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Jake's friend and father of my brother-in-law

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mgc1961 Donating Member (874 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 08:54 AM
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Jake's friend and father of my brother-in-law
For readers who've followed my previous posts about Jake Colvin, this is a short military history of Jake's friend, Jack. Jack is the father of my brother-in-law. This e-mail is from Jack's oldest son.

On a side note, Jack had a small collection of coins from his travels that I acquired after his death about 20 years ago.


I have thought in the past about getting more info about his career. I
never got anywhere (nor did I try very hard).

I think he graduated early from Clemson and was sent in mid 1942 to
Hawaii (Oahu and Kawaii; he always liked Kawaii and wanted to go back).
He was responsible for a communication network. He told the story of
asking a general in a staff meeting for some way to get around to the
various sites he was taking care of. He got the vehicle and a driver.

He took part in the invasion of the Philippines (October 1944 maybe).
He talked of setting up communication systems before the invasion, so he
was one of the early groups sneaking into position. Dottie Adams said
that he had a Filipino girlfriend while he has there and that she was
killed by the locals because she was consorting with an American. He
seemed to have spent the rest of the war in the Philippines, but I don't
know for sure.

He left the army after the Japanese surrender. He rejoined the army
in 1947 (more or less) to work in Omaha at Strategic Air command (with
General Curtis Lemay aka "bomb them back to the stone age" from Vietnam
times). He told stories of looking at Soviet radar coverage and looking
for ways to sneak in. He wore an air force uniform at the time. (this
tour may have been after the Washington tour).

He did a tour in the pentagon in 1948 but I don't know any details.

He then asked for a regular army commission. He was sent to Fort
Monmouth NJ (home of the signal corps) in mid 1950 to compete for the
commission. In Sept 1950, the Korean war started and he was sent to
Korea (he was there for 18 months). From several conversations with him,
he was doing signal intelligence, which is listening to the other guys
radio communication. He talked of being in a small vehicle away from the
main group being guarded by a few MP's. He also talked of being at the
Yalu River when MacArthur planned to invade China (at the high water
mark of the US occupation of Korea). He talked of the US army's poor
supplies, the cold weather, the large Chinese army across the border and
what a stupid thing for MacArthur to consider. I got the feeling that he
knew or worked with MacArthur and did not think much of him.

From all of this, I think Dad was a bit of a spook, or at least he
was mostly involved with intelligence gathering. Certainly, he was
working in the intelligence arm of the signal corps.

After Korea, he was an ROTC instructor at the University of Alabama
in Tuscaloosa (1953/54). He was then posted to Spain (1956/60) where he
was an advisor to the Spanish army. There were several pictures that he
had with Franco, so he was dealing with fairly high levels in the
Spanish army.

He then came back to Columbia to be advisor to the SC national guard.
I got the distinct feeling that he considered them a bunch of yahoos and
bozos. Given his years of combat experience, I am not surprised.

Anyway, that is what I remember at the moment. Maybe you can fill in
other details.
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lucca18 Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow.....what a life history..thank you!
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mgc1961 Donating Member (874 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This letter links Jack to my late uncle Tony.
Edited on Mon Oct-17-11 09:20 PM by mgc1961
Tony served in the 40th infantry division, a national guard unit stationed in California that was also known for it's unit patch as the Sunshine Division. His unit was activated and sent to Hawaii for jungle training prior to being sent to the Philippines. Tony didn't come back alive although his remains were later returned to Hawaii and interred at the Punchbowl (1949). Tony's widow, a native Hawaiian, still lives there with their daughter and her Hawaiian family.
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