What more could a Sheila ask

What more could a Sheila ask

Here we have the young gentleman looking very sharp, and clean. Alas this was seldom the case for the front line chaps, especially during the autumn and winter months. The usual course of events saw a unit in the line for two months, those in the line companies did their ablutions with a tin of melted snow. A very basic wash and shave was the order of the day. RARELY, a platoon would be taken back to a shower unit, set up beside a water supply such as a running river.

Sox and underpants would be changed for clean ones now and then, basically we smelled so bad we all became totally immune to the pong. You could say the soldiers in the line made do with a drop of warm water each day, made from the snow. Clean and purified drinking water was too precious to waste on the outer body. The secret was to change the inner pair of your three sox as often as possible, in other words you rotated them on your feet.

The reason for this had a lot to do with frostbite, the inner pair being sweaty could freeze up at night, and if you were immobile then frostbite often followed along. You learnt these tricks the hard way.

Summer and spring were very different, not that we had any more water when in the line, but if there was a supply of water close at hand, at least we could wash with it if not drink it. Clothes were tubbed more often during those seasons, in fact the wet season usually saw us wet on a full time basis. At least it wasn't cold, though it was pretty miserable after a few days. As can be seen in a number of photos on this site, the dress regulations in the line were very casual. Naturally the further up the chain one went, the more fancy the attire worn. Back at BHQ it was the normal practise to wear badges of rank, something seldom done in the line, except by the stupid.

Usually when the troops were sent back to Tokyo for a drop of R & R, their clothes were exchanged for a full clean set. The daggy items were then burnt, those with a bit of life left in them were laundered and recycled. No wonder I only saw nurses visit the line positions once, in two years.


                 SEARCH SITE                  
     Principal Infantry Weapons     
                   Guest Book                   

     The Korean War, 1950-1953        
  Map and Battles of the MLR   
        Korean War Time Line        


© Once We Went To Korea ©