John J. Long
Staff Sergeant
U. S. Army
Korean War
Dates of Service: 09/1951 - 09/1953
NOCIC in a counter-mortar radar unit, 45th Division, 160th Field Artillery BN

John was born at home in Mansfield, Louisiana, the youngest of four children of John Jeremy Long, Jr. and Charlie Hicks Long. The family was living in Shreveport when his father died in 1931. He recalls that his mother, a widow with four children, was a "very good money manager" who made and sold candy. John attended Byrd High School where he lettered in baseball and basketball. Of life on the home front in World War II, he recalls ration stamps and participating in scrap metal drives. Meanwhile, he worked as a package boy at a Big Chain store and as a salesman at National Shirt Shops during Easter and Christmas seasons. John graduated from high school in 1947, then earned a degree from Louisiana Tech in 1951. He then entered the U.S. Army, and took basic training at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. He was in leadership school when he received orders for Korea. He sailed on the USS General H.B. Freeman (AP-143) a troop ship with 5,000 aboard. After arriving at Inchon, South Korea, in August of 1952, he reported to 160th Field Artillery Battalion of 45th Division as battery clerk, and was stationed "east of Capital Hill and west of Punchbowl" on the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) of U.S. forces. John typed daily reports and collected shrapnel from enemy artillery. He placed the shrapnel in bags and tagged each bag with date and time of shelling so that the battery would receive combat pay. John was promoted to sergeant first class. In December of 1951 he was assigned to a radar unit stationed "right behind the infantry," and served as first sergeant. The unit's Q-10 Radar located points of origin of enemy artillery devices or mortars. He took rest and recuperation trip to Japan in early December of 1952. Later that month, he enjoyed a USO show starring Debbie Reynolds. John left Korea in "late August or early September" of 1953 on a troop ship and was discharged in San Antonio. He went to work for JC Penney in a management program for three years. Later, he began selling insurance, in which he remains active. On February 23, 1956 he married Mary Tomlinson. (They would have two children and three grandchildren.)