Tag: Personal Loss
Political/Military Tags1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9
Geographic TagsAnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri
Social TagsBasic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Adolfo Lugo Gaston
Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Adolfo Lugo Gaston recalls the worst and longest battle that he experienced, that of Kelly Hill. He explains that allied troops fought an incalculable number of Chinese communist troops. Their mission was to win the hill and help four-thousand marines that were trapped.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón recuerda la batalla de Kelly Hill porque fue la más dura. Explica que las tropas aliadas lucharon contra un número incalculable de tropas comunistas chinas. Su misión era conquistar el cerro y ayudar a los cuatro mil infantes de marina que estaban rodeados.
Adjustment to Civilian Life / Adaptación a la Vida Civil
Adolfo Lugo Gaston discusses the difficulty he had adjusting to civilian life upon his return. He explains that seeing friends alive one day and not the next during warfare causes an individual to suffer for the rest of their life. He notes that reentering civilian life was akin to being reborn.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón comenta sobre la dificultad que tuvo para adaptarse a la vida civil cuando regreso. Explica que ver a amigos vivos un día y no al siguiente durante la guerra lo dejo con problemas de los nervios. Él cuenta que volver a entrar en la vida civil fue como volver a nacer.
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.
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.
Alfredo Forero Parra
Battle of Old Baldy / Batalla de Old Baldy
Alfredo Forero Parra details the horrors of war as experienced at the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the way in which they were bombed for over eleven days with heavy artillery and mortars. He recounts a painful story in which his friend, Corporal Gonzalez Varela, who commanded the second squad of his platoon was brutally killed as the avalanche of Chinese troops advanced on their company.
Alfredo Forero Parra detalla los horrores de la guerra que el sufrió durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe la forma en que fueron bombardeados durante más de once días con artillería pesada y morteros. Además, relata una dolorosa historia en la que su amigo, el Cabo González Varela, quien comandaba el segundo escuadrón de su pelotón, fue brutalmente matado cuando la avalancha de tropas chinas avanzó sobre su compañía.
Toughest Battles / Batallas Más Duras
Alfredo Forero Parra explains that the Battle of Old Baldy was one of the five bloodiest battles of the war. He adds that it was the worse battle for the Batallón Colombia as ninety-five troops were killed, and twenty-eight soldiers were captured as prisoners of war. He recounts the way in which he was wounded and almost died.
Alfredo Forero Parra explica que la Batalla de Old Baldy fue una de las cinco batallas más sangrientas de la guerra. Cuenta que fue la peor batalla del Batallón Colombia, porque que murieron noventa y cinco soldados y veintiocho soldados fueron capturados como prisioneros de guerra. Además, relata la forma en que fue herido y casi muere después de una explosión.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Ali Dagbagli describes the Battle of Kunu-ri. The Battle of Junu-ri was the first major military engagement for Turkey since WWI. He describes being surrounded on all sides by the enemy. The battle lasted for three nights and four days. Therefore he lost many friends in the battle and was shot four times.
Ali 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.
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.
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 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.
Ángel David Jiménez Jusino
Worst Experience / La Peor Experiencia
Angel David Jimenez Jusino shares the story of the Battle of Kelly Hill. He explains that as a scout, he was tasked with engaging the enemy to draw them out from their hiding spots. During a scouting mission to Kelly Hill, his team encountered so many troops, that the sergeant screamed at them to retreat and defend themselves however they saw fit. The memory of this mission saddens him, as two within the scout group were taken as prisoners of war, and two others were killed.
Angel David Jimenez Jusino comparte la historia de la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Explica que, como explorador, tenía que enfrentarse al enemigo para sacarlo de sus escondites. Durante una misión de exploración en Kelly Hill, su equipo se encontró con tantas tropas que el sargento les gritó que se retiraran y que se defendieran como pudieran. Esta misión lo entristece, ya que dos dentro del grupo dos fueron tomados como prisioneros de guerra y otros dos murieron durante el ataque.
Wounded / Herido
Angel David Jimenez Jusino details the incident which led to his hospitalization. He was in the hospital for over twenty days when fuel fumes exploded, burning his face and arms. He explains the way he was evacuated and how he returned to the front line after recovering from his injuries.
Ángel David Jiménez Jusino describe el incidente que resultó en su hospitalización. Estuvo en el hospital más de veinte días después que los vapores de combustible explotaron y le quemaron la cara y los brazos. Explica la forma en que fue evacuado y cómo regresó al frente después de que se recuperó de sus heridas.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
Anibal Ithier-Rodriguez describes the patrol which almost cost him his life. He explains that he was left on patrol to guard a bridge for three days and nearly froze to death. When he was finally relieved of his duty, he was unable to move or speak and two soldiers warmed his body over a fire until he was able to move again.
Aníbal Ithier-Rodríguez describe la patrulla que casi le cuesta la vida. Explica que lo dejaron patrullando para vigilar un puente durante tres días y casi murió por el frio. Cuando finalmente fue relevado de su deber, no podía moverse ni podía hablar y dos soldados calentaron su cuerpo sobre un fuego hasta que pudo moverse de nuevo.
Discrimination / Discriminación
Anibal Ithier-Rodriguez discusses the discrimination he witnessed while serving in Korea. He states that the Puerto Ricans in his company were blamed for mistakes and were assigned the worse jobs. He describes an incident in which he and the other three Puerto Ricans discovered an ammunition fire, and even though they put out most of it, they were never recognized for their heroism. In contrast, the soldiers that relieved them of the fire were given medals for saving the lives of those in the camp because they put out the fire.
Anibal Ithier-Rodríguez habla sobre la discriminación que presenció mientras sirvió en Corea. Afirma que a los puertorriqueños de su compañía se les echaba la culpa de los errores y se les asignaban los peores trabajos. Describe un incidente en el que él y los otros tres puertorriqueños descubrieron un fuego de municiones, y aunque apagaron la mayor parte, nunca fueron reconocidos por su heroísmo. En cambio, los soldados que los relevaron del fuego recibieron medallas por salvar la vida de los que estaban en el campamento porque ellos terminaron de apagar el fuego.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Heungnam Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
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 Leroy Brown
How His Brother Was Buried at the POW Camp
Arthur L. Brown died during freezing cold weather in North Korea. As a result, he was buried in a grave dug as deep as could be dug near Camp 5. This was devastating news to his family.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Here to Tell Their Stories
Barry McLean shares his thoughts on why some veterans struggle with talking about their experiences in Korea. He reminisces about a female nurse in Korea who flew every mission to pick up the wounded soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir. He highlights how all of the people he is reminiscing about are gone, but he is still here wearing out.
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.
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.
Benigno Ramos Perez
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Benigno Ramos Pérez shares some of the most difficult moments he experienced during the war. He explains how an enemy combatant tried to infiltrate their unit and was caught trying to do so. Following that incident, he recounts how a young man in his unit was killed during a forward observing mission. He shares the story in which his clumsiness saved his life as a mortar fell where he should have been if he had not dropped his helmet.
Benigno Ramos Pérez comparte algunos de los momentos más difíciles que vivió durante la guerra. Explica cómo un soldado enemigo intentó infiltrarse en su unidad y fue atrapado al intentar de hacerlo. Después de ese incidente, comparte la historia de cómo un joven de su unidad murió durante una misión de observación avanzada. Por último, comparte la historia en la que su torpeza le salvó la vida cuando un mortero cayó donde debería haber estado si no se le hubiera caído el casco.
Benito B. Arabe
Fighting on Hill 010
Benito B. Arabe, after arriving in Busan, joined King Company on Hill 010 on the front lines. He recalls walking three kilometers to the mountain where they joined the Americans they would soon replace. He recounts seeing many dead in the trenches. He offers a detailed account of nightly bombings including one where a bomb landed about five meters from them as they were hiding.
I Liked to Fight with Communists
Benito B. Arabe describes his units pulling out from the battle at Hill 010. He shares how members of his unit had no idea where the enemy was and states he was not afraid as he "liked to fight with the Communists". He recounts how he remained in Korea until after the armistice concluded the fighting. He offers some detail of his return trip to Korea where he saw many houses and happy people and returned to the boundary between North and South Korea.
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 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.
Pilot Shortage in Early Days
Bill Hall recalls being stationed at El Toro, California when the North Koreans invaded the South. He explains the pilot shortage the Marine Corps had aboard his aircraft carrier and how this challenge was met by making use of Aviation Pilots (APs), many of whom had served during World War II. He also remembers the first member of his squadron that was killed during the war had borrowed part of his equipment and his flight charts.
Bill Hall talks about "getting" a platoon of enemy with a napalm bomb from his aircraft. He explains the aircraft setup of weapons and fuel that the carrier aircraft used against the enemy. Hall recalls the story of one of the captains of his unit being shot down and later rescued.
Medical Care for Wounded
Bill Hall recalls the challenges doctors faced in treating the wounded. He remembers their inability to treat everyone, so they frequently stacked the injured up and covered them with a blanket. He vividly describes one new, very green reservist who arrived in Korea having never touched a gun. This reservist was injured and later transferred to a navy hospital for treatment. He jokingly recalls how an army nurse declared that this young man would live.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stories of the Wounded
Bob Wickman explains that though he only served a short time in Korea, he was there at the time of the armistice. He recalls what he terms the "fiasco" at the Berlin and East Berlin Outposts as well as the severe hand-to-hand combat in the trench lines near Boulder City. He recalls some of the more severely injured he treated during this time period.
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.
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 he was covering for Raymond Howard, a gunshot broke his 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 he 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 thirty-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 he were about to make their attempt to escape, the POWs were moved to another building and the guards found the rations. He shares that he left Camp 3 in August 1953 and crossed the DMZ in September. He remembers eating many bowls of ice cream after his rescue.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco
Wounded in the Line of Duty /Herido en La Linea de Combate
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco recalls the fear he experienced during the Battle of Old Baldy in which he was injured, and his friend died. He details the way in which he and three others were surrounded in a bunker when Chinese troops infiltrated their camp. He describes the hours that passed in which they had to decide whether to continue fighting and die or risk being caught as prisoners of war. Eventually, he explains, they were rescued by American and Puerto Rican troops, but sadly one of his friend’s injuries were so grave that it was impossible for him to be saved.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco recuerda el miedo que vivió durante la Batalla de Old Baldy en la que resultó herido y su amigo murió. Él y otros tres soldados fueron rodeados en un búnker cuando las tropas chinas se infiltraron en su campamento. Describe las horas que pasaron en las tuvieron que decidir si iban a seguir luchando y morir o arriesgarse a ser capturados como prisioneros de guerra. Finalmente, él explica, fueron rescatados por tropas estadounidenses y puertorriqueñas. Desafortunadamente, las heridas de su amigo eran tan grave que fue imposible salvarlo.
Carlos Julio Rodriguez Riveros
Difficult Moments / Los Momentos más Difíciles
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He recounts the events which occurred during the Battle of Hill 400 in which, under heavy fire, their battalion lost sixteen soldiers. He was tasked with the difficult mission of transporting the dead and wounded during this battle under heavy mortar fire.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Relata los hechos que ocurrieron durante la Batalla de la Colina 400 en la que, bajo un fuego intenso, su batallón perdió dieciséis soldados. Se le encomendó la difícil misión de transportar a los muertos y heridos durante esta batalla bajo fuego de mortero.
Papasan Hill / La Colina Papasan
Carlos Rivera-Rivera shares his experience in a battle which took place as allied troops tried to gain control of Papasan Hill. As a mortarman, he recalls that the bombing was unending. It was during this battle, he explains, that he became desensitized to the reality of the war as so many perished during the fighting.
Carlos Rivera-Rivera comparte su experiencia en una batalla en la cual las tropas aliadas intentaron controlar la colina Papasan. Como él era mortero, recuerda que el bombardeo era interminable. Él explica que fue durante esta batalla que se volvió insensible a la realidad de la guerra, porque murieron tantos durante la lucha.
Carroll F. Reusch
The Job of a Medic
Carroll F. Reusch remembers his division getting hit pretty hard on July 16, 1953. He explains how men were evacuated by chopper and the items he carried in his aid bag. He also notes that he received the Bronze Star for reasons he does not know since he felt he was simply doing his job.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Most Difficult Thing
Daniel Kawaiaea recalls some of the challenges of being a squad leader. He often wonders what may have happened to his men after he was wounded and evacuated from Korea. He discusses the challenge of losing his hearing as a result of being wounded in his jaw during one battle which the name and location he cannot recall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Delcio Rivera Rosario
Battle of Jackson Heights
Delcio Rivera Rosario recalls his unit replacing South Korean troops at the outpost at Jackson Heights. He notes that moving through the Kumwha Valley meant traveling very close to enemy lines and when they arrived to the outpost there were no trenches or fortifications, only hard rock. On the third night after their arrival they were ordered from the mountain as the enemy was approaching. Rosario reflects on the events of that night which lead to his own injury.
Injured at the Battle of Jackson Hill
Delcio Rivera Rosario received the Purple Heart for injury suffered during the Battle of Jackson Heights. He recalls the enemy throwing hand grenades in his vicinity which resulted in his injury. He describes despite being wounded in his heel running downhill to escape the enemy advance. He notes that he still suffers pain from this injury to this day, but does not regret his service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a battle map of the hill on which his brother, George Matsoukas, gave his life.
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.
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.
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.
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 R. Bennett
Approaching Chosin Reservoir
Donald Bennett recounts moving to the base of the mountain at Chosin (Jangjin). He shares how the tanks were unable to make it up the roads which were too narrow until the engineers fixed the roads in spots. He recalls being awakened early on November 28th and being told the Chinese were attacking everywhere and that they needed to move out. He explains encountering other service members who had encountered Chinese. He finishes this segment by discussing his arrival at Kor'to-ri.
We Were in Big Trouble
Donald Bennett begins this portion of his account of the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir with his unit's departure to headquarters. Along the way, he remembers seeing burning trucks and witnessing American and Chinese units shooting at each other. He recalls their encounter with the Chinese who eventually knocked the track off of the first tank and then shortly thereafter surrounded the American trucks and tanks, including his. He details the night being very cold and dark. His tank was hit by something, which he later would discover was an anti-tank weapon that knocked off his 50-caliber machine gun. He shares the damage that was done to his tank and the destruction of another tank.
Donald St. Louis
Mortar Shrapnel Wounds
Donald St. Louis elaborates on his wound from mortar shrapnel while stationed in Korea. He recounts 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.
Importance of Topography: Life or Death
Don Stemper pulls out 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.
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.
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.
Ed M. Dozier
Operation Mousetrap: The Loss of a Friend
Ed M. Dozier describes his participation in Operation Mousetrap, near Chuncheon in May 1951. He notes that Dog Company was to follow the assault on a hill after Fox Company, but when Fox Company was hit so badly its members became the first ones up the hill. He recalls how, in the end, there were only three of the twelve men in his squad that survived the attack. He shares the struggles to come to terms with the loss of a friend during this operation and how closure came through connecting with this soldier's widow years later.
Wounded by a Mortar Shell
Ed M. Dozier recalls his experience of being wounded by a mortar shell while on patrol along a rice paddy on April 10, 1951. He describes how he suffered shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and near his jugular vein. He remembers being evacuated by helicopter, despite his own disagreement, to "Easy Med" (E Med) near Chuncheon.
Something I Want to Forget
Ed M. Dozier describes the lasting impact of his experiences in Korea. He shares the importance of "protecting yourself" from the carnage of war and the impact it had on relationships with others. Although he has thought about returning to Korea, he frankly states that this experience is something down deep he wants to forget.
Struggles but No Regrets
Ed M. Dozier candidly shares the struggles that he and many Korean War Veterans faced following their service. He speaks about his struggles with PTSD after the war and discusses his thoughts about today's soldiers. Despite the challenges since returning home, he claims he has no regrets.
Eddie Reyes Piña
Witnessing the Horrors of Pork Chop Hill and Then the Armistice
Eddie Reyes Piña served his country as part of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He reflects on how the unit fought back against the Chinese and North Koreans. He notes how he left his position in the rear guard to assist a medic in bringing the dead and wounded back. He further explains that the medic received a Bronze Star for Valor, but he did not in part because he did not know how to advocate for himself to ensure he received the medal. He concludes by sharing his recollections of witnessing the Armistice.
Eddie Reyes Piña, as a soldier of Mexican-American ancestry, recalls only one real incident of seeing discrimination which dealt with a Puerto Rican Infantry unit that refused orders. He remembers becoming a translator for several of them when their unit was disbanded for refusing orders. He notes he did not personally experience any discrimination while serving in Korea.
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 Arguello Montenegro
Most Honorable Mission / Misión más Honorable
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro was asked to participate in what he recalls as the most honorable mission, which, was the rescue of two deceased Colombian soldiers. They were all dressed in while camouflage as Korea was blanketed by eighty centimeters of snow. They crawled for hours in the middle of the night and utilized hand signals and mine detectors to remain undetected by enemy forces. The mission took the majority of the night, and they successfully returned to their base by five in the morning.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro participo en lo que recuerda como la misión más honrosa, que fue el rescate de dos cuerpos de soldados colombianos. Todos estaban vestidos con ropa de camuflaje blanca porque Corea estaba cubierta con ochenta centímetros de nieve. Se arrastraron horas durante el medio de la noche y utilizaron señales manuales y detectores de minas para no ser detectados por las fuerzas enemigas. La misión tomó la mayor parte de la noche y regresaron con éxito a su base a las cinco de la mañana.
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.
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.
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.
You're the Guy that Saved My Life
Edwin Hanson recalls his first encounter with Chinese at Kor-'o-ri. Edwin Hanson threw 4 grenades and 2 went off, so the following morning he went down and picked up the 2 that didn't go off and threw the remaining grenades at their front lines. Ralph Alfonso Gastelum vividly details the chaos breaking out one evening while he was eating as the Chinese moved near his tent. He remembers grenades going off and it proves to be decades later that he finds out the Hanson saved his life.
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.
Epifanio Rodriguez Nunez
Christmas Propaganda / Propaganda en Navidad
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez describes the moments of the war that were most impactful. He recalls how during the Christmas he spent in Korea, the Chinese broadcast propaganda over the radio aimed directly at Colombian troops. While he does not know if anyone was dissuaded from fighting, he shares that most of the soldiers laughed at the failed attempt to brainwash them.
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez describe los momentos de la guerra que más lo impactaron. Recuerda que durante la Navidad que pasó en Corea, los chinos emitieron propaganda en español por la radio dirigida a las tropas colombianas. Si bien no sabe si alguien fue disuadido de pelear, él cuenta que la mayoría de los soldados se reían del intento de lavarles el cerebro.
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.
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.
Eugene Ferris shares an experience while in NewFoundland in which he lost a friend during a dangerous landing. He describes the placement of the runway and how planes were forced to rely on the tower during periods of extreme fog. On one particularly foggy night, he remembers his plane successfully landing and the tower instructing another plane that it was coming in too low. He recalls the pilot ignoring the instructions from the tower and the underside of the plane being ripped off during the landing.
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.
Discrimination in the Army / Discriminación en las Fuerzas Armadas
Felipe Aponte-Colon faced discrimination in the army. He noticed that American and Puerto Rican troops were treated differently. This discrimination was most evident during the Battle of Kelly Hill in which casualties were overwhelmingly Puerto Rican. Orders were given for Puerto Ricans only to take the hill and he refused to go with his men because he did not want forty-one more casualties. He recalls that there were two colonels but after an investigation, neither was blamed for the mistakes which led to the deaths of over six hundred Puerto Ricans.
Felipe Aponte-Colón sufrió de discriminación en el ejército. Se dio cuenta de que las tropas estadounidenses y puertorriqueñas eran tratadas de maneras diferente. Esta discriminación fue más evidente durante la Batalla de Kelly Hill en la cual que la mayoría de las bajas fueron puertorriqueñas. Se dieron órdenes para que los puertorriqueños solo tomaran el cerro Kelly. El se negó a ir con sus hombres porque no quería cuarenta y una bajas más. Recuerda que había dos coroneles, pero después de una investigación, ninguno fue culpado por los errores que resultaron en la muerte de más de seiscientos puertorriqueños.
Fermín Miranda Valle
The Battle of Pork Chop Hill / La Batalla de Pork Chop Hill
Fermín Miranda Valle was assigned to an American unit, as opposed to the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry, and fought during the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He explains that his mission was to move artillery to the top of the hill in a tank. He provides a compelling narrative of the battle and the dangers he faced.
Fermín Miranda Valle fue asignado a una unidad estadounidense, porque habían desbandado la Infantería 65 que era puertorriqueña, y luchó durante la Batalla de Pork Chop Hill. Explica que su misión era llevar la artillería a la cima de la colina en un tanque. El provee la historia de la batalla y de los peligros que enfrentó.
Impact of War / Impacto de la Guerra
Fermín Miranda Valle was negatively affected by the war as he suffered from PTSD. He explains that he drank too much, and suffered from nightmares and sleepwalking upon his return. He attributes the difficulty in returning to normal life to the fact that he witnessed many soldiers killed.
Fermín Miranda Valle se vio muy afectado por la guerra ya que sufría de TEPT. Explica que por años bebía demasiado, sufría de pesadillas y sonambulismo a su regreso de la guerra. Atribuye la dificultad para volver a la vida normal al hecho de que fue testigo a la matanza de muchos soldados.
Forrest D. Claussen
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Family Hears News Of Their Son's Death
George Brown recounts learning of his brother Arthur L. Brown initially being classified as Missing in Action on July 7, 1950. He shares that Arthur was serving in Korea as part of the 21st Regiment, 24th Division, Company K where when he was not actively carrying out his duty as an infantryman he was a pitcher for their baseball team. He recalls how the family later learned he was being held as a Prisoner of War at Camp 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea. He recounts how Arthur died on his twenty-first birthday in January 1951 and that some of the returning soldiers told his family Arthur had suffered from complications due to Beriberi.
Regrets of Hearing About Their Son's Death
George Brown recalls his parents were hit very hard by the news of their son Arthur Leroy Brown's death. He recalls his mom was pregnant with their first daughter and all were excited with the news. He remembers how Arthur eagerly shared the news with his fellow soldiers. He recounts how before Arthur left for boot camp, he and his father got into a scuffle because his father did not want him to quit school to join the Army.
The Burial of a POW
George Brown shares he was only six years old at the time his family was notified of his brother Arthur's death in POW Camp 5 in North Korea. He states that Arthur was temporarily buried in North Korea in a shallow grave due to the ground being frozen solid. He explains that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lists Arthur as unaccounted for and shares that Arthur is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Cemetery of the Pacific.
George 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.
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.
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.
George W. Liebenstein
The Most Difficult Part
George "Bill" Liebenstein recollects the most difficult parts of his time in Korea. At the top of his list was being away from his wife and his business. He shares that he wrote her about every two days but was not always able to share what he was experiencing. He still possesses many of the letters he wrote her but, sadly, does not know what happened to those she wrote. He remarked that he also missed good home-cooking, playing ball with friends, and simply being free to do what he wanted.
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.
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.
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.
Death of a Hero on White Horse Hill
Gilbert Hauffels and the Luxembourg Platoon fought at White Horse Hill. They took position six hundred meters in front of the trenches, merely 400 meters from North Korean artillery. During the barrage, Luxembourgian Sergeant Robert Mores rushed in to save soldiers whose bunkers had collapsed on them. Sergeant Mores was one of two soldiers from Luxembourg killed in the Korean War.
Gilberto Diaz Velazco
Most Difficult Night of the War / La Noche Más Difícil de la Guerra
Gilberto Diaz Velazco explains why the Battle of Old Baldy was the most difficult fighting of the war. He recounts that the Chinese took advantage of the fact that Company A was being relieved by Company C and attacked UN troops in the midst of this confusion. The Chinese and North Koreans were relentless, and the fighting seemed never-ending. He and others would be relieved for a while and then were reintroduced to the battlefield. He recounts walking over dead fellow soldiers and the measures he had to take to find a fallen friend.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco explica qué la Batalla de Old Baldy fue la lucha más difícil de la guerra. Él cuenta que los chinos aprovecharon del hecho que la Compañía A estaba siendo relevada por la Compañía C y atacaron a las tropas en el medio de esa confusión. Los chinos y los norcoreanos sequian atacando toda la noche y la lucha parecía interminable. Lo relevaron a él y otros por un tiempo y luego serían reintroducidos a el campo de batalla. Cuenta haber caminado sobre compañeros muertos y las medidas que tuvo que tomar para encontrar a un amigo que había muerto.
Recovering the Fallen / Recuperando a los caídos
Gilberto Diaz Velazco recalls the difficulty of the fighting at Hill 180 and the carnage of war. He recounts that they suffered casualties during the fighting but were not allowed to leave the dead behind. As a follow up mission, he was a member of the operation to recover the dead. He explains that he felt like bait because the enemy was waiting for them to recover the fallen and fired at them injuring his lieutenant.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco recuerda la dificultad del combate en el Cerro 180 y la crueldad de la guerra. Cuenta que sufrieron bajas durante la batalla, pero no se podía dejar atrás a los muertos. Como segunda misión, él fue miembro de la operación para recuperar a los
cadáveres. Explica que se sintió como carnada porque el enemigo estaba esperando que recuperaran a los caídos y les dispararon hiriendo a su teniente.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama
Losing a Brother / La Pérdida de Un Hermano
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama remembers the painful events which resulted in the death of one of his best friends. He recounts how his friend was an amazing athlete and expert rifleman and because he was an excellent soldier, he was in the first line. He laments the way in which his friend and so many other young men died during that battle.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama recuerda la batalla que resulto en la muerte de uno de sus mejores amigos. Cuenta que su amigo era un atleta increíble y un fusilero experto y, como era un excelente soldado, estaba en la primera línea. Lamenta la forma en que murió su amigo y tantos otros muchachos jóvenes durante esa batalla.
PTSD’s Impact on Family / El Impacto del Trastorno de Estrés Postraumático
Anita Ortiz Arbona, Gilberto Rodríguez Orama’s wife, discloses the extent to which he suffered from PTSD. She discusses the way in which his violent nightmares have affected her. As a loving wife, she explains that she can now predict when he will have an episode and is able to wake him before his suffering continues.
Anita Ortiz Arbona, la esposa de Gilberto Rodríguez Orama, revela hasta qué punto el padecía trastorno de estrés postraumático. Ella cuenta de la forma en que las pesadillas violentas de su marido la afectaron. Ella explica que ahora puede predecir cuándo su esposo tendrá un episodio y entonces lo despierta antes de que continúe su sufrimiento.
A Daughter’s Perspective
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama’s daughter, Gisella, shares what she has learned about the Korean War from her father. She adds that he only started speaking about what happened during the war in the last three years, and she wishes that he would have been treated for his PTSD earlier in life. She argues that the Korean War’s impact on world history should be taught in schools more deeply, as it was a significant event for Puerto Rico and the world.
La hija de Gilberto Rodríguez Orama, Gisella, comparte lo que aprendió de su padre sobre la Guerra de Corea. Agrega que él recién comenzó a hablar sobre lo que sucedió durante la guerra en los últimos tres años, y ella desearía que hubiera recibido tratamiento por su trastorno de estrés postraumático cuando era joven. Sostiene que el impacto de la Guerra de Corea en la historia mundial debería enseñarse más profundamente en las escuelas, ya que fue un evento muy importante para Puerto Rico y el mundo.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
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
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."
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 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.
Extremely Cold Conditions
Harold Don describes the challenges of digging foxholes in Korea's frozen ground during the winter. He details how one had to clear enough snow to make an indentation to rest in. He notes how, as he was assigned to heavy machine guns, his foxhole was located at the most vulnerable point. He explains how, in an effort to keep the machine guns' barrels from freezing, he had to utilize antifreeze.
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.
Challenges of Race
Harold Yamauchi explains how he was repeatedly placed as the point man due to his oriental heritage. Without understanding why he was placed in that position, he would go forth and face the task, while managing to come back alive despite the odds being against him. He shares a touching story of an unsung hero that he encountered on the hill that was holding his friend as he lay dying, a bond of brotherly love not broken by racism.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American United States troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW
Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment, fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. He shares how most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below due to the quick retreat. He describes how he used six crates of two-inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, he recalls that Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth shares how he walked at night for six weeks until he reached the prisoner of war (POW), Camp Changsong, in May 1951. He remembers how many of the British POWs escaped but notes that all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. He recalls becoming very sick after getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day. He recalls brainwashing sessions held by the Chinese and remembers how the US and British POWs had to fight to survive every single day.
The Best Period of My Life
Henk Bos recalls the early days following his arrival in Korea. He shares he served as an infantryman attached to the 38th Regiment of the 2nd Division of the 3rd U.S. Army. He remembers being a soldier as the best period of his life. He shares with pride how he and his fellow soldiers maybe helped save a whole nation. He recalls the challenges of living in bunkers along an ever-changing front and the death of one of his Korean buddies.
Pulling Himself Together
Henk Bos recalls the fears he experienced in Korea. He explains that the most frightening thing was facing the enormous Chinese bayonets and the man-to-man fighting that often occurred at night. He recollects his unit coming under major attack by the Chinese and seeing nearly everything covered in blood and flesh the following morning. He notes that the area was called "Stinky Hill" from that point on because of the decomposing bodies. He shares that these experiences led to nightmares and attempts to suppress these memories with alcohol. He adds, however, that one day he simply decided he needed to pull himself together.
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.
Poverty and Survival
Henry Kosters describes his interaction with some South Korean children who took some of his possessions. He explains that upon landing at Inchon, the city was mostly occupied by US Marines. He recalls how he and another man went off together and came upon a group of teenagers who stole his watch band and camera film from his pockets. He shares that though he was not pleased with his loss, he understood that the children were desperate and needed to take whatever they could.
Henry T. Pooley
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.
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.
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.
I Wanted to Come Home Safe
Hiroshi Shima offers an account of a one-time visit to Seoul. He recalls the joy people felt with the signing of the armistice and his return home to Hawaii. He admits that one of the greatest difficulties soldiers faced was fear, especially because everyone wanted to come home. He explains that many saw buddies die, but that really they were not there long enough to have real buddies.
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 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.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Hugo Monroy Moscoso recounts the most dangerous moments of the war, which occurred near the 38th Parallel. He explains that some of the most difficult memories are those of witnessing fellow soldiers die under mortar fire. Additionally, he provides an account of the battle for Kumsong and the importance of regaining territory which was previously lost.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso relata los momentos más peligrosos de la guerra, que ocurrieron cerca del paralelo 38. Él explica que algunos de los recuerdos más difíciles son las memorias de cuando vio morir a sus compañeros soldados cuando el batallón estaba bajo fuego de mortero. Además, ofrece un relato de la batalla por Kumsong y explica la importancia de recuperar el territorio que anteriormente se había perdido.
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 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 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 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.
To Korea with the Whole Outfit
Isamu Yoshishige served in the United States Army in Korea beginning in 1951. He offers a brief account of his travels to Korea with some detail included on the areas within the region where his unit deployed. He speaks of working within a heavy weapons company as someone who fired 75mm recoilless rifles which possibly caused his hearing loss. He provides limited descriptions of the conflicts with the Chinese in the area in which he served.
Ismael Heredia Torres
Saddest Battle / La Batalla Más Triste
Ismael Heredia Torres shares the story of his participation in the worst battle of the war. He explains that they were trying to climb Hill 223 when the Chinese intercepted their company and a battle ensued for over four hours. He, and others in the company, were saddened because Captain Lyman was killed in action that day.
Ismael Heredia Torres comparte la historia de la peor batalla de la guerra en el que el participo. Él explica que estaban tratando de escalar la colina 223 cuando los chinos interceptaron a su compañía y se produjo una batalla de más de cuatro horas. Él y otros en la compañía estaban tristes porque el Capitán Lyman murió en acción ese día.
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.
Combat as a Machine Gunner and Friendly Fire
James Burroughs explains how ammo carriers would replace the machine gunner if he was killed. He recalls a Master Sergeant being shot and killed by a sniper as he stood next to him. He discusses fellow soldiers in his unit being injured and U.S. Army artillery fire not always landing where intended.
Loss of a Friend
James Burroughs recalls when the machine gunner of his squad was shot and killed. He speaks of how he carried his friend back to receive medical care and how he was reprimanded for leaving his post by an officer. He discusses how he then went back to the line and was then the squad machine gunner.
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 E. Fant
James E. Fant discusses being in war and the relationships formed in combat
James E. Fant describes war as "something you can't get over." He speaks of seeing people killed and his surviving combat. He recounts how he was sent to R&R in Japan and eventually ended back on Hill 355.
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 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.
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 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.
James Vance Scott
James Vance Scott describes his reflections on how servicemen are treated by the American public. He shares that the Korean War was not considered a victory because of the way it ended, which contributed to it being called "the forgotten war". He reflects on the shrinking size of his chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association because of continually losing veterans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 J. Baker
Vivid Memories of Murdered Civilians
John J. Baker details movement from east of Taegu to a place called Ulsan. He recollects moving through the region with his company commander when they encountered the National Police and the Korean Army on both sides of the road. The commander explained that these people were South Korean Communists. He notes that much of his unit had been wiped out in Taejan leaving only 179 left in the unit. They returned to Taegu and onto Kumchon with the 19th and 21st Infantry. When they arrived, they encountered a gory scene along the roadside.
Helping an Injured Comrades
John Baker details the stark reality of war as he shares how they dug into foxholes and experienced enemy fire. He includes specific details of the helplessness he felt when others in his unit were severely wounded in battle.
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.
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.
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.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina
The Battle of Old Baldy / La Batalla de Old Baldy
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina provides an account of the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that their unit had incurred heavy losses after two weeks of bombing and was attacked by the enemy who seized on their weakness. This battle was particularly brutal because Chinese troops outnumbered them ten-to-one. The following day, he and a handful of others volunteered to climb back up Old Baldy to recover the dead and wounded.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina brinda un relato de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Explica que su unidad sufrió grandes pérdidas porque los chinos los bombardearon por dos semanas antes de la batalla y aprovecharon de su debilidad cuando los atacaron. Esta batalla fue brutal porque las tropas chinas los superaban en número diez a uno. Al día siguiente, él y una docena de soldados más se ofrecieron como voluntarios para volver a subir a Old Baldy para recuperar a los muertos y heridos que quedaron en la colina.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina speaks about the difficulty he faced any time he was in combat. He recalls the mental toll seeing fellow soldiers blown up minutes after having a conversation with them took on his psyche. Begging god to let him live and see his family again, he remembers that it was in Korea that he really learned how to pray.
Jorge Eliécer Cortez Medina habla de las dificultades que enfrentaba cada vez que estaba en combate. Recuerda el costo mental que tuvo en su psique ver a compañeros volar en pedazos por el aire minutos después de haber tenido una conversación con ellos. Rogando a Dios que lo dejara vivir y volver a ver a su familia, recuerda que fue en Corea donde realmente aprendió a rezar.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna
Worse Battle / La Peor Batalla
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explains that he fought in many terrible battles. He details one in which they captured about five hundred prisoners. He remembers every detail of that battle because his friend died from an ambush by North Koreans while he was charging up a hill.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explica que luchó en muchas batallas terribles. Detalla una en la que capturaron a unos quinientos prisioneros. Recuerda cada detalle de esa batalla porque su amigo murió cuando los norcoreanos lo emboscaron mientras subía una colina.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane
Sacrifice / Sacrificio
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane explains the toll the war had on him. He recounts the story of a humble shoe shiner from his village that he bumped into while in Korea. He recalls that the individual was sent as one of the replacement troops for the 65th Infantry and was killed on his first night in battle. He details seeing the young man’s army belongings being sold in his hometown by his brother because that is what poor families were forced to do.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane explica el precio que le causó la guerra. Cuenta la historia de un humilde limpiabotas de su pueblo con el que se encontró en Corea. Él recuerda que el individuo fue enviado como una de las tropas de reemplazo y murió su primera noche en batalla. Él detalla haber visto las pertenencias del joven siendo vendidas en su pueblo por su hermano porque eso es lo que las familias pobres se vieron obligadas a hacer.
Personal Impact of the War / Impacto Personal de la Guerra
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane discusses how he adjusted to civil life after the war. He speaks about how difficult it was for him knowing that his daughter was born while he was fighting in Korea. He explains that he constantly thought about her and what kind of father he would be.
José Antonio Díaz Villafañe comenta cómo se adaptó a la vida civil después de la guerra. Habla de lo difícil que fue para él saber que su hija nació mientras que el luchaba en Corea y no poder conocerla. Él explica que pensaba constantemente en ella y en qué tipo de padre sería.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that any time they were on the move it was incredibly dangerous as they were always met with mortar attacks. He remembers how they were ambushed one night, and his friend was killed. He wonders if he killed anyone as they shot in all directions as they could not see the enemy. Forever etched in his memory are the hardships of civilians and what they had to resort to in order to survive.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Él explica que cada vez que se movía del sur hasta el frente era increíblemente peligroso porque siempre lo atacaban con morteros. Recuerda que una noche los emboscaron y mataron a su amigo, y ellos disparaban en todas direcciones porque no podían ver donde estaba al enemigo entonces él no sabe si mato a nadie. Las miserias de los civiles y lo que tenían que hacer para sobrevivir le han quedado grabadas en su memoria.
Jose Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez
Most Dangerous Conflicts / Conflictos Más Peligrosos
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez shares his memories of the most dangerous battles that Colombian troops faced. He discusses the perils during Operation Barbula and the bloody nature of the Battle of Old Baldy. Because of the heavy fighting Colombian troops encountered in March of 1953, they nicknamed it the “gory month of March.”
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez comparte sus recuerdos de las batallas más peligrosas que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas. Habla de los peligros durante la Operación Barbula y lo sangriento que fue la Batalla de Old Baldy. Debido a los intensos combates que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas en marzo de 1953, lo apodaron "el cruento mes de Marzo".
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez recalls the most difficult moments he faced while fighting in Korea. He details the fighting during operation Barbula and the fighting at Old Baldy. He explains that it was the longest night of his life and remembers having to take the place of a downed machine gunner.
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez recuerda los momentos más difíciles que enfrentó durante la guerra en Corea. Detalla los combates durante la operación Barbula y los combates en Old Baldy. Explica que fue la noche más larga de su vida y recuerda haber tenido que tomar el lugar de un ametrallador que habían matado.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez
Dangerous Arrival / Llegada Peligrosa
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez recounts the story of his voyage to Korea. He explains that his platoon were replacements for all those lost at Pork Chop Hill and Kelly Hill. His company was divided into two and he was part of the second wave of soldiers that would be sent to Korea. He provides an account on how fifty soldiers from the first wave were killed the day they arrived, as the train transporting them to Seoul was bombed by Russians.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez cuenta la historia de su viaje a Corea. Explica que su pelotón reemplazó a todas las bajas en Pork Chop Hill y Kelly Hill. Su compañía se dividió en dos y él formó parte de la segunda ola de soldados que serían enviados a Corea. Brinda un relato de cómo cincuenta soldados de la primera ola murieron el día que llegaron, cuando los aviones rusos bombardearon el tren que los transportaba a Seúl.
Jose Maria Gomez Parra
Sudden Attack / Sudden Attack / Ataque
José María Gómez Parra provides a detailed account of the start of the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the intense fighting that occurred and the manner in which Chinese troops advanced into their territory. He adds that the Chinese would try to dissuade Colombians from fighting through speakerphones by telling them they were going to die or have an amputated limb to diminish troop morale. He shares that during the battle he was an assistant machine gunner along with two other individuals, one of whom was killed and the other that ran away. He recalls how he kept his position and fought until he realized the hill was lost.
José María Gómez Parra ofrece un relato del inicio de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe el combate intenso que ocurrió y la forma en la cual las tropas chinas entraron a su territorio. Además, cuenta que los chinos trataban de disuadir a los colombianos de pelear a través de los altavoces diciéndoles que iban a morir o que les amputarían una extremidad para romper la linea de combate. Durante la batalla, fue asistente de ametralladora junto con otros dos individuos, uno de los cuales murió y el otro se escapó. El mantuvo su posición y luchó hasta que se dio cuenta de que la colina estaba perdida.
Forgotten Soldiers / Soldados Olvidados
José María Gómez Parra reflects on the negative impact the war had on most Colombian veterans. He explains that veterans were not commended upon their return and they did not receive the welcome they expected. He is saddened that he and his fellow soldiers put Colombia on the map and were treated incredibly poorly upon their return.
José María Gómez Parra refleja sobre el impacto negativo que tuvo la guerra en la mayoría de los veteranos colombianos. Explica que los veteranos no fueron celebrados cuando regresaron y no recibieron la bienvenida que esperaban. Le entristece que él y sus compañeros soldados pusieron a Colombia en el mapa y fueron tratados increíblemente mal a su regreso al país.
Wounded at Old Baldy / Herido en Old Baldy
José María Gómez Parra explains how he was wounded during the Battle of Old Baldy. Blinded and wounded from a grenade, he shares how he managed to crawl into a latrine for safety. As day broke, he recalls hearing Americans enter the battlefield. Although planes heavily bombed the area in an attempt to retake the hill from the Chinese, he surmises that some allied forces were killed during the bombing as there were between thirty and forty Colombians missing in action.
José María Gómez Parra explica cómo fue herido durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Cegado y herido en la pierna, se arrastró hasta una letrina para esconderse. Al amanecer, escuchó a los estadounidenses entrar al campo de batalla. Los aviones bombardearon intensamente el área en un intento de recuperar la colina que estaba a manos de los chinos. El supone que algunos soldados aliados murieron durante el bombardeo ya que hubo entre treinta y cuarenta colombianos desaparecidos en esa batalla.
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.
Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion
Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.
Juan Andres Arebalos
Stationed in Japan
Juan Andres Arebalos recounts his experience sailing on the USS Hope to Japan for advanced training on weaponry and fitness after completing basic training. He notes that every soldier had duties aboard the ship, and he worked in the ship's galley. He visited the location in Hiroshima where the atomic bomb landed during WWII, vividly remembering the indention in the land and people searching for belongings.
Tales of Survival
Juan Andres Arebalos admits that he did not feel he would survive the situation in Taejon. He comments that enemy troops would snatch the food and supplies dropped by United Nations airplanes. He recalls being so hungry that he ate fly-infested rice in a South Korean village. He recalls an enemy sniper shooting at them as they filled their canteens with water at a creek. He admits to being unable to sleep at night because of his fear.
Never to Forget
Juan Andres Arebalos provides insight into General McArthur's plan to contain Chinese forces behind their border. He explains how President Truman opposed General McArthur's intention to attack Chinese territory, but to the soldiers, it was the best option to prevent further casualties. He expresses his gratitude towards the brave Korean War veterans and his reverence for those who did not make it home.
Juan Jose Lopez De Victoria
No Soldier Left Behind / Ningún Soldado Olvidado
Juan José López de Victoria shares the story of how the remains of fallen Marines were never left behind. He recalls that six of his friends were killed following a helicopter ration drop as they were spotted by the enemy. While the remains were not immediately sent back to the United States, the Pentagon never gave up hope in returning them to their families. Decades after the war, the Pentagon contacted him to inquire about the incident, and the remains were finally sent to their loved ones.
Juan José López de Victoria comparte la historia de cómo los restos de los soldados caídos nunca se abandonaban. Él recuerda como seis de sus amigos murieron después de que un helicóptero tiro las raciones y fueron vistos por el enemigo. Aunque los cuerpos no fueron devueltos de inmediato a los Estados Unidos, el Pentágono nunca perdió la esperanza de devolverlos a sus familias. Décadas después de la guerra, el Pentágono lo contactó para preguntarle sobre el incidente y los restos finalmente fueron enviados a sus seres queridos.
Personal Impact / Impacto Personal
Juan José López de Victoria describes the impact the war had on his psyche. He explains that he suffered from nightmares in which he found himself in Korea after returning and into his old age. However, he considers himself luckier than many of his friends who found it more difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Juan José López de Victoria describe el impacto que tuvo la guerra en su psique. Explica que sufrió pesadillas en las que se encontraba en Corea después de regresar y hasta su vejez. Sin embargo, se considera más afortunado que muchos de sus amigos que no pudieron adaptarse a la vida civil.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez
Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez provides an account of the Battle of Kelly Hill. The 65th Infantry suffered many losses during this battle and needed reinforcements multiple times. He explains that Chinese forces set up traps to capture prisoners, but the traps, rigged with explosives, resulted in several casualties. After seeing so much death, he shares that he suffered vivid nightmares upon his return.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez brinda un relato de la Batalla de Kelly Hill. La Infantería 65 sufrió muchas bajas durante esa batalla y mandaron reemplazos varias veces. Explica que las fuerzas chinas tenían trampas para capturar prisioneros, pero las trampas, llenas de explosivos, resultaron en varias bajas. Después de ver tanta muerte, comparte que sufrió pesadillas a su regreso.
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 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.
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.
Leandro Diaz Miranda
Discrimination / Discriminación
Leandro Díaz Miranda recounts his experiences with American troops. He states that while he did not experience discrimination, he witnessed it the night Lieutenant White, who was known to be racist, sent the darkest skinned individual as a forward observer and that young man was never seen again. He felt that that most of his American superiors were good, even though they were strict.
Leandro Díaz Miranda relata sus experiencias con las tropas estadounidenses. Afirma que, aunque a él no lo discriminaron, el fue testigo a la discriminación la noche en que el teniente White, conocido por ser racista, envió al individuo de piel más oscura como observador avanzado y ese joven nunca lo volvieron a ver. Sintió que la mayoría de sus superiores estadounidenses eran buenos, aunque fueran estrictos.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Luis Arcenio Sánchez shares the most difficult moments of the war. He recalls an incident in which he and his lieutenant were almost killed while they were relaxing and ended up laughing at the fact that they were covered in dirt from the explosions. He additionally describes the fear of going out on patrol for three days as most times forward observers did not return alive.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Recuerda un incidente en el que él y su teniente casi mueren mientras se relajaban y terminaron riéndose del hecho de que estaban cubiertos de tierra. También describe el miedo que tenía cuando tuvo que salir a patrullar por tres días, ya que la mayoría de las veces los observadores de avanzada no regresaban vivos.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernandez
Personal Effect / Efecto Personal
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández explains the toll the war took on him and laments the loss of life caused by the war. Although he was not wounded, he was troubled with thoughts about what happened to him and others once he returned home. He composed a song as a tribute to Colombian soldiers and Korea. His original song highlights the valor of the Colombian soldier and is an homage to the people of Korea.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández explica el precio que le costó la guerra y lamenta la pérdida de vidas causada por la guerra. Aunque no fue herido, se vio obligado a tratar de dejar de pensar en lo que le sucedió a él y a los demás durante la guerra. Compuso una canción en homenaje a los soldados colombianos y a Corea. Su canción original ejemplifica el valor del soldado colombiano y es una oda para el pueblo de Corea.
Volunteering for a Dangerous War / Voluntariado Para una Guerra Peligrosa
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández offers his views on why he decided to volunteer for the war even after seeing friends return to Korea with amputations. He explains that they embarked with courage and discussed their futures on the voyage to Korea. The reality of the war instilled fear within him upon arriving and he was unsure he would return as he heard his friends die over the radio.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández ofrece sus recuerdos de por qué decidió presentarse como voluntario para la guerra incluso después de ver a sus amigos regresar de Corea con amputaciones. Explica que se embarcaron el barco con coraje y discutían su futuro en el viaje a Corea. La realidad de la guerra lo lleno de miedo al llegar y no estaba seguro de si regresaría cuando escuchó a sus amigos morir por la radio.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa
Legacy of Batallón Colombia / Legado del Batallón Colombia
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describes the most dangerous battles of the war. He provides an account of his participation in the Battle of Old Baldy and Hill 180 including a moment of heroism in which he charged up a hill to save his friend’s life. He believes that the battle of Old Baldy was a great triumph for Colombia as they the fought with so much valor.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describe las batallas más peligrosas de la guerra. Brinda un relato de su participación en la Batalla de Old Baldy y la colina 180 y cuenta sobre su momento de heroísmo en el que subió una colina para salvar la vida de su amigo. Él cree que la batalla de Old Baldy fue un gran triunfo para Colombia porque lucharon con mucho valor y el legado del batallón.
Luis Perez Alvarez
Living Conditions / Condiciones de Vida
Luis A. Perez Alvarez describes the living conditions in Korea. He remembers the rations they received while on the front lines. Moreover, he tells the story in which he lost his eyesight and was almost discharged early because of his injury.
Luis A. Pérez Alvarez describe las condiciones de vida en Corea. Recuerda las raciones que recibían cuando estaban en las líneas de combate. Además, cuenta la historia en la que perdió la vista y estuvo a punto de ser dado de alta a causa de su herida.
Luis Rosado Padua
Puerto Rican Pride / Orgullo Puertorriqueño
Luis Rosado Padua shares his pride of being an American citizen and a Puerto Rican. He recalls that Puerto Rican soldiers were given the worst missions because they displayed much valor and were the best soldiers in his opinion. For instance, he explains, it was Puerto Ricans that were sent to capture Kelly Hill.
Luis Rosado Padua comparte su orgullo de ser ciudadano estadounidense y puertorriqueño. Recuerda que a los soldados puertorriqueños les daban las peores misiones porque tenían mucho valor y eran los mejores soldados en su opinión. Explica el, que fueron los puertorriqueños los que fueron enviados a capturar a Kelly Hill.
The Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Luis Rosado Padua recalls his experience during the Battle of Kelly Hill. He was originally in the tank company, but when he was transferred to the medical unit, he was responsible for carrying out the wounded from the battlefield. He describes the carnage of the battle of Kelly Hill which seemed to be unending.
Luis Rosado Padua recuerda su experiencia durante la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Originalmente estaba en la compañía de tanques, pero cuando fue transferido a la unidad médica, estaba a cargo de sacar a los heridos del campo de batalla. Describe los horrores de la batalla de Kelly Hill que parecía interminable porque había tantos chinos que estaban peleando.
Maples and Metcalf
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.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella
Worst Battle / La Batalla Más Dura
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recounts his experience at the Battle of Hill 400. He explains the ground operation which resulted in his platoon piercing into enemy lines and capturing a number of prisoners of war, documents, and bloody cash. He details the way in which American airpower covered the platoon with the use of machine guns and napalm. He led his platoon on this mission without ever firing his gun as he was forced to fight with his bayonet in hand-to-hand combat. He described the battle as hell on earth and went in with the mindset that he had to win or die.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata su experiencia en la Batalla de la Colina 400. Explica la misión que resulto en su pelotón atravesara las líneas enemigas y capturar a varios prisioneros de guerra, documentos y dinero. Relata la forma en que el aviones estadounidense cubrieron el pelotón con el uso de ametralladoras y napalm. El dirigió su pelotón en esta misión sin disparar su arma, pero estuvo obligado a luchar con su bayoneta en un combate cuerpo a cuerpo. Describió la batalla como el infierno en la tierra y entró con la mentalidad de que tenía que vencer o morir.
The Forgotten War and Causes of PTSD
Marion Burdette feels the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because there was not a lot of publicity back on the home front. He recalls how many of the veterans did not speak about the war when they returned back home. He shares how he shot thousands of rounds of artillery while serving in Korea, leading to hearing loss. He recounts how he was stationed in Northern Korea and mentions he was almost caught as a POW. Due to his experiences on the front line, he shares that he has nightmares and PTSD.
Marion Burdette recounts walking in front of his vehicle when multiple land mines killed U.S. Army soldiers in his regiment. After clearing the land mines in the area, he recalls being able to set up the howitzer guns to engage in warfare. He describes how the impact of war on his life led him to feel that he needed to traveled the U.S. to release his stress. He recounts how he decided to reenlist in the Army for three years. He adds it was hard to readjust to life back in the United States.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Melvin J. Behnen
We Lost a Lot of Good Men
Melvin Behnen reflects on the time he found his buddy from his hometown was stationed near him. He elaborates on the time he was able to meet with Elmer Sand. He shares that his mother informed him through another letter that Elmer was killed a few days after their meeting.
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.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce
Personal Impact / Impacto Personal
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce explains the toll the war took on his psyche. He shares the fact that seeing many of his compatriots die affected his ability to sleep upon returning, and he admits that he still cries over his lost friends. Furthermore, he became fearful and nervous, thus finding it difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce explica el precio que la guerra tuvo en su psique. Comparte el hecho de que ver morir a muchos de sus compañeros lo afectó afecto al regresar y él admite que todavía llora por sus amigos que no volvieron. Además, volvió temeroso y nervioso, por eso le resultó difícil adaptarse a la vida civil.
Milton E. Vega
Fear on the Front Line / El miedo en la Línea
Milton Vega Rivera shares the memories of the battle that continue to haunt him. He feels guilty because he and a couple of others were heating up a can and thought that even though there was no smoke, this act revealed their location and led to a mortar attack which killed and injured many troops. He adds that night patrols were terrifying for him.
Milton Vega Rivera comparte los recuerdos de la batalla que aún lo persiguen. Se siente culpable porque él y un par de otros soldados estaban calentando una lata y pensaron que, aunque no había humo, este acto reveló su ubicación y provocó un ataque con morteros que mató e hirió a muchos soldados. Agrega que las patrullas nocturnas eran aterradoras.
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 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.
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.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa
Baptism by Fire / Bautismo de Fuego
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recalls how foolish he was for asking to be a machine gunner. He explains that this was an unwise decision because his commander told him that machine gunners were the first ones killed. He recalls the horrors of his first battle and losing the first machine gun. He laments these experiences and is not willing to fully discuss them.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recuerda lo tonto que fue por pedir ser ametrallador. Él explica que esta fue una mala decisión porque su comandante le dijo que los ametralladores eran los primeros que eliminan. Recuerda los horrores de su primera batalla y la pérdida de la primera ametralladora. Lamenta estas experiencias y no está dispuesto a discutirlas mucho.
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
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.
Pablo Delgado Medina
The Battle of Imjin River / La Batalla del Río Imjin
Pablo Delgado Medina provides an account of the Battle of the Imjin River which he considers to be the most difficult of the nine months he spent in Korea. He explains that troop placement created an iron triangle with a valley of death in the middle. He remembers the harrowing way in which they were forced to cross the river and the lack of air support for five days because of the monsoon season. He laments that a friend from his town and so many others lost their lives during those six days.
Pablo Delgado Medina cuenta la historia de la Batalla del río Imjin que él considera la más difícil de los nueve meses que pasó en Corea. Explica que la ubicación de las tropas creó un triángulo de hierro con un valle de muerte en el medio. Recuerda el peligro que enfrentaron cuando se vieron obligados a cruzar el río y la falta de apoyo aéreo durante cinco días debido a la temporada de monzones. Lamenta que un amigo de su pueblo y tantos otros perdieron la vida durante esos seis días.
Horrors of War / Los Horrores de la Guerra
Pascual Rosa Feliciano reflects on how terrible life was for both troops and civilians in South Korea. He describes incidents in which troops burned down small houses to draw out the enemy from hiding in small villages. He compares this suffering with the horrors of a battle in which so many of their troops were massacred after the use of napalm.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano discute lo terrible que era la vida tanto para las tropas como para los civiles durante la guerra. Describe incidentes en los que las tropas quemaban las casas pequeñas para sacar al enemigo de su escondite en los pueblos chicos. El compara este sufrimiento con los horrores de una batalla en la que muchos soldados fueron masacrados con el uso del napalm.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
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.
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.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales
Impact of the War / Impacto de la Guerra
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales reflects on the impact the war had on his personal life. He admits that suffered from nightmares about what happened during the war until his old age. He surmises that he may have picked up a disease while in Korea and that might be the reason why he returned unwell.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales habla sobre el impacto que la guerra tuvo en su vida. Él cuenta que tuvo pesadillas sobre lo que sucedido durante la guerra hasta su vejez. Supone que puede haber contraído una enfermedad mientras estaba en Corea y esa podría ser la razón por la cual regresó mal.
The Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales explains why the Battle of Kelly Hill was incredibly dangerous. He recounts a sad incident during the battle in which one of his childhood friends was killed in action. He explains that it was especially terrible because they had been friends since the first grade.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales explica por qué la Batalla de Kelly Hill fue tan peligrosa. Relata un triste incidente durante la batalla en el que uno de sus amigos de la infancia murió en acción. Explica que fue terrible porque habían sido amigos desde el primer grado y eran del mismo pueblo.
Battle of Jackson Heights / La Batalla de Jackson Heights
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describes the incident which led to his court martial. He recounts the difficulty troops had in keeping their position at the Battle of Jackson Heights. He explains that he was following the platoon when they descended and disobeyed orders to take the hill. He never imagined they would be in serious trouble for descending the hill.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describe el incidente que lo mando a la corte marcial. Él describe la dificultad que tuvieron las tropas para mantener su posición en la Batalla de Jackson Heights. Explica que estaba siguiendo al pelotón cuando descendieron y desobedecieron las órdenes de tomar la colina. Nunca imaginó que estarían en problemas tan serios por descender la colina.
Pell E. Johnson
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Rafael Gómez Román
Training Tragedy / Tragedia durante Entrenamiento
Rafael Gómez Román explains the living conditions he faced while in Korea. As he describes the weather, he includes a story in which Lieutenant Higgins was showing new recruits how to throw a grenade and because of the cold it got stuck to his hand and killed everyone around including three officers. He considers himself lucky as he should have been next to him during the demonstration but was called to a different task at that moment.
Rafael Gómez Román explica las condiciones de vivienda que tenían en Corea. Mientras describe el clima, incluye una historia en la que el teniente Higgins estaba demostrándole a los nuevos reclutas cómo lanzar una granada y, debido al frío, se le quedó pegada a la mano y mató a todos, incluidos tres oficiales. Se considera afortunado ya que debería haber estado a su lado durante esa demonstración, pero en ese momento fue llamado a una tarea diferente.
Lost Brothers / Compañeros Perdidos
Rafael Gómez Román shares the stories of how two of his friends were shot during the war. He still thinks about his friend Ángel Ortiz de Orocovis, whom they called Benny, and how he was killed by a sniper as he was singing unaware of the danger in the vicinity. Additionally, he describes the moment in which another friend was shot and handicapped while he was unable to help as he had to continue firing his weapon.
Rafael Gómez Román comparte las historias de cómo dos de sus amigos fueron disparado durante la guerra. Todavía piensa en su amigo Ángel Ortiz de Orocovis, a quien llamaban Benny, y en cómo un francotirador lo mató mientras cantaba sin darse cuenta del peligro que estaba tan cerca. Además, describe el momento en que otro amigo recibió un disparo y quedó discapacitado, y como él no podía ayudarlo porque tenía que seguir disparando su arma.
Rafael Rivera Méndez
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Rafael Rivera Méndez shares the most difficult moments of the war. He recalls the worst part of combat, which was waiting until after daybreak to remove the dead and take their places in the trenches. He reflects on the horrors of war and the degradation of human life.
Rafael Rivera Méndez comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Recuerda que la peor parte del combate, era esperar hasta después del amanecer para sacar a los muertos y ocupar sus lugares en las trincheras. Reflexiona sobre el horror de la guerra y la degradación de la vida humana.
Most Dangerous Place in the World
Ralph Hodge explains he returned to the front line following his days at Geojedo. He remembers he was assigned to Company C in what he references as the most dangerous place in the world. He details his injuries suffered as a result of a mistaken identity. He shares he received a Purple Heart fifty-two years after the event.
Pork Chop Hill
Ralph Hodge details how he and his unit came under fire on Pork Chop Hill on September 16th, 1953. He recalls the location was key in protecting the city of Seoul. He remembers being pinned down by wave after wave of Chinese descending on the hill and shares American casualties were devastatingly high.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Raymond L. Ayon
The War’s Painful Memories
Raymond L. Ayon vividly remembers his deployment to Korea, just two days after news of the war broke out on his base in Japan. Upon arrival in Suwon, he could hear the sounds of artillery in the distance. As soon as he disembarked from the C-47 transport plane, he and other medical personnel immediately tended to the wounded and attended to casualties. He was taken aback by the number of pine boxes he saw, which he later discovered were caskets made by South Korean carpenters. His experiences treating young soldiers, many of whom were no more than eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, left him with painful memories that he still carries with him to this day.
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
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."
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.
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.
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 H. Pellou
Dug in on Outskirts of Hagaru-ri
Robert H. Pellou recalls serving with a heavy weapons unit in Korea. He shares they worked with heavy machine guns and water-cooled Brownings. He recalls how he operated the only weapon of its type in Hagaru-ri. He remembers being surrounded by the Chinese on Dec. 6th and then the heavy machine guns being called forward as others pushed back to Wonsan. He explains how while feeding an ammunition belt into the gun, he was hit by enemy fire, ending his combat career.
Robert H. Pellou shares he left the service in early Fall 1952. He remembers there was a rather low-key reception when he returned home. He notes that for the next forty years he simply worked. He describes how, beginning in 1990, he became involved in several military organizations and has served as treasurer in four of these organizations. He expresses his opinion on war as sometimes you have it.
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.
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.
One of the Greatest Things We Ever Did
Robert Whited recalls movement of his unit from Seoul to Inchon and later Wonsan. The 5th Marines did not immediately go up to the Chosin Reservoir, but instead ran patrols out of Heungnam where he remembers encountering their first Chinese. He describes how when they were establishing a roadblock they were hit by the Chinese and pushed back to Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri and ultimately to the seashore. During the retreat, they were protecting thousands of Korean refugees who were ultimately loaded on a cargo ship and taken to Busan.
Robert Whited recalls the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was the worst memory of the war. He remembers having very little intelligence when they were hit by 100,000 Chinese. He shares how he and the other members of his unit dealt this tragic events such as having to fight their way out of the Chosin Reservoir resulting in the death of many men.
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.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. He notes that the U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. He remembers a sniper shoting at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. He recounts how the bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he was not hit by the actual bullet. He recalls other dangerous experiences which included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan (Busan), with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu (Daegu).
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
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
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.”
Roy Orville Hawthorne
The Road to Recovery
Roy Orville Hawthorne describes the extent of his injuries from enemy fire. He remembers the lieutenant crying as he offered encouragement at the sight of his wounds. While at the Mash hospital, he recalls a nurse taking his hand and saying, “Chief, you’re going to make it.” He describes traveling by bus to a regular hospital in Korea where he underwent surgery. He remembers spending a year at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C., for treatment and therapy for his wounds, including the amputation of his right leg.
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.
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. He recalls being taken to Geojedo POW camp in January 1951. He gives a thorough account of what it was like in the camps.
"Pieces of His Body Were Flying Around"
Salvatore Schillaci shares how he thinks about the bad things that happened when he has nothing else to do. He remembers how a friend of his stepped on a mine and was killed. He explains when he himself was injured, he returned home to receive hospital care in Massachusetts. He shares that, upon recovery, he returned to university to study geology on the GI Bill.
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.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz
Surviving the Battle of Old Baldy / Sobreviviendo a la Batalla de Old Baldy
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz recounts the dangers he encountered during the battle of Old Baldy. After two soldiers within his post were killed and his machine gun overheated, the only way for him to survive was by hiding for two days. The most difficult part of the battle was escaping as he found a fellow soldier with injured legs begging him for help which he then carried for one-and-one-half kilometers. He courageously carried him to safety while maneuvering through artillery falling nearby.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz relata los peligros que encontró durante la batalla de Old Baldy. Después que mataran a dos compañeros y su ametralladora se sobrecalentó, la única forma de sobrevivir fue escondiéndose durante dos días en un bunker. La parte más difícil de la batalla fue escapar, ya que encontró a un compañero soldado con las piernas lesionadas que le suplicaba ayuda y camino un kilómetro y medio cargándolo. Lo llevó a un lugar seguro mientras maniobraba a través de la artillería que caía cerca.
Personal Experience in Battle / Experiencia en Batalla
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz reflects on his time at the Battle of Old Baldy. He vividly remembers seeing Chinese soldiers lighting flares to find anyone that was hidden. He describes the recognition he received after his service including his five medals.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz refleja sobre su experiencia en la Batalla de Old Baldy. Recuerda vívidamente haber visto a los soldados chinos encender bengalas para encontrar a alguien que estuviera escondido. Relata del reconocimiento que recibió después de su servicio, incluyendo sus cinco medallas.
On the Frontlines, in a Minefield
Shorty Neff recalls an experience he had on the frontline. His unit was in a minefield, and they lost a tank. He recalls how after the battle was over, he and his unit went to recover the tank. He shares how his unit ended up losing a platoon leader in the minefield. He includes a story and photograph of a Korean soldier.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle
A Fallen Friend / Un Amigo Caído
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle shares the moments which most impacted him during the war. He explains that because he was a driver, he was responsible for delivering supplies and sometimes picking up the wounded. On one occasion, he was driving near the front line and found a friend who had been killed in action. That moment caused him guilt and sleeplessness as it reminded him of the perils of war.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle comparte los momentos que más lo impactaron durante la guerra. Explica que, como era chofer, era responsable de entregar suministros y, a veces, de recoger a los heridos. En una ocasión, estaba conduciendo cerca de la línea del frente y encontró a un amigo que lo habían matado. Ese momento le causó culpa e insomnio porque le hizo acordar de los peligros de la guerra.
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.
Sterling N. McKusick
Injured, Hospitalized, and Returned to Korea
Sterling N. McKusick remembers how during the trip down the mountain from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir that it got dark quickly, and they were ordered to travel without lights. He recalls how about nine miles down the road, they encountered a Chinese roadblock in the area of a frozen creek bed. He explains his truck was sandwiched between other trucks ahead of and behind his when the Chinese started shooting. He describes how his truck was hit and how part of the engine destroyed. He shares he was wounded during this time and recalls spending a long cold night in a ditch before things subsided as the Chinese did not like to fight in daylight. He eventually spent six or seven weeks in a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, before returning to his unit to finish out his time in Korea.
The Dead Stick in Your Mind
Sterling N. McKusick states that the dead always stick in his mind. He recounts one occasion near Wonsan in October 1950 when his unit discovered between three hundred to four hundred civilians slaughtered by the North Koreans. He believes he had it easier than many of the infantrymen who were constantly under fire while in Korea. He notes that after a short time, he simply got numb to the stuff. He provides an account of seeing North Korean tank units in Seoul who had died at the hands of napalm deployed by U.S. Marines and the Navy. He concludes that it never really goes away but that he came to see himself fortunate that it was not him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 E. Cork, Sr.
Thomas E. Cork, Sr. discusses his pride of serving as a U.S. Marine and being a Korean War Veteran
Thomas E. Cork, Sr. expresses his pride of serving in the Korean War and not being bitter about being injured. He speaks of appreciating the "Thank you" he receives for his service and how it makes him feel a hero. He reflects how the Veterans Administration has provided for him after being injured.
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.
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.
Letter from Home
Tine Martin shares that he missed his mother the most and wrote letters to her often. He recounts one painful letter from his girlfriend while in Korea which he refers to as a "Dear John" letter and resulted in a breakup. He recalls having to censor the content in his letters and provides an example of one incident he was not allowed to write about due to its sensitivity.
Tom A. Bezouska
We Were Losing Our Friends (Graphic)
Tom Bazouska remembers returning to the front lines as a part of the medical company. After transferring from infantry to medical company, he thought that they would be stationed further back from the front lines. Since the fighting was intensifying, the two brothers went back to their original unit. He elaborates on the fact that as a medic your work begins when the shelling starts and you experience your friends dying in your arms.
Ulises Barreto González
Destruction Everywhere / Destrucción en Todas Partes
Ulises Barreto González recounts the destruction he saw in Incheon and Seoul. He could not believe that beautiful five story buildings were leveled by the bombing. He also speaks about the carnage of Kelly Hill. He explains the fact that this battle is the most vivid in his mind because the mountain was so high and because it was lost to Chinese forces.
Ulises Barreto González habla sobre la destrucción que vio en Incheon y Seúl. No podía creer que tantos hermosos edificios de cinco pisos fueron destruidos por el bombardeo. También habla del peligro de Kelly Hill. Esa batalla es la más vívida en su memoria porque la montaña era muy alta y porque las fuerzas chinas ganaron y ellos perdieron.
Impact of War / Impacto de la Guerra
Ulises Barreto González discusses the impact of the war and his mental adjustment upon returning home. He considers himself lucky as he did not experience much PTSD, but he still has nightmares sixty years later. When he reunites with other veterans, he prefers not to speak about what happened.
Ulises Barreto González habla sobre el impacto que la guerra tuvo en su futuro y como se ajustó al regresar a su hogar. Se considera afortunado ya que no tuvo mucho TEPT, pero todavía tiene pesadillas sesenta años después de la guerra. Cuando se reencuentra con otros veteranos, prefiere no hablar de lo sucedido.
The Costs of War
Vikram Tuli talks about the effects of war, and how the families of veterans from twenty-two countries were affected by this conflict. Generations will pass before that wound fully heals. He believes the deeper connections between countries such as education, commerce, and culture will help prevent these types of conflicts in the future. He reminds us to love thy neighbor and that we are one.
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
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.
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.
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.
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar
Most difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar shares the most difficult moments that he experienced during the war. He explains how he lost his hearing after a mine exploded near his ear. Additionally, he shares the story of an attack in which he was transporting goods when they were bombarded with mortars. He explains that he was able to escape, but lamented the fact that all their Korean civilian workers were killed during the attack.
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar cuenta los momentos más difíciles que vivió durante la guerra. Explica cómo perdió la audición después de que una mina exploto cerca de su oído. Asimismo, comparte la historia de un ataque en el que transportaba mercancías cuando fueron bombardeadas con morteros. Cuenta que él pudo escapar, pero lamentó el hecho de que los coreanos civiles que trabajaban con ellos fueron matados durante el ataque.
Transportation Disaster / Desastre de Transporte
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar explains the catastrophic start to his deployment in Korea. He recounts the way in which everyone on his truck convoy was hurt following an accident with a train. While everyone on the truck wanted to be taken to the hospital, he insisted on boarding the train that led him to the boat he would take for Korea.
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar explica el catastrófico inicio de su despliegue a Corea. Relata la forma en que todos en su camión fueron heridos tras un accidente con un tren. Mientras todos los heridos en el camión querían que los llevaran al hospital, él insistió en abordar el tren que lo llevó al bote que tomaría para Corea.
Serving in Korea
Wilbur Barnes discusses what it was like on a 105mm Howitzer crew. He recalls losing his hearing and being moved to a forward observer because of hearing loss. He notes how everywhere was the front.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Sacrifice: Serving Others Before Self
William Steele details the sacrifice made by the Navy Corpsman assigned to them. He recalls how the corpsman kept them patched up and always appeared with dry socks for their feet in hopes of avoiding frostbite. He remembers how checked them all in upon arrival at the hospital, putting himself last only to have his own foot come off with his boot.
Landing in Inchon
William Whitely recalls taking a LST to transfer from his ship to the shore since the harbor was so shallow. He states that no one he knew was killed during the landing. He notes, however, that his close friend from his tiny hometown died near their base when he drown in water near the base.
Dangers of Hauling Ammunition
William Whitley spent much of his time in Korea hauling ammunition to the front lines. He notes he worked with a 105 company which meant the boxes ammunition he would drop behind the guns weighed 105 pounds. He recalls that while they were unloading ammunition, each of the six guns were ordered to fire 1200 rounds at will. The repercussions of these guns resulted in Whitley suffering broken ear drums and damaged hearing which he just accepted until 2012.
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.