous event, indeed) from Roger R. Peterson (#31). How's about a big "thank you" to them both? The background music may give you a clue as to where Arc is holed up these days. MK.
Arc's comments: What is nice about these pictures is that Roger's grandchildren (exhibiting the curiosity of the young) found a box full of old pictures in Roger's garage. Roger kindly reproduced these four and sent them to me. They arrived on my birthday!!! Serendipity was at work, I guess.
This one was probably taken in the spring of 1952 before Company G and the rest of the 15th Regiment came off line.
That is Roger Peterson on the right and his Platoon Sergeant, Nile Stuart, on his left. Roger, then a Lieutenant, was the Platoon Leader of the 3rd Platoon of Company G.
The photo was taken on the reverse slope of Hill 355. The results of all the artillery and mortar fire which had fallen there during days less calm is fairly depicted.
That is Hill 317 looming in the background.
Here is another link to 355 Meals - Arc's great
tale about life on Hill 355. MK.
This one was taken after the 2nd Bn had left Hill 355 and was in reserve at Camp Casey.
I am the vertically challenged trooper standing on the left front near WO Smoky Stover, the 2nd Bn motor officer. Close behind him and to his left is Dick Hoff, another Company G Platoon Leader. Behind Smoky and me is WO McCutchen, the Company G Administrative officer, and three of Company G's Forward Observers.
This one is of me and also was taken while the 2nd Bn was in reserve at Camp Casey.
Don't you admire our "facilities" that you can see somewhere in all of these photos except for the Hill 355 shot? In this photo, I must have just left those wonderful "facilities" - notice the relieved look on my face and the fact that I am holding a square of GI potty paper in my left hand.
I was only about 22 years old but had already learned enough to keep some emergency gear handy and available.
At first I told Merv:
"Pic 4 is NOT FOR PUBLICATION, but for your daily laugh! The guy on my right and in a tanker suit was a Cavalry officer.
Look at that shower apparatus lurking in the background - reminds me of Hot Lips of MASH fame."
I thought I looked a bit too silly to allow circulation of the photo but, after Merv pleaded, reasoned, and threatened, I reluctantly relented.
After being at Camp Casey for a while, part of the the 2nd Bn, including my Co G, went out west to help the Marines search for infiltrators. Later, we rejoined the rest of the Bn still at Camp Casey.
"Out west" was where I got dumped in the rice paddy and had to change clothes before the guards would let me back in our compound.
When our 2nd Bn left Hill 355, you guys in the 1st Bn also left your spot on the line - across the Imjin from, and sometimes on, Kelly and Nori; but, as you will remember, your 1st Bn did not make a stop at Camp Casey but, instead, went on south to Pusan and guarded POWs.
J. C. Poe (#2) email add-on (11 Dec 2001): Arc, that is a great addition of natural photos, and I want to comment on the third one where you have the look of relief on your face.
First, sometime in the past year, someone in the bunker commented that there were no hills around Casey. Well, I don't recall who said it, but, when he did, I thought his memory seemed to be slipping.
Anyhow, that the hill behind you caused me to take a hike one Sunday afternoon in 1963 after I was reassigned to Korea and was attending Air Observer School at Casey. I told some classmates that I was going to revisit that hill, but no one seemed to want to go along.
I walked the entire ridge line of that hill and my mind went back to 1951 and 1952. Except for the effects of the rain and snow, all the bunkers, trenches, and other fighting positions used during the war were still undisturbed and, with a little cleaning up, would have been usable again. That is no small hill and it was growing dark when I made it back to the tent area.
I have never regretted that Sunday stroll with the imagined ghosts from long ago. The only real sound I heard was only the wind and Casey looked very small from on top of the hill.
Hey, that's all folks! Good show, Arc. I'm glad you let Merv make the addition. Later, J.C.
MK late add-on (14 Aug 2002): One of the Bunker guys sent an email to me which mentioned the multitude of pheasants (not peasants!!) which lived between "our" hills and those occupied by the opposition and I forwarded that email on to Arc, among others.
That prompted Arc to send me one of his always interesting comments, and I am passing it on to you - with his permission, of course.
Arc said, "I never knew what those damn things were but it prompted me to send you this excerpt from a story about Korea I put together for my kids:
Our combat patrols were known as contact patrols and they were all at night. We moved in leaps and bounds. The scout element would go forward to the next location, while the rest of the patrol provided cover. When the lead scout reported all clear, the main body would proceed to their location and repeat the movement until we made contact and started fighting. Then we would break contact and pull back.
On one of my earlier patrols, the Platoon Sergeant took the scout element forward while I, in command of the patrol, waited with the rest of the men. When I didnšt get his signal, I got worried and bravely told the guys that I was going to see what was wrong. About mid-way to where the scouts should have been, I realized I was all alone in total darkness and, therefore, must have lost my mind.
Suddenly, I spooked a Korean night bird, which took off with a great flapping of wings and loud cries of alarm. Needless to say, I damn near died of shock. Luckily, my platoon sergeant rescued me and provided me several admonitions, most of which related to officer stupidity.
"Merv, that happened while we were on
355 before we left the hill for Camp Casey in late April, 1952. Arc."
Map and Photo Index
Arc and Co-Pilot Korean Stories
IBB - Page Two "Can Do" Photo Album