Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: 1950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/25



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 KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

Anil Malhotra

The Stories His Father Told Him

Anil Malhotra reflects on the stories his father, Brigadier Tilka Raj Malhotra, told him about his experience in Korea. On November 19, 1950, the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit of India moved in to Korea. It was the time when the Chinese army put in a massive counter-attack. His unit was ordered to evacuate because of the Chinese attack. The unit became known as the Bucket Brigade because they carried buckets of water from the nearby river to a steam engine to get it working once again. The steam engine hauled all medical equipment away from the conflict zone and was not lost to the war. The steam engine carried all of the medical equipment to Seoul, across the Han river, just in time because the communists blew up the bridge right after. He expands on other stories about the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit. The goal of the unit was to save as many lives as possible.



Arthur C. Golden

Baptism By Fire (Graphic)

Arthur Golden recounts his first days in Korea and the fear he experienced when the shooting began. He describes the experience of his company moving to set up the perimeter and a rifle company digging in near them. He remembers meeting the rifle company's squad leader while digging a foxhole and the following day seeing that soldier’s lifeless body removed. He shares as part of their role for the United States Marine Corps 1st Division, they successfully pushed the enemy back. Following this success, he recalls regrouping for the Incheon Landing. Shortly after the landing, he describes the retaking of Seoul and moving down to Wonsan.



Benjamin Allen

First Days in Korea

Benjamin Allen shares he left for Korean in September 1950. He recounts his journey to Japan and then on to Busan (Pusan), Korea. He recalls riding a train towards Seoul which he remembers seeing burned as the North Koreans were retreating from the city. He offers his take on fear.



Carl W. House

Destruction of Civilian Homes

After Carl House's unit left the Incheon landing site, they headed to Seoul. He said the first time he witnessed the capital, it was gone due to total destruction. When American tanks arrived, they would level the buildings to keep the North Koreans from using them. Carl House said they warned civilians to leave their homes before the soldiers destroyed them. However, recently, Carl House was was surprised at a doctor's office when he came across a magazine in the waiting room describing South Korea's accomplishments since the war.



First Night with a North Korean Spy

Carl House described that his unit worked with ROK soldiers and the language barrier made it difficult to understand each other. They relied heavily on sign language as a way to interpret their needs. During the first night, Carl House discovered that the person in his foxhole was a North Korean spy with assistance from the ROK soldier. They questioned the spy and the ROK soldiers took him away. Carl House felt he was lucky and he was amazed that the ROK was able to identify the spy.



I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!

Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.



Charles E. Gebhardt

Destruction in Seoul

Charles Gebhardt describes the destruction of Seoul he witnessed when passing through on his way to Kimpo Airfield. He says he "may have became a pacifist at that time," referring to the conditions that he saw Koreans living under.



Chauncey E. Van Hatten

Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang

Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the fighting at Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang. He describes the enemy forces that his unit faced and being outflanked many times by North Koreans.



Chester Coker

Joining the Front Lines at the 38th Parallel

Chester Coker discusses joining the front lines when American troops took Seoul and crossed the 38th parallel. He recalls meeting severe resistance and his company losing twenty-five percent of its men, about fifty total, crossing the Imjingang River. He remembers one of his only thoughts at the time was survival. He recalls jumping into the river instead of crossing the bridge, without knowing how deep it actually was.



Recapturing Seoul

Chester Coker recalls the recapture of Seoul. He remembers a great deal of artillery and many airstrikes preceding the foot soldiers marching into the city. He remembers a devastated city, with only one brick building left standing. He recalls having the North Koreans on the run after leaving Seoul two to three days. He recalls never making it to Pyungyang due to multiple truck accidents.



David Valley

Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles

David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.



Donald D. Johnson

Leaving Your Wife Behind

Donald D. Johnson describes being called back in September 1950 to serve in the Korean War. He mentions the battles in which he fought and his reasons for joining the Inactive Reserves. He elaborates on the emotional toll of leaving his wife behind.



Donald L. Mason

Incheon Landing

Donald Mason discusses his experience during the Incheon Landing. He knew it was high tide and shares that he was in a LST landing craft. His unit, the artillery unit, went in after the infantry landed, and they pushed beyond Incheon to Seoul. He was surprised at all of the destruction he witnessed.



Donald R. Bennett

Moving to the 38th Parallel and Back to Incheon

Donald R. Bennett recalls his unit moved from Seoul to the Han River shortly after his arrival and fought its way to the 38th Parallel. He details their movements toward the 38th Parallel and their return to Incheon and eventually Wonsan Harbor. He notes Bob Hope actually beat his unit into Wonsan because of the delay they faced in landing due to someone, possibly the Russians, mining much of the harbor. He discusses the challenges of being a young tank commander in charge of four other men who had relatively little knowledge or training related to tanks.



Douglas Koch

Leading the Charge

Douglas Koch describes the 5th Marines' role in the Inchon Landing. He explains that the Inchon Landing was imperative in the cutting off of the rail lines that led to Seoul and fed the North Koreans the supplies they needed to fight in South Korea. He recalls that upon hearing the Marines were headed to Seoul to recapture the city, the civilians fled for the hills.



Rice Paddy Ambush

Douglas Koch describes being shot after the recapture of Seoul. He explains that he was ordered to establish an outpost on the other side of a rice paddy with his squad. As he led his men across the paddy, a North Korean machine gunner shot him multiple times in the leg and hip. He recalls ordering his squad to leave him in the field until help arrived.



Duane Trowbridge

Landing at Inchon and Fighting to Seoul

Duane Trowbridge describes nearly non-stop activity after arriving at Inchon. He explains, in detail, coming under mortar attack on the way to Seoul and receiving shrapnel in his knee. He explains how his injury sidelined him for a little while but shares he was soon back in the line of fire. He explains the struggle of a fellow soldier who got trapped in a foxhole and how a friend, Bill, lost his eyesight due to a mortar attack. He shares how he received his Purple Heart.



Felix DelGiudice

Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture

Felix DelGiudice participated in the Inchon Landing on September 15th and then fought the North Koreans during the Seoul recapture along with his 1st Marines Battalion. He remembers getting injured shortly after arriving in Korea. He also explains that Seoul was covered with sandbags, blown railroad tracks, and exploded glass domes from the railroad station.



Gregory Garcia

Change in Plans

Gregory Garcia remembers that he left for Korea around August or September 1950. He recalls how they put the battalion together and they were going to land in Seoul to help the Marines, but the Marines had retaken Seoul. Therefore, he explains that his job at Gimpo was to clean up dead and injured in addition to on guerrilla missions to clear out the mountains around the area.



Jack Allen

The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman

Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.



James E. Carter, Sr.

Capturing Seoul and Wonsan

James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.



James Jolly

Pure Destruction: Seoul

James Jolly describes the recapturing of Seoul in 1950 and the destruction that was endured. He explains that the majority of the city's buildings were destroyed in order to get rid of the enemy who were inside of them. He goes on to describe his pride for the strength and will of the Korean people to rebuild.



James P. Argires

Poverty and a Friendship

James Argires how they went from Incheon to Seoul and then North. He explains the poverty he saw in detail. He remembers a little boy that would follow him for about a month.



John Beasley

Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing

John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.



A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir

John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.



John H. Jackson

Returning to the Korean War after being Evacuated from Chosin Reservoir

John H. Jackson explains he was put back into battle after he was evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir. He shares he fought at the Imjin River and Han River. He recounts how he continued fighting during the Seoul Recapture, Chorwon Valley, and Ontrang.



John R. Stevens

The recapture of Seoul

John R. Stevens describes his experiences during the recapture of Seoul. He explains how his platoon captured many North Koreans along the river they followed into the city. He also describes the task of having to destroy the North Korean's weapons along the way. He recalls a particular incident when, in an attempt to break the stock of a gun, one of his lieutenants accidentally killed somebody.



John Sehejong Ha

Seoul Recapture

John Sehejong Ha describes being at Douglas MacArthur entering South Korea. He describes being in attendance for the Seoul recapture. He shares a memory of seeing S. Koreans who had been forced to collaborate with North Korea's army. He shares how he witness the first group of US Marines enter South Korea.



Joseph Lewis Grappo

Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture

Joseph Lewis Grappo explains how he participated in the Inchon Landing as a sixteen-year-old. He shares how he had little fear since he didn't know what to expect. He explains that since he was a part of the heavy mortar company, he created a defensive line behind the US Marines in order to recapture Seoul from the east side. He explains that he then went to Busan awaiting orders for the next invasion but there was a delay. He describes how he then traveled to Hamheung. He shares a memory from Hamheung where he witnessed money coming from a looted North Korean bank so he took some and bought apples from the locals.



Lawrence Paul Murray (Paul Murray)

Early Sacrifices

Lawrence Paul Murray describes his first injury on his way to Seoul after the Incheon Landing. He describes a bullet injury to his ribs from a machine gun. He received the Purple Heart for this injury.



Merl Smith

Serving as a Merchant Marine

Merl Smith discusses his role as a merchant marine in the Korean War. Merchant Marines were a civilian unit supplying troops with whatever they needed. He recounts his time at the Incheon Landing. He remembers taking on four North Koreans who wanted to surrender. He also recalls seeing the invasion from afar on his boat. He, alongside a friend, rode up to Seoul, following the American troops.



Michael Fryer

The Realities of Warfare

Michael Fryer recalls broken buildings, poverty, and the state of destitution of the Korean people. He describes the poor conditions in Seoul in late 1951. He recounts the shock he received when he encountered battered and dead American soldiers on the front line.



P. Stanley Cobane

Shrapnel Injury Leading to Paralyzation During Battle

P. Stanley Cobane describes taking Hill 296 outside of Seoul. He describes a fierce battle that involved artillery and mortars. He describes sticking his head out of fox hole "at the wrong time." A mortar exploded and shrapnel went into his neck, hit a bone and splattered. He has had one surgery to remove the biggest piece of shrapnel but seven pieces still remain and he was left paralyzed. He goes on describe being pulled from the foxhole and taken to Hill 296 and was air-vac'ed out.



Paul H. Cunningham

Basic Training, Technical School, and Arriving in Korea

Paul Cunningham recalls sitting for seven weeks waiting for his assignment after basic training. Since he did not want to go to Germany, he volunteered for Adak, Alaska, but while training in South Carolina, the Korean War began. He remembers arriving in Korea at Pusan on September 20, 1950, and recalls setting up a radar station at the top of a hill in Pusan. After that, he moved to Osan, Incheon, and Kimpo Air Base to continue setting up radar stations.



The Most Difficult Experience in Korea

Paul Cunningham identified the lack of solid support from the US government as the most difficult experience in Korea because all of the troops were ready to follow MacArthur all the way to the Yalu River. He shares that he was a part of the Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 502 Tactical Control Group during his time in Korea. He adds that his squadron performed air surveillance for three hundred miles in all directions using radar machines that were used during WWII.



Richard Carey – Part 1

March to Seoul

Richard Carey describes a recognizance mission. He shares an encounter with North Korean troops on the way to Seoul. He explains how he was awarded the Bronze Star for capturing the North Korean platoon.



Covered in Blood for Days

Richard Carey describes the situation in Seoul as his platoon tried to help recapture it from the North Koreans. He shares information about his squadron leaders and injuries of his platoon. He explains how they stopped for a breather and what happened in the process.



Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson

"Why are we even here?"

Robert Johnson reflects on his first impressions of the Korean War. He talks about his journey to Korea and what he was thinking when he stepped foot on Korean soil for the first time. He remembers his participation in the Battle of Seoul and his reaction to all the destruction.



Samuel Henry Bundles, Jr.

From Japan to Korea

Samuel Bundles, Jr., discusses his experience of being deployed to Japan and being assigned to a Medical Company. He recalls waiting two or three months before arriving in Pusan, Korea, and eventually working at a hospital that was located ninety miles away from Seoul. He recounts how he played second base on a baseball team during his downtime to entertain troops.



Sterling N. McKusick

Arrival in Korea

Sterling N. McKusick recounts the story of his arrival to Korea from bootcamp in San Diego. He shares the 1st Marine Division landed in Incheon on September 15, 1950, just months after the start of the war. He notes that this was a totally different experience for him, especially seeing deceased people. He recalls his boat was near the U.S.S. Missouri and other large ships which were firing upon the city prior to their arrival. He recalls the taking of Wolmido Island as well as arrival in Incheon and movement to Yeongdeungpo and Seoul.



William Herold

Inchon Landing & Seoul Recapture

William Herold describes landing in Inchon around amid Korea's heavy rain. He recounts having to wait the night out by himself until daylight when his company could regroup. He adds that there was little resistance other than sniper fire. He explains that he did not have a chance to really look around Inchon as he and his platoon members had no opportunity to get out. William Herold describes the march to Seoul following the Inchon Landing, adding that there was resistance.