Tag: North Koreans
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
Adam McKenzie describes clearing the town of Sariwon, North Korea. Although they received no tank support from American aid, his battalion mounted their miniature tanks to make an advance. He recounts capturing roughly three thousand North Korean soldiers as a result of the advance.
Back to the 38th Parallel
Adam McKenzie discusses having to turn around and go back to the 38th Parallel after reaching Pyongyang. He explains that the command to retreat came before Chinese soldiers entered the Korean War, and it was given at the direction of United States military leadership. He expresses frustration at having to retreat, and feels that Korea would be unified today if soldiers could have kept moving northward.
Chinese Troops and a Rare Medal
Adam McKenzie describes his encounter with Chinese soldiers during the Korean War. He goes on to describe and show a rare Presidential Citation Medal that his regiment qualified to earn, yet he cannot wear along side awarded British medals. The rare medal was awarded to him by Syngman Rhee, President of the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
Albert Cooper talks about a secret counterintelligence mission alongside two British spies to uncover South Koreans working against American interests. He mentions that while this mission itself bore little fruit, he developed a "love affair with the Korean people."
What Did You Do in Korea?
Albert Frisina speaks about his training in the Army Security Agency and the work he did. He shares he was a radar transmission locator and was stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea. He and his unit would listen to radar transmissions in an attempt to locate and listen to the North Koreans. He recalls how they were not always sure about what was being said, but they were able to identify the transmission location through a method of triangulation.
The North Korean Soldier
Albert Gonzales explained that the North Korean soldiers were very intelligent and skilled. He said that they knew a lot of details about their weapons and supplies. He also describes how they were so well versed that they would stare at new things to gain a better perception.
Modern Outcomes of the War
Albert Harrington shares that his experience during the war was very educational and that he grew up overnight. He discusses with the interviewer several outcomes of the war including political and economic ties. He expresses his sympathy regarding the current conditions between North and South Korea and wishes for them to unite.
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.
Infiltrators Hiding in Barrels
Albert McCarthy recalls an incident that happened when he worked for the security agency. Intelligence came in that there were 12 North Korean infiltrators sneaking into South Korea through the Han River hiding in barrels. Once caught, the infiltrators were killed that night. He also recalls receiving intelligence of a school bus filled with infiltrators heading to kill the South Korean president. They also blew up at least two gunboats a week.
Code Names, Signals, and Spies
Albert McCarthy describes working with a North Korean spy. He details having to use code names and signals. He also elaborates on how this spy helped alleviate a set up from the North Koreans that almost occured in the Chorwon Valley.
Alfredo Forero Parra
Battle of Old Baldy / Batalla de Old Baldy
Alfredo Forero Parra details the horrors of war as experienced at the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the way in which they were bombed for over eleven days with heavy artillery and mortars. He recounts a painful story in which his friend, Corporal Gonzalez Varela, who commanded the second squad of his platoon was brutally killed as the avalanche of Chinese troops advanced on their company.
Alfredo Forero Parra detalla los horrores de la guerra que el sufrió durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe la forma en que fueron bombardeados durante más de once días con artillería pesada y morteros. Además, relata una dolorosa historia en la que su amigo, el Cabo González Varela, quien comandaba el segundo escuadrón de su pelotón, fue brutalmente matado cuando la avalancha de tropas chinas avanzó sobre su compañía.
Toughest Battles / Batallas Más Duras
Alfredo Forero Parra explains that the Battle of Old Baldy was one of the five bloodiest battles of the war. He adds that it was the worse battle for the Batallón Colombia as ninety-five troops were killed, and twenty-eight soldiers were captured as prisoners of war. He recounts the way in which he was wounded and almost died.
Alfredo Forero Parra explica que la Batalla de Old Baldy fue una de las cinco batallas más sangrientas de la guerra. Cuenta que fue la peor batalla del Batallón Colombia, porque que murieron noventa y cinco soldados y veintiocho soldados fueron capturados como prisioneros de guerra. Además, relata la forma en que fue herido y casi muere después de una explosión.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Ali Dagbagli describes the Battle of Kunu-ri. The Battle of Junu-ri was the first major military engagement for Turkey since WWI. He describes being surrounded on all sides by the enemy. The battle lasted for three nights and four days. Therefore he lost many friends in the battle and was shot four times.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
A Brother's Narrative
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes the Korean War from his brother's perspective. His brother served in the Turkish Army at the battle of Kunu-ri. The battle was largely a guerrilla war. Turkish military fought the North Koreans in close combat with bayonets affixed. The battle was extremely dangerous and hard fought.
Allen Affolter describes an event leading up to the ceasefire in 1953. He shares that Bed Check Charlie dropped leaflets the night before the ceasefire at Panmunjom stating that the North Koreans always knew where the US positions were and that they could have annihilated them at any time. He recalls that he and other soldiers were instructed to turn in all of the leaflets. He recounts that the leaflets had little impact and that he and others were glad when the ceasefire was announced.
Allen Affolter describes South Korea as an amazing country. He recounts the progress made since the war after returning to Korea with a Korean War Veterans Revisit Program and comments on its differences compared to North Korea. He shares that he was greeted warmly by the citizens of South Korea and left the trip proud of the contributions he and his colleagues had made to the success of their nation.
Allen Clark's First Prisoner of War
Allen Clark was establishing observation posts and was maneuvering around Gimpo Airport when he came across a family who had captured a North Korean soldier. He felt the process of handing him to the property authorities went well, but he was concerned that there were many more POWs with the possibility of being outnumbered. He wasn't sure how the Korean people felt about American's arrival during the conflict, but at that time, he felt they were happy and pleased the US soldiers were there.
Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.
Experience in Korea
Angad Singh speaks about his living arrangements in Panmunjom, along the DMZ. He describes their living quarters, U.S. tents, being well-built and remembers having kerosine heaters in the tents because the temperatures in Korea were very cold. He recalls some of his duties while in Korea and adds that he left Korea and arrived home in India in August of 1954.
The Stories His Father Told Him
Anil Malhotra reflects on the stories his father, Brigadier Tilka Raj Malhotra, told him about his experience in Korea. On November 19, 1950, the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit of India moved in to Korea. It was the time when the Chinese army put in a massive counter-attack. His unit was ordered to evacuate because of the Chinese attack. The unit became known as the Bucket Brigade because they carried buckets of water from the nearby river to a steam engine to get it working once again. The steam engine hauled all medical equipment away from the conflict zone and was not lost to the war. The steam engine carried all of the medical equipment to Seoul, across the Han river, just in time because the communists blew up the bridge right after. He expands on other stories about the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit. The goal of the unit was to save as many lives as possible.
372nd Bombardment Squadron
Antone Jackim talks about the mission of the 372nd Bombardment Squadron based at Kadena Air base, Japan. He describes the 9-member crew and the typical mission that was carried out on a B-29 Superfortress.
Role at the Pusan Perimeter
Arden Rowley offers an account of his role as a jeep driver at the Battle of Yongsan. He provides an overview of the troop movement that led to the North Koreans being pushed back to the Nakdonggang river. He offers an account of his role in transporting an inexperienced bazooka team to successfully destroy incoming enemy tanks.
Moment of Hesitation Led to Capture
Arden Rowley describes the night of November 30, 1950, and his capture by the Chinese Communist Forces. He describes how his unit was surrounded which led them to destroy their equipment and leave the convoy. He recalls how he and another soldier became separated from the group and seeing a group of soldiers approaching. He remembers that by the time they could properly identify the approaching soldiers, it was too late. He shares how being captured was a traumatic experience as one minute you are firing at them and then you are at their mercy. He elaborates on his fears while being captured and the twenty-four day march he endured to the first POW camp.
Arthur C. Golden
We Should Not Have Gone Up There
Arthur Golden reflects on why soldiers were sent to Korea and General Douglas MacArthur’s decision to push further north. Now looking back, he reveals he disagrees with General MacArthur’s choice and rationale to push further north. He remembers the struggles they faced because of the cold and the surprise of suddenly being surrounded by one hundred twenty thousand enemy soldiers. After fighting their way out, he states they were lucky to make their way to Heungnam.
Never Could Get Used to the Cold
Arthur Golden notes that fighting in the cold weather was the hardest part of his time in Korea. He recalls one experience in which their sleeping bags were never delivered. He recalls how they continuously walked back and forth all night in order to stay warm. Throughout the night, he remembers hearing people moaning from the frostbite. He shares how his legs eventually gave out. He explains that he was lucky the enemy was not around because he just laid in the snow.
"Little" Battle at Pusan Perimeter
Arthur Gentry fought in Pusan at the perimeter where the North Koreans had taken control. United States troops were ordered to dig in and begin to dig fox holes as heavy mortars were falling as his commander was injured. They were there for two days to help straighten out the line for the army and provide support for the army. This is an example of how quickly some troops were embroiled in battles as they landed in Korea.
Inchon Landing: 15 Foot Ladders
Arthur Gentry and his comrades created 15-foot ladders to use to "land" in Inchon by scaling a 15-foot sea wall. The tide went out for 6 miles, so this was how the troops had to get ashore.
The marines climbed over the side of the ship and went into the boats. Rockets and bombardments awaited the Marines as they approached Inchon.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Heungnam Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
Legacy of the Korean War
Arthur Gentry believes that if it were not for the Marines, there would not have been victory at the Chosin Reservoir. Casualties were hight with 3600 U.S. soldiers killed in action, and another 6000 suffered from frostbite. Arthur Gentry believes that the Korean War, otherwise known as the "Forgotten War," was the last war the U.S. "won" and accomplished anything. He believes the victory lies within the Marines holding the line and the U.S. nurturing South Korea to flourish economically and democratically.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
Young Bill's Action at Yang-do
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes action aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo patrolling the east coast of Korea during the war and how he got the nickname - "Young Bill." He recounts his duties in gun direction during an attempted North Korean invasion of the island of Yang-do, which is in North Korea. As a result of Yang-do, his memories of the dead haunt him to this day.
Yang-do and Pirates
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes more of the engagement at Yang-do, consequently wounding thirteen New Zealand navy men and killing one. The North Korean soldiers were on sampans, a flat-bottomed boat and close enough to fire on the HMNZS Taupo using rifles. However, the firepower of the frigate was too much. One North Korean was fired upon while trying to surrender and subsequently lost his life. In conclusion, Arthur H. Hazeldine also describes an encounter with pirates off the coast of Taiwan.
Arthur Leroy Brown
Family Hears News of Their Son's Death
Arthur L. Brown was captured and initially identified as Missing in Action on July 7, 1950. Later it was learned he was being held as a Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. He died on January 31, 1951, on what would have been his twenty-first birthday. His family later learned he died from complications due to Beriberi.
How His Brother Was Buried at the POW Camp
Arthur L. Brown died during freezing cold weather in North Korea. As a result, he was buried in a grave dug as deep as could be dug near Camp 5. This was devastating news to his family.
Experiences from the Front Lines
Avery Creef speaks about his experiences on the front lines at the Kumhwa Valley, Old Baldy, and the Iron Triangle. He recalls fighting against both the North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. There were a few dangerous situations where he almost lost his life. He remembers constantly firing flares.
Baldwin F. Myers
Battle of Jinju Begins
Baldwin F. Myers recounts the beginning of conflict on the road from Jinju to Hadong. He discusses coming under fire from North Korean mortars. He also describes his struggles with PTSD related to that day.
Fighting His Way Back to the Lines
Baldwin Myers describes the Battle of Jinju and his time behind enemy lines. As the city was falling, Baldwin Myers had to find a weapon and fight his way back to American lines. He successfully rejoined American forces the day before Jinju fell.
Barry J. McKay
Action in the East Sea
Barry J. McCay describes action aboard the HMNZS Pukaki. He details how his ship patrolled the Eastern coastline of Korea. He recalls how, In one encounter, his ship came under fire from a Soviet-made MiG jet.
The Dangers of Providing Supplies for Troops
Basilio MaCalino landed at Incheon in March 1953. From there, he went to Sasebo on his way to his station in Ascom City. When arriving there, human waste was everywhere and the smell was something that he'll never forget. When leaving his station in a truck to bring supplies to troops, he was shot at multiple times.
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Battle of Triangle Hill
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the Battle of Triangle Hill. Ethiopian forces were located on Papasan Hill (Hill 1062) during the battle. Ethiopian forces never went on the offensive and defended the Hill. In addition, Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros also describes how no Ethiopian forces were taken as prisoners of war (POW). Ethiopian forces never surrendered.
So Many Surrenders
Belay Bekele describes fighting conditions in Korea. He explains how the threats were everywhere, because of all of the enemy surrenders. Ethiopian forces took in all people, enemies, and civilians. He also discusses how the winters and mountains were the most difficult things outside of the enemy. Winters were extremely cold and there were so many mountains.
"We Had Our Mission, They Had Theirs"
Belisario Flores describes the Chinese as good fighters, and he really had nothing against them. He adds that he did not have anything against the North Koreans either. All he knew was that he was fighting against communism. He describes the Colombian Infantry Battalion of which he was one of the leaders because he spoke Spanish.
Ben Schrader Jr.
Duties to Ensure Safety
The Combat Chemical Engineer Corps developed smoke screens over the rivers which would allow the battalion to lay the bridges without being attacked by the enemy. The worry was that while placing these bridges, the enemy would lay mines in the river bottoms, so the engineers were hoping they had done their job well without risking the lives their fellow soldiers. Ben Schrader hoped that all the bombs had be deactivated prior to coming so close to these rivers.
Closure to the Present Hostilities with North Korea
Ben Schrader believed that the hostilities will continue because North Korea continues to threaten the US with bombs. It is just like the Cold War the lasted for many years. He would support reunification between North and South Korea since he went back to Korea for a revisit and he saw first-hand the civilian desire to become one country again.
Benigno Ramos Perez
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Benigno Ramos Pérez shares some of the most difficult moments he experienced during the war. He explains how an enemy combatant tried to infiltrate their unit and was caught trying to do so. Following that incident, he recounts how a young man in his unit was killed during a forward observing mission. He shares the story in which his clumsiness saved his life as a mortar fell where he should have been if he had not dropped his helmet.
Benigno Ramos Pérez comparte algunos de los momentos más difíciles que vivió durante la guerra. Explica cómo un soldado enemigo intentó infiltrarse en su unidad y fue atrapado al intentar de hacerlo. Después de ese incidente, comparte la historia de cómo un joven de su unidad murió durante una misión de observación avanzada. Por último, comparte la historia en la que su torpeza le salvó la vida cuando un mortero cayó donde debería haber estado si no se le hubiera caído el casco.
First Days in Korea
Benjamin Allen speaks about traveling to Korea and arriving in Busan (Pusan). He also talks about seeing Seoul burn as the North Koreans were retreating. Benjamin Allen gives his take on fear.
Wounded - Sent to a MASH
Benjamin Allen speaks about being wounded and how he narrowly escaped becoming a Prisoner of War. He also talks about the cold weather and the frostbite he suffered
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago
Infiltrated by the Enemy / Infiltrado por el Enemigo
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago provides an account of a dangerous battle in which enemy troops infiltrated their unit. The problem, he explains, was that the Filipino language sounded like Chinese, and they assumed that it was allied troops returning to the line. He describes the fighting which ensued and resulted in his sergeant being shot.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago relata una peligrosa batalla en la que tropas enemigas infiltraron a su unidad. El problema, explica el, era que el idioma filipino sonaba como chino, y asumieron que eran tropas aliadas que regresaban. Describe la lucha que siguió y que resultó en su sargento herido.
The Effects of the Winter / Los Efectos del Invierno
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago recounts the living and weather conditions they faced in Korea. He remembers being amazed by the frigid temperatures and describes the effects on both living and deceased soldiers. He further elaborates on the weather by describing how allied troops left North Korea by boat after blowing up the port.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago relata las condiciones de vida y del clima que enfrentaron en Corea. Recuerda estar asombrado al frio que había y describe los efectos del invierno tanto en los soldados vivos como en los muertos. Da más detalles sobre el tiempo al describir cómo las tropas aliadas se fueron de Corea del Norte en barco después de volar el muelle.
New Equipment and Additional Pilots Leads to Advantage
Bill Hall recalls with the arrival of additional land-based pilots came additional equipment for his unit. Their new equipment included a 20 mm cannon as well as tracer bullets which allowed pilots to see where shots were being fired. This served as a great advantage for the American planes over the Chinese ground forces. He notes that his first was on August 7, 1950, but he was soon cut because he was needed as a Landing Signal Officer (LSO).
We are taking Prisoners of War
Bill Lynn describes his company taking two prisoners of war. Once they had the North Koreans imprisoned, the Koreans told plans the Chinese had to ambush Americans. It was a cold, snowy day and the Chinese were all dressed in white to camouflage themselves. The Americans would have never known they were coming had it not been for the prisoners of war they captured.
Making Sure Communication was Always On
Bob Mitsou Imose recounts one 1954 flight mission to penetrate air defense systems in the western part of the peninsula. Furthermore, he describes his time in Korea as a communication electronics officer with the 5th Air Force beginning in 1967, working in cooperation with the 8th Army Division, to ensure communication always remained on. He details the military bases he visited in Korea as part of his duties during this period.
Treating Marines on the Front Line
Bob Wickman recalls some of the very first patients he treated while serving as a hospital corpsman near the front line in Korea. He notes that in addition to providing medical care that corpsmen were frequently mother, father, and chaplain all at once. He describes staying in "crab holes" until his services were needed and then quickly responding before returning to his "crab hole" which was cut from a side of the trench line.
Bradley J. Strait
Front Lines and Living Conditions
Bradley Strait explains he was stationed mostly in Wonsan Harbor. He remembers the North Koreans had pushed the Americans back to Wonsan and that a battle was taking place there, and he details the role of destroyers during this battle. He also recalls the living conditions on the ship as being very tight and cannot imagine women being stationed on the ship due to the close conditions.
Animosity towards the North Korean Leadership
Bradley Strait shares the level of animosity he feels towards the leadership in North Korea. He weighs in on the benefits of reunification and suggests that South Korea is a good model of democracy. He highlights the economic gains South Korean has made as well.
The Korean War Homecoming and the Lack of American Pride
As Bruce Ackerman and the Korean War veterans returned home from the war, many US citizens lacked an understanding and scope of the Korean War. Many US civilians stated that the Korean War was nothing more than a police action. Bruce Ackerman recalled the success of the US Marine Corps during the Pusan Perimeter as they defeated the North Koreans and the Chinese. With the help from strong leadership and effective equipment, North Koreans and Chinese were beaten and this was monumental to Bruce Ackerman.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Bruce W. Diggle
Hill 355 and the "Apostles"
Bruce Diggle shows the famous Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. The British Commonwealth forces fought for possession of Hill 355 during the series of battles that corresponded to the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge to the east. The North Koreans were positioned on three smaller hills that the Kiwis nicknamed the Apostles - Matthew, Luke, and John. He took pictures of the North Korean positions during a truce.
Bryan J. Johnson
Rescuing Refugees from North Korea
Bryan J. Johnson describes his service in the West Sea off the Island of Cho-do. He was defending this territory from North Korean invasion. At one point his ship was responsible for the rescuing a Christian family from North Korean territory.
Naval Role and Threats
Bryan J. Johnson describes the role of his ship, steering the ship and Captain of the gun. The HMNZS Hawea provided escorts for supplies and patrolled the Han River. He also explains that the main threat was not from land bombardment, rather Russian MIG's flown by North Koreans.
Wrong Shells, Wrong Time
Bryan J. Johnson, Captain of the gun on ship, ordered a shelling of a North Korean supply train. He explains that storage of the shells were switched and he fired "star shells" for illumination, instead of explosive shells. Bryan Johnson later describes two sailors who were swept away by the Han River, but later rescued after being in the water for many hours.
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.
Riding the Waves of a Typhoon
Burley Smith provides an account of the hours before the historic landing in Incheon Harbor by MacArthur that cut off the North Korean Army. The SS Meredith Victory was the last ship in General MacArthur's convoy. The night before the landing, he remembers seeing waves breaching the side of the vessel and realizing that they were in a typhoon. Due to the intensity of the waves, he recalls Captain Leonard LaRue having to crawl up to the bridge and giving the orders. He shares that miraculously and with a little luck, they were able to bring the ship back in line and into Incheon Harbor.
We Loaded as Many as We Could
Burley Smith provides an account of the role the SS Meredith Victory played in the evacuation of around fourteen thousand civilians during the 1950 Hamheung Evacuation. Throughout the process of the evacuation, he admires the behavior of the refugees during the evacuation and notes the bravery they exhibited. He notes that the ship was most likely sent there to load equipment but they ended up only loading people. He elaborates on the process of loading refugees into the holds and the living conditions they endured during the trip.
The Level of Trust was Remarkable
Burley Smith explains issues the SS Meredith Victory faced trying to dock and unload the refugees. He recalls the fear of plague delaying the ability to dock and resources being to be brought to the vessel. Through it all, he remembers the excitement the refugees exhibited and the remarkable level of trust they had in the crew.
It is Remarkable It Happened Without Any Incidents
Burley Smith gives details about the minefields of Hamheung harbor. He recounts how the United States Navy marked the minefield for them to navigate around the mines. He describes the United States Navy minesweepers maneuvering beside them to mark the minefield which allowed them to navigate through the mines. Along with this, he shares that the refugees were never searched and could have overtaken the ship at any time. For these reasons, he shares that it is remarkable that it all happened without any incidents.
Burnie S. Jarvis
Duties of the U.S.S. Toledo
Burnie Jarvis recalls he and the crew of the U.S.S. Toledo served mainly in the waters off of the east coast of Korea and about ten miles north of where the action was. He remembers spending about two weeks in any one location. He notes there was small arms fire from the shore but that it ended up being little more than splashes in the water. He notes there really was not much resistance from the enemy toward the U.S. Navy in the region. He explains the ship's main duties were to provide artillery fire for whatever the spotter located and even breaking up ice during the cold winters to prevent the enemy from crossing the rivers to resupply troops.
Evacuating Heungnam, Off to Busan
Carl Hissman describes his experience at the evacuation of Heungnam. He remembers being the last one off of the beach. He recalls seeing many North Korean refugees and remembers the roads were so full of people. He shares they were able to save some but not all. He remembers seeing a blown-up village and two civilians frozen dead. After Heungnam, his unit went down to Busan and began pushing back up north towards Seoul.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen recounts jump training in Daegu, Korea, and recalls making multiple training jumps in order to receive his wings. He offers an account of his first combat jump and details the related mission. He comments on the destruction he saw during his service.
A Dangerous Moment
Carl Jacobsen shares memories of one of the most dangerous moments he experienced in combat. He recalls being given orders to collect ammunition and receiving sniper fire on his return with the ammunition. He recounts stopping the vehicle he was driving to return fire and wondering if he would make it out of the situation alive.
Carl W. House
Destruction of Civilian Homes
After Carl House's unit left the Incheon landing site, they headed to Seoul. He said the first time he witnessed the capital, it was gone due to total destruction. When American tanks arrived, they would level the buildings to keep the North Koreans from using them. Carl House said they warned civilians to leave their homes before the soldiers destroyed them. However, recently, Carl House was was surprised at a doctor's office when he came across a magazine in the waiting room describing South Korea's accomplishments since the war.
First Night with a North Korean Spy
Carl House described that his unit worked with ROK soldiers and the language barrier made it difficult to understand each other. They relied heavily on sign language as a way to interpret their needs. During the first night, Carl House discovered that the person in his foxhole was a North Korean spy with assistance from the ROK soldier. They questioned the spy and the ROK soldiers took him away. Carl House felt he was lucky and he was amazed that the ROK was able to identify the spy.
I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!
Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto
Fear During the Battle of Old Baldy/ Miedo Durante la Batalla de Old Baldy
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto recounts the worst action he encountered during the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes being continuously bombarded throughout the night and having to hold the front until American reinforcements arrived hours later. He explains that although their camp was surrounded by landmines and barbed wire, Chinese and North Korean troops pierced their defenses. He marvels at the tenacity of enemy troops as bodies exploded in the air as they marched through the minefield.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto relata la peor acción que vio que fue durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él describe haber sido bombardeado continuamente durante toda la noche y tener que mantener el frente hasta que llegaran los refuerzos estadounidenses horas después que empezó la batalla. Explica que, aunque su campamento estaba rodeado de minas y alambre de púas, las tropas chinas y norcoreanas atravesaron sus defensas. Se acuerda de la tenacidad de las tropas enemigas cuando los cuerpos volaban por el aire mientras marchaban a través del campo de minas.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco
Signing of the Armistice / Firma del Armisticio
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco provides an account of the jubilation felt by allied and enemy troops on the day the Armistice was signed. He describes the way in which they cheered and held their helmets high on one hill and could see enemy troops do the same on the other side. He explains that they were elated at the the news of the prisoner of war exchange as there were over twenty Colombians that were being held captive.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco da cuenta de la alegría que sintieron las tropas aliadas y enemigas el día de la firma del Armisticio. Describe la forma en que botaban los cascos tanto ellos como las tropas enemigas. Recuerda que lo más eufórico fue la noticia del intercambio de prisioneros de guerra que se produciría porque habían más de veinte colombianos cautivos.
Cecil K. Walker
Re-Supplying on the Front Lines
Cecil Walker describes the loss of two men while moving supplies, who were killed by guerrilla fighters. At other times drivers were held up so Allies could perform airstrikes on the hills in front of them. Cecil Walker describes how he was not scared though, because he was with others and doing a job.
Panmunjeom Peace Talks
Cecilio Asuncion discusses his belief that the war should not have happened. He highlights the original division of Korea and then the division at the Panmunjeom Peace Talks. While describing the peace talks, he provides an overview of the delegates who were in attendance. Since South Korea did not take part in the peace talks, he clarifies that North and South Korea are still at war.
North Korean Offense with Tanks
Charles Bissett describes the incoming forces of North Koreans armed with tanks against the, initially, light weapons of the American forces. He recounts no aid given after calling in artillery forces for assistance. He adds that many soldiers were killed.
Arrival and Encounter with North Koreans
Charles Bissett recalls his arrival in Korean during the early part of the war. He recounts arriving in Pusan and then transferring north to Daegu where they were met by North Korean soldiers and suffered casualties. He shares that he served as a wireman in communications for a period of time.
Mass Grave Site Filled with Civilians
Charles Buckley drove all throughout Korea during his time there and witnessed the narrow roads, trees, and the damage incurred. He recalls a massive grave site that had been unearthed full of slaughtered children. It's predicted that this grave site was from when the North Koreans overran Seoul, South Korea and killed anything is their path.
Charles Carl Smith
Life in the Punch Bowl
Charles Smith talks about the 11 1/2 months that he spent in the Punch Bowl and describes what it was like to be a part of trench warfare along the MLR. He tells the story of his first encounter with enemy troops and how he hoped to not be "yellow."
Charles Connally describes two psychological strategies utilized during the war. He describes connecting large speakers to the bottoms of B-52s and playing recordings of Korean women compelling the North Korean men to go home to their wives. He goes on to explain how the Chinese would fly planes over their camp at night, occasionally dropping hand grenades and bombs, in order to limit the amount of rest soldiers got. This the troops referred to as "Bed Check Charlie."
Charles Crow Flies High
Entering Korea in 1993
Charles Crow Flies High was sent to Korea for his first deployment in November 1993. He flew into Kimpo Air Force Base, and then he was sent to Seoul to get finished setting up to protect South Korea. He recounts that they were "locked and stocked" at all times from that point forward. His job was to watch for Kim Jong Il and his North Korean troops to make sure that they did not take over Seoul.
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 E. Gebhardt
Joining the 29th Infantry Division
Charles Gebhardt talks about arriving to his unit, the 29th Infantry Division. He talks about the challenges the unit faced at the time of his arrival. Led by a Korean commander and lacking supplies and training, they were recently defeated by enemy forces.
A Day on the Line
Charles Gebhardt describes his duties as a part of the 29th Infantry Regiment. He talks about going on patrols and observing enemy movements as an artillery forward observer.
Before the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Charles Gebhardt describes the placement of his unit before the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He mentions that his unit, the 39th Infantry Regiment, relieved a Marine unit that held the northernmost ground of all US forces.
Charles Earnest Berry
Experiences with Chinese Soldiers and Rethinking War
Charles Earnest Berry discusses fighting the Chinese and how quick and mobile they were since they carried less equipment than the American soldiers. He explains how the Chinese put human waste on their bayonets to increase the chances of wounds becoming infectious. He recounts finding an entire National Guard unit dead, hauling dead bodies from the front, and how all of this made him rethink war. He shares that he told his mom to send liquor not cookies when asked what he would like her to package and mail.
Capture and Escape
Charles Earnest Berry discusses the cold in Korea and being captured at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He describes how he was able to escape and return back safely to American lines. He recalls the waves of Chinese soldiers and artillery bombardments.
The Role of Aircraft at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir
Charles Earnest Berry recalls seeing American aircraft strafing the Chinese and North Koreans and pilots dipping their wings to American soldiers. He describes arriving at a bombed bridge and having to wait for the bridge to be airlifted in which rendered a loss of people and equipment during the wait. He describes the USS Missouri firing on the enemy and how he was evacuated from Korea after being wounded.
Horrors of War
Charles Fowler describes the devastating effects of the war on women and children. He shares that the North Koreans even used children as decoys. He also recounts images of those afflicted by napalm as being some of the most difficult for him.
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.
Legacy of Korean War Veterans
Charles Fowler emphasizes that Korean War veterans should be honored has other veterans have been. He shares that the Korean War should be characterized as an event that proves Communism does not work as it enslaves people and their freedom to act. He also adds that it will take a strong leader to bring both Koreas together in the future.
Charles Francis Jacks
Korea Today and Lessons Learned
Charles Jacks draws comparisons between 1950s Korea and Korea today. He shares that South Korea today is far more modern than it was during the war and contrasts it to North Korea. He reflects on lessons learned from his time serving.
Charles H. Brown
Charles H. Brown describes his service on the New Zealand frigate HMNZS Hawea. He recounts the shelling of North Korean positions by the USS Missouri. One position was shelled, but the North Koreans rebuilt. Later this position attacked the HMNZS Hawea. Charles H. Brown describes the evasive maneuvers the ship took to escape.
Attacking a Target
Charles Brown describes the attacking of a North Korean target. He had just began his shift work. He went on deck and noticed how close the ship was to shore. The next thing is the sky went bright. His ship was attacking the North Korean target.
Charles L. Hallgren
When Bomb Drops Go Wrong
Charles Hallgren describes the dilemma of dealing with ammunition and explosives that were produced during World War II but sent to be used in Korea during bomb drops. He explains the task of having to diffuse weapons before they actually exploded to prevent deaths. He describes the challenges that accompanied working with B-26 bomber aircraft. He recounts how the enemy would also run wire in between mountains to take down planes which may have been how General Van Fleet's son was killed.
Inchon Landing and Movement Northward
Charles Ross describes his experience during the Inchon Landing. He recounts an order given to his unit to hold its ground at all costs and shares that it was one of the scariest moments he experienced while in South Korea. He describes traveling north, receiving little resistance along the way, and recalls North Korean soldiers surrendering as his unit crossed the 38th Parallel and made its way to Pyongyang.
One Mortar Round
Charles Weeks describes being under attack by North Korean mortar fire and how a foxhole saved his life. This circumstance still haunts him to this very day. He elaborates on how this situation strengthened his relationship with God.
"I Didn't Change My Socks"
Charles Weeks talks about his decision not to change his socks which resulted in him being sent to Japan to recover from frozen toes. He feels like he dishonored his country, by not doing something so simple. He discusses this situation and his regrets.
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.
"The Fire Brigade"
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the 25th Infantry Regiment, known as "The Fire Brigade." He describes his regiments makeup and how the unit was used during the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter.
Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the fighting at Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang. He describes the enemy forces that his unit faced and being outflanked many times by North Koreans.
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.
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.
The Battle That Got Me
Chester Coker speaks about the battle which impacted him the most. He recalls how he and his unit were just north of Panmunjeom, close to the 38th parallel. He remembers a stalemate had been reached, and negotiations were stalled, and the Army was ordered to push north. He shares how the battle that followed was the most fierce he experienced, pushing the North Korean and Chinese soldiers back north. He recalls how they were able to push forward because many of the enemy troops were asleep. He describes how a grenade landed and blew up on top of him.
Chong Rae Sok
Inchon Landing and Osan
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Inchon Landing. His unit landed at Inchon on September 18, 1950 and fought their way to Suwon. One day later, he describes moving by foot to Osan and losing soldiers along the way, including a fellow KATUSA.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
Clarence G. Atzenhoffer, Jr.
War Ready at Home
Clarence Atzenhoffer describes being trained and running drills for a homeland invasion in America during the Korean War. He recounts red alerts and being given guns with no bullets for practice purposes. He adds that while they knew the North Koreans did not have long range airplanes, the Russians were also a factor they had to worry about.
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.
Do You Have Any Final Words?
While hiding out in a Japanese school house (near Pyongyang), sick with amoebic dysentery, the Chinese ordered the POWs to move at night to avoid being detected by American Airplanes. The night before, the POWs were supposed to leave from the school, but an American soldier who had made an attempt to escape the prison earlier was brought back to the camp and was put on the platform where the Chinese would usually conduct their daily exercise. They sentenced him to death and asked him if he had any final words and asked if he wished to be blindfolded before being shot by a firing squad. The US POW said, "Yes, go screw yourself you slant-eyed SOB." Clarence thought this soldier had a lot of guts.
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.
Clarence Jerke speaks 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.
Memories of the Armistice and Returning POWs
Clarence Jerke shares his memories of the Armistice. He describes how he felt and what he did as he encountered returning POWs in August 1953.
Jubiliation at Sea
Clayborne Lyles participated in the Navy's ocean search and rescue efforts when there were US pilots that were shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He felt jubilation to be part of 22 pilot rescue missions, but he was sad when none of these missions were discussed in the newspapers. One mission that made him laugh, but it was still serious event was when a pilot was shot down and he was shot in the butt. Clayborne Lyles remembered how the sailors would give each other grief to lighten the mood of war.
"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.
Colin C. Carley
Radio Operators in the Korean War
Colin Carley shares that he worked alongside an Australian brigade when he patrolled near Panmunjeom in late 1950 through early 1951. As a radio operator for his New Zealand Battery Brigade, he recalls being scared of all the tracer bullets that would whiz by him. He remembers how he would feel sick when battles began because he never knew if he would be able to return home again.
I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home
Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.
Colin J. Hallett
Ship Description and a Funny Story
Colin Hallett describes the HMNZS Kaniere. He describes the guns on the ship and overall living conditions. The HMNZS patrolled the West Sea and really did not encounter too many North Korean forces. He also provides a story of a mistake by the US Naval forces that could have ended in disaster.
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.
Conrad R. Grimshaw
The Burning of Chinese Rifles
Conrad Grimshaw briefly shares his thoughts on South Korea in comparison to North Korea. He describes the Chinese soldiers being killed by the hundreds. He recounts the burning of Chinese rifles to keep them out of circulation among the Chinese troops.
An Amazing Coincidence
Dan McKinney describes his capture by enemy forces and the way he was able to let his family know that he was still alive. He talks about telling another POW who was scheduled to be released, to tell his girlfriend and family that he was still alive when he returned stateside. In an amazing coincidence, the Marine told him that he had actually double dated Mckinney's girlfriend back in Texas before the war.
The Trek to POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney describes the roughly sixty-day march to POW Camp #1 after he was captured by North Korean forces. He talks about carrying a wounded fellow POW on his back for much of the journey. He mentions being forced to give the wounded soldier to Chinese forces so that they could attend to the soldier's wounds.
Food and Living Quarters in POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney describes what he was given to eat during his journey to POW Camp #1. He describes the POW Camp and how it was in a former Korean village. He also details what the prisoners' small living quarters were like.
Day-to-Day Work at POW Camp #1
Dan McKinney talks about the day-to-day work of POW's at Camp #1. He describes going to nearby mountains to harvest firewood during the warm months for the upcoming winter. They would hike about four miles to and from, carrying the large logs.
Activities and Religion in Pow Camp #1
Dan McKinney talks about the activities that he and fellow POW's were allowed to do in POW Camp #1. He mentions that they were allowed to play several sports including basketball and track. He mentions that he was allowed to pray and that he kept his New Testament Bible the entire time he was imprisoned.
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.
Life After the Armistice Was Signed
Dan McKinney talks about life in the POW camp during months prior to and days after the Armistice were signed. He mentions that their treatment became better or worse based on the state of the negotiations. He talks about the prisoners' reactions to the news of the Armistice as well as how he and his comrades were transported to be exchanged nearly a month after the ceasefire went in place.
Daniel Carvalho discusses his landing at Wonsan and subsequent retreat to Busan after being overrun by North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. He explains how the Chinese had sticks of bamboo. He shares how the LST was the mode of transport. LST stands for Landing ShipTank or tank landing ship.
Daniel J. Rickert
Enemy Bunkers and Trenches
Daniel Rickert talks about the many enemy bunkers and trenches. He describes how they were designed and built. They were very hard to find.
Daniel Rickert talks about his role in Operation Nomad. This was the last major UN offensive of the war. He describes in detail the demolition of a railroad tunnel near Kunsan.
I'm a Squad Leader Now
Daniel Kawaiaea speaks of the challenges he faced as a squad leader who was provided with very little training to prepare him for commanding others. He discusses the mindset many felt in having to take a human life to save his own. He concludes with a brief account of being wounded in the jaw while serving in Korea.
Daniel M. Lopez
A Strange Sound in the Night
Daniel M. Lopez recounts a dangerous experience on guard duty. He remembers hearing a sound and waking his fellow soldiers and sergeant. He recalls that North Koreans attacked them shortly after. He shares the aftermath of the battle, putting the dead on stretchers and trucks, was the worst moment of his touring career in the Korean War.
Strung to a Barbed Wire Fence
Daniel M. Lopez shares a memory of an American sergeant being captured by North Koreans. He recalls the sergeant being hit and strung to barbed wire. He remembers a captain calling in a Marine plane to destroy the body and remembers watching the scene unfold. He adds that memories like that stay with a person, but he expresses that he is not sorry he joined and is proud to have served.
Bridge Over Barbed Wire
Daniel M. Lopez details capturing an enemy soldier. He explains that the North Koreans would make a man-bridge over the barbed wire separating American and enemy troops in an effort to attack. He recounts capturing an enemy soldier scratched up from the barbed wire and requesting an interpreter to translate. He shares that the enemy soldier escaped and ran towards the South. He also adds that the interpreter ended up joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
Mission of the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the ongoing mission of the USS Fletcher during the ship's involvement in the Korean War. He describes drawing fire from enemy artillery and heading out to sea to rendezvous with naval ships that had greater artillery range.
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.
Koje-do Prison Camp Riots-1951
David Espinoza speaks about his participation in the combat operations within Koje-do Prison Camp. He recalls having to use flame throwers to help stop the riots incited by North Korean and Chinese prisoners. He remembers that he and the men he served with had to use hand grenades and bayonets to restore order in the camp.
On the Front Lines
David Espinoza recounts being attacked by North Korean and Chinese forces. He recalls carrying five-gallon cans of water on his back while digging trenches. He describes sustaining mortar and sniper fire by night during patrols. He recalls hearing the loud bugles sounded by Chinese soldiers during an enemy attack.
The Critical Role of the B-26 Missions
David Lehtonen recalls flying in B-26s as a radio operator. He shares a map of some mission routes and explains how the information gathered was critical for the planning of F-86 jet fighter strikes. He describes the mission that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Peace and Trust Among Former Enemies
David Lopez has mixed feelings about the possibility of meeting up with the North Koreans that he fought against during the Korean War. Soldiers on both sides were just doing their jobs and following through on orders, so David Lopez would meet with his former enemy. He remembers taking prisoners during the war and one of them was really tall and David Lopez believes that it was a Chinese soldier, not a North Korean.
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.
More Observant of the World Around Me
David Nevarez describes his role as a combat support specialist and remembers walking around a South Korean camp with the pressure of North Korea looming. He recounts a time when a South Korean soldier cracked his gun and the shock sending him into a deeper appreciation for the possibility of war with the North. From then on, he describes his readiness to fight and awareness of the world around him.
I Feel Very Fortunate
David Simon recalls his service in units which focusing on mapmaking and distribution of these maps during the Korean War. He briefly shares how fortunate he was to serve as he did during the Korean War. He recalls that many of those who were onboard the Breckinridge were shipped to Pusan. He counts himself lucky that he had a background in printing that kept him from the dangers of the front lines.
I Don't Think the North Koreans Want to Give up Their Little Empire
David Simon shares his thoughts on the transformation of Korea into an economic power. He focuses on current events related to the possibility of unifying the peninsula but expresses doubt that this will happen under the current North Korean regime. He closes by noting that he does not really consider himself a Korean War Veteran, but a veteran who was in the service at the time of the Korean War.
Arrival in Korea
David Valley talks about arriving in Korea. He was sent to Jinju and attached to an intelligence reconnaissance platoon. He describes bring separated from his unit on his first night of fighting and having to make his way back while behind enemy lines. He also talks about a friend that never made it back home.
Unprepared for War
David Valley talks about his lack of preparation for war as a 19-year old. He describes seeing the bodies of dead soldiers and being taken under the wing of a WWII veteran.
Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles
David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.
Retreating from Pyongyang
David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.
Life as a Platoon Leader
David White talks about his duties as Platoon Leader. His responsibilities included setting up ambushes and relieving his men and the conditions under which they operated. Most of these operations were against the North Koreans and took place at night.
Danger from Mortar Fire
David White talks about the frequent danger of enemy mortar fire. A lot of soldiers would get scared and try to run. However, they would get hit and it was better to lie low to the ground to avoid it.
A Close Call from an Enemy Mortar
David White tells a story about an incident when he and his sergeant's position was hit by a partially exploded enemy mortar shell. Both he and the his sergeant were not injured. In surprise, they laughed after the situation.
Kill or Be Killed
David White describes in detail a battle that began when the patrol he was leading came across a North Korean soldier. During the ensuing battle, both sides sustained heavy losses. He was wounded by an enemy mortar.
Delbert Ray Houlette
Seasoned for the Incheon Landing
Delbert Ray Houlette recalls being sent to serve at the Incheon Landing. He and his outfit were sent due to being "seasoned" in combat compared to other troops with their experience in the Pusan Perimeter. He describes the tides of the area where he was on Red Beach.
Gunsan Landing: Sept. 12, 1950
Delmer Davis talks about the Gunsan Landing, an operation that he and the special operations company participated in on Sept. 12, 1950 while the Inchon Landing was taking place. Delmer Davis describes the operation in detail and remarks that he feels his unit was used as a decoy for the Inchon Landing.
Missions on Gimpo Peninsula
Delmer Davis talks about several missions that his unit participated in on the Gimpo Peninsula. He describes working with other military units and capturing enemy soldiers.
Searching for the Chinese
Delmer Davis talks about the raiders' mission near Wonsan. He describes moving far forward of the front lines in search of enemy forces, eventually locating 10,000 Chinese troops.
Denis John Earp
The Moment of Capture
Denis John Earp explains the moment when he was captured. He shares that up to that point, he had never been hit. He recalls how his plane was hit three times. He describes the emergency procedures he took as his plane lost altitude.
Always Being Watched
Denis John Earp explains what it was like being transferred to a Chinese Camp from the North Korean Camp known as “Park’s Palace." He recalls how the prisoners, himself included, were constantly watched and how there were daily propaganda lectures. He details the unfortunate circumstances that occurred in the winter months for those who were injured.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
Don C. Jones
Understanding the Communist Perspective
Don C. Jones arrived in Korea in 1947. He describes the political situation between North and South Korea at that time. He describes how reunification was promoted although it never happened. He elaborates seeing signs intimating reunification would never happen, spurred by the Soviet presence backing the North Koreans. He also describes a conversation he had with a Communist late at night, attempting to understand the other perspective.
Rescuing an American Pilot
Don Leaser describes rescuing an American pilot from the sea who had been shot down. He recounts how North Koreans were also shooting from the banks near Wonsan. He recalls being hit by shrapnel from a North Korean cannon that bounced off his helmet while on the deck, but he was not injured.
The Nevada Campaign: Bloody Nevada
Don McCarty fought North Korean and Chinese soldiers during the Nevada Campaign. He experienced battle fatigue and fear while fighting at the front lines. Don McCarty still thinks about the death of his assistant gunner and ammo carrier.
Fear on the Front Lines That Led to PTSD
Don McCarty was afraid every minute that he was in Korea. Even after the Korean War ended, North Koreans continued to surrender to the Marines by crossing the 38th parallel. Don McCarty feels that he has a better understanding of life once he fought in the Korean War because there were so many Marines that lost their lives. Every night at 2 am, he wakes up with nightmares from his time at war. PTSD is a disease that Don McCarty is still living with 60 years after the Korean War ended.
Donald C. Hay
Engaging North Korea
Donald C. Hay describes engaging the North Korean military. The Royal Marines would land ashore and engage the North Koreans. The New Zealand Navy would provide cover to Royal Marines. On one occasion the Royal Marines took two North Koreans prisoner. However, on another engagement, the marines lost a man. The HMNZS Rotoiti would get fairly close to the shore to provide support. On one occasion Donald Hay felt uncomfortably close to the enemy.
Action on the Han
Donald C. Hay describes his service aboard the HMNZS Rotoiti. The ship completed three missions up the Han River attacking enemy positions. He describes one occasion when an Australian ship patrolled further up the Han River. This ship was attacked and received substantial damage. On many occasions, Donald Hay would see dead bodies floating down river.
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.
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.
Playing a Part in Preserving South Korea
Donald Dufault talks about the importance of preserving South Korea. He shares that he managed to be part of a Unit that made this contribution. He believes that South Korea has turned into a great country.
Donald H. Jones
"To Hell with the Wire, Let's Move!"
Donald Jones tells the story of his group's reaction to being strafed by enemy planes when laying communications wire and subsequent encounter with a new Lieutenant during their escape.
Both Heels Shot Off
Donald Jones describes a specific night battle when the heels of both of his boots were shot off yet he was uninjured.
Donald J. Zoeller
Donald Zoeller states "No people anywhere are as grateful to the American troops as the South Koreans". He is incredulous that the South Korean government pays for veterans to visit. He says the legacy is that they saved the country from being under the grip of a terrible dictator, and now the country is one of the leading industrial nations. "I benefitted greatly by contributing to that war," he says.
Donald Lassere describes his first real encounter with the enemy in the Battle of Hill 907. He recounts the struggle to climb the hill and how they were almost wiped out. He remembers the will of the North Koreans as they fought to the death for their country and how he knew they were weakening when he encountered young children behind the weapons.
Serving in Korea
Donald Lynch recalls how he landed in Incheon, South Korea, and recalls taking trains through Seoul and seeing many starving children. He shares how he and his unit gave their c-rations to the children. He describes being sent from Seoul to Chuncheon and then on to the frontlines where he served as a unit supply sergeant and was a part of the K Company, 197th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He comments on how he was wounded, bayonetted in the abdomen by a Chinese soldier and shares how he later served in a medical unit.
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.
Inside the USS Pueblo
Donald Peppard details the equipment inside the USS Pueblo. He shares that the ship was able to detect sonar and radar signals and the mission he was on centered on detecting what type of equipment the North Koreans possessed. He comments further on the mission itself, the plan to sail down the coast of North Korea, and encounters with North Korean vessels prior to being attacked.
Donald Peppard describes the exact moment the North Koreans ordered their vessel, the USS Pueblo, to follow them into port. He recalls being fired upon by the North Koreans. He shares that they could not fire back due to their two .50 caliber machine guns being exposed and frozen from the bitterly cold weather. He confirms that all eighty-three crew members, including himself, were taken as prisoners.
Donald Peppard recalls North Koreans boarding the USS Pueblo, navigating it to shore, and docking at a pier in Wonsan. He details how he and fellow crew members were taken as prisoners, tied, blind folded, and separated from each other. He shares that half of the crew was loaded onto a train while the other half, including himself, was taken by bus to a building where he experienced multiple beatings by a crowd of people. He describes being reunited with fellow crew members on the train previously specified and comments on the ride to Pyongyang.
Surviving North Korea
Donald Peppard describes how he and his fellow crew members spent their days as prisoners in North Korea. He recalls having to entertain themselves for eleven months through card games, exercise, and reading and writing. He shares that he and others endured what they referred to as "Hell Week" where they were beaten for forty-eight hours straight before they were released.
Donald R. Bennett
Last One Up the Mountain, Last One Down
Donald Bennett recounts living conditions while they were in the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He shares a detailed account of a close encounter between the Chinese and his tank. He recalls the challenge of driving the tanks back down the mountain after the snow had been packed down into the ice. He remembers that his tank was the last tank down. He shares how those that remained in his unit were taken by boat back to Busan and were reformed at an airstrip where they conducted foot patrols before fighting their way up the center of Korea across the 38th Parallel in support of the 1st Marine Regiment.
Learning About the Armistice
Donald Urich shares he was in Korea when he heard about the Armistice. He recalls being relieved and thinking it was good because there would be no more fighting or killing. He adds nobody must have told the North Koreans about the Armistice because they were sending shells over the DMZ when he went up there with a supply truck.
Donald Urich speaks about modern-day Korea and how impressed he is with how it has changed over the years. He comments about how Korea outdid itself and how it produces a lot of good things now. He thinks having thirty thousand American troops in Korea today is a deterrent to North Korea.
Captured North Korean Soldier
Doug Mitchell and some men in his unit that were in their foxholes spotted a North Korean solider who was coming down the road towards them. Rather than shooting him, the soldier held up his hands in the air. The North Korean soldier surrendered to the US Army, and the men behind the lines took him back.
First experience with death
Doug Mitchell recalls a night where it was difficult to see, especially since there wasn't any light and the sites had glass installed in them which made it very hard to see through. While on duty as a machine gunner, he noticed a tank that was coming around a turn and they halted to tell them who it was or they'd shoot. It turned out that it was a lieutenant that walked up to present himself before they moved the tank any further. As they were standing on the deck, Doug Mitchell heard a mortar going off and he was able to get to safety, but the lieutenant was blown apart.
3 Dreadful Components of the Korean War
Doug Mitchell described 3 things that he hated about war: Patrol at night, crawling on the front line to knock out machine guns, and dreaming about the stress soldiers felt. He said it was scary when the guys behind you were firing at a machine gun while you were told to crawl close enough to throw a grenade at the machine gun while hoping a riflemen wasn't there to shoot you. Bayonets were another dreadful memory from the Korean War and Doug Mitchell said that no one needs to go through fighting against bayonets.
Douglas C. Fargo
Douglas C. Fargo talks about his assignment as a Platoon Leader on Heartbreak Ridge. He speaks about serving with South Korean soldiers and the soldiers he lost under his command. He also describes capturing North Korean soldiers during an attack and on patrol.
Leading the Charge
Douglas Koch describes the 5th Marines' role in the Inchon Landing. He explains that the Inchon Landing was imperative in the cutting off of the rail lines that led to Seoul and fed the North Koreans the supplies they needed to fight in South Korea. He recalls that upon hearing the Marines were headed to Seoul to recapture the city, the civilians fled for the hills.
Rice Paddy Ambush
Douglas Koch describes being shot after the recapture of Seoul. He explains that he was ordered to establish an outpost on the other side of a rice paddy with his squad. As he led his men across the paddy, a North Korean machine gunner shot him multiple times in the leg and hip. He recalls ordering his squad to leave him in the field until help arrived.
Landing at Inchon and Fighting to Seoul
Duane Trowbridge describes nearly non-stop activity after arriving at Inchon. He explains, in detail, coming under mortar attack on the way to Seoul and receiving shrapnel in his knee. He explains how his injury sidelined him for a little while but shares he was soon back in the line of fire. He explains the struggle of a fellow soldier who got trapped in a foxhole and how a friend, Bill, lost his eyesight due to a mortar attack. He shares how he received his Purple Heart.
General MacArthur Gives Korea to Syngman Rhee
Duane Trowbridge discusses the handoff of the key to the city. He discusses the devastation he saw as he went back to Icheon. He explains his trek back to Wonsan and then to a town between Wonson and Seoul where his regiment captured North Koreans. He discusses how he captured one thousand six hundred North Korean (NPKA) soldiers in October and November of 1950.
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
Knowledge of Korea and Arriving in Korea
Earl House shares he knew little about Korea prior to arriving as a soldier. He recalls the first time learning anything about Korea was in the Naval Reserves. He mentions he was excited to travel to Korea and fight in the war as he had never traveled outside the U.S. except for visiting Canada.
Impressions of Korea
Earl Coplan describes his experiences while in Korea. He describes the excitement he felt on his way to Korea. He goes on to explain the one scary moment he experienced: when the South Koreans and Americans were no longer in sight of the North Koreans along the DMZ, the North Koreans crossed the line and attacked them.
Eddie Reyes Piña
A Change to Trench and Outpost Warfare
Eddie Reyes Piña recalls receiving training with heavy mortars in Hokkaido, Japan, and moving to Incheon and then on to the area of Pork Chop Hill. He notes that by the time he arrived, fighting had transitioned to more trench and outpost warfare. He offers insight into the differences between outposts and listening posts.
Witnessing the Horrors of Pork Chop Hill and Then the Armistice
Eddie Reyes Piña served his country as part of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He reflects on how the unit fought back against the Chinese and North Koreans. He notes how he left his position in the rear guard to assist a medic in bringing the dead and wounded back. He further explains that the medic received a Bronze Star for Valor, but he did not in part because he did not know how to advocate for himself to ensure he received the medal. He concludes by sharing his recollections of witnessing the Armistice.
Food in the Prison Camp
Edmund Reel describes the food that he and other prisoners received from their Chinese captors during his thirty-four months as a POW. He recalls eating soybeans, cracked corn, sorghum, and millet. He shares that they were fed two meals a day and provides an example of the ration size.
Edmund Reel recalls the cold conditions at the time of his capture and being fed sweet potatoes. He describes the discovery of a wound on his leg while having to carry a friend on a stretcher. He recounts marching and being turned over to the North Koreans.
Captured by Chinese
Edmund Reel explains the circumstances that led to his capture and imprisonment for thirty-four months. He recalls there being roughly five thousand enemy soldiers advancing towards him. He shares that he had no choice but to surrender.
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro
First Bayonet Fight / Primera Batalla de Bayoneta
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro recounts one of the most fearful nights in Korea. Lieutenant Vasquez never allowed his soldiers to use sleeping bags, but because soldiers were tired and cold, many of them disregarded this order. One night, North Koreans infiltrated a Colombian platoon and killed twenty soldiers while they slept. Two Colombian platoons surrounded those North Korans and were forced to draw their bayonets to fight them. It was his first bayonet offensive, and he was amazed at the fear that the bayonets evoked in the North Koreans. Through their actions, they were able to save fifty percent of the platoon that was attacked.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro relata una de las noches más temibles que paso en Corea. El teniente Vásquez nunca permitió que sus soldados usaran sacos de dormir, pero como los soldados estaban cansados y tenían mucho frío, desobedecieron la orden. Una noche, los norcoreanos infiltraron un pelotón colombiano mientras dormían y mataron a veinte soldados. Dos pelotones colombianos rodearon al enemigo y usaron sus bayonetas para combatirlos. Fue su primera ofensiva de bayoneta y él estaba asombrado al miedo que las bayonetas provocaban en los norcoreanos. A través de sus acciones, pudieron salvar el cincuenta por ciento del pelotón que fue atacado.
Volunteering for Korea / Ofrecerse Para Pelear en Corea
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro knew about the war in Korea because of his military training, but he was unaware of where the country was located. The sentiment in Colombia was that the conflict was foreign and had nothing to do with Colombians. However, this changed when the United Nations, as the defenders of peace around the world, asked Colombia for a battalion. He understood the importance of combating communism and proudly volunteered to fight in Korea when asked. He describes the moment in which more than ninety nine point nine percent of those asked volunteered to fight.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro sabía lo que estaba pasando en la guerra de Corea por su entrenamiento militar, pero no sabía ni dónde estaba ubicado el país. El sentimiento en Colombia sobre la guerra era que el conflicto era extranjero y no tenía nada que ver con los colombianos. Sin embargo, esto cambió cuando Las Naciones Unidas, como defensores de la paz en el mundo, le pidió a Colombia un batallón. El entendió la importancia de combatir el comunismo y orgullosamente se ofreció como voluntario para luchar en Corea cuando el comandante pregunto quien lo acompañaría a Corea. Describe el momento en el que más del noventa y nueve punto nueve por ciento del batallón se ofrecieron como voluntarios para luchar.
Edward A. Gallant
First Weapons Monitory System
Edward Gallant was assigned as a weapons monitoring repairman on a MSQ 28 System (Fort Bliss, TX). This 40 foot computer could provide 6000 miles of microwave radar which was 2 times the distance of the United States. Edward Gallant said they could see all the way to Russia. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Edward Gallant said that the Russians who had pulled their weapons out of Cuba, gave the WMD to China, and the Chinese sold it to North Korea which is why they have access to the materials they claim they have. They gave 3 of these Weapons Systems to Germany, 2 Korea, and Edward Gallant operated one that sent over 256 missiles towards their target (mission led by Howard Hughes).
Military Service, a Family Affair
Edward Gallant followed the military tradition in his family. Some of his brothers fought in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. One of his brothers was a POW that was killed in action during the Korean War and is buried in Hawaii.
Edward B. Heimann
Edward Heimann describes the Marine rotation on the front lines in Korea before the draft. He explains that when the Marine sector in North Korea was hard hit, they were asked to volunteer to fill in on the front lines. He recalls how the North Koreans seemed to know when new Marines were being rotated in and describes how the North Koreans would hit them the hardest when the new Marines arrived.
Was the Korean War a Police Action?
Dr. Han, the interviewer, made the statement that, "some say the Forgotten War was a police action. Do you agree with that?" Edward Brooks replied by saying that, "when someone is shooting at you and you have to shoot back, that's not police action." Edward Brooks continued by saying, "And with what's going on over there today we need to be there in case situations begin to flare up."
Edward C. Sheffield
Surrounded by the North Koreans
Edward Sheffield describes the events leading to his capture by the North Koreans. He recalls receiving incoming fire and being surrounded roughly fifty miles outside of Seoul. He comments on the poor treatment he endured as a POW.
Bayonets and Belts
Edward Sheffield describes the physical treatment he endured from his North Korean captors. He shares that he was stabbed with a bayonet as well as kicked when he was first taken prisoner. He recalls thinking they might kill him due to possessing a belt he had taken as a souvenir.
Introduction to the Tiger
Edward Sheffield identifies one of the camps where he was held prisoner for the first year and a half as Camp Seven. He describes meeting the "Tiger", the enemy police force commanding officer who later began the forced death march he would survive. He recalls the "Tiger" ordering the murder of all men in the sick bay prior to the march.
The Death March
Edward Sheffield shares memories of the death march he and fellow POWs experienced. He describes the machine guns set up to potentially kill him and the turn of events following the pleas made by missionaries within the group. He recalls the punishment for being the last man in line during the death march.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
War Reflections and Impressions of Modern Korea
Edward Foley shares that he does not have bad dreams or resentment towards the war or even the North Koreans, stating that they were only doing what they were told to do. He comments on his revisit to Korea and the improvements made since he was there during the war. He describes Seoul as a Westernized city and compares it to New York City.
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.
The Ever Continuous Battle
Edward Langevin is a Korean Defense Veteran since he was in South Korea to protect it from North Korea. He said that these veterans contributed to the "ever continuous battle" He believes that the tense feeling between these two regions will continue until we stop China from helping North Korea.
We Were Alone and the Chinese Were Everywhere
Edward Mastronardi described the scene at hill 464 and 467 as two humps on a camel. They lacked communication due to the terrain (mountains), no air support, and overcast caused artillery to shoot without knowing directly what it was going to hit since the visibility was so bad. Edward Mastronardi brought Colonel up to witness several hundred Chinese only yards away, so the Colonel wanted to take out his 9 mm to attack the several hundred Chinese himself! They decided that attempting to attack the Chinese was too much, but they did it anyway and didn't succeed in taking Hill 464.
Impending Korean Conflict
Edmond Parmenter recalls preparations being made in 1949 while he was serving in the United States Army and stationed in Japan for an impending conflict in Korea. He comments on General MacArther's prediction of when the North Koreans would invade South Korea. He shares that he was privy to intelligence which verified MacArther's concerns.
Arriving in Pusan and Protecting the Pusan Perimeter
Edward Redmond sailed into Pusan on the Unicorn and was greeted by an all-African American regiment band playing music. After a dirty, 12 hour train ride, he and his troops had to dig in near the Nakdong River. When help was needed to protect the Pusan perimeter, Edward Redmond traveled into the Pesos To Mountains where he fought the North Koreans.
The Battle at Pyongyang
During the Battle at Pyongyang, Edward Redmond, his battalion had their first casualties. Everyone became very determined to fight. He believed that the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and the Americans were not well-trained.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Two- Sided Legacy of the Korean War
Edward Rowny explains that he had no idea how industrious and successful the Koreans would become after the War. He mentions the Korean world leadership in technology and calls it an "economic miracle". He shares his own fears that the present-day generation does not realize the grave danger of North Korea today. He advises them to keep their military trained and equipped at all times, even with the US nuclear capacity.
Evacuation from North Korea
Edward Rowny shares was put in charge of the evacuation of the 600,000 tons of supplies, 100,000 troops, and 100,000 refugees at the port at Heungnam, North Korea. He recounts his job also included blowing up the port so that the Chinese could not use it. He recalls he was scheduled to be on the last ship to leave, but that ship was blown up. He recounts how the commander thought he had gone down with the boat, but, instead, he was stranded on the beach with his radio operator and jeep driver. He describes how they were finally rescued by an American plane and made it home by Christmas, despite being shot at.
Edwin Durán González
A Difficult Night / Una Noche Peligrosa
Edwin Durán González describes an attack in which North Korean and Chinese troops advanced on their trenches. He and another soldier did not hear the command to retreat from their observation post and were forced to hide while they heard footsteps above them. He recounts the fear he felt that night.
Edwin Durán González describe un ataque en el que las tropas norcoreanas y chinas avanzaron sobre sus trincheras. Él y otro soldado no oyeron la orden de retirarse de su puesto de observación y se vieron obligados a esconderse. Ellos oían los pasos del enemigo por encima de ellos. Cuenta del miedo que sintió esa noche.
Edwin Maunakea, Jr.
Rescue at Nakdonggang River
Edwin Maunakea Jr. describes his rescue of a Captain during fighting at the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter. He talks about carrying the wounded soldier across the Nakdonggang River. He discusses what happened when he found medical help.
Edwin R. Hanson
Incheon Landing, September 15, 1950
Edwin Hanson's boat was supposed to land around 5:00 PM as the 3rd wave, Boat 5, on Blue Beach at high tide, but they lost one of the tracks off of the LST which resulted in them encircling the area before they could land. He recalls approaching shore in an Amtrack and slogged their way through mud in his last remaining clean pair of Dungarees. Once they made it to shore down the road, they climbed a hill and 3 Soviet T-34 tanks coming right towards them. He remembers US forces hit the gas tanks located in the back of the tank, watching them blow up right in front of him.
Experiences During the Wonsan Landing
After the Seoul recapture, the men were now at the Wonsan Landing where they were sent to secure a pass that North Koreans were using to get away. The North Koreans had barricaded the road and began to open fire on US troops. Edwin Hanson described how over 93 North Koreans were killed and 7 US troops were killed including Sergeant Beard from his regiment.
You're the Guy that Saved My Life
Edwin Hanson recalls his first encounter with Chinese at Kor-'o-ri. Edwin Hanson threw 4 grenades and 2 went off, so the following morning he went down and picked up the 2 that didn't go off and threw the remaining grenades at their front lines. Ralph Alfonso Gastelum vividly details the chaos breaking out one evening while he was eating as the Chinese moved near his tent. He remembers grenades going off and it proves to be decades later that he finds out the Hanson saved his life.
Edwin S. Leak
Edwin S. Leak describes what he called during the war "line crossers". Line Crossesr were North Koreans defecting to South Korea after the war. He discusses reasons he felt they were defecting to the South post-war.
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.
Korean Axe Murder Incident
Edwin Vargas describes the tragic incident that occurred while he was at the DMZ. He shares that during his service, two of his officers were killed while trimming back trees from their outpost view. He describes this event as unfair as they were unarmed and could not retaliate.
Elbert H. Collins
Injured in the Line of Duty
Along the front lines at the Nakdong Perimeter, North Koreans were charging the Americans and came as close as 20 yards away. Elbert Collins was actually shot with a ricochet bullet in his bottom. He explains what it was like on the front lines.
Entering the Korean War
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis entered the Korean War in December 1950 and he entered through Pusan. After spending time there, he was sent through Seoul and then went onto the 38th parallel. During this whole time, he didn't have to fight any enemy.
Seoul During the War
Elliott Landall describes how Seoul was in a terrible state. He explains that the people were living in a shell of a city and he felt sorry for them. He was amazed at the spirit of the people, including how the people would listen and were good learners.
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.
72 Days on the Front Line
Ellsworth Peterson talks about the difficulties of being on the front line without rest for 72 straight days. He describes the fear and experience of falling under the attack of heavy shelling. He elaborates on his unit suffering many casualties during these attacks.
A Message of Peace
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki wishes peace and unity among all Koreans.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Esipión Abril Rodríguez discusses the most difficult moments of the war and the fear he felt during dangerous missions. He details the Battle of the El Chamizo Hill in which they were under fire for over twenty-four hours and slowly advanced to reconquer the hill from Chinese troops. Furthermore, he remembers the dangers he faced during night patrols and advanced observation missions.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez discute los momentos más difíciles de la guerra y el miedo que sintió durante las misiones más peligrosas. Detalla la Batalla del Cerro El Chamizo en la que estuvieron bajo fuego durante más de veinticuatro horas y eventualmente avanzaron para reconquistar el cerro de las tropas chinas. Además, recuerda los peligros que enfrentó durante las patrullas nocturnas y las misiones de observación avanzada.
Dog Tags Saved Eugene Buckley
Refusing to surrender while trapped in a ravine, Eugene Buckley and another soldier (O'Donnell) were climbing out of the ravine when they noticed a soldier who had been shot in the neck. Trying to save his life, Eugene Buckley was shot once in the shoulder and another shot went through his dog tags under his arm. He was lying on the ground trying to help another soldier who wouldn't make it out alive.
Returning to the Front Line: Casualties and Hunger
The interviewer asked what happened to the rest of the platoon that was left behind, and Eugene Buckley replied that everyone had been massacred except for himself, O'Donnell, and another soldier. Eugene Buckley had dysentery at the time and he got back so the infirmary gave him a lollipop shaped pill that he consumed to help with the problem. He said when he went into the war, he was 165 pounds, but when he was taken for his wounds, he was only 95 pounds, practically a skeleton.
Taking Terrritory in the Busan Perimeter
Eugene Dixon talks about the role of the United States Marines in securing the Busan Perimeter. He describes the sounds and smells he took in upon arrival in South Korea. He recalls the casualties he encountered during his first months in combat.
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.
Marine Corps Advanced Infantry Training
Eugene Gregory describes training in the Marine Corps Advanced Infantry. He recounts exercises involving barbed wire and training under live fire and in cold weather situations throughout the courses. He shares that this type of training was meant to prepare them to adapt in combat situations and for Korean winters.
The Biggest Threat Support Faced
Eugene Gregory describes the dangers faced by artillery support and how they differ from the front lines of the battlefield. He shares that the biggest threats were not from rifle fire but from martyrs and artillery and recounts having to jump into foxholes often to take cover. He recalls the North Koreans and Chinese being very skillful in artillery weaponry and attributes their skill to their recognition of possessing limited ammunition resources.
Bridging the Divide for Peace
Everett Kelley opines on the closure of the Korean War. He states that there is both a military and political solution to the question of peace but does not profess to know the answer. He explains that if any solution were to occur, it would most likely stem from a uniting of both the North and South.
Ezra Franklin Williams
The Battle of Bunker Hill
Ezra Frank Williams worked as an 81mm Mortar Forward Observer in the Battle of Bunker Hill. While conducting a patrol, he was wounded in his left knee. This event was the most memorable of his time in Korea.
"The Older I Get, The Prouder I Am"
Ezra Frank Williams is very proud of his contribution during the Korean War to fight off the North Koreans and Chinese. He has admiration for Korean immigrants that came to the United States after the war. South Koreans really show that they appreciate everything the UN did to protect their country.
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos más difíciles
Felipe Aponte-Colon describes an incident in which he was walking along a river with other troops when they found themselves surrounded by gunfire in every direction. After the leaders were killed, he directed six others to crouch down for safety and eventually led them back to safety in the middle of the night. He credits God for having saved him that night.
Felipe Aponte-Colón cuenta la historia de un incidente en el que caminaba al lado de un río con otras tropas cuando se encontraron rodeados de disparos en todas direcciones. Este fue el momento de más dificultad en la guerra. Después que mataron a los líderes, él le ordenó a otros seis que se agacharan para ponerse a salvo y, finalmente, los guio de regreso a un lugar seguro en medio de la noche. Le da gracias a Dios por haberlo salvado esa noche.
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Felix DelGiudice participated in the Inchon Landing on September 15th and then fought the North Koreans during the Seoul recapture along with his 1st Marines Battalion. He remembers getting injured shortly after arriving in Korea. He also explains that Seoul was covered with sandbags, blown railroad tracks, and exploded glass domes from the railroad station.
Felix Miscalichi Centeno
Most Impactful Moments / Momentos Más Impactantes
Félix Miscalichi Centeno shares the moments which were most difficult during the war. He explains that while fighting in the North, he ran out of ammunition and felt unprepared for the weather. Moreover, he explains the importance of his job finding sounds from the enemy.
Félix Miscalichi Centeno comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Explica que mientras luchaba en el norte, se quedó sin municiones y no tenía la ropa necesaria para el clima. Además, explica la importancia de su trabajo encontrando sonidos del enemigo.
A Scary Place
Fidel Diaz describes how scary it was his first few nights in Korea after the Inchon Landing. He said that seeing the other soldiers that had been captured as an effective form of psychological warfare. He explains how close the North Koreans got to his foxhole.
Land Mine Injury
Fidel Diaz was traveling on foot with his South Korean partner through a field when they went under attack by the North Koreans. Both his South Korean partner and Field Diaz were injured from a land mine. He recalls getting treatment and the people and Bible that saved his life.
Legacy of the Korean War
During the clip Francis Beidle explains that he believes that the war was a mistake. He explains to the interviewer that he tries to forget about his time in the Korean War. Ultimately, he believes that the North Korea might try to start another war and that the US should be on alert.
Frank E. Butler
Enlisted at Age Fifteen
Frank E. Butler enlisted in the New Zealand Navy in 1951. He completed basic training in Auckland before sailing to Korea aboard the HMNZS Kaniere. At fifteen, he was the youngest New Zealand soldier to go to Korea. He traveled to Pusan, Seoul, and North Korea. He describes being under constant attack by North Koreans.
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.
"I Love Them!"
Frank E. Butler sends his heartfelt love to the Korean people. He is proud of the medals bestowed upon him by the Korean government, but he wishes the government of New Zealand would honor him as well. He feels the North Korean people did not fully intend the conflict that has split Korea, but he asserts that the world owes the South Koreans a debt of gratitude for standing firm.
Arriving in Korea and Bed Check Charlie
Frank Seaman describes his arrival in Korea, ferrying over from Japan to Pusan and then by rail up to Chuncheon. He recalls viewing the aftermath and destruction from the Pusan Perimeter battle on his way to Chuncheon. He offers insight to his regular duties which entailed bringing ammunition up from the south. He also recounts his introduction to Bed Check Charlie following breakfast while washing his mess kit.
Experiences at the Inchon Landing
Frank Torres describes being part of Inchon landing. He discusses how the group made ladders for the terrain. He shares a story about witnessing the death of his commanding officer. He describes the dangerous situation.
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.
Franklin M. Sarver, Jr.
Thought on North Korea and "The Forgotten War"
Franklin Sarver, Jr. shares his thoughts on the situation in modern North Korea. He contrasts North Korea with South Korea. He shares his thoughts on why the Korea War is considered a "Forgotten" War.
Franklin O. Gillreath
Surrender and Difference Between Chinese and North Korean Treatment
Franklin Gillreath describes the events leading up to surrendering and the difference between Chinese and North Korean treatment. He explains that the North Koreans were harsh and would hit any soldier who could not understand their directions in Korean. He compares this example to the Chinese approach which involved finding a translator rather than hitting a soldier who could not understand directions.
Barbed Wire Fence along the Yalu River
Franklin Gillreath describes the march north as a prisoner of war (POW) deep into North Korea. He explains that villages would be emptied so that the prisoners could be stowed in the huts of North Korean civilians where there was only enough room to sit up. He describes the camp along the Yalu River where barbed wire used to keep in cattle was the only border between him and escape.
Lice Popping Contests
Franklin Gillreath describes the grass mats they were given to sleep on in the POW camps. He explains that the mats were infested with lice as well as the clothes they were forced to remain in for two years. He describes contests between the captured men to see who could kill the most lice between their fingers.
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.
Action and Duties in 1965
Ira “Fred” Haymaker explains what it was like in Korea in 1965 along the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). This was a time when the North Koreans were being “friendly” and wanted to trade cigarettes and hats with them. He describes what his missions were like as a fort observer at the MDL.
Valuable Historical Context: 1949
Fred LIddell knew a lot about the conflicts that occurred in East Asia including Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and China. Most American soldiers knew very little of this geographic area, let alone the differing political ideologies present. Fred Liddell and his fellow soldiers who had served and traveled in East Asia became more aware of the reasons for the turmoil in East Asia as the war continued.
Comparing POW Camps
Fred Liddell had to survive in multiple POW camps from 1951 through 1953 when he was released. At Camp Suan (the mining camp), there was a "hospital," but it was really a death house. Fred Liddell tried to feed a friend of his that was in the death house, but he didn't survive the next day. The surviving POWs were allowed to bury their follow soldiers, but only in a 2 foot grave. Fred Liddell is surprised that some of the bodies of POWs have been identified and sent back to the US.
Korean War POW PTSD
Fred Liddell suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the experiences that he had to endure as a POW during the Korean War. Nightmares would come every night where Fred Liddell was running from the North Koreans because they performed terrible torturous acts on POWs such as stabbing and shooting soldiers for no reason. Many people would think that the Chinese would be worse, but Fred Liddell saw first-hand the terror created by the North Koreans.
Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea
Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.
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.
Letters From Home as a POW
Fred Liddell received letters from his wife who delivered their baby right after he was released from the hospital, but before he became a POW. He received a picture from his wife and the baby and it was supposed to contain a religious medal, but the medal was taken. Fred Liddell was so upset that he screamed at the leaders of the POW camp and was punished by standing overnight with his arms outreached. He was thankful that another man, who had been thrown through the door, was there to lean on during those long hours.
Experiences on the Front Lines
Garry Hashimoto talks about his experiences on the front lines. He was originally a rifleman, but because he was more experienced than most after only three months out there, he became a forward observer. He shares how he had to stay one hundred feet ahead of his platoon and keep a lookout for ambushes. He reflects on the dangers he faced, including facing machine gun fire. He remembers being bombarded with artillery shells all the time, especially from the Chinese.
Listening in on North Korea
Gary Routh describes his job secretly listening to North Korean soldiers on the radio in the 1990s. He explains that occasionally he would hear artillery practice and excitement on the other end of the radio. He describes that spying was mostly boring, hearing the same phrases every day from the North Korean soldiers.
Gene Jordan describes being on the trench line at night for thirty days straight during the Korean War. He describes how the enemy was on one side and they were on the other. He explains that it was a stationary war at this point, and that they lived in the trench lines and bunkers depsite the extremely cold weather.
Gene Spicer describes his two revisits to Korea. His first trip reminded him why he fought, to create the country he was now visiting. On his second trip, he retraced his steps from 1951. The contrast between the North and South from the DMZ and from the air moved him.
George A. Edwards
Typical Day as A Reconnaissance Pilot
George Edwards describes the reconnaissance missions on which he would fly. While every day was different, they often had to go out and take pictures of the area. His trips included photographing the Yalu River and much further north in Korea.
The Most Gratifying Mission
George Edwards remembers his most gratifying moments which included giving candy and other items to the Korean children. When his crew would take a plane to Japan for repair, they would spend all of their money on things that they could give out when they returned. George Edwards states that the Korean people were living in such destitute conditions, with only the clothes on their back and no standing buildings.
Family Hears News Of Their Son's Death
George Brown recounts learning of his brother Arthur L. Brown initially being classified as Missing in Action on July 7, 1950. He shares that Arthur was serving in Korea as part of the 21st Regiment, 24th Division, Company K where when he was not actively carrying out his duty as an infantryman he was a pitcher for their baseball team. He recalls how the family later learned he was being held as a Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. He recounts how Arthur died on his twenty-first birthday in January 1951 and that some of the returning soldiers told his family Arthur had suffered from complications due to Beriberi.
The Burial of a POW
George Brown shares he was only six years old at the time his family was notified of his brother Arthur's death in POW Camp 5 in North Korea. He states that Arthur was temporarily buried in North Korea in a shallow grave due to the ground being frozen solid. He explains that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lists Arthur as unaccounted for and shares that Arthur is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Cemetery of the Pacific.
George Covel shares his memories of the day the Armistice was signed. He recalls making bets with fellow soldiers who did not believe it would occur when he predicted, and he recounts their surprise when it actually took place. He also describes the "big switch, little switch" and the release of prisoners following the Armistice.
Death Soon After Arrival
George Dixon was sent two miles into North Korea after landing in Incheon in February 1952. His squad leader kept a close watch on him since he did not have infantry training; George Dixon was shot in the helmet during this time, but his protective squad leader was killed right next time. Shortly after this, George Dixon explains how he captured the first POW for his regiment
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
George J. Bruzgis
Being hit; In-Going Mail, and Out-Going Mail
George Bruzgis shared some of the most difficult and horrible experiences during the war. He recalled knowing the sound of artillery shells coming and going (nicknamed it In-going mail and Out-going mail). Before he closed the tank, he could see the enemy close. After firing, they found the men in bloody pieces, and he still can't get that scene out of his head.
Earning the Silver Star
George Myron describes the moment in which he earns the Silver Star. He recalls climbing Hill 1305 to assist fellow soldiers who had been pinned down and were needing a way out. While coming under heavy enemy fire and not seeing from where it was coming, he recalls standing up and letting the enemy fire at him, therefore exposing the enemy's position and allowing his unit to take the enemy out and to rescue those trapped.
George P. Wolf
George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.
The Role of a Mosquito Pilot
George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.
Legacy of the Korean War and Korean War Veteran
George Parsons speaks on the legacy of the Korean War and Korean War veteran. He feels that veterans saved a country and a people worth saving willingly. He believes the United States did the right thing by fighting, saving, and then handing the country of South Korea back into the hands of its citizens. He feels strongly about the reunification fo the Korean Peninsula and offers supporting reasons.
Pushed Back by China
George Sullivan recalls experiencing the push back to Busan by Chinese forces. He remembers hearing that General MacArthur said they were going to push back. During the push back, his tank broke, and he ended up in hand-to-hand combat with a Chinese soldier. He recounts that his arm was cut by a bayonet and had to be treated.
On the Front Lines
George Sullivan recounts his experiences in tanks along the front lines. He shares his tank unit had a direct confrontation with the enemy and recalls being wounded in the leg by gunfire. He comments on his fortune that it did not break any of his bones. He shares he continued to fight after he was mended.
George Van Hoomissen
Duties as a Member of VMO-6
George Van Hoomissen explains he served as part of the Marine Corps's VMO-6 unit from late 1952 until he returned from Korean in 1953. He offers details of what his job was as an observer. He recalls always being in danger because they were constantly flying about 3000 feet over the Chinese lines.
George W. Liebenstein
Daily Life in Battery Supply
George "Bill" Liebenstein details the living conditions during his time serving in Korea from April 1953 through July 1954. He recalls activities during his spare time including playing and coaching softball. He notes that the men in his unit were not provided showers at their location until a few months after their arrival. He explains that there were few Korean people in the area where they were stationed except for a few civilian workers. He tells of the challenges some of them presented when they took supplies, but he further notes that he could not blame them as they had nothing. He offers a story of a young North Korean man, who worked in supply with whom he became quite close.
George Warfield was in the reserves when he was called into active duty. He was sent to Fort Campbell for two to three weeks to retrain for war. After training, he was shipped to Japan to set up for the Korean War with the 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Division. As a radio operator in a reconnaissance company, he had to find the enemy, go to fill-in the front line if the enemy broke the line, and he was the last unit to retreat.
Thoughts of a Soldier
George Hahlioutis describes being instructed to shoot at two figures with the help of an interpreter. He explains that there could have been North Korean but he believes in his heart he didn't kill anyone. He shares how he feels regret about his actions but is glad he helped the Korean people.
Gerald Land's First Encounter with North Koreans
Gerald Land described how his Company Commander and his Sergeant were at an Outpost at Kumwha Valley for 3 days for 3 nights with no sleep. They barricaded themselves with barbed wire and hung C-ration containers so if anything hit the wire, it would make a sound, and the men knew where to shoot. Gerald Land spoke often of rats crawling around touching the C-rations, but it did alert him when the North Koreans were near.
War Is Hell: My First Kill
Gerald Land recalled when he was shot by North Koreans for the first time, and how terrible he felt knowing that he was tearing the enemy to pieces with his gun. As a Methodist, he carried a prayer book around and prayed for guidance/forgiveness for his time in the war. He also hoped and prayed that he would make it home safe to his family.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Stopped by the Armistice
Germaye Tesfaye left Korea in 1953. So many people had died by that time. He still wishes the Armistice had not prevented him and his fellow Ethiopians from continuing their fight. They really wanted to take over North Korea. Germaye Tesfaye praises Korea's surprising progress since the 1950s. He is happy that the nation he fought to protect has achieved such economic success.
Death of a Hero on White Horse Hill
Gilbert Hauffels and the Luxembourg Platoon fought at White Horse Hill. They took position six hundred meters in front of the trenches, merely 400 meters from North Korean artillery. During the barrage, Luxembourgian Sergeant Robert Mores rushed in to save soldiers whose bunkers had collapsed on them. Sergeant Mores was one of two soldiers from Luxembourg killed in the Korean War.
Gilberto Diaz Velazco
Most Difficult Night of the War / La Noche Más Difícil de la Guerra
Gilberto Diaz Velazco explains why the Battle of Old Baldy was the most difficult fighting of the war. He recounts that the Chinese took advantage of the fact that Company A was being relieved by Company C and attacked UN troops in the midst of this confusion. The Chinese and North Koreans were relentless, and the fighting seemed never-ending. He and others would be relieved for a while and then were reintroduced to the battlefield. He recounts walking over dead fellow soldiers and the measures he had to take to find a fallen friend.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco explica qué la Batalla de Old Baldy fue la lucha más difícil de la guerra. Él cuenta que los chinos aprovecharon del hecho que la Compañía A estaba siendo relevada por la Compañía C y atacaron a las tropas en el medio de esa confusión. Los chinos y los norcoreanos sequian atacando toda la noche y la lucha parecía interminable. Lo relevaron a él y otros por un tiempo y luego serían reintroducidos a el campo de batalla. Cuenta haber caminado sobre compañeros muertos y las medidas que tuvo que tomar para encontrar a un amigo que había muerto.
Recovering the Fallen / Recuperando a los caídos
Gilberto Diaz Velazco recalls the difficulty of the fighting at Hill 180 and the carnage of war. He recounts that they suffered casualties during the fighting but were not allowed to leave the dead behind. As a follow up mission, he was a member of the operation to recover the dead. He explains that he felt like bait because the enemy was waiting for them to recover the fallen and fired at them injuring his lieutenant.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco recuerda la dificultad del combate en el Cerro 180 y la crueldad de la guerra. Cuenta que sufrieron bajas durante la batalla, pero no se podía dejar atrás a los muertos. Como segunda misión, él fue miembro de la operación para recuperar a los
cadáveres. Explica que se sintió como carnada porque el enemigo estaba esperando que recuperaran a los caídos y les dispararon hiriendo a su teniente.
A Complex Situation
Glenn Paige discusses the politics surrounding the war, including the relationships before the war. He explains some of the actions that occurred in North Korea towards the South Korea that led the US into the war. He breaks down the parties that were involved and their clear goal.
Gordon H. McIntyre
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.
Gordon McIntyre discusses PTSD and and the effects of the Korean War on returning soldiers. During a return trip to Korea in 2008, he visited the DMZ and viewed Hill 355. Reminiscing on the death of a friend just before the cease fire, he reiterates that many men died in the last days before the cease fire. He considers the peace talks a big mistake. He feels that efforts at reunification are hampered by contemporary North Koreans' "skillful" ability to do nothing, and he doubts Donald Trump will be able to break that trend. He reminds students of the Korean War's lasting message: "Freedom is not free."
Graham L. Hughes
Inferiority of the North Korean Navy
Graham Hughes believed that the North Korean Navy was inferior to those in the United Nations (UN). An example of this occurred when his ship fired on a specific target at the 38th Parallel. North Koreans fired in retaliation, but they missed. The great thing about being part of the UN was the cooperation of lots of countries patrolling the West Sea, including Argentina.
Jumping into Combat
Gregoy Garcia spent time in Pyongyang trying to stop the infiltration of Chinese and North Koreans in the fall/winter of 1950. He remembers his most dangerous moment was jumping into combat and landing while shooting. He explains that his griswold bag with his knives fell off due to their weight.
H. Douglas Barclay
H. Douglas Barclay argues that Korea places a major role in the history of the United States. He explains that if you saw Korea today, it is a "miracle." He remembers taking a bus through Korea and seeing how built up it was compared to North Korea, recalling that North Korea then looked like South Korea in 1955.
Haralambos Theodorakis has a weakness for the Korean people because he loves all the Korean people. As he recalled the war, there were many times that he almost died. He went and fought a war without knowing what he would face, but luckily, he was never wounded.
Message to the Korean People
Haralambos Theodorakis never experienced PTSD since the Korean War. He thanked the Korean people for allowing him to fight for them and he would do it again if needed. If he was able to speak to both North and South Korea, he would say that there were a lot of loss of life and these two countries should not reunite.
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.
Atrocities in Seoul
Harold Beck’s first impression of Korea was that of “atrocity.” When he drove into Seoul, he remembers how the building were “all shot up” having changed hands three times. However, among the most atrocious memories was that of the bodies hanging off the bridge- new ones were placed there daily.
Bed Check Charlie
Harold Beck describes “Bed Check Charlie.” Each night a small biplane would come and drop bombs or grenades just around bed time. Their crew moved the lights toward the mountain, and one night Bed Check Charlie flew right into the cliff.
Assessment of Enemy Air Force
Harold Beck argues that the enemy Air Force was weaker than the American plans. He says that when the enemy planes would come to harass the American troops, they would quickly fly back as soon as the US F86 planes engaged. He heard that these plans were a combination of Russian and Chinese crews that originated north of the Yalu River.
Seeing and Experiencing Battle
Harold Don shares how he was apprehensive about his time in Korea. He recalls witnessing the destruction from prior battles upon landing in Incheon. He remembers how his unit experienced fire from North Korean tanks at Yeongdeungpo and observed the destruction at Seoul when traveling to Wonsan where they were tasked with clearing the harbor of mines.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Harold Don shares memories from the front lines at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts how the United States units were surrounded by the North Koreans and Chinese on all sides. He notes how cold the temperature dropped in the winter when the lake would freeze over. He comments on how the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was one of the epic battles in United States Marine Corps history, evidenced by many Medal of Honor recipients.
Extremely Cold Conditions
Harold Don describes the challenges of digging foxholes in Korea's frozen ground during the winter. He details how one had to clear enough snow to make an indentation to rest in. He notes how, as he was assigned to heavy machine guns, his foxhole was located at the most vulnerable point. He explains how, in an effort to keep the machine guns' barrels from freezing, he had to utilize antifreeze.
Harold H. Hoelzer
All hands on deck!
Upon getting to Korea Harold Hoelzer took his first shower since leaving the US. He recalls how his ordinary shower experience took an unexpected and hectic turn when an air-raid siren sent soldiers scrambling from the shower depot. He merrily recalls the mass of laughter that ensued after the shower had been evacuated and the half-naked troops looked up to see a single, dinky surveillance airplane putter by.
Earning his Bronze Star
Harold Heckman talks about the mission that ended up earning him a Bronze Star. The assignment was to seek-and-capture a North Korean soldier for intelligence. He recalls how he led a mission team through the dark to captured and bring back a North Korean soldier from the North Korean front line - an effort that almost rewarded him with a Russian war-time trophy.
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.
When war makes you leave a friend behind
Harrison Lee recalls a story that he never told anyone for a very long time - a story that follows him to this day. During the Battle of Taejon Harrison Lee and his best friend engaged a North Korean machine gun nest setting up along a dirt road. Upon realizing that the machine-gun nest had them outgunned he begs his friend to retreat with him... only to realize his friend was KIA.
"Baptism by Fire"
Every front line soldier has a "baptism by fire" story (i.e. first enemy contact story) and here Harrison Lee shares his. He remembers how a peaceful dining experience in Korea turned into his first moment of military combat. He can still remember the intense feeling of fear during those drawn-out moments many years ago.
My Most Difficult Days
Harry Burke is describing how eight men were killed and twelve were wounded is his company. After experiencing this, he was sent back to Incheon and went around from the west side of Korea to the east side to Wonsan. He describes their days in the war.
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.
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth shares how he walked at night for six weeks until he reached the prisoner of war (POW), Camp Changsong, in May 1951. He remembers how many of the British POWs escaped but notes that all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. He recalls becoming very sick after getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day. He recalls brainwashing sessions held by the Chinese and remembers how the US and British POWs had to fight to survive every single day.
Memories of Women and Children Hiding
Harry Olson reflects on one experience during the retreat from the Battle of Unson. He details his discovery of a cave during the retreat and finding eight to twelve Korean women hiding with their children. He recounts how the image of those women holding on to their children has haunted him. After this encounter, he remembers witnessing the destruction of supplies at the airport and being upset that they were burning food because he could not remember the last time he had eaten.
Dangers of Protecting the Retreat
Harry Olson recounts how his extremely depleted battalion protected the line during the retreat from Unsan. He describes his experience returning from protecting the line and experiences in the rice paddies. He shares details about his first near-death experience and the enemy fire just down the hill from his position.
Henry River, Jr.
Henry River, Jr., describes a couple moments during his service where his life was in danger, including a training session with RCATs. He recalls an additional time when he was involved in the capture and torture of some North Korean soldiers.
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.
On The Frontlines
Herbert Yuttal talks about being on the front lines as a Forward Observer at an outpost near Kaesong. He explains that they fired a lot of artillery rounds, destroying a lot of the landscape at Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill. He remembers seeing his friends dying during these battles.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Herbert Yuttal speaks about the benefits of serving with reservist soldiers that had already served in World War II. Their experience was very beneficial because it prevented mistakes from occurring. He explains how none of them knew what to expect in Korea whether they were new or WWII veterans.
Enemy Infiltrating the Lines
Herbert Yuttal shares how the North Koreans would cross through the front lines and attack by pretending to be refugees fleeing the South. They would come through as a family group to sneak through the lines. After they were able to get through the front lines, they would throw hand grenades and kill as many people as they could before they were killed themselves.
Herman F. Naville
Captured by the North Koreans
Herman Naville remembers that only 16 of the 180 men in his company made it out alive. He explains how he and others found a place on a hillside to hide. There was an explosion that hit Herman Naville in the head causing him to bleed heavily, develop blindness in his one eyes, and shattering his collarbone- he thought he was going to die. While continuing to hide, he was found by North Koreans who took him as a prisoner.
Prisoner Death March
Herman Naville remembers that the North Koreans took their shoes and their dog tags and told the men to lie down in a trench. He explains that they were told they were going to be killed, but, instead, they were marched to a camp. He recalls the terrible conditions they faced in the camps.
Conditions in the Prison Camp
Herman Naville remembers that they lived in filth and ate very poorly as prisoners. He describes not praying for his life, but accepting whatever came to him because he had chosen to enlist. He describes how when someone would die, they would carry the bodies onto the hill, they would bury them under snow or a foxhole.
Prison Camp after Peace Talks
Herman Naville describes when the prisoners were turned over to the Chinese, moving from Apex Camp to Camp 5. He remembers that he had dropped from 225lbs to about 98lbs, becoming so weak that he could barely stand up. This change occurred because the Chinese wanted to make the conditions look better for negotiations.
The Tiger Death March
Herman Naville describes when "The Tiger" took over. "The Tiger" was a notoriously evil major, known for his sadistic and murderous tendencies. He describes how they had machine guns ready to kill them all. Instead, the next morning they started the death march, which was full of violence.
Working With KATUSA and Turkish Armed Forces
Homer Garrett protected South Korea along with the Turkish armed forces and local KATUSA. KATUSA soldiers are the South Korean soldiers that worked directly with the US forces. Homer Garrett was assigned the task of guarding the crossroads between North Korean agents and the ROK (the Republic of Korea) Military Police with his M14 and bullet proof vest in the middle of the night.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Homer M. Garza
Arriving in Korea
Homer M. Garza talks about his first combat experience in Korea, seeing the results of the massacre at Nogeun-ri. He also describes their retreat south to set up the Pusan Perimeter.
Account of Noguen-ri Massacre
Homer M. Garza shares his thoughts of the Noguen-ri massacre (about 100 miles Southeast of Seoul). He speaks about his units’ encounter with the North Koreans during their time near the site of the massacre.
Crossing the Han River
Homer M. Garza speaks about his unit crossing of the Han River in their push to force the enemy back north. He also speaks about losing men from his unit.
North Korean Brutality
Homer M. Garza describes the treatment of U.S. causalities and prisoners of war by the North Koreans.
Half Dead or Captured
Horace Sappington describes his encounter with North Koreans and Russians a few miles outside of Osan. Ill-equipped and undermanned, he details the scene of a Major driving out in a jeep to meet and talk with the oncoming mass of North Korean and Russian troops. He shares that the enemy fired a cannon, blowing up the jeep and killing the major, continuing to advance upon their position. He adds that he was wounded during the fighting and was tended to by a medic who was killed shortly after during their retreat. He explains that over half of US soldiers there that day were either killed or captured.
Soldiers Pouring In Everywhere
Horace Sappington recounts his experience at the Pusan Perimeter. He shares that the North Korean soldiers were pouring in on them and they received assistance from the Air Force and the USS Missouri roughly 1 mile off of the coast. He explains he was in charge of providing the ship with coordinates for firing. He recounts an injury to his head and shoulder received from enemy fire.
Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.
Fighting at the Battle of Pyongyang in October and November 1950
Howard Ballard recalls leaving Pusan after fighting there in August of 1950 to fight the North Koreans all the way through Pyongyang, North Korea, and up to the Yalu River along the Chinese border. He describes fighting the North Koreans at the Battle of Pyongyang in October of 1950, noting there was little resistance. He remembers seeing Chinese captured in November 1950 at the Yalu River despite General MacArthur telling President Truman that the Chinese were not fighting in the war.
Fighting at the Yalu River and Surviving a Land Mine Explosion
Howard Ballard discusses soldiers sustaining injuries while fighting in the Battle of Pyongyang on Thanksgiving Eve 1950. He recounts how U.S. troops headed for the Yalu River down very narrow roads and fought the Chinese until the U.S. troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. He recalls how a land mine exploded near him and how he experienced temporary paralysis. He shares that he was sent to a MASH unit following the explosion but was soon returned to his unit.
Howard Faley describes his amazement at South Korea's advancement since the war. He comments on the grandeur of the city of Seoul and its modernity. He goes on to explain that the cargo containers that are shipped across the United States arrive on huge ships built by modern Korea. He notes that this advancement is due to the hard work of the Korean people.
Howard R. Hawk
Heightened State of Security
Howard R. Hawk recalls being greeted upon arrival at Camp St. Barbara by the 1st Sergeant who offered the new arrivals with words of wisdom as the North Koreans massed across the border. He notes there was an EC 121 shot down over the East Sea/Sea of Japan and that North Korean guerillas attacked the Blue House in an attempt to assassinate the President of South Korea, Park Chung Hee. He recalls these events only heightened the security concerns in the area. He explains that there were nuclear weapons capabilities at this point at Camp St. Barbara.
Legacy of Korean Defense Veterans
Howard R. Hawk explains the role of the Korean Defense Veterans in Korea after the armistice. He recalls a strong desire by the Korean officers to reunite the country by attacking the North. He states they were always prepared for a potential attack by the North Koreans.
Speculation on the Future of the Region
Howard R. Hawk speculates on the future of the region. He offers insight into the motives of Kim Jong Un as well as the Chinese.
Legacy of Korean Defense Veterans and Korean War Veterans
Howard R. Hawk pays tribute to the efforts of the Korean War veterans. He notes that everything these veterans faced was every bit as ugly as what American soldiers experienced in Vietnam or World War II. He discusses the important role the Korean Defense veterans and soldiers stationed in Korea still play today in both the security of the region and the development of Korea as a country.
Ian J. Nathan
Democracy v. Totalitarianism: Walls Don't Work!
Ian Nathan considers the Korean War very important in world history, particularly due to the development of South Korea as a highly educated, economically strong nation with a stable government. He feels the seventy-year time span since the armistice is unfortunate, with gamesmanship and the sadness of separated families between North Korea and South Korea. He compares the divide between North and South Korea to the Berlin Wall and the wall on the southern United States border.
Pride and Best Wishes to the Korean People
Iluminado Santiago reflects on the advancements in modern South Korea. He is proud to have served in Korea to stop the advancement of North Korea. His message to young people includes his pride in the Puerto Ricans who served in the war, and he wishes the best for the Korean people.
J. Robert Lunney
The SS Meredith Victory Volunteers
J. Robert Lunney discusses the decision by Captain LaRue to volunteer his ship for the evacuation efforts in Heungnam. He recalls the urgency to evacuate the military personnel and civilians. He explicitly breaks down the positions and resources involved in the evacuation and the chaotic scene they encountered in the port. Because of the great leadership exhibited by Captain LaRue, he shares the crew never questioned his decision to assist in the evacuation.
Last Ship to Freedom
J. Robert Lunney describes the process of evacuating over fourteen thousand North Korean civilian refugees aboard the SS Meredith Victory. He provides a detailed description of the loading of the refugees and protection of the port. During this process, he explains how teams were securing port so the enemy troops were unable to pursue them. He emphasizes that the people on the ship were seeking freedom, and the S.S. Meredith Victory was the last ship out.
No Room at the Inn
J. Robert Lunney remembers the SS Meredith Victory being denied the ability to off-load the fourteen thousand refugees at Busan on Christmas Eve 1950. He explains that Busan was already overcrowded with UN troops and refugees. After being denied entry, he recalls their redirection to Koje-do and the tricky offloading of the refugees on December 26th.
Concussion Grenades and the Aggressive Chinese Army
At the end of November 1950, Jack Allen was wounded by the Chinese who overran the US troops. The Chinese had so many troops that they easily came over the hills. A concussion grenade took the nerve out of Jack Allen's right arm, so he couldn't use it and his knee was shot too. He was laid on straw and a tarp until a helicopter basket took him back off the line and onto Japan to recover. There were hundreds of wounded that accompanied Jack Allen, but he knew that he wouldn't be left behind because that's a Marines' motto.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Participating in the Incheon Landing in September 1950
Jack Allen went to the Mediterranean in April 1950 and he was ready to fight when the war began in June 1950. He set up a telephone system in Japan and stayed there until the Incheon landing took place. Jack Allen participated in the Inchoeon Landing on day 2 while hearing and feeling the boom of guns for the first time in warfare. One of his friends landed in a hole after dodging a mortar that had been a toilet, so he couldn't get his clothes off fast enough. After that, Jack Allen went to retake the Kimpo Air Field in Seoul during the Incheon Landing in September 1950.
The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman
Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.
A Near Death Experience By Friendly Fire
Jack Allen went on a ship from Incheon to Wonson in order to invade North Korea in November 1950. He was the farthest North company in Korea going over hills and feeling the temperature drop each day. The North Koreans were hiding in caves and holes in mountains to do surprise attacks on the US troops, so Jack Allen volunteered to bring a case of hand grenades to the front line US troops because they ran out of supplies. After all of the warfare, one US soldier almost killed Jack Allen because he didn't recognize him, but Jack Allen knew that that soldier had been killing so long that he was mentally lost.
First Engagement: Task Force Smith
Jack Goodwin recounts his experience in Task Force Smith, the first group to engage with North Korean soldiers during the Korean War. He shares that they were severely outnumbered and ill-equipped with only four hundred or so men against roughly twenty thousand North Korean soldiers, having severely limited ammunition. He recalls remaining U.S. soldiers being forced to leave their position and walk during the night to a village where they were captured the following morning.
People Who Fall in a Death March
Jack Goodwin describes the Death March as a POW which took place November 1st-9th, 1950. He shares that 86 men died along the way from either wounds sustained prior to the start of the march or from being shot by the North Koreans who were forcing them to march. He recounts civilians being forced to march with them as well, including nuns, priests, engineers, and politicians.
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.
The Rise of South Korea
Jack Howell offers his thoughts on Korea when he left in 1951 and then returning in 2000 for the 50th Anniversary. He recalls thinking that Korea would recover but not to the degree it has in such a short time frame. He expresses that it was amazing to see the country in 2000 and how the country has evolved as a world power.
Jack Kronenberger describes several times where a "Red Alert" was issued, meaning some North Koreans had crossed the border. He remembers his roommate being very alarmed, but there wasn't anything for them to do- "just keep doing your job." They had a machine gun in their hut, but did not have to use it.
Life at Koje-do POW Camp
Jack Whelan provides insight into the POW camp at Koje-do. He describes the layout and organization of the camp while he was stationed on the island. He emphasizes there was an ugliness within the North Korean compound that justified the ugliness of the frontlines. he explains how he, while in Koje-do, transitioned from being a correspondent to mapmaker.
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.
Destination Unknown & Inchon Landing
Jake O'Rourke shares that he and other fellow soldiers boarded a ship in California, not knowing its destination, in September 1950. He recounts orders not being revealed until they were halfway across the Pacific and adds that he had never heard of Korea let alone where it was located prior. He recalls arriving in Japan and experiencing a cyclone before sailing on and landing in Inchon where their mission centered on cutting off the supply routes of the North Koreans.
Jake O'Rourke recounts seeing his first Marine casualty and shares the impact the encounter had on him. He continues by describing his participation in an ambush of three North Korean tanks shortly thereafter. He recalls casualties on both sides and shares that he sees them in his dreams, causing him to take inventory of his life. He also adds his thoughts on why there will always be war.
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 A. Newman
Sneak Attack on the Yalu River
James Newman was stationed on the frigate HMNZS Hawea up the Yalu River. He participated in a daring attack along the border between China and Korea. Fighting as a gunner, his ship attacked enemy positions along the Yalu River and took the enemy by complete surprise.
"Pushing" to Hill 355
James Newman fought in the Battle for Hill 355 or Kowang-san. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Mayang-San, a joint British, Australian, and New Zealand engagement along the Imjin River. He describes his experiences on the frontline where he shared a foxhole with a Korean kid while mortars from the Chinese exploded near them.
Cold Korea and Capturing a Chinese soldier
James Burroughs recalls the extreme cold in Korea and how the snow was up to his shoulders. He recounts finding a Chinese soldier behind the line and learning that the his unit was about to be attacked by the Chinese and North Koreans the next day. He discusses his unit setting up for the attack and firing until his gun barrel had to be changed.
Korean War Peace Talks
James Burroughs recounts when he was pulled from the line and being ordered to guard the peace talks between the Chinese, North Koreans, South Koreans, and United States. He discusses seeing the general on all sides. He comments on being part of a regimental combat team.
James C. Delong
Contact with the Enemy
James C. Delong describes the activities of the 31st Infantry Regiment from Inchon to Suwon including contact with the enemy. He explains that he landed in Inchon the day after the Inchon Landing. He goes on to explain there was little resistance on the way to Suwon because the North Koreans were trying to evade them, abandoning their tanks and everything along the way.
Typical Day of Service
James Creswell describes how he served as an advisor to three or four South Korean Majors and Colonels. He recounts offering radio signal, leadership, combat, artillery, and tank advice and training to other soldiers. He explains that there was significant guerrilla warfare, and due to the successes of the advisory support he was involved in, he shares that there was a bounty on his head. He expresses the level of danger, adds that no logos or insignias were worn, and recalls having a rifle in his hands at all times.
Guerilla Clearance (graphic)
James Creswell, in somewhat graphic detail, describes the Guerilla Clearance as a dangerous and deadly time in Incheon and around the Pusan Perimeter. He details the banding together of Chinese and North Koreans troops and their plan to attack his location. He offers a visual of witnessing a mass shooting in a rice field, of beheadings, and scare tactics used by the South Korean soldiers to keep opposition at bay.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Capturing Seoul and Wonsan
James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.
James E. Fant
James E Fant discusses being drafted and going to Korea
James E Fant describes being drafted. He reflects on basic training and his route to Korea and eventually to Hill 355. He explains, that in Korea, that they were constantly fighting for high ground.
Flying from England to Korea
James Hollier describes his assignment in the 64th Bombardment Squadron flying from England to Korea for three years. He describes his responsibilities as a tailgunner during the Korean War. He also elaborates bombing in high altitude attacking North Korea's fighter planes.
James Houp reflects on his experience at the Incheon Landing. He shares how he and his unit went in on the third day of the invasion, on September 18, 1950. He explains that his job was to lay telephone wire. He remembers that Seoul had not been recaptured yet when he arrived. He remembers seeing enemy soldiers sticking their heads outside of the foxholes as he was re-laying wire that had been run over by tanks. He shares how, at that point, he recognized they were actually at war.
The Incheon Landing
James Jolly describes his platoon's experience at the Incheon Landing on Blue Beach from Kobe, Japan. He explains that his platoon was the first to capture one of North Korea's T-34. He goes on to describe the lack of resistance from the North Koreans.
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.
Sending a Letter Home
James Hall recounts how the Chinese wanted the prisoners of war to write letters home after the peace talks began in 1951. He explains how the prisoners were told to write about accolades of the Communist way of thinking and to put down the United States government. He recalls how he refused to write the letters and remembers a Chinese nurse helping him write a letter to his mother to let her know he was alive.
James L. Owen
Strategy in North Korea
James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.
Experience at Incheon
James L. Owen details arriving at Incheon Landing in September 1950. He recalls his platoon spending 60 days pushing back North Korean troops from there. He remembers taking all the equipment back on the ship, going to the other side of the peninsula, and proceeding combat pushing the North Korean forces as far north as the Chinese border.
James L. Stone
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.
Contemporary Korea and a Message to Future Generations
James Low hopes that future generations are able to experience one democratic Korea. He stresses the importance that future generations understand the Korean War was fought against three Communist countries: North Korea, China, and Russia. James Low believes that the Korean war helped to impede any further advancement of Russian Communism.
James M. Oyadomari
I Couldn't Even Imagine: Returning to Korea
James M. Oyadomari shares he has been fortunate to return to Korea on two occasions. Although his recollections of what the country was like while he was stationed there are limited, he explains he was amazed by how much it has been rebuilt over the past 50 years. He shares he is proud of the country's success and the role he played in it. He articulates he would like to one day see the war officially come to an end and lead to a unified Korea, but he questions how this will be possible under the current leadership of North Korea.
James Parker recalls the campaign for Heartbreak Ridge. He remembers many calls for medics as soldiers were continuously wounded advancing up the hill. He chronicles the change in tactics from using manpower to advance to using tanks instead as a means of taking out the enemy bunkers.
Commanding from a Ditch
James Pigneri describes first getting to Korea and going straight into the war zone. The command post was in a ditch. Here he tells of his first official job transporting deceased soldiers while coming under enemy mortar fire from the Chinese.
We were very unprepared for WAR.
James Rominger believes the North Koreans were winning the war because the American soldiers were very unprepared. There was little food and their boots were rotten. He shares how soldiers were in the North Korean territory of Kumhwa Valley working hard to gain stabilization in an area that had been completely destroyed.
James Ronald Twentey
Nuclear War in Korea?
Ron Twentey talks about a harrowing duty he was assigned to perform...plotting targets for nuclear destruction throughout North Korea. He explains that at the time he was given this top secret task, he was told to complete it and then forget about it. He says he can now discuss it because this plan was published in detail in a 2011 edition of "The Graybeards." He explains that he was responsible for plotting several targets for nuclear bombs that would have been delivered by "Atomic Annie," a large cannon that actually made its way to Korea, though never used for its ultimate purpose.
James Shigeo Shimabuku
Asians Fighting Asians
James Shimabuku describes the names that Hawaiians used for different Asian cultures. He also shares how he felt about being an Asian-American fighting against other Asian cultures such as North Koreans and Chinese. He adds that the differing cultures in Hawaii saw themselves as island people rather than Koreans, etc.
Shooting from a Cave
James Shuman explains where the guns were kept during his service. He remembers having little protection when they were on the front lines. The enemy would tunnel through mountains, creating a cave-like shelter from which they would shoot at his crew.
James Vance Scott
The Big Grenade and Surrender of North Korean Soldiers
James Vance Scott describes the grenade attached to his anti-aircraft machinery that he was instructed to activate if the troops were ever overrun. He recounts how they were also to be back-up support with machine guns. He describes the Battle of Old Baldy, including the surrender of two North Korean soldiers who voluntarily walked into the American camp starving and cold. He describes his first encounter with Chinese soldiers, as well as seeing a dead enemy civilian.
Janice Feagin Britton
Duties as a Wartime Flight Nurse
Janice Britton explains the role flight nurses played in the Korean War and how they needed to work together to meet the various patients' needs. She discusses the types of patients they treated aboard the flights and what a typical flight looked like. She recalls being almost surrounded by the Chinese at the Jangin (Chosin) Reservoir and the work they did to evacuate as many patients as possible.
Describing Her Job as a Flight Nurse
Janice Britton elaborates on what her duties as a flight nurse looked like. She recalls being featured in a newspaper article as the first nurse to fly over the 38th parallel. She shares the flight nurses would bring patients to station hospitals for further care. She reflects on the role she played and shares she did not regard her job as being dangerous, although they would fly as close as possible to evacuate patients. She offers a notable story about having to find food for her patients as they were waiting for an airplane.
Jean Paul White
The Marine Corps Joins the War
Jean Paul White talks about where he was when he first heard about fighting in the Korean War. He describes learning about the war in newspaper headlines. He explains how he was unsure as to where Korea was located. He describes the diminished state of the USMC at the start of the war.
Paying a Speeding Ticket from 6,000 Miles Away
Jean Paul White discusses sending money (Korean Won) home. He explains how he captured North Koreans and liberated the Won he gathered from them. He explains how he used the money to pay an outstanding speeding ticket he had received just prior to leaving for Korea. He explains how he sent money to the Chief of Police and was told he was cleared.
"I'd do away with the DMZ"
He argues that the war should be declared over, that the demilitarized zone should be eradicated, and that the North Korean people should be allowed to see for themselves how South Korea has progress.
Describes the period of time when the Chinese were amassing across the Yalu river, and MacArthur apparently did not notice. He argues that the South Korean intelligence actually knew they were there, had already had skirmish with an outfit in late October that were originally thought to be North Korean troops but were actually Chinese. He states that even though they knew, there was not much they could do about it, they were overwhelmed and outnumbered.
Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
We were there during the Cold War
Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner received word that the North Koreans wanted to participate in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, so they were heavily guarding the 38th parallel. They were doing this to ensure that the Olympics would remain safe. The 38th parallel is the dividing line between North and South Korea that we created during the signing of the armistice on July 29, 1953.
We Finally Took Hill 325
Jeff Liebregts does not recall knowing if they were fighting Chinese or North Korean soldiers at Hill 325. He explains that before the third attempt to take the hill it didn't matter what job you had. You were given a gun and sent up the hill. He shares that he was afraid and if someone says that they were not, they are joking. After taking the hill, he remembers feeling tired and lying down near body bags. He recalls waking up to someone kicking him to check that he was alive.
Jeremiah Johnson describes his job in Korea. He recounts how he would record the sounds of enemy artillery. He explains his role and how he was independent from the trench soldier. He describes the technology he would use as part of his counterfire platoon work.
Finding North Korean Shooters
Jeremiah Johnson describes the poor attitude of many soldiers who did not want to be there and comments on how they would complain. He remembers how he was bored calling artillery locations, so he asked his Lieutenant if he could figure out his own shots. He describes how he came up with a system to refine the process of locating North Korean guns.
Kill or Be Killed
Jesse Englehart discusses landing in Busan. He discusses the personal hardship of being on a ship for such a long time. He explains how they quickly he was thrust into combat. He explains how he adapted.
You Get Used to It
Jesse Englehart describes how a South Korean man was communicating with North Korea. He remembers an incident and seeing this man beaten with a bat. He explains how in war soldiers become desensitized to violence.
Taking a Hill
Jesse Englehart describes his part in taking a hill. He explains how he prepared for battle with his helmet. He described weapons used against him and others during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He also explains that he was lucky to survive and how they made sure they left nothing the enemy could use.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas
The Armistice / El Armisticio
Jesús María Cabra Vargas shares the joy and relief troops felt when they heard about the signing of the Armistice. He explains that troops were required to conduct skirmishes at night. He reminisces how there are no words to explain the joy they felt knowing that their lives were no longer on the line.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas comparte la alegría y el alivio que sintieron al enterarse de la firma del Armisticio. Explica que se requerían tropas para realizar escaramuzas por la noche. Recuerda que no hay palabras para explicar la alegría que sintieron al saber que no iban a perder sus vidas.
"There was a lot of them, and just one of me"
Jesus Rodriguez remembers the battle in which he won him a Silver Star for his bravery. He fought against the North Koreans for 5 hours after his company abandoned him in the middle of the night. Jesus Rodriguez reflects on the translator's role that night and the potential for him to have been a spy.
Joe D. Slatton
Slatton and the Time of the Armistice July 27, 1953
After the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, Joe D. Slatton's was assigned the job of collecting all military items that were above and around the 38th parallel. He recalls being scared because North Koreans continued to walk around armed.
Harsh Winters and Ways to Detect the Enemy
Joe Larkin described the conditions on the mountains at Punchbowl were terrible including 10-20 degrees below zero weather which made it very difficult for guns to work properly. He said the oil and grease would freeze, so the soldiers weren't able to shoot their guns. They also developed searchlights that would beam off of low lying clouds so they could detect movement and see both the enemy and their own soldiers during the Korean War.
John A. Ciburk
Bombing in North Korea
John A. Ciburk describes several bombing missions in which he participated. He recalls bombing an oil refinery as well as roads and bridges in North Korea as a means of stopping enemy forces on the ground. He shares that when the Chinese forces came in, they were ordered to start bombing villages as the Chinese were using them for housing.
Sights and Sounds of the Incheon Landing
John Beasley recalls the sights and sounds of 5:00 in the evening on September 15, 1950, the first day of the Inchon Landing. He describes only having rifles and mortars to use against Russian tanks that were coming in the next day after the landing. He recalls that other soldiers who had come off a carrier came in to assist with use of napalm. He gives a first-hand account of the heroic efforts of fellow Marine, Walter C. Monegan Jr., during the Inchon Landing. Monegan posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his valor.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
Deceptive Amphibious Assaults
The ship that John Bierman was stationed on made deceptive amphibious assaults 3 different times on the coast of Korea during the war. This was a way to draw opposing troops away from the front line. North Korean troops were tricked, so John Bierman received incoming fire and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in 1951.
Targets of Opportunity
John Blankenship participated in night time bombing raids to go after "targets of opportunity." There are differences in capability between the A26 which was piloted by John Blankenship, and the Soviet-built MIGS that were being used by the North Korean pilots. John Blankenship's A26 flew only at night because the Korean MIGS didn't fly at night, so it kept his A26 safe.
Night Missions with Napalm
John Blankenship knew that he was always in danger and a few of his friends were shot down. He flew every night and ended up flying 87 missions in about 1 year. The A26 held 14 gun, 4-6 bombs, and napalm. When enemy convoys stopped and were trapped, John Blankenship dropped napalm on North Korean troops.
John C. Delagrange
Identifying Targets During Korean War
John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
North Korean Defector - Kenneth Rowe
John Delagrange remembers the day No Kum Sok landed his MiG 15 fighter at Kimpo Air Base defecting to South Korea in 1953. No Kum Sok (Kenneth Rowe) wrote a book, and he heard about the incident first-hand during their phone conversations later in life. No Kum Sok was a North Korean pilot during the Korean War, but he stole a MiG-15 and flew over the DMZ to Kimpo Air Base to earn his freedom.
John Fischetti comments on whether he holds any animosity towards the North Koreans, Chinese, or Russians to this day. He states that he holds the most animosity towards the Russians, believing that they instigated much of the Cold War. He describes how they supplied weapons to the Chinese and North Koreans in the war.
John G. Sinnicki
Encounters with the Koreans
John Sinnicki reflects on his encounters with the North Koreans in various settings. He describes how on the battlefield, they were dedicated to their Communist cause; however, in a civilian sense, they were very friendly and willing to engage with the Americans. He recalls KATUSA playing an incredibly helpful and important role and regrets they haven't received the credit they deserve.
John H. Jackson
Fighting During the Pusan Perimeter
John H. Jackson shares he fought from the second he arrived in Korea and participated in the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter. He recalls how the the most difficult part about the battle was that he did not know who was the enemy since the North Koreans dressed up as civilians and then attacked the US soldiers.
Returning to the Korean War after being Evacuated from Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson explains he was put back into battle after he was evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir. He shares he fought at the Imjin River and Han River. He recounts how he continued fighting during the Seoul Recapture, Chorwon Valley, and Ontrang.
Close to the Enemy
John Halliday describes working in a three-man team calling in airstrikes. In their forward observation positions, he notes their position was so close they could visually observe the enemy without the use of a telescope. He emphasizes that he was very lucky to have not been wounded during any of his missions.
John J. Baker
"We Knew War Was Going to Happen"
John J. Baker recalls being a student in Japan when men were rotating in and out of Korea. He recalls General Hodge coming to Japan in 1949 to see General MacArthur, but the General would not see him at the time. John J. Baker expands on how he knew the war was coming. He remembers having a conversation about how the North Koreans were training with the Russians to prepare for war. He shares about a message that he remembers came from General MacArthur.
Vivid Memories of Murdered Civilians
John J. Baker details movement from east of Taegu to a place called Ulsan. He recollects moving through the region with his company commander when they encountered the National Police and the Korean Army on both sides of the road. The commander explained that these people were South Korean Communists. He notes that much of his unit had been wiped out in Taejan leaving only 179 left in the unit. They returned to Taegu and onto Kumchon with the 19th and 21st Infantry. When they arrived, they encountered a gory scene along the roadside.
Arriving in Korea
John Jefferies recalls landing in Pusan, South Korea, in 1953 and the reality of war sinking in as he disembarked. He recalls being assigned to a Medical Clearing Company and describes his role while there. He shares that he worked in a POW camp where North Korean soldiers were detained.
John Jefferies recounts a successful and massive North Korean POW escape that occurred early one morning. He details how the North Koreans used towels to destroy part of the fencing around the camp and remembers watching thousands of them flee. He recalls having to defend himself to survive the situation.
John Jefferies recalls a POW exchange in Panmunjeom. He describes how the North Korean POWs reacted to being part of the exchange. He shares that new uniforms and other items were distributed to the POWs as well as haircuts given prior to the exchange. He recounts that the POWs threw their clothes out of the trucks and scratched themselves on the way to the exchange as a means of falsely displaying how poorly they had been treated.
The 38th Parallel
John Koontz describes his time in the Infantry at the 38th Parallel, where many North Koreans were trying to get through. He talks about the need to "fight our way out" which at times took hours, other times took days. He says "I'd rather not talk about it", clearly he is very emotional. and reflects on the horrors of war.
John L. Johnsrud
The US Draft and Arriving in Pusan
John L. Johnsrud was drafted when we was 22 years old in 1950. It took 19 days to get from Seattle to Yokahama Japan by boat before heading to Pusan. He arrived in Pusan on a troopship with 5,000 other soldiers.
Reconnoissance Work, Weather, and Relying on other Warriors
John L. Johnsrud was part of a reconnaissance platoon that would maintain communication for battalions, work with the South Korean Army, and spy on the enemy. Hawaiian soldiers who had been in the war since the beginning were a major asset for John Johnsrud since they taught the new men how to protect their foxhole.
Several Incidents on Board
John McBroom recalls several incidents on board the U.S.S. Symbol while in the Hamhueng area. He remembers North Koreans firing at the ship from the beach and recalls gunfire from both the North Koreans and another the USS Wiltsie (DD-716) that was posted nearby for protection.
Origins of the Tell America Program
John McWaters describes the Tell America program, a program in which Korean War Veterans go into high school classrooms in central Florida to teach students about the Korean War. National Geographic provided maps for the program, which immediately sent him down memory lane. He remembered the towns and villages he visited. Thanks to the maps, he was able to grow the program.
Life on an Aircraft Carrier
John Moller describes being shipped out for two weeks while stationed aboard the HMS Sydney during the Korean War. He recalls how he would provide supplies for the sailors on the ship while Spitfires bombed the Korean mainland. He adds that he was able to enjoy a hot shower daily and clean hammocks every two weeks.
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.
Watching Over the Enemy
John Munro recounts how he tried to go home and work at his parents' cafe and service station. He shares that he decided to go back into the military as an Australian Army Reservist. He recalls being stationed with the 38th Battalion, F Unit, and being sent to the DMZ to patrol right across from the North Koreans. He shares that it was rough protecting South Korea through the freezing winters and steamy summers.
John Naastad describes what it was like to be stationed near the DMZ in 1956. He discusses reports of troop movements and tensions along the line. He also recounts a trip he took to see the Bridge of No Return.
John 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.
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.
First Job in Korea
John Pritchard was dropped off in Pusan and was shocked to see civilians living in cardboard boxes without any sanitation. After one day, he was sent to Geoje Island to work in an American workshop to fix a water tanker. He was impressed with the tools available to the American Army.
John R. Stevens
Experience at Incheon
John R. Stevens recalls various experiences while at Incheon. He describes an incident when his friend, Lt. Lopez, attempted to throw a grenade into a pill box that was holding up the rest of the unit. He explains that Lt. Lopez was hit by machine gun fire and dropped his grenade, upon which he smothered with his own body to protect the other men around him. He goes on to explain the capture of fifteen North Koreans and the success of Lt. Lopez' sacrifice.
The recapture of Seoul
John R. Stevens describes his experiences during the recapture of Seoul. He explains how his platoon captured many North Koreans along the river they followed into the city. He also describes the task of having to destroy the North Korean's weapons along the way. He recalls a particular incident when, in an attempt to break the stock of a gun, one of his lieutenants accidentally killed somebody.
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.
Close Encounter with a North Korean Pilot
John Rolston describes being a flight leader and bringing people to Japan and they were returning. He shares how he was very close to shooting down a North Korean pilot who went below the 38th parallel. He shares how he could have shot the pilot, but he didn't want to murder someone who was lost.
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
John Sehejong Ha describes being at Douglas MacArthur entering South Korea. He describes being in attendance for the Seoul recapture. He shares a memory of seeing S. Koreans who had been forced to collaborate with North Korea's army. He shares how he witness the first group of US Marines enter South Korea.
Fears for the Future
John Shea, while he does not wish it, says he "feels sorry" for the South Korean people because he believes North Korea will again try to take it over.
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.
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".
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 .
Were you afraid? Did you ever think you would die?
John Turner talks about his experiences on the front lines of the war. Once his leg was grazed by a bullet, which ended up sending him to a M.A.S.H. (mobile army surgical hospital) in Seoul for a ten-day recovery. After feeling better, he returned to the front lines and was injured again shortly after, this time with a concussion from North Korean fire and explosions in a cave. He recalls trouble sleeping at night due to constant loud and bright explosions.
John Y. Lee
The War Breaks Out
John Y. Lee, a resident of Seoul in 1950, speaks about the day the Korean War began. He describes what he saw and his subsequent flight from the city. He recalls swimming across the Han River to safety.
Working for the United States 8th Army
Johnney Lee recalls being paid for his work with the United States 8th Army. He describes the living conditions at the time and states that he was assigned to at tent with US soldiers. He remembers traveling back and forth each day between camps for negotiations, leaving in the morning for Panmunjeom and returning in the evening to base camp.
Reflecting on Experiences
Johnney Lee reflects on his experiences while working with the United States 8th Army at Panmunjeom. He recalls that in his younger years when asked about his time serving, he would simply say that he was working and trying to survive. He shares that he now speaks of how good the experience was for him as he understands the difference between Communism and Democracy.
Johnney Lee shares that the negotiations at Panmunjeom lasted nearly two years. He recalls feeling frustrated that the negotiations seemed to be going nowhere while soldiers died. He adds that he wanted peace quickly, but the same story seemed to be playing out after each meeting.
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi
Danger in Busan
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi recalls the danger imposed by plain-clothes North Koreans in Pusan (Busan). He describes how the North Korean's infiltrated the area, which made it impossible to determine who they were.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna
Helping Civilians / Ayudando a los Civiles
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna details the heartbreaking conditions that civilians endured during the war. He remembers entering living dwellings and encountering weak elderly people and malnourished children. While it was frowned upon by American troops, he explains that Puerto Ricans gave rations to those civilians.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna detalla las condiciones de los civiles durante la guerra. Recuerda entrar en viviendas y encontrarse con ancianos débiles y niños desnutridos. Él explica que los puertorriqueños les daban raciones a esos civiles aunque las tropas estadounidenses no lo hacían por miedo de darle comida al enemigo.
Worse Battle / La Peor Batalla
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explains that he fought in many terrible battles. He details one in which they captured about five hundred prisoners. He remembers every detail of that battle because his friend died from an ambush by North Koreans while he was charging up a hill.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explica que luchó en muchas batallas terribles. Detalla una en la que capturaron a unos quinientos prisioneros. Recuerda cada detalle de esa batalla porque su amigo murió cuando los norcoreanos lo emboscaron mientras subía una colina.
Jose E Hernandez Rivera
Guarding the Prisoners at Koje-do
Jose E. Hernandez Rivera describes what it was like to guard the Prisoner of War camp at Koje-do Island, Korea. He explains that they used to take the prisoners to the LSTs (ships) to load oil and equipment in the morning. He shares a memory of a time when a prisoner would not do what he was told and then moves on to tell of the deaths that took place in the camps.
Big Switch of Prisoners
Jose E. Hernandez Rivera describes the “Big Switch”, which was the exchange of prisoners after the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. He recalls that they took the prisoners to the ships and then received American prisoners. He explains why the prisoners they were releasing did not want to go back to their home country.
The DMZ After the Armistice
Even after the armistice was signed, Jose E. Hernandez Rivera served in Korea until 1954. During that time, he served near the DMZ. While there were no shots fired, he explains how it was still scary because they never knew if the North Koreans would retaliate.
Jose E. Colon
The 65th Regiment’s Efforts and Consequences
Jose E. Colon provides an account of the 65th Infantry Regiment's movement to the 38th Parallel during the Korean War. He praises the regiment's tenacity in pushing back the Chinese, allowing United States Marines to evacuate the area. He notes, however, the poor living conditions endured by the 65th Regiment and the court-martials that followed their refusal to push forward.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that any time they were on the move it was incredibly dangerous as they were always met with mortar attacks. He remembers how they were ambushed one night, and his friend was killed. He wonders if he killed anyone as they shot in all directions as they could not see the enemy. Forever etched in his memory are the hardships of civilians and what they had to resort to in order to survive.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Él explica que cada vez que se movía del sur hasta el frente era increíblemente peligroso porque siempre lo atacaban con morteros. Recuerda que una noche los emboscaron y mataron a su amigo, y ellos disparaban en todas direcciones porque no podían ver donde estaba al enemigo entonces él no sabe si mato a nadie. Las miserias de los civiles y lo que tenían que hacer para sobrevivir le han quedado grabadas en su memoria.
Jose Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez
Most Dangerous Conflicts / Conflictos Más Peligrosos
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez shares his memories of the most dangerous battles that Colombian troops faced. He discusses the perils during Operation Barbula and the bloody nature of the Battle of Old Baldy. Because of the heavy fighting Colombian troops encountered in March of 1953, they nicknamed it the “gory month of March.”
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez comparte sus recuerdos de las batallas más peligrosas que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas. Habla de los peligros durante la Operación Barbula y lo sangriento que fue la Batalla de Old Baldy. Debido a los intensos combates que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas en marzo de 1953, lo apodaron "el cruento mes de Marzo".
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez shares the moment in which he feared that his patrol unit would restart the Korean War. He explains that after hours of patrolling near the DMZ, they were lost and decided to split up. His group stumbled on a group of Koreans which luckily were South Koreans that helped them return to their base.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez comparte el momento en el que temió que su patrulla reiniciara la Guerra de Corea. Explica que después de horas de patrullaje cerca de la DMZ, se perdieron y decidieron separarse. Su grupo se topó con un grupo de coreanos que afortunadamente eran surcoreanos y los ayudaron a regresar a su base.
Jose Maria Gomez Parra
Sudden Attack / Sudden Attack / Ataque
José María Gómez Parra provides a detailed account of the start of the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the intense fighting that occurred and the manner in which Chinese troops advanced into their territory. He adds that the Chinese would try to dissuade Colombians from fighting through speakerphones by telling them they were going to die or have an amputated limb to diminish troop morale. He shares that during the battle he was an assistant machine gunner along with two other individuals, one of whom was killed and the other that ran away. He recalls how he kept his position and fought until he realized the hill was lost.
José María Gómez Parra ofrece un relato del inicio de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe el combate intenso que ocurrió y la forma en la cual las tropas chinas entraron a su territorio. Además, cuenta que los chinos trataban de disuadir a los colombianos de pelear a través de los altavoces diciéndoles que iban a morir o que les amputarían una extremidad para romper la linea de combate. Durante la batalla, fue asistente de ametralladora junto con otros dos individuos, uno de los cuales murió y el otro se escapó. El mantuvo su posición y luchó hasta que se dio cuenta de que la colina estaba perdida.
José Pascagaza León
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
José Pascagaza León remembers the most difficult moments he faced in Korea. As a member of the rearguard, he states that he did not have the difficulties of those in the front but felt in danger when the enemy returned fire after they launched mortars. He recalls the fighting at the Battle of Hill 180 and the use of heavy artillery to support those in the front.
José Pascagaza León recuerda los momentos más difíciles que enfrentó en Corea. Como él era miembro de la retaguardia, afirma que no tuvo las dificultades de los del frente, pero se sintió en peligro cuando el enemigo respondió con fuego después de que lanzaron morteros. Recuerda los combates en la Batalla de la Colina 180 y como tuvo que usar artillería pesada para apoyar a los que estaban en el frente.
Thoughts on Peace Treaty
Joseph Calabria speaks about how he would like for the Koreas to be reunified. He believes that he would then sign it. He gives the suggestion that North Korea should follow the model of South Korea.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge/part of Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Joseph Dunford, Sr. shares that his first battle in the Korean War was the 2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge. He explains how the North Koreans broke the lines and he fought to push them back. He shares how responded using his training. He knew his role was critical.
Joseph Dunford, Sr. participated in the Inchon Landing. He describes his objective was to take Observatory Hill (also known as Cemetery Hill). He explains how he and his regiment did this at 5:30 PM and took the hill once it became dark. He explains how the North Koreans were fighting lightly. He shares all he could see was the dead and fires around him.
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.
The Punch Bowl
Joseph Horton describes his experience trying to hold a line against North Korean forces. He recalls his first real combat duty and seeing wounded and killed soldiers. He describes how his job was to extricate the wounded from the battlefield.
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.
"It Was the Fourth of July"
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.
Joseph M. Picanzi
Two Types of Patrols
Joseph Picanzi talks about the two kinds of patrols: reconnaissance and combat. He describes the purpose of each of these patrols.
Joseph P. Ferris
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.
Kimpo under Air Attack
In this clip, a Joseph P. Ferris describes what it was like being under enemy air attack. He also recalls one of his experiences taking care of a fellow airman who became a causality.
Joseph T Monscvitz
Surrounded at Taejon
When they woke up in the middle of the night in Taejon, Joseph Monscvitz and his unit saw a large tank that quickly started shooting at them. They jumped in a sewer to seek cover, but soon learned that they would need to escape further. Joseph Monscvitz explains how he made the wrong choice, ended up being surrounded again in a little village, and found himself as a Prisoner of War.
Prisoner of War
Joseph Monscvitz describes his experience as a Prisoner of War marching from Taejon to Seoul to Pyongyang. He remembers being interrogated by a Russian soldier and eventually loaded onto a train that he thought was headed to Manchuria. The train stopped in the Sunchon Tunnel where many of the men were killed, but Joseph Monscvitz was fortunate to respond.
Joseph T. Wagener
Luxembourg Joins the Korean War
Joseph Wagener shares the history of Luxembourg's joining United Nations forces in Korea. He discusses his reasons for volunteering. He chronicles his training with Belgian forces and arrival in Korea in January of 1951.
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.
Juan Andres Arebalos
Landing in Korea on the Fourth of July
Juan Andres Arebalos recalls playing ping-pong on a Japanese base when an announcement came on the radio about North Korea's invasion of South Korea. He received orders to pack his belongings for combat and the next day, landed in Korea on the Fourth of July. He saw bright flashes of lights in the distance that could have been mistaken for fireworks. His duty was to hold the enemy back until reinforcements arrived from the United Nations Forces.
The Battle of Taejon
Juan Andres Arebalos provides an overview of the North Korean's advancements in Taejon. He recounts retreating from the city to reinforce his troops. He remembers observing the city burning after the North Koreans seized it. He provides information about General William Dean, the United States general who was captured during the retreat from Taejon.
Tales of Survival
Juan Andres Arebalos admits that he did not feel he would survive the situation in Taejon. He comments that enemy troops would snatch the food and supplies dropped by United Nations airplanes. He recalls being so hungry that he ate fly-infested rice in a South Korean village. He recalls an enemy sniper shooting at them as they filled their canteens with water at a creek. He admits to being unable to sleep at night because of his fear.
Never to Forget
Juan Andres Arebalos provides insight into General McArthur's plan to contain Chinese forces behind their border. He explains how President Truman opposed General McArthur's intention to attack Chinese territory, but to the soldiers, it was the best option to prevent further casualties. He expresses his gratitude towards the brave Korean War veterans and his reverence for those who did not make it home.
Juan Figueroa Nazario
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Juan Figueroa Nazario recalls his first impressions of a war-torn Korea. He describes the civilian living conditions and the plethora of refugee he encountered. In his opinion, the poverty of the Korean people was worse than that of Haiti. He shares he could not believe the way in which the infrastructure of the nation had been decimated.
Juan Figueroa Nazario recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea devastada por la guerra. Describe las condiciones de vida de los civiles y los refugiados que encontró. En su opinión, la pobreza del pueblo coreano era peor que la de Haití. No podía creer la forma en que había sido diezmada la infraestructura de la nación.
Juan Jose Lopez De Victoria
No Soldier Left Behind / Ningún Soldado Olvidado
Juan José López de Victoria shares the story of how the remains of fallen Marines were never left behind. He recalls that six of his friends were killed following a helicopter ration drop as they were spotted by the enemy. While the remains were not immediately sent back to the United States, the Pentagon never gave up hope in returning them to their families. Decades after the war, the Pentagon contacted him to inquire about the incident, and the remains were finally sent to their loved ones.
Juan José López de Victoria comparte la historia de cómo los restos de los soldados caídos nunca se abandonaban. Él recuerda como seis de sus amigos murieron después de que un helicóptero tiro las raciones y fueron vistos por el enemigo. Aunque los cuerpos no fueron devueltos de inmediato a los Estados Unidos, el Pentágono nunca perdió la esperanza de devolverlos a sus familias. Décadas después de la guerra, el Pentágono lo contactó para preguntarle sobre el incidente y los restos finalmente fueron enviados a sus seres queridos.
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr.
Combat and Being Tested
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr., discusses his first days in Korea after landing in the Pusan Perimeter. He describes how his unit was pulled out of his regiment because some in the United States Army doubted the effectiveness of all Black units. He shares how his unit was in a valley between North Korean and American troops, taking fire from both sides and receiving his first wound.
Jutta I. Andersson
Duty of a Nurse
Jutta Andersson explains her duties as a nurse in the barracks. She mainly treated soldiers with non-life threatening injuries or soldiers who were in stable condition. In her barracks she also treated POW's from North Korea and China. POW's were generally scared of uncertainty, but thankful for the treatment and did not want to go back to the POW camp.
Treatment of POW's
Jutta Andersson explains her treatment of North Korean soldiers. The United States military did not want to treat these soldiers. However, the Swedish doctors and nurses had to treat injured North Koreans because of the Geneva Convention. The United States had to accept the Swedish treatment of North Korean soldiers.
Kaku Akagi describes the significance of his duties in the 500th Military Intelligence Service Group. He recalls how the unit gathered accurate and helpful information from North Koreans in a POW camp in Koje-do. He explains why most of the detainees spoke Japanese in addition to Korean. He notes he, therefore, questioned the prisoners in Japanese.
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.
Kenneth Aijiro Tashiro
Answer Me in Japanese
Kenneth Aijiro Tashiro describes his job translating and interpreting in Japanese during the Korean War. He explains his interaction with ROK and Korean civilians. He also describes his interaction with North Korean prisoners of war.
The Enemy Talked To Us
Bodies lay dying on the battlefield not too far from where the troops were stationed on the hill they were defending territory. Kenneth Borchers recalled the sounds bodies were making as the men were dying during the night. There was death all around and soldiers moaning from their pain was a constant sound.
A Breakfast Surprise
The men in Kenneth Borchers's platoon were enjoying a delicatessen of eating pancakes while on the front line one morning. As they got situated on the ground to eat, they saw the enemy running through their camp. The US soldiers never could fire a shot before the enemy passed their camp and were down the hill.
Kenneth F. Dawson
"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 J. Winters
Camp Liberty Bell Attack
Kenneth Winters recalls his memory of the Camp Liberty Bell Attack. This incident took place on August 10, 1967, when his unit, while on a tree cutting detail in the DMZ were ambushed by North Korean soldiers. He talks about being shot by enemy fire and being wounded by grenade shrapnel. Four US soldiers were killed and 17 wounded in the attack.
The Second Korean War
Kenneth Winters talks about the aftermath of the Liberty Bell Attack. He describes his wounds and the heroic efforts of others in the battle. He goes on to talk about other incidents during his tour in Korea, calling the period from 1967-1968 as the Second Korean War.
Going Home, Coming Back to Korea
Kenneth Winters talks about his time in Korea from 1967-1968. He talks about going back to US after he was wounded and returning to Korea and the DMZ, the site of an ambush he was involved in just a few months prior.
MacArthur at Inchon Landing
Kenneth Oberstaller describes MacArthur's strategy for aircraft at Inchon. Since it was the only carrier in the Pacific at the time, the USS Valley Forge had to sail around both sides of Korea to launch aircraft. He explains how launching aircraft from both sides of the peninsula was an attempt to confuse and intimidate the North Koreans, leading them to believe there were two task force at sea.
Kenneth S. Shankland
A Peaceful Solution for a Divided Country
Kenneth Shankland recalls how he knew nothing about Korea until he was sent to the East Sea to patrol the Korean coast. He shares that since his service in Korea, he has closely studied the developments of the Korean War, from the actual fighting to the Armistice that has not resolved the war. He adds that he would like for Korea to find a peaceful solution between the North and South.
Bombardment of North Korean Railways in 1957
Kenneth Shankland describes his ship patrolling the eastern and western coast. He shares how he participated in the bombardment of North Korean coastal railways in order to stop the movement of weapons by Chinese and North Korean Communists from the mountains down to Pusan. He recounts how The HMNZS Royalist served as a significant deterrent so he did not need to worry about attacks from enemy gunboats.
Kim H. McMillan
Tensions at the Base
Kim McMillan describes the tension at his base between North Korean civilians and South Koreans. Several North Koreans worked in the galley and the South Koreans did not like them. While in Korea, he attained the rank of Lance Corporal.
No Ethiopian Soldiers Were Prisoners of War
Lakew Asfaw explains that Ethiopian soldiers refuse to give themselves over to the enemy. Unlike other nations, none of the Ethiopian soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. One experience he recalls involved a soldier being captured and how he started shouting for his comrades to take his life. During this incident, he remembers another Ethiopian soldier firing into the dark and killing the North Korean who was taking the soldier. He clarifies that soldiers would take their own lives before becoming a prisoner of war.
What do you think of the War?
Lawrence Shadler describes being taken to the headquarters of the Chinese prison camps after 15-18 months and being asked about his impressions of the war. The enemy propaganda papers reported they had been advancing 30-40 miles a day. He asked how they liked Hawaii, since they must have made their way to San Francisco after 15-18 months of advancing so significantly.
Release of the P.O.W.
Lawrence Shadler describes his release just north of the 38th Parallel. For every 100 American solidiers released, 500 enemy POWs were also repatriated. They were taken on trucks to a white stone path and were not officially released until stepping onto those stones.
A Bright Spot in the War: Humanitarian Evacuation of North Korean Refugees
Lawrence Elwell, despite all the horrors he witnessed while serving in Korea, describes witnessing the evacuation of ninety-seven thousand North Korean refugees from Korea to the United States. He muses they almost depopulated North Korea in doing so. He recalls meeting some of those refuges who were successfully settled in the Dallas, Texas, area.
Lawrence Elwell recalls a vivid memory of sitting on a hillside in North Korea near Yudamri. He recalls the timing of the event as early December 1950 and shares he was writing his father a letter. He remembers explaining in the letter how they are surrounded by the enemy and that he was not certain he would make it to his upcoming twentieth birthday.
The Last Ten Days
Lawrence Hafen talks about his experience during the last ten days before the signing of the Armistice. He mentions continuous shelling by both sides in an effort to expend stocks of ammunition. He describes the front lines after the ceasefire.
Lawrence Paul Murray (Paul Murray)
Inner Thoughts Once in Korea
Lawrence Paul Murray describes his inner thoughts while on his first assignment in Korea at Incheon Landing. He explains feeling conflicted over having to kill other human beings. He goes on to explain how he overcame this mindset when his defense mechanisms kicked in.
Leandro Diaz Miranda
Battle of Kelly Hill / Batalla de Kelly Hill
Leandro Díaz Miranda explains the difficulty the 65th Regiment encountered at the Battle of Kelly Hill. He details the terrible fighting as they were outnumbered ten-to-one. They suffered many casualties and thus the troops were completely demoralized by the end of the battle.
Leandro Díaz Miranda explica la dificultad que encontró el Regimiento 65 en la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Detalla lo terrible que fue la lucha, ya que fueron superados en número diez a uno. Sufrieron muchas bajas y, por lo tanto, las tropas estaban completamente desmoralizadas al final de la batalla.
Leo C. Jackey
Frozen to Death
Leo C. Jackey shares a moving memory. He remembers seeing lines of Korean civilians, including children, frozen to death with their hands up one morning while in the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir area. He speaks with pride of the small role he played in helping Korea pick itself up and rebuild itself into a leading economic power in the world.
Leon “Andy” Anderson
Leon "Andy" Anderson explains that he entered the Korean War in 1953. He explains his job to patrol the lines for line-crossers and guerrillas. He shares how he was also sent to French Indochina to assist the French. He shares how he was not part of the front lines.
Leon "Andy" Anderson shares his experience being there for the Armistice in July 1953. He explains how he was near the front lines in the recon rear area. He shares how the Chinese and North Koreans were shooting at the US troops all the way up to the last minute before the Armistice. He shares how he celebrated the end of the war.
Just How Close We Were To The Enemy
Leonard Laconia's jeep squadron moved around from Seoul to Pyongyang and up to the North Korean Airports that he noted as K23 and K24 (Pyongyang). He recalled spending most of his time around K23 and he was told originally there were 30,000 Chinese headed their way, but there was actually 380,000 Chinese soldiers. Leonard Laconia's missions, known as a "sorties," would only last about 15 minutes (refuel & amp; rearm) because they would run out of ammunition so quickly due to the number of Chinese they were fighting.
Bed Check Charlie
An enemy plane was nicknamed "Bed Check Charlie" by The Stars and Stripes newspaper which was provided for every US soldier. In the newspaper, it threatened that "Bed Check Charlie" would come at night and killed one of the men from his squadron by dropping grenades and mortar shells. Leonard Laconia remembered that many of the enemy planes maneuvered well through the night sky, so soldiers were afraid of them.
Armistice Signed, But Fighting Continued
Leonard Laconia mentioned how bad the fighting was from 1950 through 1951, but when talk of armistice was being discussed in 1951, no one wanted to take a chance of dying. Therefore, none of the soldiers showed interest in the armistice. After the Armistice was signed in 1953, territory along the DMZ had many battles that continued to secure and occupy any land.
First Impressions of Korea
Leonard Nicholls recounts his first impressions of Korea as he arrived by ship to Pusan in early 1952. His boat was greeted on the pier by an American band playing music. They then climbed aboard a slow train toward the front lines. He remembers flat lands and rice paddies until they reached the north.
Keeping the Guns Warm
Lester Griebenow recalls an incident that he was not involved with, how an officer told a gun crew to light fires underneath the heavy artillery to keep the guns from freezing. Unfortunately, the fires notified the North Koreans of their location. The soldiers were taken prisoner and the guns were destroyed.
Preparing For and Entering the Korean War
After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.
Korea then and now
Lloyd Hellman visited Seoul in 1954 and said there were no buildings of any size, just Korean huts. The biggest building was the United States PX. He describes seeing Seoul on TV when he was home in Kansas City when President Eisenhower visited and he was amazed at the change. He said he can't imagine what the North Korean leader thinks when he sees modern South Korea.
Landing In Inchon
Lloyd Pitman describes his first night in Korea. He arrived in Inchon on September 19, 1950. He and his fellow soldiers engaged the enemy and took the airfield at Suwon. He describes the enemy counterattack that overran their headquarters killing many.
North Koreans leaving the war
Lloyd Pitman describes how his platoon walked right into a North Korean position after landing at Iwon, North Korea. Many soldiers ran away to avoid being captured. Some North Korean soldiers began waving the white peace flag and over a period of two days, the American soldiers took in 85 North Korean soldiers who wanted out of the war.
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.
Dropping Bombs and Flares by Hand
Not having bombing racks at the back of his C-47, Lloyd Thompson had to throw bombs and 15 pound flares (high illumination) by hand out of the plane at over 10,000 feet in the air. He did this to help fighters and bombers see their target. He also flew 76 missions and accumulated over 390+ hours.
Creeping Up Behind Us
Suspecting it may have been a Yakovlev (Yak-9), the enemy flew behind Lloyd Thompson's plane close enough that the radar indicated only one plane. When they landed, the Yak started dropping bombs on the runway at Gimpo Air Force Base. The Air Force responded with anti-aircraft weapons and blew the enemy plane apart.
A Piece of Missile to Keep
Loannis Farazakis describes several scenes of fighting with the help of a translator. He explains how his Company was attacked by North Korean artillery. He discusses how his unit, as well as an American jeep, were hit by fire. He explains how he didn't wear his metal helmet and he was hit by shrapnel in his head. He explains how he was not seriously injured.
"A Constant Tension"
Mr. Montani discusses what it was like on the DMZ patrol. He vividly describes what the DMZ looked like: A no man's land with barbed wire, watch towers, and check points. Mr. Montani describes his time patrolling the DMZ as "a constant tension". This clip could be used to introduce students to the danger that still existed (exists) after the armistice along the DMZ.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa
Legacy of Batallón Colombia / Legado del Batallón Colombia
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describes the most dangerous battles of the war. He provides an account of his participation in the Battle of Old Baldy and Hill 180 including a moment of heroism in which he charged up a hill to save his friend’s life. He believes that the battle of Old Baldy was a great triumph for Colombia as they the fought with so much valor.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describe las batallas más peligrosas de la guerra. Brinda un relato de su participación en la Batalla de Old Baldy y la colina 180 y cuenta sobre su momento de heroísmo en el que subió una colina para salvar la vida de su amigo. Él cree que la batalla de Old Baldy fue un gran triunfo para Colombia porque lucharon con mucho valor y el legado del batallón.
Luis Rosado Padua
The Draft / El Reclutamiento
Luis Rosado Padua discusses his feelings on being drafted and joining the war effort. He was immediately struck by the cold weather as he had never experienced freezing temperatures. He describes his feelings about the Korean people.
Luis Rosado Padua habla sobre sus sentimientos al ser reclutado y unirse al esfuerzo de la guerra. Él explica que lo más impactante al llegar fue el clima frío, ya que nunca había salido de Puerto Rico. Describe sus sentimientos sobre el pueblo coreano.
Marian Jean Setter
Treating the Rescued Hostages from the USS Pueblo
Marian recalls a notable experience while serving her second tour of duty in Korea. Upon their release by the North Koreans, she was one of the nurses that cared for the hostages of the USS Pueblo on Christmas Eve 1968. She and her fellow nurses gave each of them physical examinations, treatment if needed, and fed them a Christmas dinner.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella
Worst Battle / La Batalla Más Dura
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recounts his experience at the Battle of Hill 400. He explains the ground operation which resulted in his platoon piercing into enemy lines and capturing a number of prisoners of war, documents, and bloody cash. He details the way in which American airpower covered the platoon with the use of machine guns and napalm. He led his platoon on this mission without ever firing his gun as he was forced to fight with his bayonet in hand-to-hand combat. He described the battle as hell on earth and went in with the mindset that he had to win or die.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata su experiencia en la Batalla de la Colina 400. Explica la misión que resulto en su pelotón atravesara las líneas enemigas y capturar a varios prisioneros de guerra, documentos y dinero. Relata la forma en que el aviones estadounidense cubrieron el pelotón con el uso de ametralladoras y napalm. El dirigió su pelotón en esta misión sin disparar su arma, pero estuvo obligado a luchar con su bayoneta en un combate cuerpo a cuerpo. Describió la batalla como el infierno en la tierra y entró con la mentalidad de que tenía que vencer o morir.
Marshall E. Davis
Former POWs sabotaging their generators
The location of their headquarters was near a fence line that once held POWS that had integrated with the locals but some became apart of a guerrilla style action that would sabotage their generators and effect the transmitter that was far away from the headquarters. When the transmitters would go out it was usually because of the generators. Marshall was assigned night duty and was always on the lookout for possible saboteurs affecting their generators.
Landing at Incheon, Impressions of Korea
On August 1, 1952, Marvin Ummel's unit made it to Incheon, South Korea. The entry into Incheon was challenging due to bad weather and the fact that the communists had destroyed most of the harbor. The ship captain had to improvise their landing. Shortly after landing, he boarded a railroad car to his first duty station near Seoul. He noticed garbage and destruction all over the landscape of South Korea. He acknowledges not knowing what it looked like prior to the war, but his first impression was a total mess. There was no building that had not been at least damaged by the war. The condition of Seoul was pretty distressing.
Mission in Korea
Mathew Thomas recalls his job description. He and his battalion were in charge of taking care of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the role being dangerous because some POWs were not checked for weapons when they were brought into the camp facility. He shares how there were times when POWs tried to escape.
Prisoners of War
Mathew Thomas speaks about his experiences with prisoners of war (POWs). He recalls how some POWs did not want to return to their home countries and explains that some were left behind or even taken back to India. He shares that other POWs wanted to go to North Korea as they felt they might have a chance of reuniting with their families.
Committee Mission Complexities
Mathew Thomas talks about the committee's mission. He recalls how the Korean officials wanted the small number of remaining POWs released so they could return home; however, the United Nations orders were to not release the POWs. Instead, the orders were to hand them over to the United States command. He recognizes the complexities of the situation that are hard to decipher even today. He remembers leaving Korea in 1954 after nine months of service.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Mehmet Cemil Yasar
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the fighting conditions at the Geumyangjangri Front. The Chinese were surrounded and could not escape. Therefore, this battle helped the Allies maintain control of the advancing Chinese Army. Further, he also describes the overall destruction that war brought. Towns were bombed out and looted. However, Pyongyang had people, while the South suffered.
Battles in Korea
Mehmet Esen describes the fighting conditions when he first arrived in Korea. The Turkish soldiers fought near the Manchurian line. One famous battle was Cheorwon in North Korea. Another battle he describes is Sandbag Castle, or Kumkale. During one of the battles, he was wounded and sent to a hospital in Seoul.
Melvin D. Hill
Life on the Front Lines: Busan to the Yalu River
Melvin Hill describes living on the front lines for thirteen months. He describes his journey through Seoul on his way to the Yalu River. He explains that a bullet struck his front tire, leaving him unable to steer the truck. He and another young man had to change the tire, surrounded by a multitude of people, completely unaware if they were North Korean or South Korean. He attributes their ability to change the tire in roughly fifteen seconds and throw a five-hundred pound tire onto the truck to fear and adrenaline.
Melvin J. Behnen
It Haunts You (Graphic)
Melvin Behnen describes the challenge of taking care of enemy soldiers killed in action. He shares how dealing with the remains of those killed and the fear of finding explosives within the bodies made the ordeal extremely challenging. He elaborates on the struggles he faced seeing the loss of life and explains he sought out help to cope with the memories.
Serving as a Merchant Marine
Merl Smith discusses his role as a merchant marine in the Korean War. Merchant Marines were a civilian unit supplying troops with whatever they needed. He recounts his time at the Incheon Landing. He remembers taking on four North Koreans who wanted to surrender. He also recalls seeing the invasion from afar on his boat. He, alongside a friend, rode up to Seoul, following the American troops.
Jincheng Campaign- Battle at Kumsong "All Hell Broke Loose"
Merle Degler always carried in his pocket rolls of film he had taken during his time in Korea. One day, he found an empty ammo box and decided to put the film in the ammo box, and the next thing you knew, "All Hell Broke Loose." He recalls the ROK and his unit were overrun by the Chinese, so they were told to retreat. Merle Degler learned just a few months ago, that the the US artillery regiment left their equipment when they retreated, so the Chinese used the equipment against our own people. They reorganized before the next morning to create a new front line, but with a lot less equipment since they had lost it while retreating.
Fighting at the Pusan Perimeter
Merle Peterson's unit landed at Busan in August 1950. He describes fighting the North Koreans for two to three weeks until his unit broke out on September 16th to march one hundred and three miles in twenty-three hours. He recalls an evening when he saw some men in a village with a Russian burp gun and later kicking the door to their shack down and taking the gun and ammunition.
Battles from City to City Across Korea
Merle Peterson describes the difference between the 2.6 rocket launchers and the new 3.5 models. He explains that the rockets from the 2.6 launcher merely bounced off the tanks but the 3.5s were able to pierce the tanks, enabling them to take out eight of the eleven tanks that had attacked them. He goes on to describe meeting with the 7th division in Osan and from there moving through Seoul, Pyongyang, and onto the Yalu River until the Chinese joined the North Koreans and they were forced to retreat.
The Chinese Invasion Changed the War
Merle Peterson describes fighting the Chinese at the Yalu River. He explains that though his unit had been told they would be home for Christmas, when the Chinese invaded, their plans to return home were ended. He describes having to retreat alongside many of the Korean people. He recalls having to fight in summer military clothes during the winter in the freezing weather and delousing after not showering for thirty days, which was the norm.
Meeting Marilyn Monroe and Transporting POWs
Merlin Mestad describes meeting Marilyn Monroe in Korea when she performed for the USO. He recalls being surprised when she sang "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in below zero weather. He goes on to describe transporting North Korean POWs from Panmunjom to Seoul after the war ended. He explains that many South Korean people were incredibly angry with the North Koreans after the war and threw rocks at the POWs when they arrived in Seoul.
Mert Lassere details the difficulties faced while seeing action in the Punchbowl. Having to ration ammunition and food due to supply chain issues, he recalls daily life was a struggle. He remembers not feeling prepared for combat or having what was needed to withstand the cold weather.
Importance of US Soldiers in Korea today
The US government, after the armistice was signed in 1953, extended this period to give soldiers benefits and there have been over 2 million soldiers still there in South Korea. Michael Daly explained that Korea has benefited greatly (uses the saying "trip wire" as an advantage) from US presence as a deterrent for North Korea, China, and possibly Japan since the end of WWII. With American soldiers, armor, and training, few countries would even attempt to attack American troops.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce
Most Difficult Battle / La Batalla Más Difícil
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce discusses the most difficult battle of the war in which many soldiers died. He recounts that they were spotted by Chinese troops because of the fire from their food. During the battle, they were forced to cross a river, but because many were unable to swim, they drowned.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce habla de la batalla más difícil de la guerra en la que murieron muchos soldados. Él cuenta que las tropas chinas vieron sus posiciones debido al fuego que unos compañeros hicieron para calentar la comida. Durante la batalla, se vieron obligados a cruzar un río, pero como muchos no sabían nadar, se ahogaron.
Morris J. Selwyn
Morris J. Selwyn feels proud of his service in Korea and describes his amazement at South Korea's expanding economy. He wishes for the reunification of North and South Korea and hopes that Kim Jong-un will be able to help Korea reach that goal.
North Korean Prisoners of War
Myron Toback served as a guard for several Prisoner of War Camps throughout the war. He explains how the North Koreans were “brainwashed” and what they believed about the life they had under Communism. He states that there were about 4,000 North Korean soldiers in this camp.
POW Trials on Geoje Island
Narce Caliva describes common occurrences at the Geoje Island POW camp. He explains that he was assigned several missing persons cases among the North Korean POWs. These cases had been reported to the Geneva Convention as mistreatments on behalf of the UN soldiers. He explains that through testimony it was understood that the missing persons had been perceived to be collaborators or were not friendly to the North Korean cause and were murdered and cut up into small pieces by other North Korean POWs and disposed of in the outgoing "honey buckets."
Picking up Pilots and POWs
Nathan Stovall describes how his ship supported the war effort by picking up pilots who were shot down. The ship also transported North Korean POWs to the South for interrogation. In the clip, Nathan Stovall describes how scared and starved the North Koreans looked.
Never Set Foot on Korean Soil
Nathan Stovall patrolled the East Sea near Wonsan in the summer of 1951. He neither set foot on Korean soil nor saw enemy forces, but the USS Blue engaged in firefights along the coast. Once his unit assisted the ROC by shooting onto the shore while the ROC escaped a tight spot.
Nathaniel Ford Jr.
A lot of sensitivity at the DMZ
Nathaniel Ford recalls an incident when he and several other members of his unit were going to watch a football game and accidentally arrived at the DMZ. He describes the chaos the ensued including being accused of trying to defect to the north. He goes on to explain the constant state of alarm with so much infiltration on both sides of the DMZ.
Neal C. Taylor
Under Enemy Sniper Fire
Neal Taylor survived being shot at by a North Korean sniper who fired down into the base from the hills. The sniper used a small gun at the beginning and many of the airmen didn't worry about the shots. Unfortunately, the sniper found a larger gun that started to tear up the cement, so the troops had to get rid of him!
Loading Bombs onto the Aircraft
Neal Taylor took pictures while he was stationed at the K9 Air Force Base. He loaded bombs on a plane with a mission to blow up a bridge. There was a loss of life and aircraft from that mission.
Nelson S. Ladd
Less than a month after the dedication of the Libby Bridge, Nelson Ladd was a witness to a prisoner exchange between the North and South Koreans. He estimated on the day of the exchange, some 80,000 prisoners were returned to North Korea despite the South had detained about 400,000 North Korean soldiers. He observed that many of the prisoners had thrown the clothes that had been given to them at the camps along the roadside except their shorts and boots. The trucks headed back picked up the articles of clothing left by the prisoners.
Team Work was needed to Fight at the Nakdong River
Nelson Skinner describes being stationed at the front lines at the Nakdong River. He describes their daily routines which entailed eating, working, sleeping (when they could) and firing rounds 50 feet in front of the North Koreans. He goes on to describe the difficulties in maneuvering without any maps and not realizing the men on the next hill were not Allies but North Koreans.
The Forgotten Armistice and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission
Nick Mararac describes the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), and its role in the armistice/DMZ area. It was created during the armistice with North Korea. The NNSC is used during talks between North and South Korea ever since 1953.
North Korean Guard Allows Burial
Nick Nishimoto details a relationship he had with a North Korean guard while in a prisoner of war camp. He recalls speaking with him in Japanese and the guard allowing him to properly bury his dear friend. He details this moment, his tears, the cold, and taking his friend's possessions for survival.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa
Baptism by Fire / Bautismo de Fuego
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recalls how foolish he was for asking to be a machine gunner. He explains that this was an unwise decision because his commander told him that machine gunners were the first ones killed. He recalls the horrors of his first battle and losing the first machine gun. He laments these experiences and is not willing to fully discuss them.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recuerda lo tonto que fue por pedir ser ametrallador. Él explica que esta fue una mala decisión porque su comandante le dijo que los ametralladores eran los primeros que eliminan. Recuerda los horrores de su primera batalla y la pérdida de la primera ametralladora. Lamenta estas experiencias y no está dispuesto a discutirlas mucho.
Contact Patrol at Kelly Hill / Patrulla de Contacto en Kelly Hill
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa presents an overview of the Chinese and North Korean troop positions on the eve of the battle of Kelly Hill which resulted in heavy losses from the 65th Infantry. He explains that he was a member of the contact patrol which was surveying the hill and when they reported on the great number of enemy troops and heavy equipment, his lieutenant did not believe the report. He remembers their lieutenant insisted on the contact patrol capturing a prisoner of war to interrogate him, but they were unable to do so because they were greatly outnumbered.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa describe sus memorias de las posiciones de las tropas chinas y norcoreanas en vísperas de la batalla de Kelly Hill, que resultó en grandes pérdidas del 65º de Infantería. Explica que él era miembro de la patrulla de contacto que estaba observando el cerro y cuando le informaron a su teniente sobre la gran cantidad de tropas enemigas y equipo pesado, el no creyó el informe. Recuerda que su teniente insistía en que la patrulla de contacto capturara a un prisionero de guerra para interrogarlo, pero no pudieron hacerlo porque el enemigo los superaba en número.
Noel G. Spence
Noel G. Spence addresses why he fought in Korea. He discusses what fighting meant to him and how it saved South Korea. He expresses remorse about the shelling of the enemy. He recalls how on the night before the signing of the armistice, the Allies used up their shells as they did not want to be responsible for live artillery shells.
Nolasco de Jesus Espinal Mejia
Foreign Troops / Tropas Extranjeras
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía discusses his relationship with Allied foreign troops. He recounts that he had a kinship with all troops but was most careful with Koreans because he was afraid that North Koreans could infiltrate their lines. He further explains this fear by sharing a story in which he helped capture prisoners of war who were in possession of the same cigarettes they had, signifying they were spies.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía habla de sus relaciones con las tropas extranjeras. Cuenta que tenía amistad y compañerismo con las tropas de todos los países, pero tenía más cuidado con los coreanos porque temía que los norcoreanos pudieran infiltrarse en sus líneas. Explica que tenía este miedo porque en una ocasión capturaron prisioneros de guerra que estaban en posesión de los mismos cigarrillos que ellos tenían, y se dio cuenta que eran espías.
Dangerous Moments / Momentos peligrosos
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía speaks of the Battle of El Chamizo. He recalls the way in which North Koreans would infiltrate their lines and use propaganda against them. For instance, he remembers messages directly aimed at Colombian troops to deter them from continuing to fight.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía habla de la Batalla de El Chamizo. Recuerda la forma en que los norcoreanos se infiltraban en sus líneas y como usaban la propaganda. Por ejemplo, él recuerda mensajes dirigidos directamente a las tropas colombianas para disuadirlas de luchar.
Impressions of Korea
Norman Renouf describes his first impressions of being in Korea. He highlights a sense of fear, but also describes seeing rice paddies for the first time.
Norman Renouf describes the fear of his first battle. At one point it was so exhausted that he actually fell asleep and what woke him up was the shooting from fifty caliber weapons.
Prisoner of War
In this clip, Norman Renouf describes the circumstances that led to him becoming a Prisoner of War in April of 1951. He spent several days in a cave without food before surrendering.
Norman Spencer Hale
On the Front lines
Norman S. Hale speaks about being in combat surrounded by the enemy. He also talks about a friendly-fire incident.
Legacy of the Korean War
Orville Jones recalls his sadness when General Douglas MacArthur was fired. He shares how he felt as if the legacy of the war would be a lot different if he had been able to continue as the U.S. general in Korea. He speculates that maybe the Koreas would be unified but that nuclear weapons might have been used.
Osman Yasar Eken
Description of War
Osman Eken describes war. He did not feel danger or think about death. The Vegas Battles left many Chinese dead. Osman Eken provides one of the most vivid accounts of the battle. Turkey lost one hundred and forty-seven soldiers in twenty-six hours.
Othal Cooper explains the night raid missions of the B-29 planes on which he worked. He details how the night flyers would drop tinfoil from their planes to deter enemy radar, referring to it as radar jamming. He explains that by doing this it was more difficult for the enemy to shoot the planes down and recalls no planes receiving a direct hit while he was there.
Othal Cooper reflects on how the Korean War relates to the U.S. Civil War. He makes many parallels on what life would be like today in the U.S. if we had never ended our conflict. He explains what situations many Koreans must endure today due to lack of peace negotiations.
Ovid Odean Solberg
Consequences of War
Ovid O. Solberg discusses his views about the fact that the Korean War was not labeled a war, the division of North and South Korea, and the hope for unification of the Koreas. He expresses sadness that North Koreans and South Korean families were separated, and the emotional devastation that ensued.
P. Stanley Cobane
P. Stanley Cobane describes his unit relieving an army organization on a small ridge that had had a fire fight the day and night before. While digging in they watched who they were told were South Koreans walking up the higher ridge above them. Later that night they were fired on by who they realized were actually North Koreans. His unit attacked the ridge that morning and the first platoon suffered almost total casualties. His unit lost a quarter of their men in that battle including several of his friends but they took the ridge that day.
Pablo D. Dones
Submerged from the Enemy
Pablo D. Dones shares he was sent as part of a unit on a surveillance mission near a river in Korea. His son recounts the story in this interview. Dones and about one hundred other men were pinned down near the river and ultimately took to the river and submerged themselves. His son describes how during the daytime, they were completely submerged, breathing only through a pipe. He shares at night they would bring only their heads to the surface. This lasted for nearly a month.
Pablo Delgado Medina
The Battle of Imjin River / La Batalla del Río Imjin
Pablo Delgado Medina provides an account of the Battle of the Imjin River which he considers to be the most difficult of the nine months he spent in Korea. He explains that troop placement created an iron triangle with a valley of death in the middle. He remembers the harrowing way in which they were forced to cross the river and the lack of air support for five days because of the monsoon season. He laments that a friend from his town and so many others lost their lives during those six days.
Pablo Delgado Medina cuenta la historia de la Batalla del río Imjin que él considera la más difícil de los nueve meses que pasó en Corea. Explica que la ubicación de las tropas creó un triángulo de hierro con un valle de muerte en el medio. Recuerda el peligro que enfrentaron cuando se vieron obligados a cruzar el río y la falta de apoyo aéreo durante cinco días debido a la temporada de monzones. Lamenta que un amigo de su pueblo y tantos otros perdieron la vida durante esos seis días.
Trench Warfare / Guerra de Trincheras
Pablo Delgado Medina describes what the living conditions during trench warfare were like. He remembers the c-rations and describes each type of ration they received which had to be eaten cold. Moreover, he explains the trench warfare system utilized by the enemy in detail.
Pablo Delgado Medina describe cómo eran las condiciones de vida durante la guerra de trincheras. Recuerda las raciones-c y describe cada tipo de ración que recibieron y que debían comerse frías. Además, explica con gran detalle el sistema de guerra de trincheras utilizado por el enemigo.
Reconnaissance Mission / Misión de Reconocimiento
Pascual Rosa Feliciano shares an incident in which two squads were on patrol and were attacked by the enemy. As intelligence and reconnaissance members, they were continuously seeking the position of the enemy, and on this occasion, he describes how their sergeant was wounded during battle. Even though they were under fire, he shares the story of how their sergeant was saved by the squad.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano comparte la historia de un incidente en el que dos escuadrones estaban de patrulla y fueron atacados por el enemigo. Como estaban a cargo de inteligencia y reconocimiento, siempre estaban buscando la posición del enemigo, y en esta ocasión él describe cómo su sargento fue herido durante la batalla. A pesar de que estaban bajo fuego, comparte la historia de cómo la escuadra rescato a su sargento.
Horrors of War / Los Horrores de la Guerra
Pascual Rosa Feliciano reflects on how terrible life was for both troops and civilians in South Korea. He describes incidents in which troops burned down small houses to draw out the enemy from hiding in small villages. He compares this suffering with the horrors of a battle in which so many of their troops were massacred after the use of napalm.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano discute lo terrible que era la vida tanto para las tropas como para los civiles durante la guerra. Describe incidentes en los que las tropas quemaban las casas pequeñas para sacar al enemigo de su escondite en los pueblos chicos. El compara este sufrimiento con los horrores de una batalla en la que muchos soldados fueron masacrados con el uso del napalm.
Paul E. Bombardier
Paul E. Bombardier describes the mission of his unit, providing reconnaissance using what he called "spotter" planes, specifically the L-19 Cessna "Bird Dogs." He describes it as a two-seater airplane that rose up to 4,000 feet and were tasked with "spotting" targets.
Paul H. Cunningham
Basic Training, Technical School, and Arriving in Korea
Paul Cunningham recalls sitting for seven weeks waiting for his assignment after basic training. Since he did not want to go to Germany, he volunteered for Adak, Alaska, but while training in South Carolina, the Korean War began. He remembers arriving in Korea at Pusan on September 20, 1950, and recalls setting up a radar station at the top of a hill in Pusan. After that, he moved to Osan, Incheon, and Kimpo Air Base to continue setting up radar stations.
Not Like the Movies
Paul Hummel was assigned a mission to bomb North Korean and Chinese troops on the ground. He saw the troops, tanks, and weapons, so he started attacking not knowing exactly which enemy troop he hit. Machine guns were attached to Paul Hummel's plane, so he could get a betters shot from the air. He believes that the real air battle was different than movie depictions of the Korean War air warfare that took place.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.
Paulino Lucino Jr.
The Korean War Armistice and Ceasefire
Paulino Lucino Jr. remembers in detail what it was like to be in Korea when the ceasefire was announced. He continued fighting until the last moments of the war. Since Paulino Lucino Jr. was stationed in Korea until 1954, he saw and felt the change in Korea during the year after the war.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales
Battle of Jackson Heights / La Batalla de Jackson Heights
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describes the incident which led to his court martial. He recounts the difficulty troops had in keeping their position at the Battle of Jackson Heights. He explains that he was following the platoon when they descended and disobeyed orders to take the hill. He never imagined they would be in serious trouble for descending the hill.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describe el incidente que lo mando a la corte marcial. Él describe la dificultad que tuvieron las tropas para mantener su posición en la Batalla de Jackson Heights. Explica que estaba siguiendo al pelotón cuando descendieron y desobedecieron las órdenes de tomar la colina. Nunca imaginó que estarían en problemas tan serios por descender la colina.
Pell E. Johnson
Guarding Prisoner of War Camps
Pell E. Johnson guarded Chinese and North Korean Prisoner of War camps. It was a rough placement due to the prisoners trying to mutiny. He feared Bay Day, a communist holiday and a possible uprising of prisoners.
Percy D. Mohr
Very First Battle with North Koreans
Percy Mohr describes his very first encounter with the North Koreans. His artillery unit, right behind the infantry division, fought North Korean soldiers from hill to hill. Both divisions experienced casualties in the difficult battle.
The Koreas Today
Pete Flores comments on US-Korea relations. He shares his thoughts about the US allowing North Korea to things it should not have been allowed to do. He comments on how impressed with South Korea he is as it has become an industrial leader. He mentions his concern with what might happen with North Korea and shares how he hopes things turns out for the better if something boils over.
EC 121 Incident and DEFCON 2
Peter Solstad tells about meeting a beautiful Korean woman named Kim Chun Cha. He married her while in Korea. Peter Solstad speaks of the EC 121 incident where 31 people were killed. He also remembers the 20 minutes of fear, he felt, as he was monitoring radio calls which were calling in artillery. Thankfully, he had actually been hearing radio calls from Vietnam. After that incident, DEFCON 2 was called, and General Yarbough held a briefing, and ordered troops to move up on the line. Interestingly, he recalls, there was a massive number of Iraqi troops that moved up the line with the Americans, perhaps up to a million.
Phil Feehan discusses heading to Sandbag Castle, where he was stationed upon first arriving in Korea. He describes it as being opposite a North Korean division. After being at Sandbag Castle a short time, he was sent to Christmas Hill where he describes fighting 4 nights in a row.
I narrowly escaped death
Philip Davis believes that he and his fellow soldiers at that time were not really ready to fight. He describes the ammunition they were given and how many American soldiers died helplessly in rice paddies in Korea. He was very fortunate to escape with an army captain, but still struggles today knowing that those soldiers were left to die without any help coming.
Philip S. Kelly
64th Anniversary of the War
Philip S. Kelly reads letters he wrote for the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War. He describes the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) 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.
Transitioning From Basic Training to Running Heavy Equipment
Phillip Olson enlisted in 1951 and attended a variety of training while in the United States as part of the United States Army. His specialty was heavy equipment such as bull dozers, cranes, caterpillars, and earth movers. One of the roles that he remembered fondly was building an air strip between the 36th and 38th parallel so that the US Air Force could drop bombs on North Korea.
Lucky to Encounter a MiG
Pieter Visser presents an overview of the South African Air Force’s role in Korea. He explains the primary missions were air to ground and that meant one would be lucky if he met any enemy aircraft or MiGs. He elaborates on scenarios where one might encounter a MiG or become engaged in a dogfight. Based on his experience, he disagrees with the assessment of North Korea’s Air Force as weak, but he states they were not as equipped as the United Nations.
Rafael Gómez Román
Legacy of the War / Legado de la guerra
Rafael Gómez Román explains the necessity of the war in his opinion as stopping the spread of communism was imperative. He shares the belief that his eleven months and twenty-one days were not in vain. While he is not against reunification, he notes that South Korea should never allow the politics of the North to infiltrate its government.
Rafael Gómez Román explica que, en su opinión, la guerra fue necesaria porque era imperativo detener la expansión del comunismo. Comparte la creencia de que sus once meses y veintiún días no fueron en vano. Aunque no está en contra de la reunificación de las Coreas, indica que Corea del Sur nunca debería permitir que la política del Norte se infiltre en su gobierno.
Stories from His Father
Rajiv Chatrath shares stories of his father's experience in Korea. His father went to Toyko and Hiroshima, Japan for Rest and Relaxation. He also reads some of his father's notes about the war and postwar when he was able to revisit Korea in the 2000s. His father attended the Revisit Korea program and was able to meet the Korean Ambassador. He recalls his father mentioning how hard-working the Korean people are.
Ralph Blum recalls he was usually a half mile to three miles behind the front lines. He shares that the North Koreans were good at mortars and recalls how difficult it was to ear them coming. He remembers being shelled about every third day. He recounts watching the sky because the North Koreans would zero in with sky bursts, and then they would know there would be incoming mortars. He explains they would hide under the 105 Howitzer when they moved behind the infantry to avoid being shelled until foxholes could be dug.
Guarding Prisoners at Geojedo
Ralph Hodge shares he soon found himself among the soldiers whose duty it was to guard the one hundred sixty thousand North Korean and Chinese prisoners on Geojedo Island. He offers details of the prison camp. He recalls the inside of the camp being a "beehive of discontent," so much so that the United Nations and the Red Cross encouraged the soldiers not to go into the compounds.
They were Ready for War
Ralph Hodge shares the errors the United States military made in dealing with those held in Geojedo and the dangers which resulted. He recalls a Brigadier General being held for two days. He estimates there were only ten thousand troops guarding the one hundred sixty thousand prisoners. He offers details of how the discontent within the prison led to danger for the guards.
We Sensed Something was Wrong
Ralph Hodge remembers sensing something was wrong on May Day. He recalls how the morning started with a parade. He notes how things changed when Brigadier General Haydon L. Boatner took command of Geojedo. He remembers that among the changes were constructing new, smaller compounds and relocating the prisoners to these smaller compounds.
Pork Chop Hill
Ralph Hodge details how he and his unit came under fire on Pork Chop Hill on September 16th, 1953. He recalls the location was key in protecting the city of Seoul. He remembers being pinned down by wave after wave of Chinese descending on the hill and shares American casualties were devastatingly high.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Ray D. Griffin
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
The Canadian Mission at Sea
Raymond H. Champeau explains that sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS Huron had a mission to patrol the east coast of Korea from September 1952 until the end of the Korean War. He recalls that they never met up with any enemy ships. He explains what conditions were present when the destroyer fired bombs on enemy trains that could be spotted emerging from tunnels with supplies.
Raymond L. Ayon
Caring for Wounded Enemy POWs
During his time in Daegu, Raymond L. Ayon was responsible for the care of wounded enemy POWs for a period of two years. He recalls the conditions of one particular POW who required an inoculation but was afraid of the syringe. As a corpsman, his duty was to provide the necessary treatment and release them once they were fit to go. He remembers a moment when General McArthur passed by in a motorcade while they were waiting to cross the Hans River on a pontoon, which was an exciting experience for most of the men. Towards the end of the video, he briefly discusses the numerous medals he was awarded due to his military service.
Raymond L. Fish
Saved by a Canteen
Raymond L. Fish was sent on one-week detachments to provide aid to Chinese prisoners of war who were under supervision by the United Nations. He shares how a little while later, he was injured while running from the Chinese. He shares the story of how his canteen protected him from what could have been a fatal wound during the war.
Captured by North Koreans
Raymond Unger tells the story of how he was captured by five North Korean soldiers.
I Thought My Life Was Over
Raymond Unger describes being interrogated during his first week as a POW.
Life in POW Camp #3
Raymond Unger describes the living conditions in Camp #3 during his time as a prisoner of war.
I Knew I Was Going to Survive
Raymond Unger talks about his will to survive as a prisoner of war.
Arrival to Korea, Duties, and Hiroshima
Rebecca discusses her first assignment to a hospital ship where she would perform medical evacuations from Korea to Japan. She discusses her time aboard the ship, and notes a memorable experience when she went to Hiroshima. She reflects on witnessing lasting effects from the atomic bomb and expresses the profound impact that this had on her.
Richard A. Mende
POW's after the Armistice
Richard Mende describes seeing POW's in Pusan after the armistice was signed. He talks about the prisoners being moved on trains and the poor condition of their clothing.
Legacy of the Korean Defense Veteran
Richard Bartlett believes that the defense veterans serve and fill the void after the Korean War ended. He feels defense veterans over the years have done a very good job keeping the North and South Koreans separated since the war. He wishes he had personally done more to help the Korean people while there.
Firing From the USS Salem
Richard Botto was on the USS Salem during his time in the Korean War. He was supposed to go in with a few friends, but he was left to join alone. After training in the Great Lakes, he was sent to Massachusetts and then he was stationed on the USS Salem. Richard Botto didn't go into Korea, but he was east of Korea and continued to follow the shoreline to fire 8 inch guns into the mountains during 1952-1953.
The Dutch Were Tough: an American Soldier's Perspective
Richard Brandt felt the Dutch were very brave and they had forcefulness in battle. Soldiers would pick fights with each other, box, and wrestle in their free time. The Dutch didn't take prisoners, so as soon as they interrogated an enemy, they would kill them. Dutch solders were mean, salty, very tough, and unreal!
Richard Carey – Part 1
March to Seoul
Richard Carey describes a recognizance mission. He shares an encounter with North Korean troops on the way to Seoul. He explains how he was awarded the Bronze Star for capturing the North Korean platoon.
Covered in Blood for Days
Richard Carey describes the situation in Seoul as his platoon tried to help recapture it from the North Koreans. He shares information about his squadron leaders and injuries of his platoon. He explains how they stopped for a breather and what happened in the process.
Richard Carey explains the goal of landing at Wonson. He shared how they wanted to cut off the North Koreans. He explains how they had to patrol and captured North Koreans.
Richard Carey – Part 2
Evacuation after the Chosin Reservoir
Richard Carey describes taking as many Korean evacuees on ships. He shares the sheer number of evacuees that followed them after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He explains how the Korean police were interviewing the evacuees.
Richard Carey discusses the legacy of the Korean War. He shares what he feels the veteran of the war represents. He shares how he believes that freedom is something worth fighting for everyone.
Richard Davis describes one of his rare experiences in Korea. He recalls walking down the railroad tracks and remembers a plane flying low over him. He recounts entering a village the next day and capturing two hundred fifty North Koreans.
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.
Purple Heart in Korea
Ekstrand reflects on a battle north of the 38th Parallel where he was wounded by a grenade on July 5, 1951. Crouching down, he yelled "Grenade!" as the grenade unfortunately landed next to him and exploded. Shrapnel injured his back, penetrating his lung, and he believes that if he had been standing, he would have been killed.
"Friendly Fire, They Call It"
Richard Higa describes an incident when allied Australian warplanes accidentally strafed his unit's position. This misidentified them as North Korean forces. During the incident, he was wounded by shrapnel.
Korean Refugee Retreat, 1950
Richard Higa describes witnessing streams of Korean Refugees fleeing south in late 1950. He talks about the difficult terrain and conditions that the refugees encountered that led to many of them dying during the journey.
Richard K. Satterlee
Riots and Road Construction
Richard Satterlee describes his various experiences while serving in Korea. Students rioted in 1965 to protest Park Chung-hee's efforts to trade with Japan. Labor issues arose when Korean house boys went on strike for better pay. Meanwhile, Korean women hauled rocks used in road construction. In one tragic incident, North Koreans killed two U.S. soldiers cutting down a tree in the DMZ.
Richard P. Holgin
First Impressions of Korea
Richard P. Holgin describes arriving at Incheon at the beginning of the Korean War. He goes into detail about seeing burnt bodies all over and crossing through cities ravaged by the Chinese. Richard P. Holgin's his job responsibilities changed when he shifted from a rifleman to an infantryman.
Richard Perkins recalls in late 1950, off the east coast of Korea, when the destroyer he crewed, the USS Charles S. Sperry took three direct hits from enemy shore batteries. He describes where the ship was hit and what happened after the incident.
Richard Preston Vaughn
Picking Up The Dead After A Battle
Richard Vaughn talks about his memories of picking up dead enemy soldiers after a battle near where he was stationed.
Richard V. Gordon
Guarding the Seas Off South Korea
Richard V. Gordon describes patrolling the seas off Korea from the Communists. He describes blowing up a floating mine and provides a picture of the explosion. Richard Gordon describes not really engaging the enemy due to the North Koreans not really having a Navy.
Account of Prison Uprising
While Robert Arend arrived in the camp shortly after the uprising, he tells the story as it was told to him from others who were at the camp at that time. He says it was the General's blunder by walking into the camp, and the prisoners overpowered him. After several days, they sent in some troops and a tank to get him out. The General was not killed, but there were several prisoners and possibly a few American soldiers were killed.
Prisoners Were Happy to Be There
Robert Arend remembers that many prisoners were happy to be there, especially the non-communist ones, happy not to have to return to the Communist North. Those that were "hard core" would do anything to go back. It was Robert Arend's job to keep records of every prisoner including their political affiliation and where they were sent. He states that this was a very "intense time" with a lot of threats.
Traveling to the Chosin Reservoir
Robert Battdorff moved through Seoul, Ko do Re Pass, and then went onto the Chosin Reservoir. Using a line of soldiers, 20 feet apart, he made his way to East Hill overlooking the Chosin Reservoir. Without any enemy resistance, Robert Battdorff sent out patrols to check the different possible enemy positions in November 1950.
Marching and Traveling all over the Chosin Reservoir as a POW
After a further search and surviving a shooting, Robert Battdorff had to hide in a foxhole because the Australians were shooting up multiple buildings where the Chinese were hiding. One guard walked the POWs all day to Yudam ni, near Hamgyong, North Korea. He was moved many places to hide throughout December 1950 while the Chinese were picking up additional British POWs.
Robert C. Jagger
Work on the Front Lines
When asked about any dangerous moments, Robert C Jagger describes his work on Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. He describes the shelling by the North Koreans. He also describes the various jobs he held while on the Hill as part of the artillery unit.
Robert D. Davidson
Minefields in Korea
Robert Davidson recounts how his company of engineers was frequently sent to work on projects that needed immediate completion. He speaks at length about having to work in minefields to either lay or demine them. He shares that it was a very slow process and adds that his company never lost a man to a mine during the process. He comments on how well the North Koreans were able to set booby traps.
Robert F. Wright
Bombed by Bed Check Charlie
Robert shares the story of being bombed by Bed Check Charlie in the middle of the night throughout his time in Korea. His Quonset Hut was covered with a canvas top and sand bags were stacked about 6 ft high around the hut, and as the bombs dropped the shrapnel would rip the top of their huts.. Fortunately no one was killed and US Air Force was able to detect this North Korean single engine plane and took care of them.
North Koreans Must Be Upset at the Success
Robert describes how proud he is of what Korea has become today producing automobiles taking over their part of their world, and the success South Korea has had must make North Korea Upset at their success.
Comparison of South Korea and North Korea
Robert Greitz explains how the war was also between the US and China. He also explains the difference between a truce and winning. He discusses the differences between South and North Korea as an example of the benefits of the democratic system.
Reunification of Korea
Robert Greitz explains the role of the US in the reunification of Korea. He shares his thoughts on the possibility of reunification of Korea. He shares how he feels the North Korea people will need to be in charge of their own fate.
Robert H. Pellou
Walk, Walk, Walk
Robert H. Pellou remembers Korea, in the Incheon area, as a very poor country. He recalls daily life involved lots of walking and that the winters were very cold. He notes his unit's mission was to find North Koreans fleeing the north but that they did not encounter any.
Dug in on Outskirts of Hagaru-ri
Robert H. Pellou recalls serving with a heavy weapons unit in Korea. He shares they worked with heavy machine guns and water-cooled Brownings. He recalls how he operated the only weapon of its type in Hagaru-ri. He remembers being surrounded by the Chinese on Dec. 6th and then the heavy machine guns being called forward as others pushed back to Wonsan. He explains how while feeding an ammunition belt into the gun, he was hit by enemy fire, ending his combat career.
Robert H. Pellow
I Knew I'd Survive
Robert H. Pellow describes his weapons job during the war and describes loading an ammunition belt into a machine gun. He also describes being hit from three to four thousand yards away by enemy fire. He states that he never doubted he would survive.
Robert J. Rose
Robert Rose recounts his visit to Korea in 2008 as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs tour. His visit included commemorations at many battle sites as well as a trip to the DMZ where he saw the reality of the relationship between North and South Korea. Although he did not personally witness the devastation of cities like Seoul and Busan during the war, he recalls seeing photos and notes his amazement of how far the country had come in its rebuilding efforts.
North Korea Invades South Korea: War is On!
Robert Kodama was stationed in Japan when the war broke out. He adds that his older brother, coincidentally, was stationed in the area and was supposed to come pick him up. He explains that while he was in the mess hall listening to the radio, he learned North Korea had invaded South Korea, and his orders quickly changed.
Retreat from Taejon
Robert Kodama recalls the North Korean army splitting and going around his unit as they backed out of Taejon in hopes of cutting off the U.S. retreat. As it turns out, the command did not know that his unit was still stationed on the plateau in the Taejon region. He recalls packing up and moving out with little trouble, but notes that C Company, which he had once been a member of, was overrun and suffered high casualties. Later, he joined a group of volunteers to go back into the region to search for survivors but they were turned back by the sound of Russian-made machine guns.
Robert L. Jewitt
A Chaotic Withdrawal
Robert Jewitt describes his experience after the Battle of Pyongyang and General MacArthur’s push further into North Korea. He explains the attachment of his battalion to the United States Army’s 7th cavalry and receiving orders from General MacArthur to move south of Pyongyang. He continues by providing details about the overwhelming experience of the Chinese making a stand. Consequently, he elaborates on the chaos of the withdrawing troops and their role in providing some level of protection for the retreating soldiers and refugees.
Robert L. Wessa
Language Barrier bridged by Evershot Pen
Robert L. Wessa describes a particularly memorable evacuation involving a North Korean woman. He noticed the wounded woman was shivering so he handed her a blanket. The Korean woman was unable to communicate with the Americans due to language barriers but offered him an Evershot Pen as thanks, a token that Wessa still has to this day.
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.
Trump and Kim Jong-un
His message to New Zealand children would include the incredible hospitality offered to veterans by the Korean people. Further, he articulates the importance of forging a peace deal. He hopes the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un can achieve unification so that families in Korea can see one another again.
Inspecting Dead Corpses
After the Inchon invasion, Robert Mount's company headed North to river just beyond Daegu where there was a flat bridge. His platoon leader left Robert Mount and a detail there to defend the bridge. Only eighteen years old, he spotted a dozen apparently dead North Korean soldiers across the bridge and went over to inspect the corpses.
Robert R. Moreau
Daily Duties in Korea
Robert R. Moreau shares he arrived in Korea as part of the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 7th Division in late July 1951. He explains their primary duties were clearing minefields, building roads, and checking the Bailey Bridges which the U.S. had deployed across the rivers. He notes that these bridges need to be checked almost daily because the North Koreans frequently snuck in and loosened the bolts that held them in place.
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.
The Future of Korea
Robert Tamura shares his hopes of seeing the official end of the Korean War and the reunification of North and South Korea. He reminisces about life back in the States following his service. He explains he has had the privilege of returning to Korea as part of a revisit program sponsored by the Korean government. He recalls that during his revisit, he visited the DMZ and cemetery. He muses about a friend who took his photo while he served at Koje-do, but the photo was lost so he has no proof of serving there.
Robert W. Hill
We Always Carried Ax Handles
Robert W. Hill explains what his impression of North Korea was and the conflict that took the lives of his predecessors. He describes how some were killed with axes by the North Koreans while cutting down trees. He also explains that you can find a memorial to the men there made from the hood of their truck.
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.
Two Big Things
Robert Whited recalls being reassigned to Camp Pendleton following a typhoon that devastated Guam in January 1950. By July 1950, his unit was sent to Korea to "help plug the gap". He initially believed he was going to Japan, but things had turned crucial in Korea so they were shipped directly to Korea. During conflict near the Naktong Bulge, he recalls his unit capturing a North Korean officer who shares with them two things about against the U.S. Marine Corps.
One of the Greatest Things We Ever Did
Robert Whited recalls movement of his unit from Seoul to Inchon and later Wonsan. The 5th Marines did not immediately go up to the Chosin 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. During the retreat, they were protecting thousands of Korean refugees who were ultimately loaded on a cargo ship and taken to Busan.
Robert Whited recalls the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was the worst memory of the war. He remembers having very little intelligence when they were hit by 100,000 Chinese. He shares how he and the other members of his unit dealt this tragic events such as having to fight their way out of the Chosin Reservoir resulting in the death of many men.
Legacy of the Korean War Veterans
Rodney Ramsey was proud that the UN troops for pushing back the Chinese and North Koreans. He wishes that they could have made all of Korea non-communist, but life was better for the civilians in the South. The Korean War was named the "Forgotten War" due to it being called a conflict, not a war. After the Korean War, civilians on the home front did not see the war on television like they did for the Vietnam War. As the Korean War veterans came home, many people did not even know that they had left to fight in a war.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. He notes that the U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. He remembers a sniper shoting at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. He recounts how the bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he was not hit by the actual bullet. He recalls other dangerous experiences which included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan (Busan), with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu (Daegu).
Roland Dean Brown
First Impressions and Friendly Fire Encounters
Roland Brown recalls his first impressions upon arrival in Pusan. He describes the scene as horrible, recounting the sewage running in gutters down the streets, children begging for food, and the poor living conditions. He shares that many soldiers were killed from friendly fire due to inadequate training and a lack of communication, adding that he and others even dug holes with their helmets as defense during friendly fire encounters.
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.
Preparing Ammunition to be Fired
Roland Kleinschmidt explains what his life was like in Korea. He lived in sandbag bunkers and worked on a rotating eight-hour shift. His role was to compute the data to determine how much ammunition was needed to hit the target. He shares a time when he drove a major to a cave to fire on the North Koreans.
Rollo Minchaca describes arriving in Pusan and Incheon Landing. He talks about the 300 rounds of ammo he carried, while his assistant carried twice as much. He had a very difficult job at the age of 18.
Ronald A. Cole
North Korea and South Korea Must Decide Their Own Destiny
Ronald Cole offers his thoughts on the state of Korea and its people since he left the country. He theorizes why the war occurred and the impact the Chinese had in its escalation. He shares what he believes needs to be done to reunify the two Koreas.
Sleeping Near the Enemy
Ronald Bourgon describes moving towards the front lines near Jipyeongri. He remembers counting eighty-nine dead American soldiers along the way who had been killed in their sleeping bags or while attempting to run away from the North Korean enemy. He shares that many were African-American soldiers and that they had been stripped of their clothes and equipment. He recalls orders being given to not sleep in their sleeping bags despite the cold February temperature after the incident had been discovered.
No Longer an Enemy
When he was asked if he would shake hands with Chinese soldiers today, Ronald Rosser explains how he already has. He states that as a teacher, he taught about East Asian history and then went to visit Beijing. He explains how well he was treated by the Chinese and how he does not believe the hate should continue.
No Idea Chinese Were Fighting With Koreans
Ronald Yardley describes his surprise to discover that the Chinese were aiding North Koreans during the Korean War. He explains that everyone assumed they were coming only to fight North Koreans. He describes that ultimately they discovered that the Chinese were playing a rather large part in the war.
We Broke Their Will
Roy Aldridge describes how he crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea. He shares how the North Koreans shed their uniforms, put on civilian clothing, and fled. He shares how there wasn't much resistance. He explains how the North Koreans had killed all of the prisoners of war and where they put them.
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.
Roy Orville Hawthorne
Encountering the Enemy
Roy Orville Hawthorne shares he has vivid memories of working tirelessly for almost twenty-four hours straight during the Chinese Spring Offensive. He mentions the significant loss of life during this period and the urgent requirement for more soldiers on the front lines. He remembers how on one morning, while passing by a nearby ditch, he came across enemy troops. He shares that he later observed a sudden flash of light which turned out to be caused by enemy mortar fire. He explains he was seriously injured in the attack.
Most of the Time They were Running
Royal Vida describes the situation in Taejon after the capture of General Dean’s. He makes note about his assignment to an all black regiment and the drastic shift from being stationed in Japan to their assignment in Korea. During the withdrawal, he discusses one time when the Integrated 159th Field artillery was the only regiment able to hold the position. He briefly reflects on the experience of being assigned to an integrated unit. He recounts the confusion and experience of constantly moving and the sadness he felt while watching the Korean people fleeing from the battle.
No One Knew What Was Happening
Royal Vida provides details about entering a deserted Pyungyang and his perceptions of North Korea. From Pyungyang, he states that his unit moved up to the Yalu River and here they met an intense Chinese intervention. As they were retreating, he describes the loss of life he encountered and that no one can prepare for what you will encounter during a battle. Additionally, he shares his diagnosis of PTSD.
This is the Hard Part
Royce Ebesu reflects on the present and future of Korea. He expresses he would like to see negotiations to reunite the peninsula so that families can be reunited. He concludes by noting that there was not much pleasant to remember about his experience.
Rudolph “Rudy” J. Green
You are on CQ Tonight
Rudy Green describes one of the most difficult times in his military service in Korea. He explains details about Koreans during the war. Rudy describes his job as CQ- Charge of Quarters and how the unknown of that night still bothers him.
"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.
Close Calls in Korea
Samuel Stoltzfus arrived in Pusan to board a train for the front lines north of Seoul. As a truck driver and radio operator, he hauled his radio across locations that included Old Baldy and Porkchop. He drove officers and radios through enemy fire. Once, during a speedy dash through enemy-observed territory, a hand grenade tumbled from the glove compartment onto the floor of his Jeep.
Scary Moment During Service
Samuel Stoltzfus drove officers all around the front lines. Once, while parked at the bottom of a mountain waiting for Colonel Rouse and Lieutenant Ruble, he heard the shouts of a South Korean pinned under a tire he had been changing. As Samuel Stoltzfus went to help, North Koreans began firing white phosphorous shells at him. He retreated and hid under his Jeep. Another time, he was late for Christmas dinner because he drove a colonel up to a bunker that had sustained a direct hit. Because he was with an officer, they returned to find the cooks had saved the best food for them.
Life During the War
Sangmoon Olsson describes her life during the Korean War. Her brother had a high position under the Japanese Imperial control and when the communists took over, they wanted to capture her brother. Sangmoon had to go into hiding for a total of eight months, interrupting her nursing studies. When the Allies eventually pushed back the Communists, Sangmoon Olsson was able to complete her nursing studies.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz
Surviving the Battle of Old Baldy / Sobreviviendo a la Batalla de Old Baldy
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz recounts the dangers he encountered during the battle of Old Baldy. After two soldiers within his post were killed and his machine gun overheated, the only way for him to survive was by hiding for two days. The most difficult part of the battle was escaping as he found a fellow soldier with injured legs begging him for help which he then carried for one-and-one-half kilometers. He courageously carried him to safety while maneuvering through artillery falling nearby.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz relata los peligros que encontró durante la batalla de Old Baldy. Después que mataran a dos compañeros y su ametralladora se sobrecalentó, la única forma de sobrevivir fue escondiéndose durante dos días en un bunker. La parte más difícil de la batalla fue escapar, ya que encontró a un compañero soldado con las piernas lesionadas que le suplicaba ayuda y camino un kilómetro y medio cargándolo. Lo llevó a un lugar seguro mientras maniobraba a través de la artillería que caía cerca.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle shares his first impressions and experiences from his arrival in Korea. He explains the journey he took to arrive in Korea which included stops in San Francisco and Hawaii. He explains that it was difficult to adjust to the front lines as North Koreans infiltrated during the night, making it difficult to sleep.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle comparte sus primeras impresiones de la guerra y sus experiencias al llegar a Corea. Él cuenta sobre el viaje que hizo para llegar a Corea, que incluyó paradas en San Francisco y Hawái. Explica que fue difícil adaptarse a las líneas del frente porque los norcoreanos infiltraban las líneas durante la noche y era imposible dormir porque tenían que estar de guardia.
When the War Broke Out
Soonae Enberg was a college student at Seoul National Medical School when the war broke out. She shares what she saw as she found out about the war, including tanks coming very close to her. Not knowing what to do, she started to run towards home.
Sterling N. McKusick
Little Knowledge About What He was Heading Into
Sterling N. McKusick details the amphibious landing his unit took part in near Wonsan which was delayed to allow minesweepers a chance to clear the heavily mined waters in the area. He remembers when they finally arrived in Wonsan, the city had already been liberated, and Bob Hope was even there entertaining the troops. He recounts how from Wonsan, they were sent to the Hamhueng area for about four weeks before being sent up the mountains toward the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls really having no idea where they were heading and that they were typically told were they were when they arrived. He does remember knowing their mission--to stop Communists from occupying all of Korea.
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.
Injured, Hospitalized, and Returned to Korea
Sterling N. McKusick remembers how during the trip down the mountain from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir that it got dark quickly, and they were ordered to travel without lights. He recalls how about nine miles down the road, they encountered a Chinese roadblock in the area of a frozen creek bed. He explains his truck was sandwiched between other trucks ahead of and behind his when the Chinese started shooting. He describes how his truck was hit and how part of the engine destroyed. He shares he was wounded during this time and recalls spending a long cold night in a ditch before things subsided as the Chinese did not like to fight in daylight. He eventually spent six or seven weeks in a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, before returning to his unit to finish out his time in Korea.
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.
Return to Korea
Suwan Chinda recalls his return visit to Korea. He describes his experience and the changes he witnessed, stating that the transformation was unbelievable compared to Thailand which is still a developing country. He shares that he never dreamed Korea would be what it has become and adds that he felt welcomed there.
Hoengsong Massacre February 1951 (Full Story)
T.J. Martin chronicles the Hoengsong Massacre where he states that approximately 2,400 Americans died. He details the events of the massacre, recalling thousands of Chinese soldiers advancing with hand grenades, rifles, and some even empty-handed, and provides a vivid account of his movements during those two days. He recalls the moments leading up to his capture by the Chinese.
T.J. Martin recalls being turned over to the North Koreans and spending one month in a North Korean POW camp. He compares and contrasts the treatment of American soldiers by the Chinese and North Koreans, stating that the North Koreans were more merciful in a sense as they would simply kill a soldier rather than let him suffer. He details being turned back over to the Chinese and a long march to another camp which resulted in many prisoner deaths.
Engaging the North Koreans
Teurangaotera Tuhaka fought the North Koreans. One incident entailed firing on a North Korean supply train. His frigate held a record for firing forty-two times in a minute. He was fired upon by the North Koreans, and to get away, his ship had to zigzag out of the way. He shares how lucky they were to escape.
Patrolling the Han River and Frigate Life
Teurangaotera Tuhaka spent a lot of his service patrolling the Han River (also known as the Hangang River) while receiving support from additional United Nations ships. He had to focus on his job so that he did not have fear while fighting the North Koreans. Conditions were rough at sea because he had to break through ice to get the frigate through the water.
Shallow Graves in Wonju
Tex Malcom discusses his experience in the push off offensive against the Chinese and North Koreans in Wonju. He had an "unsettling" experience as they dug into the hills, and realized they were digging into shallow graves where the North Koreans had buried their dead. During this offensive, supplies were air dropped into a valley.
Arriving 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.
Thomas “Tommy” Tahara
Horrors of War (Graphic)
Thomas "Tommy" Tahara shares his experience seeing the use of napalm for the first time. He recounts the horrible effects napalm had on the North Koreans. He describes how he still remembers what he witnessed.
Memories of the Ceasefire
Thomas DiGiovanna recalls his experience when the ceasefire was called, which was one of the most dangerous periods of time he experienced. Instead of carrying their leftover ammunition with them back to base, soldiers were lightening their payloads by shooting off rounds of bullets into the air. Many of these bullets hit objects, and he was almost hit by shrapnel.
Thomas F. Miller
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.
Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches
Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.
Prior Knowledge about Korea During WWII
Thomas Parkinson shares how was raised by his mom most of the time because his father fought in WWII. He recalls that when he turned eighteen years old, he volunteered for the Australian Army. He remembers only knowing about Korea's location before he left to join the Korean War because his uncle was a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan during WWII. He shares how he wanted to see on a map where his uncle was being held.
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.
Thomas W. Stevens
Thomas Stevens describes Black Tuesday, a time when the U.S. Air Force lost multiple B29s flying missions over North Korea due to the newly introduced Russian MiG 15, jet propelled and faster than the P-51 Mustang escorts. He attributes this to the superiority of the MiG-15's speed. Thomas Stevens says that after Black Tuesday, the U.S. Air Command, under Curtis Lamay decreed that there would be no more daylight missions to North Korea.
Bombing Raids over North Korea
Thomas Stevens describes bombing raids over North Korea. All of the bombing missions were done at night, and had to use triangulation of an electronic arc. He describes the targets as belligerent stockpiles and bridges. Thomas Stevens describes the bombing missions as difficult, because of dropping bombs from 26,000 feet and trying to hit a small target. These bombing missions were far into North Korea and at times the planes went into Chinese airspace.
Hot Cold War to Driving Off in the Sunset
Thomas Stevens describes the military aircraft advances from B-29's, a WWII aircraft which had limited distance, to B-50's that could be air-refueled and travel to the Soviet Union if needed. He describes his training to load atomic bombs on planes in case the U.S. wanted to drop one on the Soviet Union. Air advances, like the B-47 made Thomas Stevens obsolete without more training. This led Thomas Stevens to be discharged from the Air Force.
Letter from Home
Tine Martin shares that he missed his mother the most and wrote letters to her often. He recounts one painful letter from his girlfriend while in Korea which he refers to as a "Dear John" letter and resulted in a breakup. He recalls having to censor the content in his letters and provides an example of one incident he was not allowed to write about due to its sensitivity.
Tom Collier returned to South Korea in 2004 and was amazed at the different place Seoul had become. He tried to locate landmarks from his days fighting in Korea and could find nothing that was similar because of the transformation. Tom Collier is also proud of his service and how South Korea has turned out.
Critique on Truman and MacArthur
Tom Muller describes his take on the MacArthur v. Truman debate. Tom Muller provides the quintessential military perspective on MacArthur. He then compares this event to what is happening under President Trump.
Tony Espino describes his experience as a United States Marine during the Inchon Landing. He shares it is a date he will never forget and speaks of his boat ride towards Red Beach. He recalls the fear he experienced as the boat grew closer to the beach and comments on the casualty numbers.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Tony Espino comments on his experience as a United States Marine during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls his company digging in at a canyon and not being able to utilize mortars or flares against the Chinese as a strategy to keep their positions hidden. He remembers a significant number of Chinese soldiers pouring through the canyon.
Hill 355: Shouts From the Enemy
Trevor Edwards describes an unexpected engagement with the enemy on Hill 355. He recalls being assigned to build an observation post and shares he and five others were camped there, working day and night, to get it done. He remembers that one evening there was an explosion followed by shouts in the early morning hours. He shares that when they went to investigate, they found two North Koreans who had tripped a mine while setting booby traps. Grievously injured, He recalls how he and the others set forth through the minefield to retrieve the grievously injuries enemy as they helped guide their steps.
Trygve Jensen explains why he chose to go to an active war from his peaceful service in the Norwegian Army occupying Germany. At the time, he thought the experience treating wounded patients would be good for his paramedic career. He arrived during the final three months of the war and assisted with surgeries.
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.
Pride and Family during Imprisonment
Veli Atasoy describes his pride in South Korea. He sacrificed so much being imprisoned, subsequently he is more prideful of his service in Korea than his native country of Turkey. While imprisoned, he had no communication with his family. His family had no news and even asked the Turkish government about their son. Therefore a certain hardship of not knowing and suffering occurred between Veli Atasoy and his family occurred.
Vern P. Lanie
My Job as Company Clerk
Vern P. Lanie describes his job of company clerk and the orders that he wrote and typed for the officers serving in the war. He is very surprised when Dr. Han tells him that today Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world and has a strong democracy, although it was completely devastated 65 years ago.
Supporting Infantry behind the Front Lines
Vern Rubey comments on his branch change from infantry to artillery which he was pleased with and recalls landing at Incheon. He describes the role of the service battery that he was assigned to as a First Sergeant in the Army. He shares memories of the scenery he saw while traveling throughout Korea supporting differing artillery units.
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.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Victor Spaulding details the lead-up to the Armistice ceasefire. He recalls the immense shelling taking place on Heartbreak Ridge for four days prior to 10PM on July 27, 1953. He recounts the uncanniness of deafening silence from both sides at the exact time planned. He comments on the fear of wondering whether or not the enemy would honor the ceasefire agreement.
Victor Max Ramsey
Friend or Enemy?
Victor Max Ramsey recalls his interactions with guerrilla fighters. He describes an incident where he passed two horsemen. The two men later committed atrocities against a United States camp. He discusses how one can't tell who was an enemy and who was just a civilian.
The Experience of India's Custodian Forces
Lieutenant General Mohan Lal Tuli took many photographs. He witnessed a desolate Korea. He recounts that both the north and the south saw the Indians as partial, which was proof that they were not. Many of the troops whom he served with were experienced fighters who fought with the British Army in World War Two. He also recalled the incredible strength of the Korean people.
Vincent A. Bentz
Vincent Bentz explains the company that he was in and his responsibilities. He speaks about seeing the results of a mass execution near Taejon (Daejeon). He describes the attack tactics used by the enemy.
Learning to Kill
Vincent Bentz describes being in combat near the Kum (Geumgang) River and doing what he "had to do". He explains how the rows of weapons were set up and how the rows just kept coming. He shares what he was thinking during that time, including how it is hard to shoot someone during that time and how it still bothers him.
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.
Virgil Julius Caldwell
Landing at Incheon
Virgil Julius Caldwell describes landing at Incheon. He recounts being told on his first day that the bones of the unit he was replacing were on a hill near their location and recalls the apprehension it caused him. He reflects on being under mortar and artillery attack as an anti-aircraft gunner.
A Typical Day of an Air Policeman
Virgil Malone's typical day in Daegu included riding shotgun to protect the military vehicles. There was guerilla warfare activity along all the roads. There were 3 shifts on post to protect the 5th headquarters.
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr.
Transferring to the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC)
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr., joined the Marine Corps on March 25, 1952. After serving in the Marines for two years, he transferred to the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army. He shares his decision to make the change and what the requirements for anyone interested in being part of the CIC at the time had to meet. He notes that his service in Korea came after the cease-fire but at a time when many politicians were fearful of a potential World War III.
On-the-run from 100,000 North Koreans
Wayne Mitchell explains that his artillery unit served in over four major battles toward the end of the Korean War, one of them was at the Chorwon Valley. He describes the night 100,000 North Koreans pushed through the valley and his unit was forced to leave behind their artillery and retreat. Wayne Mitchell remembers that not all of his comrades in his unit were lucky enough to make it back - some were taken as POW's or killed.
Wayne R. Uptagrafft
Kill and Destroy
Wayne Uptagrafft describes his mission in Korea simply as to kill and destroy. He recalls training and leading guerrilla troops on night missions through the DMZ and being the only American in the raids. He recounts the night he was injured and the treacherous journey back to safety, having to spend the night in a bunker while injecting himself with morphine shots.
Willard L. Dale
Early Days in Korea
William L. Dale shares he left for Korea on November 12, 1952. He remembers the temperature being negative fourteen degrees when he landed in Pusan. He recounts staying that first night in an enormous tent with about one thousand eight hundgred others and details his movement to his duty station with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Weapon Company into the area near Panmunjeom and the Imjin River. He recalls one engagement with the enemy that lasted about six and a half hours.
Willard L. Dale believes soldiers in Korea faced danger every day until the armistice was agreed upon. He shares an account of one of the potentially most dangerous events during his time in Korea.
Land of the Morning Calm
William Alli describes his arrival to Korea at Busan. As he was leaving the ship, there was a morning calm that quickly disappeared with a horrible stench, people in rags, and the anxiety of not knowing what comes next. He describes travelling deeper into Korea by trains and trucks, and his realization of his being a part of the sixth replacement draft. He describes his experience with being a machine gun ammo carrier and his first encounters with tracers and sniper fire from the surrounding hills.
A "Typical" Day
When asked to describe a typical day or battle he remembers, William Arnaiz describes how most people carried weapons even when they were delivering messages and picking up packets. He remembers times when they were under heavy fire and other times when they had to rebuild the bunkers. He describes how the North Koreans did a blanket raid on a barrack that was typically full of men showering-- it was only because the pipes had froze that many lives were saved that day.
William Arthur Jones
Flying in Korea
William Arthur Jones recounts experiences on various aircraft during his time in the Korean War. He describes an instance where ground fire traveled through the plane he was in and struck his glute. He offers information about the F-86 Sabre jet replacing the B-51 Mustang to compete with North Korean and Chinese fighter jets. He remembers flying small observation aircraft around the base during R and R. He recalls times when South Korean pilots crashed many B-26 planes that were donated by the United States.
Last Year in Korea and Returning Home
William Arthur Jones recalls identifying a "house boy" on the military base as a North Korean spy. He reflects on his final year in Korea after the Armistice and shares his experience of playing football on the base, where his team emerged as the Korean Touch Football Champions in 1953. He recounts how, after returning to the States, he was sent to Wendover Air Force Base where he led efforts to clean up an atomic testing site.
William C. “Bill” Coe
Battle of Osan and Interaction with North Koreans
William Coe remembers his experiences at Osan with the North Koreans. He would have to shoot many North Koreans that were attacking, and he lost a lot of his friends during this battle. He was very lucky as a radio operator because he was not really hit.
Nakdonggang River Battles
During the Nakdonggang River Battles, William Coe remembers that he was supposed to fight with an all-African American regiment and a South Korean regiment, but they retreated. William Co shares that he put tanks on the hill to shoot the North Koreans, but his regiment had to fall back to prevent them from being captured. He thought that they were losing at the time and the war didn’t look good for the Americans.
Fighting the Chinese Up to the Yalu River
William Coe’s company fought the Chinese all the way up to the Yalu River. He describes the scene at the time, explaining that the North Koreans didn't take any prisoners, so either did the US. William Coe recalls a time when he had to blow up many US supplies so that the Chinese wouldn't use them against him.
William D. Freeman
William Freeman describes a little known event during the Korean War, the Hoengsong Massacre. He recalls his capture as a Prisoner of War (POW). He describes the details of the event as well as his project archiving the experiences of the American soldiers captured there.
Recaptured as a POW
William Freeman details his experiences being recaptured as a POW after his release in Panmunjeom. He recalls the rough march to the camp and being buried alive after US forces blew up the camp. He discusses the differences in treatment by Chinese soldiers versus North Korean soldiers, describing the North Koreans as being the most brutal.
Moby Dick Project
William Edwards describes his job with the Moby Dick Project, a reconnaissance program based in New Mexico tasked with monitoring North Korea and Russia with high altitude balloons.
William F. Borer
Go With Them or Die
William Borer describes the night his squad arrived at a police station and asked the police chief to contact the American Forces to pick them up. Shortly after, a South Korean Patrol, commanded by a First Lieutenant, joined his group. After questioning the police chief the South Korean Lieutenant discovered he was actually a North Korean Communist and had phoned the North Korean Army to come kill them all in the morning. After killing the "police chief," the South Korean Lieutenant said it was time to leave but the US Lieutenant said they weren't leaving until US Forces picked them up. Against orders, William left with the South Korean Patrol, leaving his squad and lieutenant behind though they soon began to follow the South Korean Patrol.
"Made me reappraise my opinion of the American Army Officer"
William Borer describes his capture by the North Koreans and their executing about two-dozen men simply because they were American. After marching north, they arrived at a large village and were placed in a compound dividing officers and enlisted men. He recalls one particular night when two enlisted POWs were placed in the not-so-crowded officers quarters but the officers quickly sent them to the very crowded enlisted side. Sergeant Estrada, who was in the same room as William blocked the door and wouldn't let the men in, saying the room was too crowded. Both men froze to death that night, and though Bill reported Estrada, the Army's criminal investigation said there was nothing they could do.
Gortney's involvement at the beginning of Korean War
William Gortney was on the carrie, the Valley Forge, when the Korean War broke out. His plane was one of the first Navy jets in combat and the second plane to cross the 38th parallel at the beginning of the Korean War. He saw combat very early in the war at Pyungyang.
The Importance of Airpower
Captain William Gortney's mission was to anything moving south in order to protect UN ground forces. He performed low attacks with little air battles with the North Koreans and Chinese. He is able to explain how important the airpower was during the war.
Rather Fight Communism There Than Here
William Jacque shares the reasoning for his willingness to serve in Korea. He explains that he wanted to fight for the Korean people as he was familiar with Communism and it's movement into Korea. He shares that he would rather fight Communism somewhere else than in his own country.
Horrors of War
William MacSwain describes some of the horrors of war experiences. He portrays a vivid image of scenes of war that illustrate the hardships Korean War soldiers faced. These first-hand accounts show the fear in every soldiers' mind.
Events in Korea
William McLaughlin discusses his responsibilities while in Korea as well as his training. He also discusses some dangerous events, including when two drunk Korean soldiers stole a cab and were eventually killed by his brigade. A Korean newspaper, though, called it a suicide. This made him question what he was reading in the newspapers. He also witnessed the Rangoon bombing in October of 1983. He recounts his experience.
The Impact of the Forgotten War
William Puls describes his revisits to South Korea in 2000 and 2010. He explains his amazement at the cleanliness and modernization of the cities in South Korea. He praises the South Koreans for their admiration and respect toward Korean War veterans. He shares his opinion on what can be done to resolve the continued division between the countries of North Korea and South Korea.
William T. Fox
Making Friends in the Field
William T. Fox describes what it was like building friendships with others. While he developed relationships individually, he explains that there was not a lot of team-building because of the rotations that were established. He states that he still keeps in contact with men he met during the war and that some regiments have a long-standing history of reunions.
Desolation: No Houses, No Building, No Nothing of Any Kind
William Whitley spent much of his time in Korea as an ammunition truck operator. He recalls when he first arrived in Korea that the country was dominated by forests, but these forests were soon destroyed by napalm bombers to prevent the North Koreans and Chinese from using them as cover. After this time, he recalls the desolation of the area. He does not remember ever being in a building while in Korea.
Passing the Time
Willis Remus describes the different activities that he and other captured soldiers did to pass the time when they were not working in the camp. They played cribbage, chess, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. The chess board was made by one of the Prisoners of War.
Willis Remus describes how difficult it was in prison camp to make sure that the other soldiers were eating their rations and what he did to try to encourage soldiers to eat the food they were rationed by the Chinese.
Willis Remus describes how he and his whole platoon were captured by the North Koreans and marched to Chongsong. He said they were captured without a fight because they were sleeping and surrounded when they woke up.