Herbert Kumeo "Koba (to childhood friends)" Kobayashi

Gender Male
Birth date 1931-12-30
Place of birth Honolulu HI, U.S.A.
Inducted 1949-7-1, Honolulu HI
Enlistment type Volunteer
Service branch Army
Service type War,peacetime
Unit type Combat,sup
Units served 25th Signal Co., 25th Inf. Div. (Korea 1950-51); Primary Sta. Relay Unit, Helemano, Oahu, HI (1952)
Military specialty High-speed radio operator (Morse code and teletype relay)
Stationed USA - Fort Ord, CA (1949), Ft. Monmouth, NJ (1949-50); Korea (1950-51); Hawaii (1952)
Separated Schofield Barracks, Oahu HI
Unit responsibility 25th Signal Co.: Radio communication between division level and forward units, and between army division units when needed.
Personal responsibility Team chief and radio operator for mobile radio team (Morse code and voice) assigned to 25th Recon. Co. , all RCT's and the Turkish Brigade (the last attached to our div.).
Major battles (if served in a war zone) All battles of I-Corps unit (West sector of Korean Peninsula) from Sept '50 to Nov. '51.
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Six battle stars for Sept '50 to Nov. '51 battles; medals are the visual ones for participating in war (awarded several months retroactive combat pay); Meritorious Unit Citation for 25th Signal Co. for maintaining communications during Chinese offensive. (Meritorious Unit Citation is the support unit's equivalent to the line unit's Distinguished Unit Citation)
Living conditions When with forward units - always maintained 24 hour radio contact with rest of division, sometimes with only two operators (including myself). C-rations (cans) only, slept in vehicle on move or pup tent (when) stationary and no baths, of course. When back at 25th Sig. Co. (only 10% of total time in Korea) slept in squad tent, had hot meals using own mess kit, had luxury of cold shower and sometimes movie entertainment. Had one 5-day R&R in Tokyo and visited brother-in-law's folks in Yokohama.
Most vivid memory of military experience War experience totally changed my attitude about the future, otherwise I would have had a wasted life. Showed me how precious it was to have survived just by happenstance, when others in the same circumstances died, or were maimed. I was the only AJA from Hawaii in my unit along with another from Seattle. Experienced no discrimination whatsoever because of my race. This was not true of the whole black 24th RCT (was with them twice) of our division.
Missed most whilst in the military Relatives and friends (especially girl friends) back in Hawaii. Korea (war or no war) was a stark contrast to Hawaii.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? (See Vivid Memory section) - Also very important was the Korean G.I. bill, a consequence of the war, which enabled me to go to college (couldn't have done it otherwise). A B.S. in engineering motivated me to go on to an MA and a PhD, and two very satisfactory careers in engineering and biology.
Additional information Think I've said enough. (Like most Nisei's, writing about one's self isn't easy. That is the legacy of my Japanese ancestry) This is written in response to the (unspoken) wishes of my wife and two sons, one of whom is a member of the Museum's supporters - Hubert Kume Kobayashi. July 7, 1996

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