Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: 1953 Armistice 7/27



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

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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

Ahmet Tan

Returning Home

Ahmet Tan describes the enemy and fighting conditions near Cheorwon when he first arrived. The action was very violent, but eased when the Armistice was signed. After the Armistice, Turkish soldiers returned home. Ahmet Tan was happy to be home in Istanbul. He has revisited South Korea once and describes it as beautiful. Also, if war ever breaks out again, Ahmet Tan would go again.



Alan Guy

Duties Following Cease-fire

Alan Guy recounts returning to Busan to assist with health aspects following the cease-fire and details several duties. Despite the cease-fire, he recalls an incident that involved a rope strung across the road as an attempted means of decapitating drivers. He shares an account of a situation he found himself in within the black market.



Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan

Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.



Allen Affolter

Ceasefire Memories

Allen Affolter describes an event leading up to the ceasefire in 1953. He shares that Bed Check Charlie dropped leaflets the night before the ceasefire at Panmunjom stating that the North Koreans always knew where the US positions were and that they could have annihilated them at any time. He recalls that he and other soldiers were instructed to turn in all of the leaflets. He recounts that the leaflets had little impact and that he and others were glad when the ceasefire was announced.



Allen Clark

Korean Culture and Ceasefire

Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.



Alvin Jurrens

Return to Hardship on the Home Front

Alvin Jurrens describes the ceasefire on July 27th, 1953. He remembers waking up the following morning to, for the first time, a quiet morning. He tears as he shares the hardest part for him upon his return home after the war.



Andrew Lanza

Armistice Day

Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.



Arden Rowley

Relief at the Gateway to Freedom

Arden Rowley reflects on the indescribable feeling of hearing the war was over and that he would go home. He recalls being told they would be released after the signing of the armistice and remembers a drastic improvement in how the prisoners were fed. He elaborates on the emotional experience of seeing American soldiers at the exchange point and walking through the gateway to freedom.



Bob Wickman

Stories of the Wounded

Bob Wickman explains that though he only served a short time in Korea, he was there at the time of the armistice. He recalls what he terms the "fiasco" at the Berlin and East Berlin Outposts as well as the severe hand-to-hand combat in the trench lines near Boulder City. He recalls some of the more severely injured he treated during this time period.



Carl W. House

Emotions of a POW

Carl House and the other POWs lived on hope and they were planning to make an escape by rationing their own food (rice), storing it in a worn shirt to store it safely in the ceiling. Just as Bert, Andy, and he were about to make their attempt to escape, the POWs were moved to another building and the guards found the rations. He shares that he left Camp 3 in August 1953 and crossed the DMZ in September. He remembers eating many bowls of ice cream after his rescue.



Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco

Signing of the Armistice / Firma del Armisticio

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco provides an account of the jubilation felt by allied and enemy troops on the day the Armistice was signed. He describes the way in which they cheered and held their helmets high on one hill and could see enemy troops do the same on the other side. He explains that they were elated at the the news of the prisoner of war exchange as there were over twenty Colombians that were being held captive.

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco da cuenta de la alegría que sintieron las tropas aliadas y enemigas el día de la firma del Armisticio. Describe la forma en que botaban los cascos tanto ellos como las tropas enemigas. Recuerda que lo más eufórico fue la noticia del intercambio de prisioneros de guerra que se produciría porque habían más de veinte colombianos cautivos.



Carroll F. Reusch

Serving with KATUSAs

Carroll F. Reusch reminisces about the KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army) soldiers that served with his unit. He remembers three in particular and notes that he had a good time with them especially after the armistice was signed.



Remembering the Armistice

Carroll F. Reusch remembers being stationed in Korea at the time of the armistice. He recalls eating some of the best food they had while they were there on the day the ceasefire would go into effect and then being told they were going out on patrol. He recollects the patrol quickly ended as the ceasefire took hold at 10:00 a.m. on July 27, 1953. He notes that the Korean armies were quickly moved off the lines and replaced by United Nations forces.



Cecil Phipps

POW Release

Cecil Phipps recalls his released from Chinese captivity on August 28, 1953, at Panmunjeom after thirty-three months as a POW. He describes the trip from Camp #3, taking several days by truck and train and spending a week in another POW camp, before finally reaching freedom at Panmunjeom.



Cecilio Asuncion

Panmunjeom Peace Talks

Cecilio Asuncion discusses his belief that the war should not have happened. He highlights the original division of Korea and then the division at the Panmunjeom Peace Talks. While describing the peace talks, he provides an overview of the delegates who were in attendance. Since South Korea did not take part in the peace talks, he clarifies that North and South Korea are still at war.



Chaplain Ralph Lindon Smith Jr.

The Last Days of the War at Outpost Harry

Ralph Smith talks about the last days of the war at Outpost Harry. He describes the heavy shelling that took place up until the armistice was signed and recalls his memories of Operation Rollback. He tells the story of meeting a Chinese officer out on the battlefield the morning after the armistice.



Charles Eugene Warriner

Korea After the Armistice

Charles Eugene Warriner talks about arriving at Incheon and his assignment near the DMZ in the time just after the signing of the Armistice. He describes building a bunker and collecting lumber. He shares how although the war was over, one could still feel and sense the horror of war overhead.



Clarence J. Sperbeck

Hey! Wait A Minute! That's Us!

On the date of Clarence Sperbeck's release, August 19, 1953, the first thing the US did was give him a physical examination. He said while he was there, he picked up the "Stars and Stripes" Newspaper, and saw the headlines read, "Chinese attempt to keep 400 POW's." Clarence Sperbeck said, "Hey they were talking about us!" He mentioned the Chinese kept over 800 prisoners, took them back to China, and used them for atomic experiments. There were others who refused repatriation and were not well liked by the men when they returned.



Clifford Bradley Dawson

Cease Fire and Christmas in Korea

Clifford Bradley Dawson shares his experience of the cease-fire being called in July 1953. He describes watching across the Han River and seeing the final rounds going off that night. Despite the cease-fire, he remembers there being no celebrations and how he felt suspicious of the Chinese and North Koreans. He remembers celebrating Christmas in Korea even though they had no tree. He shares how, to pass the time, they played cards.



Dan McKinney

Life After the Armistice Was Signed

Dan McKinney talks about life in the POW camp during months prior to and days after the Armistice were signed. He mentions that their treatment became better or worse based on the state of the negotiations. He talks about the prisoners' reactions to the news of the Armistice as well as how he and his comrades were transported to be exchanged nearly a month after the ceasefire went in place.



Demetrios Arvanitis

The Fog Dissolved

Demetrios Arvanitis provides an account of the Chinese army, just days before the armistice, attempting to penetrate through the center of the UN lines. He recalls the fog creating more issues for the Chinese than anticipated. As the fog lifted, he comments on the heroism of his men, which led to the capture of fourteen Chinese soldiers and their commanding officer.



He Would Have Surrendered in 1950

Demetrios Arvanitis provides an account of an altercation he had while the Chinese soldiers were surrendering. He describes a wounded Chinese soldier turning an automatic rifle on him and his quick actions that led to disarming the soldier. Because of his interaction with the prisoner of war, he shares how the prisoner of war tried to give him a service medal and sent a letter to President Eisenhower praising Demetrios Arvanitis.



Danger Remained Before Our Eyes

Demetrios Arvanitis discusses his near death experience shortly before the ceasefire went into effect. He describes how the Chinese seemed focused on removing his unit from their location north of the 38th parallel. During the night before the ceasefire, he remembers shells detonating and cutting down all of the trees surrounding his trench. He reveals how the chaplain held a mass the following morning at the location in which he escaped death.



Dennis Grogan

Recollections of Korea

Dennis Grogan talks about the sacrifice he made to serve in Korea. He explains how he received correspondence from his wife, saying his daughter had been born while he was in Korea. He discusses why he is proud to have been a part of the Korean War legacy and the issue of little acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by Korean War veterans.



Desmond M. W. Vinten

Dispatch Rider

Desmond Vinten initially lied on military documents to enlist in the military at nineteen. He arrived at Busan in June of 1951 and remained until the Armistice. He served as a dispatch rider based in the headquarters of the Forward Maintenance Area. He left July 27, 1953, as the cease fire came into effect. He has returned to Korea four times since his service.



Never Wanted to Return

Desmond Vinten left Korea with the intention of never returning. Upon arrival in 1951, he could smell Busan from thirty miles out at sea. The total war zone was so intense that he did not think South Korea could recover to become what it is today. After all, the main goal of the United Nations was to keep the Communist Chinese out, not to rebuild South Korea.



Doddy Green (Widow of Ray Green)

Letters from Korea and Digging the DMZ

Doddy Green, widow of veteran Ray Green, recalls a particular letter from her husband at the developing DMZ. She shares that her husband spoke of the quietened guns after the ceasefire. She explains that her husband described the digging of lines at the present-day DMZ and living on C-Rations.



Don McCarty

Fear on the Front Lines That Led to PTSD

Don McCarty was afraid every minute that he was in Korea. Even after the Korean War ended, North Koreans continued to surrender to the Marines by crossing the 38th parallel. Don McCarty feels that he has a better understanding of life once he fought in the Korean War because there were so many Marines that lost their lives. Every night at 2 am, he wakes up with nightmares from his time at war. PTSD is a disease that Don McCarty is still living with 60 years after the Korean War ended.



Donald Clayton

Dump Truck Driver

Donald Clayton shares about the time he was supposed to drive a dump truck of gravel. He explains how he was set to head to the DMZ. He shared his Company's location during this time as being between Liberty Bridge and Freedom Gate Bridge.



Demilitarized Zone

Donald Clayton discussed the Armistice. He discusses how the DMZ was still the site of skirmishes even after the Armistice was signed. He shares how the infantry was on an island between two bridges on the Imjingang River where there was continued action. He shares his concern about leaving gravel in the middle of the road.



Donald Urich

Learning About the Armistice

Donald Urich recalls being in Korea when the Armistice was signed. He felt relieved and believe the Armistice was a good thing because there would be no more fighting or killing. He remembers thinking that nobody told the North Koreans about the Armistice because they were sending shells over the DMZ when he traveled up there with a supply truck.



Eddie Reyes Piña

Witnessing the Horrors of Pork Chop Hill and Then the Armistice

Eddie Reyes Piña served his country as part of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He reflects on how the unit fought back against the Chinese and North Koreans. He notes how he left his position in the rear guard to assist a medic in bringing the dead and wounded back. He further explains that the medic received a Bronze Star for Valor, but he did not in part because he did not know how to advocate for himself to ensure he received the medal. He concludes by sharing his recollections of witnessing the Armistice.



Edward T. Smith

A Letter of Lies

Edward T. Smith recounts only receiving one letter which was from his aunt. He believes that the only reason he even received that letter was because it lied about how terrible Thanksgiving was, making it seem like life back in the US was terrible. This supported the ideas of Chinese propaganda.



Felipe Cruz

Revisiting Korea

Felipe Cruz recounts his experience of supplying the infantry at the front lines during the Korean War. He proudly lists the medals he received for his service, one of which was the Ambassador for Peace Medal that he was presented with during his return to South Korea in 1998 through the Republic of Korea's "Revisit Program." He shares the highlights of his and his wife's trip to South Korea which included a visit to the location of the armistice agreement. He expresses he was initially reluctant to return to South Korea due to the devastation he witnessed during the war, but he acknowledges the positive impact the experience had on him.



Frank E. Butler

Patrolling the Korean Sea After the Armistice

Frank E. Butler learned that the war was over in 1953. He and his shipmates were assigned to patrol the border to prevent North Koreans from moving weaponry. At one point, gunners shot a ship filled with fruits and vegetables, but he asserts that most were transporting guns.



Frank Zielinski

The Hell of Living in Trenches

Frank Zielinski was stationed at Old Baldy when the Armistice went into effect. He remembers the danger of living in cold trenches filled with water. The enemy would attack at night, so soldiers stayed awake to guard their positions. With no hot food available, C-rations included pork and beans, cookies, cigarettes, and instant coffee. He recalls soldiers leaving part of their rations for the children living in nearby villages.



Franklin M. Sarver, Jr.

The Armistice

Franklin M. Sarver, Jr. explains how he was in the middle of fighting when the Armistice was signed. He shared the struggle of getting a count of all the men within 48 hours. He shares how the job got done.



Fred Liddell

POW Release and Chinese Propaganda

Fred Liddell was released from Panmunjom on September 5, 1953 and then sent to Incheon by helicopter with other inured POWs. He remembered that one horse patrol North Korean soldier led the POWs toward their release at Tent City near Panmunjom. The first meal he received from the US when he was released was roast beaf, baked potatoes, and peas, but it tore up his stomach. Listening to the Chinese lectures was the worst part of being a POW because they spoke about a variety of topics, but Fred Liddell believed that anyone who attended school knew that it was all lies.



Gene Bill Davidson

Finally Understood the Scripture

Gene Bill Davidson reflects on the work he completed during the war and standing out because of his height. Even after the signing of the armistice, he explains they still encountered ambushes. Because of this, he shares he continued to view the delivery of every message as life and death. Because of his work during the war, he reveals he finally understood and related to a verse of scripture that he received from his father in high school.



Gene Jordan

Night Patrolling

Gene Jordan describes being on the trench line at night for thirty days straight during the Korean War. He describes how the enemy was on one side and they were on the other. He explains that it was a stationary war at this point, and that they lived in the trench lines and bunkers depsite the extremely cold weather.



Incheon Then vs. Now

Gene Jordan describes how hard working the Korean people were during the war era. He discusses how the Korean people have established a united, stable democratic society. He shares how he never thought much about Korea after he left, but when he attended the Marine Corp Reunion, he was amazed to see and hear about the economic growth.



George Covel

Armistice Signing

George Covel shares his memories of the day the Armistice was signed. He recalls making bets with fellow soldiers who did not believe it would occur when he predicted, and he recounts their surprise when it actually took place. He also describes the "big switch, little switch" and the release of prisoners following the Armistice.



George J. Bruzgis

Signed To Cease Fire; Look What We Hit!

George Bruzgis vividly recalled on July 26, 1953, a Major approached them with a document they (both US and ROK) had to sign agreeing that at 10 p.m. on July 27, 1953, they had to stop firing their weapons. Shortly afterwards, a two-ton truck arrived taking most of their ammunition away, so they wouldn't shoot. However, at 6 a.m on July 27, 1953, they got a phone call that they were given coordinates to fire 5 rounds on what they thought maybe a cave or a bunker. He later learned in 2000 when he received a battalion pamphlet, his story of that morning was located within it saying his division destroyed a Chinese Observation Post.



George W. Liebenstein

Celebrating the Armistice and Going Home

George "Bill" Liebenstein saw only limited parts of Korea beyond the area behind the front lines where he was stationed. He shares his experience seeing the damage in Seoul and taking a supply run to Uijeongbu. He was still serving in Korea when the armistice was signed and recalls how the celebration of the event was marred by the accidental death of a man in his unit. He concludes by fondly remembering his arrival home to his family, business, and community.



Gerald Campbell

After the Armistice was Signed

Gerald Campbell discusses being ready to go home after 37 months and many lives lost. He shares how he mainly fought the Chinese. He discusses a Chinese attack just one month before the war ended.



Gerald Cavagnaro

Release for POWs

Gerald Cavagnaro describes moving to the last POW camp. He describes being transferred by train and ambulance to the border. He explains the welcoming home by American officers but didn't see the American flag. He explains the delousing process and receiving his first real shower in thirty-three months. He shares his fingerprints, picture, and information given on a laminated card to him once he returned to the US Army.



Gerald Land

Released POWs Had a Blank Stare In Their Eyes

Panmunjom was the site of disembarkation at the time when Gerald Land left in September of 1953. He came across American soldiers who had been held as Prisoners of War. Gerald Land was overcome by sadness when he saw how sick the POWs looked. They just stared into space and this made Gerald Land reflect how lucky he was to come out alive. He couldn't imagine the type of torture those men had been put through.



Germaye Beyene Tesfaye

Stopped by the Armistice

Germaye Tesfaye left Korea in 1953. So many people had died by that time. He still wishes the Armistice had not prevented him and his fellow Ethiopians from continuing their fight. They really wanted to take over North Korea. Germaye Tesfaye praises Korea's surprising progress since the 1950s. He is happy that the nation he fought to protect has achieved such economic success.



Harlan Nielsen

End of the War and Its Effects

Harlan Nielsen offers an account of his duties while in Korea following the signing of the armistice and his return home. His wife chimes in and explains his reaction of dropping to the floor anytime there was a loud noise after his return. She describes a story in which she hid and jumped out to scare him. He dropped to the floor and told her afterwards never to do it again.



Harry Hawksworth

The Release of British POWs After Armistice

Harry Hawksworth recalls knowing that peace talks must have been starting while he was trying to survive in a Chinese POW camp called Camp Changsong because the Chinese began to feed the POWs larger rations of food each day. He shares how this helped him fatten up after being held captive since May 1951 and weighing only ninety-five pounds. He explains that once the Armistice was signed in July 1953, he and other POWs were brought to Panmunjom at the 38th parallel. He recalls that it was there where they crossed over the famous Freedom Bridge back into Allied hands.



Ian J. Nathan

Democracy v. Totalitarianism: Walls Don't Work!

Ian Nathan considers the Korean War very important in world history, particularly due to the development of South Korea as a highly educated, economically strong nation with a stable government. He feels the seventy-year time span since the armistice is unfortunate, with gamesmanship and the sadness of separated families between North Korea and South Korea. He compares the divide between North and South Korea to the Berlin Wall and the wall on the southern United States border.



Irwin Saltzman

Party Until We All Get Home

Irwin Saltzman discusses the weekly parties after the Armistice was signed his outfit would have every Friday. He explains the ships home would leave on Monday so they would celebrate on Fridays for those who were returning to the United States. He shares the honor of his group and how it helped provide libations and steaks for these parties.



Jake Feaster Jr.

Arriving in Korea

Jake Feaster Jr. describes his arrival in Korea and the role of artillery in providing protective fire for the infantry during the peace negotiations. He shares he joined a unit holding a defensive position along the 38th Parallel. He recalls a session with Outpost Harry and another occasion when his unit provided protective fire all night long as the enemy was attempting to attack U.S. troops who had dug in.



Combat During the Week of the Final Cease Fire

Jake Feaster Jr. describes the movement of his artillery unit during the week leading up to the cease-fire. He recounts how being sent back to his unit's original position to gather supplies left behind possibly saved his life. He notes how the majority of his battalion got out, but they did lose two or three of their guns. He explains how his company pulled back to a new position and began firing upon the Chinese who had overrun them earlier.



Jesse Sanchez Berain

War on the Korean Peninsula

Jesse Sanchez Berain remembers being stationed close to Seoul during the war. He uses a map to demonstrate how North Korean and Chinese forces attacked and pushed the United States military forces south of the 38th Parallel. He mentions that he spent eighteen months in Korea and Japan.



Jesús María Cabra Vargas

The Armistice / El Armisticio

Jesús María Cabra Vargas shares the joy and relief troops felt when they heard about the signing of the Armistice. He explains that troops were required to conduct skirmishes at night. He reminisces how there are no words to explain the joy they felt knowing that their lives were no longer on the line.

Jesús María Cabra Vargas comparte la alegría y el alivio que sintieron al enterarse de la firma del Armisticio. Explica que se requerían tropas para realizar escaramuzas por la noche. Recuerda que no hay palabras para explicar la alegría que sintieron al saber que no iban a perder sus vidas.



Joe D. Slatton

Slatton and the Time of the Armistice July 27, 1953

After the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, Joe D. Slatton's was assigned the job of collecting all military items that were above and around the 38th parallel. He recalls being scared because North Koreans continued to walk around armed.



Joe Larkin

The Korean War Armistice

Although the armistice was signed, communication from coast to coast was still limited, and Joe Larkin said the farther east he went, the less people knew about the armistice. He explained that if you wanted to call back to the east coast and you were in San Francisco, you had to pick up a rotary phone, dial 0, the operator took your number, then called you back at some point. Therefore, communication was lacking, which bothered Joe Larkin since he had been in some horrible circumstances and so few knew about the war coming to an end.



John C. Delagrange

North Korean Defector - Kenneth Rowe

John Delagrange remembers the day No Kum Sok landed his MiG 15 fighter at Kimpo Air Base defecting to South Korea in 1953. No Kum Sok (Kenneth Rowe) wrote a book, and he heard about the incident first-hand during their phone conversations later in life. No Kum Sok was a North Korean pilot during the Korean War, but he stole a MiG-15 and flew over the DMZ to Kimpo Air Base to earn his freedom.



John I. Reidy

Point System Explanation

John Reidy chronicles his enlistment in the Army and basic training prior to being sent to Korea in the winter of 1952. He explains the point system utilized to send troops back home after a certain number was accrued. He comments on it being a complicated system when it came to computing the points and discusses the correlation between payment and point zone in which a soldier served. He shares how the point system, unfortunately, did not apply to him since he had enlisted.



KATUSA Soldiers and First Impressions

John Reidy explains the connection between the U.S. Army and KATUSA soldiers. He comments on his fondness of those attached to his unit and the camaraderie they shared. He recalls ways he and fellow soldiers entertained themselves to pass the time, and he offers his first impressions of Korea, describing it as primitive.



John Snodell

The Coldest Winter

John Snodell describes being with the 1st Marine Division and working as a combat engineer, and recalls seeing Cuban, Greek and Turkish soldiers during his time in Korea. He describes the weather as being very cold and remembers having to sleep on the ground. He recalls seeing Korean soldiers sleeping in trenches.



Joseph M. Picanzi

Signing of the Armistice

Joseph Picanzi elaborates on the experience on the front lines the night before the signing of the armistice. Interestingly, he mentions the Chinese forces rapidly firing off artillery in an effort to spend the ammunition so that they would not have to carry it later. Once the armistice was signed, he recalls relocating to Camp Casey to practice maneuvers.



Keith Gunn

A War That is Worthy

Keith Gunn recounts his first impressions of Korea upon landing, expanding upon his opinion regarding the worth of the war. He details Korea's poor state at the time, comparing it to England. He speaks highly of the progress Korea has made since the war, ultimately agreeing that the war was worth the effort.



Kevin R. Dean

Armistice Experience

Kevin Dean elaborates on the lead up and immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing. He recounts the positions of the Kiwis, Americans, and Chinese during the final days leading up to the signing and describes the heavy weapon fire. He recalls how calm it was after the signing, sharing that the killing stopped, and he elaborates on the death toll the Chinese suffered. He shares that he and other soldiers near his position narrowly missed a planned Chinese explosion.



Lawrence Cole

Punchbowl Situation

Lawrence Cole offers an account of the situation at Punchbowl upon his arrival. He explains that both sides would engage, every so often, in artillery duals. He describes this time as a tug-of-war match. He recounts patrolling and often filling in holes on the front lines where he was needed.



Remembering the Armistice

Lawrence Cole recounts the day the Armistice was signed. He recalls being on the front line when he found out. He remembers being told to keep out of sight during the day and artillery being fired later that evening by both sides in an attempt to lighten the load in preparation for equipment removal. He shares that he and follow soldiers were delighted by the news as it meant they were probably going to live. He explains how there were casualties even after the firing had ceased as soldiers lost their footing carrying equipment out.



Leon “Andy” Anderson

Reconnaissance Missions

Leon "Andy" Anderson explains that he entered the Korean War in 1953. He explains his job to patrol the lines for line-crossers and guerrillas. He shares how he was also sent to French Indochina to assist the French. He shares how he was not part of the front lines.



Armistice Day

Leon "Andy" Anderson shares his experience being there for the Armistice in July 1953. He explains how he was near the front lines in the recon rear area. He shares how the Chinese and North Koreans were shooting at the US troops all the way up to the last minute before the Armistice. He shares how he celebrated the end of the war.



Leonard Laconia

Armistice Signed, But Fighting Continued

Leonard Laconia mentioned how bad the fighting was from 1950 through 1951, but when talk of armistice was being discussed in 1951, no one wanted to take a chance of dying. Therefore, none of the soldiers showed interest in the armistice. After the Armistice was signed in 1953, territory along the DMZ had many battles that continued to secure and occupy any land.



Leonard R. Stanek

Wounded

Leonard Stanek describes how the Chinese attacked on July 26th, 1953, the day before the Armistice took effect. Leonard Stanek was in a trench and hunkered down, when one of the last artillery shells exploded with a piece of shrapnel piercing his helmet. He medivacked to the Hospital Ship Haven to recover and earned a Purple Heart.



The Armistice

Leonard Stanek describes where and when he learned about the Armistice signing. He suffered a head injury and medivacked to a hospital ship and learned about the Armistice when he woke up from injury or exhaustion. A week later, after his injury, Leonard Stanek rejoined his unit. Upon returning, he learned about the loss of a buddy that was helping retrieve wounded.



Leslie John Pye

Dangerous Moments Gathering the Wounded

Leslie Pye describes his mission on the 24th of July 1953 to retrieve wounded soldiers on Hill 111. While moving up the hill, he admits he did not warn his driver before test firing the gun on the top rail of the tank. He provides sound advice that one should not go into battle without knowing your machine gun will work. With the battle raging around them, he describes the successful retrieval of Australian and American wounded soldiers.



Haunting Memories

Leslie Pye remembers what it was like going back up HIll 111 to gather reusable material for the new line of resistance. He reflects on the experience of arriving on the 28th of July and seeing the carnage of the previous battle. He shares the memories of what he saw that haunt him.



Luigi Montani

"A Constant Tension"

Mr. Montani discusses what it was like on the DMZ patrol. He vividly describes what the DMZ looked like: A no man's land with barbed wire, watch towers, and check points. Mr. Montani describes his time patrolling the DMZ as "a constant tension". This clip could be used to introduce students to the danger that still existed (exists) after the armistice along the DMZ.



Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa

The Armistice / El Armisticio

Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa explains how the news of the armistice was received by Colombian troops. He details the day of the signing of the armistice and the joy he felt at the thought that he would be returning home. He credits South Korea’s peace with the service of all the individuals that fought during the war.

Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa explica cómo fue recibida la noticia del armisticio por las tropas colombianas. Detalla el día de la firma del armisticio y la alegría que sintió al pensar que volvería a su país. Él atribuye la paz de Corea del Sur al servicio de todos los que lucharon durante la guerra.



Luis Maria Jimenez Jimenez

Korea after the Armistice / Corea después del Armisticio

Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez shares his feelings about heading to Korea after finding out that the Armistice had been signed. He remembers being prepared to fight because he knew the peace agreement was fragile. When he arrived in Korea, he saw terrible devastation and hunger.

Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez comparte sus sentimientos acerca de viajar a Corea después de enterarse de que se había firmado el Armisticio. Recuerda estar preparado para luchar porque sabía que el acuerdo de paz era frágil. Cuando llegó a Corea, la devastación y hambre lo impresionó.



Manuel A. Bustamente

Operation Platform

Manuel Bustamante participated in Operation Platform. This was the exchange of North Korean soldiers for American and South Korean Soldiers after the Korean War. It took place at Incheon Harbor in August 1953.



Rescued Baby

Manuel Bustamante said that a little white baby was found in a Korean Orphanage. The baby was kept in the sickbay on the ship and it kept the moral high for months. Sailors all took turns caring for the baby. The doctor and his wife adopted the baby once he arrived in America. They named him Daniel Keenan and he went to many of the Korean War reunions in order to see his rescuers.



Manuel Antonio Gaitan Briceño

After the Armistice / Después del Armisticio

Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describes the daily operations of the Colombian troops that arrived after the signing of the Armistice. He explains that while combat was over officially, there was a fear that fighting would break out again. Given this fear, he recounts the training that combat troops endured to remain prepared for anything.

Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describe las operaciones diarias de las tropas colombianas que llegaron después de la firma del Armisticio. Explica que, aunque el combate había terminado oficialmente, existía el temor de que la lucha estallaría nuevamente. Por esta razón, él cuenta del entrenamiento que tenían las tropas de combate para estar preparadas por si empezara devuelta la guerra.



Basic Training / Entrenamiento Básico

Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño explains his reasons for entering infantry school. As the son of illiterate parents, he wanted more out of life and found an education and adventure in the armed forces. He recalls that he was not aware he would be sent to fight in a foreign war.

Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño explica sus razones para ingresar a la escuela de infantería. Como hijo de padres analfabetos, quería más de la vida y encontró una educación y una aventura en las fuerzas armadas. Recuerda que no sabía que lo iban a enviar a luchar en una guerra extranjera.



Marcelino C. Nardo

Armistice Brought Happiness

Marcelino C. Nardo recalls the happiness felt with the agreement on the armistice. He notes that this agreement led to the evacuation of all things from the front lines to Pusan via railroad. His unit evacuated to an area controlled by the 24t Division of the U.S. Army.



Maurice L. Adams

Going Home Early

Maurice L. Adams shares how he managed to return home a few months earlier than expected. He explains that the date of his arrival in September would determine when he could leave. He recalls after understanding the situation and being asked when he arrived, he agreed to the earlier date and was able to return back with his division.



Melvin J. Behnen

Exit Out of the War

Melvin Behnen describes his journey out of Korea and his reaction to the signing of the armistice. He explains how the shallowness of the harbor made departure for soldiers a little challenging. For example, he provides an account of a man falling to his death during the boarding process. While recovering from polio, he recalls hearing about the signing of the armistice. He reflects on the feelings of disappointment over the lack of a formal treaty.



Merlyn Jeche

Dogs, Cats, and Letters at the DMZ

Merlyn Jeche describes a particular inspection when his Captain asked him if everything on his bunk was military issue. He explains that he replied in the affirmative before turning around and seeing a cat with her kittens asleep on his bunk. He goes on to describe his correspondence with friends who were fighting elsewhere and the tribulations they were experiencing. He recalls feeling grateful that he was there at such a fortuitous time, just after the armistice.



Michael Daly

Importance of US Soldiers in Korea today

The US government, after the armistice was signed in 1953, extended this period to give soldiers benefits and there have been over 2 million soldiers still there in South Korea. Michael Daly explained that Korea has benefited greatly (uses the saying "trip wire" as an advantage) from US presence as a deterrent for North Korea, China, and possibly Japan since the end of WWII. With American soldiers, armor, and training, few countries would even attempt to attack American troops.



Nelson S. Ladd

Prisoner Exchange

Less than a month after the dedication of the Libby Bridge, Nelson Ladd was a witness to a prisoner exchange between the North and South Koreans. He estimated on the day of the exchange, some 80,000 prisoners were returned to North Korea despite the South had detained about 400,000 North Korean soldiers. He observed that many of the prisoners had thrown the clothes that had been given to them at the camps along the roadside except their shorts and boots. The trucks headed back picked up the articles of clothing left by the prisoners.



Nicholas Mastromatteo

Volunteered for Overseas Duty

Nicholas Mastromatteo remembers completing his military training shortly before the armistice was signed in 1953. He explains how fighting continued in Korea, he volunteered for overseas duty. He shares that he wanted to go to Korea but was assigned to Germany instead. He documents how he utilized his military resources to attend Innsbruck Medical School in Austria. Even though he never went to Korea, he feels there was a need for the United States to defend Korea, and he was not interested in the world becoming communist.



Nick Mararac

The Forgotten Armistice and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission

Nick Mararac describes the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), and its role in the armistice/DMZ area. It was created during the armistice with North Korea. The NNSC is used during talks between North and South Korea ever since 1953.



Noel G. Spence

In Retrospect

Noel G. Spence addresses why he fought in Korea. He discusses what fighting meant to him and how it saved South Korea. He expresses remorse about the shelling of the enemy. He recalls how on the night before the signing of the armistice, the Allies used up their shells as they did not want to be responsible for live artillery shells.



Paul Ohlsen

Korean Medical Experience

Paul Ohlsen describes the ailments of the civilians treated by the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. He shares tuberculosis and worms often accompany poor and/or crowded living conditions. He notes he was the only doctor in the camp with experience reading and understanding X-Rays.



Photos around the Swedish Red Cross Hospital

Paul Ohlsen provides pictures of the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. He describes living conditions at the hospital and how free time was spent. He provides photos depicting life around the hospital in Busan. His photos also share glimpses of the civilians he treated, offering rare insight into what life looked like following the Armistice.



Life Within the Confines of the Hospital

Paul Ohlsen describes life inside the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. He recalls not being allowed to go outside the converted high school due to the enemy being close at hand. He remembers various lessons and lectures provided to the doctors as a source of entertainment and intellectual stimulation. He reflects on how his experience was different from other doctors because his wife was stationed with him.



Paul Rodriguez

Paul Rodriguez Loses Friend to an Anti-Tank Mine

Paul Rodriguez is assigned to help remove anti-tank mines in the Kumhwa Valley. They would use a tank equipped with a bulldozer blade to push the mines out of the way. While he was working on one side of the tank, a mine blew up on the other side. He discovered one of his friends had been killed in the explosion.



Paulino Lucino Jr.

The Korean War Armistice and Ceasefire

Paulino Lucino Jr. remembers in detail what it was like to be in Korea when the ceasefire was announced. He continued fighting until the last moments of the war. Since Paulino Lucino Jr. was stationed in Korea until 1954, he saw and felt the change in Korea during the year after the war.



Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández

The Armistice / El Armisticio

Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández shares his memory of the signing of the Armistice. He remembers that initially there was a twelve-hour cease fire in which they were able to relax for a day prior to the official signing. He recalls the relief everyone felt after the signing of the Armistice even though they continued to train as the peace was uncertain.

Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández comparte sus recuerdos de la firma del Armisticio. Él se acuerda que antes de la firma hubo un alto el fuego por doce horas en el que pudieron relajarse por un día. Recuerda el alivio que sintieron todos cuando oyeron la noticia de la firma del Armisticio, y él explica que continuaron entrenándose porque la paz era incierta.



Peter Ford

Games Anyone?

Peter Ford recalls how he received news that the Armistice had been signed. He recounts how the Commonwealth division he was assigned to was comprised of various nationalities and how it decided to hold a sporting event. He comments on his participation as a runner and recalls placing third in the event.



Philip S. Kelly

64th Anniversary of the War

Philip S. Kelly reads letters he wrote for the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War. He describes the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir by reading details of his personal experience. He recalls hearing the bugles of the Chinese blaring and engaging in hand-to-hand combat as a combat infantryman.



Richard A. Houser

The Korean War Ceasefire

Richard Houser fought until the last second to hold Porkchop Hill in the Chorwon Valley right before the ceasefire. It felt great for him when the war ended because he was able to build new trenches farther off the 38th parallel.



The Ceasefire, Korean Civilians, and the Death of a Friend

Richard Houser protected the 38th parallel throughout the winter of 1953 from a trench and Camp Casey. After the ceasefire civilians wanted to go back to their land to farm, but it was filled with mines which took the lives of many civilians.



Robert Battdorff

33 Months as a POW

Robert Battdorff was watched by only 1 guard for all 25 POWs until the Chinese realized that it would be safer for them to separate the POWs. After moving all the Koreans out of the next city, the homes were called Camp 3 where they stayed during October 1951. He had to deal with Communist Indoctrination for over 2 years. Robert Battdorff was finally released in August 1953 after the Korean War came to a stalemate.



Robert Boyd Layman

Listening to a Barrage of Artillery Fire

Robert Boyd Layman describes where he was when the Armistice was signed. He explains that there was artillery being fired around the clock on both sides since no one wanted to carry it all back. He describes being incredulous that the war was actually stopping when he was used to hearing gunfire constantly.



Robert C. Jagger

Challenges and Rewards

Robert Jagger discusses his greatest challenge and biggest rewards while in Korea. Like many who served in Korea, he remembers the bitter cold. He shares his experience of being in Korea on Armistice Day and later reflects warmly on his relationships with other soldiers.



Robert Chisolm

Battle of Pork Chop Hill

Robert Chisolm shares how he was assigned to the 187th Parachute Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He recalls being stationed right near Pork Chop Hill in the Cheorwon Valley in defensive positions. He recounts how the Chinese attacked on July 25, 1953, (a few days before the ceasefire) and how he was tasked with calling for an artillery barrage.



Living Conditions During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill

Robert Chisolm recalls how he and others were not able to shower until they came returned to camp. He recounts sleeping inside a bunker near his trenches with three other men in the company command post.



Letters Home and Life on the Home Front

Robert Chisolm shares he married his childhood sweetheart in 1946 and wrote letters to her throughout the Korean War. He notes that she volunteered with the Red Cross. He recalls a time she had to ask the Red Cross to determine if he was alright after the Battle of Pork Chop Hill since their local newspaper wrote a large article about his regiment in that major battle.



Robert Fickbohm

And Then The Firing Stopped

Robert Fickbohm recounts the day the Armistice was signed. He shares that the artillery on both sides continued and that he and the men he was with did not think there was going to be a truce. He recollects that late that night, the firing stopped and it was completely quiet.



Royce Ebesu

Life in Korea Then and Now

Royce Ebesu, advancing to the rank of Supply Sergeant, recounts being lucky to be in a safe position. He describes the living conditions while he served in Korea. He shares his experience of returning as part of a revisit program sponsored by the Korean government. He recounts how amazed he was by the progress which was made in the time since he had been gone.



This is the Hard Part

Royce Ebesu reflects on the present and future of Korea. He expresses he would like to see negotiations to reunite the peninsula so that families can be reunited. He concludes by noting that there was not much pleasant to remember about his experience.



Thomas Norman Thompson

The Forgotten War

Thomas Norman Thompson recalls seeing small children who were bare feet in the snow as he describes devastation in Korea during the war. He says it seemed that civilians only had the choice of going to the rice paddies or mountains to get away from combat areas. He tells that although a cease-fire was ordered, some people did not realize it, causing him to be ambushed a few times as he attempted to make his deliveries. He tells why the Korean War is the forgotten war.



Thomas Nuzzo

The Forgotten War

Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.



Fighting With and Training the ROK

Thomas Nuzzo went to bootcamp and specialized as an infantryman. Once he was sent to Korea, he was stationed with the 1st Republic of Korea (ROK) to train the South Korean troops. By the end of his time in Korea in 1954, Thomas Nuzzo was able to participate in a changing of the guard for the 10th Headquarters which made him very proud.



Thomas Tsuda

On the Line during the Ceasefire

Thomas Tsuda recalls where he was at the time of the ceasefire. He remembers being on the front line and seeing Chinese soldiers waving white flags. He explains that he and fellow soldiers were hesitant at first to greet them but shares that they slowly began to talk to them and shake hands. He adds that held no anger towards the Chinese as they were merely doing their job like he was. He expresses his pride in serving his country.



Tommy Clough

News of the Ceasefire

Tommy Clough describes the day he and fellow POWs were told that the peace treaty had been signed. He recalls gathering in the center of the compound and the Chinese surrounding them with fixed bayonets. He relates that he was confused about what was happening as he listening to a Chinese commander. He shares that they had been told the war was over for them and that he and others were hesitant to believe them. He recounts how they heard cheering from the American compound shortly after, and he states their cheering was confirmation.



Virgil W. Mikkelsen

Arriving Late to the Party

Virgil Mikkelsen describes his first day in Korea. He talks about how he and the men he was with thought they were arriving to be sent to the frontlines. Virgil Mikkelsen recalls learning from the radio that an Armistice had been signed that day ending the conflict.



Warren Middlekauf

School, Letters, and the Excitement of the Armistice

Warren Middlekauf's military base was located near a Korean school that continued through the war. During the armistice of 1953, he was in Korea and was excited to send the US soldiers home. Throughout his time in the war, Warren Middlekauf wrote letters to his wife along with money to save for after the war.



William Puls

Trench War and Stretcher Duty

William Puls describes his experience on trench patrol during the last part of the Korean War just before the Armistice. He describes fighting from a position at an outpost, then having to pick up dead bodies from the trenches, which were about three-hundred yards away. He shares the repercussions of having to fire massive amounts of ammunition during the fighting.



The Impact of the Forgotten War

William Puls describes his revisits to South Korea in 2000 and 2010. He explains his amazement at the cleanliness and modernization of the cities in South Korea. He praises the South Koreans for their admiration and respect toward Korean War veterans. He shares his opinion on what can be done to resolve the continued division between the countries of North Korea and South Korea.



Nightwatchman and No Bath

William Puls describes arriving in Korea, and recalls a number of soldiers who were sick from the journey at sea. He tells of the landing at Incheon, and being transported to the front on Christmas Hill. He describes the circumstances of fighting for twenty-one consecutive days without being able to stop to shower because of the intensity. His references are in reflection of the fighting shortly before the Armistice.