KENNETH F. ZIMMET

Private First Class | Field Artillery

Winters in Korea were awfully cold, and many meals began to cool before reaching cannoneers on the line even when packed in insulated mermite cans.  The men still appreciated any way to avoid canned rations and gladly accepted whatever came out of the kitchen.  The 981st Field Artillery had just taken up positions vacated by the 24th Division.  California's 40th Division was online at the Korean front, freezing in their trenches and sandbag bunkers.

Upon being called up for active duty with the rest of the Division in September 1950, Zimmet was immediately delegated to the kitchen of B Battery, 981st Field.  During World War II he had served as a cook and baker for his stint in the Merchant Marines and the Army quickly saw fit to use his skills in the same capacity.

Stacks of boxes adorned with the familiar crescent symbol of Army stuffs encroached on Zimmet's kitchen.  His equipment was primitive compared to the industrial kitchens on merchant vessels, but it all worked  to feed over 140 artillerymen three meals a day, even if the rough ground caused some lopsided areas.

It was hard work in dreadfully cold conditions, though it was likely that the kitchen was the best tent to be in given the constant heat from preparing food.  The worst part about it all was the constant shelling, from both sides.  Day and night artillery came in and the 981st Field answered with barrages of their own.

Zimmet was relieved to spend only five months on the line and returned to his wife and son in California.  The two met in Australia when the S.S. Schenectady sailed there in 1945.  Three years later, they had a son together and settled in Kenneth's home in Ojai.

    EXHAUSTING & DIRTY WORK - THE RCM COLLECTION

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