MY DOG TAGS WAS NOT ONLY MEANS OF ID, BUT WERE ALSO USED BY ME AS A UTENSIL.. IN ORDER TO OPEN A C-RATION CAN IT WAS NECESSARY TO USE THE G.I. CHURCH KEY (CAN OPENER) WHICH WAS ON MY DOG TAG CHAIN. AS THE TAGS WERE ALL READY OUT OF MY SHIRT, I USED A TAG AS A SPOON TO SCOOP OUT THE COLD BEANS, PORK PATTIES, ETC, ETC.
TODAY MY TAGS & KEY HANG ALONG SIDE MY MEDALS AND THEY STILL CONTAIN THE DIRT, GRIME AND FOOD PARTICLES AND WHEN ASKED WHY HAVEN I CLEANED THEM. I JUST ANSWER "IT'S A
REMINDER, THAT'S HOW AN INFANTRYMAN LIVED ON THE LINE"
YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO USE THIS STORY OR PARTS OF IT FOR YOUR BOOK
PROUD KOREAN WAR VETERAN
ANDREW E. BAYLEY
54 WEST 12 STREET
DEER PARK , N.Y. 11729
My dog tag story is brief. I wore the two tags around
my neck. They said I was "a catholic, had A- blood type and my
service number was RA 19875883."
I threw my Honorable Discharge and my dog tags away when I went to
Dewey Canyon III, the VVAW antiwar event, Washington DC in 1971. I
was never issued the three medals awarded to me at the end of my
service, with them not coming to me until recently, almost 40 years
I am proud of my membership in my squad (1st), Bravo Company, 1/23rd
Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. I served 13 months north
of the Imjin River and walked patrols, night ambush and OP duty in
the Korean DMZ. My regiment lost 11 soldiers during my 13 month tour.
I returned my Discharge Papers and my dog tags in 1971 to show my
solidarity with my comrades in VVAW and opposition to the war in
Memorial and Casualty Files
"Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic." -- General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868
I was stationed north of Seoul living in a tent in the middle of a stinking rice paddy fertilized with night soil. This was in 1952 or 1953. We had a new second lieutenant, the youngest graduate ever of West Point and he was an arrogant SOB. One night when he was Captain of the Guard a woman from the nearby village came to the company gate and claimed that a GI had beat her up in her "comfort house" and she wanted to file charges against him. LT. A.S. told her to go away. She, in turn, called him 'less than a man' and many other such terms. His manhood was challenged so he thereupon called a full company inspection, at 3 a.m. so this whore could inspect the troops and identify the one who aaulted her. Everyone was roused out of sleep to stand inspection. The woman, with Lt. A.S. at her side walked up and down the line of soldiers standing at attention. She failed to identify the soldier who committed the assault, probably for fear of her life. We were all allowed to go back to bed after what became known as "the whore inspection."
Not many weeks later my house boy said he had something for me. It was Lt. A.S.'s dog tags. I asked him where he got them and he said that the woman who filed the complaint at the gate and inspected the troops at 3 a.m. took them from the Lt. when he visited her bed and now she wanted us to decide how we wanted to return them to the Lt. The guys in my tent discussed the matter and we decided to secure the dog tags around the neck of our company dog. Finally the company commander learned that the dog had Lt. A.S.'s dog tags and called the Lt. in to enquire if he had his dog tags and wanted to know how they got on the company dog. How he explained his way out of that matter we never knew but the entire company, and probably the C.O. finally knew the true story.