Political/Military Tags1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9
Geographic TagsAnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri
Social TagsBasic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Destruction and Poverty
Ahmet Tan describes the conditions of the Koreans during the Korean War. He describes the people as "good," but impoverished. He also described how the Turkish troops looked after some orphaned children, feeding them and providing them shelter in the military tents.
Gift of Food and Spoon
Albert Cooper describes one of his most memorable experiences in Korea. While on patrol, he was invited into a Korean home for rice with beans. Having trouble with chop sticks, an elderly Korean woman gifted him an ancestral spoon. He talks about what that spoon means to him today and the bond between the US and South Korea.
Life in Korea
Albert Frisina recalls life in Uijeongbu. He remembers they would work six-hour shifts. He recalls eating and drinking very well and, sadly, remembers seeing Korean civilians digging through his company's garbage. He shares how he invited the Koreans to eat their leftovers, rather than having to dig through garbage. Despite the nice treatment he received, he remembers returning to the United States and kissing the ground.
For the Love of Learning a Language
Albert Grocott recalls his time spent on Rest and Relaxation (R&R) in Seoul during the war. He shares that he encountered several orphaned children who needed food and clothing while there and details bringing them food from the mess hall and stealing clothing for them. He states that he did it for the love of learning a language, and the only payment he required was that they teach him Korean words and songs.
Alford Rodriguez Rivera
Living Conditions in the Foxholes
Alford Rodriguez Rivera recounts his meals and his living conditions during the war. He explains that he ate C-rations and slept in foxholes during his time there. He shares that he did not know anything about Korea before arriving. He recollects Korea being mountainous with many trees and there being snow in the winter.
Destruction and Living Conditions
Ali Dagbagli describes the poor conditions of the Korean people. Kids would beg for food and cigarettes. People lived in houses made of rice stalks. Ali Dagbagli traveled from Incheon to Daegu, before moving north to Kunu-ri, North Korea.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.
A Civilian War
Ali Saglik describes how the Turkish forces captured a spy. He also describes how enemy forces, hiding in civilian houses, shot and injured a fellow soldier. Not all Korean civilians were enemies, however, as some would provide fresh fish. Ali Saglik also describes the Battle of Kunu-ri and how the "Americans ran away." Turkish soldiers attached bayonets and killed Chinese for two days.
Allan A. Mavin
No Water and Warm Food
Allan A. Mavin remembers his most difficult moments during the Korean War. He describes his living conditions with no water, electricity, and living in tents. He describes lack of hygiene and warm food.
Sharing Equipment and Exchanging Tea for Coffee
Allen Affolter details his assignment as a Regimental Accountable Officer. He describes having to know what equipment every battalion had as well as the provisions needed for resupplying them. He states that equipment was often shared amongst the units and comments on an unusual exchange of tea for coffee among the US and Commonwealth soldiers.
The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War
Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.
Korean Culture and Ceasefire
Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.
Alvin A. Gould
The 10th Special Services Company
Alvin Gould describes the 10th Special Services Company. He talks about the formation, organization, and mission of this unit that was put together to entertain troops. He mentions that they often performed their shows in dangerous areas near the front lines.
Sleeping though the Night
Alvin Gould recalls going to sleep one evening near the front lines. The next morning, he awoke to news that several Chinese soldiers had overrun the line the previous night and were captured. He also talks about playing in shows to many UN troops, including Turkish and British units.
Life Aboard a Destroyer Ship
Andrew Cleveland recalls what life was like on a destroyer ship. He remembers it being cramped though not as bad as a submarine. He recounts sleeping in a rack with only about eighteen inches between his bed and the next bed above and below him. He shares how everything one owned as a sailor was placed in a small cabinet on the ship deck. He recalls having a toothbrush and hair comb. He comments on how the food was a good mixture of meat and vegetables, sometimes even soup and sandwiches, and recollects being out at sea for six months at a time, with tankers coming regularly to refuel the ship.
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 M. Eggman
Tootsie Rolls on the Front Lines
Andrew M. Eggman talks about how code-words were devised by the American soldiers for confusing the Chinese enemy when having to call for supplies. He describes how the use of the term "tootsie roll" was misinterpreted as the actual candy, rather than as the code of a needed supply of weaponry. He explains how nice it is for veterans to receive tootsie rolls in remembrance of when they got them on the front during the Korean War.
Andrew V. “Buddy” Blair
A Typical Day in 6147
Andrew V. "Buddy" Blair describes the typical day of an airplane mechanic during the Korean War. He recounts waking up, going to chow, and then heading out to the fly line to see what planes had been assigned. He recalls the requirement that a mechanic fly with a pilot after the plane was serviced.
Life in Okinawa
Antone Jackim talks about daily life at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. He describes the food, his sleeping quarters, and his pay as a corporal in the Air Force.
Life as a Prisoner of War
Arden Rowley describes his experiences as a Prisoner of War . He explains how they marched 24 nights before arriving at the camp which became known as “Death Valley” or the “mining camp.” He shares their living conditions, losing many of his fellow soldiers, burial detail and the indoctrination they received daily.
Helping the Children
Aristofaris Androulakis discusses the tragedies of war. He shares how he tried to help children as much as he could. He explains how many struggled for food and would beg. He explains that helping the children is what makes him most proud.
Basic Training at Fort Polk
Avery Creef, after enlisting in the Army in January of 1951, went to boot camp in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He reflects on his experiences and what he learned. He spent twelve weeks there and recalls countless marching drills and learning to shoot different weapons. He then went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for more training. He landed in Incheon, South Korea, in June of 1952.
Living Conditions, Daily Routine
Avery Creef recalls never being able take a shower. He recounts never being dressed properly for the freezing winter weather. He slept in a bunker and ate C-rations. He shares how he enjoyed eating the pork and beans and adds that everything else tasted terrible. He remembers receiving packages from home periodically which would include better food options. He also remembers writing letters home.
Impressions of Korea
Ayhan Karabulut describes the despair of Korea when he landed in 1951. He describes a train from Incheon to Seoul where it was faster to walk. He also describes women and children begging soldiers for food. There were many orphaned children during this time that were also begging for food.
Life in Ascom City
Basilio MaCalino was stationed at Ascom City and he hated that there wasn't any fresh milk, eggs and hot water for his shower. When it was cold, he only showered once a week. Basilio MaCalino was able to sleep in an old building and was signed house boys to help around the base.
Ben Schrader Jr.
10 Days and a Much Needed Shower
Everything was provided for the soldiers, so pay was always sent back to the US. Combat fatigues were provided and showers were only provided every 10-12 days. Charcoal was provided for heat and since you had to carry your water for drinking, water was scarce. Ben recalled the trucks carrying large containers of hot water pulled up and they had installed pipes that sprayed hot water to produce a "shower" effect for the men as they stood under in 20-degree weather.
We Suffered Together
Ben Schrader remembered before going up on the hill, they would stop over at the kitchen and pick up whole raw onions and potatoes. He remembered while cooking the C-Ration that contained some form of meat, they would eat the whole onion raw and potato uncooked to add flavor. Koreans would have double rations so that they could share with the American military and the meals consisted of rice with fish.
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.
No Windows Anywhere
Bernard Brownstein describes the condition of Seoul during the war. He explains what the food markets looked like at the side of the street. In addition, he explains the bullet holes and blown out windows of the capital's buildings.
Bernard Clark had to live in trenches near and on the front lines because there were not any shelters of any kind. The trenches were six feet deep and a fire could be made during the winter to stay warm. C-Rations were eaten most of the war, and they included beans and tea. He recalls taking over for the Greeks at "Kowang San/Little Gibraltar" area near Hill 355, and he remembers finding many dead bodies left in the trenches.
Life in the Iron Triangle
Bernard Dykes elaborates on what living conditions were like in the Iron Triangle. He often had to sleep inside a tank with four other soldiers. He also describes the food and the cold weather.
Bernard Lee Henderson
Carepackages from family members
Bernard Henderson shared that he would write letters to his parents requesting fruitcakes and breads. His mom would send care packages to the front lines. He said he was able to carry the food along with all of his military supplies (almost 88 lbs of ammo) on A-frames that were designed to carry the amount of bullets and supplies.
What Adjective Would You Chose to Describe Korea during the war?
Bernard Smith described Korea as if the conditions and people during the war went "back in time." He said he could equate what he saw to living the harsh life in rural America where people had next to nothing, but were still happy. He described children would pull empty Hershey boxes with a string as if it was a toy truck and were so content.
The Plight of the Korean People
Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.
When Bill Scott arrived in Seoul, they were given 4-5 days worth of rations. After seeing the starving children with or without parents, the soldiers fed the babies with their own food rather than watch them starve. Soldiers knew they had to take care of the kids and they were proud to have done it for them.
Living Conditions & Relaxation
Billy Holbrook speaks about the living conditions on his boat. He shares how he read during his spare time. He recalls having good food, a warm place to sleep, and daily showers. He recounts how they would watch movies inside the ship. He thinks he was making somewhere between $30-$75/month. He adds they were, at times, allowed to go ashore and tour around the cities.
Billy J. Scott
The Rubble of Seoul
Billy Scott describes civilian men, women, and children starving in the destruction of Seoul. He shares that he and other American soldiers had never seen anything like it. He recounts gathering c-rations along with other fellow troops and tossing them to those in need.
The Friendship of Two Strangers
Billy Scott describes his friendship with a KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) named Pyon during his time in Korea. He recounts the opportunity Pyon was given to pay a visit to his family he had not seen in roughly a year's time. He shares that American soldiers gathered food, clothing, blankets, and money and gifted them to Pyon to secure his family's safety. He adds that he will never forget him.
Life on Hospital Ship
Bjarne Christensen explains how he had luxuries onboard the Jutlandia. He describes a small but comfortable space. He explains that in his short time in the war that his life on the ship was pleasant.
Food Quality and Fortune in Korea
Bob Couch recalls the food provided to soldiers while in Korea. He shares that while it was not elaborate, it was still nourishment. He recounts there being no refrigeration and shares that products were canned and then boiled. He recalls being fortunate compared to other soldiers in Korea and even to those who served in WWII as he had a food line available and never went hungry.
Bob Mitchell describes the food in combat and what the soldiers craved. He also speaks about the poverty and how soldiers set up orphanages for the children.
Running a Petroleum Pipeline
In this clip Brian Kanof explains his role in leading a specialist group in the running of the oil pipeline that was built, maintained, and manned by the US Army. The South-to-North pipeline helped supply petroleum to Seoul. Not only does he describe his role in operations, but also his battalion's interactions with the local South Korean people through cooking a meal to rival the spiciness of local cuisine.
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.
Bryan J. Johnson
Bryan Johnson describes life aboard the HMNZS and working 90 hours a week. He describes one incident of detaining a father and son from South Korea who were "smuggling" rice to North Korea. The ship and crew were to hold the father and son until the South Koreans could come and "take them out to sea," assuring death.
Navy Food and Entertainment
Burt Cazden describes the food provided during his service in the Navy. He recounts a combination of foods from cans and one particular specialty, SOS. He mentions that there were few entertainment options but recalls watching movies on the ship deck via a makeshift screen hung from a gunner turret.
The Army taught me about Life
Because his unity constantly on the front lines, Calvin Karram explains that there was often no place to sleep even during the winter. Often they would sleep under trees or in foxholes and only sometimes were able to carry their sleeping bags with them. Despite this, he says he had no regrets about joining the army as it taught him a trade and about life.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen describes the living conditions he endured while serving. He remembers extremely cold temperatures and not being outfitted with proper winter gear. He recalls the K-Ration meals he ate and recounts a few meals he shared with locals.
Carl W. House
Surrounded at Jangjin: Last Line of Defense
Carl House arrived at Jangjin with his unit and was told no enemy forces were within a fifteen-mile radius. He recalls many soldiers began building fires, drinking coffee, and preparing sleeping bags. He shares that Chinese forces surrounded the U.S. soldiers in a horseshoe-shaped position around three in the morning, making it nearly impossible for them to escape. He remembers fighting for three days and running low on artillery after a failed airdrop landed in enemy territory. He recounts his captain ordering his unit to stand rear guard while fellow soldiers pulled out and recalls doing what he could to hold off the Chinese.
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.
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen
On Their Feet
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen describes how he feels he helped the Korean people get up on their feet after the war. He shares that his aid came through distributing clothing, food, and assistance where needed while he was there. He explains that he knew they were going through a difficult time and that they needed all the help soldiers and the government could give them.
Speaking Spanish with a Korean Boy
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen recounts a young Korean boy attempting to trade a weapon with him in exchange for a case of c-rations. He describes the boy speaking in Spanish to him rather than Korean as he had learned it from other Puerto Rican soldiers. He adds that he did not make the trade.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Cecil Snyder describes Seoul based on his visits there in late 1958 though 1959. He talks about the condition of the city, it's infrastructure, sanitation and people.
Food for Korean Orphanages
Cecil Snyder, a clerk stationed at Osan Air Base, talks about delivering food to nearby orphanages. He describes collecting and delivering unused food, oftentimes used to feed the orphanages' livestock such as pigs.
Cecil K. Walker
Conditions In and Around Seoul
Cecil Walker describes conditions in and around Seoul. He helped bring supplies from Incheon to Seoul and transport Australian forces from the Second Line of Defense. Cecil Walker also describes how Seoul was deserted, with the exception of "Street Kids." He describes how when people did return to Seoul, they used any scrap to build shelter.
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.
Cecil Phipps talks about the Chinese buildings he was housed in as a POW. He describes how these dwellings were built and what materials were used in their construction. He also describes in detail the heating system that was important for cold Asian winters.
"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.
Cecil Phipps was released from Chinese captivity on August 28, 1953 at Panmunjeom after 33 months as a POW. He describes the trip from Pak Tong camp (#3), taking several days by truck and train and spending a week in another POW camp, before finally reaching freedom at Panmunjeom.
First Days of Freedom
Cecil Phipps talks about his first hours and days after his release as a POW. He describes being deloused, talking to military intelligence and reporters, and eating his first meal. He goes on to talk about his journey back to the United States by ship.
Conditions of the Battle of Kunu-ri
Cevdet Sidal describes conditions at various battlefields. At the Battle of Kunu-ri the Turkish soldiers were surrounded. One Master Sergeant had to eat grass for three days. There was constant threat from machine gun fire. Also, the Chinese had aircraft support. Cevdet Sidal turned to praying due to fear of death. The conditions were so cold that water would freeze to your face.
Folly During Wartime: An Important Mission
Cevdet Sidal describes an important mission. The mission was to acquire Sul, a Korean Rice Wine from an Alcohol Factory. The Turkish troops drank at the factory. The troops had trouble returning to base. Taking over the Alcohol Factory meant they always had alcohol. Cedet Sidal also describes fishing by grenade. As a result, this provided fresh fish for the soldiers.
K-Rations and Where a Soldier Sleeps
Charles Bissett describes eating K-Rations while in Korea as there were no cooks for them. He recounts the K-Rations containing meat products and fruit. He recalls sleeping on the ground during the summer months.
Thoughts of an Airman: Get the Hell Out Of There!
Charles Buckley's initial thoughts when he reflects on his experience during the war was to "get the hell out of there." He remembers his contribution to the country by helping various people, specifically the orphaned children. Charles Buckley would order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and he would look forward to seeing the smiles on the children's faces. He also recalled the living conditions of all of the children and the civilians were able to obtain supplies they needed to rebuild their own country.
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 Comer describes the Korean civilians that he saw upon his arrival at Seoul. He explains that the city itself was destroyed. He describes the sad state of the people who had been frequently moved around due to war evacuations. He goes on to describe the children, many of whom had been orphaned by the war and would crowd around the passing trains as the troops would give them their c-rations to eat.
Charles Connally describes the dangers he faced and living conditions in Korea. He explains that mortar fire, snipers, and shrapnel were a constant concern but luckily many injuries were avoided except for two men: one was shot in the shoulder by a sniper and another was hit in the leg by a shard of shrapnel. He goes on to describe the miserable food options that led to his losing nearly forty pounds during his stay and sleeping in quonset huts.
Charles Crow Flies High
United States and Republic of Korea
Charles Crow Flies High talks about why the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea is a good thing for both countries. He believes that Kim Jung Un is influenced by his father, but there is a lot of camaraderie between US troops and Korean civilians. The Korean culture has spread around the United States, and he feels that this is a very positive interaction.
Charles Eugene Warriner
"You do crazy things"
Charles Eugene Warriner tells a story of how he took pest control into his own hands when faced with a rat problem in his mess hall. He shot the rat. He also describes how it helped not only the rat problem but to cure boredom as well.
Pumpkin Pie out of Strained Beans
Charles Eugene Warriner recalls a funny story when, as a cook, he came up with a clever way to use cans of strained beans. Strained beans was like baby food. He used them to create a pumpkin pie.
What were living conditions like in South Korea?
After a twenty-two day trip from Seattle, Washington, Charles Falugo recalls being relieved that they finally landed in Pusan, South Korea. He recalls the poor living conditions he witnessed--all Korean houses were made of clay, the people used oxen to help them transport water, and they picked roots for food. He also recalls South Korean children taking his unit's leftovers home to feed their families. He felt very lucky relative to the South Koreans he encountered and feels immense pride for the advancements South Korea has made today.
What did you experience driving through Korea?
Charles Falugo recalls the roads being so bad that their truck chassis would constantly break. Every time his division would stop to fix its trucks, they would encounter starving children begging for food. He would give his rations to the children. He recalls moving into Seoul and only seeing the blue capitol building and the railroad station. All embassies were blown up. There was one Shell Oil Company building that was guarded, located right next to his company's housing.
Rest and Relaxation
Charles Falugo recalls that when he was not on duty, he would hang out with the Korean people. Often he would give them supplies not being used by his unit. He recalls a good life in the Underwood house. He enjoyed all of the food that his Korean cooks would make and enjoyed saki with his friends.
The Biggest Apples and Frostbite
Charles Fowler describes how the North Koreans used human waste to fertilize their crops and recalls the apples being the biggest he had ever seen due to this fertilizing method. He recounts accidentally eating a cat once as well while trying to stave off hunger. He describes the cold winter and shares his encounter with frostbite. He details being flown to Incheon, put on a ship, and a doctor telling him he could go home if he signed to have his feet amputated.
Leaflets After Korean War
Charles Gaush talks about his job in psychological warfare after the armistice was signed. He describes making leaflets which were dropped in South Korea to give civilians suggestions to improve health and water quality.
Life in Japan at Camp Iomia
Charles Gaush talks about his time at Camp Iomia, Japan in the US Army's psychological warfare unit. He describes the building he was housed, living conditions, and how much he was paid.
Charles L. Chipley
Life Aboard the USS Rochester
Charles L. Chipley Jr. describes the food available aboard the USS Rochester. He shares that meat, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables were available among other foods. He adds that supply ships would replenish his ship's stock.
Charles L. Hallgren
An Overcrowded Voyage
Charles Hallgren describes his journey from basic training through deployment to Korea. He recalls boarding a troop ship containing six thousand soldiers though it was only supposed to carry two thousand. He describes the congested sleeping situation aboard ship as well as the limited food availability.
Captured by the Chinese
Charles Ross details the lead-up to his capture by the Chinese following the Battle of Unsan. He recalls searching for food and lodging in an abandoned house until meeting a Korean civilian. He recounts the generosity showed by the civilian prior to his capture. He provides an account of his experience as a POW.
Charles T. Gregg
Poverty in Korea
Charles Gregg talks about some of his experiences with Korean civilians in the mid-1960's. He describes seeing dead people beside the road, a Korean man killing and eating a dog, and how Koreans fertilized their fields.
"They Liked Us, We Liked Them"
Chuck Walther talks about working with and being around native Koreans during his time serving in Korea after the armistice. He describes that they had a good relationship with each other. The only thing that was hard for him to adjust to was Korean food, particularly kimchi.
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.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
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.
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.
Camp 1: Sustenance
When Clarence Sperbeck arrived at his first POW Camp (Camp 1-Ch'ang Song), Chinese soldiers gave each man a wash cloth and a bar of soap, but then they were instructed to go to the polluted river at the camp to take a bath. Korean civilians (women and children) stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched the G.I.'s take a bath. Men were given little food and Clarence Sperbeck describes the pork they ate and how the Chinese would slaughter and drink the blood of the pig.
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.
Clarence Jerke talks about driving a supply truck while he was stationed in Seoul in 1952. He describes the city, civilians, and the difficulties that he faced when transporting supplies.
Helping the Hungry
Claude Charland describes the most vivid memory he has of his time in Korea. He shares the experience of a Korean family while on the front lines. He describes how he and his platoon led a Korean family down a hill to recuperate the food that the family had stored before the war.
Share the Wealth
Claude Charland describes how the troops would share with everyone any goods/letters that were sent as part of a care package. He describes it as a party. He speaks about the camaraderie this experience created. He says this helped everyone feel less lonely.
Clayton Burkholder slept in metal huts and buildings with a cafeteria to eat. Since he was in headquarter staff, he was in that office most of the day. Clayton Burkholder made charts as an illustrator technician. He proudly shared pictures that he took while in Korea.
Some pilots that were stationed in Suwon with Clayton Burkhodler later became well-known such as John Glenn and Captain McConnell.
Living Conditions as a POW
Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.
Clifford Petrey further details his POW experience. He recalls there being little firewood and comments on the close sleeping arrangements. He shares that lice was an issue and how he and other soldiers picked lice off of each other. He details food portions and content and speaks of rampant dysentery.
Living Conditions Near the Front Lines
Clifford Townsend recounts spending thirteen months on the front lines near the Imjingang River and the Iron Triangle. He describes the sleeping conditions, stating that he and other soldiers slept in tents during the summer and bunkers during the winter. He recalls eating in shifts and comments on the food offered.
Clyde D. McKenrick
A New Mess Sergeant
Clyde McKenrick talks about his duties as a personnel clerk in Korea. He was responsible for assigning new personnel to appropriate units. He tells the story of assigning a corporal to the duties of mess sergeant and the fortuitous results that happened.
"Up to the Hill"
Clyde Fruth describes the daily routine of an Army forward observer. He spent most of his time on the lookout, observing through binoculars at the enemy. He details the type of technology he used as well. He couldn't look too high because he didn't want to be hit by a sniper. He also describes his living conditions.
Snow and Supplies
Clyde Fruth talks about the most difficult times he had in Korea. He describes deep snows forcing traveling by foot to his mountain forward observer post. In this predicament, they had to carry all their food, supplies, water, and weapons that were heavy to carry in the cold.
Colin C. Carley
Sneaking into the Military
Colin Carley shares how he was so proud and eager to volunteer for the New Zealand Army at the age of seventeen, but he never realized the conditions that he would have to face. Since it was so cold, he remembers that his drinks froze the first night in Korea in 1950. As a soldier who snuck into the military, he shares how he did not mind any challenges because he knew he had to blend with the traditional soldiers who were the required age of twenty-one.
I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home
Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.
Colin J. Hallett
Conditions of the Ship
Colin Hallett describes the living conditions on the ship. Crewman could not leave things around and would have to pay to retrieve possessions left out. He explains that crewmen were limited, worked during the day during one of the four watches and slept in hammocks.
African Americans in the Korean War
African Americans that were in the military during the 1950s faced discrimination. Curtis Lewis noticed that African Americans were relegated to jobs such as navy motor pool, food service, supply, and general trade jobs. Unfortunately, African Americans were still subjected to institutionalized racism in America.
Food, Clothing, and Propaganda in POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney describes the food he was given as a POW in Camp #1. He talks about the clothing that he wore during his captivity. He also tells the story of a captured photographer whose photographs the North Koreans used to create propaganda materials.
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.
Dan McKinney talks about the 2-week journey back to the US by ship after he was released as a POW. He describes being interrogated about his captivity. He also describes finally eating well, gaining 25 pounds during the crossing.
Daniel Carvalho shares details of the living conditions he faced while in Korea. He describes the little food he had. He shares how the cold was new for him. He shares the lack of water for hygiene purposes.
Daniel Ed Fenton
Daniel Ed Fenton briefly describes his capture and experience as a POW during the Korean War. He touches upon his living conditions during that time. He shares that he was held captive for 2 years and 8 months.
Daniel J. Rickert
Life in the Winter of '51-'52
Daniel Rickert describes life during the winter of 1951-1952. He talks about his duties, frozen food, and "hot bunking." He also details other aspects of bunker life on the front lines.
Daily Life on the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about daily life on the USS Fletcher (DD-445). He describes the weapons systems and number of men on board. He also talks about food, living quarters, and the duty schedule.
Daryl J. Cole
Daryl J. Cole describes the living conditions he experienced while in Korea. He describes living in a basic canvas tent with a cot and sleeping bag and a small stove in the middle of the tent. He recalls always having a good, hot meal, being able to take a shower about once a week and the foot fungus he brought home after the war. He goes on to recount his correspondence back home with his father.
David Clark discusses the living conditions aboard the U.S.S. McCord while serving in the Navy. He explains the sleeping area. He explains the food and the cooks. He describes showering, entertainment, and letters on the ship.
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.
Impressions of the Korean People
David Nevarez describes his interactions and impressions of Korea. He expounds upon his appreciation of the food as well as the people. He draws comparisons between the Hispanic community and the South Korean people.
"Do I Get a Purple Heart for This?"
David Valley tells a story about why he does not like kimchi. He talks about retreating through a village and inadvertently falling in a kimchi pot and injuring his leg.
Working and Living Among ROK Soldiers
David White talks about working and living among ROK soldiers during his time serving as a Liaison officer to the 6th ROK Division. He describes the ROK soldiers as very disciplined. While he was there, he began to enjoy Korean food.
Food, Entertainment, and Money
In this clip, Delbert Tallman describes the food he had while in Korea. He also talks about going to a British run club during his time of service. He also shares how he sent money home.
Dennis E. Hultgren
Sandwiches in a War Torn City
Dennis E. Hultgren explains that a stop to transfer trains allowed him an hour or so to wander through a war-torn city. He describes a young boy who was watching him intently as he took a bite of his sandwich. Dennis Hultgren recounts that he offered the boy the rest of his sandwich, and with a deep bow, the boy accepted it and ran behind a building.
Doddy Green (Widow of Ray Green)
Letters from Korea and Digging the DMZ
Doddy Green, widow of veteran Ray Green, recalls a particular letter from her husband at the developing DMZ. She shares that her husband spoke of the quietened guns after the ceasefire. She explains that her husband described the digging of lines at the present-day DMZ and living on C-Rations.
Life on the USS Herbert J. Thomas
Don Leaser describes life aboard the USS Herbert J. Thomas. They slept on bunks and his favorite foods were eggs and cheese. His ship was the head of the fleet which had three ships. He was able to write letters home, but he said he didn't write enough and only wrote one letter to his girlfriend Geneva.
Big Muscles were Needed for Machine Gunners
Don McCarty's specialty during the Korean War was a heavy machine gun operator. The tripod was 54 pounds and the gun with water was 40 pounds. He left for Korea in March 1953 and landed in Inchoeon. Once he arrived in Seoul, it was devastated and there were children begging for candy and cigarettes.
Daily Life Behind the Front Lines
Donald Dufault talks about what daily life was like in camp behind the front lines near Pork Chop Hill, Korea during his service in the Korean War. He explains the layout of the Camp and what they received to eat. He shares why he thought they were lucky.
Working Alongside Korean Soldiers
Donald Dufault describes his experiences working alongside Korean (ROK) soldiers while stationed near Pork Chop Hill in Korea during the Korean War. He explains that this soldier was a liaison to the other soldiers. He has some fond memories of their relationship.
Donald H. Jones
Jones recounts that when he first arrived in Pusan, he was struck by seeing Koreans diving into the water to retrieve potatoes that the U.S. Army had thrown away.
Potatoes in the Sea
Donald Jones tells a story about his arrival by ship to Pusan and how Koreans dove into the sea to collect potatoes that the Army discarded.
Donald Loudner, of the Hunkpati Sioux Tribe, talks about discrimination that he faced as a native American in the US Army. He remembers an episode when he was asked to leave a cafe and how his commander responded.
Duties and Living Conditions
Donald Lynch recalls the patrols he went on along the Kansas Line, a line back from the frontlines. He details how he would help refill supplies and bring back any North Korean defectors they came across. He recalls there being a kitchen at the medical outfit and eating hot meals every day. He remembers showering opportunities varying based on his location and shares how, at one point, shampoo saved his life.
Donald Michael Walsh
The Food Was Pretty Good
Donald Walsh describes the food that he received as a soldier in a tank battalion.
Donald H. Schwoch talks about the poverty and destruction of Seoul that he saw in 1955. Throughout Seoul, desperate children begged for food among the destroyed buildings. Even in Uijeongbu, the civilian population lived in huts with dirt floors.
Red Cross Nurses and Generator Repair
Donald H. Schwoch arrived in Korea on January 6, 1955, wading ashore to the welcome of Red Cross nurses offering donuts. He changed his wet clothes aboard a railway car and traveled by train to a tent encampment where a Lieutenant McNair assigned him to generator repair. In one case, an officer from his unit needed a generator for the cook house so badly that he cannibalized a new ambulance for parts.
Donald Urich said Seoul was desolate 1954. Houses were in shambles and businesses were in bad shape. In the winter he remembers seeing kids without shoes or many clothes. He would have candy for the kids and remembers Seoul being very poor, but he said the people were cordial.
Life on the USS Wisconsin
Donald Westfall describes life on the USS Wisconsin.
Sexism and Racism in the Air Force
Dottie Harris recalls the first time she ate at the mess hall at Connally AFB. She explains that she was the only WAF stationed at Connally at that time and was reluctant to go to the mess hall by herself. She describes walking in and, with all eyes on her and the room silent, she sat at nearest table and hurriedly ate her meal. She explains how she had inadvertently sat at a table where African American Airmen were also seated and was harassed not only for being a female officer, but for sitting with African Americans.
Doyle W. Dykes
Working with the KATUSA
Doyle W. Dykes describes having to work with the KATUSA (South Korean soldiers) because there were not enough American soldiers to prepare and fire the ammunition. He led training with them due to his knowledge of the Korean language. He describes his relationship with them, enduring the experience of the Nakdong River Battle, as well as preparing and carrying ammunition along the Manchurian border.
The best breakfast!
Duane Baxter describes, with great memory and awe, the amazing Sunday morning breakfasts he got while stationed at Quantico.
Duties and Experiences out in the Field
Dwight Owen discusses leaving Wolmido and heading to North Korea, specifically Wonsan. He remembers crossing the Han River and being assigned to ridding the area of old dynamite due to leaking glycerin. He recounts running out of provisions, especially food, and living on rice for awhile from which he developed dysentery. He offers a description of the Wonsan he saw at the time.
Earl A. House
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.
First Impressions and Relying on the Americans
Edgar Green reflects on his first impressions of Korea. He recalls the stench of human waste as they drew nearer to the dock in Busan and remembers an American band and Korean choir there to welcome them. He shares that they were part of the very first British land forces to enter the Korean War and comments on having to rely on the Americans for food and transport for the first several days.
The Best Thanksgiving Ever
Edgar Tufts describes rotating to reserve after being on the front lines in eastern Korea after three months without a shower or change of clothes and solely eating c-rations, . He talks about getting cleaned up and enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving meal that "rivaled his grandmother's."
Company Beer Party
Edgar Tufts tells a story when his company held a beer party while in reserve, some soldiers using their air mattresses for rafts in a nearby creek.
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.
Eduardo Sanchez, Jr.
Black Bean Soup
Eduardo Sanchez is describing his interactions with soldiers from some of the 22 nations that participated in the Korean War. As a navy repairman, he repaired ships for other nations. He provides specific details about one occurrence with the Colombian Navy where they shared black beans, something that was a rarity in the United States at the time. When repairing ships, he shared food and really enjoyed getting to know other cultures.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
Edward Foley describes the living conditions while in Korea. He recalls the winters as "colder than blazes" but admits that he was lucky as he had warm clothes and a lot of downtime. He shares that it was hard for him to be away from home and that letters were sporadic.
Thanksgiving in Hungnam
Edward Hoth met Felix DelGiudice and Myron "Jack" Leissler at the mess hall on Thanksgiving. Their regiments joined together and Edward Hoth's rifle platoon supported the regiment by using machine gun support at Heungnam.
Christmas in Korean War and Iron Triangle
Edward Hoth was excited to receive two Christmas dinners, one from the Marines and the Navy including turkey, candy, and beer. After Christmas he fought in the Iron Triangle at Cheorwon and then he went to Wonsan, North Korea where he found many dead soldiers along the road.
Edward L. Kafka
Life as a Soldier in Korea War
Edward Kafka worked near a mess hall and the headquarter's battery since he ran radios. Therefore, he had access to a shower once a week and he was able to get clean clothes too.
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.
Edward T. Smith
Life in Camps
Edward T. Smith describes life in the camp. He said that most of the day focused on whatever work detail there was, often either wood or burial detail. He recalls how the Chinese tried to indoctrinate the prisoners and some believed it enough to move to China. He also remembers the cramped sleeping quarters and limited uniforms.
Edwin R. Hanson
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.
"Home by Christmas" Was Just a Rumor
After the Hamheung Evacuation, the US soldiers came down from the Chosin Reservoir and traveled to Masan to celebrate Christmas with the famous 'Home by Christmas' Dinner. This was when MacArthur gave a speech promising the men to be home before Christmas. Edwin Hanson said that this rumor was killed shortly after they got to Masan. "Chestee" was what Edwin Hason called MacArthur and he said that it was only a rumor because they wouldn't be going home. Edwin Hason didn't mind though; he was just excited to be aboard a ship and not in the Chosin Reservoir again.
Edwin S. Leak
Living Conditions on the 38th Parallel
Edwin S. Leak describes living conditions on the 38th Parallel in post-war Korea. He elaborates about sleeping quarters and food provided. In addition, he explains improvements being made to improve the devastation caused by the war.
Elbert H. Collins
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.
Preparation for Joining the Greek Army
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis didn't know anything about the Korean War when it began. He was a a civil servant that took care of the military horses. His specialty was to transfer food and ammunition on mules during the Korean War.
Destruction in Seoul
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis saw extreme hunger and destruction when he entered Seoul. It was so bad that he considered Korea to be 100 years before Greece in 1950. Korean children begged for food from UN troops as they exited restaurants and food tents.
Conditions in Korea
Elliott Landall describes the weather in Korea. The winters were extremely cold and summers extremely hot. He explains that men were well fed and living conditions had ten men to a tent.
Ellis Ezra Allen
Living Conditions in the Prison Camps
Ellis Ezra Allen describes the long march from the mining camp to Camp 5. He explains that many died of exposure due to the lack of sufficient winter clothing and recalls that within a six weeks period over one thousand men died. He discusses the treatment of POW's by the North Koreans and the Chinese as well as the propaganda campaigns.
Propaganda and POW Release
Ellis Ezra Allen describes the continued propaganda lectures with the Chinese and the living conditions in Camp 4. He remembers them as not being too terrible as they had wood floors and coal-heated stoves. He recounts his release and shares that he was picked up by a helicopter, taken to Inchon, put on a U-boat, and transported back to the States.
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki describes his life as a child while his country was occupied by Germans.
Impressions of Korea
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki describes what he saw in Korea as well as his impressions of the people. Additionally, what he saw reminded him of his youth in Crete under German occupation.
Eugene Buckley was trying to make it back to the front line after escaping from the ravine when he and O'Donnell got on the back of a family ox cart and spent most of the day traveling. Not having eaten in 4 or 5 days, Eugene Buckley broke into a large container of applesauce and ate the whole thing. He said it wasn't long after that when they were back in the same situation of extreme hungry again.
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.
Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving
Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.
Home, Food, and Weather
Eugene Dixon describes how he communicated with his family through letter writing during the Korean War. He details experiences in eating combat rations, and recalls the difficulty in accessing food in extreme cold weather conditions. He recounts the impact of low temperatures on the functioning of weapons and communications devices. He describes the precautions he took to prevent having frost-bite during the war.
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.
A Christmas Feast in POW Camp
Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about Christmas in a POW camp. He explains that this was the only time he had eaten meat during his 14 month captivity. This occurred during his captivity as a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp in North Korea.
Living Conditions in Mukden Prison
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes the difficult living conditions in Mukden Prison (Manchuria) during his seven month stay there as a Prisoner of War.
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.
Chinese Treatment of Prisoners
In this clip, Eugene Johnson details his treatment by the Chinese Army after he became a Prisoner of War (POW).
Medley of Korean War Topics
Fekede Belachew describes various topics about his Korean War experience. He discusses talking to wounded returning soldiers about their experience. He describes Korean people in sad shape. He also describes that the Americans supplied United Nations troops with food and clothing.
Service After Armistice
Fekede Belachew describes his service after the Korean War. He explains how the thought at the time was the Communists would break the truce. Fekede Belachew patrolled jungle where he frequently encountered Chinese at a distance. He also describes his fondness for injera, an Ethiopian dish, that he missed in Korea.
Felix DelGiudice and his peers recall how important Tootsie Rolls were to them during the war. They explained how they were able to warm them up inside the soldiers' coat since they would often freeze in the weather. The Tootsie Rolls were not only a treat, but they were used for other purposes as well.
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.
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.
Forrest D. Claussen
Sleeping Near Artillery Fire Zones
Forrest Claussen describes arriving in Korea and not having sleeping quarters established yet. He explains how his group was sent to sleep inside a makeshift tent with artillery rounds and recalls artillery fire throughout the night. He adds that his group was later moved to other sleeping quarters.
Francis John Ezzo
Korea Then and Now
Francis Ezzo describes walking through the countryside. He recalls seeing rice paddies and giving kids some food. He shares that even though he has never been back he is thankful that Koreans appreciate the sacrifices American soldiers made for their country.
Francisco Caicedo Montua
The Front and the Tyranny of the North - El Frente Militar y la Tiranía del Norte
Francisco Caicedo Montua discusses his first impressions of the front and the enemy. He spent seven months on the front lines of combat and over a year in the country. While most of his countrymen knew nothing of Korea prior to arriving, they were awestruck at the devastation in the nation and the lack of basic needs for the people. While he was aware that the Colombians would be fighting a communist and tyrannical regime, backed by China, they could not believe what the North was doing to the South. In seeing the hunger and tragedy in the nation, he further understood his role in the war.
Francisco Caicedo Montua comenta sobre las primeras impresiones del frente de la guerra y el enemigo. El pasó siete meses en el frente de combate y más de un año en el país. Aunque la mayoría de sus compatriotas no sabían nada sobre Corea antes de llegar, estaban asombrados por la devastación en la nación y la falta de necesidades básicas para la gente. Él sabía que los colombianos estarían luchando contra un régimen comunista y tiránico, respaldado por China, pero no podían creer lo que el Norte le estaba haciendo al Sur. Al ver el hambre y la tragedia en la nación, comprendió aún más porque Colombia se involucró en la guerra.
Life on the Carrier
Frank Bewley explains what it was like on the carrier while preparing for Korea. He remembers the items, including food and weapons that were loaded. He also explains how they had to travel with the wind for support, clean the windows, and run routine pre-flight checks.
Living Conditions on a Naval Ship
Frank Lewis describes what life was like on a ship in the Navy. He explains the sleeping arrangements and states that he enjoyed the food. He argues that it was a "new way of life" in which you had to get along with a lot of people in a small space.
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.
The Hell of Living in Trenches
Frank Zielinski was stationed at Old Baldy when the Armistice went into effect. He remembers the danger of living in cold trenches filled with water. The enemy would attack at night, so soldiers stayed awake to guard their positions. With no hot food available, C-rations included pork and beans, cookies, cigarettes, and instant coffee. Soldiers would leave part of their rations for the children living in nearby villages.
Father of the Day
Frank Zielinski has taught his grandchildren and great grandchildren about his service in the Korean War. He is proud of his service in Korea, particularly his interaction with Korean youth during R and R (Rest and Recuperation). Soldiers would play Father of the Day, adopting up to ten boys at a time to ensure they received something to eat, if only for that day.
Franklin O. Gillreath
Daily Life in Camp Five
Franklin Gillreath explains what daily life was like inside of POW Camp Five. He describes the food mostly consisting of millet. He explains the wood and burial detail he was forced to conduct when fellow POWs died.
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.
Life in the Camp
Fred Barnett describes life at the camps. He describes the food, showers, etc, generally saying that life wasn't too bad and that the food was actually better than what he was getting at home. He says he had a good time in the camp, as he was away from the front lines.
Fred J. Ito
Life in the Army
Fred Ito describes his life while in the Army in Korea. He describes the meals he ate, his salary, and communication home with his parents. He particularly explained how his father received a Missing In Action report and his knee-wound.
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.
POW Release and Chinese Propaganda
Fred Liddell was released from Panmunjom on September 5, 1953 and then sent to Incheon by helicopter with other inured POWs. He remembered that one horse patrol North Korean soldier led the POWs toward their release at Tent City near Panmunjom. The first meal he received from the US when he was released was roast beaf, baked potatoes, and peas, but it tore up his stomach. Listening to the Chinese lectures was the worst part of being a POW because they spoke about a variety of topics, but Fred Liddell believed that anyone who attended school knew that it was all lies.
A Frames and Agriculture
Fredrick Still describes the way of life experienced by Koreans, specifically agricultural practices. He remembers the many huts lined up along the roads in areas he refers to as "slums." He explains that the Koreans would carry baskets of human waste to their rice paddies which were often irrigated by water from the mountains. Frederick Still also describes the A-frames that were used.
"There Was No Fanfare"
Fredrick Still states that there wasn’t any real fanfare upon his return to the United States. The only fanfare was near the Golden Gate Bridge because he was on the first shipload back. He remembers that they did get a really good meal, including steak, when they arrived home.
When Fredrick Still was first drafted, he met four men and they bonded quickly. He explains how they went through training together. While the group went their separate ways, they got back together after the war and made a tradition of meeting up. Fredrick Stlil is proud that they have remained friends for all of these years.
Gary Fletcher describes the layout of the USS Razorback, the submarine he was on during the Korean War. He remembers that while there was no Chaplain, they would still have a church service. He also explains crew consisted of a only few executive officers and then the rankings went down from there.
American G.I.s and the KATUSA
Gary Routh describes his interaction with the KATUSA stationed with the American G.I.s. He describes how the American forces would view Korean culture as strange, such as bathing each other or eating ramen while seated on the floor. He then describes how Koreans would view the Americans as strange, including the harsh language and loud nature of the U.S. soldiers.
Like Living in a Ghetto
Gary Routh describes what it was like to live in the barracks stationed in Korea. He explains that the conditions were rough and that the buildings were falling apart. He describes being able to hang out with soldiers who were friends at a moment's notice but that the majority of the experience was similar to living in a ghetto.
A Pile of Rubble
Gene Jordan describes what it was like when he landed in Incheon. He describes the horrific scene and the utter despair of Korean children. He describes the shock he experienced from the damage and civilians begging for food.
Delousing the POWs
Gene Peeples describes being sent to Freedom Village as the war was coming to an end. His job as a medic included handling the POWs who were coming in from the Chinese camps. He explains the clothing of the POWs, their vomiting from being fed ice cream, and the thickness of lice on the shower floors.
Living Conditions at Osan Air Base
Gene Welch describes the living conditions in Korea. He remembers staying in a metal hut with concrete floors. While there was fuel for heat, it would get extremely cold in the winter. He also explains what the showers and chow hall were like.
George A. Edwards
Life at Kimpo (K14)
George Edwards recounts the living conditions while stationed at Kimpo Air Force base. He remembers that there were now permanent buildings, but there was a chapel and a chow hall. He states that the chow hall was “primitive” and the food was often cold when you sat at the table, but everyone was happy to be doing their job.
First Impressions of Korea and Living Conditions
George Covel describes his first impressions of Korea as shocking and recounts significant devastation. He recalls his living conditions, stating that he was one of the fortunate ones to have lived in an old sergeant's quarters with cots, houseboys, and enough clothing. He mentions that an officer peddled their food on the black market which rendered poor food options for the bandsmen.
The War's Innocent Victims
Dr. George Drake discusses his research on Korean War information found in various archival locations. He explains the repercussions of war on society. He describes the problem with poverty left in Korea because of war, and his passion for getting more information out about his humanitarian concerns.
Working Hard to Stay Afloat During the Great Depression
It would be unfathomable for student in high school today to know how hard kids during the Depression had to work to earn money. George Geno said that most farmers couldn't pay you, but they wanted to give you food. He helped farmers, trapped musk rats, and raised calves. In 8-10 months, he sold the bull and that's the money he lived on and saved to buy his first car. George Geno was also given a nanny goat and a kid which he used to start his own goat farm while attending high school.
Stringing Popcorn on Christmas During the Depression
Because George Geno lived in the country, he avoided seeing a lot of the soup lines and problems in the cities, but the farms had a share of their own poverty. People would work in the field or paint your barn just to get food. They didn't have anything, but they didn't know any better. They would string popcorn to decorate the Christmas tree. To keep watermelon and their soda pop cool, families would put them in the draining ditch to act as a refrigerator. You couldn't buy tire outright, but you could buy the boots to use inside the tire. Toys weren't available, so they handmade everything including their bow and arrows for hunting pheasants, squirrel, and duck.
We Fished In the Basement Of Our House During the Depression
The house George Geno had growing up had a dirt basement and it would fill with water in the spring. His dad would take them to Reese's to buy nets and they would catch fish. Not many people can say that they went fishing in their own basement during the Great Depression!
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.
German Occupation of Crete
George Hahlioutis describes life as a child under German occupation. With the help of his translator, he shares how he was not allowed to attend school but was taught by a chief of Greek Army. He also shares the destruction he saw as a child during WWII.
Tears in My Eyes
George Hahlioutis describes how it felt to see Korea for the first time. He explains how he could see the destruction. He also shares the pain and suffering he saw of the locals as well as the hungry children.
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.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Helping Starving Civilians and Funding Orphanages
Germaye Tesfaye witnessed terrible destruction in Korea. Arriving in 1952, he encountered Koreans in dire circumstances. Many civilians lacked basic food. Rather than throwing away uneaten food as directed by fellow American soldiers, Ethiopian solders gave their leftovers to hungry Korean people. Further, many Ethiopian solders donated their salaries to fund the creation of orphanages for Korean children who had lost their parents in the conflict.
Christmas Joy on the Front Lines
After R and R in Japan, Gilbert Hauffels’ platoon ended up back at the front near Cheorwon toward the end of December. Christmas Day, helicopters delivered turkey dinners to soldiers on the front lines. For the Luxembourg troops, Christmas in Korea was filled with joy, as they were on the verge of going home. Turkey and anticipation of returning to Luxembourg brought a lovely ambience to Gilbert Hauffels’ Christmas experience.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
"Not the Worst"
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes his Korean War experience. Men lived in bunkers. There was no hot food. Men did not sleep, due to constant attacks. Mortar shells would shake the ground at all hours. Soldiers showered every ten days because the Americans made them. Girma Mola Endeshaw still describes his Korean experience as "not the worst."
Graham L. Hughes
Stress and Relief for the Radio Operators
Graham Hughes was a radio operator and worked in four-hour, two-man shifts. Radio operators had to find time to sleep, wash, and rest in four hours. This exhaustion caused him to get shingles. There was a constant, intense pressure for his military specialty throughout the Korean War. He even went fishing with hand grenades in the East Sea during the few hours that he had off.
Growing Up in Greece
Haralambos Theodorakis was born into a farming family with 5 brothers and 3 sisters on Crete, Greece. While attending only a few years of school, he was not taught about Korea. He didn't even know about Japan or China, so his schooling was very narrow based on his home country.
Korea at the Beginning of the War
Haralambos Theodorakis left for Korea in 1950 and came back in 1951. Everything was destroyed when he arrived and the people were very sweet people. Korean civilians didn't have a lot of clothes to wear or food to eat. If Haralambos Theodorakis had extra food, he gave it to the civilians and he saw a lot of Korean children running the streets during his 8 months there.
Living Conditions and the Front Lines
Harlan Nielsen explains the living conditions on the front lines and not wanting to talk about Korean War battles he witnessed from the front lines. He recalls that many soldiers were killed. He continues to say that he feels war is close again with the activity of North Korea.
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.
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.
Changes in Korea
Harold Huff discusses the differences seen in Korea before and after the war and compares the two Koreas today. He remembers hearing about the turmoil experienced in Korea prior to the war and recognizes the benefits Korea has amassed due to democracy. He talks about the hunger and sadness many North Koreans face in comparison to the fortunes of the South Koreans.
Food for Thought
Harry Castro shares how he ate on the ship. He explains that some days he didn't have lunch. He explains that for the most part he was fed.
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth walked at night for six weeks until he reached prisoner of war (POW) Camp Changsong in May 1951. Many of the British POWs escaped, but all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. After getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day, Harry Hawksworth became very sick. As the Chinese brainwashing continued, US and British POWs fought to survive every single day.
The Release of British POWs After Armistice
Harry Hawksworth knew that peace talks must have been starting while he was trying to survive in a Chinese POW camp called Camp Changsong because the Chinese began to feed the POWs larger rations of food each day. This would help to fatten up the ninety-five pound Harry Hawksworth who had been held there since May 1951. Once the armistice was signed in July 1953, Harry Hawksworth and the other POWs were brought to Panmunjom at the 38th parallel. This is where they crossed over the famous Freedom Bridge back into Allied hands.
This Was My Life
Hartwell Champagne describes his experience living in Chinese POW Camp 5. He shares his responsibility for gathering firewood for the camp. He also shares how he would gather water, which provided him much needed strength. He explains how this gave him a sense of purpose when many of the other prisoners of war experienced hopelessness and despair.
First Impressions of Korea
Henry MacGillicuddy talks about arriving in Korea and describing Seoul as flat because it was devastated. He said it looked like the farmers did just enough to stay alive.
Staying On The American Base
Henry MacGillicuddy talks about what it was like staying on the American base. His favorite food was turkey and he remembers ice cream being served at every lunch and dinner. He remembers many Korean children worked on the base cleaning and doing other jobs. He also wrote home frequently.
Henry River, Jr.
Korea in the 1950s
Henry River, Jr., recalls the living conditions of Koreans in the 1950s. He remembers life being tough for the Koreans and speaks about a nine-year-old Korean boy who did his clothes in exchange for bags of rice. Additionally, he recalls the human waste fertilizer smell in Incheon.
Henry River, Jr., talks about his wife and how much he was paid. He recounts what his living conditions were like. He recalls his division having a tent compound which included the officer's tent, mess tents, and squat tents for the soldiers.
Henry Winter describes what it was like to live on the front line on Heartbreak Ridge. He speaks about sleeping in trenches and army rations. He recounts taking showers once a week in the rear. Henry Winter also remembers the cold and the many cases of frostbite suffered by soldiers.
"Tattoos on the Earth" (Gore of War)
Herbert Neale describes the massive number of Chinese casualties during his time in Korea. He discusses how the fast pace of war left no time to properly dispose of dead bodies and the images of moving on that have stuck with him through the years. He recounts numerous bodies covering the roads and floating in the river that they would later draw water from to drink and relates a particular childhood memory to the gore of war.
Landing in Korea and First Impressions
Herbert Schreiner describes landing in Korea for the first time as a soldier and his impressions of the smell and scenery. He recalls being greeted with a stench from what he believed to be the honey buckets used to fertilize fields with human waste. He adds that the area was ravaged and war-torn. He also recounts the houseboy who cleaned soldiers' clothing and offers his impressions of the Korean people during wartime.
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.
Homer M. Garza
Food and Letters Home
Homer M. Garza describes the food he and his unit survived on during their first two weeks in Korea. He also talks about writing letters home.
Training ROK Officers and Korean Culture in the Late 1940s
Howard Ballard recalls training officers for the Republic of Korea (ROK) before the start of the Korean War. He remembers how the ROK hated the Japanese because they had taken everything of value back to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He recalls training the South Koreans to become officers, shoot Howitzers, and become leaders before the Korean War began (1948). He describes aspects of Korean culture, noting the attention to respect and the practice of purchasing wives through the use of pigs.
Bridge Construction Assignments
Howard Lee shares that once their equipment and materials arrived in Incheon, they were given construction assignments. He recalls being assigned to construct bridges at various points and on certain dates. He states that platoons were required to camp out in the area once the bridge was complete until they received another assignment and mission. He comments on food availability and his platoon's mail schedule while in Korea.
Howard Street recounts Pusan's terrible condition. He remembers everything being destroyed, even in Seoul. He recalls that he and other soldiers rode a train north for 2 plus days with little food and that people were throwing things at their train.
Howard Street shares that his most difficult obstacle in Korea was keeping clean. He recalls it being tough to find a shower and good food. He recounts having to sleep on the ground in tents, even in snow as high as six feet and temperatures below 40 degrees.
Howard W. Bradshaw
Howard Bradshaw's Love for Orphaned Koreans
Howard Bradshaw encountered many orphans during his time in Korea. He offered them candy and expressed his love for these kids.
Howard Bradshaw took pictures of these children while he was there during the Korean War.
a Soldier's Wife Remembers Life Without Her Loved One
Laverne Bradshaw, just like Howard Bradshaw, spent every night writing letters to each other. She described how she grew a vegetable garden to save money while her neighbors would shoot a deer to help feed Laverne Bradshaw's family. Howard Bradshaw wrote about how he would help to feed orphans while he was away in Korea.
Hussen Mohammed Omar
Money for an Orphanage
Hussen Mohammed Omar describes the condition of the people in Korea. People were in bad shape. He describes how the Ethiopian soldiers donated money to help build an orphanage. Once the orphanage was built, soldiers continued to donate money to keep it running.
Desperation of the South Koreans
Ibrahim Gulek describes the people of South Korea. South Korea was war-torn. The people were desperate. He describes South Koreans as having no clothes and constantly begging for food. The conditions were heartbreaking. Ibrahim Gulek and his fellow soldiers would give food and supplies to the people in need.
Rice and Beans
Iluminado Santiago explains that the U.S. Army provided rice and beans for the 65th Regiment. The food reminded him of traditional Puerto Rican food. His platoon slept in sleeping bags in tents wherever they went, despite the extreme cold. He clarifies that he served his country and that he felt lucky to be able to fight for democracy in Korea.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes being very happy to be in Korea. The people of Korea were so friendly and thankful for the help. The country was so beautiful with a sunrise over the mountains. With all the beauty, the people were suffering. Some children had no legs or arms. Inga-Britt Haglund also describes providing food to Korean children.
Party Until We All Get Home
Irwin Saltzman discusses the weekly parties after the Armistice was signed his outfit would have every Friday. He explains the ships home would leave on Monday so they would celebrate on Fridays for those who were returning to the United States. He shares the honor of his group and how it helped provide libations and steaks for these parties.
Life in Korea During the War
Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was constantly traveling during the war and had to sleep wherever he could find a spot to rest his head. Eating canned food rations was the norm. He recalls the extreme cold in Korea.
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez recalls his interaction with South Korean orphans during the war. He shares how he felt seeing the orphans and remembers wanting to help them. He speaks of how he and other soldiers would take the orphans to get food.
J. Robert Lunney
Loading the Human Cargo
J. Robert Lunney describes the process of loading of over 14,000 North Korean civilian refugees, mostly women, children. and the elderly, aboard the cargo ship SS Meredith Victory. Lunney also speaks about the conditions aboard the ship for the refugees.
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.
The Aftermath of the Death March
Jack Goodwin recalls his experience after surviving the Death March. He describes being housed in a school building as a POW until February 1951. He recounts frigid conditions as temperatures dipped to forty and fifty below zero and shares that roughly two hundred men either froze to death or died of malnutrition during that time frame. He describes there not being much to do during the day other than kill the lice that infested their bodies.
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.
First Impressions of Devastated Refugees
Jack Spahr expresses that he knew nothing about Korea until he entered the service. He shares that his first impressions of Korea were depressing as he saw many refugees searching for food and assistance. He recounts servicemen trying to help them as much as they could. He recalls several South Koreans working on the base with them and states that they were paid well compared to what they would get elsewhere at the time.
Jack Wolverton shares about living conditions, what they ate, and where they slept. He recalls putting up tents and taking them down every time they moved locations. He remembers the tents included fold out bunks and an oil heater. He recounts that his unit had a cook, providing them with regular meals. He recalls his salary and how he spent his money. He shares that he loved playing poker but also sent money home each month.
James “Jim” Valentine
I Was Only 17/18
James Valentine discusses being evacuated. He discusses that he thought he was leaving but was sent back to liberate Seoul the second time from North Korea. He explains how he didn't completely understand since he was just a teen and how it changed him. He shares his struggles post-war. His wife, Beth, adds a story about rations and being able to eat during the cold. She explains how he didn't speak of the war until being involved with the VFW in Washington.
James C. Delong
Life as a POW - Marching
James C. Delong describes the march to the POW camp. He explains that the men were given one frozen potato a day. He recalls trying to find the biggest one, knowing that would be all he would receive for the entire day. He describes climbing mountain after mountain for eighteen days to reach their destination that was sixty miles away. He explains that he never sat down along the way because if you sit down then you would free and die.
Softer Side of War
James Cochran offers a glimpse of the softer side of war. He recounts his living conditions in bunkers and recalls sleeping without heat from the bunker furnace at night despite the cold temperatures. He remembers being well fed and shares that he often wrote letters home during his service, detailing the weather and requesting items such as socks and camera film.
Conditions in Pusan
James Creswell describes his first impressions of Korea. He recounts the horrible living conditions civilians faced in Pusan. He shares that people were living in river beds, freezing to death due to lack of clothing, and had no food or money.
James H. Raynor
New Year's Eve at T-Bone Hill
James H. Raynor describes his News Year Eve at T-Bone Hill. He elaborates on the poor food rations, the extreme cold, and calling out to his "mommy" for strength. He describes a surprise attack that destroyed everything around him.
James Jolly recalls that while at the Chosin Reservoir, his platoon survived on Tootsie Roll candy. He explains that their C-rations were frozen and the only way they could thaw them was by holding them against their bodies, which was very unpleasant. He goes on to explain how the delivery of this candy was originally a mistake; they had ordered mortar shells which happened to be the code name for Tootsie Rolls, thus tons and tons of candy was delivered from Japan.
James Kenneth Hall
Life as a Prisoner of War
James Hall describes being captured in North Korea by the Chinese and being temporarily placed in a mine. He describes being forced to march all night because the Chinese did not have a place to put prisoners. He shares his testimony of being starved and sleep deprived while in the prisoner of war encampment. He recounts being placed in Compound 39 where prisoners were placed and left to die.
Dreaming of Bologna, Peanut Butter, and Peaches
James Hall describes how he was able to survive nearly starving to death in Camp 5, a Chinese prisoner of war camp. He discusses what he was fed while in the encampment. He recalls that when peace talks to bring about a ceasefire started, he noticed the prisoners were fed rice as a means for them to regain their strength.
James Hall tells the story of being released from POW Camp 5 on August 10, 1953. He recalls being placed on a barge and then a train on his journey south to cross the 38th Parallel. He shares his experience of acclimating back into the possession of the United States government authorities. He recalls having his first meal at Incheon after he was released as a POW.
James L. Stone
A Survival Miracle
James L. Stone says that it was a miracle he survived his wounds. He attributes his survival partially to being an officer, reasoning that the Chinese were eager for information. He shares that another soldier helped him stay alive and recalls being captured by the Chinese where he was carried up to Yalu River to a prison camp. He remembers receiving little medical treatment for his wounds but states that he was given some food and was treated a little better than others due to being an officer.
James L. Stone shares a few memories regarding his time in the POW camp with other soldiers from various countries. He recounts stealing corn in a North Korean field with a Turkish officer and being reprimanded. He recalls British officers being overly concerned with their handlebar mustaches and comments on their laziness. He admits that it was fairly easy to escape the POW camps; however, one realized the farther he was away from camp, the farther away he was from food.
James M. Cross
Impressions of Korea
James Cross discusses his first impressions of Korea. He remembers everything as small and ruined and recounts children being hungry as there was not enough food. He shares that he would give candy bars or whatever else he had to the children.
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
Poverty and a Friendship
James Argires how they went from Incheon to Seoul and then North. He explains the poverty he saw in detail. He remembers a little boy that would follow him for about a month.
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 Ronald Twentey
Living Conditions in Munson
Ron Twentey describes the compound where he was stationed near Munson, Korea. He explains that his monthly salary was not very much and most of what he received, he sent home to his wife. He recalls seldom being able to bathe and the men having to haul five gallon cans of water along a cliff back to the compound for bathing. He goes on to describe utilizing tin cans as a means for security along the fence line; if they heard a noise from the cans, they would shoot at them.
Cigarettes as Money
Ron Twentey describes the need that still existed among the Korean people during his time there.
He explains that though the war was over, the people were still terribly impoverished and begged for food. He describes the children begging for food and for cigarettes which they sold to make money. He explains that he has never smoked but he would pay for the cigarette rations so that he could use them as currency and for trade. He recalls paying for his clothes to be laundered with cigarettes.
James Tilford Jones
Cold and Hunger
James Jones describes his plight when the Chinese overran US forces at the Yalu River. He describes times when his unit went days without c-rations because their kitchen could not "find" them. He figured out that he could go into a rice paddy, shred rice with his bayonet and pop it over a fire to make popcorn.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
First Impressions of Korea
Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his first impressions after landing in Korea. He recounts the destruction, seeing few trees and buildings. He shares that it was hard to believe how poor the living conditions were for the Koreans as he witnessed malnourishment, naked children begging in the streets, and women working in the rice fields with their babies.
Jean Paul White
We Trained for It
Jean Paul White describes being a tactical soldier. He explained how he slept in the ground. He describes carrying only a one-day food, ammunition, and gear. He explains that conditions were hard for him and his fellow Marines endured after landing at Inchon, but that he had trained for it.
Fighting the Cold
Jean Paul White describes how difficult it was to maintain weapons in the cold in Korea in the winter of 1950. He explains the effects on food. He explains the extents to what people had to do to keep items in use. He shares an interesting story about the medical professionals struggle difficult conditions.
First Impression of Busan
Jeremiah Johnson recalls traveling to Korea aboard the General Black troopship and describes the experience. He recounts arriving in Pusan and seeing Korean men in boats he was unfamiliar with. He remembers men from his ship tossing down fruit to the Korean men in the boats and watching them put the fruit into boxes.
The Luxury of Food
Jesse Englehart describes a resourceful Master Sergeant. Unlike other units, this Master Sergeant would get food using a boat. He explains how they were even able to get a freezer allowing the Master Sergeant to supply his unit with good food on the front lines.
Jimmie A. Montoya
Farmers vs City Boys in a POW Camp
The soldiers who had once been farmers and ranchers back at home knew which vegetation to eat on that ground while many of the city boys lacked any of this knowledge. Georgia and Linda Montoya said that before the war, Jimmie Montoya would ride out to the ranch, shine shoes, work on the farm, or do whatever it takes to help make ends meet. Whatever amount he was paid during the war, he sent home to his mother and the kids.
Care Packages that Warmed Not Just Soldiers' Heart, But Also His Body
Joan Taylor was 21 years old when the Korean War was taking place. She lived with her parents while her first husband was away at war. Joan Taylor provided care packages for her husband that included warm clothes because winter military clothes were not provided yet.
Joe C. Tarver
Life at Sea
Joe C. Tarver explains that most of the men he was stationed with aboard the USS Boxer were part of a reserve squadron. The ship was almost nine hundred feet long, and had places to do laundry and take regular showers; it also had a post office and gas tanks. He explains that enemy fire never came while he was aboard the aircraft carrier because other ships were in the same area for protection.
Korea after the Armistice
Joe Henmuller describes what Korea was like when he arrived after the Armistice was signed and what he knows about South Korea today. He recalls how Korea was devastated by war and that Seoul had been destroyed. He explains that the destruction after the war makes the transformation Korea has gone through all the more amazing.
Ox Steps on a Field Mine-We have meat!
Joe Rosato did have C-Rations that he took advantage of for meals. As he was passing through villages, he was aware that the food was grown in human waste, but that didn't stop him from eating the cucumbers, watermelons, peppers, and beans. Joe Rasato saw an ox step on a field mine and blew itself apart, so the soldiers built a fire and made sauce with the chili peppers to go along with this fresh meat.
John A. Fiermonte
Traveling to Korea
John A. Fiermonte talks about his journey traveling to Korea via Japan. He explains the types of instruction they were given in Japan prior to arriving in Korea..
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.
Military College: Preparing For Military LIfe
John Bierman grew up during WWII and joined the Boy Scouts of America so that he could collect aluminum along with bacon fat. During the Great Depression, he would eat one piece of bread with warm milk poured over with as dinner. After graduating high school, he graduated with a pre-engineering degree at a military college in 1947.
Typical Day as a Pilot
John Blankenship remembers spending lots of time sleeping when he wasn't flying missions. He was provided food from Japan that was made my cooks in the Air Force and he was given one hot meal a day. The pilots often ate WWII C-Rations to supplement meals. An important mission that John Blankenship was part of included the bombing of Pyungyang and a town near the Yalu River.
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.
Korea 1953 - The Last Few Months of the War
John Boyd spent the last few months of the war looking for the Barrows Balloon which signified talks were taking place at Panmunjom between the Chinese, North Koreans, and the United Nations. He describes what he calls the “silliness” that started at Panmunjom. As the weather began to heat up while they were waiting, valley fires increased, and things became dangerous.
John Burton Forse
Traveling to Inchon by Ship
John Burton Forse describes the journey from the east coast of Korea to Inchon on a tank landing ship (LST). It was much better than the conditions he had prior. They had access to better food, showers, etc. While at sea on the ship, he experienced a bad storm and one of the tanks became loose on the ship.
Sleeping and Eating Conditions for US Troops
John Cantrall described how fortunate we was to experience the living conditions that he was assigned, but the food was never something that he could report that he enjoyed. He also reported that the housing arrangements for the American and Korean soldiers were quite different. He expressed concern that it was an unfair situation.
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.
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.
John Hilgert describes the events that led to his capture by the Chinese Army. He explains that after the Spring Offensive, he and two other men were cut off and alone. He recalls how they were found by the Chinese and taken prisoner. He shares that of the seven thousand men taken prisoner, only a little over three thousand survived to be released, partially due to the poor quality of food the Chinese provided.
Expertise as a Pioneer
John Juby had a variety of jobs while serving in the Pioneer detachment, including purifying water for the troops and fulfilling patrol duties. He recalls having to take a course on how to test and treat water. He explains that living in dugouts and trenches during warfare calls for the need for expertise on clean drinking water.
John L. Johnsrud
John L. Johnsrud shifted from the Intelligence and Reconnaissance group to Special Services with the help of a friend from boot camp. He was supposed to take care of movie stars, but none came, so he was in charge of transporting food and beer rations for the US soldiers.
Growing Up in a Korean Orphanage
John Munro shares that he did not experience any dangerous moments while patrolling the DMZ in early 1954. He recounts how, as part of 1 Battalion, he went to Seoul to spend the day at an orphanage. He recalls his time spent at the orphanage and how he was given six children to eat with and play with throughout the afternoon.
Hiring locals to get out of KP duty
John Naastad describes what KP duty is and why this work was often done by Korean locals. He discusses military pay and how soldiers had the resources to hire locals for daily kitchen service.
Then and Now
John Naalstad describes the state of Korea during this time. He recounts a local Sunday school service he attended and the rough state of the church. Later, he contrasts that image with his pride in what Korea has become today.
John O. Every
From the Mediterranean to Korea
John O. Every describes the journey to Korea from his location of deployment in the Mediterranean. He explains having to go through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, en route to Korea, for the amphibious landing at Inchon in 1950. He discusses other battles, as well as what he had to eat for Thanksgiving that year.
John P. Downing
Life as a Soldier on Hill 355
John P. Downing explained that life as a soldier was cold, wet, and hungry. He had limited rations and many of his friends died during his time participating in the Korean War for 13 months. Hill 355 was a hill that overlooked the 38th parallel and it was constantly under attack by the enemy. Artillery and mortars were incoming while John was protecting the hill.
Work as a British Radar Plotter
John Pound was trained as a radar plotter in the operations room. The ship operated in a constant state of darkness to avoid enemy detection. From the operations room, John Pound would search the sea for enemy boats with the occasional star shell burst breaking the silence to help illuminate the water to identify ships in the surrounding water. Often, he would spot small fishing ships.
Navy Noon Rum Ration
John Pound describes the daily rum ration to all sailors. This tradition was used as a form of currency on the ship and higher ranking sailors received the rum straight while the lower-ranking sailors had their's diluted by water. He discusses his first time to receive the ration and his night sleeping it off in his hammock.
Sending and Receiving "Projjies"
John Pound's ship the HMS Charity would fire shells, or "projjies" short for projectiles, towards trains that traveled near the North Korean coastline. He remembers one Easter when North Korean gunners fired back from positions hidden in caves. He also describes assisting in spotting pilots who missed their landings on aircraft carriers.
Christmas in Korea
John Pritchard spent Christmas off for 24 hours due to his commander speaking up for his men. To show that he cared for the commander, John Pritchard and a few lads went to Seoul to buy a Christmas present for him, 400 cigarettes, and this made him cry.
R&R in Tokyo
John Pritchard took a 5-day R&R in Tokyo which was his first 5 days off after an entire year in Korea. Armed with a lot of cash, he and his mates were ready for a break. From the food to the stiff bedsheets, readjusting to normal life and conditions was odd for the men.
Life at Osan Airbase in 1954-55
John Rolston shares his fourteen-month experience at the Osan Airbase. He shares information about the F-86 planes there and the number of pilots that would be there. He states the weather was so cold that the fuel would freeze in the planes. He shares information about food during this time and missing his family. He explains the stability at the DMZ during this time since both the North and South didn't want to restart the war.
John Sehejong Ha
The Luxury of Food
John Sehejong Ha describes obtaining food during wartime. He shares how he had the responsibility to get food and market. He explains that they could buy food but it wasn't much. He explains how eating more than once a day was a luxury. He shares how he is not sure how they managed but thankfully they were able to survive.
Working with Koreans
John Singhose recalls being reasonably warm in his sleeping bag when he had to sleep in a tent while in Korea. He describes interacting with Koreans in several capacities, and speaks of them with admiration. He shares that everyone he encountered, from their cook to construction workers, were industrious and honest workers.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
Combat Engineering and South Korea in 1957
John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes the duties of an Army Combat Engineer. He explains that although they are trained to handle explosives, the primary mission is bridge construction and demolition. He recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon his arrival in 1957, near Musan-ni, just below the DMZ. He describes observing the farming methods used by the people of South Korea, and having to carry out the duties of extending a run-way and building a wooden bridge across a river.
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.
What was war like? What did Korea look like?
John Tobia talks about being dropped off by a truck to meet his company line. He recalls seeing two helicopters swooping down, apparently transporting the dead and the wounded. Seeing that was his introduction to his company and to the war. He shares how it was a real eye-opener. He contrasts the Seoul he witnessed during and after the war. He also describes a Korean "honeypot".
Memories of Korean Friends from the War
John Tobia gets very emotional regarding a memory he had of a young boy his company encountered while clearing buildings. He shares that the boy lived with his company for about a month. He also recalls a young Korean interpreter that worked with his company who became as close to him as a brother would be. He recalls giving cigarettes to the interpreter so he could trade them for food for his family.
What was Korea like when you were there?
John Turner discusses what Korea looked like on his journey north towards the 38th parallel. He recalls the destruction he witnessed in Incheon, Seoul, and Panmunjeom. He recalls starving people begging for food. He would give them some of his rations, as would other soldiers. His unit went on patrol near the 38th parallel, walking along deep trenches, and spying on North Koreans at Outpost Kate, about five hundred feet beyond the front lines .
Everyday Life in Korea
John Turner talks about what it was like to sleep and eat in Korea. They slept in sleeping bags inside two-man tents and would receive one hot meal a week; other than that, they ate rations. He recalls the weather not being as cold as it was up north. They were occasionally allowed to shower. He recalls writing letters to his wife when he could.
Stationed at Panmunjeom
Johnney Lee recalls leaving technical school to join the United States 8th Army. He shares that he was stationed at Panmunjeom and offers an account of his duties while there. He describes his role as quartermaster and recounts sorting supplies.
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi
"I Didn't Know What Poverty Was"
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi describes the difficult living conditions for refugees in 1946 in Pusan. He describes the crowded nature as well as the difficulty in acquiring foods due to the lack of good roads and transportation.
Jose Ramon Chisica Torres
Impresiones de Corea y su gente - Impressions of Korea and Its People
José Ramón Chisica Torres discute la suma pobreza del pueblo Coreano en el último año de la guerra en Corea. El comenta que hacía mucho frio cuando llegaron, pero los soldados tenían todo lo que necesitaban. Después, el discute las medidas extremas tomadas por algunos Coreanos para encontrar comida y otras necesidades.
José Ramón Chisica Torres describes the extreme poverty the Korean people faced in the last year of the war. He explains that the soldiers were well taken care of even though the weather was bitterly cold. He goes on to describe the extreme measures taken by some Koreans in order to find food and other necessities.
Joseph C. Giordano
Typical Day for a Combat Engineer
Joseph Giordano describes a typical day a combat engineer in the US Army while in Korea. He speaks of waking up, eating breakfast, and then being assigned that day's duties. He recalls that they could range from clearing out trenches at the front lines to building an outhouse for a general several miles back behind the front lines. He includes that he dreamt of three things during his 18-month deployment to Korea and claims that hot and cold running water always reminds him of Korea.
Joseph De Palma
Creating The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
Joseph De Palma describes his experiences during the creation of the Demilitarized Zone and his interaction with the local Koreans who lived in the area along the 38th parallel. He describes the day a woman with two toddlers needed to be moved south to safety. He recalls that along the way she wanted to stop and build a fire and prepare a meal for her children but since that was not feasible, he gave her cans of food and she and the children sat on a rock and had a picnic.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Dunford shares how he participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which is known in Korea as the Jangjin Battle. He explains that there were so many Chinese there that he couldn't even count. He explains how he had to sleep on the ground without a sleeping bag since they were told to burn everything except a few C-Rations and weapons. He shares how the lack of food, proper shelter, and other necessities made survival difficult.
Joseph F. Gibson
Working with Korean Civilians
Joseph F. Gibson shares how he worked daily with Korean civilians who helped take care of the wounded soldiers. He shares how he was often invited into the village to eat within the homes of civilians. He explains that he built a relationship with South Koreans. He shares how he learned some bad words in Korean.
Joseph F. Hanlon
Thanksgiving with the Vice President
Joseph F. Harlon talks about a would-be visit by Vice President Alben Barkley on Thanksgiving Day 1951. He describes building facilities and readying for the visit that never happened.
I Forgot My Weapon
Joseph F. Harlon tells a humorous story about forgetting his rifle and his ammunition while on the front line.
Joseph Lawrence Annello
Cross Cultural Training
Joseph Annello describes training Korean civilians to fight in the Korean War. He explains that they were unable to communicate well with either side not speaking the other's language, so they identified soldiers by the numbers written on their hats. He also discusses Korean soldiers getting sick from the American diet that was served to them.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Joseph Lewis Grappo explains how he participated in the Inchon Landing as a sixteen-year-old. He shares how he had little fear since he didn't know what to expect. He explains that since he was a part of the heavy mortar company, he created a defensive line behind the US Marines in order to recapture Seoul from the east side. He explains that he then went to Busan awaiting orders for the next invasion but there was a delay. He describes how he then traveled to Hamheung. He shares a memory from Hamheung where he witnessed money coming from a looted North Korean bank so he took some and bought apples from the locals.
Joseph Lissberger describes his journey home by ship from Korea. He talks about the bad conditions, an ensuing mutiny, and the aftermath of the voyage. Eventually, he made it home and was sent to Fort Knox.
Joseph M. Picanzi
Food on the Front Lines
Joseph Picanzi describes what soldiers ate on the front lines. He talks about eating two hot meals a day, served from the mess tent. The third meal, usually lunch, consisted of C-rations.
Joseph P. Ferris
Spam, Spam, and more Spam
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris describes a situation at Kimpo Air Base during a time when water and food were in short supply.
Orphanage at Yeongdeungpo
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris shares his thoughts about the performance of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and shares a treasured memory he has of the children from an orphanage.
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
Life on the Front Lines
Julien De Backer describes the living conditions on the front lines. He explains that they would either sleep in bunkers or tents. Showering was a special occasion and done in a line where the troops would receive new clothing. According to Julien De Backer, the food was “rather ok” as long as they were not on alert.
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez
The Poverty of Korea and Puerto Rico
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez recounts sad memories of Pusan when he arrived. He remembers seeing hunger in the war torn areas of Korea. He compares the poverty to that he had witnessed in Puerto Rico and emphasizes that war is a terrible thing. He adds that Korea has changed immensely since then, becoming a major world power.
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez shares that seeing the children in Korea experiencing poverty made him more family oriented. He recounts a touching story about a boy he befriended in South Korea. He shares that he offered food to the boy, receiving hugs in return.
No Major Danger
Keith Gunn details life in Korea regarding his living conditions and everyday matters. He recounts showering roughly once a week, eating both rations and cooked meals. He adds that he encountered no major danger or difficulties while serving in Korea compared to troops on the front lines.
Keith H. Fannon
Keith H. Fannon describes the food that was given to U.S. Servicemen when he was in Korea and his love of Korean food today
Difficult and Happy Memories
Keith H. Fannon talks about his experiences trying to help orphaned children. He talks about seeing dead orphans. Keith H. Fannon shares how helping an orphan family brought joy to him.
Military Duty and Patrols on the DMZ
Ken Thamert was stationed on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along with the Chorwon and Kumwha areas. During his patrols, he could easily see the North Korean soldiers guarding the border too. The North Koreans were even patrolling in the areas were also patrolled by American troops.
Prior Knowledge of Korea Before Entering the Korean War
Ken Thamert was given a book about Korea from the United States military once he enlisted since they assumed that's where most of the soldiers would be headed after bootcamp. The book included Korean culture and the games that Korean children played. Ken Thamert still has the book about Korea along with many pictures that he took while stationed in Korea.
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.
Soldiers Insane with Thirst
Kenneth Borchers was at an outpost on a very hot day in August, when one of the younger soldiers had not filled his canteen up with water like he was instructed. Later, he saw the same soldier come running back down the hill to get on his hands and knees so he could drink water from the rice fields. This act would make him very sick, so his leader put a gun to the soldier's shoulder and told him that if he drank it, he'd shoot him right there.
Kenneth D. Cox
Rewarding Experiences with Children
Kenneth Cox recalls one of the most rewarding times during his service. He recounts offering food to child laborers and remembers a musical experience. He shares that the children would sing songs learned from missionaries while working, and he states that he would join in with them for particular songs he knew.
Kenneth David Allen
A Very Thankful People
Kenneth Allen describes his interactions with the Korean people, stating that they did what they could for them. He remembers a house boy they had at their tent and how they would give him clothes and food from the mess hall. He states that overall the Korean people were a really thankful people.
Living in Tight Spaces
Kenneth Dillard describes his job monitoring powder for making gun shells. He recalls that the sleeping quarters were small, leaving little room between the bunk levels. He explains that eating aboard ship was difficult because of the constant moving on water.
Kenneth E. Moorhead
Kenneth E. Moorhead describes his living conditions while serving in Korea. He discusses some of his most difficult experiences with the freezing weather as well as food rations and mailing letters home. He recalls the weather at night would often be twenty degrees below freezing and though he was from New England, he still found the winter to be difficult. He goes on to describe eating c-rations mostly but upon occasion receiving b-rations which were more substantial.
Kenneth F. Dawson
Kenneth F. Dawson describes his experiences delivering supplies to the front lines. No one wanted to accompany him due to the danger. One cold night in the middle of a battle, he drove with his lights off to the front lines to deliver food and cigarettes to the soldiers. Flares lit his way to the top of the hill.
Kenneth J. Winters
Reflections about the Korean People
Kenneth Winters describes the Korean people he encountered during his deployment to Camp Casey in 1967-1968. He remarks about the friendliness and industriousness of the people in nearby Tongduchan Village. He also mentions his interactions with Korean children and how they reacted to American soldiers.
Kenneth S. Shankland
Retrofitted Ships and Bombed-Out Cities
Kenneth Shankland recalls how his ship, The HMNZS Royalist, had been modified for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. He shares how the ship sailed all over the Pacific Ocean, eventually landing in Incheon and Pusan in 1957 to enforce the peace. He recounts how Korean civilians were living in terrible conditions among piles of rubble. He remembers naked and hungry children begging for food.
You've Got the job!
Kenneth M. Swanson describes how he obtained the job of working in the mess hall upon arrival in Korea. He explains how his eduction and prior experiences in Minnesota gave him an advantage. He goes on to elaborate on how important it was to make a variety of bread to accompany the meals.
L. Timothy Whitmore
Strange Assignments in Post War Korea
L.T. Whitmore talks about some one of the jobs he was assigned (food inspection) after his arrival at K-2 Airbase (Daegu) in 1954.
Lacy Bethea Jr.
Food Rations and Ammunition Delivered Daily
Lacy Bethea helped distribute food and ammunition to soldiers who landed at Incheon after the initial landing in 1950. Company trucks came up with their platoon guides and then Lacy Bethea would pass out only enough rations for that day. The suppliers would always be one day ahead, so that each soldier has 2-days worth of food. Ammunition was also rationed out to each regiment of soldiers.
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.
Lakew Kidane Goshene
Korea in 1954
Lakew Kidane Goshene describes the conditions of the country upon his arrival. He describes how Korean women would scavenge for wood. He also explains how his unit would share their rations with civilians. He is amazed at how different the Korean people's lives are now from then.
A Prisoner's Winter
Lawrence Shadler describes spending the winter in a Chinese P.O.W. camp. He was given a "long-John," a piece of steamed bread. The flue from the stove tunneled under the building and created heat under the floor. The men had to move around or "you would burn your butt." The cold was so overbearing that birds wings froze in mid air.
First Impressions of Korea in 1997 and Korean Culture
Lawrence Dumpit was not a lot to go off base when he went to Camp Casey until he was given a one-week training about the Korean culture including the food, language, and civilians. The living conditions in Camp Casey were old WWII barracks because they were the oldest on the base and it was a lot better than the Koreans living in one room. He was paid 3,000 dollars a month.
Living Conditions in the Late Stages of the War
Lawrence Hafen describes the living conditions during his time on the front lines from April 1953 until the signing of the Armistice. He talks about daily life, where and when he slept, as well as what he ate during this time.
A soldier's life
This clip conveys the conditions that soldiers faced in the Korean War including cold weather, and dangerous situations with enemy snipers. Leland Wallis also describes his endearing interactions with South Koreans who helped out in the camps.
Leo Glover describes his interactions with foreign troops who assisted the South Korean forces during the war. He recalls time spent with Australian troops with whom they shared a base. He explains his distaste for the Australian food, particularly Bubble and Squeak. He recalls dressing in a flight suit and pretending to be an Airman in order to sneak into the Air Force cafeteria and eat their food.
A Happy Moment
Leo Ruffing describes one of his “happiest moments” as it relates to Korea. He shared about his work in orphanages with his mother’s friend. He remembers that this woman then made dolls with matching dresses for the girls.
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.
Typical Day of a Military Cook
Leon Steinkamp describes a typical day of duties as a military cook. He explains that he would get up in the morning at 4:30 a.m. in order to serve breakfast by 6 a.m. to 250 men. He reflects on their favorite foods while serving in the military, primarily having a fondness for baked ham.
Leonard R. Stanek
Welcome to Korea
Leonard Stanek describes arriving in Incheon Harbor in 1952. Incheon, secured by the US military, however, Leonard Stanek could still hear artillery being fired 30 miles away. Soon after arrival, he was sent to the front lines, due to his company having many losses, both death and wounded. Leonard Stanek also describes the food on the frontlines, C-Rations, and SPAM and Eggs with a cracker being his favorite meal.
LeRoy Johnson describes living conditions abroad a ship for several months at a time. He recalls feeling extreme seasickness for the first two months before adapting sufficiently. He goes on to describe how much he disliked the food; that much of it, eggs, potatoes, and milk, were powdered and that he frequently included money with his letters home requesting a care package with food that he enjoyed and shared with his buddies.
Daily Life in an Antiaircraft Operations Unit
Leslie Fuhrman describes the daily living conditions in the Antiaircraft Operations Unit that he commanded near Sosa, Korea.
Landing in Korea and Train to Pusan
Leslie Peate describes landing in Korea at Incheon and recalls the devastation he witnessed when he first arrived. He recounts sleeping on wooden planks aboard a train, describing the experience as something from an old "Wild West" movie. He remembers there being nothing for miles and being served American C-Rations at mealtime.
Payment for Service
Leslie Peate discusses the amount soldiers in the British Army were paid while serving in Korea. He shares that they were one of the lowest paid with only the Korean soldiers earning less than them. He recalls actually losing money due to being transferred from Hong Kong to Korea where it was deemed he no longer needed a living allowance. He comments on what script was used and the trading of products among soldiers.
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.
Traveling Through Korea in Cars without floors
Lester Griebenow describes traveling through Korea from Busan to Seoul in cars without floors. The soldiers stuffed their bags under their feet but the floors were open so that in case of attack, they could easily jump out of the automobile. They traveled this way for three days eating C and K rations.
Helicopters in Warfare
Lewis Ewing speaks about how helicopters were used for troop support and evacuating the wounded during the Korean War. He describes the Syskorsky helicopter and its uses during warfare. He recalls maintaining the helicopters, hauling ammunition, and how pilots would let him fly on occasion.
Christmas In Korea
Lloyd Pitman describes a Christmas day in Korea. The army gave him two beers and two cigars. He had spent three Christmases away from home and spent some time thinking about his family. The horrors of war returned as he soon found South Korean civilians executed by the North Koreans and Chinese as they retreated.
Civilians Digging In The Trash to Survive
As a naive young man who had never witnessed much beyond a small Midwestern town, Lloyd Thompson saw Korean civilians digging in the US soldiers' trash for scraps. The realization was knowing what the UN were fighting for. Lloyd Thompson recognized the hope to give Korean civilians a normal life again.
Louis J. Weber
Leaving the Rats Behind
Louis J. Weber describes being surrounded by rats while in his bunker eating. He explains how he continued his service with the US military as an Air Force reservist, Navy reservist, and Army soldier after the Korean War. He shares how he doesn't want to Korea due to the memories of friends that were lost.
Manuel A. Bustamente
Manuel Bustamante said that a little white baby was found in a Korean Orphanage. The baby was kept in the sickbay on the ship and it kept the moral high for months. Sailors all took turns caring for the baby. The doctor and his wife adopted the baby once he arrived in America. They named him Daniel Keenan and he went to many of the Korean War reunions in order to see his rescuers.
Marshall W. Ritchey
C-Rations and a P38
Marshall W. Ritchey describe what he had to eat while on the front lines. He described his C-Rations usually had scrambled (powedered) egg w/meat mixed in it, OD crackers, 4 cigarettes (Lucky Strikes or Chesterfields) and a horrible tasting candy Chuckles. He said you at whatever you had and felt luck to have it. He also recalls making ice cream using the cream provided and some sugar that you mixed with the snow. Stay away from the yellow snow he said (shared story about that too!)
Living Conditions, R&R, and sharing war stories
Martin Goge recalls having to face crude living conditions and food that was just as bad. He describes feeling great satisfaction with being able to pay his dues. He goes on to explain how his friendships made life bearable.
First Impressions of Korea
The train ride from Pusan to Seoul was incredible. Martin Rothenberg saw so much beauty on the trip, particularly with the rice crops. While the rice crops were in their stages of growing, the vistas of patterns within the fields was beautiful. Poverty was all around, especially at Seoraksan Peak where people were living in cardboard straw-thatched-roofed homes. The villages always smelled because the sewage laid in a trench that ran through the middle of the street.
We Didn't Know We Were Poor
Marvin Denton described how much candy, movies, and cigarettes cost, along with getting no time off from school no matter how much snow, how hot, or how much rain fell. He described the manager patting him on the head and telling him "Marvin you've done a good job so we are paying you $1.25 this week," and that's how they paid you. He remembered there was a cashier who earned $15 a week and he thought if he ever made that much, he'd be a millionaire. He was moved to a cashier but never made over $12.50 a week and it all went towards helping the family. Marvin Denton commented, "We didn't know we were poor; there was always food on the table."
Life in the POW Camp
Mathew Thomas discusses the living situation in the POW camp. He describes how they lived in wooden structures and canvas tents and remembers having heaters because it was very cold. He recalls eating goats, having good morale in the camp, and the bathrooms being outdoors. He shares he was able to mail letters home if he wanted.
Matthew D. Rennie
Witnessing Poverty and Devastation
Matthew Rennie vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed in Busan upon his arrival. He recalls the refugee camp there with hundreds of thousands of civilians living in cardboard boxes and children begging for food. He comments on their suffering during the cold winters as they possessed inadequate clothing and heating. He describes the countryside as he made his way up to Euijeongbu.
Maurice B. Pears
Life of a Korean War Soldier
Maurice Pears shares how he was on the front line for one month without a chance to shower or eat a hot meal and recalls dealing with a water shortage. He remembers how each soldier had his own foxhole where he endured snow and heat. He shares that the soldiers were able to travel up and down the Korean hills with the help of Korean civilians.
Journey to Korea
Maurice Morby describes about his journey from the United Kingdom to Korea on the HMT Orwell. He describes seeing dolphins, sailors singing on deck, and their brief stop in Singapore.
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.
Condition of Seoul
Mehmet Aksoy describes the condition of the people in Seoul. He describes the people as desperate. Moreover, people were constantly begging for food and supplies. For example, the people would constantly be saying "chab chab." The Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give food to people. Most everything was destroyed. Consequently, the buildings left standing were pock marked by bullets. The situation was desperate.
Devastation of Korea
Mehmet Çöpten describes the condition of Korea when he landed in Busan. The city was destroyed from war. People, specifically children were orphaned and starving. The Turkish troops were being supplied by the American forces and had more than enough food. They would secretly give food to the children and needy.
Condition of Busan
Mekonen Derseh describes the condition of Busan. People were starving and Ethiopians gave them leftovers. Ethiopians were supplied by the Americans and needed the supplies also. He tries to make a comparison between Ethiopia and South Korea. The main difference was Ethiopia was not going through war.
Children Crying in the Streets
Melese Tessema arrived in the first detachment on May 6 of 1951. The city was in ruins. Orphaned children cried in the streets. Poverty reigned. He returned five years ago and was surprised at the progress of modern Korea. Haile Selassie donated $400,000 dollars to Korea during the war. Now Melese Tessema notes that Korea’s and Ethiopia’s roles have reversed economically.
Impressions of Korea in the 1960s
Melvin Colberg recalls his impressions of Korea in the 1960s during his service, a perspective which centers on the years between the war-ravaged Korea of the 1950s and today's modern Korea. He recounts that infrastructure was still in the development stage as there were many dirt roads at the time and few factories present. No large farming equipment as water buffalo were mainly used in the agricultural setting along with a few rototillers here and there. Most people were still poor, living in one-room houses heated through the floor, and many civilians still wore traditional Korean clothing.
Melvin D. Lubbers
Melvin D. Lubbers discusses the living conditions he experienced while stationed in Korea. He shares how they were unable to shower after crawling around in the mud. He remembers having to use his helmet for lots of different things and that the food was not enjoyable.
Life Working in a Korean War Tank
Melvin Leffel explains that he enjoyed his service and the five men that he worked with in his tank. He describes having to sleep in a tent while in the field but often having to sleep inside the tank because they were always on the move. He goes on to explain that though he can't remember what he ate, he didn't complain about the food that was provided.
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.
Life as a Truck Driver in Chinchon
Merlin Mestad describes arriving in Inchon Harbor in October 1952. He explains that he was assigned to the 540th Trucking Company and drove trucks until the war was over. He describes hauling ammunition, fuel oil, troops, POWs, barbed wire, etc., day and night. He goes on to describe living in a province of Inchon called Chinchon in a tent with an oil burner and a wooden floor and experiencing cold winters.
House Boys and Sleeping Conditions
Everywhere Mike Corona's unit went, no matter how long they stayed, they had to dig a hole to sleep. He still remembers the two house boys the soldiers named "Pat" and "Mike." These boys cleaned and helped the soldiers with basic daily needs. In return for payment, US soldiers provided the boys with food and clothing.
Finally Some Rest
Michael Fryer describes rest and relaxation at Inchon and Tokyo. He recalls that the Red Cross ran a center which allowed for both men and women from the British Commonwealth of Nations. He describes the Kookaburra Club, a recreation center located near Tokyo, Japan. He talks about food, the duration of the stay, and what they did while off duty.
Lice and Rats
Michael Fryer talks about the cold weather that he experienced in Korea. He describes the living conditions, what he wore, and how how he slept during the bitterly cold months. He recalls his experiences in encountering lice and rats during his service in Korea.
Rest and Relaxation
Michael White speaks about being on leave from the duties of the front line. He speaks about being able to get a proper sleep.
Arriving in Korea
Mike Mogridge speaks about arriving in Korea in 1952. He talks about the food being served to the U.S Soldiers in Pusan (Busan)
Awarded for his Idea & Peeing in Whiskey Bottles
Monte Curry had developed a way to protect the communication cable and wiring that was internally damaged from the mortars on the front line, so when the word got back to a general, he decided to reward Monte Curry for his efforts. They brought a white truck (said it looked like a Red Cross truck) and unloaded reels of movies, a projector, and a generator to the front lines so the soldiers could watch John Wayne westerns. Monte Curry was considered a hero since it was such a special treat for the men and some soldiers would walk miles just to get the opportunity to watch the movies. They were told not to drink the whiskey on the front line since they found out people were peeing in the bottles and selling it making people sick. He said they thought it was people who may have gone down to the DMZ and picked up these bottles from the local stores.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
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.
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.
Neal C. Taylor
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."
Pain of Captivity
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the suffering in Busan. People were out of hope. Moreover, they had lost everything. Many children, four to six, were parentless. Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give candies, biscuits and chocolates. The Turkish soldiers even had a Korean houseboy. Importantly, they treated him like their own. For example, the houseboy was listed in official Turkish government correspondence. Likewise, the houseboy would complete errands for the Turkish soldiers. His name was Zeki or clever.
Helping the Children
Niconas Nanez says that he will always remember the kids. He never wants any other child to have to go through what they went through. He used to buy them food to assist them because he remembers suffering when he was a small child.
Noel G. Spence
Conditions for Korean Children
Noel G. Spence describes his duty driving trucks of waste. He recounts how desperate Korean children would come to the dump to find supplies. Seoul was captured and re-captured many times. People were in desperate conditions. The "lucky" Koreans had boxes for houses, clothing from soldiers and and scraps for food.
Norman Spencer Hale
Norman S. Hale speaks about the food his Chinese captors gave the prisoners. He also speaks about the "March" to POW Camp 5 that began in early December 1950 and ended in February 1951.
Life Aboard the U.S.S. Manchester
Orville Jones recalls life on the U.S.S. Manchester. He recalls sleeping in a bunk, eating hot meals everyday, and having the ability to shower each day if he wanted. He talks about how much money he made and what he could spend it on. He recalls being able to save some money by sending some of it home. He could also spend some of his money in Japan or Taiwan when on Rest and Relaxation.
Osman Yasar Eken
Osman Eken describes how the condition of the Korean people increased his fighting morale. The Korean people were hungry, wearing shabby clothes, and did not have a home. People were just wandering around begging for food. This condition made Osman Even even more determined as a fighter.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
Kids Taking Care of Kids
Patrick Hickey remembers all the little boys without parents. He recalls taking in a boy named Kim who was about seven years old to do little jobs around camp. He shares how he would cut off the legs of his trousers to give the orphans something to wear. He recalls how some children carried babies on their backs - kids caring for kids.
Paul E. Bombardier
First Impressions of Korea
Paul E. Bombardier describes his first impressions of Korea after getting off a ship in October 1952. The first thing he remembers was the smell of food cooking outside. He remembers the smoke in the air from the food.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Paul E. Bombardier describes his long journey North from Incheon to his unit, the aviation section of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion. He rode on a truck on dirt roads to get to his unit headquarters. He remembers having a rough first night with cold, hunger and unknown feelings.
Paul H. Nordstrom
Generations Behind in Korea
Paul H. Nordstrom shares his memories of Seoul and of the country he saw while serving in Korea. He recollects the living conditions and way of life as being generations behind the United States at the time. He shares that the United States was more mechanized in comparison to Korea then.
Braving the Cold as a Minnesotan
Paul H. Nordstrom details his living conditions while in Korea. He comments on meals, sleeping arrangements, and the climate. He shares that he was more accustomed to colder temperatures than others due to having grown up in similar conditions in Minnesota.
A Flourishing of Rats
Paul H. Norman shares a particular memory from his time on the mail route in Korea. He recounts driving at night and seeing numerous large rats. He adds that the Korean people were eating cats and dogs as a means of survival, leaving the rats to multiply due to fewer predators.
Pell E. Johnson
Protecting the Front Lines at Old Baldy
Pell E. Johnson understood the importance of protecting the battle lines at Old Baldy. It was difficult to drive the Chinese out of the area. He won't ever forget changing the troops out and celebrating Thanksgiving on a cold night.
Percy D. Mohr
We Never Saw a Bed!
Percy Mohr describes the worst parts of war. The cold weather made sleeping outside uncomfortable, and baths were rare. He also disliked the food.
Peter Joseph Doyle, Jr.
Peter Doyle explains that his parents regularly sent him packages including film for his camera and food which he shared. One time he received a chocolate cake with what he thought was green frosting but was actually mold. He recalls when they were on the frontline, the company clerk would have to move through artillery and mortar fire to get the mail to the men. Occasionally the mess Sergeant and crew would cook hot meals and send them up in thermos with the Korean laborers who would also have to brave the artillery and mortars and sometimes were killed.
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.
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.
Letters, Cookies and War
Phillip Olson tried his best to consume his time while he was not on the front lines working with large equipment. He wrote letters to his family about Korea. They in turn sent cookies and letters back to him while he was stationed there from 1952-1953.
Death All Around While Landing in Pusan
Phillip Olson could smell the port by Pusan even before he entered the bay. Dead soldiers were still floating near the shore while dead fish also added to the smell of decay. He was shocked at the beginning because it was not what he would imagine it would look like in Korea.
Ralph Burcham arrived in Busan in 1952. He felt that the scene was "heart wrenching" to see shoeless children running next to the trains in the hopes that U.S. soldiers would toss out food. Families were so poor and willing to do anything for food scraps.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
Ray D. Griffin
A Cook for the Army
Ray D. Griffin was trained to be a Cook and Baker after he finished basic training in 1960. He had to monitor the military rations and supervise the functioning of the military mess hall. He recalls having to be prepared to feed troops and other military personnel around the clock. Military trash was required to be guarded from hungry Korean orphans, but he was able to bring surplus milk to the orphanages.
Ray D. Griffin formed important bonds while in the military. He recalls that learning to make pizza while in Korea was a landmark moment for him. He gives credit to the military for causing him to be more mature and to develop more realistic perspectives of the world.
A Cook's Journey
Ray D. Griffin saw a lot of poverty when he was stationed in South Korea. Although the fighting was over, he found that it seemed life expectancy was not very long for the people due to severe poverty. He recalls multiple opportunities he turned down in the process of becoming a Military Cook and Baker. He describes the long journey he had to take to get to Korea.
Raymond H. Champeau
Life Aboard the HMCS Huron
Raymond H. Champeau details the job of working as a cook in a small kitchen for almost three hundred sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS Huron. He explains the sailor's preference to American rations over Australian rations when they ran aground in Sasebo, Japan. He recalls watching movies aboard ship, and sleeping in cramped hammock areas.
Raymond L. Fish
The Pusan Perimeter
Raymond L. Fish recounts his role as a medic at the Pusan Perimeter. He recalls having to keep up with inventory, which was sometimes a challenge when it came to dealing with soldiers who had alcoholic tendencies. He explains how casualties were treated for wounds at varying locations.
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.
Raymond L. Fish recalls the moment his ship approached land, and he saw the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge when he returned home in 1951. He remembers going right to the Army mess hall, and receiving fresh milk for the first time in three years. He explains having to serve additional time in active duty at Walter Reed Hospital, and how he later became a veterinarian.
Life in POW Camp #3
Raymond Unger describes the living conditions in Camp #3 during his time as a prisoner of war.
Reginald V. Rawls
A Strong Love for Korean Civilians
Reginald Rawls believes that the Korean War should be recognized and remembered.
That's why many people call this war, the "Forgotten War." Any extra food, he gave to the Korean civilians because most were starving. During the war, Reginald Rawls had many interactions with Korean civilians, one man was even his driver.
Richard A. Simpson
Richard Simpson describes the despair of the Korean people. He describes an incident of a woman trying to commit suicide by lying on train tracks and describes giving simple necessities such as a shirt to Korean people. Richard Simpson also describes the actions by troops.
Amenities aboard the USS Salem
Richard Botto and other sailors had a variety of accommodations on the USS Salem. They had AC/Heat on the ship. They also had a cobbler shop, cigarette store, movies every night, and a readied helicopter. There were 1400 men aboard the ship and they had a crane that lifted the higher ranking officers' boats into the water.
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.
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.
Chosin Reservoir Reflection
Richard Davis reflects on his experiences at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts the bitterly cold conditions and being outnumbered by the Chinese. He describes the sleeping bag situation, digging foxholes, and the food available.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Richard Davis describes the Thanksgiving meal offered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls airplanes dropping the food, it being cooked, collecting the food, and it being frozen by the time he could eat it. He recounts sitting on food to keep it warm. He mentions eating c-rations as well as vegetables from Korean civilian gardens which gave him and other soldiers worms due to being fertilized by human waste.
Remember the Death March North
Richard Donatelli remembers that in spite of the heavy artillery being used, it was no match for the Chinese near Kotori who would over run their unit, forcibly moving them with bayonets north.
He explains that they lost a lot of men on this "death march" due to the rough, cold conditions and lack of water and food. During a few times, Richard Donatelli wanted to give up, but he kept going.
POW Camp 5 Morning Ritual
Richard Dontelli says that they hard a hard time sleeping and medical care was not the best. The Chinese doctors would only give them pills. He remembers that if you didn't eat what they gave you, you died. Richard Dontelli tells the story of one time he was caught stealing wooden shingles off of one of the cabinets and he was punished.
Release from POW Camp
After the armistice agreement in July of '53, Richard Donatelli was released from Camp 5 (August 17, 1953). He explains how they moved the prisoners and started to treat them better. He recalls that after their arrival at Panmunjom, the former prisoners started taking off and tossing the prison uniforms over the edge of the truck in exchange for winter clothes. He was so thankful to see the bright colors and beautiful women when they arrived back in the states.
Poverty Affected All
Mr. Faron recalls how people were starving. He describes the poverty of the South Koreans. He hired children to help so they could have food. He shares an interaction with a young boy who was stealing food to survive.
Inspecting Kitchens on the Front Lines?
Richard Franklin talks about his duties as a mortar, mess, and supply officer during the later stage of his tour. Describing his duties, he recalls inspecting kitchens on the front lines, requesting doughnuts to be made, and traveling the Korean countryside.
"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 V. Gordon
Life on the Ship and in the Navy
Richard V. Gordon describes life aboard the HMS Tutira. He describes making his hammock and putting it up every morning and the food. He also describes the pay in the Navy and sending money home to his new wife. Richard V. Gordon also describes the waves on the ship, even in a frigate.
Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson
World War II Leftovers in the Korean War
Robert Johnson talks about eating World War II left-over cans of food during his time in the Korean War. He discussed rations and he described eating WW II leftovers. He remembers how soldiers would use cans as barter for goods and services from Koreans. He also discussed how he would trade a can of food for a haircut or laundry services.
Robert “Bob” W. Ezell
Survival In the Aid Tent
Bob Ezell describes surviving while wounded in the aid tent as his unit was cut off and surrounded for 5 days near the Toktong Pass
Robert Arend remembers the conditions in which the prisoners lived. He describes the prisoners as being well fed and cared for. The Red Cross would periodically conduct inspections to ensure decent conditions, including sports equipment to play with.
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.
Living conditions during the Battle at Pork Chop Hill
Robert Chisolm didn't get to shower until they came back to camp. He slept inside a bunker near his trenches with three other men in the company command post.
Robert D. Davidson
Feeding Hungry Civilians
Robert Davidson shares how sorry he felt for the Korean civilians while there. He speaks of how many had no food or proper clothing and of how GIs would give them candy or whatever they had to spare. He recalls an incident at the mess hall where GIs were collecting the food they were not eating to give to the Koreans. He recounts an angered lieutenant informing the mess sergeant that the GIs should be eating the food, not giving leftovers to civilians. He describes the mess sergeant standing his ground and stating that he was in charge of running his kitchen and would continue to do as he saw fit.
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.
Seasickness En Route to Korea
Robert Fitts details his journey to Korea aboard a ship. He experienced sea sickness and as did other servicemen on board. He recounts his arrival in Japan and narrates his transport from there to Korea and to his post in Korea via train.
Robert H. Pellow
You Ate Tootsie Rolls
Robert H. Pellow describes hunger during the Korean War. He describes how food would freeze and that the Marine Corps would survive on shipments of Tootsie Rolls. He explains that the last good meal he had was at Thanksgiving.
Surviving the Elements in a Tent
Robert Johnson describes his living conditions while in Korea. It was extremely cold during the winter as they lived in tents. He also recollects on the food. After winter, they had to prepare for the floods due to all the snow melting and the monsoon season beginning.
Robert M. Longden
Service Conditions, Cold, and Fear
Robert M. Longden constantly feared the Chinese and North Koreans would break the armistice while he was stationed near the DMZ. Winter was brutally cold. At one point, his hand stuck to a frozen chain while he worked with his truck. Soldiers had adequate winter gear and slept in military tents, but food was very basic.
Robert O. Gray
The Cake is a Lie
Robert Gray describes how people who are starving won't eat anything. He explains how some POWs who were starving to death would fixate on food items in their head. He discusses how he saw some people experience this in the POW camp.
Robert W. Hammelsmith
Prisoner of War
Robert Hammelsmith describes being taken prisoner by the Chinese. He recalls being taken to a mud hut and given rice that had not been cleaned of worms and gravel. He goes on to describe being relocated to Camp 5 and sleeping head to toe in a hut of eight men.
Journey to Freedom
Robert Hammelsmith recounts his release from Camp 5 in August of 1953 and his journey to Freedom City. He describes being transported by train to Panmunjeom and then on to Freedom City where he was fed what was supposed to be a nice meal but included mashed potatoes with sugar. He recalls several officers being present to receive the POW soldiers upon their release.
Robert W. Hill
Thought They'd Be Unified Now
Robert W. Hill describes that after all his experience in Korea, he was sure they would have unified by now. He explains that everything in the news when he was there seemed to be pointing towards unification, including a drought in North Korea and the loosening of culture in South Korea. He describes a factory supplied by South Korea where North Koreans can work as an example of the Koreas getting along.
The Happiest Times Within the Bunkers
Rodney Ramsey experienced a few pleasant times during the Korean War. He loved that he had a hot meal every day because a chow bunker was hidden behind the hill where he was dug-in, so a jeep would bring the men fresh food. Another great time was when he was brought off the front line and had a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
Roland Dean Brown
Food Scarcity and Living Conditions
Roland Brown recounts the food scarcity he and fellow soldiers experienced on the front lines. He recalls being surrounded by the Chinese and North Koreans, a situation that required an airdrop of provisions. He shares that he and fellow soldiers had to fight the enemy for the goods dropped, which included food and ammunition, as the Chinese and North Koreans had acquired U.S. weapons from American soldiers they had overrun and needed ammunition. He additionally comments on the living conditions, stating that they often slept on the ground and sometimes in foxholes or old bunkers.
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.
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.
The Job of Battalion Soil Engineers
Since Roy Cameron was working on his Bachelors Degree in soil science, he was assigned to the Battalion Soil Engineers where he built roads and bridges for the troops. While traveling in his Jeep near Pusan, he as thousands of refugees coming from the North in order to escape war.
Food Could Have Been Better
Roy Painter describes his living conditions in Korea during the war. He explains that the food was frozen solid just from walking away from where it was cooked. He also explains how the location was full of rats, so he used his mosquito nets to keep them out of his bed.
"They were friendly because they were starving"
Russel Kingston describes that during his time as a soldier in North Korea, young boys would help him carry his weapons and ammunition. At the end of the day, he would give the child food and candy and send him back home. The next day, he'd find another North Korean boy to help. He says they were so young they did not understand that he was the enemy.
Captured by the Chinese
Russel Kingston describes how he and his group could not stay outside freezing and starving any longer, so they took shelter in the house of a North Korean family. The next morning the family left, and shortly thereafter the Chinese kicked down the door and held them at gunpoint. He believes that the family informed the Chinese that they were there.
Conditions in the POW camp
Russel Kingston describes the conditions he faced, including the limited food and freezing conditions. He remembers their captors would tell them lies about the status of the war, trying to get them to convert to Communism. In the spring, the captors would take their shoes to prevent them from escaping.
Russell J. Kolmus Jr.
Life Aboard the USS Valley Forge
Russell J. Kolmus, Jr. describes life aboard the USS Valley Forge. He recalls it was a congenial crew of about 2,500 men on the ship. He describes the sleeping arrangements: aluminum framed canvas cots closely spaced together. He goes on to note the poor quality of the food on a Navy ship.
Russell A. King explains how the Korean civilians suffered. He remembers that people did not have a lot of food, especially in Incheon which had been badly damaged. However, the civilians were extremely grateful for what they received. He states that he thought it seemed senseless that the civilians suffered.
Salvatore Buonocore shares his thoughts on the Navy providing clean bunks and decent meals but mentions the dangers of drowning. He compares his naval experience to the experiences of those who served in Korea. He recalls high jump training to prepare servicemen for an emergency and comments on his time in the Air-sea Rescue, detailing his duties and one particular rescue he conducted.
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.
Salvatore Conte recalls his transfer to another camp where he was placed with 21 other soldiers who were considered the most dangerous POWs. On May 1, 1953, he was transferred out of this section with the rest of the soldiers and he was given better food. On Aug. 27, 1953, he remembers he was released at Panmunjom where he told his story to newspaper reporters who published his story across America.
Always C Rations
Salvatore Schillaci doesn't recall where he landed when he arrived in Korea in 1951. As part of a reconnaissance team, they slept in foxholes or even on the open ground. He remembers extreme cold and C Rations. Once he tried unsuccessfully to heat up a can of pork and beans on the exhaust manifold of a truck.
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.
Army Basic Training
Sanford Epstein, from the perspective of growing up in poverty, describes his Army basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He shares how excited he was to receive seconds during meals, an option he was never given at home due to his family's lack of resources. He recounts going to classes, receiving new clothes and shoes, participating in exercises, and he details a drill he thoroughly enjoyed.
Heartbreak Ridge Memories
Sanford Epstein describes the living conditions he experienced during his first winter in Korea. He recounts how cold it was and comments on the food available. He recalls a fellow soldier's death during the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge.
Glorious Mail Call
Stanley Fujii describes the emotional experience of mail call for soldiers, and the camaraderie that came along with getting communication from loved ones on the homefront. His heartwarming testimony reflects on his writing letters for a fellow soldier from Minnesota who was illiterate. His friend from Minnesota later died in a bombardment.
What Did You Do While Not Working with Radios?
Stephen Frangos recalls spending a great deal of time in the fields. He mentions the poverty that was still common. He shares that he befriended a group of Irish priests, and together, they helped build orphanages. He recalls how the orphans would often go to the Army camp to have meals. He adds that many Americans also sent food and clothing over to help the orphanages.
Sterling D. Mestad
Switchboard Duties and Rest Rotations
Sterling D. Mestad describes his communication duties on the switchboard. He explains shift rotations as well as how one was able to work himself up the ladder in rank. He shares his experience in Japan during his Rest & Relaxation (R&R) rotation.
Steven G. Olmstead
"We Were a Team"
Steven Olmstead describes his state of mind on the battlefield. He talks about being too busy to think about food or home while engaged with the enemy. He comments on the winter living conditions and offers his reasoning as to why he and his comrades were able to survive in such a harsh environment. He recounts his unit's withdrawal from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the significance of the "Star of Kotori", and the sufferings of the Chinese Army.
Writing Letters Home
Steven Olmstead talks about writing letters home. He mentions that there were not opportunities to write when on the front lines and that while he received letters from family and friends, he did not write back very often. He recalls a fellow marine asking his permission to write to his sister and shares that the marine and his sister were eventually married.
Stuart William Holmes
Heard of Them, But Didn't Know Much About Them
Stuart Holmes describes going to breakfast with American and Australian soldiers. He describes his incredulity at observing American soldiers drinking tea and Australian soldiers drinking coffee, when he had assumed the choices would have been switched. Both sides confess that they found the coffee/tea offered as weak imitations of what their country offered and, so, opted for the opposite preference.
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.
A Typical Day in a POW Camp
T.J. Martin shares memories from his experiences as a POW for over two years. He details a typical day in a POW camp and discusses the indoctrination program the Chinese implemented in their camps. He recalls how he tried to outsmart the Chinese which eventually led to him being separated from other prisoners.
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes the living conditions for the soldiers. He describes that there were no beds and soldiers slept on the ground. He provides his pay in the Ethiopian dollar. His pay could buy a sing good chicken and two medium chickens per month. Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen also describes life upon returning to Ethiopian. People did not care, however, the majesty did receive the soldiers for a dinner.
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 to Korea in Dec. 1950
Tex Malcolm was shipped to Korea on Nov. 1950 after stopping in Japan. All the different US branches were on one ship and the conditions were packed with multiple soldiers getting seasick. He landed at Pusan on Dec. 12, 1950 on his 21st birthday.
Why Study Korea?
Thomas' wife, Andrea DiGiovanna, shared the stories he told her over the years. The two were married on October 10, 1993, and she recalls the stories he told her about the sea sickness he experienced on his way over to Korea. She also recalls stories about his father passing, as well as him finally returning from war and taking his first wife on their belated honeymoon. She also explains why it is so important to learn about Korea.
Thomas F. Miller
Basic Training and Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller went to basic training in Georgia and then he was shipped to Inchon Harbor to start his tour of duty. After landing, he noticed poor living conditions of the civilians which looked like America in the early 1800s.
Living and Working Conditions in Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller was a supply specialist who helped provide clothes, oil, and food rations to the troops. He stayed in quonset huts, had cold showers, and ate a hot meal most of his time in Korea.
The Forgotten War
Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.
Using DDT to Cook in Korea
Thomas O'Dell used DDT for killing insects including gnats and fleas. He even used DDT for cooking C-rations by adding it to his fire in the trenches to warm he food. Hot water for baths were also warmed over a DDT-created fire.
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.
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.
Living Conditions in Korea
Tine Martin shares his memories of the living conditions he experienced while serving in Korea. He recalls living in 12-man tents and the cold temperatures. He comments on the food offered at Kimpo Air Force Base which included only one hot meal a day and the others consisting only of C-rations. He mentions trading items from his rations he was not fond of for Coca-Cola.
First Impressions of Korea near Busan (Pusan Perimeter)
Vartkess Tarbassian was surprised when he saw the devastation in the Pusan Perimeter (Busan). There were shell holes from the mortars all across the land. Korean civilians were staving and missing shelter.
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.
Life as one of the first soldiers in the Korean War
Vernon Waldon was exposed to the elements of weather, lack of food, and limited supply of ammunition. He explains what it was like to be one of the first soldiers in Korea, including hills, muddy roads, and rough terrain were all around the soldiers. He remembers a night of shooting a plane from North Korea.
Fighting Through the Winter of 1950
Vernon Walden was only seven miles from China's border when General MacArthur wanted to invade, but he was told to pull his troops back. Vernon Waldon explains that when his regiment began to retreat in 40 below zero weather, gas began to run out along with food and ammunition. He describes how snow blindness was a condition that troops had to deal with while traveling on foot with snow up their knees.
Victor Max Ramsey
A Boy named "Slick"
Victor Ramsey discusses having a houseboy named Slick. He describes the young boy who worked running errands for his unit. He was so small there were misconceptions of his age. With the taste of American food and help, he grew and his family even got jobs.
Vincent A. Bentz
Scavenging for Fresh Food
Vincent Bentz describes how soldiers got food to eat other than the issued C-Rations. He remembers catching chickens and cooking them. He explains how he lost weight because they were not eating regularly.
The 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.
A New Beginning
Vincent Ariola reflects on his difficulty forgetting things he encountered during his time serving in the Korean War. He calls the experience of being drafted a new beginning and describes why he believes it is. He description paints a picture of what life is like for a young man who is drafted and has never been away from home.
Life in Daegu During the Korean War
This clip shows primary source pictures that Vigil Malone took in Daegu, South Korea. The pictures illustrate living and working conditions of the South Koreans in Daegu. The primary sources touch upon the economic disparity among South Koreans during the war; some lived in farmhouses, while others lived in huts.
Life inside a Destroyer Vessel
Walter Steffes describes life on a Navy Destroyer. This clip describes the differences between those in the Army on the front lines and those in the Navy participating in the war behind the scenes. The role of the Navy in contemporary American wars is often not discussed in history textbooks, so Mr. Steffes provides a great introduction to the role of the Navy.
Air Transport Duties and Making Connections With the Injured Soldiers in Flight
Warren Ramsey started serving at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in 1949. Before the Korean War started, he would service and repair air planes. Once the war began, he deliver supplies and troops from Hawaii while pulling out the injured United States soldiers.
Living Close to Headquarters
Wayne Derrer describes his experiences living close to company headquarters. He explains that living close by afforded him easy access to good food. He says that he only ate C-rations when away from the company mess hall because it was more convenient than driving a couple miles. He goes on to explain that he slept in a tent with three or four other men and they did not have a Korean house-boy so they cleaned their own tent. He explains that living close to company headquarters also allowed him access to showers and plenty of ice cream.
Wayne Dierlam describes the living conditions in Korea in the early 1960s. He shares how there were various living quarters and talks about the names of the camps he slept in. He explains that he had food, but it was cold.
Life in an Artillery Unit
Wayne Mitchell recalls his experiences in an artillery battalion stationed roughly three to five miles behind the front line. His unit had hot food and beds every night during the war- a privilege that not many soldiers in the war had. In his unit, many Americans worked side-by side with Koreans in jobs that ranged from manning the artillery guns to cooking in the kitchen. He goes on to describe the cold weather and living in tents.
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.
William “Bill” F. Beasley
Midnight Requisition-We Had Two Christmas Dinners
William "Bill" Beasley describes being transferred to the Chosin Reservoir. He describes being transported by train from Pusan to Masan (Bean Field). He explains that next to their train was an Army loaded with provisions and food, which is known by the Marine's as the "Midnight Requisition". He explains how they had Thanksgiving Dinner but had to replace all of those supplies that they used.
What was it like in Korea?
William Duffy shares what it was like in Korea. He recalls it being freezing cold, calling it "the coldest place on Earth." He talks about his day-to-day duties and cites water being very difficult to find. He also recalls filling sand bags at his bunker with snow. Once the weather warmed, he recounts losing all protection in his bunker.
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.
Base Life in Korea
William Edwards describes daily life at the 607th Aircraft Warning Squadron.
William F. Borer
The Korean People Had Nothing
William Borer describes his shock at the terrible sight of the Korean people and how desperate they were. He explains that the starving civilians stole and begged for food and dug through the trash looking for scraps the soldiers had thrown away. He explains that being a child from the Great Depression, he knew what being hungry was like but the Korean civilians literally had nothing. He recalls feeling disdain for President Truman for not helping the Korean people.
Don't Take Your POW Clothes Off
William Borer describes the day of his release as a bright sunny day. He recalls that once in UN territory the US Military Police Officer ordered him not to immediately remove his Chinese prison clothing, as many Chinese POWs had done, and was taken into a medical facility to be deloused with DDT, fed, examined, and given new clothes with rank chevrons sewed onto his sleeves. He recalls being asked what he wanted to eat and he said a big bowl of ice cream. As he was eating his ice cream he was asked if he was anxious about going home to which he said he wanted to go back to his unit.
Living Among the Cold and Bullets
William Herold shares his experiences with the freezing cold of Korea. He describes keeping his shoes in his sleeping bag in order for them to keep from freezing and adds that one's urination was ice by the time it hit the ground. He explains how war made one reckless and offers a relating story of a WWII veteran who removed his helmet and was momentarily shot in the head. He recounts the changes he experienced in weight due to lack of food.
Thievery in Wartime
William Kurth describes stealing as one of the biggest challenges he faced while serving. He recounts both American soldiers and Korean civilians stealing supplies to either eat or sell for a profit. He recounts building relationships with several Koreans throughout his service.
Nightwatchman and No Bath
William Puls describes arriving in Korea, and recalls a number of soldiers who were sick from the journey at sea. He tells of the landing at Incheon, and being transported to the front on Christmas Hill. He describes the circumstances of fighting for twenty-one consecutive days without being able to stop to shower because of the intensity. His references are in reflection of the fighting shortly before the Armistice.
Navy Destroyer Layout and Living Quarters
William Watson recalls the living conditions on a Navy destroyer. He describes the layout of the ship and the small spacing they used as living quarters. He recounts the showering situation and remembers eating sandwiches when the waters were too rough for the cooks to prepare a hot meal.
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.
Ziya Dilimer describes being given a pack of cigarettes a day. This would have been part of his K-Ration. Each man in his unit received a K-Ration daily. Zika Dilimer was fond of the Chesterfield cigarettes included. Also, men were given ice cream, even in the winter.