By Margaret Downing

COURTESY PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
Howard is pictured, along with daughter Diane, U.S. servicemen and officers, along with South Korean officers recently when honored in South Korea.


As a 17- year old farm boy from Lafayette County, Wisconsin, Howard Ballard enlisted in the Army when his father, Aire Ballard, died in 1947.

Being in the Army was a different world for Ballard, who had grown up in a family of three girls and seven boys on a farm. His mother, Hilda Lofgren Ballard, was Swedish and his father, Aire, had a grandfather who fought in the American Civil War.

Howard was sent to Korea early on where, one of his duties, he recalls, was training 12 South Korean soldiers as artillery officers.

He explained, “I left South Korea in 1949 for Hawaii, where I was stationed for a year before heading home to be discharged at Fort Lewis, Washington but ended up being sent back overseas in 1950 with the Second Infantry Division as a platoon leader to a bunch of kids. We left in July of 1950, landing at Pusan and arrived there at the beginning of August.”

Ballard was in Korea until September of 1951 when he returned to the States, leaving the service in 1952.

He recently recalled arriving in 1950 in South Korea at Pusan in the nighttime, accompanied by the Army’s 1st Cavalry, and the 1st Marine Division with air support from the 82nd Airborne. He notes, “The North Koreans were about 20 miles up the road from us.”

Ballard served in the position of platoon leader for about six months until he was “busted by a lieutenant for not having any dog tags. So, I volunteered to be a forward observer for mortars. I remember marching all day and recall a Chinese officer shooting at us with an M-1.”

Ballard has retained many memories of his Army days, although some of it is a bit disjointed by now.

As a forward observer he remembers being under direct mortar fire at Pyongyang. “We had no winter uniforms and thought we would be home by Christmas 1950.”

During the Chosin Reservoir/Task Force MacLean and Task Force Faith disaster in late November/early December 1950, Ballard was with the 23rd Infantry regiment at Chosin. “We pushed all the way to the Yalu River and watched as Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) crossed. We had Turkish soldiers there also and there was hand-to-hand fighting. Our planes were ready to drop…

For complete article, pick up the July 18 BDR.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.