HARROD, LAWRENCE ROGER
VETERAN OF SERVICE of the
ARMY – 11TH Airborne
Rank – Sgt
Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
Military Honors and Awards:
Good Conduct Medal
Staff Sgt. of P.A. Platoon
Training Second Lts for Korea
To leave for Korea 2 times but called off.
Lawrence Roger Harrod
In 1950 the draft was in effect; however, I enlisted so that I could choose the Army Airborne. I was sent to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. The barracks were World War II vintage. They were quite cold with snow sifting through the windows.
After the completion of Basic Training, I was transferred to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Paratrooper training was about to begin. I was assigned to the Headquarters Company in the 11th Airborne Division.
“Jump School” lasted two months. The physical training consisted of running 3 miles before breakfast. We also mastered push-ups, high straddle hops, sit-ups and squat jumps. If an exercise was not completed correctly, you were instructed to do 25 extra push-ups. Then when you were in great physical condition, you were required to maneuver the “dreaded” 34 foot tower. The tower was the simulation of an airplane C47 body section which is 34 feet high. You learned the correct procedure to jump out of an airplane. You landed in a sawdust-sand pit. The trainers, to get your attention, and to make sure that you hook up the harness, would throw out a “dummy” that wasn’t hooked up. When you saw the dummy hit the ground, you always hooked the harness.
As training progressed we finally were ready to make our first jump. The first jump was…….1. Stand up……..2. Hook up……..and then follow the jumpmaster out of the plane. We were required to make one jump a month. We received a small amount of pay per month for the jumps. While I was in the service, we went on two maneuvers. One was at Camp Drune, New York, and another maneuver was to Alaska. We did cold weather maneuvers due to the possibility of going to Korea. We made two jumps in New York and two jumps in Alaska. The tundra was frozen and bumpy. Several men lost their lives in Alaska during jumps.
I was promoted to sergeant and put in charge of the Pioneer and Ammunition Platoon at Headquarters Company, where we trained 2nd lieutenants that were going to Korea. My Army career helped to prepare me for my future life. I was discharged in December 1953.