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Planes and Kimpo, Korea

Story ID:5871
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Person:Korean, Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Planes and Kimpo, Korea

Yesterday when I was overseas in Korea in 1946 Chad

While hating every moment of being in the Army Medical Corps because there was nothing to do but drink hot beer. We didn't have any ice for the first 11 months so we had no cold beer.

The only way we could go on a vacation, R&R was to fly in a DC 3, two engine plane, and tend to the psychos in straight jackets, light their cigarettes and try to make them comfortable on the way to the air field in Tachikawa, Japan.

We turned over the crazys to the medics in Japan and went to the barracks on the base. On the way over the plane hummed right along and no problems with the plane.

I went to the Dai Ichi building across from the Emperors Palace and tried to go into the Palace but was stopped by a couple of M.P.S. We went to the Ernie Pyle Theater in Tokyo. While there I decided to go to the Meadow-gold Dance Hall somewhere in the city of Tokyo.

I didn't know how to get there so I took a Ricksha. The guy pulling the Ricksha let a curtain down in front of my face and I settled back in the seat and thought what a nice way to travel.

Keep in mind the war was just over and the Japs didn't like us. We were told to watch our backs and while thinking this I heard a big bang right in my ear and I felt myself to see if I was bleeding.

After the shock the man pulling the Ricksha set down the tongue and said he was sorry, the tire blew out on the Ricksha right in my ear. The guy pulled me to the dance hall on one flat tire. He charged me 2 yen for the ride I gave him 20 yen to help him buy another tire.

As we rode the train to Tokyo the rail cars had no seats and everyone stood up. Every Jap in the car was looking at us with hate dripping from their faces and I was very uncomfortable but we made the trip O.K.

When we started home to Korea we took off on another DC 3 two engine plane. As we were flying over Mt. Fujiama, one of the engines quit and we were told to throw our luggage out of the door. They got the engine started and we didn't have to jettison our luggage.

We landed in Osaka Japan and stayed there a couple days to catch another plane. At the airport, a plane was taxied toward us to load. It was a Constellation and as it was taxied up to the hanger the pilot hit the hanger with the wing and disabled the plane.

Now we waited another day. Then we got another DC 3, and off we went. The Pilot was ordered to land in Honshu before he flew across the Sea of Japan. When we landed he got one wheel off the runway and the dust blew past the window and I thought we had blew a tire. He finally got it on the strip and after about thirty minutes, we took off for Kimpo airfield in Korea.

As we were flying over the Sea of Japan the flight nurse came back and told us that our flying time would be slowed down. The right landing gear was stuck and they had cranked it down by hand. The drag would slow down the plane.

Now I didn't know that when we got to Kimpo, Korea it would be after dark, and that there were no lights on the field to guide the pilot in.

The Japs had taken all the copper cable back to Japan and had used it in their war machine. That left Kimpo dark.

The pilot landed safely. Three of the passengers on the plane were Chaplains.

As we got out of the plane the three Chaplains one Jewish, One Catholic and One Protestant, fell on the ground on their knees.
I thought that they were saying a prayer about the safe landing, but no they were kissing the concrete runway. I fell on my knees beside them and I kissed the concrete also.