Sixty-eight years after the death of the most infamous gunfighter of the old West, an elderly man, named “Brushy” Bill Roberts, came into town telling an amazing tale, claiming that he was “Billy the Kid.”
Brian Lee Tucker, a wonderful “True Crime Writer,” in his book, The Legend of Brushy Bill Roberts: A Wild West Love Story, will have you wondering, could this man really be the legendary “Billy The Kid?”
Wayne F. Perkins, Narrator and Audio-book Producer will add the voice to Brushy Bill and his friends as he tells his tale to Probate Investigator William V. Morrison in June of 1949.
The book right now is available at Amazon.com and the audio-book narrated by Wayne Perkins will be coming out shortly on Amazon.com Audible, and iTunes.
Award winning Author, Bob Kern has caught the essence of what it was like for soldiers patrolling and manning positions along the Korean DMZ, fifty years ago during the “DMZ War.
Chapter Two features the story told by Daisy Mae author Wayne Perkins as well as many of the pictures featured in the video.
Wayne and his buddy Mel Law from California, stood on a hill with an Infrared Search Light becoming the night time eyes for several American troops below them along the DMZ fence line. You can see Wayne’s shadow if you look closely taking a picture of the sand bagged position he and Mel manned from September to December of 1967. In the picture you will see the area the searchlight jeep parked each night when Wayne and Mel stood watch, looking out at the dangerous Korean DMZ.
Bob Kern’s book We Were Soldiers Too: The DMZ Conflict, The Second Korean War has many stories told by the men who were there a half century ago.
“Mel and I stood on the last American position on the Korean DMZ.
Award Winning Author Bob Kern, who specializes on writing books on the Cold War, will be releasing a new book, We Were Soldiers Too: The DMZ Conflict: The Second Korean War.
This book includes Author Wayne Perkins and other soldier’s first hand accounts of action during the time period many military historians call the DMZ War, or the Second Korean War.
I will keep you up to date as soon as it is available.
Three men I am so proud to have served with in the Army include Billy Lewis, Song CK and Jung Muyung.
Upon arriving at our home base at Camp Hovey, Korea on Christmas Eve, in 1966, these three men along with Tony Rangel provided me a family many thousands of miles from home. I never had a brother growing and these three along with so many others became my brothers in the “Land of the Morning Calm,” Korea.
From Left to Right…
Two, KATUSAs, (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) Sung and Jung, are seated next to Billy Lewis, showing them how to embrace their duty in a foreign land.
Shown on the left was one of the first guys I ever met in the Army. We were stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, located on the Tennessee/Kentucky border. Growing up in a small, rural area of Tennessee, he was my personal Davy Crockett, the King of the Wild Frontier. (For those of you who read my narrative non-fiction book, “The Last Flight of the Daisy Mae, ” I used Billy Lewis as my Dad’s rifle instructor during World War II, but he became my rifle “coach,” when I was at Fort Campbell in Basic Training. He was a trainee just like myself, however on the very first day on the rifle range, he would fire his M14, like no-one the instructors, had ever seen before. No one ever experienced a shot grouping so tightly packed together no matter the target distance.
When I raised my M14 rifle to shoot for the very first time, I was wild and was afraid of the kick. I was flinching badly on every shot. When the instructors stopped the firing to reload, they sent Billy Lewis, to give me some help.
He reacted as the true Country Gentleman he truly was, and with a little advice, coaching, and using Tennessee wind-age and Kentucky elevation, I was soon shooting like a pro.
After Basic Training at Fort Campbell, he, Tony Rangel and I were all sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for Light Vehicle Training School. We were only there for 5 weeks, because we were needed badly in South Korea, as six men on patrol were ambushed on our side of the South Korean border and 50,000 South Korean (ROK) troops were sent to help our American forces in Vietnam.
Billy and the KATUSAs in the picture are sharing stories and culture as they are helpful in translating for us and are sworn to put up with our outrageous behaviors.
Before arriving at Camp Hovey, I spent a few days, waiting for a unit to start up. I, along with the three men shown in the picture, would be the first soldiers in the Weapons Platoon, (3rd Platoon) of B company 3rd Battalion 32nd Infantry, Regiment of the 7th Division.
After the bugle for reveille, “Aejukga,” the National Anthem of Korea and then the Star Spangled Banner, would play. We would hold our salutes through both. Aejukga is a beautiful song and immediately gave me a sense of purpose in being in such a unique foreign land.
When I arrived in my hooch, a Quonset Hut that could hold 40 soldiers, immediately Song and Chung came over to help me unpack my duffel bag and help me arrange things in my wall locker and foot locker.
I never met a native of any country before and now I was meeting Song and Jung for the first time, just like Billy Lewis shown in the picture at the beginning of this story.
Telling Private Song in English that I love the sound of his Korean National Anthem, “Aegukga,” he was beaming his approval to that statement and asked, “Perkiso, do you want to learn how to sing it?”
What an honor, I thought, “Yes I would.”
In teaching me the song, he was very patient with my pronunciation of the words, laughing at times, and then he sang it with such a beautiful voice, it almost brought me to tears. Even though I was nineteen years old, I was so appreciative of my new friends and was willing to give my life for Billy and my new buddies shown here.
Song, whose name fit, because he was always happy and singing, appreciated our compliments, always had a smile on his face. He struggled to learn English but he taught me all of the words to the Korean National Anthem, which I still remember today. After teaching me the Anthem he began to sing a song called “Arirang.”
Arirang, in English sounds like “ah-di-dahng.” You can hear it played in every shop and restaurant. It is a story about a man leaving his home to go to work and hiking up through a pass in the mountains called “Arirang.”
The strange thing about it is Arirang means different things to different people. To Privates Song and Jung, (pronounced Chung) it meant “friendship between Americans and Koreans.” It means whatever the listener wants it to mean. Walking down the street in Seoul or in the village, a stranger may be humming the song, from the other direction another Korean may hear it and start singing it. The country of South Korea was a Broadway Musical. Arirang is the featured theme song of the country. Played as a marching tune, “Arirang” was the official marching song of my 7th Division. It was designated the official marching song after the cease fire agreement in 1953. Even though the 7th Division is stateside now, they still play “Arirang” as a march to salute their Korean comrades.
Here is Arirang followed by the South Korean National Anthem, “Aeguka” played a Flash Mob of University students. Listen and enjoy the YouTube video.
AKA “Jerry Lewis,” because of his smile and sense of humor. Jung was the first KATUSA, I met after arriving at our new “hooch, ” Quonset Hut barracks at Camp Hovey.
Shown on the far right is Private Jung Muyung. Jung, and Song sat with me my first night in Korea, showing were to put my clothes and gear to make sure I was ready for inspections that happened all of the time.
Jerry and I Get in a Fight?…
One Sunday, we were off duty in our hooch, and I began telling Jung about American hand-to-hand combat. When the 7th Division practiced hand to hand, we either used the bogus stuff we learned in Basic Training, or we had to use our rifles with bayonets attached because we were know as the “Bayonet Division.”
All of our KATUSA’s, there were three assigned to each platoon, went to another area down the road and practiced taekwondo.
I challenged Jung, to a match, and within a few seconds I got him locked up. We were in a standing position, and all of a sudden, Jung gave me a head butt, and I started falling backwards. Jung began yelling, “Perkiso, Perkiso,” as I was seeing stars and falling backwards. Even as I was dazed and falling backwards, I tried to signal him that it was okay and not to worry about me.
He hovered over my limp body until I came to. We were just goofing off and Jung felt badly and so did I. The head wound didn’t hurt as much as knowing my new friend, reacted just as he was trained to do in combat by his KATUSA leader, SGT Han.
All of us went up to the DMZ together on Labor Day, September 4, 1967. That was the last time I got to talk with Song and Jung, but when I listen to the Korean student flash mob, I think I still am communicating with my good friends…
A loud explosion, then another, then another, and then another. Shaking from the explosions, sand and dust fill my small four foot tall, four foot wide, sandbagged position. Coming out of a deep sleep, lying face down on a gravel covered wool Army blanket, I tried to stand up. I forgot I crawled in headfirst to a tiny shelter a half and hour earlier. There was no room to stand up.
Reaching for my M14 rifle propped up against sandbags, I was grabbing at air. Disoriented, because this was my first night on the dangerous Korean DMZ, (demilitarized zone) I needed help, fast.
Stevens, from the 2nd Infantry Division (Indianhead Division) grabbed me by the arm and said, “don’t worry, those are friendly guns They are 155mm Howitzer shells coming from mobile artillery guns from the South side of the Imjin River. They are registering points along the DMZ.”
Before I could ask Stevens, “Why”, another brilliant flash from an artillery blast hit about a football field away just northeast of our jeep. The light was a blinding bright white light, against the overcast dark September sky. The explosions were just down at the bottom of my light jeep hill, and bursting about ten feet off the ground. The bursts were following a road that connects our 7th Division defensive positions with the South Korean defensive positions starting about two hundred meters to my right and extending East 150 miles toward the sea.
“I can prove it to you,” Stevens shouted into my now ringing ears. The artillery shells are going about 100 feet above our hill, right over our heads and exploding along the South Korean DMZ South fenceline. When the next volley hits, you will see the explosion because light travels faster than sound. Then you will hear the explosions, and finally you will hear the sound of the artillery rounds traveling overhead and sounding like a freight train. It is all bass ackwards.”
Now my eyes and ears were able to make sense of his words, and I saw the explosion flashes followed by the exploding sounds and finally the cha, cha, cha, cha, sounds of the warheads going over our heads. Time travels in reverse.
Everything was scrambled, not what I was expecting on my very first night on the Korean DMZ. It was truly amazing.
The artillery was doing more than practicing. This was the very first night for our company guarding the DMZ. This would be the perfect time for infiltrators bent on destruction or the entire North Korean Army to invade to get us, the rookie soldiers from our 7th Division, rather than the always ready, 2nd Infantry Division. After a while I began to look at the explosions as a security blanket so I could relax.
With 2nd Division artillery filling the valley with explosions between our positions and the fenceline, the North Koreans might decide on attacking another night.
It was Labor Day, September 4, 1967. It was about ten PM. Darkness prevailed after the explosions ended.
“You will die the death of dogs…”
Stevens and I made a small talk, before he announced he was going to take a short nap in my vacated four by four, sandbagged sleep chamber. Putting up with me tonight, Stevens earned some nap time.
A flute playing an eerie song, began over the North Korean propaganda speakers, facing our direction. After taking off his steel pot, (helmet) Stevens said, “that is the Korean Death Song. They play that to spook out our South Korean friends who are guarding in the foxholes below. It bothers some of those guys real bad. I am going to take a nap .Are you going to be okay out here by yourself?”
I’ll be fine Maybe after that song they will play my favorite by the “Who.” “I Can See for Miles and Miles.”
“Maybe they will,” Stevens laughed.
Stevens dove into my 4X4 sandbagged shelter, and began snoring quickly. This was fine by me by me because I got to listen to the the Communist North Korean Late show with death songs dirges, military marches, and all kinds of noises in three part harmony.
Then I heard some comic book style verbal threats in English broadcast over their propaganda speakers.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is mobilized and ready for war.” Tonight you will die the death of dogs.”
A long period of silence ensued. Breathing deeply now is helping me relax, I walked around my position a bit, and I could spot a South Korean Village about two miles behind me. During the day the sky was hazy, but since it is now about 11PM at night, I can see glowing lights from traffic in the town, possibly busses or taxis. It was strange to not see the metal but only the light shining through the windows of moving busses.
As I do an about face and look North again, all I can see is complete darkness. There are no lights from stores, or busses, or homes. Just complete, utter darkness.
I told myself I would remember this always. The darkness I was staring into not only was hiding the people of North Korea but also the faces of the fourth largest standing army in the world. It was said later that over 750,000 North Korean troops along with huge divisions of artillery and tanks, were bunched up and ready for invade South Korea.
Tonight, however, there were only the comic book sounding threats, with only a promise that more would come soon.
For tonight, I had only a few more hours to daylight.
I think I will stay up to see the morning Sun peacefully rise over the Land of the Morning Calm…South Korea. Stevens can nap all he wants. For long months he worked on this hill guarding Freedom’s Frontier. He has earned his rest. He leaves tomorrow for home.
This is my first night of many along my new home and my infrared searchlight, becoming the eyes in the dark for our men stationed along the fence line below, on the South Korean DMZ. I hope I enjoy it.
I wonder if I will remember this place and these feelings many years from now.
I can only hope….
Wayne F. Perkins US54805848
Company B, 3rd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.