Jim's Army Daze ~ 1955 - 1957

From Camp Chaffee, Arkansas to Tokyo, Japan - and back to Tulsa - Feb.,1955 to Aug.,1957

These pages contain pictures from the mid 1950's when I spent almost three years in the U. S. Army. The fact that my wife, Laura Ann, was with me most of the time, and the good friends we met, made the whole thing bearable.

I started with basic training at Camp Chaffee, Ark. From there to Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey where I attended Radio school. Laura Ann Higdon came out from Tulsa and we were married at Ft. Monmouth Chapel # 1 on June 4, 1955. We lived off post at Eatontown, N. J. until Oct., 1955., when I received my orders to the Far East.

Laura Ann went by bus back to Tulsa while I went by train to Ft. Lewis, Washington before shipping out for Japan.  The ship was a civilian operated Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS), General Nelson M. Walker.  It was loaded with GI's, some going to Japan and some to Korea.  I was surprised when it bypassed Japan and didn't stop until reaching Inchon, Korea. There, they unloaded about half the human cargo and loaded up about the same number who were going to Japan or to the States.  We finally arrived at Yokahama, Japan in early November, 1955, 28 days after leaving Seattle, WA.  For more information about the Nelson M. Walker, visit this site: >http://1-22infantry.org/history3/walker.htm

After about 6 months, Laura Ann arrived at Tokyo International Airport and we took up our lives where we left off, spending nearly 16 months in Japan.  I was assigned to Camp Owada Receiver site.  We lived off-post at Narimasu, Japan, about 8 miles from Owada.

Never before, or since, have we met such good friends as those we met in Japan. Names that have remained in my memory for over 50 years include: Hummel, Killen, Robinson, Purnell, Tedder, Rigsbee, Higgins, Turner, Black,and others.

While in Japan we took hundreds, of pictures, some of which I will include here, for those old army friends who chance to stop by and have their memories revived.

So let the memories begin with our days [daze ] at Camp Owada, Camp Drake, Grant Heights, Narimasu, Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura . . . motorcycle rides through the Japanese countryside with good friends . . . picnics and visits to parks and other areas of recreation . . . playing hearts and pitch at the kitchen table in the evenings . . . probably lots more that I'm too old to remember.

Here are some pictures of my army Daze. I intend to keep adding to the list as long as the pictures hold out. Some are not in such good condition but then neither am I, after 50 plus years. I have added some new pictures to "Scenes around Camp Owada" that were sent in by others that were stationed there after I left.

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Jim and Friends at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, 1955

Jim & Laura Ann in New York & New Jersey - Ft. Monmouth, 1955

From New Jersey to Japan Oct. - Dec. 1955

Scenes Around Camp Owada 1955 - 1965


Unknown Air Force Facility, Feb. 1956

Tokyo Street Scene, March 1956

Laura Ann's Plane Arrives at Tokyo International, April 6, 1956

Hummels at our house, June 1956

Playing Cards with Hummels, June 1956

A day with JoAnn and Phil Hummel, June 10, 1956

Us & Hummels at Kamakura getting sunburn, Thursday, July 19, 1956

Buddah at Kamakura, July, 1956

Ann Carpenter with Phil & JoAnn Hummel, at Carpenter's House sometime in 1956

Tokyo Street Scene, Summer of '56

Tokyo Street Scene, Summer of '56-2

Tokyo Diet Building, Summer of '56

Laura Ann Carpenter and Three Wheeler, Summer of '56

Laura Ann in Ricksha at Camp Drake, Summer, '56

Grant Heights Entrance, 1956

Laura Ann and bicycle at Grant Heights, Summer 1956

Hummels and Carpenters at Nikko National Park, Oct. 1956

"Going Away" Party for Marvin Rigsbee at Hummel's house, Oct. 1956 12 pictures

Tokyo Army Hospital, Dec. 1956

Playing cards with Hummels, Dec. 1956

Christmas time with Hummels, Dec. 1956

Jim, Laura Ann and Cat at Christmas time, 1956

Open House Christmas Party at home of Lloyd and Beverly Higgins, Dec. 24, 1956

Christmas Dinner with Ted and Mardy Tedder, Dec. 25, 1956

Jim & Laura Ann Carpenter with Lloyd & Beverly Higgins, Dec. 31, 1956


Japanese Home in Narimasu, Jan. 01, 1957

Phil & JoAnn Hummel, Ann Carpenter at Narimasu, Japan, Jan. 1, 1957

Phil & JoAnn Hummel preparing to leave Japan, Jan. 1957

Tedder's at our house, Jan. 1957

Front of Tedder's house in Narimasu, 1957

Three Wheeler in front of Tedder's house, Narimasu, 1957

Post Exchange at Grant Heights, 1957

Grant Heights Theater, 1957

Grant Heights Chapel, 1957

Fuji View Hotel, May 1957 - 14 pictures
Includes 2002 pictures by Hiroyuki Ishizaka

Laura Ann and Mona Carpenter, 1957

Japanese Soldiers near Narimasu, Summer, 1957

Killens, Carpenters, Robinsons, Summer, 1957

Killens, Carpenters, Robinsons picnic, Summer 1957

Laura Ann and our dog, Mona in park, Summer 1957

Pat Killen & Laura Ann Carpenter, Saturday, June 15, 1957

Jim Carpenter, Dave Robinson & Hollis Killen, Aug. 1957

Farewell dinner for Jim & Laura Ann, Aug, 1957

Hollis, Patricia, Laura Ann in Tokyo, Aug 1957

Laura Ann Carpenter at Tokyo International, Monday, August 19, 1957

Winging our way home, Mon. Aug. 19, 1957 [Take me back to Tulsa]

Honolulu International Airport, August 1957

Our Plane at Hawaii, August 1957

Date Unknown or questionable

Laura Ann & Jim Carpenter playing records at home in Narimasu, Japan, '56 / '57

Swimming Pool at Grant Heights

Country Scene near Camp Owada

Street Scene in Narimasu, Japan

Tokyo Street Scene, '56 or'57

Tokyo Street Scene, '56 or'57

Tokyo Street Bird's-eye View, '56 or '57

Japanese Girl

Ricksha in Tokyo

Tokyo Train Station

Honey Wagon in Narimasu

Crops and Fields near Narimasu

More Crops and Fields near Narimasu

Carpenters, Killens on motorcycles, 1956 or 57

Laura Ann & Hollis on Motorcycles

Jim & Hollis on motorcycles at Carpenter's house

Laura Ann & Pat on motorcycles at Carpenter's house

Roberta & Dave Robinson on bicycles at their house

Laura Ann Carpenter, Carolyn & Calvin Black, Lloyd Higgins

Carolyn & Calvin Black, Mardy & Ted Tedder

Group at home of Lloyd & Beverly Higgins

Pete Turner

Leo Iten

Don Purnell in Choir Robe, 1956 / 57

Narimasu Station

Workers in field near Grant Heights, 1956 or 57

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