Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: Aprokgang (Yalu River)



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

Arden Rowley

Life as a Prisoner of War

Arden Rowley describes his experiences as a Prisoner of War . He explains how they marched 24 nights before arriving at the camp which became known as “Death Valley” or the “mining camp.” He shares their living conditions, losing many of his fellow soldiers, burial detail and the indoctrination they received daily.



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.



The Latent Effects of Korean War: PTSD

Bruce Ackerman experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the Korean War. He found connections between the modern War on Terror and the soldiers who fought in the Korean War because they both are lacking resources to help with their transition back to civilian life. There are psychological and social effects of war on veterans due to their exposure to death, extreme weather, and constant surprise enemy attacks.



North Korean Infiltration

The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.



Cecil Phipps

Captured!

Cecil Phipps talks about his capture by Chinese soldiers, becoming a prisoner of war. He describes his initial three-day evasion and a fateful decision that led to his capture. He and seven fellow soldier were made to march north at night until they reached the Chinese border.



Chinese Houses

Cecil Phipps talks about the Chinese buildings he was housed in as a POW. He describes how these dwellings were built and what materials were used in their construction. He also describes in detail the heating system that was important for cold Asian winters.



Life as a POW

Cecil Phipps talks about life as a POW. He describes Pak Tong POW camp (#3) and the harsh living conditions that he lived under as prisoner including remarks about cold weather, starvation, lice infestation, and other diseases. He mentions that he went from 190 pounds to 75 pounds during the first six months of his imprisonment.



"Always Trying to Escape"

Cecil Phipps talks about a fellow soldier that attempted and failed several times to escape Pak Tong POW camp (#3). He describes how he tried to aid his friend and what happened when he was captured and returned.



POW Release

Cecil Phipps was released from Chinese captivity on August 28, 1953 at Panmunjeom after 33 months as a POW. He describes the trip from Pak Tong camp (#3), taking several days by truck and train and spending a week in another POW camp, before finally reaching freedom at Panmunjeom.



Charles Elder

Taking Care of Myself

Charles Elder talks about the cycle of taking care of himself during his time as a wounded prisoner during the Korean War. He had moments of extreme highs or lows. He had to remind himself to have hope of survival.



Charles Gaush

Psychological Warfare with Propaganda

Charles Gaush talks about his time in the US Army's physchological warfare unit. He describes creating, designing, photographing, and printing propaganda leaflets during the Korean War. The leaflets were printed in Russian, Korean, and Chinese to promote democratic values.



David Valley

Arrival in Korea

David Valley talks about arriving in Korea. He was sent to Jinju and attached to an intelligence reconnaissance platoon. He describes bring separated from his unit on his first night of fighting and having to make his way back while behind enemy lines. He also talks about a friend that never made it back home.



Retreating from Pyongyang

David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.



Edward Redmond

Retreat from the Yalu River

Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.



Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists

Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.



Eugene Dixon

Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving

Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.



Gerald Edward Ballow

Crossing the Yalu River

Gerald Ballow expresses his opinions about what he considers an “intelligence disaster” at the Yalu River. He believes that the officers knew that the Chinese were amassing across the river before they got there. He explains how the US was completely outnumbered by the Chinese and there were not any additional troops to send up there to help fight the Chinese.



Harry Burke

Entrapment by the Chinese

Harry Burke describes how the Chinese knew where they were on the morning of November 3rd. Their entire division was attacked and suffered tremendous losses. He did have some injuries as well.



Harry Hawksworth

Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River

Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American US troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.



Homer W. Mundy

Wounded in Combat

Homer Mundy describes being wounded in Korea only 13 days after arriving in Korea. He also talks about the withdrawal of his unit from the Yalu River area when the Chinese crossed into Korea.



Howard Ballard

Fighting at the Battle of Pyongyang in October and November 1950

Howard Ballard recalls leaving Pusan after fighting there in August of 1950 to fight the North Koreans all the way through Pyongyang, North Korea, and up to the Yalu River along the Chinese border. He describes fighting the North Koreans at the Battle of Pyongyang in October of 1950, noting there was little resistance. He remembers seeing Chinese captured in November 1950 at the Yalu River despite General MacArthur telling President Truman that the Chinese were not fighting in the war.



Fighting at the Yalu River and Surviving a Land Mine Explosion

Howard Ballard discusses soldiers sustaining injuries while fighting in the Battle of Pyongyang on Thanksgiving Eve 1950. He recounts how U.S. troops headed for the Yalu River down very narrow roads and fought the Chinese until the U.S. troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. He recalls how a land mine exploded near him and how he experienced temporary paralysis. He shares that he was sent to a MASH unit following the explosion but was soon returned to his unit.



Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez

Battle at Bloody Ridge

Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez fought during the month-long battle at Bloody Ridge. He recalls fighting and pushing the Chinese off of the hill multiple times. After pushing the Chinese back, they would return and the fighting would begin again.



Life in Korea During the War

Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was constantly traveling during the war and had to sleep wherever he could find a spot to rest his head. Eating canned food rations was the norm. He recalls the extreme cold in Korea.



James “Jim” Valentine

Death on the Ice at Chosin Reservoir

Jim Valentine discusses crossing the ice in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he was surrounded. He explains how they had to not attract attention due to Chinese soldiers. He discusses the harsh winters he experienced. He explains that he is still unsure as to how/why he survived.



James A. Newman

Sneak Attack on the Yalu River

James Newman was stationed on the frigate HMNZS Hawea up the Yalu River. He participated in a daring attack along the border between China and Korea. Fighting as a gunner, his ship attacked enemy positions along the Yalu River and took the enemy by complete surprise.



James Kenneth Hall

Life as a Prisoner of War

James Hall describes being captured in North Korea by the Chinese and being temporarily placed in a mine. He describes being forced to march all night because the Chinese did not have a place to put prisoners. He shares his testimony of being starved and sleep deprived while in the prisoner of war encampment. He recounts being placed in Compound 39 where prisoners were placed and left to die.



James L. Owen

Strategy in North Korea

James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.



Experience at Incheon

James L. Owen details arriving at Incheon Landing in September 1950. He recalls his platoon spending 60 days pushing back North Korean troops from there. He remembers taking all the equipment back on the ship, going to the other side of the peninsula, and proceeding combat pushing the North Korean forces as far north as the Chinese border.



James L. Stone

A Survival Miracle

James L. Stone says that it was a miracle he survived his wounds. He attributes his survival partially to being an officer, reasoning that the Chinese were eager for information. He shares that another soldier helped him stay alive and recalls being captured by the Chinese where he was carried up to Yalu River to a prison camp. He remembers receiving little medical treatment for his wounds but states that he was given some food and was treated a little better than others due to being an officer.



James Shipton

Flying US Soldiers into Battle and Flying the Injured Out

James Shipton's planes were used to fly United States soldiers into Japan. Once in Japan, soldiers boarded troop ships bound for Korea. His flights transported 45 soldiers at a time. Beginning in November of 1950 James Shipton becgan flying injured soldiers back to the US. James Shipton recalls the RCF nurses who took care of soldiers and marines who were suffering from frostbite.



James Tilford Jones

Cold and Hunger

James Jones describes his plight when the Chinese overran US forces at the Yalu River. He describes times when his unit went days without c-rations because their kitchen could not "find" them. He figured out that he could go into a rice paddy, shred rice with his bayonet and pop it over a fire to make popcorn.



Jearl Ballow

"Intelligence Disaster"

Describes the period of time when the Chinese were amassing across the Yalu river, and MacArthur apparently did not notice. He argues that the South Korean intelligence actually knew they were there, had already had skirmish with an outfit in late October that were originally thought to be North Korean troops but were actually Chinese. He states that even though they knew, there was not much they could do about it, they were overwhelmed and outnumbered.



Joe Rosato

Bad Ankle Injury

Joe Rosato recalled that while fighting near the Yalu River, he, his sergeant, and a lieutenant were ordered to take out a machine gun nest using the 57-recoilless rifle. Not soon after their assigned task to take out the gunnery, they were ordered to quickly get down the road and regroup in no particular order. They were to just move as quickly as they could. Joe Rosato was carrying the rifle when his foot was wedged between rocks and he fell in a hole while twisting his ankle so bad he couldn't walk on it. He had to abandoned his rifle and limp as fast as he could to meet up with this regiment, but they lost a lot of men that day.



The Most Difficult Conditions Were Being Constantly Cold and Wet

Joe Rosato described that in most places around Korea, it wasn't safe to walk around. During the winter months, the scariest times were when they lived in the fox holes and it rained so much that it would fill the fox holes with water. Sleeping in a foot of water made Joe Rasato fear that he would freeze to death or drowned, so they had to make the choice to stay where they were or sleep outside the fox hole and risk getting shot.



Ox Steps on a Field Mine-We have meat!

Joe Rosato did have C-Rations that he took advantage of for meals. As he was passing through villages, he was aware that the food was grown in human waste, but that didn't stop him from eating the cucumbers, watermelons, peppers, and beans. Joe Rasato saw an ox step on a field mine and blew itself apart, so the soldiers built a fire and made sauce with the chili peppers to go along with this fresh meat.



Joseph De Palma

Then and Now

Joseph De Palma describes the changes he saw when he returned to South Korea in 2010. He recalls how Seoul had been flattened the first time he saw it. He marvels at how big and amazing the city is now with its tall buildings and expressway.



Joseph Lewis Grappo

Battle at the Chosin Reservoir

Joseph Lewis Grappo describes heading towards the Chosin Reservoir. He shares how he was meant to advance to Yellow River but stopped. He shares how he didn't hit any resistance since they defeated that North Koreans and the men thought that the Chinese would not get involved. He describes the frozen ground and how it was so cold that the soldiers couldn't dig a fox hole, so they slept on the ground in their sleeping bags. He shares how the Chinese attacked them and there was nowhere to hide.



"It Was the Fourth of July"

Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.



Leonard Laconia

US B-29s Couldn't Stop the Chinese

Leonard Laconia stated that the Chinese would fly MiGs from Manchuria, but they would burn fuel so quickly that they rarely made it to Korea. The US would fly B-29s up and down the Yalu River dropping bombs to destroy bridges, but it didn't stop the Chinese from coming down into Korea. The Chinese still found a way to get across the Yalu River.



Melvin D. Hill

Life on the Front Lines: Busan to the Yalu River

Melvin Hill describes living on the front lines for thirteen months. He describes his journey through Seoul on his way to the Yalu River. He explains that a bullet struck his front tire, leaving him unable to steer the truck. He and another young man had to change the tire, surrounded by a multitude of people, completely unaware if they were North Korean or South Korean. He attributes their ability to change the tire in roughly fifteen seconds and throw a five-hundred pound tire onto the truck to fear and adrenaline.



A Brutal Attack

Melvin Hill explains a brutal attack at a roadblock on the way back from the Yalu river. He recalls his experience with hand-to-hand combat, saying he never thought he would ever put a knife into someone, stab someone with a bayonet or shoot someone right in front of him. He describes running over people in the middle of the road. He believes that his survival of the attack by the Chinese is only due to luck.



Merle Peterson

Battles from City to City Across Korea

Merle Peterson describes the difference between the 2.6 rocket launchers and the new 3.5 models. He explains that the rockets from the 2.6 launcher merely bounced off the tanks but the 3.5s were able to pierce the tanks, enabling them to take out eight of the eleven tanks that had attacked them. He goes on to describe meeting with the 7th division in Osan and from there moving through Seoul, Pyongyang, and onto the Yalu River until the Chinese joined the North Koreans and they were forced to retreat.



The Chinese Invasion Changed the War

Merle Peterson describes fighting the Chinese at the Yalu River. He explains that though his unit had been told they would be home for Christmas, when the Chinese invaded, their plans to return home were ended. He describes having to retreat alongside many of the Korean people. He recalls having to fight in summer military clothes during the winter in the freezing weather and delousing after not showering for thirty days, which was the norm.



Norman Spencer Hale

POW March

Norman S. Hale speaks about the food his Chinese captors gave the prisoners. He also speaks about the "March" to POW Camp 5 that began in early December 1950 and ended in February 1951.



Paul H. Cunningham

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.



Philip Davis

"I Was Not Afraid"

Philip Davis is recounting his first duties in Pusan. He remembers that the soldiers were young and had a lot of passion- not understanding what was really happening. Philip Davis admits that he wasn't afraid either.



I narrowly escaped death

Philip Davis believes that he and his fellow soldiers at that time were not really ready to fight. He describes the ammunition they were given and how many American soldiers died helplessly in rice paddies in Korea. He was very fortunate to escape with an army captain, but still struggles today knowing that those soldiers were left to die without any help coming.



Richald Alfred Lethe

"Hostiles"

This clip discusses the role of an all weather interceptor pilot, and the fact that along with the Soviet Union, China and North Korea were training pilots.

This clip also describes an encounter Richard Alfred Lethe had with a Soviet hostile as he was flying only ten miles from the Soviet Union. The Soviets shot down an American B-29.



Tommy Clough

Chinese Enter and Refugee Recollections

Tommy Clough remembers advancing with his unit up to Pyongyang and within sight of the Yalu River. He shares that he and fellow soldiers began to wonder what was going on when they say American soldiers and Korean refugees coming back rather than advancing. He recounts how the Chinese had entered the war and crossed the Yalu River, forcing the Americans to retreat and causing the Korean civilians to flee. He comments on the poor conditions of the refugees.



William C. “Bill” Coe

Fighting the Chinese Up to the Yalu River

William Coe’s company fought the Chinese all the way up to the Yalu River. He describes the scene at the time, explaining that the North Koreans didn't take any prisoners, so either did the US. William Coe recalls a time when he had to blow up many US supplies so that the Chinese wouldn't use them against him.