Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: 1950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/24



Political/Military Tags

1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9

Geographic Tags

AnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri

Social Tags

Basic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

Arthur Gentry

War Torn: 1950 Hamheung Evacuation

Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the his ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.



Bruce Ackerman

Home for Christmas?

Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.



Edwin R. Hanson

"Home by Christmas" Was Just a Rumor

After the Hamheung Evacuation, the US soldiers came down from the Chosin Reservoir and traveled to Masan to celebrate Christmas with the famous 'Home by Christmas' Dinner. This was when MacArthur gave a speech promising the men to be home before Christmas. Edwin Hanson said that this rumor was killed shortly after they got to Masan. "Chestee" was what Edwin Hason called MacArthur and he said that it was only a rumor because they wouldn't be going home. Edwin Hason didn't mind though; he was just excited to be aboard a ship and not in the Chosin Reservoir again.



Felix Byrd

A Week as an Infantryman

Felix Byrd describes a week where his outfit moved north, and he served with the infantry until they reached Hamhung, where they were evacuated. He recalls being shot at. He says they had to sleep without sleeping bags in 30-below temperatures.



Herbert Werner

Refugees During War

Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.



J. Robert Lunney

Army Requests Help

J. Robert Lunney speaks about the decision, by SS Meredith Victory Captain LaRue, to "Volunteer" his ship to help with the Hungnam evacuation.



Loading the Human Cargo

J. Robert Lunney describes the process of loading of over 14,000 North Korean civilian refugees, mostly women, children. and the elderly, aboard the cargo ship SS Meredith Victory. Lunney also speaks about the conditions aboard the ship for the refugees.



No Room at the Inn (Pusan Harbor)

J. Robert Lunney talks about not being able to off load the 14,000 refegues at Pusan on Christmas Eve 1950 because of the port being over loaded with other refugees. He also talks about being sent to Kojedo and offloading the refugees on December 26th.



The Heros of the Ship of Miracles

J. Robert Lunney speaks about who he considers the "True Heros" of the Hungnam evacuation are. He also speaks about the sacrifices and contributions of the refugees to the development of South Korea.



Jack Allen

The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.



James “Jim” Valentine

I Was Only 17/18

James Valentine discusses being evacuated. He discusses that he thought he was leaving but was sent back to liberate Seoul the second time from North Korea. He explains how he didn't completely understand since he was just a teen and how it changed him. He shares his struggles post-war. His wife, Beth, adds a story about rations and being able to eat during the cold. She explains how he didn't speak of the war until being involved with the VFW in Washington.



James Houp

Time in Korea

James Houp speaks about his time in Pusan and Heungnam, up towards the Yalu River, and recalls meeting Chinese forces. He describes how his unit was pushed back to Heungnam where he worked to set up communication lines with the ships. He recalls how his unit stayed in a warehouse and remembers seeing the Army retreating away from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He comments on the temperature being thirty-two degrees below zero at the time. He recalls his departure via a U.S. ship headed back to Pusan and then to other locations south of Seoul.



John H. Jackson

Battle at the Chosin Reservoir

John H. Jackson fought in the Battle at the Chosin Reservoir and he fought there until Christmas Eve 1950. The weather was very cold and it even went down to 50 below zero. Some of the soldiers were freezing to death as the Chinese continued to fight.



John Levi

Escaping Heungnam by any means necessary...

John Levi talks about his emotional encounter with Korean citizens in Heungnam. Fleeing the war zone, many Korean citizens looked for any way out of the war zone with backs that were loaded with children and anything they could carry. John Levi saw the plight of his people, the Native American people, in the same struggle that many Koreans had to endure during the war.



Merl Smith

The Hungnam Evacuation

Merl Smith discusses his role in the Heungnam Evacuation. He shares that his ship saved over fourteen thousand people from Heungnam after being called to duty from Pusan. He details how the ship only had supplies for forty-eight men, did not have heat or toilet facilities, and had very little water. He remembers the Chinese blew up the port as the ship was exiting Heungnam and sailing with the Korean refugees for three days while bringing them to safety.



Paul Hummel

Always Have a Backup Plan

Paul Hummel remembered when the enemy forces figured out the weaknesses of United States' planes. Due to this, there needed to be a back up plan created to outwit the Chinese. Mosquito pilots used a variety of maneuvers while in the Hamhung area.



Robert Talmadge

Hamheung Evacuation aka Hungnam Evacuation (code name Christmas Cargo)

Robert Talmadge talks about the Miracle Evacuation of Korean civilians from Hungnam including the loading of the civilians onto the USS Victory. He remembers 99,000 civilians on the pier that loaded onto the ship. He explains how the civilians had to leave all of their belongings before boarding.



Rollo Minchaca

Marine Corp Hymn and Japanese Whiskey

Rollo Minchaca talks about spending Christmas and New Years during the Korean War. Many of the men were collapsing due to the stress of being in the extreme cold and living in tents. They evacuated to Pusan and had to regroup because of the extreme temperature.