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Eugene J. Kamprath Korean War correspondence

 Collection — Box: Korea 5, Folder: 5
Identifier: 2018-133-w-r

Scope and Contents

This collection contains sixteen letters with envelopes written to Eugene J. Kamprath during the Korean War from his life long friend, PFC Albert D. Flowerday, USA and his friend from school, PFC Edward Herman Sautter, USA. Both men served overseas and wrote back to Eugene about their expierences abroad.

PFC Albert Dale Flowerday – thirteen letters – September 1951-July 1952

• Envelope dated Sept 4, 1951 contains a eight paged letter (front and back) dated Sept 2, 1951, written at Fort Riley, Kansas PFC Flowerday wrote to his friend Gene (Eugene) retrospectively, who was back in the writer’s original location of Seward County. He explained how the recipient could share the letter with anyone else in the Sales Department that might be interested. He began by explaining the process he went through while being formally in-processed by the United States Army. He, along with 35 other men, left Seward County and traveled to Fort Omaha, where he and the other 35 men were sworn into service. After the men were sworn in, they travelled to Camp Crowder where they were given a haircut, two towels, and a shower. PFC Flowerday explained how they had to take tests that reminded him of college entrance exams. He wrote that after the test was given, the men who had scored high enough were given the OCS (Officer Candidate School) test. PFC Flowerday claimed half of the men took the OCS test and only three failed to pass it. The next day after the tests were given the writer was given an interview to, as he described it, determined which branch of the service the soldier was best qualified for. The next day the men had their records checked and they were given shots for both tetanus and typhus, after which PFC Flowerday complained his arms were sore. He was supposed to ship out for training the following day, but they pulled K.P. duty where the he learned about the “GI brush” and the meaning of “GI it down.” On the following Saturday and Monday the writer pulled K.P. duty again. The Monday duty was an all-night duty. PFC Flowerday complained that if a soldier is on night duty the following day he is allowed to sleep in. Much to his discontent, a “pimp of a Pfc.” Woke him up and made him perform additional cleaning duties before he was required to begin his day. That same day PFC Flowerday was given his orders to report to Fort Riley. The next morning he left Camp Crowder and made it to Fort Riley at 7:00pm. He explained that the orientation officers told him of the theaters, PX’s, etc. after his orientation, he was taken by bus about a mile away where he was moved into a tent. The writer suggested that “the flood” carried away everything else. “We are living in tents, eating out of mess kits, washing out of steel helmets, and taking cold showers. We have to be clean shaven every morning and we have no mirror or hot water. The big inconvenience is no electricity. We get up at 4:30 before day light and don’t get off until after our last formation at 7:30P.M.” PFC Flowerday went on to claim that they have not started learning any of the basics yet. They were using them to build tent floors, dig latrines, and clean the mud and debris from the flood away. He wrote that the temperature had been up to 105 and that their orders were to keep the field jacket on. He claimed that a few soldiers had to be carried away, but it cooled down the next couple days. The next morning he explained it had been raining, but they were still ordered outside to lineup before they were given breakfast. After 20 minutes the soldiers were allowed to go inside and eat. He went on to claim that during his chow time he has to remain standing while he eats because it seems the benches have been washed away by the flood as well. PFC Flowerday felt he and the other men were somewhat lucky still considering a company of men had been away in the hills since before the flood. He wrote they haven’t had a shower or clean clothes for about a month. Monday morning- He begins writing in the present tense. PFC Flowerday wrote on Monday morning it was raining and that it rains so much that he doesn’t even get hungry unless he hears the patter of rain on his helmet liner. He suggested that he felt they would have the day off considering it was Labor Day. He explained how he had dug a series of trenches to prevent the flooding of the chow hall and allow for proper drainage. He then claims that this letter he has written is longer than any other since he had been at Fort Riley. He wrote to the recipient and explained how he hope it would prove to be a morale boost for the men back home in the sales department.

• Envelope dated Sept 17, 1951 contains a four paged letter (front and back) dated Sept 16, 1951, written at Ft. Riley, Kansas He started the letter by telling the recipient that he received the letter from Gene and Bob Fox on Thursday and one from Dr. Rhodes on Wednesday. He explained how welcome the letters were and important for morale, “meal time, pay-day, and mail call are the three best times in the army.” He went on to explain how they changed from fatigues into khakis and vice versa on average about 5-6 times a day. Then he explained how “the corporal” spent 30 minutes falling them in and out of the barracks until 56 men could get from their bunks out in the company street in 15 seconds, “on Tuesday night one of the first fellows out fell down, busted his knee open and had the other 55 men tromp over him. He went to the hospital and hasn’t been back since so we haven’t played that game for while.” He then went on to explain how they had a break, “maybe first I should bring you up to date and tell you that we’ve really had a break. A week ago last Tuesday after a week in “tent city” we moved into barracks. We’ve got lights, hot water, and a mess hall to sit down and eat in. for the remainder of the week we were on detail waiting for the company to fill up. Most of the college graduates were put on complicated jobs like cutting weeds and digging post holes.” Then he explained the training they had so far, “most of our training so far has been drilling, M-1 rifle, and physical training. I’m so stiff and sore I can hardly move but in spite of it all, I’m really enjoying it. Some of the boys get a little bitter about all of this night drilling. One night one of the fellows mouthed off to the cadre some we marched an hour longer that night. Believe you me, we saw that he didn’t mouth off again.” He went on to describe one of his additional K.P. duties, “Friday I drew K.P. again; this time at the officers mess. I must be working up in the world! I was a waiter and served the officers their plates. I “sired” enough of those jokers to last me for two years. One thing about K.P, at the officers mess you really get plenty of good food. At noon I had four generous slices of baked ham, three tomatoes and two half-pints of milk. The cooks gave me the old eye when I got the tomatoes out of the refrigerator but they didn’t say anything. After dinner I was to throw out the left over ham in the garbage. Instead I put it a bread wrapper and took a loaf of bread I was to throw away and put it back too. When I left there that night I looked like I was about 6 months along with all that food in my fatigue jacket. The boys at the barracks were having a G.I party when I got back so they really appreciated the food.” PFC Flowerday then went on to describe his Saturday, “Saturday we had, or were supposed to have had, a big parade. We marched down to parade grounds about a mile away in a soaking rain; Man! Was I cold! We had scarcely got there when we turned around and marched back. It seems the dignitaries thought it was raining too hard to have the ceremonies.” He went on to infer these sort of affairs happen regularly as he wrote, “we take a lot of stuff and get kicked around a lot but I don’t mind it too much. – we had a big inspection Saturday of our barracks, foot lockers, and rifles. The Lt. was looking at rifle and told me I had a dirty butt. I thought he was getting a little personal but I didn’t say anything.” He then explained he still needed to write his two sisters and Bill and that he hoped he could live up to the faith his friends had in men.

• Envelope dated Oct 10, 1951 contains a four paged letter (front and back) dated Oct 09, 1951, written at Ft. Riley, Kansas PFC Flowerday began the letter by explaining he is in a Troop Information Education lecture on Korea. He claimed it was the only chance to write because of all the night classes, night field exercises, and weapons maintenance they have been doing. He went on to thank the recipient for himself and Alice for having given them a ride. The writer spent the week in a friend’s home and reflected that it was nice to know good friends were back home. He felt that the civilian population was not as accepting of the troops as they had been during the Second World War. He went on to write that they have been training on the automatic rifle for many days now and are preparing to march 12 miles to the range to fire them. After that is completed he expected to get gas chamber training. In general, he claimed that training was not too tough, just kept them very busy. He expressed how tired the training schedule made him, but it was not a good idea to sleep in class because then you were assigned the afterhours duty details. He explained that he is in his fifth week of basic training so that meant he only had eleven more weeks to go till completion. He claimed that after graduation half of the men in his company (125 men) would ship out to Korea and the other half would be assigned to different Army schools. During supply economics class he wrote about how much it cost the army to equip and train a soldier and thinks of how much money he could have saved the army had he decided to stay home instead of joining. He closed the letter by writing how over the next 12 weeks he will be learning how to kill men. He would rather learn academic things, but he is willing to learn these things if it helps prevent future wars.

• Envelope dated Nov 29, 1951 contains a eight paged letter (front and back) dated Nov 28, 1951, written at Ft. Riley, Kansas The writer wrote this writing while in the field. He complained that the only time he gets to write letters is a 10 minute break they take every hour. He expressed to the recipient that he was forsaking a letter to his wife (Alice) in order to write him (Gene). He thanked the recipient for letting him and his wife (Alice) for borrowing his (Gene’s) car over the Armistice Day break. He goes on to explain what they are training on in the field. He went into some detail about the 57mm recoilless rifle. He wrote about how they have been catching hell for the past three weeks because they failed a clothing and equipment inspection. He complains that they have not been given any passes since then and are unlikely to receive any until December. He continued to write about the upcoming training the men of his company had. He then explained how the men would receive either 5 days off for Christmas or 5 days off for new years, but they had no way of knowing which until then. He then told Gene of his promotion to E-2, which had an increase of $5 dollars a month that he thought would come in handy for November and December.

• Envelope date Dec 21, 1951 contains a two paged greeting card (front and back) dated Dec, 1951, written by Alice to Gene A greeting card wishing Gene a Merry Christmas and talked about what their plans are depending on if he gets leave for Christmas or New Years.

• Envelope dated Feb 25, 1952 contains a six paged letter (front and back) dated Feb 4, 1952, written on the USNS Frederick Funston (T-AP-178). PFC Flowerday wrote about his voyage stating that if you looked out one side of the ship you could see British Columbia and if you look out the other side you could see the State of Washington. He wrote about the Navy having better stuff and a improve quality of life compared to that of the army. While contemplating his service for the next 9-1/2 months he hoped he could survive to make it home. He also worried that “full scale war” might break out before he could leave the service, which, in his opinion, seemed to be the only answer to the problem of Communism. He sent home a clipping from Seattle and hoped everyone back home would take into serious consideration who they might vote for in the coming election. Feb 24, 1952 letter continued at Camp Drake, Japan. PFC Flowerday wrote about the men all being sea sick and sick from the food aboard the ship creating a stench in their quarters that he had never smelled before. He wrote about arriving Yokohama, Japan on the 18th, where there was a blizzard raging. From Yokohama the men took a train to Camp Drake. While at Camp Drake, the men zeroed their M-1 rifles interpretation for service in Korea. He explained he was waiting to either hear of local orders for himself to stay in Japan or for unit orders to Korea. He claimed he had received a pass since they had arrived at Camp Drake. They went to Tokyo and he described it as looking similar to the loop in Chicago, except there are hundreds more people. He described the Japanese as treating the men like kings, but he was still suspicious as to what they really thought. He then went on to write that Alice had written him to tell him a friend back home had been draft, much to his dismay. He did not understand why the army was still taking more men when they were doing a fine job at wasting the manpower they already had.

• Envelope dated Mar 11, 1952 (Mar is missing but because of the date written on the actual letter we can infer that the envelope was dated in March as well) contains a nine paged letter (front and back) dated Mar 10, 1952, written in Japan. The letter picks up from the last one explaining how PFC Flowerday wished he could say he had drawn a duty assignment in Japan, but he had not. He wrote that he was in southern Japan training in a 2 week course on chemical, biological, and radiological warfare because, as he described it, the military “required 1 officer and 2 enlisted men of every unit to take the course in case the communists decided to use gas or an atomic weapon on the front.” He further detailed his experience by describing the camp they were at as the best he had been at since he joined. He wrote that the camp was formerly the Nagoya Japanese Bombers, then it was home to the 24th Infantry Division, but they shipped to Korea. He commends the 24th Infantry Division for keeping things in such great condition. He went on to describe the camp they were on and all the activities available to soldiers. He asked Gene to deliver some flowers to Alice and wish he good luck at her new job as assistant 4-h director.

• Envelope dated Mar 23, 1952 contains a six paged letter (front and back) dated Mar 21, 1952, written in Busan, South Korea. In the letter, PFC Flowerday claims he had been in Korea since the 15th waiting for an assignment. He went on to describe the situation in Korea and compare the scenery and people to that of Japan. He described the damaged the war had done to the surrounding buildings and the remnants of fighting positions. He explained that right before they were shipped to Korea they were forced to remove any personal belongings from their persons, which included the article from Seattle and card he meant to send off prior to his departure.

• Envelope dated Mar 29, 1952 contains a four paged letter (one page folded in half written on front and back) dated Mar 28, 1952, written in Seoul, South Korea. PFC Flowerday started the letter by explaining that he lucked out and was assigned to the 21st Chemical Decontamination Company based just outside of Seoul, South Korea. Since chemical weapons had not been used, they were using their 400 gallon trucks to shower the troops on the front line. The other task he claimed he had was the mixing of napalm for flamethrowers. He claimed he was 35 miles from the front so they were not getting shot at, but he receives less points than someone on the front so he expects to be deployed longer than if he was nearer the front. He explained his job a little more and claimed he was trying to learn the operational aspects of his unit to take over for a Sergeant who wanted to head north to get more points. He detailed where he was living and the scene in Seoul as well as the desperation of the South Koreans.

• Envelope dated Apr 9, 1952 contains a four paged letter (one page folded in half written on front and back) dated Apr 8, 1952, written in Seoul, Korea. The letter seems to be a mistaken copy of the previous letter. PFC Flowerday wrote basically the same thing as he did in the letter dated Mar 28, 1952, just slightly different. It seems most likely he forgot he had already sent a letter to him about the content, but this is not certain. However, he goes go into more detail about running operations at his new unit in this letter.

• Envelope dated May 12, 1952 contains a four paged letter (front and back) dated May 12, 1952, written in Seoul, Korea. PFC Flowerday began the letter by apologizing for not writing for so long and explained it was not because he had forgotten about his friend, but that he did not have the money he owed him. He claimed to have enclosed a money order for the amount owed, but the money order is not in the collection. It is possible there was a money order but the recipient took it out in order to claim the dollar amount ordered. He went on to write about how everything is generally on a routine now. Spring had arrived and he wrote about the similarities between vegetation in Nebraska and South Korea. After writing about vegetation, he explained that he broke his thumb playing for the unit softball team. Then he wrote that he was due for another promotion on the 14th of May. He claims that he will be promoted to PFC, but will work as the acting Corporal. He wrote that if he could keep his nose clean for 90 days and do a good job then they would fully promote him to Corporal, which he desired for the increase in pay. He wrote about the thinking that the recipient’s thesis should be just about wrapped up and wished his M.S. thesis had more research behind it. He contemplated that if the G.I. Bill was approved he might decide to go back to school and get a PhD. At the same time, at 26, he felt as if he was getting to old to go to school and it might be time for him to settle down and provide a living for Alice. Then he asked if the recipient plans on going on to get his PhD and thanks him for a subscription to a science magazine, but claimed to have not received it yet.

• Envelope dated May 28, 1952 contains a six paged letter (front and back) dated May 27, 1952 the letter also includes a small photograph. The letter was written in Seoul, South Korea. PFC Flowerday started the letter writing about panty raids and making a joke about them. He then wrote about a Korean laborers head being blown off by a land mine and the Korean police station letting the body lay outside from morning till the afternoon. He wrote that the shoe shining boys and even some of the older men found the decapitated body interesting. The body was eventually removed after the U.S. officers created a scene. He wrote that the body was later found about 3 blocks away underneath a bridge. He confirms that he did get his promotion to PFC and was acting corporal, but only paid as a Pfc. He considered applying for a direct commission, but claimed he was still thinking about it. He wrote about rumors floating around about an updated point system for rotation back to the states.

• Envelope dated Jul 29, 1952 contains a five paged letter and one torn half page (front and back) dated Jul 28, 1952, written in Seoul, South Korea. In the beginning of the letter, PFC Flowerday wrote that he had been on a trip with a pay officer across the entirety of Korea. The trip took four days of hard driving but he saw Korea from coast to coast. He went on to describe some of the scenery and the lives of the Korean civilians. After he got back from that trip he went on another trip to bring a napalm mixing team to the 25th division and break them in. The rest of his time was spent near Seoul. The added torn half page advised Gene to inquire about the magazine subscription he got for him because it never showed up.

End of the letters from Albert

PFC Edward H. Sautter – three letters – April 1951-March 1952

• Envelope dated Apr 23, 1951 contains a four paged letter (front and back) dated Apr 22, 1951, written at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. The letter is to Gene, but the writer expected “Dale” (possibly the previous writer) to be with him so he greets them both. He wrote about the remaining training he had before completion of basic training. He wrote, in detail, about the scheduling and information errors he had encountered during the beginning of his military career. He wrote about a WAC unit as well and described it in minor detail. The rest of the letter references Gene and Dales schooling and wishing them the best.

• Envelope dated Nov 5, 1951 contains a two paged letter (front and back) dated Nov 4, 1951, written in Japan. The letter described PFC Sautter’s journey from Seattle to Japan and where he believed he would go next.

• Envelope dated Mar 6, 1952 contains a four paged letter (front and back) dated Mar 4, 1952, written in Japan. In the letter PFC Sautter informed the recipient that he is now stationed in Japan at the Far East Intelligence School located about an hour away from Tokyo. He wrote about his duties and explained that overseas service was far better than that of stateside service. He wrote about the scenery and activities to do in Tokyo, including reports of prostitution.

End of Letters from Edward

Dates

  • 1951 April 22 - 1952 July 28

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Eugene John Kamprath (01/09/1926) was born in Seward, Nebraska to John and Meta Kamprath. He registered for the draft on 01/10/1944, but was enrolled in school during the Korean War. Eugene received his BS (1950) and MS (1952) degrees in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska and his PhD degree (1955) in Agronomy (Soils) from North Carolina State University. He married Kathrine A. Arnold on 08/18/1956 and they had one child, the doner of this collection, John Mark Kamprath.

Link to bio - https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172483503

Private First Class Albert Dale Flowerday, United States Army (06/14/1927 - 06/10/2017) was born in Seward, Nebraska to Flora Ella Koch and Albert George Flowerday. PFC Flowerday recieved his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was married to Alice Marie Boswell.

Private First Class Edward Herman Sautter, United States Army (12/13/1928 - 01/27/2003) was born in Scotia, Nebraska to Henry Edward and Edna Emma Sautter. PFC Sautter recieved his BS and MS degrees from the University of Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army from 01/03/1951 to 12/18/1952 during the Korean War. Later in life he worked as a State Soil Specialist in Conneticut and Rhode Island for the U.S.D.A..

Extent

.15 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Overview

This collection contains sixteen correspondence that Eugene J. Kamprath received during the Korean War. The letters were written by Eugene's, PFC Albert D. Flowerday, USA and PFC Edward H.erman Sautter, USA.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically and seperated by author.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Mark Kamprath
Title
Finding Aid for the Eugene J. Kamprath Korean War correspondence
Status
Completed
Author
Benjamin Stevens
Date
5/22/2019
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Contact:
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States