Friday, November 2, 2018

Call of the Reservist

1950. Unknown U.S. location.  The Korean War erupted as the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time," revealing the U.S. military's unpreparedness. After the invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces, the inadequacy of the U.S. Eighth Army's Japan-based occupation forces was quickly revealed. The U.S. Army resorted to a "Plan B" of sorts.  Central to this plan was a large roster of reservists - veterans of World War II who maintained reserve status.  These men were at home in the U.S., carrying on with the fruits of victory by starting families, building careers, and looking forward to a life of peace and prosperity.

Regardless of their sentiments about being recalled, these men were bound by obligation.  With rare exception, they dutifully responded to mobilization orders, usually with little time to get their personal affairs in order. Late 1950 revealed countless scenes like the one above.  Here, we see a young sergeant spending a precious few last moments with his wife and son.  The setting is possibly an airport, but probably a train or bus station. We have no record of their identities or of the events subsequent to this parting.

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