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
One Last Grenade
Albert Cooper talks about defending a radar station that had come under attack. Alone in a fox hole, he intermittently fired his rifle and threw hand grenades to keep the enemy at bay until he had exhausted his ammunition save one last grenade, which he kept and brought home as a memory of the battle.
First Impressions of Busan
Albert Gonzales describes what he saw when he first arrived in Busan. He explained how there were machine guns at every intersection as they rode in on the cattle cars. He remembers how terrified he and the soldiers felt not knowing what to expect during this war, yet they persevered.
Typical Duties of the Infantryman
Albert Harrington describes the typical duties of a soldier serving in the infantry. He explains these duties consisted of checking ammunition, re-digging trenches after rain, and patrolling. He comments on the dangers of patrolling and details one particular instance where the company nearest his was hit. He also describes the penalties for taking one's boots off as they were required to keep them on during certain services.
Arriving in Korea
Albert Kleine arrived in Pusan, Korea in 1953. After landing, he went to Seoul and saw fighting along with mass destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and he asked himself why he came all this way, but later he realized that it was to liberate South Korea.
Surviving a Chinese and North Korean Attack
Albert Kleine was stationed near the Imjin River during his time in the Korean War. He was very fearful of the flowing river and the sounds it gave off that showed its strength. Later he would realize that the river was nothing compared to the flutes signaling the attack by thousands of Chinese and North Korean troops.
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
"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.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Ali Dagbagli describes the Battle of Kunu-ri. The Battle of Junu-ri was the first major military engagement for Turkey since WWI. He describes being surrounded on all sides by the enemy. The battle lasted for three nights and four days. Therefore he lost many friends in the battle and was shot four times.
Ali Saglik describes the defense measures he took in order to protect his troops at the Battle of Kunu-ri and Sandbag Castle. He laid mines in the front, had dogs defending their flanks and men stationed in the rear, with machine guns in the front. At the Battle of Kunu-ri there was continuous fire for two days and eventually the Turkish soldiers defeated the Chinese in close combat with bayonets affixed. Ali Saglik lastly describes the loss of two soldiers under his command.
A Civilian War
Ali Saglik describes how the Turkish forces captured a spy. He also describes how enemy forces, hiding in civilian houses, shot and injured a fellow soldier. Not all Korean civilians were enemies, however, as some would provide fresh fish. Ali Saglik also describes the Battle of Kunu-ri and how the "Americans ran away." Turkish soldiers attached bayonets and killed Chinese for two days.
Injuries During War Never Tarnished Their Love
Alice Allen was on the home front when her husband, Jack Allen, was injured during the Korean War. Thankfully, he was injured on his right arm and not his left because he is left-handed. Even with an arm and leg injury, Alice Allen maintained her love for her Korean War Veteran.
Allen Clark's First Prisoner of War
Allen Clark was establishing observation posts and was maneuvering around Gimpo Airport when he came across a family who had captured a North Korean soldier. He felt the process of handing him to the property authorities went well, but he was concerned that there were many more POWs with the possibility of being outnumbered. He wasn't sure how the Korean people felt about American's arrival during the conflict, but at that time, he felt they were happy and pleased the US soldiers were there.
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.
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.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
Andrew Cleveland recalls never being attacked by enemy aircraft, but he does remember being attacked by mines. He remembers constantly looking for submarines, although he could not remember finding any. He shares he was generally out of harm's way from major combat. He remembers going through a typhoon, with waves so big that they split open part of the ship. He recounts not knowing if the ship was going to sink or turnover at the time, but adds they survived the storm and were able to repair the ship.
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.
The Most Dangerous Flight
Andrew Greenwell describes flying over the East Sea on a classified mission when his plane found itself in the middle of a typhoon. He recalls preparing for a parachute exit due to the predicament. He remembers saying his last prayers, preparing for the worst, and the pilot being able to pull the plane out of the storm.
Children of War
Andrew Lanza's initial encounter as he landed in Pusan was filled with shock because he never heard of Korea. One image that he'll never forget is hungry children carrying other children on their backs. Some of the children were, as he described, "disfigured."
Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.
An Aircraft Mechanic's Duty during the Korean War
Antone Jackim describes his duty as an aircraft and engine mechanic during the Korean War. He talks about being a part of the B-29 flight crew, his job to help operate the air vents and electric motors when the pilot needed a break. On one mission, 3 out of 4 engines were hit by gun fire, the bomber barely making it back to Japan.
Ethiopians in Battle
Aragaw Mselu describes fighting conditions. Chinese spies were a constant threat. For example, they would disguise themselves with leaves and move slowly. Also, when attacking a battle the soldiers affixed bayonets for close combat fighting. Enemies were not spared. The Ethiopians were unable to take one hill. However, they were not overrun.
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.
"Little" Battle at Pusan Perimeter
Arthur Gentry fought in Pusan at the perimeter where the North Koreans had taken control. United States troops were ordered to dig in and begin to dig fox holes as heavy mortars were falling as his commander was injured. They were there for two days to help straighten out the line for the army and provide support for the army. This is an example of how quickly some troops were embroiled in battles as they landed in Korea.
Inchon Landing: 15 Foot Ladders
Arthur Gentry and his comrades created 15-foot ladders to use to "land" in Inchon by scaling a 15-foot sea wall. The tide went out for 6 miles, so this was how the troops had to get ashore.
The marines climbed over the side of the ship and went into the boats. Rockets and bombardments awaited the Marines as they approached Inchon.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Hamheung Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the his ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
Arthur Leroy Brown
Regrets Of Hearing Their Sons Death
Parents were hit very hard by the news that their son had died. His mom was pregnant with his first sister and Arthur was so excited telling his comrades the news. Before Arthur left his dad and him got into a scuffle because his dad didn't want him quitting school and going into the Army.
Arthur W Sorgatz
Impact from a Tour in Korea and Japan
Arthur Sorgatz was able to learn about how other people live when he was stationed in Busan starting in 1954. Poverty was very high in Korea after the war and America's poverty level is nothing compared to Korea's at that time. In Japan, Arthur shipped damaged trucks to the port while creating his own fun by scaring Japanese civilians by backfiring trucks right within busy towns.
Asefa Desta describes the details of his service in the Korean War. He describes how Korean civilians were so helpful during the war. American supplies were a necessity. Engagements with the Chinese were frequent. He describes how he did not want to even blink to give his position.
Action in Korea
Asefa Mengesha recounts seeing his friends die and is proud that his unit never surrendered nor left a man or body behind. He shows the camera his wounds suffered from 16 mm mortar rounds. One shell failed to fire from his mortar and exploded in front of him.
Asefa Werku Kassa
Engaging the Chinese
Asefa Werku Kassa describes an engagement with the Chinese that left a deep scar on his forearm. He was stationed along the frontlines and frequent encounters with Chinese infantry. On one occasion a Chinese soldier gave him a deep gash before another Ethiopian soldier came to his aid. Asefa Werku Kassa eventually shot and killed the Chinese soldier. Also, Ethiopian soldiers never surrendered due to instructions. This was for fear of what the Ethiopian military would do to their families.
Asefa Werku Kassa describes his service in Korea. He cannot remember the exact locations of service due to moving around. The mountains and terrain stick out more than anything. Also, he shares an image of his scar from the Chinese military encounter. He also describes how he was in charge of a unit. He would constantly move them from danger, much to the chagrin of his commanders.
Assefa Demissie Belete
Danger in Korea
Assefa Demissie Belete describes the danger of Korea. For instance, he describes going on patrol at night and facing against the Chinese. But, he describes how the soldier did not have fear. Ethiopian soldiers were following orders. Assefa Demissie Belete describes one incident of a fellow soldier being hit by a heavy bomb. The other soldiers never found his body.
A Dangerous Landing
Austin Timmins (RCAF) describes one of his most memorable missions, a dangerous landing in high speed winds as a part of a Canadair North Star flight crew. The plane ran out of fuel as they were landing in Japan. It was a very stressful land but the pilots had to remain calm.
Experiences from the Front Lines
Avery Creef speaks about his experiences on the front lines at the Kumhwa Valley, Old Baldy, and the Iron Triangle. He recalls fighting against both the North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. There were a few dangerous situations where he almost lost his life. He remembers constantly firing flares.
Memories and a Message
Ayhan Karabulut describes how he cannot forget the memories of the men he served with who lost their lives. He also describes how he feared the sound of planes overhead after returning home. He did have a special message for the Republic of Korea, "May Allah give them long life."
Baldwin F. Myers
Fighting His Way Back to the Lines
Baldwin Myers describes the Battle of Jinju and his time behind enemy lines. As the city was falling, Baldwin Myers had to find a weapon and fight his way back to American lines. He successfully rejoined American forces the day before Jinju fell.
Barry J. McKay
Action in the East Sea
Barry J McCay describes action aboard the HMNZS Pukaki. His ship patrolled the Eastern coastline of Korea. In one encounter, his ship came under fire from a Soviet-made MiG jet.
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.
Basil Kvale captured a Chinese POW named Ping who later was sent with other soldiers. As a Marine, Basil Kvale was asked to help give the coordinates for the bombing to aid his commander. He had the cannons and bombs attack from four different sides which led to total disaster for the Chinese.
The Dangers of Providing Supplies for Troops
Basilio MaCalino landed at Incheon in March 1953. From there, he went to Sasebo on his way to his station in Ascom City. When arriving there, human waste was everywhere and the smell was something that he'll never forget. When leaving his station in a truck to bring supplies to troops, he was shot at multiple times.
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.
Duties to Ensure Safety
The Combat Chemical Engineer Corps developed smoke screens over the rivers which would allow the battalion to lay the bridges without being attacked by the enemy. The worry was that while placing these bridges, the enemy would lay mines in the river bottoms, so the engineers were hoping they had done their job well without risking the lives their fellow soldiers. Ben Schrader hoped that all the bombs had be deactivated prior to coming so close to these rivers.
Closure to the Present Hostilities with North Korea
Ben Schrader believed that the hostilities will continue because North Korea continues to threaten the US with bombs. It is just like the Cold War the lasted for many years. He would support reunification between North and South Korea since he went back to Korea for a revisit and he saw first-hand the civilian desire to become one country again.
First Days in Korea
Benjamin Allen speaks about traveling to Korea and arriving in Busan (Pusan). He also talks about seeing Seoul burn as the North Koreans were retreating. Benjamin Allen gives his take on fear.
Bernard Clark went on a variety of patrols during his time in Korea. He calls these patrols "recce" (reconnaissance). "Recce" patrols consisted of five men and entailed going out to a point and returning with the intent to keep an eye on things in no man's land. His listening patrol consisted of three men who went out into no man's land and sat in a location all night to listen for enemy movements.
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.
Coping with Loss and Memories of Korea
Bernard Clark is still saddened by the loss of his friends while serving. He dealt with those losses as a young man in a few different ways. He also attended several concerts during his time in Korea, and he remembers a road march while on reserve which entailed a fiery mishap. Napalm drops took place during the Korean War, and he describes the aftermath of this weapon.
Telling Stories and the Bronze Star
Bernard Hoganson discusses his grandchildren. He shares why he does not really tell his grandchildren stories from his service in Korea. He describes how he received the Bronze Star.
Bernard Lee Henderson
Fire In The Hole
Bernard Henderson shared his experience of being struck in his chest with shrapnel. Puny Wilson, one of the members of his regiment, was pulling guard-men one night and yelled, "Fire in the hole" 5 times. After throwing the 2nd grenade, Bernard stood up from his fox hole and the grenade hit him right in the chest. Although it didn't penetrate through his clothes, he started tearing his clothes off yelling for a corps men to help him.
Life as a Soldier During the Korean War
Bernard Henderson would sleep in his foxhole with his clothes on in a sleeping bag in shifts with other Marines. As a Marine, they did not shower often since they were stationed up in the mountains. The most difficult time he had was trying to escape from a Chinese attack by running down railroad tracks since it was not even, but he just wanted to stay alive.
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.
Most Dangerous Moment
Bezuneh Mengestu recounts his most dangerous moment caught behind the lines by the Chinese. His unit was sent to spy on Chinese movements and did not realize they had travelled past their boundaries. The Chinese opened fire on their truck but they refused to surrender.
Bill G. Hartline
Doing My Duty
Bill Herartline speaks about defending a bridge as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir rages all around him.
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.
Battle of Naktong Bulge
Bill Lynn tells about the Battle at Naktong River. He survived the battle because the Korean he was fighting was unable to reload his gun. Both of the men accompanying him were killed primarily because they were using malfunctioned equipment left over from World War II.
We Called Them Hoochies
Bill Scott described what it was like on many of the hills he fought and the sand bags filled with dirt and rock used to protect them from the enemy. He described digging into trenches on the hill, and his mortar squad was placed just on the other side of the hill to fire at the enemy. Bill Scott pointed to a shadow box as he's describing the shrapnel that was collected from the battlefield that was fired at them by the Chinese.
Almost hit by the Chinese
Bill Scott described the fighting and living situations on the top of Pork Chop Hill. He recalled the area they were quartered in during their time on the hill.
Bill Scott was resting in his bed in this living quarters when it was hit and mortar barely escaped his head by inches. He said when he woke, the sound was deafening, and the area was heavily damaged. Bill Scott picked up pieces of the shell and stuck it in his pocket.
Joining the US Army
Bob Garcia talks about enlisting in the US Army in 1950. He describes his early sentiments about joining and his experience in basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He also talks about his prior knowledge of Korea as the Korean War began.
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.
An Appalling Situation
Brian Hamblett describes looking into a foxhole and finding a Chinese soldier. He explains that the soldier was just as surprised and pulled his grenade without throwing it. The Chinese soldier was badly injured from his own grenade. He goes on to describe seeing the results of napalm and growing more horrified by the memories of it as he has grown older. He describes the burned bodies and total suffocation of the land.
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.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Bruce W. Diggle
Hill 355 and the "Apostles"
Bruce Diggle shows the famous Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. The British Commonwealth forces fought for possession of Hill 355 during the series of battles that corresponded to the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge to the east. The North Koreans were positioned on three smaller hills that the Kiwis nicknamed the Apostles - Matthew, Luke, and John. He took pictures of the North Korean positions during a truce.
Carl B. Witwer
Part II: Destroyer Experience
Carl Witwer returned back to Korea and had to assist with radar technologies on the destroyer U.S.S. Hanson in the West Sea. He compares his duties a part of Task Force 95 compared to his prior assignment. He also elaborates on a time his ship saw action with a submarine and how it was a close call.
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.
A Dangerous Moment
Carl Jacobsen shares memories of one of the most dangerous moments he experienced in combat. He recalls being given orders to collect ammunition and receiving sniper fire on his return with the ammunition. He recounts stopping the vehicle he was driving to return fire and wondering if he would make it out of the situation alive.
Escaping Through Marine Corps Bombs
Carl Rackley reflects on his experiences at the 38th Parallel. He describes being trapped there for roughly ten nights. He also details the amount of Chinese soldiers there. He expresses his gratitude for the Marine Corp troops who bombed the area for him to escape.
Nerve Damage from War
Carl Rackley describes here the lasting impact the Korean War has had on his life since he served. He describes having nerve problems and how this affects his daily life. He describes the roots of these nerve issues from their origins in war.
Carl W. House
First Night with a North Korean Spy
Carl House described that his unit worked with ROK soldiers and the language barrier made it difficult to understand each other. They relied heavily on sign language as a way to interpret their needs. During the first night, Carl House discovered that the person in his foxhole was a North Korean spy with assistance from the ROK soldier. They questioned the spy and the ROK soldiers took him away. Carl House felt he was lucky and he was amazed that the ROK was able to identify the spy.
I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!
Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.
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.
Emotions of a POW
Carl House and the other POWs lived on hope and they were planning to make an escape by rationing their own food (rice), storing it in a worn shirt to store it safely in the ceiling. Just as Bert, Andy, and Carl House were about to make their attempt to escape, the POWs were moved to another building and the guards found the rations. Carl House left Camp 3 in August 1953 and crossed the DMZ in September. He remembered eating many bowls of ice cream after his rescue.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Drafted into the Army
Cecil Snyder talks about being drafted into the US Army in the fall of 1958. He describes basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and mentions the duties of a clerk, his military occupational specialty.
Cecil K. Walker
Re-Supplying on the Front Lines
Cecil Walker describes the loss of two men while moving supplies, who were killed by guerrilla fighters. At other times drivers were held up so Allies could perform airstrikes on the hills in front of them. Cecil Walker describes how he was not scared though, because he was with others and doing a job.
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.
Life as a POW
Cecil Phipps talks about life as a POW. He describes Pak Tong POW camp (#3) and the harsh living conditions that he lived under as prisoner including remarks about cold weather, starvation, lice infestation, and other diseases. He mentions that he went from 190 pounds to 75 pounds during the first six months of his imprisonment.
"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.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Cevdet Sidal describes intimate details from the Battle of Kunu-ri. This battle was the first engagement on foreign soil for Turkish fighters since WWI. Cevdet Sidal provides details about being surrounded and the heavy losses to the enemy. He also describes how there were enemy war planes used in the battle.
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.
PTSD and Its Effects on Personal Life
Charles Bissett describes his battle with PTSD. He shares that upon his return, he was quick to anger not only with his wife but with others. He describes his nightmares of seeing part of the war and his reaction to automatic weapon firing. He shares it was hard to deal with.
Having Trouble All the Time
Charles Blum describes his experiences with PTSD from the Korean War. He explains sitting on a grenade and the shrapnel that entered his body. He then describes sitting with a fellow soldier until he dies then having to quickly kill a Chinese soldier.
You Never Really Get Rid of It
Charles Blum explains his view on surviving the Korean War as going through hell. He describes his altering of a Christian Bible verse to explain the horror of war. He explains that he only knew one soldier who served in the Korean War who made it through without earning a Purple Heart. He expresses that he does not regret his service and that he is proud.
Mass Grave Site Filled with Civilians
Charles Buckley drove all throughout Korea during his time there and witnessed the narrow roads, trees, and the damage incurred. He recalls a massive grave site that had been unearthed full of slaughtered children. It's predicted that this grave site was from when the North Koreans overran Seoul, South Korea and killed anything is their path.
Non-Combat Related Deaths
Charles Buckley said there were many non-combat related deaths with at least 5 to 7 within his own unit. While in Wonju, a radio relay site, a young man was in a 6 X 6 truck and he was trying to get up a slick mountain with another soldier, and the 6 X 6 truck rolled over killing them both.
Training Can Be a Huge Pain in the Neck!
Charles Bull was shocked when he joined the Navy. It was difficult to take care of himself by washing, ironing, cooking, and caring for other men. He also had to learn all seamanship training for tools and ships. During a training, he almost was hit in the head with a 14 point lead pipe.
Charles Carl Smith
A Difficult Journey
Charles Smith talks about his journey by train from Pusan to Chuncheon. He describes having to deboard the train several times because they had come under attack.
Life in the Punch Bowl
Charles Smith talks about the 11 1/2 months that he spent in the Punch Bowl and describes what it was like to be a part of trench warfare along the MLR. He tells the story of his first encounter with enemy troops and how he hoped to not be "yellow."
Charles Smith talks about his severe PTSD from his experiences in Korea. On the front line, he describes being treated like an animal and not knowing any fellow soldier's names. He talks about how he dealt with PTSD once he returned home.
Charles Comer describes his job as a military policeman as well as patrolling the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) after the armistice was signed. He describes manning check points and patrolling the hills where the former Chinese prisoners were staying after Syngman Rhee released them. He explains that his patrol duties along the DMZ were at night and were often times quite dangerous.
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.
Taking Care of Myself
Charles Elder talks about the cycle of taking care of himself during his time as a wounded prisoner during the Korean War. He had moments of extreme highs or lows. He had to remind himself to have hope of survival.
The Reality of the Situation
Charles Hoak describes being seasick for three days and his brother being seasick for seventeen days on the way to Korea. He recalls their arrival in Korea and remembers taking a train to their base. He describes how he could see and hear mortar fire on the train and how, at that moment, the reality of war set in.
Last Push by the Chinese
Charles Hoak tells the story of when the Chinese Army were making a last push. He recalls being in the trenches with weapons loaded and U.S. Army airplanes dropping flares on their location so that they could see what was taking place on the battlefield. He remembers how the Republic of Korea (ROK) troops held the line and thwarted the advance of the Chinese Army.
Charles L. Chipley
The Bombing and Return Fire of Incheon
Charles L. Chipley Jr. describes the USS Rochester bombing of Incheon prior to soldiers landing. He shares that the landing, in his opinion, was very successful. He recounts that return air attacks came from the north while his ship was sitting in Incheon Harbor, and 4 bombs were dropped targeting his ship.
Chinese Attacks Against Civilians
Charles L. Chipley Jr. offers his account of providing evacuation aid to the Marines at Heungnam. He recounts that his ship provided gunfire support so that troops could be loaded onto the evacuation ships. He describes the movement of a speculated 100,000 Chinese troops killing civilian Koreans.
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.
Inchon Landing and Movement Northward
Charles Ross describes his experience during the Inchon Landing. He recounts an order given to his unit to hold its ground at all costs and shares that it was one of the scariest moments he experienced while in South Korea. He describes traveling north, receiving little resistance along the way, and recalls North Korean soldiers surrendering as his unit crossed the 38th Parallel and made its way to Pyongyang.
Initial Attack at the Battle of Unsan
Charles Ross recounts being under the impression that the situation in Korea was under control and in the process of ending during the fall of 1950. He recalls his unit being sent north to help a unit which had run into some resistance and being attacked by the Chinese on the way. He describes an emotional scene once the attack had ended that left a lasting impression on him.
Chemical Attack at the Battle of Unsan
Charles Ross describes being trapped for three days following the attack at Unsan, near the Nammyon River. He recalls waiting for the 5th Calvary to come to the rescue and overhearing that it had met resistance and would not be able to help. He recounts a strange explosion and shares how a phosphorus chemical attack allowed him and other soldiers to make their escape.
One Mortar Round
Charles Weeks describes being under attack by North Korean mortar fire and how a foxhole saved his life. This circumstance still haunts him to this very day. He elaborates on how this situation strengthened his relationship with God.
Chauncey E. Van Hatten
"Outgunned and Outflanked"
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the beginning of the Korean War. Stationed in Japan, he describes hearing the news of the North Korean invasion of South Korea and his unit's quick deployment to the war. He talks about being "outgunned and outflanked" by North Korean forces at Masan because of substandard equipment and supplies.
Fighting the Chinese at Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about fighting Chinese forces at Pyongyang. He describes eating Thanksgiving dinner before the difficult withdrawal south from Pyongyang. During the withdrawal, he says they often went for days without food and their vehicles ran out of gas.
The Battle That Got Me
Chester Coker speaks about the battle which impacted him the most. He recalls how he and his unit were just north of Panmunjeom, close to the 38th parallel. He remembers a stalemate had been reached, and negotiations were stalled, and the Army was ordered to push north. He shares how the battle that followed was the most fierce he experienced, pushing the North Korean and Chinese soldiers back north. He recalls how they were able to push forward because many of the enemy troops were asleep. He describes how a grenade landed and blew up on top of him.
Chong Rae Sok
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
P.O.W. Capture: Right Into The Lion's Den
Clarence Sperbeck retails the story of being captured as a prisoner of war north of the Imjin River. He was sitting with a group of experienced "ol' timers", who told him that the Chinese were going to come around this valley, but Clarence Sperbeck told them there was no way it was going to happen. The soldiers heard the bugles blow (as a means of communicating with each other from afar) and mass firing ensues as they are given orders to pull back (which he never understood). General Ridgeway devised a trap within this valley to make the Chinese think that we were pulling back giving them the advantage, but when the Chinese made it to the center, General Ridgeway closed the gap which killed over 50,000 Chinese. However, when the original order was given, Clarence Sperbeck's platoon started to retreat and took the wrong turn. Turns out there were captured vehicles and they walked right into a group of Chinese soldiers.
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.
Clarence Sperbeck remembered April 25, 1951 because that was the day he was captured by the Chinese. Having been warned not to walk on the ridge line since it made it easy for the Chinese to detect your movement, the US troops walked the ridge line anyway. Clarence Sperbeck made an attempt to shoot in the direction of a sound behind him when a concussion grenade landed near him knocking him to the ground damaging his back. When he came out from under a rock, a Chinese soldier screamed at him to put down his weapon; he jumped behind a pine tree to try to shoot at the enemy, but the Chinese soldier's buddy was pointing his weapon at Clarence and he wouldn't have been able to shoot both. He put his rifle down and spend the rest of his time with the Chinese after walking for 3 months to get to the POW camp.
Treatment By the Enemy
Clarence Sperbeck said when the Chinese capture you, they don't feed you. He started on the march at 165 pounds and ended at 110 pounds. It was said that if you were captured by the NKPA (North Korean People's Army), these marches were the worst in recorded history. If you were sick or injured they put a pistol to your head and blew your brains out, rolled you in a ditch, and kept going. Chinese didn't do that; they wanted information from the prisoners.
Do You Have Any Final Words?
While hiding out in a Japanese school house (near Pyongyang), sick with amoebic dysentery, the Chinese ordered the POWs to move at night to avoid being detected by American Airplanes. The night before, the POWs were supposed to leave from the school, but an American soldier who had made an attempt to escape the prison earlier was brought back to the camp and was put on the platform where the Chinese would usually conduct their daily exercise. They sentenced him to death and asked him if he had any final words and asked if he wished to be blindfolded before being shot by a firing squad. The US POW said, "Yes, go screw yourself you slant-eyed SOB." Clarence thought this soldier had a lot of guts.
Hope This Never Happens to You Too
Clarence Sperbeck commented on how fast the Chinese moved compared to the US troops. It was said that the average number of steps per minute the Chinese took were 140 to Americans' 120. While unable to hear, see, or walk due to his illness (amoebic dysentery), most of the American prisoners bypassed Clarence Sperbeck when he needed help, but a few soldiers helped him up. He was often the last in line (so weak/sick) during the march which would put him at a greater risk of being shot.
White Rice Riot
When the prisoners were marching north, they would give POWs white rice which had no nutritional value.
Fortunately, they got a can of Russian shredded beef and rice that they considered the beef to be the "Nectar of the Gods". With no refrigeration, prisoners were allowed to have seconds which started a riot since they were grabbing handfuls to eat. The Chinese stood back laughing at the prisoners because some of the POWs were wealthy businessmen back in the states acting like pigs trying to get as much as they could.
East Is Red With The Blood of Our Dead
Daily life in prison camp began with a lecture on Chinese politics and required POWs to recite the Chinese National Anthem," The east is red with the blood of our dead.." and Clarence Sperbeck continued to recite the anthem after being released. Clarence Sperbeck would later discover that while the POWs were writing daily reports in the prison camp, Chinese officers had difficulty interpreting slang terms GI (a nickname for US soldiers) would write. When the soldiers discovered this, they taunted the Chinese with slang in their letters all the time just to mess with them. The GIs were allowed to send/receive letters from family with the Chinese overseeing what was written in the letters, but POWs would have to lie to get their letters sent home.
You Dream Just Before You Die
Clarence Sperbeck tells the story of another camp that lost over 1600 men in a period of 2 weeks, and the Chinese brought the survivors of that "massacre" to Camp 1 to merge those survivors with his prison camp. Clarence Sperbeck was already suffering with amoebic dysentery at that time, so when he came upon his old squad leader who had survived the "massacre" (death from other camp), the squad leader demanded the Chinese to provide medical care for Clarence Sperbeck. He said he would have dreams of cooking a full meal, then going back to cook some more. Many men declared that these were the symptoms dying men.
Performing Medical Experiments on the Prisoners
In the 3 month stay in this hospital at Camp 1, the Chinese performed medical experiments on the prisoners by implanting a gland from an animal into POW's bodies. POWs were told that if the gland stayed in their body, they would potentially run a high fever and die from an infection. Clarence Sperbeck said the soldiers wouldn't let the incision heal over and they would attempt to squeeze the gland out to keep it from infecting their body.
Jubiliation at Sea
Clayborne Lyles participated in the Navy's ocean search and rescue efforts when there were US pilots that were shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He felt jubilation to be part of 22 pilot rescue missions, but he was sad when none of these missions were discussed in the newspapers. One mission that made him laugh, but it was still serious event was when a pilot was shot down and he was shot in the butt. Clayborne Lyles remembered how the sailors would give each other grief to lighten the mood of war.
The Start of the Korean War
Clayborne Lyles did not know much about Korea when the war broke out and he was located in the Pacific Ocean near the 38th parallel traveling around the Korean peninsula. He didn't have any fear about the war because he said that since he volunteered for the military, he could 't complain or worry. For the fellows who were drafted, he heard all about their complaints about the war while being stationed on the ship with the draftees.
Friend or Foe?
Clayborne Lyles was part of General Quarters, "All arms, man your battle stations." The USS Toledo didn't realize that the incoming planes were US planes, so everyone was told to get ready to fight in the middle of the night. Thankfully, sailors used the Identifying Friend or Foe (IFF) gear before any shots were fired from the USS Toledo.
Clifford L. Wilcox
A Close Call
Clifford Wilcox describes a time when on duty as a forward observer, an enemy shell exploded in front of his foxhole. He was lucky that the shell fired right over his head, missing him. Thankfully, he was covered with dirt with no shrapnel.
The Worst Day of My Life
Clifford Wilcox describes the day he left home for Korea as being the worst day of his life. He had to leave behind his wife and a newborn baby boy. He also just had a new house, car, and job. He describes his wife's experience waiting by the window for him, yearning for her husband to return home.
Why Do Veterans Not Talk About Their Experiences?
Clifford Wilcox discusses the reasons he think veterans do not talk about their experiences in war. He mentions the killings, prisoner of war experiences, as well as wounds inflicted. Although he understands this, he feels differently wanting to share his experiences in the Korean War.
Clyde D. McKenrick
"What Kind of Trouble Are You In?"
Clyde McKenrick tells an amusing story of when he was called into the office of an alarmed personnel director because the FBI had been asking questions about him. He had no idea why the FBI was interested in him. He explains that the FBI interest was because of the security clearance he needed to become a cryptographer.
Day by Day
Clyde Fruth talks about the dangers he faced as a forward observer from incoming artillery and snipers. He details about an enemy unit that was always prepared to attack them and would sneak up through the trenches. He describes always have to keep his eyes open for the enemy.
Colin C. Carley
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.
Basic Training and MOS Training in California
Curtis Lewis graduated high school in 1952 and jointed the Air Force right away. He attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After earning high scores in the technology industry, he was sent to California to learn his military operational specialty. While in California, he was able to see many of his Army friends leave for Korea, but not all returned.
Life on the Homefront and the US Draft
The Korean War was not spoken about much on the homefront. Civilians thought that it would be over really quick. Then, Cyril Kubista was drafted in June 1953 for the US Army right after he was married. He was upset about going Fort Sheridan, Illinois for basic training, but he prayed with a chaplain to help with his feelings.
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.
Infractions and Consequences for POW's
Dan McKinney talks about infractions and consequences for prisoners in his POW camp. He describes the cages that they were sometimes held in. He also discusses his perceptions of North Korean POW camps versus Chinese POW camps.
Life After the Armistice Was Signed
Dan McKinney talks about life in the POW camp during months prior to and days after the Armistice were signed. He mentions that their treatment became better or worse based on the state of the negotiations. He talks about the prisoners' reactions to the news of the Armistice as well as how he and his comrades were transported to be exchanged nearly a month after the ceasefire went in place.
Daniel Carvalho describes the spotlight on the water. He remembers having to use bamboo sticks to poke mines away from the LST. He discusses moving from Wonson to Buson.
Daniel J. Rickert
Daniel Rickert talks about several times he was in danger while serving as a demolition corporal in Korea. He talks about suffering a concussion and a severe leg injury. He also mentions that because of his attached status, though deserving, he was not written up for a Purple Heart.
Daniel Rickert talks about his role in Operation Nomad. This was the last major UN offensive of the war. He describes in detail the demolition of a railroad tunnel near Kunsan.
Daniel M. Lopez
A Strange Sound in the Night
Daniel M. Lopez recounts a dangerous experience on guard duty. He remembers hearing a sound and waking his fellow soldiers and sergeant. He recalls that North Koreans attacked them shortly after. He shares the aftermath of the battle, putting the dead on stretchers and trucks, was the worst moment of his touring career in the Korean War.
Strung to a Barbed Wire Fence
Daniel M. Lopez shares a memory of an American sergeant being captured by North Koreans. He recalls the sergeant being hit and strung to barbed wire. He remembers a captain calling in a Marine plane to destroy the body and remembers watching the scene unfold. He adds that memories like that stay with a person, but he expresses that he is not sorry he joined and is proud to have served.
Bridge Over Barbed Wire
Daniel M. Lopez details capturing an enemy soldier. He explains that the North Koreans would make a man-bridge over the barbed wire separating American and enemy troops in an effort to attack. He recounts capturing an enemy soldier scratched up from the barbed wire and requesting an interpreter to translate. He shares that the enemy soldier escaped and ran towards the South. He also adds that the interpreter ended up joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
Mission of the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the ongoing mission of the USS Fletcher during the ship's involvement in the Korean War. He describes drawing fire from enemy artillery and heading out to sea to rendezvous with naval ships that had greater artillery range.
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.
David Carpenter lost four Marines who were taken as POW's off the coast of Wonsan. He stayed on Korea's islands until peace talks began in 1953. He recalls going on leave to Japan to get some rest and relaxation (R & R) before he returned to England.
Becoming a Paratrooper
David Espinoza describes how he trained to become a paratrooper before he was deployed to Korea. He explains that the training was very hard and lots of heart. He recalls the importance of not looking down when making a jump, and how to handle a parachute properly. He describes the first time he jumped out of an airplane for training to qualify for Paratrooper wings.
On the Front Lines
David Espinoza talks about being under attack by North Korean and Chinese forces. He recalls carrying five gallon cans of water on his back while digging trenches. He describes sustaining mortar and sniper fire by night during patrols. He recalls hearing the loud bugles sounded by Chinese soldiers during an enemy attack.
First Impressions of Incheon Harbor
David Heine describes the early morning sight of Incheon Harbor and the feelings he experienced that stayed with him during his time in Korea. As a young man, he remembers being very scared because he didn't know what to expect. He describes how they disembarked the ships and were then sent off to their units.
Dangers at the DMZ
David Heine faced many dangers while stationed near the DMZ, including one night when he worked to restore communication lines that had been cut every 20-30 feet. He describes the anxiety he faced not knowing what he might encounter.
Peace and Trust Among Former Enemies
David Lopez has mixed feelings about the possibility of meeting up with the North Koreans that he fought against during the Korean War. Soldiers on both sides were just doing their jobs and following through on orders, so David Lopez would meet with his former enemy. He remembers taking prisoners during the war and one of them was really tall and David Lopez believes that it was a Chinese soldier, not a North Korean.
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.
The Korean War Draft, Training, and Landing
David Lewis was a longshoreman just like his father, but he was drafted in 1951. He took infantry training and left for Korea from California, but it took 18 days to get to Korea while sailing on the USS Black. There was a storm during his travel and many of the men threw up due to the pitching of the ship, but David Lewis didn't let that stop him from winning $1,800 from playing cards. At the end of June 1951, he arrived in Pusan and he thought the peace talks would end the war, but there was still more fighting to take place.
Prior Knowledge About Korea and David Lopez's First Battle in the Korean War
David Lopez did not know anything about Korea before he was drafted. When he arrived at Pusan, he was living in tents and was given food rations to eat while waiting to be sent to the Kansas Line which was a few miles from the 38th parallel. After the Chinese pulled out of peace talks, he took trucks from Pusan to the Kansas Line while worrying about incoming artillery. He loved receiving help from young Korean boys who would help him carry supplies, wash clothes, and help when he was short on soldiers. David Lopez was injured in his right arm when he fought with the 2nd Platoon against the Chinese and North Korean troops.
Unprepared for War
David Valley talks about his lack of preparation for war as a 19-year old. He describes seeing the bodies of dead soldiers and being taken under the wing of a WWII veteran.
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.
Danger from Mortar Fire
David White talks about the frequent danger of enemy mortar fire. A lot of soldiers would get scared and try to run. However, they would get hit and it was better to lie low to the ground to avoid it.
A Close Call from an Enemy Mortar
David White tells a story about an incident when he and his sergeant's position was hit by a partially exploded enemy mortar shell. Both he and the his sergeant were not injured. In surprise, they laughed after the situation.
Delbert Ray Houlette
Massacre in a Korean Village
Delbert Ray Houlette recollects here on some of his toughest moments while serving in Korea. He describes the disconnect between the Marine Corps with the Army and ROK soldiers. He also details having to build a causeway over a river in the middle of fighting. Lastly, he remembers witnessing a village after it had experienced a massacre.
Searching for the Chinese
Delmer Davis talks about the raiders' mission near Wonsan. He describes moving far forward of the front lines in search of enemy forces, eventually locating 10,000 Chinese troops.
Denis John Earp
The Moment of Capture
Denis John Earp explains the moment when he was captured. He shares that up to that point, he had never been hit. He recalls that his plane was hit three times. He describes the emergency procedures he took as his plane lost height.
Upon being taken as a Prisoner of War, Denis John Earp was interrogated by Chinese soldiers. Knowing his rights under the Geneva Convention, he refused to answer some questions. However, he was quickly informed by the Chinese about their “lenient policy” and soon was placed in a scary situation that was meant to get him to change his mind.
Denis John Earp describes the conditions at Park’s Palace, a Prisoner of War camp in North Korea. He describes a cruel game that they would play for the guards’ entertainment. He also explains the interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, that were used to get information.
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."
A Turk on a Mission and Losing Friends
Dick Lien describes meeting a Turkish soldier and shares that the soldier was dedicated to collecting an enemy's head every night. He recounts that the Turkish soldier would come back with the decapitated head and place it on a stake in front of his pup tent. He adds his thoughts on losing comrades while serving and states that the losses increased his anger.
Domingo Pelliceer Febre
Danger on the Frontlines
Domingo Pellicer Febre describes his experiences on the front lines. He shares that they would often be on patrol watching for the Chinese troops. During the attacks on the hills, there would often be mortar flying around. He also recounts a mishap he had with a hand grenade that almost cost him his life.
Lack of Water for Hygiene
Domingo Pellicer Febre explains how scarce water was on the frontlines. They were only able to shower once per month and brushing one's teeth was a luxury. While some of the hills had a water pipe, using it often meant making yourself a target for the Chinese who were watching.
Fear on the Front Lines That Led to PTSD
Don McCarty was afraid every minute that he was in Korea. Even after the Korean War ended, North Koreans continued to surrender to the Marines by crossing the 38th parallel. Don McCarty feels that he has a better understanding of life once he fought in the Korean War because there were so many Marines that lost their lives. Every night at 2 am, he wakes up with nightmares from his time at war. PTSD is a disease that Don McCarty is still living with 60 years after the Korean War ended.
Donald C. Hay
Engaging North Korea
Donald C. Hay describes engaging the North Korean military. The Royal Marines would land ashore and engage the North Koreans. The New Zealand Navy would provide cover to Royal Marines. On one occasion the Royal Marines took two North Koreans prisoner. However, on another engagement, the marines lost a man. The HMNZS Rotoiti would get fairly close to the shore to provide support. On one occasion Donald Hay felt uncomfortably close to the enemy.
Action on the Han
Donald C. Hay describes his service aboard the HMNZS Rotoiti. The ship completed three missions up the Han River attacking enemy positions. He describes one occasion when an Australian ship patrolled further up the Han River. This ship was attacked and received substantial damage. On many occasions, Donald Hay would see dead bodies floating down river.
Basic Training in Hawaii
Donald Clark describes his naive expectations of basic training in Hawaii. He and two other young men that he had just met had thought that the colorful posters on the wall in the recruiting office were signs of what to expect. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving at basic training, he realized he was in "fourteen weeks of hell." He quickly learned that he would be going to Korea.
Life as a Radio Operator During the War
Donald Clark describes what it was like to serve as a Radio Operator during the war. He explains what members were on the team and what it was like in the radio truck. He mentions the only moments of combat they experienced while they were set up next to a river and the bridge was bombed- they quickly moved to a new location!
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.
Why the Forgotten War?
Donald Dempster believes that since the Korean War was after WWII, the American public had enough of war. He further feels that the Korean War has been forgotten by the public because it was not reported by US media as much as other wars. He acknowledges that recruitment was not as large during the Korean War as it was during WWII.
Typical Day as a Combat Photographer
Donald Duquette talks about what life was like as a combat photographer in the Korean War. He explains that most photographers were looking for action shots, but they took pictures of everything that was going on. He remembers that some shots were dangerous.
Donald J. Zoeller
Adventures at the Battalion
Donald Zoeller describes some interesting events that happened while he was stationed near Chuncheon. He describes walking into a minefield with his commander and their duties while in camp. He also remembers an airplane trip he took over enemy territory.
"To Hell with the Wire, Let's Move!"
Donald Jones tells the story of his group's reaction to being strafed by enemy planes when laying communications wire and subsequent encounter with a new Lieutenant during their escape.
Both Heels Shot Off
Donald Jones describes a specific night battle when the heels of both of his boots were shot off yet he was uninjured.
Injuries and Difficult Experiences
Donald Lynch talks about being injured twice. He recalls going on a patrol one day on Hill 812 and the lead man stepping on a "Bouncing Betty" release-type booby trap. He recounts how all eight to ten men were hit by pellets. He shares how a pellet hit his thigh and came out about 50 years later when he was messing with it. He notes another injury which entailed a bayonet. He recalls of his war experience occurring in the Punchbowl region, close to the 38th parallel. He references witnessing all of the wounded men leaving the frontlines when he first arrived as his most difficult experience in Korea. He also recalls assisting the sewing of wounds.
Donald Peppard recalls North Koreans boarding the USS Pueblo, navigating it to shore, and docking at a pier in Wonsan. He details how he and fellow crew members were taken as prisoners, tied, blind folded, and separated from each other. He shares that half of the crew was loaded onto a train while the other half, including himself, was taken by bus to a building where he experienced multiple beatings by a crowd of people. He describes being reunited with fellow crew members on the train previously specified and comments on the ride to Pyongyang.
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 1/2)
The Challenges of Letter Writing
Donald Schneider colorfully describes not only the challenges of writing letters from the front lines, but also the dangers faced by the soldiers whose job it was to deliver the incoming mail. He remembers having to use his helmet to write on while having to use pencils because the pens were frozen. He said that while it was difficult to write, everyone looked forward to the mail that they received.
The Moon during Patrols
Donald Schneider explains the effect that a full moon can have on foot patrols, and how memories of those patrols still influence him today. He associates that moon with the night patrols that became very dangerous since the enemy could see them. He said that always meant "someone was not coming back."
Donald Schneider (Part 2/2)
Transitioning Back to Civilian Life
Donald Schneider's challenges in the early 1950s didn't end when he returned to Wisconsin. In this clip, he describes his personal struggles returning to life as a civilian and to the workforce after having been gone for two years. He had been guaranteed his job when he returned, but this caused a woman to become resentful towards him. After a while, he said that he just learned to not talk about it and “clammed up”
Donald Schneider shares his experiences of what combat soldiers often deal with when trying to transition back to life as a civilian. He describes vivid nightmares which often made him not want to go to sleep. He explains how he worked a lot to avoid having to sleep and experience those vivid nightmares, and how he has made other adjustments to avoid potentials triggers.
Importance of Topography:Life or Death
Don Stemper pulls out a map a map and uses it to explain the importance of topography. These skills proved that the tiny details could mean the difference between life and death, winning, or losing the war effort. He says accuracy is so importance during war.
Learning about the Armistice
Sergeant Urich was in Korea when he heard about the Armistice. He was relieved and thought it was good because there would be no more fighting or killing. He said nobody must of told the North Koreans about the Armistice because they were sending shells over the DMZ when he went up there.
Doris B. Porpiglia
The Women Just Sat There and Wouldn't Shoot
During her time in basic training, the women GIs were given the opportunity to practice shooting weapons. They were actually given a choice in the event that at any given time they were told they had to shoot their weapon, they should be ready. Doris Porpiglia said she wanted to be prepared, but most women just sat there and didn't attempt to try shooting at all, but Doris Porpiglia didn't understand their reasoning.
Captured North Korean Soldier
Doug Mitchell and some men in his unit that were in their foxholes spotted a North Korean solider who was coming down the road towards them. Rather than shooting him, the soldier held up his hands in the air. The North Korean soldier surrendered to the US Army, and the men behind the lines took him back.
First experience with death
Doug Mitchell recalls a night where it was difficult to see, especially since there wasn't any light and the sites had glass installed in them which made it very hard to see through. While on duty as a machine gunner, he noticed a tank that was coming around a turn and they halted to tell them who it was or they'd shoot. It turned out that it was a lieutenant that walked up to present himself before they moved the tank any further. As they were standing on the deck, Doug Mitchell heard a mortar going off and he was able to get to safety, but the lieutenant was blown apart.
3 Dreadful Components of the Korean War
Doug Mitchell described 3 things that he hated about war: Patrol at night, crawling on the front line to knock out machine guns, and dreaming about the stress soldiers felt. He said it was scary when the guys behind you were firing at a machine gun while you were told to crawl close enough to throw a grenade at the machine gun while hoping a riflemen wasn't there to shoot you. Bayonets were another dreadful memory from the Korean War and Doug Mitchell said that no one needs to go through fighting against bayonets.
Landing in Korea
Dwight Owen describes landing on the beaches of Wolmido, near Inchon. He mentions the artillery used and his mission once he landed on the beach. He states that it was the worst night of his life and remembers questioning what he had gotten himself into.
Earl A. House
Stopping Communism and the Most Difficult Moment in the War
Earl House describes why he felt the U.S. intervened in Korea and believes it was to stop the spread of Communism. He recalls one of the most difficult times was when there was an accidental discharge of an allied weapon in the trenches. He remembers being physically and mentally distraught and being moved to a jeep patrol to drive officials up to the front lines.
Living Conditions on a Troop Ship and at the Front Lines
Earl House recalls how he was excited to join the Korean War and shares he was even more excited to leave Korea. He remembers enjoying ice cream, milkshakes, pie, and sweets on the ship home after the war. He comments on how these conditions were much better than the living conditions in Korea which included sleeping in a tent.
Bravery and the Forgotten War
Earl House believes that the Korean War made him into a man. He remembers wanting to get away from everyone in his family to prove that he was not afraid and to seem brave. He shares his thoughts on why the Korean War was called the Forgotten War, noting that people did not want the U.S. fighting in a foreign war.
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.
Ed M. Dozier
Operation Mousetrap (Part 1)
Ed M. Dozier describes his participation in Operation Mousetrap, near Chuncheon in May 1951.
Operation Mousetrap (Part 2)
Ed M. Dozier describes his participation in Operation Mousetrap, near Chuncheon in May 1951.
Wounded by a Mortar Shell
Ed M. Dozier talks about his experience being wounded by a mortar shell while on patrol on April 10, 1951.
PTSD and Soldiers of Today
Ed M. Dozier talks about his struggles with PTSD after the war and discusses his thoughts about today's soldiers.
Shipped to Korea
Edgar Green describes the feeling of nervousness he and fellow soldiers experienced boarding the HMS Unicorn in Hong Kong destined for Korea. He shares that having World War II veterans among the crew was helpful as they offered advice. He recounts having to line up with other fellow soldiers along the flight deck and endure a round of injections prior to arriving in Korea.
Most Fearful Time in Korea
Edgar Tufts describes his most fearful memories in Korea when the advanced party he was in was heavily shelled by the Chinese Army,
44th Mash Unit Korea
Edith Pavlischek discusses her role as an Army nurse. She talks about the MASH triage unit that was created to perform neurosurgical procedures on the front lines of the war. Edith Pavlischeck worked diligently every day to help the wounded soldiers and witnessed some devastating events during the War.
Food in the Prison Camp
Edmund Reel describes the food that he and other prisoners received from their Chinese captors during his thirty-four months as a POW. He recalls eating soybeans, cracked corn, sorghum, and millet. He shares that they were fed two meals a day and provides an example of the ration size.
Edmund Reel recalls the cold conditions at the time of his capture and being fed sweet potatoes. He describes the discovery of a wound on his leg while having to carry a friend on a stretcher. He recounts marching and being turned over to the North Koreans.
Captured by Chinese
Edmund Reel explains the circumstances that led to his capture and imprisonment for thirty-four months. He recalls there being roughly five thousand enemy soldiers advancing towards him. He shares that he had no choice but to surrender.
Eduardo Sanchez, Jr.
Flashbacks and Nightmares
Eduardo Sanchez is describing the loss of men when they were seeking for mines. The mine seekers actually hit a mine and members of the navy who were on the three boats lost their lives. For years after the explosion, he continued to have flashbacks and nightmares of the event. This event is forever in his memory and has impacted his life overall.
My Happiest Moments
Eduardo Sanchez remembers his happiest moments in the war came from meeting the other men who were from his home town. They called their little reunion the Mexican Village. However, it was a sad moment when they realized who would no longer be returning to the village due to the war ending. Veterans returning home found it hard to find occupations.
Edward A. Gallant
First Weapons Monitory System
Edward Gallant was assigned as a weapons monitoring repairman on a MSQ 28 System (Fort Bliss, TX). This 40 foot computer could provide 6000 miles of microwave radar which was 2 times the distance of the United States. Edward Gallant said they could see all the way to Russia. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Edward Gallant said that the Russians who had pulled their weapons out of Cuba, gave the WMD to China, and the Chinese sold it to North Korea which is why they have access to the materials they claim they have. They gave 3 of these Weapons Systems to Germany, 2 Korea, and Edward Gallant operated one that sent over 256 missiles towards their target (mission led by Howard Hughes).
Military Service, a Family Affair
Edward Gallant followed the military tradition in his family. Some of his brothers fought in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. One of his brothers was a POW that was killed in action during the Korean War and is buried in Hawaii.
Edward A. Walker
Shipwrecks and Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced a rushed basic training so that his regiment could quickly join troops fighting in Korea in 1951. His transport ship struck a reef on the way to Korea which required rescuing seven hundred soldiers by an oil tanker. Upon arrival in Korea, his duties involved transporting troops to a variety of military stations. He also used parts from an abandoned US Jeep to create a generator for their unit.
Edward C. Sheffield
Surrounded by the North Koreans
Edward Sheffield describes the events leading to his capture by the North Koreans. He recalls receiving incoming fire and being surrounded roughly fifty miles outside of Seoul. He comments on the poor treatment he endured as a POW.
Bayonets and Belts
Edward Sheffield describes the physical treatment he endured from his North Korean captors. He shares that he was stabbed with a bayonet as well as kicked when he was first taken prisoner. He recalls thinking they might kill him due to possessing a belt he had taken as a souvenir.
Introduction to the Tiger
Edward Sheffield identifies one of the camps where he was held prisoner for the first year and a half as Camp Seven. He describes meeting the "Tiger", the enemy police force commanding officer who later began the forced death march he would survive. He recalls the "Tiger" ordering the murder of all men in the sick bay prior to the march.
The Death March
Edward Sheffield shares memories of the death march he and fellow POWs experienced. He describes the machine guns set up to potentially kill him and the turn of events following the pleas made by missionaries within the group. He recalls the punishment for being the last man in line during the death march.
Edward Langevin learned how to repair Hawk (Homing All the Way to Killer) missiles which are semi-active radar surface to air missiles. He spent 40 weeks in Huntsville, Alabama for basic training. While in Korea, he did repairs on the missiles near the DMZ.
DMZ and Seoul during 1969
Edward Langevin describes his time in Korea in 1969. He remembers that it was “kinda scary” at the DMZ where they were repairing missiles because everyone was always on alert. However, he also got to enjoy good times that included sightseeing around Seoul. His two cousins also served in Korea and he found one of their names in a recreation book during his time there.
Edward Mastronardi's Arrival at Pusan
Edward Mastronardi recalled the heavy pollution, dark clouds, and high noise level upon his arrival at Pusan. Young boys were at the dock being mistreated by their boss as their ship was unloading close to nightfall. They would later move to northeast of Pusan and would anchor next to a burial ground believed to be full of prisoners.
We Were Alone and the Chinese Were Everywhere
Edward Mastronardi described the scene at hill 464 and 467 as two humps on a camel. They lacked communication due to the terrain (mountains), no air support, and overcast caused artillery to shoot without knowing directly what it was going to hit since the visibility was so bad. Edward Mastronardi brought Colonel up to witness several hundred Chinese only yards away, so the Colonel wanted to take out his 9 mm to attack the several hundred Chinese himself! They decided that attempting to attack the Chinese was too much, but they did it anyway and didn't succeed in taking Hill 464.
The Enemy Was Wearing Panchos
Edward Mastronardi described how the Chinese stole ponchos worn by the Americans and they found an American machine gun that they were planning to use in order to fire on the Royal Canadian Regiment. Edward Mastronardi also described a machine gunner named Jack Sergeant who single handedly held off the Chinese. Snipers within in his company took down 5 Chinese in a row trying to take over the enemy who were taking the machine guns and they were awarded for their efforts.
It Was About the Civilians...
Witnessing the conditions of the civilians firsthand, Edward Mastronardi was sympathetically moved by the Korean people. As the Americans advanced with tanks, guns, etc. through the Porchon Valley, they shot up everything. Knowing the Chinese did too, Edward Mastronardi witnessed so much destruction left behind. He told of a story about the Korean people dressed in white due to a funeral, and he noticed a woman lay, dying, and trying to still breast feed a dead baby. Edward Mastronardi was angry about the reckless killing of all people. It showed truly first hand what effect the war had on the Korean people.
"Let's Go You Bastards, You Can't Live Forever!"
Within 100+ yards of their objective to attack the Chinese at Hilltop 187 near Samich'on River, Edward Mastronardi described how close the shells were from the tops of their heads, but it didn't stop their advancements since the shrapnel flew forward not putting them in any immediate danger. Edward Mastronardi held his 9 mm gun in his hand and waived it in the air shouting to his men, "Let's go you bastards, you can't live forever!" Bravely charging ahead, breaking the Chinese hold without losing a single man, Edward Mastronardi fought the Chinese at Hill 187.
"Canada boy, tonight you die!"
Before the Battle of Song-gok Spur, a Chinese Company Commander walked straight up to the front line and leaned over and said, "Canada boy, tonight you die!" To which Edward Mastronardi replied, "Come and get us you SOB!" which was documented in the Canadian documentary 28 Heroes. They located the company Commander in Beijing after the war to interview about this event. The battle resulted in only 6 Canadian deaths.
Edward R. Valle
Frightened During Guard Duty
Ed Valle talks about performing guard duty at Kimpo Air Base and being frightened by ROK soldiers patrolling the same perimeter.
Air Transport From Japan to Korea
Ed Valle talks describes the transport from Japan to Korea by plane and hearing rumors of planes being shot down en route.
Arriving in Pusan and Protecting the Pusan Perimeter
Edward Redmond sailed into Pusan on the Unicorn and was greeted by an all-African American regiment band playing music. After a dirty, 12 hour train ride, he and his troops had to dig in near the Nakdong River. When help was needed to protect the Pusan perimeter, Edward Redmond traveled into the Pesos To Mountains where he fought the North Koreans.
The Battle at Pyongyang
During the Battle at Pyongyang, Edward Redmond, his battalion had their first casualties. Everyone became very determined to fight. He believed that the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and the Americans were not well-trained.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Edwin Maunakea, Jr.
Rescue at Nakdonggang River
Edwin Maunakea Jr. describes his rescue of a Captain during fighting at the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter. He talks about carrying the wounded soldier across the Nakdonggang River. He discusses what happened when he found medical help.
Crash and Burn
Edwin Maunakea Jr. describes an incident when a US Navy plane crashed nearby his location. He explains his attempt to rescue the downed pilot. During the rescue attempt, he explains how he was burned by a napalm bomb that exploded on the downed plane.
Edwin R. Hanson
The Incheon Landing on September 15, 1950
Ralph Gastelum explained about the ship circling the water around nightfall before landing on the beach and he recalled his personal experience in the large foxhole they took cover in. Edwin Hanson's boat was supposed to land around 5:00 PM as the 3rd wave, Boat 5, on Blue Beach at high tide, but they lost one of the tracks off of the vehicle which was why the were encircling the area before they could land. There was a jeep that had an electrical short in the horn and continued to honk as they were headed to shore unloaded out of the Amtrack and slogged their way through mud in the last remaining clean pair of Dungarees he had. Once they made it to shore down the road, they climbed a hill and 3 Soviet T-34 tanks coming right towards them. US forces hit the gas tanks located in the back of the tank, watching them blow up right in front of him.
Beyond the Beach During the Incheon Landing
After advancing over the next couple of days at Inchon, they were under attack by North Korean machine gunners that had dug a U-shaped fox hole and were shooting over Edwin Hanson and Ralph Gastelum. A mortar shell dropped onto the fox hole and the firing stopped. When they made it to the fox hole, the bodies of the 2 men were cut in half at the waist. The legs up to the hip and stayed in the fox hole while the rest of their bodies laid in the dirt along side the fox hole.
Edwin Hanson Captures His First POW
As they were advancing throughout Seoul, Edwin Hanson and his regiment came across a street intersection with sand bags filled on each corner that minimized the space from 30-40 ft wide down to 10 ft. A US Tank was hit by a North Korean sniper that was shooting with a 50 caliber automatic weapon, and Edwin Hanson was peaking around the corner to try and find where the sniper was located while the guys were crossing the intersection, but his section leader, Howe, had been shot in the heel. Therefore, he put his M2 Carbine on automatic in an attempt to shoot into a building he thought the sniper was located and he said he, "fell right on his ass." When Edwin Hanson stood up, a North Korean soldier came into view and he stuck the gun up to the North Korean, but instead of killing him, he captured the North Korean soldier.
Experiences During the Wonsan Landing
After the Seoul recapture, the men were now at the Wonsan Landing where they were sent to secure a pass that North Koreans were using to get away. The North Koreans had barricaded the road and began to open fire on US troops. Edwin Hanson described how over 93 North Koreans were killed and 7 US troops were killed including Sergeant Beard from his regiment.
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.
Anxious Over Flamethrowers and Frogs
Edwin Hanson described preparing to launch the attack on Incheon. He also explained the first night ashore and the anxiety it caused the men in their foxholes. He described being extremely nervous about something moving in his foxhole which turned out to be a frog in the morning light.
Fighting for a KATUSA
While he was company commander, Edwin Vargas had to advocate for his KATUSA when the KATUSA accidentally hit a South Korean soldier with a vehicle. The soldier was not hurt, but the KATUSA was about to get arrested until Edwin Vargas spoke to the commanding officer for the South Korean Regiment. After that, he became very good friends with this commanding officer.
Elbert H. Collins
Injured in the Line of Duty
Along the front lines at the Nakdong Perimeter, North Koreans were charging the Americans and came as close as 20 yards away. Elbert Collins was actually shot with a ricochet bullet in his bottom. He explains what it was like on the front lines.
Elbert Collins explains that they had to eat C-rations and smoke cigarettes from World War II. He describes the foxholes in which they slept, including the one in which he dug that flooded out. He admits that he was scared to death during this time and questioned why he was there.
In preparation for the Inchon Landing, Elbert Collins had to stay in a warehouse during a typhoon that came through the area. He remembers all of the preparation that they were given. He describes the instructions that they were given for the landing, but explains that he was so scared that he did not follow the directions.
Earthquakes and PTSD
Eleanor Newton describes the responsibilities of responding to civilian accidents while on base at Edwards Air Force Base. This included responding to help after an earthquake in Tehachapi, California. She also explains the importance of treating patients with PTSD and assuring them they were safe.
Scars From the Korean War
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis suffered many injures during the Korean War. A grenade went off right by his face and he experienced pain and scaring to his right cheek. A military artillery shell blew up right by him and he almost lost his right leg and arm.
72 Days on the Front Line
Ellsworth Peterson talks about the difficulties of being on the front line without rest for 72 straight days. He describes the fear and experience of falling under the attack of heavy shelling. He elaborates on his unit suffering many casualties during these attacks.
Alone on a Chinese Outpost Raid
Ellsworth Peterson talks about a mission in which he and others in his unit raided a Chinese Outpost. In the skirmish, he describes finding himself separated from the other members of his party. Surrounded by Chinese soldiers, he laid down and pretended to be dead before making his way back behind friendly lines.
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.
"Pronounced Dead, the Continuing Tick of his Watch"
Ernest J. Berry wrote a book called "The Forgotten War" in 2000 to commemorate his experiences. The message of the book is that war was devastating and should be avoided. Invasion is unjustified. Ernest J. Berry describes Korea as a second home and laments the many lives lost in the conflict. He then reads poems from his book, Forgotten War, providing poignant vignettes of the Korean War.
"I Wanted to Make a Difference."
Ernest J. Berry was deeply moved by his aunt's medical care before she died. He chose nursing to make a difference in people's lives. When the Korean War broke out, though afraid, he enlisted in the army and sailed for Korea.
Attacked by 135,000 Soldiers
Ernesto Sanchez describes the night 135,000 Chinese soldiers attacked in an effort to push back UN Forces . The Chinese pushed the United Nations forces back, but with the help of the American Soldiers they were able to hold off the Chinese and no land was ultimately lost. This location was a strategic position because it was a gateway to Seoul.
Dog Tags Saved Eugene Buckley
Refusing to surrender while trapped in a ravine, Eugene Buckley and another soldier (O'Donnell) were climbing out of the ravine when they noticed a soldier who had been shot in the neck. Trying to save his life, Eugene Buckley was shot once in the shoulder and another shot went through his dog tags under his arm. He was lying on the ground trying to help another soldier who wouldn't make it out alive.
Returning to the Front Line: Casualties and Hunger
The interviewer asked what happened to the rest of the platoon that was left behind, and Eugene Buckley replied that everyone had been massacred except for himself, O'Donnell, and another soldier. Eugene Buckley had dysentery at the time and he got back so the infirmary gave him a lollipop shaped pill that he consumed to help with the problem. He said when he went into the war, he was 165 pounds, but when he was taken for his wounds, he was only 95 pounds, practically a skeleton.
Shot Down in a RB-29 Over North Korea
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes being shot down. He explains flying over North Korea during his reconnaissance mission. He describes the Russian MiG that ultimately took him out of the sky.
Captured by The Chinese
Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about his capture by Chinese soldiers. He explains how he was shot down on a reconnaissance mission over northern Korea. He describes the Chinese soldiers finding him and his experience with captivity.
You Are Going to Die
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes being questioned by Chinese soldiers during his time a POW. He explains how a fellow soldier saved his life by telling them that he was an "ABC agent". He describes the feeling associated with being told you are going to die.
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.
28 Hours to Mukden
Eugene "Gene" Evers discusses his arduous and physically challenging journey while be transferred to a POW camp in Mukden (presently Shenyang), China.
This Particularly Mean Guard...
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes the living conditions and one particularly mean guard he encountered during his seven month stay in Mukden Prison (China) as a Prisoner of War.
On Trial as a POW
Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about being put on trial while being held at Mukden Prison (Manchuria) and his sentence of death by hard labor in the mines.
Eugene Gregory shares that he experienced fear while serving in Korea. He recounts his amphibious landing as the time he was most fearful due to having never been in combat and being unsure of whether the enemy would be there to counter the landing. He shares that as he became more experienced and more combat aware, the fear diminished but never went away.
Chinese Treatment of Prisoners
In this clip, Eugene Johnson details his treatment by the Chinese Army after he became a Prisoner of War (POW).
Eugene Johnson discusses the indoctrination and interrogation that he faced by the Chinese Army while he was a Prisoner of War (POW).
Loss in the Defense of Democracy
Eusebio Santiago describes the loss of a couple of fellow soldiers. The men were never found in their defense of South Korea. The soldiers of Puerto Rico were defending democracy, defending an attacked country. Eusebio Santiago describes defending against communism.
Everett G. Dewitt
Everett G. Dewitt describes being in combat. He explains a particular incident when his unit was caught up in a fire-fight. The Air force cleared the way for them but they suffered many losses. He goes on to describe another incident that occurred several months later that involved being shelled by mortars.
Ezra Franklin Williams
The Battle of Bunker Hill
Ezra Frank Williams worked as an 81mm Mortar Forward Observer in the Battle of Bunker Hill. While conducting a patrol, he was wounded in his left knee. This event was the most memorable of his time in Korea.
All Marines Were Headed to Korea
Ezra Frank Williams stated that he should have put his duty station as Korea because that's where the US military was sending all their Marines. Everyone laughed at him when he asked where the enemy was while in basic training in 1951. They told him that he'll really get a good look at them while he's in Korea.
A Scary Place
Fidel Diaz describes how scary it was his first few nights in Korea after the Inchon Landing. He said that seeing the other soldiers that had been captured as an effective form of psychological warfare. He explains how close the North Koreans got to his foxhole.
Land Mine Injury
Fidel Diaz was traveling on foot with his South Korean partner through a field when they went under attack by the North Koreans. Both his South Korean partner and Field Diaz were injured from a land mine. He recalls getting treatment and the people and Bible that saved his life.
As a seventeen year old boy, Fidel Diaz says that he really didn’t have any other experiences to draw upon and was really unsure of what he was doing. He describes what happened as the unit headed down to Taegu. He shares a story of what happened to a woman that was pushing a wagon.
They Called It C-17
Floyd Hanamann describes his experience working with psychiatric patients in the military hospital. He explains the symptoms he would see when soldiers would come back from the Korean War. In addition, he explains that there would be some soldiers who could only be furnished with a mattress as they would destroy the furniture if provided.
Electroshock and Aversion Therapy
Floyd Hanamann describes the treatments Korean War veterans would receive for their mental health issues at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital. He explains watching soldiers undergoing ECT treatments and how high they would rise from the table when shocked. He also describes the therapy for alcoholics who were poisoned to vomit and expel liquids to encourage aversion to the substance.
Searching Pockets for Knives and Forks
Floyd Hanamann describes mealtime in the military mental hospital. He explains searching through pockets of soldiers who thought they could use utensils as weapons against enemies. He also describes the fights that would break out between soldiers during meals. He recalls the granting of discharge for some soldiers based on improvement.
Francis John Ezzo
War Made Me a Better Person
Francis Ezzo says the war made him a better person because he saw what happened during war. He explains that he heard about Word War II, but experiencing war helped him understand what war was like. He shares that the experience helped him appreciate life more.
Francisco Caicedo Montua
Difficult Moments during War - Momentos difíciles durante la guerra
Francisco Caicedo Montua describes the first battle he encountered and the trench warfare in which his battalion supported American troops. He remembers patrolling the hills and thinking about how little experience he and his fellow Colombian soldiers had prior to arriving in the north. In order to engage the enemy into battle, they had to cross a narrow ridge as there were landmines surrounding the area and dead Chinese soldiers on the barbed wire. He describes the mortar attacks which were near his platoon they endured and the heroism of his fellow soldiers as they endured a day long battle. He recalls one of his soldiers, while bleeding heavily, asking the rest of his company to leave, but they refused.
Francisco Caicedo Montua describe la primera batalla que enfrentó y la guerra de trincheras en la que su batallón apoyó a las tropas estadounidenses. Recuerda que tenían que patrullar los cerros y en esos momentos Francisco pensaba en la poca experiencia que él y sus compañeros colombianos tenían antes de llegar al norte. Para enfrentar al enemigo en la batalla, tuvieron que cruzar una cresta en la cual habían minas por toda la área y soldados chinos muertos en el alambre de púas. Describe los ataques de mortero que cayeron cerca de su pelotón y el heroísmo de sus compañeros mientras pelearon una batalla que duró un día. Uno de sus soldados, mientras sangraba mucho, le pidió al resto de su compañía que se fueran, pero ellos no estaban dispuestos a dejarlo solo.
Frank E. Butler
Frank E. Butler describes going ashore in Seoul while serving in the New Zealand Navy. He remembers seeing millions of people in Seoul and describes it as being very busy. He reminisces about his later return visits. He appreciated the gratitude the South Korean people showed him upon return.
Frank E. Cohee Jr.
Most difficult time in Korean War
When asked about the most difficult moment of his service, Frank Cohee says that it was when the Chinese came in. He remembers having to drive down icy mountains and getting separated. He states that they were shot at during this time, but fortunately, didn’t’ get hurt.
Driving Over a Landmine
Frank Seaman describes a dangerous, night, service run to tanks on the Main Line of Resistance (MLR). He recalls riding in the passenger seat on a truck carrying 200-250 rounds of 90 millimeter ammunition along with 50 and 30 caliber machine gun ammunition when a sudden explosion took place. He remembers a flash and flying through the windshield as his truck had hit a landmine.
Dangerous Moment and Living Conditions
Frank Seaman shares one of his most dangerous moments while serving and recalls his basic living conditions. He recounts a particular service run to deliver fuel to a platoon of tanks where mortar rounds came in before his departure. Unscathed, he remembers dealing with flat tires on his truck on his return back to base. He also provides insight to his living conditions, describing pup tents and larger tents which could provide shelter for 4 to 5 men.
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
Surrender and Difference Between Chinese and North Korean Treatment
Franklin Gillreath describes the events leading up to surrendering and the difference between Chinese and North Korean treatment. He explains that the North Koreans were harsh and would hit any soldier who could not understand their directions in Korean. He compares this example to the Chinese approach which involved finding a translator rather than hitting a soldier who could not understand directions.
Traitors in the POW Camp
Franklin Gillreath shares memories of traitors among fellow soldiers in the POW camp. He explains that not being able to confide in some of his own countrymen weighed heavily on him mentally. He recounts fellow soldiers snitching on other soldiers in hopes of receiving more food and better treatment. He recalls one soldier in particular snitching to receive a lapel pin and adds that he suffered for his actions on the way home from Korea.
Routed to Germany
Franklin Searfoss completed medical specialist training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Although he felt an obligation to go to Korea, he ended up serving as a licensed practical nurse in Bremerhaven, Germany. He describes his work driving ambulances as the Cold War escalated.
"A Shocking Experience"
Fred Liberman describes a "shocking experience" that he had while in Korea. He recalls having to raid a village and forcefully remove civilians, including the elderly and children. He explains how he wrote a letter home to his brother about it. This is an experience that still bothers him today.
The capture of Fred Liddell: POW
Fred Liddell was captured by the Chinese in May 1951 at Hill 151 (Jirisan Mountain). His regiment was supposed to hold this hill until the US artillery saturated the hill. As Fred Liddell went down a slope around rocks, he met up with the Marines that were milling around near multiple vehicles on fire. The Chinese surrounded the US soldiers even as Fred Liddell was killing some of them in the bushes. Injured US soldiers were burned to death in a hut while over 300 POWs were forced to march to a cave and then onto Camp Suan.
Valuable Historical Context: 1949
Fred LIddell knew a lot about the conflicts that occurred in East Asia including Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and China. Most American soldiers knew very little of this geographic area, let alone the differing political ideologies present. Fred Liddell and his fellow soldiers who had served and traveled in East Asia became more aware of the reasons for the turmoil in East Asia as the war continued.
Comparing POW Camps
Fred Liddell had to survive in multiple POW camps from 1951 through 1953 when he was released. At Camp Suan (the mining camp), there was a "hospital," but it was really a death house. Fred Liddell tried to feed a friend of his that was in the death house, but he didn't survive the next day. The surviving POWs were allowed to bury their follow soldiers, but only in a 2 foot grave. Fred Liddell is surprised that some of the bodies of POWs have been identified and sent back to the US.
Korean War POW PTSD
Fred Liddell suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the experiences that he had to endure as a POW during the Korean War. Nightmares would come every night where Fred Liddell was running from the North Koreans because they performed terrible torturous acts on POWs such as stabbing and shooting soldiers for no reason. Many people would think that the Chinese would be worse, but Fred Liddell saw first-hand the terror created by the North Koreans.
Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea
Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.
"I'll Tell You What You Can Do with Those Poles"
Fred Ragusa recalls an incident when his troop was under intensive fire, coming from both sides. When they lost communication, one of his peers grabbed a spool of wire and ran up a hill to reconnect communication, risking his life. While this sergeant survived, he was reprimanded for disrespect until the superiors realized how important his act was.
"We Were Glad to be Alive"
Fred Ragusa recalls one of his scariest experiences in Korea. In a mission to try to bring jets into the area, the smoke round burst into two because the density of it was not correct. As he was running toward that unit, the smoke rose as the jets were coming in with napalm. Fortunately, the jets did not fully come in and the troops were just glad to be alive.
Galip Fethi Okay
Korean War Experience
Galip Fethi Okay describes his Korean War experience. He was stationed at three different fronts during the war (Vegas, Elco and Berlin). He was also at Sand Bag Castle. Galip Fethi Okay also describes his injury from shrapnel that hospitalized him for two months. For his service, he earned many medals.
In Korea, Now
Galip Fethi Okay describes his arrival into a war zone. His brigade was relieving the previous brigade. He describes the reaction of the previous brigade's men. The previous brigade was so happy to be leaving Korea. He also describes the conditions of the Korean people.
Family Hears News Of Their Son's Death
After hearing the news that their son had been captured and identified as Missing In Action on July 7, 1950, the family was identified by the US military. Soldiers who had returned to the states told the family that Arthur Leroy Brown was being held at the Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. It was later discovered that Arthur Leroy Brown died on his 21st birthday in January of 1951. Some of the returning soldiers told his family that Arthur Leroy Brown had suffered from complications due to Beriberi.
Regrets Of Hearing About Their Son's Death
Arthur Leroy Brown's parents were hit very hard by the news that their son had died. His mom was pregnant with their first daughter and Arthur Leroy Brown was so excited to tell his regiment the news. Before Arthur Leroy Brown left for bootcamp, he got into a scuffle with his dad because his dad didn't want him quitting school to go into the Army.
The Burial of a POW
George Brown was only 6 years old at the time when he heard his brother had died. Arthur Leroy Brown's family was too poor to afford a burial closer to home, so he was buried in Hawaii after his body was found. At his temporary burial in North Korea, the ground was frozen solid, so they could only dig a shallow grave. It was devastating to George Brown and his brothers since they were older and they could really understand the devastation of the death of a family member.
Death Soon After Arrival
George Dixon was sent two miles into North Korea after landing in Incheon in February 1952. His squad leader kept a close watch on him since he did not have infantry training; George Dixon was shot in the helmet during this time, but his protective squad leader was killed right next time. Shortly after this, George Dixon explains how he captured the first POW for his regiment
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans
George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
George J. Bruzgis
Being hit; In-Going Mail, and Out-Going Mail
George Bruzgis shared some of the most difficult and horrible experiences during the war. He recalled knowing the sound of artillery shells coming and going (nicknamed it In-going mail and Out-going mail). Before he closed the tank, he could see the enemy close. After firing, they found the men in bloody pieces, and he still can't get that scene out of his head.
George P. Wolf
Flying in the Berlin Airlift
George Wolf was a pilot in the Air Force during the Berlin Airlift after WWII. He provided food, but mostly coal to the people living in West Berlin during the Russian blockade. He flew the same path that the famous, Gail Halvorsen, flew during the 11-month blockade.
George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.
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.
The Role of a Mosquito Pilot
George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.
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.
Service in Korea
George Staples describes is role in the Korean War. He piloted a Huey B-35 and transported wounded soldiers from the front lines to MASH. The enemy shot through the helicopter, hit George Staples in the abdomen and leg and the helicopter could not make it back to base. However, George Staples was able to return to US controlled land north of Incheon and was taken to MASH.
Luck in Being Wounded
George Staples describes being shot while piloting a helicopter. He was lucky that he was able to return to friendly territory. Because of his service George Staples is proud he defended Koreans from the communists. Above all the legacy of the Korean War was a sign to the Russians of the resolve of the Americans.
Nightmares of War
George Staples describes the horrors of combat. He describes how these events have haunted him, seeing the wounded men. The events of flying into the frontline and saving men show up in his dreams and he cannot forget. George Staples describes these events as PTSD.
A Troop Ship Hits a Cyclone
George Warfield did not know anything about Korea before he went over. When traveling on a troop ship with 1,500 soldiers, they hit a cyclone that tossed the ship all over the ocean which made men throw up all over. Luckily, George Warfield did not get sick during any of his travels in the military.
Destruction on Christmas Eve
George Warfield landed in Korea on December 24, 1950 and had Christmas Eve dinner on the ship before he was dropped off at Inchon harbor. He counted 17 tanks that went out to battle from Inchon, but only 1 came back the next morning after fighting. George Warfield passed through Euijeongbu one night and saw the terrible conditions for civilians, but he did not stay in any location longer than a day.
Experiences Working With the Turkish Troops
George Warfield worked with the Turkish Army and they were tough. The Turkish Army even practiced hand-to-hand combat with their own troops to stay battle-ready. George Warfield said that he would fight with them against an enemy at any time.
Gerald ‘Gerry’ Farmer
Battle of the Hook 1953
Gerry Farmer describes the Battle of the Hook and how he was wounded. He says the Hook was action from the start compared to Hill 159. He recalls there being four or five solders in the bunker which connected to trenches and other bunkers. He adds there were different types of patrols.
Gerry Farmer describes being wounded at the Hook after he volunteered to drive a jeep to Area 3. He remembers he was blown forty yards from the jeep, and adds he still has injuries and shrapnel in his back. He recalls being transported to a Norwegian MASH and then to Seoul where he underwent three operations.
Gerald Edward Ballow
The Training Changed Completely
Gerald Ballow knew at the beginning of July 1950 that US troops were going to enter Korea after North Koreans invaded South Korea, so training started to change. Even though he volunteered to go, Gerald Ballow was asked to stay behind at GHQ to assist. He shares how it felt to find out that his friend was killed in combat.
Jubilation after Inchon Landing
Gerald Ballow remembered the jubilation that took place after the successful Inchon Landing took place. He also felt that General MacArthur was doing a fantastic job during the Korean War and that it was Generals George Marshal and Omar Bradley's jealousy that flushed General MacArthur out of the Korean War.
Crossing the Yalu River
Gerald Ballow expresses his opinions about what he considers an “intelligence disaster” at the Yalu River. He believes that the officers knew that the Chinese were amassing across the river before they got there. He explains how the US was completely outnumbered by the Chinese and there were not any additional troops to send up there to help fight the Chinese.
GHQ 1st Raider Company
Gerald Ballow describes the book he wrote about the GHQ 1st Raider Company that was made up of the soldiers in General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. He explains that soldiers fought through the Chosin Reservoir and they helped with the Inchon landing too. He describes their roles and what they achieved during the Korean War.
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!"
Live or Come Home In A Box
Gerald Land described how long the journey was from California to Japan which was a total of 14 days. When he arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they were picking up more soldiers to take to Korea and he stumbled upon an old high school friend (yelling down from the top of the ship to the deck). They had some time to talk about why he was in Japan, and his friend said he had gone AWOL while in the Air Force because of a girl he wanted to be with in Japan, but was located and brought to trial. He was given a choice: go to Fort Leavenworth to serve a 4-year sentence or be sent to Korea with the 40th Division. "Live and your record is wiped clean or come home in a box."
Gerald Land's First Encounter with North Koreans
Gerald Land described how his Company Commander and his Sergeant were at an Outpost at Kumwha Valley for 3 days for 3 nights with no sleep. They barricaded themselves with barbed wire and hung C-ration containers so if anything hit the wire, it would make a sound, and the men knew where to shoot. Gerald Land spoke often of rats crawling around touching the C-rations, but it did alert him when the North Koreans were near.
War Is Hell: My First Kill
Gerald Land recalled when he was shot by North Koreans for the first time, and how terrible he felt knowing that he was tearing the enemy to pieces with his gun. As a Methodist, he carried a prayer book around and prayed for guidance/forgiveness for his time in the war. He also hoped and prayed that he would make it home safe to his family.
Released POWs Had a Blank Stare In Their Eyes
Panmunjom was the site of disembarkation at the time when Gerald Land left in September of 1953. He came across American soldiers who had been held as Prisoners of War. Gerald Land was overcome by sadness when he saw how sick the POWs looked. They just stared into space and this made Gerald Land reflect how lucky he was to come out alive. He couldn't imagine the type of torture those men had been put through.
Friend or Foe?
Gerald Spandorf's ship traveled the world including 16 countries while in the Navy. One time during a bad storm, he was allowed to de-board in England to protect himself. When his ship went to the Netherlands, Gerald Spandorf's ship was left in port because the native people didn't like Americans due to the bombing that they did during WWII.
Traveling with the Navy
Gerald Spandorf loved when his ship was in port because the sailors were able to walk around different countries. In Germany, the Germans asked him his name and they loved him because he had a strong German name. Gerald Spandorf told them that the Germans didn't like his family because his parents and grandparents are jews.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Shooting Chinese from Hidden Vantage Points
Germaye Tesfaye was a heavy machine gunner for the Third Battalion. While manning the front lines, he and his battalion hid under heavy cover to avoid being discovered and killed. Using heavy weaponry to shoot the enemy from a distance, he and his fellow Ethiopians killed numerous Chinese. At one point he was shot in heavy fighting.
Death of a Hero on White Horse Hill
Gilbert Hauffels and the Luxembourg Platoon fought at White Horse Hill. They took position six hundred meters in front of the trenches, merely 400 meters from North Korean artillery. During the barrage, Luxembourgian Sergeant Robert Mores rushed in to save soldiers whose bunkers had collapsed on them. Sergeant Mores was one of two soldiers from Luxembourg killed in the Korean War.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes being a Medical Assistant. The Ethiopian soldiers did not have a doctor assigned to them. Instead, there were six medical assistants assigned per shamble (two hundred fifty men). He does have nightmares about the wounds he witnessed. Someone with their stomach "out" is terrifying.
"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."
Gordon H. McIntyre
Life Near the Front
Gordon McIntyre transferred to an English unit due to the extensive loss of life in the English outfit. Near headquarters he noted a Canadian field hospital and rows of drums filled with napalm. Throughout his first night he was not afraid despite the explosions from incessant artillery fire. The next morning he left the truck to find an unexploded mortar shell that would have killed everyone at the post had it exploded.
Battle of Maryang-san
Gordon McIntyre describes five to six days of continuous fighting at the Battle of Maryang-san. He camped around eight hundred meters from the front lines. The second and third nights all soldiers stood ready to leave in the middle of the night if overrun. The Battle of Maryang-san featured combat between the Australian Army and the Chinese as the North Korean army had been decimated by that point. The danger did not scare him because he was too busy to think about it at the time.
Speaking About War: A Healing Process
Grace Ackerman feels that the Korean War Legacy Foundation is important because it allows the veterans to speak about their experiences during the Korean War. Students and future generations will also be able to gain knowledge from the interviews. Experiences such as the cold weather, being away from family, and personal experiences endured during the Korean War.
PTSD: Iraq and Afghan War Veterans
Grace Ackerman goes to the veterans' hospital in Syracuse, New York with the Auxillery group to help in the healing process. Her group is not officially there to help veterans from the Iraq and Afghan War overcome their Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), but they are there to listen when the veterans need it. Older war veterans have had time to heal and process their experiences, whereas the young veterans are still finding their way. Grace Ackerman believes that veterans' hospitals should be doing more to address PTSD in our young veterans.
Releasing Memories About the Korean War: Terrifying
Grace Ackerman was glad that she was able to be there for her husband, Bruce Ackerman, when he started to talk about his experiences during the Korean War, but it was terrifying to know the conditions that the veterans had to endure. Bruce Ackerman didn't start speaking about it until he was retired and able to have more time to ponder his time in Korea. Grace Ackerman recalled how most of the US didn't know about Korea when the war began in 1950 until the media started to cover the Korean War.
Jumping into Combat
Gregoy Garcia spent time in Pyongyang trying to stop the infiltration of Chinese and North Koreans in the fall/winter of 1950. He remembers his most dangerous moment was jumping into combat and landing while shooting. He explains that his griswold bag with his knives fell off due to their weight.
"I Don't Need Bullets"
Gustavo Mendez arrived in Inchon and then went to the Battle at Old Baldy. After getting to Korea, he had to deal with prejudice against Puerto Ricans because he didn't speak fluent English. A South Korean soldier that was embedded with Gustavo Mendez warned the US troops that many Chinese were headed their way. As he engaged the enemy, Gustavo Mendez's rifle jammed. He though that he it was a sign from God.
Prayer and the Bible Was All that Was Needed After being Drafted
Gustavo Mendez was drafted into the Army in 1951 while living in New York. He asked if he could go back to his hometown to attend basic training and the US government allowed him to move back to Puerto Rico for training. Gustavo Mendez was a Christian and he was nervous about having to use his weapon in warfare, but as he read more of the Bible he learned that he will be protected which made him feel better.
Volunteering for the Greek Army and Bravery in his Heart
Haralambos Theodorakis entered the military in 1948 as an infantry soldier after 23 months of training. He found out about the breakout of the Korean War through the Army and he wanted to go there to fight without any fear. Even knowing that he could die didn't stop Haralambos Theodorakis from wanting to go over to Korea.
Haralambos Theodorakis has a weakness for the Korean people because he loves all the Korean people. As he recalled the war, there were many times that he almost died. He went and fought a war without knowing what he would face, but luckily, he was never wounded.
End of the War and Its Effects
Harlan Nielsen offers an account of his duties while in Korea following the signing of the armistice and his return home. His wife chimes in and explains his reaction of dropping to the floor anytime there was a loud noise after his return. She describes a story in which she hid and jumped out to scare him. He dropped to the floor and told her afterwards never to do it again.
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.
Snowballs and Tootsie Rolls
Harold Barber is describing being shot in the leg and being transported to the hospital by a corpsman. The corpsman fed them snowballs and tootsie rolls as they journeyed 16 miles. It took them 8 days to traverse the dangerous terrain, but the injured soldiers ultimately reached the hospital.
Atrocities in Seoul
Harold Beck’s first impression of Korea was that of “atrocity.” When he drove into Seoul, he remembers how the building were “all shot up” having changed hands three times. However, among the most atrocious memories was that of the bodies hanging off the bridge- new ones were placed there daily.
Harold Bill Christenson
The Loss of Friends
Harold Christenson describes moving towards the fronts lines, escorted by ROK soldiers, and the fear he felt hearing small arms fire and artillery and seeing the flashes associated with the weapon fire as his company pressed inland near the mountains. He shares that within the first two months of arrival, the friends he went to Korea with were gone. With sorrow, he recounts the loss of one friend when his company was overrun by the Chinese at Gibraltar and remembers the injuries another friend sustained from a landmine.
Harold H. Hoelzer
All hands on deck!
Upon getting to Korea Harold Hoelzer took his first shower since leaving the US. He recalls how his ordinary shower experience took an unexpected and hectic turn when an air-raid siren sent soldiers scrambling from the shower depot. He merrily recalls the mass of laughter that ensued after the shower had been evacuated and the half-naked troops looked up to see a single, dinky surveillance airplane putter by.
Terrified and misguided from the very first night
Harold Heckman remembers his first night on the front lines of Korea - a night that resulted in seven American causalities. Due to the ineptitude of a senior commanding officer, American soldiers on night patrol) ended up walking through a minefield which resulted in many unnecessary causalities. Harold Heckman never saw the commanding officer again.
Earning his Bronze Star
Harold Heckman talks about the mission that ended up earning him a Bronze Star. The assignment was to seek-and-capture a North Korean soldier for intelligence. He recalls how he led a mission team through the dark to captured and bring back a North Korean soldier from the North Korean front line - an effort that almost rewarded him with a Russian war-time trophy.
Decisions made, prices paid
Not every decision that Harold Heckman made during the war is one that he's proud of. He mournfully recalls how he was made to deal with an American soldier who defected during the onset of battle. A tough decision he can still remember clearly, and ultimately, effects him to this day.
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.
When war makes you leave a friend behind
Harrison Lee recalls a story that he never told anyone for a very long time - a story that follows him to this day. During the Battle of Taejon Harrison Lee and his best friend engaged a North Korean machine gun nest setting up along a dirt road. Upon realizing that the machine-gun nest had them outgunned he begs his friend to retreat with him... only to realize his friend was KIA.
"Baptism by Fire"
Every front line soldier has a "baptism by fire" story (i.e. first enemy contact story) and here Harrison Lee shares his. He remembers how a peaceful dining experience in Korea turned into his first moment of military combat. He can still remember the intense feeling of fear during those drawn-out moments many years ago.
Seeing the face of war
Within the first two nights in Korea, Harrison Lee witnessed the effect of war in a way that made what him and his comrades were getting into real danger. After retrieving a KIA soldier from the front lines the commanding officer at Harrison Lee's post made each soldier look at the body. It was then that Harrison Lee felt the full gravity of his situation in Korea.
Harry Burke is describing his first days in the orient. He was surprised with the odor and stench in Japan and Korea. The initial landing on Incheon happened on the 18th, but he arrived on the 21st to see the devastation that had taken place three days before he arrived.
My Most Difficult Days
Harry Burke is describing how eight men were killed and 12 were wounded is his company. After experiencing this, he was sent back to Incheon and went around from the west side of Korea to the east side to Wonsan. Here he is describing their days in the war.
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.
Training and the Inchon Landing
Harry C. Graham describes his arrival in Korea. He details the circumstances of training Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers at Mt. Fuji, in Japan, before moving on to take part at the Inchon Landing in September of 1950. He describes his first impressions of Korea.
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.
The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW
Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. Due to the quick retreat, most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below. Harry Hawksworth used six crates of two inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth walked at night for six weeks until he reached prisoner of war (POW) Camp Changsong in May 1951. Many of the British POWs escaped, but all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. After getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day, Harry Hawksworth became very sick. As the Chinese brainwashing continued, US and British POWs fought to survive every single day.
Hard to Forget
When asked if he was still bothered by the scenes of death, Henri Socquet responds with “absolutely.” However, he recently was at meeting of Korean War veterans and met a man who had been injured by a grenade while in combat and Henri Socquet had helped save. He remembers the night that this happened as well as many other times since they are hard to forget.
Henry T. Pooley
Henry T Pooley describes when he was shelled in his bunk near Hill 355. The Chinese artillery attack left him dazed and two comrades wounded. Henry miraculously wasn't wounded.
Henry Winter speaks about his arrival in Korea at Inchon. He was a replacement for injured soldiers and joined a new unit assigned to duty at Heartbreak Ridge.
Henry Winter describes his first time in combat. He vividly recalls the shelling and the sound of a horn blaring as the enemy charged up the hill. They repelled the charge suffering 60 casualties during the course of the battle. Henry Winter recalls another instance of shelling when one brother found another dead.
Close Call on the Front Lines
Herbert Neale recounts a close call with incoming artillery fire on the front lines. He remembers waking up, lying over the artillery, from a concussion and hearing a friend call out that he had been hit. He details his friend's wound and the effort made to transport him safely to an evacuation site. He reflects on his friend's healing process after losing a lung and on how one never really recovers from the wounds of war.
How to Deal with the Memories
Herbert Neale discusses how he deals with the memories of war. He shares that he closes his mind to the visuals as dwelling on them, he insists, would drive one crazy. He admits that even after several decades since the war though, visuals of dead Chinese soldiers enter his dreams and, every now and then, wake him up in the middle of the night.
Reflection on Korean War Experience
Herbert Schreiner describes his role with Tell America and states that the number one question he receives from students centers on whether or not he was afraid while serving in Korea. He shares that he was and that fear was present amid the troops in combat areas. He also reflects on his experience and his gratefulness for the opportunity to serve in Korea as he feels it made him a better person.
Refugees During War
Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.
What Serving in Korea Meant to Herbert Werner
When Herbert Werner was still in an orphanage during WWII, the boys that left to fight during that war had such a lasting impression on him, so he joined the Marine Corps. Originally, he wanted to go to China as a Marine, but after the war broke out in Korea, he was so caught up in the moment and excited that he wanted to go to be a part of this war. Much of what Herbert Werner saw was terrible including the treatment of refugees during the Korean War.
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.
On The Frontlines
Herbert Yuttal talks about being on the front lines as a Forward Observer at an outpost near Kaesong. He explains that they fired a lot of artillery rounds, destroying a lot of the landscape at Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill. He remembers seeing his friends dying during these battles.
Doing My Duty
Herbert Yuttal speaks about what he had to do in Korea and his pride in doing his duty because of the results. He explains that you have to display maturity and accept the situations as they come. He explains that while he wished he hadn't had to do it, his responsibilites included killing a lot of people. However, the progress of Korea speaks to why he had to do that.
First Glimpse of the Korean People
Homer Garrett described the Korean people when he first arrived in Korea as hungry and begging for food/supplies. It was the worst the worst catastrophic area that he had ever seen and Korea really needed a lot of help to rebuild. Korea was still in ruins 12 years after the Korean War ended.
Working With KATUSA and Turkish Armed Forces
Homer Garrett protected South Korea along with the Turkish armed forces and local KATUSA. KATUSA soldiers are the South Korean soldiers that worked directly with the US forces. Homer Garrett was assigned the task of guarding the crossroads between North Korean agents and the ROK (the Republic of Korea) Military Police with his M14 and bullet proof vest in the middle of the night.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Homer M. Garza
Crossing the Han River
Homer M. Garza speaks about his unit crossing of the Han River in their push to force the enemy back north. He also speaks about losing men from his unit.
Homer W. Mundy
Homer Mundy talks about what it was like being under enemy attack. He also talks about fighting the enemy during withdrawal and encirclement near Gotori. He also recounts his second major injury.
Hong Berm Hur
Korean War POW and the Simple Ways to Show Appreciation
Hong Berm Hur met Mr. English Model who was a POW (prisoner of war) during the Korean War. English Model was captured by the Chinese and was put into a camp for over a year. Thankfully, he escaped and made his way to Hawaii. This is where he shared his story with Hong Berm Hur. Hong Berm Hur not only likes to hear the stories of Korean War veterans, he also takes care of these veterans when he's not working so that he can properly show the veterans gratitude that they deserve for their service during the Korean War.
Half Dead or Captured
Horace Sappington describes his encounter with North Koreans and Russians a few miles outside of Osan. Ill-equipped and undermanned, he details the scene of a Major driving out in a jeep to meet and talk with the oncoming mass of North Korean and Russian troops. He shares that the enemy fired a cannon, blowing up the jeep and killing the major, continuing to advance upon their position. He adds that he was wounded during the fighting and was tended to by a medic who was killed shortly after during their retreat. He explains that over half of US soldiers there that day were either killed or captured.
Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.
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.
Fighting at the Yalu River and Surviving a Land Mine Explosion
Howard Ballard discusses soldiers sustaining injuries while fighting in the Battle of Pyongyang on Thanksgiving Eve 1950. He recounts how U.S. troops headed for the Yalu River down very narrow roads and fought the Chinese until the U.S. troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. He recalls how a land mine exploded near him and how he experienced temporary paralysis. He shares that he was sent to a MASH unit following the explosion but was soon returned to his unit.
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.
Ibrahim Gulek describes the conditions at Sandbag Castle. War had stopped briefly due to a ceasefire, while negotiations were occurring. However, the Chinese attacked without warning. There was about two months of constant warfare in close combat. Ibrahim Gulek was a sniper and told to fire at a certain location where the enemy was located. At one point soldiers were told to consume alcohol in order to not feel death.
Ibrahim Yalςinkaya describes the horrific conditions of fighting along the Vegas Front. The Turkish fighters were under fire for two days and nights. Most of the men that fought did not survive the fighting. Roughly sixty three out of the one hundred and ninety seven men survived. Many of the men who perished are unaccounted for.
Sorrow of War
Ibrahim Yalςinkaya describes a sorrow for fighting in war. The Nevada Front was very fierce. He describes a sadness for fighting. Killing someone is very hard on a person's soul. Ibrahim Yalςinkaya lost many friends in Korea.
Iluminado Santiago remembers places but not always their names. Memories of injured men plague him. Other memories cause him to value the good fortune of people in the United States.
Agony of the Wounded
Inga-Britt Jagland describes the anguish of the wounded soldiers. Men who were injured and lost limbs agonized over the future. Inga-Britt Jagland broke protocol and would comfort these men, reassuring them. Above all, Inga-Britt Jagland describes a nurse's role was not just care, but comfort.
Observation Post Attacked
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez shares memories of the fear he experienced while being in Korea during the war. He recounts being in a foxhole and an attack on his Observation Post (OP) occurring. He elaborates on how he defended his position with hand grenades.
J. Robert Lunney
Army Requests Help
J. Robert Lunney speaks about the decision, by SS Meredith Victory Captain LaRue, to "Volunteer" his ship to help with the Hungnam evacuation.
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.
Participating in the Incheon Landing in September 1950
Jack Allen went to the Mediterranean in April 1950 and he was ready to fight when the war began in June 1950. He set up a telephone system in Japan and stayed there until the Incheon landing took place. Jack Allen participated in the Inchoeon Landing on day 2 while hearing and feeling the boom of guns for the first time in warfare. One of his friends landed in a hole after dodging a mortar that had been a toilet, so he couldn't get his clothes off fast enough. After that, Jack Allen went to retake the Kimpo Air Field in Seoul during the Incheon Landing in September 1950.
The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman
Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.
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.
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.
First Engagement: Task Force Smith
Jack Goodwin recounts his experience in Task Force Smith, the first group to engage with North Korean soldiers during the Korean War. He shares that they were severely outnumbered and ill-equipped with only four hundred or so men against roughly twenty thousand North Korean soldiers, having severely limited ammunition. He recalls remaining U.S. soldiers being forced to leave their position and walk during the night to a village where they were captured the following morning.
People Who Fall in a Death March
Jack Goodwin describes the Death March as a POW which took place November 1st-9th, 1950. He shares that 86 men died along the way from either wounds sustained prior to the start of the march or from being shot by the North Koreans who were forcing them to march. He recounts civilians being forced to march with them as well, including nuns, priests, engineers, and politicians.
Morale in Wonsan
Jack Howell describes landing in Wonsan, Korea, shortly after the Marines had taken over Wonsan. He recounts the morale of fellow soldiers and shares memories of a commander greeting them on the beach with a pep talk once they had landed. He recalls scenes of Wonsan and shares that there seemed to have been little resistance as there was no major destruction to observe.
Screams from Hill 1080
Jack Howell shares his memories of combat against Chinese troops as he and his fellow soldiers fought to control and defend Hill 1080. He describes the encounter as overwhelming due to the mass number of Chinese soldiers attacking them. He recalls unnerving memories of frozen Chinese soldiers in their bunkers as well as the screams and taunts of the Chinese.
Life on a Destroyer
Jack Keep lived on the Gatling Destroyer for four years as a First Class Boatswain's Mate. Living quarters were close while their jobs included scrubbing the deck, maintenance, general quarters, and watch.
Jack Kronenberger describes several times where a "Red Alert" was issued, meaning some North Koreans had crossed the border. He remembers his roommate being very alarmed, but there wasn't anything for them to do- "just keep doing your job." They had a machine gun in their hut, but did not have to use it.
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.
Under Fire and Almost Killed
Jack Wolverton recalls the one time he was under fire and almost lost his life. His unit was ordered to pile a bunker with ammunition, but the mission was aborted. His unit came under small arms fire near no man's land, and a bullet, coming very close to his head, only chipped a rock.The rock hit his wrist and scared him, making him think he was shot. He luckily left the incident unharmed.
James “Jim” Cawyer
Close Calls and Rough Rides
James "Jim" Cawyer discusses the large amount of Korean War casualties. He raises the point that many losses of life were not combat-related. He describes three examples of his own close calls he encountered during the war.
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.
James “Jim” Wetmore
You Never hear the One That Hit You
Jim Wetmore describes being seriously wounded by a mortar and his evacuation from the battlefield in the Punch Bowl area on April 11, 1952. He explains that the saying is true: you never hear the one that hit you. He describes awaking face down in a fighting hole, helmet full of blood, broken jaw and a deep face wound so badly gaping he could stick his fingers inside the wound. He goes on to describe being evacuated down a mountain on a ski cablecar and being too afraid to look down.
James A. Newman
Sneak Attack on the Yalu River
James Newman was stationed on the frigate HMNZS Hawea up the Yalu River. He participated in a daring attack along the border between China and Korea. Fighting as a gunner, his ship attacked enemy positions along the Yalu River and took the enemy by complete surprise.
"Pushing" to Hill 355
James Newman fought in the Battle for Hill 355 or Kowang-san. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Mayang-San, a joint British, Australian, and New Zealand engagement along the Imjin River. He describes his experiences on the frontline where he shared a foxhole with a Korean kid while mortars from the Chinese exploded near them.
A Close Encounter with a Chinese Soldier
James Butcher went face-to-face with a Chinese soldier as he was fighting for Triangle Hill. The Chinese soldier was getting ready to throw a grenade at the US troops and he became scared when he saw James Butcher in the trench with him. After a long pause, James Butcher took down the enemy trench.
Typical Day of Service
James Creswell describes how he served as an advisor to three or four South Korean Majors and Colonels. He recounts offering radio signal, leadership, combat, artillery, and tank advice and training to other soldiers. He explains that there was significant guerrilla warfare, and due to the successes of the advisory support he was involved in, he shares that there was a bounty on his head. He expresses the level of danger, adds that no logos or insignias were worn, and recalls having a rifle in his hands at all times.
Guerilla Clearance (graphic)
James Creswell, in somewhat graphic detail, describes the Guerilla Clearance as a dangerous and deadly time in Incheon and around the Pusan Perimeter. He details the banding together of Chinese and North Koreans troops and their plan to attack his location. He offers a visual of witnessing a mass shooting in a rice field, of beheadings, and scare tactics used by the South Korean soldiers to keep opposition at bay.
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.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Thoughts of Home
James Carter discusses how he would go to the ship deck and think about his family. He shares his thoughts and concerns about leaving his wife at home who was five months pregnant when he headed to Korea. He mentions her several times during the interview, and how their separation weighed on his mind. He shares his experience of meeting Chesty Puller an awarded leader of the Marines.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir/Battle of Jangjin Lake
James Carter describes the attack at Koto-ri. He explains how his platoon was heading to meet up with the Easy Company. He describes being attacked by the Chinese and the subsequent retreat. He shares the dangers and losses his platoon faced. He shares how he luckily survived some possibly fatal shots.
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
Only Trained in Mess Halls
James H. Raynor describes his first combat in the Korean War. He was not prepared for the conflict, having only trained in the mess hall during basic training. He describes how scared he was and not knowing what to do during the fight.
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.
James J. Barden
James J. Barden describes preparation for the thirty bombing missions his crew executed in 1952. It took much of an entire day for his squadron to prepare the planes and bombs for night missions from Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. Each mission was to bomb various locations on the Korean Peninsula.
James L. Owen
Most Difficult Thing
James L. Owen explains that the most difficult thing of his service was knowing it had to be done. He shares it was hard to accept the fact that one must "kill or be killed." He describes how so many officers were killed, that job responsibilities constantly changed, and that one had to persevere.
James L. Stone
Refusing to Give Up
James L. Stone recounts a night attack made by roughly eight hundred Chinese. He describes how he was shot in the leg and neck and remembers another soldier placing a small cloth on his neck to stop the bleeding. He recalls being surrounded by Chinese soldiers but shares that he and his men refused to give up despite the circumstance.
Truman's Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of the Military
Racial tension grew after the Executive Order 9981 was issued. When James Low was in the US National Guard, he saw a confrontation between Southern soldiers and African American soldiers from Harlem, New York. Racism still existed for African Americans on the home front during the 1950s. Since James Low went to an integrated school, his beliefs were different than the Southern soldiers that were stationed with him.
Begging to Join the US Army
James Low wanted to join the US Army after he graduated high school because he wanted to do his part just like everyone else did during WWII. There was a group of James Low's friends that went to volunteer month after month until there was a spot open. Finally, in February 1951, he was accepted into the Army, but had to wait until he was 18 years old to sign the paperwork because his mom refused to give permission to his 17 year-old son.
James M. Cross
Scared or Mad (graphic)
James Cross describes how he was either scared or mad at the Chinese, particularly while at Heartbreak Ridge. He recalls having one hot meal a day and recounts an incident which occurred shortly after finishing a meal. He remembers being mad at the Chinese during the majority of his service for what they were doing to American soldiers, and he shares that he tried his best to stop them at whatever cost.
James P. Argires
"Fearless" at the Inchon Landing
James Argires describes his experience in the Inchon Landing, explaining that there was some controversy around whether it would be successful. He describes the terrain and the struggles he faced. When asked if he was afraid, he explains how being young made him “fearless.”
Friendly Fire Experience
James Parker recalls some of his typical duties while serving. He describes participating in exercises and his experience with "friendly fire". He shares that napalm and artillery were mistakenly dropped and fired on their own troops.
Interaction with Korean MP's
James Pigneri talks about his time serving with two young Korean military police officers. Because of the dedication of the MP's, Pigneri goes unharmed but the MP's die tragically in battle.
Awards and Air Drops
James Pigneri discusses the awards that he received during the Korean War. He also gives details about how he and other soldiers received their rations and supplies via air drops. The receiving of supplies was a dangerous mission where many soldiers were killed trying to supply the combat soldiers with their daily necessities.
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.
James Shigeo Shimabuku
Sleep Deprivation and Thoughts on Fear
James Shimabuku recounts the difficulties of trying to sleep with shrapnel falling around the troops. He offers an account of a fellow soldier moving dead bodies and shooting an enemy soldier who was still alive amid the bodies. He shares his philosophy on fear and states that one either lives or dies.
James T. Markley
Swimming with Torpedoes
James Markley describes how the Navy and Air Force worked together after the war. The Air Force dropped torpedoes as they were looking for submarines. James' job was to swim out to the torpedo, hook a line on it, and sit on the torpedo while the sailors pulled the torpedo into the ship.
James Tilford Jones
Fighting against the Chinese
James Jones has vivid memories of how Chinese battlefield tactics were distinctive. They had unique sounds and smells, as well as unique military strategies. His platoon would dig in each night, fight, retreat and then dig in again as the Chinese kept coming.
Jean Clements recalls a dangerous moment he experienced while serving in Korea. He shares that the night patrols were especially dangerous and recounts one in particular where he and fellow soldiers were assigned to check a particular post near the Imgingang River in no man's land due to an issue with the communication lines. He recounts having to maneuver through rice fields and securing one side with his machine gun as they made their way to the post.
Imjingang River Attack
Jean Clement shares an account of soldiers on patrol being attacked by the Chinese. He describes the camp where he was assigned, sandwiched between the Imjingang River and a mountain, and recalls that it was not located in the best position for defense against an attack. He shares that Luxembourg soldiers were conducting a patrol across a nearby floating bridge on the Imjingang River, and they were attacked by the Chinese. He recalls helping a soldier out of the river after he had jumped in to protect himself from the Chinese fire. He recounts destroying the equipment they could not carry with them prior to leaving so that it would not fall in Chinese hands and describes how the Belgium soldiers carved a path through the mountain to safety.
When asked about dangerous moments, Jerry Bowen describes exchanging mortar fire with the Chinese in formation in front of his camp. He got some mortar bombs and went up to the top of the hill, but feared the Chinese would ambush them. He describes using hand grenades and the other events of that night in detail.
Live Bomb evacuated by Helicopter
In this clip, Jerry Kaspen describes the tense moment when he was left alone with in a field of live bombs. During this time the military removed a live bomb that was too close to a local village. Jerry Kaspen historically photographed the first live bomb ever evacuated by helicopter.
You Get Used to It
Jesse Englehart describes how a South Korean man was communicating with North Korea. He remembers an incident and seeing this man beaten with a bat. He explains how in war soldiers become desensitized to violence.
Taking a Hill
Jesse Englehart describes his part in taking a hill. He explains how he prepared for battle with his helmet. He described weapons used against him and others during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He also explains that he was lucky to survive and how they made sure they left nothing the enemy could use.
"There was a lot of them, and just one of me"
Jesus Rodriguez remembers the battle in which he won him a Silver Star for his bravery. He fought against the North Koreans for 5 hours after his company abandoned him in the middle of the night. Jesus Rodriguez reflects on the translator's role that night and the potential for him to have been a spy.
Korean War Soldiers Returning Home
Joan Taylor's first husband came back home early from the war due to a death in the family. His father passed away and his mother was left to run a business, but she needed help. Joan Taylor's first husband was stationed as an Army Security Agent (ASA), so he did not participate in any fighting, but he recalled the bombs dropping and hiding in the bunkers at night.
Joe C. Tarver
Danger Aboard the Aircraft Carrier
Joe C. Tarver describes the danger involved in maneuvering the large "Sky Raider" planes on the cramped flight deck, often in unstable weather conditions. The aircraft had large bomb loads, which was a consistent reminder of how meticulous airplane maneuvers had to be. He explains how one of the men he was stationed with accidentally got blown into a running aircraft propeller. Additionally, regular practices aboard the aircraft carrier were conducted to prepare to shoot at enemy fire if necessary.
Joe D. Slatton
Inchon in 1953 and Driving Colonels Crazy
Joe D. Slatton landed in Inchon, Korea in April 1953. He recalls hearing guns shooting all around him. First, Joe D. Slatton became a driver with the 703 Ordnance for officers (captains and colonels) until he drove a colonel down a goat path, and into a ditch, to avoid incoming fire in the Kumhawa Valley.
The Most Difficult Time Above the 38th Parallel
Joe D. Slatton recalls three difficult events while he was in Korea. He reflects on the passing of his father, how Howitzers ruined his hearing, and getting lost in no-man's-land.
Slatton and the Time of the Armistice July 27, 1953
After the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, Joe D. Slatton's was assigned the job of collecting all military items that were above and around the 38th parallel. He recalls being scared because North Koreans continued to walk around armed.
Crawling Around On The Floor Due to PTSD
Joe Lopez recalled growing up with a brother who suffered greatly from the Korean War. He remembered that after his brother came back from the Korean War, he would crawl around on his hands and knees in the house and hide in the bushes outside due to PTSD. His brother, Antonio Lopez, spoke of being heavily armored and he made attempts to slow down the assault, but the Chinese just kept coming by the thousands and he couldn't get it out of his mind. Antonio Lopez died homeless and an alcoholic to hide the pain from the Korean War.
Bad Ankle Injury
Joe Rosato recalled that while fighting near the Yalu River, he, his sergeant, and a lieutenant were ordered to take out a machine gun nest using the 57-recoilless rifle. Not soon after their assigned task to take out the gunnery, they were ordered to quickly get down the road and regroup in no particular order. They were to just move as quickly as they could. Joe Rosato was carrying the rifle when his foot was wedged between rocks and he fell in a hole while twisting his ankle so bad he couldn't walk on it. He had to abandoned his rifle and limp as fast as he could to meet up with this regiment, but they lost a lot of men that day.
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
Fear of Jumping
John A. Ciburk elaborates on the need to bail out of a plane while on a mission due to 2 engines catching fire. He describes the conditions at the time which entailed dense fog and close proximity to mountains, making it hard to judge when the plane might strike as it was quickly losing altitude. He recalls his fear of heights from childhood and shares how the fear of jumping from a plane claimed a life.
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 B. Winter
Typhoon During Inchon Landing
John Winter participated in the Inchon Landing in September 1950. He explains that they met other ships near Japan before moving towards Korea. He describes what it was like on the ship since there was a typhoon occurring.
Typhoon, Napalm, and a Big Breakfast
John Beasley describes the arduous trip to Inchon from Japan on a Japanese Navy Landing Ship Tank (LST). The voyage took place after a ten-day hold-up in Japan due to a typhoon. He recalls that the continuous large waves caused napalm containers aboard the ship to break loose on the deck. He describes the mood and morale of his fellow Marines as they ate a big breakfast of steak and eggs, and the concern about who would make it back alive from their mission.
Sights and Sounds of the Incheon Landing
John Beasley recalls the sights and sounds of 5:00 in the evening on September 15, 1950, the first day of the Inchon Landing. He describes only having rifles and mortars to use against Russian tanks that were coming in the next day after the landing. He recalls that other soldiers who had come off a carrier came in to assist with use of napalm. He gives a first-hand account of the heroic efforts of fellow Marine, Walter C. Monegan Jr., during the Inchon Landing. Monegan posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his valor.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
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.
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.
3rd Battle of the Hook and the End of the Korean War
John Boyd fought in the 3rd Battle of the Hook against the Chinese during the last push against communism. After the ceasefire was called, an American tank went up north toward the Chinese troops. He recalls Chinese anti-aircraft going after the tank right as two American fighter planes came down onto Chinese positions.
John Burton Forse
First Experience in a Tank
John Burton Forse describes his first experience being in a M26 Pershing tank after being assigned as an assistant driver upon his arrival in Korea. He had to readjust to operating the machine gun in the tank. He also describes the sounds and feelings inside the tank.
First Time on Patrol
John Burton Forse describes the way he felt the first time he went on patrol in a tank. He describes feeling confident but reluctant at the same time. This is the moment soldiers are trained for. He describes the feeling as "this is it." He also details all the Chinese he saw dead everywhere.
John C. Delagrange
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
North Korean Defector - Kenneth Rowe
John Delagrange remembers the day No Kum Sok landed his MiG 15 fighter at Kimpo Air Base defecting to South Korea in 1953. No Kum Sok (Kenneth Rowe) wrote a book, and he heard about the incident first-hand during their phone conversations later in life. No Kum Sok was a North Korean pilot during the Korean War, but he stole a MiG-15 and flew over the DMZ to Kimpo Air Base to earn his freedom.
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.
No Prior Knowledge of Korea, But Off We Go!
John Cumming was never taught about Korea before he arrived in Busan. As a Movement Officer, he took many flights all over the world and now that's the reason why he doesn't like to fly.
Stationed in Iwakuni, Japan for Hundreds of Flights to Busan
John Cumming was stationed at an Australian Air Force Base in Iwakuni, Japan for this 18 month deployment during the Korean War. He helped transport everything from spare parts and food to casualties from a variety of UN countries.
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.
"A Vicious Time"
John Fry shares that he served in the Royal Australian Regiment as a rifleman. He recalls being sent to Korea in 1953 after having joined the military due to unemployment increasing in the textile field. He remembers Korea being in terrible condition as many people were living in cardboard boxes. He shares his memories of arriving in Pusan before heading North. He comments on his involvement in the Battle of the Hook, an experience he calls a “vicious time.” He shares his amazement of the unbelievable progress Korea has made since the war.
Fear, Pride, and Additional Thoughts on the War
John Funk describes his mixed emotions about going into war. He shares that anxiety, fear, patriotism, and pride radiated through his mind as he entered into the Korean War. He states that he was able to overcome his apprehensions about the war because he knew he was doing something good for the world, and he briefly shares his thoughts on the attitude towards the war on the home front.
John Funk shares how he saw more devastation and pain than the average soldier because he was with the medical unit. He recounts the stories of three patients which have remained with him through the many years since his service. He recalls one centering on a Korean solider he transported in the middle of the night, another regarding an American soldier that had attempted suicide and was airlifted to his team, and finally, the image of a Korean child who lost both parents.
John 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 I. Reidy
Final Days at Pork Chop Hill
John Reidy describes what fighting was like during the final days of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He recalls showering the Chinese with leaflets stating that in celebration of the United States' Independence, the Americans were going to take the hill. He remembers the fighting continuing and compares the difference between American and Chinese military tactics.
John J. Baker
Preparing for War
John Baker explains how he knew the war was coming. He remembers having a conversation about how the North Koreans were training with the Russians to prepare for war. He also shares about a message that he remember came from General MacArthur.
Helping an Injured Comrades
John Bakers shares how they dug into foxholes and experienced enemy fire. The clip includes specific details of what happened to one of his comrades. He became this man's "guardian angel."
A Sergeant's Mistake and a South Korean helper
John Jefferies shares memories of an encounter with a drunk American sergeant. He recalls happening upon a drunk American sergeant who was firing at children running in a village. He shares that when he confronted the sergeant, the gun was turned on him. He recalls running to seek the help of several South Korean soldiers, but upon his return with aid, the sergeant had fled. He adds that he luckily found no children wounded.
Dangerous Conditions in Korea
John Juby explains how he was wounded from being scratched by barbed wire. He describes his duties as a part of the detachment of Pioneers, and explains why soldiers have differing experiences. He recalls being fired upon by American soldiers who did not detect the presence of the British troops who were nearby.
John K. Barton
A Dangerous Moment
Reflecting upon the most dangerous elements of war, John Barton describes his experience with life threatening elements. He replies that there were a few moments during the war where he might have lost his life, but ultimately doesn't want to discuss it. He notes that that "the powers that be took care of us, we were all in it together."
John L. Johnsrud
The US Draft and Arriving in Pusan
John L. Johnsrud was drafted when we was 22 years old in 1950. It took 19 days to get from Seattle to Yokahama Japan by boat before heading to Pusan. He arrived in Pusan on a troopship with 5,000 other soldiers.
Reconnoissance Work, Weather, and Relying on other Warriors
John L. Johnsrud was part of a reconnaissance platoon that would maintain communication for battalions, work with the South Korean Army, and spy on the enemy. Hawaiian soldiers who had been in the war since the beginning were a major asset for John Johnsrud since they taught the new men how to protect their foxhole.
Escaping Heungnam by any means necessary...
John Levi talks about his emotional encounter with Korean citizens in Heungnam. Fleeing the war zone, many Korean citizens looked for any way out of the war zone with backs that were loaded with children and anything they could carry. John Levi saw the plight of his people, the Native American people, in the same struggle that many Koreans had to endure during the war.
Dealing with Guerrillas
John Levi recalls his experience with guerrilla warfare of in pushing north of Pusan. One night they ran into the guerrillas. He calls it one of the scariest moments in his war experience - not knowing if the next mortar was going to be on you or not.
Guarding the 38th Parallel
John Munro recalls that his mission was to patrol the DMZ at Panmunjeom to make sure the border was safe. He recounts serving in a variety of battalions depending on where he was stationed in Korea. He shares that while serving on the DMZ, he also added mines along the line to keep away North Koreans who might have snuck over the 38th parallel.
John Naastad describes what it was like to be stationed near the DMZ in 1956. He discusses reports of troop movements and tensions along the line. He also recounts a trip he took to see the Bridge of No Return.
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.
Lucky to be Alive
John Parker recalls completing one hundred and seventy sorties as a fighter pilot during his time in Korea. He shares one of his most memorable missions above Pyungyang which involved a lot of aircraft damage. He shares how he is thankful to be alive after he had severe damage to his plane’s fuselage.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
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.
Close Encounter with a North Korean Pilot
John Rolston describes being a flight leader and bringing people to Japan and they were returning. He shares how he was very close to shooting down a North Korean pilot who went below the 38th parallel. He shares how he could have shot the pilot, but he didn't want to murder someone who was lost.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
Memories of South Korea, 1957
John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes his experience getting to South Korea in 1957. He recalls seeing meats hanging in the market, honey buckets, and the smell of kimchi. He describes his impression of Korean people and his appreciation for their warm sentiment toward Korean War Veterans.
War Experiences and Its Side Effects
John Tobia shares just how difficult war was and how he was not sure he would make it out alive. He recalls troops from Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as others who fought hard. He talks about suffering from battlefield fatigue, similar to PTSD, and recognized that he was not well mentally. He remembers being offered a promotion by his commanding officer but declined it so he could go home.
Mending Communication Lines
John Wallar talks about being under Chinese mortar fire while working on a line gang. He describes his team's job and how they went about mending broken communication lines.
John Y. Lee
The War Breaks Out
John Y. Lee, a resident of Seoul in 1950, talks about the day that the Korean War began. He describes what he saw and his subsequent flight from the city, eventually swimming across the Han River to safety.
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi
Danger in Busan
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi recalls the danger imposed by plain-clothes North Koreans in Busan. The North Korean's infiltrated the area and made it impossible to determine who they were.
Jose E Hernandez Rivera
The DMZ After the Armistice
Even after the armistice was signed, Jose E. Hernandez Rivera served in Korea until 1954. During this time he spent time near the DMZ. While there were no shots fired, he explains how it was still scary because they never knew if the North Koreans would still retaliate.
Jose Leon Camacho
Stay Away From Memories
Jose Camacho explains why he is glad that his son didn't have to serve in the military. He describes his experiences with memories of Korea and how hard it is on him. He elaborates that his wife tells him to stay away from his memories of Korea.
Joseph C. Giordano
Arrival and a Dangerous Combat Engineer Duty
Joseph Giordano recounts his arrival in Korea on Christmas Eve, 1951. He describes his fear on the front lines of not knowing if the artillery fire overhead was coming in or going out. He details one of his dangerous duties as a combat engineer. He describes having to advance beyond the front lines to ready trenches for occupation by the infantry and shares that he and fellow engineers had to clear out the dead Chinese soldiers from the trenches.
Playing Games with the Enemy
Joseph Giordano recollects his duties as a combat engineer, particularly those of clearing the battlefield of dead bodies and setting up mines. He describes performing this duty while under direct enemy observation and "daring" enemy soldiers to launch mortars at him and fellow engineers. He comments on the difficulties of his work and how tiresome it was.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge/part of Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Joseph Dunford, Sr. shares that his first battle in the Korean War was the 2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge. He explains how the North Koreans broke the lines and he fought to push them back. He shares how responded using his training. He knew his role was critical.
Joseph F. Gibson
First Battle Came Soon
Joseph F. Gibson describes going straight from a ship to a train after landing at the Pusan Perimeter. He explains how he was trained to jump into a ditch when he heard shooting. He shares how shortly after arriving in the Pusan Perimeter he was under fire by the North Koreans. He shares how he had to run alongside the Nak dong River while dodging bullets.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Joseph F. Gibson describes having to protect seventeen injured patients who were under his care in the medic tent as the Chinese broke the line. He explains how his unit was only fourteen miles from the Chinese border. He explains how he was told that the war would be over soon since they had pushed all the way through North Korea. He describes how the Chinese joined the North Koreans and how he took a lot of incoming fire in order to hold his tent safe from invasion. He shares how many Chinese were captured by the US and the loss of a Catholic priest.
Trench Fighting and PTSD
Joseph Horton describes his experience fighting in the trenches. He details the close proximity of the Chinese troops as well as the nervous adrenaline he felt in combat. He speaks candidly about dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after returning from Korea. He highlights his bout with depression, alcoholism, and losing his family on a few occasions.
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.
Deployed to Korea
Joseph Horton describes being drafted and not knowing he was going to Korea. He talks about going to Arkansas and California where he proposed to his wife on the phone, not knowing he was going to Korea. He discusses sailing to Korea in September of 1952 and explains that he landed in Incheon in October of 1952.
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.
Why Waste A Bullet
Joseph Annello describes being hit with a bullet and hand grenade. He describes it being the last thing he remembers before being prodded by a Chinese bayonet. He explains that he became a prisoner of war and was soon left by the side of the road to die.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
"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.
Danger Beyond the Front Lines
Joseph Lissberger talks about the danger of setting up loudspeakers beyond the front lines for psychological warfare. He mentions that five men in his unit were killed while performing this important duty.
Joseph M. Picanzi
Two Types of Patrols
Joseph Picanzi talks about the two kinds of patrols: reconnaissance and combat. He describes the purpose of each of these patrols.
Joseph P. Ferris
Kimpo under Air Attack
In this clip, a Joseph P. Ferris describes what it was like being under enemy air attack. He also recalls one of his experiences taking care of a fellow airman who became a causality.
Joseph R. Owen
Lack of Preparation
Joseph R. Owen details the lack of experience his outfit had before being sent to Korea. They were trained for only two weeks at Camp Pendleton in California. He taught them the rest of their skills on the ship heading towards Korea. He describes how their lack of preparation showed once they had their first combat in Incheon.
The Chinese: Morale Destoyer and Fear Creator
Joseph R. Owen describes his greatest moment of terror facing the Chinese at the Chosin Reservoir. He had to persevere and be a leader despite the fact that the Chinese were coming in droves attacking. He describes the causalities witnessed on the scene as well.
Joseph T Monscvitz
Surrounded at Taejon
When they woke up in the middle of the night in Taejon, Joseph Monscvitz and his unit saw a large tank that quickly started shooting at them. They jumped in a sewer to seek cover, but soon learned that they would need to escape further. Joseph Monscvitz explains how he made the wrong choice, ended up being surrounded again in a little village, and found himself as a Prisoner of War.
Prisoner of War
Joseph Monscvitz describes his experience as a Prisoner of War marching from Taejon to Seoul to Pyongyang. He remembers being interrogated by a Russian soldier and eventually loaded onto a train that he thought was headed to Manchuria. The train stopped in the Sunchon Tunnel where many of the men were killed, but Joseph Monscvitz was fortunate to respond.
Joseph T. Wagener
Service in World War II
Joseph Wagener describes his entry into the military during World War II. He discusses the German occupation of his native Luxembourg and his forced service in the German Army. He shares how he went into hiding on leave for thirteen months until the liberation of his country by American forces.
Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion
Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.
A Nurse's Duty in Korean War
Josephine Krowinski did not know anything about Korea before she was assigned to go, but she always trusted that wherever the Army needed nurses, that's where she was to go. She always did what she knew best, how to nurse people back to health ever since she graduated from nursing school in 1942. Josephine Krowinski was never scared and she always felt prepared for anything.
Friendly Fire and Fallen Comrades
Juan Manibusan recounts his efforts to save an injured comrade. Injured himself, he details lifting a badly wounded soldier from a bunker and applying a tourniquet to the soldier's leg before leaving to search for help. He describes descending into a valley and climbing another hill, searching for the safe zone. He shares that a hand grenade was thrown at him as friendly fire and recounts the moment they realized he was one of their own.
Searching for Food Amidst Destruction
Juan Manibusan recounts his first impressions of Korea upon arrival. He remembers the poor shape of the country as well as observing people desperately searching for food. He compares it to his time spent as a child in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. He also shares how his experiences there impacted his marriage.
Julien De Backer
Dangers at the Observation Post
When he arrived, Julien De Backer received his assignment immediately to go to an observation post. He had to warn the allied troops if the enemy was coming. Among his biggest fears during this time was not the Chinese or the North Koreans, but rather the poisonous snakes.
Kebede Teferi Desta
Kebede Teferi Desta describes his battle experience. He was a young kid. The military leaders hesitated to send him into battle. He had to implore the leaders to send him into battle. Eventually, he was sent into battle, where he did not encounter the enemy. Once safe in the bunker, the enemy started firing.
Keith G. Hall
Becoming an Officer
Keith G. Hall was selected to return to New Zealand for officer training. He describes choosing to return to Korea to avoid the daily routine of work back in New Zealand. In that sense, Korea was a welcome adventure.
Slippery Slopes and Minefields
Keith G. Hall describes the dangers of defusing anti-personnel mines, as they included both trip wires and three-prong detonation features. In one instance, a sergeant working with him slipped on a slope and exploded a mine. His body was thrown onto another mine, which Keith G. Hall had to deactivate in hopes of saving the sergeant.
Get Out of This Field!
Keith G. Hall describes training reinforcements to clear minefields. Inserting pins into mines in order to deactivate them was of utmost importance. In one instance, a soldier forgot and had clear the field fast.
Keith H. Fannon
Returning Home from the Forgotten War
Keith H. Fannon describes how the mail worked during the war and how his family received information about the Korean war. He also talks about coming home to friends that were unaware of the war and the impact the war has had on his life since.
Arrival in Korea With Thoughts of the Incheon Landing
Ken Thamert traveled to Korea aboard a ship with many seasick soldiers and he arrived at Incheon in April of 1954, after the Korean War. With all of this basic training, he did not feel afraid when he landed. Ken Thamert did imagine what it was like during the Incheon Landing, only a few years ago right on the spot he entered Korea.
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.
A Breakfast Surprise
The men in Kenneth Borchers's platoon were enjoying a delicatessen of eating pancakes while on the front line one morning. As they got situated on the ground to eat, they saw the enemy running through their camp. The US soldiers never could fire a shot before the enemy passed their camp and were down the hill.
Attack By the Chinese and the Rats
After spending nights as an observer on the hill they were defending, Kenneth Borchers continued to report to Lt. Stone that there were people coming up the road, but no one believed him. The area they were located had been fairly secured with barbed wire, but around 9pm, the rats began to run.
Therefore, Kenneth Borchers knew that his troops were under attack by the Chinese who mounted the barbed wire fences by using acrobatic moves to scale the fence.
Kenneth F. Dawson
War is War
Kenneth F. Dawson trained in Waiouru in New Zealand before sailing to Japan and then Korea. Assigned as a driver in Korea, he carried ammunition to the front lines. The work was dangerous and several men had been blown up before he was assigned to the job. He drove ammunition to Panmunjeom, but he dismisses the danger of being blown up by asserting that "war is war."
The Children Prayed for Him
Kenneth F. Dawson describes an incident in which he heard cries for help on the front lines. A soldier had been hit and needed a stretcher. As he reached the soldiers who had called, a mortar hit them. Upon return to his truck, he discovered bullet holes in the door. Kenneth Dawson attributes his survival to the children of Niue Island.
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.
Hill 355: Death and Danger
Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.
Kenneth J. Winters
Camp Liberty Bell Attack
Kenneth Winters recalls his memory of the Camp Liberty Bell Attack. This incident took place on August 10, 1967, when his unit, while on a tree cutting detail in the DMZ were ambushed by North Korean soldiers. He talks about being shot by enemy fire and being wounded by grenade shrapnel. Four US soldiers were killed and 17 wounded in the attack.
Going Home, Coming Back to Korea
Kenneth Winters talks about his time in Korea from 1967-1968. He talks about going back to US after he was wounded and returning to Korea and the DMZ, the site of an ambush he was involved in just a few months prior.
Kevin R. Dean
Introduction to the Front Line
Kevin Dean recalls how he was introduced to the front line in Korea. He recounts a World War II veteran offering him advice, telling him to keep his head down and to get used to the smell of the place. He shares his thoughts on the problematic situation of being young, scared, and sleep deprived during war. He comments on the difficulties of caring for the wounded.
Lacy Bethea Jr.
Preparation for the Incheon Landing
Lacy Bethea's job was to prepare for the Incheon landing by labeling, measuring, and counting vehicles, ammunition, and supplies. He also prepared vehicles to be secured on the Navy ships during transit. Lacy Bethea really trusted and looked up to his commander because he knew that wherever the commander went, he would be safe.
Final Preparations for the Incheon Landing
Lacy Bethea worked with the embarkation captain by making diagrams for the placement of vehicles on the ship. Luckily, he was able to work with many high ranking officers while preparing the military supplies. Some officers also took Lacy Bethea to San Diego, California for drinks and finalizing preparations for the Incheon Landing.
Wounded at Hagaru-ri
Lawrence Elwell describes being wounded in a battle near Hagaru-ri and his subsequent evacuation to Japan.
A Vivid December Memory from Korea
Lawrence Elwell recalls a vivid memory of sitting on a hillside in North Korea in early December 1950 and writing his father a letter foreshadowing what he thought would be his death in battle before his upcoming birthday.
"Tonight Marine, You die!"
Lawrence Elwell describes fighting the Chinese at Yudamni. Among his revelations, he talks about the esprit de corps of the Marines in this battle and the courage of their Chinese counterparts. He also mentions that ironically, many Chinese soldiers carried Thompson Machine Guns manufactured the United States.
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.
This was God's plan
When Leo Ruffing first went to Korea, he was very frightened. He remembers crying in the compound. However, after that first night of crying, he never had that kind of fear again. He shares that he believed that he was fulfilling the will of God.
Leon “Andy” Anderson
Leon "Andy" Anderson shares his experience being there for the Armistice in July 1953. He explains how he was near the front lines in the recon rear area. He shares how the Chinese and North Koreans were shooting at the US troops all the way up to the last minute before the Armistice. He shares how he celebrated the end of the war.
Just How Close We Were To The Enemy
Leonard Laconia's jeep squadron moved around from Seoul to Pyongyang and up to the North Korean Airports that he noted as K23 and K24 (Pyongyang). He recalled spending most of his time around K23 and he was told originally there were 30,000 Chinese headed their way, but there was actually 380,000 Chinese soldiers. Leonard Laconia's missions, known as a "sorties," would only last about 15 minutes (refuel & amp; rearm) because they would run out of ammunition so quickly due to the number of Chinese they were fighting.
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.
US B-29s Couldn't Stop the Chinese
Leonard Laconia stated that the Chinese would fly MiGs from Manchuria, but they would burn fuel so quickly that they rarely made it to Korea. The US would fly B-29s up and down the Yalu River dropping bombs to destroy bridges, but it didn't stop the Chinese from coming down into Korea. The Chinese still found a way to get across the Yalu River.
Bed Check Charlie
An enemy plane was nicknamed "Bed Check Charlie" by The Stars and Stripes newspaper which was provided for every US soldier. In the newspaper, it threatened that "Bed Check Charlie" would come at night and killed one of the men from his squadron by dropping grenades and mortar shells. Leonard Laconia remembered that many of the enemy planes maneuvered well through the night sky, so soldiers were afraid of them.
Observation Post Observations
Leonard Nicholls manned the observation posts while on duty as a radio operator. The front lines were traumatic. Traveling to a post on Hill #365 took them through Chinese lines. He describes the process of calling in artillery fire on Chinese positions.
"Walk Away Smartly"
Leonard Nicholls recalls an episode when he was injured by a errant dynamite blast. After setting up the charge, the lieutenant told him to "walk away smartly" so as not to trip and fall. Although he panicked and ran, the blast shot earth and debris far enough for a large rock to injure his knee.
Leslie Peate elaborates on the work of the Korean porters. He defines them as mostly farmers and/or anyone who would help out during the war. He shares that those men worked harder than any other group of people during the war and stresses that they received no recognition at all and most likely no payments for their efforts.
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.
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.
Creeping Up Behind Us
Suspecting it may have been a Yakovlev (Yak-9), the enemy flew behind Lloyd Thompson's plane close enough that the radar indicated only one plane. When they landed, the Yak started dropping bombs on the runway at Gimpo Air Force Base. The Air Force responded with anti-aircraft weapons and blew the enemy plane apart.
Louis G. Surratt
Killed in Action Versus Missing in Action
Louis Surratt served in the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing at Suwon. Suwon had the longest runway in Korea and housed three different Air Force squadrons of about 30 pilots each. The 8th Fighter Bomber Wing oversaw the F80 Shooting Star. Louis Surrat's job was casualty reporting and awards and decorations. He estimates that around thirty pilots were reported as either killed or missing in action.
Louis J. Weber
Chorwon and Battle of Triangle Hill
Louis J. Weber explains how he landed. in Inchon. He shares how he was sent to Chorwon, which was part of the Iron Triangle. He explains that he was an infantryman. He shares that his job was to protect his bunker while sending out artillery to fight the Chinese.
"A Constant Tension"
Mr. Montani discusses what it was like on the DMZ patrol. He vividly describes what the DMZ looked like: A no man's land with barbed wire, watch towers, and check points. Mr. Montani describes his time patrolling the DMZ as "a constant tension". This clip could be used to introduce students to the danger that still existed (exists) after the armistice along the DMZ.
Luis Maria Jimenez Jimenez
A Serious Ultimatum
Luis Jimenez shares what it was like in the area of Old Baldy in 1953 and 1954. He shares a very serios incident when the Captain of their Battalion was captured by the Chinese. He gives the details of the ultimatum that arose and how it was handled.
Maples and Metcalf
Shemya Island has lights out on the runway on the right side, so pilots had to make sure that they didn't miss the small runway. This runway was near the Bering Sea, so it was very dangerous for the pilots. The runway was only 4 x5 miles long.
The Forgotten War and Causes of PTSD
Marion Burdette felt that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because there was not a lot of publicity back on the homefront.
Also, many of the veterans didn't speak about the war when they returned back home. Since Marion Burdette shot thousands of rounds of artillery, he lost most of his hearing. He was also stationed in Northern Korea and he was almost caught as a POW. Due to his experiences on the front line, he has nightmares and PTSD.
Post -War Readjustment
Marion Burdette was walking in front of his vehicle when multiple land mines killed Army soldiers in his regiment. After clearing the land mines in the area, he was able to set up the howitzer guns to engage in warfare. The impact of war on his life was that he felt that he needed to traveled the US to release his stress. He decided to reenlist in the Army for 3 years, but it was hard to readjust to life back in the United States.
Marshall E. Davis
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.
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.
Mission Impossible: Speaking a Foreign Language
Martin Rothenbert was proud that the US Army had provided soldiers with a book containing Korean instructions and he used it to ask simple questions to the Korean people he met. He recalled a time while in the village at the base of the hill, an older Korean man wasn't friendly to anyone and never spoke. Therefore, Martin Rothenberg took the time to learn some basic questions to get to know the older Korean man and his attitude totally changed. This made all the difference to build a bond between soldiers and civilians.
Marvin “Sam” Bass
Captured by the Chinese
Sam Bass was captured in September 1951 around the Punchbowl or Old Baldy area. He describes how he was arrested by the Chinese who had cut them off through the line. He explains the living conditions during that time, including the marching and sleep conditions.
Losing Buddies Was The Hardest Experience
Marvin Denton described times when he lost members of his unit. One solider was walking between two companies and he was killed by a mine. Gun shots fired in the middle of the night when soldiers had discovered someone was killed. Another soldier survived a shell that hit his helmet, missing death by inches, and a different soldier, who had lied to his parents, telling them everything was okay, was bombed after an ambush. Marvin Denton were extremely thankful he lived through the experience and he feels we live in the greatest country in the world despite all of our problems.
Mission in Korea
Mathew Thomas recalls his job description. He and his battalion were in charge of taking care of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the role being dangerous because some POWs were not checked for weapons when they were brought into the camp facility. He shares how there were times when POWs tried to escape.
Matthew D. Rennie
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.
Dangerous Letter Writing
Maurice Morby tells a story about writing letters while sitting on a log in camp. He describes bullets coming in from all around and diving behind the log for cover. In the end, they discovered that a nearby British unit was test firing weapons nearby unaware of his unit's camp location.
"We're in a Minefield!"
Maurice Morby describes accidentally walking into a minefield while on patrol during Operation Skunk. He talks about the terrain, how he and a fellow soldier made their error, and how they escaped the potentially dangerous situation.
Mine Clearing Dogs
Maurice Morby talks about dogs that were used to discover enemy mines. He describes the dogs' duties and one particular encounter with several dogs in camp.
Second Hand Mail
Maurice Morby tells a story about what he called "second hand mail." While eating lunch one day, his unit's encampment came under heavy artillery fire. He describes that later it was found out that the artillery fire was from friendly tanks, their shells ricocheting off of a nearby river.
C-Rations, Rats, and Radios, Oh, My!
Mayo Kjellsen ate lots of C-Rations while stationed in Korea. His job was to carry a 45 pound battery pack and communicate over the radio for his regiment. One night, on radio watch in his bunker, he started shooting at large rats running throughout the rafters and he scared his commander.
Wounded in Korean War
Mayo Kjellsen was wounded twice during the Korean War. He was hit by shrapnel in his knee and the other shot blew him out of his bunker. After his second injury, he was sent to a hospital ship in the harbor and was taken to Japan for rehab. After 6 months of healing, Mayo Kjellsen was sent back to the US to finish his time in the military.
Life of a private during War
McKinley Mosley describes his life as a 16 year old leaving home, going through basic training, and then on to Korea for the war. He learns infantry at Ft. Riley, Kansas and artillery in El Paso, Texas. He then travels from Ft. Custer in Michigan on to California to Japan and ultimately to Korea.
Mehmet Cemil Yasar
Battle of Kunu-ri
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the Battle of Kunu-ri. The Battle is famous for Turkish soldiers. The engagement was very fierce. However, the Turkish were able to turn back a larger Chinese force. Mehmet Cecil Yasar describes how the Chinese attacked at night. The Turkish fighters lost many troops during the Battle of Kunu-ri.
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.
Papasan Hill, aka Hill 1062
Mehmet Çöpten describes Papasan Hill near Cheorwon. This is a battlefront in the Iron Triangle. He describes how deceptive the Chinese fighters were. The Turkish soldiers had to come up with a code to send messages when the Chinese were attacking. The Chinese would even use soldiers surrendering as a cover to launch an attack. The Turkish soldiers had to be constantly aware of a possible attack.
Mehmet Çöpten describes the Vegas Front. He describes how the Chinese used howitzers on one hill, while simultaneously attacking another. The Turkish fighters lost one hundred and fifty-three men. The fighting took place over thirty-six hours. They eventually won the battle and the front. The Turkish fighters then turned over the front to the American forces.
Battle of Kunu-ri aka Wawon
Mehmet Esen describes the Battle of Kunu-ri. This battle is also known as Wawon. Mehmet Sen describes the American retreating, while the Turkish soldiers stayed. He provides details about how there were approximately five hundred and fifty Turkish soldiers that fought. After the fighting stopped only sixty-nine remained.
Battles in Korea
Mehmet Esen describes the fighting conditions when he first arrived in Korea. The Turkish soldiers fought near the Manchurian line. One famous battle was Cheorwon in North Korea. Another battle he describes is Sandbag Castle, or Kumkale. During one of the battles, he was wounded and sent to a hospital in Seoul.
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.
Fear and Commitment in Battle
Melese Tessema acknowledges feeling afraid as he joined the fighting in the Korean War, but he asserts that soldiers cannot allow fear to interfere with a mission. He arrived in Kumhwa and fought the Chinese on Hill 358. Shrapnel from a mortar shell injured his leg during the fighting. Melese Tessema received Korean, Ethiopian, and United States awards, including the United States bronze star.
Chinese Artillery Barrage
Melese Tessema considers the Battle of Triangle Hill Battle his most dangerous experience. His platoon had just arrived at their location and thus had not yet dug many trenches. The Ethiopian soldiers had the high ground, but large numbers of Chinese approached. The Chinese had difficulty climbing in the steep terrain. Still, he lost fellow soldiers, including his dearest friend. Melese Tessema and the other platoon officers spoke English, but soldiers from the lower ranks did not, creating language barriers across groups. At one point his platoon provided machine gun support to Korean forces nearby. After fighting ended, their only hope was to communicate in sign language.
Melvin D. Hill
Life on the Front Lines: Busan to the Yalu River
Melvin Hill describes living on the front lines for thirteen months. He describes his journey through Seoul on his way to the Yalu River. He explains that a bullet struck his front tire, leaving him unable to steer the truck. He and another young man had to change the tire, surrounded by a multitude of people, completely unaware if they were North Korean or South Korean. He attributes their ability to change the tire in roughly fifteen seconds and throw a five-hundred pound tire onto the truck to fear and adrenaline.
A Brutal Attack
Melvin Hill explains a brutal attack at a roadblock on the way back from the Yalu river. He recalls his experience with hand-to-hand combat, saying he never thought he would ever put a knife into someone, stab someone with a bayonet or shoot someone right in front of him. He describes running over people in the middle of the road. He believes that his survival of the attack by the Chinese is only due to luck.
Melvin D. Lubbers
Going to Korea
Nancy Lubbers describes her feelings when she learned that her new husband was going to Korea. She remembers being devastated because she had heard a little bit about the situation in Korea. She explains that they had only been married for a few months and she was worried that they wouldn’t be able to contact each other.
Melvin D. Lubbers talks about the physical destruction he saw in Incheon upon his arrival in Korea. He explains that they didn’t get to a see a lot because it was nighttime, and they had been loaded up to move to another part. He remembers thinking “how could anyone even survive?”
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.
Jincheng Campaign- Battle at Kumsong "All Hell Broke Loose"
Merle Degler always carried in his pocket rolls of film he had taken during his time in Korea. One day, he found an empty ammo box and decided to put the film in the ammo box, and the next thing you knew, "All Hell Broke Loose." He recalls the ROK and his unit were overrun by the Chinese, so they were told to retreat. Merle Degler learned just a few months ago, that the the US artillery regiment left their equipment when they retreated, so the Chinese used the equipment against our own people. They reorganized before the next morning to create a new front line, but with a lot less equipment since they had lost it while retreating.
Fighting in the Iron Triangle in Jan. 1953
Merle Degler was stationed in the Iron Triangle and he fought along with the US Marines who had be run off an important hill by fighting the Chinese. He went to White Horse Hill right after a battle like WWI trenches right at the front line. After he had been in a bunker for a while, a soldier took him out of the trench towards no-man's-land, and he was taken to a field full of dead Chinese soldiers.
The Troubles with Traveling by a Truck
Merle Degler's job was to work on military trucks at the front lines in North Korea in early 1953. After being told that he had to move out, Merle Degler drove a truck up into the mountains with his regiment until the engine blew. Because he was not able to fix the truck on the side of the mountain, he was towed down the hill and back to a ROK camp where he had to stay until meeting up with additional soldiers willing to lead him back to his regiment.
Importance of US Soldiers in Korea today
The US government, after the armistice was signed in 1953, extended this period to give soldiers benefits and there have been over 2 million soldiers still there in South Korea. Michael Daly explained that Korea has benefited greatly (uses the saying "trip wire" as an advantage) from US presence as a deterrent for North Korea, China, and possibly Japan since the end of WWII. With American soldiers, armor, and training, few countries would even attempt to attack American troops.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
The Realities of Warfare
Michael Fryer recalls broken buildings, poverty, and the state of destitution of the Korean people. He describes the poor conditions in Seoul in late 1951. He recounts the shock he received when he encountered battered and dead American soldiers on the front line.
Fear on the Front Lines
Michael White shares a story about being on the front lines facing an impending attack from the Chinese.
On the Front lines
MIke Mogridge talks about being in combat on "The Hook". He recalls some of the tactics used by the enemy. He also speaks about having to recover the bodies of the enemy dead.
Mike Morgridge speaks about his first experiences in combat. He also recounts the death of a fellow soldier.
Flashback to Korea
Mike Mogridge shares his thoughts about death as well as his views about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He also shares a personal story of having a flashback some 50 years after the war.
Mike Muller describes his 72nd mission in Korea when he was shot down on Sept. 29, 1951 north of Pyongyang. He was forced to jump from the cockpit of his F-51 Mustang and parachute to safety. He waited four hours in enemy territory before he was rescued.
Mike Scarano was in Hungnam when, as he describes it, "the Chinese chased us out". He describes how his company emptied out as many supplies as they could, and burned the rest to prevent the Chinese from acquiring them. Then they got on the "Victory Ships" to evacuate to Pusan.
Cruelty of the Turks
Monte Curry felt sorry for the Chinese (Chinks) who were being picked off so easily by the Turks and other UN soldiers that were shooting them. With three waves of Chinese soldiers, the first round, only 1 out of 10 carried a gun, so the second wave picked up the weapons on the ground. The 3rd wave had more weapons and fought using guerrilla tactics hiding behind bushes. Monte Curry described how the Turks carried leather satchels to bring back the ears they had cut off of the enemy.
Kitty Movie Experience
Kitty Curry, Monte Curry's wife, was not told a lot about what her husband was experiencing during the Korean War. Before a movie began, instead of previews of other movies, a black and white news reel would review what was life like for the US soldiers in Korea. This included fighting and bombs dropping on the enemy. Kitty Curry's reaction about the news worried her, but her friends and faith kept her going.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
A “Safe” Foxhole
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls a “humorous” moment in Korea. While advancing toward a group of Chinese troops in Kotori, he had a chaplain, medical corpsman, and machine gunner join him in the foxhole. They joked that this is the “safest they felt since being in Korea.”
Thankful for Tootsie Rolls
Myron “Jack” Leissler explains how he is thankful for the Tootsie Roll company for sending over the candy. He describes how it was so cold that the C-Rations froze, but that they were able to put the Tootsie Rolls in their parkas and soften them with their body heat. He halfheartedly jokes that Tootsie Rolls kept them alive.
Atomic bomb testing
Myron Bruessel was assigned to the 9677 Technical Service Unit (TSU), a branch of the military that worked on atomic and nuclear bomb testing in the United States to bomb anywhere in the world. He was assigned to a TSU unit in Hawaii because the island had large antennas necessary for the program. This testing was based on earth movement (electromagnetic force) and it used all the radio antennas to monitor radio waves.
Nuclear Fallout and Test Pigs
Myron Bruessel recognized all the United States soldiers who were "guinea pigs" during the nuclear fallout. In 1953, nuclear tests were from the air and balloon to see if buildings could withstand nuclear bombs. Pigs and cows were placed in testing areas and that scientists would subsequently examine their organs to measure the amount of radiation that was present after a nuclear test.
In 1953, Myron Brussel constructed 4 different antennae systems in Puerto Rico with different frequencies with a mile-long antenna. A portable rhombic antenna was used because it was very accurate to determine if they could find radio waves associated with atomic bombs. These tests were part of a group of nuclear tests and detection called Operation Upshot-Knothole.
Neal C. Taylor
First Impressions of Korea
Neal Taylor never thought about Communism when he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He just went there to do a job. After he flew in, he noticed the lack of cars and technology. Sanitation conditions were deplorable.
Living Conditions at K9 near Pusan
Neal Taylor lived on at the K9 Air Force Base located near Puasn. Luckily, he had a bed to sleep in each night and a place to store his supplies. During the night, huge animals would crawl into his footlocker. While stationed in Korea he had to eat stew for 35 days straight because of the "West Coast Strike."
Defusing a 500-Pound Bomb on a Runway
Neal Taylor had to clear a bomb off the runway at K9 Air Base near Busan after it fell off a plane in the middle of the night. It was the middle of the night and when he realized that all the men that defuse the bombs were on R&R, he had to do it on his own. Using a manual and a few simple tools, Neal Taylor defused the bomb with help from his lieutenant.
Under Enemy Sniper Fire
Neal Taylor survived being shot at by a North Korean sniper who fired down into the base from the hills. The sniper used a small gun at the beginning and many of the airmen didn't worry about the shots. Unfortunately, the sniper found a larger gun that started to tear up the cement, so the troops had to get rid of him!
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the conditions of the war at the Vegas Complex. There were a series of battles that took place in May of 1953 in this area. Subsequently, the fighting was fierce. Moreover, negotiations for peace were occurring. Importantly, the battles ended in arguably a stalemate after a Chinese offensive. Further, this helped with negotiations for the United Nations
Fear Cannot Be Explained
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes in detail what a soldier goes through in battle. Firstly, he describes that everything gets quiet. Further, you start to see your wife or parents. Meanwhile, you hear the machine gun. Subsequently, people who have grave wounds "give up the ghost."
Nelson S. Ladd
Operation X-Ray- The Libby Bridge Construction
Nelson Ladd was the surveyor for the bridge constructed over Imjin River known as the Libby Bridge. The high level, steel and concrete bridge that is still intact and in use today was named after Sergeant George C. Libby of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice at Taejon, Korea. Nelson Ladd was there during the dedication by Army General Maxwell Taylor on July 4, 1953.
Advancements in Korea: Then vs Today
After having visited Korea in 2013, Nelson Ladd is still amazed by the advancements Korea has made and how ambitious the people have been throughout the years. He had seen images of what Korea looked like before his revisit, however he had feared that Korea would have become like many East Asian countries, disparaged and unable to recover. Nelson Ladd described the Taft-Katusa Agreement (1905) between the US and Japan that led occupation of Korea and the Philippines that created the oppression upon the peoples of those countries.
Losing Men Who Were Doing Their Job (GRAPHIC)
Nick Cortese recalls the terrible moments of clearing and laying the mines. He remembers one of his peers who died after making a fatal mistake- he describes in graphic details what happened. He states this that is one of the dangers of that particular job.
Not Knowing What Could Happen Next
Nick Cortese explains that he was horrified watching his friends dying. He often worried that he might be the next one. He explains that he was very religious, and he always carried his Bible and rosary. He again mentions how his company commander died unexpectedly.
A dangerous Job
Although he didn't see combat, Niconas Nanez explains job was dangerous. Mines could explode if they weren't careful. He recalls praying to God even though others made fun of him. He admits to crying at times. However, he says he is very proud of his service and being able to help the people of Korea.
Noel G. Spence
Noel G Spence recounts the dangers of his job working with artillery. He serviced 25 pound artillery. Repairing the guns meant a shell did not fire correctly. This required him to work around live ammunition that could explode at any moment. He also describes how there was no fixing a stuck anti-aircraft gun.
Norman Charles Champagne
Battle for the Berlin's
Norman C. Champagne shares a story about being under attack near the end of the Korean War. When asked to describe a challenging time, he talks about the Battle for the Berlin's and Boulder City. While he and another officer were driving to deliver supplies, they came under attack, experiencing a few terrifying moments that continue to live on in his memory.
Impressions of Korea
Norman Renouf describes his first impressions of being in Korea. He highlights a sense of fear, but also describes seeing rice paddies for the first time.
Norman Renouf describes the fear of his first battle. At one point it was so exhausted that he actually fell asleep and what woke him up was the shooting from fifty caliber weapons.
Prisoner of War
In this clip, Norman Renouf describes the circumstances that led to him becoming a Prisoner of War in April of 1951. He spent several days in a cave without food before surrendering.
Norman Spencer Hale
Preparing to be Captured
Norman S. Hale describes how he and two other men were captured by the enemy.
Destruction in Korea
Ollie Thompson arrived in Korea at Inchon. When traveling by train through Seoul, he was able to see the destruction of the city. His first experience in combat took place in the Chorwon Valley in 1951.
Orville Jones recalls having to find the water mines left by the North Koreans. He remembers heading to Japan for rest and relaxation when they almost hit a water mine. He recounts how the ship was traveling at a fast pace and how the captain was forced to make a creative maneuver to avoid being blown up by the mine.
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.
Osman Eken describes the constant reliving of the Korean War. He cannot shake the memories. People always ask about physical scars. However, Osman Eken's mind is impacted. The real injury is to his mind.
Otto G. Logan
Never Seeing Korean Soldiers
Otto G. Logan describes his experience in Incheon upon arrival. He explains that his days were mainly filled with drills and training. He adds that during his time there, he never saw a Korean soldier as he stayed on base, only venturing out on a bus ride once.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
All Was Quiet and Then Whoomph!
Patrick Hickey never felt scared, even though he could hear Chinese and North Korean soldiers all around him. Although never wounded, he experienced close calls. He recalls one memory of heading to the toilet behind a tiny Korean house, and while there, he shares that the enemy shelled and destroyed the house. He recounts how he and another soldier climbed into the trench he had dug until the shelling ceased.
Paul Frederick Steen
Polio Prior to Service
Paul Steen shares how he discovered he had polio as a child. He chronicles the story and details what he saw while being treated. He admits that he was worried he would not be accepted when volunteering for the draft years later due to his bout with polio.
Paul H. Cunningham
Basic Training, Technical School, and Arriving in Korea
Paul Cunningham recalls sitting for seven weeks waiting for his assignment after basic training. Since he did not want to go to Germany, he volunteered for Adak, Alaska, but while training in South Carolina, the Korean War began. He remembers arriving in Korea at Pusan on September 20, 1950, and recalls setting up a radar station at the top of a hill in Pusan. After that, he moved to Osan, Incheon, and Kimpo Air Base to continue setting up radar stations.
Fighting on Pork Chop Hill
Paul Hockla describes what combat was like fighting against the Chinese at Pork Chop Hill.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Paul Hummel remembered when the enemy forces figured out the weaknesses of United States' planes. Due to this, there needed to be a back up plan created to outwit the Chinese. Mosquito pilots used a variety of maneuvers while in the Hamhung area.
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.
"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.
Friendly Fire on the Pusan Perimeter
Paul Summers was digging into a hillside on the Pusan Perimeter one night. Troops were lobbing artillery over the hillside where the Marines were setting up camp. Hearing the whistling of an artillery round, he suspected it would fall short. The explosion left four Marines dead.
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.
Paulino Lucino Jr.
Paulino Lucino Jr. was never sure of his exact location when he was fighting in Korea. Often, he was put on the back of trucks or trains and had no idea where they were headed next. He felt that this was the most troublesome experience of his time in Korea.
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.
Pedro A. Santana discusses his thoughts while giving first aid to soldiers. He also shows his Silver Star and Bronze Star and how he received those.
Pell E. Johnson
Guarding Prisoner of War Camps
Pell E. Johnson guarded Chinese and North Korean Prisoner of War camps. It was a rough placement due to the prisoners trying to mutiny. He feared Bay Day, a communist holiday and a possible uprising of prisoners.
Pell E. Johnson remembers all the details about returning home from his duties in Korea. When he got home, his outlook on life changed. United States civilians did not understand the lifestyle soldiers had lived. He also feared the uncertainty of the future to come.
Per Anton Sommernes
To Stay or To Evacuate
Per Anton Sommernes describes an incident where there was a possibility of being overrun by Chinese soldiers. Evacuating every wounded soldier was not an option. Some nurses and doctors would have to stay. Per Anton Sommernes grew up in China and knew the language and volunteered to stay back.
Peter Joseph Doyle, Jr.
Supporting the Infantry
Peter Doyle describes his job in a heavy machine gun platoon and the fear of artillery fire on Old Baldy. He explains that his was a supporting role, that he supplied the machine gun with ammunition. After supplying the gun, his platoon would spread out to protect the gun which was a target for the opposition. He describes heavy artillery fire on Old Baldy that lasted for 2-3 nights; that the first night was the worst and "scared the hell" out of him.
EC 121 Incident and DEFCON 2
Peter Solstad tells about meeting a beautiful Korean woman named Kim Chun Cha. He married her while in Korea. Peter Solstad speaks of the EC 121 incident where 31 people were killed. He also remembers the 20 minutes of fear, he felt, as he was monitoring radio calls which were calling in artillery. Thankfully, he had actually been hearing radio calls from Vietnam. After that incident, DEFCON 2 was called, and General Yarbough held a briefing, and ordered troops to move up on the line. Interestingly, he recalls, there was a massive number of Iraqi troops that moved up the line with the Americans, perhaps up to a million.
Peter Y. Lee
"God Blessed Korea Through the Americans"
This clip portrays Peter Y. Lee's extraordinary point of view about the Korean War and the soldiers who fought to rid South Korea of communism. As a child, during the Korean War, he recalls "bad war stories" and the gratitude felt by South Koreans for American intervention in the war. Peter Y. Lee conveys the devastation of an impoverished country, in the years after the war, with recollections of hunger, and the constant question of when one's next meal would come. The now thriving contemporary South Korea is worlds away from the Korea he was born into, and he credits the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the Korean people.
"I Was Not Afraid"
Philip Davis is recounting his first duties in Pusan. He remembers that the soldiers were young and had a lot of passion- not understanding what was really happening. Philip Davis admits that he wasn't afraid either.
I narrowly escaped death
Philip Davis believes that he and his fellow soldiers at that time were not really ready to fight. He describes the ammunition they were given and how many American soldiers died helplessly in rice paddies in Korea. He was very fortunate to escape with an army captain, but still struggles today knowing that those soldiers were left to die without any help coming.
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.
From Inchon to Wonsan
Philip S. Kelly describes the amphibious landing at Inchon. He recalls seeing the extreme poverty of the Korean people, and how his life was changed after he saw children fighting for scraps. He explains why he had limited information about his missions before they were carried out.
Philip Vatcher's his first impressions of Korea were that of a desolate landscape. He there weren't any trees, roads, and barely any shops. Korea during the war was like slave country when the Japanese ran Korea.
Philip Vatcher was most bothered by the murder of a military officer in Korea. He witnessed an officer killed because his life was worth less than the value of a military jeep. Despite the circumstance, he understands that war is war.
Philip Vatcher details a time when they rescued a guy on the road. This man's intestines were outside of his body. They had to clean up his intestines and wrap him up. The man's life was sparred and he kept communications with him after the war.
Ralph A Gastelum
My First Experience at Inchon Landing September 15, 1950
Ralph recalls being very anxious, had arrived just before nightfall and was circling out at sea for awhile. He remembers watching the beach being heavily shelled (Just like you see in the movies," he said.) which he thought was incredible before they went in. Once they landed they had little resistance but found a large foxhole they stayed in for the night (with no sleep) and something kept crawling around in the hole but he couldn't figure out what it was. The next morning he realized it was a frog, but being in a foreign land he wasn't sure what to expect.
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.
Ralph Blum said he was usually a half mile to three miles behind the front lines. He said the North Koreans were good at mortars, and he said you do not hear those coming. He recalls being shelled about every third day. He said they would watch the sky because the North Koreans would zero in with sky bursts, and then they would know there would be incoming mortars. He said they would hide under the 105 Howitzer when they moved behind the infantry to avoid being shelled until foxholes could be built.
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.
The U.S. President Wants You for the US Military!
Ralph Howard recalls being in Alaska when the Korean War started and listed as 1-A (available for military service). He mentions he was disappointed after being drafted because he was making good money. He recounts being sent to training as a paratrooper after having his hair cut, passing the aptitude test, and taking a physical.
U.S. Paratrooper Training
Ralph Howard discusses how he was trained to be a U.S. paratrooper in January 1952 after being drafted into the Army. He emphasizes that a great deal of physical training and practice using the parachute was needed. He recalls how his job was to drop into battles, cut off supply routes for the enemy, and support the U.S. Marines who had been fighting in the war since 1950.
Ramon D. Soto
Life in the Trenches
Ramon D. Soto remembers life on the frontline in the trenches. He discusses the difficulties soldiers faced such as trench foot, frost bite, horrible sleeping conditions, rationing of food, and nightly fear of Chinese soldiers. In this clip, Ramon D. Soto recalls the $75 a month he earned, and sent home each and every month. He also recalls the letters from his wife that he read while on the frontline.
Raymond H. Champeau
The Canadian Mission at Sea
Raymond H. Champeau explains that sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS Huron had a mission to patrol the east coast of Korea from September 1952 until the end of the Korean War. He recalls that they never met up with any enemy ships. He explains what conditions were present when the destroyer fired bombs on enemy trains that could be spotted emerging from tunnels with supplies.
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.
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.
Flying in the Face of Danger
Raymond Scott had to endure very dangerous moments while being a Flight Navigator. He explains the challenges of having to plot charts around communist islands in the face of the challenges brought by fog, strong winds, and weapons firing across war zones. He recalls a story of how a plane crashed when it hit a cross wind.
Captured by North Koreans
Raymond Unger tells the story of how he was captured by five North Korean soldiers.
I Thought My Life Was Over
Raymond Unger describes being interrogated during his first week as a POW.
Ricardo Torres Perez
Entering Korea as a Defense Soldier
Ricardo Torres Perez did not want to go to Korea in 1977 since it was so far away and he was nervous about the probability of the war rising again. After hearing planes come in and out of Osan Air Force Base where he landed, he realized the possibilities of war was still as high as it was in 1953.
Fighting for His Father
Ricardo Torres Perez wanted to represent and work hard for his father since his father served in the Korean War with the 65th Infantry Division from Puerto Rico. His father his under 2 dead bodies while the Chinese were looking for living soldiers to take as POWs.
Richard A. Houser
The Korean War Draft and Basic Training
Richard Houser was working and got married before he was drafted in 1953. He didn't think that he would get drafted and one month after getting the letter, he was sent to boot camp.
Leaving for Korean War in 1953
Richard Houser took a ship and landed in Inchon in April 1953 after a lonely 20 day ship ride to Korea. While traveling to his base in the Chorwon Valley known as the Iron Triangle, Richard Houser was able to see Seoul leveled, small thatched homes, and dirt roads all around him.
The Korean War Ceasefire
Richard Houser fought until the last second to hold Porkchop Hill in the Chorwon Valley right before the ceasefire. It felt great for him when the war ended because he was able to build new trenches farther off the 38th parallel.
Fighting Alongside with UN Nations
Richard Houser fought along with Turks, Aussies, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Columbians while fighting against communism. The Chinese were afraid of the Turks because they would cut off the ear of their enemy as a trophy.
Duties While in the East Sea Along Korea's Shore
Richard Botto was busy on Quarter Watch because he had to do whatever he was told to do. He could see the mortar shells coming from his ship and landing into the side of Korea's mountains. He was not in danger while he was there, he thought, because Richard Botto was protected by 1,400 sailors. In February 1953, he was done with his time in the East Sea, so he was sent to the Mediterranean Sea to help NATO with a humanitarian mission.
The Dutch Were Tough: an American Soldier's Perspective
Richard Brandt felt the Dutch were very brave and they had forcefulness in battle. Soldiers would pick fights with each other, box, and wrestle in their free time. The Dutch didn't take prisoners, so as soon as they interrogated an enemy, they would kill them. Dutch solders were mean, salty, very tough, and unreal!
Weekly Sermons Halted After Preacher was a No-Show
Church was usually done every Sunday on the hood of a cloth-draped jeep. The preacher would hold the bible in his hand and deliver the weekly sermon. One Sunday, the soldiers were present to start the service, but the preacher wasn't there. The soldiers saw in the distance a jeep driving about 90 miles an hour up the the soldiers to tell them that the preacher had checkout out a rifle to go pheasant hunting, stepped on a land mine and was killed.
Working with Americans While Stationed at HQ
Richard Davey recounts being stationed at the Royal Army's Headquarters (HQ) during the May 1953, 3rd Battle of the Hook. Due to bombing and busy telephone lines, he recalls having to hot loop (go around the regular telephone communication system) to communicate with other HQs. During that battle, over thirty-eight thousand shells were used during the fight.
A Bunker and a Radio, What Else Would You Need?
Richard Davey shares that his job in HQ was to man the radio to maintain and assist communication between the frontlines and HQRA. Therefore, he had to store many pieces of equipment to keep the radio running all day and night. He recalls being able to stay in a bunker inside of a trench and adds that he was even able to maintain a bookshelf with books to share with the American soldiers that he was stationed with at the time.
Arrival in Pusan in the Midst of 1952
Richard Davey recalls arriving in Pusan to a band playing in the background and small camps set up with Canadian troops waiting to be shipped out. After a train and truck ride, he was stationed with the Headquarters Royal Artillery (HQRA). While stationed there, he was provided food, summer clothes, and guns.
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-Teaching of Capitalism
Richard Donatelli explains that they tried to teach them about the downfalls of capitalism in the POW Camp. They placed them in a circle sharing stories of the businessmen ruining the country on a daily basis, an argument for socialism and communism. In addition to this, they would have to sing a patriotic song daily while living in the horrible conditions of the camp.
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.
"Don't Shoot, It's the Major!"
Richard Franklin tells a story from his time working at a medical aid station near the Punchbowl area. One of the few times that kitchen personnel were ordered to carry their weapons, he recalls a major that was afraid of friendly fire.
Richard H. Fastenau
The Good and Bad Times of the Korean War
Richard H. Fastenau describes why he prefers not to talk or think about the bad things that happened in Korea.
Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.
Alcohol on a Naval Ship
Richard Boxwell describes attitudes about beer and alcohol. Beer was not considered alcohol, at that time. Certain on-board personnel were given beer as any flight could be their last flight.
Richard P. Holgin
First Impressions of Korea
Richard P. Holgin describes arriving at Incheon at the beginning of the Korean War. He goes into detail about seeing burnt bodies all over and crossing through cities ravaged by the Chinese. Richard P. Holgin's his job responsibilities changed when he shifted from a rifleman to an infantryman.
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 Perkins recalls in late 1950, off the east coast of Korea, when the destroyer he crewed, the USS Charles S. Sperry took three direct hits from enemy shore batteries. He describes where the ship was hit and what happened after the incident.
Richard Perkins describes retrieving a downed Navy pilot from the sea after his parachute had not deployed. Unfortunately, the pilot did not survive.
Robert “Bob” W. Ezell
Thoughts of Dying
Bob Ezell talks about how he felt after being wounded and how grateful he is to have survived. He also mentions the magnitude of death at Toktong Pass and a friend who was killed there.
Account of Prison Uprising
While Robert Arend arrived in the camp shortly after the uprising, he tells the story as it was told to him from others who were at the camp at that time. He says it was the General's blunder by walking into the camp, and the prisoners overpowered him. After several days, they sent in some troops and a tank to get him out. The General was not killed, but there were several prisoners and possibly a few American soldiers were killed.
Prisoners Were Happy to Be There
Robert Arend remembers that many prisoners were happy to be there, especially the non-communist ones, happy not to have to return to the Communist North. Those that were "hard core" would do anything to go back. It was Robert Arend's job to keep records of every prisoner including their political affiliation and where they were sent. He states that this was a very "intense time" with a lot of threats.
"So much of the war was terrible"
When asked what was the most difficult part of his time in Korea, Robert Arend said that "so much of the war was terrible." He explains that the deaths were difficult and so was seeing the children in such poor conditions. He also remembers the attacks from guerrillas, but his biggest fear was that the prisoners would break out.
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.
Travel, Food, and UN Attacks on Chinese as a POW
Robert Battdorff and one other US POW were forced to walk south to the 38th parallel in May 1951 as the US soldiers were pushing the Chinese back in battle. He was told that he was brought down south just in case if the Chinese came across additional prisoners. He would walk at night 6 days a week and then take Sunday off. Since the Chinese were traveling with supplies during the night, UN pilots looked for the headlights of the trucks to know where to hit.
33 Months as a POW
Robert Battdorff was watched by only 1 guard for all 25 POWs until the Chinese realized that it would be safer for them to separate the POWs. After moving all the Koreans out of the next city, the homes were called Camp 3 where they stayed during October 1951. He had to deal with Communist Indoctrination for over 2 years. Robert Battdorff was finally released in August 1953 after the Korean War came to a stalemate.
Letters to home and life on the home front
Robert Chisolm was married in 1946 to his childhood sweetheart and wrote letters to her throughout the Korean War. She volunteered with the Red Cross and she had to ask them to determine if Robert Chisolm was alright after the Battle at Pork Chop Hill since their local newspaper wrote a large article about his regiment in this major battle.
Training for the Korean War in the US and Cuba
Once Robert Dahms graduated high school, he volunteered for the military. He was sent to the Great Lakes for 16 weeks of basic training. After training, Robert Dahms went to Pensacola, Florida to rescue downed planes by using a lot of different types of technology to aid the rescuers.
Training and Protecting Pilots While Purifying Water
Robert Dahms continued to work on the home front to train and protect pilots while they were learning to become effective soldiers. While doing so, he also ran evaporators to purify salt water in order to turn it into drinking water. Both of these jobs were important for the soldiers during the Korean War.
Robert F. Wright
Bombed by Bed Check Charlie
Robert shares the story of being bombed by Bed Check Charlie in the middle of the night throughout his time in Korea. His Quonset Hut was covered with a canvas top and sand bags were stacked about 6 ft high around the hut, and as the bombs dropped the shrapnel would rip the top of their huts.. Fortunately no one was killed and US Air Force was able to detect this North Korean single engine plane and took care of them.
Witnessing the Wounded
Robert remembers the worst part of his experience in Korea was passing by a train filled with wounded soldiers and how sorry he felt for those men which upset him. There was a 17 year old boy from New York that was with him on his train and saw the same thing and told Robert, "What did I get myself into, I want to go home." Doesn't know what happened to that kid.
Heading to Korea
Robert Fischer explains his trip to Korea via Japan. He explains his fear while being on the ship for eighteen days, but then the awe he experienced when they landed in Yokohama. His description includes the natural beauty of the area, but also the poverty they witnessed as they traveled through Japan.
Heading to the Front Lines
Robert Fischer describes what it was like to head to the front lines. He describes the hills and the fires they saw along the road. On the journey, his company saw a tank that had run over a civilian. Because he did not have an assignment, Robert Fischer became the one who had to carry the radio.
Driving to the Front Lines
Robert Fitts was promoted to Motor Sergeant/Staff Sergeant and was in charge of assigning drivers to tasks among other duties. He shares the story of a driver's willingness to carry supplies to the front lines for another driver who returned with a vehicle maintenance issue. He details the outcome of the second attempt.
Robert J. Rose
"We've got to get rid of this plane"
Robert Rose recalls one particular journey across the Pacific as part of a Canadair North Star flight crew. On the trip, he talks about coming across damaged planes with preceding and seceding tail numbers from the aircraft he crewed.
Paralyzed for Days
Robert Johnson describes the details of his work on a Caterpillar machine in Korea when it becoming stuck. As it was stuck, he describes how he fell off and became paralyzed in the back for five days. He describes his hospitalization and recovery.
A Burning Truck
Robert Johnson recollects on a dangerous experience in Korea when he was in a truck filled with TNT and how it led to a fire. He also describes seeing constant planes fly over his station. Although he didn't engage in combat, he was near much of the fighting.
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.
An Unfortunate Surprise at the Prisoner of War Camp
Robert Kodama describes what it was like moving with a company of tanks, having to stop about every thirty miles to refuel. During one of the stops near Taejon, they saw what they thought was an abandoned Prisoner of War Camp. Robert Kodama describes the terrible scene when they went into the camp- a scene that would give him nightmares.
Robert L. Wessa
First In, Last Out
Robert L. Wessa describes his time in Korea evacuating wounded soldiers from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The battle wounded so many soldiers that during the time of the evacuation Robert Wessa never got the chance to leave the temporary airstrip.
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.
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.
Personal Effects of the War
Robert Mount describes the after effects of the war. "It made me a drunk," he said. He describes having combat nightmares frequently, and also being treated for malaria. Eventually, he got treatment at the VA center for about a month. He received guidance there to attend college on the GI bill.
Robert O. Gray
Say No to Indoctrination
Robert Gray describes his capture by the Chinese. He explains how he and others spoke out against the indoctrination. He also explains why he thinks some POWs won't talk about their imprisonment.
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.
Robert Stephens describes his training to become a mechanic on tanks. He describes being trained on the M46 with a Continental engine, whereas the tanks in Korea were the M4 with a Ford engine. The role of a tank mechanic was to keep the tanks and Jeeps running. His particular unit was support for many different UN forces. Robert Stephens describes how when the tanks broke down in the combat zone and he and his crew would have to go into danger to fix a broken down tank.
Robert Steven Duffy
Right Place, Right Time
Robert Duffy remembers a moment of fear. He talks about being a part of a charge to take a hill and the courage of a certain Lieutenant. He was in the "right place at the right time" to avoid getting shot.
Robert W. Hammelsmith
Robert Hammelsmith describes being wounded by machine gun fire while on a scouting patrol near the Manchurian border in November of 1950. He explains that he was carried out on a stretcher and then transported on the second of two ambulances, the first of which was attacked by the Chinese. He goes on to describe his evacuation to a hospital in Japan where the bullet in his shoulder was removed.
Life as an American Soldier on the Front Lines: From Bunkers to Bullets
Rodney Ramsey was supported by Korean Augmentation to United States Army (KATUSA) and these troops were seasoned fighters by the time Rodney Ramsey entered the war in 1952. While sleeping in sand-bag bunkers at the front lines in Geumgang, North Korea, he was comfortable with his summer fatigues including a field jacket. Some of the most dangerous times were when Rodney Ramsey was going on patrol or raids where the Chinese were dug in. He was shot through the helmet with a minor wound when an African American soldier standing next to him was shot with the same bullet and died.
Reenlistment: Above the DMZ
Rodney F. Stock remembers being one of the first to receive a $500 bonus to reenlist. When he returned to Korea in 1954, Seoul looked less war torn than when he had left. That initial recovery was a testimony to the Korean people who had already begun the rebuilding process. Serving above the DMZ, at one point he came face to face with an entire Chinese division.
"That's Just the Breaks of the Game"
Rodney F. Stock knew where Korea was from studying maps. He remembers hearing about the beginning of the war while driving to his parents' house. Citing no fear of dying, he convinced the draft office to speed up his processing. After transferring among multiple training locations in the United States, he boarded a ship for Korea at the end of 1951.
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.
Roland Dean Brown
First Impressions and Friendly Fire Encounters
Roland Brown recalls his first impressions upon arrival in Pusan. He describes the scene as horrible, recounting the sewage running in gutters down the streets, children begging for food, and the poor living conditions. He shares that many soldiers were killed from friendly fire due to inadequate training and a lack of communication, adding that he and others even dug holes with their helmets as defense during friendly fire encounters.
Roland Brown shares his experience with PTSD. He describes being found standing in bed, fighting and yelling, on occasion upon his return home. He expresses that he has learned to manage it through the years with help from his wife, religion, and PTSD group.
Rollo Minchaca describes arriving in Pusan and Incheon Landing. He talks about the 300 rounds of ammo he carried, while his assistant carried twice as much. He had a very difficult job at the age of 18.
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.
Two Chinese Soldiers
Rollo Minchaca is describing his interaction during the war with the Chinese soldiers. He witnessed a 17 year old machine gunner crying for his mother during the war when his division was ambushed by the Chinese. As a browning automatic rifle man, he almost died because they were running low on ammunition.
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.
Rain of Steel
Ronald Bourgon recalls being completely surrounded by the Chinese for three days. He details the plan to combine weaponry from the US, New Zealand, and Canada to open an artillery barrage on their location. He recalls orders given to his company to get down in foxholes and to not come out as fire would be opened on their location in an attempt to stop the Chinese. He remembers the ravaged scene of dead Chinese soldiers once the barrage had ceased.
A Close Call
Ronald Bourgon shares a dangerous moment memory. He recalls carrying the radio and rounding a big rock to avoid hitting branches where a soldier stood with his gun raised. He remembers the soldier pulling the trigger and the gun misfiring. He recounts the soldier apologizing for the mistake and stating that the guns never work as he pointed it to the ground and pulled the trigger again. He remembers the gun firing and shares he was lucky it misfired the first time.
Ronald Bourgon details his worst memory while in Korea that has caused him grief over the years. He shares that in one encounter with the Chinese, he received a small shrapnel wound while another soldier was hit in the neck and was bleeding profusely. He recalls holding pressure on the soldier's neck as they made their way down the mountain towards a medical team. He shares that the soldier died due to blood loss, and he adds that he has questioned himself since as to whether he could have done more for him.
Rondo T. Farrer
Living on the Front Line
Rondo T. Farrer describes the food and living conditions on the front line during the Battle of Kapyong. He discusses how he felt being a part of the Battle of Kapyong. He shares his personal thoughts about the possibility of dying in Korea.
We Broke Their Will
Roy Aldridge describes how he crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea. He shares how the North Koreans shed their uniforms, put on civilian clothing, and fled. He shares how there wasn't much resistance. He explains how the North Koreans had killed all of the prisoners of war and where they put them.
"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.
Prisoner of War
Roy Aldridge describes his first interrogation with the North Koreans and the Chinese. He explains his experience as a prisoner of war starting April 13, 1953. He explains that many soldiers died in the North Korean prisoner of war camp. He identifies his camp as Pak's Palace.
Rudolph “Rudy” J. Green
2,000 Riflemen On Board
Rudy Green describes taking a train from Busan that was so heavy with smoke that it was very difficult to breathe. He describes how when they arrive at their destination, there was no way to distinguish the white soldiers from the African American soldiers because they were all covered in soot. He explains his amazement in surviving that train ride.
Evading Capture from the Chinese
Russel Kingston describes how they hid in a perimeter that had been dug for a day and night; however, the Chinese dug trenches by hand to get to them. They retreated, and then swam the Yalu river all the way across. He then explains how he evaded the Chinese that night.
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.
Ruth Powell (Wife of John Powell)
Dealing with PTSD after the War
Ruth Powell introduces herself as the wife of veteran, John Powell. She describes her husband's struggles with PTSD after returning from Korea. She comments on John Powell's experiences as a prisoner of war (POW), its effects on him, and the treatments he endured to aid and better his psychological state.
Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes what is was like to be a messenger during wartime. He describes having to run and hide moving between units to deliver messages. Even though it was risky running through enemy fire, Sahlemariam Wmichaea never got injured.
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.
The Wounding of Rifleman Salvatore Schillaci in 1952
Salvatore Schillaci suffered an abdominal wound during a nighttime reconnaissance mission. His Sergeant ordered him to take an enemy's machine gun. Unfortunately, as he walked forward, the enemy opened fire. The VA hospital gave him great care upon his return to the United States.
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr.
Difficult and Rewarding Times
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr., talks about being under enemy artillery fire. He recalls making it quickly into a foxhole. He discusses being scared and describes his most rewarding times in Korea and the special experience.
Scary Moment During Service
Samuel Stoltzfus drove officers all around the front lines. Once, while parked at the bottom of a mountain waiting for Colonel Rouse and Lieutenant Ruble, he heard the shouts of a South Korean pinned under a tire he had been changing. As Samuel Stoltzfus went to help, North Koreans began firing white phosphorous shells at him. He retreated and hid under his Jeep. Another time, he was late for Christmas dinner because he drove a colonel up to a bunker that had sustained a direct hit. Because he was with an officer, they returned to find the cooks had saved the best food for them.
Life During the War
Sangmoon Olsson describes her life during the Korean War. Her brother had a high position under the Japanese Imperial control and when the communists took over, they wanted to capture her brother. Sangmoon had to go into hiding for a total of eight months, interrupting her nursing studies. When the Allies eventually pushed back the Communists, Sangmoon Olsson was able to complete her nursing studies.
Santos Rodriguez Santiago
Life in the Punchbowl
Santos Rodriguez Santiago remembers not knowing much about the area as they traveled to the Punchbowl. A lot of his time was spent observing the enemy among the hills. He remembers some of his officers being hit by snipers as the two sides often exchanged gun fire. He says that after 2-3 months they began to get used to this lifestyle.
The Hardest Thing
Santos Rodriguez Santiago shares that one of the most difficult things was watching people get killed. He wonders why people are unable to live in harmony. He remembers that he was unsure about whether or not he would come home alive.
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.
Shirley F. Gates McBride
Cry Until You Cannot Cry Anymore
Shirley F. Gates McBride describes arriving at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. She explains that she walked into a room and he tells her to go cry into a room until she can't cry anymore. He then explains after she has cried that she will now be seeing a lot of death and that she will be prepared to handle it.
Night Patrol, the Enemy, and Explosions
Stanley Fujii describes the emotional experience of a fellow soldier who lost his mind during a night patrol. His description also includes going to take a mountain with a company of 160 men. The endeavor to take the mountain began with encountering explosions in the flatland, ultimately causing retreat. He describes his encounter with land mines, enemy flares, mortars, machine guns, and tanks.
Running from Napalm
Stanley Fujii describes the experience of seeing the bodies of young soldiers in Chinese uniforms who were burned from Napalm. His testimony describes being on patrol to look for another location to move his company to and noticing a lot of dead bodies. The bodies were burned to a crisp and the faces were very young. He saw maggots crawling from the flesh and buzzards coming down to eat the flesh.
Stanley I. Hashiro
"I probably won't come home."
Stanley I. Hashiro had a long chaotic journey leaving Japan and arriving in Incheon, South Korea. He travelled from ship, train, and bus, having no clue where his final destination was. Stanley I. Hashiro realizes in this moment of his life that he is in the midst of the war now and probably will not come back home.
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
Communicating with Pork Chop Hill
Sterling D. Mestad offers his account of the Pork Chop Hill experience on the communications side. He shares that he did not see as much as the men who were on the lines but adds that he was never far from danger. He recounts a soldier right behind him hit in the face suffering a serious wound.
The Dreaded Capture
Stuart Gunn had a confrontation with the Chinese military at the Battle of Hill 187. The Chinese were very organized. He remembers the moment him and his partners were capture and the pain they all endured. These moments lead to his capture as a Prisoner of War.
Red China: Brainwashing
Stuart Gunn had a very difficult time living in a Chinese POW camp. While at the camp, the Chinese Communist government had educational materials promoting their government for the prisoners that were printed in English. Other POWs at the camp responded to these materials and the mandatory classes in a variety of ways.
Stuart William Holmes
No One Would Dare Attack the Great British Empire
Stuart Holmes describes flying at night over the coasts of Korea, Japan, and China. He explains that he rarely felt scared, which he attributes to the hubris of youth. He elaborates that occasionally it would be reported that someone was following them which gave him a 'twitch' but, otherwise, he felt no fear.
Pork Chop Hill
Suwan Chinda recalls his experience at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He shares that he was assigned to communications and was sent to repair lines when needed. He remembers receiving orders to repair a line that had been damaged by bombs near the front lines on one particular occasion and recalls members of his team arguing with the officer who assigned them to the job as they were fearful of becoming injured. He shares that he was not scared and was willing to fight. He adds that he sustained no wounds at the battle.
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.
T.J. Martin recalls being turned over to the North Koreans and spending one month in a North Korean POW camp. He compares and contrasts the treatment of American soldiers by the Chinese and North Koreans, stating that the North Koreans were more merciful in a sense as they would simply kill a soldier rather than let him suffer. He details being turned back over to the Chinese and a long march to another camp which resulted in many prisoner deaths.
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya
Bazooka and Never Leave a Man Behind
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes his experience in Korea. He was a bazooka shooter. For example, one occurrence almost left him dead when a shell did not fire. Importantly, he describes never leaving a lost soldier behind. The Ethiopians never lost a soldier to Prisoner of War.
First Thoughts about Korea
Ted Bacha remembers being so young that he wasn't sure what to do or think when he was sent to Korea. The only thing he focused on was keeping his men alive. He said that he must have done a pretty good job because most of his men came back.
Remembering through Photos
Ted Bacha remembers that many people were killed. He uses photos to explain what they did on the front lines and all of the lives that were lost. While he was there, a little boy gave him some film as a gift for helping him during that time- Ted Bacha's father developed the pictures and said that he couldn't show them for years. Ted Bacha even had a shop where he would display his Korean War memorabilia.
The Impact of PTSD
Ted Bacha explains that he is extremely impacted by his PTSD. He takes medicine to help him fall asleep, but when he forgets to take the medication, memories start to come back again. Even though the nightmares impact him three to four nights per week, Ted Bacha does not regret his service because he was glad to help the people over there.
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.
Smell of the Gun Makes You Drunk
Telila Deresa describes his experience in battle. He describes how the enemy was like snakes. The Chinese soldiers killed three of the commanders. However, he was not scared. Telila Deresa describes how youth and the smell of the gun makes a young man drunk with power.
Engaging the North Koreans
Teurangaotera Tuhaka fought the North Koreans. One incident entailed firing on a North Korean supply train. His frigate held a record for firing forty-two times in a minute. He was fired upon by the North Koreans, and to get away, his ship had to zigzag out of the way. He shares how lucky they were to escape.
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.
Shallow Graves in Wonju
Tex Malcom discusses his experience in the push off offensive against the Chinese and North Koreans in Wonju. He had an "unsettling" experience as they dug into the hills, and realized they were digging into shallow graves where the North Koreans had buried their dead. During this offensive, supplies were air dropped into a valley.
Arriving at Masan
Tex Malcolm arrived at Masan by train and he assisted other Marine Reserves out of their LST, but they looked terrible. In the city, he only saw fox holes and no buildings. After being assigned to Baker Company, 7th Marines, Tex Malcolm volunteered to shoot the 3.5 guns to protect the command staff.
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.
Chinese and Napalm in the Chosin Reservoir
Theodore Paul recalls his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes it as disturbing and shares memories of seeing napalm dropped. He recounts fighting the Chinese from all directions.
Reflections on Service
Theodore Paul reflects on his service and participation in two of the most memorable battles during the Korean War--the Battle of Inchon Landing and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He admits that he was scared but did what every other soldier does. He applauds Korea's development since the war and commends the efforts of the Korean people to become a world superpower.
Thomas “Tommy” Tahara
Arrival in Korea
Thomas Tahara describes being aboard a ship in the Pusan Harbor for over a week waiting to be called into action in Korea. He recounts seeing dead bodies for the first time and experiencing combat. He speaks of the fear he experienced as an eighteen-year-old while in a combat situation.
Horrors of War (Graphic)
Thomas Tahara shares his experience seeing the use of napalm for the first time. He recounts the horrible effects napalm had on the North Koreans. He describes how he still remembers what he witnessed.
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 F. Miller
The Job of a Korean Defense Veteran and the Draft
Thomas Miller was a Korean Defense Veteran since he served in Korea after the Korean War from 1965 through 1966. He was drafted even though he was an only child, farmed for his family, and he had only one good eye.
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 Dailey comments on Korea's progress since the war. He shares his pride for having served there but conveys that he still has many dark memories from that time. He elaborates on the kindness Koreans have shown him over the years.
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.
Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches
Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.
Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi
Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.
No Fear and The Invincibility of Thomas O'Dell as a Fifteen Year Old in the Korean War
Thomas O'Dell was not scared during the Korean War because he was only fifteen years old and he felt invincible. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as he was dug in the trenches, Corporal Thomas O'Dell was confronted with his commander with his birth certificate. He was caught being a fifteen year old in the Korean War, but he was able to sneak back into another battle during the mayhem.
Volunteering, Training, and Entering the Korean War
Thomas Parkinson shares how he tried to volunteer for the Korean War when he was seventeen years old but that he was too young and had to wait until April 1951. He recounts how all of the Australians volunteered to join the military and that no draft was needed. Thomas Parkinson recalls being trained in Puckapunyal, Australia, for three months and being shipped away to Korea on March 3, 1952.
Fighting and Living in Korea From 1952-1953
Thomas Parkinson recalls fighting from the Kansas Line and the Jamestown Line while in Korea from 1952-1953. He remembers eating American C-Rations, sleeping in trenches, and writing letters home to his mom along with pen pals from England.
The Korean War Yielded the Most Difficult and Rewarding Moments
Thomas Parkinson shares that his most difficult time was when a Jeep landed on his legs with petrol and napalm spilling around him. He recalls how, even though it was such a scary time, he will never forget the Indian regiment that helped him recover in a field ambulance. He shares that the most rewarding moment was related to helping the Korean children in and out of Seoul and the surrounding cities.
Typical Day on the Front Lines
Thomas Tsuda remembers what it was like fighting on the front lines. He comments on the cold temperatures he and other fellow soldiers experienced and shares that most of the fighting took place at night. He recalls resting, sleeping, and writing letters during the day while there was little action taking place. He speaks of the wounds he sustained on the front lines and shares his pride in serving to prevent the spread of Communism.
On the Line during the Ceasefire
Thomas Tsuda recalls where he was at the time of the ceasefire. He remembers being on the front line and seeing Chinese soldiers waving white flags. He explains that he and fellow soldiers were hesitant at first to greet them but shares that they slowly began to talk to them and shake hands. He adds that held no anger towards the Chinese as they were merely doing their job like he was. He expresses his pride in serving his country.
Hill 355 and Military Life
Tom Collier describes the fighting at Hill 355 and said many New Zealand soldiers died in the battle. He was never in imminent danger, but there was a constant threat from Chinese artillery. Tom Collier also fondly recollects a South Korean houseboy who was about fourteen years old that completed chores such as laundry and Tom Collier said the boy lost all his money gambling. He looked for the houseboy upon return to South Korea, but could not find him.
Tommy Clough recounts the usage of napalm during the war. He recalls one particular battle where United States forces dropped napalm on a nearby hill covered with Chinese soldiers. He offers a historical tidbit on when napalm was developed and shares how it was a terrible explosion to witness. He admits that he can still hear the screams and smell burnt flesh despite how many years have passed.
Value of Life
Tommy Clough chronicles the lead-up to his capture. He details catching up to his assigned officer and advancing towards a hill only to find Chinese soldiers looking down at them with a machine gun. He recalls that he lifted his rifle on instinct and shot one of the Chinese soldiers. He shares that after he and fellow soldiers reached the other side of the hill, they were surrounded by the Chinese. He recounts being taken to the spot where the soldier he had shot earlier lay and of how little the Chinese seemed to value life.
Tommy Clough recalls his escape attempt from a Chinese POW camp. He shares that he and his friend, Dave, gathered their kit and waited for the roll call one August night. He recounts making it to the bushes near the river, and right as they were about to cross, he remembers hearing the cock of a gun. He details lights coming on and whistles sounding as they were recaptured. He describes how he was handcuffed and locked in an outhouse for roughly six weeks following the attempt.
Tony and Tom Bazouska
Fear of Losing a Brother (Graphic)
Tony and Tom Bazouska share a battle story where they were both serving as medics in the same company. They recount being on opposite sides of a hill, unable to see each other on that particular day. They recall that Tom's side was being shelled heavily, blowing three men, including Tom, over the hill to their assumed death. They remember Tony being ordered over to help as the medic (Tom) was believed dead. They recall the scene where they found each other amid the chaos.
Medical Success Story (Graphic)
Tony and Tom Bazouska detail saving the life of a fellow soldier. They recount the graphic state of the soldier who had been severely wounded and was bleeding profusely. They recall performing a tracheotomy on him and supplying multiple limbs with blood. They share that they both feel the initial shelling incident that brought them back together on the battlefield was the reason the soldier survived as it took two of them to tend to his wounds. They recount that they were contacted by the soldier years later and feel it was a proud moment during their service.
PTSD: Hidden Alcoholics
Tony and Tom Bazouska describe dealing with PTSD for the first five years after returning from war. They share that at the time it was not identified, and they remember trying to deal with its symptoms while working and managing new families. They recall having dreams and screaming fits and share that they turned to alcohol to ease their minds.
Tony Espino describes his experience as a United States Marine during the Inchon Landing. He shares it is a date he will never forget and speaks of his boat ride towards Red Beach. He recalls the fear he experienced as the boat grew closer to the beach and comments on the casualty numbers.
When Tony White first arrived in Korea he was placed in a Patrol Unit. Tony White describes being ordered to use the mine detector when they came across a suspected anti-tank mine field even though he didn't know how to use it. He was terrified when he was walking and was relieved when other troops arrived and took over.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
Impressions of Korea on Arrival
Tsege Cherenet Degn arrived in Korea in September of 1954. He comments on how empty and devoid of plants and green his post was near the DMZ. Even though the war was over, he was not sure peace would continue and was on constant alert.
Vartkess Tarbassian struggled with nightmares once he returned home from Korea. His mother would have to wake him when he was screaming in his sleep. After about a year, the nightmares began to go away.
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.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Veli Atasoy describes the fighting conditions at the Battle of Kunu-ri. There were many casualties of the Turkish troops and to evacuate, therefore approximately twenty five men were needed per Jeep. The person in command took a wrong turn into harm's way. The Chinese had surrounded the entire area and eventually killed many Americans, but spared Veli Atasoy and many of his fellow Turkish troops. After that the men walked under armed escort to Pyoktong, near the Chinese-North Korean border.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Victor Spaulding details the lead-up to the Armistice ceasefire. He recalls the immense shelling taking place on Heartbreak Ridge for four days prior to 10PM on July 27, 1953. He recounts the uncanniness of deafening silence from both sides at the exact time planned. He comments on the fear of wondering whether or not the enemy would honor the ceasefire agreement.
Victor Max Ramsey
Friend or Enemy?
Victor Max Ramsey recalls his interactions with guerrilla fighters. He describes an incident where he passed two horsemen. The two men later committed atrocities against a United States camp. He discusses how one can't tell who was an enemy and who was just a civilian.
Vincent A. Bentz
Learning to Kill
Vincent Bentz describes being in combat near the Kum (Geumgang) River and doing what he "had to do". He explains how the rows of weapons were set up and how the rows just kept coming. He shares what he was thinking during that time, including how it is hard to shoot someone during that time and how it still bothers him.
KIll or Be Killed
Vincent Bentz talks about the resistance they experienced. He remembers being attacked by young children and having to defend himself. He also shares how he honors his buddies who never returned
The Tank on the Front-lines
Vincent Ariola remembers that South Korean soldiers were present in camps with American soldiers, but not brought north with tanks to prevent them from getting killed by American soldiers who could confuse them with the enemy. He describes fighting against forces atop Hill 266, at the Battle of Old Baldy. He remembers seeing a young American soldier in a foxhole before closing the tank hatch when firing broke out, and then seeing the same soldier dead after the firing stopped. His recollection includes his description of the hot atmosphere inside the tank.
Revisiting Life in a Tank
Vincent Ariola describes his reasons for not wanting to go back to visit South Korea. He explains that although he spent many hours in his tank, he did not sleep in it, but tanker operators slept in tents. He describes his experiences with having guard duty very often and being very tired from not being relieved. He further explains that artillery came very close to his tank and to his astonishment, he was never hit.
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.
Fear of the Frontline
Virbel Trotter responses to a question about whether or not he was nervous heading to Korea. He explains that it was an unknown to him. The people who trained him at served in Korea at the early part of the war and shared stories about how rough it was.
"Get Through and Get Out"
Virbel Trotter was attacked by mortal 2-3 times during the war. He describes how you would need to get into a ditch to try to get away from it. He remembers thinking wanting to “get through and get out.”
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.
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.
Walter Kreider Jr.
Landing in Korea and Military Entry
Walter Kreider Jr. recounts landing in Korea. He shares that he was greeted by soldiers waiting to return home and recalls how they shouted words in an effort to frighten the arriving soldiers. He details riding a train up to the front lines near Panmunjeom. He backtracks and describes how he was drafted and his placement in artillery.
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.
A Quiet, Ignored, Forgotten War
Warren Ramsey was stationed in Germany from 1952-1955 when the Korean War ended. He considered it a quiet war because United States civilians were not informed through mass media about the Korean War since WWII just ended 5 years before the war started. Since Warren Ramsey fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, he was able to compare the experiences of soldiers coming home from war. He was ignored for one and called "Baby Killer" after the other war.
Living Conditions in Korea
Wendell Murphy describes what they ate in Korea, including listing some of the C-ration options. He recalls not being able to sleep much because the Forward Observer team was understaffed. Additionally, he said that he couldn't sleep at night because he was too scared.
Big Prison Break
Wilfred Lack describes the big prisoner break in 1953, that resulted in the escape of over 600 Korean prisoners. Wilfred Lack suspects that there was cooperation between the prisoners and Korean guards that resulted in the loss of 80% of the prison population.
POWs cross the Bridge of no Return
Wilfred Lack recalls American POWs crossing the Bridge of No Return and his initial interactions with the shocked soldiers. He remembers the expressions on the soldiers faces as they were released. During the prisoner exchanges, Wilfred Lack was there to tell the soldiers that they were home and safe, which he regards as a rewarding experience.
William “Bill” F. Beasley
Up To My Knees In Mud
William "Bill" Beasley describes his Unit arriving in Inchon in September 1950. He describes the troublesome deboarding of the Amtrak due to his equipment. He describes that because of the weight instead of just getting mud on his feet like the others when he jumped off, he sank into the mud up to his knees. He describes three unknown men that helped him get to the shore.
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.
In the Midst of Combat
William Alli explains the details of getting sick while in a fox hole. After his recovery, he went back to the line to face combat with North Korean and Chinese enemy fire as a part of the stretcher crew, carrying bodies of the wounded out of the combat area. He describes having to find his way to safety in the dark, with only the light of flares that were being dropped by planes from above.
Raining Flares and Mistaken Identity
William Alli describes his experience with retreating a major combat zone. He recalls helping his foxhole buddy who was wounded in combat. He further describes a unique experience in Korea where he reconnected with his father's cousin, who was fighting as a part of the United Nations forces with the Turkish troops. While on route to visit his cousin, he was mistaken for a Communist spy. He describes how he was arrested and had to get out of this situation.
William Arnaiz remembers a time when they all got alerted there was to be a mass attempt to overrun the "Punchbowl". During this time, he was assigned to a self propelled vehicle with Quad 50 machine guns. All remained on heavy alert for a 54 hour siege, but it ended up being a small skirmish fortunately.
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. “Bill” Coe
Landing in Pusan
William Coe explains that he left for Korea from Japan on the July 1, 1950. He shares that they took a C-54 with Company B. He was remembers that they got right on a train and that they were ready to “fight” and tried not to be afraid. not to be afraid.
William D. Freeman
Recaptured as a POW
William Freeman details his experiences being recaptured as a POW after his release in Panmunjeom. He recalls the rough march to the camp and being buried alive after US forces blew up the camp. He discusses the differences in treatment by Chinese soldiers versus North Korean soldiers, describing the North Koreans as being the most brutal.
What was it like being a marine?
William Duffy describes his boot camp experience as a rude awakening. He recalls having to be up very early in the morning for drills and shares how it was the hardest thing he ever went through. He describes his journey from San Diego to Japan and then eventually to the east coast of Korea.
A Episode to Remember
Wiliam Duffy talks about a time when he went to NCO (non-commissioned officer) school. He shares how the experience was like a different world from the front lines. It had warm food, barbershops, showers, a pub, etc. While there, he recalls how his officer offered him multiple drinks. He shares that he suspected there was some bad news and learned that his squad was attacked. He recounts how only four of the twelve men survived.
Loss of a Friend
William Dumas describes his second injury in 1951. He describes the incident in Korea and losing his radioman. He describes how difficult it was.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
William Edwards talks about the only time he was truly scared during his military service and his experience at Biggs Air Force Base during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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.
Maggots Covered My Face I Was Pronounced Dead
William Borer describes being moved to Camp 5 where he spent over a month and became ill with pneumonia. He describes the school house that cared for the sick as an an "ant-hotel" where you check in but don't check out. He recalls after being pronounced dead, he awoke among stacks of bodies and maggots encrusted on his eyes and nostrils. He explains that the Chinese were superstitious and when they saw him as he left the morgue, they ran the other direction thinking he had been resurrected.
William F. Honaman
First Experience with Death
William Honaman describes what his living conditions were like when he first encountered the death of other soldiers. He explains that he was encamped in ditches surrounded by barbed wire with only one entrance from the back. He recalls how homemade alarms were fashioned out of empty beer cans filled with rocks. He remembers the entrance was adorned with the bodies of the dead who had tried to get in.
William Honaman describes earning his first Purple Heart after being wounded during a patrol. He explains that the point man he was accompanying stepped on a land mine, losing his leg but not his life in the process. He recalls wearing an armored vest at the time, but had unzipped it due to the heat, an action that allowed the shrapnel to pierce his chest. He describes receiving his second Purple Heart in June of 1953 after five grenades exploded around him.
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.
Guarding A Truck Under Chinese Fire
William Jacque details a supply route mishap while on a truck carrying ammunition. He recounts the route being under fire by the Chinese and describes his truck hitting a hole and tipping over. He shares that he was forced to guard the truck until a wrecker could recover it, and he adds that he hitchhiked a ride back to his unit.
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.
Military Leadership Training
In September 1950, William MacSwain reported to a military leadership school that was led by WWII veterans. Since he was already trained on a variety of weapons, William MacSwain felt that psychological warfare treatment was important lessons that he learned. Once he returned to Fort Polk, he was in charge of 4th platoon (an infantry division) who were all older than him.
Training for War in Japan
In May 1951, William MacSwain was sent to Japan to train with his platoon on terrain that was similar to Korea. General Ridgway said that the US National Guard should not be sent to Korea because they were not trained well enough. After watching William MacSwain's platoon in Japan practicing a maneuver, he was impressed with what he saw, so the National Guard was free to fight in the Korean War.
Events in Korea
William McLaughlin discusses his responsibilities while in Korea as well as his training. He also discusses some dangerous events, including when two drunk Korean soldiers stole a cab and were eventually killed by his brigade. A Korean newspaper, though, called it a suicide. This made him question what he was reading in the newspapers. He also witnessed the Rangoon bombing in October of 1983. He recounts his experience.
Trench War and Stretcher Duty
William Puls describes his experience on trench patrol during the last part of the Korean War just before the Armistice. He describes fighting from a position at an outpost, then having to pick up dead bodies from the trenches, which were about three-hundred yards away. He shares the repercussions of having to fire massive amounts of ammunition during the fighting.
Whitley was picked on when he returned to the US since people knew that he was a soldier during the Korean War. They called him names and wouldn't hire him. Whitley was so frightened to go out to eat since he thought someone was going to try to kill him.
Willis Remus describes how difficult it was in prison camp to make sure that the other soldiers were eating their rations and what he did to try to encourage soldiers to eat the food they were rationed by the Chinese.
Willis Remus describes how he and his whole platoon were captured by the North Koreans and marched to Chongsong. He said they were captured without a fight because they were sleeping and surrounded when they woke up.
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda
No Regret to Kill
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes the suffering of the Korean people. Children were orphaned, their parents were killed by the war. People were begging for food. Seeing these images made the Ethiopians fight harder. Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes having no regret to face the Chinese and ultimately kill them.
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.
Engagement with the Chinese
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes engaging the enemy. He describes how he sniped and killed seven Chinese soldiers. The incident occurred at night. The Ethiopians waited to be given orders to fire. Firing at night would give your position away. He also describes being so cold that he put his leg in a fire to keep it warm. His leg ultimately ended up being damaged from this incident.