Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Night I Raided the Whorehouse

You have read Dick's Bronze Star Citation recognizing his heroic action in stopping a German counter attack in 1945.. Here is a story about some action I took in Korea a couple months later (I didn't get a medal or even a "Good job, Lieutenant!"). I was the Company Commander of the 69th Engineer Topographic Company at the time. We were stationed in a school house with a wall around it in Seoul, the capitol city.
                                   THE NIGHT I RAIDED THE WHOREHOUSE
Some of the troops been showing up at sick call with gonorrhea which was more than a health problem. Catching a venereal diseease resulted in "lost time" meaning no pay and an equivalent delay in getting out of the Army. Since the guys apparently weren't getting infected while in town on pass, I figured the source had to be local so I took to skulking on the roof at night to observe the goings on. I noted that some soldiers would slip over the wall and head up the street and turn into a particular alley (probably with the connivance of the gate guards). I decided direct action was warranted so I strapped on my Model 1911 .45 caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol and summoned my Executive Officer, Lt. Hampton, (armed with an M-1 Carbine) and we headed out the gate and up the street. To the startled guards we must have looked like a combat patrol. In the lead I turned into the alley and peeked in the first door I came to. As I entered Lt. Hampton whispered a protest about my invasion of a private home. All he could see was a domestic scene of a family sitting on the floor around dinner in the oriental manner, but what I could see was a stairway with several pair of GI boots neatly arranged on the steps. I started up the stairs (not taking off my boots) when a burly but soft looking Korean started down down forcefully indicating that I shouldn't come up. I secured his immediate cooperation by placing the muzzle of my 45 against his belly,  causing him to promptly step aside. When I got to the top of the stairs there was a room with a Korean pimp and, much to my surprise, three of my senior sergeants  A  fourth was in another room with what turned out to be but one young prostitute. There was muted grumbling as I ordered them back to the compound (the one who was interrupted mid-act was particularly unhappy). After they left I threatened the pimp with very dire consequences if he set up shop near my compound again (this was accomplished mostly with gestures due to the language difference). Lt. Hampton and I returned in a self-congratulatory mood and subsequently I enjoyed an enhanced reputation for decisveness. However the cases of gonorrhea continued to show up. I eventually learned the guys were getting the clap from amateurs in an adjcent perk, not from professional prostitutes. The sergeants probably never forgave me. (emailed June 24, 2008)

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