Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: Personal Loss



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

Albert Kleine

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.



Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino

Killed By Friendly Fire

Al D'Agostino describes his old army friend Sal. Sal was killed within 24 hours of arriving near Pusan. Sal was a forward observer who was unfortunately killed by American soldiers as they were completing a training mission in Pusan.



Alfred Curtis

Thoughts on Service, Memories, and the Korean War Legacy

Alfred Curtis offers his thoughts on service and memories of his brother who served in Korea. He shares that his brother was at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir and that he died from wounds he sustained in battle. He comments on the legacy of the Korean War, sharing that what the country of South Korea has done for itself since the war is unbelievable.



Ali Dagbagli

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 Saglik

"Cold Blooded"

Ali Saglik describes the defense measures he took in order to protect his troops at the Battle of Kunu-ri and Sandbag Castle. He laid mines in the front, had dogs defending their flanks and men stationed in the rear, with machine guns in the front. At the Battle of Kunu-ri there was continuous fire for two days and eventually the Turkish soldiers defeated the Chinese in close combat with bayonets affixed. Ali Saglik lastly describes the loss of two soldiers under his command.



A Civilian War

Ali Saglik describes how the Turkish forces captured a spy. He also describes how enemy forces, hiding in civilian houses, shot and injured a fellow soldier. Not all Korean civilians were enemies, however, as some would provide fresh fish. Ali Saglik also describes the Battle of Kunu-ri and how the "Americans ran away." Turkish soldiers attached bayonets and killed Chinese for two days.



Alice Allen

Injuries During War Never Tarnished Their Love

Alice Allen was on the home front when her husband, Jack Allen, was injured during the Korean War. Thankfully, he was injured on his right arm and not his left because he is left-handed. Even with an arm and leg injury, Alice Allen maintained her love for her Korean War Veteran.



Allen Clark

The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War

Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.



Korean Culture and Ceasefire

Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.



Andrew Freeman Dunlap

Convalescence in the United States

Andrew Freeman Dunlap describes recovering from his wounds back home in the United States. He was on bed rest for 13 months. He describes how his daily procedures and being moved from multiple hospitals.



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.



Arden Rowley

Remembering a Hero

Arden Rowley shared how difficult the cold was during the war, causing many to freeze to death. He shares an account of an American soldier who came across a frozen soldier. Arden Rowley shares this story as a way to remember and honor the 36,000 soldiers that passed away.



Aristofaris Androulakis

Photos from the War

Aristofaris Androulakis shares a photo of him and captain. He then shares a photo of a church they created to have services during the war. He shows a photo of a Greek cemetery in Korea. He also shares an image of the grave of a man he knew who asked him to deliver a message to his sister when he returned to Greece.



Arland Shelstad

Life Prior to the Korean War for Arland Shelstad

His parents were farmers and he had 9 siblings. Arland Shelstad graduated high school in 1950, the year at the Korean War broke out. He knew about the war and joined the Minnesota National Guard, 47th Division in 1949.



Training as a Medic

Arland Shelstad was trained in multiple locations across America in order to prepare as a medic for the US Army. The most common injury that he assisted with was broken fingers and arms. Arland Shelstad even helped doctors during surgeries.



Arthur Gentry

"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.



"Bonsai" attack

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 Hamheung 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 his ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.



Arthur H. Hazeldine

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 W Sorgatz

Strangers Left The Dead

Based on Korean culture, if someone died and the body was lying along the road, civilians would leave the body there, claiming that if they returned the body to the family, the helper would have to take care of the deceased person's family. Sometimes, bodies would lay in the road for three to four days before it was picked up. Arthur Sorgatz had to drive around bodies any times during his tour in Busan, Korea.



Asefa Desta

Korean Battle

Asefa Desta describes his Korean service. He describes being trained upon arrival in Busan. The M1 was the weapon he trained with. He also describes battles and rough terrain. Many people died and these memories stick with him. Asefa Desta also describes fighting conditions on Hill 1073, which is near the Iron Triangle.



Korean Service

Asefa Desta describes the details of his service in the Korean War. He describes how Korean civilians were so helpful during the war. American supplies were a necessity. Engagements with the Chinese were frequent. He describes how he did not want to even blink to give his position.



Avery Creef

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.



Ayhan Karabulut

Memories and a Message

Ayhan Karabulut describes how he cannot forget the memories of the men he served with who lost their lives. He also describes how he feared the sound of planes overhead after returning home. He did have a special message for the Republic of Korea, "May Allah give them long life."



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.



Basil Kvale

The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

Basil Kvale fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in weather that reached 40 degrees below zero. The men nicknamed the region the "Frozen Chosin" since the temperature was cold enough to freeze a soldiers' skin. He worked with a lieutenant to create locations to hit the enemy throughout his time in this battle.



Fighting in Ujeongbu and the Taebacek Mountains

Basil Kvale was taken to Ujeongbu (Northern Korea) with an amphibious military group to set up for battle. They moved a lot and were so close that they could see the Chinese right near their location. At a new location in the Taebacek Mountains, Basil Kvale was over 3,000 feel above sea level and it was an important location to give orders of where to bomb.



Chinese POW-Ping

Basil Kvale captured a Chinese POW named Ping who later was sent with other soldiers. As a Marine, Basil Kvale was asked to help give the coordinates for the bombing to aid his commander. He had the cannons and bombs attack from four different sides which led to total disaster for the Chinese.



Benjamin Arriola (brother of Fernando Arriola)

Medals after MIA

Benjamin Arriola describes the medals his brother, Fernando Arriola, received after being declared MIA and Presumed Dead in the Korean War. He shares that his brother received the Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. He displays several certificates sent by officials in South Korea as well.



Dental Records for MIA

Benjamin Arriola describes his brother Fernando Arriola's history as a boxer in the Army. He shares the story of how his brother's tooth was knocked out. He details how the DNA extraction from the tooth is now being used to help identify his brother's remains as an MIA soldier if they should ever appear.



Bernard Clark

Living Conditions

Bernard Clark had to live in trenches near and on the front lines because there were not any shelters of any kind. The trenches were six feet deep and a fire could be made during the winter to stay warm. C-Rations were eaten most of the war, and they included beans and tea. He recalls taking over for the Greeks at "Kowang San/Little Gibraltar" area near Hill 355, and he remembers finding many dead bodies left in the trenches.



Coping with Loss and Memories of Korea

Bernard Clark is still saddened by the loss of his friends while serving. He dealt with those losses as a young man in a few different ways. He also attended several concerts during his time in Korea, and he remembers a road march while on reserve which entailed a fiery mishap. Napalm drops took place during the Korean War, and he describes the aftermath of this weapon.



Bernard Lee Henderson

Fire In The Hole

Bernard Henderson shared his experience of being struck in his chest with shrapnel. Puny Wilson, one of the members of his regiment, was pulling guard-men one night and yelled, "Fire in the hole" 5 times. After throwing the 2nd grenade, Bernard stood up from his fox hole and the grenade hit him right in the chest. Although it didn't penetrate through his clothes, he started tearing his clothes off yelling for a corps men to help him.



Life as a Soldier During the Korean War

Bernard Henderson would sleep in his foxhole with his clothes on in a sleeping bag in shifts with other Marines. As a Marine, they did not shower often since they were stationed up in the mountains. The most difficult time he had was trying to escape from a Chinese attack by running down railroad tracks since it was not even, but he just wanted to stay alive.



Bill Hall

Training and Pilots

Bill Hall describes the situation of the Korean War as well as the pilot shortage the Marine Corps had aboard his aircraft carrier. He also shares how the first pilot from his carrier was killed.



Aviation Combat

Bill Hall talks about "Getting" a platoon of enemy with a napalm bomb from his aircraft. He also describes the aircraft setup weapons and fuel that the carrier aircraft used against the enemy.



Bill Lynn

Battle of Naktong Bulge

Bill Lynn tells about the Battle at Naktong River. He survived the battle because the Korean he was fighting was unable to reload his gun. Both of the men accompanying him were killed primarily because they were using malfunctioned equipment left over from World War II.



Bill Scott

We Called Them Hoochies

Bill Scott described what it was like on many of the hills he fought and the sand bags filled with dirt and rock used to protect them from the enemy. He described digging into trenches on the hill, and his mortar squad was placed just on the other side of the hill to fire at the enemy. Bill Scott pointed to a shadow box as he's describing the shrapnel that was collected from the battlefield that was fired at them by the Chinese.



Almost hit by the Chinese

Bill Scott described the fighting and living situations on the top of Pork Chop Hill. He recalled the area they were quartered in during their time on the hill.
Bill Scott was resting in his bed in this living quarters when it was hit and mortar barely escaped his head by inches. He said when he woke, the sound was deafening, and the area was heavily damaged. Bill Scott picked up pieces of the shell and stuck it in his pocket.



Babies Starving

When Bill Scott arrived in Seoul, they were given 4-5 days worth of rations. After seeing the starving children with or without parents, the soldiers fed the babies with their own food rather than watch them starve. Soldiers knew they had to take care of the kids and they were proud to have done it for them.



Billy Holbrook

Was there ever a time you might've been killed?

Billy Holbrook recalls a dangerous moment he encountered on his ship. He describes an incident in Yokohama, Japan, involving the pickup of new recruits. The incident resulted in the death of two new recruits by a Hedgehog, an anti-submarine weapon. He continues with comments about the US dominance of the sea.



Bob Mitchell

Living with the Guilt

Bob Mitchell talks about being sent to the rear on sick call, later learning his entire unit had been overwhelmed in an attack by the Chinese. Eventually Bob Mitchell says he reached the realization that it's just the reality of war - In combat death comes strictly by random.



Bruce Ackerman

Home for Christmas?

Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.



The Latent Effects of Korean War: PTSD

Bruce Ackerman experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the Korean War. He found connections between the modern War on Terror and the soldiers who fought in the Korean War because they both are lacking resources to help with their transition back to civilian life. There are psychological and social effects of war on veterans due to their exposure to death, extreme weather, and constant surprise enemy attacks.



Carl Rackley

Nerve Damage from War

Carl Rackley describes here the lasting impact the Korean War has had on his life since he served. He describes having nerve problems and how this affects his daily life. He describes the roots of these nerve issues from their origins in war.



Carl W. House

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.



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 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.



Cevdet Sidal

Battle of Kunu-ri

Cevdet Sidal describes intimate details from the Battle of Kunu-ri. This battle was the first engagement on foreign soil for Turkish fighters since WWI. Cevdet Sidal provides details about being surrounded and the heavy losses to the enemy. He also describes how there were enemy war planes used in the battle.



Conditions of the Battle of Kunu-ri

Cevdet Sidal describes conditions at various battlefields. At the Battle of Kunu-ri the Turkish soldiers were surrounded. One Master Sergeant had to eat grass for three days. There was constant threat from machine gun fire. Also, the Chinese had aircraft support. Cevdet Sidal turned to praying due to fear of death. The conditions were so cold that water would freeze to your face.



Charles Buckley

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.



Thoughts of an Airman: Get the Hell Out Of There!

Charles Buckley's initial thoughts when he reflects on his experience during the war was to "get the hell out of there." He remembers his contribution to the country by helping various people, specifically the orphaned children. Charles Buckley would order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and he would look forward to seeing the smiles on the children's faces. He also recalled the living conditions of all of the children and the civilians were able to obtain supplies they needed to rebuild their own country.



The Korean People Are Different Than Other People Around the World

Charles Buckley traveled all over the world and he said the people of Korea are so different in such a positive way. He feels their conduct, willingness to help themselves, and loyal to their country is what sets them apart from other countries. Charles Buckley also said the Koreans were so loyal to the US soldiers and respectful to those who died for their cause during the Korean War. They are the only people that continue to thank US soldiers.



Non-Combat Related Deaths

Charles Buckley said there were many non-combat related deaths with at least 5 to 7 within his own unit. While in Wonju, a radio relay site, a young man was in a 6 X 6 truck and he was trying to get up a slick mountain with another soldier, and the 6 X 6 truck rolled over killing them both.



Charles Bull

Fighting Along Side and Burying Allied Forces During the Korean War

While aboard the HMS Kenya, Charles Bull worked along side multiple naval allies including the Austrians, Canadians, Dutch, and Belgians. Sadly, bodies of soldiers would be found at sea, so his ship would take the deceased aboard until they were ready to provide a proper burial at sea. Charles Bull remembers the moving ceremonies that the British gave for fallen American soldiers during the sea burial.



Charles Eggenberger

Bearing the Extreme Cold

Charles Eggenberger talks about being able to withstand the extreme cold he encountered in Korea. He describes a childhood of not having enough warmth because of poverty and neglect. He recalls seeing the injuries some soldiers suffered from not knowing how to take care of their extremities in the cold.



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.



Chester Coker

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.



Clarence J. Sperbeck

P.O.W. Capture: Right Into The Lion's Den

Clarence Sperbeck retails the story of being captured as a prisoner of war north of the Imjin River. He was sitting with a group of experienced "ol' timers", who told him that the Chinese were going to come around this valley, but Clarence Sperbeck told them there was no way it was going to happen. The soldiers heard the bugles blow (as a means of communicating with each other from afar) and mass firing ensues as they are given orders to pull back (which he never understood). General Ridgeway devised a trap within this valley to make the Chinese think that we were pulling back giving them the advantage, but when the Chinese made it to the center, General Ridgeway closed the gap which killed over 50,000 Chinese. However, when the original order was given, Clarence Sperbeck's platoon started to retreat and took the wrong turn. Turns out there were captured vehicles and they walked right into a group of Chinese soldiers.



Frozen In Fear

Clarence Sperbeck recalls while on the move picking up extra men who had been displaced from their unit and abandoned weapons. He found one guy frozen (not literally), just sitting there whether fear or uncertainty, Clarence Sperbeck kicked him in the shin with his combat boot (said it hurt like hell), handed him a weapon, and told him to fall in line with the rest. The other soldier was a new replacement paralyzed again with fear who didn't speak or move even after being kicked by Clarence Sperbeck.



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.



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.



Clayborne Lyles

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.



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.



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.



Curtis Lewis

Basic Training and MOS Training in California

Curtis Lewis graduated high school in 1952 and jointed the Air Force right away. He attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After earning high scores in the technology industry, he was sent to California to learn his military operational specialty. While in California, he was able to see many of his Army friends leave for Korea, but not all returned.



David Carpenter

Korean War Reinforcements

David Carpenter was a reinforcement for different Marines groups that had fought in Korea for over two years. His regiment replaced the wounded or killed. At least twenty-five percent of the casualties in Korea were from frostbite.



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 Lopez

Camping in Korea

David Lopez felt that being in Korea was like camping because of the daily living conditions, meals, and terrain. There were still many dangers while being stationed in Korea, but David Lopez tried to not let them get to him. Some soldiers hated the conditions so bad that they injured themselves to be taken off duty because the atrocities they experienced became too severe to handle.



The Korean War Draft, Training, and Landing

David Lewis was a longshoreman just like his father, but he was drafted in 1951. He took infantry training and left for Korea from California, but it took 18 days to get to Korea while sailing on the USS Black. There was a storm during his travel and many of the men threw up due to the pitching of the ship, but David Lewis didn't let that stop him from winning $1,800 from playing cards. At the end of June 1951, he arrived in Pusan and he thought the peace talks would end the war, but there was still more fighting to take place.



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.



David White

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

Collecting the Dead

Delbert Ray Houlette describes how one of his duties during combat was to collect the dead bodies of fellow soldiers and put their bodies in the beds of trucks. He remembers one incident where a soldier's eyes had opened unexpectedly while in the truck. Believing the body might be alive, he told the personnel he was getting ammunition and would try to come back to see if he was okay later. However, he was never able to return and check.



Dennis E. Hultgren

Most Difficult Aspect of Graveyard Service

Dennis E. Hultgren expresses that taking care of the dead was the most difficult aspect of his service during the war. He previously shares that his duty was to transport bodies, search them, collect their belongings, and document the findings for them to then be mailed home to the deceased soldiers' families. He recounts several deceased soldiers' wounds and one disrespectful incident carried out by a soldier underneath him.



Dick Lien

A Turk on a Mission and Losing Friends

Dick Lien describes meeting a Turkish soldier and shares that the soldier was dedicated to collecting an enemy's head every night. He recounts that the Turkish soldier would come back with the decapitated head and place it on a stake in front of his pup tent. He adds his thoughts on losing comrades while serving and states that the losses increased his anger.



Diego Dantone

Interviewing School Children in the 68th Hospital

The Italian Red Cross operated in the 68th Hospital located in a Korean school. Diego Dantone visited the school when he filmed his documentary, A Forgotten War. The atmosphere of the place was still powerful even though the school had been damaged by fire and rebuilt. As the interview ends, Diego Dantone sends his father a message that he misses him and loves him, wishing they had shared more before Sabino Dantone died.



Dimitrios Matsoukas

A Brother's Sacrifice

Dimitrios Matsoukas describes the two engagements in which his brother, George Matsoukas, fought.



"I Die For Greece"

When asked how he knows of his brothers' Korean War experience, Dimitrios Matsoukas reads from "I Die For Greece." Dimitrios Matsoukas reads the story of the battle in which his brother gave his life.



Remembering a Hero

Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a photo of himself and one of his sisters. In 2001, he and his sister participated in the Korea Revisit Program and found the name of their brother, George Matsoukas, inscribed on the Korean war Memorial wall in Seoul.



Battle Map

Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a battle map of the hill on which his brother, George Matsoukas, gave his life.



Homecoming

Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a newspaper article that shows his father and eldest sister standing over the repatriated coffin of their brother, George Matsoukas.



Dirk J. Louw

Day He Was Supposed To Leave

In September of 1953, Johannes J. E. Louw was scheduled to leave Korea. After reporting to the airport, he was told he could not leave and had to return to his base. He had already given away all his personal belongings including his two dogs. The two dogs were skinned by the time he returned, a difficult situation for him as he considered them his friends during this isolated time.



Don McCarty

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.



Donald Dempster

Why the Forgotten War?

Donald Dempster believes that since the Korean War was after WWII, the American public had enough of war. He further feels that the Korean War has been forgotten by the public because it was not reported by US media as much as other wars. He acknowledges that recruitment was not as large during the Korean War as it was during WWII.



Donald Lynch

Legacy of the Korean War

Donald Lynch recalls not learning much about Korea in school. He thinks the Korean War was one of the greatest efforts put forth by the United States as it was an effort to stem the growth of world Communism. He believes the war's effects continue to resonate today. He speaks about many of the atrocities that the Koreans have had to face, including the invasions by Japan. He shares how impressed he is by the successes of Korea today.



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.



Injuries and Difficult Experiences

Donald Lynch talks about being injured twice. He recalls going on a patrol one day on Hill 812 and the lead man stepping on a "Bouncing Betty" release-type booby trap. He recounts how all eight to ten men were hit by pellets. He shares how a pellet hit his thigh and came out about 50 years later when he was messing with it. He notes another injury which entailed a bayonet. He recalls of his war experience occurring in the Punchbowl region, close to the 38th parallel. He references witnessing all of the wounded men leaving the frontlines when he first arrived as his most difficult experience in Korea. He also recalls assisting the sewing of wounds.



Donald St. Louis

Mortar Shrapnel Wounds

Donald St. Louis elaborates on his wound from mortar shrapnel while stationed in Korea. He was in Korea for a majority of the war while healing in the military hospital. He mentions how he is unaware of how prosperous Korea has become.



Donald Stemper

Importance of Topography:Life or Death

Don Stemper pulls out a map a map and uses it to explain the importance of topography. These skills proved that the tiny details could mean the difference between life and death, winning, or losing the war effort. He says accuracy is so importance during war.



Doug Mitchell

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.



Earl A. House

Stopping Communism and the Most Difficult Moment in the War

Earl House describes why he felt the U.S. intervened in Korea and believes it was to stop the spread of Communism. He recalls one of the most difficult times was when there was an accidental discharge of an allied weapon in the trenches. He remembers being physically and mentally distraught and being moved to a jeep patrol to drive officials up to the front lines.



Ed Donahue

On the Frontlines at Yudamni

Ed Donahue recalls being woken up by the sound of bugles early in the morning on November 28, 1950. He describes how the Chinese soldiers were attempting to take over the area, and he remembers being told by his officers to just keep shooting. He shares how this lasted until dawn for multiple nights. He recalls how once the sun went down, the enemy fire started again. He remembers the troops kept coming and coming, at a ratio of at least ten Chinese to every one American. He remembers losing many of his comrades. He comments on how cold it was and adds that they were forced to urinate on their guns to keep the firing mechanisms from freezing.



Edmund W. Parkinson

Wounded on the Battlefield

Edmund Parkinson describes his role as a forward observer in the 161st Battery Regiment. He details providing targets and fire orders and acknowledges that he was often in dangerous positions on the front lines. He recounts the incident where a mortar landed near him which wounded both of his legs and being transported to Japan where his left leg was amputated below the knee.



Eduardo Sanchez, Jr.

Flashbacks and Nightmares

Eduardo Sanchez is describing the loss of men when they were seeking for mines. The mine seekers actually hit a mine and members of the navy who were on the three boats lost their lives. For years after the explosion, he continued to have flashbacks and nightmares of the event. This event is forever in his memory and has impacted his life overall.



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 Mastronardi

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.



The Enemy Was Wearing Panchos

Edward Mastronardi described how the Chinese stole ponchos worn by the Americans and they found an American machine gun that they were planning to use in order to fire on the Royal Canadian Regiment. Edward Mastronardi also described a machine gunner named Jack Sergeant who single handedly held off the Chinese. Snipers within in his company took down 5 Chinese in a row trying to take over the enemy who were taking the machine guns and they were awarded for their efforts.



"Let's Go You Bastards, You Can't Live Forever!"

Within 100+ yards of their objective to attack the Chinese at Hilltop 187 near Samich'on River, Edward Mastronardi described how close the shells were from the tops of their heads, but it didn't stop their advancements since the shrapnel flew forward not putting them in any immediate danger. Edward Mastronardi held his 9 mm gun in his hand and waived it in the air shouting to his men, "Let's go you bastards, you can't live forever!" Bravely charging ahead, breaking the Chinese hold without losing a single man, Edward Mastronardi fought the Chinese at Hill 187.



"Canada boy, tonight you die!"

Before the Battle of Song-gok Spur, a Chinese Company Commander walked straight up to the front line and leaned over and said, "Canada boy, tonight you die!" To which Edward Mastronardi replied, "Come and get us you SOB!" which was documented in the Canadian documentary 28 Heroes. They located the company Commander in Beijing after the war to interview about this event. The battle resulted in only 6 Canadian deaths.



Edward Redmond

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.



Edwin R. Hanson

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.



The Chosin Reservoir Being Overrun at Kor-'o-ri

The first Chinese Edwin Hanson encountered at Kor-'o-ri was at night about 5 meters away. The enemy was carrying a Thompson submachine gun and it missed Edwin Hanson after firing 2 rounds at him. Flares were thrown into the sky to detect the location of the enemy and that's when Edwin Hanson (at the time he was on top of a hill looking down at their camp) discovered there were 5 Chinese at their tents. 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. Edwin Hanson ended up saving Ralph Gastelum's life when he threw those grenades because it gave Ralph Gastelum time to get out of the fox hole and run to the top of the hill.



The Dead and Their Affects on PTSD

Ralph Gastelum described the number of bodies on the battlefield. They laid as far as the eye could see; both the enemy and their fallen comrades were frozen the way they had fell. There was a bulldozer that was shoveling North Korean soldiers bodies and covering them up. The moaning and the groaning at night just got to them both and built bitterness most US soldiers have for warfare. Edwin Hanson leaned over to point at his wife to recall what happens to him both awake and asleep, but they have learned to cope with it.



Eleftherios Tsikandilakis

Scars From the Korean War

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis suffered many injures during the Korean War. A grenade went off right by his face and he experienced pain and scaring to his right cheek. A military artillery shell blew up right by him and he almost lost his right leg and arm.



Ernest J. Berry

"Pronounced Dead, the Continuing Tick of his Watch"

Ernest J. Berry wrote a book called "The Forgotten War" in 2000 to commemorate his experiences. The message of the book is that war was devastating and should be avoided. Invasion is unjustified. Ernest J. Berry describes Korea as a second home and laments the many lives lost in the conflict. He then reads poems from his book, Forgotten War, providing poignant vignettes of the Korean War.



Service in Korea

Ernest J. Berry describes helping in delivering a baby during war. He also describes becaming ill during an attack and was rescued from a foxhole by an American M.A.S.H. unit. He was treated in the M.A.S.H. hospital and flown to Japan, where he watched many soldiers die from what he later learned was a hantavirus known as Korean hemorrhagic fever. Overall, he felt he had to go to help the people of Korea.



Eugene Buckley

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.



Eusebio Santiago

Loss in the Defense of Democracy

Eusebio Santiago describes the loss of a couple of fellow soldiers. The men were never found in their defense of South Korea. The soldiers of Puerto Rico were defending democracy, defending an attacked country. Eusebio Santiago describes defending against communism.



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.



Forrest D. Claussen

Questioning Orders

Forrest Claussen shares his thoughts on the life lessons he learned from his military service. He centers his focus on questioning authority and standing up for one's self as he recalls two particular situations which rendered personal loss and physical harm. He also cautions against trusting all one is told.



Winter Clothing from Home

Forrest Claussen recounts cold winter nights in Korea and shares a story about receiving winter clothing from home. He recalls writing home to his mother, asking for additional winter clothing as the military had not issued winter clothing yet. He recounts receiving the clothing, only to be ordered to discard it as other men in his group did not have access to the same. He describes digging a hole and placing the clothing inside in hopes that South Korean civilians would find and utilize his discarded items.



Frank Bewley

Losing a Pilot

Frank Bewley shares what it was like to lose the pilot assigned to his squadron. He remembers feeling “lost” when his aircraft was gone. He also explains how he knew the pilot’s story so it was really hard to know that he was gone.



Frank Zielinski

Surrounded on "The Frozen Chosin"

Frank Zielinski trained as a machine gunner and landed at Incheon with General MacArthur. One of his friends drowned clambering over the side of the ship to go ashore. Another died in Incheon when North Koreans attacked their encampment as they slept. The soldiers lived in trenches on the front lines, sometimes without proper equipment. At times, his division was surrounded by North Koreans and Chinese.



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.



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.



Frederick Marso

Sacrifice for the Future

Frederick Marso reflects on his pride towards his service and efforts in the Korean War. He elaborates on how well South Korea has done for itself. He reflects on the sacrifices close friends made during their time in Korea together.



Gene C. Richards

Avoiding the Final Mission

Gene C. Richards earned 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters in addition to his Air Medal. He was one mission away from earning his fifth. He was determined to make one last mission, however, last minute was convinced not to make the attempt. Gene C. Richards describes how he is grateful to not have taken that mission due to that plane being shot down.



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 Enice Lawhon Jr.

PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans

George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.



George Geno

Working Hard to Stay Afloat During the Great Depression

It would be unfathomable for student in high school today to know how hard kids during the Depression had to work to earn money. George Geno said that most farmers couldn't pay you, but they wanted to give you food. He helped farmers, trapped musk rats, and raised calves. In 8-10 months, he sold the bull and that's the money he lived on and saved to buy his first car. George Geno was also given a nanny goat and a kid which he used to start his own goat farm while attending high school.



Stringing Popcorn on Christmas During the Depression

Because George Geno lived in the country, he avoided seeing a lot of the soup lines and problems in the cities, but the farms had a share of their own poverty. People would work in the field or paint your barn just to get food. They didn't have anything, but they didn't know any better. They would string popcorn to decorate the Christmas tree. To keep watermelon and their soda pop cool, families would put them in the draining ditch to act as a refrigerator. You couldn't buy tire outright, but you could buy the boots to use inside the tire. Toys weren't available, so they handmade everything including their bow and arrows for hunting pheasants, squirrel, and duck.



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.



R&R, Hitchhiking, and Trench Injuries, Oh My!

After reenlisting in the military in March 7, 1954, George Bruzgis was given a 30 day leave and 7 day R&R in Japan, but he had difficulty getting back to Korea since the French were fighting in Indochina.
After finally being shipped to Pusan, he had to hitchhike for 3 days to get back to his unit. George Bruzgis would rest/sleep along his hike by signing paper work that would allow him to eat and sleep before moving to the next Army unit and so forth. After he met up with his division, he fell into a trench and injured his knees for 2 weeks.



George P. Wolf

Nobody Believed Us

George Wolf encountered Chinese troops early in the war while performing reconnaissance as a Mosquito pilot in February 1951. He reported many times about Chinese presence, but he felt they were ignored. In late October through early November 1951, George Wolf saw thousands of Chinese cross the Cheonggyecheon River, so he reported this information to the US intelligence officers, but they did not believe that the Chinese were fighting in the Korean War.



George Sullivan

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.



The Most Severe Battle

George Sullivan shares he lost a cousin at the Battle at Heartbreak Ridge. He remembers digging a trench and crawling into it. He recalls not being able to move the next morning and shares he ended up with malaria. He recounts how he healed after a short hospital stay and returned to the front lines.



Gerald Edward Ballow

The Training Changed Completely

Gerald Ballow knew at the beginning of July 1950 that US troops were going to enter Korea after North Koreans invaded South Korea, so training started to change. Even though he volunteered to go, Gerald Ballow was asked to stay behind at GHQ to assist. He shares how it felt to find out that his friend was killed in combat.



Gerald Land

Bayonet Checks "Across His Neck"

Gerald Land admitted he had never heard of Korea before he was sent and he described his Marine friend, Bill Carroll, of Fox Company, who Gerald Land thought had been wiped out at the "Frozen Chosin." Bill Carroll managed to survive after being shot by laying on the ground pretending to be dead during "bayonet checks". His friend recalled the bayonet sliding across his neck, but he survived and woke up on the hospital ship even though he wanted to go back with his Company. A soldiers' best advice was, "don't get captured!"



Live or Come Home In A Box

Gerald Land described how long the journey was from California to Japan which was a total of 14 days. When he arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they were picking up more soldiers to take to Korea and he stumbled upon an old high school friend (yelling down from the top of the ship to the deck). They had some time to talk about why he was in Japan, and his friend said he had gone AWOL while in the Air Force because of a girl he wanted to be with in Japan, but was located and brought to trial. He was given a choice: go to Fort Leavenworth to serve a 4-year sentence or be sent to Korea with the 40th Division. "Live and your record is wiped clean or come home in a box."



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.



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.



Gerald Spandorf

Traveling with the Navy

Gerald Spandorf loved when his ship was in port because the sailors were able to walk around different countries. In Germany, the Germans asked him his name and they loved him because he had a strong German name. Gerald Spandorf told them that the Germans didn't like his family because his parents and grandparents are jews.



Gilbert Hauffels

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.



Girma Mola Endeshaw

Not Heroic

Girma Mola Endeshaw describes the complications of Ethiopia after the Korean War. Communists came into power in 1974 in Ethiopia. The government stripped Korean War veterans of many of their possessions. This is because the veterans participated in a war to defeat communism. Still, to this day, South Korea helps the veterans, not Ethiopia.



Gordon H. McIntyre

Contemporary Issues

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."



Grace Ackerman

Speaking About War: A Healing Process

Grace Ackerman feels that the Korean War Legacy Foundation is important because it allows the veterans to speak about their experiences during the Korean War. Students and future generations will also be able to gain knowledge from the interviews. Experiences such as the cold weather, being away from family, and personal experiences endured during the Korean War.



PTSD: Iraq and Afghan War Veterans

Grace Ackerman goes to the veterans' hospital in Syracuse, New York with the Auxillery group to help in the healing process. Her group is not officially there to help veterans from the Iraq and Afghan War overcome their Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), but they are there to listen when the veterans need it. Older war veterans have had time to heal and process their experiences, whereas the young veterans are still finding their way. Grace Ackerman believes that veterans' hospitals should be doing more to address PTSD in our young veterans.



Graham L. Hughes

Loss of Sailors and Shingles

Graham Hughes lost three sailors while he was stationed in the East Sea. None of the sailors died in combat, but all their lives clearly had an impact on him. He discovered one of the sailors who hanged himself. After getting shingles, he was sent to an island in Japan for Rest and Relaxation (R and R).



Haralambos Theodorakis

Near-Death Experiences

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.



Harold Bill Christenson

The Loss of Friends

Harold Christenson describes moving towards the fronts lines, escorted by ROK soldiers, and the fear he felt hearing small arms fire and artillery and seeing the flashes associated with the weapon fire as his company pressed inland near the mountains. He shares that within the first two months of arrival, the friends he went to Korea with were gone. With sorrow, he recounts the loss of one friend when his company was overrun by the Chinese at Gibraltar and remembers the injuries another friend sustained from a landmine.



A Bad Part of War

Harold Christenson describes being promoted to Platoon Sergeant and having to assign men every other week to go on patrol. He shares of his attempt to be fair with the men by rotating their assignment to the duty. He describes one particular assignment where a soldier, despite nearing his rotation home, insisted that he take his turn patrolling, and he was killed while on duty.



Harold Huff

From Draft to Deployment

Harold Huff recalls being drafted, discusses his training in Georgia, and comments on his deployment and duties in the war. He shares how tough it was to leave his new bride and child behind. He remembers being pulled off of the ship and stationed in Japan where he repaired airplane radios coming back from Korea.



Harry Hawksworth

Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River

Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American US troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.



The Battle of the Imjin River 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.



Henri Socquet

Hard to Forget

When asked if he was still bothered by the scenes of death, Henri Socquet responds with “absolutely.” However, he recently was at meeting of Korean War veterans and met a man who had been injured by a grenade while in combat and Henri Socquet had helped save. He remembers the night that this happened as well as many other times since they are hard to forget.



Henry T. Pooley

Shelling

Henry T Pooley describes when he was shelled in his bunk near Hill 355. The Chinese artillery attack left him dazed and two comrades wounded. Henry miraculously wasn't wounded.



Herbert Schreiner

Loss of a Brother in Korea

Herbert Schreiner details his brother's death while serving in the infantry in Korea. He recounts that his brother was killed by a landmine and recalls his body being delivered back to America in a bag. He shares that the news of his brother's fate was hard to deal with at the time and that it still weighs on him to this day as he and his brother were very close.



Herbert Werner

Refugees During War

Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.



The Chosin Reservoir Brotherhood

Herbert Werner states that conditions at the Chosin Reservoir were terrible due to confusion, miscommunication, and constant attacks by the enemy. He recalls U.S. soldiers were given insufficient clothing, and they avoided taking them off to relieve themselves. He shares that he never knew if or when their next warm meal would come. He speaks of the bond of brotherhood at Chosin and recounts never knew what was going to happen next.



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.



Herman H. Holtkamp

Losing a Friend on Your Shoulder

Herman Holtkamp explains how difficult life on the front lines could be as you could be shot at very quickly by the Chinese who were “much quicker than the Koreans.” He says that they lost a lot of lives, including two medics. He recalls how he carried on of his comrades on his shoulders, but he didn’t survive and passed away as Herman Holtkamp was carrying him.



Homer Garrett

Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives

Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.



Hong Berm Hur

Recognition Not Going Unnoticed

Hong Berm Hur mentioned the gratitude the Republic of Korea has for the soldiers that sacrificed so much by honoring them with the Distinguished Ambassador for Peace Medal. He went on to share that during World War II, no countries ever thanked the US soldiers for extending their efforts to help rid the world of dictators. Hong Berm Hur believes that recognition and the sacrifice of soldiers should be done around the world.



Howard Ballard

Pusan Perimeter

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.



Hussen Mohammed Omar

Atonement for Father's Killing

Hussen Mohammed Omar describes why he joined the military. Ethiopia was invaded by the Italians during the 1930's. His father imprisoned and later killed for causing problems. He wanted to help protect other families from his experience.



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.



Ibrahim Yalςinkaya

Vegas Front

Ibrahim Yalςinkaya describes the horrific conditions of fighting along the Vegas Front. The Turkish fighters were under fire for two days and nights. Most of the men that fought did not survive the fighting. Roughly sixty three out of the one hundred and ninety seven men survived. Many of the men who perished are unaccounted for.



Sorrow of War

Ibrahim Yalςinkaya describes a sorrow for fighting in war. The Nevada Front was very fierce. He describes a sadness for fighting. Killing someone is very hard on a person's soul. Ibrahim Yalςinkaya lost many friends in Korea.



Sorrow for Friends Lost

Ibrahim Yalςinkaya describes returning to Korea in 2005. He went to a Korean War Memorial and looked for his friends' names, which many were missing. He wishes there was no war. Many people lost their lives and he wishes for "healthy days, days without war."



Iluminado Santiago

Nightmares

Iluminado Santiago remembers places but not always their names. Memories of injured men plague him. Other memories cause him to value the good fortune of people in the United States.



Inga-Britt Jagland

Nurse Work

Inga-Britt Jagland describes her work as a nurse. Originally, she worked in the tuberculosis ward. However, the Red Cross started to take UN soldiers fighting in the North. These men were only there for two or three days before evacuated to Japan. A nurse would work from 6am to 10pm, caring for men that had serious injuries. Some men would panic and need restraint from other marines.



Big Love in Busan

Inga-Britt Jagland describes meeting her future husband in war-torn Busan. She met him at a Swedish spring festival. He slipped her vodka and orange juice. He was a driver taking people back to their villages for the Red Cross.



Jack Allen

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.



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.



Frozen Bodies and Paralyzed Limbs

Jack Allen was sent to an Army hospital in Japan and he stayed there for 7-10 days until he was shipped to a Naval hospital where Marines were supposed to be sent. When he walked in there, there were over 100 frozen bodies that lost arms, legs, and/or toes. Thankfully, a neurosurgeon performed surgery to help get feeling back in his arm while at the Naval base. Jack Allen was sent back to the US in February 1951.



James Butcher

The Loss of a Close Friend During the Battle of Triangle Hill

James Butcher fought during the battle of Triangle Ridge/Hill. On Oct. 18, 1952, he charged up one specific section of the ridge that included Jane Russell Hill to fight the Chinese. Unfortunately, his friend was killed right next to him as they were taking out Chinese trenches.



A Close Encounter with a Chinese Soldier

James Butcher went face-to-face with a Chinese soldier as he was fighting for Triangle Hill. The Chinese soldier was getting ready to throw a grenade at the US troops and he became scared when he saw James Butcher in the trench with him. After a long pause, James Butcher took down the enemy trench.



James Ferris

Keeping the Memory of the Korean War Veterans Alive

James Ferris shares about his daily work to keep the memory of the Korean War alive, honor the fallen soldiers, and celebrate all the accomplishments of South Korea. He explains as the state and then national Korean War Veteran Association President, he strives to reach out to all the Korean War defense veterans (soldiers after 1954) who have served at the DMZ. He expresses that the longevity of the Korean War legacy is with the next generation.



James H. Raynor

Hand Grenade to the Groin

James H. Raynor describes his first wound during the Korean War. He suffered from a hand grenade to his groin. He describes how he endured this wound without treatment, barely managing to walk.



James Hillier

Serving Despite Skin Grafts

James Hollier describes his aircraft being hit three times. He details a time when he was burned so badly that he needed skin grafts, recovering over a 15 month period. He describes the importance of getting back on his feet to continue serving his country.



James Houp

Incheon Landing

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.



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.



Joan Taylor

Korean War Soldiers Returning Home

Joan Taylor's first husband came back home early from the war due to a death in the family. His father passed away and his mother was left to run a business, but she needed help. Joan Taylor's first husband was stationed as an Army Security Agent (ASA), so he did not participate in any fighting, but he recalled the bombs dropping and hiding in the bunkers at night.



Joe Lopez

Crawling Around On The Floor Due to PTSD

Joe Lopez recalled growing up with a brother who suffered greatly from the Korean War. He remembered that after his brother came back from the Korean War, he would crawl around on his hands and knees in the house and hide in the bushes outside due to PTSD. His brother, Antonio Lopez, spoke of being heavily armored and he made attempts to slow down the assault, but the Chinese just kept coming by the thousands and he couldn't get it out of his mind. Antonio Lopez died homeless and an alcoholic to hide the pain from the Korean War.



Joe Rosato

Bad Ankle Injury

Joe Rosato recalled that while fighting near the Yalu River, he, his sergeant, and a lieutenant were ordered to take out a machine gun nest using the 57-recoilless rifle. Not soon after their assigned task to take out the gunnery, they were ordered to quickly get down the road and regroup in no particular order. They were to just move as quickly as they could. Joe Rosato was carrying the rifle when his foot was wedged between rocks and he fell in a hole while twisting his ankle so bad he couldn't walk on it. He had to abandoned his rifle and limp as fast as he could to meet up with this regiment, but they lost a lot of men that day.



The Most Difficult Conditions Were Being Constantly Cold and Wet

Joe Rosato described that in most places around Korea, it wasn't safe to walk around. During the winter months, the scariest times were when they lived in the fox holes and it rained so much that it would fill the fox holes with water. Sleeping in a foot of water made Joe Rasato fear that he would freeze to death or drowned, so they had to make the choice to stay where they were or sleep outside the fox hole and risk getting shot.



John Blankenship

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 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.



The Dreaded Stacking System and Plane Configuration

John Cumming's plane would have to go into a stacking system if there were too many planes waiting to land at the same time and that was very stressful to the flight crew along with the injured soldiers. A scary time was when he had to fly napalm from Japan, but he had to go higher which caused the napalm canisters to shrink to the size of cigars due to heightened air pressure.



John Davie

Stories from Friends in Combat

John Davie recalls stories he heard about Korea from childhood friends. He received a letter from a friend who was fighting in Korea in 1953. This friend told him he was lucky to not be in Korea, that it was a cold, and a tough time. He had another friend who was wounded as a paratrooper in Korea. That friend lost part of one of his leg calves in gunfire and didn't talk much about his experience beyond that. Korea seemed so distant to him, but many of his friends were affected directly.



John Juby

Losing a Friend on the Front Line

John Juby shares his experience of losing a close friend who died on the front line after being hit by an incoming mortar. He explains having to wrap up the body and take it the American Graves Registration Service. He describes the scene of the location of where the deceased bodies of soldiers were dropped off.



John O. Every

The Terrible Cold and Frostbite

John O. Every talks about being in combat near the Chosin Reservoir, and being evacuated due to extreme frostbite. He recalls seeing airplanes drop supplies, and recounts the tough losses of fighting. He explains being evacuated and taken to various hospitals for recovery.



John T. “Sonny” Edwards

Life on the Base and in the Brotherhood

John T. "Sonny" Edwards gives a brief description of the base in South Korea where he was stationed in 1957, south of the DMZ. He recalls always being on alert to respond if a siren went off at the DMZ. He discusses his personal admiration for military service and the distinctive brotherhood that comes with being a member of the armed forces. He describes his sentiment toward serving the United States and his strong feelings toward the symbol of the American Flag.



John Tobia

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".



War Experiences and Its Side Effects

John Tobia shares just how difficult war was and how he was not sure he would make it out alive. He recalls troops from Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as others who fought hard. He talks about suffering from battlefield fatigue, similar to PTSD, and recognized that he was not well mentally. He remembers being offered a promotion by his commanding officer but declined it so he could go home.



John Turner

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.



Everyday Life in Korea

John Turner talks about what it was like to sleep and eat in Korea. They slept in sleeping bags inside two-man tents and would receive one hot meal a week; other than that, they ate rations. He recalls the weather not being as cold as it was up north. They were occasionally allowed to shower. He recalls writing letters to his wife when he could.



Joseph De Palma

Family Serving in Korea at the Same Time

Joseph De Palma describes visiting with his cousin who was also serving in Korea at the same time with the 1st Marine Division. He explains that he and his cousin grew up together since they were toddlers and he was very happy that he was able to locate him. He explains that he later received a letter from his sister saying that his cousin had been shot and had returned home but died from complications from his injuries.



Joseph F. Gibson

"All Hell Broke Loose"

Joseph F. Gibson describes having to protect seventeen injured patients who were under his care in the medic tent as the Chinese broke the line. He explains how his unit was only fourteen miles from the Chinese border. He explains how he was told that the war would be over soon since they had pushed all the way through North Korea. He describes how the Chinese joined the North Koreans and how he took a lot of incoming fire in order to hold his tent safe from invasion. He shares how many Chinese were captured by the US and the loss of a Catholic priest.



Joseph Lawrence Annello

Terrible Medical Conditions

After being seriously wounded, Joseph Annello was taken to a Chinese medical unit where he met up with several severely wounded prisoners of war. He describes the terrible conditions, including maggots and gangrene. He shares how he and others buried a soldier in a kimchi pit.



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.



Joseph T. Wagener

Chinese Spring Offensive of 1951

Joseph Wagener describes battles he was involved in as part of the Belgian Battalion in 1951. He was involved in defending against the Chinese during their Spring Offensive. His battalion was attacked and held the rear while others retired. Later, his unit replaced a British brigade at the Battle of the Imjin River that suffered heavy Chinese attacks.



Joseph Wagener

Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion

Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.



Keith G. Hall

Slippery Slopes and Minefields

Keith G. Hall describes the dangers of defusing anti-personnel mines, as they included both trip wires and three-prong detonation features. In one instance, a sergeant working with him slipped on a slope and exploded a mine. His body was thrown onto another mine, which Keith G. Hall had to deactivate in hopes of saving the sergeant.



Keith Nutter

Coping

Keith Nutter recollects on losing a dear friend while in Korea. Although he mourned later at home, in the moment he couldn't shed a tear. He describes what funeral services were like while serving in Korea.



Kenneth Borchers

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.



Kenneth F. Dawson

The Children Prayed for Him

Kenneth F. Dawson describes an incident in which he heard cries for help on the front lines. A soldier had been hit and needed a stretcher. As he reached the soldiers who had called, a mortar hit them. Upon return to his truck, he discovered bullet holes in the door. Kenneth Dawson attributes his survival to the children of Niue Island.



Hill 355: Death and Danger

Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.



Seoul Was a Dead Place

Kenneth F. Dawson describes the cruelty of Chinese soldiers and their murder of a Korean woman as they retreated from a battle. He recounts the destruction that took place in Seoul. He is proud to have served the Korean people and asks to join a group of veterans returning to Korea for the 70th anniversary celebration.



Lawrence A. Bacon

"I'm a People Person"

When asked about the hardest thing about being in Korea, Lawrence Bacon says that it was difficult to see people's homes and livelihoods destroyed. He says that he is a "people person" so this was especially hard. He says that he was there because he didn't have a choice.



Leonard Laconia

The Chinese Were Smart, But Napalm Was Stronger

When Leonard Laconia's air squadron went on "strafing" missions, the Chinese were smart to just lie down flat on the ground to keep from getting shot which was a great defense tactic. Leonard Laconia's group responded by dropping napalm which wiped out most of the Chinese troops. He described that one canister of napalm would cover the diameter of a football field spreading across consuming the oxygen in the air and heat would rise under the plane. The Chinese wore thick heavy coats during the winter and the napalm would just stick to it aiding in the burning of bodies.



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.



Leonard Nicholls

Enemy Ambush: Dealing with Death in the Field

Leonard Nicholls heard machine gun fire while on patrol one night. The next day he learned that a captain and radio operator had been killed in an ambush. He talks about dealing with their deaths.



Leonard R. Stanek

The Armistice

Leonard Stanek describes where and when he learned about the Armistice signing. He suffered a head injury and medivacked to a hospital ship and learned about the Armistice when he woke up from injury or exhaustion. A week later, after his injury, Leonard Stanek rejoined his unit. Upon returning, he learned about the loss of a buddy that was helping retrieve wounded.



Lewis Ebert

The Fierce Drive From the Chinese in November 1950

During Thanksgiving in November 1950, the Chinese entered the Korean War and pushed their troops down into Seoul. In January 1951, Lewis Ebert's troops were told to evacuate the Air Base in Taegu, but 10 airmen had to remain, so Lewis Ebert stayed. After the United Nations troops retook Seoul, Lewis Ebert was told to be a liaison in Pusan at the large gas depot.



Lloyd Pitman

Enlisting in the U S Army

Lloyd Pitman had three brothers serve in World War II.  One of his brothers was killed in action so his parents did not want him to serve at the age of 17 when he wanted to enlist. Therefore he waited and enlisted in the Korean War at the age of 18.



Louis F. Santangelo

The Sinking of the USS Sarsi

Louis Santangelo describes the details of the sinking of the USS Sarsi, a fleet tug that was part of the US Navy's 7th Fleet. The USS Sarsi struck a mine during a typhoon and sank in 20 minutes on the night of August 27, 1952. Louis Santangelo describes being one of the last men off the ship and eventually saving 37 men from the sea.



Recovery from the USS Sarsi

Louis Santangelo describes the time after the USS Sarsi sank off the coast of Korea. The area where the USS Sarsi sank was controlled by North Korea. He describes that four sailors perished and how he was recovered in the hours after the sinking by other US ships. Louis Santangelo earned accommodation for keeping his men at sea, instead of allowing them to go ashore into enemy hands.



Louis Joseph Bourgeois

The 426 RCAF Squadron

Louis Bourgeois played an important role in the 426 RCAF Squadron during the Korean War. On return trips to his military base, the aircraft brought back wounded soldiers. Their route to Asia typically started in Washington State before going to Alaska, and then onto Japan.



The Importance of Pilots During the Korean War

Louis Bourgeois also had 6 North Star Aircraft that went into Korea while others went to Japan. After the war, the planes were brought back to Canada to continue their airlift duties. He is so proud to be the president of the 426 Squadron to support fellow veterans who fought during the Korean War.



Maples and Metcalf

Shemya Island

Shemya Island has lights out on the runway on the right side, so pilots had to make sure that they didn't miss the small runway. This runway was near the Bering Sea, so it was very dangerous for the pilots. The runway was only 4 x5 miles long.



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.



Post -War Readjustment

Marion Burdette was walking in front of his vehicle when multiple land mines killed Army soldiers in his regiment. After clearing the land mines in the area, he was able to set up the howitzer guns to engage in warfare. The impact of war on his life was that he felt that he needed to traveled the US to release his stress. He decided to reenlist in the Army for 3 years, but it was hard to readjust to life back in the United States.



Martin Rothenberg

First Impressions of Korea

The train ride from Pusan to Seoul was incredible. Martin Rothenberg saw so much beauty on the trip, particularly with the rice crops. While the rice crops were in their stages of growing, the vistas of patterns within the fields was beautiful. Poverty was all around, especially at Seoraksan Peak where people were living in cardboard straw-thatched-roofed homes. The villages always smelled because the sewage laid in a trench that ran through the middle of the street.



Civilians' Lives in Poverty-Stricken Villages

Martin Rothenberg was stationed at the base of a mountain during the winter of 1954 near a village that was poverty-stricken. This village had a wood-burning flute that ran under the houses to keep the floors warm and the villagers slept on the floor. He also saw a round stone based where the villagers had planted colored flowers. Martin Rothenberg thought that it was nice the way South Koreans took the time to make their homes special.



Marvin Denton

Losing Buddies Was The Hardest Experience

Marvin Denton described times when he lost members of his unit. One solider was walking between two companies and he was killed by a mine. Gun shots fired in the middle of the night when soldiers had discovered someone was killed. Another soldier survived a shell that hit his helmet, missing death by inches, and a different soldier, who had lied to his parents, telling them everything was okay, was bombed after an ambush. Marvin Denton were extremely thankful he lived through the experience and he feels we live in the greatest country in the world despite all of our problems.



Seoul: A Sad Sight

Marvin Denton recalled the hardships many Korean people faced during the Korean War. Men and women yoked with long poles carrying heavy buckets filled with sewage (honey pots).
Groups of children ransacked the soldiers for anything they had (pencils, papers, etc.). Marvin Denton felt so sorry for the civilians in South Korea.



Marvin Dunn

I Would Do It Again

Marvin Dunn explains he would have done it all over again (serve in the Korean War) despite having lost his left leg and left eye in combat. He describes the great accomplishment of attaining both a Bachelor's as well as a Master's degree in four years. He goes on to describe his professional life, future academic pursuits and his family. He explains that he would not change anything about his time in Korea because if he had to live his life all over again he would probably "foul it up."



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.



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.



Mayo Kjellsen

Wounded in Korean War

Mayo Kjellsen was wounded twice during the Korean War. He was hit by shrapnel in his knee and the other shot blew him out of his bunker. After his second injury, he was sent to a hospital ship in the harbor and was taken to Japan for rehab. After 6 months of healing, Mayo Kjellsen was sent back to the US to finish his time in the military.



Mehmet Arif Boran

Tape and a Coke

Mehmet Arif Boran describes being injured from artillery shrapnel. The artillery shell hit a tree and exploded overhead instead of on his position. The doctors were able to pull out his shrapnel in about five minutes. They put some numbing tape on his wound and gave him a Coke. He reported back with his unit. However, two fellow soldiers were not so lucky. They had pretty serious injuries and Mehmet Arif Boran could not even go see them.



A State of Misery

Mehmet Arif Boran describes the fighting in the Vegas Complex and the state of the Korean people. He describes how when the Turks surrendered Vegas Hill, injured troops were in the valley. Dead bodies started to stink. The Chinese would not let the Turkish soldiers recover their injured and dead.



Melese Tessema

Fear and Commitment in Battle

Melese Tessema acknowledges feeling afraid as he joined the fighting in the Korean War, but he asserts that soldiers cannot allow fear to interfere with a mission. He arrived in Kumhwa and fought the Chinese on Hill 358. Shrapnel from a mortar shell injured his leg during the fighting. Melese Tessema received Korean, Ethiopian, and United States awards, including the United States bronze star.



Chinese Artillery Barrage

Melese Tessema considers the Battle of Triangle Hill Battle his most dangerous experience. His platoon had just arrived at their location and thus had not yet dug many trenches. The Ethiopian soldiers had the high ground, but large numbers of Chinese approached. The Chinese had difficulty climbing in the steep terrain. Still, he lost fellow soldiers, including his dearest friend. Melese Tessema and the other platoon officers spoke English, but soldiers from the lower ranks did not, creating language barriers across groups. At one point his platoon provided machine gun support to Korean forces nearby. After fighting ended, their only hope was to communicate in sign language.



Melvin Colberg

Impressions of Korea in the 1960s

Melvin Colberg recalls his impressions of Korea in the 1960s during his service, a perspective which centers on the years between the war-ravaged Korea of the 1950s and today's modern Korea. He recounts that infrastructure was still in the development stage as there were many dirt roads at the time and few factories present. No large farming equipment as water buffalo were mainly used in the agricultural setting along with a few rototillers here and there. Most people were still poor, living in one-room houses heated through the floor, and many civilians still wore traditional Korean clothing.



Merle Degler

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 in the Iron Triangle in Jan. 1953

Merle Degler was stationed in the Iron Triangle and he fought along with the US Marines who had be run off an important hill by fighting the Chinese. He went to White Horse Hill right after a battle like WWI trenches right at the front line. After he had been in a bunker for a while, a soldier took him out of the trench towards no-man's-land, and he was taken to a field full of dead Chinese soldiers.



Morris J. Selwyn

Rude Soldiers at the American PX

Morris Selwyn's memories of his time in Korea do not involve any direct fighting during his service. Rather, he describes losing a fellow solider and friend to the Asian flu. Another particularly troubling memory is the way U.S. soldiers treated Korean women. While visiting an American PX, he disliked the way U.S. soldiers made rude demands on the Korean women. He has never forgiven the Americans for their behavior.



Neal C. Taylor

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.



Necdet Yazıcıoğlu

Vegas Complex

Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the conditions of the war at the Vegas Complex. There were a series of battles that took place in May of 1953 in this area. Subsequently, the fighting was fierce. Moreover, negotiations for peace were occurring. Importantly, the battles ended in arguably a stalemate after a Chinese offensive. Further, this helped with negotiations for the United Nations



Fear Cannot Be Explained

Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes in detail what a soldier goes through in battle. Firstly, he describes that everything gets quiet. Further, you start to see your wife or parents. Meanwhile, you hear the machine gun. Subsequently, people who have grave wounds "give up the ghost."



Nelson S. Ladd

Dear John Letter

Nelson Ladd was very in love with a young lady and he planned to get engaged before deployment. However, after 6 months of being overseas, he received a letter from his fiance stating that she had met someone else. There was nothing he could do being 7,000 miles away from home, and by the time he had returned, she was already married to someone else.



Operation X-Ray- The Libby Bridge Construction

Nelson Ladd was the surveyor for the bridge constructed over Imjin River known as the Libby Bridge. The high level, steel and concrete bridge that is still intact and in use today was named after Sergeant George C. Libby of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice at Taejon, Korea. Nelson Ladd was there during the dedication by Army General Maxwell Taylor on July 4, 1953.



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.



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.



Osman Yasar Eken

Endless Memories

Osman Eken describes the constant reliving of the Korean War. He cannot shake the memories. People always ask about physical scars. However, Osman Eken's mind is impacted. The real injury is to his mind.



Patrick Vernon Hickey

Tom O'Neill

Patrick Hickey remembers losing Tom O'Neill to shrapnel. He shares how the officer in charge refused to go to check on the wounded soldier. He recalls another soldier calling the officer a coward and went himself to check on his wounded comrade. He remembers that by the time he reached Tom O'Neill, he was dead.



Paul Summers

The Costs of War

Paul Summers remembers lying down in a skirmish line and watching a truck dump dead U.S. Marines into a big hole. Tanks filled in the hole. The image still haunts him. Later, his division marched to Hagalwoori but ran into a fortified bunker controlled by the Chinese. As the division pondered their situation, a general up the road announced they would take the hill no matter what.



Pell E. Johnson

Protecting the Front Lines at Old Baldy

Pell E. Johnson understood the importance of protecting the battle lines at Old Baldy. It was difficult to drive the Chinese out of the area. He won't ever forget changing the troops out and celebrating Thanksgiving on a cold night.



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.



Why Did They Miss Me?

Percy Mohr recounts the battle in which Chinese soldiers overran his division, pushing them back to headquarters. He was standing beside a captain who was shot by the Chinese, and he pauses to wonder why he survived. During the battle, Chinese soldiers overran his artillery division. When the U.S. soldiers returned to camp, they were greeted by a surprise.



Philip Davis

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 Vatcher

Expendable Resource

Philip Vatcher was most bothered by the murder of a military officer in Korea. He witnessed an officer killed because his life was worth less than the value of a military jeep. Despite the circumstance, he understands that war is war.



Civilian Rescue

Philip Vatcher details a time when they rescued a guy on the road. This man's intestines were outside of his body. They had to clean up his intestines and wrap him up. The man's life was sparred and he kept communications with him after the war.



Phillip Olson

Death All Around While Landing in Pusan

Phillip Olson could smell the port by Pusan even before he entered the bay. Dead soldiers were still floating near the shore while dead fish also added to the smell of decay. He was shocked at the beginning because it was not what he would imagine it would look like in Korea.



Rafael Gomez Hernandez

Segregation in the US Military

Rafael Gomez Hernandez recounts the segregation in the US military at the time. He recalls squads within the 3rd Infantry Division being divided by backgrounds. He shares that there was a squad of Black soldiers, one of Puerto Rican soldiers, and two of White soldiers from the US.



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.



Reginald V. Rawls

Life Leading into the Army

Reginald Rawls grew up living in a poor section of town and he had limited options to improve his quality of life. These circumstances served as the impetus for his enlistment in the Army. He rose up the military ranks because he was respectful to everyone and he went to a lot of training.



A Strong Love for Korean Civilians

Reginald Rawls believes that the Korean War should be recognized and remembered.
That's why many people call this war, the "Forgotten War." Any extra food, he gave to the Korean civilians because most were starving. During the war, Reginald Rawls had many interactions with Korean civilians, one man was even his driver.



Richard A. Houser

The Korean War Ceasefire

Richard Houser fought until the last second to hold Porkchop Hill in the Chorwon Valley right before the ceasefire. It felt great for him when the war ended because he was able to build new trenches farther off the 38th parallel.



The Ceasefire, Korean Civilians, and the Death of a Friend

Richard Houser protected the 38th parallel throughout the winter of 1953 from a trench and Camp Casey. After the ceasefire civilians wanted to go back to their land to farm, but it was filled with mines which took the lives of many civilians.



Richard Arthur Christopher Hilton

Car Accident

Richard Hilton describes the car accident that left him blind and without smell. He explains that he also suffered a broken wrist and shoulder as well as five ribs in addition to a punctured lung and a chipped knee. He explains that the greatest loss that resulted from this accident was the loss of his fiancee who did not survive the crash. He describes his mantra: "As well as you learn to live with what you have, you also learn to live with what you don't have."



Richard Brandt

Weekly Sermons Halted After Preacher was a No-Show

Church was usually done every Sunday on the hood of a cloth-draped jeep. The preacher would hold the bible in his hand and deliver the weekly sermon. One Sunday, the soldiers were present to start the service, but the preacher wasn't there. The soldiers saw in the distance a jeep driving about 90 miles an hour up the the soldiers to tell them that the preacher had checkout out a rifle to go pheasant hunting, stepped on a land mine and was killed.



Richard Friedman

The Loss of Friends

Richard Friedman shares that losing friends was the most difficult aspect of service. He mentions losing several friends during his time in Korea. He recounts how associations to one soldier in particular over the years continues to affect his emotions.



Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.

Navy Injuries Led to Lifelong Pain

Richard Boxwell experienced lifelong injuries he incurred from his service on an aircraft carrier. A plane ran over part of his leg. Earplugs were not used on aircraft carriers during the Korean War and this led to his permanent hearing loss.



No Purple Heart

Richard Boxwell did not earn a Purple Heart for his war-related injuries. Even though he was injured doing war-related work on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War, he was not eligible for a Purple Heart because he was not in direct combat. It was ironic that he went into the Navy to stay away from injury, but he still ended up injured.



Alcohol on a Naval Ship

Richard Boxwell describes attitudes about beer and alcohol. Beer was not considered alcohol, at that time. Certain on-board personnel were given beer as any flight could be their last flight.



Richard P. Holgin

Burning Bridges at the Chosin Reservoir

Richard P. Holgin experienced subzero temperatures and fierce fighting at the Chosin Reservoir. After his company's missions, they would have to blow up bridges and roads so that no enemy could follow them. The weather was a major factor in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.



Persevering through Frostbite

Richard P. Holgin experienced terrible frostbite on his leg. Despite this condition, he continued to serve to the best of his ability, until a superior noticed his injury. Richard P. Holgin was then cared for in Busan and in Japan.



Richard V. Gordon

Lasting Memory and Pictures from the Ship

Richard V. Gordon describes his one lasting memory, the loss of a fellow shipmate in the China Sea. He, also provides pictures of the USS Missouri and cold conditions aboard the ship. Richard V. Gordon provides a picture where people are covered in snow while on the ship during the winter.



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 L. Atkins

Seeing My First Dead Marine

Robert Atkins vividly remembers seeing his first dead comrade after a night of fire fights. He remembers pulling the poncho back and seeing the body. He shares that this is something that has always stuck with him.



Robert Mount

Personal Effects of the War

Robert Mount describes the after effects of the war. "It made me a drunk," he said. He describes having combat nightmares frequently, and also being treated for malaria. Eventually, he got treatment at the VA center for about a month. He received guidance there to attend college on the GI bill.



Rodney Ramsey

Life as an American Soldier on the Front Lines: From Bunkers to Bullets

Rodney Ramsey was supported by Korean Augmentation to United States Army (KATUSA) and these troops were seasoned fighters by the time Rodney Ramsey entered the war in 1952. While sleeping in sand-bag bunkers at the front lines in Geumgang, North Korea, he was comfortable with his summer fatigues including a field jacket. Some of the most dangerous times were when Rodney Ramsey was going on patrol or raids where the Chinese were dug in. He was shot through the helmet with a minor wound when an African American soldier standing next to him was shot with the same bullet and died.



Rodney Stock

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. The U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. A sniper shot at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. The bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he wasn't hit by the actual bullet. Other dangerous experiences included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan, with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu.



Roger Myers

Courier duty

Robert Myers describes how headquarters had a courier who would send information back and forth every night. When he did not return one night, Robert Myers and other went looking for him and found that his jeep had crashed. As a result, Robert Myers had to do the duty for several nights until they found a replacement.



Roland Dean Brown

PTSD Experience

Roland Brown shares his experience with PTSD. He describes being found standing in bed, fighting and yelling, on occasion upon his return home. He expresses that he has learned to manage it through the years with help from his wife, religion, and PTSD group.



Ronald L. Swift

Remembering Friends

Ronald Swift remembers his friends during the war. He shares that it’s hard to remember what happened to them at this time, including losing 6 close friends. He states that he was “one of the lucky ones that made it home.”



Ruth Powell (Wife of John Powell)

Dealing with PTSD after the War

Ruth Powell introduces herself as the wife of veteran, John Powell. She describes her husband's struggles with PTSD after returning from Korea. She comments on John Powell's experiences as a prisoner of war (POW), its effects on him, and the treatments he endured to aid and better his psychological state.



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.



Salvatore Schillaci

"Pieces of His Body Were Flying Around."

Salvatore Schillaci thinks about the bad things that happened when he has nothing else to do. A friend of his stepped on a mine and was killed. When he himself was injured, he returned home to receive hospital care in Massachusetts. Upon recovery, he returned to university to study geology on the GI Bill.



Samuel Stoltzfus

Proud of his Service and South Korea

Samuel Stoltzfus attributes the success of modern Korea to the intelligent, friendly, and hardworking Korean people. He is proud of his service because of how far Korea has come, but he points out the horrific battles that helped make it happen. Once, while standing guard at headquarters, a truck driven by a Turkish soldier returned from the reservoir. In the back, litters of wounded were stacked upon piles of dead soldiers. Despite the deaths he experienced, Samuel Stoltzfus feels he was fortunate during his service.



Stanley Fujii

Glorious Mail Call

Stanley Fujii describes the emotional experience of mail call for soldiers, and the camaraderie that came along with getting communication from loved ones on the homefront. His heartwarming testimony reflects on his writing letters for a fellow soldier from Minnesota who was illiterate. His friend from Minnesota later died in a bombardment.



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.



Ted Bacha

The Impact of PTSD

Ted Bacha explains that he is extremely impacted by his PTSD. He takes medicine to help him fall asleep, but when he forgets to take the medication, memories start to come back again. Even though the nightmares impact him three to four nights per week, Ted Bacha does not regret his service because he was glad to help the people over there.



Telila Deresa

Smell of the Gun Makes You Drunk

Telila Deresa describes his experience in battle. He describes how the enemy was like snakes. The Chinese soldiers killed three of the commanders. However, he was not scared. Telila Deresa describes how youth and the smell of the gun makes a young man drunk with power.



Tereda Mersha

Wounded in Action

Tereda Mersha describes his arrival on the frontlines and action at Yoke Mountain. His unit lost their commander in the fighting. Tereda Mersha was shot three times and believes he only survived death with the help of Emperor Haile Selassie.



Tex Malcolm

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 at Masan

Tex Malcolm arrived at Masan by train and he assisted other Marine Reserves out of their LST, but they looked terrible. In the city, he only saw fox holes and no buildings. After being assigned to Baker Company, 7th Marines, Tex Malcolm volunteered to shoot the 3.5 guns to protect the command staff.



April 1951 Attacks From the Chinese

On April 23, 1951, Tex Malcolm was protecting another hill when the Chinese were trying to take Charlie Company out. By 2am, the Chinese started to attack his hill and the US Marines were running out of ammunition. Sadly, a Marine right next to Tex Malcolm was shot and killed.



Thomas DiGiovanna

Why Study Korea?

Thomas' wife, Andrea DiGiovanna, shared the stories he told her over the years. The two were married on October 10, 1993, and she recalls the stories he told her about the sea sickness he experienced on his way over to Korea. She also recalls stories about his father passing, as well as him finally returning from war and taking his first wife on their belated honeymoon. She also explains why it is so important to learn about Korea.



Thomas O’Dell

Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi

Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.



No Fear and The Invincibility of Thomas O'Dell as a Fifteen Year Old in the Korean War

Thomas O'Dell was not scared during the Korean War because he was only fifteen years old and he felt invincible. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as he was dug in the trenches, Corporal Thomas O'Dell was confronted with his commander with his birth certificate. He was caught being a fifteen year old in the Korean War, but he was able to sneak back into another battle during the mayhem.



Thomas Parkinson

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.



Tine Martin

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.



Virgil Malone

Running From the Draft

Virgil Malone knew that the draft was after him, so he tried to get into the Marines, but since he's color blind and missing a lot of teeth, he could not join. He didn't want to be in a foxhole with the Army, so he joined the Air Force with a friend. He did not know a lot about the Korean War when it started until he saw multiple trains with German POWs roll right past his town.



Warren Housten Thomas

Letters Home

Warren Thomas had difficulties communicating with family back home. Most soldiers in the Korean War used letters to stay in contact with family. It took about 4 to 6 weeks to receive a letter.



Hearing Trouble

Warren Thomas was affected by the artillery fire since it was so loud that it hurt his hearing. Airplanes flying over and mortars were going off all the time, but none of the soldiers received ear plugs. These are the reasons Warren Thomas believes he has hearing loss.



Warren Ramsey

Air Transport Duties and Making Connections With the Injured Soldiers in Flight

Warren Ramsey started serving at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in 1949. Before the Korean War started, he would service and repair air planes. Once the war began, he deliver supplies and troops from Hawaii while pulling out the injured United States soldiers.



A Quiet, Ignored, Forgotten War

Warren Ramsey was stationed in Germany from 1952-1955 when the Korean War ended. He considered it a quiet war because United States civilians were not informed through mass media about the Korean War since WWII just ended 5 years before the war started. Since Warren Ramsey fought in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, he was able to compare the experiences of soldiers coming home from war. He was ignored for one and called "Baby Killer" after the other war.



William Duffy

A Episode to Remember

Wiliam Duffy talks about a time when he went to NCO (non-commissioned officer) school. He shares how the experience was like a different world from the front lines. It had warm food, barbershops, showers, a pub, etc. While there, he recalls how his officer offered him multiple drinks. He shares that he suspected there was some bad news and learned that his squad was attacked. He recounts how only four of the twelve men survived.



William Dumas

Loss of a Friend

William Dumas describes his second injury in 1951. He describes the incident in Korea and losing his radioman. He describes how difficult it was.



William MacSwain

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.



William O’Kane

"The Forgotten War"

William O'Kane felt that the Korean War should not have been called "The Forgotten War." He really became upset when the war that he fought in was called a Korean police action or the Korean Conflict. Soldiers from around the world fought and died during the Korean War, so William O'Kane wished that more people remembered the war.



Volunteering After WWII

William O'Kane volunteered for the Marine Corps because his brother was in the military along with many of his friends. While in bootcamp at Camp Pendleton, SC, he read about the war and followed it because many people he knew were involved in the war. He said that since he was so young when he enlisted, he felt that he was invincible.



Yusuf Artuc

Reality of a Soldier

Yusuf Artuc describes how when he arrived in Korea he went directly to the front. Cars transported soldiers to the front. He also describes fighting at Sandbag Castle (Kumkale). In addition, Yusuf Artuc describes one particular instance at Mirrored Village. Further, at Mirrored Village many soldiers were injured. Injured soldiers were evacuated to Tokyo to heal. Then they would return to the battlefield. Out of the injured soldiers, two of three returned to battle.



Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda

Engagement with the Chinese

Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes engaging the enemy. He describes how he sniped and killed seven Chinese soldiers. The incident occurred at night. The Ethiopians waited to be given orders to fire. Firing at night would give your position away. He also describes being so cold that he put his leg in a fire to keep it warm. His leg ultimately ended up being damaged from this incident.