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
Fear and Commitment in Battle
Melese Tessema acknowledges feeling afraid as he joined the fighting in the Korean War, but he asserts that soldiers cannot allow fear to interfere with a mission. He arrived in Kumhwa and fought the Chinese on Hill 358. Shrapnel from a mortar shell injured his leg during the fighting. Melese Tessema received Korean, Ethiopian, and United States awards, including the United States bronze star.
Chinese Artillery Barrage
Melese Tessema considers the Battle of Triangle Hill Battle his most dangerous experience. His platoon had just arrived at their location and thus had not yet dug many trenches. The Ethiopian soldiers had the high ground, but large numbers of Chinese approached. The Chinese had difficulty climbing in the steep terrain. Still, he lost fellow soldiers, including his dearest friend. Melese Tessema and the other platoon officers spoke English, but soldiers from the lower ranks did not, creating language barriers across groups. At one point his platoon provided machine gun support to Korean forces nearby. After fighting ended, their only hope was to communicate in sign language.
Testament to the Bravery of Korean Soldiers
Melese Tessema attests to the bravery of South Korean soldiers, describing hand-to-hand combat of South Koreans during the Battle of Triangle Hill. Though his memory is sharp, he has not preserved his letters. He wrote many letters, a few to his girlfriend, but more to his mother. As an only child, he knew his mother missed him terribly. His happiest moment during the conflict was returning to Ethiopia in June 1952. Since his return from Korea, Melese Tessema has wished that Ethiopia could learn from the economic successes of South Korea.
Richard A. Houser
Fighting Alongside with UN Nations
Richard Houser fought along with Turks, Aussies, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Columbians while fighting against communism. The Chinese were afraid of the Turks because they would cut off the ear of their enemy as a trophy.
Life as an American Soldier on the Front Lines: From Bunkers to Bullets
Rodney Ramsey was supported by Korean Augmentation to United States Army (KATUSA) and these troops were seasoned fighters by the time Rodney Ramsey entered the war in 1952. While sleeping in sand-bag bunkers at the front lines in Geumgang, North Korea, he was comfortable with his summer fatigues including a field jacket. Some of the most dangerous times were when Rodney Ramsey was going on patrol or raids where the Chinese were dug in. He was shot through the helmet with a minor wound when an African American soldier standing next to him was shot with the same bullet and died.
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.
Warren Housten Thomas
Warren Thomas had difficulties communicating with family back home. Most soldiers in the Korean War used letters to stay in contact with family. It took about 4 to 6 weeks to receive a letter.