The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 8, 2013

Veteran spent nine months in a bunker

NORMAN — Roy Hamilton was born in Norman in August 1930. He attended Wilson Elementary School, where he wrote the Fight Song, “Oh, Here Come the Wilson Wildcats,” with two friends.

He started in four sports in high school, receiving 10 letters. In the 1948 North-South all-state basketball game, he was high point man and was selected as MVP. He then attended OU on a dual Football-Basketball scholarship; he played freshman football under Bud Wilkinson and freshman basketball under Bruce Drake.

He remembers, however, that he excelled a little too much at the pool hall and had to transfer to Oklahoma A&M, where he played under the great Henry Iba.

Hamilton was drafted in February 1951. While assigned to the 31st Infantry Division, he trained as a combat demolition expert and received advanced ranger training. He eventually was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.

Having been certified as a combat demolition expert, a very hazardous job, he quickly accepted the opportunity to serve in the security unit of the A.G. section. Since he dealt with intelligence and security data, he was one of three enlisted men in the unit to have a top secret clearance.

The system used to determine when a soldier would rotate home was based on points. Rear positions would receive one or two points per month while forward positions would receive three or four points. The points were determined by location and how often the unit was under enemy fire.

Hamilton’s unit, G-1, 2nd Inf. Div. Fwd, was stationed approximately two miles behind the 38th parallel at “Old Baldy.” From June 1952 until he rotated home in February 1953, he lived in an underground bunker.

One of the most memorable events for Roy was in 1952 when he was selected for the honor guard when Gen. Eisenhower, then running for president, visited Korea.

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