TED SELLAROLE AND SAM TERRY
“Never thought I’d meet you here”
The statement above is Sam Terry commenting on meeting Ted Sellarole in Korea where they were stationed together in the same company. The chances of two people, from the same high school, crossing paths half way around the world in the service is slim, but it happened with these two guys.
I met Sam Terry on a construction site in the early 1990’s and he told me he had served in Korea with Ted Sellarole and just started laughing. He told me what a cutup Ted was and how he was always getting into trouble. Sam told me Ted would receive letters laced with perfume from his wife Nancy. Below is a letter I received, that was hand written from Ted Sellarole explaining his military service. After reading the letter you will have some idea why Sam laughed at the mention of Ted Sellarole and their service time together. Ted Sellarole and Sam Terry still keep in contact with each other fifty years after their service.
By: Bob Meli January 31, 2006
NOTE: Ted Sellarole graduated from Hackensack High School in 1949.
Sam Terry graduated from Hackensack High School in 1951.
January 31, 2006
“In 1952 I was exempt from the draft, but chose to be drafted and that was because the Army recruiter promised me after basic training I would go to flight school (observation - flying L19’s which are nothing but souped–up single engine Cessna. At that time I had just gotten my pilot license.
So after basic training as per the Army way of doing things, I was immediately sent to Korea. In Korea (it didn’t look like flight school to me for some reason) I was sent to Radio School for about one month. After completion of Radio School I was assigned to the 65th Regiment of the 3rd Division in what is called a headquarters or Radio Squad. I eventually became head of the radio group and was an acting first sergeant (I refused to wear a 1st sergeant arm band). I was a Private 1st class only. You don’t want to hear why I got busted 2 or 3 times!
Nearing the end of the war the only thing of any type of fun (I don’t dare say action) was we were going back for a rest period and the North Koreans decided to kick the ass out of the South Koreans best Division – THE ROCK DIVISION. So we were in transit going south and we made a u-turn and went up to the so-called “Iron Triangle” to replace the South Koreans. Shortly thereafter the war ended.
The only other change in our boring stay was our company commander wanted a regimental radio school.
So I loaded up doing the “Sgt. Bilko” routine, which means I had the use of a jeep (another time for that story) and somehow I stole enough equipment to build and design a program for a radio school that handled fifteen students. I had three teachers and myself. We taught Morse code and radio procedures. Now I had two jobs in charge of the radio school and the company radio. Now guess what my rank is, you’re right PFC (private first class).
Now I hope you are bored to death. Exciting war stories!!! I did get a combat infantry badge and yes I took off a day because I made up my mind to fly one of those L-19 planes. I found an airstrip and did fly in one, and of course that was one of the times I got into trouble for leaving the area without permission.
I am sorry, but I was not a cooperating soldier, and don’t you think after being in Korea for about eight months the Army called me down to Division headquarters and said, “We see you have a pilot’s license would you like to go to L-19 flying school?” You don’t want to hear my response!
The Hero of Korea,