CAMP WOOD KUMAMOTO JAPAN
THANKS TO GIMBET4EVER FOR MAKING THIS PAGE POSSIBLE

THIS IS THE STATEMENT OF THE PERSON THAT SENT ME THE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION

I did not take the photos. They come from some members of the 21st Infantry that were stationed at Camp Wood - Korea between 1948 - 1951.  

I collect photos related to the 21st Inf. My father was stationed at Camp Wood before the war broke out. The 21st was the first unit to fight in the Korean war and many of these soldiers stationed at Camp Wood never got their personal belongings back. I also collect MIA - KIA - POW photos, letters, poems etc. since many were killed the first 2-3 weeks of the Korean War.

I use to bring the collection of photos albums to the 21st RCT Association reunions and the old soldiers would enjoy looking through the albums.  


The Death Of A Friend

By:  

J.A. Langone 



At an Army camp in Japan 
I first met my friend 
We were just boys not old enough
to be called men 



I never met a fella 
quite like Paul before 
We did everything together 
we were always active and never bored
We both loved the Army 
and were proud to be a part 



We were both regular Army 
and proud that in the draft 
we were never caught 

 We both loved our uniform 
and proudly served the Flag 
And when it came time to shooting 
both of us had room to brag 


A peace time Army 
is full of fun
For never once in anger 
did we ever fire our gun


We trained hard in the day 
to learn how an Army fights
But then when off duty 
we headed to town to spend our night



We drank and laughed and had a really good time 
We drank Japanese beer and whiskey 
but never touched their Saki wine



I knew Paul better than anyone else in Japan 
He was tall and handsome and a very sensitive man
He loved to smile and talk of home 
But he, 
like I, 
got the yearning and started to roam
We became inseparable, 
Paul and I 

The bond between us, 
man or woman could not untie
But on a warm summer night late in June 
Our carefree attitude was soon to turn to gloom
Our unit was ordered to Korea as the communists wanted a fight 
And our outfit moved out of Japan in the dead of night
In a matter of days we sat on two hills outside a town called Osan 
Our beautiful Japan was gone and so were our pretty little Josans



Paul was on the high hill and I was to his flank 
No matter where we were 
we both were able to see their infantry led by Russian tanks
The battle started to escalate around 8 in the morning 
Little did I know that by 10 
I would be in deepest mourning



The Sergeant told us to leave as we could no longer hold 
We made a dash to Paul’s hill our movements were fast and bold
As we climbed the hill under fire looking for a route to escape 
I spied a soldier in a foxhole 
and he was wearing Paul’s smiling face
We smiled and shook hands and in the ribs we gave each other a poke 
I had one Phillip Morris cigarette that I broke in half for us to smoke



But soon we saw the mortar shells getting closer with each round 
We leaped from that foxhole to seek safety on higher ground
We started shooting immediately as we saw the enemy reach the crest 
In the flash of a moment Paul was mortally wounded in the head and in the chest
What a nightmare to see my friend dying such a horrible death 

Oh Father, 
why did I have to suffer through this awful gruesome test 
For I was there from the start to his dying and tearful end 
I hugged my dearest buddy 
my companion 
and closest friend


His ashen face took on the mask of death 
I was there when my dearest friend took his final dying breath
Why you my friend? 
and why not I? 
Why were you chosen over me to die?
Oh how strong you were when you left with death 
You my friend were really one of the best

 My life ended too on that hill that hot July day 
But I was thankful you had the chance to talk to God and pray 
Oh Paul, 
my dearest friend, 
if I could sit down with you and drink a toast 
I would touch your glass 
and know that never again 
to a man would I ever be as close 



But one thing I’ll do for you that I promised after that fight, 
I’ll pray for you forever my friend as long as God gives me the nights 

Written in memory of my dearest friend Paul Larson, 
who died in our first combat on July 05, 1950 
By: J.A. Langone June 1995 

21ST INFANTRY COMPANY B.
21ST INFANTRY COMPANY A
THE 21ST REGIMENST WAS ONE OF THE  FIRST UNITS OUTSIDE OF KOREA TO BE SENT TO KOREA WHEN THE WAR BROKEOUT IN 1950
Standing L to R: 1. Billy Bone, 2. Norman Fosness, 3. Garrett, 4. Farrens (jeep driver), 5. William Thornton, 6. Simon Quenteros, 7. Jake Bailey, 8. Chester Fasnaught
Kneeling: 1. Haden Lacey KIA, 2. Garland Southwood KIA, 3. Boyd Cox (declared dead) 4. George Pleasant, 5. Ransome Wolford (KIA)
JAKE BAILEY
COULD BE MELVIN LANE AND GIRL FRIEND
BILLY BONE,  GIRL FRIEND AND COULD BE MELVIN LANE
BILLY BONE WITH BAN AND MAYBE C. HIGGENS
MAIN GATE CAMP WOOD
To the east is Gimlet Heights, the dependent housing area for Officers and NCO’s, with an area of 78 acres, also included in Gimlet Heights are the 21st Infantry Golf Course, a Skeet range, the NCO Club and of course let’s not forget dear old area THREE (training center) about three miles northeast of Camp Wood.
Info taken from the 1949 Gimlet Book 
In memory of Eli Culbertson

To the east is Gimlet Heights, the dependent housing area for Officers and NCO’s, with an area of 78 acres, also included in Gimlet Heights are the 21st Infantry Golf Course, a Skeet range, the NCO Club and of course let’s not forget dear old area THREE (training center) about three miles northeast of Camp Wood.
Info taken from the 1949 Gimlet Book 
In memory of Eli Culbertson

Other outstanding points of interest are the Post Exchange, Chapel, Army Education Center and the Post Hospital. Parade Ground Directly to the front of the Command Post is the Regimental Parade Ground, which also doubles as a football field and the best baseball diamond on the Island of Kyushu during appropriate seasons
KUMAMOTO KEN FLAG