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
Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino
"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.
Destruction and Living Conditions
Ali Dagbagli describes the poor conditions of the Korean people. Kids would beg for food and cigarettes. People lived in houses made of rice stalks. Ali Dagbagli traveled from Incheon to Daegu, before moving north to Kunu-ri, North Korea.
Andrew Freeman Dunlap
Wounded in Korea
Andrew Freeman Dunlap describes being wounded in battle while serving in the Pusan Perimeter, 1950. His troop had been fighting North Koreans all night long on September 1st. At about 5:30 AM, he was hit by a machine gun by the North Koreans.
Recovery from the Battlefield
Andrew Freeman Dunlap describes his arduous recovery from the battlefield after being shot five times. After he was shot he was laying on the battlefield bleeding for several hours. He was found in a foxhole.
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.
Running a Petroleum Pipeline
In this clip Brian Kanof explains his role in leading a specialist group in the running of the oil pipeline that was built, maintained, and manned by the US Army. The South-to-North pipeline helped supply petroleum to Seoul. Not only does he describe his role in operations, but also his battalion's interactions with the local South Korean people through cooking a meal to rival the spiciness of local cuisine.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen recounts jump training in Daegu, Korea, and recalls making multiple training jumps in order to receive his wings. He offers an account of his first combat jump and details the related mission. He comments on the destruction he saw during his service.
Arrival and Encounter with North Koreans
Charles Bissett recalls his arrival in Korean during the early part of the war. He recounts arriving in Pusan and then transferring north to Daegu where they were met by North Korean soldiers and suffered casualties. He shares that he served as a wireman in communications for a period of time.
Pusan Perimeter in July
Charles Fowler describes the intense July heat at the Pusan Perimeter when he arrived in Korea. He recounts suffering severe blisters due to taking his shirt off as he attempted to cool down while digging a foxhole. He also recalls helping build the "Al Jolson Bridge" which he later helped blow up during a retreat from enemy forces.
Charles L. Hallgren
An Overcrowded Voyage
Charles Hallgren describes his journey from basic training through deployment to Korea. He recalls boarding a troop ship containing six thousand soldiers though it was only supposed to carry two thousand. He describes the congested sleeping situation aboard ship as well as the limited food availability.
When Bomb Drops Go Wrong
Charles Hallgren describes the dilemma of dealing with ammunition and explosives that were produced during World War II but sent to be used in Korea during bomb drops. He explains the task of having to diffuse weapons before they actually exploded to prevent deaths. He describes the challenges that accompanied working with B-26 bomber aircraft. He recounts how the enemy would also run wire in between mountains to take down planes which may have been how General Van Fleet's son was killed.
Back to Korea During the Vietnam War
Charles Hallgren describes being deployed to Japan in 1970 for the purpose of inspecting Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units in Korea. He explains that Korea had tactical nuclear weapons which had to be inspected in various base locations on the peninsula. He describes his impressions of seeing a modernized Korea in 1970.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
Desmond Vinten initially lied on military documents to enlist in the military at nineteen. He arrived at Busan in June of 1951 and remained until the Armistice. He served as a dispatch rider based in the headquarters of the Forward Maintenance Area. He left July 27, 1953, as the cease fire came into effect. He has returned to Korea four times since his service.
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
Never Wanted to Return
Desmond Vinten left Korea with the intention of never returning. Upon arrival in 1951, he could smell Busan from thirty miles out at sea. The total war zone was so intense that he did not think South Korea could recover to become what it is today. After all, the main goal of the United Nations was to keep the Communist Chinese out, not to rebuild South Korea.
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."
First Impressions of Korea
Donald Duquette describes his first impressions of Korea arriving on a boat from Japan and his journey to join his division. He shares what he remembers about the scenery, which had not yet experienced destruction. He explains how he headed north in the cold.
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.
Heading to Korea
In April of 1951, Edward Wong left New Jersey to head to Korea. He flew to California and then left by ship where he remembers sleeping in the engine rooms. He was assigned to the communications center in Busan where he arrived in May of 1951. At the communications center in Pusan, he answered telephones and replied back. Later he was transferred to Daegu to work with the Air Force Engineering Battalion to drive trucks.
Potpourri From Around the World
Frederick describes his first assignment in Dongducheon. He was encamped in a valley with soldiers from all over the world including Turks, Danes, and Brits. He vividly remembers Australian parties in the evenings. Frederick also recounts joining KMAG, the Korean Military Advisory Group, to work directly with Koreans in Busan.
Homer M. Garza
Arriving in Korea
Homer M. Garza talks about his first combat experience in Korea, seeing the results of the massacre at Nogeun-ri. He also describes their retreat south to set up the Pusan Perimeter.
Traveling Overseas Near the End of the War
Jack Spahr details his journey overseas to serve in the Korean War. He describes his duties as a young serviceman in the Air Force nearing the end of the conflict. He shares that he served as a clerk in Daegu, assisting in keeping track of personnel while administering payroll and tests among other duties.
James “Jim” Cawyer
I'd Rather Be in Seoul
James "Jim" Cawyer reminisces about some of the activities he enjoyed while stationed in Seoul. He recalls seeing movies on occasion, playing pool, and playing dime poker. He describes why he felt there were better living quarters for soldiers stationed in Seoul, than for those stationed in Daegu.
James C. Delong
Contact with the enemy
James C. Delong describes the activities of the 31st Infantry Regiment from Inchon to Suwon including contact with the enemy. He explains that he landed in Inchon the day after the Inchon Landing. He goes on to explain there was little resistance on the way to Suwon because the North Koreans were trying to evade them, abandoning their tanks and everything along the way.
South Korean Soldiers "Bugging Out"
James Creswell describes how he went up to the front line several times to see how the South Koreans were fighting due to having helped train them. He shares that two other men along with him would communicate via walkie-talkie on the status of the line. He recalls that the South Korean soldiers, when scared, would leave the British and American soldiers in the middle of the night without warning. He refers to this as "bugging out" and adds that it left the British and American soldiers vulnerable to attack by the Chinese.
Korean House Boys
James Rominger talks about the duties of the Korean house boys who took care of all the general housekeeping needs of the soldiers. The house boys washed clothes, cleaned shoes and kept the general area clean in the foxholes and the bunkers in exchange for food and clothing. James Rominger shares why the teenage boy was unable to even return home.
We were very unprepared for WAR.
James Rominger believes the North Koreans were winning the war because the American soldiers were very unprepared. There was little food and their boots were rotten. He shares how soldiers were in the North Korean territory of Kumhwa Valley working hard to gain stabilization in an area that had been completely destroyed.
Targets of Opportunity
John Blankenship participated in night time bombing raids to go after "targets of opportunity." There are differences in capability between the A26 which was piloted by John Blankenship, and the Soviet-built MIGS that were being used by the North Korean pilots. John Blankenship's A26 flew only at night because the Korean MIGS didn't fly at night, so it kept his A26 safe.
Night Missions with Napalm
John Blankenship knew that he was always in danger and a few of his friends were shot down. He flew every night and ended up flying 87 missions in about 1 year. The A26 held 14 gun, 4-6 bombs, and napalm. When enemy convoys stopped and were trapped, John Blankenship dropped napalm on North Korean troops.
John Y. Lee
Becoming an Interpreter
John Y. Lee talks about how he become a military interpreter in the Korean Army. As he was fleeing south by foot, he tells about seeing a recruiting sign in Daegu and deciding to apply. He took an an exam, was selected and immediately given the rank of Lieutenant.
Keith G. Hall
"Smashed to Bits"
Keith G. Hall describes the differences between Korea in 1950 and Korea in 2010 when he returned. He describes poor conditions in the villages, with villagers farming rice paddies with primitive wooden plows. Seoul and Daegu had been "smashed to bits."
Kenneth D. Cox
A Unique Meeting in Hawaii
Kenneth Cox shares a story of meeting a Korean waitress in Hawaii years after his service in Korea. He recounts that she lived near the hospital the 44th Engineer Battalion built near Teagu. He recalls exchanging a few memories and catching up on its present state.
L. Timothy Whitmore
Strange Assignments in Post War Korea
L.T. Whitmore talks about some one of the jobs he was assigned (food inspection) after his arrival at K-2 Airbase (Daegu) in 1954.
Treating Disease at K-2 Airbase
L.T. Whitmore describes his job as a lab technician at K-2 Airbase just after the armistice, treating airmen and soldiers afflicted with venereal diseases.
What Could I Do?
L.T. Whitmore recalls some of his most vivid memories of his time in Korea, describing refugees and how they lived and caring for Koreans in hospitals.
Living Conditions at K-2 Airbase
L.T. Whitmore describes the living conditions at K-2 Airbase (Daegu) in Korea in 1954.
Lawrence A. Bacon
Trying to avoid going to Korea
Lawrence Bacon explains that he joined the Air Force in 1950 in order to avoid the draft. He explains that he was first sent to Texas for training and then to Alabama. In June 1951, he was sent to Japan in preparation of then going to Daegu to fight in the Korean War.
An Accident at K-2
Lewis Ebert was near a rocket that was accidentally fired and blew up a tractor trailer on base. That trailer was parked near him when it blew up because he was working at the K-2 Air Base. Luckily, Lewis Ebert didn't get injured in the incident.
Preparing For and Entering the Korean War
After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.
F80 Ammunition Supplying and Documenting History Through Letter Writing
Lewis Ebert came over with 3 squadrons of F80 Jets. He was assigned the ammunition supply section of the base and worked on the ammunition reports each night including replenishing the 50 caliber machine guns bullets. His letters home helped remind him how much ammo that the military went through each day because his mom and sister kept all the letters that he wrote twice a month.
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.
Marshall E. Davis
What contributions did KMAG have on the Korean War and after?
Korea Military Advisory Group was established post WWII in 1946 (Russia/US Split Korea) as a Korean defense force as a part of the Armys 40th Infantry Division which acted as a police force divided into 8 Korea Constabulary Regiments (for the 8 provinces there). It was originally PMAG (Provisional Military Advisory Group), until the war broke out it became the KMAG 8668th Army Unit commanded by Brigadier General Francis W Farrell which would later be renamed the 8202nd Army Unit. MOST IMPORTANT: The Army helped the Korean people established a police force after the Japanese withdrew, then once the war broke out the Army would then train the "police officers" to become soldiers of war in the Korean Army.
Former POWs sabotaging their generators
The location of their headquarters was near a fence line that once held POWS that had integrated with the locals but some became apart of a guerrilla style action that would sabotage their generators and effect the transmitter that was far away from the headquarters. When the transmitters would go out it was usually because of the generators. Marshall was assigned night duty and was always on the lookout for possible saboteurs affecting their generators.
Awesome Doesn't Describe What Korea is Like Today!
Marshall informed veterans who plan to revisit Korea that the word Awesome can't begin to describe the amazing changes that have occurred since its reconstruction over the years. (Marshall returned in 1996 for business reasons and the company took him back to where he was originally located). He said Daegu has completely transformed as a high rise city with over 3 million people compared to the several thousand that lived there when he was there and when he arrived at Kimpo Airport he could see the bridges suspended over the Han River.
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.
Korea then and now
Narce Caliva compares his memories of his time in Korea during the war to his return to Korea as Assistant Director of the Red Cross in the Far East. He recalls being a young man "on a great adventure," despite the devastated Korean nation. He describes returning to Korea eighteen years later and marveling at the remarkable changes that had taken place in the interim period.
Building a Hospital
Nina Movin recounts her father's medical support in Daegu. In August of 1951, when the hospital ship he was working for made its first departure, Rasmus Movin decided to stay in Daegu to support the soldiers and civilians. He worked with the United Nations to set up a hospital in a school building in Daegu.
Paul Hummel had many responsibilities as a pilot during the Korean War. Some of these responsibilities included protecting bombers while on missions and dog fighting just like old World War I air battles. A variety of plane tactics used, as well as new technology behind the MiG-15 fighter planes.
Not Like the Movies
Paul Hummel was assigned a mission to bomb North Korean and Chinese troops on the ground. He saw the troops, tanks, and weapons, so he started attacking not knowing exactly which enemy troop he hit. Machine guns were attached to Paul Hummel's plane, so he could get a betters shot from the air. He believes that the real air battle was different than movie depictions of the Korean War air warfare that took place.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
Raymond L. Fish
Saved by a Canteen
Raymond L. Fish was sent on one-week detachments to provide aid to Chinese prisoners of war who were under supervision by the United Nations. He shares how a little while later, he was injured while running from the Chinese. He shares the story of how his canteen protected him from what could have been a fatal wound during the war.
Mr. Faron describes his pay during the war. He explains how the money was used during the Korean War. He talks about how soldiers supported their families back in the U.S. He shares about the task of getting the money to pay soldiers.
"Friendly Fire, They Call It"
Richard Higa describes an incident when allied Australian warplanes accidentally strafed his unit's position. This misidentified them as North Korean forces. During the incident, he was wounded by shrapnel.
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 Preston Vaughn
Picking Up The Dead After A Battle
Richard Vaughn talks about his memories of picking up dead enemy soldiers after a battle near where he was stationed.
Robert Kam Chong Young
Robert Kam Chong Young talks about his experiences after participating in the Inchon Landing and his return to Korea after recovering from hepatitis in a Japanese hospital. He also talks about being scared when he captured three Chinese Prisoners of War.
Robert Kam Chong Young speaks about his first experiences in Korea and his participation in the Inchon landing.
Inspecting Dead Corpses
After the Inchon invasion, Robert Mount's company headed North to river just beyond Daegu where there was a flat bridge. His platoon leader left Robert Mount and a detail there to defend the bridge. Only eighteen years old, he spotted a dozen apparently dead North Korean soldiers across the bridge and went over to inspect the corpses.
North Korean Refugees
On the road to Seoul, Robert Mount describes the devastated landscape and the streams of refugees that he witnessed heading south. He describes how they were carrying as much as they could on their backs, very disheveled and sick-looking. He shows a picture of a refugee in North Korea; he does not remember who took it.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. The U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. A sniper shot at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. The bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he wasn't hit by the actual bullet. Other dangerous experiences included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan, with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu.
Korean Soccer Club
Roland Fredh describes his leisure time in Korea. He played soccer with fellow Swedish members. The team traveled, located in Busan, traveled to Seoul and Daegu to play various teams. They beat an English team. But, they lost to a Korean team.
Revisiting Korea and Reflections
Ross Pittman shares his thoughts on Korea after his post-war visit. He acknowledges that the developments made in South Korea since the war are incredible. He expresses his pride and good feelings for having contributed to the South Korean growth. He shares his thoughts on the scenery's beauty and explains that he did not realize the terrain was so mountainous. He reflects on the importance of everyone's job during the war, by land and by sea.
Death Near Taegu and PTSD
Roy Cameron was traveling a road near Taegu and Taejon when they were ambushed. Two soldiers were killed and he had to take their bodies back to Grave Registration, so seeing those bodies has given Roy Cameron PTSD.
Playing for the Others
Seymour Bernstein explains how he had trained to originally be an infantryman. He and his colleague had asked to give a piano concert for the soldiers and we allowed even though there was some skepticism. He recalls getting assistance in moving a piano to the theater so that he could play. This was the start of a tour to play for many others.
Impressions of Korea
Seymour Bernstein describes what it was like to live in Korea during the war. He then explains how Korea became more modern on each subsequent trip he took back to the country after his initial encounter. However, even though it was more modern there were certain precautions that he had to take.
Remembering the Battles
Ted Bacha remembers what it was like in Daegu, Daejion, Pyongyang, Pusan, and other battles. He explains that his friends got captured, and General Dean was captured as well. He states that they were firing their weapons almost daily.
Tony and Tom Bazouska
Tony and Tom Bazouska recall their experience returning home. They share that upon arrival they stopped in at a hangout where they would often meet their buddies prior to the war. They explain that many of their buddies simply asked where they had been and share that few people knew about the war or would inquire as to why they would even go there to serve. They admit that the guys back home treated them differently when they came back from Korea and that nothing felt the same. They elaborate on the kind relationship with the Korean people, however, and describe being treated with great respect.
Vern P. Lanie
My Job as Company Clerk
Vern P. Lanie describes his job of company clerk and the orders that he wrote and typed for the officers serving in the war. He is very surprised when Dr. Han tells him that today Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world and has a strong democracy, although it was completely devastated 65 years ago.
Life in Daegu During the Korean War
This clip shows primary source pictures that Vigil Malone took in Daegu, South Korea. The pictures illustrate living and working conditions of the South Koreans in Daegu. The primary sources touch upon the economic disparity among South Koreans during the war; some lived in farmhouses, while others lived in huts.
Virgil Malone was sent to Lackland Air Force Base for basic training. He went to Florida to get training to become a Air Policeman. It's the Air Force's version of the military police. When he was in Daegu, he was attached to the 5th Division to guard the headquarters, but nothing near the front lines. Later on, he was moved to Seoul after the headquarters moved there.
A Typical Day of an Air Policeman
Virgil Malone's typical day in Daegu included riding shotgun to protect the military vehicles. There was guerilla warfare activity along all the roads. There were 3 shifts on post to protect the 5th headquarters.
The Significance of the 52nd Ordnance Ammunition Company
Warren Middlekauf's ship landed in Incheon in Jan. 1953 after a long trip. After loading a train to Pusan, he dropped off supplies and traveled to Taegu. While driving his truck, filled with ammunition, Warren Middlekauf went to Osan to unload boxes of weapons to supply Yongjong.
William F. Borer
Go With Them or Die
William Borer describes the night his squad arrived at a police station and asked the police chief to contact the American Forces to pick them up. Shortly after, a South Korean Patrol, commanded by a First Lieutenant, joined his group. After questioning the police chief the South Korean Lieutenant discovered he was actually a North Korean Communist and had phoned the North Korean Army to come kill them all in the morning. After killing the "police chief," the South Korean Lieutenant said it was time to leave but the US Lieutenant said they weren't leaving until US Forces picked them up. Against orders, William left with the South Korean Patrol, leaving his squad and lieutenant behind though they soon began to follow the South Korean Patrol.