May 25, 1956
By SP3 Steve Wareck
S&S Korea Bureau
TAEGU, Korea-"Cpl." Bonzo is an 8 year old Korean
waif with big problems-he has no parents and speaks no Korean. Bonzo's
home is with the 19th Quartermaster Co. in Taegu, but nobody
knows much about him except that his mother and father were killed
in the war. He was living with an engineering outfit, where he learned
to speak English, until it broke up about a year ago. A short time
later, one of the 19th's water trucks was passing through
town when Bonzo hailed it. He's kept a bunk and footlocker with them
BONZO'S MILITARY career has had its ups and downs.
He was a master sergeant with the engineers, but one day he missed
reveille and "the old man called me in and busted me to corporal."
He's had his troubles with the 19th also. Recently, a
colonel spotted him in his salvaged OGs and stripes. "He said I had
to wear civvies," Bonzo sighs, "but I was really lookin' sharp when
a two-star inspected us. He threw me a highball and patted me on
the head, so I guess I can keep wearin' my uniform. But I can't make
master again, because I ain't got nothin'. No patches, nothin' and
anyway, I'm on restriction for not taking a shower."
EVERY DAY Bonzo gets up for reveille and goes on
police call. He makes all the formations "except PT" and "don't pull
much guard." During his off hours, he "just messes around" drilling
the troops and shooting some expert pool. He used to play ball, but
is currently suffering from a sore arm. The men make sure he's in
bed by 9 p.m. and watch him closely to make sure he takes a shower.
Bonzo maintains close liaison with the staff of
AFKN's radio station Kilroy. At any hour of the day he's liable to
call up and say "Hey, this is Bonzo. Play 'O Happy Day'." His special
favorite is Doris Day, whom he considers "No. 1."
BUT THE STAFF has some trying moments with Bonzo.
He was about to enter a Kilroy jeep several weeks ago when he got
in an argument with a corporal over the right to the front seat.
It was resolved when Bonzo pointed out, "I got more time in grade
Currently the 19th has plans to send
him to school. But Bonzo is resisting strenuously. How's a fellow
going to sharpen up his pool game if he has to spend all that time
in class?, he argues.