Tag: Cold winters
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
Harsh Weather in Korea
Al Lemieux describes the weather conditions in Korea. He explains how harsh the summers were for the young men who had to carry heavy loads. He also mentions the effects of the monsoon season. Additionally, he describes the heavy snowfall they experienced, touching on the various types of harsh weather that they experienced during the war.
Arriving in Korea and Placement
Alan Guy recounts his arrival in Korea. He remembers bitter cold and a horrendous smell as Koreans had just fertilized nearby rice patties with human manure. He recollects a band playing rousing music upon arrival and being transported to a transit camp in Busan. He details his placement in a field hygiene section.
Alan Guy details the health education he provided to soldiers in the infantry. He shares the means by which soldiers on the front lines were instructed to avoid malaria by taking pills and frostbite by putting their bare feet on their mate's stomach if one thought he was getting frostbite. He describes the various trench latrines used based on the time frame spent in an area.
The Cold went Right to Your Soul
Albert Kleine felt that the cold weather was the worst part of fighting in Korea. Even though he was stuck there fighting the Chinese in the terrible weather, he doesn't hate them because they were only told to fight. He wasn't fighting the man, he was fighting the country.
Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino
Al D'Agostino is describing the way in which men were sent to Fort Hood for basic training when the Korean War started. From either Fort Hood or Fort Dixon they were sent on a plane straight to Japan and then on to Korea. However, his training was a bit different as he was a replacement and had cold weather training instead.
"Radio Communications Defense and Guerillas"
Al D'Agostino describes his role in establishing a radio relay to communicate with the soldiers. The winters were very cold and they had to set up shelter on a mountain. They handled their own defense against the guerilla fighters which was an extremely difficult job.
Alford Rodriguez Rivera
Living Conditions in the Foxholes
Alford Rodriguez Rivera recounts his meals and his living conditions during the war. He explains that he ate C-rations and slept in foxholes during his time there. He shares that he did not know anything about Korea before arriving. He recollects Korea being mountainous with many trees and there being snow in the winter.
Harsh Weather Conditions in Korea
Alfred Curtis recalls the harsh weather conditions while in Korea. He describes extreme cold and heat and recounts excessive rain as well. He mentions specific gear--rubber-lined boots and a parka--that kept him from developing frostbite during the cold months.
Allan A. Mavin
No Water and Warm Food
Allan A. Mavin remembers his most difficult moments during the Korean War. He describes his living conditions with no water, electricity, and living in tents. He describes lack of hygiene and warm food.
Highway Through The Danger Zone
Allen Clark described the harrowing scene he experienced coming out of the narrow road while leaving the Chosin Reservoir making them easy targets for the enemy. Allen Clark was sitting in the back seat of a Jeep when the enemy fired a shot that punctured through the gas tank (quickly emptying it), and shooting a hole right through the tire. They jumped out of the jeep and ran behind a small hill that was just beyond some railroad tracks as a parapet while the Jeep driver hooked their vehicle to a truck and pulled it out of Kunwoori.
G.I. Gear at Chosin
Allen Clark explained different GI provisions that were a life saver. He describes his field jacket, and his overcoat manufactured by London Fog that is reinforced with additional material that you slept and lived in. The temperature dropped to 42 degrees below zero and the soldiers covered themselves with the scarf all the way up to his eyes to prevent them from freezing.
Star for the Chosin Few at Koto-ri
As an Assistant Artillery Liaison Officer of the 7th Marine Regiment, Allen Clark told the story of the Frozen Chosin, who survived the 42 degrees below zero temperatures for several days while attempting to secure a place in the mountains that gave them an advantage point that overlooked a bridge. He described the conditions at Koto-ri were so bad, the scarf he described was the only thing that kept him from further hypothermia damage. Anxious and ready to go as the weather began to improve, Colonel "Chester" Pulley on a clear night had pointed to the star that was in the sky and said, "We are going in the morning," and that rallying point for the Marines when they needed it the most.
The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War
Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.
Alves James “AJ” Key
Korea in 1968-1970
Alves James "AJ" Key describes what life was life for him as a member of the Air Force stationed in Korea between 1968 to 1970. He describes the weather. He also explains how the base where he was stationed was too crowded and that aircraft were constantly leaving and arriving.
Alvin A. Gould
The 10th Special Services Company
Alvin Gould describes the 10th Special Services Company. He talks about the formation, organization, and mission of this unit that was put together to entertain troops. He mentions that they often performed their shows in dangerous areas near the front lines.
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.
Andrew M. Eggman
Andrew M. Eggman describes the bitter cold weather he encountered in Korea. He discusses coming in contact with Chinese soldiers while serving in perimeter security during the Chinese attack at Yudamni. He recalls how the men tried to focus on various conversational topics to keep their minds off the bitter cold.
Tootsie Rolls on the Front Lines
Andrew M. Eggman talks about how code-words were devised by the American soldiers for confusing the Chinese enemy when having to call for supplies. He describes how the use of the term "tootsie roll" was misinterpreted as the actual candy, rather than as the code of a needed supply of weaponry. He explains how nice it is for veterans to receive tootsie rolls in remembrance of when they got them on the front during the Korean War.
Andrew V. “Buddy” Blair
Cold Weather and Living Conditions
Andrew V. "Buddy" Blair describes how shocking the cold air of Korea was to him. He shares that on one particular occasion, they were forced to spend the night in a foxhole, and their shelter half froze to the ground. He adds that living conditions for his unit mainly consisted of tents with wooden floors and potbellied stoves to keep warm during the cold months.
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.
Finding the Remains of Chinese Soldiers
Tony Vaquero tells a story when he and several of his comrades, while exploring the countryside near his station, found the aftermath of a battle. At the top of a heavily damaged hilltop they found shoes, soon after finding the remains of Chinese soldiers.
Conditions in Korea
Aragaw Mselu describes the conditions he fought in. He remembers the extreme cold the most. Soldiers would have to wear four pairs of socks. In addition, he also describes how soldiers did not sleep at night. The soldiers would be on alert from possible attack. The war comprised not just of the major nations, rather many nations participated.
Life as a Prisoner of War
Arden Rowley describes his experiences as a Prisoner of War . He explains how they marched 24 nights before arriving at the camp which became known as “Death Valley” or the “mining camp.” He shares their living conditions, losing many of his fellow soldiers, burial detail and the indoctrination they received daily.
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.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
Young Bill's Action at Yang-do
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes action aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo patrolling the east coast of Korea during the war and how he got the nickname - "Young Bill." He recounts his duties in gun direction during an attempted North Korean invasion of the island of Yang-do, which is in North Korea. As a result of Yang-do, his memories of the dead haunt him to this day.
Arthur Leroy Brown
How His Brother Was Buried at the POW
George Brown only 6 years old at the time when he heard his brother had died, had learned about his brother may have been buried. Knowing the ground was frozen solid, they could only dig a grave as deep as they could. It was devastating especially to his brothers that spent more time with him since they were older and how he was buried.
Assefa Demissie Belete
Bravery through Difficulties
Assefa Demissie Belete describes working with the 7th Division of the US military in the Korean War. Difficulties that the soldiers encountered was the snow and cold. Also, there were many snakes that were always following them. Overall, all of the troops fighting in Korea were very brave. When the troops came home to Ethiopia people received them nicely.
Evacuating Wounded Soldiers During the Korean War
Austin Timmins describes his job evacuating wounded soldiers as part of the flight crew of a Canadair North Star (RCAF). He did not have the opportunity to speak with the soldiers or nurses. Many of the soldiers that they transported did suffer from frostbite.
Living Conditions, Daily Routine
Avery Creef recalls never being able take a shower. He recounts never being dressed properly for the freezing winter weather. He slept in a bunker and ate C-rations. He shares how he enjoyed eating the pork and beans and adds that everything else tasted terrible. He remembers receiving packages from home periodically which would include better food options. He also remembers writing letters home.
Barry J. McKay
Cold and Rough
Barry J McKay describes his most dangerous and difficult moments aboard two other ships in his time in Korea, a British destroyer for training and then the New Zealand frigate, the HMNZS Taupo. He describes enemy attacks and his role in escorting landing parties.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Basil Kvale fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in weather that reached 40 degrees below zero. The men nicknamed the region the "Frozen Chosin" since the temperature was cold enough to freeze a soldiers' skin. He worked with a lieutenant to create locations to hit the enemy throughout his time in this battle.
Fighting in Ujeongbu and the Taebacek Mountains
Basil Kvale was taken to Ujeongbu (Northern Korea) with an amphibious military group to set up for battle. They moved a lot and were so close that they could see the Chinese right near their location. At a new location in the Taebacek Mountains, Basil Kvale was over 3,000 feel above sea level and it was an important location to give orders of where to bomb.
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.
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Bleak Aspects of Korea
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the hardships of Korea. One of the hardest things for Ethiopian soldiers was the weather. Amazingly the heat during the summer months was difficult for Ethiopian soldiers. Further, winters were extreme and caused conditions they were not used to. In addition to weather, mortars were a constant threat.
So Many Surrenders
Belay Bekele describes fighting conditions in Korea. He explains how the threats were everywhere, because of all of the enemy surrenders. Ethiopian forces took in all people, enemies, and civilians. He also discusses how the winters and mountains were the most difficult things outside of the enemy. Winters were extremely cold and there were so many mountains.
Ben Schrader Jr.
10 Days and a Much Needed Shower
Everything was provided for the soldiers, so pay was always sent back to the US. Combat fatigues were provided and showers were only provided every 10-12 days. Charcoal was provided for heat and since you had to carry your water for drinking, water was scarce. Ben recalled the trucks carrying large containers of hot water pulled up and they had installed pipes that sprayed hot water to produce a "shower" effect for the men as they stood under in 20-degree weather.
Wounded - Sent to a MASH
Benjamin Allen speaks about being wounded and how he narrowly escaped becoming a Prisoner of War. He also talks about the cold weather and the frostbite he suffered
Surviving Winter in Korea
Benjamin Allen recounts what he thought was the most difficult part of the entire war; the winter. He speaks about the gear that he and other soldier had; jokingly recalling the extreme measure he was willing to go to in order to get his hands on a coat. He also describes the severity of the frostbite he ended up with.
Bernard Clark had to live in trenches near and on the front lines because there were not any shelters of any kind. The trenches were six feet deep and a fire could be made during the winter to stay warm. C-Rations were eaten most of the war, and they included beans and tea. He recalls taking over for the Greeks at "Kowang San/Little Gibraltar" area near Hill 355, and he remembers finding many dead bodies left in the trenches.
Life in the Iron Triangle
Bernard Dykes elaborates on what living conditions were like in the Iron Triangle. He often had to sleep inside a tank with four other soldiers. He also describes the food and the cold weather.
Bernard Smith- Struggles with Equipment
Bernard Smith described that the equipment that was set up was only good for a 50 mile radius and many times they would need to reach as far as 200 miles to get a signal. Since there wasn't a hill in between their location, they could operate from machines and make compromises to get it to work. They had multiple diesel-fueled generators to ensure they were able to continue to operate if the other ran out and the freezing cords were another concern as Bernard Smith lived through the cold winters in Korea.
We are taking Prisoners of War
Bill Lynn describes his company taking two prisoners of war. Once they had the North Koreans imprisoned, the Koreans told plans the Chinese had to ambush Americans. It was a cold, snowy day and the Chinese were all dressed in white to camouflage themselves. The Americans would have never known they were coming had it not been for the prisoners of war they captured.
Billy J. Scott
The Black Moon of Korea
Billy Scott describes the two types of weather in Korea regarding visibility in the moonlight. He shares that the Chinese possessed the ability to adapt to the moonlight more so than the Americans. He recalls rotating watch and only sleeping a few hours in between and explains the danger of falling asleep during war.
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 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.
Recollections of Korea and the War's Legacy
Bob Couch mentions his wound again and shares he was sent back to the States due to it not healing properly. He recalls arriving home on a Friday and returning to work on Monday. He offers his account of the war's legacy and states that he views all Korean veterans as heroes. He explains that he was fortunate compared to other Korean War soldiers and admits that he still has a hard time believing all he and others went through during the war.
Fear on the Front Lines
Bob Garcia talks about his first days on the front lines in January 1952. He describes, at the age of nineteen, being "scared to death" by the strange noises found in an artillery battery.
The Reality of Trench Warfare
Bob Mitchell speaks about the living conditions of trench warfare in the latter stages of the Korean War. He describes dealing with giant rodents, the freezing conditions, and the body lice. Bob Mitchell recalls when they left the trench and got a hot shower.
Sleeping with Gun Parts
Brian Hamblett's first memory of Korea was black and dismal. He describes winter in Korea and his battalion. He explains that they were surrounding a crater and that he was positioned with a machine gun. He describes having to cool the guns with glycerin rather than water and having to sleep with the gun parts so that they would not freeze.
Prisoner of War
Brian Hamblett describes life at Camp I after the Chinese took him as a prisoner of war. He explains that it was like a Korean village with mud huts and paper windows. He describes how the soldiers would find warmth sleeping on the floor which had flues running underneath it. He goes on to describe the indoctrination the Chinese forced on the men.
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 R. Woodward
Bruce Woodward talks about the missions pilots flew out of Wonsan Air Base in support of the United Nations ground forces. He assisted the work of around 25 pilots and about the same number of aircraft.
C G Atzenhoffer Jr.
Freezing on the Airstrip
C G Atzenhoffer describes the weather in Spokane, Washington, and dealing with the harsh conditions during his duties. He shares his experience guarding jet squadrons during blizzards as part of the special service. He details the scant clothing they were given to carry out their duties and the lack of warmth they gave.
Poorly Prepared for War
C G Atzenhoffer describes his opinion on the Korean War and how unprepared he felt the United States was for the conflict. He expresses that American soldiers lacked training and were under-equipped. He describes flying to differing arsenals across the United States gathering weapons to send over to Korea.
The Army taught me about Life
Because his unity constantly on the front lines, Calvin Karram explains that there was often no place to sleep even during the winter. Often they would sleep under trees or in foxholes and only sometimes were able to carry their sleeping bags with them. Despite this, he says he had no regrets about joining the army as it taught him a trade and about life.
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
Surrounded at Jangjin: Last Line of Defense
Carl House arrived at Jangjin with his unit and was told no enemy forces were within a fifteen-mile radius. He recalls many soldiers began building fires, drinking coffee, and preparing sleeping bags. He shares that Chinese forces surrounded the U.S. soldiers in a horseshoe-shaped position around three in the morning, making it nearly impossible for them to escape. He remembers fighting for three days and running low on artillery after a failed airdrop landed in enemy territory. He recounts his captain ordering his unit to stand rear guard while fellow soldiers pulled out and recalls doing what he could to hold off the Chinese.
Carl House's Capture
Carl House and his Squad Leader, Raymond Howard, were the only 2 remaining soldiers holding the line as the Chinese were throwing concussion grenades at both men. As Carl House was covering for Raymond Howard, a gunshot broke Carl House's arm and caused massive blood-loss. The only thing that he had to hold his arm together was a slang he used to keep his arm straight during the healing process. When Carl House made the attempt to cross the valley himself, he fell unconscious from his injury and when he woke up, Chinese had surrounded the area. He made an attempt to play dead, but the 30 degree below zero temperature gave away the heat from his breath, so they stuck a bayonet in his back and took him away.
Life in Camp 3 and 5 as a POW
Carl House marched to Camp 5 from February to May of 1952, but he was moved to Camp 3 where he was later released. Each room the prisoners occupied held ten people (tip to toe) which would be beneficial to them to keep warm. Since many of the US soldiers were well-fed and strong when they arrived, they were able to survive the rest of the winter while slowing losing weight. He said the one thing that mattered the most was food, but many soldiers hated the idea of eating rice that had once been on the floor. Most of the food contained glass, rocks, rat droppings, and many men died.
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.
Cecil Walker describes re-supplying the front lines. The roads of Korea were trecherous and supplies were delivered in convoy. Cecil Walker describes night driving with only a singular light and even one episode during the winter when a "white out" occurred. Delivering supplies was essential, but very dangerous due to the conditions of the road system.
Cecil Phipps talks about his capture by Chinese soldiers, becoming a prisoner of war. He describes his initial three-day evasion and a fateful decision that led to his capture. He and seven fellow soldier were made to march north at night until they reached the Chinese border.
"Always Trying to Escape"
Cecil Phipps talks about a fellow soldier that attempted and failed several times to escape Pak Tong POW camp (#3). He describes how he tried to aid his friend and what happened when he was captured and returned.
Conditions of the Battle of Kunu-ri
Cevdet Sidal describes conditions at various battlefields. At the Battle of Kunu-ri the Turkish soldiers were surrounded. One Master Sergeant had to eat grass for three days. There was constant threat from machine gun fire. Also, the Chinese had aircraft support. Cevdet Sidal turned to praying due to fear of death. The conditions were so cold that water would freeze to your face.
Folly During Wartime: An Important Mission
Cevdet Sidal describes an important mission. The mission was to acquire Sul, a Korean Rice Wine from an Alcohol Factory. The Turkish troops drank at the factory. The troops had trouble returning to base. Taking over the Alcohol Factory meant they always had alcohol. Cedet Sidal also describes fishing by grenade. As a result, this provided fresh fish for the soldiers.
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.
Charles E. Gebhardt
The Beginning of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Charles Gebhardt describes the scene at the beginning of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about the KATUSA soldiers assigned to his unit and how he thought they had gotten spooked. In reality, the Chinese offensive had already begun.
"It was Very Scary"
Charles Gebhardt describes his encounter with Chinese soldiers on the first night of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about shooting at enemy soldiers that were within arm's reach.
"You Should Not be Afraid of Some Chinese Laundrymen"
Charles Gebhardt recounts the words the General Edward Almond in a meeting of officers and intelligence personnel on the morning after the first fighting of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. Describing the meeting in which he attended, he mentions that several officers present were taken aback by the comment. The comment was "You should not be afraid of some Chinese laundrymen."
Retreat from Chosin
Charles Gebhardt describes his unit's retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about destroying equipment. He also describes loading up the wounded on the slow retreat to Hagalwoori.
Losses, Conditions, and Rescue
Charles Gebhardt talks about the lives that were lost in the retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difficult conditions on the trek. He also tells the story when he and his comrades borrowed Marine vehicles to rescue wounded soldiers.
Bearing the Extreme Cold
Charles Eggenberger talks about being able to withstand the extreme cold he encountered in Korea. He describes a childhood of not having enough warmth because of poverty and neglect. He recalls seeing the injuries some soldiers suffered from not knowing how to take care of their extremities in the cold.
Charles Eugene Warriner
Winter in Korea
Charles Eugene Warriner describes the winter conditions at his outpost near the DMZ in 1953. There was a terrible ice storm. He describes wrapping barbed wire around his boots to be able to walk upon the ice.
The Biggest Apples and Frostbite
Charles Fowler describes how the North Koreans used human waste to fertilize their crops and recalls the apples being the biggest he had ever seen due to this fertilizing method. He recounts accidentally eating a cat once as well while trying to stave off hunger. He describes the cold winter and shares his encounter with frostbite. He details being flown to Incheon, put on a ship, and a doctor telling him he could go home if he signed to have his feet amputated.
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.
The Destruction at the Battle of Kunu-Ri
Charles Rangel and other American troops were surrounded by the Chinese Army during the Battle of Kunu Ri in November of 1950. During this battle, more than 5,000 American soldiers were either killed, wounded, or taken as a POW. This battle was on the edge of the Chongchon River.
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.
Charles T. Gregg
Protection of the DMZ in the 1960's
Charles Gregg talks about his time in Korea as an Assistant Executive Officer for I Corps Artillery. He describes his job which was to help plot where the rounds would go. A typical day protecting the DMZ included training, cleaning, and patrolling day and night.
"I Didn't Change My Socks"
Charles Weeks talks about his decision not to change his socks which resulted in him being sent to Japan to recover from frozen toes. He feels like he dishonored his country, by not doing something so simple. He discusses this situation and his regrets.
First Station Location
Clarence Atzenhoffer recalls how his unit reported to Geiger Field in Spokane, Washington, in September of 1951. He shares that there was a squadron of F-86 fighter jets onsite and adds that his unit served was an air control and early warning radar unit. He remembers the weather conditions, commenting on the large amount of snow they experienced there.
Lacking Equipment and Unprepared
Clarence Atzenhoffer recalls how unprepared United States soldiers were in Korea. He shares how they lacked equipment and proper clothing for the extreme weather conditions and comments on the reality that many soldiers froze to death rather than dying from a bullet. He details how he and others from his unit flew across the United States in an effort to gather equipment to send overseas to troops.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
Frozen In Fear
Clarence Sperbeck recalls while on the move picking up extra men who had been displaced from their unit and abandoned weapons. He found one guy frozen (not literally), just sitting there whether fear or uncertainty, Clarence Sperbeck kicked him in the shin with his combat boot (said it hurt like hell), handed him a weapon, and told him to fall in line with the rest. The other soldier was a new replacement paralyzed again with fear who didn't speak or move even after being kicked by Clarence Sperbeck.
The Hardship of Just Living
Claude Charland describes how hard it was to stay clean while serving on the front lines. He describes where they lived. He describes the attack by the bugs. He describes the weather and how it affected his living conditions..
Hockey During Reserve
Claude Charland remembers how he and other Canadian troops played ice hockey on the frozen Imjin River during January. He shares how the games were organized around teams from different regiments and were set up as a round-robin tournament. He shares how playing the national sport of his homeland allowed him to escape the reality of war for a little while.
Clifford L. Wilcox
A Great Discovery
Clifford Wilcox talks about experiencing cold nights while on duty as a forward observer. He stayed in a cave and froze for about two nights. He quickly discovering the ancient Korean way of heating a home.
Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir
Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.
Living Conditions as a POW
Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.
Clifford Petrey further details his POW experience. He recalls there being little firewood and comments on the close sleeping arrangements. He shares that lice was an issue and how he and other soldiers picked lice off of each other. He details food portions and content and speaks of rampant dysentery.
Snow and Supplies
Clyde Fruth talks about the most difficult times he had in Korea. He describes deep snows forcing traveling by foot to his mountain forward observer post. In this predicament, they had to carry all their food, supplies, water, and weapons that were heavy to carry in the cold.
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.
Radio Operators in the Korean War
Colin Carley shares that he worked alongside an Australian brigade when he patrolled near Panmunjeom in late 1950 through early 1951. As a radio operator for his New Zealand Battery Brigade, he recalls being scared of all the tracer bullets that would whiz by him. He remembers how he would feel sick when battles began because he never knew if he would be able to return home again.
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.
The Trek to POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney describes the roughly 60-day march to POW Camp #1 after he was captured by North Korean forces. He talks about carrying a wounded fellow POW on his back for much of the journey. He mentions being forced to give the wounded soldier to Chinese forces so that they could attend to the soldier's wounds.
Day-to-Day Work at POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney talks about the day-to-day work of POW's at Camp #1. He describes going to nearby mountains to harvest firewood during the warm months for the upcoming winter. They would hike about four miles to and from, carrying the large logs.
Food, Clothing, and Propaganda in POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney describes the food he was given as a POW in Camp #1. He talks about the clothing that he wore during his captivity. He also tells the story of a captured photographer whose photographs the North Koreans used to create propaganda materials.
Daniel J. Rickert
Life in the Winter of '51-'52
Daniel Rickert describes life during the winter of 1951-1952. He talks about his duties, frozen food, and "hot bunking." He also details other aspects of bunker life on the front lines.
Korean War Reinforcements
David Carpenter was a reinforcement for different Marines groups that had fought in Korea for over two years. His regiment replaced the wounded or killed. At least twenty-five percent of the casualties in Korea were from frostbite.
Traveling to Korea
David Espinoza describes his journey to Korea and his arrival on the front lines. He explains having to board a ship in California, and his arrival at Inchon in late 1950. He recalls having to replace other men who were much younger, and had been fighting for some time.
Camping in Korea
David Lopez felt that being in Korea was like camping because of the daily living conditions, meals, and terrain. There were still many dangers while being stationed in Korea, but David Lopez tried to not let them get to him. Some soldiers hated the conditions so bad that they injured themselves to be taken off duty because the atrocities they experienced became too severe to handle.
Korea: Taste of the Manchurian Wind
David Nevarez shares that he went to Korea for the first time in 1984 as part of the 3rd Service Support Group headquartered in Okinawa, Japan. He describes setting up camp in Korea. He remembers the temperature drop from 40 degrees to 40 below zero in the span of less than 30 minutes and recounts the cold winds that hit him in the camp. He expresses he then understood what the 1st Marine Division experienced at the Chosin Reservoir during the war and adds that the memory of that level of coldness stays with him to this day.
Retreating from Pyongyang
David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.
Life as a Platoon Leader
David White talks about his duties as Platoon Leader. His responsibilities included setting up ambushes and relieving his men and the conditions under which they operated. Most of these operations were against the North Koreans and took place at night.
The Auster Aircraft
Dennis Grogan describes the mechanics and construction of the Auster aircraft. He explains that it was a very practical plane with no armored plating, and a metal frame that was covered with canvas. He shares how he was proficient in helping to start the aircraft, which involved switch off, throttle closed, brakes hard on. He explains the details of checking aircraft maintenance in the winter compared to what needed to be done in the summer.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War is Hell, Winter is Worse
Desmond Vinten describes spending twenty-seven days in an English military prison. His charge was "firing on the Queen's enemy without the Queen's permission." His sentence reflected the reality that sometimes shooting at the Chinese created more danger due to the Chinese soldiers' skill at firing mortars in retaliation. Besides the challenges of engaging the enemy, the heat, cold, and dust left him with the understanding that "war is hell, but winter is even worse."
Domingo Pelliceer Febre
Landing in Incheon
After taking a month to get to Korea, Domingo Pellicer Febre describes what it was like when they landed in Incheon. He talks about climbing down rope ladders to get off the ship. They then went to the train to take them to the front lines. He remembers how cold it was when they landed. However, he also recalls how friendly the Korean people were.
The Nevada Campaign: Bloody Nevada
Don McCarty fought North Korean and Chinese soldiers during the Nevada Campaign. He experienced battle fatigue and fear while fighting at the front lines. Don McCarty still thinks about the death of his assistant gunner and ammo carrier.
Cold Winters as a Radio Operator
Donald Clark describes the cold winters in Korea. He explains that the men would fight over who would get to serve the midnight shift because the radio truck was much warmer than their tent thanks to the BC10 transmitter and other equipment. He recalls a time in Seoul when they had to cut cardboard boxes to cover the holes in the tent and block the cold winds.
Donald D. Johnson
Almost Prisoner of War
Donald D. Johnson elaborates on his job responsibilities as the Lieutenant's Jeep driver. Three times a week he had to drive to the Division Headquarters to pick up new maps. New maps were made using aerial views of Korea to assist in artillery attacks. He also describes the commute he had to take when driving through the roads of the Chosin Reservoir and how cold he found it. He recalls an incident where by chance he missed becoming a Prisoner of War.
Donald Jones describes the interior of a US Army bunker.
Donald Peppard describes the exact moment the North Koreans ordered their vessel, the USS Pueblo, to follow them into port. He recalls being fired upon by the North Koreans. He shares that they could not fire back due to their two .50 caliber machine guns being exposed and frozen from the bitterly cold weather. He confirms that all eighty-three crew members, including himself, were taken as prisoners.
Surviving North Korea
Donald Peppard describes how he and his fellow crew members spent their days as prisoners in North Korea. He recalls having to entertain themselves for eleven months through card games, exercise, and reading and writing. He shares that he and others endured what they referred to as "Hell Week" where they were beaten for forty-eight hours straight before they were released.
Donald Schneider (Part 2/2)
Weather in Korea
Like many other soldiers in Korea, Donald Schneider talks about how cold it was during the war. He states that the weather was like that in Wisconsin- really hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. He said that the difference was the monsoon season, which would include massive amounts of rain in short periods of time.
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 Urich said Seoul was desolate 1954. Houses were in shambles and businesses were in bad shape. In the winter he remembers seeing kids without shoes or many clothes. He would have candy for the kids and remembers Seoul being very poor, but he said the people were cordial.
Doyle W. Dykes
Doyle W. Dykes reminisces on a time he wrote his family asking for a new pair of gloves to endure the extreme cold. Upon receiving them that day, he had to bury over two hundred and seventy Chinese soldiers who died after a napalm attack. He shares that his gloves were immediately ruined and that he buried them with the soldiers.
Basic Training Experience
Ed Donahue recalls his experience at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He remembers how his life changed as soon as he arrived. He describes being awakened the first night at three in the morning because someone spilled something on the floor. He recounts how he and all of the other new recruits were required to scrub the floor with a toothbrush. He shares how he only spent eight weeks there due to a growing need for troops in Korea. He recalls attending advanced rifle training at Camp Pendleton in California before being sent to Kobe, Japan, and then on to Pusan, Korea, in October of 1950.
The Chosin Few at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls arriving in Yudamni on Thanksgiving, November 23, 1950. He remembers not minding that their holiday meal was ice cold as their sights were set on being home for Christmas. He recalls being assigned to forward observation and recounts the difficulties of digging in as the ground was frozen. He remembers singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" while at his post until the Chinese attacked.
On the Frontlines at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls being woken up by the sound of bugles early in the morning on November 28, 1950. He describes how the Chinese soldiers were attempting to take over the area, and he remembers being told by his officers to just keep shooting. He shares how this lasted until dawn for multiple nights. He recalls how once the sun went down, the enemy fire started again. He remembers the troops kept coming and coming, at a ratio of at least ten Chinese to every one American. He remembers losing many of his comrades. He comments on how cold it was and adds that they were forced to urinate on their guns to keep the firing mechanisms from freezing.
Cold Weather and Visits to the MASH Unit
Edgar Green recalls the weather he experienced while in Korea. He recounts how they only had tropical clothing when the temperature dropped to forty degrees below zero and shares that the Americans brought them parka jackets. He describes his visits to a MASH unit on multiple occasions as he dealt with pneumonia and a broken tooth.
The Making of Foot Booties in Camp
Edmund Reel shares how he made thirty-two pairs of foot booties for fellow prisoners while a POW. He details the materials used to make the booties and offers an account of how he assembled them. He provides an example of the booties he made.
Edward B. Heimann
Life in Korea
Edward Heimann describes life in Korea after his winter arrival at Incheon. He recalls his living conditions, being fed well, and being able to take warm showers most of the time. He explains that he was also able to enjoy leave (rest and relaxation) in Japan and received care packages from home.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
Edward Foley describes the living conditions while in Korea. He recalls the winters as "colder than blazes" but admits that he was lucky as he had warm clothes and a lot of downtime. He shares that it was hard for him to be away from home and that letters were sporadic.
Edward F. Grala
C-47 Crew Chief
Ed Grala talks about his job in the US Air Force, crew chief on a C-47 Skytrain. He describes his job of maintaining the aircraft, delivering supplies, and helping set up radar sites around Alaska.
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.
Edward T. Smith
Becoming a POW during the Battle of Kunuri
Edward T Smith was taken as a POW during the Battle of Kunuri at the beginning of December in 1950. He remembers being with a few stragglers when they ran into a Command Post of Chinese. He states that they were told that they weren't being killed, but that the Chinese wanted prisoners.
Life in Camps
Edward T. Smith describes life in the camp. He said that most of the day focused on whatever work detail there was, often either wood or burial detail. He recalls how the Chinese tried to indoctrinate the prisoners and some believed it enough to move to China. He also remembers the cramped sleeping quarters and limited uniforms.
Edwin R. Hanson
The Chosin Reservoir Being Overrun at Kor-'o-ri
The first Chinese Edwin Hanson encountered at Kor-'o-ri was at night about 5 meters away. The enemy was carrying a Thompson submachine gun and it missed Edwin Hanson after firing 2 rounds at him. Flares were thrown into the sky to detect the location of the enemy and that's when Edwin Hanson (at the time he was on top of a hill looking down at their camp) discovered there were 5 Chinese at their tents. Edwin Hanson threw 4 grenades and 2 went off, so the following morning he went down and picked up the 2 that didn't go off and threw the remaining grenades at their front lines. Edwin Hanson ended up saving Ralph Gastelum's life when he threw those grenades because it gave Ralph Gastelum time to get out of the fox hole and run to the top of the hill.
First Shots at the Chinese at Chosin Reservoir
After the US knocked out tanks that were rolled up near their regiment, one of the Chinese enemy played dead near the campfire they were sitting at. As US troops were heating C-rations by the campfire, Edwin Hanson noticed about 15-20 yards away, the enemy had lifted up off the frozen ground. The Chinese troops had a burp gun to start to shooting at the US troops sitting by the campfire. Luckily, Edwin Hanson shot and killed the Chinese soldier attacking his regiment.
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.
"Home by Christmas" Was Just a Rumor
After the Hamheung Evacuation, the US soldiers came down from the Chosin Reservoir and traveled to Masan to celebrate Christmas with the famous 'Home by Christmas' Dinner. This was when MacArthur gave a speech promising the men to be home before Christmas. Edwin Hanson said that this rumor was killed shortly after they got to Masan. "Chestee" was what Edwin Hason called MacArthur and he said that it was only a rumor because they wouldn't be going home. Edwin Hason didn't mind though; he was just excited to be aboard a ship and not in the Chosin Reservoir again.
Edwin S. Leak
Living Conditions on the 38th Parallel
Edwin S. Leak describes living conditions on the 38th Parallel in post-war Korea. He elaborates about sleeping quarters and food provided. In addition, he explains improvements being made to improve the devastation caused by the war.
First Impression of Korea
Edwin Vargas gives his first impressions of Korea. He explains that while the hot summers did not bother him, he really struggled with the Cold Winter. While he didn't have the chance to interact with many people, he recalls that those he met were very friendly.
Conditions in Korea
Elliott Landall describes the weather in Korea. The winters were extremely cold and summers extremely hot. He explains that men were well fed and living conditions had ten men to a tent.
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.
Ellis Ezra Allen
Living Conditions in the Prison Camps
Ellis Ezra Allen describes the long march from the mining camp to Camp 5. He explains that many died of exposure due to the lack of sufficient winter clothing and recalls that within a six weeks period over one thousand men died. He discusses the treatment of POW's by the North Koreans and the Chinese as well as the propaganda campaigns.
Ernest J. Berry
Skating Over Dead People
Ernest J. Berry describes traveling by truck from Busan to the Han River. He recalls the unsettling realization that people were paid and encouraged to kill him. Upon arrival, he and his unit found Canadians skating on the frozen river, so the new arrivals joined them. Beneath the ice, he saw the faces of dead soldiers and people peering up at him.
Being Drafted and Making a Living
Ernesto Sanchez describes his mother's reaction to his being drafted. As a result, his mother said she would go with him, which clearly she could not. When first arriving in Korea, the US Army provided winter clothing due to the cold, but expected to Ernesto Sanchez and his platoon to walk from Incheon to Seoul. While walking he was able to hitchhike aboard some American tanks the distance to Seoul.
Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving
Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.
Home, Food, and Weather
Eugene Dixon describes how he communicated with his family through letter writing during the Korean War. He details experiences in eating combat rations, and recalls the difficulty in accessing food in extreme cold weather conditions. He recounts the impact of low temperatures on the functioning of weapons and communications devices. He describes the precautions he took to prevent having frost-bite during the war.
Details of Living Conditions as a POW
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes the difficult daily living conditions of being a prisoner of war. He explains what it was like during a seven month period (July 1952-January 1953) as a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp in North Korea.
Cold Nights in POW Camp
Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about the frigid nights he endured and conditions he was placed in as a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp.
Marine Corps Advanced Infantry Training
Eugene Gregory describes training in the Marine Corps Advanced Infantry. He recounts exercises involving barbed wire and training under live fire and in cold weather situations throughout the courses. He shares that this type of training was meant to prepare them to adapt in combat situations and for Korean winters.
The Biggest Threat Support Faced
Eugene Gregory describes the dangers faced by artillery support and how they differ from the front lines of the battlefield. He shares that the biggest threats were not from rifle fire but from martyrs and artillery and recounts having to jump into foxholes often to take cover. He recalls the North Koreans and Chinese being very skillful in artillery weaponry and attributes their skill to their recognition of possessing limited ammunition resources.
A Week as an Infantryman
Felix Byrd describes a week where his outfit moved north, and he served with the infantry until they reached Hamhung, where they were evacuated. He recalls being shot at. He says they had to sleep without sleeping bags in 30-below temperatures.
Felix DelGiudice and his peers recall how important Tootsie Rolls were to them during the war. They explained how they were able to warm them up inside the soldiers' coat since they would often freeze in the weather. The Tootsie Rolls were not only a treat, but they were used for other purposes as well.
Freezing Cold Weather
Felix DelGiudice explains how cold it really got to be in Korea, with one night being 42 degrees below zero. This impacted their guns, the machinery, and even their bodily functions. While he says that its not something people like to talk about, it was the reality of their living conditions.
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Felix DelGiudice and his battalion describes how their battalion was ambushed and fourteen people were killed. He explains how the units were divided and argues that the General was in too much of a hurry. He remembers how much of a struggle the units had during that time.
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.
Francis John Ezzo
Just Doing My Job
Francis Ezzo explains that he does not remember specific hills or battles because he was just doing his job. He describes being outnumbered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the Chinese were not well equipped as some did not have rifles or shoes.
Escaping the Chosin Reservoir with Frostbite
Frank Abasciano was a radioman and had communication between the companies. He describes how cold the Chosin Reservoir felt and his frostbite. He explains that they only had a pair of combat boots. He still suffers the effects of the frostbite today.
Football Leads to Korea
Frank Montolio describes how two of his high school friends ended up in Korea and suffered physical consequences. Because they were unable to play first-string football after receiving a full-scholarship, the two young men joined the Navy reserves in order to actively play. However, they were soon given orders to go to Korea where, unfortunately, they got severe frostbite on their feet.
Surrounded on "The Frozen Chosin"
Frank Zielinski trained as a machine gunner and landed at Incheon with General MacArthur. One of his friends drowned clambering over the side of the ship to go ashore. Another died in Incheon when North Koreans attacked their encampment as they slept. The soldiers lived in trenches on the front lines, sometimes without proper equipment. At times, his division was surrounded by North Koreans and Chinese.
Franklin O. Gillreath
Lice Popping Contests
Franklin Gillreath describes the grass mats they were given to sleep on in the POW camps. He explains that the mats were infested with lice as well as the clothes they were forced to remain in for two years. He describes contests between the captured men to see who could kill the most lice between their fingers.
Daily Life in Camp Five
Franklin Gillreath explains what daily life was like inside of POW Camp Five. He describes the food mostly consisting of millet. He explains the wood and burial detail he was forced to conduct when fellow POWs died.
Fred J. Ito
Thanksgiving at Usan
Fred Ito describes Thanksgiving in Usan. The 25th Division came to relieve the 2nd Battalion while they enjoyed their turkey, but the Chinese unit, which had been hiding behind the mountains, made a big offensive against the 25th Division, including Fred Ito's friend. Fred Ito and some of the 2nd Battalion went back to help, but found themselves having to escape through the deep river.
"I did what I was told to do"
On a freezing, snowy night, Fredrick Still was told guard a dozer because it quit on the Punch Bowl pass. The other man that was assigned to the task with him took the opportunity to go back when a Jeep rode by, but Fredrick Still stayed all night because that is what he was told to do. He attributes his promotion to staff sergeant to this decision because it followed shortly after.
A Pile of Rubble
Gene Jordan describes what it was like when he landed in Incheon. He describes the horrific scene and the utter despair of Korean children. He describes the shock he experienced from the damage and civilians begging for food.
Gene Jordan describes being on the trench line at night for thirty days straight during the Korean War. He describes how the enemy was on one side and they were on the other. He explains that it was a stationary war at this point, and how they lived in the trench lines and bunkers in extremely cold weather.
Living Conditions at Osan Air Base
Gene Welch describes the living conditions in Korea. He remembers staying in a metal hut with concrete floors. While there was fuel for heat, it would get extremely cold in the winter. He also explains what the showers and chow hall were like.
Recollections of Korea
Geoff Grimley remembers seeing Korea for the first time and observing telegraph lines down and burning T-34 tanks. He speaks about having to sleep in a field and waking up with frost on his things, but he says it was better than school because he would get a beating every day. He briefly recalls the Battle of Kapyong.
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.
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.
Scouting Troop Movement During the Battle of Jipyeongri
George Wolf was a Mosquito pilot during the Korean War who located enemy troops and directed fighters during the Battle of Jipyeongri. During the February 1951, he helped provide information from the air to help lead the UN troops to victory. This was a tough battle against the Chinese troops near the village of Chipyong-ni, present time Jipyeong-ri.
Nobody Believed Us
George Wolf encountered Chinese troops early in the war while performing reconnaissance as a Mosquito pilot in February 1951. He reported many times about Chinese presence, but he felt they were ignored. In late October through early November 1951, George Wolf saw thousands of Chinese cross the Cheonggyecheon River, so he reported this information to the US intelligence officers, but they did not believe that the Chinese were fighting in the Korean War.
Bound for Korea and First Experiences
George Parsons chronicles his departure from the States and arrival in Korea. He comments on the ride over aboard the troop ship USS Anderson and recalls landing in Pusan. He recounts the cold weather as it was January of 1951 and recalls there being no lodging available, stating that he remembers sleeping out in the field and crowding around fires to stay warm. He details his journey to Incheon and through Seoul, sharing that Seoul was completely flattened from the fighting.
Impressions of Korea
George Sullivan talks about his experiences in Korea during the 1950s. He remembers how cold the weather was and how destitute the South Koreans were. He recalls many of them living in tents or broken down cars and shares that Seoul was totally destroyed. He is amazed at the transformation South Korea has made over the last half century and adds that he really enjoys kimchi.
Well Worth It
George Zimmerman describes the landscape of Korea as "something else." Winters were especially cold near the DMZ and the Chosin Reservoir. He is still amazed at the soldiers trying to get from one hill to the next in battle. At one point, he had permission to take R and R in Japan, but he felt too committed to his work in Korea and turned it down. George Zimmerman reminds students of today that Korea was important, with terrible loss of life for an important cause.
Gerald ‘Gerry’ Farmer
Eyes Frozen Shut
Gerry Farmer describes the cold as unbelievable and recalls the temperature dropping to forty-two below at one point. He remembers his eyes would be frozen in the morning because they would go to bed wet. He explains had a parka that was warm and shares they were not allowed to wear the hoods to ensure their hearing was not hindered.
Captured near Pyongyang
Gerald Cavagnaro describes how his unit was cut off during an attack by the Chinese. He describes running out of ammunition. He shares how he along with 100-150 other men were captured in November in 1950. He describes a march he took to what the soldiers named "Death Valley".
Bayonet Checks "Across His Neck"
Gerald Land admitted he had never heard of Korea before he was sent and he described his Marine friend, Bill Carroll, of Fox Company, who Gerald Land thought had been wiped out at the "Frozen Chosin." Bill Carroll managed to survive after being shot by laying on the ground pretending to be dead during "bayonet checks". His friend recalled the bayonet sliding across his neck, but he survived and woke up on the hospital ship even though he wanted to go back with his Company. A soldiers' best advice was, "don't get captured!"
Government Issued (G.I.) Gear
When they arrived at Inchon, Gerald Land had to wear khakis and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of the winter while traveling to Chuncheon. Once the soldiers arrived at Chuncheon, they were given two pairs of long underwear, a towel, soap, brush, pants, fatigues, field jacket, and pile lined jacket (no overcoat). The men were also given a M-1 Rifle w/ bandolier, cartridges, and a helmet.
Gerald Land described how he felt in December 1952 on Heartbreak Ridge in the middle of the winter. An Army loudspeakers would play Christmas carols and a woman would be telling stories back home of your girlfriend cheating on you with your best friend. He also recalled a time shortly after New Years when one of the guys started firing his weapon by making a series of shots that sounded funny and the Patton tank at the base of that mountain fired a round which it lifted their spirits. He said he felt very homesick.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
"Not the Worst"
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes his Korean War experience. Men lived in bunkers. There was no hot food. Men did not sleep, due to constant attacks. Mortar shells would shake the ground at all hours. Soldiers showered every ten days because the Americans made them. Girma Mola Endeshaw still describes his Korean experience as "not the worst."
Shelter and Rations
Glen Collins recalls the hardships of war. He describes living in a pup tent. He recalls his favorite rations and the occasional hot meal.
He recalls having to dig a hole in the ground and putting a tent over it. They would then put a pot belly stove on top for warmth. He remembers only having a hot bath once in six months. When he was getting ready to leave, he recalls being deliced and the they were lined up like animals and sprayed in order to kill the lice. He recalls having fun with his buddies and one Filipino bringing his fighting rooster with him, making it to the front lines with it.
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.
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.
Thanksgiving Day at War
Harold Barber describes a Thanksgiving Day that he spent during the Korean War. The soldiers were given a bowl of soup to eat, but they had to leave and return to patrolling their area and became completed surrounded by the enemy. Those who did return after the ambush, only returned to soup that was frozen solid.
A Typical Day
Harold Huff discusses his workload in Japan. He recalls working on an old zero base, in the middle of a hydroponic farm. He shares that the farm was sending produce to the front lines in Korea. He recollects stories of Korea from soldiers who witnessed it firsthand, saying it was cold and dangerous.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Frostbitten and Wounded
Harry C. Graham talks about his experience during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes suffering frostbite and being shot through the shoulder while performing his duties as a Radio Operator. He was evacuated on a truck convoy, narrowly escaping the heavy fighting against the Chinese.
Escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Harry C. Graham talks about his escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes having to wait until dark to traverse a mountain by foot because of being stranded in trucks on the mountainside. He recounts how after hours of walking, he and seven fellow soldiers found themselves in a minefield before being rescued by United States Marines.
Experiences at Incheon in 1945
Harry Castro described experiencing snow for the first time. He shares that he spent Thanksgiving there. He describes the visuals of the area. He shares that they had no weapons and were there due to a typhoon. He shares the destruction he saw in other places as well.
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.
40 Degrees Below
Harry Heath describes the harsh cold that faced the soldiers in Korea. He shares the injuries that caused him to spend two months in a hospital. He describes the failure of equipment given to the soldiers. He explains things that were limited due to the harsh temperatures for soldiers and their hygiene.
The Chosin Few
Harry Heath describes the organization he belongs to which includes American soldiers who found in the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. He shares the struggles that both he and his fellow Chosin Few members faced such as frostbite wounds and PTSD. He shares how he feels fighting in Korea made him a better person.
Life in a POW Camp
Hartwell Champagne describes time spent in a Chinese POW camp during the war. He shares how he would pick up injured men and what he had to do with the dead. He describes the harsh realities he faced while in Camps 3.
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.
Join the Navy Go to Korea
Henry Kosters explains his decision to enlist with the Navy after being drafted into the Army. He describes his discussion with a Navy recruiter who explained that he could forego a four year commitment with the Army and enlist with the Navy for two years instead. He goes on to describe being assigned to the USS Gladiator (Mine Sweeper) and being transported to Korea.
Henry Winter describes what it was like to live on the front line on Heartbreak Ridge. He speaks about sleeping in trenches and army rations. He recounts taking showers once a week in the rear. Henry Winter also remembers the cold and the many cases of frostbite suffered by soldiers.
Herbert Currier shares how although he didn't go to Korea he knew things. He shares how he has pictures from the 38th parallel. He describes the pictures and how they show the only way to save men out of the foxholes in the cold temperatures of Korea. He shares how he felt it was a good thing that America went to help the Koreans.
The Chosin Reservoir Brotherhood
Herbert Werner states that conditions at the Chosin Reservoir were terrible due to confusion, miscommunication, and constant attacks by the enemy. He recalls U.S. soldiers were given insufficient clothing, and they avoided taking them off to relieve themselves. He shares that he never knew if or when their next warm meal would come. He speaks of the bond of brotherhood at Chosin and recounts never knew what was going to happen next.
Homer W. Mundy
Homer Mundy talks about the cold weather and the lack of proper cold-weather equipment. He discusses the injuries he and other men sustained as a result.
Nothing Worse Than The Cold
Horace Sappington describes being cold as the most difficult thing during his service. He recounts low temperatures near the 38th Parallel and during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. As part of a task force, he shares that he was sent in to help bail out Marines before the Chinese took it all.
Fighting at the Battle of Pyongyang in October and November 1950
Howard Ballard recalls leaving Pusan after fighting there in August of 1950 to fight the North Koreans all the way through Pyongyang, North Korea, and up to the Yalu River along the Chinese border. He describes fighting the North Koreans at the Battle of Pyongyang in October of 1950, noting there was little resistance. He remembers seeing Chinese captured in November 1950 at the Yalu River despite General MacArthur telling President Truman that the Chinese were not fighting in the war.
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 Street shares that his most difficult obstacle in Korea was keeping clean. He recalls it being tough to find a shower and good food. He recounts having to sleep on the ground in tents, even in snow as high as six feet and temperatures below 40 degrees.
Ian J. Nathan
Winter Quarters: Engineering a Tent and Shower
Ian Nathan and the Workshop Unit designed warmer quarters with petrol tanks for the troops. They pieced together a building for relatively warm showers in the frigid Korean winters. Many of their projects involved re-purposed military equipment to make new supplies the soldiers needed.
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.
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.
Rice and Beans
Iluminado Santiago explains that the U.S. Army provided rice and beans for the 65th Regiment. The food reminded him of traditional Puerto Rican food. His platoon slept in sleeping bags in tents wherever they went, despite the extreme cold. He clarifies that he served his country and that he felt lucky to be able to fight for democracy in Korea.
Life in Korea During the War
Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was constantly traveling during the war and had to sleep wherever he could find a spot to rest his head. Eating canned food rations was the norm. He recalls the extreme cold in Korea.
J. Robert Lunney
Loading the Human Cargo
J. Robert Lunney describes the process of loading of over 14,000 North Korean civilian refugees, mostly women, children. and the elderly, aboard the cargo ship SS Meredith Victory. Lunney also speaks about the conditions aboard the ship for the refugees.
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.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
A Near Death Experience By Friendly Fire
Jack Allen went on a ship from Incheon to Wonson in order to invade North Korea in November 1950. He was the farthest North company in Korea going over hills and feeling the temperature drop each day. The North Koreans were hiding in caves and holes in mountains to do surprise attacks on the US troops, so Jack Allen volunteered to bring a case of hand grenades to the front line US troops because they ran out of supplies. After all of the warfare, one US soldier almost killed Jack Allen because he didn't recognize him, but Jack Allen knew that that soldier had been killing so long that he was mentally lost.
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.
A Picture of the Chorwon Valley
Jack Cooper paints a grim picture of the Chorwon Valley as he shares his memories. He recalls the gloom of winter, the cold temperatures, and the landscape destruction as the vegetation was reduced to mere stumps. He recounts the setting as dangerous due to close proximity to the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) and the excessive amount of North Korean, Chinese, and American mines hidden about. He recalls most fighting taking place with the Chinese rather than the North Koreans and elaborates on his living conditions in a foxhole.
Duties and Thoughts on Battle
Jack Cooper details the duties of soldiers assigned to a howitzer weapon and shares that there never was really any downtime. He recalls men rotating on and off shifts and most of the action taking place in the afternoon and evening. He shares that the intensity of battle made one nervous at times but that one grew accustomed to the reality over time. He adds that one did what he had to do.
The Aftermath of the Death March
Jack Goodwin recalls his experience after surviving the Death March. He describes being housed in a school building as a POW until February 1951. He recounts frigid conditions as temperatures dipped to forty and fifty below zero and shares that roughly two hundred men either froze to death or died of malnutrition during that time frame. He describes there not being much to do during the day other than kill the lice that infested their bodies.
Radio Operation in Battle
Jack Sherts describes his job as a radio operator during the Korean War. In one episode, he had to take batteries to the soldiers in the infantry line. On the journey, he slipped and went down a mountain while trying to deliver the batteries under enemy fire. Jack Sherts also describes relaying fire orders for the 18 guns of his unit.
The most difficult part of war
Jack Sherts describes the intense cold. During his time in the Punchbowl, he would have to break the ice off of his eyelids. The weather during this time was 20 degrees below zero. Since he was also a jeep driver, driving in the snow and mud was very difficult as well.
On the Move to Chosin Reservoir
Jake O'Rourke describes his time spent in the hills fighting guerrilla forces and moving to and from various locations. He details the high casualties caused by frostbite among the Chinese soldiers, adding that it was both an ally and an enemy. He attributes much of the Marines' successes to experienced leadership as many higher ranking soldiers had served during WWII. He also recounts his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, sharing that the Chinese would play their bugles when they attacked and retreated, and he describes the use of napalm against the enemy.
James “Jim” Valentine
Death on the Ice at Chosin Reservoir
Jim Valentine discusses crossing the ice in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he was surrounded. He explains how they had to not attract attention due to Chinese soldiers. He discusses the harsh winters he experienced. He explains that he is still unsure as to how/why he survived.
I Was Only 17/18
James Valentine discusses being evacuated. He discusses that he thought he was leaving but was sent back to liberate Seoul the second time from North Korea. He explains how he didn't completely understand since he was just a teen and how it changed him. He shares his struggles post-war. His wife, Beth, adds a story about rations and being able to eat during the cold. She explains how he didn't speak of the war until being involved with the VFW in Washington.
James “Jim” Wetmore
Dead Marine in the Snow
Jim Wetmore recalls an incident when he and some fellow soldiers discovered a frozen Marine in the snow. He explains that he and some men in his unit were throwing Russian hand grenades down a hill for fun to see who could make the biggest explosion. He saw a hand sticking up out of the snow and called for a patrol to come inspect the situation. They found the body of a marine wearing only fatigues and a tee shirt. He assumes the man had escaped imprisonment and was caught in the snow and froze to death.
James C. Delong
Life as a POW - Marching
James C. Delong describes the march to the POW camp. He explains that the men were given one frozen potato a day. He recalls trying to find the biggest one, knowing that would be all he would receive for the entire day. He describes climbing mountain after mountain for eighteen days to reach their destination that was sixty miles away. He explains that he never sat down along the way because if you sit down then you would free and die.
James C. Humphreys
Husband's Service in Korea
Lisa Lee discusses her husband's service during the Korean War. She shares he was twenty-one when he joined the US Army and served in a combat unit in Korea. She recalls him remembering how cold it was in Korea and adds that, despite the extreme temperatures, he enjoyed 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.
Troopships and Preparation for Deployment into the Korean War
James Ferris describes being put on an American troopship with five thousand Marines. He recalls traveling twenty-nine days to reach Japan. He shares that once in Japan, his division was so large the soldiers were split and sent to multiple locations around the country to wait for deployment to Korea.
James H. Raynor
New Year's Eve at T-Bone Hill
James H. Raynor describes his News Year Eve at T-Bone Hill. He elaborates on the poor food rations, the extreme cold, and calling out to his "mommy" for strength. He describes a surprise attack that destroyed everything around him.
Time in Korea
James Houp speaks about his time in Pusan and Heungnam, up towards the Yalu River, and recalls meeting Chinese forces. He describes how his unit was pushed back to Heungnam where he worked to set up communication lines with the ships. He recalls how his unit stayed in a warehouse and remembers seeing the Army retreating away from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He comments on the temperature being thirty-two degrees below zero at the time. He recalls his departure via a U.S. ship headed back to Pusan and then to other locations south of Seoul.
Cold at Chosin
James Jolly describes the extreme cold temperatures his platoon endured while at the Chosin Reservoir. Temperatures were usually twenty degrees Fahrenheit below zero and sometimes as low as forty degrees below zero. He recalls many soldiers suffered from frostbite while some froze to death. He also elaborates on their Christmas miracle known as "the star of Kotari" which gave them the will to persevere.
James Jolly recalls that while at the Chosin Reservoir, his platoon survived on Tootsie Roll candy. He explains that their C-rations were frozen and the only way they could thaw them was by holding them against their bodies, which was very unpleasant. He goes on to explain how the delivery of this candy was originally a mistake; they had ordered mortar shells which happened to be the code name for Tootsie Rolls, thus tons and tons of candy was delivered from Japan.
James Kenneth Hall
Dreaming of Bologna, Peanut Butter, and Peaches
James Hall describes how he was able to survive nearly starving to death in Camp 5, a Chinese prisoner of war camp. He discusses what he was fed while in the encampment. He recalls that when peace talks to bring about a ceasefire started, he noticed the prisoners were fed rice as a means for them to regain their strength.
James R. Kaleohano
James Kaleohano arrives in Korea and his company is replacing the company that was just ambushed. They are transported in cattle cars to the front lines in North Korea. James's company goes straight to the front line and he is given the job of a machine gunner.
I willed myself to live.
In this video James Kaleohano describes the brutal winters in Korea. Coming from Hawaii, his company had no winter clothing. The Chinese army pushed them back to Seoul. It was so cold that sometimes the weapons did not even fire.
Flying US Soldiers into Battle and Flying the Injured Out
James Shipton's planes were used to fly United States soldiers into Japan. Once in Japan, soldiers boarded troop ships bound for Korea. His flights transported 45 soldiers at a time. Beginning in November of 1950 James Shipton becgan flying injured soldiers back to the US. James Shipton recalls the RCF nurses who took care of soldiers and marines who were suffering from frostbite.
James Tilford Jones
Cold and Hunger
James Jones describes his plight when the Chinese overran US forces at the Yalu River. He describes times when his unit went days without c-rations because their kitchen could not "find" them. He figured out that he could go into a rice paddy, shred rice with his bayonet and pop it over a fire to make popcorn.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
Minefields and Cold Temperatures
Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his duty laying minefields. He recounts carrying out sweeps after opposing forces dropped shells on the fields and on their trenches. He also mentions that Canadian forces used dugouts to keep warm, utilizing gasoline and ammunition cases to create their own sources of heat.
Jean Paul White
Jean Paul White describes war activity with the Chinese. He explains the living conditions and injuries that resulted. He describes the movements of the Marine Corps leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes events that happen during and after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains learning about General MacArthur asking them to retreat with orders from his Commanding General, General Smith.
Fighting the Cold
Jean Paul White describes how difficult it was to maintain weapons in the cold in Korea in the winter of 1950. He explains the effects on food. He explains the extents to what people had to do to keep items in use. He shares an interesting story about the medical professionals struggle difficult conditions.
Shot But Not Wounded
Jean Paul White describes an incident while he and his squad were taking a hill. He describes a Chinese soldier with an automatic rifle. He mentions a fellow officer, PFC Walter Talbot, who was hit. He explains that after dispatching the enemy soldier, he was surprised to find that PFC Talbot had been shot but not wounded. He explains how he was miraculously saved.
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.
Harsh Winters and Ways to Detect the Enemy
Joe Larkin described the conditions on the mountains at Punchbowl were terrible including 10-20 degrees below zero weather which made it very difficult for guns to work properly. He said the oil and grease would freeze, so the soldiers weren't able to shoot their guns. They also developed searchlights that would beam off of low lying clouds so they could detect movement and see both the enemy and their own soldiers during the Korean War.
The Most Difficult Conditions Were Being Constantly Cold and Wet
Joe Rosato described that in most places around Korea, it wasn't safe to walk around. During the winter months, the scariest times were when they lived in the fox holes and it rained so much that it would fill the fox holes with water. Sleeping in a foot of water made Joe Rasato fear that he would freeze to death or drowned, so they had to make the choice to stay where they were or sleep outside the fox hole and risk getting shot.
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.
Memories and Dreams
John Atkins describes the disturbing dreams he had while in college after serving in the war. While taking a comparative anatomy course in college, the images of the frozen dead bodies that he recovered during the war haunted him. He states that he thinks about his time there more since he has a grandson the same age.
John Boyd's Call to Service
John Boyd was called to service in the winter of 1951, and he wanted to join the RAF. Unfortunately, he was told he could not due to a knee injury. He tried several other options before finding a route to take.
John Boyd's Life and Duty as a Signal Officer
John Boyd was a Signal Officer with various responsibilities. He explains the conditions and duties that he had during the war, including some of the sleeping arrangements. He remembers one specific time that he was left alone and was not sure what to do.
Fire! Another Korean War Enemy
John Boyd had to deal with many fires during his year in Korea because while working as a signal officer, his equipment started a fire which affected additional trucks at the headquarters. A space heater was the cause of another fire in the signal office. He remembers what it was like witnessing one particular fire.
attack in the fox hole
Cole used his great hearing as one of his fighting tools. When he was about to fall asleep in his fox hole, he could hear the enemy gathering across the rice field. Soon, the Chinese began their attack and even when you thought the enemy was dead, they usually weren't. Cole found out the hard way as the enemy crept into his fox hole through the rice field.
Battling for Hill 1520
Cole fought for Hill 1520 during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He lost a lot of men defending that hill. Three Chinese soldiers climbed into his fox hole and he had to fight using hand-to-hand combat. This was where Cole was shot through his right arm.
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.
The Dreaded Stacking System and Plane Configuration
John Cumming's plane would have to go into a stacking system if there were too many planes waiting to land at the same time and that was very stressful to the flight crew along with the injured soldiers. A scary time was when he had to fly napalm from Japan, but he had to go higher which caused the napalm canisters to shrink to the size of cigars due to heightened air pressure.
Life as a Flight Nurse and the Long Waited R&R
John Cumming would wear five layers of clothing to stay warm during the winter of 1951 and he learned the hard way never touch the skin of a plane otherwise, you lose your own skin. R&R in Tokyo as a young man was a blast and he didn't end up with any extra money.
Stories from Friends in Combat
John Davie recalls stories he heard about Korea from childhood friends. He received a letter from a friend who was fighting in Korea in 1953. This friend told him he was lucky to not be in Korea, that it was a cold, and a tough time. He had another friend who was wounded as a paratrooper in Korea. That friend lost part of one of his leg calves in gunfire and didn't talk much about his experience beyond that. Korea seemed so distant to him, but many of his friends were affected directly.
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 G. Sinnicki
Impressions of the Chinese
John Sinnicki describes his experiences with the Chinese. He recalls feeling sorry for many of them, as they were very hungry and cold and would take clothing and shoes from dead Marines in the field for their own use. He explains that the Chinese POWs were sometimes executed rather than being allowed to leave and possibly rejoin the Chinese military.
John H. Jackson
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson fought in the Battle at the Chosin Reservoir and he fought there until Christmas Eve 1950. The weather was very cold and it even went down to 50 below zero. Some of the soldiers were freezing to death as the Chinese continued to fight.
Returning to the Korean War after being Evacuated from Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson was put back into battle after he was evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir. He then fought at the Imjin River and Han River. He continued fighting during the Seoul Recapture, Chorwon Valley, and Ontrang.
John Hilgert describes what conditions were like in the camp where he spent two years as a prisoner of the Chinese Army. He explains that the Chinese were not as brutal as the North Koreans who would dismember the enemies. He recalls sleeping in dirt floored huts, eight to twelve men to a hut. He describes the terrible lice infestation they experienced that was out of control until they were able to boil their clothes. He describes how he gathered wood to heat their hut during the winters.
The Frozen at Chosin
John Levi shares his experience about the winter the Marines endured in the Chosin Reservoir. The brutal winter still stands out clearly as one of the most memorable parts of his entire experience in the war. John Levi recounts how the winter required an unexpected shift in his corpsman duties - from blood freezing to morphine freezing the marines had to alter their craft fast to survive.
While in the Combat Engineer Battalion
John McWaters shares that while near Heungnam, he provided jackhammers and an air compressor truck to some marines who needed help breaking up large rocks. He reported to General Oliver Prince Smith and assisted him with running the equipment. He recalls the general looking up and thanking god for his help.
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.
Watching Over the Enemy
John Munro recounts how he tried to go home and work at his parents' cafe and service station. He shares that he decided to go back into the military as an Australian Army Reservist. He recalls being stationed with the 38th Battalion, F Unit, and being sent to the DMZ to patrol right across from the North Koreans. He shares that it was rough protecting South Korea through the freezing winters and steamy summers.
John O. Every
The Terrible Cold and Frostbite
John O. Every talks about being in combat near the Chosin Reservoir, and being evacuated due to extreme frostbite. He recalls seeing airplanes drop supplies, and recounts the tough losses of fighting. He explains being evacuated and taken to various hospitals for recovery.
Close Encounters Under Enemy Fire
John O. Every talks about being under enemy fire and encountering Chinese soldiers. He was awarded a Marine Corps Commendation Medal for enduring the enemy fire. He explains having to repair ammunition that was not properly operating.
John P. Downing
Life as a Soldier on Hill 355
John P. Downing explained that life as a soldier was cold, wet, and hungry. He had limited rations and many of his friends died during his time participating in the Korean War for 13 months. Hill 355 was a hill that overlooked the 38th parallel and it was constantly under attack by the enemy. Artillery and mortars were incoming while John was protecting the hill.
Christmas in Korea
John Pritchard spent Christmas off for 24 hours due to his commander speaking up for his men. To show that he cared for the commander, John Pritchard and a few lads went to Seoul to buy a Christmas present for him, 400 cigarettes, and this made him cry.
Moments of Danger
John Rolston shares how he had to land on pierced steel planking instead of cement. He shares concerns he had about flying in certain weather conditions. He explains how the snow and rain were terrifying conditions that made his plane spin around. He shares the fears he had that he might not survive some landings or take-offs.
Life at Osan Airbase in 1954-55
John Rolston shares his fourteen-month experience at the Osan Airbase. He shares information about the F-86 planes there and the number of pilots that would be there. He states the weather was so cold that the fuel would freeze in the planes. He shares information about food during this time and missing his family. He explains the stability at the DMZ during this time since both the North and South didn't want to restart the war.
"I remember the rain" John Shea says. It would be raining when he went to bed, and still raining in the morning. He remembers freezing cold weather, trucks not starting.
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.
From Busan to the Punchbowl
John Snodell describes his first impressions of Busan, Korea. He recalls having a negative experience getting on a truck in Busan, then connecting with the 1st Marine Division for the Battle of the Punchbowl. He recalls being in Korea during a very cold winter.
The Coldest Winter
John Snodell describes being with the 1st Marine Division and working as a combat engineer, and recalls seeing Cuban, Greek and Turkish soldiers during his time in Korea. He describes the weather as being very cold and remembers having to sleep on the ground. He recalls seeing Korean soldiers sleeping in trenches.
Experiences in Battle
John Tobia discusses his recollections of being in battle. He recalls most of the fighting he witnessed occurred at night, and the next day, he and others would often go to the front lines and see how many troops were killed. He recalls how severely cold the winters were. His company used heaters and stoves to stay warm and often saw rats in their bunker also wanting to warm up. He also mentions how important it was to keep toilet paper in one's helmet.
Everyday Life in Korea
John Turner talks about what it was like to sleep and eat in Korea. They slept in sleeping bags inside two-man tents and would receive one hot meal a week; other than that, they ate rations. He recalls the weather not being as cold as it was up north. They were occasionally allowed to shower. He recalls writing letters to his wife when he could.
Living Conditions in the British Army
John Wallar describes his unit's living conditions during his time in Korea as a part of the British Army near Uijeongbu. He talks about living quarters, bedding, and how they kept their tents warm during the cold winter.
John Y. Lee
John Y. Lee, an interpreter assigned to UN Headquarters unit, talks about the organization of the unit during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difference between his headquarters unit and a normal infantry regiment as well as the way Headquarters was set up at Hagalwoori, defended by only two Marine companies.
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi
Keeping Warm...with Newspaper
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi describes what he found most difficult during his time in Busan...the cold. Jose recalls layering in heavy clothing yet was still cold. Jose took part in a local Korean tradition of using newspaper to help him stay warm.
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 Dunford, Sr.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Dunford shares how he participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which is known in Korea as the Jangjin Battle. He explains that there were so many Chinese there that he couldn't even count. He explains how he had to sleep on the ground without a sleeping bag since they were told to burn everything except a few C-Rations and weapons. He shares how the lack of food, proper shelter, and other necessities made survival difficult.
The Punch Bowl
Joseph Horton describes his experience trying to hold a line against North Korean forces. He recalls his first real combat duty and seeing wounded and killed soldiers. He describes how his job was to extricate the wounded from the battlefield.
Joseph Lawrence Annello
Stacked Up Like Cordwood
Joseph Annello describes the cold winter's affect on dead bodies during the Korean War. He explains that bodies would be stacked up like wood and frozen limbs would have to be broken to evacuate them. He describes the horror of the situation not setting in until after the fighting had ended.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes heading towards the Chosin Reservoir. He shares how he was meant to advance to Yellow River but stopped. He shares how he didn't hit any resistance since they defeated that North Koreans and the men thought that the Chinese would not get involved. He describes the frozen ground and how it was so cold that the soldiers couldn't dig a fox hole, so they slept on the ground in their sleeping bags. He shares how the Chinese attacked them and there was nowhere to hide.
"It Was the Fourth of July"
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.
Keith H. Fannon
Difficult and Happy Memories
Keith H. Fannon talks about his experiences trying to help orphaned children. He talks about seeing dead orphans. Keith H. Fannon shares how helping an orphan family brought joy to him.
The Enemy Talked To Us
Bodies lay dying on the battlefield not too far from where the troops were stationed on the hill they were defending territory. Kenneth Borchers recalled the sounds bodies were making as the men were dying during the night. There was death all around and soldiers moaning from their pain was a constant sound.
Two Trips to Korea
Kenneth Dillard describes his experiences at sea during the Korean War. He was on one of many destroyers that were stationed in the East Sea and Yellow Sea. He recalls chipping ice off the ship, and chasing submarines in the East Sea.
Kenneth E. Moorhead
Kenneth E. Moorhead describes his living conditions while serving in Korea. He discusses some of his most difficult experiences with the freezing weather as well as food rations and mailing letters home. He recalls the weather at night would often be twenty degrees below freezing and though he was from New England, he still found the winter to be difficult. He goes on to describe eating c-rations mostly but upon occasion receiving b-rations which were more substantial.
Kenneth F. Dawson
Kenneth F. Dawson describes his experiences delivering supplies to the front lines. No one wanted to accompany him due to the danger. One cold night in the middle of a battle, he drove with his lights off to the front lines to deliver food and cigarettes to the soldiers. Flares lit his way to the top of the hill.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Kenneth Newton recounts the days leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which included seeing Manchuria and partaking in a Thanksgiving meal. He remembers waking up to explosions late one night and realized they were under attack by the Chinese. He explains that chaos ensued, everyone being assigned a weapon and sent to the front lines.
Chinese-American vs. Chinese Soldiers
Kenneth Newton describes Chinese soldiers, sharing memories of them freezing to death due to the harsh weather conditions. He offers a story of an American officer with them who was Chinese and could speak Chinese fluently. He recounts the soldier's bravery and his ability to confuse the enemy by countering orders due to understanding the language.
Winters on Deck
Kenneth Oberstaller describes a typical day and his duties on the flight deck while stationed near the Korean Peninsula. He often had to sleep on deck, on the catwalk, in his aircraft and even standing up. He elaborates on enduring these conditions while not being at all prepared for the extreme winter cold. He goes on to describe the close relationship between crewmen and pilots.
Kim H. McMillan
Engaged, Alone, and Cold
Kim McMillan left his fiancée, Elizabeth, to enlist in the New Zealand Army, but he wrote letters home twice weekly. Memories of Korea include going to bed fully dressed in the cold winters and the state of Seoul as he left in 1956. Seoul remained damaged by the war. Very little construction was underway, although Syngman Rhee diverted funds provided by the United States for a hospital into the building of a hotel.
A Prisoner's Winter
Lawrence Shadler describes spending the winter in a Chinese P.O.W. camp. He was given a "long-John," a piece of steamed bread. The flue from the stove tunneled under the building and created heat under the floor. The men had to move around or "you would burn your butt." The cold was so overbearing that birds wings froze in mid air.
Prior Knowledge of the Korean War
From 2004 to 2008, Lawrence Dumpit's second tour, was filled with working with tanks on the ground. This was a change from the first tour in 1997. He didn't know a lot about Korea before he was stationed there, but he did know about the war because he learned about it during school.
A soldier's life
This clip conveys the conditions that soldiers faced in the Korean War including cold weather, and dangerous situations with enemy snipers. Leland Wallis also describes his endearing interactions with South Koreans who helped out in the camps.
It shook us up
Leo Glover recalls what he most remembers from his tours in Korea. He describes one particular mission to fly into the Chosin Reservoir to retrieve men and fly them to safety. He explains that the plane's skin was very thin and the men feared grazing a piece of ice would be disastrous.
Good time and bad times
Leo Glover describes some of the better and worst times he experienced during the war. He recalls his appreciation for the friendliness and togetherness of those he served with in the seaplane outfit. He describes several tragedies that occurred including the loss of a man to drunk driving. He goes on to explain what it was like to fly through winter storms in Korea, elaborating on the extreme cold and huge ice chips stuck on the plane.
Leon “Andy” Anderson
Twenty Degrees Below
Leon "Andy" Anderson describes his time in Korea. He describes forming into boat units in freezing temperatures and landing in Korea to live in just a thin tent. He describes giving the order for his men to gather what they could in order to make life better inside the tent. He explains what resources they found. He shares how even when the went to the range to practice the weapons would be frozen.
The Chinese Were Smart, But Napalm Was Stronger
When Leonard Laconia's air squadron went on "strafing" missions, the Chinese were smart to just lie down flat on the ground to keep from getting shot which was a great defense tactic. Leonard Laconia's group responded by dropping napalm which wiped out most of the Chinese troops. He described that one canister of napalm would cover the diameter of a football field spreading across consuming the oxygen in the air and heat would rise under the plane. The Chinese wore thick heavy coats during the winter and the napalm would just stick to it aiding in the burning of bodies.
Keeping the Guns Warm
Lester Griebenow recalls an incident that he was not involved with, how an officer told a gun crew to light fires underneath the heavy artillery to keep the guns from freezing. Unfortunately, the fires notified the North Koreans of their location. The soldiers were taken prisoner and the guns were destroyed.
Arriving and Setting Up Camp
Lester Ludwig describes arriving on New Years Eve in 1952. He describes first arriving at Inchon and continuing on to just east of the Punchbowl. Upon arrival, his duties included setting up the bivouac which required digging in the frozen ground in order to erect the tents. He goes on to describe various experiences such as another soldier building a snow woman and later moving to just west of the Punchbowl.
The Fierce Drive From the Chinese in November 1950
During Thanksgiving in November 1950, the Chinese entered the Korean War and pushed their troops down into Seoul. In January 1951, Lewis Ebert's troops were told to evacuate the Air Base in Taegu, but 10 airmen had to remain, so Lewis Ebert stayed. After the United Nations troops retook Seoul, Lewis Ebert was told to be a liaison in Pusan at the large gas depot.
Arriving in Korea
Lewis Ewing talks about his arrival in Korea, his journey to his unit in Chuncheon, and his first impressions of war. He explains how he felt about his deployment, and describes his rapid journey to the front lines. He recalls the living conditions on the base where he arrived.
Lisa Humphreys Hwaja Lee
Husband's Service in Korea
Lisa Lee discusses her husband's service during the Korean War. She shares he was twenty-one when he joined the US Army and served in a combat unit in Korea. She recalls him remembering how cold it was in Korea and adds that, despite the extreme temperatures, he enjoyed Korea.
Cold Weather Training
Loren Schumacher describes his arrival at Camp Pendleton and from there leaving for the mountains of California for Cold Weather Training at Pickel Meadow. He describes being paired with another soldier who he shared a pup tent with and the Permanent Party of Marines who disturbed the sleeping soldiers. He explains that the true purpose of cold weather training is to acclimate the men to cold weather as well as being disturbed night or day.
Louis G. Surratt
Two Brothers Serving in Korea
Louis Surratt was selected to spend Christmas with his brother. While he spoke on the phone with his brother to make plans, a deadly plane collision happened on the airport runway. All men aboard the two planes died in the crash. The high number of casualty reports that ensued meant that Louis Surratt could not join Donald for the holiday.
Luis M. Juarbe
The Struggle for Sanitation and Sleep
Luis Juarbe remembers the living conditions he endured while serving in Korea. He describes how the winter was brutal, but he had on "four pairs of pants and five shirts" in order to keep himself warm in the negative fourteen-degree weather. He recalls that the sanitary conditions were not ideal and he had to wait three months to bath at one point in the war. He also shares that he received letters from and wrote letters to family.
Luis Maria Jimenez Jimenez
Arriving in Korea after the Armistice
Luis Jimenez shares his feelings about heading to Korea and knowing that the armistice had been signed. He remembers still being prepared to fight because the peace could end at any time. When he arrived in Korea, he saw terrible devastation and hunger.
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez
Different from Home
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez recalls that when he arrived in Korea, it was very different from his native Puerto Rico. He explains that living conditions were so poor that his troop had to make a lot of makeshift items for survival. He also describes the various things needed to be done to survive in the extreme cold.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Manuel Carnero describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes arriving and experiencing temperatures 20-30 degrees below 0. He describes the weapons available and how the machine guns they carried utilized belted ammunition though the soldiers were given linked ammunition. He goes on to describe seeing what he thought looked like a German grenade from WWII and being unable to escape the explosion. When he awoke, his tongue half cut-off and mouth full of blood, he looked up the hill and thought he was dead and headed to Valhalla.
Injuries and Casualties
Manuel Carnero describes how the cold and frostbite affected soldiers. He explains that he had frostbite on his hands and feet while many other men froze to death. He says it was not unusual for men to fall asleep and not wake up; that the weather claimed more lives than the Chinese. He goes on to describe how the Navy Corpsmen serving with the Marines were picking up the casualties at the battle site when they found him and helped him to a truck.
Bombed by Your Own Side
Marc Villanueva describes an incident that occurred while he was a platoon leader during a winter attack. He describes hiding in the trees of Korea near an enemy encampment and calling in for support. He radioed in the coordinates and soon the support began firing mortars at his platoon's location. He describes having to wait until nightfall, lying in the snow so that the enemy could not see them.
Fox Holes in the Snow
Marc Villanueva explains that many of his new recruits from the United States were very young, right out of high school. He describes the cold conditions and necessity for having to dig the fox holes deep and wide. Unfortunately, two young soldiers did not follow instructions and instead of digging a fox hole, they slept on top of the snow in their sleeping bags. When the enemy saw them, they used their burp guns to spray them with gunfire and the men were killed.
Marshall W. Ritchey
Keep Your Head Down
Mitchell W. Ritchey describes the 3 most important things to making it home: stay warm, keep your head down (always wear your helmet), and doing everything you could to stay alive. He recalls the year he was there was marked by one of the coldest winters ('52) and says they had "Hoochies" that they made while on the front lines where they would dig a hole into the side of a mountain and put sands bags into the hill (in case of incoming mail-grenade drop) and 3-4 bunks at one time. Most of the men slept in sleeping bags and Mitchell said he never took his boots off.
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.
Life in the POW Camp
Mathew Thomas discusses the living situation in the POW camp. He describes how they lived in wooden structures and canvas tents and remembers having heaters because it was very cold. He recalls eating goats, having good morale in the camp, and the bathrooms being outdoors. He shares he was able to mail letters home if he wanted.
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.
Battlefield and Memories
Matthew Rennie details suffering a head wound during an encounter with Chinese soldiers. He recalls a bullet grazing the back of his head and spending several days at a MASH unit to receive care. He reflects on the fear he experienced on the battlefield and his feelings of helplessness as he watched fellow soldiers die. He shares that he suffers from PTSD and nightmares despite so many years having past since his service in Korea.
Maurice B. Pears
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.
Maurice Morby describes his unit's encampment near a factory. He describes the size of the camp, where and how they slept, how they dealt with cold weather, and what not to do with beer.
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.
There's a Snake in My Bed
Mekonen Derseh describes the toughest thing that happened to him in Korea. The fighting was over when Mekonen Derseh was in Korea. He describes the cold winter as being the toughest part of his service. One night a snake was cold and made its way into his sleeping bag. He did not know until he was folding his sleeping bag up.
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.
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.
The Chinese Invasion Changed the War
Merle Peterson describes fighting the Chinese at the Yalu River. He explains that though his unit had been told they would be home for Christmas, when the Chinese invaded, their plans to return home were ended. He describes having to retreat alongside many of the Korean people. He recalls having to fight in summer military clothes during the winter in the freezing weather and delousing after not showering for thirty days, which was the norm.
Life as a Truck Driver in Chinchon
Merlin Mestad describes arriving in Inchon Harbor in October 1952. He explains that he was assigned to the 540th Trucking Company and drove trucks until the war was over. He describes hauling ammunition, fuel oil, troops, POWs, barbed wire, etc., day and night. He goes on to describe living in a province of Inchon called Chinchon in a tent with an oil burner and a wooden floor and experiencing cold winters.
Meeting Marilyn Monroe and Transporting POWs
Merlin Mestad describes meeting Marilyn Monroe in Korea when she performed for the USO. He recalls being surprised when she sang "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in below zero weather. He goes on to describe transporting North Korean POWs from Panmunjom to Seoul after the war ended. He explains that many South Korean people were incredibly angry with the North Koreans after the war and threw rocks at the POWs when they arrived in Seoul.
Michael Berardi describes how he incurred frostbite. In the midst of combat, a priority for him was to keep the radio equipment warm enough to function. While doing this, Michael Berardi was not consistently able to take measures to keep his own body warm and safe from frostbite.
Lice and Rats
Michael Fryer talks about the cold weather that he experienced in Korea. He describes the living conditions, what he wore, and how how he slept during the bitterly cold months. He recalls his experiences in encountering lice and rats during his service in Korea.
Korea making an Impression
Mmadu Onyeuwa was sent to Korea during the winter of 1968. He describes seeing very deep, waist high snow. He explains that though he spent a good deal of time with the Puerto Ricans, his instinct told him to spend more time immersing himself in the Korean culture. He describes learning the Korean language as well as customs and music.
Morris J. Selwyn
Patrolling for Communists
Morris J. Selwyn describes his arrival in Korea in 1954 as "bloomin' cold," with not trees of forests. Since the Korean war had ended, the Kaniere patrolled the Han River in 1954 to contain the spread of communism, but he faced no confrontations. During his second tour in 1957-58, patrols were much more intense, but he still encountered no real threats as his ship patrolled the sea.
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.
Keeping US Forces Supplied
Narce Caliva discusses the mission of supplying US forces. He explains that every infantry man has 8-10 people in support positions backing him, making sure he has everything he needs to fight a war. He lists the items that were carried on supply trucks: food, ammunitions, clothes were some of the most important items he transported. He goes on to describe the difficulties they encountered; for instance, driving large convey trucks on newly cut roads that had frozen over on the Korean mountainsides.
Toughest Battle at the Nakdong River
Nelson Skinner describes a fierce battle fought near the Nakdong River. He explains that his mission was to protect his regiment and another one in front of him. He describes the weaponry used during the battle. He goes on to describe being shot in the leg by a sniper and having to go to an overwhelmed MASH unit for medical aid.
Nelson Skinner describes his duties as a forward observer and working with two Counter-Intelligence Corps officers from North and South Korea. He explains the CIC officers received one-fourth of a cent a month for pay. He recalls sharing his Coke rations with them and they, in return, gave him their blankets when his sleeping bag was wet. He later realized that that winter was the coldest winter Korea had experienced in many years.
Sending Supplies from Home
Noreen Jankowski recalls a conversation about the cold winters in Korea. She mentions how she sent supplies to her husband in Korea to keep him warm. She details sending hand and feet warmers and shares that he endured some difficulties with his legs later on perhaps due to the cold exposure.
Norman Spencer Hale
Norman S. Hale speaks about the food his Chinese captors gave the prisoners. He also speaks about the "March" to POW Camp 5 that began in early December 1950 and ended in February 1951.
Osman Yasar Eken
Description of War
Osman Eken describes war. He did not feel danger or think about death. The Vegas Battles left many Chinese dead. Osman Eken provides one of the most vivid accounts of the battle. Turkey lost one hundred and forty-seven soldiers in twenty-six hours.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
Cold Guns and Ingenuity
Patrick Hickey shares that he woke up at five each morning to remove guns from action for maintenance. He recalls that during the heat of summer the routine was fairly straightforward but adds that the guns froze in winter. He shares how he developed a mix of oil and kerosene to prevent the gun components from freezing, an innovation that spread quickly to other units. He describes the winters being so cold that soldiers had to disassemble their guns at night and place the parts by the fire so the guns would fire in the morning.
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.
Paul H. Nordstrom
Braving the Cold as a Minnesotan
Paul H. Nordstrom details his living conditions while in Korea. He comments on meals, sleeping arrangements, and the climate. He shares that he was more accustomed to colder temperatures than others due to having grown up in similar conditions in Minnesota.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.
The Costs of War
Paul Summers remembers lying down in a skirmish line and watching a truck dump dead U.S. Marines into a big hole. Tanks filled in the hole. The image still haunts him. Later, his division marched to Hagalwoori but ran into a fortified bunker controlled by the Chinese. As the division pondered their situation, a general up the road announced they would take the hill no matter what.
Pedro A. Santana
Korean War Army Medic: A day in the life
This clip discusses the life of a medic, and the circumstances that led to Mr. Santana's hearing loss. He describes the events of February 14, 1953 where after 5 pm, in the blistering cold, he encountered Chinese troops. The Chinese were engaging in mortar attacks as Mr. Santana, in his jeep, was diligently evacuating wounded soldiers and taking them to the first aid station for medical help. He received a Bronze and Silver Star for his heroism, and Mr. Santana is still emotional about the events of that day.
Pell E. Johnson
Protecting the Front Lines at Old Baldy
Pell E. Johnson understood the importance of protecting the battle lines at Old Baldy. It was difficult to drive the Chinese out of the area. He won't ever forget changing the troops out and celebrating Thanksgiving on a cold night.
Percy D. Mohr
We Never Saw a Bed!
Percy Mohr describes the worst parts of war. The cold weather made sleeping outside uncomfortable, and baths were rare. He also disliked the food.
Why Did They Miss Me?
Percy Mohr recounts the battle in which Chinese soldiers overran his division, pushing them back to headquarters. He was standing beside a captain who was shot by the Chinese, and he pauses to wonder why he survived. During the battle, Chinese soldiers overran his artillery division. When the U.S. soldiers returned to camp, they were greeted by a surprise.
Peter Elliott sheds light on the living conditions around the Battle of the Hook. He recalls how the men lived in dugout habitats with weather conditions that were either very hot or very cold depending on the season. He remembers that there was a lot of activity occurring before the major battle.
Freezing Water and Oil
Peter Ford speaks about the cold weather. He gives an examples of how quick water would freeze. He shares that he had proper winter clothing and the effects the cold could have on vehicles. He explains a scenario where he made a mistake in the cold.
Philip S. Kelly
64th Anniversary of the War
Philip S. Kelly reads letters he wrote for the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War. He describes the Battle of Chosin Reservoir by reading details of his personal experience. He recalls hearing the bugles of the Chinese blaring, and engaging in hand-to-hand combat as a combat infantryman.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir and Roadblocks
Philip S. Kelly describes thinking he would be home by Christmas 1950, but instead he encountered a surprise attack by the Chinese in what became the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the United States Army pulled out and left the U.S. Marines exposed to the Chinese attack. He explains how he fought as an infantryman, and the difficulty experienced by the soldiers in trying to clear out Chinese road blocks.
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.
Ralph A Gastelum
Death Results in PTSD Chosin Reservoir
Ralph describes the number of bodies on the battlefield as far as the eye could see both the enemy and their fallen comrades frozen the way they had fell. The 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 the bitterness they have. Their wives didn't talk at the time but when they sleep they tell them what they say and their reactions to it. Both Ed and Ralph live with this daily they just learn to cope with it.
Makeshift Stove for Warmth
Ralph Blum said he built a bunker with a couple other Marines. Their bunker had three feet of dirt on top. Because it was cold they made a stove out of a fuse box, put sand in it, used fuses from shells, and used beer cans to make a chimney. They used a five galloon can with diesel fuel which kept them reasonably warm for when they were in there at night.
Weather in Korea
Ralph Burhcam and other soldiers were negatively affected by the weather. The cold winters weren't the worst part, it was also the summer heat and mosquitoes. Soldiers tried to be creative to survive the elements, but their creativity was not always encouraged by military regulations.
Walking Like a Duck
Raul Aguilar describes his first impressions of arriving in Korea and how arriving as a replacement, he was completely unaware of where he was or how to go about things. He describes one night when he arrived in December when he went to visit the latrine. He remembers there was snow and ice on the building and having to wipe the ice off of the boards so he could sit down. He describes wearing a lot of clothing and having to take everything off when suddenly explosions began around him. He explains grabbing his gun, not having time to pull up his pants and finding his way back to his troops only to discover there was a friendly reason for the explosions.
It Just Happened You Know
Raul Aguilar describes getting ready to relieve the Marines when he received a Dear John letter from his girlfriend. He explains that immediately after reading the letter from his girlfriend, he was sent off into the dark with his troop. He describes how cold the weather was and that due to the lack of stops, several soldiers evacuated their bowels onto themselves.
Treacherous Trips as a Navigator
Rayond Scott's job as a Navigator during the Korean War consisted of taking a trip to Japan about every three months to assist Pilots. He recalls that the most difficult flights were landing in and taking off from Shemya Air Force Base in Alaska. He recalls the encounters of difficulty due to the intense fog and high winds.
Life in POW Camp #3
Raymond Unger describes the living conditions in Camp #3 during his time as a prisoner of war.
Richard A. Houser
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.
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.
Chosin Reservoir Reflection
Richard Davis reflects on his experiences at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts the bitterly cold conditions and being outnumbered by the Chinese. He describes the sleeping bag situation, digging foxholes, and the food available.
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.
Remember the Death March North
Richard Donatelli remembers that in spite of the heavy artillery being used, it was no match for the Chinese near Kotori who would over run their unit, forcibly moving them with bayonets north.
He explains that they lost a lot of men on this "death march" due to the rough, cold conditions and lack of water and food. During a few times, Richard Donatelli wanted to give up, but he kept going.
POW Camp 5 Morning Ritual
Richard Dontelli says that they hard a hard time sleeping and medical care was not the best. The Chinese doctors would only give them pills. He remembers that if you didn't eat what they gave you, you died. Richard Dontelli tells the story of one time he was caught stealing wooden shingles off of one of the cabinets and he was punished.
Introduction to the War in Korea
Richard Franklin describes the first night after joining his medical unit in Korea. He talks about sleeping between two oil drums and waking up to wounded soldiers.
Korean Refugee Retreat, 1950
Richard Higa describes witnessing streams of Korean Refugees fleeing south in late 1950. He talks about the difficult terrain and conditions that the refugees encountered that led to many of them dying during the journey.
Richard P. Holgin
Burning Bridges at the Chosin Reservoir
Richard P. Holgin experienced subzero temperatures and fierce fighting at the Chosin Reservoir. After his company's missions, they would have to blow up bridges and roads so that no enemy could follow them. The weather was a major factor in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Persevering through Frostbite
Richard P. Holgin experienced terrible frostbite on his leg. Despite this condition, he continued to serve to the best of his ability, until a superior noticed his injury. Richard P. Holgin was then cared for in Busan and in Japan.
Richard V. Gordon
Lasting Memory and Pictures from the Ship
Richard V. Gordon describes his one lasting memory, the loss of a fellow shipmate in the China Sea. He, also provides pictures of the USS Missouri and cold conditions aboard the ship. Richard V. Gordon provides a picture where people are covered in snow while on the ship during the winter.
Richard W. Edwards
Pocket Warmer Scarf
Richard Edwards describes developing a sore throat from sleeping in a pup tent his first night in Korea. He explains that his First Sergeant ignored his concern and so in an effort to feel better, Richard Edwards improvised. He describes how he assembled a makeshift treatment by wrapping his pocket warmer around his neck.
Robert “Bob” W. Ezell
Bob Ezell describes how he survived being wounded by playing dead as the enemy stole his gloves.
Survival In the Aid Tent
Bob Ezell describes surviving while wounded in the aid tent as his unit was cut off and surrounded for 5 days near the Toktong Pass
Traveling to the Chosin Reservoir
Robert Battdorff moved through Seoul, Ko do Re Pass, and then went onto the Chosin Reservoir. Using a line of soldiers, 20 feet apart, he made his way to East Hill overlooking the Chosin Reservoir. Without any enemy resistance, Robert Battdorff sent out patrols to check the different possible enemy positions in November 1950.
The Chinese Take Robert Battdorff
Marine engineers were building an airstrip near the Chosin Reservoir when Robert Battdorff moved onto Toktong Pass to set up positions. That's where the Chinese took over the hill and he was taken prisoner while on watch. It was November 28, 1950 and he was on watch in a sleeping bag because the weather was 40 below zero.
A Near Death Experience with the Chinese
The Chinese put Robert Battdorff in a cow shed and then put him in their own foxholes because the sun was coming up, so they assumed the US would be bombing soon from the air. Two other men were captured with him, but no US soldiers came to resume them right away. On the first assault, there were 28 casualties during that attack. The guard that captured the 3 US soldiers had the men kneel near a frozen stream so that he could kill them, but another Chinese soldier stopped the killing.
Marching and Traveling all over the Chosin Reservoir as a POW
After a further search and surviving a shooting, Robert Battdorff had to hide in a foxhole because the Australians were shooting up multiple buildings where the Chinese were hiding. One guard walked the POWs all day to Yudam ni, near Hamgyong, North Korea. He was moved many places to hide throughout December 1950 while the Chinese were picking up additional British POWs.
Robert C. Jagger
Challenges and Rewards
Robert Jagger discusses his greatest challenge and biggest rewards while in Korea. Like many, he remembers the bitter cold. He also remembers he was in Korea on Armistice Day and remembers warmly his relationships with other soldiers.
Joining the Air Force
Robert Greitz describes his reason for joining the Air Force. He explains how he was just 18 and after seeing so many Korean War veterans coming home missing fingers and toes from frostbite, decide to enlist in the Air Force. He also discusses using the G.I. Bill.
Robert H. Pellow
It Was Colder Than Hell
Robert H. Pellow describes the cold winters of the Korean War. He explains how his feet would freeze despite protection from the cold. He describes that his feet still hurt him to this day from his time in Korea.
You Ate Tootsie Rolls
Robert H. Pellow describes hunger during the Korean War. He describes how food would freeze and that the Marine Corps would survive on shipments of Tootsie Rolls. He explains that the last good meal he had was at Thanksgiving.
Surviving the Elements in a Tent
Robert Johnson describes his living conditions while in Korea. It was extremely cold during the winter as they lived in tents. He also recollects on the food. After winter, they had to prepare for the floods due to all the snow melting and the monsoon season beginning.
Robert M. Longden
Service Conditions, Cold, and Fear
Robert M. Longden constantly feared the Chinese and North Koreans would break the armistice while he was stationed near the DMZ. Winter was brutally cold. At one point, his hand stuck to a frozen chain while he worked with his truck. Soldiers had adequate winter gear and slept in military tents, but food was very basic.
Typical Day: North of the 38th Parallel
Robert Stephens describes a typical day North of the 38th parallel. He describes the extremely harsh weather, living conditions, and a near death experience where he almost drowned. The weather was cold enough to freeze tank tracks. At another point, Robert Stephens had to cross a river that swelled due to rain. The tank retriever stalled in the middle of the river and Robert Stephens almost drowned trying to make it to shore.
Living Conditions in Korea
Robert Whited talks about the difficult living conditions that his unit found themselves in upon arriving in Korea.
Roger S. Stringham
Out on Patrol
Roger Stringham explains that he spent his first six months in Korea serving in Item Company of the 21st Infantry Regiment and the last six months in Headquaters Company. He recounts his duties in Headquarters Company which entailed night patrols through the hills in temperatures that reached fifty degrees below zero at times. He shares he did not regret the experience but adds that he thought often of his friends while there and has since experienced PTSD.
Marine Corp Hymn and Japanese Whiskey
Rollo Minchaca talks about spending Christmas and New Years during the Korean War. Many of the men were collapsing due to the stress of being in the extreme cold and living in tents. They evacuated to Pusan and had to regroup because of the extreme temperature.
Sleeping Near the Enemy
Ronald Bourgon describes moving towards the front lines near Jipyeongri. He remembers counting eighty-nine dead American soldiers along the way who had been killed in their sleeping bags or while attempting to run away from the North Korean enemy. He shares that many were African-American soldiers and that they had been stripped of their clothes and equipment. He recalls orders being given to not sleep in their sleeping bags despite the cold February temperature after the incident had been discovered.
Ronald L. Swift
Ronald Swift describes the living conditions in the camp. He remembers having fuel to keep the stoves hot because the winters were so cold and they only had “horse blankets.” He is thankful that he made it through those conditions.
The Whole Picture Changed Dramatically
Ronald Yardley describes the intense cold upon arriving in North Korea. He explains that temperatures went thirty degrees below zero. He describes that no one could touch the upper parts of the ship for fear of losing that hand from freezing to the metal.
"An Angel Sitting on My Shoulder"
Roy Aldridge describes their unit being the first airborne unit that was completely self-contained. He explains how they had artillery, trucks, jeeps, ammunition, and medics. He describes the dates and movements of his Batallion. He describes the extremely cold temperatures ranging between 40-50 degrees below zero, and how they were attacked by the Chinese.
Food Could Have Been Better
Roy Painter describes his living conditions in Korea during the war. He explains that the food was frozen solid just from walking away from where it was cooked. He also explains how the location was full of rats, so he used his mosquito nets to keep them out of his bed.
Captured by the Chinese
Russel Kingston describes how he and his group could not stay outside freezing and starving any longer, so they took shelter in the house of a North Korean family. The next morning the family left, and shortly thereafter the Chinese kicked down the door and held them at gunpoint. He believes that the family informed the Chinese that they were there.
Conditions in the POW camp
Russel Kingston describes the conditions he faced, including the limited food and freezing conditions. He remembers their captors would tell them lies about the status of the war, trying to get them to convert to Communism. In the spring, the captors would take their shoes to prevent them from escaping.
Ruth Powell (Wife of John Powell)
Ruth Powell, wife of Korean War POW, John Powell, talks about the things that he remembers from the war. She explains that he has forgotten many experiences from his time spent in Korea. She shares that her husband's memory has been compromised as a result of his electric shock therapy.
Salvatore R. Conte
Salvatore Conte explains that he was placed in an isolation box for eight months since he was considered a leader among the POWs. He remembers being in the box from May through December 1952 and was only let out twice a day to use the bathroom. One time he was marched over to a hillside to be killed by the Chinese, but they allowed him to live and he was placed back into the box.
Always C Rations
Salvatore Schillaci doesn't recall where he landed when he arrived in Korea in 1951. As part of a reconnaissance team, they slept in foxholes or even on the open ground. He remembers extreme cold and C Rations. Once he tried unsuccessfully to heat up a can of pork and beans on the exhaust manifold of a truck.
Heartbreak Ridge Memories
Sanford Epstein describes the living conditions he experienced during his first winter in Korea. He recounts how cold it was and comments on the food available. He recalls a fellow soldier's death during the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge.
Stanley I. Hashiro
Moving from Place to Place
Stanley I. Hashiro moved around a lot with his unit in Korea. He had to live in desolate conditions, taking baths in the river, and living in bombed out concrete buildings. Within the desolate mountain valleys was another location that Stanley I. Hashiro had to stay in the extreme weather conditions.
Sterling D. Mestad
Breaking Ice to Bathe
Sterling D. Mestad recounts bathing experiences during the winter months in Korea. He details having to break ice and heat water and recalls the winter shower point experience which involved a big tent with warm water followed by a clean clothes distribution. He shares that a group of soldiers were headed to the shower point on one occasion and were hit by a mortar.
Steven G. Olmstead
"High Diddle Diddle, Right up the Middle"
Steven Olmstead describes his unit's movement through "Hellfire Alley" on its way to Hagaru. He talks about being engaged by enemy Chinese soldiers and the esprit de corps among the marines in his company. He recalls the actions of Rocco Zullo, the first sergeant in his marine unit, during the movement to Hagaru. He describes Sergeant Zullo's heroic actions which were thought to have led to his death and shares surprising news about the first sergeant.
"We Were a Team"
Steven Olmstead describes his state of mind on the battlefield. He talks about being too busy to think about food or home while engaged with the enemy. He comments on the winter living conditions and offers his reasoning as to why he and his comrades were able to survive in such a harsh environment. He recounts his unit's withdrawal from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the significance of the "Star of Kotori", and the sufferings of the Chinese Army.
Hoengsong Massacre February 1951 (Full Story)
T.J. Martin chronicles the Hoengsong Massacre where he states that approximately 2,400 Americans died. He details the events of the massacre, recalling thousands of Chinese soldiers advancing with hand grenades, rifles, and some even empty-handed, and provides a vivid account of his movements during those two days. He recalls the moments leading up to his capture by the Chinese.
Heaven to Hell
Telila Deresa describes living conditions during the war. Soldiers would battle for three months and rest for one month. During one rest, he was able to go to Japan. In Japan, men could go to nightclubs. Comparing nightclubs in Japan and going to the front is like heaven and hell.
Patrolling the Han River and Frigate Life
Teurangaotera Tuhaka spent a lot of his service patrolling the Han River (also known as the Hangang River) while receiving support from additional United Nations ships. He had to focus on his job so that he did not have fear while fighting the North Koreans. Conditions were rough at sea because he had to break through ice to get the frigate through the water.
April 1951 Attacks From the Chinese
On April 23, 1951, Tex Malcolm was protecting another hill when the Chinese were trying to take Charlie Company out. By 2am, the Chinese started to attack his hill and the US Marines were running out of ammunition. Sadly, a Marine right next to Tex Malcolm was shot and killed.
Thomas B. Smith
Thomas B. Smith shares the details of an incident which cost the lives of two American soldiers and wounded others. He recounts Chinese soldiers overshooting their target and hitting a bunker being dug to serve as a warming place during the winter months. He adds that two soldiers were killed; two were wounded; and the other three involved were deeply shaken by the event.
Thomas J Dailey
Chosin Reservoir Recollections
Thomas Dailey recalls his arrival in Korea and time spent at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes collecting injured and frozen soldiers and placing them on the back of armored tanks due to the lack of space inside the tanks. He remembers one occasion where he was forced to pull his pistol on a soldier who kept attempting to get inside the tank due to thinking it was warmer.
Thomas Norman Thompson
The Forgotten War
Thomas Norman Thompson recalls seeing small children who were bare feet in the snow as he describes devastation in Korea during the war. He says it seemed that civilians only had the choice of going to the rice paddies or mountains to get away from combat areas. He tells that although a cease-fire was ordered, some people did not realize it, causing him to be ambushed a few times as he attempted to make his deliveries. He tells why the Korean War is the forgotten war.
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.
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.
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.
Living Conditions in Korea
Tine Martin shares his memories of the living conditions he experienced while serving in Korea. He recalls living in 12-man tents and the cold temperatures. He comments on the food offered at Kimpo Air Force Base which included only one hot meal a day and the others consisting only of C-rations. He mentions trading items from his rations he was not fond of for Coca-Cola.
Air Force Selection and Knowledge of Korea
Titus Santelli explains his reasoning for joining the Air Force in 1950. He details his experience in basic training and shares his view of the war. He admits he could not figure out why the US, at that time, felt required to protect Korea, but he offers his opinion.
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.
Welcome to Your Duty Station
After arriving in Korea in 1953, Vartkess Tarbassian was stationed in the Iron Triangle. He had to live in a foxhole to protect the area from the North Koreans. After surviving the cold and terrain, Vartkess Tarbassian was sent home in November 1954.
Veli Atasoy describes life after being taken as a Prisoner-of-War (POW). He, along with other prisoners were held near the city of Pyoktong, a city in North Korea near the Chinese border. While a prisoner, the Chinese military tried, unsuccessfully, to use propaganda to convince the Turkish troops to switch sides. There were massive infestations of lice in the camp and even a "fake" Sergeant. Veli Atasoy describes how, above all, even in the most dire of situations he turned to Allah above.
Vern Rubey recalls the harsh weather he experienced during his time in Korea and likens the cold conditions to Minnesota weather. He shares how a monsoon delayed his rotation back home. He recalls his journey home aboard ship.
Fighting Through the Winter of 1950
Vernon Walden was only seven miles from China's border when General MacArthur wanted to invade, but he was told to pull his troops back. Vernon Waldon explains that when his regiment began to retreat in 40 below zero weather, gas began to run out along with food and ammunition. He describes how snow blindness was a condition that troops had to deal with while traveling on foot with snow up their knees.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Puerto Ricans: Cultural Barriers
Victor Spaulding describes the difficulties when working with Puerto Rican soldiers due to cultural barriers (e.g., language). He shares how it was hard for Puerto Rican soldiers to adjust to the change in climate from their native land. He adds that despite these challenges, Puerto Rico's regiments were strong, and he recounts how he successfully integrated with them.
Victor D. Freudenberger
Not Just Fighting but Surviving
Victor Freudenberger talks about the role every Marine played during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir--working during the day and fighting at night. He describes how exhaustion set in after a couple of days and remembers a nap in which he awoke to find that captured mortars had been thrown into his tent by the Chinese. He remembers that the pins of the mortars had not been pulled out and laughs about simply returning to his nap.
Victor Max Ramsey
From Hot Summers to 10 Feet of Snow
Originally from Louisiana, Victor Max Ramsey recalls his time in basic training in the cold Wisconsin winters. He discusses a train ride going from positive temps to below zero temperatures. During training exercises, cadets were required to be out in harsh cold conditions to prepare for Korea.
Vincent A. Bentz
Scavenging for Fresh Food
Vincent Bentz describes how soldiers got food to eat other than the issued C-Rations. He remembers catching chickens and cooking them. He explains how he lost weight because they were not eating regularly.
The Loneliness of Warfare
Vincent Ariola recalls that due to the isolated nature of serving in a tank, during the Korean War he did not learn names of fellow servicemen other than for functional purposes of doing his job. He remembers that his primary feeling during the war was the feeling of being alone. He describes why he did not take time to tell his family about his Korean War experiences. He tells of his son never opening up to his own warfare experiences in Somalia in the same way, and reflects on the American losses during the Korean War.
I Think They Could Hear My Heartbeat.
Wallace Stewart explains a typical day on the main line of resistance as consisting of long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Soldiers often stayed awake and on alert all night. They cleaned and maintained their weapons, updating their fire direction cards. Wallace Stewart preferred patrolling at night due to his excellent night vision, but sometimes the soldiers hid in rice paddies to hide from Chinese patrols.
Warren Housten Thomas
Fighting in the Punch Bowl
Warren Thomas was stationed in the "Punch Bowl" which was an area in Korea surrounded by hills and mountains. The Punch Bowl is an area south of the 38th parallel in the Gangwon Province. In between the mountains, drifts were 20 feet high which made it difficult to travel using his tractor.
Wayne Dierlam describes the living conditions in Korea in the early 1960s. He shares how there were various living quarters and talks about the names of the camps he slept in. He explains that he had food, but it was cold.
Life in an Artillery Unit
Wayne Mitchell recalls his experiences in an artillery battalion stationed roughly three to five miles behind the front line. His unit had hot food and beds every night during the war- a privilege that not many soldiers in the war had. In his unit, many Americans worked side-by side with Koreans in jobs that ranged from manning the artillery guns to cooking in the kitchen. He goes on to describe the cold weather and living in tents.
William “Bill” F. Beasley
Did Taking My Shoes Off Stop the Pain? Frostbite.
William "Bill" Beasley describes the suffering and cold at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes that it was so cold that if he stopped crystals would form on his feet. He recalls being told since he couldn't feel his feet to remove his boots and socks while on a listing post, which resulted in him getting severe frostbite.
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.
Stuck in the Mud
William Beals explains what happened when they landed in Incheon. The first thing that he noticed was the Union Pacific switch train and then a house that had been destroyed. He explains how they then moved to a hospital tent in a muddy, freezing area.
Conditions in the Korean War
It was trench warfare in 1952 and it was hit or miss fighting because the Chinese were very savage. The United States fire power is what saved William Burns' troops. The soldiers slept in the ground during the winter and it was just as cold as New York because it was not as bad as the winters of 1950-1951. Hill 1062 was a huge hill that was located near William Burns' trench and the Chinese had hospitals built into the hill along with military weapons.
William C. Hoehn
Pot Bellied Stoves Running on Gas
William C. Hoehn describes the cold winters of Korea. He explains that all the Army tents were equipped with pot bellied stoves to keep men warm. Most stoves were fueled with oil, but William C. Hoehn describes taking gas from the garage where he worked to fuel their stoves better.
Pants on Fire
William C. Hoehn describes the furnace that was used to keep the garage where he worked in Korea warm. He explains that a young Korean boy was standing in front of the furnace to get warm himself and caught on fire. He explains that the boy ran down the road on fire and that he had to chase him to put the fire out.
William D. Freeman
Life at Camp One
William Freeman elaborates on his experience as a prisoner of war at Camp One. He shares that Camp One was managed by Chinese soldiers. He explains how he purposely acted "crazy" at the camp because the Chinese would treat him better due to their superstitions of people with mental illnesses. He recalls acquiring roughly forty-two dozen eggs over a period of one and a half years which helped keep him and his comrades alive.
What was it like in Korea?
William Duffy shares what it was like in Korea. He recalls it being freezing cold, calling it "the coldest place on Earth." He talks about his day-to-day duties and cites water being very difficult to find. He also recalls filling sand bags at his bunker with snow. Once the weather warmed, he recounts losing all protection in his bunker.
Base Life in Korea
William Edwards describes daily life at the 607th Aircraft Warning Squadron.
William F. Borer
"Made me reappraise my opinion of the American Army Officer"
William Borer describes his capture by the North Koreans and their executing about two-dozen men simply because they were American. After marching north, they arrived at a large village and were placed in a compound dividing officers and enlisted men. He recalls one particular night when two enlisted POWs were placed in the not-so-crowded officers quarters but the officers quickly sent them to the very crowded enlisted side. Sergeant Estrada, who was in the same room as William blocked the door and wouldn't let the men in, saying the room was too crowded. Both men froze to death that night and though Bill reported Estrada, the Army's criminal investigation said there was nothing they could do.
William F. Honaman
Arriving in Korea
William Honaman describes his long route to Busan, Korea, from the United States. He remembers arriving in Busan and it being full of military personnel. He describes being herded to the trains and not remembering much of Busan. He recalls eventually arriving at the front line across from the Freedom Bridge. He notes his first impression of Korea in 1953 was of war and lots of devastation.
Wounded at the Chosin Reservoir
William Herold recounts his Thanksgiving meal experience before heading up into the mountains of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes being outnumbered by the Chinese 36 to 1 and a fire fight commencing. He remembers silence that followed except for one round sounding out, adding that it was the round which wounded his right leg. He recalls being transported via jeep out of the mountains and eventually to the hospital ship, Consolation.
Living Among the Cold and Bullets
William Herold shares his experiences with the freezing cold of Korea. He describes keeping his shoes in his sleeping bag in order for them to keep from freezing and adds that one's urination was ice by the time it hit the ground. He explains how war made one reckless and offers a relating story of a WWII veteran who removed his helmet and was momentarily shot in the head. He recounts the changes he experienced in weight due to lack of food.
Horrors of War
William MacSwain describes some of the horrors of war experiences. He portrays a vivid image of scenes of war that illustrate the hardships Korean War soldiers faced. These first-hand accounts show the fear in every soldiers' mind.
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.
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda
Dangers of a Sniper
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes being a sniper during the war. On one occasion a mortar exploded near him. The explosion covered him in dirt and took the life of the man beside him. Events of the war, however, made him stronger, not scared. He also describes Chinese were good at karate.
Ziya Dilimer describes being given a pack of cigarettes a day. This would have been part of his K-Ration. Each man in his unit received a K-Ration daily. Zika Dilimer was fond of the Chesterfield cigarettes included. Also, men were given ice cream, even in the winter.