U.S. Army 1955–1956
Born in Newton, Al DelMonte grew up during World War II. He remembers food rationing, blackouts and “gasless Sundays.” After high school graduation in 1952, he worked in the local A&P until he was drafted into the US Army in 1955 and was trained in fire direction and then transported to Korea. Assigned to Baker Battalion, 7th Division Artillery, DelMonte was sent to Munsan, five miles south of the DMZ, where he became part of an eight-man unit manning a Howitzer aimed at Panmunjom, North Korea, 12 miles away. Living conditions were rough, living in tents and then a bunker dug into the side of a hill. Time passed relatively quickly until he returned to California in July 1956 and was discharged the following month. Mr. DelMonte ended his interview with the remarks that the Army taught him discipline and respect for everything.