Fort Myer, VA Memories
Featuring South Post c1940-1970

Richard Grimes
Idaho Hall – South Post 1950-1956

Fort Belvoir
  Richard lived on South Post as an Army Brat (child of a parent in the Army) from 1950-1952 then again in 1955-1956. Richard submitted the following text and photos.
    "I grew up a typical Army Brat. From 1950-1952 (after we returned from Hokkaido, Japan) and again in 1955-1956 (after we returned from Camp Roeder, Salzburg, Austria), my step-father, Sgt. Phillip McCanse, was stationed at The Pentagon. He was a Signal Corps cryptographer and we learned many years later in his autobiography, decoded a message from General MacArthur in June 1950.
    Life and work was fairly routine until June 25, 1950. We got a flash message from Japan that a nervous little GS-7 had me a break. It was a one-time tape system where I put a tape duplicate of the one used in Japan in a tape reader, and printed the results on a teletypewriter. It was a Top Secret message from General MacArthur announcing the start of the Korean War. I've often wondered why it was classified as surely the enemy knew they had attacked!?
      From 1950-1952 my dad, mother , Marietta Thompson McCanse, and my brother David Michael McCanse lived on South Post Fort Myer. We lived in Idaho Hall, which was in the cluster of 'dependent housing' barracks off Arlington Ridge Road, and can be seen in the background of some of the photos. This area had been known as Arlington Farms and Arlington Cantonment until it was changed to South Post in the early 50's. My dad walked to work every day, past the post swimming pool and through the tunnel to The Pentagon. I started 1st Grade when I was 5 and took a bus from Myer to an elementary school in Washington, DC.
      I don't remember where we lived on Myer on the second tour in 1955-1956, but I remember going to the post swimming pool and exploring Arlington National Cemetery, being careful to not walk on graves and keeping my distance from the military funerals. The Cemetery was across a street (Arlington Ridge Road...) immediately adjacent to where we lived (could have been Florida, Delaware, California or Georgia Hall). Also during this tour, my mother worked as an Administrative Secretary in the Headquarters of the U.S. Signal Corps.  We were not living on South Post more than a few months because we bought our first house at 612 Pelham Street, off Shirley Highway, in Alexandria, and lived there until we moved to Tucson and Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Ironically, 62 years later, I am living about 1 mile from where we lived on Pelham...."
Above Left: Rickey McCanse (Grimes) being held upside down by his friend Steve, with Idaho Hall in the background. View is looking North towards the original section of Arlington Cemetery with Idaho Hall in the background. Above Right: Rickey jumping off the diving board at the South Post pool. Photos taken 1955.
Above 4 Photos: Rickey's brother, David McCanse posing alone with this mother, Marietta McCanse, with Idaho Hall in the background. Photos are from 1951.
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