Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Morgue

Considering all things, it was relatively a brief corridor in time that Uncle Gene and I shared together.  During most of this time he talked and I listened while he painted his stories into my memory.  One such account was his time in the morgue.  Certainly, not something most nine year old have given much thought.  At any rate it was one of those stories Uncle Gene told of his time in the army posted on an island called Okinawa.  Now I had never heard of  Okinawa, but I figured it really existed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean never to be the same after Uncle Gene had been there.

Now I knew that a morgue had to do with dead people, but Uncle Gene gave me to understand that his place had to do with those who had been killed in Korea, and whose bodies needed to be identified before burial.   From "driving tanks" to a "morgue in Okinawa" seemed a little unbelievable, but hey... Uncle Gene could convince you of his facts.

It again was not until years later that the following patch in Uncle Gene's collection was understood.

It was worn by those of the U.S. Army garrison on Okinawa which is the largest Island of the Ryukyus chain.  The figure on the insignia is a torii which is the gate to a Shinto Temple.  The patch was adopted after WWII, certainly in time for the Koren War.  It must have been one of the least favorite of Uncle Gene's memories.


  1. Where can I get one of these patches of Okinawa? I was there in 1966-68 with psyops. Sure would be nice to have one. Thanks, Tom Majors

  2. Hello Tom...not sure where you might be able to obtain? Have you tried any remaining post on Okinawa?