51st Sig Bn

WELCOME FELLOW VETERANS!





Korean Veterans dot org

Purpose of the website is to provide help those that served in Korea during the "Cold War Era" or what has become known as "2nd Korean War" among other titles, as well at those that served there during other times. We attempt to provide information and help for any looking, including finding others that served, information as to what took place, where it happened and documents or other media that would be of interest to them, regardless of where they were in Korea or when they served. The site changes frequently, so check back often.
UPDATED - March 22, 2016


Recent Website Changes

We have now added an additional feature to the website. We have listed those that have contacted us, or us contacted them for the benefit of all those 51st Sig Veterans to know they are still around. Those that we have been in contact with are listed HERE. We believe that all have been included but if you have contacted us and your name is not on there, please contact us so that you may be included. If you are a first time visitor here, Thank You for visiting and please take a moment to let us know something about you by clicking HERE and send us an email. Browse through our 51st Signal Battalion site and enjoy! If you have something that you can add, please contact us.



Newest 51st Vets Found and Site Additions!

Another NEW YEARBOOK! Thanks to Juan Valdivia we now have another yearbook for all to enjoy. He provided the yearbook for D Company 1968 and it has been added to our gallery. That brings the total yearbooks to 19. A great collection of memories for all to review and each addition, whether yearbooks, photos or memorabilia. When you just can't remember something because of the amount of time that has passed, these additions and the possible ability to connect with others that were there are invaluable to us veterans that served in Korea. We are always looking for additions to the site so contact us so that we can include what you have as well.

A new yearbook has appeared thanks to another new contact, Larry King, B Company 1968-1969. Had a few nice phone conversations with him after he contacted us wanting to know how he can share his yearbook on the site too since it was not already there.

Recently had contact with two more that served with 51st, John Socki, William (Dick) Garris and Greg Maliska. All were in Hq Co and one in A Co as well during their time there.

Spent a couple days exchanging email with James M. Sterling -Jim who was with the 51st from April 69 to May 70. He worked in the intellegence section (S2/3) and replaced SFC Bennett when he came. Slowly but surely we are adding to those that have been contacted and sharing the memories of our service years.

Another located Juan Valdivia, 1966-1968, D Co Camp-Thor Echo, near the 51st base camp. Had a nice long talk with him on Veterans Day and look to be hearing more from him. If you knew him or served with him, let us know and we will try to get you in touch with old friends from the past. He is going to try to locate his year book and pictures to see about getting them to us for inclusion in our website.

We've just recieved another email and phone contact with a 51st Signal Veteran, Jimmy Kelly who was assigned to D Company in 1967 and 1968. He has sent pictures and slides for inclusion to our gallery, thank you. He is interested in contacting any who he knew or served with while there including Powell and Richard Wagers(pictures provided). Look at the pictures and if you remember him or served with him, please contact us and we can provide information to him for contacting. Gallery

Another recent 51st Vet we have spoken with is Dann Juse, who was at 51st for over 2 consecutive tours and remembers well a number of people he served with while there and many events as well. While there he was a driver assigned to Bn Hq and also ran the generator shop. He remembers also one Korean National named Yo Tong Yu who was over the other Koreans that worked there.



Small Community Veteran Support

This veterans day I was invited and visited a small rural cemetary that was having a small dedication to the veterans that are or will be choosing this cemetary as their last resting place. Very often outlying cemeteries simply do not have funds or support to establish such memorials to our Veterans, but this small group of people on the board of this cemetary made it happen! It is a very nice memorial, in a country area not near some big metropolitan city, visited by few except those near and with relatives entombed there, but they saw the significance of putting a memorial up for those Veterans that served! Every year on significant days, such as Veterans Day and the 4th of July, a couple of those on the board and others visit the cemetary to place flags on all those Veterans located there, from the Revolutionary War period to current date. Visited by few in numbers compared to large city or corporate owned cemeteries, they feel ALL veterans deserve recognition, even those out in these rural areas. So, upon entering this country cemetary this is what you are now presented with:

Memorial
Memorial2
Memorial Board Members
Some Cemetary Board Members that made this happen, including one Purple Heart recipient and Mr. Everette who took charge to see that it was done and completed within the allowed budget.



Another 51st Vet Passed

Email received from Joan Laufnick

"It is with great sadness, that I must tell you of the death of my husband, Joe Laufnick, on September 10, 2015, due to his liver failing from non-alcholic liver cirrhosis, caused by type II Diabetes. His appeals case for herbicide exposure is still open. He fought for our country, I will fight on for him."
HERE

We received notice from the daughter of Sp5 Saburo Tanisaka that he has passed as a result of a battle with cancer on January 31, 2015. We have added him to our growing list of those that we are aware of that are no longer with us HERE

We pass our sympathies on to his family and friends. Sorry to hear another Vet that served with us at the 51st Signal Battalion in Korea has gone.

Also, it has been reported to us by Jim Morganegg (51st Sig Vet) that another Veteran has passed. SP5 Don E. Bright, 1968-69 Company C, 51st Signal Battalion. You can see the published obit HERE.



More Veteran Victories With The VA!


After filing a FDC (fully developed claim), which the VA targets to be decided in a 5 month period, a 51st Signal veteran who was in Korea in 1968 got at least a partial decision back - 12 months later. With documents submitted on filing the claim (VA records, private medical records, military records and several statements in support and numerous documents), the VA admitted exposure to agent orange to the veteran and proceeded with C&P exams for Ischemic Heart Disease and Diebetes II and postponed decisions on other claims. The results of that was 100% disability for the heart disease and 20% for the diabetes, BUT it is not over for him.

Because of the change in law, the heart condition claim was backed up 1 year before the date of filing of a claim. So his backpay for the heart condition was for 2 years while diabetes backpay was for 1 year.

Also, I recently also got word from one of the 51st Signal Veterans that he had won his appeal a few days ago relating to Agent Orange exposure while serving in Korea. It was a lengthy process, but in the end, they conceeded his exposure and his claim was approved!

The support and information provided to him through some contacts here seemed to make a difference in supporting his claim from what he told me. And he thanks everyone for their help and support. Without this site and those like it, many 51st Veterans would be without the resources, information and help needed to prove what we did or what happened while in Korea so many years ago.

He encourages all who have or need to file claims related to their service with the 51st Signal Battalion do so, do not give up, keep going until you get your entitlement. Same thing that several of us has been telling everyone. It's not an easy claim like "boots on the ground" Vietnam Vets have, but you CAN WIN. Your just have to do your part and not rely on the VA or even your rep to find the things you need. They don't know who your buddys were when you were there and they certainly will not find many of the documents and papers that you need to prove and support your claim. Do what you need to do, do not exagerate, tie everything together without contradicting information and PROCEED. It's your entitlement not a handout.



Several Have Said They Would Send Pictures But Haven't As Yet

Some of you have said you would send us pictures and things to include in the site, but seem to have forgotten about it. PLEASE take some time to look for what you have so that we may continue to add to the site. So many enjoy going through those old pictures from the past and remembering some of those that are in them or the places that so many saw while there. Let's keep adding to it, look for things that would be of interest to those that were there and contact us about including them in the site.



Check out our growing 51st Signal Battalion Korea Roster!

View it HERE and watch it grow!

The information for many of those listed came from yearbooks, company and battalion orders, morning reports and other documents obtained. But others listed are those that have contacted us. If you were a member of the 51st Signal Battalion in Korea please contact us and send us your information



After Looking For Vets From The 51st And Finding Many Of Them No Longer With Us


I thought some discussion relating to benefits and entitlements for those Veterans and their families are in order. Sometimes these entitlements can lead to more than $2000 and can make a big difference to those left to deal with a Veterans death and can provide those departed Veterans with their just recognition as well.

THESE ENTITLEMENTS CAN BE AVAILABLE ALSO TO THOSE VETERANS WITH A VA CLAIM THAT HAS NOT BEEN DECIDED OR IS ON APPEAL AT THE TIME OF DEATH AS WELL!

" the Veteran had an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior to the date of death"

Read more HERE



Those 51st Signal Veterans That Has Left Us


We have now included list of those Veterans that have passed on that we are aware of and the obit information when it is available to us. Although they are gone, they are not forgotten and remembered fondly by those that served with them.

Those of you that knew or served with him in the 51st or any other units, feel free to contact and offer condolences through the site mentioned in the obituary. You can view this information by clicking on the link at the top right hand side of this page or by clicking the following link.

HERE



New on Our Website


A big plus for finding information on our website! Our website search feature now include searches of not only the text within the website such as names, but also will search the "PDF" files that we have on the website. That means that many of the documents and forms that are on the website is now indexed so that they can be searched. Take advantage of the new search features to look through our site, hopefully this improvement will enable you to better enjoy and find what you need or are looking for.

New update - ANOTHER THREE YEARBOOKs! The latest yearbook is from Richard Branscum (there Nov 1966 - Mar 1968), Company B, 1967. A 1970 yearbook was provided by Ed Houle, Company C, service from July 1970 to August 1971. The other one is from Joe Laufnick, Company A, 1970/71 and is now done and online. Thanks to each of you for sharing with us! Check back often to see new additions!

NEW UPDATE ON THE ROSTER! Now hundreds of new names added from the yearbooks. Not all have been included from the yearbooks yet but the rest should be done before long. Check them out and view the roster from the link at the top right corner of this page.

Another Veteran found, WO Columbus H. Mize Jr. "John". Was just able to speak with him on the phone and enjoyed the conversation. Glad to add another to the list of "Found 51st Signal Battalion Veterans!

I am going to start a new section as I get some time to list those that are no longer with us and their obits as they are available, but for now I will include them here as I am made aware of them.



A Few Emails Received


Thought I'd post a few emails of information we have received

Joseph (Joe) Laufnick
I was in the 51st Sig Bn, A Co. from Sept 1970 to Aug 1971. When I was discharged, I had the rank of E 5.

Greg Berleue
What a great web site, thank you your efforts and the efforts of all those who have provided so much information it is so greatly appreciated. I was assigned to B Co. from Dec 1970-Feb 1972. I worked at a couple different remote sites, mostly with the ROK Army. We operated and trained ROKs how to use the Tec7 (?) and TRC 24 equip. Then turn the site over to them. We would then jump to another site where equip. was brought in and it would start all over again, set up, train and turn over the reins. I was assigned to Okinawa from Mar 72 - May of 73, then back to Korea till May 75. I worked at hill 412, 468 and 754. Myself and another fellow by the name of James Jim Nipper installed the fly swatters on the edge of the hill at 468 overlooking CRC and the Uijongbu area, we then constructed the 2x4 frame work to house several stacks of ANGRC 50, TD352s TD206 gear configured as a terminal. We then set up and hardwired the frame with 26 pair that ran to the dial exchange on CRC. The set up at 468 was like the hub of a communications wheel for most all outsites within the 51st Sig Bn area of coverage. Jim was easy going and fun to hang out with, I learned a lot from him. If your out there and tuned in Jim - just want to say howdy from Virginia.
As Bob Hope said on the "Z" Thanks for the memories. take care and God bless.

Holly Brown
Granddaughter of SGM Wilfred Dare
(after my responding back to her to ensure her that it was her "Papa" that we served with in Korea)

Howdy!
Did you feel the world move?? That was me jumping for joy that we are talking about the same person!!! Yay! That is my Papa!
My Papa saw me when I was baby but I have no memory of him... He asked to see me but he died before I arrive...I was only 7 years old. I have always felt a strong connection to my Papa. I travel as often as I can to his grave, in Augusta, Ga.
I will email you again soon to set up a time call. This made my day and my Dad's! My Dad is my Papa's son and he lives with me. It put a smile on his face!
Take care,
Holly

Good evening! I just got back from Indiana. While was there I found my Papa's copy of the year book that you sent me. I also spoke with my Grammy, my Papa's wife while he was in the Army.

Thomas Miller
my name is Thomas Miller and I was stationed in Korea from June '68 to June '69 at B Co 51st Sig Bn

Robert Williams Sgt
I was in Company A with Lt. Upton 1965-66

Frank J. Panetto
Hi, I was at 51st Signal Korea in 1969

And even a few vets that were there with other units, which of course are always welcome!

Michael R. Wood
Radio operator for I Corp (GP) stationed at Camp St. Barbara in 1968 and 1969. Was on some of the remote sites that were operated by 51st Signal Battalion at times. Remembers even having chow trucked in while on assignments there.

Albert E. Slade
Was in Korea from February 1956 to June 1957 and served in B Battery, 49th Field Artillery Battalion, attached to the 7th Division.

Recent Contacts


ANOTHER 51st Signal Veteran FOUND!

Before long we are going to put up pages relating to those that contact us as new contacts. Keep checking back with us to see current updates.

Most recent 51st veteran located is Al Coppock who served in Co A. His wife Lynn happened upon our site while talking about Veterans Day with their grandchildren and their "papa". According to her, she was really surprised to see some names she knew and was familar with. One at a time we keep finding those that area still left and familiar memories of them keep coming back!

Also, we now have a few others to report on. One being Command Sargent Major (CSM) Roger Babbie (retired). Roger Babbie was the Battalion top enlisted man serving with Lt Col Eddington at Battalion Headquarters during 1968 and 1969.

Beside recent contact with Gary Lundholm (C Company 1968-1969) we also received an email from another veteran, Kenneth Copp sent an email regarding his service there - "I was a photographer assigned to HQ company, in the 51st in UIjongbu, Korea from Oct 1955 to Jan 1957. During the last 9-10 months I was the manager of Debbie's Hideaway." Thanks Kenneth for the contact. Charles Anderson, who served with 51st during 1955 asked about more that served before many of us and hopefully more are still around from both his time and later that will contact us so that some of these "early birds" can reconnect and share stories, photos and memorabilia with all of us!

We have located and been in contact with another veteran from 51st Sig Bn. The latest one is Coy Whit. Coy was in B Company on two different tours, one covering part of 69. Along with him Thomas Miller has been in contact with us recently and was at B Company during 1968 and 1969. We have made contact again with LTC Phil Cuny (Retired) and one of our members had a nice conversation with him about old times, the life and times in Korea and general chatting. Also, just today I was able to locate and contact one of the company commanders during 67 and 68. Then Lt. Courtenay P. O'Connell, now retired LTC O'Connell. Needless to say we had a very pleasant conversation and memories of times past and people were refreshed. He was company commander at Hq Company and also was assigned to A Company when Lt Boyce Morrow was company commander there. Great talking with him!



Korean Veterans Get Together After 45 Years!


Article Published In Fountain Valley News - Colorado

This is an article that was written and submitted to the local newspaper where the get-together took place. To go directly to the newspaper article, click HERE.

(Clicking on article below and enlarging it may make it easier to read - click your back button to return) Article.

Get Your Korean Defense Service Medal!


Thanks Gary Lundholm (C Company, 51st Signal Battalion) for reminding us to get this included on our website.

Many of the Korean Veterans that served with us are unaware that they may be entitled to additional medals and certificates that have never been awarded and do not reflect on official military records. One such medal that was authorized after many of us left the service is the Korean Defense Service Medal. To find out how to get yours click HERE.



Updates Coming Soon!


Updates to our Roster, additional Morning Reports and more coming soon!

Sorry to have been a while in getting some more included for our website, I have a good excuse, but that doesn't matter really. Now I can get back onto getting some of the updates and additions that have been delayed in getting to you on the website. I now have some more morning reports to scan, scrub names from and get added to the roster and gallery area. I also have some new pictures sent by some to be included in the gallery area that others have given for us to view.

Also, a few of the Veterans recently had a small gathering in Colorado Springs, CO and perhaps some will be shared on that as well shortly.



VETERAN'S CORNER


New addition to the website!

After the success of the first article and the comments and feedback we are getting, we got another one that we are including for your enjoyment and it is now included. Check the "VETERAN'S CORNER" ON THE RIGHT TO GO TO THEM. Be sure to check back frequently to see new additions to this area.

We haven't yet added some names into the roster area from some yearbooks and copies of orders that have been sent to us, BUT that is coming soon. So check back often to see updates as they are posted



VISIT OUR GALLERY!


Latest addition to our yearbooks from Korea!

Thanks to William ( Bill ) Viviano! We now have another yearbook available in our Galley area to share with those from the 51st Signal Battalion, I Corps (Group) Korea - that being one from Company A - 1970. Bill sent along with it for sharing many slides which I have converted digitally and put in an album in the gallery under his name. I am still working on what he has sent and his gallery will have more added to it as I get them ready and uploaded. There is also some "memorabilia" type things that I will scan and add in there as well, so check back to see what else has been added.

Here is the link to his provided yearbook Company A 1970

Here is the link to his photo album as well Bill Viviano. There are several directories in there and they each contain a number of photos. Enjoy them.

I am still working on the names from the yearbooks provided by Kevin Upton (LTC Retired), Robert (Bob) Baker and Pete Powell to get their names included in the 51st Signal Roster Listing area, but will try to get that done before long.

If anyone else has more yearbooks or thing to be shared with other Korea Veterans, be sure to contact us by using the Email Us link on this page.



Finally located!



For some time several of us have been trying to locate exactly where a tomb site was. A number of us had been there and even had pictures taken when we were there, but the exact geographic location eluded us. Well now, thanks in a great part to Denis Onieal for his efforts, WE NOW KNOW THE EXACT LOCATION. A google map of the area pinpoints it for us. To see the map you can click HERE. (Click your browser back button to return here)

The area just by it was known as Jackson Main and many of the 51st Signal went there for some of the field exercises while stationed in Korea. We will provide more information on this later.



Looking For A Vet?


Latest 51st Vet Contact - Lt. Kevin M. Upton!

Lt. Upton served some 18 months at the 51st Signal Battalion and left there in July 1967. His picture while there is in the C Company yearbook for 1967 located in our gallery. During his time there he was a platoon leader in A Company and went from there to C Company as the XO later becoming the CO of C Company. We enjoyed making this contact and getting more information from him and some names of others that were there during and after his service there. After leaving Korea, he continued his military career and retired as Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Upton after many years of service.

Another recent Vet found was SSGT Junior Crutcher. Thanks to the effort of Gary Blauvelt, he located and spoke with SSgt Crutcher of the 51st Signal Battalion, Co A. 1968 and 1969.

Because so many veterans are not able to be found, we decided to put in a simple area where veterans names and other known information about them can be included. Often they are no longer among those that are still around, but they may be and just not able to be located.

The veterans listed in this section has someone that another wants to find or find out information relating to them. Go to this area and see if you know someone that is on that list please. If you know of any information relating to them, either past or present - PLEASE - notify us so that we may provide that information to the person trying to locate them or information about them. You can contact us by clicking on the "Email Us" on this or any page of the site. Here

Help us find other 51st Signal veterans! If you know of someone or if you are a 51st Signal Vet of the cold war era, contact us and let us know who you are, where you are and how you are doing. Many of us remember fondly those we served with but after so many years have no way to get in touch with them and say HI.



Wonder What 51st Signal Looks Like Now?

There are some pictures just taken by 51st Sig Veteran Denis Oneial that just returned from a trip to Korea. You can view them in our gallery, a direct link by clicking HERE



Why Vets Love The VA Medical Facilities and Claims Process

Now we will tell of one persons recent VA Medical procedures where his claim and treatment was involved. It should be noted that in the last five weeks, he has had seven appointments, some he saw doctors, some he did not. He has to travel about 100 miles round trip just to get to these appointment so you can imagine the expense, time involved, not to mention the waiting time while at the facility.

Just this past week he was scheduled to go in for a psychological evaluation. Because of his wife's health issues he made sure that the appointment would not conflict with a surgery that she was to have performed that coming Thursday.

Read about his experience HERE



Regardless Of His Claims, The True Political Support Of Veterans Is Shown By This Politician, Bill Long of Missouri!

It is so pathetic, the chest beating and rhetoric of elected politicians that commonly follows the plight of veterans when they contact their representatives for help, assistance or information. There are many, many things wrong with the handling of our veterans, both those recently being in service and those that were in service many years before. While it is said great strides are being made to make it much easier, if grades were given, it would still be a failing grade. Recent veterans are given preferential treatment, but we should take a moment and use your imagination to look at how difficult it is for those that served years ago. It is almost impossible for those veterans to now get entitlement to those benefits they earned from their service.

So many older veterans are caught up in a system that is, has been, and will continue to be so backlogged that older veterans will essentially be dead before their claims are resolved. They are forced to have to deal with incompetent claims reviewers. Most of these incompetent claims reviewers lack knowledge of the workings of the military during the time period of these older veterans, thus they just can't relate to the circumstances and duties performed by the veterans of those times. Errors rates are still at unacceptable levels and claims are often denied and often the vet just gives up rather than appeal and continue to get their entitled benefits.

Click the link below to follow this topic.

A legislative response to a war time veteran seeking support from his representative



Difficulties Obtaining Records? Read This!

We thought it would appropriate to put on the website one veterans experience that relates to obtaining records from various sources. The report covers considerable years with his attempts. A period of time of about 12 years and although there are gaps of time between the attempts, the reason for the gaps are explained. It also gives some opinions about the experience along the way of the veteran giving a good idea of what he went through and what other veterans may have or be experiencing when they too attempt to get records to support claims or for other reasons. In it are listed the names of those the contacted, who they were associated with and the results of each of the contact.

Hopefully others do not have the problems that he did and perhaps reading this can help prevent some problems or point out how inefficient the system is for the veteran in obtaining records that may support a claim. It is long but may be worth the read.

This Veterans Records Quest



Forgotten Veterans - recognition still not received

Those that were there remember about their service, those that came before and after never knew the full story - and still don't. It's beginning to look more and more like they never will. There were few news stories simply because of concerted efforts to prevent it. Social and political times just couldn't deal with "a second war front" or the threat of it in Asia. Those that came back didn't want to talk about it and those that did found their experiences fell on deaf ears, and still do for the most part.

Here you can get an idea of just a very few the happenings that I have found that give only an inkling of what transpired on a daily basis to those that were there. There are MANY, MANY more, undocumented, unreported and untold.

THE QUIET VICTORY
Scenes From an Unfinished War
Three Quarter Ton Truck Attacked
Korea Herald 1-25-68-a
Korea Herald 1-25-68-b
Stars and Strips 19Oct67 Body Recovery

Incidents like the Body Recover would have been excluded in the figures of deaths by combat because it could have been listed as "accidental" rather that combat related because of the cause of death determination. There are figures out now that, while most likely still does not include all, give figures that are substantially higher by as much a three times what the official reports claimed. Very often government just didn't want information to be known and often information was released or reported with "spin" on it.



NEW! We are now including some forms that may be useful to our Veterans!

Go to the forms section HERE and you can see the forms we offer on our website for the convenience, education and information for ALL veterans, not just our Korean Veterans.



We have been made aware that a number of veterans have errors on their records!

Or they need or want to change something related and are entitled to changes. Also included now in the site are some of the forms and instructions relating to those issues. They are not intended just for Korean Veterans, but for ALL veterans who may need information relating to these issues. The forms and information relating to this are at the bottom of our forms page.


View it HERE to see if the information and forms there for help, guides and information. Go to the bottom of the page and look under Correction or Change of Military Records





About This Site


After doing much internet searching relating to Korean Veterans and more specifically the 51st Signal Battalion, we found that there is little available during the time period of many veterans they were searching for, that of the late 60's and early 70's. It seems to have been almost left out of history entirely. What we did there to this day goes unrecognized and lost with much of the government documents destroyed over time or was never recorded to begin with. What is available is outdated or hard to sift through to gather information and with a great deal of misinformation.

We believe many units are in this position, so this site is decided to all those that served in Korea during that period of time. We will not exclude ANY veteran and welcome their comments and participation regardless of when they served or where they served. All veterans deserve the respect and gratitude of the nation, the people within it as well as those in the countries that we sought to defend and protect.


The site is now fully functional

Special thanks to Gary Blauvelt, Gerald Hinde, James White, Bill Hammond, Phil Diamon and many others for providing many of the documents and albums and support that are shared here. We now have 17 year books and counting located in our gallery! Send us yours if it is different so we can include and share it with others.

Thank You!

from 51st Signal Battalion Korean Veterans

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