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University of Missouri

Something to Write Home About

Sixty years ago, a group of 44 MU students and graduates reunited in Seoul, South Korea.

old photo of a group of men

Hardin Cox, fifth from the left in the back, and Homer Ball, far right, reunited with 44 MU students and graduates while serving in South Korea in 1952. Photo courtesy of Diane Ball.

Sixty years ago, a group of 44 MU students and graduates gathered in a hotel in Seoul, South Korea. There was a dinner, speeches and — after a long day on the front lines — a few drinks. The late Homer Ball, BS PA ’51, was there that night in February 1952 and wrote his wife, Diane Ball, BS BA ’52, about it in a letter composed on a typewriter. The couple corresponded daily while he served in the Korean War, and this is one of the few letters she saved. Homer, a second lieutenant at the Seoul Air Base, wrote of the mini reunion: “IT WAS GREAT! I don’t know of anything that could have made it a nicer dinner and time, for the location and circumstances, that is.” He mentioned Lt. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor’s talk about his childhood in Missouri and a tape-recorded message from football Coach Don Faurot. (Unfortunately, no one remembers what Faurot said.) Homer spent most of the five-page letter describing fellow Tigers at the event. “I guess the first guy I saw when I walked into the hotel lobby was Hardin Cox,” Homer wrote. “Big, friendly Sig Chi football player who went with a Tri Delt, remember him? I didn’t even know he was in Korea, either.” Cox, BS BA ’51, a first lieutenant for the United States Forces in Korea, still recalls that night. “We got a bunch of Missourians together — and a lot of us had known one another before school — and told stories,” Cox says. “We knew we were all comrades in arms.”