Thursday, October 20, 2016

James Smith

Born 1932 near Swea City, Iowa
U.S. Air Force Korean War Veteran

James Smith had just turned 21 years-old when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was sent to Korea on a 9 month tour of duty right after completing tech school training.

Smith was stationed at the military's Seoul City Air Base as part of the Airways and Air Communications Squadron where he worked ordering radar and radio equipment parts plus supplies for his outfit.

Every night, just after dark, a North Korean plane would fly over our base,” Smith remembered with a smile. “He'd fly over and then disappear with out dropping a bomb or firing a shot. We had to get into the foxholes for cover in case he had some idiot idea to drop something on us.” Smith said the nightly flyovers went on for a couple months before the “visits” just stopped.

After his discharge, Smith came back home, worked for a trucking business, and was on the Owatonna, Minnesota police department before settling back in Swea City, Iowa to farm. Health problems forced him to hang up the plow for good.

Story and Image © 2016 Joseph Kreiss Photography