Hi Miami University Alumni Office,
I am a Miami alum and a veteran of the Korean War. This was a "peace action" sanctioned by the U.N. Many nations were represented in this action to restore to South Korea the lands taken by North Korean military action. I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and fought in Korea near the end of the military action. This is my story.
In 1950, the Korean war resulted in a draft to increase the size of our armed forces. You could come to class and there would be empty chairs of men called to service during the semester. My grade point average was low, so I knew I would be called up soon. On the advice of some military friends I enlisted. As a “regular army GI” I would receive privileges not given to draftees. One of these was to be a squad leader of a group of misfits. They were very different in height – 6' 4” to 5' 2' – it was impossible to march together, so we double-timed everywhere. These men were from Appalachia, from South Carolina to New York state. Only two could read and write. Raised on my grandfather's farm, I developed the ability to picture-talk with the farm animals. There is a group of people who are able to use psychic abilities such as Remote Viewing (projecting your vision energy to a different location). Governments around the world recruit these people to use their RV skills as spies. In the U.S., the Army, CIA, Navy and Air Force each have these RV spy trainers.
In 1950, however, this skill was not utilized. But I found that these mountain men had the ability to picture-talk to animals and other forest beings.
During Army lectures when my men were bored, I used the time to picture-teach them to read and write (print). And through constant deliberate use of our mental abilities, my and their mental abilities grew, and developed too.
After Basic Training, we all went in different directions. I was shipped out to Korea where I became a Forward Observer directing the firing of a company of heavy 4.2 mortars. I was able to put my RV skills to use by viewing the Chinese supply build-up and the addition of Chinese troops.
The war in Korea was not like any other war we had fought. I was positioned with the troop contingent from Thailand on top of a 200-foot-high ridge many miles long. We overlooked a large valley, with a winding river on the side away from our position. The Chinese had to climb a 20% slope to reach our position, and they tried to overwhelm us several times, resulting in many thousands of Chinese casualties. To my left was a prominent point called “Old Baldy” protected by the fire of the mortars under my control. When someone dies, their body liquids and solids evacuate their body, so to control the stink the Army put the bodies in piles for the Chinese to come and gather them. They counted the heads because the bodies were blown apart. They dusted the hill with lime. The Military “counters” assigned the cause of death from small arms fire or from mortar shell explosions. In front of my position there were 3,000 dead Chinese. Around ”Old Baldy” 8,000 Chinese were killed by mortar fire and another 2,000 by small arms fire.
To help protect my F.O. position I had five Thai soldiers assigned to me. Being Buddhists, they were not disturbed by my night reconnaissance and they accepted the Astrol form for my Remote Viewing as an out-of-body projection. It was similar to the standard Remote Viewing energy, but in a wispy ghost-like form. This Astrol form can not be injured, so with the Chinese and Buddhist respect for ancestral ghosts, this form seemed to be a logical form for me to use. The Thai soldiers and command did not question the results of my recon, and our command did not question the accuracy of the Thai reports.
The Thais passed the word along the “line” that they were using ghosts for night reconnaissance and not to fire at them. I had trained two of my Thai protectors to Astrol with me. The Thais referred to me as “Buddha's assistant.” During the usual 6-hour Chinese assault, I developed a physical protective shield for 12 Thais and myself. The Chinese fired bullets, shrapnel, hand grenades and rockets would bounce back toward the Chinese while our small arms fire would pass through it. The Thais called it “Buddha's Umbrella.”
My Astrol reconnaissance showed the build-up of Chinese troops and weapons typical for a fifth assault. My Recon was then confirmed by our Air Reconnaissance, so we added to our supply of ammo, hand grenades, and flares to repel the assault. As dawn came and the assault hour grew near, I became very nervous. My Astrol flying companion asked, “What's your problem?”
I replied, “I don't know, I'm just nervous about this one.”
“Well,” he said, “do something to take your mind off it!”
“OK,” I said, and started to sing the song “Blue Skies” out loud to myself. Soon my radio and field phone start to ring. “Thai Guy, [my call name] what are you doing?”
“I'm singing an American song.”
“Well, sing slower so we can learn the song too.”
So I did, by breaking the song's natural phrasing. I explained the double meaning between happy and the color blue, and the sad emotion blue.
Two miles of our line participated, and after we mastered the tune and words, we started to sing it as a round, one phrase overlapping the other: the last round of Blue Skies.
When we finished the round, “Blue Skies” started to come back down the “line” but from the Chinese side. Our line broke into applause and cheers.
An Australian shouted out, “Pop the cap of a beer to the Chinese fighting men.”
The Chinese replied, “Here's to the U.N. fighting men!” and the toasts continued for the rest of the night. The Chinese start to sing songs, and we learned to sing them, followed by more toasts. It was said that the Chinese refused to mount the expected assault saying, “How can we assault and kill the men we drank beer and shared songs with.” Dawn came and all became quiet.
Over the next month, the Chinese rotated the existed troops out and replaced them with non-friendly troops. Our commanders did, too. The “Peace Talks” took a different attitude of cooperation.
I became tagged as “Blue Skies” and as we all rotated to Japan, any time I went into a a bar we would end up singing “Blue Skies” and everyone wanted to pay for my drinks.
Discharged form the Army, I worked for a few months. I courted my campus sweetheart Catherine Marie Euler ('52) and started back to school at Miami. I became a founding member and vice-president of the TKE fraternity. Our basketball team became intramural champions and played the traditional basketball with the varsity beating them by 20 points. To compensate for our lack of height, (our tallest member was 5' 10”) we concentrated our shots from the perimeter, and shot 83% from the floor. Our fraternity president scored the most points, with the rest of us not far behind, with all of us in double digits. We followed that performance with the highest Fraternity grade QPA, and the campus bridge and softball champions.
I was 0.01 point shy of the Miami QPA for graduation, but due to my QPA of 3.9 since my return, the Dean of Humanities proposed that I be given graduate status.
I went on to get an MFA, an MA, and an MS degree, and a 60-hour Hypnotherapist Certification to complete my education. Partly inspired by a Miami professor in art education, I became a world-class jeweler, and taught, and became the head of a Department of Art at several colleges and universities.
Roger Armstrong '55