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 KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Andrew M. Eggman
Getting out of Chosin Reservoir
Andrew M. Eggman describes his experiences during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he went from being on machine-gun outpost, to taking down the tents, and moving stretchers as a part of convoy security. He recalls seeing pallets of supplies raining down over the men.
So Many Refugees
Barry McLean shares his experience walking through Wonsun in sub-zero temperatures. During the evacuation, he shares he encountered a young girl and offered his rations, but she refused. He recalls the touching moment when the girl came back with a token to trade for his food. Along with this experience, he describes seeing thousands of refugees they loaded onto the ships to evacuate.
Death by Frostbite
After describing the intense attacks that his company went through, Benjamin Basham explains how many people died from frostbite as well. He says that they didn’t have the right type of equipment, even with the Mickey Mouse boots. Unfortunately, there were not extra supplies or new socks to prevent this from happening. Even with those conditions, he was confident that he was going to survive and come back home.
Bill G. Hartline
Lucky You Got Lost
Bill Hartline recalls an old farmhouse at the bottom of Funchillan Pass packed full of men from his unit as well as those of a utility company all trying to seek warmth. He recounts how being tasked to look for a missing soldier, prior to his unit departing for Hagaru-ri, saved his life.
Home for Christmas?
Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.
The Latent Effects of Korean War: PTSD
Bruce Ackerman experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the Korean War. He found connections between the modern War on Terror and the soldiers who fought in the Korean War because they both are lacking resources to help with their transition back to civilian life. There are psychological and social effects of war on veterans due to their exposure to death, extreme weather, and constant surprise enemy attacks.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Charles E. Gebhardt
Retreat from Chosin
Charles Gebhardt describes his unit's retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about destroying equipment. He also describes loading up the wounded on the slow retreat to Hagalwoori.
Losses, Conditions, and Rescue
Charles Gebhardt talks about the lives that were lost in the retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difficult conditions on the trek. He also tells the story when he and his comrades borrowed Marine vehicles to rescue wounded soldiers.
Encountering the Chinese
Charles Eggenberger describes going up a mountain in trucks through Hagalwoori to the Chosin Reservoir area. He recalls how his unit learned that the Chinese had crossed the border near the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the surrounding units of soldiers had taken off out of the area during the initial attack by the Chinese.
Thanksgiving in the Reservoir
Charles Stern describes the evacuation from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. As they started out, he notes how no one told him they were surrounded by the Chinese. Since it was Thanksgiving, he remembers being told they were to have a hot turkey dinner, but they never saw any hot meal. He provides an account of the chaos during the Chinese attack on his unit and holding their position on the hill. After surviving the Chinese attacks, he recalls being promised time in the warming tent but only being allowed a quick walk through the tent.
Donald D. Johnson
Almost Prisoner of War
Donald D. Johnson elaborates on his job responsibilities as the Lieutenant's Jeep driver. Three times a week he had to drive to the Division Headquarters to pick up new maps. New maps were made using aerial views of Korea to assist in artillery attacks. He describes the commute he had to take when driving through the roads of the Chosin Reservoir and how cold he found it. He recalls an incident where, by chance, he missed becoming a Prisoner of War.
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 sixteen miles. It took them eight days to traverse the dangerous terrain, but the injured soldiers ultimately reached the hospital.
On the Move to Chosin Reservoir
Jake O'Rourke describes his time spent in the hills fighting guerrilla forces and moving to and from various locations. He details the high casualties caused by frostbite among the Chinese soldiers, adding that it was both an ally and an enemy. He attributes much of the Marines' successes to experienced leadership as many higher ranking soldiers had served during WWII. He also recounts his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, sharing that the Chinese would play their bugles when they attacked and retreated, and he describes the use of napalm against the enemy.
Jean Paul White
Jean Paul White describes war activity with the Chinese. He explains the living conditions and injuries that resulted. He describes the movements of the Marine Corps leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes events that happen during and after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains learning about General MacArthur asking them to retreat with orders from his Commanding General, General Smith.
Joe H. Ager
Glad I Survived
Joe Ager offers an overview of the withdrawal. Under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith, they began abandoning resources so that the Chinese would not know they were retreating. He reflects on Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith’s treatment of African American soldiers. During the withdrawal, he remembers encounters with the Chinese and the heavy loses they suffered. He shares that three hundred eighty-five out of the two thousand men reached Heungnam. He reflects on feelings of guilt for surviving but emphasizes not wasting time and energy on regret.
While in the Combat Engineer Battalion
John McWaters shares that while near Heungnam, he provided jackhammers and an air compressor truck to some Marines who needed help breaking up large rocks. He reported to General Oliver Prince Smith and assisted him with running the equipment. He recalls the general looking up and thanking God for his help.
John O. Every
The Terrible Cold and Frostbite
John O. Every talks about being in combat near the Chosin Reservoir, and being evacuated due to extreme frostbite. He recalls seeing airplanes drop supplies, and recounts the tough losses of fighting. He explains being evacuated and taken to various hospitals for recovery.
John R. Stevens
Wonsan Landing then on to Chosin Reservoir
John R. Steven describes landing in Wonsan and being greeted by the Korean soldiers before journeying by train further into North Korea to the Chosin Reservoir. He remembers capturing two Chinese soldiers and sending them back to battalion. He goes on to discuss Generals MacArthur and Willoughby's intense refusal to believe Chinese troops were in North Korea.
John Y. Lee
John Y. Lee, an interpreter assigned to UN Headquarters unit, explains the organization of the unit during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difference between his headquarters unit and a normal infantry regiment. He recalls the way Headquarters was set up at Hagalwoori, defended by only two Marine companies.
We Knew We Were at War
Kirk Wolford tells of situation he witnessed while serving on the front lines. He recalls his communication chief stepping out into the road in the middle of the night to confront what he thought was friendly noise only to find himself facing a Russian tank, the first they would encounter followed by masses of Chinese soldiers. He remembers coming to the realization that he was indeed fighting in a war.
Grateful to Be Alive
Lawrence Elwell describes being wounded in a battle near Hagaru-ri after getting caught in crossfire with the Chinese. He notes that a Navy corpsman tended to his wounded right arm and stopped the bleeding. He shares he was then evacuated to Yokoska, Japan. He explains that his injury prevented him from returning to the front lines and adds he was not eager to go back into the firefight anyway. While hospitalized in Japan, he recalls being awarded, rather unceremoniously, the Purple Heart. He recounts how he was later sent to a U.S. Navy hospital in Pensacola, Florida, to finish his recovery.
Leo C. Jackey
Making Their Way Down the Mountain
Leo C. Jackey recounts the challenges his unit and others faced in making their way down the narrow roads from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir region. He recalls one truck getting too close to the edge and going over the side of the mountain. He shares his unit was one of the last to leave Heungnam.
The Costs of War
Paul Summers remembers lying down in a skirmish line and watching a truck dump dead U.S. Marines into a big hole. Tanks filled in the hole. The image still haunts him. Later, his division marched to Hagalwoori but ran into a fortified bunker controlled by the Chinese. As the division pondered their situation, a general up the road announced they would take the hill no matter what.
Phillip E. Hahn
The Battle at Hagaru-ri
Phillip Hahn shares his feelings of not having any regrets for standing the line with his fellow Marines. He describes feeling protected and secure with his brothers by his side, despite heavy losses all around. He tells of the moment he was pulled from the front lines due to his wounds he suffered from a mortar explosion.
Richard P. Holgin
Persevering through Frostbite
Richard P. Holgin experienced terrible frostbite on his leg. Despite this condition, he continued to serve to the best of his ability, until a superior noticed his injury. Richard P. Holgin was then cared for in Busan and in Japan.
One of the Greatest Things We Ever Did
Robert Whited recalls movement of his unit from Seoul to Incheon and later Wonsan. He explains the 5th Marines did not immediately go up to the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir but, instead, ran patrols out of Heungnam where he remembers encountering their first Chinese. He describes how when they were establishing a roadblock they were hit by the Chinese and pushed back to Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri and ultimately to the seashore. He describes how, during the retreat, they were protecting thousands of Korean refugees who were ultimately loaded on a cargo ship and taken to Busan.
Salvatore R. Conte
Capture and Traveling to the POW Camp
Salvatore Conte remembers traveling toward Hagalwoori when his vehicle was hit and the men went into a ditch. All three of the soldiers were injured in his group and then they were taken by the Chinese. He recalls being taken to Geojedo POW camp in January 1951. He gives a thorough account of what it was like in the camps.
Sterling N. McKusick
Sterline N. McKusick's unit moved from Hamhueng and Wonson to Hagaru-ri on the south end of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He shares he served as part of the advanced battalion headed into the region. He recalls the Chinese moving into the region right after Thanksgiving 1950 and notes that at that point, things became a matter of survival and getting out of there. He notes that part of the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 31st Regiment were trapped on the east side of the reservoir, and two more Marine regiments were trapped on the left side of the reservoir. He remembers how the U.S. forces were severely outnumbered--one hundred fifty thousand Chinese to fifteen thousand Marines. He recounts the attempts by the convoy to slowly creep back down the mountain.