Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: Basic training

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

Abisai González Camacho

Basic Training and War / El Entrenamiento y la Guerra

Abisai González Camacho offers an overview of his basic training and the most difficult aspects of the war. He explains that he felt physically prepared for war as he joined the National Guard prior to his recruitment but was not ready for the realities of the war. He recounts that, having often conversed with his buddies the night before, it was difficult whenever one of them was killed.

Abisai González Camacho habla sobre su entrenamiento y los aspectos más difíciles de la guerra. Explica que se sentía físicamente preparado para la guerra porque estaba en la Guardia Nacional antes de su reclutamiento, pero no estaba preparado para las realidades de la guerra. Cuenta que, habiendo conversado con sus compañeros la noche anterior, era difícil cuando moría uno de ellos el próximo día.

First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones

Abisai González Camacho recounts his first impressions of Korea. He explains that he could not believe his surroundings upon first seeing the front line. He remembers that while he was treated well by his commanding officers, they were in fact very tough individuals.

Abisai González Camacho habla sobre sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que no podía creer lo que lo rodeaba cuando vio por primera vez la línea del frente. Recuerda que sus oficiales lo trataron bien, y sin discrimen, aunque eran personas muy duras.

Albert (Hank) Daumann

The Family Reacts To Enlisting and Basic Training

Hank Daumann talks about how his Dad was not happy with his enlistment because his Dad had spent time in a POW camp in America. His Dad was arrested at the beginning of WWII by the FBI as an enemy alien because he was German. One month after Hank Daumann enlisted his brother was drafted into the Army.

Albert R. Sayles

Tank Training

Albert Sayles recounts being drafted into the Army and the training he was provided. He shares that after infantry training he chose to proceed with tank training. He recalls spending eight weeks learning all five positions in the M4 Sherman tank and elaborates on the changes made to the weapons on the tank between WW2 and the Korean War.

Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino

1st Orders

Al D'Agostino is describing the way in which men were sent to Fort Hood for basic training when the Korean War started. From either Fort Hood or Fort Dixon they were sent on a plane straight to Japan and then on to Korea. However, his training was a bit different as he was a replacement and had cold weather training instead.

Alex Saenz

Enlistment and Basic Training

Alex Saenz recalls having graduated from high school and working as a spray painter when the Korean War broke out. He recounts quitting his job and enlisting in the Navy. He describes his basic training in San Diego and shares that it was an experience as he had never been away from home.

Alice Rosemary Christensen

Women in the Military

Alice Christensen explains the concept of the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service or "WAVES" in the U.S. Navy, as well as the women U.S. Marines, whom she worked with extensively while serving on a Marine base in North Carolina. She describes the rules for their uniforms and makeup and admits that the U.S. Marines were much more strict than the U.S. Navy.. She discusses the camaraderie between the women in the two branches.

Alistair S. Rae

Training and First Impressions

Alistair S. Rae recalls Korea as a land of lots of hills and mountains ascending from the sea. He notes few encounters with Korean cities and people beyond times spent on rest and recuperation. He shares his wartime training on more advanced planes beyond the Spitfires he learned on in South Africa.

Allen Affolter

Entering the Marine Corps

Allen Affolter describes how he earned enough money to attend college before joining the Marine Corps Reserves in 1947 while earning his degree in Education. He shares that the Marine Corps offered the program as a means of avoiding the draft, and he recounts spending several weeks training during the summer months of 1948 and 1949. He recalls finishing his degree in 1951, eventually entering the Marine Corps, and being sent to Korea towards the end of the war despite being deaf in one ear.

Anthony Vaquero

Joining the Air Force

Tony Vaquero talks about joining the Air Force because he wanted to be a pilot. After being ruled ineligible to fly, he describes being sent for training to be a radio operator at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.

We Want to Transfer to the Army

Tony Vaquero tells a story when, while training to be Air Force radio operators, he and two of his classmates visited their First Sergeant and requested being transferred to the Army. He describes the sergeant's reaction and what happened in the aftermath of the request.

Aragaw Mselu

Military Training and a Fight

Aragaw Mselu describes the military training. For example, there were many trainings for the soldiers, attack, defense, hunting spies, and searching for mines. In addition, soldiers were to respect other soldiers. However, Aragaw Mselu describes how he fought with other soldier. Subsequently, this caused him to end up in military prison for ninety days.

Arland Shelstad

Basic Training and Training other Recruits Across the US

On Dec. 26, 1950, Arland Stelstad was activated and was sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama for basic training in the Army. His training started in summer camp before being sent to Fort Rucker, so when they arrived, they were advanced trained so that they could travel the US to train the new recruits.

Training as a Medic

Arland Shelstad was trained in multiple locations across America in order to prepare as a medic for the US Army. The most common injury that he assisted with was broken fingers and arms. Arland Shelstad even helped doctors during surgeries.

Arthur Alsop

Basic Training at Waiouru

Arthur Alsop describes his basic training experience in Waiouru, New Zealand. He remembers that basic training was for six weeks and being sent to core training for twelve weeks. He shares how it was during this time that he learned about driving trucks and auto mechanics.

Arthur H. Hazeldine

Early Naval Experiences

Arthur H. Hazeldine recounts how he came to enlist in the New Zealand Navy. He recounts the early days of basic training at Motuihe in the Gulf in Auckland and later at Devenport Naval Base in Philomel. He shares his earliest experiences as a naval man when he was stationed aboard the HMNZA Bellona in Wellington Harbor during a general strike of transportation workers in New Zealand.

Arthur Hernandez

Introduction to Military Service

Arthur Hernandez reminisces about the day he received the draft letter in 1952, shortly after his marriage. He shares the letter instructed him to report for duty immediately. He remembers boarding a train with troops and heading to Fort Ord, California, for processing after his initial physical examination. He distinctly recollects reaching Fort Ord shortly after midnight and having only three hours of sleep before waking up at three a.m. for breakfast.

Asfaw Desta

Korean Battle

Asfaw Desta describes his Korean service. He describes being trained upon arrival in Busan. The M1 was the weapon he trained with. He also describes battles and rough terrain. Many people died and these memories stick with him. He recalls fighting conditions on Hill 1073, which is near the Iron Triangle.

Avery Creef

Basic Training at Fort Polk

Avery Creef, after enlisting in the Army in January of 1951, went to boot camp in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He reflects on his experiences and what he learned. He spent twelve weeks there and recalls countless marching drills and learning to shoot different weapons. He then went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for more training. He landed in Incheon, South Korea, in June of 1952.

Barbara A. Bateman

Training for Her Job

Barbara Bateman shares her job training sent her to Illinois where she learned how to rig parachutes. She recounts her experience of "falling" out of the aircraft while practicing with dummies in the airplane and almost being courtmartialed for it. She describes the process of rigging a parachute, and after her six-week job training, she shares she was sent to Waco, Texas.

Types of Parachutes and Working on the Flight Line

Barbara Bateman describes the types of parachutes utilized and how where one was located in the plane determined the type of parachute worn. She explains how when she reported to Waco, all the parachute rigors were civilians, leading to her assignment to the flight line. She explains how this role meant she kept track of records and fitted trainees with equipment before flights. She discusses how she worked with pilots, keeping current with flight hours as well as foreign pilots training in the T-33 fighter jet.

Basilio MaCalino

Joining the Marine Corps

Basilio MaCalino didn't graduate high school and due to his bad choices, he had to join the military.
He enlisted Feb. 12, 1953 for the Marine Corps and was sent to San Diego, CA for his bootcamp training. Right after training, he was sent to Korea. His specialty was a supplier for the military.

Bernard Dykes

Right Place, Right Time, Right Training

Bernard Dykes describes how he became second in command after only seven days in Korea. He recalls assisting inside of a tank at the lowest rank. He shares how, with all his training in the U.S., he was able to reset the tank after it became inactive.

Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago

Unprepared for War / Sin Preparación Para la Guerra

Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago explains why he was unprepared for combat. He states that as a member of the reserves, he was sent to Korea without basic training. He remembers how his captain, a West Point graduate, requested he not be a forward observer as he was not trained as a soldier.

Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago explica por qué no estaba preparado para el combate. Afirma que, como miembro de las reservas, fue enviado a Corea sin el entrenamiento básico. Recuerda que su capitán, un graduado de West Point, pidió que no fuera un observador avanzado ya que no fue entrenado como soldado.

Betty Jane Beck

Joining the Navy

Betty Beck explains she wanted a career related to aviation and saw the U.S. Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES, as an opportunity to live her dream. She recalls everything happening quickly as she joined the Navy on a Wednesday and was shipped out by that Friday. She speaks about the entrance requirements for women for the WAVES, all of which she found easy. She recalls how the entire process only took a couple of days and how she was assigned to aviation. She remembers how, at that time, women were very limited in the jobs they could do, but the limitations eventually changed.

Aviation Electronics Training

Betty Beck explains how even though she qualified for aviation, her options were limited since she was not allowed to fly. She describes learning basic electronics and how to repair the different types of electronics used in the U.S. Navy. She recalls that during her time, women could still serve in the U.S. Navy if they were married but not after they were pregnant or had children. She remembers all women in aviation were to be sent to Pensacola, Florida, to be evaluated on their abilities related to the jobs currently open to them. She shares did not want to go, and she expands on how lucky she was in being sent to San Diego, California, instead.

Beverly Lawrence Dunjill

Training at Tuskegee

Beverly Lawrence Dunjil discusses the advanced aviation training he received at Tuskegee. He fondly remembers his training and the excitement of flying a more powerful aircraft than he had previously experienced. He recollects how, as the training progressed, pilots were given the opportunity to fly combat planes such as the P-40 and the B-25.

Reenlistment and Training

Beverly Lawrence Dunjil discusses his experience rejoining the military after integration in 1949. He explains the details of his advanced flight training at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. He describes how he received training in T-33 jets before moving on to flying solo in the F-80.

Bill Bean

Stationed at Dover

Bill Bean describes his training experience which included going to Illinois before being sent to Dover, Delaware. He explains how “rural” the base was, but that didn’t bother him. His records were destroyed in a fire, but he believes that he was there until he was activated in spring of 1952.

Bob Couch

The Eye-Opening Trip to Pusan

Bob Couch discusses his basic training in California and his deployment to Korea. He recounts the "jolt" he experienced upon his arrival in Pusan after seeing the state of destruction and poverty level among civilians. He recalls trucks making rounds each morning to collect bodies of civilians who had died during the night.

Bob Garcia

Joining the US Army

Bob Garcia talks about enlisting in the US Army in 1950. He describes his early sentiments about joining and his experience in basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He also talks about his prior knowledge of Korea as the Korean War began.

Bob Imose

A Strange and Rewarding Career

Bob Mitsuo Imose shares about his time flying B-29 bombers with the 5th Air Force based in Okinawa, Japan. He offers details of the typical crew carried by these planes. Reflecting on his involvement in a special mission after the conclusion of the war, he details his role in the development of propaganda materials, written in both Chinese and Korean, to be dropped in Korea in anticipation of another potential war in the region.

Bob Wickman

Wanted a Choice

Bob Wickman shares that as the possibility of being drafted neared, he wanted the opportunity to choose which branch of the service he would serve in, so on September 28, 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years. He recalls how after basic training he was interviewed to determine what might be the best fit for him. He desperately wanted to be in aviation, but his poor vision prevented that. He reminisces about how he managed to fool the vision screening. He recounts how he ultimately ended training as part of a naval hospital unit.

Bruce Ackerman

The Korean War Homecoming and the Lack of American Pride

As Bruce Ackerman and the Korean War veterans returned home from the war, many US citizens lacked an understanding and scope of the Korean War. Many US civilians stated that the Korean War was nothing more than a police action. Bruce Ackerman recalled the success of the US Marine Corps during the Pusan Perimeter as they defeated the North Koreans and the Chinese. With the help from strong leadership and effective equipment, North Koreans and Chinese were beaten and this was monumental to Bruce Ackerman.

Bruce R. Woodward

Training for Korea

Bruce Woodward describes his unique circumstances entering the conflict. He shares he had not even attended bootcamp at the time. He recalls learning how to shoot an M1 Rifle before his arrival in Korea at Wonsan Air Base from the deck of a ship.

Burnie S. Jarvis

Recalled to Service

Burnie Jarvis, at the urging of a friend and an unsubstantiated claim they could remain together, joined the U.S. Navy in the Fall of 1948. He shares he was assigned to a heavy cruiser ship, the U.S.S. St. Paul, after basic training. He offers details about what a heavy cruiser ship is. He shares how after leaving near the end of his first year to return to work for the railroads he was recalled to service following the start of the Korean War.

Assigned to Assist Artillery

Burnie Jarvis shares how, following his recall to service in 1950, he was assigned to assist the artillery aboard the U.S.S. Toledo. He explains he was part of a gunnery division and operated a five-inch twin mounted gun. He notes that prior to his arrival in Korea he had not learned anything about Korea in school or ROTC training.

Carl B. Witwer

Special Training

Carl Witwer details his experience going to radar school after his basic training in Norfolk, Virginia. He also describes the responsibilities he had to learn. This included radio telephone procedures, plotting, radar contacts, and determining the course and speed of aircrafts.

Carl M. Jacobsen

Enlistment and Basic Training

Carl Jacobsen describes his path into service. He shares how he felt the need to do something constructive and decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He details his basic training and recounts volunteering to represent his regiment as a mile runner, winning many of his meets. He recounts his decision to go airborne and attend jump school following basic.

Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen

Military Service Makes You a Man or Destroys You

Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen describes his belief that military service either makes a person a man or destroys him. He adds that it is up to him to decide. He shares that a soldier must obey, do what he is told, and do his best. He feels his service in the United States Army made him into a man.

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco

First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco discusses his first impressions of the war and Korea. He remembers that he and others experienced real fear upon first landing in Incheon. During the first two months he spent in Korea, he recalls that they trained in modern warfare and took care of prisoners of war. He recounts the desperation of the civilian population, in particular, what women were forced to do to survive.

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco cuenta de sus primeras impresiones sobre la guerra y Corea. Recuerda que él y otros tuvieron miedo cuando llegaron por primera vez en Incheon y vieron lo que es la guerra. Durante los dos primeros meses que pasó en Corea, recuerda que tenían entrenamiento y los asignaron a cuidaron a los prisioneros de guerra. El se acuerda de la desesperación de la población civil, en particular, de lo que las mujeres se vieron obligadas a hacer para sobrevivir.

Carlos Julio Mora Zea

Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea

Carlos Julio Mora Zea describes the voyage to Korea which took over a month. He explains that traveling from Bogota to Cartagena took five days and then they embarked on a boat with other foreign troops including soldiers from the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and other nations. He describes how they were transported to the front lines from Incheon.

Carlos Julio Mora Zea describe el viaje a Corea que duró más de un mes. Explica que el viaje de Bogotá a Cartagena tomó cinco días y luego subieron a un barco con otras tropas extranjeras, incluidos soldados de Filipinas, Puerto Rico y otras naciones. Describe cómo fueron transportados al frente desde Incheon.

Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles

Carlos Julio Mora Zea recalls that the most difficult moments he experienced occurred during his training and during his time at T-Bone Hill. He admits that he found basic training incredibly difficult even though they were given a helper. At T-Bone Hill, he explains that the conditions were terrible as they faced constant danger.

Carlos Julio Mora Zea recuerda los momentos más difíciles que sucedieron durante su entrenamiento y durante su tiempo en la Colina T-Bone. Admite que encontró el entrenamiento básico increíblemente difícil a pesar de que les dieron un ayudante. En la Colina, explica que las condiciones eran terribles ya que siempre estaban en peligro constante.

Cecil Franklin Snyder

Drafted into the Army

Cecil Snyder talks about being drafted into the US Army in the fall of 1958. He describes basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and mentions the duties of a clerk, his military occupational specialty.

Charles Bull

Training Can Be a Huge Pain in the Neck!

Charles Bull was shocked when he joined the Navy. It was difficult to take care of himself by washing, ironing, cooking, and caring for other men. He also had to learn all seamanship training for tools and ships. During a training, he almost was hit in the head with a 14 point lead pipe.

Charles Crow Flies High

13 Bravo

Charles Crow Flies High was section chief on a cannon crew. There were ten crew members in each crew, and they included a driver, chief, section chief, gunner, assistant gunner, loader, ammo track crew, and ammo team chief. He recalls one of the cannons having the ability to reach up to thirty miles away.

Knowledge of Korea

Charles Crow Flies High did not know much about Korea before his deployment, except for the details about the Korean War. Since many of his relatives were in the military, he knew about the Korean War, and it made him really proud to protect the peninsula just like they did. For both deployments, Charles Crow Flies High stayed for fifteen months protecting a variety of areas along the DMZ.

Charles Earnest Berry

Integration in the US Army

Charles Earnest Berry discusses his first experience with integration. He recalls the Sergeant instructing the men in his unit to pick their bunks in an integrated fashion. He noticed that Black soldiers selected bunks on one side of the room, while the White soldiers chose bunks on the opposite side. He remembers the Sergeant then forcing the unit to integrate by instructing Black and White soldiers to certain bunks near each other.

Arrested in Greenville, South Carolina

Charles Earnest Berry discusses an incident where he and other Black troops were arrested in Greenville, South Carolina. He recalls the treatment they experienced from local police officers and a Military Policeman (MP). He provides details about the charges that were brought against the MP for his treatment of the soldiers.

Charles Eggenberger

Journey to the Front

Charles Eggenberger recalls his 1950 arrival in Korea. He describes his journey, from basic training in San Diego, California, to being stationed in both Guam and China, before the Korean War broke out. He describes his participation in the amphibious Inchon Landing, and a combat lesson he learned while fighting the enemy in Seoul.

Charles Francis Jacks

Ready for More

Charles Jacks describes his enlistment in the United States Navy and basic training location. He shares that he was trained as a Hospital Corpsman and was assigned to St. Albans Veterans Hospital in Long Island, New York. He recalls growing tired of his duties there and explains that he asked to serve elsewhere. He remembers being told there were no ships open for a Corpsmen, but, alternatively, he was offered a position with the Fleet Marines. He accepted the offer, was sent to Camp Pendleton, and was later shipped to Korea aboard the USS Serpent.

Charles H. Brown

Becoming a Telegraphist

Charles H. Brown explains he became a basic seaman in the New Zealand Navy following basic training at Motuihe Island in Auckland Harbor. He remembers that after a few months, the New Zealand Navy began looking for communications operators. After taking a test and some training, he became a telegraphist and recalls being stationed aboard the frigate Hawea.

Charles Kutchka

From Draft, to Training, to Assignment

Charles Kutchka worked at a bank at the time he was drafted in 1953, near the conclusion of the fighting in the Korean War. He describes receiving his draft letter to the Army, and taking the bus for his basic training. He also details receiving his notice that his assignment after basic training was to Frankfort, Germany.

Charles L. Hallgren

An Overcrowded Voyage

Charles Hallgren describes his journey from basic training through deployment to Korea. He recalls boarding a troop ship containing six thousand soldiers though it was only supposed to carry two thousand. He describes the congested sleeping situation aboard ship as well as the limited food availability.

Chauncey E. Van Hatten

"Outgunned and Outflanked"

Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the beginning of the Korean War. Stationed in Japan, he describes hearing the news of the North Korean invasion of South Korea and his unit's quick deployment to the war. He talks about being "outgunned and outflanked" by North Korean forces at Masan because of substandard equipment and supplies.

Chong Rae Sok


Chong Rae Sok describes becoming a KATUSA soldier at the beginning of the Korean War. He describes what a KATUSA soldier was and what he was doing when he was recruited into the Army. He tells about being sent to train at Camp Fuji, Japan where he was assigned to Easy Company, 31st Regiment, 7th Division.

Chuck Lusardi

Learning of the Korean War Outbreak

Chuck Lusardi, on his way to basic training in Ft. Knox, KY, recalls reading the headlines in a newspaper stating the Korean War had started. He notes that at that point people did not really have a sense of the war just yet, but he could see the concern on his mother's face. He shares his time scheduled for twelve weeks at Ft. Knox was ultimately cut to eight weeks upon his arrival.

Training as Heavy Equipment Operators

Chuck Lusardi shares both he and his brother George were sent Ft. Belvoir, Virginia's Engineering Training Center and Engineering Research Center near Washington, D.C., following basic training. He explains he and his brother had an engineering background because of their time in the Michigan National Guard. He notes they had several options for training, but both chose heavy equipment operator.

Clarence G. Atzenhoffer, Jr.

War Ready at Home

Clarence Atzenhoffer describes being trained and running drills for a homeland invasion in America during the Korean War. He recounts red alerts and being given guns with no bullets for practice purposes. He adds that while they knew the North Koreans did not have long range airplanes, the Russians were also a factor they had to worry about.

Clayborne Lyles

Joining the Navy, Basic Training, and Traveling to Show Power

Clayborne Lyles joined the Navy as a 17 year old in order to move away from poverty in Arkansas in 1947. After attending 11 weeks of basic training and Machinist Maintenance (engineer) training, he was sent way on the USS Toledo to travel to a variety of ports across the world to demonstrate the US Navy's strength during the Cold War. He spent all of his time on the ship maintaining boiler operations while working on steam turbines, generators, pumps, air conditioning and refrigeration.

Clayton Burkholder

Knowledge of Korea

Clayton Burkholder was going to junior college and worked at a grocery store in 1951 when the Korean War stared. He read about the war in newspapers and heard it on the television. After volunteering, he didn't know anything about Korea, but he did know about Japan. He knew that there was a conflict that needed to be taken care of in Asia, but that was it.

Volunteer Before You Get Drafted!

Clayton Burkholder enlisted in the military because he was about to be drafted. The boss of a grocery store was also on the draft board and luckily Clayton Burkholder worked for him. HIs boss gave him a warning that he would be drafted Monday morning, so Clayton Burkholder volunteered on Friday afternoon before he was drafted.

Clifford Bradley Dawson

Basic Training and Integration of the Military

Clifford Bradley Dawson shares his experience of being drafted into the United States Army right after completing high school. He recalls attending basic training at Ft. Riley, where the 10th Infantry Division comprised three regiments: one all-Black, one all-White, and one integrated. He served in the integrated unit and remembers working alongside fellow soldiers from different parts of the United States.

Basic Training and Advanced Training

Clifford Bradley Dawson discusses his eight weeks of infantry training where he learned to use various weapons such as the M1 rifle, the .30 caliber machine gun, and rocket launchers. He recalls being assigned to signal training, where he learned how to climb poles and string communication wires. He describes their equipment, which included lineman gear such as spikes on his boots. He recalls how he was assigned to an artillery unit when he arrived in Korea, and his job was to ensure that the communication wires between different units were functioning properly.

Clifford Townsend

Radar Operator Description

Clifford Townsend details the duties of a radar operator. He comments on the challenges of using old equipment and shares that the radar team sat as close to the front lines as possible. He shares that his full color vision worked to his advantage as a radar operator.

Clyde D. McKenrick

What is Cryptography?

Clyde McKenrick describes the job of a cryptographer. This is an older version of coding. He explains that a cryptographer encodes and decodes information, allowing for secure communication between units. This allows enemies to not access confidential information.

"What Kind of Trouble Are You In?"

Clyde McKenrick tells an amusing story of when he was called into the office of an alarmed personnel director because the FBI had been asking questions about him. He had no idea why the FBI was interested in him. He explains that the FBI interest was because of the security clearance he needed to become a cryptographer.

Colin C. Carley

Sneaking into the Military

Colin Carley shares how he was so proud and eager to volunteer for the New Zealand Army at the age of seventeen, but he never realized the conditions that he would have to face. Since it was so cold, he remembers that his drinks froze the first night in Korea in 1950. As a soldier who snuck into the military, he shares how he did not mind any challenges because he knew he had to blend with the traditional soldiers who were the required age of twenty-one.

I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home

Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.

Congressman James Conyers

Combat Engineers

Congressman Conyers describes the front line service of the combat engineers. These duties included, but weren't limited to, establishing fortifications for troop support. What was unique about combat engineers was their ability to serve in a dual capacity, as both combat operators and engineers.

Conrad R. Grimshaw

Joining the National Guard and Duties

Conrad Grimshaw recounts joining the National Guard and the training that followed. He describes being in charge of 12 2.5 ton trucks and chaining the wheels due to mud issues in order to get up to the firing batteries. He recounts a switch out of trucks later on.

Curtis Lewis

Basic Training and MOS Training in California

Curtis Lewis graduated high school in 1952 and jointed the Air Force right away. He attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After earning high scores in the technology industry, he was sent to California to learn his military operational specialty. While in California, he was able to see many of his Army friends leave for Korea, but not all returned.

Cyril Kubista

Bring Your Wife With You

Cyril Kubista's commander discovered that he was just married before basic training. He felt Cyril Kubista should be there when his first child was born. He was given time to move his wife to be near him and was around for the birth of his daughter. He was allowed to leave camp from Saturday noon to Sunday evening each weekend. His wife was allowed to travel with him throughout his service.

Dale Schlichting

Enlisting as a 17 Year Old

Dale Schlichting chose to join the Navy the day after he turned 17 years old. He prepared and studied for the Eddie Test for electronics with help from his favorite high school teacher. Dlae Schlichting chose the Navy since everyone in his neighborhood was active in this branch and he also wanted to follow after his relatives in the Navy.

Training, Training, and More Training!

Dale Schlichting didn't know that he could get a guarantee to go to ET (Electrical Training) School so that he could get into aviation by spending 8 weeks there. Then he went to mess cooking for 5 school. After that, he went 29 weeks Aviation Electrician Technician School and he wanted to be a tailgunner, but that job was closed.

David Carpenter

The Green Berets

David Carpenter participated in extreme exercises while in commando training. He recalls how if a trainee did not pass the test, he would be thrown out of the Marines. Training included cliff climbing, nine mile speed marches, a thirty mile trek with a seventy pound backpack, and crossing rivers on ropes. After surviving this training, they were awarded the Green Berets which signified that they had passed the All Arms Commando Course.

David Espinoza

Becoming a Paratrooper

David Espinoza describes how he trained to become a paratrooper before he was deployed to Korea. He explains that the training was very hard and lots of heart. He recalls the importance of not looking down when making a jump and how to handle a parachute properly. He describes the first time he jumped out of an airplane for training to qualify for Paratrooper wings.

Traveling to Korea

David Espinoza describes his journey to Korea and his arrival on the front lines. He explains having to board a ship in California, and his arrival at Inchon in late 1950. He recalls having to replace other men who were much younger and had been fighting for some time.

David H. Epstein

Meeting a Friend from Home

David H. Epstein shares an endearing story about being reconnected with a childhood friend who was his military superior. He recalls that both of their mothers arranged the meeting between he and the other soldier prior to both of them being shipped overseas to Korea. He explains that after the Korean War was over, they both continued to reconnect as friends while they were both still serving in South Korea.

Drafted, Training, and Starting a Family

David H. Epstein recalls being drafted, going through basic training, and starting a family around the same time. He explains how he came to be in the United States Marine Corps, rather than the United States Army, although he was drafted. He describes his arrival in Korea, and the duties involved in being assigned to Command Post Security for Headquarters Company of the 1st Marine Division.

David Lopez

The Korean War Draft, Training, and Landing

David Lewis was a longshoreman just like his father, but he was drafted in 1951. He took infantry training and left for Korea from California, but it took 18 days to get to Korea while sailing on the USS Black. There was a storm during his travel and many of the men threw up due to the pitching of the ship, but David Lewis didn't let that stop him from winning $1,800 from playing cards. At the end of June 1951, he arrived in Pusan and he thought the peace talks would end the war, but there was still more fighting to take place.

David Simon

Assigned to the 64th Engineer Topographic Battalion

David Simon shares that prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army, he had learned the printing trade from his uncle. Shortly after enlisting he recalls being sent to a printing school in Virginia. He learned of the outbreak of war while in Virginia. He recollects being sent to Korea on the troop ship the Breckinridge. He details his duties during his assignment to the 64th Engineer Topographic Battalion and the 72nd Engineer Survey Detachment in Tokyo.

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.

Delmer Davis

Special Forces: The Raiders

Delmer Davis talks about a special forces unit called the raiders which he was chosen to be a part of. He describes the selection process, training, and mission of this close combat unit of 100 men.

Denis John Earp

Always Wanted to Fly

Denis John Earp always knew he wanted to fly but understood the only way to afford learning would be to go through the military. He describes the competitive selection process. He explains the courses and exams he had to take over the course of two years.

Dennis Grogan

Apprenticeship Preparations

Dennis Grogan explains the circumstances of his apprenticeship in the Royal Air Force. He recalls having extensive training for three years to learn skills in various areas, such as welding and hydraulics. He shares the importance of his participation in sports throughout his training and describes a variety of locations his training took him to.

Diana Kathleen Cattani

Experience in Basic Training

Diana Cattani reflects on her experience in basic training in the United States Air Force. She recalls the training included math and language skills as well as learning how to follow rules without question. She explains this included clothing being ironed and starched as well as strict rules around how much clothing could be in their laundry bag. She describes marching from one end to another on base and swears they marched nine hours a day. She shares she never learned how to use a gun however, because leadership knew she would not be fighting. She reflects on her time at basic training, sharing the experience made her stronger physically and mentally.

Job Description and Living Conditions

Diana Cattani describes undergoing placement training while in the U.S. Air Force which included a rating in seven categories. She admits she struggled with the mechanical tasks but excelled in administration and office procedures. She shares she also attended a radio operations course held with male soldiers where she learned how to use a radio and morse code. She recalls being told she had a perfect voice for radio since it was loud and clear. She remembers how, despite graduating at the top of her class, her assignment was as a typist, a position she was unhappy about. She details her living conditions on her first assignment, expanding on the fact there were no dryers on base and how the base commander's wife would not allow laundry to be hung outside on Sundays.

Don McCarty

Go to Jail or Go to the Marines

Don McCarty joined the US Marine Corps when he was 17 years old because if he didn't, he would have ended up in jail. With is mom's permission, he was sent away to Parris Island, SC for boot camp. After growing up in Chicago, Illinois and Kentucky, he said that he received the positive push in life that he needed once entering boot camp.

Don R. Childers

Going From the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves to Active Duty

Don R. Childers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in Oklahoma City when he was eighteen years old. He recalls the policy of President Harry S. Truman's administration, in 1948, that anyone who enlisted in the U.S. Reserves would not be drafted. During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, he trained periodically at Camp Pendleton. After spending two years in the Reserves, he received advanced combat training when the Korean War started in 1950 and reported for active duty.

Arriving in Korea

Don R. Childers recalls his journey to Japan and Korea by ship, where some of the men suffered from severe seasickness. After landing in Korea, his company was loaded onto trucks and taken to a small, remote town called Wonju. There, they set up camp in a dry river bed and were immediately told to "dig in." It was only later, when someone yelled "incoming mail" - referring to enemy artillery shells - that he realized the importance of this command. He was then assigned to the Weapons Company and the Eighty-one Mortar Patrol, starting as an ammunition carrier and eventually volunteering to be a forward observer, responsible for identifying target locations.

Donald Arthur Summers


Donald Arthur Summers remembers a time when he had to use the last of his money to buy a bus fare to return home to Oklahoma after finishing his basic training. He shares how he could not afford food at one of the bus stops and how the bus driver offered him a meal at the diner. He recalls how, while he was stationed in Japan, he witnessed hunger and poverty which left a deep impression on him.

Donald C. Hay

15 year old Seaman

Donald C. Hay describes leaving high school and joining the New Zealand Navy at 15. In addition to his naval duties, he had to continue attending school onboard the ship. The young Seaman Boys, ages fifteen and sixteen, attended classes daily with a teacher on board provided by the Navy. Something unique about the New Zealand Navy is they provided a teacher on board the ship. All boys were required to take English and Math classes for a couple of hours a day.

Donald Clark

Basic Training in Hawaii

Donald Clark describes his naive expectations of basic training in Hawaii. He and two other young men that he had just met had thought that the colorful posters on the wall in the recruiting office were signs of what to expect. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving at basic training, he realized he was in "fourteen weeks of hell." He quickly learned that he would be going to Korea.

Donald Haller

War Speciality

Donald Haller recalls never attending boot camp due to the short time between his signing up for the Reserves and his being drafted. He explains he was a great shooter, so he was assigned to the Navy ordinance as a gunner. He shares how he flew as a gunner in a bow turret located in the front of a seaplane. He remembers never feeling unsafe. He adds that before flying in Korea, he was stationed in the Philippines.

Donald L. Mason

Thoughts about Going to War

Donald Mason discusses his feelings about going to war as a twenty-one-year-old. He remembers feeling hesitant but not scared. Much of his unit was made up of experienced soldiers from World War II. He did know Korea was occupied by both China and Japan at points in history. In a way, he was excited about the new adventure. He talks about his time in Kobe, Japan.

Donald Loudner


Donald Loudner talks about basic training Fort Carson, Colorado. He tells a story about earning the nickname "Tomahawk" because he could throw a grenade with such accuracy.


Donald Loudner, of the Hunkpati Sioux Tribe, talks about discrimination that he faced as a native American in the US Army. He remembers an episode when he was asked to leave a cafe and how his commander responded.

Donald Schneider (Part 1/2)

Early Experiences

Donald Schneider describes his early involvement from registering for the draft in Wisconsin to being sent to basic training at Indiantown Gap, PA. He describes his uneventful goodbyes. When asked how he felt about being selected, he said he didn't mind it because it was "good for him."

Donald St. Louis

Two Attempts to Enlist

Donald St. Louis describes how he did not know much about Korea before joining the military. He elaborates that he joined the military because it provided a job at the time. He shares enlistment took two attempts before finally earning acceptance to the program.

Donald Stemper

FBI Scoured His Home Town Asking Questions

Since Don Stemper and his family had printing skills, he had a huge interest in infrared, aerial, or map-making photography. While at Lackland Air Force Base, they put him into a Casual Squadron which is where the armed forces put you when they don't know what to do with you. He heard from family members that the FBI had scoured the town of Mankato, Minnesota asking questions about Don Stemper in order to receive clearance to do undercover work for the Armed Forces. He learned later that these strategies was standard protocol before giving someone who was working with classified material and map-making technology. While he was in this holding pattern, he pulled duty over trash cans.

Importance of Topography: Life or Death

Don Stemper pulls out a map and uses it to explain the importance of topography. These skills proved that the tiny details could mean the difference between life and death, winning, or losing the war effort. He says accuracy is so importance during war.

Donald Westfall

Stationed Aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB-64)

Donald Westfall shares that he completed his basic training in Bainbridge, Maryland, before reporting to Norfolk, Virginia, where he was assigned to the USS Wisconsin. He notes that the USS Wisconsin was a battleship measuring 868 feet long and 108 feet across. The ship was equipped with nine sixteen-inch guns, twenty five-inch guns, and forty millimeter guns. He details his duties as one of the crew's boiler tenders which included maintaining the boilers, watching water levels in the boilers, and keeping the fire room clean.

Doris B. Porpiglia

Women's Wartime Jobs

During the Korean War, women worked as switchboard operators and they drove jeeps for officers. Doris Porgiglia was given an aptitude test and she was qualified for over 150 types of jobs. She decided to go to Indianapolis to obtain the training for the Post Office.

Training For The Future

Doris Porpiglia explained that many women had standard jobs that most women had during that time period. This included telephone operator and secretary. She said the main thing women wanted from their experiences during the war, was skills they needed that they could use when the war ended.

The Women Just Sat There and Wouldn't Shoot

During her time in basic training, the women GIs were given the opportunity to practice shooting weapons. They were actually given a choice in the event that at any given time they were told they had to shoot their weapon, they should be ready. Doris Porpiglia said she wanted to be prepared, but most women just sat there and didn't attempt to try shooting at all, but Doris Porpiglia didn't understand their reasoning.

Dwight Owen

Going to Korea

Dwight Owen recounts being told in late July of 1950 that he would be going to Korea soon. He states that he was part of the 1st Division Shore Party and describes the assignments he was given as part of that regiment. He recalls arriving in Kobe, Japan, on his way to Korea and experiencing a typhoon while docked there.

Earl A. House

Stopping Communism and the Most Difficult Moment in the War

Earl House describes why he felt the U.S. intervened in Korea and believes it was to stop the spread of Communism. He recalls one of the most difficult times was when there was an accidental discharge of an allied weapon in the trenches. He remembers being physically and mentally distraught and being moved to a jeep patrol to drive officials up to the front lines.

Knowledge of Korea and Arriving in Korea

Earl House shares he knew little about Korea prior to arriving as a soldier. He recalls the first time learning anything about Korea was in the Naval Reserves. He mentions he was excited to travel to Korea and fight in the war as he had never traveled outside the U.S. except for visiting Canada.

Ed Donahue

Basic Training Experience

Ed Donahue recalls his experience at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He remembers how his life changed as soon as he arrived. He describes being awakened the first night at three in the morning because someone spilled something on the floor. He recounts how he and all of the other new recruits were required to scrub the floor with a toothbrush. He shares how he only spent eight weeks there due to a growing need for troops in Korea. He recalls attending advanced rifle training at Camp Pendleton in California before being sent to Kobe, Japan, and then on to Pusan, Korea, in October of 1950.

Ed O’Toole

Becoming a Marine

Ed O'Toole shares his journey to fight in Korea. He joined the United States Marine Corps in November of 1951. He does not remember learning anything about Korea before he went to the war. After seeing a neighbor in the Marine Corps uniform, he recalls wanting to join. He attended boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He remembers getting in trouble for accidentally kicking a bucket of water down some stairs.

Ed Wuermser

Job in Korea

Ed Wuermser shares he did not enjoy his training for code intercept. He explains he wanted a new job upon arrival in Korea. He describes how, with the help of a letter from his time in Fort Devens, he was repositioned and offered a promotion as a Master Sergeant and Troop Information and Education Specialist.

Eddie Reyes Piña

Many Felt We Had No Business Over There

Eddie Reyes Piña recounts how he volunteered for the draft before he was eligible. He recalls entering the service on August 20, 1952. He shares what those around him were saying about U.S. involvement in the Korean War and the subsequent treatment of Korean War veterans when they returned.

A Change to Trench and Outpost Warfare

Eddie Reyes Piña recalls receiving training with heavy mortars in Hokkaido, Japan, and moving to Incheon and then on to the area of Pork Chop Hill. He notes that by the time he arrived, fighting had transitioned to more trench and outpost warfare. He offers insight into the differences between outposts and listening posts.

Edith Pavlischek

Women in Basic Training

This video clip describes the 6 weeks of basic training that Edith Pavlischek endured. She says it was bunch of "crap". In her own hilarious nature, she gives the details of Army life for women in basic training during the Korean War era.

Edmund Ruos

Reason for Joining the Air Force

Edmund Ruos shares that he learned more about Korea after joining the Air Force in 1951. He explains that he joined after his older brother urged him to so he could select which branch he wanted to serve in rather than the branch being chosen through the draft. He recounts that he wanted to serve as a bombardier and jokingly admits that he cheated on his eye exam in hopes of making the training but was later caught on the second exam. He explains that after basic training, he was assigned to communications school and then shipped to Alaska to assist with electronic repairs.

Eduardo Arguello Montenegro

Volunteering for Korea / Ofrecerse Para Pelear en Corea

Eduardo Arguello Montenegro knew about the war in Korea because of his military training, but he was unaware of where the country was located. The sentiment in Colombia was that the conflict was foreign and had nothing to do with Colombians. However, this changed when the United Nations, as the defenders of peace around the world, asked Colombia for a battalion. He understood the importance of combating communism and proudly volunteered to fight in Korea when asked. He describes the moment in which more than ninety nine point nine percent of those asked volunteered to fight.

Eduardo Argüello Montenegro sabía lo que estaba pasando en la guerra de Corea por su entrenamiento militar, pero no sabía ni dónde estaba ubicado el país. El sentimiento en Colombia sobre la guerra era que el conflicto era extranjero y no tenía nada que ver con los colombianos. Sin embargo, esto cambió cuando Las Naciones Unidas, como defensores de la paz en el mundo, le pidió a Colombia un batallón. El entendió la importancia de combatir el comunismo y orgullosamente se ofreció como voluntario para luchar en Corea cuando el comandante pregunto quien lo acompañaría a Corea. Describe el momento en el que más del noventa y nueve punto nueve por ciento del batallón se ofrecieron como voluntarios para luchar.

Edward A. Walker

Shipwrecks and Truck Drivers

Edward Walker experienced a rushed basic training so that his regiment could quickly join troops fighting in Korea in 1951. His transport ship struck a reef on the way to Korea which required rescuing seven hundred soldiers by an oil tanker. Upon arrival in Korea, his duties involved transporting troops to a variety of military stations. He also used parts from an abandoned US Jeep to create a generator for their unit.

Edward F. Grala

C-47 Crew Chief

Ed Grala talks about his job in the US Air Force, crew chief on a C-47 Skytrain. He describes his job of maintaining the aircraft, delivering supplies, and helping set up radar sites around Alaska.

Edward Greer

Arrival to World War II in Europe

After about a year of training, Edward Greer was shipped to Europe during World War II. After being in England for about two weeks, he and his comrades, all part of an artillery unit, boarded LSTs and landed in France. By this time, the combat had moved ahead, but his unit would be catching up to the war. Edward saw his first bit of combat in Belgium. In this clip, he further explains the support that his unit provided during World War II.

Moving Ranks and Combat in Korea

Edward shares the trajectory of his military service by describing moving up in rank and describes some of the officer training he received. After finishing a basic course, in January of 1950, he was sent to Japan with a field artillery unit and was there when the war in Korea began in June of 1950. In December of 1950, he was promoted to an officer position, and he wrapped up that portion of his tour in December of 1951. Edward also describes the supply system during the Korean War and compares it to that of World War II.

Edward R. Valle

Experiencing Segregation

Edward Valle explains he enlisted in the United States Air Force in December 1951 and underwent basic training in San Antonio. He shares that, although he had grown up in the very diverse city of Chicago, it was in San Antonio where he first experienced segregation laws at local theaters. He concludes by focusing on the importance of President Truman desegregating the military.

Edward Wong

Entering Military Service

After working at Pearl Harbor for 1 year following high school graduation, Edward Wong had many friends joining the military. He decided to join the US Army in January of 1950. He completed his basic training in Fort Ord California for 4 months which he describes as "hard." He remembers being paid $100 a month and sending some of the money back to his parents.

Speciality School

After completing basic training Edward Wong moved to New Jersey to attend communications schools. His MOS (military occupation specialty) was in communications. He learned Morse code as well as other communication types. After one year of communications school, Edward Wong was assigned to go to Korea.

Edwin Durán González

Unexpected Reunion / Reunión Inesperada

Edwin Durán González explains that although both he and his brother were in the army at the same time, they were not allowed to be deployed together and thus flipped a coin to decide who would be sent to war. He further explains how Puerto Ricans were subdivided into different companies once they arrived. He adds that it was through sheer luck that he found his bother three months later as he too was eventually deployed to Korea.

Edwin Durán González explica que, aunque tanto él como su hermano estaban en el ejército al mismo tiempo, no se les permitió desplegarse juntos y así tiraron una moneda al aire para decidir quién sería enviado a la guerra. Él explica cómo los puertorriqueños fueron asignados a diferentes compañías una vez que llegaron a Corea. Termina contando que fue por pura suerte que se encontró a su hermano tres meses después, ya que finalmente él también fue enviado a Corea.

Elburn Duffy

We Knew Why We Were There

Elburn Duffy remembers leaving Ft. Lewis Washington in early April 1951 and arriving in Busan by the end of the month. He notes they did not stop in Japan as most other servicemen headed to Korea did because troops were desperately needed at the time of his arrival. He recalls the shock of the total desolation of the country and in particular the state of the children.

Eleanor Newton

Duties of an Air Force Flight Nurse

Eleanor Newton describes her role as an Air Force Flight Nurse. Eleanor received many Korean War soldiers under her care while stationed in Berkeley, California. Soldiers were sent to her for treatment and evaluation before moving on to other locations stateside.

Care in Air and Ditching the Patient

Eleanor Newton describes the training she received in caring for patients in the air as well as 'ditching' patients. She explains that the training involved what to do if an airplane transporting patients ever crashed into the ocean or desert. She describes the steps taken to ensure that the patients survived until help arrived.

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis

Preparation for Joining the Greek Army

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis didn't know anything about the Korean War when it began. He was a a civil servant that took care of the military horses. His specialty was to transfer food and ammunition on mules during the Korean War.

Epifanio Rodriguez Nunez

Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea

Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez explains that he was sent as an advanced group to Korea and, therefore, his voyage was different from that of other Colombian troops. Upon arriving, he was sent to Busan to organize the training for troops that would follow. He recalls the warm greeting they received from dignitaries which included Syngman Rhee.

Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez explica que fue enviado con un grupo avanzado a Corea y por lo tanto su viaje fue diferente al de otras tropas colombianas. Al llegar a Corea, fue enviado a Busan para organizar el entrenamiento de las tropas que seguirían. Recuerda que los recibieron bien con muchos dignatarios incluido Syngman Rhee.

Ernest Benson

Pole Climbing School

Ernest Benson describes some of the challenges involved in learning pole climbing, one of the two options that they had for him as a business. He explains that he did not enjoy it, especially because the poles had been used a lot. He remembers getting a "devil pole" that no one liked, a very scare experience.

Ernest Brant

Joining the Far Eastern Air Force

Ernest Brant explains his surprise that he was not being sent to Germany. Instead, he was assigned to what was called the "Far Eastern Air Force", which he had never heard of, in the South Pacific. He describes experiencing a typhoon en route to the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

Ernest J. Berry

Basic Training and Meeting Refugees

Ernest J. Berry describes the training as a medic at Waiouru Military Camp and sailing to Korea. He knew nothing of Korea. As he arrived, the communists were penetrating southward. He remembers streams of refugees traveling south as well. He explains his first impressions of Korean people.

Ernesto Sanchez

Being Drafted and Making a Living

Ernesto Sanchez describes his mother's reaction to his being drafted. As a result, his mother said she would go with him, which clearly she could not. When first arriving in Korea, the US Army provided winter clothing due to the cold, but expected to Ernesto Sanchez and his platoon to walk from Incheon to Seoul. While walking he was able to hitchhike aboard some American tanks the distance to Seoul.

Esipión Abril Rodríguez

Volunteering for War

Esipión Abril Rodríguez recounts his motivations for volunteering to fight in Korea with the Batallón Colombia. He explains that he joined the armed forces and was in the reserves which was called into action three times in his nation before heading to Korea. His remembers that his main motivations were a sense of adventure, and his hope that he would be able to live in Hawaii or the United States after he served in the war.

Esipión Abril Rodríguez relata sus motivos para ofrecerse como voluntario para luchar en Corea con el Batallón Colombia. Explica que se unió a las fuerzas armadas y estuvo en las reservas y fue llamado tres veces luchando en su nación antes de irse a Corea. Sus principales motivaciones eran el sentido de la aventura y su esperanza en poder vivir en Hawái o en los Estados Unidos después de la guerra.

Ethel Julia Archibald

Joining the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp

Ethel Archibald describes joining the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp during World War II as well as where she served during World War II and the Korean War. She explains her desire to serve just like two of her brothers who had volunteered for service. She recalls how her first days of service made her feel like she was doing something worthwhile.

Eugene Gregory

Marine Corps Advanced Infantry Training

Eugene Gregory describes training in the Marine Corps Advanced Infantry. He recounts exercises involving barbed wire and training under live fire and in cold weather situations throughout the courses. He shares that this type of training was meant to prepare them to adapt in combat situations and for Korean winters.

Eugene Johnson

The Only Way Out

In this clip Eugene Johnson tells the story of how he changed his birth certificate to make himself two year older so that he could enlist. He enlisted to get away from a tough homelife.

Ezra Franklin Williams

All Marines Were Headed to Korea

Ezra Frank Williams stated that he should have put his duty station as Korea because that's where the US military was sending all their Marines. Everyone laughed at him when he asked where the enemy was while in basic training in 1951. They told him that he'll really get a good look at them while he's in Korea.

Felipe Cruz

Training and Operating Heavy Equipment

Felipe Cruz shares his experience of basic training in the United States Marine Corps. He comments on his training in rifle qualification, infantry, and amphibian tractor school. He recounts how he spent six months as a crewman on amphibian tractors in Busan, Korea, before being deployed to the infantry on the Imjin River. He notes that due to his prior experience in driving trucks, he was reassigned to the Headquarters and Service Company as a heavy equipment truck driver.

Induction into the U.S. Marine Corps

Felipe Cruz reminisces about his enlistment into the United States military in 1951. He recalls a sergeant from the United States Marine Corps advising him to relax and enjoy some coffee and cookies as he waited for his induction into the U.S. Naval Service which he initially believed meant joining the U.S. Navy. He recounts how, later, when he returned to the waiting area and helped himself to more cookies, he was reprimanded by the same Marine Corps sergeant who exclaimed, "From now on you don't move unless you're told." He highlights the strong bond among U.S. Marines and how he attends reunions for the amphibian tractor battalion he served in.

Fermín Miranda Valle

Falsifying Papers / Falsificación de Papeles

Fermín Miranda Valle recounts the story of how he lied to enter the Army. His friends were discussing the war and they decided to enlist; however, he was only seventeen. He was able to sign up for the army without his birth certificate after lying to the secretary in the office.

Fermín Miranda Valle cuenta la historia de cómo mintió para entrar al ejército. Sus amigos estaban discutiendo la guerra y decidieron alistarse; sin embargo, el solo tenía diecisiete años. Pudo alistarse en el ejército sin su certificado de nacimiento después de mentirle a la secretaria en la oficina.

Frances Louise Donovan

Experience at Basic Training

Frances Donovan describes her basic training in San Antonio,Texas. She admits she had never traveled outside of the area she grew up and basic training was a big change of pace. She shares how she learned how to do things in the U.S. Army way as well as how to accept everything and everyone. She remembers, with pride, how she left basic training with a commission as second lieutenant.

Frances M. Liberty

Basic Training and Women in the Military

Frances Liberty discusses her experience at basic training. She recalls that Ft. Dix was not prepared for women. She recounts the experiences of learning to pitch tents, climb walls, and being shot at as she crawled under barbed wire. She reflects that the experience was rewarding and opened up a big world. She compares how nurses were seen during World War I to her experiences in the military.

Francis Bidle

Drafted and Shipped Out

Francis Bidle recalls receiving his draft notice in the mail in the summer of 1951. He shares that he knew the Korean War had already broken out as he followed the news. He recounts his US Army basic training in Missouri and shares that he was eventually shipped to Japan where he received track vehicle machinery training.

Frank E. Butler

Enlisted at Age Fifteen

Frank E. Butler enlisted in the New Zealand Navy in 1951. He completed basic training in Auckland before sailing to Korea aboard the HMNZS Kaniere. At fifteen, he was the youngest New Zealand soldier to go to Korea. He traveled to Pusan, Seoul, and North Korea. He describes being under constant attack by North Koreans.

Franklin Searfoss

Interest in Global Affairs

Franklin Searfoss remembers newsreels about the Korean War in the theaters and citizens in support of the war. He describes how having WWII veterans as his high school teachers helped develop his interest in global affairs. Nevertheless, like many soldiers knowing nothing about Korea before going to fight in the Korean War, he acknowledges not learning about Korea in his high school classes.

My Duty to Serve

Franklin Searfoss shares details about his enlistment in the United States Army in October 1954 and his wish to train in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. Days before completing basic training at Camp Chafee, Arkansas, he describes finding out about the Veterinary Corps being dissolved. Consequently, he highlights the options he was given and his choice to train as a medical specialist at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Driven by the desire to serve his country, he acknowledges, for the most part, not caring where he completed this service. Above all, he feels it is important to serve one's nation.

Fred J. Ito

Unprepared for Combat

Fred Ito enlisted in the military and received basic training before going to Japan in 1948. However, his training as an auto mechanic did not prepare him for combat when he then went to the frontlines of Korea. He describes his training and how he felt as he found himself in a situation he never expected in August 1950.

Fred Ragusa

Training to Become an Artillery Officer

Fred Ragusa describes his training in Army ROTC to become an Army artillery officer. He explains that the training focused on the structure of artillery at the battalion level. He remembers that there were not only other men from various campuses.

Artillery Training Alongside Koreans at Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Fred Ragusa talks about artillery training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and a fellow class of Korean soldiers who were also training there at the time. He said that the Captain that taught him also taught a class of Koreans. He heard that there was an emphasis of extreme discipline in the Korean classes, but that this Captain was able to bring his class to the top.

Gene Stone

It was My Obligation

Gene Stone shares his early experiences in the military following his graduation from Tennessee Tech as part of the ROTC program. He recalls his mother suggesting he continue his schooling to avoid serving in Korea, but he felt it was his obligation as an American to serve wherever he was sent. He explains the requirements of those who sought to become part of the Counterintelligence Corps.

Learning Counterintelligence

Gene Stone served as part of the 181st Counterintelligence Detachment during and after the Korean War. He shares what the training he received at Ft. Holabird was like. He notes the importance of observation and description in his training. He details one learning experience early in his training that in the end helped develop his skills in counterintelligence.

George Brown

Regrets of Hearing About Their Son's Death

George Brown recalls his parents were hit very hard by the news of their son Arthur Leroy Brown's death. He recalls his mom was pregnant with their first daughter and all were excited with the news. He remembers how Arthur eagerly shared the news with his fellow soldiers. He recounts how before Arthur left for boot camp, he and his father got into a scuffle because his father did not want him to quit school to join the Army.

George Covel

Enlistment and Leaving Loved Ones Behind

George Covel describes his enlistment and leaving behind his wife who was 6 months pregnant at the time. He details his role as a bandsman and placement in the Honor Guard and recounts serving as a ceremonial bandsman during the war, about 11 miles away from the front lines. He expresses that he was fortunate enough to avoid firing weapons on most occasions.

George Drake

A Life Abroad Before Korea

Dr. George Drake explains how growing up in poverty affected his life decisions. He describes his travels to South America and Europe before enlisting into the United States Army. He recounts wanting to be a part of the Army Corps of Engineers to study topography, but he was placed with Intelligence instead.

George Geno

The Korean War Draft

George Geno received his draft card in November of 1950 during some cold weather, so he worked hard to get the car running for his family before he left. He first took a train to Fort Wayne, Detroit for basic training and then he found out that his hometown dentist had been drafted too as he went in for his military checkup. After basic training, he was trained as a combat construction engineer specialist. He was also chosen for Officer Candidate Training School even though he didn't really want to go.

George Geno: One Happy and Safe Soldier!

George Geno was chosen for Officer CandidateTraining School and he had a Lieutenant that wanted to be well-known, so he really worked his men. George Geno was called heavy, so he had to run 2 miles extra every night and when he was discharged July 2, 1952, he was asked to re-enlist. He decided to re-enlist the next day and they were all given their next assignments; to George Geno's surprise, he was assigned to stay at Fort Bliss in the US. He cried with excitement and eventually became the Lieutenant in charge of training the US soldiers how to shoot accurately from the trenches.

George Padar

Joining the Military

George Padar explains that he went into the active duty military service in 1963 rather than moving with his parents. He remembers that he went to Fort Knox before being sent to Germany as an officer. Prior to this, he had gone through ROTC at Cornell University where he studied wildlife management.

George W. Liebenstein

Thought I Would Be Drafted

George "Bill" Liebenstein served as part of the 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion of the 8th Army Division in Korea from April 1953 through July 1954. He recounts the fear of being drafted in part because he was not ready to leave home. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and offers an accounting of the days leading up to his deployment to Korea. He notes that upon arrival in Korea he "pulled" guard duty the very first evening. He recalls the fear of being in a strange country where he did not really know what was going on.

George Warfield

Military Reconnaissance

George Warfield was in the reserves when he was called into active duty. He was sent to Fort Campbell for two to three weeks to retrain for war. After training, he was shipped to Japan to set up for the Korean War with the 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Division. As a radio operator in a reconnaissance company, he had to find the enemy, go to fill-in the front line if the enemy broke the line, and he was the last unit to retreat.

George Zimmerman

Path to Service in Korea

George W. Zimmerman explains the months leading up to his deployment in Korea as part of the Headquarters Company 17th Transportation 7th Division. His basic training took him to Ft. Benning and Ft. Huachuca for about six months. He shares the adventure of a chartered flight home prior to leaving for Korea.

Gerald Spandorf

Patriotism, A Better Life, and Water Brought Me to the Navy

Gerald Spandorf volunteered for the Navy because he loved to swim and to be in the water. He also wanted to serve his country. For basic training, he went to Bay Bridge, Maryland and then he was assigned a his ship in Road Island.

Gilberto Diaz Velazco

Travel to Korea / Viaje a Corea

Gilberto Diaz Velazco details how he and others arrived in Korea. He describes the internal flights he took within Colombia and his boat trip through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean. He recalls feeling seasick for days but eventually feeling better. He fondly remembers having some time to explore Honolulu and Yokohama before being sent to the front.

Gilberto Díaz Velazco detalla cómo él y otros llegaron a Corea. Describe los vuelos internos que tomó dentro de Colombia y su viaje en barco a través del Canal de Panamá hasta el Océano Pacífico. Recuerda sentirse mareado por cinco días, pero finalmente se sintió mejor y se acostumbró. Recuerda haber tenido tiempo para conocer Honolulu y Yokohama antes de ser enviado al frente.

Graham L. Hughes

The HMNZS Pukaki During the Korean War

Graham Hughes experienced an intensive nine-month basic training as a radio operator. The training included typing and touch typing. The HMNZS Pukaki, his ship, was armed with a variety of weapons to aid in the Korean War.

Guidberto Barona Silva

Training and Mission / Entrenamiento y Misión

Admiral Guidberto Barona Silva discusses the submarine combat training that he received at the Naval Base of Yokosuka in Japan. He was trained on search and rescue operations and how to support other war vessels. The mission of his frigate was to escort and provide security to vessels which provided essential war materials such as oil tankers and ships with warfare supplies.

El almirante Guidberto Barona Silva habla sobre el entrenamiento de combate submarino que recibió en la Base Naval de Yokosuka en Japón. Fue entrenado en operaciones de búsqueda y rescate y aprendió cómo apoyar a otros buques de guerra. La misión de su fragata era escoltar y dar seguridad a buques de abastecimiento de materiales de guerra, que incluían petroleros y barcos con todos los elementos que se necesitaban para operar la guerra en el mar y en la tierra.

Guillermo Frau Rullan

Feelings About the Draft / Sentimientos Sobre el Servicio Obligatorio

Guillermo Frau Rullan shares his pride in being an American soldier and his beliefs about mandatory military service. He notes that he was an idealist when he was young and truly believed in the United Nations and its stance that an attack on one was an attack on all. In addition, he admits that he would have felt weak if he had failed the physical exam.

Guillermo Frau Rullán comparte su orgullo por ser un soldado estadounidense y sus creencias sobre el servicio militar obligatorio. Él indica que era un idealista cuando era joven y verdaderamente creía en las Naciones Unidas y su postura de que un ataque contra uno era un ataque contra todos. Además, admite que se habría sentido débil si no hubiera aprobado el examen físico.

Haralambos Theodorakis

Volunteering for the Greek Army and Bravery in his Heart

Haralambos Theodorakis entered the military in 1948 as an infantry soldier after 23 months of training. He found out about the breakout of the Korean War through the Army and he wanted to go there to fight without any fear. Even knowing that he could die didn't stop Haralambos Theodorakis from wanting to go over to Korea.

Harold Barber

Joining Together

Harold Barber explains why he decided to join the Marine Corps. Having lived in Lexington, Kentucky his whole life, he dropped out of high school his senior year to enlist in the military with his friend. While they enlisted together, they rarely saw each other.

Harold Don

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves

Harold Don, during WWII, joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves while still in high school. He explains that students living in poor situations wanted to join the Reserves because of the small monthly pay and issued uniforms. He shares how he, initially, aspired to be an aviator, but his small stature and vision impairment prevented him from becoming a pilot. He recalls being called to service in June of 1950 and sent to basic training at Camp Pendleton when the conflict in Korea broke out.

Harold Huff

From Draft to Deployment

Harold Huff recalls being drafted, discusses his training in Georgia, and comments on his deployment and duties in the war. He shares how tough it was to leave his new bride and child behind. He remembers being pulled off of the ship and stationed in Japan where he repaired airplane radios coming back from Korea.

Harry Hawksworth

British Troopship to the Korean War

Harry Hawksworth recalls being summonsed to serve in Korean War. He recounts enduring a six to seven-week training program where he practiced trench warfare prior to departing for Korea on a troopship. He remembers the ship stopping at many locations on the seven-week journey to gather additional supplies.

Henk Bos

We Were Going There to Help

Henk Bos, a volunteer in the Dutch Infantry who was attached to the 3rd US Army, recalls his enlistment and training. He remembers the journey to Korea taking a few weeks to travel by American transport boat and the sea sickness that many experienced. He notes that it was very cold when they arrived which many felt since most were still in their summer uniforms. He shares the mixed feelings he felt as his unit was transported to the Kumhwa area.

Henry Martinez

Joining the Military at 16

Henry Martinez explains how he was able to get into the military at the age of 16, after deciding that he wasn’t learning anything in school and was struggling with his peers. He gives a basic overview of his basic training. He also explains why his parents allowed him to go.

Henry Winter

Training for Korea

Henry Winter talks about being recalled into the Army after years in the National Guard. He was trained in heavy weapons in Georgia and later trained other recruits in this specialty in California. Henry Winter shipped out for Korea in early 1952.

Herbert Neale

Called to Serve and Sent to Korea

Herbert Neale explains how he ended up serving in Korea after being fully discharged from the Marine Corps following World War II. He recounts his arrival in Korea and recalls being sent to the front lines as there was a need at the time to fill holes in the lines left by casualties. He also describes the weaponry, the 155mm howitzer, he used while there.

Herbert Yuttal


Herbert Yuttal recalls that he was drafted in August 1950 and was sent to basic training. He explains that the was sent to multiple locations for training. He was trained in mathematics as a Forward Observer.

Homer W. Mundy

Returning Home

Homer Mundy talks about returning home and being tasked by the Army to train new recruits who were being sent to Korea. He also talks about his rapid advancement in rank due to his combat experience. Lastly, he recounts an episode at a VFW with WWII veterans upon discharge.

Howard A. Gooden

Armor Training

Howard A. Gooden reminisces about his armor training during basic training. He recounts how he was taught to load and fire the M24 light tank. He explains how the crew compartment was so cramped one had to be cautious when firing as the gun could potentially sever an arm. He marvels at how the .50 caliber machine gun can cut down a tree. He confesses that driving the tank was his favorite part, and he shares he felt better prepared than the soldiers who grew up in the city since he had prior experience driving tractors on the farm.

Testing Classified Weapons and Vehicles

Howard A. Gooden discusses being assigned to a testing unit after basic training where he tested new weapons and vehicles before sending them out to the troops. He recalls testing trucks and jeeps but admits that he enjoyed operating tanks the best. He explains that security was extremely tight due to the classified nature of the equipment being tested. He recalls being housed in a large barracks with the Military Police stationed between his unit and the Women's Army Corp on the opposite side.

Howard Ballard

Pusan Perimeter

Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.

Howard Street

Prior Knowledge of Korea and Basic Training

Howard Street expresses that he knew nothing about Korea at the time of his enlistment other than there was a war going on there. He recounts his basic training and shares that he specialized in amphibious tanks. He adds that he arrived in Pusan, Korea, right after the ceasefire.

Ian J. Nathan

Platoons within Ten Company

Ian Nathan arrived at Pusan in September of 1951. After three weeks organizing the vehicles and men of Ten New Zealand Transport Company, his workshop platoon moved north to merge with other platoons. There was a lot of equipment needed to maintain military vehicles, but the jobs were shared among the skilled company of about fifty men.

From Teacher Training to K Force

Ian Nathan entered teacher training college as a twenty-three-year-old, but he left to join K Force. He trained at Burnham Military Camp, and then he transferred to Darwin. In Darwin, he joined the rescued soldiers from the ship Wahine that had run aground on a reef outside Darwin. They flew to Japan and then to Pusan.

Inga-Britt Jagland

Rules for Nurses

Inga-Britt Jagland describes rules that the US military assigned for nurses. Nurses could not take men into their bedroom. If a nurse broke the rules, the punishment was being banned from the United States. Members of the Swedish Red Cross were paid by the US military. Inga-Britt Jagland earned the rank of First Lieutenant.

Ivan Holshausen

Learning to Fly

Ivan Holshausen left South Africa as a Second Lieutenant. He recalls the South African government learning that near the time he was to head to Korea there would be a conversion to jets. He details the variety of aircrafts that he trained on in South Africa as well as later at K55 in Korea. He explains that the South African government was responsible for paying for any lost aircraft.

Jack Cooper

Journey to Korea

Jack Cooper details his journey to Korea. He describes his train ride down to New Orleans, boarding the US William Weigel, and sailing through the Panama Canal enroute to Asia. He shares that the trip took 30 days from the time he boarded the ship in New Orleans to the time he arrived in Hokkaido, Japan. He recalls roughly 6 months of combat training in Japan before being sent to Korea where he was first assigned to test weapons.

Jack Whelan

His Decision to Go

Jack Whelan discusses his inability to adjust to Princeton University and the decision during his junior year to test himself by joining the United States Army. He expresses that the resources provided by the GI Bill were a contributing factor in his decision to take a break from Princeton. Growing up during World War II, he shares how soldiers were his heroes, and he was not fearful of losing his life in Korea.

Jake Feaster Jr.

Education and Integration

Jake Feaster Jr. was given a position as a Battalion Troop and Information Officer. His main duty was to run a school that offered the one hundred or so members of his seven-hundred-man battalion that did not have at least an 8th-grade education additional learning opportunities. He notes that at the time, the units had become integrated and that many of those without such education were African-American soldiers. Eventually, he was given a teaching assignment running a NCO training schools which prepared sergeants with advance training requirements.

Jake O’Rourke

Destination Unknown & Inchon Landing

Jake O'Rourke shares that he and other fellow soldiers boarded a ship in California, not knowing its destination, in September 1950. He recounts orders not being revealed until they were halfway across the Pacific and adds that he had never heard of Korea let alone where it was located prior. He recalls arriving in Japan and experiencing a cyclone before sailing on and landing in Inchon where their mission centered on cutting off the supply routes of the North Koreans.

James Burroughs

Advanced Infantry Training

James Burroughs recounts his experience of advanced infantry training. He vividly remembers being trained in using bayonets and fighting hand-to-hand as a part of their preparations for the Korean War. He discusses learning to fire all weapons, especially the .30 caliber machine gun, which he later used in Korea. He acknowledges that training and battle are not always the same, as in battle, one's objective is simply to survive.

Loss of a Friend

James Burroughs recalls when the machine gunner of his squad was shot and killed. He speaks of how he carried his friend back to receive medical care and how he was reprimanded by an officer for leaving his post. He explains that he later returned to the line and became the squad machine gunner.

James Butcher

Joining the Army During the Korean War

James Butcher joined the Army as a 17 year-old after he tried to join at the age of 16, but he was too young because he felt that it was his duty to help the US after the Korean War began. This took place in 1951 and he went to basic training in Pennsylvania in order to train on their hills to prepare for the hills of Korea. After that, he went to jump school since he joined the Army Airborne. James Butcher could have stayed in the US training paratroopers, but he wanted to go to Korea so bad that he contacted his senator to help get into Korea.

James E. Fant

Being Drafted and Basic Training

James E. Fant describes being drafted in 1950. He reflects on his fourteen-week basic training with the first Airborne Division at Camp Breckinridge in Kentucky. He recalls receiving orders to go to Korea and having only seven days to prepare before taking a troop train to Chicago. He shares he was eventually shipped to Japan from Seattle. He remembers landing in Incheon, Korea, and taking a troop train to Seoul before making his way eventually to Hill 355. He comments that the war in Korea was primarily about fighting for high ground.

James Elmer Bishop

Learning to Drive a Tank

James Elmer Bishop discusses being trained as a light truck driver and learning to drive a tank at Fort Bliss in Texas. He admits that driving a tank was difficult for him due to his height. He describes the process of starting a tank in second gear as the first gear was only meant for pulling things. He demonstrates how he would shift a M47 tank and explains how to speed shift a tank. He recalls being left out in the field and told to bring the tank back, forcing him to figure out how to drive it.

James H. Raynor

Only Trained in Mess Halls

James H. Raynor describes his first combat in the Korean War. He was not prepared for the conflict, having only trained in the mess hall during basic training. He describes how scared he was and not knowing what to do during the fight.

James Houp

Enlisting in the U.S. Army

James Houp recalls his experience enlisting in the U.S. Army. He graduated in 1949 and enlisted in the Army that same year. He recalls not learning anything about Korea in school. He attended boot camp at Fort Knox and advanced training at Fort Monmouth where he graduated at the top of his class. He describes being sent to Tokyo, Japan, before ultimately heading to Korea for the Invasion of Incheon.

James M. Cross

Impressions of Korea

James Cross discusses his first impressions of Korea. He remembers everything as small and ruined and recounts children being hungry as there was not enough food. He shares that he would give candy bars or whatever else he had to the children.

James Sharp

African American Marines

James Sharp recounts his basic training and speaks highly of his placement. He shares that he was the only African American in his Marine platoon at the time but adds that once in Korea, he was joined by four other African Americans for a total of five in his company. He laments that two of them were killed while there.

Integration in the Marine Corps

James Sharp describes the official integration of African American soldiers in the Marine Corps prior to the Korean War. He adds that the Korean War was the first war where African Americans could participate in combat both as a unit and as an individual assigned to units. He also offers an account of African American contributions in previous wars.

Treatment of African Americans in the Marines

James Sharp describes his treatment by fellow Marines from New York City. He explains that Marines are a different breed of people and that he was never singled out or treated poorly. He shares his take on there being a different understanding of human beings in New York at the time compared to the deep South as a means of supporting why he was not treated poorly.

James T. Gill

Weapons Usage in the Navy

James Gill shares that he experienced a fairly lengthy training as he partook in the usual basic but also an extended weapons training. He describes the need to be experienced with many firearms and weapons, despite the misconception that the Navy never has to fire a gun. He refers to the amphibious force to support his claim as its members are sometimes forced ashore due to boat damage.

Jerome Jerry Clement Olinger

Shooting Guns and Having fun

Jerome Olinger recounts some of his fun experiences during officer training in Alabama before the war. During the day, he remembers being able to shoot skeet (I.e. target shoot) until you ran out of shells for 25 cents. Once the day was over. the base also had entertainment to offer at night - Famous musicians (like Spike Jones) put on shows for troops in training and Jerome Olinger recalls all these day and night adventures with a smile.

Jesse Chenevert

From the Office to the Hospital

Jesse Chenevert discusses how she got office training to get a job after high school. She explains how she decided to help with the Red Cross at nights to help the soldiers. She explains how she would tell a coworker she wanted to do more and was told to do something about it. After realizing she couldn't attend training school due to lack of prerequisites, she explains how she had her brother who was in charge of Officer Training in Brockville helped her get nursing training through the military.

Jesse Sanchez Berain

Re-Enlisting in the U.S. Army at the Onset of the Korean War

Jesse Sanchez Berain reflects on his decision to join the United States Air Force immediately after graduating from high school in 1946. He explains how his experience with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in high school allowed him to skip basic training and become a drill and physical training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base. He describes how he re-enlisted in the military with the U.S. Army in 1950 when the Korean War began.

Jesus L. Balaoro

Family Cries as Balaoro Goes to War

Jesus Balaoro completed his training in the Philippines. He learned he was being sent to Korea to fight in the war. When he told his family, his parents cried. However, Jesus Balaoro says he was not scared because he had no wife and kids at the moment and he was not afraid to sacrifice his life if necessary.

Jesus Rodriguez

75 Demerits in a Week

Jesus Roriguez describes his strategy for getting out of Leadership Camp while training for Korea. He talks about the demerit system and how he manipulated it. However, he then turned it around when he realizes he had to pass no matter what. (Explicit language)

Jimmy A. Garcia

Leaving California for the Front Lines

Jimmy A. Garcia reflects on his desire to join the United States Marine Corps when the Korean War broke out in 1950. He shares that in 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Army after his family insisted he not enlist. He recalls how, after completing sixteen weeks of basic training in Camp Roberts, California, he was sent to Korea by ship. He describes his journey to the front lines, which involved disembarking in Incheon and taking trucks to reach their designated destination. He explains how he was assigned to the Third Division, Fifteenth Regiment, Second Battalion, George Company, and was entrusted with the responsibility of holding the line at Outpost Harry.

Joan A. Clark

Basic Training and America's Perception of the Korean War

Joan Clark recalls learning of the outbreak of the Korean War during basic training. She explains how she began teaching and her later Officer Candidate School attendance. She shares how upon training completion, she became involved in the pilot training program where she worked the flight line giving and grading pilots.. She reflects on America's attitude towards the Korean War, recalling that many people did not understand why the United States was involved in the war.

Deciding to Join the United States Air Force

Joan Clark recalls the circumstances that led to her deciding to join the Air Force. She shares how she was unsure of the medical field despite the fact it was the field she was majoring in in college. She recalls taking an aptitude test which told her that she was a "jack of all trades." She recounts deciding to join the Air Force because she saw it as something that would provide an education, pay her, and allow her to see the world.

Joe C. Tarver

Keeping the Aircraft Going

Joe C. Tarver details the responsibilities he was given after receiving basic training in San Diego, California. As an aircraft captain assigned to a squadron aboard the USS Boxer, he was to conduct maintenance inspections on incoming aircraft. He explains how important proper coordination efforts were on deck, so that the incoming aircraft could land safely aboard the aircraft carrier.

Joe Lopez

Joining the Military: A Family Affair

Joe Lopez joined the Army as a 17 year old boy because he wanted to be like his brothers. On his birthday, his dad signed the papers that allowed Joe Lopez to join and go to jump school. Joe Lopez continued to reenlist every 3 to 4 years until he was in the military for 32 years and worked his way up to the top!

Joe O. Apodaca

Boot Camp at Great Lakes

Joe O. Apodaca, in 1951, went through his U.S. Navy recruit training at Great Lakes. He shares how, as a new recruit, he received the traditional short “induction” haircut. He recalls how, during his time at bootcamp, he and his fellow recruits were given medical shots that made many of them feel ill, including himself. He explains how swimming tests were also conducted, and since he was a strong swimmer who had lettered in the sport in high school, he did well. However, he remembers those who struggled with swimming received tougher treatment from the officers.

Stationed on an APA Attack Transport

Joe O. Apodaca shares he was transferred to the USS Henrico, an APA 45 attack transport in San Diego, California, after completing boot camp. He remembers when he arrived in San Diego, he learned the ship had sailed to Bremerton, Washington, for repairs. He recalls how he traveled by train to Bremerton and boarded the USS Henrico the next day. He fondly remembers being awestruck by the magnificent ocean when he first saw it in San Diego.

John A. Fiermonte

Traveling to Korea

John A. Fiermonte talks about his journey traveling to Korea via Japan. He explains the types of instruction they were given in Japan prior to arriving in Korea..

John Atkins

Preparing for Korea

John Atkins gives a very detailed account of his time in the service, including when he was activated. He left for Korea and Japan in December of 1951. He also explains some of his training.

John B. Winter

Training in the Reserves

John B. Winter was in the Marine Reserves while attending college. He explains what they learned in the two weeks of basic training in the four summers before he was called to Korea. He remembers coming home from basic training and receiving a post card calling him to active duty.

John Beasley

Post-WWII Recruits

John Beasley tells of his experience trying to join the military after WWII, and his father's reaction upon hearing the news of his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He describes how he learned he was being sent to Korea. His recollection also includes information concerning strategical plans on the landing at Inchon by U.S. forces.

John Bierman

The Holloway Program

John Bierman applied for the Holloway Program which was the Naval version of the ROTC. He was accepted after interviews and an exam, so he was sent to the University of Oklahoma. He studied chemical engineering and Naval Science until he graduated in 1951 as an officer.

John Boyd

John Boyd's Call to Service

John Boyd remembers being called to service in the winter of 1951 and he wanting to join the Royal Air Force (RAF). Unfortunately, he recalls being told because of a knee injury he would never be more than a clerk in the RAF. He tried several other options before finding a route to take. When his call up papers arrived he was assigned to the Royal Signals Corp.

John C. Delagrange

Identifying Targets During Korean War

John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.

John Fischetti

Specialty: 3D Aerial Photography

John Fischetti details the responsibilities of his job as a photography air camera technician. He recalls what equipment he had to install on the jets that were sent to take aerial photographs over the Korean Peninsula. He recounts how when the film arrived back huge layered prints of it were used to produce three-dimensional images.

John Goldman

Arriving At Boot Camp

Veteran John Goldman describes taking the train to San Diego for boot camp, hearing the worst language in his life, and being given baloney sandwiches.

John Jefferies

G.I. Bill Benefits

John Jefferies shares that he used his G.I. Bill benefits to receive a Master's degree in hospital administration at the University of Minnesota. He recounts the route he took to landing successful employment over the years. He is thankful for the G.I. Bill and comments on how his time in the military and serving during the war helped prepare him for his career.

John Martin

Didn't Join to be a Koala, Wanted to See Some Action

John Martin joined the Australian Air Force around the time the Korean War broke out. His wife Shirley recalls a story he used to tell of explaining to his superior that he "didn't join up to be a koala, he joined to see some action". He explains there was always a chance of danger. He details the nightly leaflet drops by Bedcheck Charlie.

John McBroom

Enlisting in the U.S. Navy

John McBroom recalls his short experience at the University of Tennessee where he studied electrical engineering and was part of the ROTC program. He notes that after just one year of college, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to boot camp and sonar school in San Diego, California. He recalls leaving for Sasebo, Japan, in the spring of 1953 and sailing to Wonsan, Korea, from there.

John Moller

Answering the Call For the Australian Navy

John Moller recalls enlisting in the Australian Navy in 1950. He shares that he was stationed on the HMS Sydney from 1951-1952. He comments on returning to Korean twice after the war and shares how he was able to see, first-hand, the evolution of the buildings, roads, and culture in South Korea.

Can I Please Join the Australian Navy?

John Moller recalls joining the Australian Navy when he was seventeen with his parents' permission. He describes working in the supply branch aboard the HMS Sydney, which was an aircraft carrier with three flight squadrons. He shares that he on the aircraft carrier along with multiple Spitfire planes.

John Munro

When the Nation Calls, You Answer

John Munro shares how he was called to service for the Australian National Army in 1952 and was going to be stationed on the home front. Since he wanted to fight in the Korean War, he describes joining the Regular Army in 1953. He recalls being sent to Korean as a nineteen year old in 1954 after the ceasefire to patrol the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

John Pritchard

Why Join the Army?

John Pritchard discusses his reasons for joining the army at a young age. He was a member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers [REME] known as "Remes" created to handle all mechanical and engineering work for the British Army. He was trained as a mechanic and he even learned to make his own tools.

John Singhose

Preparing to Build

John Singhose recalls knowing about the Korean War before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He explains basic training in infantry, and the training he received to prepare for his his Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) as a Combat Construction Foreman. He received training in machine operations, construction, and explosives.

John Snodell

Preparing for War

John Snodell was working in distribution when the Korean War broke out in 1950. In 1951, he received notification that he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army. He received training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before leaving for Korea by boat from Seattle, and landing at Busan.

John T. “Sonny” Edwards

Combat Engineering and South Korea in 1957

John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes the duties of an Army Combat Engineer. He explains that although they are trained to handle explosives, the primary mission is bridge construction and demolition. He recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon his arrival in 1957, near Musan-ni, just below the DMZ. He describes observing the farming methods used by the people of South Korea, and having to carry out the duties of extending a run-way and building a wooden bridge across a river.

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.

Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina

Basic Training / Basic Training / Entrenamiento

Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina offers an overview of his training prior to combat. He states that he attended communications school in Colombia and then received further training when he arrived in Korea. He provides details about the training in Korea which included nighttime navigation practice which required them to walk for miles.

Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina ofrece su perspectiva de del entrenamiento que recibió. Cuenta que asistió a la escuela de comunicaciones en Colombia y luego recibió más entrenamiento cuando llegó a Corea. Provee detalles sobre el entrenamiento en Corea que incluía la práctica de navegación nocturna y las caminatas en la oscuridad.

Jose E. Colon

From Driving to Typing

Jose E. Colon remembers his duty as a driver for the company commander after six months of service. He discusses attending night school during his eight months driving the officer to learn typing and shorthand. He recalls the time when the commander complimented his driving and offered assistance. He recounts how he immediately informed the commander about his typing and shorthand skills which led to his new assignment as a clerk at headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez

Dangerous Arrival / Llegada Peligrosa

José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez recounts the story of his voyage to Korea. He explains that his platoon were replacements for all those lost at Pork Chop Hill and Kelly Hill. His company was divided into two and he was part of the second wave of soldiers that would be sent to Korea. He provides an account on how fifty soldiers from the first wave were killed the day they arrived, as the train transporting them to Seoul was bombed by Russians.

José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez cuenta la historia de su viaje a Corea. Explica que su pelotón reemplazó a todas las bajas en Pork Chop Hill y Kelly Hill. Su compañía se dividió en dos y él formó parte de la segunda ola de soldados que serían enviados a Corea. Brinda un relato de cómo cincuenta soldados de la primera ola murieron el día que llegaron, cuando los aviones rusos bombardearon el tren que los transportaba a Seúl.

José Pascagaza León

Combat Baptism / El Bautismo

José Pascagaza León details the training he received both in Colombia and Korea. After completing infantry school, he explains that they were sent by boat to Korea and upon landing they completed more intense training to understand how to utilize weapons and heavy artillery. Furthermore, he describes the training, which was dubbed the baptism, in which they were shot at with real ammunition to train them to stay down while crawling through a field.

José Pascagaza León detalla el entrenamiento que recibió tanto en Colombia como en Corea. Después de completar la escuela de infantería, él explica que fueron enviados en barco a Corea y al desembarcar completaron un entrenamiento más intenso para aprender cómo utilizar las armas y artillería pesada. Además, describe el entrenamiento, que se denominó el bautismo, en el que se les disparaba con munición real para entrenarlos a permanecer agachados mientras se arrastraban por el campo.

Joseph C. Casper

Sharing of Artifacts

Joseph C. Casper shares photos of his time in the Coast Guard from 1953 - 1956. He describes his boot camp experiences while sharing photos of him and his family.

Joseph Hamilton

Basic Training at Camp Chaffee

Joseph Hamilton went to basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas after being drafted in 1951. He recalls that they experienced really cold weather, but found a strong, cooperative group of friends. After spending eight weeks in Camp Chaffee, he tells about applying for Leadership School and Officers’ Training.

Joseph Lawrence Annello

Cross Cultural Training

Joseph Annello describes training Korean civilians to fight in the Korean War. He explains that they were unable to communicate well with either side not speaking the other's language, so they identified soldiers by the numbers written on their hats. He also discusses Korean soldiers getting sick from the American diet that was served to them.

Joseph Lissberger

I Thought We Were Losing

Joseph Lissberger talks about being a platoon sergeant at the outset of the Korean War, tasked with training new recruits in basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He mentions that 37 of the first 49 recruits he trained died in the fighting in the Pusan Perimeter. He talks about the changes that were made in response to what was happening in Korea.

Joseph R. Owen

Lack of Preparation

Joseph R. Owen details the lack of experience his outfit had before being sent to Korea. They were trained for only two weeks at Camp Pendleton in California. He taught them the rest of their skills on the ship heading towards Korea. He describes how their lack of preparation showed once they had their first combat in Incheon.

Unexpected War

Joseph R. Owen describes how the Korean War was not expected. Conflict leading to war was expected in either Israel, Russia, or Indonesia. Due to its surprise, there were not enough Marines, resulting in calling up the Reserve units.

Joseph T. Wagener

Forced Into the German Ranks

Joseph Wagener discusses his entry into military life during the German occupation of his native Luxembourg during World War II. He recounts his experience during the occupation and the mandatory conscription into the German Army. During a leave in 1943, he reveals going into hiding for thirteen months on a farm until the liberation of his country by American forces.

Luxembourg Joins the War

Joseph Wagener shares the history of Luxembourg joining United Nations forces in Korea. After hearing about the invasion of South Korea, he recalls feeling compelled to volunteer and determined to help the people of South Korea. After a short ceremony, he remembers the volunteers leaving Luxembourg and integrating into the Belgian Army. He chronicles the intense training they received and their arrival at the UN reception center near Busan in January of 1951.

Josephine D. Abreu

Basic Training and Initial Thoughts About the United States Air Force

Josephine Abreu recalls arriving at basic training in San Antonio, Texas. She shares how, due to a surgery when she arrived, she was the last person of her group to receive orders. She describes some of the rules in the barracks regarding dress and cleanliness and the consequence of missing dances if they violated the rules. She admits that she looked forward to dances when she was marching or going to school.

Josephine Krowinski

A Nurse's Duty in Korean War

Josephine Krowinski did not know anything about Korea before she was assigned to go, but she always trusted that wherever the Army needed nurses, that's where she was to go. She always did what she knew best, how to nurse people back to health ever since she graduated from nursing school in 1942. Josephine Krowinski was never scared and she always felt prepared for anything.

Josue Orlando Bernal García

Colombian Military Training / Entrenamiento Militar en Colombia

Josue Orlando Bernal García shares his prior knowledge of Korea and the stories of his training. Like many others, he explains that he did not know much about Korea before he decided to enlist. He details how they were trained in Colombia and shares a story of how they were attacked by guerrilla fighters in Cundinamarca on a training mission.

Josue Orlando Bernal García comparte sus conocimientos previos de Corea y las historias de su entrenamiento en Colombia. Como muchos otros, explica que no sabía mucho sobre Corea antes de decidir a prestar su servicio. Detalla cómo fueron entrenados en Colombia y comparte una historia de cómo fueron atacados por guerrilleros en Cundinamarca en una misión de entrenamiento.

Juan Andres Arebalos

Stationed in Japan

Juan Andres Arebalos recounts his experience sailing on the USS Hope to Japan for advanced training on weaponry and fitness after completing basic training. He notes how every soldier had duties aboard the ship, and he worked in the ship's galley. He shares he visited the location in Hiroshima where the atomic bomb landed during WWII, vividly remembering the indention in the land and people searching for belongings.

Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado

Getting to Korea / El Viaje a Corea

Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado remembers the long, hard journey to Korea. He recalls that their plane caught fire before taking off and the second one almost crashed, but eventually, they were able to travel successfully. He recounts a joke that the superiors played on them after they boarded the ship as they were told to bid their farewells, but when they tried, the boat was on the open water and there was nobody to wave to.

Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado recuerda el largo y duro viaje a Corea. Recuerda que su avión tuvo un incendió antes de despegar y el segundo casi se estrella, pero finalmente pudieron viajar. Cuenta de una broma que les hicieron los superiores después que embarcaron al barco, y les dijeron que se despidieran en cubierta, pero cuando lo intentaron, el barco ya estaba en mar y no había nadie a quien saludar.

Juan Figueroa Nazario

A Terrible Journey / Un Viaje Terrible

Juan Figueroa Nazario details his long and difficult journey to Korea. He explains that the voyage was relatively smooth until they crossed the Panama Canal in which most soldiers experienced terrible sea sickness. He describes the different places they stopped on the month-long journey including Hiroshima and Hawaii.

Juan Figueroa Nazario detalla su viaje a Corea que duro más de un mes. Explica que el viaje fue relativamente tranquilo hasta que cruzaron el Canal de Panamá en el que la mayoría de los soldados tuvieron un terrible mareo al cruzar el océano pacifico. Él cuenta sobre los diferentes lugares en los que se detuvieron, incluidos Hiroshima y Hawái.

Juan Jose Lopez De Victoria

Diversity in the Armed Forces

Juan José López de Victoria describes his interactions with soldiers from other countries. He explains that because Puerto Rico is a diverse country, he was accepting of all soldiers and got along well with everyone. He admits that some American officers were tough on all of them.

Juan José López de Victoria describe sus interacciones con soldados extranjeros. Explica que debido a que Puerto Rico es un país diverso, el aceptaba a todos los soldados y se llevaba bien con todos. Admite que algunos oficiales estadounidenses fueron duros con todos ellos.

Juan Manuel Santini-Martínez.

Reasons he Enlisted / Razones Por las que se Alistó

Juan Manuel Santini Martínez shares memories of his older brother as he was the one that inspired him to join the military during the Second World War. He remembers being incredibly young and impressed with his brother’s uniform. While deployed, he served in the Alps to restrict troop movements by the Axis Powers.

Juan Manuel Santini Martínez comparte recuerdos de su hermano mayor ya que él fue quien lo inspiró a unirse al ejército durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Recuerda ser increíblemente joven y estar impresionado con el uniforme de su hermano. Mientras estaba prestando su servicio, estuvo en los Alpes y su misión era de restringir los movimientos de tropas de las alemanas.

Prior Knowledge of Korea / Conocimiento Previo de Corea

Juan Manuel Santini Martínez explains that he did not have any prior knowledge of the war in Korea had never heard anything about the country. He remembers that they boarded the ship without being told where their destination was. He shares that the only thing they were told was “Good luck and Good aim” by the honorable Don Luis Muñon Marín at Fort Buchanan.

Juan Manuel Santini Martínez explica que no tenía ningún conocimiento previo de la guerra de Corea y nunca había oído nada sobre el país. Recuerda que abordaron el barco sin que les dijeran a dónde iban. Comparte que lo único que les dijeron fue “Buena suerte y buena puntería” por parte del honorable Don Luis Muñon Marín en Fort Buchanan.

Juan R. Gonzalez-Morales

Prior Knowledge of Korea / Conocimiento Previo de Corea

Juan R. Gonzalez-Morales discusses his prior knowledge of the war in Korea and his feelings about mandatory service for Puerto Ricans. He explains that he did not fully form an idea on whether Puerto Ricans should be sent to war. He clarifies that he was happy to join the United States Army but did not want to be sent to Korea at that time.

Juan R. González-Morales discute su conocimiento previo de la guerra en Corea y sus sentimientos sobre el servicio obligatorio para los puertorriqueños. Él explica que no tenía opinión sobre si los puertorriqueños debiesen ser enviados a la guerra. Aclara que estaba feliz de unirse al ejército de los Estados Unidos, pero no quería que lo enviaran a la guerra en ese momento.

Julius Wesley Becton, Jr.

Volunteering to Return

Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. discusses his decision to return to active duty in the United States Army in 1948 after serving in the Reserves at the end of World War II. He did so because he learned that his wife was pregnant and he wanted to provide for his growing family. He elaborates on an opportunity to volunteer and compete with other Reserve officers to become a regular U. S. Army officer.

Remembering Training and Deployment to Korea

Julius Wesley Becton, Jr. shares his experience of training in one of the two Black Battalions and receiving the notification that he would be deployed to Korea. He reflects on the second phase of his competitive officer tour and considers the possibility of switching units. He describes his meeting with the commanding officer and ultimately deciding to stay with his current unit. He shares that, due to the lack of soldiers, non-infantry troops were trained on the ship en route to Korea.

Juvenal Sendoya Vargas

Called to Action / Llamado Para Ir a la Guerra

Juvenal Sendoya Vargas discusses how he received the news of being drafted into the war. He explains that he wished to pursue a military career and understood that he had to serve in Korea to advance. Even though his brother returned from Korea before he left, he states that they did not discuss the war and thus he was unaware what awaited him in the front lines.

Juvenal Sendoya Vargas cuenta cómo recibió la noticia de ser reclutado para la guerra. Él explica que deseaba seguir una carrera militar y entendía que tenía que prestar su servicio en la guerra si quería avanzar. Aunque su hermano regresó de Corea antes de que él se fuera, afirma que no hablaron de la guerra y, por lo tanto, no sabía lo que le esperaba en el frente.

Kaku Akagi

Segregation at Basic Training

Kaku Akagi remembers being drafted into the United States Army in 1951 and undergoing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He explains how his college ROTC experience had helped prepare him for boot camp. He describes how the barracks and training groups at Fort Leonard Wood were segregated which signified how different the United States was at the time from other nations due to this kind of discrimination.

Receiving Top-Secret Clearance

Kaku Akagi shares how after thirteen weeks of basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, he was transferred to Seattle for embarkation on the Marine Phoenix. He remembers reaching Yokohama, Japan, where they issued each soldier a rifle and three rounds of ammunition for target practice. He recollects being selected for an intelligence orientation along with four other Asian Americans. He states that a few weeks later, he received top-secret clearance.

Keith G. Hall

Basic Training to Field Engineering

Keith Hall trained at Papakura and Waiouru military camps in New Zealand before sailing to Korea. He arrived December 31, 1950. His unit was the field and engineering section. He describes building roads and a base camp, digging trenches, and working mine fields.

Becoming an Officer

Keith G. Hall was selected to return to New Zealand for officer training. He describes choosing to return to Korea to avoid the daily routine of work back in New Zealand. In that sense, Korea was a welcome adventure.

Ken Thamert

Reimagining the Incheon Landing

Ken Thamert recalls traveling to Korea aboard a ship with many seasick soldiers, learning not to take the bottom bunk due to all of the vomiting. Upon arriving in Incheon, he describes the overwhelming feeling when imagining what other soldiers experienced during the infamous Incheon Landing at the start of the war. He remembers seeing devastation all around.

Prior Knowledge of Korea

Ken Thamert recalls being given a book about Korea from the United States military once he received his orders for Korea. He remembers the book containing information about Korean culture and the games Korean children played. He adds the book also included etiquette and protocols for the country.

Kenneth David Allen

Journey to Korea

Kenneth Allen explains his journey to Korea which started shortly after he graduated college. He remembers attending basic training in Ft. Dix, New Jersey before being sent to Japan then Pusan before headed to Seoul. He describes the train ride and how they had to be very careful.

Kenneth Dillard

Life in the Navy

Kenneth Dillard describes his learning experiences during basic training. He recalls learning to swim, as well as using his own clothing to make a flotation device. He explains how he came to be stationed on a destroyer ship, where he regularly had to ration water while aboard.

Kenneth F. Dawson

War is War

Kenneth F. Dawson trained in Waiouru in New Zealand before sailing to Japan and then Korea. Assigned as a driver in Korea, he carried ammunition to the front lines. The work was dangerous and several men had been blown up before he was assigned to the job. He drove ammunition to Panmunjeom, but he dismisses the danger of being blown up by asserting that "war is war."

Kenneth Gordon

Coming Together to Entertain the Troops

Kenneth Gordon recollects how he and Seymour Bernstein first met at Ft. Dix where each was assigned for basic training. He recalls it as an event that was just meant to be. He recounts how as they were playing a concert at Ft. Dix, a colonel told him he was going to Korea but as part of the Special Services Unit. Gordon and Bernstein played for the wounded in hospitals and frequently for two to three thousand soldiers, many ready for patrol following the concert.

Kenneth S. Shankland

"When Can You Start?"

Kenneth Shankland recalls undertaking compulsory military training in high school. He shares how the army did not appeal to him, so he decided to train as a sea cadet. He recounts how learning to sail led to his love of the Royal New Zealand Navy. He describes enlisting in 1955. He shares that after training in Australia, he specialized in guidance technology such as weapons systems, communications, and tracking.

Laurence E. Johns

Army Physical

Laurence "Bud" Johns describes receiving a letter to get a physical. He recalls how embarrassed he was to be naked with three hundred other men at his Army physical. He shares how he decided he was not going to the Army.


Laurence "Bud" Johns discusses joining the U.S. Coast Guard. He discusses how small the U.S. Coast Guard was at the time. He mentions the women who served in the Coast Guard, the SPARs. He shares that though he did not see many, they existed.

Lawrence Dumpit

Training and Protecting South Korea

Lawrence Dumpit went from bootcamp to Osan Air Force Base and went North to Camp Casey in Korea. This was located near Dongducheon and his duties were to destroy enemy tanks. For this first tour in Korea, he was there from 1997 to May 2000.

Leandro Diaz Miranda

Hunger and Sadness / Hambre y Tristeza

Leandro Díaz Miranda describes the conditions he encountered in Korea upon his arrival in 1951. He was shocked at the poverty in the country as it was worse than the poverty in Puerto Rico. He explains that he, and many of his colleagues, would toss food rations over the fence to help Koreans that were continuously begging for food. He and others were willing to disobey orders to help starving orphans.

Leandro Díaz Miranda describe las condiciones que encontró en Corea a cuando llego en 1951. Se sorprendió por la pobreza en el país, porque era peor que la pobreza en Puerto Rico. Explica que él y muchos de sus amigos puertorriqueños tiraban raciones de comida por encima del alambrado para ayudar a los coreanos que continuamente pedían comida. Él y otros estaban dispuestos a desobedecer las órdenes para ayudar a los huérfanos hambrientos.

Leonard Nicholls

Five Week Cruise to Korea

Leonard Nicholls recalls his voyage to Korea on the Empire Ferry, talking about the living conditions on board as well as his job while at sea. He served as lookout, watching for other ships while his fellow soldiers shot at balloon targets in the water.

Lester Griebenow

Conflicts at Basic Training

Lester Griebenow describes his conflicts at basic training with his commanding officer. His First Sergeant had been calling him by the wrong name; thus, he did not reply when called. After being reprimanded and told to do pushups, he reveals his dog tags were not correct. He explains how he helped identify this problem with many of the soldiers' records and this led to his being recommended for higher training.

Lewis Ebert

The Ebert Boys Heard the Calling to Arms

In June 1949, Lewis Ebert enlisted in the US Air Force a few weeks out of high school. He took his basic training in Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and then he was trained at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado for military supply training. While in Colorado, the Korean War broke out, but Lewis Ebert already had a lot of prior knowledge about Korea since his brothers all fought in WWII with one stationed in Korea.

Preparing For and Entering the Korean War

After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.

Lewis Ewing

Helicopters in Warfare

Lewis Ewing speaks about how helicopters were used for troop support and evacuating the wounded during the Korean War. He describes the Syskorsky helicopter and its uses during warfare. He recalls maintaining the helicopters, hauling ammunition, and how pilots would let him fly on occasion.

Lloyd Hellman

Drafted in the Marines or Commissioned in the Navy?

Lloyd Hellman discusses his efforts to secure a commission in the US Navy after he graduated college. He talks about being drafted in the Marines and then finding out he received his commission in the Navy at Marine boot camp, but at that point he would have had to apply for a Marine commission so nothing ever happened.

Loren Schumacher

Cold Weather Training

Loren Schumacher describes his arrival at Camp Pendleton and from there leaving for the mountains of California for Cold Weather Training at Pickel Meadow. He describes being paired with another soldier who he shared a pup tent with and the Permanent Party of Marines who disturbed the sleeping soldiers. He explains that the true purpose of cold weather training is to acclimate the men to cold weather as well as being disturbed night or day.

Lorenzo R Loya

Joining the Military

Lorenzo Loya explains that he joined the Army because he wasn’t doing very well in school. He served for three years, having been stationed at Fort Bliss and Washington D.C. He believes that his time in the military was a very good experience for him.

Luis Fernando Silva Fernandez

Volunteering for a Dangerous War / Voluntariado Para una Guerra Peligrosa

Luis Fernando Silva Fernández offers his views on why he decided to volunteer for the war even after seeing friends return to Korea with amputations. He explains that they embarked with courage and discussed their futures on the voyage to Korea. The reality of the war instilled fear within him upon arriving and he was unsure he would return as he heard his friends die over the radio.

Luis Fernando Silva Fernández ofrece sus recuerdos de por qué decidió presentarse como voluntario para la guerra incluso después de ver a sus amigos regresar de Corea con amputaciones. Explica que se embarcaron el barco con coraje y discutían su futuro en el viaje a Corea. La realidad de la guerra lo lleno de miedo al llegar y no estaba seguro de si regresaría cuando escuchó a sus amigos morir por la radio.

Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa

The Voyage / El Viaje

Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa remembers the fear and happiness he felt on his voyage to Korea. He explains that they enjoyed themselves during a stop in Puerto Rico as they were entertained by Celia Cruz but suffered terrible seasickness on the boat. He recalls the fear and nerves they experienced as they landed and were being attacked on the first day.

Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa recuerda la tristeza y la alegría que sintió en su viaje a Corea. Explica que se divirtieron durante una escala en Puerto Rico porque Celia Cruz los entretuvo, pero sufrieron por el mareo del barco. Recuerda el miedo y los nervios que tenían cuando llegaron y fueron bombardeados el primer día.

Luis Maria Jimenez Jimenez

Volunteering for War / Voluntariado Para la Guerra

Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez volunteered to join the military when the recruiter came to his town. He gives an account of the locations of the training and what it entailed. He shares that when they asked for volunteers, he volunteered to go to Korea after being promoted to Second Corporal.

Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez se ofreció como voluntario para unirse a las fuerzas armadas cuando el reclutador fue a su pueblo. Cuenta donde fue entrenado y lo que le enseñaron. Él comparte que cuando pidieron voluntarios, él se ofreció para ir a Corea después de ser ascendido a cabo segundo.

Luther Dappen

Impressions of Korea

Luther Dappen describes receiving his orders and his journey to Korea by way of Japan. He describes traveling by train across the country to Seattle but being told to get off at Tacoma so he could get to Ft. Lewis. From there he traveled to Yokohama by ship, hearing reports of MacArthur saying his troops would be home by Christmas and the Chinese invasion.

Lynwood Ingham

Prior Knowledge of Korea

Lynwood Ingham was in high school when the Korean War broke out, but he wasn't taught about Korea at school. Instead, he was kept in the loop because his older brother, Walter Ingham Jr., was fighting in the Korean War as a Marine. The brothers didn't speak much about the Korean War when Walter Ingham returned from the war because that's when Lynwood Ingham went away on active duty.

Manuel A. Bustamente

Enlisting and Basic Training

Manuel Bustamante knew about Korea when the war broke out because his brother was in the United States Navy on an aircraft carrier. Luckily, Manuel Bustamante and his brother were assigned the same ship, the USS Point Cruz. The brothers were surprised that they were allowed to be on the same ship because usually the United States military tries to separate the family members so that they would not get injured at the same time.

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.

Manuel Gonzalez Del Pilar

Unnecessary Training

Manual Gonzalez del Pilar details what basic training was like for Puerto Rican soldiers during the Korean War. He describes how they were required to do five months of training. In comparison, American soldiers trained for three months. He describes this extra training as unnecessary as it was English language training with no proper lessons.

Segregation of Puerto Rican Soldiers

Manuel Gonzalez del Pilar describes the discrimination many Puerto Ricans experienced while serving during the Korean War. In particular, he reflects his own experiences. He recalls limitation in rank despite high scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (APQT).

Marian Jean Setter

Basic Training and First Assignment

Marian Setter discusses her experience at basic training and explains her first assignment in a general hospital near Modesto, California. She notes she treated both medical and surgical patients. She recalls many of her patients were injured World War II veterans who had been in the hospital for quite some time. She reflects that this was her first experience with war casualties, and it confirmed she made the right decision to join the military.

Mario Nel Bernal Avella

Choosing War over Colombian Violence / Elegir La Guerra Sobre la Violencia Colombiana

Mario Nel Bernal Avella explains his motivations for volunteering to fight in Korea. While he was in the military academy, Colombia erupted into the worst violence the country had seen in over 200 years. He felt that going to war was better than remaining in the unrest that existed in Colombia where he did not know where his enemy was. He states that if he were reborn, he would not change his military career as he is incredibly proud of his accomplishments.

Mario Nel Bernal Avella explica sus motivaciones para ofrecerse como voluntario para pelear en Corea. Mientras estaba en la academia militar, Colombia reinicio la violencia que el país no había visto en más de 200 años. Sentía que ir a la guerra era mejor que quedarse en Colombia donde no sabía dónde estaba su enemigo. Afirma que, si volviera a nacer, no cambiaría su carrera militar ya que está increíblemente orgulloso de sus logros.

First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones

Mario Nel Bernal Avella details his first impressions of Korea upon arriving. He recalls arriving in Busan and being received very well by American and Korean dignitaries before being sent to a training camp nearby. The human misery and terrible sadness of Korea at that time is vivid in his memories and exemplified by one incident in which a Colombian soldiers threw a tin of C-Rations over the truck, and they watched a malnourished child, a starving dog, and man running towards the can of discarded food. He also bears witness to the devastation and utter destruction of Seoul and explains that it looked like a ten-magnitude earthquake hit the city.

Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda haber llegado a Busan y haber sido muy bien recibido por dignatarios estadounidenses y coreanos antes de ser enviado a un campo de entrenamiento. La miseria humana y la terrible tristeza de Corea en ese momento están vívidas en su memoria y ejemplificadas por un incidente en el que un soldado colombiano arrojo una lata de C3-Ration fuera del camión y vieron a un niño desnutrido, un perro hambriento y un hombre viejo corriendo hacia la lata de comida desechada. También es testigo de la devastación y destrucción total de Seúl y explica que le parecía que un terremoto de magnitud diez arrasó la ciudad.

Foreign Troops / Tropas Extranjeras

Mario Nel Bernal Avella recounts his amicable interactions with troops from other countries. He explains that they all had a sense of adventure in common. He enjoyed meeting individuals with tattoos and pierced noses from Ethiopia, Turks who refused to wear bulletproof jackets, and those from Australia, Canada, and France. He marveled when all these individuals congregated together for mass. He credits this experience with making him a more open-minded individual as he realized that people from different countries have more in common than most realize.

Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata que sus interacciones con tropas de otros países fueron muy cordiales. Explica que todos tenían un sentido de aventura en común. Disfrutó conocer a personas con tatuajes y narices perforadas de Etiopía, turcos que se negaron a usar chalecos antibalas y personas de Australia, Canadá y Francia. Se maravilló cuando todos estos individuos se congregaron para la misa. Él atribuye a esta experiencia el haberlo convertido en una persona de mente más abierta al darse cuenta de que las personas de diferentes países tienen mucho en común.

Marion Burdett

Enlisting in the United States Army

Marion Burdette's job in the U.S. Army was a Battle Commander's Traveler. He recalls being sent to Yokohama, Japan, in early June to prepare for the invasion of Korea. He recounts entering Korea from an L3T and then storming the beaches on June 27, 1950. He shares he did not know much about Korea at the time.

Mark C. Sison

U.S.S. Iowa Battleship

Mark C. Sison discusses being stationed on the U.S.S. Iowa battleship during the Korean War. He shares how their mission was to shell enemy locations on command. He explains how the crew operated the rifles and maneuvered the ship during these operations.

Marvin A. Flood

Rejection and Redirection

Marvin A. Flood shares he experienced both rejection and redirection when trying to enlist for service. He recounts how he enlisted in the Navy but failed the physical due to a hernia. He recalls how he underwent surgery to repair the hernia, and while recovering, was visited by his buddies who had proceeded through boot camp. He shares he decided the Navy was not for him. He describes how he then enlisted in the Air Force and successfully served as an airplane mechanic.

Maurice L. Adams

Finishing College and Being Called to Active Duty

Maurice L. Adams joined the ROTC program for three years during college to supplement his GI Bill from World War II. He discusses the benefits of joining the ROTC and eventually finishing college. He recalls being called to active duty and describes the different locations he went for training to become a second lieutenant.

Experiences in the Integrated U.S. Army

Maurice L. Adams describes his experience in training and being one of only two Black officers in his battalion. He notes that his unit was decimated after the battle for Hill 421. He remembers how after the war, officers were not being replaced, and this caused issues since there were many more enlisted men than officers.

Mayo Kjellsen

Enlisting in the US Marine Corps

Mayo Kjellsen enlisted when he was 20 years old because he figured that he would be drafted soon. That was the culture, so decided to join the US Marine Corps and he was sent to Camp Pendleton in California. Without any prior knowledge about Korea, Mayo Kjellsen was surprised to see a Korean woman openly nursing her baby right near Inchon.

Melvin J. Behnen

I Was Bitter

Melvin Behnen reveals that being drafted and forced to sell his company made him bitter at first. He shares that during the trip to Korea, he came to terms with his reality and focused on his duty. Nonetheless, he advises future generations to do their best. He recalls how when his son entered the Marines, he provided this same advice to him. He draws connections between his son’s experiences in the Persian Gulf and his experiences in Korea.

Melvin Leffel

Going to Basic and Korea

Melvin Leffel explains that he was drafted into the Korean War in either 1951 or 1952. He attended basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He goes on to explain that though his memory is not as good as it once was, he remembers the war was already in progress when he was drafted and he drove a tank.

Melvin Norris

Escape from the Mines

Melvin Norris worked in the mines with his father before graduating high school. After graduation, he tried mining full time, but he disliked the work and joined the U. S. Navy. He attended basic training in Allentown before moving to California for more schooling.

Cryptology in Vietnam

Melvin Norris studied cryptology in California. He mentions women of the WAVES being trained nearby. After cryptology training, he served Guam and joined bombing raids over Vietnam. His role was to intercept communications and send them to Washington D. C. He recounts an incident of another soldier sending Washington the wrong tape.

No Korean War Service

Melvin Norris did not serve in the Korean War. Because he enlisted in the U. S. Navy around the time the Korean War was winding down, he never served in the war itself. Rather, he trained and saw active duty in Vietnam.

Merle Degler

Enlisting, Training, and Preparing for the Korean War

Merle Degler enlisted in the National Guard as an 18 year old in 1951. After attending Fort Polk for basic training, he was shipped to Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan to get equipment for the war. Soon after that, Merle Degler took a ship to Pusan in Jan. 1953 and he was sent right to Yeongdeungpo, Korea. After being picked up by his regiment, he was brought to his duty station in the Iron Triangle (Kumwa Valley).

Merlin Mestad

Basic Training After Being Drafted

Merlin Mestad was drafted in March of 1952. He explains that most men knew they would inevitably be drafted and chose to volunteer. He describes arriving at Fort Snelling, Minnesota and being told someone volunteered for the Marine Corps; thus, he was allowed to choose if he would rather join the Army rather than the Marines. He goes on to explain that he was sent to Fort Sheridan and Fort Riley for infantry and truck driving training after joining the Army.

Merlyn Jeche

Volunteer with a Friend

Merlyn Jeche was drafted in 1951 but a friend wanted to go with him so they volunteered together. He recalls that they both attended basic training but were separated after; he being assigned to Korea and his friend being assigned to Germany. He goes on to explain that after his eight weeks of basic training, he attended twelve weeks of radio school where he learned morse code.

Michel Ozwald

Volunteering for Korea

Michel Ozwald shares the history of the first French battalion to serve in Korea. He notes that it was organized purely by civil volunteers. When they could not acquire enough replacement volunteers, they expanded their call to those who were already in the army. He shares he learned about the salary for his service only upon arriving in Korea.

Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce

Prior Knowledge of the War / Conocimiento Sobre de la Guerra

Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce remembers when he first heard about the war. He shares that he was aware about what was happening in Korea but never imagined he would be drafted. He recalls the way in which his family wept upon hearing of his deployment.

Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce recuerda cuando escuchó por primera vez que había una guerra en Corea. Él comparte que estaba al tanto de lo que estaba sucediendo en Corea, pero nunca se imaginó que sería reclutado. Recuerda la forma en que su familia lloraba al enterarse de su despliegue.

Mike Muller

The Cheetah Squadron

Mike Muller discusses his air unit in Korea. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2 Cheetah Squadron that earned fame in North Africa and Italy in World War II. He and his comrades replaced many of these WWII heroes, forming the new Cheetah Squadron of young airmen in Korea.

Mildred Marian Thomason

Nursing at Her First Air Force Base

Mildred Thomason describes her first assignment at Reese Air Force Base. She explains she never received any basic training, having enlisted during a short window of time when nurses were not given any basic training. She admits she would walk across the street from other officers because she was not taught how to salute. She recalls a time, during her first assignment, when a new commanding officer thought everyone should do an obstetrics rotation. She discusses being on a rotation with an Orthopedic surgeon as the blind leading the blind. She recalls how this rotation made her want to go into obstetrics and shares she used the GI Bill after her service to pursue a B.A.

Morris J. Selwyn

Joining the New Zealand Navy

Morris J. Selwyn joined the New Zealand Navy after leaving school. Influenced by a local MP and his older brother, he trained at Motuihi Island for nine months. After basic training, he boarded the HMNZS Kaniere, a frigate bound for Korea.

Myron Bruessel

Atomic bomb testing

Myron Bruessel was assigned to the 9677 Technical Service Unit (TSU), a branch of the military that worked on atomic and nuclear bomb testing in the United States to bomb anywhere in the world. He was assigned to a TSU unit in Hawaii because the island had large antennas necessary for the program. This testing was based on earth movement (electromagnetic force) and it used all the radio antennas to monitor radio waves.

Nathan Stovall

Aboard the USS Blue

Nathan Stovall returned to active duty to take a destroyer, the USS Blue, out of mothballs to sail to Korea. Once they had readied the destroyer, the crew trained to look for submarines. After a brief leave to spend time with his father, Nathan Stovall sailed for Korea in 1951, a place about which he knew nothing upon arrival. The journey was difficult, and a heavy storm damaged nets and whale boats during the leg to Japan.

Nick Mararac

Naval Training

Nick Mararac discusses how he became a commissioned officer after graduating from college. He also discusses his basic training starting at the Naval Academy. During his explanation, pride can be heard in the tone of his voice.

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa

Preparing for Combat

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa explains why he believes his basic training experience was not enough to prepare him for the realities of the war. He notes that while he learned how to be an expert rifleman, he was not trained in how to conduct an amphibious landing and would have drowned were it not for his friend helping him. He shares he was not prepared for the brutal Korean winter.

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa explica por qué cree que su entrenamiento no fue suficiente para prepararlo para las realidades de la guerra. Explica que, si bien aprendió a ser un experto en rifle, no estaba preparado para realizar un desembarco anfibio y se habría ahogado si no fuera por la ayuda de su amigo. Además, no estaba preparado para el invierno coreano.

Noel G. Spence

Enlisting in the New Zealand Army

Noel G. Spence shares his enlistment story. He explains he and a friend had plans to join the New Zealand Air Force to "fight the Nazis". He notes that when they went to get the signing up papers, they didn't have papers for the Air Force, so they signed up for the New Zealand Army. He details his early training prior to being deployed to Korea in 1953.

Ollie Thompson

Basic Training

Ollie Thompson recalls having received his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He describes field training and learning hand-to-hand combat. He remembers furthering his training in artillery once he arrived in Japan, before moving on to Korea.

Pablo Delgado Medina

The Voyage / El Viaje

Pablo Delgado Medina recounts the perilous journey to Korea. He remembers not knowing where they were being sent and only finding out they were going to war once they reached Japan and were asked to fill out paperwork for beneficiaries in case they were killed in action. He explains that the voyage was terrible as the food on board the boat was awful, and the boat encountered a typhoon which forced everyone on deck to wear a life jacket.

Pablo Delgado Medina relata la historia del su viaje a Corea. Recuerda que no sabía a dónde los enviaban y solo se enteró de que iban a la guerra una vez que llegaron a Japón y se les pidió que completaran el papeleo para los beneficiarios en caso de que fallezcan. Él explica que el viaje fue terrible ya que la comida a bordo del barco era horrible, y el barco se encontró con un tifón que obligó a todos en la cubierta con los salvavidas puestos.

Pascual Feliciano

Training / Entrenamiento

Pascual Rosa Feliciano shares his thoughts on how well basic training prepared him for combat. He admits that while it was not enough time to prepare them as they were young, he was incredibly proud to be a member of the U.S. Army. The training he recalls was tough, shaped their character, and forced them to mature.

Pascual Rosa Feliciano comparte sus pensamientos sobre qué tan bien lo preparó el entrenamiento básico para el combate. Admite que si bien no fue suficiente tiempo para prepararlos cuando eran tan jóvenes, el entrenamiento logro a dejarlo increíblemente orgulloso de ser miembro del Ejército de los EE. UU. El recuerda que el entrenamiento fue duro, moldeó su carácter y los obligó a madurar.

Paul E. Bombardier

A Last Minute Change

Paul E. Bombardier talks about enlisting in the Air Force and switching to the Army the day before leaving for basic training due to too many candidates. Paul E. Bombardier, along with some his friends, decided that instead of waiting for the draft they would enlist in the service.

Paul Frederick Steen

Reason for Volunteering

Paul Steen explains his reasoning for volunteering for the draft. He shares that he felt he was no better than anyone else and that he had a fondness for the military as a child. He admits that he questioned his decision as soon as he entered the service but adds that he was glad he made the choice to do so.

Paul Frommer

Air Force Yearbook

Paul Frommer recounts how he helped create the first yearbook for Air Force members that were not pilots at Ellington Air Force Base. He explains that his superiors were very impressed with the final edition. He displays the cartoons, pictures, and addresses that filled his yearbook which help him remember exciting events on the military base.

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.

Paul Rodriguez

Paul Rodriguez Loses a Friend in the War

Paul Rodriguez describes developing a friendship with three other men during basic training. He loses contact with them after being deployed to Korea. One of them becomes his best man at his wedding. He tries to reconnect with the other two men thirty years later. He discovers one of them died only one month after being sent to Korea. He regrets not attempting to connect with the family until after so many years had passed.

Paul Spohn

Conversion from Paper to Computers

Paul Spohn shares his first experience with computers known as IBM at the time. He recounts his daily duties of comparing records and using punch cards. He explains that his duties also involved converting old written records to the newer IBM records.

Paul Summers

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!

Paul Summers enlisted in United States Marines with his brother Eugene. They went to boot camp together at Paris Island, South Carolina. While home attending a Yankee baseball game with his parents, he learned of the Marines being sent to Korea. Paul Summers couldn't wait to go.

Trained to Be a Fighting Machine

Paul Summers and his brother served in the same platoon in the 1st Marine Division. His brother fixed radios, while Paul Summers dug trenches as a grunt. Neither brother questioned being sent to a place in Asia they had never heard of. They flew into Korea under the cover of darkness.

Paulino Lucino Jr.

Growing Up in Boot Camp

Paulino Lucino Jr. was taught responsibility by serving the in Army. In boot camp, he had a lot of hard times, but although it was rough, it helped him later in life to accomplish his goals. Perseverance was a major life lesson that Paulino Lucino Jr. learned while in boot camp.

Pedro A. Santana

High school and beyond

Pedro A. Santana graduated high school in 1950. He was then drafted into the Army 1951 He started his training in a different part of Puerto Rico. Pedro A. Santana trained to become a medic.

Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández

The Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea

Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández details his voyage to Korea and his first impressions of the country. He describes the route taken by the boat and the month-long training that awaited them in Korea. He remembers the utter destruction in Seoul they encountered.

Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández detalla su viaje a Corea y sus primeras impresiones del país. Describe la ruta que tomó el barco y el mes de entrenamiento que les esperaba en Corea. Recuerda la destrucción que encontraron en Seúl.

Per Anton Sommernes

No Experience or Training

Per Anton Sommernes describes his service as a male nurse for NorMASH during the Korean War. He had no formal training in Norway. His first instruction was giving penicillin shots to soldiers in Korea. The training was just telling him to push the needle in and inject. However, he did not kill anyone.

Pete Arias

Second Raiders

Pete Arias has vivid memories of being chosen as a Second Raider in the United States Marine Corps. He vividly recalls the excitement he felt when he became a part of the special outfit that was newly created. He shares the meaning behind the name Gung-ho Raiders, which translates to “work together.” He details his rigorous training as a Raider, which involved learning hand-to-hand combat and water rescues. However, he admits to feeling a sense of arrogance due to the fancy equipment and unique uniforms they received as Raiders.

Peter Ruland

You Do What The Navy Tells You, sometimes

Peter Ruland was married and wanted to be a civilian. He was not that interested in serving in the Navy. Upon return from his last deployment aboard the USS Albany (CA-123), he decided not to re-enlist and go to the Korean War. He wanted to get on with his life and after serving three years he did just that.

Reflection on the Korean War

Peter Ruland describes his opinion of the Korean War, although he did not actually participate in the Korean War. Korea today is separated, and he ponders what the US actually gained from the Korean War. He feels sorry for the families of the soldiers, of which, 37,000 United States men and women were killed during the war and approximately two million civilians.

Phil Feehan

Heading to Korea

Phil Feehan describes his year at Rockhurst College before enlisting in the Army in 1952. He discusses attending basic training at Fort Riley in Kansas before leaving Seattle. After leaving Seattle he arrived in Incheon.

Phillip Olson

Transitioning From Basic Training to Running Heavy Equipment

Phillip Olson enlisted in 1951 and attended a variety of training while in the United States as part of the United States Army. His specialty was heavy equipment such as bull dozers, cranes, caterpillars, and earth movers. One of the roles that he remembered fondly was building an air strip between the 36th and 38th parallel so that the US Air Force could drop bombs on North Korea.

Rafael Gomez Hernandez

Enlistment and Request to Serve in Korea

Rafael Gomez Hernandez recounts his enlistment into the US Army on June 20, 1950--merely five days before the Korean War broke out. He recalls traveling to Panama to receive his basic training and speaks of how he requested to serve in Korea rather than accept a hospital pharmacy position in Panama. He states that he was not afraid to fight as he was in his early twenties and was not really afraid of anything at the time.

Rafael Gómez Román

Training Tragedy / Tragedia durante Entrenamiento

Rafael Gómez Román explains the living conditions he faced while in Korea. As he describes the weather, he includes a story in which Lieutenant Higgins was showing new recruits how to throw a grenade and because of the cold it got stuck to his hand and killed everyone around including three officers. He considers himself lucky as he should have been next to him during the demonstration but was called to a different task at that moment.

Rafael Gómez Román explica las condiciones de vivienda que tenían en Corea. Mientras describe el clima, incluye una historia en la que el teniente Higgins estaba demostrándole a los nuevos reclutas cómo lanzar una granada y, debido al frío, se le quedó pegada a la mano y mató a todos, incluidos tres oficiales. Se considera afortunado ya que debería haber estado a su lado durante esa demonstración, pero en ese momento fue llamado a una tarea diferente.

Rafael Rivera Méndez

Basic Training / Entrenamiento Básico

Rafael Rivera Méndez explains the impact of his basic training. He explains that the training he received was not enough to prepare them for war, but it served the purpose of motivating them to fight. This training, which lasted six weeks, further increased his pride of being an American citizen.

Rafael Rivera Méndez explica el impacto de su entrenamiento. Explica que el entrenamiento que recibió no fue suficiente para prepararlos para la guerra, pero sirvió para motivarlos a luchar. Este entrenamiento, que duró seis semanas, aumentó aún más su orgullo de ser ciudadano estadounidense.

Ralph Howard

The U.S. President Wants You for the US Military!

Ralph Howard recalls being in Alaska when the Korean War started and listed as 1-A (available for military service). He mentions he was disappointed after being drafted because he was making good money. He recounts being sent to training as a paratrooper after having his hair cut, passing the aptitude test, and taking a physical.

U.S. Paratrooper Training

Ralph Howard discusses how he was trained to be a U.S. paratrooper in January 1952 after being drafted into the Army. He emphasizes that a great deal of physical training and practice using the parachute was needed. He recalls how his job was to drop into battles, cut off supply routes for the enemy, and support the U.S. Marines who had been fighting in the war since 1950.

Ralph O’Bryant

Heading to Korea

Ralph Leon O'Bryant recalls serving with the 822nd Airborne Division in Korea. He remembers how after spending sixteen weeks in basic training at Ft. Belvoir, VA, he was shipped to Taegu and ultimately assigned to A Company in Busan. He recounts how he stayed there for a few months before being sent to Seoul for the remainder of his time in Korea. He communicates how, while in Seoul, he looked after the tool room as there was little need for his specialty--plumbing--in Korea.

Raul Martinez Espinosa

Training / Entrenamiento

Raúl Martínez Espinosa explains how he was trained and the capacity in which he served in Colombia prior to entering the war in Korea. He states that he entered the armed forces in 1944 as he was completing his bachelor’s degree in engineering. He attended the military school which trained generals and when he heard about the start of the war in Korea, he first pulled out a map to see where it was, and then volunteered.

Raúl Martínez Espinosa explica cómo fue entrenado y como sirvió en Colombia antes de entrar en la guerra de Corea. Cuenta que ingresó a las fuerzas armadas en 1944 cuando estaba completando su bachillerato en ingeniería. Asistió a la escuela militar que entrenaba a generales y cuando se enteró del comienzo de la guerra en Corea, primero sacó un mapa para ver dónde estaba y luego se ofreció como voluntario.

Raul Segarra Alicea

Basic Training / Entrenamiento

Raúl Segarra Alicea presents an overview of his military training in Puerto Rico. He remembers how quick the process to enlist was and how he was immediately taken in the same day he took his exams. He provides details about the training in Buchanan and Tortuguero. With pride, he reminisces about his excellent performance during his training as he strived to be the best in the company.

Raúl Segarra Alicea presenta la historia de su entrenamiento militar en Puerto Rico. Recuerda lo rápido que fue el proceso para alistarse y cómo lo aceptaron inmediatamente el mismo día que hizo sus exámenes. Cuenta los detalles sobre la que hizo en Buchanan y Tortuguero. Con orgullo recuerda su excelente desempeño durante su entrenamiento poque quería ser el numero uno de la compañía.

Ray D. Griffin

A Cook's Journey

Ray D. Griffin saw a lot of poverty when he was stationed in South Korea. Although the fighting was over, he found that it seemed life expectancy was not very long for the people due to severe poverty. He recalls multiple opportunities he turned down in the process of becoming a Military Cook and Baker. He describes the long journey he had to take to get to Korea.

Raymond DiVacky

A Difficult Job

Raymond DiVacky remembers his basic training and responsibilities in Texas. He had infantry training but became one of the first enlisted men placed in the air traffic control system. He describes he almost quit this very intense, difficult training.

Raymond H. Champeau

Journey to the Korean Coast

Raymond H. Champeau was a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy. He explains his journey to being stationed on the HMCS Huron, a Canadian Destroyer with nearly three hundred men aboard. He recalls the weapons and ammunition aboard ship, and becoming acclimated to life at sea.

Raymond L. Ayon

Training as a Corpsman

Raymond L. Ayon shares he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1948 after graduating from high school. He explains how while serving in Japan, he operated a rig to refuel large aircraft. He remembers how, one day, he was transferred to a medical laboratory technical school to train as a corpsman, providing aid to the wounded. Having excelled in biology in high school with straight A's, he believes this was a factor in his selection as a corpsman. He describes the challenging task of taking and giving blood samples with his fellow trainees. He confesses to being unaware of what this new specialty would entail.

Raymond Scott

From Pilot to Navigator

Raymond Scott recalls why he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1951. He explains his original position as an Air Cadet in Northern Ireland, and how that experience had an effect on his future. He discusses why he was changed from a Pilot to a Navigator, and the use of mathematics and drafting in navigating.

Raymond W. Guenthner

Infiltration Training

Raymond Guenthner describes what they learned in Army Air Force basic training. He explained how they had to learn to care for the weapons. He also discusses his Infiltration Training, which included live ammunition and explosives.

Rebecca Baker

Decision to Enter the Service and Basic Training

Rebecca Baker shares her decision to join the Navy. She explains how she originally wanted to be a stewardess, and at that time, they were required to have a nursing degree. She shares she grew too tall to be a stewardess and joined the Navy after graduating with her degree in nursing. She recalls waiting for basic training to start and later discovered from neighbors that she was being investigated by the FBI so she could obtain proper security clearance.

Why the Navy, Boot Camp and How Nursing Changes a Person

Rebecca Baker explains that she decided to join the Navy since she lived in Cairo, Illinois, and was always near and in water. She describes boot camp and her U.S. Marine Instructor saying all of the nurses had two left feet since they struggled at marching. She explains when she visited home, she saw mostly family. She conveys how the life and death nature of being a nurse led her to outgrow her old friends.

Reginald Clifton Grier

Experiencing Racism When on Day Pass

Reginald Clifton Grier reminisces about an incident that occurred during his basic training. He narrates how he was asked to vacate his seat on a trolley car while on a day pass in Louisiana. He recalls refusing to do so, stating he was from New York and not accustomed to being treated in such a disrespectful manner.

Reginald V. Rawls

Life Leading into the Army

Reginald Rawls grew up living in a poor section of town and he had limited options to improve his quality of life. These circumstances served as the impetus for his enlistment in the Army. He rose up the military ranks because he was respectful to everyone and he went to a lot of training.

Rene F. Cardenas

Going to Korea

Rene Cardenas recalls being excited to go to Korea, because he was looking for adventure. Having arrived towards the end of the war, he discusses what he knew about what was occurring in the war, including China's entrance into the war. He went from being assigned to a parachute regiment to a fighting infantry unit.

Ricardo Roldan Jiménez

A Difficult Voyage / Un Viaje Difícil

Ricardo Roldan Jiménez reminisces about the difficulty he had in bidding his family goodbye before being sent to war. He explains that they were given five days to go home before their deployment, but he feared telling his family where he was being sent so he lied. He admits that he only truly understood the magnitude of his decision when he arrived in Busan and received training on how to kill, what to expect if taken as a prisoner, and how to proceed if he were wounded in battle.

Ricardo Roldán Jiménez recuerda la dificultad que tuvo para despedirse de su familia antes de ir a la guerra. Explica que les dieron cinco días para regresar a su casa antes de su despliegue, pero temía decirle a su familia adónde lo enviarían, así que mintió. Admite que sólo entendió la magnitud de su decisión cuando llegó a Busan y recibió entrenamiento sobre cómo matar, qué esperar si lo tomaban prisionero y cómo proceder si era herido en batalla.

Ricardo Torres Perez

Entering Korea as a Defense Soldier

Ricardo Torres Perez shares he did not want to go to Korea in 1977 since it was so far away. He admits he was nervous about the probability of war rising again. He recalls realizing the possibilities of war were still as high as in 1953 after hearing planes come in and out of Osan Air Force Base where he landed.

Richard A. Houser

The Korean War Draft and Basic Training

Richard Houser was working and got married before he was drafted in 1953. He didn't think that he would get drafted and one month after getting the letter, he was sent to boot camp.

Richard Botto

Firing From the USS Salem

Richard Botto was on the USS Salem during his time in the Korean War. He was supposed to go in with a few friends, but he was left to join alone. After training in the Great Lakes, he was sent to Massachusetts and then he was stationed on the USS Salem. Richard Botto didn't go into Korea, but he was east of Korea and continued to follow the shoreline to fire 8 inch guns into the mountains during 1952-1953.

Richard Edward Watchempino

Drafted Into the U.S. Army

Richard Edward Watchempino shares his experiences of being drafted by the United States Army at the age of twenty-one and undergoing his basic training. He explains how his boot camp training equipped him with the necessary skills to survive and serve during the war. He recalls the weapon training he received, which included the M1 rifle, bazooka, and mortar.

Arriving in Korea

Richard Edward Watchempino shares his experience of undergoing an extended leadership training of two months while most of the other trainees were sent ahead to Korea. He vividly recalls the night when he first arrived in Korea via Incheon Harbor where commands were given in low whispers and troops were instructed to load their weapons with live ammo as a precautionary measure. He explains his role and responsibilities as a member of the mortar squad.

Richard Faron

Basic Training

Richard Faron describes arriving at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He explains his time in 1952 preparing for infantry and artillery training. He shares that after four months their for basic training, he was sent to Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, then on a boat to Japan and finally landing in Incheon in 1953.

Richard J. Dominguez

Being Drafted and Training With Mules

Richard J. Dominguez shares how, after graduating high school in 1942, he wanted to join the United States Army Air Corps. He notes, however, he was unable to pass the physical exam due to a muscular imbalance in one eye. He recalls spending a year rehabilitating his eye and taking university courses. He describes how, in 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for basic training. He explains how during his training, he was part of a special group that trained with mules to carry a 0.35 millimeter Howitzer. He remembers the discipline and physical fitness required to work with the animals and hike across hilly terrain.

U.S. Air Corps and Infantry Training

Richard J. Dominguez explains that the United States Air Corps was a division of the U.S. Army before the establishment of the U.S. Air Force. He shares how, in 1944, he was sent to Arizona State Teachers College to complete coursework in preparation for his duties in the U.S. Air Corps. He remembers how, at that time, women did not serve in the U.S. Air Corps. He recalls his experiences during his training at the college, which included ten hours of flying instruction. He recalls, however, before he could complete his Air Corps training, he was transferred to the Army Infantry, 13th Armored Division, where he received instruction on firing anti-tank weapons.

Preparing for the Korean War as a U.S. National Guard

Richard J. Dominguez shares he made the decision to join the United States National Guard while working as a police officer. He mentions that his choice to reenlist in the service was largely influenced by the payment of thirty dollars he received each month which helped to supplement his income from the police department. He remembers how, a few months after joining the National Guard, he was sent to Camp Cook, California, to train as a medic and mobilize for the Korean War. He describes how his training and departure affected his wife and young daughter who went to live with relatives.

Medic Training

Richard J. Dominguez expands on his explanation of basic training, specifically the training he underwent to become a medic. He details the medical training they received from a doctor, and the physical training to prepare them for their jobs in Korea.

Richard Miller

Truant from High School While in Korea

Richard Miller recalls he was sent to Fort Ord for leadership school after he illegally joined the military after his sophomore year of high school. He notes he was in an advance group to Pusan, Korea, in 1950 for six weeks on a fact-finding mission for training purposes. He recalls having to return to California for high school because a truant officer found out he was not in high school and was violating state law because he was under eighteen and not enrolled in high school. He shares he was honorably discharged in February 1951 so he could return to high school.

Richard Whitford

Basic Training

Richard Whitford describes his experience in Basic Training. He first went to Lackland Air Force Base and then South Carolina where he learned to march and survive in tough terrains. He then began his training in radio repairs.

Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson

"No Bootcamp Marines"

Robert Johnson describes his memories of President Truman's attitude toward the Marine Corps. He remembers when MacArthur called on the Marine Corps to provide back up in Korea. He discusses how little training he had before setting foot in war.

Robert Boyd Layman

Unprepared for War

Robert Boyd Layman describes arriving in Korea already as a Platoon Sergeant. He explains how he felt unprepared to take command of soldiers who had already seen action. He describes his interaction with a regiment commander at Icheon who asked if he had any experience and upon discovering that he didn't, the commander advised him to "learn fast".

Robert D. Edwards

Infantry Training in Korea

Robert D. Edwards recounts how the initial troops deployed in Korea were unprepared and suffered significant casualties. As a result, part of the combat infantry training occurred in Korea. He shares it took some time for the troops to get used to Korea's mountainous terrain and unfamiliar language. He explains that he began his deployment in a Regimental Reserve, then progressed to a Battalion Reserve before being sent into combat.

Robert Dahms

Training for the Korean War in the US and Cuba

Once Robert Dahms graduated high school, he volunteered for the military. He was sent to the Great Lakes for 16 weeks of basic training. After training, Robert Dahms went to Pensacola, Florida to rescue downed planes by using a lot of different types of technology to aid the rescuers.

Training and Protecting Pilots While Purifying Water

Robert Dahms continued to work on the home front to train and protect pilots while they were learning to become effective soldiers. While doing so, he also ran evaporators to purify salt water in order to turn it into drinking water. Both of these jobs were important for the soldiers during the Korean War.

Robert Fischer

Transition to Military Life

Robert Fischer describes his transition to military life after being drafted in 1950. He explains life in basic training and what he what it was like for those thirteen weeks. His description includes the clothing, barracks, wake up times, training exercises, and the other expectations.

Robert H. “Bob” Lewis

Early Training Prior to Korea

In this clip, Robert Lewis speaks about his basic training experience at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Additionally, he speaks his post basic training experience prior to being sent to Korea.

Robert H. Pellou

No Real Training

Robert H. Pellou shares he wanted to join the U.S. Army but failed the physical. He explains how, with a little luck and a less than competent person administering the physical, he did pass the U.S. Marine Corps physical and became a member. He notes how there was very little training as a reservist before he was sent to Korea. He estimates he was one of between three hundred to four hundred reservists who did not even go to bootcamp before being deployed to Korea.

Robert Kam Chong Young

Arrival to Korea and Incheon Landing

Robert Kam Chong Young recalls he was still training at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, when the Korean War broke out. Unable to finish his training because of need of soldiers in Korea, he shares his experience of arriving in Korea. He recounts taking part in the Incheon Landing as an acting squad leader.

Robert Kappes

"They Were Getting Everybody They Could Get Their Hands On"

Robert Kappes describes being drafted into the United States Army. He remembers that seventy-five percent of the college students were drafted because, as he shares, they were getting everybody they could get their hands on. He was trained in artillery and as a forward observer.

Robert R. Moreau

From Merchant Marine to Drafted

Robert R. Moreau began his service career by enlisting in the US Merchant Marine. He shares how at the time of the Korean War, the Merchant Marine was not considered part of the service branches, and as a result, this made him eligible for the draft. He offers details on his career both as a member of the Merchant Marine and his service with the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion.

Robert Tamura

Arriving in and Returning to Korea

Robert Tamura shares he served as part of the Army Security Agency during the Korean War. He recalls how much of his time was spent in Korea at Koje-do Prison Camp and later at Geoje-do POW Camp on Geoje Island. He begins with his recollections of revisiting Korea where he saw firsthand the development of Seoul. He continues to share his memories of basic training and being assigned to assist in escorting prisoners of war as part of the 8th Army's Army Security Agency.

Robert W. Stevens

A Forgotten War

Robert W. Stevens details the beginning of his military service which included a short time with the Illinois National Guard before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He recalls his basic training in Newport, Rhode Island, where he learned the same academic materials as the cadets at Annapolis. He reflects on why he believes the Korean War is often considered a "Forgotten War."

Rodney Ramsey

Working His Way from Wyoming to Korea, What a Ride!

Rodney Ramsey studied petroleum jelly at the University of Wyoming. He graduated from there in June 1951 and was activated to right away because he was in the United State Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). After receiving basic training at Fort Benning, GA and additional training in California, he received his orders for Korea in 1952, but Rodney Ramsey figured that he was being sent there because he had been tracking the war since 1950.

Rodney Stock

"That's Just the Breaks of the Game"

Rodney F. Stock shares he knew where Korea was from studying maps. He remembers hearing about the beginning of the war while driving to his parents' house. Citing no fear of dying, he recalls convincing the draft office to speed up his processing. After transferring among multiple training locations in the United States, he recounts boarding a ship for Korea at the end of 1951.

Roger Myers

Why I Joined the National Guard

Robert Myers describes his basic training in the National Guard. He said that he joined because it was “something different” than being on the farm in the summer; they went to camp for two weeks each summer. During that time he met a lot of people and learned a lot of things including how to shoot, march, and drive various vehicles.

Roger S. Stringham

Skirmishes in Korea

Roger Stringham recounts that he was attending art school when he was drafted into the Army in late 1950. He recalls receiving his four-month basic training at Camp Roberts in California and being shipped to Korea shortly thereafter. He offers an account of the skirmishes he experienced and speaks of lives lost from a machine gun burst.

Roland Dean Brown

First Impressions and Friendly Fire Encounters

Roland Brown recalls his first impressions upon arrival in Pusan. He describes the scene as horrible, recounting the sewage running in gutters down the streets, children begging for food, and the poor living conditions. He shares that many soldiers were killed from friendly fire due to inadequate training and a lack of communication, adding that he and others even dug holes with their helmets as defense during friendly fire encounters.

Ronald A. Cole

A Promise Kept

Ronald Cole vividly recalls the process of enlisting ultimately in the U.S. Army after keeping his promise to his mother to finish high school. With a strong desire to serve his country upon graduation from high school, he inquired with many branches of the service regarding becoming a pilot and serving in Korea. Ultimately, he did not end up as a pilot, but instead received training as an officer and served in the infantry. He offers a detailed account of what he remembers learning while attending El Camino High School about the events leading to the conflict which became the Korean War.

Ronald P. Richoux

Following Orders

Ronald Richoux remembers being transferred against his wishes from infantry to a transport unit and being quickly put in his place upon questioning it. He recalls feeling unprepared and overwhelmed at the thought of driving a truck, but knew he was to follow orders and must somehow learn. He got one lesson on how to drive the truck and the rest he had to figure out just by doing for there was no one else to do the job.

Ronald W. Taylor

Entering Air Force

Ronald W. Taylor enlisted in the Air Force on April 30, 1952. He chose the Air Force because he was not the best swimmer. He did his basic training at Sampson Air Force Base in New York. Basic training consisted of lots of classroom work and marching. He also learned how to listen and take orders.

Ronald Yardley

Home to Mommy

Ronald Yardley explains his basic training into the Royal Navy. He describes a commanding officer coming into the room and declaring that anyone who wanted to 'go back to mommy' had twenty four to decide that he wanted to do so. There was one gentleman who did ask and he was sent home with his things.

Rose L. Gibbs

Joining the U.S. Army and Basic Training

Rose Gibbs recounts her decision to join the U.S. Army after seeing a sign about Uncle Sam needing women to serve. She admits that the idea of free clothes, food, boarding, training, and $75 a month seemed like pretty good. She shares that she didn’t travel far at first since she was stationed thirty miles from home. She explains that during basic training you could request a pass to leave the post. She admits that she requested a pass every weekend, and received it every time. She admits she was only allowed one pass but used eight passes during basic training.

Ross E. McInroy

A Chance to Go to Korea

While in Radio Operator school, Ross McInroy and his classmates were visited by a representative from the Army who was looking to recruit forward observers in Korea. Even though there were a few hundred members in the audience, no one volunteered. He attributes this to the Army representative saying that this position had one of the shortest life expectancies.

Roy Orville Hawthorne

Enlisting and Understanding His Mission

Roy Orville Hawthorne recounts how he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of seventeen. He shares he initially wanted to enlist in the “Silent Service” (the submarine force of the United States Navy). He remembers his desire to serve on a submarine originated from reading the novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne. However, he recalls how he was informed at the induction ceremony that all Navajo males were required to be inducted into the US Marine Corps during WWII, per federal legislation. He discusses going to the Navajo Communications School at Camp Pendleton where the mission for Navajo soldiers during WWII was made clear.

Rudolph Valentine Archer

Enlisting and Choosing Aviation

Rudolph Valentine Archer discusses the influence of Buck Rogers and comic books in his decision to pursue aviation when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. As a child in Chicago, he recalls watching planes fly overhead and dreaming of being a part of aviation. He recounts deciding between marching and carrying a rifle or flying in an airplane. He easily chose the latter option.

Integration of the U.S. Military

Rudolph Valentine Archer reflects on the segregation of the United States military in 1948. He recollects being a part of an all-Black unit before the integration of the armed forces. He remembers that the African American officers he served under after integration were highly skilled individuals and excellent mentors. He narrates his experience of arriving at his first job assignment and being informed that he was not allowed to supervise white troops, even though the military had been integrated.

Salvatore Buonocore

Basic Training

Salvatore Buonocore recalls the basic training he received after joining the Navy. He remembers demonstrating his swimming ability and being assigned as the swimming instructor for his unit. He shares that many men did not know how to swim. He comments further on his other talents being noticed in training which led to his placement in a construction company.

The Breakout of the Korean War

Salvatore Buonocore shares that he knew immediately when the war broke out as he was in the Naval Reserves at the time. He states that he was teaching at the Naval Reserves Station and recalls being put on standby. He remembers some of the men he was teaching being put directly aboard ship as they had prior experience.

Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr.

Basic Training

Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr., discusses enlisting in the Marines. He shares about his basic training and where he went. He recalls how he was on reserve and then given one month of infantry training. He explains how he chose to be part of artillery.

Samuel Henry Bundles, Jr.

Joining the US Army

Samuel Bundles, Jr. discusses how he signed up for the US Army Reserves in 1948 to avoid being drafted. He explains that he joined the Army Reserves because there was no Navy reserve in Bloomington Indiana where he lived at the time. He explains that he was married and had a new car when the Korean War started. He notes that due to his Navy experience, he was a sergeant in basic training. He shares that he took the test for officer candidate school but was ordered to Korea before he could attend.

Sanford Epstein

Army Basic Training

Sanford Epstein, from the perspective of growing up in poverty, describes his Army basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He shares how excited he was to receive seconds during meals, an option he was never given at home due to his family's lack of resources. He recounts going to classes, receiving new clothes and shoes, participating in exercises, and he details a drill he thoroughly enjoyed.

Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz

Volunteering for Korea / Voluntariado por la Geurra en Corea

Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz offers an overview as to why he enlisted in the army and was among the first to volunteer to fight in Korea. He was disillusioned with his homelife and wanted a distraction from the misery of his house. He believes in the importance of war and if he were young, he would enlist once again.

Segundo Miguel Ángel de la Cruz ofrece su historia de por qué se alistó en el ejército y porque fue uno de los primeros en ofrecerse como voluntario para luchar en Corea. Estaba desilusionado con su vida aburrida y quería distraerse de la miseria de su casa. Él cree en la importancia de la guerra, y si el fuera joven se alistaría una vez más.

Sergio Martinez Velasquez

Entering the Military / Entrar en las Fuerzas Armadas

Sergio Martínez Velásquez explains the process by which he joined the Batallón Colombia. He shares he was initially not allowed to join the military because he looked younger than he was, and the lieutenant questioned his motives. He explains that it was only after he insisted on fighting that he was allowed to join the ranks of the other volunteers.

Sergio Martínez Velásquez explica como ingresó al Batallón Colombia. Él cuenta que inicialmente no lo permitieron a unirse al ejército porque parecía más joven de lo que era, y el teniente cuestionó sus motivos. Explica que fue solo después de que él insistió en luchar, que se le permitió unirse a las filas de los otros voluntarios.

Saying Goodbye / Las Despedidas

Sergio Martínez Velásquez shares the story of how he informed his parents he had volunteered to fight in Korea. He emotionally remembers the way in which his parents insisted he abandon his plans. He recalls believing he would never see them again as he was certain he would be killed in action.

Sergio Martínez Velásquez comparte la historia de cómo les informó a sus padres que se había ofrecido como voluntario para pelear en Corea. Él recuerda con emoción la forma en que sus padres insistieron en que abandonara sus planes y que se quedara en Colombia. Recuerda haber creído que nunca los volvería a ver porque estaba seguro de que lo iban a matar en combate.

Sheridan O’Brien

Naval Career Begins

Sheridan O'Brien recalls joining the Australian Navy after seeing an advertisement in the local paper in 1947. He recounts serving aboard the Arunta from 1947 through the end of World War II. News of his inevitable deployment to Korea came while on a walk with his family in a local park. He would serve as an anti-submarine frigate, the Culgoa, as a sonar man. The Culgoa patrolled off the coastline of most of Korea during his deployment in 1953.

Shirley F. Gates McBride

To This Day, That is Unfair

Shirley F. Gates McBride describes the training all of the women received at basic training at Fort Lee, Virginia, and the shock of encountering racism for the first time. During a trip off of the base, she shares her first experience with segregated facilities. She explains being aware of the racial issues in America but did not understand it until her friend provided further explanation. The experiences involving segregation are some of the things she can never truly get over.

Shirley Toepfer

Spy School

Shirley Toepfer describes her basic training as well as transferring to Ft. Holabird, Marylind. This facility housed U.S. Army Intelligence training. Shirley Toepfer was based here for counterintelligence training or as she calls it spy training.

Stanley Fujii

Enlistment, Station, and Promotion: Arrival at Incheon

Stanley Fujii describes arriving in Korea, his station, and military promotion. He describes his training for infantry, reflections on war preparation, and his arrival to Incheon during a storm that resulted in many men getting motion sickness. His testimony includes climbing the mountain to reach his station where he would feed ammunition to machine guns to keep the mountain secure.

Stanley I. Hashiro

"I probably won't come home."

Stanley I. Hashiro had a long chaotic journey leaving Japan and arriving in Incheon, South Korea. He travelled from ship, train, and bus, having no clue where his final destination was. Stanley I. Hashiro realizes in this moment of his life that he is in the midst of the war now and probably will not come back home.

Stuart William Holmes

Bad Flying Instructor

Stuart Holmes describes his flight training during the Korean War. He explains that his initial flight instructor did not provide adequate instruction, leaving him feeling ill-equipped to handle the taxi in-and-out procedures. He recalls how this resulted in an accident when he crashed his plane into another as he tried to taxi after a flight.

Ted Kocon

Switching from Foxhole to Airborne

Ted Kocon shares that he joined the Air Force following World War II as he did not enjoy living in a fox hole while in the Army during the war. He recounts receiving his orders to go to Japan in 1952, leaving behind his wife and child. He adds that he was stationed at Brady Field in Japan, served as a crew chief and engine mechanic, and assisted in flying cargo planes carrying troops and supplies to Korea.

Teurangaotera Tuhaka

Humble Beginnings to Big City

Teurangaotera Tuhaka grew up on a farm in New Zealand. His life was simple, and people were considered wealthy if they owned a bicycle. Once he passed the Navy test and traveled to the big city of Aukland, he had to get used to city life with cars and ships. He was also trained on an island outside Auckland.

Tex Malcolm

Arriving to Korea in Dec. 1950

Tex Malcolm was shipped to Korea on Nov. 1950 after stopping in Japan. All the different US branches were on one ship and the conditions were packed with multiple soldiers getting seasick. He landed at Pusan on Dec. 12, 1950 on his 21st birthday.

Theodore Garnette

Basic Training in Geneva, New York

Theodore Garnette expresses his desire to enlist in the United States Air Force as a means of receiving advanced training to further his education. He discusses his upbringing on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota and how it had prepared him for the physical demands of basic training. He shares how the officers at boot camp were impressed by his marksmanship despite his small stature.

Eagle Feather Ceremony and Radio School

Theodore Garnette acknowledges that his decision to enlist in the United States Air Force was highly admired by other members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He vividly recalls being honored as a warrior with an eagle feather ceremony, the highest recognition awarded to members of the tribe. Later, he was transferred to Biloxi, Mississippi, for radio school where he received training to become an intercept operator.

Thomas B. Smith

Freezing Air Force Enlistment

Thomas B. Smith describes the events leading to his enlistment in the Marine Corps in 1951. He recounts his willingness to join the Air Force first; however, too many youths had the same idea. The Air Force froze enlistment to stop everyone enlisting in that specific branch of the military. He shares that he joined the Marines instead as he did not want to wait for the Air Force to unfreeze.

Thomas F. Miller

Basic Training and Korea During the 1960s

Thomas Miller went to basic training in Georgia and then he was shipped to Inchon Harbor to start his tour of duty. After landing, he noticed poor living conditions of the civilians which looked like America in the early 1800s.

Thomas LaCroix

Coastal Deployment and Geography

Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. In his recollection, he speaks of the geographical locations where he was stationed early in his naval deployment, which included: San Diego, California-Tarawa Atoll- and Tsingtao, China. Additionally, he recounts the assignment of his aircraft carrier to safely guide pilots who were in trouble to the bay area for pick up by the warship.

Thomas M. McHugh

Aviation Engineers

Thomas M. McHugh tells his experience enlisting into the Army on his 17th birthday. He describes his uniquely short basic training experience in 1951, at Camp Pickett, Virginia. He explains that the military was expanding the Aviation Engineers, and needed men to run heavy equipment in airfield construction with the U.S. Airforce. He was sent to engineer school, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he learned to run every piece of heavy equipment that the Army had.

Thomas Nuzzo

Prior Knowledge About Korea

Thomas Nuzzo was attending Fordham University when he was drafted for the Korean War. Unlike most draftees, Thomas Nuzzo knew about Korea from stamp collecting and his schooling. Being sent to Korea was not scary he said because he found the Korean culture so interesting.

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 Parkinson

Volunteering, Training, and Entering the Korean War

Thomas Parkinson shares how he tried to volunteer for the Korean War when he was seventeen years old but that he was too young and had to wait until April 1951. He recounts how all of the Australians volunteered to join the military and that no draft was needed. Thomas Parkinson recalls being trained in Puckapunyal, Australia, for three months and being shipped away to Korea on March 3, 1952.

Tirso Sierra Pinilla

Deciding to Go to War / Decidir Ir a La Guerra

Tirso Sierra Pinilla shares the reasons why he decided to join the Batallón Colombia knowing that he would be sent to Korea. He recalls thinking that the living conditions and treatment would be better if he joined the Allied forces. He was tired of patrolling in the hills near Medellin.

Tirso Sierra Pinilla comparte las razones por las que decidió unirse al Batallón Colombia sabiendo que sería enviado a Corea. Recuerda haber pensado que las condiciones de vida y el trato serían mejores si se unía a las fuerzas aliadas. Estaba cansado de patrullar los montes cerca de Medellín.

Titus Santelli

Air Force Selection and Knowledge of Korea

Titus Santelli explains his reasoning for joining the Air Force in 1950. He details his experience in basic training and shares his view of the war. He admits he could not figure out why the U.S., at that time, felt required to protect Korea, but he offers his opinion.

Tom A. Bezouska

No Regrets Joining Airborne Division

Tom Bazouska describes jumping experiences with the airborne division. He provides an overview of what happens when a jump is called off due to dangerous conditions. He elaborates on the sight of seeing the chutes all in the air and snapping pictures of each other during practice jumps. Even though the airborne division was dangerous and challenging, the camaraderie he gained was worth the risk.

Tony White

The Journey to Korea from England

Tony White shares when he left Southampton, England, the ship experienced a steering problem in the Indian Ocean which resulted in hitting the rudder with a sledgehammer in order to steer. He remembers how the ship diverted to Singapore. He recalls they also journeyed to Hong Kong and then to Kure, Japan, after enduring a typhoon. He remembers how spent three weeks in Japan training and then went on to Korea.

Vartkess Tarbassian

Headed to Korea

Vartkess Tarbassian spent time training for war at boot camp. After that, he was given a 10-day leave to spend time with family. On the train to the coast, he was treated like royalty by the the train's workers.

The Last Leg of Travel to Korea and Training in Japan

Vartkess Tarbassian rode on the USS General Collins for 14 days to get to Japan. When he arrived in Japan in 1953 he was trained there for a few weeks, but when he was supposed to be shipped out to Korea, he was chosen to receive more training in Japan. His MOS was a radio operator.

Victor Burdette Spaulding

Racial Segregation Issues

Victor Spaulding details how racial segregation was an issue while he served in a mixed troop. He elaborates on a memory in basic training when one of his fellow Black soldiers was denied a drink at a bar despite fighting for the country in the United States Army. He describes how these racial tensions were commonplace then.

Víctor Luis Torres García

Basic Training / El Entrenamiento

Víctor Luis Torres García details his basic training which he believes fully prepared him for the war. He describes each phase of the training from how he learned to shoot different weapons to how to infiltrate enemy territory. He remembers that he learned how to conduct reconnaissance patrols and navigate a minefield.

Víctor Luis Torres García detalla su entrenamiento que en su opinión lo preparó bien para la guerra. Describe cada fase del entrenamiento, desde cómo disparar diferentes armas hasta cómo infiltrarse en territorio enemigo. Recuerda que recibió aprendizaje sobre cómo realizar patrullas de reconocimiento y navegarse en un campo minado.

Victor Max Ramsey

From Hot Summers to 10 Feet of Snow

Originally from Louisiana, Victor Max Ramsey recalls his time in basic training in the cold Wisconsin winters. He discusses a train ride going from positive temps to below zero temperatures. During training exercises, cadets were required to be out in harsh cold conditions to prepare for Korea.  

Virgil Julius Caldwell

Perception of Korea and the Korean War

Virgil Julius Caldwell shares his thoughts on Korea, the Korean War, and his experience in basic training. When he was drafted, the Korean War was in full swing, and he had doubts about going to Korea. He recognized that the War was an opportunity to receive the GI Bill and pay for graduate school. He shares how he was placed in an integrated unit and was housed with other college graduates.

Virgil Malone

Avoiding the Draft

Virgil Malone knew that the draft was after him, so he tried to get into the Marines, but due to color blindness and missing a lot of teeth, he was denied enlistment. He recalls not wanting to be in a foxhole with the Army, so he joined the Air Force with a friend. He notes he was not a stellar student so he knew little about Korea at the time of his enlistment.

Air Policeman

Virgil Malone attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. He was later sent to Tyndall Air Force Base for training as an Air Policeman, the Air Force's version of military police. When he was in Daegu, he shares he was attached to the 5th Division to guard the headquarters, but nothing near the front lines. He notes, later he was moved to Seoul when the headquarters moved there.

Wallace Stewart

Out of the Reserves and into the Marines!

Wallace Stewart joined the U. S. Marines Reserves in high school. When the Korean War broke out, he reenlisted in the U. S. Marines. He knew nothing of Korea. Despite pursuing basic training at Camp Pendleton, he was too young to go to Korea and served stateside until he was old enough to see combat.

Walter Dowdy, Jr.

Decision to Enlist

Water Dowdy, Jr., discusses his fear of being drafted, which would have interrupted his education as he pursued his dream of becoming a doctor. He shares his parents' reaction to his decision to enlist in the United States Army. He recalls going through basic training at the same camp where his father had received training during World War II. He remembers qualifying for Officer Candidate School (OCS) but was shipped to Japan in 1950 before he could begin.

Becoming a Forward Observer

Water Dowdy, Jr., recalls receiving orders to Officer Candidate School (OCS) just as the Korean War broke out. He describes how he was always on alert and ready to go to Korea at any moment. He remembers being told that the US Military needed soldiers and not cooks in Korea, so he was given the choice of becoming a machine gunner or radio man. He chose the radio and eventually became a forward observer.

Warren Middlekauf

Basic Training and Specialty Training to Join US Army

Warren Middlekauf was drafted into the US Army in 1952 and he was informed of this event from a letter through the mail. After attending multiple training locations, he was prepared as a Stevedore to load and unload ships during the Korean War. Stevedores were also known as the transportation corps. After that, he was trained to use amphibious duck vehicles to transport supplies to troops.

Warren Ramsey

Early Entry into the Military and Loving Every Minute of It!

Before the Korean War, Warren Ramsey was in high school and joined the Air Force before he graduated high school in 1947. After graduating high school, he went to Lackland Air Force Base for boot camp. Thankfully, warren Ramsey thought that the transition to the United States military was not difficult because we grew up in Boy Scouts and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). After training, he was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where he worked with troop and supply transport.

Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar

Transportation Disaster / Desastre de Transporte

Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar explains the catastrophic start to his deployment in Korea. He recounts the way in which everyone on his truck convoy was hurt following an accident with a train. While everyone on the truck wanted to be taken to the hospital, he insisted on boarding the train that led him to the boat he would take for Korea.

Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar explica el catastrófico inicio de su despliegue a Corea. Relata la forma en que todos en su camión fueron heridos tras un accidente con un tren. Mientras todos los heridos en el camión querían que los llevaran al hospital, él insistió en abordar el tren que lo llevó al bote que tomaría para Corea.

American Support for Colombian Troops / Apoyo Estadounidense a las Tropas Colombianas

Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar discusses the living conditions that Colombian troops faced while in Korea. He marvels at how well the American government supplied all troops which was a stark contrast from his basic training in Colombia in which they would be admonished for misusing even one cartridge of ammunition. He explains that they were supplied with everything they needed in large quantities.

Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar analiza las condiciones que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas en Corea. Se maravilla de lo bien que el gobierno estadounidense abasteció a todas las tropas, que fue muy diferente a su entrenamiento básico en Colombia, en el que no podían ni perder un cartucho de municiones. Explica que se les suministró todo lo que necesitaban en cantidades impresionantes.

Wilbur Barnes

Basic Training and Integration

Wilbur Barnes discusses his experiences in the newly integrated United States Army, including basic training at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas. He shares how the camp still had separate clubs based on race, even though anyone could go to either club. He explains why he chose to undergo training in Arkansas instead of California, as it was closer to his home and would allow him to travel easily during his leave.

Willard Maktima

Basic Training and Ship Duties

Willard Maktima recounts his experience attending boot camp where he was the only American Indian in his company but was able to interact with people from different backgrounds. He shares how basic training involved a lot of marching, learning about Naval history, and firing weapons. He recalls how, upon completing boot camp, he was stationed on the USS Furse destroyer ship which was docked at the San Diego Harbor. He explains their main responsibility was to protect battle and supply ships that sailed out at sea. He details how the crew would track foreign submarines and prepare to intercept any potential torpedoes.

William Alli

Land of the Morning Calm

William Alli describes his arrival to Korea at Busan. As he was leaving the ship, there was a morning calm that quickly disappeared with a horrible stench, people in rags, and the anxiety of not knowing what comes next. He describes travelling deeper into Korea by trains and trucks, and his realization of his being a part of the sixth replacement draft. He describes his experience with being a machine gun ammo carrier and his first encounters with tracers and sniper fire from the surrounding hills.

William B. Sheets

Learning to Educate Future Turret Mechanics

William B. Sheets joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after receiving his initial draft notification at the end of 1952. He details the training he received that ultimately led to him becoming an instructor at Lowery Air Force Base where he taught turret system mechanics.

Teaching Turret Mechanics at Lowery

William B. Sheets spent his military career preparing servicemen to repair and maintain the B47, B52, and B36 turret systems on planes. He offers details of the classes he taught as well as the learning that was required on his part to keep up-to-date on turret mechanics.

B36 Turret Training

William B. Sheets notes that he another instructor helped develop the training manual for B36 Turret Mechanics and then taught the course at Lowery Air Force Base. He recalls that one of his first classes was completely made up of officers who were preparing to become maintenance officers of different wings of B52 aircrafts. Among his students was Wally Schirra who would later go on to become one of the early U.S. astronauts. He shares that his favorite aircraft has always been the B52 which is still in service today. He shares he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force on April 17, 1957.

William Duffy

Life as a Marine

William Duffy describes his boot camp experience as a rude awakening. He recalls having to be up very early in the morning for drills and shares how it was the hardest thing he ever went through. He describes his journey from San Diego to Japan and then eventually to the east coast of Korea.

William Dumas

Seoul Evacuation- April 1950

William Dumas describes the parachute training he received prior to parachuting into Seoul on April 1, 1950. He discusses landing in a rice patty on the outskirts of Seoul. He shares the evacuation plan he was given.

William Eugene Woodward

U.S. Marine Corps

William Eugene Woodward remembers the rigorous physical demands he faced during his basic training at Camp Pendleton. He recalls how he was chosen to be the squad leader of over fifty troops during his time in boot camp. He shares how he was later assigned to the 5th Machine Gun Platoon and served in Korea from 1950 to 1951.

William Hall

Hot and Cold Basic Training Conditions

William Hall reminisces about his time at Camp Pendleton, California, where he underwent rigorous training as a United States Marine Corps recruit. He recalls the intense physical training, weapon qualifications, drill sergeants, and church services. He remembers when his unit was sent to Nevada for additional training where they had to endure the frigid temperatures.

William J. Leber

From New Jersey, to Japan, to Korea

This clip provides an in-depth explanation of the process William J. Leber experienced once he was drafted, all the way through to his arrival in Korea. He discusses the process of how one was chosen for different assignments/specialities in the Army. His mother was a widow, and he describes how he sent half of his paycheck to his mother, and the US government also paid her an additional stipend.

William MacSwain

Tricking the US Government to Join the National Guard

In 1945, William MacSwain lied to recruiters at the age of 15 when he told them that he was 17 so that he could join the National Guard with friends. Due to the low number of military divisions, recruiters signed him without a second thought. In 1949, he was put to work in Oklahoma to protect businesses after a tornado tore through the state.

Military Leadership Training

In September 1950, William MacSwain reported to a military leadership school that was led by WWII veterans. Since he was already trained on a variety of weapons, William MacSwain felt that psychological warfare treatment was important lessons that he learned. Once he returned to Fort Polk, he was in charge of 4th platoon (an infantry division) who were all older than him.

Training for War in Japan

In May 1951, William MacSwain was sent to Japan to train with his platoon on terrain that was similar to Korea. General Ridgway said that the US National Guard should not be sent to Korea because they were not trained well enough. After watching William MacSwain's platoon in Japan practicing a maneuver, he was impressed with what he saw, so the National Guard was free to fight in the Korean War.

William O’Kane

Volunteering After WWII

William O'Kane volunteered for the Marine Corps because his brother was in the military along with many of his friends. While in bootcamp at Camp Pendleton, SC, he read about the war and followed it because many people he knew were involved in the war. He said that since he was so young when he enlisted, he felt that he was invincible.

William Trembley

Creating Soldiers

William Trembley describes his induction into the U.S. Army and his assignment to a training company to help train new draftees the skills necessary to go from being civilians to soldiers. He believes he was chosen to help train recruits because of his skill with the rifle from a lifetime of hunting.

Willie Bacon, Sr.

Infantry and Engineer Training

Willie Bacon, Sr., shares his experience as a part of the infantry and later receiving engineering training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He discusses his experience hunting with a shotgun, which helped him shoot the M1 Rifle. He explains that his battalion was made up of three companies, out of which two were all-white and his was all-black. He recalls running and walking long distances as the toughest part of his training. He remembers building a bridge across a river and feeling scared due to his inability to swim. He mentions working in a sawmill and the early hours of training.

Willie Frazier

Integration of the U.S. Military

Willie Frazier provides an overview of President Truman's order to desegregate the United States military in 1948. He discusses Eleanor Roosevelt's role in helping to integrate the armed forces after her visit to Camp Lejeune. He explains that Eleanor Roosevelt questioned why African Americans received basic training at Montford Point, a segregated facility within Camp Lejeune. He notes that the first African American to become a Marine was in 1942, just three years before his induction into the U.S. Marine Corps.

Willis Remus

Basic Training

Willis Remus describes how he was trained to be a combat engineer during his time in basic training, but once he arrived overseas in Pusan, he became part of Headquarters Company instead.

Yilma Belachew

Ethiopian Kagnew Soldiers

Yilma Belachew describes the Ethiopian soldiers' experience. He identifies that no Ethiopian soldier became a POW and that the soldier must sacrifice their life. Therefore, men who were injured would continue to fight even when seriously injured. Yilma Belachew also describes training by Swedish elite soldiers. Soldiers must prepare their minds for combat in addition to the physical battle.