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From Our Home Page Archive:
Page as originally published in June 2015
— This Month —
Not Comfort Women, But Comfort
Signal Corps Successes
How Seven Signal OCS Graduates Built
The 103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company – Part III of IV –
Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In The Wire!
- - - - -
Our Association is a not-for-profit fraternal
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graduates of Signal Corps Officer Candidate School classes of the
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and Enlisted OCS cadre who are in need, and c) to archive for
posterity the stories and history of all of the Signal Corps OCS
Officers who served this great country. We are open to ALL
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We are here to serve you.
Not Comfort Women, But Comfort Givers
There’s no doubt women play an important role in
war… but not always because of their
increasing presence as uniformed soldiers on the
battlefield. No, we’re talking here of the role
they play behind the lines… behind
lines. So far behind our lines that you might
think of some of them as undercover specialists…
under bedcover specialists, that is.
Now before you jump to conclusions over what
this article is about, and go off and accuse us
of being misogynistic, chauvinist or even
sexist, let’s get some facts straight. We’re
talking here of women who chose to
serve men in uniform by making their time in
service… how shall we say it… more comfortable.
Not those that are forced to offer comfort to
soldiers, but women who chose to do so. Yes, we
know, in some cultures, such as that of WWII
Japan, women who were forced to provide sexual
services to Japanese soldiers were called
comfort women. We know that. But those are not
the kind of women we are talking of here. And
yes, we know that in all likelihood in places
like the camps that support ISIS fighters women
are still being forced into the "comfort woman"
role, without their consent. But we're not
talking of comfort women... we're talking of
comfort givers. We are talking here of
women who, of their own free volition, chose to
bring comfort to soldiers.
What kind of women are these, you ask?
They are the ones who, in earlier times, might
have been called camp followers. They are the
ladies who, today, populate some of the most
valuable real estate that exists around military
bases… the first quarter mile or so of bars,
nightclubs and strip joints that sit just
outside the front gate. They are also the women
who volunteer to travel to those places where
soldiers fight, to bring even more proximate
comfort to them, right there on the field of
battle. And while the comfort they bring might
be no more than the offering of a donut from the
soft hands of one of the opposite sex, the level
of comfort felt by the solider is diminished the
none. It’s still comfort, it still serves its
purpose, and it still works its magic.
a strange phenomena… this idea of women opting
to get as close to those doing the fighting as
they can, ostensibly to entertain them, comfort
them, socialize with them, and at every turn
work to garner the attention of as many of these
men as possible. Why does it happen? Is it
purely sexually driven? Is it the ultimate
expression of “Kardashianism”, that narcissistic
drive that turns women like the Kardashian
sisters into publicity whores… except that in
this case the need is to consistently seek
personal affirmation? Is it just women trying to
make money from G.I.s with no other place to
spend their money than on local women? Or is it
more complex than all of this?
In a recent eMail exchange one of the members of
this Association confided that he was working on
putting music to a series of slides, for an old
buddy of his from his Vietnam days. The slides
the buddy sent to him (he indulged me by sending
me one or two so that I could see what he was
talking about…) included pictures of his buddy's
time as a pilot in a chopper unit, and other
sundry military pictures. They also included
what seemed to be some very candid pictures of
nude women entertainers in off-base bars, likely
in Vietnam, in the 1960’s. Today these kind of
girls would be called “lap dancers”, and more.
The truth be told however, in looking at them
they brought back memories of the old Duy Than
Hotel in Nha Trang. That aside, it was clear
from the pictures that the women involved were
not being forced into taking part in the
activities being photographed.
So what gives? We all know that men will be men.
Especially men at war. We also know that women
love attention… especially when that attention
comes with money, of the kind that can be earned
inside one of the juke joints usually found
outside the gates of an Army base. How should we
classify these girls then? What part of society
do they fit into?
Our answer: The normal part.
Signal Corps Successes
How Seven Signal OCS Graduates From Class 42-06 Built The
103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company – Part III of IV
When we left our story
(Part II) it was the
beginning of January, 1945. Having fought
alongside of the 103rd Infantry Division itself,
the man of the 103rd Signal Company were by now
battle hardened; but it came at a cost. Between
the two units “December saw casualties totaling
589 men. Forty-six were killed in action and 218
were counted as missing in action. Eight were
seriously injured. Two hundred and fifty-four
were slightly wounded in action while 56 were
injured. Six died of their wounds.”
Of equal importance was
the fact that the General they had fought under,
General Haffner, had been relieved, due to
stress, and sent home to rest. His replacement
was none other than old “Nuts!” McAuliffe, of
the famous Battle of the Bulge.
Unlike Haffner, McAuliffe
was a no nonsense commander, prone to both hard
fighting and hard discipline. If you got out of
line in McAuliffe’s unit, you were hit quickly
and hit hard, regardless of whether you were
enlisted or an Officer. In McAuliffe’s mind
there was a war to be won, and the best way to
win that war was to stick to your job, keep your
nose clean, and pay attention to your duties. In
other words, do it by the book and you would be
fine serving under him. Act carelessly,
disregard rules and regulations, and lolly gag
about and you could find yourself on the short
end of the stick.
As it turned out,
McAuliffe's brand of discipline soon found a
mark in one of our Army Signal Corps OCS
graduates from Class 42-06... none other than
the 103rd Signal Company's Commanding Officer
himself, Captain Bernard Beck.
You will recall from Part
I in this series that Lieutenant Beck was
quickly promoted post OCS to Captain, and then
given command of the 103rd Signal Company. A
novice at command, in our view he did a
masterful job of coming of age and leading his
men through not just a year or so of training,
but also a series of harrowing combat
situations. Notwithstanding this, now, deep in
the heart of Europe, having just breached the
Siegfried Line and seen his men fight to triumph
in support of not just the 103rd I.D. but
Patton’s Third Army in the Battle of the Bulge,
he found himself being brought up on charges.
The cause seemed simple enough, but the risk to
his career was evident. Beck was brought up on
charges because his Company’s motor vehicles,
upon inspection by McAuliffe, were found to be
in unsatisfactory condition, from lack of proper
McAuliffe, if nothing
else, was being true to form: stick to your job,
keep your nose clean, and pay attention to your
duties. Beck it seemed had run afoul of this
most basic of rules.
The actual order that
notified Captain Beck of his dilemma appeared as
C O N F I D E N T I
HEADQUARTERS 103D INFANTRY DIVISION
S: 20 January 1945
APO # 470 U.S. ARMY
201--Beck, Bernard (Off)
SUBJECT: Disciplinary Action
Captain Bernard Beck, O1633624, SC,
103rd Signal Company, 103rd Infantry Division,
APO #470, U.S. Army.
Commanding Officer, Special Troops,
103rd Infantry Division,
APO #470, U.S. Army
investigation has indicated that an offense
against good order and military discipline has
been committed by you as follows: On or about 8
January 1945 an inspection of the motor vehicles
of the 103rd Division Signal Company revealed
that they were in an unsatisfactory condition
because of improper maintenance. Previous to
this inspection you had been informed at least
twice that the vehicles were in an
unsatisfactory condition and ordered to
immediately improve their condition by vigorous
command supervision. You have failed to comply
with this order and the vehicle maintenance of
your command is still the poorest in the 103rd
2. It is my intention to
impose punishment under Article of War 104. In
accordance with Paragraph 107, Manual for
Courts-Martial, U.S. Army, 1928, you are
notified of this intended action. You will
acknowledge receipt of this communication by
indorsement [sic] which will include a statement
as to whether you demand trial in lieu of action
under Article of War 104.
(signed) A. C. McAULIFFE
Brigadier General, United States Army,
Many years later Captain
Beck told his son, Andy, about being brought up
on these charges. In that conversation he
admitted that there had been lax motor vehicle
maintenance during December 1944, but said that
the degree of laxness didn’t seem to justify the
severity of the charges.
Instead he opined that the
cause of the action against him stemmed from a
combination of two factors, first the laxness of
the maintenance, and second an incident that
resulted in Captain Beck’s jeep being nearly
destroyed in a firefight.
This page last updated 1 June 2015. New
content is constantly being added. Please check back
1 June 2015–If you haven't already registered for
the Association's 2015 Reunion, now is the time to
do it. Take the time to register now, before all of
the best hotel rooms are taken. To register, visit
our Reunion Info link in the column at left,
above... or just click here.
1 June 2015–This past month Richard Griffith of Army
Signal Corps OCS Class 12-66 contacted us. Stumbling
across this website, he was surprised by how much
content we had about so many of his former
classmates. Richard was kind enough to send along an
update on his own life, and his career in the Army.
Read Richard's comments by going to his
and clicking on his last name. His name is
Bold Army Green, and
clicking on it will take you to Richard's personal
mini-bio page. You'll be fascinated by his story of
being an Army Photographer and member of DASPO.
You'll also find on his page a link to a video
history of Army Signal Corps photo and videographers
from the Vietnam War.
Short cut to Richard's personal bio
Now how about you? Send us a short
update of your life and we'll be glad to post it on
a bio page dedicated to you too.
Continued from left column...
it seems that around the 8th of January, 1945, Captain Beck
and his jeep driver, a man named Sheldon, were caught in a
cross fire between “our troops and the Germans.” As the
firefight ensued, Sheldon drove off of the road, and the two
of them dived out of the jeep into the gutter and crawled
As all who have tried to exit a moving jeep coming under
incoming fire can attest, the process of exiting is not only
not graceful, but usually done while the jeep is still
moving. In Captain Beck’s case, the two of them jumped out,
while the jeep… presumably now in neutral… rolled on a bit
more until it hit something that brought it to a complete
As the story goes, the fire fight raged on for quite a
while, as these two Signaleers kept their heads down. The
Germans, noting their arrival on the scene, proceeded to
rake the area with machine gun fire, which in turn turned
the jeep into a piece of Swiss cheese.
Eventually, the Germans were forced to pull back and, after
the 103rd I.D. troops advanced up the road to where Captain
Beck and his driver were, things eventually settled down.
Sheldon and Captain Beck were unscathed, but not their jeep.
Fortunately, when they got into it and cranked the switch,
the thing started. Full of holes it might have been, and
dented from rolling to a hard stop with a bolder it was… but
it still ran.
Climbing in, they headed off to return to the Signal
Company’s headquarters. There… standing right where they
parked, was the Division Ordnance Officer... who proceeded
to go ballistic, having just expressed his displeasure with
the Signal Company’s vehicles only a few days earlier.
Stomping around the jeep he counted over 200 bullet holes,
claiming that this again was an example of how poorly
Captain Beck maintained his motor vehicles.
Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In
How many times did that clarion call ring out at 0300 hours…
along with the clanging sound made by a perimeter guard
banging as hard as he could on an empty 155mm artillery
casing? Remember that billionth of a second in time that
passed, when your inert mind picked up that sound,
recognized that something was happening, knew immediately
that you were not in control of it, and decided to wake you?
Remember how your instincts kicked in and your body went
from resting in a deep sleep to pumping out more adrenalin
than you knew you had? Remember springing from bed in the
dark, grabbing your flak jacket, gas mask, .45 and M16… or
maybe grease gun if you were lucky… and sprinting for your
If you heard it once, you heard it a thousand times and
probably still do in your sleep today. The sound of alarm…
of combat about to happen.
But why the adrenalin rush? Why the panic to get to your
post before the firing started? Why the fear tinged
Answer: because Charlie was good at what he did. He was a
worthy and dangerous opponent… and when it came to fighting
him you had to respect his capabilities… especially when he
initiated the fight. Haul your ass out of bed, get to your
position, assume command, and take him on as aggressively as
possible. If you didn't you or your men could find yourself
going home in a body bag.
Charlie knew how to fight.
Interestingly, studies today say that this is not the case
with all armies. Take for example our favorite whipping boy,
If you recall, China has had a one
child policy for ages now… restricting families to only one
child unless special circumstances merited a family having
more than one.
Originally promulgated in 1979, while the law certainly
helped curb excessive population growth for this country of
1.3 billion, it also did one other thing: it caused parents
to abort female fetuses in favor of males.
in turn caused the parents of these cute little
penis-sporting only children to go out of their way to
protect and shelter them… after all, each precious little
boy was the only child that family would ever have.
Smothered with love and tenderness… given anything they
asked for… coddled to the point of absurdity, the male
children China brought into the world over the past 36 years
have come to be known as Little Emperors. And while this may
be all well and good, the net result is that today China’s
military worries that its one child policy has led to
only-child recruits that are, in simple English, “wimps”.
No Viet Cong like fighters these boys… after a lifetime of
coddling, China’s millions of only children are turning out
to be terrible soldiers. The facts are these: China’s
military is made up today of military aged men from the “one
child period”. And of these, fully 70% of them are the only
children in their family.
Not surprisingly, this figure is giving many of China's
military policymakers heartburn. They are worried that their
military may not be up to the task of fighting a real
“Soldiers from the one-child
generations are wimps who have absolutely no fighting
spirit,” warned the Study Times, an ideology-focused
But the problem doesn’t end there. Chinese defense experts
are now debating whether they even have an army to speak
of... that is, Chinese troops haven’t been in combat since
1979, so what makes one think they are up to a hard fight
today. Similarly, when it comes to training, while military
leaders worry that their Officers spend almost 40% of their
time in “political training”, the Central Communist Party
continues to mandate it, as they worry even more about a
bunch of liberal, independent minded young Officers turning
against the Central Government.
So what do you do? Spend time training the military's
Officers in combat, or spend time making sure they stay
loyal to the Communist Party? And what, if anything, can you
do about the wimps that the country is supposed to depend on
to do the actual fighting?
the Chinese government thought that the one child policy
would be good for the military, as it would mean that the
men who joined had higher levels of education and would,
presumably, be more at ease with advanced technology. This
was supposed to make them “quick to understand modern
warfare in a high-tech era.”
But that hasn’t turned out to be the case… and anyway, while
it’s nice if your soldiers are comfortable with the
technology of modern warfare, it is far more important that
they be comfortable with—and embrace—the rawness of combat…
killing people, enduring pain, fighting when your spirit and
body are defeated, and willing yourself to win no matter
what. Coddled children tend not to have this trait… and
today China’s army is full of coddled children.
Whether that is the case or not, China’s military leaders
certainly believe so. Recent publications in China have
taken to reporting that the PLA is now running special
training programs to toughen up what they readily admit
are “spoiled” soldiers. Not surprisingly, this view is also
held by western analysts of China's military. Dean Cheng, an
analyst with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, says
that because China can't depend on its soldiers to fight a
kinetic war, the military has turned its focus away from
combat scenarios to scenarios that favor psychological and
cyber warfare. The simple fact is, that while China’s
soldiers may be men in the physical sense of the word, they
are in reality little more than children. Pampered and
psychologically brittle, many of China’s soldiers are not
capable of handling stress, making them wholly unable to
deal with the pressures of war.
If you remember former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
saying “you go to war with the army you have”, then you can
see our pleasure with this scenario. Compared to how tough
Charlie was back in the day, American's serving today that
might find themselves someday facing the PLA may not even
bother getting out of bed when they hear the cry in the
night of “Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In The Wire!”
Join 2, 3 and 4 word answers together
as one complete word.
answer key to this month's puzzle,
see icon at bottom of page
 As opposed
to what most people think, the one child policy is not as
rigorous as it is portrayed to be in western media. Ethnic
minority groups like the Uyghur (10 million), Miao (9.4
million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan
(6.2 million), Mongol (5.9 million), Dong (2.8 million),
Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million),
Korean (1.8 million), Hani (1.6 million), Li (1.4 million),
Kazakh (1.4 million), and Dai (1.2 million) are allowed to
have more than one child. So too are farmers. Families where
the couple has just one child who is handicapped or unable
to work because of non-hereditary diseases can have more
than one child, as well as families where both parents are
only children themselves, and have just one child so far. If
a couple adopted their first child because one of them was
diagnosed as infertile, then they too can have a second
child. Similarly, parents who “inadvertently” have a second
child are not put in prison, instead all that happens is
that they are levied periodic, annual fines equal to the
extra cost their second child places on society, as it
passes through life. Barically, they are "taxed" for the
second child, until it is no longer a financial burden on
the State. As an example, while all children go to school
essentially for free in China, parents of second children
must pay an additional fee to cover the cost of the
education that they are selfishly burdening society with… so
that they can have a second child. Similarly for college or
vocational training, subsidized housing, and many of the
other entitlements that the Communist state of China pays
for as part of its socialist society undertaking.
- To return to your place above,
 Kenji Minemura,
Correspondent, The Asahi Shimbun; an Asia watch publication.
- To return to your place above,
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