Bob Jagger in Korea

During his time serving with Kayforce in Korea (1951-54) Gunner Bob Jagger (pictured) took a series of images on his box Brownie camera, a selection of which have been reproduced with his permission.

Commentary about this image by Bob Jagger

That’s me, aged twenty-seven, in Kure (Japan) for five days leave in 1952. I was one of the older ones as most Kayforce men were about twenty-two or twenty-three at that time. The photo was likely taken by Keith Morgan.

I was one of the single guys in Kayforce. The ring on my left hand was a signet ring my mother had given me when I turned twenty-one.

Smoking

Most of us were smokers during the war. Cigarettes – fifty per tin – were provided for soldiers in Korea and some blamed the army for their later smoking-related illnesses. I felt, however, that as I’d been smoking before I went there, I could hardly grumble or blame the army. It might have been different for those who started smoking during the war.

Uniforms

Uniforms were issued by the quartermaster’s store and those we went away in were a good fit since we had had sufficient time to get them sorted.

This was our dress uniform – battledress – with a jacket, tie, shirt, boots, a beret with the artillery badge attached. Contrary to appearances, they were not scratchy. I don’t think they were pure wool.

Later in 1954, when we were leaving Korea to return home, they gave us our winter uniforms. I did not keep mine, as it was too small. Others were issued with too-big uniforms but that was all right, we’d been well-fitted when it really counted.

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