Tag: Imjingang (River)
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
Adolfo Lugo Gaston
Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Adolfo Lugo Gaston recalls the worst and longest battle that he experienced, that of Kelly Hill. He explains that allied troops fought an incalculable number of Chinese communist troops. Their mission was to win the hill and help four-thousand marines that were trapped.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón recuerda la batalla de Kelly Hill porque fue la más dura. Explica que las tropas aliadas lucharon contra un número incalculable de tropas comunistas chinas. Su misión era conquistar el cerro y ayudar a los cuatro mil infantes de marina que estaban rodeados.
Surviving a Chinese and North Korean Attack
Albert Kleine was stationed near the Imjin River during his time in the Korean War. He was very fearful of the flowing river and the sounds it gave off that showed its strength. Later he would realize that the river was nothing compared to the flutes signaling the attack by thousands of Chinese and North Korean troops.
The Cold went Right to Your Soul
Albert Kleine felt that the cold weather was the worst part of fighting in Korea. Even though he was stuck there fighting the Chinese in the terrible weather, he doesn't hate them because they were only told to fight. He wasn't fighting the man, he was fighting the country.
Telling Stories and the Bronze Star
Bernard Hoganson discusses his grandchildren. He shares why he does not really tell his grandchildren stories from his service in Korea. He describes how he received the Bronze Star.
Bruce W. Diggle
Hill 355 and the "Apostles"
Bruce Diggle shows the famous Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. The British Commonwealth forces fought for possession of Hill 355 during the series of battles that corresponded to the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge to the east. The North Koreans were positioned on three smaller hills that the Kiwis nicknamed the Apostles - Matthew, Luke, and John. He took pictures of the North Korean positions during a truce.
Charles Francis Jacks
Charles Jacks recounts bandaging the wounded on the battlefield. He recalls jeep ambulances transporting the wounded to field medical stations. He describes serving with Dog Medical Company (D Company) stationed between Seoul and Incheon and remembers assisting two doctors--one Korean and one American--at a hospital. He shares that they treated minor to more serious wounds which occurred on the front lines.
Joining the Front Lines at the 38th Parallel
Chester Coker discusses joining the front lines when American troops took Seoul and crossed the 38th parallel. He recalls meeting severe resistance and his company losing twenty-five percent of its men, about fifty total, crossing the Imjingang River. He remembers one of his only thoughts at the time was survival. He recalls jumping into the river instead of crossing the bridge, without knowing how deep it actually was.
Chester Coker recalls the recapture of Seoul. He remembers a great deal of artillery and many airstrikes preceding the foot soldiers marching into the city. He remembers a devastated city, with only one brick building left standing. He recalls having the North Koreans on the run after leaving Seoul two to three days. He recalls never making it to Pyungyang due to multiple truck accidents.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
Chinese Were Everywhere
Clarence Sperbeck describes when he arrived on the front lines when the Chinese were all over the place they controlled everything. When he came back to the states, counter intelligence asked him how he knew the Chinese were everywhere dominating the region, and he said, "that was easy to detect." When you entered a traditional Korean home, you were supposed to take off your shoes outside and put rubber slippers on. Clarence Sperbeck said most of the houses he saw had Chinese Army Boots at the door, so that's how he knew they were sleeping in the Korean houses.
P.O.W. Capture: Right Into The Lion's Den
Clarence Sperbeck retails the story of being captured as a prisoner of war north of the Imjin River. He was sitting with a group of experienced "ol' timers", who told him that the Chinese were going to come around this valley, but Clarence Sperbeck told them there was no way it was going to happen. The soldiers heard the bugles blow (as a means of communicating with each other from afar) and mass firing ensues as they are given orders to pull back (which he never understood). General Ridgeway devised a trap within this valley to make the Chinese think that we were pulling back giving them the advantage, but when the Chinese made it to the center, General Ridgeway closed the gap which killed over 50,000 Chinese. However, when the original order was given, Clarence Sperbeck's platoon started to retreat and took the wrong turn. Turns out there were captured vehicles and they walked right into a group of Chinese soldiers.
Frozen In Fear
Clarence Sperbeck recalls while on the move picking up extra men who had been displaced from their unit and abandoned weapons. He found one guy frozen (not literally), just sitting there whether fear or uncertainty, Clarence Sperbeck kicked him in the shin with his combat boot (said it hurt like hell), handed him a weapon, and told him to fall in line with the rest. The other soldier was a new replacement paralyzed again with fear who didn't speak or move even after being kicked by Clarence Sperbeck.
Clarence Sperbeck remembered April 25, 1951 because that was the day he was captured by the Chinese. Having been warned not to walk on the ridge line since it made it easy for the Chinese to detect your movement, the US troops walked the ridge line anyway. Clarence Sperbeck made an attempt to shoot in the direction of a sound behind him when a concussion grenade landed near him knocking him to the ground damaging his back. When he came out from under a rock, a Chinese soldier screamed at him to put down his weapon; he jumped behind a pine tree to try to shoot at the enemy, but the Chinese soldier's buddy was pointing his weapon at Clarence and he wouldn't have been able to shoot both. He put his rifle down and spend the rest of his time with the Chinese after walking for 3 months to get to the POW camp.
Treatment By the Enemy
Clarence Sperbeck said when the Chinese capture you, they don't feed you. He started on the march at 165 pounds and ended at 110 pounds. It was said that if you were captured by the NKPA (North Korean People's Army), these marches were the worst in recorded history. If you were sick or injured they put a pistol to your head and blew your brains out, rolled you in a ditch, and kept going. Chinese didn't do that; they wanted information from the prisoners.
Hockey During Reserve
Claude Charland remembers how he and other Canadian troops played ice hockey on the frozen Imjin River during January. He shares how the games were organized around teams from different regiments and were set up as a round-robin tournament. He shares how playing the national sport of his homeland allowed him to escape the reality of war for a little while.
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.
Darrell D. McArdle
Running the POW Camps
Darrell McArdle explains that his company was downsized and his new role as a coordinator of POW camps. He notes that camps moved and his role was coordinating movement of POWS and resources. He shares that the majority of the prisoners were equally distributed between Chinese and North Koreans and that many of the Chinese soldiers did not know where they were.
Donald Clayton discussed the Armistice. He discusses how the DMZ was still the site of skirmishes even after the Armistice was signed. He shares how the infantry was on an island between two bridges on the Imjingang River where there was continued action. He shares his concern about leaving gravel in the middle of the road.
Edward A. Walker
Shipwrecks and Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced a rushed basic training so that his regiment could quickly join troops fighting in Korea in 1951. His transport ship struck a reef on the way to Korea which required rescuing seven hundred soldiers by an oil tanker. Upon arrival in Korea, his duties involved transporting troops to a variety of military stations. He also used parts from an abandoned US Jeep to create a generator for their unit.
Rolls of Film and a Girlfriend
Edward Walker took photos of the Korean boy he hired to cut his hair and of Korean women carrying their babies on their backs. He sent rolls of film home to his girlfriend, Shirley. Shirley joined the interview and said she missed her boyfriend so much and she cried while he was away. Shirley also noticed that textbooks in New Zealand did not feature much content on Asia, so many people did not know where the men were fighting.
Truckin': The Relative Freedom of Army Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced relative freedom as an Army transport truck driver. On one trip, his truck separated from the convoy to take a shortcut recently built by the Americans. Another memory involves the excitement of transporting rowdy Welsh soldiers to the front lines at night.
Eusebio Santiago describes bunkers and night patrols. He recalls how the bunkers were about four feet high and eight feet wide square. He shares how men would live in bunkers due to the Chinese threat. He recalls how soldiers, while in the bunkers, did not have access to a shower for up to a month.
Loss in the Defense of Democracy
Eusebio Santiago describes the loss of a couple of fellow soldiers. The men were never found in their defense of South Korea. The soldiers of Puerto Rico were defending democracy, defending an attacked country. Eusebio Santiago describes defending against communism.
Eusebio Santiago recalls how the sight of Korean villagers catching and cleaning fish reminded him of daily life in Puerto Rico. He describes the rice fields and how villagers continued their life with war around them. Eusebio Santiago recalls his childhood while war was going on.
Discrimination in the Army / Discriminación en las Fuerzas Armadas
Felipe Aponte-Colon faced discrimination in the army. He noticed that American and Puerto Rican troops were treated differently. This discrimination was most evident during the Battle of Kelly Hill in which casualties were overwhelmingly Puerto Rican. Orders were given for Puerto Ricans only to take the hill and he refused to go with his men because he did not want forty-one more casualties. He recalls that there were two colonels but after an investigation, neither was blamed for the mistakes which led to the deaths of over six hundred Puerto Ricans.
Felipe Aponte-Colón sufrió de discriminación en el ejército. Se dio cuenta de que las tropas estadounidenses y puertorriqueñas eran tratadas de maneras diferente. Esta discriminación fue más evidente durante la Batalla de Kelly Hill en la cual que la mayoría de las bajas fueron puertorriqueñas. Se dieron órdenes para que los puertorriqueños solo tomaran el cerro Kelly. El se negó a ir con sus hombres porque no quería cuarenta y una bajas más. Recuerda que había dos coroneles, pero después de una investigación, ninguno fue culpado por los errores que resultaron en la muerte de más de seiscientos puertorriqueños.
Frank E. Butler
Patrolling the Korean Sea After the Armistice
Frank E. Butler learned that the war was over in 1953. He and his shipmates were assigned to patrol the border to prevent North Koreans from moving weaponry. At one point, gunners shot a ship filled with fruits and vegetables, but he asserts that most were transporting guns.
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.
Frank Zielinski describes the use of Korean "house boys" by various officers, though he himself did not take on a house boy. KATUSAS brought food up the paths to the front lines to feed soldiers. At Thanksgiving, the KSCs delivered much-appreciated turkey. Korea taught Frank Zielinski to respect and protect others.
Gene C. Richards
Avoiding the Final Mission
Gene C. Richards earned 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters in addition to his Air Medal. He was one mission away from earning his fifth. He was determined to make one last mission, however, last minute was convinced not to make the attempt. Gene C. Richards describes how he is grateful to not have taken that mission due to that plane being shot down.
Gordon H. McIntyre
Arrival in Busan and Seoul
When Gordon McIntrye first arrived in Busan, the New Zealand troops were met by an American Dixie band. He describes seeing Seoul's utter destruction, claiming it must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Fronts of buildings were blown out on either side of the wide streets, but he encountered a relatively untouched brick cathedral.
Life Near the Front
Gordon McIntyre transferred to an English unit due to the extensive loss of life in the English outfit. Near headquarters he noted a Canadian field hospital and rows of drums filled with napalm. Throughout his first night he was not afraid despite the explosions from incessant artillery fire. The next morning he left the truck to find an unexploded mortar shell that would have killed everyone at the post had it exploded.
Battle of Maryang-san
Gordon McIntyre describes five to six days of continuous fighting at the Battle of Maryang-san. He camped around eight hundred meters from the front lines. The second and third nights all soldiers stood ready to leave in the middle of the night if overrun. The Battle of Maryang-san featured combat between the Australian Army and the Chinese as the North Korean army had been decimated by that point. The danger did not scare him because he was too busy to think about it at the time.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American United States troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
The Battle of the Imjin River on Hill 144
Harry Hawksworth shares how he and the rest of his company were forced to retreat back to a village near Choksong along the Imjin River in late 1950 due to the Chinese entering the war. After digging into trenches, performing reconnaissance trips, and guarding Allied trenches, he was startled by a possible Chinese invasion of Hill 144.
The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW
Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment, fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. He shares how most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below due to the quick retreat. He describes how he used six crates of two-inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, he recalls that Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).
Henry T. Pooley
First Patrol and the Chinese
Henry T Pooley describes his first patrol near Hill 355 on the front lines. He describes the geography of the area including a nearby minefield. He discusses the respect shown between the Chinese and the Australian soldiers on the battlefield.
Revisiting Korea and Memories
Henry T Pooley remembers his return to Korea in 2000. He recounts his amazement at the progress and compares it to his time in 1952. He shares his memories of the destruction and his hope that Korea reunites during his lifetime.
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.
Earnings for his Service
Homer Garrett briefly described, what few kids understand, which is how little soldiers were paid for their service. When he first entered as a Private First Class soldier, he started making $43.00 per month even while having a wife and two children back at home. When Homer Garrett came home, his highest earning was $130.00 per month which was much better than when he first entered the service in 1965.
Working With KATUSA and Turkish Armed Forces
Homer Garrett protected South Korea along with the Turkish armed forces and local KATUSA. KATUSA soldiers are the South Korean soldiers that worked directly with the US forces. Homer Garrett was assigned the task of guarding the crossroads between North Korean agents and the ROK (the Republic of Korea) Military Police with his M14 and bullet proof vest in the middle of the night.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives
Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.
When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!
James A. Newman
"Pushing" to Hill 355
James Newman fought in the Battle for Hill 355 or Kowang-san. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Mayang-San, a joint British, Australian, and New Zealand engagement along the Imjin River. He describes his experiences on the frontline where he shared a foxhole with a Korean kid while mortars from the Chinese exploded near them.
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
James "Ron" Twentey talks about his job as an Infantry Combat Operations Specialist plotting minefields and safety lanes. He explains that his educational background resulted in his being assigned to creating the safety lanes in minefields. He describes the choices made and layout details that are involved with minefield planning. He goes on to describe what a safety lane is and its specifications.
Jean Clements recalls a dangerous moment he experienced while serving in Korea. He shares that the night patrols were especially dangerous and recounts one in particular where he and fellow soldiers were assigned to check a particular post near the Imgingang River in no man's land due to an issue with the communication lines. He recounts having to maneuver through rice fields and securing one side with his machine gun as they made their way to the post.
Imjingang River Attack
Jean Clement shares an account of soldiers on patrol being attacked by the Chinese. He describes the camp where he was assigned, sandwiched between the Imjingang River and a mountain, and recalls that it was not located in the best position for defense against an attack. He shares that Luxembourg soldiers were conducting a patrol across a nearby floating bridge on the Imjingang River, and they were attacked by the Chinese. He recalls helping a soldier out of the river after he had jumped in to protect himself from the Chinese fire. He recounts destroying the equipment they could not carry with them prior to leaving so that it would not fall in Chinese hands and describes how the Belgium soldiers carved a path through the mountain to safety.
John Boyd's Life and Duty as a Signal Officer
John Boyd was a Signal Officer with various responsibilities. He explains the conditions and duties that he had during the war, including some of the sleeping arrangements. He remembers one specific time that he was left alone and was not sure what to do.
3rd Battle of the Hook and the End of the Korean War
John Boyd fought in the 3rd Battle of the Hook against the Chinese during the last push against communism. After the ceasefire was called, an American tank went up north toward the Chinese troops. He recalls Chinese anti-aircraft going after the tank right as two American fighter planes came down onto Chinese positions.
John C. Delagrange
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
First Landing in Busan, Korea and Many Evacuation Flights that Followed
John Cumming landed on Busan's runway which was pitted with bombing holes. In order to load the casualties, POWs were used to assist the flight crew and once in flight, flight nurses held the injured to keep them from dying due to the temperature.
When the Nation Calls, You Answer
John Munro shares how he was called to service for the Australian National Army in 1952 and was going to be stationed on the home front. Since he wanted to fight in the Korean War, he describes joining the Regular Army in 1953. He recalls being sent to Korean as a nineteen year old in 1954 after the ceasefire to patrol the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Guarding the 38th Parallel
John Munro recalls that his mission was to patrol the DMZ at Panmunjeom to make sure the border was safe. He recounts serving in a variety of battalions depending on where he was stationed in Korea. He shares that while serving on the DMZ, he also added mines along the line to keep away North Koreans who might have snuck over the 38th parallel.
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.
Joseph T. Wagener
Chinese Spring Offensive of 1951
Joseph Wagener describes battles he was involved in as part of the Belgian Battalion in 1951. He was involved in defending against the Chinese during their Spring Offensive. His battalion was attacked and held the rear while others retired. Later, his unit replaced a British brigade at the Battle of the Imjin River that suffered heavy Chinese attacks.
Joseph Wagener describes his participation in a counteroffensive against the Chinese in 1951 named Operation Piledriver. He shares how his unit supported retreating Belgians as they fled a Chinese attack across the Imjin River. He proudly describes the Belgian commander's compliments towards the Luxembourgers who guarded their exit.
Meeting his American Cousin
Joseph Wagener describes the chance meeting of an American cousin during his service in Korea. He learned through letters home of an American cousin and made a trip from his frontline position to meet him. They met and celebrated with beer and a warm bed.
Destroyed Russian Tanks Littering the Ground
Joseph Wagener describes fighting along the 38th Parallel with the 29th British Brigade, the strongest brigade of the British army. They fought along the Incheon River and patrolled the Naktong Perimeter where the South Koreans and their UN allies had blocked the North Korean advancement. Destroyed Russian tanks littered the ground around the area they patrolled, suggesting the intensity of fighting in the region.
Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion
Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.
Keith G. Hall
Minesweepers near "Little Gibraltar"
Keith G. Hall describes his experiences near Hill 355, nicknamed "Little Gibraltar", in October 1951 as part of the Battle of Maryang-san alongside the more famous Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. His unit helped maintain the roads and sweep for mines behind the hill. He recounts the many wounded brought down from the battle.
Patterns of Minefields
Keith G. Hall explains the process of clearing mines. For fields laid by allies, he had access to the schematics in order to know where mines had been laid. He felt fortunate that he didn't have to detect mines laid by the enemy.
Slippery Slopes and Minefields
Keith G. Hall describes the dangers of defusing anti-personnel mines, as they included both trip wires and three-prong detonation features. In one instance, a sergeant working with him slipped on a slope and exploded a mine. His body was thrown onto another mine, which Keith G. Hall had to deactivate in hopes of saving the sergeant.
Get Out of This Field!
Keith G. Hall describes training reinforcements to clear minefields. Inserting pins into mines in order to deactivate them was of utmost importance. In one instance, a soldier forgot and had clear the field fast.
Kenneth F. Dawson
Hill 355: Death and Danger
Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.
"I Want to Go Back."
Kenneth F. Dawson speaks of wanting to go back to Korea. Friends have told him that the economy is amazing, and he wants to see the shopping malls. He is proud to have served in the Korean War and would love to return for a visit, though he mentions that Korea was too cold for an island boy when he was there during the war.
Kenneth Oberstaller recalls sailing in the Yellow Sea near the mouth of the Imjin River. He describes feeling very upset upon seeing dead bodies, hands bound, float down the river and out to sea. He goes on to describe going through minefields and being grateful none were ever touched.
Front Lines of the 38th Parallel
Larry Kinard explains how he was embedded in the mountains along the Inchon River fighting to maintain their position against the Chinese. He shares that throughout the day, there was mortar and artillery fire, so he stayed inside his bunker. He explains that at night, the Chinese would perform assaults on his men, so he explains how there wasn't a lot of sleep for two months.
Larry Kinard explains how he wrote letters every day to his wife and once a week to his mom while he was away. He explains how he was unable to write while he was stationed in the mountains at the 38th parallel. He explains how he sometimes sent for a time of rest. He explains how he was able to receive pictures and letters once he returned to a more protected location farther down the mountain. He shares how he kept the conversation light and still has the letters.
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.
Leonard Stanek describes how the Chinese attacked on July 26th, 1953, the day before the Armistice took effect. Leonard Stanek was in a trench and hunkered down, when one of the last artillery shells exploded with a piece of shrapnel piercing his helmet. He medivacked to the Hospital Ship Haven to recover and earned a Purple Heart.
Leonard Stanek describes where and when he learned about the Armistice signing. He suffered a head injury and medivacked to a hospital ship and learned about the Armistice when he woke up from injury or exhaustion. A week later, after his injury, Leonard Stanek rejoined his unit. Upon returning, he learned about the loss of a buddy that was helping retrieve wounded.
"A Constant Tension"
Mr. Montani discusses what it was like on the DMZ patrol. He vividly describes what the DMZ looked like: A no man's land with barbed wire, watch towers, and check points. Mr. Montani describes his time patrolling the DMZ as "a constant tension". This clip could be used to introduce students to the danger that still existed (exists) after the armistice along the DMZ.
Maurice B. Pears
Life as a Korean War Soldier and Operation Minden
Maurice Pear recalls living in foxholes during his year in Korea from 1951-1952. He remembers patrolling through small Korean villages that were filled with only women and children. He recounts that during Operation Minden, his troops fought the Chinese for Hill 355, 317, and 227 while enduring many casualties.
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.
First Days in Korea
Maurice Morby describes his first impressions of Korea and the journey from Busan to Seoul. He talks about arriving at Busan harbor, picking up vehicles, and the arduous 3-day drive to Seoul through difficult terrain.
Maurice Morby shares a story of a ghostly encounter that he had during one evening's guard duty. He describes seeing what he thought was an old man dressed in traditional Korean clothing. He and a fellow soldier chased the man into a long inescapable alley and opened fire. Despite what seemed like an impossible escape, they never saw the man again.
Dangerous Letter Writing
Maurice Morby tells a story about writing letters while sitting on a log in camp. He describes bullets coming in from all around and diving behind the log for cover. In the end, they discovered that a nearby British unit was test firing weapons nearby unaware of his unit's camp location.
Maurice Morby describes his unit's encampment near a factory. He describes the size of the camp, where and how they slept, how they dealt with cold weather, and what not to do with beer.
Chapters and Verses
Maurice Morby describes his job of picking up and delivering supplies. He talks about how they communicated about supplies, how his truck was loaded, and the difficult overland journey.
"We're in a Minefield!"
Maurice Morby describes accidentally walking into a minefield while on patrol during Operation Skunk. He talks about the terrain, how he and a fellow soldier made their error, and how they escaped the potentially dangerous situation.
Mine Clearing Dogs
Maurice Morby talks about dogs that were used to discover enemy mines. He describes the dogs' duties and one particular encounter with several dogs in camp.
Second Hand Mail
Maurice Morby tells a story about what he called "second hand mail." While eating lunch one day, his unit's encampment came under heavy artillery fire. He describes that later it was found out that the artillery fire was from friendly tanks, their shells ricocheting off of a nearby river.
Secret Supply Mission
Maurice Morby describes delivering secret cargo on a supply mission. He talks about his discovery of what the cargo was, a fabricated decoy tank that was switched for a real tank that needed to be serviced.
28 Days for Smoking
Maurice Morby recalls the story of when he and a fellow soldier were caught smoking on guard duty and received a 28-day sentence in a military jail. He talks about the circumstances that surrounded his infraction and describes his experience as a military prisoner.
An Encounter with Danny Kaye
Maurice Morby tells about his encounter with Danny Kaye, an American film actor, while on guard duty one dark evening. He describes a vehicle approaching his position without stopping. Alarmed, he fired warning shots in the vehicle's direction without knowing the identities of it's passengers, Danny Kaye and a famous American singer.
First Impressions of Korea
Mert Lassere recounts his first experience with stepping on to Korean soil. Having just landed due to mechanical difficulties, he remembers being met with sniper fire while stepping off the plane. He shares no one had ammunition due to in-flight regulations, so they take cover in the ditches. He remembers how they proceeded through a burning town in the cover of night as they marched to form their perimeter, being told to make no noise along the way as Chinese were in the hills waiting for them.
Nelson S. Ladd
Operation X-Ray- The Libby Bridge Construction
Nelson Ladd was the surveyor for the bridge constructed over Imjin River known as the Libby Bridge. The high level, steel and concrete bridge that is still intact and in use today was named after Sergeant George C. Libby of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice at Taejon, Korea. Nelson Ladd was there during the dedication by Army General Maxwell Taylor on July 4, 1953.
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. He remembers how Seoul was captured and re-captured many times and how people were in desperate conditions. He recalls that the "lucky" Koreans had boxes for houses, clothing from soldiers, and scraps for food.
Sending Supplies from Home
Noreen Jankowski recalls a conversation about the cold winters in Korea. She mentions how she sent supplies to her husband in Korea to keep him warm. She details sending hand and feet warmers and shares that he endured some difficulties with his legs later on perhaps due to the cold exposure.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
Straight to the Front
Patrick Hickey recalls leaving Japan for Gimpo Airport and heading straight to the front lines. He describes changing specialties in Korea and joining a unit responsible for repairing guns. He explains that Unit 163 (Easy Troop) supported Hill 355 and the Battle of the Hook.
Cold Guns and Ingenuity
Patrick Hickey shares that he woke up at five each morning to remove guns from action for maintenance. He recalls that during the heat of summer the routine was fairly straightforward but adds that the guns froze in winter. He shares how he developed a mix of oil and kerosene to prevent the gun components from freezing, an innovation that spread quickly to other units. He describes the winters being so cold that soldiers had to disassemble their guns at night and place the parts by the fire so the guns would fire in the morning.
Patrick Hickey remembers losing Tom O'Neill to shrapnel. He shares how the officer in charge refused to go to check on the wounded soldier. He recalls another soldier calling the officer a coward and went himself to check on his wounded comrade. He remembers that by the time he reached Tom O'Neill, he was dead.
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.
Writing Home and Killing the Tiger
Patrick Hickey and his wife Joy describe their correspondence as being about everyday topics at home. Patrick shares how he did not want to worry Joy. He recalls that the battles were tough, and he describes the last battle of the war, the Third Battle of the Hook. He remembers that on the third night of the battle, thousands of Chinese attacked. He recalls how the United Nations forces killed one million Chinese soldiers in three nights and how the Chinese withdrew to sign the peace treaty.
A Tale of Two Seouls
Ralph Blum contrasts Seoul in March 1952 and May 2012 upon his revisit. He shares that Seoul was a mess and totally demolished in 1952. He recalls there were only a few bridges at the time, and he recounts crossing the Imjin River on a pontoon bridge. He explains that Seoul was completely different in 2012 with modern buildings and lots of traffic.
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 M. Longden arrived in Busan in 1953 to witness terrible poverty. He and his fellow soldiers gave their rations to hungry children. Construction work had already begun in Seoul. When he returned to Korea a few years ago the change was miraculous. Hard work had returned Korea to great prosperity. He is grateful for the hospitality of the Korean people during his visit.
Robert S. Chessum
Battle of Kapyong
Robert Chessum describes the Battle of Kapyong. The Chinese were on the Offensive until Kapyong. Robert Chessum was part of the 16 New Zealand Field Regiment providing support to the 27th Commonwealth Brigade. He describes being on a full offensive prior to the Battle of Kapyong and how his unit became really efficient as an artillery unit. Robert Chessum provides a complete description about the prelude to the Battle and ultimate Battle of Kapyong.
Memory of Engagement and Artillery
Robert Chessum describes a Chinese threat at one moment because his unit was too far forward due to a Chinese Offensive. He describes the New Zealand artillery, providing specific details on the various guns. He then describes becoming part of the 1st Commonwealth Brigade.
Hill 355 and Hill 317
Robert Chessum describes being a Temporary Captain on the assault of Hill 355 and Hill 317. He was wounded during the campaigns by mortar fire. He was evacuated to a hospital for a week and transferred to Hero Camp in Japan. Robert Chessum eventually came back to Imjin after a six month recuperation and was eventually discharged in 1952.
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr.
Difficult and Rewarding Times
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr., talks about being under enemy artillery fire. He recalls making it quickly into a foxhole. He discusses being scared and describes his most rewarding times in Korea and the special experience.
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.