When Rebekah Nugent went to renew registration on the car owned by she and her husband Ed; she inquired about the Korean War license plate she had heard about. It required a trip home to get military documentation of Ed's combat service but resulted in Ed Nugent being the FIRST getting the "Korean Conflict Veteran" license plate from the Pace office of the County Tax Collector.
Becky was pleased to get an 82nd birthday tribute to her husband's combat service. Ed has always been pleased to share his birthday with his son Edward E. Nugent Jr. Now his "Birthday" license plate adds the pleasure of displaying a "reminder" there was a Korean War; often called the forgotten war.
Within 30 days after North Korea invaded South Korea, Ed was on carrier Philippine Sea joined carrier Valley Forge launching planes into a three year "conflict" that would result in over 50,000 killed and 250,000 wounded, near the total loss suffered in Viet Nam over a 12 year period.
Ed was placed in the Catapult Crew and the first plane he ever "hooked up" flew into combat. Early in the conflict a "Bogie" ie unidentified aircraft, refused to turn back even after a "star shell" was fired. In response both the "Valley" and "Phil" launched one Grumman F9F Panther. A soviet two engine bomber was shot down about 4 miles from the Task Force, documented by one body picked up the next day. It was taken to the Soviet Embassy the next time Philippine Sea pulled into port.
Pulling into port was not a frequent occurrence. Ed's First tour was 11.5 months and one time they were at sea 105 days. After promotions to First Class (E-6) Ed served on 2 of 3 old WW II ''jeep carriers" that were used to carry new planes to the Korean theater and load & carry back shot up planes for repair. In this duty Ed estimates he was the man responsible for loading and unloading about 1/3 of all the Air Force's famous F-86 Sabres, that was the plane up to combat with the Russian Mig-IS that came into the conflict when China entered the war late in 1950.
"I hope there are still enough Korean War vets to buy up all the car plates," Nugent said. "Men and Women
Serving in our current 'conflict', will believe their service will be remembered; when they see the service of earlier generations is still remembered."