Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: 1953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/16



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

Bernard Dykes

Iron Triangle Strategy

Bernard Dykes details the strategy at his placement within the Iron Triangle. He describes why it was named this and being there with French soldiers. He also mentions battles that happened before and after his time there and the devastation endured.



Bill Scott

We Called Them Hoochies

Bill Scott described what it was like on many of the hills he fought and the sand bags filled with dirt and rock used to protect them from the enemy. He described digging into trenches on the hill, and his mortar squad was placed just on the other side of the hill to fire at the enemy. Bill Scott pointed to a shadow box as he's describing the shrapnel that was collected from the battlefield that was fired at them by the Chinese.



Almost hit by the Chinese

Bill Scott described the fighting and living situations on the top of Pork Chop Hill. He recalled the area they were quartered in during their time on the hill.
Bill Scott was resting in his bed in this living quarters when it was hit and mortar barely escaped his head by inches. He said when he woke, the sound was deafening, and the area was heavily damaged. Bill Scott picked up pieces of the shell and stuck it in his pocket.



Bob Couch

Recollections of Korea and the War's Legacy

Bob Couch mentions his wound again and shares he was sent back to the States due to it not healing properly. He recalls arriving home on a Friday and returning to work on Monday. He offers his account of the war's legacy and states that he views all Korean veterans as heroes. He explains that he was fortunate compared to other Korean War soldiers and admits that he still has a hard time believing all he and others went through during the war.



Donald Lynch

Injuries and Difficult Experiences

Donald Lynch talks about being injured twice. He recalls going on a patrol one day on Hill 812 and the lead man stepping on a "Bouncing Betty" release-type booby trap. He recounts how all eight to ten men were hit by pellets. He shares how a pellet hit his thigh and came out about 50 years later when he was messing with it. He notes another injury which entailed a bayonet. He recalls of his war experience occurring in the Punchbowl region, close to the 38th parallel. He references witnessing all of the wounded men leaving the frontlines when he first arrived as his most difficult experience in Korea. He also recalls assisting the sewing of wounds.



Edward L. Kafka

Inchon Landing and Radioman Training

Edward Kafka landed at Inchon in April 1952 and the military switched his MOS (military operational specialty) from surveyor to radioman while being stationed two miles from the front lines. While dealing with severe battles every day, he deciphered messages that were send through Morris Code from the outposts.



Life as a Soldier in Korea War

Edward Kafka worked near a mess hall and the headquarter's battery since he ran radios. Therefore, he had access to a shower once a week and he was able to get clean clothes too.



Korean Terraign and Fighting in Major Battles in Korean War

Edward Kafka described the mountains and farm land that reached all over that land. He fought at Heartbreak Ridge, the Iron Triangle, and Porkchop Hill.



Gene C. Richards

Avoiding the Final Mission

Gene C. Richards earned 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters in addition to his Air Medal. He was one mission away from earning his fifth. He was determined to make one last mission, however, last minute was convinced not to make the attempt. Gene C. Richards describes how he is grateful to not have taken that mission due to that plane being shot down.



Gene Peeples

The 7th Med Battalion

Gene Peeples describes his role as a combat medic in the 7th Med Battalion. He describes combat medics rotating between different units every two weeks. He explains that he would spend time with engineering troops, then switch to another unit such as infantry.



Girma Mola Endeshaw

Medical Assistant

Girma Mola Endeshaw describes being a Medical Assistant. The Ethiopian soldiers did not have a doctor assigned to them. Instead, there were six medical assistants assigned per shamble (two hundred fifty men). He does have nightmares about the wounds he witnessed. Someone with their stomach "out" is terrifying.



"Not the Worst"

Girma Mola Endeshaw describes his Korean War experience. Men lived in bunkers. There was no hot food. Men did not sleep, due to constant attacks. Mortar shells would shake the ground at all hours. Soldiers showered every ten days because the Americans made them. Girma Mola Endeshaw still describes his Korean experience as "not the worst."



John I. Reidy

Final Days at Pork Chop Hill

John Reidy describes what fighting was like during the final days of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He recalls showering the Chinese with leaflets stating that in celebration of the United States' Independence, the Americans were going to take the hill. He remembers the fighting continuing and compares the difference between American and Chinese military tactics.



John T. “Sonny” Edwards

We Need to tell the Story

John T. "Sonny" Edwards shares his opinion on why the story of the Korean War has been absent in history. He discusses how having a proper historical perspective has been affected by the attitude from the United States Government toward the Korean War. He shares his vision for getting more information out to the public and imparting it to the younger generations.



Paul Hockla

Fighting on Pork Chop Hill

Paul Hockla describes what combat was like fighting against the Chinese at Pork Chop Hill.



Letter from Perry Edgar

Paul Hockla reads a letter from Perry Edgar, whose life he saved in combat while they were in Korea.



Raymond W. Guenthner

PTSD and Bronze Stars

Raymond Guenthner describes his memories of being injured during the war. He discusses his PTSD and therapy. He explains how his commanding officer was angry that he lost his weapon while trying to save his own life and his disappointment in not reaching the top of the hill. He also highlights earning the Purple Heart.



Richard A. Houser

Leaving for Korean War in 1953

Richard Houser took a ship and landed in Inchon in April 1953 after a lonely 20 day ship ride to Korea. While traveling to his base in the Chorwon Valley known as the Iron Triangle, Richard Houser was able to see Seoul leveled, small thatched homes, and dirt roads all around him.



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.



Fighting Alongside with UN Nations

Richard Houser fought along with Turks, Aussies, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Columbians while fighting against communism. The Chinese were afraid of the Turks because they would cut off the ear of their enemy as a trophy.



Robert Chisolm

Battle at Pork Chop Hill

Robert Chisolm was assigned the 187th Parachute Regiment 7th Infantry Division. He was stationed right near Pork Chop Hill in the Cheorwon Valley with defensive positions. The Chinese were were attacking on July 25, 1953 (a few days before the ceasefire) and Robert Chisolm had to call for an artillery barrage.



Living conditions during the Battle at Pork Chop Hill

Robert Chisolm didn't get to shower until they came back to camp. He slept inside a bunker near his trenches with three other men in the company command post.



Letters to home and life on the home front

Robert Chisolm was married in 1946 to his childhood sweetheart and wrote letters to her throughout the Korean War. She volunteered with the Red Cross and she had to ask them to determine if Robert Chisolm was alright after the Battle at Pork Chop Hill since their local newspaper wrote a large article about his regiment in this major battle.



Samuel Stoltzfus

Close Calls in Korea

Samuel Stoltzfus arrived in Pusan to board a train for the front lines north of Seoul. As a truck driver and radio operator, he hauled his radio across locations that included Old Baldy and Porkchop. He drove officers and radios through enemy fire. Once, during a speedy dash through enemy-observed territory, a hand grenade tumbled from the glove compartment onto the floor of his Jeep.



Sterling D. Mestad

Communicating with Pork Chop Hill

Sterling D. Mestad offers his account of the Pork Chop Hill experience on the communications side. He shares that he did not see as much as the men who were on the lines but adds that he was never far from danger. He recounts a soldier right behind him hit in the face suffering a serious wound.



Suwan Chinda

Pork Chop Hill

Suwan Chinda recalls his experience at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He shares that he was assigned to communications and was sent to repair lines when needed. He remembers receiving orders to repair a line that had been damaged by bombs near the front lines on one particular occasion and recalls members of his team arguing with the officer who assigned them to the job as they were fearful of becoming injured. He shares that he was not scared and was willing to fight. He adds that he sustained no wounds at the battle.



Tereda Mersha

Wounded in Action

Tereda Mersha describes his arrival on the frontlines and action at Yoke Mountain. His unit lost their commander in the fighting. Tereda Mersha was shot three times and believes he only survived death with the help of Emperor Haile Selassie.



Thomas O’Dell

Using DDT to Cook in Korea

Thomas O'Dell used DDT for killing insects including gnats and fleas. He even used DDT for cooking C-rations by adding it to his fire in the trenches to warm he food. Hot water for baths were also warmed over a DDT-created fire.



Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches

Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.



Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi

Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.



No Fear and The Invincibility of Thomas O'Dell as a Fifteen Year Old in the Korean War

Thomas O'Dell was not scared during the Korean War because he was only fifteen years old and he felt invincible. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as he was dug in the trenches, Corporal Thomas O'Dell was confronted with his commander with his birth certificate. He was caught being a fifteen year old in the Korean War, but he was able to sneak back into another battle during the mayhem.



Vincent Ariola

The Loneliness of Warfare

Vincent Ariola recalls that due to the isolated nature of serving in a tank, during the Korean War he did not learn names of fellow servicemen other than for functional purposes of doing his job. He remembers that his primary feeling during the war was the feeling of being alone. He describes why he did not take time to tell his family about his Korean War experiences. He tells of his son never opening up to his own warfare experiences in Somalia in the same way, and reflects on the American losses during the Korean War.