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 KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Destruction and Poverty
Ahmet Tan describes the conditions of the Koreans during the Korean War. He describes the people as "good," but impoverished. He also described how the Turkish troops looked after some orphaned children, feeding them and providing them shelter in the military tents.
Ahmet Tan describes the enemy and fighting conditions near Cheorwon when he first arrived. The action was very violent, but eased when the Armistice was signed. After the Armistice, Turkish soldiers returned home. Ahmet Tan was happy to be home in Istanbul. He has revisited South Korea once and describes it as beautiful. Also, if war ever breaks out again, Ahmet Tan would go again.
Duties Following Cease-fire
Alan Guy recounts returning to Busan to assist with health aspects following the cease-fire and details several duties. Despite the cease-fire, he recalls an incident that involved a rope strung across the road as an attempted means of decapitating drivers. He shares an account of a situation he found himself in within the black market.
Korea Then and Now
Albert Grocott shares that he visited Korea three times since the war and offers a view of Korea then and now. He recalls small villages with outside toilets while serving and compares them to the metropolis that Seoul has become through the years with beautiful homes and high-rises. He states that the landscape has even changed but the people have not.
For the Love of Learning a Language
Albert Grocott recalls his time spent on Rest and Relaxation (R&R) in Seoul during the war. He shares that he encountered several orphaned children who needed food and clothing while there and details bringing them food from the mess hall and stealing clothing for them. He states that he did it for the love of learning a language, and the only payment he required was that they teach him Korean words and songs.
The Pull to Join the Korean War
Albert Kleine joined the military in May 1950 before the Korean War broke out. He became interested in the Korean War in 1952 when he met a soldier who came home from this war and he had an Indian arrow head. In 1953, he went to Korea with 4 friends.
Albert R. Sayles
GI Bill Benefits
Albert Sayles recalls receiving GI Bill benefits of $600 to attend Hagerstown Community College upon his return. He describes working for the post office while also attending accounting courses. He adds his thoughts on how wonderful the GI Bill was at the time and the opportunities it provided.
Impact of Service
Albert Sayles recounts returning home, stepping off the bus, and not a word being said to him regarding his service. He emphasizes that he simply went back to work and shares his thoughts on why the war was not a topic of conversation on the home front. He acknowledges that his service had a positive impact on his life and is glad the Korean people are appreciative of American efforts.
Headed to Korea and First Impression
Alfred Curtis describes how he felt when he learned he would be serving in Korea. He shares that hardly anyone knew anything about Korea and that he had honestly never even heard of Korea. He adds that he and other young soldiers thought they would go over and take care of business within a few months and be home. He recalls his journey to Korea, landing in Pusan, and the suffering of the South Korean people.
Thoughts on Service, Memories, and the Korean War Legacy
Alfred Curtis offers his thoughts on service and memories of his brother who served in Korea. He shares that his brother was at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir and that he died from wounds he sustained in battle. He comments on the legacy of the Korean War, sharing that what the country of South Korea has done for itself since the war is unbelievable.
Destruction and Living Conditions
Ali Dagbagli describes the poor conditions of the Korean people. Kids would beg for food and cigarettes. People lived in houses made of rice stalks. Ali Dagbagli traveled from Incheon to Daegu, before moving north to Kunu-ri, North Korea.
Transformation of Korea
Ali Dagbagli describes the transformation of South Korea. He describes what he saw during the war. Kids were begging for food and cigarettes for their fathers. Contrast this with today where Seoul was clean, no dirt and no cigarettes on the ground. Ali Dagbagli could never have imagined the transition in such a short period of time.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.
A Civilian War
Ali Saglik describes how the Turkish forces captured a spy. He also describes how enemy forces, hiding in civilian houses, shot and injured a fellow soldier. Not all Korean civilians were enemies, however, as some would provide fresh fish. Ali Saglik also describes the Battle of Kunu-ri and how the "Americans ran away." Turkish soldiers attached bayonets and killed Chinese for two days.
Thoughts on the Korean War Legacy Project
Alice Allen understands the importance of the Korean War Legacy Project and its potential impact on future generations. Her husband, Jack Allen, did not really discuss his Korean War experiences before the interview, and now he speaks freely about it. Alice Allen believes
that it is important that younger generation learn about the Korean War and the experiences of the veterans.
College, Letters, and Love
Alice Allen was going to college when her husband, Jack Allen, joined the military in 1948. During his time away, she earned a degree in education, and began teaching which helped pass the time while he was away. On leave in 1950, Alice Allen was married to Jack Allen and the two stayed in contact through letters while he participated in the Korean War from 1950 through 1951.
Injuries During War Never Tarnished Their Love
Alice Allen was on the home front when her husband, Jack Allen, was injured during the Korean War. Thankfully, he was injured on his right arm and not his left because he is left-handed. Even with an arm and leg injury, Alice Allen maintained her love for her Korean War Veteran.
Allen Clark's First Prisoner of War
Allen Clark was establishing observation posts and was maneuvering around Gimpo Airport when he came across a family who had captured a North Korean soldier. He felt the process of handing him to the property authorities went well, but he was concerned that there were many more POWs with the possibility of being outnumbered. He wasn't sure how the Korean people felt about American's arrival during the conflict, but at that time, he felt they were happy and pleased the US soldiers were there.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
Korean Culture and Ceasefire
Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.
Leaving Korea after the Armistice and Returning to Korea
Andrew Cleveland recalls leaving Korea earlier than planned in September of 1954. He shares how after the armistice was signed, soldiers who signed up for college could go home and attend school. He recounts attending the University of Texas after leaving Korea, thanks to the G.I. Bill. He shares how he returned to Korea twenty-eight years later on business, specifically to coordinate the manufacturing of new products for his company. He describes befriending a Korean manufacturer and visiting Korea multiple times a year for many years in a row. His shares how his grandson captured this friendship in a work of art.
Children of War
Andrew Lanza's initial encounter as he landed in Pusan was filled with shock because he never heard of Korea. One image that he'll never forget is hungry children carrying other children on their backs. Some of the children were, as he described, "disfigured."
Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.
Experience in Korea
Angad Singh speaks about his living arrangements in Panmunjom, along the DMZ. He describes their living quarters, U.S. tents, being well-built and remembers having kerosine heaters in the tents because the temperatures in Korea were very cold. He recalls some of his duties while in Korea and adds that he left Korea and arrived home in India in August of 1954.
Devastation and Destruction of Seoul
Aristides Simoes reflects on his memories of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, after the war. Despite seeing civilians and soldiers on the streets, the city itself was filled with dust, destruction, and debris. He also details the extreme poverty many South Koreans were experiencing at the time.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Hamheung Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the his ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
Legacy of the Korean War
Arthur Gentry believes that if it were not for the Marines, there would not have been victory at the Chosin Reservoir. Casualties were hight with 3600 U.S. soldiers killed in action, and another 6000 suffered from frostbite. Arthur Gentry believes that the Korean War, otherwise known as the "Forgotten War," was the last war the U.S. "won" and accomplished anything. He believes the victory lies within the Marines holding the line and the U.S. nurturing South Korea to flourish economically and democratically.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
The Korean People
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes his encounters with Korean people while aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo. Further, he describes his admiration for the youth who fought for their country. He shares one memory of rescuing fishermen and returning them to their village.
Arthur W Sorgatz
Strangers Left The Dead
Based on Korean culture, if someone died and the body was lying along the road, civilians would leave the body there, claiming that if they returned the body to the family, the helper would have to take care of the deceased person's family. Sometimes, bodies would lay in the road for three to four days before it was picked up. Arthur Sorgatz had to drive around bodies any times during his tour in Busan, Korea.
Impact from a Tour in Korea and Japan
Arthur Sorgatz was able to learn about how other people live when he was stationed in Busan starting in 1954. Poverty was very high in Korea after the war and America's poverty level is nothing compared to Korea's at that time. In Japan, Arthur shipped damaged trucks to the port while creating his own fun by scaring Japanese civilians by backfiring trucks right within busy towns.
Asefa Desta describes the details of his service in the Korean War. He describes how Korean civilians were so helpful during the war. American supplies were a necessity. Engagements with the Chinese were frequent. He describes how he did not want to even blink to give his position.
Impressions of Korea
Ayhan Karabulut describes the despair of Korea when he landed in 1951. He describes a train from Incheon to Seoul where it was faster to walk. He also describes women and children begging soldiers for food. There were many orphaned children during this time that were also begging for food.
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.
The Dangers of Providing Supplies for Troops
Basilio MaCalino landed at Incheon in March 1953. From there, he went to Sasebo on his way to his station in Ascom City. When arriving there, human waste was everywhere and the smell was something that he'll never forget. When leaving his station in a truck to bring supplies to troops, he was shot at multiple times.
Life in Ascom City
Basilio MaCalino was stationed at Ascom City and he hated that there wasn't any fresh milk, eggs and hot water for his shower. When it was cold, he only showered once a week. Basilio MaCalino was able to sleep in an old building and was signed house boys to help around the base.
Protecting a Country Being Attacked
Belay Bekele describes the reasoning for Ethiopian forces going to Korea. Emperor Haile Selassie made a promise to the United Nations to protect nations being attacked. Ethiopia was the only country in Africa to send troops to Korea. Belay Bekele also describes the suffering of the people. He says the people would eat food scraps from the soldiers.
Ben Schrader Jr.
We Suffered Together
Ben Schrader remembered before going up on the hill, they would stop over at the kitchen and pick up whole raw onions and potatoes. He remembered while cooking the C-Ration that contained some form of meat, they would eat the whole onion raw and potato uncooked to add flavor. Koreans would have double rations so that they could share with the American military and the meals consisted of rice with fish.
Everyone Looked Beautiful
Bernard Brownstein describes his arrival in Incheon and drive to his camp. He explains that the soldier driving him whistles at Korean women as they are driving. He explains that initially he didn't find the girl attractive but as time went on, everyone became beautiful.
Ingenuity of the Korean People
Bernard Brownstein shares his memories of Seoul and its disheveled state. He marvels at the ingenuity of the South Korean people as he recounts how they constructed their homes and carried out everyday tasks. He adds that the automatic internal ingenuity of the Korean people led them from where they were to where they are now.
Coping with Loss and Memories of Korea
Bernard Clark is still saddened by the loss of his friends while serving. He dealt with those losses as a young man in a few different ways. He also attended several concerts during his time in Korea, and he remembers a road march while on reserve which entailed a fiery mishap. Napalm drops took place during the Korean War, and he describes the aftermath of this weapon.
What Adjective Would You Chose to Describe Korea during the war?
Bernard Smith described Korea as if the conditions and people during the war went "back in time." He said he could equate what he saw to living the harsh life in rural America where people had next to nothing, but were still happy. He described children would pull empty Hershey boxes with a string as if it was a toy truck and were so content.
Bernard Smith's encounter with Seoul when they arrived was a devastated and torn apart city. An example is a governmental business that had its windows blown out and walls collapsed, but what parts were still standing and areas safe enough to work, the government continued to work there. The area where Bernard Smith was stationed appeared to be untouched.
Lucie Paus Falck discusses how her father, and his cousin, worked with the Red Cross to establish a field hospital in Korea. They began their work in Japan buying supplies for the hospital beginning in April of 1951. The NORMASH hospital would open in July of 1951 courtesy of the Norwegian government.
Lucie Paus Falck reads from her father's diary describing the first patient he treated. The patient was a 13 year old boy named Park who was severely burned in July of 1951. The boy was transferred away to Seoul but would return when Dr. Bernhard Falck engineered his return after hearing about him from a nurse who journeyed to Seoul to see him.
Return to Korea
Lucie Paus Falck gives her unique perspective of Korea having worked a year as an intern of sorts with her father in Seoul in 1958 and then returning on three occasions in 2001, 2008, and 2010. In 1958, she describes the country as war-torn and remembers shacks assembled from all kinds of building materials. She marvels upon her return in 2001 about the evolution of Seoul and comments on the growth of traffic! She is particularly proud of Norwegians for their work with Korea including the adoption of over 6000 Korean orphans.
The Plight of the Korean People
Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.
When Bill Scott arrived in Seoul, they were given 4-5 days worth of rations. After seeing the starving children with or without parents, the soldiers fed the babies with their own food rather than watch them starve. Soldiers knew they had to take care of the kids and they were proud to have done it for them.
Billy J. Scott
The Rubble of Seoul
Billy Scott describes civilian men, women, and children starving in the destruction of Seoul. He shares that he and other American soldiers had never seen anything like it. He recounts gathering c-rations along with other fellow troops and tossing them to those in need.
The Friendship of Two Strangers
Billy Scott describes his friendship with a KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) named Pyon during his time in Korea. He recounts the opportunity Pyon was given to pay a visit to his family he had not seen in roughly a year's time. He shares that American soldiers gathered food, clothing, blankets, and money and gifted them to Pyon to secure his family's safety. He adds that he will never forget him.
At War at Just Sixteen
Bjarne Christensen explains how he exited the hospital ship in Busan to see poverty. He shares that he had never seen anything like it at sixteen. He shares how he saw children begging and it bothered him.
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.
Home for Christmas?
Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.
The Latent Effects of Korean War: PTSD
Bruce Ackerman experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the Korean War. He found connections between the modern War on Terror and the soldiers who fought in the Korean War because they both are lacking resources to help with their transition back to civilian life. There are psychological and social effects of war on veterans due to their exposure to death, extreme weather, and constant surprise enemy attacks.
Bruce W. Diggle
Bruce Diggle shares photos he took while in Korea. He shows photos of his travels from Pusan to Seoul through the countryside. His photos show the low level of development of Pusan and the destruction of bridges along with the city of Seoul itself.
Departure and Revisit
Bruce Diggle left Korea in 1954 by ship and went to London. In London, he met up with his soon-to-be wife who left for London when he left for Korea. They were married upon his arrival in London. He returned to Korea with a revisit program offered to New Zealand veterans. He is very appreciative of South Korea's efforts to bring veterans back and is impressed by the development of South Korea since the war.
Bryan J. Johnson
Rescuing Refugees from North Korea
Bryan J. Johnson describes his service in the West Sea off the Island of Cho-do. He was defending this territory from North Korean invasion. At one point his ship was responsible for the rescuing a Christian family from North Korean territory.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen describes the living conditions he endured while serving. He remembers extremely cold temperatures and not being outfitted with proper winter gear. He recalls the K-Ration meals he ate and recounts a few meals he shared with locals.
Carl W. House
I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!
Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen
On Their Feet
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen describes how he feels he helped the Korean people get up on their feet after the war. He shares that his aid came through distributing clothing, food, and assistance where needed while he was there. He explains that he knew they were going through a difficult time and that they needed all the help soldiers and the government could give them.
Speaking Spanish with a Korean Boy
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen recounts a young Korean boy attempting to trade a weapon with him in exchange for a case of c-rations. He describes the boy speaking in Spanish to him rather than Korean as he had learned it from other Puerto Rican soldiers. He adds that he did not make the trade.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Cecil Snyder describes Seoul based on his visits there in late 1958 though 1959. He talks about the condition of the city, it's infrastructure, sanitation and people.
Cecil K. Walker
Desperate Living Conditions
Cecil Walker describes the living conditions in South Korea during the time of war. People were in desperate conditions during the time of winter. He describes poor housing and lack of general items. Cecil Walker describes how the people of South Korea needed help and he would go to war again to help people in need.
Conditions In and Around Seoul
Cecil Walker describes conditions in and around Seoul. He helped bring supplies from Incheon to Seoul and transport Australian forces from the Second Line of Defense. Cecil Walker also describes how Seoul was deserted, with the exception of "Street Kids." He describes how when people did return to Seoul, they used any scrap to build shelter.
Mass Grave Site Filled with Civilians
Charles Buckley drove all throughout Korea during his time there and witnessed the narrow roads, trees, and the damage incurred. He recalls a massive grave site that had been unearthed full of slaughtered children. It's predicted that this grave site was from when the North Koreans overran Seoul, South Korea and killed anything is their path.
Thoughts of an Airman: Get the Hell Out Of There!
Charles Buckley's initial thoughts when he reflects on his experience during the war was to "get the hell out of there." He remembers his contribution to the country by helping various people, specifically the orphaned children. Charles Buckley would order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and he would look forward to seeing the smiles on the children's faces. He also recalled the living conditions of all of the children and the civilians were able to obtain supplies they needed to rebuild their own country.
The Korean People Are Different Than Other People Around the World
Charles Buckley traveled all over the world and he said the people of Korea are so different in such a positive way. He feels their conduct, willingness to help themselves, and loyal to their country is what sets them apart from other countries. Charles Buckley also said the Koreans were so loyal to the US soldiers and respectful to those who died for their cause during the Korean War. They are the only people that continue to thank US soldiers.
Charles Comer describes the Korean civilians that he saw upon his arrival at Seoul. He explains that the city itself was destroyed. He describes the sad state of the people who had been frequently moved around due to war evacuations. He goes on to describe the children, many of whom had been orphaned by the war and would crowd around the passing trains as the troops would give them their c-rations to eat.
Charles Crow Flies High
Entering Korea in 1993
Charles Crow Flies High was sent to Korea for his first deployment in November 1993. He flew into Kimpo Air Force Base, and then he was sent to Seoul to get finished setting up to protect South Korea. He recounts that they were "locked and stocked" at all times from that point forward. His job was to watch for Kim Jong Il and his North Korean troops to make sure that they did not take over Seoul.
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.
United States and Republic of Korea
Charles Crow Flies High talks about why the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea is a good thing for both countries. He believes that Kim Jung Un is influenced by his father, but there is a lot of camaraderie between US troops and Korean civilians. The Korean culture has spread around the United States, and he feels that this is a very positive interaction.
Charles E. Gebhardt
Destruction in Seoul
Charles Gebhardt describes the destruction of Seoul he witnessed when passing through on his way to Kimpo Airfield. He says he "may have became a pacifist at that time," referring to the conditions that he saw Koreans living under.
What were living conditions like in South Korea?
After a twenty-two day trip from Seattle, Washington, Charles Falugo recalls being relieved that they finally landed in Pusan, South Korea. He recalls the poor living conditions he witnessed--all Korean houses were made of clay, the people used oxen to help them transport water, and they picked roots for food. He also recalls South Korean children taking his unit's leftovers home to feed their families. He felt very lucky relative to the South Koreans he encountered and feels immense pride for the advancements South Korea has made today.
What did you experience driving through Korea?
Charles Falugo recalls the roads being so bad that their truck chassis would constantly break. Every time his division would stop to fix its trucks, they would encounter starving children begging for food. He would give his rations to the children. He recalls moving into Seoul and only seeing the blue capitol building and the railroad station. All embassies were blown up. There was one Shell Oil Company building that was guarded, located right next to his company's housing.
Horrors of War
Charles Fowler describes the devastating effects of the war on women and children. He shares that the North Koreans even used children as decoys. He also recounts images of those afflicted by napalm as being some of the most difficult for him.
Charles Francis Jacks
The Korean I Saw
Charles Jacks describes the Korea he saw in the 1950s. He remembers small villages and rice paddies. He describes civilian housing and recalls the unique heating system they used to keep their houses warm in the winter.
Charles L. Chipley
Chinese Attacks Against Civilians
Charles L. Chipley Jr. offers his account of providing evacuation aid to the Marines at Heungnam. He recounts that his ship provided gunfire support so that troops could be loaded onto the evacuation ships. He describes the movement of a speculated 100,000 Chinese troops killing civilian Koreans.
Charles L. Hallgren
Back to Korea During the Vietnam War
Charles Hallgren describes being deployed to Japan in 1970 for the purpose of inspecting Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units in Korea. He explains that Korea had tactical nuclear weapons which had to be inspected in various base locations on the peninsula. He describes his impressions of seeing a modernized Korea in 1970.
Charles Rangel identified the determination of the Korean people in the aftermath of the Korean war. The resilience and kindness of the Korean people is something that he will never forget. He even has pictures of his time in Korea inside of his office as a United States Representative.
Segregation in the Armed Forces
Although the military was desegregated in 1948, Charles Rangel still experienced segregation during his military career. The only thing that was integrated, were two units. Even when he returned to the United States after the war, Charles Rangel had segregated barracks back on the military base.
Captured by the Chinese
Charles Ross details the lead-up to his capture by the Chinese following the Battle of Unsan. He recalls searching for food and lodging in an abandoned house until meeting a Korean civilian. He recounts the generosity showed by the civilian prior to his capture. He provides an account of his experience as a POW.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
Camp 1: Sustenance
When Clarence Sperbeck arrived at his first POW Camp (Camp 1-Ch'ang Song), Chinese soldiers gave each man a wash cloth and a bar of soap, but then they were instructed to go to the polluted river at the camp to take a bath. Korean civilians (women and children) stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched the G.I.'s take a bath. Men were given little food and Clarence Sperbeck describes the pork they ate and how the Chinese would slaughter and drink the blood of the pig.
Hey! Wait A Minute! That's Us!
On the date of Clarence Sperbeck's release, August 19, 1953, the first thing the US did was give him a physical examination. He said while he was there, he picked up the "Stars and Stripes" Newspaper, and saw the headlines read, "Chinese attempt to keep 400 POW's." Clarence Sperbeck said, "Hey they were talking about us!" He mentioned the Chinese kept over 800 prisoners, took them back to China, and used them for atomic experiments. There were others who refused repatriation and were not well liked by the men when they returned.
Clarence Jerke talks about driving a supply truck while he was stationed in Seoul in 1952. He describes the city, civilians, and the difficulties that he faced when transporting supplies.
Help from South Korean Soldiers and Civilians
Clarence Jerke talks about his experiences with KATUSA soldiers and South Korean civilians. He describes one particular South Korean soldier who was especially adept at laying communication lines. He also talks about civilian boys who washed military uniforms for food or money.
Jubiliation at Sea
Clayborne Lyles participated in the Navy's ocean search and rescue efforts when there were US pilots that were shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He felt jubilation to be part of 22 pilot rescue missions, but he was sad when none of these missions were discussed in the newspapers. One mission that made him laugh, but it was still serious event was when a pilot was shot down and he was shot in the butt. Clayborne Lyles remembered how the sailors would give each other grief to lighten the mood of war.
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.
The Start of the Korean War
Clayborne Lyles did not know much about Korea when the war broke out and he was located in the Pacific Ocean near the 38th parallel traveling around the Korean peninsula. He didn't have any fear about the war because he said that since he volunteered for the military, he could 't complain or worry. For the fellows who were drafted, he heard all about their complaints about the war while being stationed on the ship with the draftees.
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.
The Forgotten War and Korea Today
Clayton Burkholder felt that people call the Korean War the "Forgotten War" because people didn't know what to do with a communist country. He thought that great things came out of the Korean War because of the fortitude of its civilians. United States veterans are proud for their service in the war which led to South Korea's freedom today. Clayton Burkholder is surprised to see the change from dirt and huts to paved roads when he looks at Google Maps.
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 L. Wilcox
One of The Greatest Experiences
Clifford Wilcox talks about the remarkable contrast between the Korea he saw during the war and the Korea he saw and experienced while revisiting in 2010. When he first arrived, he saw extreme poverty and destruction. In 2010, his experience was first class, seeing South Korea's progress.
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.
Conrad R. Grimshaw
The Houses of the Korean People
Conrad Grimshaw describes arriving in Korea and seeing the devastation of the Korean households. He recounts their homes being burnt and crudely replaced by stones, straw, and dirt. He shares that American soldiers were empathic and took care of the Korean people any way they could.
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.
What Is Korea To You? FABULOUS!
Cyril Kubista spent time talking about the impact the people of Korea have had on their country, their grateful attitude, and the dedication to the service of those who fought. He wishes that the military would be mandatory for all who live in the United States. Even after being drafted, Cyril Kubista felt that at least 20 months should be mandated for all civilians.
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.
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.
After 16 months of training, Dale Schlichting was sent to Florida to join Attack Squadron 35. The only propeller aircraft that was still being used in the Korean and Vietnam War was worked on by Dale and this made his so proud. He was supposed to be dismissed from the military two months early, but he wanted to stay with his squadron to travel the world. If was left behind with 13 of this squad mates because Squadron 35 wouldn't be back to their base by the time Dale Schlichting would have to leave.
Daryl J. Cole
Impressions of Incheon
Daryl J. Cole describes the destruction at Inchon and his transfer from infantryman to artilleryman. He explains that the war torn city of Inchon had been thoroughly devastated by the time he arrived. He recalls the civilians hauling the "honey buckets," the refuse from the toilets to fertilize their crops. He goes on to explain his hasty transfer from infantry to artillery overnight, unbeknownst to him.
"People needed us."
Daryl J. Cole describes his motivations while in battle. He explains that his position was only two or three miles away from the front lines and all the while he was continuously thinking the war needed to end. He explains feelings of great sympathy for the South Korean people whose entire lives had been reduced to rubble.
David Carpenter lost four Marines who were taken as POW's off the coast of Wonsan. He stayed on Korea's islands until peace talks began in 1953. He recalls going on leave to Japan to get some rest and relaxation (R & R) before he returned to England.
David Carsten Randby
Electrician for NORMASH
David Randby served as an electrician for NORMASH. Electricity was important for a field hospital. The electrical equipment was very rudimentary and required skill to keep running. He kept the generators running in times of great need.
Medals and President Moon Jae-in
David Randby describes the medals he earned for his service in the Korean War. He has personally met with President Moon Jae-in. President Moon Jae-in spoke with the veterans and reminded them that the North Korean leader is a dictator and South Korea is a democracy because of their actions.
David H. Epstein
A Destroyed City
David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.
Prior Knowledge About Korea and David Lopez's First Battle in the Korean War
David Lopez did not know anything about Korea before he was drafted. When he arrived at Pusan, he was living in tents and was given food rations to eat while waiting to be sent to the Kansas Line which was a few miles from the 38th parallel. After the Chinese pulled out of peace talks, he took trucks from Pusan to the Kansas Line while worrying about incoming artillery. He loved receiving help from young Korean boys who would help him carry supplies, wash clothes, and help when he was short on soldiers. David Lopez was injured in his right arm when he fought with the 2nd Platoon against the Chinese and North Korean troops.
Impressions of the Korean People
David Nevarez describes his interactions and impressions of Korea. He expounds upon his appreciation of the food as well as the people. He draws comparisons between the Hispanic community and the South Korean people.
Delbert Ray Houlette
Massacre in a Korean Village
Delbert Ray Houlette recollects here on some of his toughest moments while serving in Korea. He describes the disconnect between the Marine Corps with the Army and ROK soldiers. He also details having to build a causeway over a river in the middle of fighting. Lastly, he remembers witnessing a village after it had experienced a massacre.
Dennis E. Hultgren
Sandwiches in a War Torn City
Dennis E. Hultgren explains that a stop to transfer trains allowed him an hour or so to wander through a war-torn city. He describes a young boy who was watching him intently as he took a bite of his sandwich. Dennis Hultgren recounts that he offered the boy the rest of his sandwich, and with a deep bow, the boy accepted it and ran behind a building.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
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.
Big Muscles were Needed for Machine Gunners
Don McCarty's specialty during the Korean War was a heavy machine gun operator. The tripod was 54 pounds and the gun with water was 40 pounds. He left for Korea in March 1953 and landed in Inchoeon. Once he arrived in Seoul, it was devastated and there were children begging for candy and cigarettes.
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 D. Johnson
Leaving Your Wife Behind
Donald D. Johnson describes being called back in September 1950 to serve in the Korean War. He mentions the battles in which he fought and his reasons for joining the Inactive Reserves. He elaborates on the emotional toll of leaving his wife behind.
Legacies of Korean War
Donald Dempster feels that it is important to remember the accomplishments of the Korean War. He assisted in keeping democracy in South Korea instead of communism. He is very proud that South Korea has succeeded from emulating the government of the United States.
Why the Forgotten War?
Donald Dempster believes that since the Korean War was after WWII, the American public had enough of war. He further feels that the Korean War has been forgotten by the public because it was not reported by US media as much as other wars. He acknowledges that recruitment was not as large during the Korean War as it was during WWII.
Donald Dempster shares how he was promoted to work for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in Washington D.C. He was part of a team that researched any inappropriate activities in the Air Force. He had extra training to receive this special position.
Donald Haller recalls revisiting Korea, along with his family, in the 1980s. He shares how vastly different Korea was from how he remembered it in the 1950s. He remembers how poor Korea was in the 1950s, lacking basic infrastructure such as proper roadways and bridges. He remembers the Koreans as both honest and hardworking. He comments he is not surprised that the Korean economy is now booming.
Donald J. Zoeller
Helping a Korean boy
Donald Zoeller says that he did not get to know many Korean people as he was always outside of the cities. However, he remembers a little Korean boy who was orphaned and slept with prostitutes. He invited the boy to stay with the soldiers and later brought him to an orphanage.
Donald H. Schwoch talks about the poverty and destruction of Seoul that he saw in 1955. Throughout Seoul, desperate children begged for food among the destroyed buildings. Even in Uijeongbu, the civilian population lived in huts with dirt floors.
Donald St. Louis
The Destruction of Seoul
Donald St. Louis describes what he saw in Korea while serving overseas. He remembers the country's geography filled with rice paddies. He recalls how devastated the city of Seoul was during the war.
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!
Doris B. Porpiglia
Ladies Don't Do Such A Thing
Doris Porpiglia was asked how her family felt about her being in the military. Although her parents and immediate family were proud of her, her rich aunt told her that "Ladies don't do such a thing." Doris Porpiglia replied, "I am more of a lady than you'll ever be, and what I wear isn't going to determine the person I am going to be."
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.
Doris Porpiglia tells a story that the most surprising thing about her job was some of the men that didn't know how to read or write, so they would quietly ask her to read the letters they received. The male GIs since didn't want others to know that they were uneducated. Doris Porpiglia felt sorry for them and she said that most of the men who had difficulty reading were from the south, but race didn't matter. She believes that it inspired her to become a teaching assistant when the war was over.
Leading the Charge
Douglas Koch describes the 5th Marines' role in the Inchon Landing. He explains that the Inchon Landing was imperative in the cutting off of the rail lines that led to Seoul and fed the North Koreans the supplies they needed to fight in South Korea. He recalls that upon hearing the Marines were headed to Seoul to recapture the city, the civilians fled for the hills.
Earl A. House
Bravery and the Forgotten War
Earl House believes that the Korean War made him into a man. He remembers wanting to get away from everyone in his family to prove that he was not afraid and to seem brave. He shares his thoughts on why the Korean War was called the Forgotten War, noting that people did not want the U.S. fighting in a foreign war.
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.
First Impressions and Relying on the Americans
Edgar Green reflects on his first impressions of Korea. He recalls the stench of human waste as they drew nearer to the dock in Busan and remembers an American band and Korean choir there to welcome them. He shares that they were part of the very first British land forces to enter the Korean War and comments on having to rely on the Americans for food and transport for the first several days.
Korea Prior to War
Edmund Reel recounts being stationed in South Korea prior to the war. He recalls the easy ability to see into North Korea from the mountains near the 38th Parallel. He comments on the peacefulness and shares that right before he left Korea, tensions started to mount.
Edmund W. Parkinson
Proud of Korea
Edmund Parkinson is joined by his wife to discuss modern Korea. They jointly recall their visit to modern Korea and speak highly of the Korean people and their fighting spirit for having rebuilt their country in such a short time frame. Edmund Parkinson shares that the loss of his leg was worth what Korea has become today.
Eduardo Sanchez, Jr.
My Happiest Moments
Eduardo Sanchez remembers his happiest moments in the war came from meeting the other men who were from his home town. They called their little reunion the Mexican Village. However, it was a sad moment when they realized who would no longer be returning to the village due to the war ending. Veterans returning home found it hard to find occupations.
Edward A. Walker
Rolls of Film and a Girlfriend
Edward Walker took photos of the Korean boy he hired to cut his hair and of Korean women carrying their babies on their backs. He sent rolls of film home to his girlfriend, Shirley. Shirley joined the interview and said she missed her boyfriend so much and she cried while he was away. Shirley also noticed that textbooks in New Zealand did not feature much content on Asia, so many people did not know where the men were fighting.
It Was About the Civilians...
Witnessing the conditions of the civilians firsthand, Edward Mastronardi was sympathetically moved by the Korean people. As the Americans advanced with tanks, guns, etc. through the Porchon Valley, they shot up everything. Knowing the Chinese did too, Edward Mastronardi witnessed so much destruction left behind. He told of a story about the Korean people dressed in white due to a funeral, and he noticed a woman lay, dying, and trying to still breast feed a dead baby. Edward Mastronardi was angry about the reckless killing of all people. It showed truly first hand what effect the war had on the Korean people.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Edwin R. Hanson
The Dead and Their Affects on PTSD
Ralph Gastelum described the number of bodies on the battlefield. They laid as far as the eye could see; both the enemy and their fallen comrades were frozen the way they had fell. There was a bulldozer that was shoveling North Korean soldiers bodies and covering them up. The moaning and the groaning at night just got to them both and built bitterness most US soldiers have for warfare. Edwin Hanson leaned over to point at his wife to recall what happens to him both awake and asleep, but they have learned to cope with it.
I Jumped In Front of a Torpedo Bomber to Mail My Postcard
A Torpedo Bomber (plane) came through Kor-'o-ri to pick up wounded soldiers and it had the big bay door below it open to drop torpedoes. Edwin Hanson had a postcard that he wanted to deliver to his mother, but the bomber was about to leave without Edwin Hanson's mail. The bomber was sitting at the end of the runway, trying to take off, so Edwin Hanson ran down the middle of the runway blocking his takeoff and waving his letter. When he got up close, Edwin Hanson crawled up on the wing to an open window, so the bombardier took the postcard as Edwin Hanson slid down the wing.
Eilif Jorgen Ness
Seoul - Then and Now
Eilif Jorgen Ness describes the Seoul he knew in 1952 compared to the Seoul upon his return in 1995 and 2013. In 1952, Seoul was not a city, it was ruined a landscape. Upon his return, years later, he describes that there was no resemblance between the two. He was impressed with the efficiency and ability to deal with large numbers of people.
Descriptions of Korea
Eingred Fredh describes the Korea she saw. She was very happy she volunteered. There were many refugees and people in bad ways. She worked six days a week in various wards at the hospital. In one ward she would care for soldiers. In another ward there were many patients had tuberculosis. As the war pushed North, away from Busan, she cared for more civilians.
Transformation of Korea
Eingred Fredh describes the transformation of Busan since the war. None of the landmarks that she remembered were still there. The building were much taller and everything is rebuild. She does like the transformation. However, she likes to live a little calmer than the hustle of a large city. Citizen of Korea, though, are very thankful for her service to them during the Korean War.
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.
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis left Korea in July/August 1951. After returning twice to Korea, in 2008 and 2013, he was able to see the great advancements that were made in Korea. Korea's advancements were 100 years more advanced than Greece.
Destruction in Seoul
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis saw extreme hunger and destruction when he entered Seoul. It was so bad that he considered Korea to be 100 years before Greece in 1950. Korean children begged for food from UN troops as they exited restaurants and food tents.
Seoul During the War
Elliott Landall describes how Seoul was in a terrible state. He explains that the people were living in a shell of a city and he felt sorry for them. He was amazed at the spirit of the people, including how the people would listen and were good learners.
Elliott Landall is satisfied with his service in the Korean War. He really liked helping the people of South Korea and feels he had a lasting impact. He explains that the Korean War is a Forgotten War because it was after the "Big Wars," World War I and World War II.
Daily Life in Seoul, 1964
Elvin Hobbs describes Seoul after the conclusion of the war in 1964. He talks about the rebuilding of the city and its transformation from total destruction. He expands in detail on descriptions of transportation and Korean daily life.
Exploding While Searching for Metal
Elvin Hobbs describes the most common injuries that they saw at 121 Hospital. He describes how many Koreans were injured scavenging for metal. Many civilians were drastically wounded when they came across live ordnance that hadn't exploded during the war.
Engineering Role in Korea
Erich Reuter recalls his role as a Siemens engineer in Korea. He shares that he was a "doctor" for the Siemens medical equipment provided which included x-ray, electromedicine, and dental equipment. He comments on Koreans working with them while there.
Ernest J. Berry
"Luxuries, which we dreamed of"
Ernest J. Berry describes being ordered to move out quickly at one point. His unit encountered an abandoned American M.A.S.H. outpost. He describes his amazement at encountering the luxurious conditions and resources the Americans had abandoned. Ernest J. Berry describes American abundance. When Americans left a camp, they buried their supplies. In contrast, New Zealand soldiers would have to pay for lost socks.
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.
Eugene Buckley was trying to make it back to the front line after escaping from the ravine when he and O'Donnell got on the back of a family ox cart and spent most of the day traveling. Not having eaten in 4 or 5 days, Eugene Buckley broke into a large container of applesauce and ate the whole thing. He said it wasn't long after that when they were back in the same situation of extreme hungry again.
Eusebio Santiago recalls how the sight of Korean villagers catching and cleaning fish reminded him of daily life in Puerto Rico. He describes the rice fields and how villagers continued their life with war around them. Eusebio Santiago recalls his childhood while war was going on.
The Impact of the Orphans
Everett Kelley shares how his service spent in Korea impacted his life in many ways. He describes his involvement in sponsoring orphaned children through various donations. He recalls the number of orphans in Korea at the time being extremely high.
Medley of Korean War Topics
Fekede Belachew describes various topics about his Korean War experience. He discusses talking to wounded returning soldiers about their experience. He describes Korean people in sad shape. He also describes that the Americans supplied United Nations troops with food and clothing.
Filis Nikoldos identifies his wife who recounts a few of his observations while serving in Korea. She shares that he saw disaster and found ruins of houses, people massacred, babies crying on the bodies of their dead parents, and poverty. She adds that he did not think solely of protecting himself and that he had even made preparations to ensure he would not be captured alive by the Chinese.
Forrest D. Claussen
Winter Clothing from Home
Forrest Claussen recounts cold winter nights in Korea and shares a story about receiving winter clothing from home. He recalls writing home to his mother, asking for additional winter clothing as the military had not issued winter clothing yet. He recounts receiving the clothing, only to be ordered to discard it as other men in his group did not have access to the same. He describes digging a hole and placing the clothing inside in hopes that South Korean civilians would find and utilize his discarded items.
Home Front Hardship
Francis Bidle recounts the hardship he experienced upon his return home. He shares that he was turned away from several job opportunities simply because he was a Korean War veteran. He recalls claims of US soldiers at the time treating the women in Korea poorly and shares that many business owners on the home front where he returned associated all Korean War veterans with the claims. He shares that he eventually passed over the fact that he had served in his succeeding job interviews.
Francis John Ezzo
Korea Then and Now
Francis Ezzo describes walking through the countryside. He recalls seeing rice paddies and giving kids some food. He shares that even though he has never been back he is thankful that Koreans appreciate the sacrifices American soldiers made for their country.
Frank E. Butler
Frank E. Butler describes going ashore in Seoul while serving in the New Zealand Navy. He remembers seeing millions of people in Seoul and describes it as being very busy. He reminisces about his later return visits. He appreciated the gratitude the South Korean people showed him upon return.
"A Shocking Experience"
Fred Liberman describes a "shocking experience" that he had while in Korea. He recalls having to raid a village and forcefully remove civilians, including the elderly and children. He explains how he wrote a letter home to his brother about it. This is an experience that still bothers him today.
Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea
Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.
Letters From Home as a POW
Fred Liddell received letters from his wife who delivered their baby right after he was released from the hospital, but before he became a POW. He received a picture from his wife and the baby and it was supposed to contain a religious medal, but the medal was taken. Fred Liddell was so upset that he screamed at the leaders of the POW camp and was punished by standing overnight with his arms outreached. He was thankful that another man, who had been thrown through the door, was there to lean on during those long hours.
Arriving at Incheon
Frederick Schram describes first impressions of Korea. He arrived by ship to a city annihilated from shelling. Frederick remembers his first encounters with Koreans and describes distributing bars of soap to desperate people.
Potpourri From Around the World
Frederick describes his first assignment in Dongducheon. He was encamped in a valley with soldiers from all over the world including Turks, Danes, and Brits. He vividly remembers Australian parties in the evenings. Frederick also recounts joining KMAG, the Korean Military Advisory Group, to work directly with Koreans in Busan.
KMAG & the Railroad
Frederick Schram describes his time with KMAG working on the reconstruction of the railroad near Busan. KMAG was a critical component in the rebuilding of the South after the war. He describes the challenge of the work and the surrounding destruction and poverty.
Galip Fethi Okay
In Korea, Now
Galip Fethi Okay describes his arrival into a war zone. His brigade was relieving the previous brigade. He describes the reaction of the previous brigade's men. The previous brigade was so happy to be leaving Korea. He also describes the conditions of the Korean people.
American G.I.s and the KATUSA
Gary Routh describes his interaction with the KATUSA stationed with the American G.I.s. He describes how the American forces would view Korean culture as strange, such as bathing each other or eating ramen while seated on the floor. He then describes how Koreans would view the Americans as strange, including the harsh language and loud nature of the U.S. soldiers.
Like Living in a Ghetto
Gary Routh describes what it was like to live in the barracks stationed in Korea. He explains that the conditions were rough and that the buildings were falling apart. He describes being able to hang out with soldiers who were friends at a moment's notice but that the majority of the experience was similar to living in a ghetto.
Incheon Then vs. Now
Gene Jordan describes how hard working the Korean people were during the war era. He discusses how the Korean people have established a united, stable democratic society. He shares how he never thought much about Korea after he left, but when he attended the Marine Corp Reunion, he was amazed to see and hear about the economic growth.
Mostly Gunshot Wounds
Gene Peeples describes his treatment of the most common wounds he encountered as a medic during the Korean War. He explains his quick treatment of gunshot wounds before sending injured soldiers off to evacuation. He also describes another of the most common conditions they saw in the hospital, venereal disease.
Family Hears News Of Their Son's Death
After hearing the news that their son had been captured and identified as Missing In Action on July 7, 1950, the family was identified by the US military. Soldiers who had returned to the states told the family that Arthur Leroy Brown was being held at the Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. It was later discovered that Arthur Leroy Brown died on his 21st birthday in January of 1951. Some of the returning soldiers told his family that Arthur Leroy Brown had suffered from complications due to Beriberi.
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.
The Burial of a POW
George Brown was only 6 years old at the time when he heard his brother had died. Arthur Leroy Brown's family was too poor to afford a burial closer to home, so he was buried in Hawaii after his body was found. At his temporary burial in North Korea, the ground was frozen solid, so they could only dig a shallow grave. It was devastating to George Brown and his brothers since they were older and they could really understand the devastation of the death of a family member.
The War's Innocent Victims
Dr. George Drake discusses his research on Korean War information found in various archival locations. He explains the repercussions of war on society. He describes the problem with poverty left in Korea because of war, and his passion for getting more information out about his humanitarian concerns.
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
Preserving the Legacy of the Korean War
George Enice Lawhon Jr., was president of the Korean War Veteran's Association until 2014. The Korean War Veteran Association's Tell America Program is the "single most effective" effort to educate current and future generations about the Korean War. The program provides resources to students and teachers for use in the classroom. The program also sends Korean War Veterans to classrooms to engage with students.
Radio Transmitters, Ghost Towns, and Orphanages in Seoul
George Enice Lawhon Jr.'s job in the US military was to fix a BC 610 (a Collins radio Transmitter). When he arrived in Seoul, there was not anyone there and it was a ghost town. Sadly, some old and young people found in a rice field shot and bayonetted. He had a Chaplin in his group that started an orphanage for Korean children because there were so many that were left alone.
PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans
George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
Stringing Popcorn on Christmas During the Depression
Because George Geno lived in the country, he avoided seeing a lot of the soup lines and problems in the cities, but the farms had a share of their own poverty. People would work in the field or paint your barn just to get food. They didn't have anything, but they didn't know any better. They would string popcorn to decorate the Christmas tree. To keep watermelon and their soda pop cool, families would put them in the draining ditch to act as a refrigerator. You couldn't buy tire outright, but you could buy the boots to use inside the tire. Toys weren't available, so they handmade everything including their bow and arrows for hunting pheasants, squirrel, and duck.
We Fished In the Basement Of Our House During the Depression
The house George Geno had growing up had a dirt basement and it would fill with water in the spring. His dad would take them to Reese's to buy nets and they would catch fish. Not many people can say that they went fishing in their own basement during the Great Depression!
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 J. Bruzgis
Strong Appreciation for the Korean People
After his revisits to Korea and and a banquet in honor of soldiers who fought in recent years, George Bruzgis shared his sincere appreciation and gratitude for the people of Korea. The Korean population continues to show their love for the United States Military Forces. George Bruzgis was honored to go back and visit the country he had fought for all those years.
George P. Wolf
Flying in the Berlin Airlift
George Wolf was a pilot in the Air Force during the Berlin Airlift after WWII. He provided food, but mostly coal to the people living in West Berlin during the Russian blockade. He flew the same path that the famous, Gail Halvorsen, flew during the 11-month blockade.
George Padar tells of his work in the Civil Affairs Unit. His job was to work to win the hearts and mind of the local population as it related to the refugees. He also assisted with government and non government agencies to assist refugees who were suffering in war torn areas.
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.
Destruction on Christmas Eve
George Warfield landed in Korea on December 24, 1950 and had Christmas Eve dinner on the ship before he was dropped off at Inchon harbor. He counted 17 tanks that went out to battle from Inchon, but only 1 came back the next morning after fighting. George Warfield passed through Euijeongbu one night and saw the terrible conditions for civilians, but he did not stay in any location longer than a day.
Live or Come Home In A Box
Gerald Land described how long the journey was from California to Japan which was a total of 14 days. When he arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they were picking up more soldiers to take to Korea and he stumbled upon an old high school friend (yelling down from the top of the ship to the deck). They had some time to talk about why he was in Japan, and his friend said he had gone AWOL while in the Air Force because of a girl he wanted to be with in Japan, but was located and brought to trial. He was given a choice: go to Fort Leavenworth to serve a 4-year sentence or be sent to Korea with the 40th Division. "Live and your record is wiped clean or come home in a box."
Gerald Land was disgraced by the term police action instead of calling the Korean War, a war. He was also upset that people, particularly educators, didn't know anything about the war when he came home. With so many people who risked their lives for the people of South Korea and to label it the way people have, is just awful.
Don't Take Life For Granted
Gerald Land left the interview with advice for the listeners. Don't take life for granted, buckle down, get out to get a job, and earn what you get. Don't expect handouts and work your way to the top. He also said the technology that kids have today isn't completely necessary to live a good life. Working hard is the way to go!
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.
Traveling with the Navy
Gerald Spandorf loved when his ship was in port because the sailors were able to walk around different countries. In Germany, the Germans asked him his name and they loved him because he had a strong German name. Gerald Spandorf told them that the Germans didn't like his family because his parents and grandparents are jews.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Helping Starving Civilians and Funding Orphanages
Germaye Tesfaye witnessed terrible destruction in Korea. Arriving in 1952, he encountered Koreans in dire circumstances. Many civilians lacked basic food. Rather than throwing away uneaten food as directed by fellow American soldiers, Ethiopian solders gave their leftovers to hungry Korean people. Further, many Ethiopian solders donated their salaries to fund the creation of orphanages for Korean children who had lost their parents in the conflict.
Occupation and Missing Apologies
Gilbert Hauffels compares German occupation of Luxembourg to the Japanese occupation of Korea. Largely due to apologies from Germany, Luxembourg has been able to move past resentments from occupation, exchanging the negative term "Prussia" for the more expansive term "Deutschland" in reference to Germany and Germans. Although Shinzo Abe apologized to the Korean nation for occupation, Gilbert Hauffels notes that Japan falls short of apologizing for the use of Korean women as sex slaves. Having read much about Japanese atrocities throughout east and southeast Asia, he finds the lack of apology unacceptable.
Speaking About War: A Healing Process
Grace Ackerman feels that the Korean War Legacy Foundation is important because it allows the veterans to speak about their experiences during the Korean War. Students and future generations will also be able to gain knowledge from the interviews. Experiences such as the cold weather, being away from family, and personal experiences endured during the Korean War.
PTSD: Iraq and Afghan War Veterans
Grace Ackerman goes to the veterans' hospital in Syracuse, New York with the Auxillery group to help in the healing process. Her group is not officially there to help veterans from the Iraq and Afghan War overcome their Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), but they are there to listen when the veterans need it. Older war veterans have had time to heal and process their experiences, whereas the young veterans are still finding their way. Grace Ackerman believes that veterans' hospitals should be doing more to address PTSD in our young veterans.
Releasing Memories About the Korean War: Terrifying
Grace Ackerman was glad that she was able to be there for her husband, Bruce Ackerman, when he started to talk about his experiences during the Korean War, but it was terrifying to know the conditions that the veterans had to endure. Bruce Ackerman didn't start speaking about it until he was retired and able to have more time to ponder his time in Korea. Grace Ackerman recalled how most of the US didn't know about Korea when the war began in 1950 until the media started to cover the Korean War.
Returning to Korea and Supporting the US Veterans
Grace Ackerman was told by her husband, Bruce Ackerman, about the poor conditions in Korea during the war with mud paths, dirt roads, and huts. While visiting Korea during a church trip, she was able to see their new beautiful churches and the teenagers who were so courteous. As part of the Auxiliary, Grace Ackerman helps the veteran community by adopting a floor at the local veterans' hospital to make food, send gifts, and play bingo.
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.
Growing Up in Greece
Haralambos Theodorakis was born into a farming family with 5 brothers and 3 sisters on Crete, Greece. While attending only a few years of school, he was not taught about Korea. He didn't even know about Japan or China, so his schooling was very narrow based on his home country.
Korea at the Beginning of the War
Haralambos Theodorakis left for Korea in 1950 and came back in 1951. Everything was destroyed when he arrived and the people were very sweet people. Korean civilians didn't have a lot of clothes to wear or food to eat. If Haralambos Theodorakis had extra food, he gave it to the civilians and he saw a lot of Korean children running the streets during his 8 months there.
Haralambos Theodorakis knew that he was fighting communists during the war. Now, Korea is the 10th strongest nation in the world and he feels that it was a destroyed country in 1950. Now, he's excited to see the progress that has been made in Korea.
Haralambos Theodorakis has a weakness for the Korean people because he loves all the Korean people. As he recalled the war, there were many times that he almost died. He went and fought a war without knowing what he would face, but luckily, he was never wounded.
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.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American US troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth walked at night for six weeks until he reached prisoner of war (POW) Camp Changsong in May 1951. Many of the British POWs escaped, but all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. After getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day, Harry Hawksworth became very sick. As the Chinese brainwashing continued, US and British POWs fought to survive every single day.
The Release of British POWs After Armistice
Harry Hawksworth knew that peace talks must have been starting while he was trying to survive in a Chinese POW camp called Camp Changsong because the Chinese began to feed the POWs larger rations of food each day. This would help to fatten up the ninety-five pound Harry Hawksworth who had been held there since May 1951. Once the armistice was signed in July 1953, Harry Hawksworth and the other POWs were brought to Panmunjom at the 38th parallel. This is where they crossed over the famous Freedom Bridge back into Allied hands.
Harvey J. Ernest
Harvey Ernest said it was cold in Korea but not quite as cold as Wisconsin. There were some Koreans he worked with while serving in Korea but does not remember too much about them. He was paid a dollar a day, and he would write his family back home. He was reluctant to talk about some of the things that happened in Korea.
Poverty and Survival
Henry Kosters describes his interaction with some South Korean children who took some of his possessions. He explains that upon landing at Inchon, the city was mostly occupied by Marines. He and another man went off together and came upon a group of teenagers who stole his watch band and camera film from his pockets. Though he was not pleased with his loss, he understands that the children were desperate and needed to take whatever they could.
Staying On The American Base
Henry MacGillicuddy talks about what it was like staying on the American base. His favorite food was turkey and he remembers ice cream being served at every lunch and dinner. He remembers many Korean children worked on the base cleaning and doing other jobs. He also wrote home frequently.
Henry River, Jr.
Korea in the 1950s
Henry River, Jr., recalls the living conditions of Koreans in the 1950s. He remembers life being tough for the Koreans and speaks about a nine-year-old Korean boy who did his clothes in exchange for bags of rice. Additionally, he recalls the human waste fertilizer smell in Incheon.
Henry T. Pooley
Revisiting Korea and Memories
Henry T Pooley remembers his return to Korea in 2000. He recounts his amazement at the progress and compares it to his time in 1952. He shares his memories of the destruction and his hope that Korea reunites during his lifetime.
Landing in Korea and First Impressions
Herbert Schreiner describes landing in Korea for the first time as a soldier and his impressions of the smell and scenery. He recalls being greeted with a stench from what he believed to be the honey buckets used to fertilize fields with human waste. He adds that the area was ravaged and war-torn. He also recounts the houseboy who cleaned soldiers' clothing and offers his impressions of the Korean people during wartime.
Refugees During War
Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.
Korea Is My Second Home
After returning home from his service in Korea, it wasn't long before Herbert Werner was back in Korea as a professional boxing referee. He described after spending 3 full years of his life there, he was amazed at the resilience of the people despite the terror of war, how much the country of South Korea has improved, their patriotism, and the respect the civilians had for the soldiers who fought for South Korea. He felt like he was treated with so much respect and built an unconditional friendship.
What Serving in Korea Meant to Herbert Werner
When Herbert Werner was still in an orphanage during WWII, the boys that left to fight during that war had such a lasting impression on him, so he joined the Marine Corps. Originally, he wanted to go to China as a Marine, but after the war broke out in Korea, he was so caught up in the moment and excited that he wanted to go to be a part of this war. Much of what Herbert Werner saw was terrible including the treatment of refugees during the Korean War.
First Glimpse of the Korean People
Homer Garrett described the Korean people when he first arrived in Korea as hungry and begging for food/supplies. It was the worst the worst catastrophic area that he had ever seen and Korea really needed a lot of help to rebuild. Korea was still in ruins 12 years after the Korean War ended.
Earnings for his Service
Homer Garrett briefly described, what few kids understand, which is how little soldiers were paid for their service. When he first entered as a Private First Class soldier, he started making $43.00 per month even while having a wife and two children back at home. When Homer Garrett came home, his highest earning was $130.00 per month which was much better than when he first entered the service in 1965.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives
Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.
When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!
Homer W. Mundy
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.
Hong Berm Hur
Recognition Not Going Unnoticed
Hong Berm Hur mentioned the gratitude the Republic of Korea has for the soldiers that sacrificed so much by honoring them with the Distinguished Ambassador for Peace Medal. He went on to share that during World War II, no countries ever thanked the US soldiers for extending their efforts to help rid the world of dictators. Hong Berm Hur believes that recognition and the sacrifice of soldiers should be done around the world.
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.
Landing at Incheon
Howard Lee recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon landing at Incheon. He remembers the early morning journey on a Landing Ship Tank (LST) and walking in waist-deep water towards the shore where he saw a city on fire. He recounts dead bodies floating in the water and the fear he felt as he and his company made land and rallied at the assigned checkpoint.
Howard W. Bradshaw
Howard Bradshaw's Love for Orphaned Koreans
Howard Bradshaw encountered many orphans during his time in Korea. He offered them candy and expressed his love for these kids.
Howard Bradshaw took pictures of these children while he was there during the Korean War.
English and the Mormon Church
Howard Bradshaw spoke of a professor from Cornell University and the soldiers who came to Korea during the war. They helped to organize English courses for the Korean civilians and they spoke about the Latter Day Saints. A Mormon temple is now located in Korea and it's estimated that over 125,000 Koreans are Mormons.
a Soldier's Wife Remembers Life Without Her Loved One
Laverne Bradshaw, just like Howard Bradshaw, spent every night writing letters to each other. She described how she grew a vegetable garden to save money while her neighbors would shoot a deer to help feed Laverne Bradshaw's family. Howard Bradshaw wrote about how he would help to feed orphans while he was away in Korea.
Hussen Mohammed Omar
Money for an Orphanage
Hussen Mohammed Omar describes the condition of the people in Korea. People were in bad shape. He describes how the Ethiopian soldiers donated money to help build an orphanage. Once the orphanage was built, soldiers continued to donate money to keep it running.
Ian J. Nathan
Small Boys, Heavy Loads, and Weather
Ian Nathan shows pictures of his time in Korea. One photo has a small Korean boy carrying a load supported by an A-frame pack. Other photos represent living conditions such as a tent covered in winter snow and a swollen creek blocking access to the latrines in the rainy season.
Letters to Mom
Ian Nathan did not have a girlfriend at the time of his service in Korea, but he wrote to his mother and brother. His brother helped him identify Venus from his observations of the dark night sky from his tent. He visited Seoul once during his time in the Army, but the city was in shambles due to the fighting that occurred there. Markets were set up, but most of the goods had been created from scavenged items. He contrasts his experience with pictures of modern Seoul.
Democracy v. Totalitarianism: Walls Don't Work!
Ian Nathan considers the Korean War very important in world history, particularly due to the development of South Korea as a highly educated, economically strong nation with a stable government. He feels the seventy-year time span since the armistice is unfortunate, with gamesmanship and the sadness of separated families between North Korea and South Korea. He compares the divide between North and South Korea to the Berlin Wall and the wall on the southern United States border.
Desperation of the South Koreans
Ibrahim Gulek describes the people of South Korea. South Korea was war-torn. The people were desperate. He describes South Koreans as having no clothes and constantly begging for food. The conditions were heartbreaking. Ibrahim Gulek and his fellow soldiers would give food and supplies to the people in need.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes her work as a nurse. Originally, she worked in the tuberculosis ward. However, the Red Cross started to take UN soldiers fighting in the North. These men were only there for two or three days before evacuated to Japan. A nurse would work from 6am to 10pm, caring for men that had serious injuries. Some men would panic and need restraint from other marines.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes being very happy to be in Korea. The people of Korea were so friendly and thankful for the help. The country was so beautiful with a sunrise over the mountains. With all the beauty, the people were suffering. Some children had no legs or arms. Inga-Britt Haglund also describes providing food to Korean children.
Big Love in Busan
Inga-Britt Jagland describes meeting her future husband in war-torn Busan. She met him at a Swedish spring festival. He slipped her vodka and orange juice. He was a driver taking people back to their villages for the Red Cross.
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez recalls his interaction with South Korean orphans during the war. He shares how he felt seeing the orphans and remembers wanting to help them. He speaks of how he and other soldiers would take the orphans to get food.
Reflection of Service
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez shares his thoughts on his service during the Korean War and why the United States went to help South Korea. He expresses his fondness for the Korean people and culture. He shares his pride regarding the progress South Korea has made economically since the war.
Concussion Grenades and the Aggressive Chinese Army
At the end of November 1950, Jack Allen was wounded by the Chinese who overran the US troops. The Chinese had so many troops that they easily came over the hills. A concussion grenade took the nerve out of Jack Allen's right arm, so he couldn't use it and his knee was shot too. He was laid on straw and a tarp until a helicopter basket took him back off the line and onto Japan to recover. There were hundreds of wounded that accompanied Jack Allen, but he knew that he wouldn't be left behind because that's a Marines' motto.
Frozen Bodies and Paralyzed Limbs
Jack Allen was sent to an Army hospital in Japan and he stayed there for 7-10 days until he was shipped to a Naval hospital where Marines were supposed to be sent. When he walked in there, there were over 100 frozen bodies that lost arms, legs, and/or toes. Thankfully, a neurosurgeon performed surgery to help get feeling back in his arm while at the Naval base. Jack Allen was sent back to the US in February 1951.
Pride and Korea Today
Jack Cooper shares that he is proud to say that Korea is what it is today thanks to the efforts of the American military and the partnership created in Korea between both entities to stop Communism. He states that the Korean people are very grateful as they often thank him for his service. He also comments on Korea's economic status, the legacy of the Korean War, and offers a message to younger generations.
People Who Fall in a Death March
Jack Goodwin describes the Death March as a POW which took place November 1st-9th, 1950. He shares that 86 men died along the way from either wounds sustained prior to the start of the march or from being shot by the North Koreans who were forcing them to march. He recounts civilians being forced to march with them as well, including nuns, priests, engineers, and politicians.
First Impressions of Devastated Refugees
Jack Spahr expresses that he knew nothing about Korea until he entered the service. He shares that his first impressions of Korea were depressing as he saw many refugees searching for food and assistance. He recounts servicemen trying to help them as much as they could. He recalls several South Koreans working on the base with them and states that they were paid well compared to what they would get elsewhere at the time.
James “Jim” Valentine
Giving Money to the Children
James "Jim" Valentine discusses how he got disoriented and was in a tank in the 1950's liberation of Seoul. He discusses the destruction. He shares an emotional experience he has with the South Korean children. He explains that due to an accident he lost his few items and that he didn't have/take pictures.
James A. Newman
Nobody Argues with Padres
James Newman was sent ashore in 1951. Rare for a Navy man, he was able to see a devastated Seoul and fight on the frontlines. He had rare access due to accompanying an Anglican clergyman.
Return to Korea
James Newman has participated in five trips back to Korea since 2002. He is very impressed with the modern nation. He feels pride in the accomplishments of the Korean people and his part in freeing South Korea from North Korean rule.
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.
Conditions in Pusan
James Creswell describes his first impressions of Korea. He recounts the horrible living conditions civilians faced in Pusan. He shares that people were living in river beds, freezing to death due to lack of clothing, and had no food or money.
Supply Train Ambush
James Creswell recounts a supply train ambush where guerrillas had dynamited the track, forcing the train to stop roughly twenty miles from its destination. He shares that the civilians on the train got off, and the guerrillas then gunned down around four hundred of them. He recalls the event being so horrific that it made headlines in the U.S. and believes it to be the largest civilian massacre in 1952.
Keeping the Memory of the Korean War Veterans Alive
James Ferris shares about his daily work to keep the memory of the Korean War alive, honor the fallen soldiers, and celebrate all the accomplishments of South Korea. He explains as the state and then national Korean War Veteran Association President, he strives to reach out to all the Korean War defense veterans (soldiers after 1954) who have served at the DMZ. He expresses that the longevity of the Korean War legacy is with the next generation.
The Difficult Job as a US Marine
James Ferris shares that his assignment did not allow him to stay in Korea for a long time. He explains that his job had him flying in and out of the entire country. He shares he earned good money for the 1950s as a corporal and recalls how he sent most of it home to his family. He adds that once he arrived back home, he went on his first date with a girl he wrote to for over a year while serving in the war.
Truman's Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of the Military
Racial tension grew after the Executive Order 9981 was issued. When James Low was in the US National Guard, he saw a confrontation between Southern soldiers and African American soldiers from Harlem, New York. Racism still existed for African Americans on the home front during the 1950s. Since James Low went to an integrated school, his beliefs were different than the Southern soldiers that were stationed with him.
Contemporary Korea and a Message to Future Generations
James Low hopes that future generations are able to experience one democratic Korea. He stresses the importance that future generations understand the Korean War was fought against three Communist countries: North Korea, China, and Russia. James Low believes that the Korean war helped to impede any further advancement of Russian Communism.
Begging to Join the US Army
James Low wanted to join the US Army after he graduated high school because he wanted to do his part just like everyone else did during WWII. There was a group of James Low's friends that went to volunteer month after month until there was a spot open. Finally, in February 1951, he was accepted into the Army, but had to wait until he was 18 years old to sign the paperwork because his mom refused to give permission to his 17 year-old son.
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.
Korean House Boys
James Rominger talks about the duties of the Korean house boys who took care of all the general housekeeping needs of the soldiers. The house boys washed clothes, cleaned shoes and kept the general area clean in the foxholes and the bunkers in exchange for food and clothing. James Rominger shares why the teenage boy was unable to even return home.
James Ronald Twentey
Cigarettes as Money
Ron Twentey describes the need that still existed among the Korean people during his time there.
He explains that though the war was over, the people were still terribly impoverished and begged for food. He describes the children begging for food and for cigarettes which they sold to make money. He explains that he has never smoked but he would pay for the cigarette rations so that he could use them as currency and for trade. He recalls paying for his clothes to be laundered with cigarettes.
James T. Markley
Message to the Younger Generation
James Markley gives students a message on the achievements of the Korean people. After the devastation of World War II and the Korean war, the Korean people have set a great example for the entire world. They have become a resilient nation of people.
The Korean People
James Warren explains his adoration of Koreans. He discusses his wife, who was Korean, to whom he met and married while stationed in Korea. He discusses the close-knit community, and how he is still involved even after her passing.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
First Impressions of Korea
Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his first impressions after landing in Korea. He recounts the destruction, seeing few trees and buildings. He shares that it was hard to believe how poor the living conditions were for the Koreans as he witnessed malnourishment, naked children begging in the streets, and women working in the rice fields with their babies.
Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
We were there during the Cold War
Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner received word that the North Koreans wanted to participate in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, so they were heavily guarding the 38th parallel. They were doing this to ensure that the Olympics would remain safe. The 38th parallel is the dividing line between North and South Korea that we created during the signing of the armistice on July 29, 1953.
Korean War Veterans Response to KDVA Accomplishments
Al Jenner responds that if the veterans could see the impact that was made by their efforts to deter against communism, they would see a country that is now the 11th largest economy in the world. They would also see that it's the first nation to go from a debtor nation to a creditor nation while enjoying the freedoms they have there. Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner are very proud of the progress and success in South Korea.
First Impression of Busan
Jeremiah Johnson recalls traveling to Korea aboard the General Black troopship and describes the experience. He recounts arriving in Pusan and seeing Korean men in boats he was unfamiliar with. He remembers men from his ship tossing down fruit to the Korean men in the boats and watching them put the fruit into boxes.
Hiring Orphans to Help
Jeremiah Johnson remembers two orphaned South Korean boys who worked for the unit. He describes the jobs they were given. He shares how they paid them and comments on how they learned from the soldiers.
Jimmie A. Montoya
You'll Remember This Someday
The term "Forgotten War" upset a lot of people. Georgia remembered when she watched her black and white TV as a little girl. When her family who served in the Korean War came back to the US, her parents always said, "Remember what you are watching on TV. This will be history some day."
Care Packages that Warmed Not Just Soldiers' Heart, But Also His Body
Joan Taylor was 21 years old when the Korean War was taking place. She lived with her parents while her first husband was away at war. Joan Taylor provided care packages for her husband that included warm clothes because winter military clothes were not provided yet.
Personal Understanding of the Korean War
Joan Taylor loves the Korean War Legacy Foundation because she believes that the program will create a personal understanding of the Korean War through interviews of veterans. She was able to visit South Korea with her Korean War veteran husband, Neal C. Taylor with the the help from her United States Presbyterian Church along with a Presbyterian church in South Korea. It was a history trip for her and she was treated so well by the Korean people.
Korean War Soldiers Returning Home
Joan Taylor's first husband came back home early from the war due to a death in the family. His father passed away and his mother was left to run a business, but she needed help. Joan Taylor's first husband was stationed as an Army Security Agent (ASA), so he did not participate in any fighting, but he recalled the bombs dropping and hiding in the bunkers at night.
Korea after the Armistice
Joe Henmuller describes what Korea was like when he arrived after the Armistice was signed and what he knows about South Korea today. He recalls how Korea was devastated by war and that Seoul had been destroyed. He explains that the destruction after the war makes the transformation Korea has gone through all the more amazing.
Girl In The Picture
As his battalion moved from the south to northern Korea, Joe Larkin's battalion passed through several villages coming in contact with the Korean people. The civilians were very thankful for what the US troops were doing. One little girl saw a picture of Joe Larkin's niece in his pocket, and kept pointing at the picture, but Joe Larkin didn't understand. He called over an interpreter and he said the girl couldn't believe that his niece had a flower in her hair.
The Korean War Armistice
Although the armistice was signed, communication from coast to coast was still limited, and Joe Larkin said the farther east he went, the less people knew about the armistice. He explained that if you wanted to call back to the east coast and you were in San Francisco, you had to pick up a rotary phone, dial 0, the operator took your number, then called you back at some point. Therefore, communication was lacking, which bothered Joe Larkin since he had been in some horrible circumstances and so few knew about the war coming to an end.
Ox Steps on a Field Mine-We have meat!
Joe Rosato did have C-Rations that he took advantage of for meals. As he was passing through villages, he was aware that the food was grown in human waste, but that didn't stop him from eating the cucumbers, watermelons, peppers, and beans. Joe Rasato saw an ox step on a field mine and blew itself apart, so the soldiers built a fire and made sauce with the chili peppers to go along with this fresh meat.
John A. Ciburk
Bombing in North Korea
John A. Ciburk describes several bombing missions in which he participated. He recalls bombing an oil refinery as well as roads and bridges in North Korea as a means of stopping enemy forces on the ground. He shares that when the Chinese forces came in, they were ordered to start bombing villages as the Chinese were using them for housing.
Military College: Preparing For Military LIfe
John Bierman grew up during WWII and joined the Boy Scouts of America so that he could collect aluminum along with bacon fat. During the Great Depression, he would eat one piece of bread with warm milk poured over with as dinner. After graduating high school, he graduated with a pre-engineering degree at a military college in 1947.
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.
Typical Day as a Pilot
John Blankenship remembers spending lots of time sleeping when he wasn't flying missions. He was provided food from Japan that was made my cooks in the Air Force and he was given one hot meal a day. The pilots often ate WWII C-Rations to supplement meals. An important mission that John Blankenship was part of included the bombing of Pyungyang and a town near the Yalu River.
Returning to Modern Korea
Mr. and Mrs. John Cantrall described their trip to Korea in 2005. Although they did not get the opportunity to visit Pusan, they were impressed by how modern and industrialized everything was that they saw. They felt appreciated by the Korean citizens because of John Cantrall's service right after the Korean War ended through 1955.
Prior Knowledge About Korea
John Candrall was very sad when he went to Korea at the end of the Korean War in 1953 because he saw what true poverty looked like even compared to the US during the Great Depression. The advancement that took place from 1955 until he went back for his revisit was huge and John Candrall included the advancements in transportation in addition to housing. He was very proud of his service in the military and the help that he was able to provide for Korea between 1953 and 1955.
First Landing in Busan, Korea and Many Evacuation Flights that Followed
John Cumming landed on Busan's runway which was pitted with bombing holes. In order to load the casualties, POWs were used to assist the flight crew and once in flight, flight nurses held the injured to keep them from dying due to the temperature.
Life in Korea then and now
John Denning describes the living conditions of the South Korean people when he was there compared to when his son was in Korea more recently. He describes the people living in packing crates and huts with thatched roofs and the unpaved roads that were just mud and rubble. He describes the pictures he saw that his son recently took and being amazed at the vast developments and modernization.
First Impressions of Korea
John Funk shares how he saw sadness the first time he laid eyes on Korea and the Korean people. He recalls people being hungry, sad, and poor, and he offers an account of their impoverished living conditions at the time. His adds that his time in Korea made him and other soldiers realize that they needed to help the Korean people.
John Funk offers an account of the 8076 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). He describes the facility and the nearby area. He recalls soldiers being admitted with their uniforms still on as well as sometimes still in their sleeping bags and details the triage system utilized to determine who was tended to first. He additionally speaks of the role women played as nurses.
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.
John G. Sinnicki
Encounters with the Koreans
John Sinnicki reflects on his encounters with the North Koreans in various settings. He describes how on the battlefield, they were dedicated to their Communist cause; however, in a civilian sense, they were very friendly and willing to engage with the Americans. He recalls KATUSA playing an incredibly helpful and important role and regrets they haven't received the credit they deserve.
A Sergeant's Mistake and a South Korean helper
John Jefferies shares memories of an encounter with a drunk American sergeant. He recalls happening upon a drunk American sergeant who was firing at children running in a village. He shares that when he confronted the sergeant, the gun was turned on him. He recalls running to seek the help of several South Korean soldiers, but upon his return with aid, the sergeant had fled. He adds that he luckily found no children wounded.
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.
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).
Growing Up in a Korean Orphanage
John Munro shares that he did not experience any dangerous moments while patrolling the DMZ in early 1954. He recounts how, as part of 1 Battalion, he went to Seoul to spend the day at an orphanage. He recalls his time spent at the orphanage and how he was given six children to eat with and play with throughout the afternoon.
Then and Now
John Naalstad describes the state of Korea during this time. He recounts a local Sunday school service he attended and the rough state of the church. Later, he contrasts that image with his pride in what Korea has become today.
Work as a British Radar Plotter
John Pound was trained as a radar plotter in the operations room. The ship operated in a constant state of darkness to avoid enemy detection. From the operations room, John Pound would search the sea for enemy boats with the occasional star shell burst breaking the silence to help illuminate the water to identify ships in the surrounding water. Often, he would spot small fishing ships.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
R&R in Tokyo
John Pritchard took a 5-day R&R in Tokyo which was his first 5 days off after an entire year in Korea. Armed with a lot of cash, he and his mates were ready for a break. From the food to the stiff bedsheets, readjusting to normal life and conditions was odd for the men.
John Sehejong Ha
"We were Fooled"
John Sehejong Ha describes listening to the Seoul radio station to get information about WW II. He shares how the Korean President Syngman Rhee told the people we were winning the war on the station. He explains how he soon realized "we were fooled. He shares how he found out it was not true not only by word of mouth but also how he saw the Korean refugees fleeing from the North passed his house.
The Luxury of Food
John Sehejong Ha describes obtaining food during wartime. He shares how he had the responsibility to get food and market. He explains that they could buy food but it wasn't much. He explains how eating more than once a day was a luxury. He shares how he is not sure how they managed but thankfully they were able to survive.
John Sehejong Ha describes being at Douglas MacArthur entering South Korea. He describes being in attendance for the Seoul recapture. He shares a memory of seeing S. Koreans who had been forced to collaborate with North Korea's army. He shares how he witness the first group of US Marines enter South Korea.
Working with Koreans
John Singhose recalls being reasonably warm in his sleeping bag when he had to sleep in a tent while in Korea. He describes interacting with Koreans in several capacities, and speaks of them with admiration. He shares that everyone he encountered, from their cook to construction workers, were industrious and honest workers.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
Memories of South Korea, 1957
John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes his experience getting to South Korea in 1957. He recalls seeing meats hanging in the market, honey buckets, and the smell of kimchi. He describes his impression of Korean people and his appreciation for their warm sentiment toward Korean War Veterans.
Memories of Korean Friends from the War
John Tobia gets very emotional regarding a memory he had of a young boy his company encountered while clearing buildings. He shares that the boy lived with his company for about a month. He also recalls a young Korean interpreter that worked with his company who became as close to him as a brother would be. He recalls giving cigarettes to the interpreter so he could trade them for food for his family.
What was Korea like when you were there?
John Turner discusses what Korea looked like on his journey north towards the 38th parallel. He recalls the destruction he witnessed in Incheon, Seoul, and Panmunjeom. He recalls starving people begging for food. He would give them some of his rations, as would other soldiers. His unit went on patrol near the 38th parallel, walking along deep trenches, and spying on North Koreans at Outpost Kate, about five hundred feet beyond the front lines .
John V. Larson
U.S.-France Relations During the Korean War
John V. Larson describes the importance of guard duty, and having a lot of leftover World War II equipment to manage. He remembers the merging of races in the military as many African-Americans were being placed into all white units in Europe. He explains why getting help from the French seemed to be difficult when U.S. troops broke down on the roads.
Working for the United States 8th Army
Johnney Lee recalls being paid for his work with the United States 8th Army. He describes the living conditions at the time and states that he was assigned to at tent with US soldiers. He remembers traveling back and forth each day between camps for negotiations, leaving in the morning for Panmunjeom and returning in the evening to base camp.
Jose Ramon Chisica Torres
Impresiones de Corea y su gente - Impressions of Korea and Its People
José Ramón Chisica Torres discute la suma pobreza del pueblo Coreano en el último año de la guerra en Corea. El comenta que hacía mucho frio cuando llegaron, pero los soldados tenían todo lo que necesitaban. Después, el discute las medidas extremas tomadas por algunos Coreanos para encontrar comida y otras necesidades.
José Ramón Chisica Torres describes the extreme poverty the Korean people faced in the last year of the war. He explains that the soldiers were well taken care of even though the weather was bitterly cold. He goes on to describe the extreme measures taken by some Koreans in order to find food and other necessities.
Joseph C. Giordano
Korean Service Corps
Joseph Giordano describes the Korean Service Corps. He shares that the members were mainly older Koreans who were too old to fight. He recalls Korean Service Corpsmen being assigned to each platoon to help do various activities, and he speaks of the friendship that he developed with one such worker named Kim.
Joseph De Palma
Creating The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
Joseph De Palma describes his experiences during the creation of the Demilitarized Zone and his interaction with the local Koreans who lived in the area along the 38th parallel. He describes the day a woman with two toddlers needed to be moved south to safety. He recalls that along the way she wanted to stop and build a fire and prepare a meal for her children but since that was not feasible, he gave her cans of food and she and the children sat on a rock and had a picnic.
Joseph F. Gibson
Working with Korean Civilians
Joseph F. Gibson shares how he worked daily with Korean civilians who helped take care of the wounded soldiers. He shares how he was often invited into the village to eat within the homes of civilians. He explains that he built a relationship with South Koreans. He shares how he learned some bad words in Korean.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Joseph Lewis Grappo explains how he participated in the Inchon Landing as a sixteen-year-old. He shares how he had little fear since he didn't know what to expect. He explains that since he was a part of the heavy mortar company, he created a defensive line behind the US Marines in order to recapture Seoul from the east side. He explains that he then went to Busan awaiting orders for the next invasion but there was a delay. He describes how he then traveled to Hamheung. He shares a memory from Hamheung where he witnessed money coming from a looted North Korean bank so he took some and bought apples from the locals.
Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion
Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.
Army Pay During Korean War
Josephine Krowinski did not recall how much she was paid while working during the Korean War as an Army nurse. She sent all the checks directly to Boston to her mother. Josephine Krowinski could tell that her mother needed the money more than she did, so that's why all her pay was sent back home.
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez shares that seeing the children in Korea experiencing poverty made him more family oriented. He recounts a touching story about a boy he befriended in South Korea. He shares that he offered food to the boy, receiving hugs in return.
Jutta I. Andersson
Busan: September 1950
Jutta Andersson describes Busan when she arrived in September of 1950. She describes the despair of the people living around Busan. She also describes life as a nurse and how nurses could not freely move about. However, she did visit the hills surrounding Busan and go to a Buddhist Temple with an escort.
Kebede Teferi Desta
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.
Keith G. Hall
"Smashed to Bits"
Keith G. Hall describes the differences between Korea in 1950 and Korea in 2010 when he returned. He describes poor conditions in the villages, with villagers farming rice paddies with primitive wooden plows. Seoul and Daegu had been "smashed to bits."
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 D. Cox
Rewarding Experiences with Children
Kenneth Cox recalls one of the most rewarding times during his service. He recounts offering food to child laborers and remembers a musical experience. He shares that the children would sing songs learned from missionaries while working, and he states that he would join in with them for particular songs he knew.
A Unique Meeting in Hawaii
Kenneth Cox shares a story of meeting a Korean waitress in Hawaii years after his service in Korea. He recounts that she lived near the hospital the 44th Engineer Battalion built near Teagu. He recalls exchanging a few memories and catching up on its present state.
Kenneth F. Dawson
Hill 355: Death and Danger
Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.
Seoul Was a Dead Place
Kenneth F. Dawson describes the cruelty of Chinese soldiers and their murder of a Korean woman as they retreated from a battle. He recounts the destruction that took place in Seoul. He is proud to have served the Korean people and asks to join a group of veterans returning to Korea for the 70th anniversary celebration.
Kenneth J. Winters
Reflections about the Korean People
Kenneth Winters describes the Korean people he encountered during his deployment to Camp Casey in 1967-1968. He remarks about the friendliness and industriousness of the people in nearby Tongduchan Village. He also mentions his interactions with Korean children and how they reacted to American soldiers.
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.
Retrofitted Ships and Bombed-Out Cities
Kenneth Shankland recalls how his ship, The HMNZS Royalist, had been modified for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. He shares how the ship sailed all over the Pacific Ocean, eventually landing in Incheon and Pusan in 1957 to enforce the peace. He recounts how Korean civilians were living in terrible conditions among piles of rubble. He remembers naked and hungry children begging for food.
Kim H. McMillan
First Impressions of Korea
Kim McMillan describes his journey to Korea by boat to Busan. The terrible smell met him as he sailed into the port. Passing through Seoul to join his unit, he was dismayed at the sad and backward state of the country. The Korean people looked depressed. Initially assigned as a driver in the transportation unit of 10 Company, his superiors later assigned him to the workshop unit as a carpenter.
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.
Impact: Economic & Military Relations with Korea
Lawrence Dumpit described the economic impact Korea has had on the US and its boom in technology throughout the 1990s. He mentioned that even on base at Miramar in San Diego, soldiers had a lot of LG and Samsung products which were made in Korea. He observed that there are a lot of cars on the road today that were manufactured in Korea (Hyundai, Kia).
First Impressions of Korea in 1997 and Korean Culture
Lawrence Dumpit was not a lot to go off base when he went to Camp Casey until he was given a one-week training about the Korean culture including the food, language, and civilians. The living conditions in Camp Casey were old WWII barracks because they were the oldest on the base and it was a lot better than the Koreans living in one room. He was paid 3,000 dollars a month.
South Korean Soldiers Work With US Troops
Lawrence Dumpit worked with South Korean soldiers, but they were not professional soldiers because they were drafted into the military. Therefore, many of the soldiers were not as professional as the US troops. The Korean soldiers made rank, but the US soldiers felt that they didn't earn it, so this started some problems with the US troops.
Selling Their Mothers and Sisters
Leo Calderon describes the atmosphere of South Korea after the war. He notes that some of the people did not like the American presence. He also describes the crime and poverty after the war. The people sold anything, including their mothers, sisters, haircuts and boot shining for cigarettes. Bars eventually popped up though American soldiers were not allowed to go beyond the MSR (Main Supply Rode).
They Have Everything Now
Leo Calderon describes the difference between first seeing Korea during the war and the country it has become today. He explains the physical characteristics of Seoul at the time: buildings no taller than half a story, potholed roads, homes made of hay and mud. He says at that time the people had nothing compared to today, that they have everything.
Leslie Peate elaborates on the work of the Korean porters. He defines them as mostly farmers and/or anyone who would help out during the war. He shares that those men worked harder than any other group of people during the war and stresses that they received no recognition at all and most likely no payments for their efforts.
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.
F80 Ammunition Supplying and Documenting History Through Letter Writing
Lewis Ebert came over with 3 squadrons of F80 Jets. He was assigned the ammunition supply section of the base and worked on the ammunition reports each night including replenishing the 50 caliber machine guns bullets. His letters home helped remind him how much ammo that the military went through each day because his mom and sister kept all the letters that he wrote twice a month.
Christmas In Korea
Lloyd Pitman describes a Christmas day in Korea. The army gave him two beers and two cigars. He had spent three Christmases away from home and spent some time thinking about his family. The horrors of war returned as he soon found South Korean civilians executed by the North Koreans and Chinese as they retreated.
Civilians Digging In The Trash to Survive
As a naive young man who had never witnessed much beyond a small Midwestern town, Lloyd Thompson saw Korean civilians digging in the US soldiers' trash for scraps. The realization was knowing what the UN were fighting for. Lloyd Thompson recognized the hope to give Korean civilians a normal life again.
Finding Body Bags
As Lloyd Thompson was shoveling sand on a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 truck near a flood plain at Kimpo Air Force Base, he unearthed a wooden box and unveiled an abandoned burial ground filled with body bags. He reported the incident, but nothing ever came of it. The bodies were left right there in the flood plain.
Louis F. Santangelo
Louis Santangelo describes the conditions of the people in and around Busan Harbor. He describes people coming up to the ships in boats begging for cigarettes and being "poor." Louis Santangelo compares the conditions of Busan Harbor during the Korean War to the pictures he saw during the 2018 Winter Olympics and was amazed at the changes.
Impressions of Korea and Withdrawal from Seoul
Luther Dappen describes his arrival in Korea and his transfer north from Inchon. He describes his unit's experiences during the withdrawal before Seoul was taken over by the Chinese. He recalls seeing not only the troops retreating but also lines of civilians carrying everything they could carry away from their homes. He goes on to explain that his company was the last to cross the bridge at the Han river, leaving them with the responsibility to blow the bridge up in order to slow the Chinese' progress.
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.
Lynwood Ingham Entered the Marine Corps
Lynwood Ingham went into the reserves as a 17 year old in high school while attending reserve meetings. From 1954-1956, he went into active duty and then again for 3 months over the summer. When on active duty, he was at Cherry Point, North Carolina and Atlanta.
Lynwood Ingham appreciates all the soldiers today who are trying to end communism on the Korean peninsula. Like many other countries around the world, the US wants to help the people by getting rid of communism. The US and South Korea have a strong friendship and trade-relationship because of the Korean War.
Manuel A. Bustamente
Manuel Bustamante said that a little white baby was found in a Korean Orphanage. The baby was kept in the sickbay on the ship and it kept the moral high for months. Sailors all took turns caring for the baby. The doctor and his wife adopted the baby once he arrived in America. They named him Daniel Keenan and he went to many of the Korean War reunions in order to see his rescuers.
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.
The Forgotten War and Causes of PTSD
Marion Burdette felt that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because there was not a lot of publicity back on the homefront.
Also, many of the veterans didn't speak about the war when they returned back home. Since Marion Burdette shot thousands of rounds of artillery, he lost most of his hearing. He was also stationed in Northern Korea and he was almost caught as a POW. Due to his experiences on the front line, he has nightmares and PTSD.
Post -War Readjustment
Marion Burdette was walking in front of his vehicle when multiple land mines killed Army soldiers in his regiment. After clearing the land mines in the area, he was able to set up the howitzer guns to engage in warfare. The impact of war on his life was that he felt that he needed to traveled the US to release his stress. He decided to reenlist in the Army for 3 years, but it was hard to readjust to life back in the United States.
First Impressions of Korea
The train ride from Pusan to Seoul was incredible. Martin Rothenberg saw so much beauty on the trip, particularly with the rice crops. While the rice crops were in their stages of growing, the vistas of patterns within the fields was beautiful. Poverty was all around, especially at Seoraksan Peak where people were living in cardboard straw-thatched-roofed homes. The villages always smelled because the sewage laid in a trench that ran through the middle of the street.
Civilians' Lives in Poverty-Stricken Villages
Martin Rothenberg was stationed at the base of a mountain during the winter of 1954 near a village that was poverty-stricken. This village had a wood-burning flute that ran under the houses to keep the floors warm and the villagers slept on the floor. He also saw a round stone based where the villagers had planted colored flowers. Martin Rothenberg thought that it was nice the way South Koreans took the time to make their homes special.
Mission Impossible: Speaking a Foreign Language
Martin Rothenbert was proud that the US Army had provided soldiers with a book containing Korean instructions and he used it to ask simple questions to the Korean people he met. He recalled a time while in the village at the base of the hill, an older Korean man wasn't friendly to anyone and never spoke. Therefore, Martin Rothenberg took the time to learn some basic questions to get to know the older Korean man and his attitude totally changed. This made all the difference to build a bond between soldiers and civilians.
Literacy Would Prevail
Martin Rothenberg noted that there was a little girl he befriended who's mother worked in the wash tent and she would talk to him because she wanted to learn English. When Martin Rothenberg left Korea in 1955, he knew there would be a massive economic boom in South Korea because the majority of the people were literate. Plus, South Koreans had a desire to be educated and work toward the reconstruction of their country after the Korean War.
Not Much Experience with the People Until Later Years
Martin Vasquez explains that he didn't have much experience with the people of South Korea during wartime. He recalls his only experience with the people was with the South Korean military men who were fighting along with him. He explains that he has seen a very different Korea during the times he has revisited compared to during the war. He goes on to describe the purpose for the United States entry into the war.
We Didn't Know We Were Poor
Marvin Denton described how much candy, movies, and cigarettes cost, along with getting no time off from school no matter how much snow, how hot, or how much rain fell. He described the manager patting him on the head and telling him "Marvin you've done a good job so we are paying you $1.25 this week," and that's how they paid you. He remembered there was a cashier who earned $15 a week and he thought if he ever made that much, he'd be a millionaire. He was moved to a cashier but never made over $12.50 a week and it all went towards helping the family. Marvin Denton commented, "We didn't know we were poor; there was always food on the table."
Seoul: A Sad Sight
Marvin Denton recalled the hardships many Korean people faced during the Korean War. Men and women yoked with long poles carrying heavy buckets filled with sewage (honey pots).
Groups of children ransacked the soldiers for anything they had (pencils, papers, etc.). Marvin Denton felt so sorry for the civilians in South Korea.
Prisoner of War Exchange
Marvin Ummel recalls witnessing the exchange of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the released prisoners changing clothes once released and many Korean locals picking up and taking the clothes back to their homes. Doctors would inspect the released POWs before sending them back home. Often the POWs were in poor condition, some even being sprayed with DDT insecticide to kill off vermin. He recalls that while the soldiers were thrilled to be back, the condition the POWs arrived in was poor and very depressing.
Impressions of South Korea, Then and Now
Marvin Ummel revisited South Korea in 2017. He reports that the opportunity to travel back with Revisit Korea was incredible. He recalls the development in Seoul being impressive, as there were no undamaged buildings present when he was there in 1952. Now, the buildings, houses, and roadways are numerous and well-constructed. He rode the bullet train from Seoul to Pusan and was impressed that it went over one hundred and eighty miles an hour! He also remembers just how thankful the South Koreans were to Americans for their help during the war.
Prisoners of War
Mathew Thomas speaks about his experiences with prisoners of war (POWs). He recalls how some POWs did not want to return to their home countries and explains that some were left behind or even taken back to India. He shares that other POWs wanted to go to North Korea as they felt they might have a chance of reuniting with their families.
Matthew D. Rennie
Witnessing Poverty and Devastation
Matthew Rennie vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed in Busan upon his arrival. He recalls the refugee camp there with hundreds of thousands of civilians living in cardboard boxes and children begging for food. He comments on their suffering during the cold winters as they possessed inadequate clothing and heating. He describes the countryside as he made his way up to Euijeongbu.
Maurice B. Pears
Korea Revisit: A Time to Remember the War
Maurice Pears shares how he traveled back to Korea in the early 1990's as a guest of the Korean government. He describes remembering how Seoul was in rubble and there was poverty everywhere while traveling around the nation. He shares how impressed by the evolution of the shops, modern businesses, and transportation he was upon his return.
The Forgotten War Being Remembered in Australia
Maurice Pears states that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because it came right after WWII and that was a time when the world was tired of war. He shares how he worked with many organizations to gather donations for a monument in Australia to help people remember the Korean War. He recalls how after thirteen months, he was able to reveal the beautiful Korean War memorial.
Life as a Korean War Soldier and Operation Minden
Maurice Pear recalls living in foxholes during his year in Korea from 1951-1952. He remembers patrolling through small Korean villages that were filled with only women and children. He recounts that during Operation Minden, his troops fought the Chinese for Hill 355, 317, and 227 while enduring many casualties.
Life of a Korean War Soldier
Maurice Pears shares how he was on the front line for one month without a chance to shower or eat a hot meal and recalls dealing with a water shortage. He remembers how each soldier had his own foxhole where he endured snow and heat. He shares that the soldiers were able to travel up and down the Korean hills with the help of Korean civilians.
Chapters and Verses
Maurice Morby describes his job of picking up and delivering supplies. He talks about how they communicated about supplies, how his truck was loaded, and the difficult overland journey.
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.
Condition of Seoul
Mehmet Aksoy describes the condition of the people in Seoul. He describes the people as desperate. Moreover, people were constantly begging for food and supplies. For example, the people would constantly be saying "chab chab." The Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give food to people. Most everything was destroyed. Consequently, the buildings left standing were pock marked by bullets. The situation was desperate.
Mehmet Cemil Yasar
First Experiences of War
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the people he encountered after arriving in Korea. He describes how Busan was a ghost town. He saw only one person, who had frozen to death. The buildings were all riddled with bullets. Overall the war brought hunger, misery, disease and death. Mehmet Cecil Yasar also describes the constant danger. There were many traps set by the enemy.
Devastation of Korea
Mehmet Çöpten describes the condition of Korea when he landed in Busan. The city was destroyed from war. People, specifically children were orphaned and starving. The Turkish troops were being supplied by the American forces and had more than enough food. They would secretly give food to the children and needy.
Caring for Orphans
Mehmet Esen describes how he cared for two orphans he met while in Korea. While he was in a hospital he met Chin Chol. He provided her with money for her schooling. He also provided for another orphan named Kerim. Kerim followed the Turkish troops everywhere they went.
Condition of Busan
Mekonen Derseh describes the condition of Busan. People were starving and Ethiopians gave them leftovers. Ethiopians were supplied by the Americans and needed the supplies also. He tries to make a comparison between Ethiopia and South Korea. The main difference was Ethiopia was not going through war.
Excitement for War
Mekonen Derseh describes an excitement for going to war. He went to Korea partially because of his personal experience with Italy trying to conquer Ethiopia. He did not want this to happen to another country. Mekonen Derseh still has some resentment for Italy and aggressor nations.
Children Crying in the Streets
Melese Tessema arrived in the first detachment on May 6 of 1951. The city was in ruins. Orphaned children cried in the streets. Poverty reigned. He returned five years ago and was surprised at the progress of modern Korea. Haile Selassie donated $400,000 dollars to Korea during the war. Now Melese Tessema notes that Korea’s and Ethiopia’s roles have reversed economically.
One-Room Schoolhouse Education
Melvin Colberg recounts his educational experience in a one-room schoolhouse growing up in Illinois. He shares that learning and even teaching on some days were cooperative efforts between students and the teacher. He expresses that the experience allowed students exposure to an environment conducive to learning how to get along with others and learning how to adapt in preparation for the real-world setting beyond the classroom.
Impressions of Korea in the 1960s
Melvin Colberg recalls his impressions of Korea in the 1960s during his service, a perspective which centers on the years between the war-ravaged Korea of the 1950s and today's modern Korea. He recounts that infrastructure was still in the development stage as there were many dirt roads at the time and few factories present. No large farming equipment as water buffalo were mainly used in the agricultural setting along with a few rototillers here and there. Most people were still poor, living in one-room houses heated through the floor, and many civilians still wore traditional Korean clothing.
American Weaponry and Transfer of Knowledge Contributions
Melvin Colberg offers an account of his life as part of the 83rd Ordinance Battalion in Gimpo, South Korea, which was responsible for special ammunition and served as the northernmost depot. He summarizes the weaponry at the time and Melvin Colberg assisted in the testing and maintenance of the weaponry. There was a transfer of knowledge from American soldiers to the South Korean civilians in many forms and he agrees that these contributions should be highlighted.
South Korea: A Success Story
Melvin Colberg shares his views on the relationship between Korean War veterans and defense veterans along with the legacy of the Korean War. The outcome of the Korean War is a success story for both the South Koreans as well as the Americans. South Korea has changed so much, for the better, since he left, and he acknowledges that it is a shame that this success story is not taught in schools today.
First Impressions of Korea
Merl Smith recalls his first image of Korea. One of the first sights he remembers seeing was that of destroyed tanks. He remembers the Korean civilians he met were all very stoic and never crying. He is still amazed at how well they handled the effects of war. He recalls how each time he would cross paths with children, he would give them something and shares a warming story of giving a shivering girl his winter coat. He adds that he witnessed a totally devastated Seoul.
Merl Smith discusses his impressions of Korea during a visit in 2007. He recalls not believing the recovery of Seoul. He was amazed at the prosperous and happy people, which was in complete contrast to what he witnessed in 1950. He believes the Korean people are resilient people and have a positive outlook on life.
The Hungnam Evacuation
Merl Smith discusses his role in the Heungnam Evacuation. He shares that his ship saved over fourteen thousand people from Heungnam after being called to duty from Pusan. He details how the ship only had supplies for forty-eight men, did not have heat or toilet facilities, and had very little water. He remembers the Chinese blew up the port as the ship was exiting Heungnam and sailing with the Korean refugees for three days while bringing them to safety.
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).
Mike Corona honors the strength of both the US soldiers and the Koreans loading 1-ton jets onto the Landing Ship Tank (LST). South Korean soldiers harnessed wooden boards to their shoulders and connected chains to the jets. Together, four South Korean soldiers sang a song while they dragged the 1-ton jet onto the LST.
House Boys and Sleeping Conditions
Everywhere Mike Corona's unit went, no matter how long they stayed, they had to dig a hole to sleep. He still remembers the two house boys the soldiers named "Pat" and "Mike." These boys cleaned and helped the soldiers with basic daily needs. In return for payment, US soldiers provided the boys with food and clothing.
Michael Daly's earliest political recollection of the Korean War was when he was 5 years old. He and his dad knelt by the side of the bed to say their prayers and he remembers his dad praying, "We thank God tonight for the armistice in the war in Korea." Since Michael Daly was born right before the Korean War, he was too young to remember the draft and other small nuances of the war.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
Mike Scarano was stationed in Korea in 1948 before the war broke out. He remembers about visiting St. Teresa's Orphanage in Incheon while he was there, including candy for the children and playing with them. He also recalls the poor living conditions of the people he saw on the streets.
"There were no draft dodgers"
Mike Scarano describes good relations with the Korean people. He comments that not many people know about WWII or the Korean War, but many know about the issues surrounding the draft in Vietnam. He states that there were no draft dodgers in Korea.
Milton W. Walker
Interactions with the Locals
Milton W. Walker describes his interactions with the local Korean people during the war. He explains that despite the hardships the Korean people endured, they consistently showed their appreciation and gratitude for the American presence by waving American flags along the roadside as his convoy passed them. He goes on to explain that despite being told to limit their interactions, the troops helped the civilians when they could and the civilians helped them as well.
Kitty Movie Experience
Kitty Curry, Monte Curry's wife, was not told a lot about what her husband was experiencing during the Korean War. Before a movie began, instead of previews of other movies, a black and white news reel would review what was life like for the US soldiers in Korea. This included fighting and bombs dropping on the enemy. Kitty Curry's reaction about the news worried her, but her friends and faith kept her going.
Morris J. Selwyn
Rude Soldiers at the American PX
Morris Selwyn's memories of his time in Korea do not involve any direct fighting during his service. Rather, he describes losing a fellow solider and friend to the Asian flu. Another particularly troubling memory is the way U.S. soldiers treated Korean women. While visiting an American PX, he disliked the way U.S. soldiers made rude demands on the Korean women. He has never forgiven the Americans for their behavior.
Neal C. Taylor
First Impressions of Korea
Neal Taylor never thought about Communism when he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He just went there to do a job. After he flew in, he noticed the lack of cars and technology. Sanitation conditions were deplorable.
Return To Korea
Neal Taylor felt pride when he revisited Korea. There was also a feeling of "closure" when he returned because of all the progress created by the people of Korea. He noticed all the trees and tall buildings that were built around the country.
Pain of Captivity
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the suffering in Busan. People were out of hope. Moreover, they had lost everything. Many children, four to six, were parentless. Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give candies, biscuits and chocolates. The Turkish soldiers even had a Korean houseboy. Importantly, they treated him like their own. For example, the houseboy was listed in official Turkish government correspondence. Likewise, the houseboy would complete errands for the Turkish soldiers. His name was Zeki or clever.
Nelson S. Ladd
Dear John Letter
Nelson Ladd was very in love with a young lady and he planned to get engaged before deployment. However, after 6 months of being overseas, he received a letter from his fiance stating that she had met someone else. There was nothing he could do being 7,000 miles away from home, and by the time he had returned, she was already married to someone else.
Advancements in Korea: Then vs Today
After having visited Korea in 2013, Nelson Ladd is still amazed by the advancements Korea has made and how ambitious the people have been throughout the years. He had seen images of what Korea looked like before his revisit, however he had feared that Korea would have become like many East Asian countries, disparaged and unable to recover. Nelson Ladd described the Taft-Katusa Agreement (1905) between the US and Japan that led occupation of Korea and the Philippines that created the oppression upon the peoples of those countries.
Military Allowances during Korean War
When Nelson Ladd was drafted into the war, he was paid $88.50 a month. By the time he came home as a Corporal, he earned $135 plus 50$ in overseas pay. Nelson Ladd said he earned enough to buy his first car for $1,600 and he gave money to his family.
Building a Hospital
Nina Movin recounts her father's medical support in Daegu. In August of 1951, when the hospital ship he was working for made its first departure, Rasmus Movin decided to stay in Daegu to support the soldiers and civilians. He worked with the United Nations to set up a hospital in a school building in Daegu.
Noel G. Spence
Conditions for Korean Children
Noel G. Spence describes his duty driving trucks of waste. He recounts how desperate Korean children would come to the dump to find supplies. Seoul was captured and re-captured many times. People were in desperate conditions. The "lucky" Koreans had boxes for houses, clothing from soldiers and and scraps for food.
Relations with Locals
Noreen Jankowski describes the "house boy" who was with her husband's unit in Korea. She recalls her husband sharing how he stayed mostly with them, worked for them, and would take what money he made home to his family. She mentions sending the boy toy guns via mail. Noreen also reads a letter the "house boy" wrote to Ed in 1954.
"Yankee, Go Home"
Noreen Jankowski recalls her husband sharing memories of Korean civilians telling him and other American soldiers to go home as they did not want them there. She points to pictures stating that the Koreans wanted unification or death. She adds that when she met a Korean American years later, he was thankful for the sacrifices American soldiers had made for South Korea.
Norma L. Holmes
Norma Holmes shares that she had the opportunity to visit Korea with her husband in 1989. She recalls having a wonderful time as a wife of a Korean War veteran. She recounts that they were treated like royalty while they were there by the Korean people, including Korean children.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Ollie Thompson did not know anything about Korea until the Korean War broke out. He joined the military because his brother joined and Ollie Thompson felt that he could help out during the war. He even thought that maybe his effort helped out the next generation of Korean civilians.
Osman Yasar Eken
Osman Eken describes how the condition of the Korean people increased his fighting morale. The Korean people were hungry, wearing shabby clothes, and did not have a home. People were just wandering around begging for food. This condition made Osman Even even more determined as a fighter.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
Kids Taking Care of Kids
Patrick Hickey remembers all the little boys without parents. He recalls taking in a boy named Kim who was about seven years old to do little jobs around camp. He shares how he would cut off the legs of his trousers to give the orphans something to wear. He recalls how some children carried babies on their backs - kids caring for kids.
Paul H. Cunningham
Radar Sites in Korea and a Last Look in February 1952
Paul Cunningham set up a large radar station near the Kimpo Air Base, and that ended his seventeen-month deployment in Korea after spending two long winters there. He recalls leaving Korea with the image of poverty, huts, and dirt roads in February 1952. He also remembers the rail transportation office in Seoul as being all broken down and adds that he never thought Korea would rebuild itself like it has today.
Korean Medical Experience
Paul Olsen describes the ailments of the civilians the Swedish Red Cross Hospital treated for. Tuberculosis and worms are generally associated with poor and/or crowded living conditions. Paul Olsen was the only X-Ray doctor in the camp and and no other doctor had experience with X-Rays.
Photos around the Swedish Red Cross Hospital
Paul Olsen provides pictures of the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. He describes living conditions at the hospital and how free time was limited. He provides a picture around the hospital in Busan. Paul Olsen also provides pictures of the civilians he treated and describes the various ailments.
Life within the Confines of the Hospital
Paul Olsen describes life inside the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. The doctors could not go outside the converted high school. So, various lessons and lectures were provided to the doctors to provide excitement. Paul Olsen describes how his experience was different from other doctors, because his wife was with him.
Pell E. Johnson
Pell E. Johnson remembers all the details about returning home from his duties in Korea. When he got home, his outlook on life changed. United States civilians did not understand the lifestyle soldiers had lived. He also feared the uncertainty of the future to come.
Philip Vatcher was most bothered by the murder of a military officer in Korea. He witnessed an officer killed because his life was worth less than the value of a military jeep. Despite the circumstance, he understands that war is war.
Philip Vatcher details a time when they rescued a guy on the road. This man's intestines were outside of his body. They had to clean up his intestines and wrap him up. The man's life was sparred and he kept communications with him after the war.
Letters, Cookies and War
Phillip Olson tried his best to consume his time while he was not on the front lines working with large equipment. He wrote letters to his family about Korea. They in turn sent cookies and letters back to him while he was stationed there from 1952-1953.
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.
Death All Around While Landing in Pusan
Phillip Olson could smell the port by Pusan even before he entered the bay. Dead soldiers were still floating near the shore while dead fish also added to the smell of decay. He was shocked at the beginning because it was not what he would imagine it would look like in Korea.
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.
Brothers and Relatives
Rahim Günay describes revisiting South Korea in 2008. The buildings of steel and thirty to forty stories amazed him. He enjoyed how Korean textbooks discuss Turkish involvement. Koreans showed their appreciation during his revisit. Rahim Günay identifies with Koreans and thinks of them as relatives and brothers.
Being Drafted and Going to Korea
Rahim Günay describes how his regiment, Bergama Regiment, was drafted to go to Korea. He served as a Cryptanalyst. When first arriving in Korea the destruction of Korea amazed him. He also describes the conditions of the people. People were living in shabby shelters.
Not a Forgotten War in Korea
Ralph Blum revisited Korea in 2012 with his son. His view of Korea changed because of the advances he saw. He visited the DMZ, Seoul, and he wore his Korean War cap and jacket. Everybody thanked him for his service including cab drivers and school children. His revisit answered his question about why he served in Korea.
Ralph Burcham arrived in Busan in 1952. He felt that the scene was "heart wrenching" to see shoeless children running next to the trains in the hopes that U.S. soldiers would toss out food. Families were so poor and willing to do anything for food scraps.
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.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
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.
Reginald Rawls arrived back home after being gone for three years. He was stationed in Japan before being sent to fight in the Korean War. Most people did not know where he was, or what he had been doing since the media had not discussed the Korean War on the home front.
A Strong Love for Korean Civilians
Reginald Rawls believes that the Korean War should be recognized and remembered.
That's why many people call this war, the "Forgotten War." Any extra food, he gave to the Korean civilians because most were starving. During the war, Reginald Rawls had many interactions with Korean civilians, one man was even his driver.
Richard A. Houser
Leaving for Korean War in 1953
Richard Houser took a ship and landed in Inchon in April 1953 after a lonely 20 day ship ride to Korea. While traveling to his base in the Chorwon Valley known as the Iron Triangle, Richard Houser was able to see Seoul leveled, small thatched homes, and dirt roads all around him.
The Ceasefire, Korean Civilians, and the Death of a Friend
Richard Houser protected the 38th parallel throughout the winter of 1953 from a trench and Camp Casey. After the ceasefire civilians wanted to go back to their land to farm, but it was filled with mines which took the lives of many civilians.
Returning to the US After Serving in the US Army
Richard Houser returned to the US in the spring of 1934 and most of the people from his town didn't even know he was gone. Newspapers didn't publicize the Korean War since it was tired from WWII, so most of the veterans did not get a warm welcome home.
Richard Houser went back to Korea with his wife a few years before the interview was taped. The bright lights, huge buildings, and prosperity of the Korean people made him proud for fighting to free the Korean civilians.
Richard A. Simpson
Richard Simpson describes the despair of the Korean people. He describes an incident of a woman trying to commit suicide by lying on train tracks and describes giving simple necessities such as a shirt to Korean people. Richard Simpson also describes the actions by troops.
Tragedy of War
Richard Simpson describes the raping of a South Korean woman by an Allied soldier. He describes the utter depravity of the actions of the soldier and no respect for the human race. Richard Simpson describes this as the tragedy of war.
War, What Is It Good For?
Richard Simpson describes war through religion. He questions what God thinks of war and ultimately what comes from war. Richard Simpson discusses the impact of the war on his life and how the war helped him enter the priesthood.
Radio Maintenance Specialty and a Civilian Encounter
Each soldier is trained with a specialty to strengthen the military. Richard Bartlett's duties were to keep the radio equipment working and operational as it was used to guide aircraft along the 38th Parallel. There was a lot of on-the-job-training. While stationed at Osan, Richard Bartlett encountered many civilians off base.
The Air Force's All-Korean Basketball Team Experience
Richard Bartlett played for the All-Korean Basketball Team while in the Air Force and stationed in Korea. He traveled to Seoul and played a variety of Korean teams. These experiences allowed him a chance to get to know some Korean civilians. The Korean teams were comprised of talented basketball players.
Legacy of the Korean Defense Veteran
Richard Bartlett believes that the defense veterans serve and fill the void after the Korean War ended. He feels defense veterans over the years have done a very good job keeping the North and South Koreans separated since the war. He wishes he had personally done more to help the Korean people while there.
Helping a Father See His Son
The most memorable moment in Korea was when a young soldier from Iowa ran up daily for mail call to get information about his new baby. Every time they got mail, the young soldier received many pictures of his son bathing in the tub (always naked), he was so proud. The young soldier asked Richard Brandt when he was going home and he replied that it was within two weeks, but after speaking to his commander, Richard Brandt allowed the young soldier to go home in his place to see his son.
First Impressions of Korea
Richard Davis recounts landing in Pusan and offers his first impressions of Korea. He recalls what older gentlemen were wearing and remembers many children asking for food. He states that his impressions of Korea made him appreciate living in the US.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Richard Davis describes the Thanksgiving meal offered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls airplanes dropping the food, it being cooked, collecting the food, and it being frozen by the time he could eat it. He recounts sitting on food to keep it warm. He mentions eating c-rations as well as vegetables from Korean civilian gardens which gave him and other soldiers worms due to being fertilized by human waste.
Thoughts on War
Richard Davis shares his thoughts on war. He vocalizes that it does not really settle anything and that many lives are lost in the process, often at the hands of politicians. He comments on the need for a military force and offers his thoughts on how to stock US forces.
Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.
Navy Injuries Led to Lifelong Pain
Richard Boxwell experienced lifelong injuries he incurred from his service on an aircraft carrier. A plane ran over part of his leg. Earplugs were not used on aircraft carriers during the Korean War and this led to his permanent hearing loss.
Travel, Food, and UN Attacks on Chinese as a POW
Robert Battdorff and one other US POW were forced to walk south to the 38th parallel in May 1951 as the US soldiers were pushing the Chinese back in battle. He was told that he was brought down south just in case if the Chinese came across additional prisoners. He would walk at night 6 days a week and then take Sunday off. Since the Chinese were traveling with supplies during the night, UN pilots looked for the headlights of the trucks to know where to hit.
Robert C. Jagger
Impressions of Korean People
Robert C Jagger discusses his impression of the Korean people he met, both in 1952 and in visits back since. He is amazed at the progress Koreans have made since the war. He describes the poor living conditions he saw contrasted to Seoul today.
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.
Feeding Hungry Civilians
Robert Davidson shares how sorry he felt for the Korean civilians while there. He speaks of how many had no food or proper clothing and of how GIs would give them candy or whatever they had to spare. He recalls an incident at the mess hall where GIs were collecting the food they were not eating to give to the Koreans. He recounts an angered lieutenant informing the mess sergeant that the GIs should be eating the food, not giving leftovers to civilians. He describes the mess sergeant standing his ground and stating that he was in charge of running his kitchen and would continue to do as he saw fit.
Most Difficult Thing
Robert Davidson shares a heartwarming story about assisting a pregnant Korean civilian. He recalls having been out with a fellow soldier working on a rock crusher, and on their drive back, he noticed something odd along the road. He recounts finding a pregnant Korean woman in the middle of labor and describes how they loaded her into the back of their truck and took her to a nearby MASH unit. He explains how the unit refused to offer her services until he spoke with the commander and urged him to do so.
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 S. Chessum
Forgotten Men of the Unknown War
Robert Chessum describes how the Korean War is "forgotten." He explains how there was nothing for the troops when they returned. Robert Chessum also describes how changing the perception of the Korean War will be difficult, because teaching about war is unpopular.
Hamheung Evacuation aka Hungnam Evacuation (code name Christmas Cargo)
Robert Talmadge talks about the Miracle Evacuation of Korean civilians from Hungnam including the loading of the civilians onto the USS Victory. He remembers 99,000 civilians on the pier that loaded onto the ship. He explains how the civilians had to leave all of their belongings before boarding.
From Rubble to Riches!
Rodney Ramsey is the president of his Korean War regiment's organization and ever since 1989, they meet for a yearly reunion. The year of the interview was the 27th reunion and about 50 members attend. During his Korea revisit in 1991, Rodney Ramsey was shocked to see the improvement in living conditions. He took a picture when he was in Seoul, South Korea in 1952 and it only had an ox cart and a military jeep, but in 1991 during his revisit, it was filled with cars.
Legacy of the Korean War Veterans
Rodney Ramsey was proud that the UN troops for pushing back the Chinese and North Koreans. He wishes that they could have made all of Korea non-communist, but life was better for the civilians in the South. The Korean War was named the "Forgotten War" due to it being called a conflict, not a war. After the Korean War, civilians on the home front did not see the war on television like they did for the Vietnam War. As the Korean War veterans came home, many people did not even know that they had left to fight in a war.
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.
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.
Songs from Korea
Roland Fredh describes music during his service. He sings a classic Korean song for the viewer. He recalls his favorite Swedish music that he would sing in Korea. Yet, he is much more impacted by the Korean music and songs that he learned while in Korea.
Ronald Bourgon comments on the changes South Korea has made since the Korean War. He recalls scenes from his revisit experience and compares them to years past. He expands upon how genuinely nice the people are and expresses his gratitude for having played a small role in helping South Korea become what it is today.
Russell A. King explains how the Korean civilians suffered. He remembers that people did not have a lot of food, especially in Incheon which had been badly damaged. However, the civilians were extremely grateful for what they received. He states that he thought it seemed senseless that the civilians suffered.
The Chinese Military Was Impressive
Russell A. King was impressed the most by the civilian population. He was also amazed by the discipline and the organization of the Chinese military. He remembers taking Chinese prisoners from one prison camp to the other. With ingenuity, and they made their own communist style uniforms out of the clothes they were given.
Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes his feelings about going to war and what he though when first seeing Korea. He was not afraid ro fight and was instead eager to help due to the destruction and poverty he witnessed.
Salvatore Scarlato describes the story behind a drawing he was given. He shares that during a revisit to South Korea in 1999, a high school student promised him she would create a drawing depicting the relationship of the United States and South Korea. He recalls the drawing arriving in the mail several months later and states that her drawing shows how, after sixty years, the United States and South Korea are still united.
Japanese Imperial Control
Snagmoon Olsson describes life as a child under Japanese Imperial control. The Japanese restricted children in school from speaking Korean. Students lost a coupon when speaking Korean. Other punishments and control measures included the Japanese changing the names of the people of Korea to Japanese names.
Life During the War
Sangmoon Olsson describes her life during the Korean War. Her brother had a high position under the Japanese Imperial control and when the communists took over, they wanted to capture her brother. Sangmoon had to go into hiding for a total of eight months, interrupting her nursing studies. When the Allies eventually pushed back the Communists, Sangmoon Olsson was able to complete her nursing studies.
Swedish Red Cross
Sangmoon Olsson describes the services the Swedish Red Cross offered. The Swedish Red Cross in 1954 treated mostly civilians, but a few veterans because the war had ended in 1953. The Swedish Red Cross offered Surgery, Operation, and Plastic Surgery. Sangmoon Olsson describes that her training prepared her well to help the civilians of Korea in the various medical services.
Revisiting Korea and Socialism
Sangmoon Olsson describes her experience when re-visiting Korea after many years. She did not want to put out her family and make them come to her. She remembered the roads of "old Korea." However, the family met her and reminded her the country had changed and was not the "old country." She was filled with pride and amazed at the rebuilding of South Korea. Sangmoon Olsson also describes that Sweden, being more left on the political spectrum. Being left probably impacted Sweden's positive relations with North Korea.
Korean War Veterans Involvement
Sotirios Patrakis details his pathway to involvement with Korean War Veterans. He shares that as a member of the Army reserve officers, he took part in a convention in Korea commemorating the start of the Korean War. He recalls how kind the Korean people were and felt it a pity that there was no opportunity for veterans from Greece to gather together and relive that period of their lives. He comments on Korea's progress since the war and is proud of its economic efforts.
School Construction Assistance
Stelios Stroubakis shares his experience assisting with the construction of a school large enough to serve 200 students when complete. He recalls that the school was located next to a Greek Orthodox church. He recounts putting tiles on the roof and adds that the school was still under construction when he left.
Photos from the Past
Stelios Stroubakis provides a glimpse of the past through several personal photos. He offers a picture viewing of his unit's Korean translator as well as photos related to a baptism which took place near the school he helped construct. He additionally provides a photo of the soldiers and staff who aided in the construction of the school.
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.
Impressions of Korea and of Koreans
Stephen Frangos reflects on his impressions of Korea and of Koreans. He describes a Seoul that was devastated but adds he did see signs of revival. He remembers having tremendous optimism for Korea because of the hard working and industrious people. He comments that he knew they would be successful but states he did not realize just how successful they would turn out to be.
Return to Korea
Suwan Chinda recalls his return visit to Korea. He describes his experience and the changes he witnessed, stating that the transformation was unbelievable compared to Thailand which is still a developing country. He shares that he never dreamed Korea would be what it has become and adds that he felt welcomed there.
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya
Ethiopian Donations Create an Orphanage
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes donating money that opened an orphanage in Korea. Ethiopian soldiers had endured in battle. In addition, they also donated money to Korean people suffering during the war. The orphanage was able to help many Korean children. Korea has not forgotten about this donation.
Transformation of Korea
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes the transformation of Korea. He describes the war-torn Korea. Buildings were destroyed by the enemy. Even the water was contaminated. However, now Korea has become green and everything is clean. This is a major difference from his war-torn experience. He is happy that Korea has undergone this transformation. He is not asking for compliments.
Remembering through Photos
Ted Bacha remembers that many people were killed. He uses photos to explain what they did on the front lines and all of the lives that were lost. While he was there, a little boy gave him some film as a gift for helping him during that time- Ted Bacha's father developed the pictures and said that he couldn't show them for years. Ted Bacha even had a shop where he would display his Korean War memorabilia.
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen
Arriving in Korea
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes his voyage to Korea. Men aboard the ship were mixed between Ethiopians and Greeks. At first, both countries were friendly but soon erupted into constant fighting. Upon arriving in Korea, Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen did not see anything memorable. He describes one farmer having an ox, but that was it.
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.
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.
Living and Working Conditions in Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller was a supply specialist who helped provide clothes, oil, and food rations to the troops. He stayed in quonset huts, had cold showers, and ate a hot meal most of his time in Korea.
Graphic Encounters in the Bay
Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. He explains the task of taking enemy remains to a location that appeared to be quarantined due to the presence of severe illness. The location was in a bay area off the southern coast of Korea. He explains seeing people with sickness, leaving the impression that he likely encountered a leper colony.
Thomas M. McHugh
A Unique Respect for Veterans
Thomas M. McHugh describes the Korean people as the most thankful in the world to American veterans. He tells of his amazement at the efforts the people went to in making sure his needs were met during his visit to Korea. He explains that seeing citizens on the sidewalk respect him for his service was shocking, compared to how the rest of the world reacts to American veterans.
Thomas Norman Thompson
Laundry on the War Front
Thomas Norman Thompson recalls the winter conditions faced by men on the Korean war front. He tells that after he washed his socks in the cold river, he had to put them in his underarms, using his body heat to dry the socks. He remembers that Korean women would do laundry for the entire company he was in. Additionally, he would pay $1.00 for the women to clean and press his uniform. He tells of how much gratitude the Korean people continue to show American veterans.
The Forgotten War
Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.
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.
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.
Korea: Unbelievable Differences Between 1952 to 2000
Thomas Parkinson shares how he saw unbelievable differences between the time he was stationed in Korea in 1952 to 2000 during his first revisit. He describes going back four times since 2000 and recalls how the advancements in buildings, technology, and bridges was astounding. He shares how the changes from the Korean cardboard houses to the multi-stored houses was a visible difference.
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.
Fighting and Living in Korea From 1952-1953
Thomas Parkinson recalls fighting from the Kansas Line and the Jamestown Line while in Korea from 1952-1953. He remembers eating American C-Rations, sleeping in trenches, and writing letters home to his mom along with pen pals from England.
The Korean War Yielded the Most Difficult and Rewarding Moments
Thomas Parkinson shares that his most difficult time was when a Jeep landed on his legs with petrol and napalm spilling around him. He recalls how, even though it was such a scary time, he will never forget the Indian regiment that helped him recover in a field ambulance. He shares that the most rewarding moment was related to helping the Korean children in and out of Seoul and the surrounding cities.
Journey to Korea
Thomas Tsuda recalls his journey to Korea and landing in Incheon in September of 1952. He speaks of the destruction he witnessed and shares that he felt sorry for the Korean people. He adds that he soon found himself on the front lines fighting the Chinese.
Thomas Tsuda reflects upon his revisit to Korea. He compares modern Korea with the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on its buildings and prosperous economy. He describes the Korean people as friendly and kind.
Hill 355 and Military Life
Tom Collier describes the fighting at Hill 355 and said many New Zealand soldiers died in the battle. He was never in imminent danger, but there was a constant threat from Chinese artillery. Tom Collier also fondly recollects a South Korean houseboy who was about fourteen years old that completed chores such as laundry and Tom Collier said the boy lost all his money gambling. He looked for the houseboy upon return to South Korea, but could not find him.
Pusan and Seoul Living Conditions
Tom Collier describes a rough trip to Pusan by ship and overall conditions of the people. People would make houses of anything they could, mostly tin and cardboard. The people did not know English and lived in poverty. Tom Collier then transferred to Seoul and describes the conditions of the people as similar to Pusan.
Tom Collier returned to South Korea in 2004 and was amazed at the different place Seoul had become. He tried to locate landmarks from his days fighting in Korea and could find nothing that was similar because of the transformation. Tom Collier is also proud of his service and how South Korea has turned out.
Tom Muller describes life on the front lines and compares this to the TV show M*A*S*H*. He likes the show, but disagrees with the drama and the antics of the show. He describes having a potbelly stove that was adequate up to 10 feet away. He goes further and describes the South Korean people, scrawny and begging for food near Busan.
Landing at Busan
Tommy Clough recounts how he knew little about Korea prior to shipping out on a five and a half week voyage to Korea. He recollects his first impressions of Korea, sharing that there was a stench in the air as they neared the shoreline. He remembers a United States African American band playing as they disembarked the ship and recalls South Korean women dressed traditionally and handing out apples.
Chinese Enter and Refugee Recollections
Tommy Clough remembers advancing with his unit up to Pyongyang and within sight of the Yalu River. He shares that he and fellow soldiers began to wonder what was going on when they say American soldiers and Korean refugees coming back rather than advancing. He recounts how the Chinese had entered the war and crossed the Yalu River, forcing the Americans to retreat and causing the Korean civilians to flee. He comments on the poor conditions of the refugees.
Tony and Tom Bazouska
Tony and Tom Bazouska recall their experience returning home. They share that upon arrival they stopped in at a hangout where they would often meet their buddies prior to the war. They explain that many of their buddies simply asked where they had been and share that few people knew about the war or would inquire as to why they would even go there to serve. They admit that the guys back home treated them differently when they came back from Korea and that nothing felt the same. They elaborate on the kind relationship with the Korean people, however, and describe being treated with great respect.
Hiding Under a Bull
While on patrol there was a tip from a local that there was a Chinese soldier hiding in a house they had just searched. There was a cow shed attached to the main house. The local Korean civilian pointed to a bull and when Tony White poked the bull a Chinese soldier who was hiding in straw underneath the bull bolted out of the house. The Chinese soldier was shot in the leg by one of the British soldiers who was about a hundred yards away.
Trygve Jensen explains why he chose to go to an active war from his peaceful service in the Norwegian Army occupying Germany. At the time, he thought the experience treating wounded patients would be good for his paramedic career. He arrived during the final three months of the war and assisted with surgeries.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
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.
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.
First Impressions of Korea near Busan (Pusan Perimeter)
Vartkess Tarbassian was surprised when he saw the devastation in the Pusan Perimeter (Busan). There were shell holes from the mortars all across the land. Korean civilians were staving and missing shelter.
Vartkess Tarbassian struggled with nightmares once he returned home from Korea. His mother would have to wake him when he was screaming in his sleep. After about a year, the nightmares began to go away.
Pride and Family during Imprisonment
Veli Atasoy describes his pride in South Korea. He sacrificed so much being imprisoned, subsequently he is more prideful of his service in Korea than his native country of Turkey. While imprisoned, he had no communication with his family. His family had no news and even asked the Turkish government about their son. Therefore a certain hardship of not knowing and suffering occurred between Veli Atasoy and his family occurred.
Supporting Infantry behind the Front Lines
Vern Rubey comments on his branch change from infantry to artillery which he was pleased with and recalls landing at Incheon. He describes the role of the service battery that he was assigned to as a First Sergeant in the Army. He shares memories of the scenery he saw while traveling throughout Korea supporting differing artillery units.
Vern Rubey comments on his return to Korea and speaks highly of the Korean people, praising their friendliness and support. He details his trip in particular and recalls the progress Korea had made since his departure back in the 1950's. He offers his opinion on Korean-US relations.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Images of South Korea and Working with UN Soldiers
Victor Spaulding describes the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on the state of the buildings and peasant life. He explains it was not the images of South Korea seen today and likens the images to going back in time two hundred years. He details fighting with other United Nations troops. He elaborates mostly on the courage of the Korean soldiers (KATUSAS) and says most historical accounts depict them inaccurately. He comments on serving with other countries' troops as well.
Victor D. Freudenberger
Victor Freudenberger describes the usage of butterfly bombs by the United States Air Force. He details this particular bomb and his role in destroying over six hundred of them when they were no longer needed. He recalls civilians sneaking into the danger zone that had been roped off at night and bombs detonating, wounding and killing those who stepped on them. He reflects on the time his own life was spared despite walking around a bomb during this particular assignment.
Victor Freudenberger talks about his impressions of the Korean people while he was stationed at Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the suffering of civilians and families being displaced. He describes observing a Korean woman washing clothes in sub-zero temperature at six in the morning and marvels at the resilience and commitment of the Korean people. He comments on the war atrocities committed by the Chinese against civilians he saw along the way.
Victor Max Ramsey
Friend or Enemy?
Victor Max Ramsey recalls his interactions with guerrilla fighters. He describes an incident where he passed two horsemen. The two men later committed atrocities against a United States camp. He discusses how one can't tell who was an enemy and who was just a civilian.
The Tank on the Front-lines
Vincent Ariola remembers that South Korean soldiers were present in camps with American soldiers, but not brought north with tanks to prevent them from getting killed by American soldiers who could confuse them with the enemy. He describes fighting against forces atop Hill 266, at the Battle of Old Baldy. He remembers seeing a young American soldier in a foxhole before closing the tank hatch when firing broke out, and then seeing the same soldier dead after the firing stopped. His recollection includes his description of the hot atmosphere inside the tank.
Life in Daegu During the Korean War
This clip shows primary source pictures that Vigil Malone took in Daegu, South Korea. The pictures illustrate living and working conditions of the South Koreans in Daegu. The primary sources touch upon the economic disparity among South Koreans during the war; some lived in farmhouses, while others lived in huts.
Walter Kreider Jr.
Contrasting Korea: 1950s vs 1980s
Walter Kreider Jr. contrasts the Korea he saw in the the 1950s to the Korea he revisited in the 1980s. He shares his recollections of Seoul and the destruction he saw while serving. He comments on how the war left many children orphaned. He shares that the Korea he saw on his return visit starkly contrasted his memories as there were many cars and buildings, and he comments on its beauty. He attributes the transformation to Korea's quest for education.
Warren Housten Thomas
Revisit to Korea
Warren Thomas revisited Korea and he appreciated how well the Korean civilians and the Republic of Korean government treated him. The streets were filled with civilians and he was excited to see the population surviving so well. Even after returning home to the United States, he continues to receive letters and presents from South Koreans.
Warren Thomas had difficulties communicating with family back home. Most soldiers in the Korean War used letters to stay in contact with family. It took about 4 to 6 weeks to receive a letter.
Chapter 312: "The best thing that ever happened"
Warren Middlekauf discusses the Korean War Veteran's Association Chapter 312 located in Maryland. Chapter 312 is the most active chapter in Maryland, the East Coast, and perhaps the country. He also makes a contemporary connection analyzing the help and support veterans receive today, unlike the Korean War Veterans who never even got a proper welcome home. He remarks about the numerous entities that exist today to honor, and provide assistance to war veterans.
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.
School, Letters, and the Excitement of the Armistice
Warren Middlekauf's military base was located near a Korean school that continued through the war. During the armistice of 1953, he was in Korea and was excited to send the US soldiers home. Throughout his time in the war, Warren Middlekauf wrote letters to his wife along with money to save for after the war.
A Quiet, Ignored, Forgotten War
Warren Ramsey was stationed in Germany from 1952-1955 when the Korean War ended. He considered it a quiet war because United States civilians were not informed through mass media about the Korean War since WWII just ended 5 years before the war started. Since Warren Ramsey fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, he was able to compare the experiences of soldiers coming home from war. He was ignored for one and called "Baby Killer" after the other war.
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.
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.
Hey Bill Where Have You Been?
William Burns was very excited to come home after his time in the war because he missed his mother's favorite chicken dish. After meeting up with a friend back on the home front, he did not remember that William Burns went away to war due to the lack of media coverage. The Forgotten War was definitely evident in his hometown of Auburn, NY because WWII was so publicized and there were not a lot of information coming to the US about the Korean War.
US Soldiers Fighting Along Side KATUSA
William Burns worked with many KATUSA and Korean civilians during his 11 months in Korea during the war. The Koreans who worked with the US troops worked hard, but had a difficulty with communication. William Burns showed personal pictures of two KATUSA that he worked closely with during the war, but he remembers about 10-15 were stationed with this regiment.
William D. Freeman
Gone for Good
William Freeman elaborates on how he has no interest in returning to the Korean Peninsula. He communicates his knowledge of South Korea's successes today and adds he has a great rapport with the South Koreans in his community. He shares his pride for his war efforts but continues by stating that he had enough experience in Korea for a lifetime.
Thievery in Wartime
William Kurth describes stealing as one of the biggest challenges he faced while serving. He recounts both American soldiers and Korean civilians stealing supplies to either eat or sell for a profit. He recounts building relationships with several Koreans throughout his service.
The Songs and Culture of Korea
William Kurth offers his experiences with the deeply saturated Korean culture. He describes physical appearances of the Korean people, the Korean alphabet, and a folk song. He performs his own rendition and shortened version of the Korean folk song, "Arirang."
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.
Arrival in Korea in 1952
William O'Kane arrived in Korean in 1952 at Sokcho-Ri. He was assigned his job as a wireman with Head Quarters Company 2nd Battalion 11th Marines. He remembers a lot about the conditions in Korea when he arrived and the conditions of the villages.
Interaction with Korean Marine Corps and Anzacs
William O'Kane worked with a seventeen year old Korean interpreter for his battery group. The Korean Marine Corps were tough and they worked on the left side of William O'Kane's regiment. He also fought along side with the Commonwealth Division of New Zealand (Anzacs/Australians) and had fun sharing stories about politics.
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.
Yilma Belachew describes the condition of Korea upon arrival at Busan. He describes the destruction he observed. For example, there were deceased people lying in fields and destroyed buildings. However, the people of Korea were still working in the fields during the Civil War. Yilma Belachew also describes having to retrain on newer American weapons in Korea.