In 1955 I requested that my draft board push my number up so as to avoid the uncertainty as to when I would be drafted. The Korean War had officially ended in January 1955 and I entered the service in June 1955.
After eight weeks of basic training, I was assigned to the 1st Loudspeaker & Leaflet Battalion in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This was part of the Psychological Warfare unit attached to Special Forces and consisted of GI's with broadcasting and with printing backgrounds. After a few months I was transferred to the PsyWar printing unit in Japan. This was located in Omiya, a small town about 45 minutes north of Tokyo. We were basically a printing outfit and worked an eight hour shift printing simulated bomb leaflets, calendars and various other material. I was a pressman on a small Web Press called a Green Hornet which printed 10 x 16 sheets slit to 8 x 10 for placing into bombs. The Green Hornet was made by ATF specifically for the Army in this trim size. A commercial version was also available to the trade at a slightly different cutoff. The press was installed in a trailer, an eighteen wheeler and was of course mobile. There was a companion trailer that contained the camera and typesetting equipment. At one point, we went on a field trip to Mt. Fuji, though the roads could hardly accommodate the trailers and we kept clipping off pieces of houses. It was pretty good duty in Camp Omiya as we were the only troops on base and being printers didn't have to deal with much military procedure.
Top and top right are pictures of me at the unit sign and working on the Green Hornet in one of the trailers. At center right is a picture of the Administration Building upon entering Camp Omiya. At bottom right is a picture of the Nichigeki Music Hall in downtown Tokyo. This round building contained a burlesque theater, a movie theatre and a coffee shop/bar called the Albion where they played loud rock and roll. The movies were American with Japanese subtitles running vertically on the right. Instead of popcorn they sold squid which looked like white powdered shoelaces. Girls used to walk up the aisles offering these delicacies. I remember between shows they would flash on the screen in huge type words that said "NO SMORKING" which always brought a chuckle.
On top is a picture of the Kabuki Theatre.
The center photo is a picture of the Tokyo PX where I used to buy Noritake China, service for 12 for just $57.00. Can you believe it? I'd send it home to family and friends.
Bottom photo is the bridge to the Imperial Palace with the Palace in the background.
All photos were taken with a Kodak Retina IIIC.