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Veteran Essays

From Abe J. Goldsmith:

I served on active duty in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict from 13 November 1951-November 14, 1953. The Korean Conflict began June 25, 1950, and terminated July, 1953.

I registered for the draft in 1947 when I became 18 years of age at the Chicago Fire Station located across Waveland avenue from Wrigley Field’s left field bleachers.

I graduated Purdue University In June, 1951 with a B.S. degree and journalistic achievements. The year 1952 was a difficult one for American troop serving in Korea as the Chinese entered the fray. American troops suffered substantial casualties that winter of 1950.

Upon graduating, I went to work as a technical writer, writing field modification manuals for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation (CONVAIR) where I worked on the 10-engine, B-36 international bomber. CONVAIR was unsuccessful in getting me a deferment, so, I returned to Chicago and on November 13, I reported to a Van Buren- street facility for induction into the U.S. Army. One doctor looked into y left ear and another doctor looked into my right ear; they didn’t see one another so I was in. (I was given a choice, Army or Marines), I chose Army. My father was disappointed because he served ib the U.S. Marine Corps and participated in the occupation of the Dominican Republic in the 1920-s. He was awarded as Good Conduct Medal, a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and a Good Conduct Medal.

I left that building and walked- in the rain- to the “L” station at Wabash and Van Buren where several new soldiers and I boarded a North Shore train that took us to Fort Sheridan in Highwood, Il.

Fort Sheridan was a reception center for new soldiers from the midwest states comprising the 5th Army. Here, the GI's got their short haircuts (paid for by themselves), took a number of written tests, drew uniforms and awaited assignments to training installations throughout the country. I remember that I got to go home for Thanksgiving.

Finally, it was the day I got my orders. I was destined for basic training at Fort Breckenridge, Ky., home of the 101st Airborne. The 18-yer-old kids were happy; the several of us college grads loudly said:


We were assured that it was just an. infantry training post…no parachutes. Whew!!~

Aboard the bus to basic training were college graduates from U. of Chicago, U of Iowa, St. Procopius College and Marquette University.

After our 16 weeks of Infantry basic training , we began getting orders. Three of us had orders to A.Cml.C, Md.

“What the heck was that,” we wondered.

No officers or noncoms in our training company knew what or where that was, but we were told that we had to take a train to Baltimore. When we got to Baltimore, we were to ask the MPs where A.Cml.C. was and how we get there.

We were headed for the Army Chemical Center in Edgewood, Maryland. We found a bus to take us there just about an hour’s drive north of the Baltimore along U.S. 1.

I ended up in the headquarters of the Chemical Corps Research and Engineering Command. I waited a week or so to get my TOP SECRET clearance and then was assigned to the Plans and Evaluation office where we were a critical link in the research and development of chemical, biological and radiological weaponry.

(In 1949 Pres. Richard Nixon stopped all production of biological weapons and ordered all weapons destroyed. The United States also signed on to the International treaty banning Biological Weapons.

Interesting, is fact was that of a couple of thousand GI's at the Army Chemical Center, more than half were college graduates, privates and corporals.

Before my service was ended, I wrote an article “Plastics in Chemical Warfare,” that appeared in the February 1954 issue of The Armed Forces Chemical Journal.

I was separated from active duty just down the road from A.Cml.C. at Fort Meade, Maryland, on November 14, 1953 and was totally discharged six years later. I attained the rank of corporal . I was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and an American Defense Medal.

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784