Political/Military Tags1950 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 TagsAnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri
Social TagsBasic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Action in Korea
Asefa Mengesha recounts seeing his friends die and is proud that his unit never surrendered nor left a man or body behind. He shows the camera his wounds suffered from 16 mm mortar rounds. One shell failed to fire from his mortar and exploded in front of him.
Asefa Mengesha describes capturing two Chinese prisoners by himself. He says Ethiopians captured many Chinese but the Chinese never captured any Ethiopians. He and his unit would lie in wait at night for the enemy to pass in front and then they would attack from behind.
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Battle of Triangle Hill
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the Battle of Triangle Hill. Ethiopian forces were located on Papasan Hill (Hill 1062) during the battle. Ethiopian forces never went on the offensive and defended the Hill. In addition, Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros also describes how no Ethiopian forces were taken as prisoners of war (POW). Ethiopian forces never surrendered.
Bleak Aspects of Korea
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the hardships of Korea. One of the hardest things for Ethiopian soldiers was the weather. Amazingly the heat during the summer months was difficult for Ethiopian soldiers. Further, winters were extreme and caused conditions they were not used to. In addition to weather, mortars were a constant threat.
Most Dangerous Moment
Bezuneh Mengestu recounts his most dangerous moment caught behind the lines by the Chinese. His unit was sent to spy on Chinese movements and did not realize they had travelled past their boundaries. The Chinese opened fire on their truck but they refused to surrender.
What Makes Ethiopian Soldiers Different?
Bezuneh Mengestu describes what he believes make an Ethiopian soldier unlike others who fought in Korea. He discusses the respect and reverence they had for their emperor who sent them with the command to "kill or be killed". They were taught to never surrender and never leave any man behind.
Charles Carl Smith
A Difficult Journey
Charles Smith talks about his journey by train from Pusan to Chuncheon. He describes having to deboard the train several times because they had come under attack.
Life in the Punch Bowl
Charles Smith talks about the 11 1/2 months that he spent in the Punch Bowl and describes what it was like to be a part of trench warfare along the MLR. He tells the story of his first encounter with enemy troops and how he hoped to not be "yellow."
The Greatest Respect
Charles Smith talks about his experience with ROK Army and KATUSA soldiers. The only Koreans he encountered during his deployment, he describes his feelings about their service and fortitude.
Charles Smith talks about his severe PTSD from his experiences in Korea. On the front line, he describes being treated like an animal and not knowing any fellow soldier's names. He talks about how he dealt with PTSD once he returned home.
Charles Eugene Warriner
Korea After the Armistice
Charles Eugene Warriner talks about arriving at Incheon and his assignment near the DMZ in the time just after the signing of the Armistice. He describes building a bunker and collecting lumber. He shares how although the war was over, one could still feel and sense the horror of war overhead.
Winter in Korea
Charles Eugene Warriner describes the winter conditions at his outpost near the DMZ in 1953. He remembers there was a terrible ice storm. He describes wrapping barbed wire around his boots to aid walking upon the ice.
"You Do Crazy Things"
Charles Eugene Warriner tells a story of how he took pest control into his own hands when faced with a rat problem in his mess hall. He explains he shot the rat. He describes how it helped not only the rat problem but to cure boredom as well.
Charles Eugene Warriner speaks about seeing impoverished Korean children while on his way to his unit. He describes the emotional impact the experience had on him. He recalls how many of those children were starving and had lost their families and homes.
Pumpkin Pie Out of Strained Beans
Charles Eugene Warriner recalls a funny story when, as a cook, he came up with a clever way to use cans of strained beans. He explains the strained beans were like baby food. He describes how he used them to create a pumpkin pie.
Chong Rae Sok
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
"You Can Take Your Purple Heart..."
Clyde Fruth describes the mission and the dangers of being a forward observer. During one instance, rock shrapnel bounced off and hit his arm. His Lieutenant advised him to seek medical attention and that he could probably have received a purple heart but he refused.
"Up to the Hill"
Clyde Fruth describes the daily routine of an Army forward observer. He spent most of his time on the lookout, observing through binoculars at the enemy. He details the type of technology he used as well. He couldn't look too high because he didn't want to be hit by a sniper. He also describes his living conditions.
Snow and Supplies
Clyde Fruth talks about the most difficult times he had in Korea. He describes deep snows forcing traveling by foot to his mountain forward observer post. In this predicament, they had to carry all their food, supplies, water, and weapons that were heavy to carry in the cold.
An Amazing Coincidence
Dan McKinney describes his capture by enemy forces and the way he was able to let his family know that he was still alive. He talks about telling another POW who was scheduled to be released, to tell his girlfriend and family that he was still alive when he returned stateside. In an amazing coincidence, the Marine told him that he had actually double dated Mckinney's girlfriend back in Texas before the war.
David J. Smith
The 47th MASH Unit
David J. Smith talks about his job as a medical technician attached to the 47th MASH Unit. He describes his job working with doctors during surgery, interviewing patients who came in off the field, and taking care of sick soldiers during sick call. He also describes the layout of the unit, comprised of seven quonset huts.
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.
Donald J. Zoeller
Adventures at the Battalion
Donald Zoeller describes some interesting events that happened while he was stationed near Chuncheon. He describes walking into a minefield with his commander and their duties while in camp. He also remembers an airplane trip he took over enemy territory.
First experience with death
Doug Mitchell recalls a night where it was difficult to see, especially since there wasn't any light and the sites had glass installed in them which made it very hard to see through. While on duty as a machine gunner, he noticed a tank that was coming around a turn and they halted to tell them who it was or they'd shoot. It turned out that it was a lieutenant that walked up to present himself before they moved the tank any further. As they were standing on the deck, Doug Mitchell heard a mortar going off and he was able to get to safety, but the lieutenant was blown apart.
3 Dreadful Components of the Korean War
Doug Mitchell described 3 things that he hated about war: Patrol at night, crawling on the front line to knock out machine guns, and dreaming about the stress soldiers felt. He said it was scary when the guys behind you were firing at a machine gun while you were told to crawl close enough to throw a grenade at the machine gun while hoping a riflemen wasn't there to shoot you. Bayonets were another dreadful memory from the Korean War and Doug Mitchell said that no one needs to go through fighting against bayonets.
Douglas C. Fargo
Douglas C. Fargo talks about his assignment as a Platoon Leader on Heartbreak Ridge. He speaks about serving with South Korean soldiers and the soldiers he lost under his command. He also describes capturing North Korean soldiers during an attack and on patrol.
Ed M. Dozier
Operation Mouse Trap: Dog Company Used as Bait
Ed M. Dozier describes his participation in Operation Mousetrap, near Chuncheon in May 1951. He notes that his company, Dog Company, was used as bait to lure the enemy to a mountain near the front line. He recalls the Chinese coming across the valley and being met by a squadron of American Black Widow aircraft. He explains how a few of the Chinese were able to drop in between Dog Company and the tanks in their rear as well as the fighting which ensued.
Operation Mousetrap: The Loss of a Friend
Ed M. Dozier describes his participation in Operation Mousetrap, near Chuncheon in May 1951. He notes that Dog Company was to follow the assault on a hill after Fox Company, but when Fox Company was hit so badly its members became the first ones up the hill. He recalls how, in the end, there were only three of the twelve men in his squad that survived the attack. He shares the struggles to come to terms with the loss of a friend during this operation and how closure came through connecting with this soldier's widow years later.
Wounded by a Mortar Shell
Ed M. Dozier recalls his experience of being wounded by a mortar shell while on patrol along a rice paddy on April 10, 1951. He describes how he suffered shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and near his jugular vein. He remembers being evacuated by helicopter, despite his own disagreement, to "Easy Med" (E Med) near Chuncheon.
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.
Arriving in Korea and Bed Check Charlie
Frank Seaman describes his arrival in Korea, ferrying over from Japan to Pusan and then by rail up to Chuncheon. He recalls viewing the aftermath and destruction from the Pusan Perimeter battle on his way to Chuncheon. He offers insight to his regular duties which entailed bringing ammunition up from the south. He also recounts his introduction to Bed Check Charlie following breakfast while washing his mess kit.
Korean War: Forgotten and Its Importance
Frank Seaman shares his view on why the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War. He shares that when he came home, no one knew where he had been and that the war was not even talked about; life just went on. He also describes why he feels the Korean War was important and how the war changed South Korea.
Franklin M. Sarver, Jr.
Calculation of Combat Pay
Franklin Sarver, Jr. describes the responsibility he was assigned to calculating enlisted men's pay. He shares how he and a small group of men handled the payment of soldiers. He explains the criteria necessary to receive combat pay.
The capture of Fred Liddell: POW
Fred Liddell was captured by the Chinese in May 1951 at Hill 151 (Jirisan Mountain). His regiment was supposed to hold this hill until the US artillery saturated the hill. As Fred Liddell went down a slope around rocks, he met up with the Marines that were milling around near multiple vehicles on fire. The Chinese surrounded the US soldiers even as Fred Liddell was killing some of them in the bushes. Injured US soldiers were burned to death in a hut while over 300 POWs were forced to march to a cave and then onto Camp Suan.
Government Issued (G.I.) Gear
When they arrived at Inchon, Gerald Land had to wear khakis and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of the winter while traveling to Chuncheon. Once the soldiers arrived at Chuncheon, they were given two pairs of long underwear, a towel, soap, brush, pants, fatigues, field jacket, and pile lined jacket (no overcoat). The men were also given a M-1 Rifle w/ bandolier, cartridges, and a helmet.
The Hills were Bare
Hiroshi Shima recalls his earliest impressions of Korea. He speaks of the fear felt when he first arrived on the front lines and notes that since there was no action in the area how they were assigned to night patrol. He offers a good contrast between life on the front lines with life in Chuncheon where he was later assigned.
Retracing my Steps
Jack Sherts is telling the exact locations that they traveled during the war the entire time he was in Korea. His work as a radio operator helped him to know the towns they were in at all times. He recorded these names in a Bible that he carried around the entire time he was in the war.
Radio Operation in Battle
Jack Sherts describes his job as a radio operator during the Korean War. In one episode, he had to take batteries to the soldiers in the infantry line. On the journey, he slipped and went down a mountain while trying to deliver the batteries under enemy fire. Jack Sherts also describes relaying fire orders for the 18 guns of his unit.
Entering Korea in 1952
James Butcher was sent Korea with the 17 Infantry Regiment 7th Division in 1952. After arriving in Inchon, he took a train to Army headquarters and then worked his way to the front lines. As James Butcher traveled through the country, he saw whole towns brought to the ground.
The Loss of a Close Friend During the Battle of Triangle Hill
James Butcher fought during the battle of Triangle Ridge/Hill. On Oct. 18, 1952, he charged up one specific section of the ridge that included Jane Russell Hill to fight the Chinese. Unfortunately, his friend was killed right next to him as they were taking out Chinese trenches.
A Close Encounter with a Chinese Soldier
James Butcher went face-to-face with a Chinese soldier as he was fighting for Triangle Hill. The Chinese soldier was getting ready to throw a grenade at the US troops and he became scared when he saw James Butcher in the trench with him. After a long pause, James Butcher took down the enemy trench.
James M. Oyadomari
Arriving in Korea
James M. Oyadomari shares the story of his arrival in Korea and the travels to his station at headquarters, about four miles behind the front lines. He recollects traveling from Busan to Incheon and Seoul on a slow train. From Seoul, he recalls traveling via truck through the West Gate to Chuncheon and ultimately to headquarters near the Kunson River. He recalls building bunkers for the first couple of months before transferring to a radio relay station closer to the front lines at a location referred to as Hill 949.
John Funk shares how he saw more devastation and pain than the average soldier because he was with the medical unit. He recounts the stories of three patients which have remained with him through the many years since his service. He recalls one centering on a Korean solider he transported in the middle of the night, another regarding an American soldier that had attempted suicide and was airlifted to his team, and finally, the image of a Korean child who lost both parents.
Kebede Teferi Desta
Kebede Teferi Desta describes his battle experience. He was a young kid. The military leaders hesitated to send him into battle. He had to implore the leaders to send him into battle. Eventually, he was sent into battle, where he did not encounter the enemy. Once safe in the bunker, the enemy started firing.
Arriving in Korea
Kebede Teferi Desta describes his arrival in Korea. He had no previous knowledge or experience with Korea. He was part of the First Kagnew Battalion arriving in 1951. Kebede Teferi Desta describes the situation as bleak for the people. Buildings were destroyed, with lots of destruction overall.
Kebede Teferi Desta describes the worst and best parts of his Korean War experience. He has since revisited Korea. Korea has undergone a complete transformation. He describes the large train stations and road network. Overall, he is happy about the transformation.
Lakew Kidane Goshene
Korea in 1954
Lakew Kidane Goshene describes the conditions of the country upon his arrival. He describes how Korean women would scavenge for wood. He also explains how his unit would share their rations with civilians. He is amazed at how different the Korean people's lives are now from then.
Lakew Kidane Goshene never thought that South Korea would become what it is today. He remembers the poverty and poor living conditions in 1954. He thinks the transformation is a miracle and nothing he thought could happen.
Missionary Work in Korea
Leo Ruffing shares how he became a minister after retiring from the military. He changed his mind about his future plans after helping friends and even himself with alcoholism. He would later return to Korea for ministry, including helping young children.
Arriving in Korea
Lewis Ewing talks about his arrival in Korea, his journey to his unit in Chuncheon, and his first impressions of war. He explains how he felt about his deployment, and describes his rapid journey to the front lines. He recalls the living conditions on the base where he arrived.
Pete J. Nadeau
From Rubble to Democratic Metropolis: The Rise of South Korea
This clip articulates the epiphany Pete J. Nadeau had while revisiting South Korea. He frequently contemplated the legacy and purpose of the war as well as the lives lost, including some of his good friends. He came face to face with that legacy when he revisited South Korea in 2000. He recalls being in awe of the roads, the cars, the children going to school, the growth in population, and the complete renewal of a country he left in 1951. When he left, the country lay in ruins.
Rafael Gomez Hernandez
Chosin Reservoir Experience
Rafael Gomez Hernandez describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the deep snow, cold temperatures, cold food, and having to fight the Chinese. He shares that he saw many refugees at the time and that his unit was the last to leave the Heungnam port during the Chosin Reservoir evacuation.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Richard Preston Vaughn
Picking Up The Dead After A Battle
Richard Vaughn talks about his memories of picking up dead enemy soldiers after a battle near where he was stationed.
Robert D. Davidson
First Impressions of Seoul
Robert Davidson recalls landing in Incheon and his first impressions of Seoul. He describes the devastation and damaged buildings he witnessed. He shares that civilians lacked housing and food and adds that the city of Chuncheon was leveled. He comments on Korea's weather, comparing its similarities to the weather of Wyoming.
Robert R. Moreau
Daily Duties in Korea
Robert R. Moreau shares he arrived in Korea as part of the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 7th Division in late July 1951. He explains their primary duties were clearing minefields, building roads, and checking the Bailey Bridges which the U.S. had deployed across the rivers. He notes that these bridges need to be checked almost daily because the North Koreans frequently snuck in and loosened the bolts that held them in place.
Stephen Frangos talks about the first nuclear weapons to leave the United States after the atomic bombs from World War II. The weapons were delivered to South Korea in 1958. The weapons were eventually brought back to the U.S. in 1991.
What Did You Do in Korea?
Stephen Frangos, as a 2nd Lieutenant, was a platoon leader of a radio platoon. He describes the radio relay spots in Korea and what his platoon did to keep communications flowing, supporting the ROK army. He talks about the other types of radios they had. He remembers that his troops were all over, near the 38th parallel. He discusses having to fly often due to the remote locations of some of the radio relayers and adds that he survived three flight accidents.
What Did You Do While Not Working with Radios?
Stephen Frangos recalls spending a great deal of time in the fields. He mentions the poverty that was still common. He shares that he befriended a group of Irish priests, and together, they helped build orphanages. He recalls how the orphans would often go to the Army camp to have meals. He adds that many Americans also sent food and clothing over to help the orphanages.
Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches
Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.
Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi
Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.
No Fear and The Invincibility of Thomas O'Dell as a Fifteen Year Old in the Korean War
Thomas O'Dell was not scared during the Korean War because he was only fifteen years old and he felt invincible. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as he was dug in the trenches, Corporal Thomas O'Dell was confronted with his commander with his birth certificate. He was caught being a fifteen year old in the Korean War, but he was able to sneak back into another battle during the mayhem.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
Impressions of Korea on Arrival
Tsege Cherenet Degn arrived in Korea in September of 1954. He comments on how empty and devoid of plants and green his post was near the DMZ. Even though the war was over, he was not sure peace would continue and was on constant alert.
His Most Important Contribution
Tsege Cherenet Degn was most proud of his work with the poor in South Korea. He recounts his work helping with the poor children and their school. His pride also extended to an orphanage that was sponsored by the Ethiopian army.
The Significance of the 52nd Ordnance Ammunition Company
Warren Middlekauf's ship landed in Incheon in Jan. 1953 after a long trip. After loading a train to Pusan, he dropped off supplies and traveled to Taegu. While driving his truck, filled with ammunition, Warren Middlekauf went to Osan to unload boxes of weapons to supply Yongjong.
In the Midst of Combat
William Alli explains the details of getting sick while in a fox hole. After his recovery, he went back to the line to face combat with North Korean and Chinese enemy fire as a part of the stretcher crew, carrying bodies of the wounded out of the combat area. He describes having to find his way to safety in the dark, with only the light of flares that were being dropped by planes from above.
Raining Flares and Mistaken Identity
William Alli describes his experience with retreating a major combat zone. He recalls helping his foxhole buddy who was wounded in combat. He further describes a unique experience in Korea where he reconnected with his father's cousin, who was fighting as a part of the United Nations forces with the Turkish troops. While on route to visit his cousin, he was mistaken for a Communist spy. He describes how he was arrested and had to get out of this situation.
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.
Yilma Belachew describes his command of the Ambush Patrol. He describes how he would encounter Chinese on the front with just fourteen other soldiers. His platoon did not lose a single man. The patrols were very dangerous and difficult. Ambush Patrols were carried out in the dark with no lights and then waiting for the enemy with a small number of soldiers.