The Korean War was between the Republic of Korea (South Korea, supported by the United Nations), and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea, supported by the Chinese and the Soviet Union Communists or Reds). The North Koreans invaded South Korea June 25, 1950, and rapidly conquered most of South Korea.
When the Communist invaders captured Inchon, a city on the west coast of Korea a short distance from Seoul, they took over the Inchon Christian Orphanage, which had been established in 1946 by Holiness Church Missionaries.
The children were left to fend for themselves. Kwak Sun Yong, a Holiness missionary took some of them to the island of Fushi (Fussito, Fusshi-do), where he and his wife began caring for the group, which consisted of 34 little boys in addition to his own family.
It was April or early may 1955. After boot camp leave, I enjoyed temporary quarters at Terminal Island. I was finally told by the duty officer the Saint Paul was anchored out and that I could get aboard by taking the Saint Paul’s liberty boat from the Pico street landing in Long Beach. I took my orders and seabag and waited at the landing. Soon, in came the boat. I climbed aboard. I would eventually be the engineer on this boat and a dammed good one as expressed by all the coxswains for which I worked. As the boat slipped away from the landing, I started to see her. Ah, she was a beauty; long-slim-riding softly in the stream.
Arthur Beaumont’s paintings
After watching the Arthur Beaumont Sketches in the USS SAINT PAUL’S Associations web site, a cherished memory came to my mind: Arthur Beaumont’s wife, Mrs. Beaumont, was the girl’s vice-principal of Stevenson Jr. High School in East Los Angeles where I attended, during 1946-47. She was a very elegant lady and well liked. We had the pleasure of seeing her husband’s paintings that she brought to school for all to appreciate. Years later, my husband and I both had the pleasure of viewing them together at the Marine Museum in San Pedro, California. It gave me much satisfaction to realize that I had, somewhat, touched base with this marvelous artist.
~ Esther Humeston
All I can remember about the training cruise from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor was that we worked the Midshipmen hard. I remember in particular a tall, young midshipman who was ready to do anything he was told to do; running here, there and everywhere.
After a while I realized how difficult it was to be a midshipman, because many sailors took advantage of their status and position and in a sense introduced them into what it took to be a regular sailor. I know it was hard on this particular individual because he had no choice but to follow orders. However, everything he did was not considered as being 100 percent of what was expected of him as a midshipman. I know he was happy and glad when the USS Saint Paul arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where all the midshipmen on the Midshipman Cruise got off the ship.
When the heavy cruiser St. Paul slid into Inchon harbor the night of Sept. 15 the coast line and shore emplacements had already tasted the lethal power of its guns.
From dawn until late morning of Sept. 15, St. Paul, its sister ship the Rochester and the big Mo had pounded Inchon prior to the landing.
Seamen Tony Esquivel of Houston was on the cruiser St. Paul when an 8-inch gun turrent(sic) explosion killed 30 of his shipmates on April 21.
But death was very close for Esquivel… only a moment or two away.
Now that the censors have lifted the cloud of secrecy his story can be told. And he told it in a letter to his brother, E. M. Esquivel of 7331 Ave. K.
“Now hear this, Liberty Call, Liberty Call! Liberty commences at 1600 for sections 2 & 3…”
This was the most welcome sound to come over the 1MC.
It was January 1969, San Diego, California. I’ve just been paid, $45.50 in cash. It’s Friday night and I have the weekend off. I’ve just spent my first week on the ship in the bilge, in Main Control, chipping paint. The recruiter never told me about this. What’s a sailor to do? Since this $45.50 has to last 15 days, I head to the Mess Deck and fill up on some of that good old Navy chow. Cup of Joe, Mystery Meat, Reconstituted Milk, Powdered Eggs and Bug Juice! Ah, the memories.
Now I have my belly full, I hit the rain locker for a shower, and get into my standard issue wool dress blues. Two red stripes and one military service ribbon. Those old salts in their gabardines sure look good. I think I’ll get a set of those when we get to Hong Kong and maybe a tattoo as well. I gather my forty-five bucks, my Liberty Card and head topside to catch the water taxi to the beach for a night of walking up and down Broadway. That’s all there was to do. No money, no car, 18 years old, and not old enough to bar hop either; Just walk up and down Broadway. And man was that weird.
Many thanks and my greatest appreciation to Peter A. Pizzi (4th Division, 1961-1964) who let me borrow the 1962 Cruise Book. The 1962 Cruise Book is now shown in the web site. Many thanks also, and my greatest appreciation as well to Stephen R. Dall (Mike Division, 1968-1969) for letting me borrow the 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969 Cruise Books, which are now displayed on the web site. I am very thankful to Mrs. Joan Irwin, wife of the late Commander Kay Irwin, who loaned me the 1960 Cruise Book.
I will never forget the first time we had liberty call in Yokosuka, Japan. My friend Leo and I went ashore to check the place out.
After spending some time in the Cabaret Black Rose and had a couple of cool ones we started getting hungry and decided to get something to eat. Suddenly, we remember we were in another country faraway from our hometowns. There was no way we were going to be able to order “Tacos,” “Enchiladas,” much less “Chile Rellenos” with beans. Leo said not to worry, he knew how and what to order. Once we found a restaurant, we thought we liked, we went in and sat down. A Japanese waiter quickly presented us with a menu. I for one did not know what to do with it. Everything was in Japanese. I asked my friend Leo what he was going to order. I figured he knew because he kept on looking at the menu like as if he was reading it. Soon a Japanese waiter showed up, Leo told him to get us some Saki, and he pointed to some plate on the menu. I sat there and took in the scenery.
He met my Mom when he was stationed in Long Beach, California at what was then called “The Pike.” My father loved to travel and especially the Navy.
My most happy moments were when he took us to see the ships in the harbor. In particular, it was a special moment when he took us to the open house the USS SAINT PAUL had when it was in Long Beach, California during the 1960’s.