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 KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

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 8 weeks learning all 5 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.

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.

Asefa Desta

Korean Battle

Asefa 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. Asefa Desta also describes 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.

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 was assisting inside of a tank at the lowest rank. With all his training that he had in the U.S., he was able to reset the tank after it became inactive.

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.

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 without having been to bootcamp. He learned how to shoot an M1 Rifle before his arrival in Korea at Wonsan Air Base from the deck of a ship.

C G Atzenhoffer Jr.

War Ready at Home

C G 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.

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.

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 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 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 Walther

The Path From Being Drafted to Arriving in Incheon

Chuck Walther describes being drafted in 1953 and the path he took to Incheon seven months later. He went to basic training in Kansas and was placed in Leadership School. He arrived in Seattle for the journey to Incheon after a stop in Sasebo, Japan.

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 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 bootcamp. He felt Cyril Kubista should be there when his first child was born. Therefore, Cyril Kubista sent the next 6 weeks stationed in Yakima, WA for training instead of being shipped to the front lines in Korea.
Where in training, he would suffer eardrum damage during one of the drills.

Life on the Homefront and the US Draft

The Korean War was not spoken about much on the homefront. Civilians thought that it would be over really quick. Then, Cyril Kubista was drafted in June 1953 for the US Army right after he was married. He was upset about going Fort Sheridan, Illinois for basic training, but he prayed with a chaplain to help with his feelings.

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.

Dave Lehtonen

Journey to Korea

Dave Lehtonen discusses his journey to serving in Korea. He explains that he joined the U.S. Army National Guard for one year after graduation high school in 1951 and later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in January of 1952. He recalls attending radio school after basic training and arriving in Korea in December of 1952.

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 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 that he wanted to fly, but that the only way to afford learning would be to go through the military. He describes the competitive selection process. He also explains the courses and exams that 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.

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.

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. 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 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 didn't know much about Korea before joining the military. He elaborates that he joined the military because it provided a job at the time. 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 Don Stemper was in this holding pattern, he pulled duty over trash cans!

Importance of Topography:Life or Death

Don Stemper pulls out a map 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 describes how having WWII veterans as his high school teachers helped develop his interest in global affairs. However, like many soldiers knowing nothing about Korea before going to fight in the Korean War, he had not learned about Korea in high school. When he enlisted in the United States Army, he hoped to train in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. By the time he finished basic training, the Veterinary Corps had been dissolved, so he pursued medical training.

Routed to Germany

Franklin Searfoss completed medical specialist training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Although he felt an obligation to go to Korea, he ended up serving as a licensed practical nurse in Bremerhaven, Germany. He describes his work driving ambulances as the Cold War escalated.

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.

George Brown

Regrets Of Hearing About Their Son's Death

Arthur Leroy Brown's parents were hit very hard by the news that their son had died. His mom was pregnant with their first daughter and Arthur Leroy Brown was so excited to tell his regiment the news. Before Arthur Leroy Brown left for bootcamp, he got into a scuffle with his dad because his dad didn't want him quitting school to go into 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 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.

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.

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.

Gustavo Mendez

Prayer and the Bible Was All that Was Needed After being Drafted

Gustavo Mendez was drafted into the Army in 1951 while living in New York. He asked if he could go back to his hometown to attend basic training and the US government allowed him to move back to Puerto Rico for training. Gustavo Mendez was a Christian and he was nervous about having to use his weapon in warfare, but as he read more of the Bible he learned that he will be protected which made him feel better.

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 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.

Harold Simler

Korean Vet Joins His Unit

Harold Simler recounts a Korean War veteran joining his unit at Fort Bragg. This vet helped him learn his job but also helped him get into trouble. Harold SImler joined the veteran for a night out that had consequences.

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.

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 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.

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.

Jake Feaster Jr.


Jake Feaster Jr. discusses his job training soldiers. He also discusses the integrated units. Jake Feaster Jr. helped prepare soldiers who had no further than an 8th-grade education.

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 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 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.

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)

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!

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 was called to service in the winter of 1951, and he wanted to join the RAF. Unfortunately, he was told he could not due to a knee injury. He tried several other options before finding a route to take.

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 Cumming

No Prior Knowledge of Korea, But Off We Go!

John Cumming was never taught about Korea before he arrived in Busan. As a Movement Officer, he took many flights all over the world and now that's the reason why he doesn't like to fly.

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 McBroom

Enlisting in the U.S. Navy

John McBroom recalls his short experience in college. On July 1, 1952, after one year of college, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy and attended both boot camp training 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.

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

Luxembourg Joins the Korean War

Joseph Wagener shares the history of Luxembourg's joining United Nations forces in Korea. He discusses his reasons for volunteering. He chronicles his training with Belgian forces and arrival in Korea in January of 1951.

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.

Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado

Getting to Korea

Juan 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 successfully were able to travel. He jokes that they told them to farewell after boarding the ship, but all they could see was water and sky.

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

Arrival in Korea With Thoughts of the Incheon Landing

Ken Thamert traveled to Korea aboard a ship with many seasick soldiers and he arrived at Incheon in April of 1954, after the Korean War. With all of this basic training, he did not feel afraid when he landed. Ken Thamert did imagine what it was like during the Incheon Landing, only a few years ago right on the spot he entered Korea.

Prior Knowledge of Korea Before Entering the Korean War

Ken Thamert was given a book about Korea from the United States military once he enlisted since they assumed that's where most of the soldiers would be headed after bootcamp. The book included Korean culture and the games that Korean children played. Ken Thamert still has the book about Korea along with many pictures that he took while stationed in Korea.

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 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.

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 Maria Jimenez Jimenez

Volunteering for War

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

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 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).

Marion Burdett

Enlisting in the United States Army

Marion Burdette's job in the Army was a Battle Commander's Traveler
He entered Korea from an L3T and then he stormed the beaches on June 27, 1950. Even as he arrived in Korea, he didn't know much about the country. In early June, he was sent to Yokohama, Japan to prepare for the invasion of Korea.

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 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.

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.

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.

Ollie Thompson

Basic Training

Ollie Thompson received his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He received field training and hand-to-hand combat training. In Japan, he continued his training before he was sent to Korea.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Ricardo Torres Perez

Entering Korea as a Defense Soldier

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

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 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 H. Fastenau

Underage National Guard

Veteran Richard H. Fastenau describes how many of the soldiers he was first stationed with were underage boys who had joined the National Guard to earn money.

Richard Miller

Truant from High School While in Korea

Richard Miller was sent to Fort Ord for leadership school after he illegally joined the military after his sophomore year of high school. He was in an advance group to Pusan, Korea in 1950 for six weeks on a fact finding mission for training purposes. He had 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 18 and not enrolled in high school. 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 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 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.

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 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 convinced the draft office to speed up his processing. After transferring among multiple training locations in the United States, he boarded 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Shirley F. Gates McBride

To This Day, That is Unfair

Shirley F. Gates McBride describes discovering racism when she first went to basic training. She explains that growing up, one of her best friends was African-American. When she arrived at basic training, she discovered that she was not allowed to sit on the bus or eat lunch with any of the African-American women soldiers.

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.

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.

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 US, at that time, felt required to protect Korea, but he offers his opinion.

Tony and Tom Bazouska

Panic Jumping from a Airplane

Tony and Tom Bazouska describe what it was like jumping from an airplane as part of the airborne division. They recall the panic and fear involved but elaborate on they high they received from the experience. They detail the procedure, the sights they saw from above, and the dangers involved.

Tony White

The Journey to Korea from England

Tony White left Southampton, England and the ship had a steering problem in the Indian Ocean so they had to hit the rudder with a sledgehammer to steer. The ship diverted to Singapore. They also had to go to Hong Kong and then to Kure, Japan after enduring a typhoon. Tony White 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.

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 Malone

Running From the Draft

Virgil Malone knew that the draft was after him, so he tried to get into the Marines, but since he's color blind and missing a lot of teeth, he could not join. He didn't want to be in a foxhole with the Army, so he joined the Air Force with a friend. He did not know a lot about the Korean War when it started until he saw multiple trains with German POWs roll right past his town.

Air Policeman

Virgil Malone was sent to Lackland Air Force Base for basic training. He went to Florida to get training to become a Air Policeman. It's the Air Force's version of the military police. When he was in Daegu, he was attached to the 5th Division to guard the headquarters, but nothing near the front lines. Later on, he was moved to Seoul after 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.

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.

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 Duffy

What was it like being 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 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.

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.