Stanley E Watson

Stanley E Watson

Stan's Military Service

On 9 May 1951, Stan and his pregnant wife were living at 353 Short Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, when he was drafted into the U. S. Army in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a private, Grade E-1. His Selective Service Number was 20-40-28-693 and his service number was US 55170670. Oddly, his mother was listed as his next of kin on his enlistment medical examination report dated 9 March 1951. The report says that Stan was in perfect health and lists two identifying body marks: a scar on his right leg and a tattoo on his left arm. The tattoo was simply his initials like this: "S.E.W."

From 20 July - 15 September 1951, he was stationed at Camp Chaffee, Ft. Smith, Arkansas, where he trained as a cook and served as a cook school instructor and as field cadre.

Stan left Camp Chaffee on 20 November 1950 and rushed back to Aurora, Indiana, for the birth of his daughter, Martha Jane. He was allowed 12 days of leave for her birth and he arrived back at Camp Caffee on 2 December 1951. When he got back, he sent money to his parents to buy a sled for his daughter which they delivered to Aurora in time for Christmas.

In January 1952, his wife and daughter joined him in Ft. Smith where they lived until August. On 18 August 1952, Stan left Aurora, Indiana, for Camp Stoneman, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then went on to California. He called his wife from California on 25 Sepember 1952, the night before he set sail from California.

On 10 October 1952, Stan arrived at Yokohama, Japan. He had his daughter's and wife's pictures painted on silk while in Japan. He left Japan on 12 October 1952 and arrived in Korea, Camp Drake Replacement Depot, on 16 October 1952. He saw combat in the FECOM theater of operation from 16 October - 30 November 1952.

Stan remained in Korea until shortly before his discharge. He developed a great appreciation for the Korean people which led him to befriend several Korean students later when he and his wife were attending Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. It was also while he was in Korea that he felt "a call from God" to become a minister. As Stan always told it, he was not the typical "foxhole convert;" instead, he said he was sitting in a bar when God spoke to him and called him to the ministry.

On 28 March 1953, Stan left Korea for Sasebo, Japan, where he arrived the next day. On 2 April 1953, he left Sasebo and landed in San Francisco, California, on 15 April 1953. He went on from there to the Camp Carson, Colorado, Separation Center where he was honorably discharged as a Private First Class, Grade E-3, on 5 April 1953. According to his physical exam upon separation, he was in perfect health except for a hemorrhoid! He was 74 inches tall, weighed 214 pounds, and had brown hair and blue eyes.

He took a train home to Indiana from Colorado. The train went under the Royal Gorge Bridge outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. When visiting the bridge several years later, he described what it was liking looking up at the bridge from the train running below along the river.

Back in Indiana, he transferred to the Army Reserves and served in the ERC Artillery, 5th Army Area, in Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, for five years. He was honorably discharged from the Reserves on 11 March 1957.

Stan received the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star and the United Nations Service Medal. He was not wounded during his tour of duty. According to his discharge records, his "most significant duty assignment" was "C Btry 50th AAA AW Bn APO301."