Korean War and Korea Defense Service Veterans Association, Inc. 
Department of Florida (DoF)

Land of the Morning Calm by Thomas G. "Skip" HannonLand of the Morning Calm

By Thomas G. "Skip" Hannon


Korea, "The Forgotten War" occurred only five years after the end of World War II.The American citizens, weary of more carnage, but President Harry S. Truman was determined to stop the spread of communism in the Far East. He petitioned the United Nations to get other nations to send troops to support the United States.

It was my misfortune to be drafted into the United States Army during this miserable "Police Action" as it was called at that time. I spent thirteen months in Korea from April 1952 to May 1953.

You will be taken across the Pacific on the troopship, General Black along with many other seasick G.I.s and Canadian troops into Inchon harbor to the forboding hills of Korea to replace combat worn soldiers who have spent their time in purgatory.

You will get to meet my friends and comrades from all parts of the U.S. who make up the 955 Field Artillery Battalion You will listen to their gripes and the occasional raw humor that get them through the misery of day-to-day routine. Listen to the ungodly din of the big howitzers and the Long Toms blasting away day and night. It''s enough to drive you nuts.

For eight months I worked as one of a three man forward observation team, in the bunkers and trenches with Republic of Korea infantry who do not speak English. Hide in a bunker as "Joe Chink" fires rockets at you. Feel the claustrophobia of being trapped in a freezing bunker at night as the enemy surrounds you. C''mon. Join the adventure! It''s all true. With photos.

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One night, I guess about two a.m. Collins kicks me while I am in a very deep sleep and I wake up abruptly. “What the hell is going on?” “Don’t you hear that?” he yells. Sure enough, I do hear small arms fire, rifles, very close, automatic weapons, “burp guns”, I guess and God knows what else. He grabs my carbine and says he is going down the trench to find out what is going on. I told him to give a yell when he comes back through the tarp. His pistol is in its holster on a nail next to me, so I grab it and aim at the opening.

I never wanted to join the Air Force or Navy, because I figured that if I was in the Army and the enemy came to kill me, I could always run. I was a fair runner, during my short time on the high school track team and planned out that if we were ever overrun, I would shag ass and head for the frozen rice paddies, lie on my belly, hide and if anyone came close, fire away, until I got them, or they got me. With Lee lying there, looking half dead, it did not look like we were going anywhere.

Within a minute, Lt. Collins came back through the tarp. He didn’t yell. Lucky I didn’t pop him. He said they are all over and that we have been completely overrun. Asked what he wanted to do. He said everyone is shooting at everyone. Better to stay in the bunker. “Don’t go out there!”

I repeated. “What do you want to do?” “Call the Battery for support!”

I crank the phone with all my might. F.D.C. picks it up promptly. I try my best to be calm, but he can tell by my voice, I’m sure, that I am nervous and excited. “Fire mission!! This is O.P. four. We are being overrun by inf“Make sure not to screw it up. I need it now!

Thomas G. "Skip" Hannon authorAbout the Author

Thomas G. Hannon known as "Skip" to family and friends was born in Manhattan and spent twenty six years in The Bronx, New York. He is still proud to be known as a "Bronx Boy", he has many friends who were raised in that same area. Hannon graduated from Mount St. Michael Academy as only a fair student, but excelled in writing. He had a hidden desire to be a newspaper reporter or columnist, but fate steered him to the field of insurance safety and investigations for forty years, where there was considerable writing involved.

Thomas is married to Patricia for almost fifty years. They are snowbirds having homes in Carmel, New York and Bradenton, Florida. They have two grown children, James and Catherine.

The author is now retired and is an active member of Chapter 1 in Brewster, New York and Chapter 199 in Bradenton, Florida of The Korean War Veterans Association. In Florida, Tom joins this group in visiting schools to speak to students about the Korean War. Mr.Hannon is also a member of The Military Order of The Purple Heart, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American War Veterans, Corp Artillery Alliance and a volunteer with American Red Cross.

"Land Of The Morning Calm" is the author's first work. This was written as a family history and also for those veterans known to Hannon who shared the Korean experience. Korea is known as "The Forgotten War" so Tom feels an obligation to all veterans of that brutal war to tell their story, through his eyes, during his thirteen months in combat as a member of an artillery forward observation team with an American unit, working with South Korean infantry

Identification and Where to Buy

Published: 11/4/2005; Format: Perfect Bound Softcover; Pages: 208; Size: 6x9; ISBN: 978-1-42087-914-8; Print Type: B/W

www.authorhouse.com  $13.50