PROFILE OF A MUSEUM VOLUNTEER
Floyd Sherwood Hill, who likes to be known simply as “Sam”, was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma on May 3rd, 1930. When his family moved to California he attended Benjamin Harrison elementary School, and then graduated from Long Beach Poly Technical High School.
Sam enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1948, after completing high school. He completed his basic training at Fort Ord, California and was selected to attend the U.S. Army Command Leadership School on the same base. Upon completion of the Leadership School, he was assigned to Fort Lewis in Washington State, reporting to the 2nd Infantry Division, 23rd Infantry Regiment’s Tank Company. He received further training with the 2nd Infantry Division, by participating in amphibious land warfare training in Hawaii until 1949. After the 2nd Division returned to Fort Lewis, Sam completed additional training in Desert Warfare at the Army’s Yakima Firing Range in Yakima, Washington. By this time Sam had completed enough training to be designated a Tank Commander.
During the spring of 1950, Sam was assigned to the Republic of South Korea and became part of the cadre for the training of the South Korean Army, the KMAG, (Korean Military Advisory Group). While Sam was en route on the high seas to his new post, the Korean War broke out in full military force. He landed in Japan, and spent an overnighter in Pusan, Korea, where his orders were changed. He was assigned to the first combat division that engaged the North Korean Army, with the 24th Infantry Division, (19th Infantry Regiment). His outfit had no serviceable tanks so Sam was assigned as a squad leader in “C” Company, 19th Infantry Division. He participated in combat in numerous battles along the Taejon-Taegue-Pusan Corridor that was nothing more than a dirt surface highway that usually ran through mountainous terrain. He also participated in what was to become known as the “Battle of the Pusan Perimeter” that was a “Last Ditch Stand” to provide the American Forces time to join in the war. Fortunately, the “Pusan Perimeter” held up! Sam’s unit was separated from his outfit for nearly 8 days and they subsisted on native food and water during that battle.
During the battle of Chinju-Masan, Sergeant Sam Hill was wounded. He was evacuated from a field hospital to Pusan Army Hospital, and then transferred to a British Hospital Ship named the H.M.S. Maine II. The ship docked at Osaka, Japan where Sam was transferred to the U.S. Air Force Hospital. From there, he was sent by medical train to the Tokyo Army Hospital, and then the 369th Station Hospital, also in Tokyo. After five (5) weeks of hospitalization, Sam was transferred to Camp Drake, Japan, which was a Replacement Depot, and served there as a Battalion Sergeant Major. Sam was due to be discharged in September 1951, but his service was extended for one more year. He was finally rotated to the United States in June, 1952, and released as Regular Army Sergeant First Class.
Sam’s mother Essie had moved to Fresno, California, so he enrolled at Reedley College in Reedley, California in 1952. There he met Janet Taul, who was Reedley’s Fiesta Princess. He went on to
Fresno State College in Fresno, graduating in 1957, and then to Santa Clara University Law School, completing his law degree in 1960. Sam and Janet were married in Las Vegas, Nevada and have three boys and one girl. Sam practiced law in Fresno for over forty-two years before retiring. With some of his free time he volunteers as a docent at the Veterans Memorial Museum “Home of the Legion of Valor” where he enjoys meeting fellow veterans and visitors.