Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: POW



Political/Military Tags

1950 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 Tags

AnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri

Social Tags

Basic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

Allen Clark

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

Armistice Day

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.



Asefa Mengesha

Chinese Prisoners

Asefa Mengesha describes capturing two Chinese prisoners by himself. He says Ethiopians captured many Chinese but the Chinese never captured any Ethiopians. He and his unit would lie in wait at night for the enemy to pass in front and then they would attack from behind.



Asefa Werku Kassa

Engaging the Chinese

Asefa Werku Kassa describes an engagement with the Chinese that left a deep scar on his forearm. He was stationed along the frontlines and frequent encounters with Chinese infantry. On one occasion a Chinese soldier gave him a deep gash before another Ethiopian soldier came to his aid. Asefa Werku Kassa eventually shot and killed the Chinese soldier. Also, Ethiopian soldiers never surrendered due to instructions. This was for fear of what the Ethiopian military would do to their families.



Benjamin Allen

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



Bill Lynn

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.



Brian Hamblett

Prisoner of War

Brian Hamblett describes life at Camp I after the Chinese took him as a prisoner of war. He explains that it was like a Korean village with mud huts and paper windows. He describes how the soldiers would find warmth sleeping on the floor which had flues running underneath it. He goes on to describe the indoctrination the Chinese forced on the men.



Carl M. Jacobsen

Combat Jump

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.



Carl W. House

Surrounded at Jangjin: Last Line of Defense

Carl House arrived at Jangjin with his unit and was told no enemy forces were within a fifteen-mile radius. He recalls many soldiers began building fires, drinking coffee, and preparing sleeping bags. He shares that Chinese forces surrounded the U.S. soldiers in a horseshoe-shaped position around three in the morning, making it nearly impossible for them to escape. He remembers fighting for three days and running low on artillery after a failed airdrop landed in enemy territory. He recounts his captain ordering his unit to stand rear guard while fellow soldiers pulled out and recalls doing what he could to hold off the Chinese.



Carl House's Capture

Carl House and his Squad Leader, Raymond Howard, were the only 2 remaining soldiers holding the line as the Chinese were throwing concussion grenades at both men. As Carl House was covering for Raymond Howard, a gunshot broke Carl House's arm and caused massive blood-loss. The only thing that he had to hold his arm together was a slang he used to keep his arm straight during the healing process. When Carl House made the attempt to cross the valley himself, he fell unconscious from his injury and when he woke up, Chinese had surrounded the area. He made an attempt to play dead, but the 30 degree below zero temperature gave away the heat from his breath, so they stuck a bayonet in his back and took him away.



Life in Camp 3 and 5 as a POW

Carl House marched to Camp 5 from February to May of 1952, but he was moved to Camp 3 where he was later released. Each room the prisoners occupied held ten people (tip to toe) which would be beneficial to them to keep warm. Since many of the US soldiers were well-fed and strong when they arrived, they were able to survive the rest of the winter while slowing losing weight. He said the one thing that mattered the most was food, but many soldiers hated the idea of eating rice that had once been on the floor. Most of the food contained glass, rocks, rat droppings, and many men died.



Emotions of a POW

Carl House and the other POWs lived on hope and they were planning to make an escape by rationing their own food (rice), storing it in a worn shirt to store it safely in the ceiling. Just as Bert, Andy, and Carl House were about to make their attempt to escape, the POWs were moved to another building and the guards found the rations. Carl House left Camp 3 in August 1953 and crossed the DMZ in September. He remembered eating many bowls of ice cream after his rescue.



Cecil Phipps

Captured!

Cecil Phipps talks about his capture by Chinese soldiers, becoming a prisoner of war. He describes his initial three-day evasion and a fateful decision that led to his capture. He and seven fellow soldier were made to march north at night until they reached the Chinese border.



Chinese Houses

Cecil Phipps talks about the Chinese buildings he was housed in as a POW. He describes how these dwellings were built and what materials were used in their construction. He also describes in detail the heating system that was important for cold Asian winters.



Life as a POW

Cecil Phipps talks about life as a POW. He describes Pak Tong POW camp (#3) and the harsh living conditions that he lived under as prisoner including remarks about cold weather, starvation, lice infestation, and other diseases. He mentions that he went from 190 pounds to 75 pounds during the first six months of his imprisonment.



"Always Trying to Escape"

Cecil Phipps talks about a fellow soldier that attempted and failed several times to escape Pak Tong POW camp (#3). He describes how he tried to aid his friend and what happened when he was captured and returned.



POW Release

Cecil Phipps was released from Chinese captivity on August 28, 1953 at Panmunjeom after 33 months as a POW. He describes the trip from Pak Tong camp (#3), taking several days by truck and train and spending a week in another POW camp, before finally reaching freedom at Panmunjeom.



First Days of Freedom

Cecil Phipps talks about his first hours and days after his release as a POW. He describes being deloused, talking to military intelligence and reporters, and eating his first meal. He goes on to talk about his journey back to the United States by ship.



Charles Eggenberger

Encountering the Chinese

Charles Eggenberger describes going up a mountain in trucks through Hagalwoori to the Chosin Reservoir area. He recalls how his unit learned that the Chinese had crossed the border near the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the surrounding units of soldiers had taken off out of the area during the initial attack by the Chinese.



Charles Elder

Taking Care of Myself

Charles Elder talks about the cycle of taking care of himself during his time as a wounded prisoner during the Korean War. He had moments of extreme highs or lows. He had to remind himself to have hope of survival.



Charles Francis Jacks

Returning Home with POWs

Charles Jacks recalls his return home on the USS General Walker with the first group of released POWs. He shares how after the Armistice was signed in 1953 both sides exchanged Prisoners of War (POWs). He details the voyage back to the United States and arriving in California to fanfare and TV cameras ready to greet and capture footage of the POWs returning.



Charles Ross

Captured by the Chinese

Charles Ross details the lead-up to his capture by the Chinese following the Battle of Unsan. He recalls searching for food and lodging in an abandoned house until meeting a Korean civilian. He recounts the generosity showed by the civilian prior to his capture. He provides an account of his experience as a POW.



Singing in the POW Camp

Charles Ross describes how the Chinese forced them to learn a particular song. He shares that once he and other fellow POWs found out what the words meant they refused to sing it as it called for the death of Americans. He details going on strike and singing "God Bless America" during his time as a POW.



Clarence J. Sperbeck

My Capture

Clarence Sperbeck remembered April 25, 1951 because that was the day he was captured by the Chinese. Having been warned not to walk on the ridge line since it made it easy for the Chinese to detect your movement, the US troops walked the ridge line anyway. Clarence Sperbeck made an attempt to shoot in the direction of a sound behind him when a concussion grenade landed near him knocking him to the ground damaging his back. When he came out from under a rock, a Chinese soldier screamed at him to put down his weapon; he jumped behind a pine tree to try to shoot at the enemy, but the Chinese soldier's buddy was pointing his weapon at Clarence and he wouldn't have been able to shoot both. He put his rifle down and spend the rest of his time with the Chinese after walking for 3 months to get to the POW camp.



Treatment By the Enemy

Clarence Sperbeck said when the Chinese capture you, they don't feed you. He started on the march at 165 pounds and ended at 110 pounds. It was said that if you were captured by the NKPA (North Korean People's Army), these marches were the worst in recorded history. If you were sick or injured they put a pistol to your head and blew your brains out, rolled you in a ditch, and kept going. Chinese didn't do that; they wanted information from the prisoners.



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.



Hope This Never Happens to You Too

Clarence Sperbeck commented on how fast the Chinese moved compared to the US troops. It was said that the average number of steps per minute the Chinese took were 140 to Americans' 120. While unable to hear, see, or walk due to his illness (amoebic dysentery), most of the American prisoners bypassed Clarence Sperbeck when he needed help, but a few soldiers helped him up. He was often the last in line (so weak/sick) during the march which would put him at a greater risk of being shot.



White Rice Riot

When the prisoners were marching north, they would give POWs white rice which had no nutritional value.
Fortunately, they got a can of Russian shredded beef and rice that they considered the beef to be the "Nectar of the Gods". With no refrigeration, prisoners were allowed to have seconds which started a riot since they were grabbing handfuls to eat. The Chinese stood back laughing at the prisoners because some of the POWs were wealthy businessmen back in the states acting like pigs trying to get as much as they could.



Camp 1: Sustenance

When Clarence Sperbeck arrived at his first POW Camp (Camp 1-Ch'ang Song), Chinese soldiers gave each man a wash cloth and a bar of soap, but then they were instructed to go to the polluted river at the camp to take a bath. Korean civilians (women and children) stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched the G.I.'s take a bath. Men were given little food and Clarence Sperbeck describes the pork they ate and how the Chinese would slaughter and drink the blood of the pig.



East Is Red With The Blood of Our Dead

Daily life in prison camp began with a lecture on Chinese politics and required POWs to recite the Chinese National Anthem," The east is red with the blood of our dead.." and Clarence Sperbeck continued to recite the anthem after being released. Clarence Sperbeck would later discover that while the POWs were writing daily reports in the prison camp, Chinese officers had difficulty interpreting slang terms GI (a nickname for US soldiers) would write. When the soldiers discovered this, they taunted the Chinese with slang in their letters all the time just to mess with them. The GIs were allowed to send/receive letters from family with the Chinese overseeing what was written in the letters, but POWs would have to lie to get their letters sent home.



You Dream Just Before You Die

Clarence Sperbeck tells the story of another camp that lost over 1600 men in a period of 2 weeks, and the Chinese brought the survivors of that "massacre" to Camp 1 to merge those survivors with his prison camp. Clarence Sperbeck was already suffering with amoebic dysentery at that time, so when he came upon his old squad leader who had survived the "massacre" (death from other camp), the squad leader demanded the Chinese to provide medical care for Clarence Sperbeck. He said he would have dreams of cooking a full meal, then going back to cook some more. Many men declared that these were the symptoms dying men.



Performing Medical Experiments on the Prisoners

In the 3 month stay in this hospital at Camp 1, the Chinese performed medical experiments on the prisoners by implanting a gland from an animal into POW's bodies. POWs were told that if the gland stayed in their body, they would potentially run a high fever and die from an infection. Clarence Sperbeck said the soldiers wouldn't let the incision heal over and they would attempt to squeeze the gland out to keep it from infecting their body.



Hey! Wait A Minute! That's Us!

On the date of Clarence Sperbeck's release, August 19, 1953, the first thing the US did was give him a physical examination. He said while he was there, he picked up the "Stars and Stripes" Newspaper, and saw the headlines read, "Chinese attempt to keep 400 POW's." Clarence Sperbeck said, "Hey they were talking about us!" He mentioned the Chinese kept over 800 prisoners, took them back to China, and used them for atomic experiments. There were others who refused repatriation and were not well liked by the men when they returned.



Clarence Jerke

Memories of the Armistice and Returning POWs

Clarence Jerke talks about his memories of the Armistice. He describes how he felt and what he did as he encountered returning POWs in August 1953.



Clifford L. Wilcox

Why Do Veterans Not Talk About Their Experiences?

Clifford Wilcox discusses the reasons he think veterans do not talk about their experiences in war. He mentions the killings, prisoner of war experiences, as well as wounds inflicted. Although he understands this, he feels differently wanting to share his experiences in the Korean War.



Clifford Petrey

Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir

Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.



Living Conditions as a POW

Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.



POW Experience

Clifford Petrey further details his POW experience. He recalls there being little firewood and comments on the close sleeping arrangements. He shares that lice was an issue and how he and other soldiers picked lice off of each other. He details food portions and content and speaks of rampant dysentery.



Letters to and from Home

Clifford Petrey recalls being allowed to write letters home occasionally. He recounts his mother keeping three or four of his letters through the years as a means of assurance that he was alive after having previously been listed as Missing in Action. He shares that he received a few letters from his family during his time as a POW as well.



Dan McKinney

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.



Captured!

Dan McKinney describes how he was captured by enemy forces. His entire company was nearly wiped out. He talks about how all the members of the squad he commanded were killed and enduring friendly artillery shelling before he was captured.



The Trek to POW Camp #1

Dan McKinney describes the roughly 60-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.



50 Years of Silence

Dan McKinney talks about his reluctance to talk about his POW experience for the first 50 years after the Armistice was signed. He describes how he decided to start talking about the war to graduates of a leadership class at Cannon Air Force Base in 2005. He mentions that he has talked to every graduating class since (over 70 groups).



Coming Home

Dan McKinney talks about the 2-week journey back to the US by ship after he was released as a POW. He describes being interrogated about his captivity. He also describes finally eating well, gaining 25 pounds during the crossing.



David Carpenter

Modo Island

David Carpenter lost four Marines who were taken as POW's off the coast of Wonsan. He stayed on Korea's islands until peace talks began in 1953. He recalls going on leave to Japan to get some rest and relaxation (R & R) before he returned to England.



David Espinoza

Koje-do Prison Camp Riots-1951

David Espinoza talks 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.



David Lopez

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.



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 that his plane was hit three times. He describes the emergency procedures he took as his plane lost height.



"Lenient Policy"

Upon being taken as a Prisoner of War, Denis John Earp was interrogated by Chinese soldiers. Knowing his rights under the Geneva Convention, he refused to answer some questions. However, he was quickly informed by the Chinese about their “lenient policy” and soon was placed in a scary situation that was meant to get him to change his mind.



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 explains that they were constantly watched and there were daily propaganda lectures. He recalls the unfortunate circumstances that occurred in the winter months for those who were injured.



Park's Palace

Denis John Earp describes the conditions at Park’s Palace, a Prisoner of War camp in North Korea. He describes a cruel game that they would play for the guards’ entertainment. He also explains the interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, that were used to get information.



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 also 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.



Duane Trowbridge

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 1600 North Korean (NPKA) soldiers in October and November of 1950.



Edmund Reel

The Making of Foot Booties in Camp

Edmund Reel shares how he made thirty-two pairs of foot booties for fellow prisoners while a POW. He details the materials used to make the booties and offers an account of how he assembled them. He provides an example of the booties he made.



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.



Edward A. Gallant

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 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 T. Smith

Life in Camps

Edward T. Smith describes life in the camp. He said that most of the day focused on whatever work detail there was, often either wood or burial detail. He recalls how the Chinese tried to indoctrinate the prisoners and some believed it enough to move to China. He also remembers the cramped sleeping quarters and limited uniforms.



Life as a POW

Edward T. Smith describes what it was like being captured, including his treatment by the Chinese. He said that they were relatively decent, but there was the looming unknown of what was going to happen. He remembers the living conditions, including how they were often just fed kernels of corn.



Death in the Camps

Edward T. Smith recalls how many peopled died in the camp, stating that there were eight to ten burial details per day. He says that some died of malnutrition, illness, or wounds. However, he believes that some of the men "just gave up."



Edwin R. Hanson

Edwin Hanson Captures His First POW

As they were advancing throughout Seoul, Edwin Hanson and his regiment came across a street intersection with sand bags filled on each corner that minimized the space from 30-40 ft wide down to 10 ft. A US Tank was hit by a North Korean sniper that was shooting with a 50 caliber automatic weapon, and Edwin Hanson was peaking around the corner to try and find where the sniper was located while the guys were crossing the intersection, but his section leader, Howe, had been shot in the heel. Therefore, he put his M2 Carbine on automatic in an attempt to shoot into a building he thought the sniper was located and he said he, "fell right on his ass." When Edwin Hanson stood up, a North Korean soldier came into view and he stuck the gun up to the North Korean, but instead of killing him, he captured the North Korean soldier.



Ellis Ezra Allen

Living Conditions in the Prison Camps

Ellis Ezra Allen describes the long march from the mining camp to Camp 5. He explains that many died of exposure due to the lack of sufficient winter clothing and recalls that within a six weeks period over one thousand men died. He discusses the treatment of POW's by the North Koreans and the Chinese as well as the propaganda campaigns.



Propaganda and POW Release

Ellis Ezra Allen describes the continued propaganda lectures with the Chinese and the living conditions in Camp 4. He remembers them as not being too terrible as they had wood floors and coal-heated stoves. He recounts his release and shares that he was picked up by a helicopter, taken to Inchon, put on a U-boat, and transported back to the States.



Eugene Evers

Shot Down in a RB-29 Over North Korea

Eugene "Gene" Evers describes being shot down. He explains flying over North Korea during his reconnaissance mission. He describes the Russian MiG that ultimately took him out of the sky.



Living Conditions as a POW

Eugene "Gene" Evers describes the living conditions as a Prisoner of War. He explains the circumstances of his first seven months in North Korea. He elaborates on how he was treated by the Chinese and North Koreans.



Isolation in Chinese POW Camp

Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about being isolated in a Chinese POW camp. He describes his knowledge of Marine Colonel Frank Schwable. Schwable was a fellow POW in the Chinese prisoner camp.



You Are Going to Die

Eugene "Gene" Evers describes being questioned by Chinese soldiers during his time a POW. He explains how a fellow soldier saved his life by telling them that he was an "ABC agent". He describes the feeling associated with being told you are going to die.



Details of Living Conditions as a POW

Eugene "Gene" Evers describes the difficult daily living conditions of being a prisoner of war. He explains what it was like during a seven month period (July 1952-January 1953) as a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp in North Korea.



A Christmas Feast in POW Camp

Eugene "Gene" Evers talks about Christmas in a POW camp. He explains that this was the only time he had eaten meat during his 14 month captivity. This occurred during his captivity as a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp in North Korea.



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.



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.



Fred Liddell

The capture of Fred Liddell: POW

Fred Liddell was captured by the Chinese in May 1951 at Hill 151 (Jirisan Mountain). His regiment was supposed to hold this hill until the US artillery saturated the hill. As Fred Liddell went down a slope around rocks, he met up with the Marines that were milling around near multiple vehicles on fire. The Chinese surrounded the US soldiers even as Fred Liddell was killing some of them in the bushes. Injured US soldiers were burned to death in a hut while over 300 POWs were forced to march to a cave and then onto Camp Suan.



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.



Gene Peeples

Delousing the POWs

Gene Peeples describes being sent to Freedom Village as the war was coming to an end. His job as a medic included handling the POWs who were coming in from the Chinese camps. He explains the clothing of the POWs, their vomiting from being fed ice cream, and the thickness of lice on the shower floors.



George Brown

Family Hears News Of Their Son's Death

After hearing the news that their son had been captured and identified as Missing In Action on July 7, 1950, the family was identified by the US military. Soldiers who had returned to the states told the family that Arthur Leroy Brown was being held at the Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. It was later discovered that Arthur Leroy Brown died on his 21st birthday in January of 1951. Some of the returning soldiers told his family that Arthur Leroy Brown had suffered from complications due to Beriberi.



Regrets Of Hearing About Their Son's Death

Arthur Leroy Brown's parents were hit very hard by the news that their son had died. His mom was pregnant with their first daughter and Arthur Leroy Brown was so excited to tell his regiment the news. Before Arthur Leroy Brown left for bootcamp, he got into a scuffle with his dad because his dad didn't want him quitting school to go into the Army.



The Burial of a POW

George Brown was only 6 years old at the time when he heard his brother had died. Arthur Leroy Brown's family was too poor to afford a burial closer to home, so he was buried in Hawaii after his body was found. At his temporary burial in North Korea, the ground was frozen solid, so they could only dig a shallow grave. It was devastating to George Brown and his brothers since they were older and they could really understand the devastation of the death of a family member.



George Covel

Armistice Signing

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.



George Dixon

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



Gerald Cavagnaro

Captured near Pyongyang

Gerald Cavagnaro describes how his unit was cut off during an attack by the Chinese. He describes running out of ammunition. He shares how he along with 100-150 other men were captured in November in 1950. He describes a march he took to what the soldiers named "Death Valley".



Release for POWs

Gerald Cavagnaro describes moving to the last POW camp. He describes being transferred by train and ambulance to the border. He explains the welcoming home by American officers but didn't see the American flag. He explains the delousing process and receiving his first real shower in thirty-three months. He shares his fingerprints, picture, and information given on a laminated card to him once he returned to the US Army.



Killing Lice

Gerald Cavagnaro describes his days in a POW camp. He shares how everything was covered in lice and how they would try to kill them. He explains how other countries later had POWs added to the camp. He explains the Communist indoctrination sessions he was subjected to when there.



Gerald Land

Released POWs Had a Blank Stare In Their Eyes

Panmunjom was the site of disembarkation at the time when Gerald Land left in September of 1953. He came across American soldiers who had been held as Prisoners of War. Gerald Land was overcome by sadness when he saw how sick the POWs looked. They just stared into space and this made Gerald Land reflect how lucky he was to come out alive. He couldn't imagine the type of torture those men had been put through.



Harry Hawksworth

The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW

Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. Due to the quick retreat, most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below. Harry Hawksworth used six crates of two inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).



Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953

Harry Hawksworth walked at night for six weeks until he reached prisoner of war (POW) Camp Changsong in May 1951. Many of the British POWs escaped, but all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. After getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day, Harry Hawksworth became very sick. As the Chinese brainwashing continued, US and British POWs fought to survive every single day.



The Release of British POWs After Armistice

Harry Hawksworth knew that peace talks must have been starting while he was trying to survive in a Chinese POW camp called Camp Changsong because the Chinese began to feed the POWs larger rations of food each day. This would help to fatten up the ninety-five pound Harry Hawksworth who had been held there since May 1951. Once the armistice was signed in July 1953, Harry Hawksworth and the other POWs were brought to Panmunjom at the 38th parallel. This is where they crossed over the famous Freedom Bridge back into Allied hands.



Hartwell Champagne

Life in a POW Camp

Hartwell Champagne describes time spent in a Chinese POW camp during the war. He shares how he would pick up injured men and what he had to do with the dead. He describes the harsh realities he faced while in Camps 3.



This Was My Life

Hartwell Champagne describes his experience living in Chinese POW Camp 5. He shares his responsibility for gathering firewood for the camp. He also shares how he would gather water, which provided him much needed strength. He explains how this gave him a sense of purpose when many of the other prisoners of war experienced hopelessness and despair.



Henry River, Jr.

Dangerous Moments

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.



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.



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.



Homer Garrett

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.



Hong Berm Hur

Korean War POW and the Simple Ways to Show Appreciation

Hong Berm Hur met Mr. English Model who was a POW (prisoner of war) during the Korean War. English Model was captured by the Chinese and was put into a camp for over a year. Thankfully, he escaped and made his way to Hawaii. This is where he shared his story with Hong Berm Hur. Hong Berm Hur not only likes to hear the stories of Korean War veterans, he also takes care of these veterans when he's not working so that he can properly show the veterans gratitude that they deserve for their service during the Korean War.



Jack Goodwin

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.



Crossing the Bridge of No Return

Jack Goodwin shares memories of crossing the Bridge of No Return in 1953 after having lived as a POW since 1950. He recalls men tossing their clothes off along the road and feeling emotional upon seeing the American flag. He briefly speaks of losing his faith during his time as a POW.



James Berry

Life in POW Camp 5

James Berry describes some of his experiences at POW Camp 5. He explains where they slept and how many people were in the room, many of them who died. He describes his interactions with a Chinese interpreter who had been a college student in Texas before the War.



James C. Delong

Captured by the Chinese at Hill 1221

James C. Delong describes his capture by the Chinese and the march to Chang-ni, a interrogation camp for Prisoners of War. He explains that he was driving a truck of wounded men away from the battlefield. When he stopped to check on the men in the bed of the truck the Chinese surrounded them and ordered them surrender or die. He describes breaking his rifle and throwing his bullets into the snow so that it couldn't be used by the enemy. After lining up the wounded that were able to walk, the Chinese shot the rest of the wounded men in the truck.



Life as a POW - Marching

James C. Delong describes the march to the POW camp. He explains that the men were given one frozen potato a day. He recalls trying to find the biggest one, knowing that would be all he would receive for the entire day. He describes climbing mountain after mountain for eighteen days to reach their destination that was sixty miles away. He explains that he never sat down along the way because if you sit down then you would free and die.



Life as a POW - At Camp

James C. Delong describes life at the POW camp in North Korea. He explains that he was forced into a barn where the Chinese attempted to brainwash him along with nearly three-hundred other men. He recounts how the interrogation and brainwashing would last for more than eight hours; the first four hours in Chinese and the second in English. He goes on to describe the day they were marched to another camp and eighteen Marines were released in order to take the prescribed propaganda back with them.



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.



Finally Released

James Hall tells the story of being released from POW Camp 5 on August 10, 1953. He recalls being placed on a barge and then a train on his journey south to cross the 38th Parallel. He shares his experience of acclimating back into the possession of the United States government authorities. He recalls having his first meal at Incheon after he was released as a POW.



James L. Stone

A Survival Miracle

James L. Stone says that it was a miracle he survived his wounds. He attributes his survival partially to being an officer, reasoning that the Chinese were eager for information. He shares that another soldier helped him stay alive and recalls being captured by the Chinese where he was carried up to Yalu River to a prison camp. He remembers receiving little medical treatment for his wounds but states that he was given some food and was treated a little better than others due to being an officer.



POW Stories

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.



Jesse Chenevert

Chinese Treatment of Canadian POWs

Jesse Chenevert describes being prepared at one point for receiving Canadian soldiers who had been a prisoner by the Chinese. She shares how the personnel at the hospital were surprised by the good condition of the soldiers. She explains how she learned that their excellent care was most likely due to them being used as propaganda by their captors. She explains that the POWs who were very sick were not treated by the Canadian hospital



Jimmie A. Montoya

Farmers vs City Boys in a POW Camp

The soldiers who had once been farmers and ranchers back at home knew which vegetation to eat on that ground while many of the city boys lacked any of this knowledge. Georgia and Linda Montoya said that before the war, Jimmie Montoya would ride out to the ranch, shine shoes, work on the farm, or do whatever it takes to help make ends meet. Whatever amount he was paid during the war, he sent home to his mother and the kids.



John Beasley

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.



John Cumming

First Landing in Busan, Korea and Many Evacuation Flights that Followed

John Cumming landed on Busan's runway which was pitted with bombing holes. In order to load the casualties, POWs were used to assist the flight crew and once in flight, flight nurses held the injured to keep them from dying due to the temperature.



John Hilgert

Captured

John Hilgert describes the events that led to his capture by the Chinese Army. He explains that after the Spring Offensive, he and two other men were cut off and alone. He recalls how they were found by the Chinese and taken prisoner. He shares that of the seven thousand men taken prisoner, only a little over three thousand survived to be released, partially due to the poor quality of food the Chinese provided.



March to the Camp

John Hilgert details some of the humiliation and perils experienced by him and other prisoners as they were being marched to the prison camp. He explains that in addition to walking, they also were transported by train. He describes the thick, noxious smoke from the train's engine that would waft into the first cars, killing the men on board. He remembers how the Chinese walked the men through towns as a show of force, often times marching the same men over and over.



Camp Conditions

John Hilgert describes what conditions were like in the camp where he spent two years as a prisoner of the Chinese Army. He explains that the Chinese were not as brutal as the North Koreans who would dismember the enemies. He recalls sleeping in dirt floored huts, eight to twelve men to a hut. He describes the terrible lice infestation they experienced that was out of control until they were able to boil their clothes. He describes how he gathered wood to heat their hut during the winters.



John Jefferies

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.



POW Escape

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.



Prisoner Exchange

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.



John Pritchard

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.



Joseph Lewis Grappo

"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 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.



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.



Larry Shadler

Captured by the Chinese

Lawrence Shadler describes the night he and 68 other men were captured by the Chinese when his troop ran out of ammunition. The Dutch had pulled out an left a two and half mile gap in the lines. He was on guard when about 50,000 Chinese attacked just after midnight.



In Line Waiting to Die

Lawrence Shadler describes the Chinese lining up the captured American troops and waiting to be shot while third in line. Lining them up was just for show at times. Approximately 300 were marched north to a P.O.W. camp.



A Prisoner's Winter

Lawrence Shadler describes spending the winter in a Chinese P.O.W. camp. He was given a "long-John," a piece of steamed bread. The flue from the stove tunneled under the building and created heat under the floor. The men had to move around or "you would burn your butt." The cold was so overbearing that birds wings froze in mid air.



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.



Lester Griebenow

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.



Lloyd Pitman

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.



Marion Burdett

The Forgotten War and Causes of PTSD

Marion Burdette felt that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because there was not a lot of publicity back on the homefront.
Also, many of the veterans didn't speak about the war when they returned back home. Since Marion Burdette shot thousands of rounds of artillery, he lost most of his hearing. He was also stationed in Northern Korea and he was almost caught as a POW. Due to his experiences on the front line, he has nightmares and PTSD.



Marvin “Sam” Bass

Captured by the Chinese

Sam Bass was captured in September 1951 around the Punchbowl or Old Baldy area. He describes how he was arrested by the Chinese who had cut them off through the line. He explains the living conditions during that time, including the marching and sleep conditions.



Marvin Ummel

Prisoner of War Exchange

Marvin Ummel recalls witnessing the exchange of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the released prisoners changing clothes once released and many Korean locals picking up and taking the clothes back to their homes. Doctors would inspect the released POWs before sending them back home. Often the POWs were in poor condition, some even being sprayed with DDT insecticide to kill off vermin. He recalls that while the soldiers were thrilled to be back, the condition the POWs arrived in was poor and very depressing.



Mathew Thomas

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.



Narce Caliva

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."



Nelson S. Ladd

Prisoner Exchange

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.



Nick Nishimoto

Communist Indoctrination

Nick Nishimoto describes how the Chinese attempted to indoctrinate the Americans in the prison camp where he was stationed. He recalls twenty-one Americans adopting Communist ideology. He shares that they were called "turncoats" and that they chose to stay in North Korea with additional travel to China.



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.



Chinese-American in a Chinese POW Camp

Nick Nishimoto discusses how in his prisoner of war camp Chinese-Americans were imprisoned as well. He remembers when his dear Chinese-American friend suffered from a cyst that became infected. He recalls there being American doctors in the prisoner of war camp who tried to provide treatment, but equipment was lacking to do so.



First Captured Night

Nick Nishimoto describes the living conditions of the school room where he was captive when he first became a prisoner of war. He recalls the room being so crowded that he had to sit crunched down for hours. He remembers how hard it was to keep balance when he got up later to stand and relieve himself. He describes how another American prisoner had to help him as the Chinese soldiers laughed.



Norman Renouf

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.



School in the Prisoner Camp

Norman Renouf describes the classes that he was forced to take in the prisoner camp. The Chinese used the classes to encourage the soldiers to reject capitalism in favor of communist ideologies. Some of the Chinese interpreters spoke good English because they had lived in New York City.



Norman Spencer Hale

Camp 5 Poem

Norman Hale recounts marching as a POW from December 1950 to February 1951. He recalls the loss of life. He shares a poem written by a POW about the one thousand six hundred servicemen who died that winter.



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.



Ralph Howard

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.



Raymond Unger

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.



Bittersweet Homecoming

Raymond Unger talks about coming home after spending most of the war as a POW and his treatment from family and friends.



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.



Richard Donatelli

Remember the Death March North

Richard Donatelli remembers that in spite of the heavy artillery being used, it was no match for the Chinese near Kotori who would over run their unit, forcibly moving them with bayonets north.
He explains that they lost a lot of men on this "death march" due to the rough, cold conditions and lack of water and food. During a few times, Richard Donatelli wanted to give up, but he kept going.



POW Camp-Teaching of Capitalism

Richard Donatelli explains that they tried to teach them about the downfalls of capitalism in the POW Camp. They placed them in a circle sharing stories of the businessmen ruining the country on a daily basis, an argument for socialism and communism. In addition to this, they would have to sing a patriotic song daily while living in the horrible conditions of the camp.



POW Camp 5 Morning Ritual

Richard Dontelli says that they hard a hard time sleeping and medical care was not the best. The Chinese doctors would only give them pills. He remembers that if you didn't eat what they gave you, you died. Richard Dontelli tells the story of one time he was caught stealing wooden shingles off of one of the cabinets and he was punished.



Robert Arend

POW camp life

Robert Arend explains how they housed 70,000 prisoners among different compounds, including one for females. For safety reasons, they tried to separate prisoner based on their political beliefs, i.e. noncommunist or communists. He adds that for the most part, the prisoners were well behaved, but recalls several uprisings and incidences of violence that occurred.



Camp Conditions

Robert Arend remembers the conditions in which the prisoners lived. He describes the prisoners as being well fed and cared for. The Red Cross would periodically conduct inspections to ensure decent conditions, including sports equipment to play with.



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.



Robert Battdorff

The Chinese Take Robert Battdorff

Marine engineers were building an airstrip near the Chosin Reservoir when Robert Battdorff moved onto Toktong Pass to set up positions. That's where the Chinese took over the hill and he was taken prisoner while on watch. It was November 28, 1950 and he was on watch in a sleeping bag because the weather was 40 below zero.



A Near Death Experience with the Chinese

The Chinese put Robert Battdorff in a cow shed and then put him in their own foxholes because the sun was coming up, so they assumed the US would be bombing soon from the air. Two other men were captured with him, but no US soldiers came to resume them right away. On the first assault, there were 28 casualties during that attack. The guard that captured the 3 US soldiers had the men kneel near a frozen stream so that he could kill them, but another Chinese soldier stopped the killing.



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.



Travel, Food, and UN Attacks on Chinese as a POW

Robert Battdorff and one other US POW were forced to walk south to the 38th parallel in May 1951 as the US soldiers were pushing the Chinese back in battle. He was told that he was brought down south just in case if the Chinese came across additional prisoners. He would walk at night 6 days a week and then take Sunday off. Since the Chinese were traveling with supplies during the night, UN pilots looked for the headlights of the trucks to know where to hit.



33 Months as a POW

Robert Battdorff was watched by only 1 guard for all 25 POWs until the Chinese realized that it would be safer for them to separate the POWs. After moving all the Koreans out of the next city, the homes were called Camp 3 where they stayed during October 1951. He had to deal with Communist Indoctrination for over 2 years. Robert Battdorff was finally released in August 1953 after the Korean War came to a stalemate.



Robert Kohler

With the "Worst of the Worst"

Robert Kohler remembers leaving on the troop ship. Because his rank orders had not come through yet, he had to do guard duty on the ship. He was in a cell block with the prisoners who were the "worst of the worst."



Robert O. Gray

From Hospitals to Prisons

Robert Gray discusses how he got hit and went to the hospital. He explains his motivation for lying to avoid staying in the hospital. He also describes how that decision caused him to be captured by the Chinese as a prisoner of war (POW).



Say No to Indoctrination

Robert Gray describes his capture by the Chinese. He explains how he and others spoke out against the indoctrination. He also explains why he thinks some POWs won't talk about their imprisonment.



A Day in a Chinese Prisoner Camp

Robert Gray describes an average day as a POW in the Chinese prison camps. He describes how days from day to dark. He explains they had study periods but how he had to work. He explains how they survived by stealing food.



The Cake is a Lie

Robert Gray describes how people who are starving won't eat anything. He explains how some POWs who were starving to death would fixate on food items in their head. He discusses how he saw some people experience this in the POW camp.



Robert W. Hammelsmith

Prisoner of War

Robert Hammelsmith describes being taken prisoner by the Chinese. He recalls being taken to a mud hut and given rice that had not been cleaned of worms and gravel. He goes on to describe being relocated to Camp 5 and sleeping head to toe in a hut of eight men.



Journey to Freedom

Robert Hammelsmith recounts his release from Camp 5 in August of 1953 and his journey to Freedom City. He describes being transported by train to Panmunjeom and then on to Freedom City where he was fed what was supposed to be a nice meal but included mashed potatoes with sugar. He recalls several officers being present to receive the POW soldiers upon their release.



Roy Aldridge

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.



Russel Kingston

Conditions in the POW camp

Russel Kingston describes the conditions he faced, including the limited food and freezing conditions. He remembers their captors would tell them lies about the status of the war, trying to get them to convert to Communism. In the spring, the captors would take their shoes to prevent them from escaping.



Russell King

The Chinese Military Was Impressive

Russell A. King was impressed the most by the civilian population. He was also amazed by the discipline and the organization of the Chinese military. He remembers taking Chinese prisoners from one prison camp to the other. With ingenuity, and they made their own communist style uniforms out of the clothes they were given.



Ruth Powell (Wife of John Powell)

Electric Shock Therapy

Ruth Powell shares how her husband, John Powell, received electric shock therapy as a means of aiding his PTSD. She provides details regarding electric shock therapy, the process, and its intended purpose. She recalls the effects it had upon John Powell.



Forgotten Memories

Ruth Powell, wife of Korean War POW, John Powell, talks about the things that he remembers from the war. She explains that he has forgotten many experiences from his time spent in Korea. She shares that her husband's memory has been compromised as a result of his electric shock therapy.



Salvatore R. Conte

Capture and Traveling to the POW Camp

Salvatore Conte remembers traveling toward Hagalwoori when his vehicle was hit and the men went into a ditch. All three of the soldiers were injured in his group and then they were taken by the Chinese. Salvatore Conte recalls being taken to Geojedo POW camp in January 1951. He gives a thorough account of what it was like in the camps.



Isolation Box

Salvatore Conte explains that he was placed in an isolation box for eight months since he was considered a leader among the POWs. He remembers being in the box from May through December 1952 and was only let out twice a day to use the bathroom. One time he was marched over to a hillside to be killed by the Chinese, but they allowed him to live and he was placed back into the box.



Liberation

Salvatore Conte recalls his transfer to another camp where he was placed with 21 other soldiers who were considered the most dangerous POWs. On May 1, 1953, he was transferred out of this section with the rest of the soldiers and he was given better food. On Aug. 27, 1953, he remembers he was released at Panmunjom where he told his story to newspaper reporters who published his story across America.



Stuart Gunn

The Dreaded Capture

Stuart Gunn had a confrontation with the Chinese military at the Battle of Hill 187. The Chinese were very organized. He remembers the moment him and his partners were capture and the pain they all endured. These moments lead to his capture as a Prisoner of War.



Red China: Brainwashing

Stuart Gunn had a very difficult time living in a Chinese POW camp. While at the camp, the Chinese Communist government had educational materials promoting their government for the prisoners that were printed in English. Other POWs at the camp responded to these materials and the mandatory classes in a variety of ways.



T.J. Martin

A Typical Day in a POW Camp

T.J. Martin shares memories from his experiences as a POW for over two years. He details a typical day in a POW camp and discusses the indoctrination program the Chinese implemented in their camps. He recalls how he tried to outsmart the Chinese which eventually led to him being separated from other prisoners.



Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya

Bazooka and Never Leave a Man Behind

Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes his experience in Korea. He was a bazooka shooter. For example, one occurrence almost left him dead when a shell did not fire. Importantly, he describes never leaving a lost soldier behind. The Ethiopians never lost a soldier to Prisoner of War.



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.



Thomas Parkinson

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.



Tommy Clough

Value of Life

Tommy Clough chronicles the lead-up to his capture. He details catching up to his assigned officer and advancing towards a hill only to find Chinese soldiers looking down at them with a machine gun. He recalls that he lifted his rifle on instinct and shot one of the Chinese soldiers. He shares that after he and fellow soldiers reached the other side of the hill, they were surrounded by the Chinese. He recounts being taken to the spot where the soldier he had shot earlier lay and of how little the Chinese seemed to value life.



Escape Attempt

Tommy Clough recalls his escape attempt from a Chinese POW camp. He shares that he and his friend, Dave, gathered their kit and waited for the roll call one August night. He recounts making it to the bushes near the river, and right as they were about to cross, he remembers hearing the cock of a gun. He details lights coming on and whistles sounding as they were recaptured. He describes how he was handcuffed and locked in an outhouse for roughly six weeks following the attempt.



News of the Ceasefire

Tommy Clough describes the day he and fellow POWs were told that the peace treaty had been signed. He recalls gathering in the center of the compound and the Chinese surrounding them with fixed bayonets. He relates that he was confused about what was happening as he listening to a Chinese commander. He shares that they had been told the war was over for them and that he and others were hesitant to believe them. He recounts how they heard cheering from the American compound shortly after, and he states their cheering was confirmation.



Veli Atasoy

Captivity

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.



Battle of Kunu-ri

Veli Atasoy describes the fighting conditions at the Battle of Kunu-ri. There were many casualties of the Turkish troops and to evacuate, therefore approximately twenty five men were needed per Jeep. The person in command took a wrong turn into harm's way. The Chinese had surrounded the entire area and eventually killed many Americans, but spared Veli Atasoy and many of his fellow Turkish troops. After that the men walked under armed escort to Pyoktong, near the Chinese-North Korean border.



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.



Wayne Mitchell

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.



Werner Lamprecht

Modern Day Korea

Werner Lamprecht read the book "Korea Reborn" in one night, and he was amazed at the progress South Korea has made since the end of The Korean War. He blames Stalin for extending the war by two years because Stalin wanted North Korean prisoners of war to be returned even though the POW's did not want to return to North Korea to live under communism. He is for reunification as long as North Korea agrees to our terms.



Wilfred Lack

Big Prison Break

Wilfred Lack describes the big prisoner break in 1953, that resulted in the escape of over 600 Korean prisoners. Wilfred Lack suspects that there was cooperation between the prisoners and Korean guards that resulted in the loss of 80% of the prison population.



Prisioner Exchange Mode

Wilfred Lack describes his role during the cease-fire. Working with other soldiers, he rode in helicopters to exchange many Korean prisoners for American prisoners. During this time Wilfred Lack was able to see the true beauty of Korea and was fascinated by the land and tides of the sea.



William D. Freeman

Hoengsong Massacre

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.



Life at Camp One

William Freeman elaborates on his experience as a prisoner of war at Camp One. He shares that Camp One was managed by Chinese soldiers. He explains how he purposely acted "crazy" at the camp because the Chinese would treat him better due to their superstitions of people with mental illnesses. He recalls acquiring roughly forty-two dozen eggs over a period of one and a half years which helped keep him and his comrades alive.



William F. Borer

"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.



Maggots Covered My Face I Was Pronounced Dead

William Borer describes being moved to Camp 5 where he spent over a month and became ill with pneumonia. He describes the school house that cared for the sick as an an "ant-hotel" where you check in but don't check out. He recalls after being pronounced dead, he awoke among stacks of bodies and maggots encrusted on his eyes and nostrils. He explains that the Chinese were superstitious and when they saw him as he left the morgue, they ran the other direction thinking he had been resurrected.



Don't Take Your POW Clothes Off

William Borer describes the day of his release as a bright sunny day. He recalls that once in UN territory the US Military Police Officer ordered him not to immediately remove his Chinese prison clothing, as many Chinese POWs had done, and was taken into a medical facility to be deloused with DDT, fed, examined, and given new clothes with rank chevrons sewed onto his sleeves. He recalls being asked what he wanted to eat and he said a big bowl of ice cream. As he was eating his ice cream he was asked if he was anxious about going home to which he said he wanted to go back to his unit.



Willis Remus

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.



Captured

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.