Tag: Physical destruction
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
Abisai González Camacho
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Abisai González Camacho recounts his first impressions of Korea. He explains that he could not believe his surroundings upon first seeing the front line. He remembers that while he was treated well by his commanding officers, they were in fact very tough individuals.
Abisai González Camacho habla sobre sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que no podía creer lo que lo rodeaba cuando vio por primera vez la línea del frente. Recuerda que sus oficiales lo trataron bien, y sin discrimen, aunque eran personas muy duras.
A Picture of Before and After
Adam McKenzie offers a reflection on the Korea of 1950, compared to what he saw when he revisited in 2011. He describes a former Korea of ruins, and a modern society full of high rises and bullet trains. He shares his perception that South Korea has made advancements much more rapidly since the Korean War than the United Kingdom did during the Industrial Revolution.
Adam McKenzie describes clearing the town of Sariwon, North Korea. Although they received no tank support from American aid, his battalion mounted their miniature tanks to make an advance. He recounts capturing roughly three thousand North Korean soldiers as a result of the advance.
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.
Destruction and Poverty
Ahmet Tan describes the conditions of the Koreans during the Korean War. He describes the people as "good," but impoverished. He also described how the Turkish troops looked after some orphaned children, feeding them and providing them shelter in the military tents.
Arriving in Korea
Albert Kleine arrived in Pusan, Korea in 1953. After landing, he went to Seoul and saw fighting along with mass destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and he asked himself why he came all this way, but later he realized that it was to liberate South Korea.
Surviving a Chinese and North Korean Attack
Albert Kleine was stationed near the Imjin River during his time in the Korean War. He was very fearful of the flowing river and the sounds it gave off that showed its strength. Later he would realize that the river was nothing compared to the flutes signaling the attack by thousands of Chinese and North Korean troops.
The Cold went Right to Your Soul
Albert Kleine felt that the cold weather was the worst part of fighting in Korea. Even though he was stuck there fighting the Chinese in the terrible weather, he doesn't hate them because they were only told to fight. He wasn't fighting the man, he was fighting the country.
The Kindness of the Korean People
Albert Kleine was brought to tears when talking about his Korean revisit. When he revisited Korea, he was wearing his uniform and the adults along with the children were so kind to him since he was a soldier. In 2016 he went back for a funeral there and he wants to go there to live for the rest of his life because he has seen the evolution of the city.
Albert R. Sayles
Japan: Living Conditions and the Tachikawa Air Disaster
Albert Sayles offers an account of his time spent in Japan training with the 6th Tank Battalion of the 24th Division at the base of Mt. Fuji. He describes his living conditions and the cold winter he and others endured. He recalls a tragic accident known as the Tachikawa Air Disaster which took place while he was stationed there, killing one hundred twenty-nine servicemen who were returning to Korea following R and R in Japan. He shares that the images of the bodies lined in the hangar and thoughts of how quickly their lives ended are with him even today.
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.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Alfredo Forero Parra remembers the complete devastation he encountered upon arriving in Korea. He conveys the disbelief he felt when he saw the destruction of most structures and bridges. He recalls the suffering of the civilian population as they begged for food. He states that suffering was most reflected in the eyes of the children.
Alfredo Forero Parra recuerda la devastación que encontró al llegar a Corea. Habla del horror que sintió cuando vio la destrucción de la mayoría de las estructuras y puentes en el país. Recuerda el sufrimiento de la población civil y como rogaban por comida. En su opinión, el sufrimiento se reflejaba más en los ojos de los niños.
Transformation of Korea
Ali Dagbagli describes the transformation of South Korea. He describes what he saw during the war. Kids were begging for food and cigarettes for their fathers. Contrast this with today where Seoul was clean, no dirt and no cigarettes on the ground. Ali Dagbagli could never have imagined the transition in such a short period of time.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.
Highway Through The Danger Zone
Allen Clark described the harrowing scene he experienced coming out of the narrow road while leaving the Chosin Reservoir making them easy targets for the enemy. Allen Clark was sitting in the back seat of a Jeep when the enemy fired a shot that punctured through the gas tank (quickly emptying it), and shooting a hole right through the tire. They jumped out of the jeep and ran behind a small hill that was just beyond some railroad tracks as a parapet while the Jeep driver hooked their vehicle to a truck and pulled it out of Kunwoori.
Participation in the Inchon Landing-September 1950
Allen Clark participated in the Inchon Landing and he could see the ladders and see the fighting along the beaches. As he moved throughout Korea, he saw trucks, troops, and mortars coming into his area. While sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags with little supplies, Allen Clark and his fellow Marines worked in shifts to protect their regiment 24 hours a day.
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.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
Allen E. Torgerson
Off Duty & Rest and Relaxation
Allen Torgerson shares that one was never really off duty during the war as one was still involved in everyday army duties other than when on Rest and Relaxation (R&R). He recounts spending a few days in both Japan and Seoul during R&R and remembers there not being much to do in Seoul as the city was destroyed. He shares that if one found some spare time in camp, he would play cards to pass the time.
Alvin A. Gould
Arriving in Korea
Alvin Gould talks about arriving at Incheon in December 1953 and traveling to Seoul. He describes leaving the ship and his impressions of the capital city. He mentions that one of the few buildings standing was called the Chosin Hotel.
Withholding the Difficulties of War
Alvin Jurrens details an experience out on the front lines as a forward observer on the 38th Parallel. He recalls feeling safe in the bunker, but shortly after his departure, it was blown up. He shares a second close encounter he endured in a jeep incident as well. He acknowledges that someone was watching over him in both accounts. He also explains that he wrote letters home to his mother but withheld information regarding the difficulties there as he did not want her to worry.
Andrew Cleveland recalls never being attacked by enemy aircraft, but he does remember being attacked by mines. He remembers constantly looking for submarines, although he could not remember finding any. He shares he was generally out of harm's way from major combat. He remembers going through a typhoon, with waves so big that they split open part of the ship. He recounts not knowing if the ship was going to sink or turnover at the time, but adds they survived the storm and were able to repair the ship.
Children of War
Andrew Lanza's initial encounter as he landed in Pusan was filled with shock because he never heard of Korea. One image that he will never forget is hungry children carrying other children on their backs. Some of the children were, as he described, "disfigured."
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.
Andrew V. “Buddy” Blair
Air Raid Support for the Chosin Reservoir
Andrew V. "Buddy" Blair describes working on airplanes heading out for raids on the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls not knowing what was occurring in the battle as Marines who were brought in were too traumatized to share much information. He adds that airplanes evacuated wounded soldiers from there to either Japan or to hospital ships off the coast of Korea.
Angad Singh reflects on his impressions of Korea immediately following the war. He remembers arriving in Incheon in 1953 when Syngman Rhee was Korea's President. He noticed devastation everywhere. He arrived at the DMZ and recalls seeing no buildings left. He remembers seeing huts made from mud and next to no industry in the area.
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.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Anibal Ithier-Rodriguez describes his first impressions of the war. He explains that within the first two weeks of combat, the kitchen at his camp was bombed and one sergeant was angry that they were brought rations and demanded, at gun point, that they should all get hot food. Additionally, he shares his memories of the Korean countryside.
Anibal Ithier-Rodríguez describe sus primeras impresiones de la guerra. Explica que, dentro de las primeras dos semanas de combate, la cocina de su campamento fue bombardeada y un sargento estaba enojado porque les trajeron raciones y exigió, a punta de pistola, que todos deberían recibir comida caliente. Además, comparte sus recuerdos del paisaje coreano.
Finding the Remains of Chinese Soldiers
Tony Vaquero tells a story when he and several of his comrades, while exploring the countryside near his station, found the aftermath of a battle. At the top of a heavily damaged hilltop they found shoes, soon after finding the remains of Chinese soldiers.
372nd Bombardment Squadron
Antone Jackim talks about the mission of the 372nd Bombardment Squadron based at Kadena Air base, Japan. He describes the 9-member crew and the typical mission that was carried out on a B-29 Superfortress.
Role at the Pusan Perimeter
Arden Rowley offers an account of his role as a jeep driver at the Battle of Yongsan. He provides an overview of the troop movement that led to the North Koreans being pushed back to the Nakdonggang river. He explains his role in helping transport an inexperienced bazooka team to successfully destroy incoming enemy tanks.
Moment of Hesitation Led to Capture
Arden Rowley describes the night of November 30, 1950 and being captured by the Chinese Communist Forces. He describes how his unit was surrounded, which led them to destroy their equipment and leave the convoy. He recalls how he and another soldier became separated from the group and seeing a group of soldiers approaching. He remembers that by the time they could properly identify the approaching soldiers, it was too late. He shares how being captured was a traumatic experience because one minute you are firing at them and then you are at their mercy. He elaborates on his fears while being captured and the twenty-four day march he endured to the first POW camp.
Devastation and Destruction of Seoul
Aristides Simoes reflects on his memories of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, after the war. Despite seeing civilians and soldiers on the streets, the city itself was filled with dust, destruction, and debris. He also details the extreme poverty many South Koreans were experiencing at the time.
Aristofaris Androulakis discusses how all he saw in Korea in the 1950s were ruins and destruction. He shares how he felt proud when he returned to Korea in 2007. He shared how it was so different and he couldn't believe it was the same place.
Why Would They Fight for This?
Arthur Alsop remembers arriving into a really rough wharf on a hot day in June. He describes the “flimsy” houses that he saw. He said Seoul was bombed out. He shares how he asked himself a very important question- Why would anyone fight over a country like this?
Arthur C. Golden
Baptism By Fire (Graphic)
Arthur Golden recounts his first days in Korea and the fear he experienced when the shooting began. He describes the experience of his company moving to set up the perimeter and a rifle company digging in near them. He remembers meeting the rifle company's squad leader while digging a foxhole and the following day seeing that soldier’s lifeless body removed. He shares as part of their role for the United States Marine Corps 1st Division, they successfully pushed the enemy back. Following this success, he recalls regrouping for the Incheon Landing. Shortly after the landing, he describes the retaking of Seoul and moving down to Wonsan.
"Little" Battle at Pusan Perimeter
Arthur Gentry fought in Pusan at the perimeter where the North Koreans had taken control. United States troops were ordered to dig in and begin to dig fox holes as heavy mortars were falling as his commander was injured. They were there for two days to help straighten out the line for the army and provide support for the army. This is an example of how quickly some troops were embroiled in battles as they landed in Korea.
Inchon Landing: 15 Foot Ladders
Arthur Gentry and his comrades created 15-foot ladders to use to "land" in Inchon by scaling a 15-foot sea wall. The tide went out for 6 miles, so this was how the troops had to get ashore.
The marines climbed over the side of the ship and went into the boats. Rockets and bombardments awaited the Marines as they approached Inchon.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Heungnam Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
Legacy of the Korean War
Arthur Gentry believes that if it were not for the Marines, there would not have been victory at the Chosin Reservoir. Casualties were hight with 3600 U.S. soldiers killed in action, and another 6000 suffered from frostbite. Arthur Gentry believes that the Korean War, otherwise known as the "Forgotten War," was the last war the U.S. "won" and accomplished anything. He believes the victory lies within the Marines holding the line and the U.S. nurturing South Korea to flourish economically and democratically.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
Young Bill's Action at Yang-do
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes action aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo patrolling the east coast of Korea during the war and how he got the nickname - "Young Bill." He recounts his duties in gun direction during an attempted North Korean invasion of the island of Yang-do, which is in North Korea. As a result of Yang-do, his memories of the dead haunt him to this day.
Arthur W. Sorgatz
Impact from a Tour in Korea and Japan
Arthur Sorgatz was able to learn about how other people live when he was stationed in Busan starting in 1954. Poverty was very high in Korea after the war and America's poverty level is nothing compared to Korea's at that time. In Japan, Arthur shipped damaged trucks to the port while creating his own fun by scaring Japanese civilians by backfiring trucks right within busy towns.
Two Different Koreas
Asefa Desta describes the two different Koreas, war-torn and present. He never thought there would be such a significant change. Korea was so broken during the war. However, hard work by the people was able to transform Korea into what it is today. Asefa Desta also compares the change between Ethiopia and Korea over the same time period.
Korea: Yesterday to Today
Austin Timmins compares his observations from visiting Korea in 1998, to what he witnessed during the Korean War. He also details how impressed he is with Korea's development. He has knowledge of South Korea's development, but his legacy far exceeded his expectations.
Impressions of Korea
Avery Creef shares the image of Korea he has in his mind. He recalls seeing many mountains. He recounts landing in Incheon at dark but remembers the city being destroyed. He also recalls seeing Seoul on his way out of Korea and remembers it being destroyed.
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.
Living Conditions, Daily Routine
Avery Creef recalls never being able take a shower. He recounts never being dressed properly for the freezing winter weather. He slept in a bunker and ate C-rations. He shares how he enjoyed eating the pork and beans and adds that everything else tasted terrible. He remembers receiving packages from home periodically which would include better food options. He also remembers writing letters home.
Baldwin F. Myers
Fighting His Way Back to the Lines
Baldwin Myers describes the Battle of Jinju and his time behind enemy lines. As the city was falling, Baldwin Myers had to find a weapon and fight his way back to American lines. He successfully rejoined American forces the day before Jinju fell.
Barry J. McKay
Cold and Rough
Barry J. McKay describes his most dangerous and difficult moments aboard two other ships in his time in Korea, a British destroyer for training and then the New Zealand frigate, the HMNZS Taupo. He describes enemy attacks and his role in escorting landing parties.
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.
The Dangers of Providing Supplies for Troops
Basilio MaCalino landed at Incheon in March 1953. From there, he went to Sasebo on his way to his station in Ascom City. When arriving there, human waste was everywhere and the smell was something that he'll never forget. When leaving his station in a truck to bring supplies to troops, he was shot at multiple times.
Life in Ascom City
Basilio MaCalino was stationed at Ascom City and he hated that there wasn't any fresh milk, eggs and hot water for his shower. When it was cold, he only showered once a week. Basilio MaCalino was able to sleep in an old building and was signed house boys to help around the base.
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Legacy of the War and Korean Progress
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the legacy of the Korean War in Ethiopia. The war, comparable to many nations is underrepresented. He attributes this to the greater context of the war on communism. Also, Korea was destroyed for many years following the war and could not raise awareness for the war.
Ben Schrader Jr.
Duties to Ensure Safety
The Combat Chemical Engineer Corps developed smoke screens over the rivers which would allow the battalion to lay the bridges without being attacked by the enemy. The worry was that while placing these bridges, the enemy would lay mines in the river bottoms, so the engineers were hoping they had done their job well without risking the lives their fellow soldiers. Ben Schrader hoped that all the bombs had be deactivated prior to coming so close to these rivers.
Language Acquisition was Crucial
Communication was difficult when working with the Korean infantry, so US Army trained Korean soldiers in Arabic numerals & map reading. They could help provide the coordinates to fire on the number of units, battalion or regiments they anticipated coming in. It proved crucial to know which weapons worked with the right fuse and how these weapons would effect the enemy.
Learning Japanese Headed to Korea and the Army Point System
While on the troop ship going over to Korea, the loud speaker system on the ship was only playing conversational language in Japanese, not in Korean. This showed the soldiers that no one had the opportunity to learn Korean before landing in this combat zone. While stationed in a war zone, the Army gave out 4 points for soldiers at the front lines, 3 for troops farther back, 2 for soldiers in Japan providing supplies, and 1 point for troops on the home front. Ben Schrader was earning 4 points a month, so he was able to rotate off the front lines after a year.
10 Days and a Much Needed Shower
Everything was provided for the soldiers, so pay was always sent back to the US. Combat fatigues were provided and showers were only provided every 10-12 days. Charcoal was provided for heat and since you had to carry your water for drinking, water was scarce. Ben recalled the trucks carrying large containers of hot water pulled up and they had installed pipes that sprayed hot water to produce a "shower" effect for the men as they stood under in 20-degree weather.
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.
Letter to Future Wife / Carta Para Su Futura Esposa
Benigno Ramos Pérez has his wife read a letter he wrote to her from the front lines. Within the letter, he provides a firsthand account of the dangers he encountered and comments on his inability to sleep. He details how two sergeants were injured during combat and praises American troops. He emphasizes the importance of their love in the letter.
Benigno Ramos Pérez hace leer a su esposa una carta que le escribió cuando él estaba en Corea. Dentro de la carta, provee un relato de los peligros que encontró y comenta como no podía dormir. Detalla cómo dos sargentos resultaron heridos durante el combate y comenta que las tropas estadounidenses eran buenas. Incluye la importancia de su amor en la carta.
First Days in Korea
Benjamin Allen shares he left for Korean in September 1950. He recounts his journey to Japan and then on to Busan (Pusan), Korea. He recalls riding a train towards Seoul which he remembers seeing burned as the North Koreans were retreating from the city. He offers his take on fear.
Benjamin Basham describes his company going into the city of Seoul, capturing the Capital, raising the flag, and clearing out the resistance. He says that during the night they were assaulted, yet he was so tired he slept through all the gunfire. He remembers the reception of the Korean residents, who at first were dazed, but then were welcoming of the Americans.
No Windows Anywhere
Bernard Brownstein describes the condition of Seoul during the war. He explains what the food markets looked like at the side of the street. In addition, he explains the bullet holes and blown out windows of the capital's buildings.
Ingenuity of the Korean People
Bernard Brownstein shares his memories of Seoul and its disheveled state. He marvels at the ingenuity of the South Korean people as he recounts how they constructed their homes and carried out everyday tasks. He adds that the automatic internal ingenuity of the Korean people led them from where they were to where they are now.
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.
Iron Triangle Strategy
Bernard Dykes details the strategy at his placement within the Iron Triangle. He describes why it was named this and being there with French soldiers. He also mentions battles that happened before and after his time there and the devastation endured.
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.
Bernard Smith- Struggles with Equipment
Bernard Smith described that the equipment that was set up was only good for a 50 mile radius and many times they would need to reach as far as 200 miles to get a signal. Since there wasn't a hill in between their location, they could operate from machines and make compromises to get it to work. They had multiple diesel-fueled generators to ensure they were able to continue to operate if the other ran out and the freezing cords were another concern as Bernard Smith lived through the cold winters in Korea.
What Adjective Would You Chose to Describe Korea during the war?
Bernard Smith described Korea as if the conditions and people during the war went "back in time." He said he could equate what he saw to living the harsh life in rural America where people had next to nothing, but were still happy. He described children would pull empty Hershey boxes with a string as if it was a toy truck and were so content.
Bernard Smith's encounter with Seoul when they arrived was a devastated and torn apart city. An example is a governmental business that had its windows blown out and walls collapsed, but what parts were still standing and areas safe enough to work, the government continued to work there. The area where Bernard Smith was stationed appeared to be untouched.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago
Lucky to be Alive / Vivo de Milagro
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago shares one of the most impactful moments of the war. He describes the incident in which he and others were almost killed by friendly fire when they were attempting to prepare mortars in Seoul. Following that attack, he remembers how they went on a trek and forever engraved in his memory is the sight of a little four-year-old girl begging on the side of the road.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago comparte uno de los momentos más impactantes de la guerra. El describe el incidente en el que él y otros casi murieron por fuego amigo cuando intentaban preparar morteros en Seúl. Después de ese ataque, él recuerda que hicieron una caminata y siempre le quedo grabado en su mente el recuerdo de una niña de cuatro años que mendigaba al costado de la carretera.
First Days at War / Primeros Días en la Guerra
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describes his first impressions of Korea and the utter devastation he encountered. He remembers being immediately struck by the fact that the train which transported them to the front was riddled with bullet holes. Furthermore, he details the way in which Seoul was destroyed and the way in which a major bridge was blown up by the allies to prevent troop advancement by the enemy.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y la devastación total que encontró. Recuerda que le llamó la atención el hecho de que el tren que los transportaba al frente estaba lleno de agujeros de balazos. Además, detalla la forma en que Seúl fue destruida y la forma en que los aliados volaron un puente importante para evitar el avance de las tropas enemigas.
The Effects of the Winter / Los Efectos del Invierno
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago recounts the living and weather conditions they faced in Korea. He remembers being amazed by the frigid temperatures and describes the effects on both living and deceased soldiers. He further elaborates on the weather by describing how allied troops left North Korea by boat after blowing up the port.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago relata las condiciones de vida y del clima que enfrentaron en Corea. Recuerda estar asombrado al frio que había y describe los efectos del invierno tanto en los soldados vivos como en los muertos. Da más detalles sobre el tiempo al describir cómo las tropas aliadas se fueron de Corea del Norte en barco después de volar el muelle.
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill
One Hundredth Combat Mission in Korea
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill discusses his one hundredth combat mission in Korea. He details how he was relaying radio information between planes flying in North Korea and the bases in the South. After flying over Choto Island as his primary mission, he describes how he found and fired on an enemy truck at the end of his mission and narrowly missed parts of the exploding truck.
The Plight of the Korean People
Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.
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.
Billy J. Scott
The Rubble of Seoul
Billy Scott describes civilian men, women, and children starving in the destruction of Seoul. He shares that he and other American soldiers had never seen anything like it. He recounts gathering c-rations along with other fellow troops and tossing them to those in need.
The Eye-Opening Trip to Pusan
Bob Couch discusses his basic training in California and his deployment to Korea. He recounts the "jolt" he experienced upon his arrival in Pusan after seeing the state of destruction and poverty level among civilians. He recalls trucks making rounds each morning to collect bodies of civilians who had died during the night.
Letters Home and Witnessing Death
Bob Couch speaks about the letters he sent home, arriving anywhere from 2 weeks to a month after he sent them, and shares a few words about witnessing death. He mentions one particular day where many suffered severe wounds and recounts ditches filled with American blood. He describes the scene as unimaginable and unlike any movie he had viewed.
An Appalling Situation
Brian Hamblett describes looking into a foxhole and finding a Chinese soldier. He explains that the soldier was just as surprised and pulled his grenade without throwing it. The Chinese soldier was badly injured from his own grenade. He goes on to describe seeing the results of napalm and growing more horrified by the memories of it as he has grown older. He describes the burned bodies and total suffocation of the land.
An Appreciation for South Korea
Brian Kanof shares some of his thoughts about Korea and Korean culture. He recalls his first encounter with a Hyundai automobile and the driving habits during his visit in 1978. He speaks about the progress, including a reforestation project, he saw in Korea as a member of the U.S. Special Forces.
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.
The Korean War Homecoming and the Lack of American Pride
As Bruce Ackerman and the Korean War veterans returned home from the war, many US citizens lacked an understanding and scope of the Korean War. Many US civilians stated that the Korean War was nothing more than a police action. Bruce Ackerman recalled the success of the US Marine Corps during the Pusan Perimeter as they defeated the North Koreans and the Chinese. With the help from strong leadership and effective equipment, North Koreans and Chinese were beaten and this was monumental to Bruce Ackerman.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Bruce W. Diggle
Bruce Diggle shares photos he took while in Korea. He shows photos of his travels from Pusan to Seoul through the countryside. His photos show the low level of development of Pusan and the destruction of bridges along with the city of Seoul itself.
Hill 355 and the "Apostles"
Bruce Diggle shows the famous Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. The British Commonwealth forces fought for possession of Hill 355 during the series of battles that corresponded to the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge to the east. The North Koreans were positioned on three smaller hills that the Kiwis nicknamed the Apostles - Matthew, Luke, and John. He took pictures of the North Korean positions during a truce.
Departure and Revisit
Bruce Diggle left Korea in 1954 by ship and went to London. In London, he met up with his soon-to-be wife who left for London when he left for Korea. They were married upon his arrival in London. He returned to Korea with a revisit program offered to New Zealand veterans. He is very appreciative of South Korea's efforts to bring veterans back and is impressed by the development of South Korea since the war.
Evacuating Heungnam, Off to Busan
Carl Hissman describes his experience at the evacuation of Heungnam. He remembers being the last one off of the beach. He recalls seeing many North Korean refugees and remembers the roads were so full of people. He shares they were able to save some but not all. He remembers seeing a blown-up village and two civilians frozen dead. After Heungnam, his unit went down to Busan and began pushing back up north towards Seoul.
Service Role in Korea
Carl Hissman describes his experience in Korea. His shares how his job was to find new positions where the company could set up its guns. He recalls once bailing out of his jeep with his rifle because he saw some Chinese soldiers. He remembers shots being fired from both sides, but neither side was hit. He remembers seeing the Chinese soldiers use cocaine. At the closest, he remembers being about 100 yards away from the Chinese soldiers. He recalls having two KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) soldiers with him.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen recounts jump training in Daegu, Korea, and recalls making multiple training jumps in order to receive his wings. He offers an account of his first combat jump and details the related mission. He comments on the destruction he saw during his service.
Escaping Through Marine Corps Bombs
Carl Rackley reflects on his experiences at the 38th Parallel. He describes being trapped there for roughly ten nights. He also details the amount of Chinese soldiers there. He expresses his gratitude for the Marine Corp troops who bombed the area for him to escape.
Aiming Without Seeing the Enemy
Carl Rackley describes his job responsibilities concerning weaponry of the war. His unit prepared the Artillery 155 weapons. He details loading shells and powder for combat. He also describes the inability to see their target and using spotters to help their aim.
Carl W. House
Destruction of Civilian Homes
After Carl House's unit left the Incheon landing site, they headed to Seoul. He said the first time he witnessed the capital, it was gone due to total destruction. When American tanks arrived, they would level the buildings to keep the North Koreans from using them. Carl House said they warned civilians to leave their homes before the soldiers destroyed them. However, recently, Carl House was was surprised at a doctor's office when he came across a magazine in the waiting room describing South Korea's accomplishments since the war.
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.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto
A Destroyed Korea/ Una Corea Destruida
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto recounts his first impressions of Korea. He recalls the utter devastation of cities including Seoul and Incheon and other important villages. Amongst the destruction, he remembers the many orphans he saw while he was being sent to the front lines. This occurred while he and others were being sent to support troops from the First Battalion that were fighting with U.N. Forces.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto cuenta sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda la devastación total de ciudades como Seúl e Incheon y otros pueblos importantes. Entre la destrucción, recuerda a los muchos huérfanos que vio mientras lo enviaban al frente por ferrocarril y camión. Esto ocurrió mientras él y otros fueron enviados a apoyar a las tropas del Primer Batallón que luchaban con las Fuerzas de la ONU.
Fear During the Battle of Old Baldy/ Miedo Durante la Batalla de Old Baldy
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto recounts the worst action he encountered during the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes being continuously bombarded throughout the night and having to hold the front until American reinforcements arrived hours later. He explains that although their camp was surrounded by landmines and barbed wire, Chinese and North Korean troops pierced their defenses. He marvels at the tenacity of enemy troops as bodies exploded in the air as they marched through the minefield.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto relata la peor acción que vio que fue durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él describe haber sido bombardeado continuamente durante toda la noche y tener que mantener el frente hasta que llegaran los refuerzos estadounidenses horas después que empezó la batalla. Explica que, aunque su campamento estaba rodeado de minas y alambre de púas, las tropas chinas y norcoreanas atravesaron sus defensas. Se acuerda de la tenacidad de las tropas enemigas cuando los cuerpos volaban por el aire mientras marchaban a través del campo de minas.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco
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.
Legacy of the War / El Legado de la Guerra
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco shares his opinions on why he believes that war should be avoided. He explains that wars lead to hunger, disease, fallow fields, crying mothers, orphans, and leveled cities. In his opinion, he explains that diplomacy is a better way to solve disputes. He laments the fact that the Colombian government did not use their experience to try to solve the problems with guerilla fighters in their own nation.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco comparte sus opiniones sobre por qué el cree que se debe evitar la guerra. Explica que las guerras provocan hambre, enfermedades, campos que no producen, madres que lloran, huérfanos y ciudades arrasadas. En su opinión, la diplomacia es una mejor manera de resolver problemas. Es por ello por lo que lamenta que el gobierno colombiano no aprendió su experiencia para intentar solucionar los problemas con los guerrilleros.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco discusses his first impressions of the war and Korea. He remembers that he and others experienced real fear upon first landing in Incheon. During the first two months he spent in Korea, he recalls that they trained in modern warfare and took care of prisoners of war. He recounts the desperation of the civilian population, in particular, what women were forced to do to survive.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco cuenta de sus primeras impresiones sobre la guerra y Corea. Recuerda que él y otros tuvieron miedo cuando llegaron por primera vez en Incheon y vieron lo que es la guerra. Durante los dos primeros meses que pasó en Corea, recuerda que tenían entrenamiento y los asignaron a cuidaron a los prisioneros de guerra. El se acuerda de la desesperación de la población civil, en particular, de lo que las mujeres se vieron obligadas a hacer para sobrevivir.
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 los heridos durante esta batalla mientras estaba bajo fuego de mortero.
The Legacy of the War / El Legado de la Guerra
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros shares his thoughts on the legacy of the War in Korea. He states that he is against wars as they hurt too many people and therefore governments around the world should avoid them whenever possible. He adds that he believes communism will eventually be eradicated from the earth and replaced by freedom.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros comparte su opinión sobre el legado de la Guerra de Corea. Afirma que está en contra de las guerras porque le hacen demasiado daño a la gente y, por lo tanto, los gobiernos de todo el mundo deberían evitarlas siempre que sea posible. Agrega que cree que el comunismo eventualmente será erradicado de la tierra y reemplazado por la libertad.
Memories of a Destroyed Nation / Recuerdos de Una Nación Destruida
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recalls his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival. He remembers the shock he felt at seeing the utmost misery within the civilian population. He shares that he will never forget the manner in which people begged for food and the ways in which soldiers tried to help.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda la conmoción que sintió al ver la miseria entre los civiles. Comparte que nunca se olvidará de la forma en que la gente pedía comida y las formas en que los soldados intentaban ayudar.
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.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Carlos Rivera-Rivera describes his first impressions of Korea and the people in the country. He explains that he was astonished by the abject poverty and need he witnessed. He reflects on the fact that he could not understand how civilians were able to survive without water and living under the conditions they faced.
Carlos Rivera-Rivera describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y de la gente en el país. Explica que estaba asombrado por la pobreza y la necesidad que vio. No podía entender cómo los civiles podían sobrevivir sin agua y viviendo en las condiciones a las que se enfrentaban.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Cecil Snyder describes Seoul based on his visits there in late 1958 though 1959. He talks about the condition of the city, its infrastructure, sanitation, and people.
Food for Korean Orphanages
Cecil Snyder, a clerk stationed at Osan Air Base, talks about delivering food to nearby orphanages. He describes collecting and delivering unused food, oftentimes used to feed the orphanages' livestock such as pigs.
Cecil K. Walker
Desperate Living Conditions
Cecil Walker describes the living conditions in South Korea during the time of war. People were in desperate conditions during the time of winter. He describes poor housing and lack of general items. Cecil Walker describes how the people of South Korea needed help and he would go to war again to help people in need.
Conditions In and Around Seoul
Cecil Walker describes conditions in and around Seoul. He helped bring supplies from Incheon to Seoul and transport Australian forces from the Second Line of Defense. Cecil Walker also describes how Seoul was deserted, with the exception of "Street Kids." He describes how when people did return to Seoul, they used any scrap to build shelter.
Cecil Walker describes re-supplying the front lines. The roads of Korea were trecherous and supplies were delivered in convoy. Cecil Walker describes night driving with only a singular light and even one episode during the winter when a "white out" occurred. Delivering supplies was essential, but very dangerous due to the conditions of the road system.
"Always Trying to Escape"
Cecil Phipps talks about a fellow soldier that attempted and failed several times to escape Camp #3. He describes how he tried to aid his friend and what happened when he was captured and returned.
Cecilia A. Sulkowski
Experiences in MASH Hospitals in Korea
Cecelia Sulkowski arrived to Korea in 1949 and began working in a MASH hospital. She recalls seeing shrapnel, fire, and fireworks but was not afraid as she felt far enough away. She explains the MASH unit was set up in an old schoolhouse because it was well built.
Experiences with Patients and First Experience in Korea
Cecelia Sulkowski recalls the variety of patients she saw, describing them as seasoned soldiers, not new recruits. She describes the feelings of the patients and how they felt disheartened with the lack of supplies they were sent in to fight with. She becomes quite emotional when she recalls her feelings about these soldiers. She continues discussing her arrival to Korea and remembers the cold winters especially.
Feelings About the Army, Treating North Koreans, and Humor in Daily Life
Cecelia discusses a wide range of topics in this clip. She wholeheartedly recommends the Army for someone who wants a good and secure life. She recalls treating North Korean patients and how grateful they were for the good care they received. She speaks about the need for humor in their daily lives to help the medical professionals cope with the terrible things they would see on a daily basis. She remembers having to be very careful with their possessions as there was a lot of theft occurring for black market purposes.
Discussing Patient Deaths
Cecelia Sulkowski recollects her perpetual struggle with death and destruction surrounding her. She discusses the importance of humor. She speaks about the advent of triage and the usage of MASH hospitals. She explains her hospital was a stationary unit and that she was not on the move like others. She describes the makeup of her unit as well.
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.
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.
Charles Carl Smith
Life in the Punch Bowl
Charles Smith talks about the 11 1/2 months that he spent in the Punch Bowl and describes what it was like to be a part of trench warfare along the MLR. He tells the story of his first encounter with enemy troops and how he hoped to not be "yellow."
Charles Comer describes the Korean civilians that he saw upon his arrival at Seoul. He explains that the city itself was destroyed. He describes the sad state of the people who had been frequently moved around due to war evacuations. He goes on to describe the children, many of whom had been orphaned by the war and would crowd around the passing trains as the troops would give them their c-rations to eat.
Excitement Dissipated Quickly
Charles Comer describes his feelings of excitement as he left Japan for Korea. He explains that being a young man of eighteen, he was looking forward to seeing a new country but was quickly disheartened when he arrived at Seoul. He explains that the destruction he witnessed was a stark difference from the thriving city of Kobe he had just left in Japan.
Charles Connally describes the dangers he faced and living conditions in Korea. He explains that mortar fire, snipers, and shrapnel were a constant concern but luckily many injuries were avoided except for two men: one was shot in the shoulder by a sniper and another was hit in the leg by a shard of shrapnel. He goes on to describe the miserable food options that led to his losing nearly forty pounds during his stay and sleeping in quonset huts.
Charles E. Gebhardt
Destruction in Seoul
Charles Gebhardt describes the destruction of Seoul he witnessed when passing through on his way to Kimpo Airfield. He says he "may have became a pacifist at that time," referring to the conditions that he saw Koreans living under.
Charles Eugene Warriner
Korea After the Armistice
Charles Eugene Warriner talks about arriving at Incheon and his assignment near the DMZ in the time just after the signing of the Armistice. He describes building a bunker and collecting lumber. He shares how although the war was over, one could still feel and sense the horror of war overhead.
Charles Eugene Warriner speaks about seeing impoverished Korean children while on his way to his unit. He describes the emotional impact the experience had on him. He recalls how many of those children were starving and had lost their families and homes.
Charles Falugo, Jr.
What were living conditions like in South Korea?
After a twenty-two day trip from Seattle, Washington, Charles Falugo recalls being relieved that they finally landed in Pusan, South Korea. He recalls the poor living conditions he witnessed--all Korean houses were made of clay, the people used oxen to help them transport water, and they picked roots for food. He also recalls South Korean children taking his unit's leftovers home to feed their families. He felt very lucky relative to the South Koreans he encountered and feels immense pride for the advancements South Korea has made today.
What did you experience driving through Korea?
Charles Falugo recalls the roads being so bad that their truck chassis would constantly break. Every time his division would stop to fix its trucks, they would encounter starving children begging for food. He would give his rations to the children. He recalls moving into Seoul and only seeing the blue capitol building and the railroad station. All embassies were blown up. There was one Shell Oil Company building that was guarded, located right next to his company's housing.
Charles Falugo shares that some units would find bombed out schools and remodel them into orphanages for orphaned South Korean children. He recalls finding supplies for the units who rebuilt the buildings. He remembers working and living with a Christian missionary named Horace Grant Underwood, who was the founder of Underwood International College in Seoul.
Charles L. Hallgren
An Overcrowded Voyage
Charles Hallgren describes his journey from basic training through deployment to Korea. He recalls boarding a troop ship containing six thousand soldiers though it was only supposed to carry two thousand. He describes the congested sleeping situation aboard ship as well as the limited food availability.
When Bomb Drops Go Wrong
Charles Hallgren describes the dilemma of dealing with ammunition and explosives that were produced during World War II but sent to be used in Korea during bomb drops. He explains the task of having to diffuse weapons before they actually exploded to prevent deaths. He describes the challenges that accompanied working with B-26 bomber aircraft. He recounts how the enemy would also run wire in between mountains to take down planes which may have been how General Van Fleet's son was killed.
Back to Korea During the Vietnam War
Charles Hallgren describes being deployed to Japan in 1970 for the purpose of inspecting Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units in Korea. He explains that Korea had tactical nuclear weapons which had to be inspected in various base locations on the peninsula. He describes his impressions of seeing a modernized Korea in 1970.
Charles Rangel identified the determination of the Korean people in the aftermath of the Korean war. The resilience and kindness of the Korean people is something that he will never forget. He even has pictures of his time in Korea inside of his office as a United States Representative.
Chauncey E. Van Hatten
Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the fighting at Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang. He describes the enemy forces that his unit faced and being outflanked many times by North Koreans.
Fighting the Chinese at Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about fighting Chinese forces at Pyongyang. He describes eating Thanksgiving dinner before the difficult withdrawal south from Pyongyang. During the withdrawal, he says they often went for days without food and their vehicles ran out of gas.
Joining the Front Lines at the 38th Parallel
Chester Coker discusses joining the front lines when American troops took Seoul and crossed the 38th parallel. He recalls meeting severe resistance and his company losing twenty-five percent of its men, about fifty total, crossing the Imjingang River. He remembers one of his only thoughts at the time was survival. He recalls jumping into the river instead of crossing the bridge, without knowing how deep it actually was.
The Battle That Got Me
Chester Coker speaks about the battle which impacted him the most. He recalls how he and his unit were just north of Panmunjeom, close to the 38th parallel. He remembers a stalemate had been reached, and negotiations were stalled, and the Army was ordered to push north. He shares how the battle that followed was the most fierce he experienced, pushing the North Korean and Chinese soldiers back north. He recalls how they were able to push forward because many of the enemy troops were asleep. He describes how a grenade landed and blew up on top of him.
Chong Rae Sok
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
The Hardest Part
Chuck Lusardi describes the hardest parts of his time in Korea revolved around seeing the great suffering of the civilian population. He recalls the worst living conditions for Koreans seemed to be near the Iron Triangle. He shares how much of his time was spent within sight and sound of the front lines, and he is proud he never hit a mine with his equipment and was never hit by a sniper. He remembers jeeps bringing out the severely wounded as tough times as well. He notes feeling totally helpless at times.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friend or Foe?
Clayborne Lyles was part of General Quarters, "All arms, man your battle stations." The USS Toledo didn't realize that the incoming planes were US planes, so everyone was told to get ready to fight in the middle of the night. Thankfully, sailors used the Identifying Friend or Foe (IFF) gear before any shots were fired from the USS Toledo.
The Forgotten War and Korea Today
Clayton Burkholder felt that people call the Korean War the "Forgotten War" because people didn't know what to do with a communist country. He thought that great things came out of the Korean War because of the fortitude of its civilians. United States veterans are proud for their service in the war which led to South Korea's freedom today. Clayton Burkholder is surprised to see the change from dirt and huts to paved roads when he looks at Google Maps.
Clifford L. Wilcox
One of The Greatest Experiences
Clifford Wilcox talks about the remarkable contrast between the Korea he saw during the war and the Korea he saw and experienced while revisiting in 2010. When he first arrived, he saw extreme poverty and destruction. In 2010, his experience was first class, seeing South Korea's progress.
"You Can Take Your Purple Heart..."
Clyde Fruth describes the mission and the dangers of being a forward observer. During one instance, rock shrapnel bounced off and hit his arm. His Lieutenant advised him to seek medical attention and that he could probably have received a purple heart but he refused.
Colin C. Carley
Radio Operators in the Korean War
Colin Carley shares that he worked alongside an Australian brigade when he patrolled near Panmunjeom in late 1950 through early 1951. As a radio operator for his New Zealand Battery Brigade, he recalls being scared of all the tracer bullets that would whiz by him. He remembers how he would feel sick when battles began because he never knew if he would be able to return home again.
I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home
Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.
Conrad R. Grimshaw
The Houses of the Korean People
Conrad Grimshaw describes arriving in Korea and seeing the devastation of the Korean households. He recounts their homes being burnt and crudely replaced by stones, straw, and dirt. He shares that American soldiers were empathic and took care of the Korean people any way they could.
Daniel J. Rickert
Becoming a Demolition Corporal
Daniel Rickert talks about the jobs he performed as a part of the 3rd Combat Engineering Battalion. Trained as an infantry soldier, he describes assuming his job as Demolition Corporal being given a manual. He set up removing explosives in landmines, etc.
Daniel Rickert talks about his role in Operation Nomad. This was the last major UN offensive of the war. He describes in detail the demolition of a railroad tunnel near Kunsan.
"It Was a Miracle"
Daniel Rickert revisited South Korea in 1998. He compares and contrasts his Korean experiences that were 50 years apart. He describes the rebuilding and modernization as "a miracle."
Darrell D. McArdle
Directing Traffic at the Pass
Darrell McArdle describes the position of MP’s at the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir and their role as traffic control at the Funchillin Pass. Because the reservoir was blown apart, he explains the challenges of escorting units and the engineering of makeshift timber bridges for the trucks to cross areas. He recalls coming under fire during one escort through the pass and heading back down the pass to ensure that a 30-caliber machine gun did not fall in the hands of the enemy.
Daryl J. Cole
Impressions of Incheon
Daryl J. Cole describes the destruction at Inchon and his transfer from infantryman to artilleryman. He explains that the war torn city of Inchon had been thoroughly devastated by the time he arrived. He recalls the civilians hauling the "honey buckets," the refuse from the toilets to fertilize their crops. He goes on to explain his hasty transfer from infantry to artillery overnight, unbeknownst to him.
"People needed us."
Daryl J. Cole describes his motivations while in battle. He explains that his position was only two or three miles away from the front lines and all the while he was continuously thinking the war needed to end. He explains feelings of great sympathy for the South Korean people whose entire lives had been reduced to rubble.
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.
On the Front Lines
David Espinoza recounts being attacked by North Korean and Chinese forces. He recalls carrying five-gallon cans of water on his back while digging trenches. He describes sustaining mortar and sniper fire by night during patrols. He recalls hearing the loud bugles sounded by Chinese soldiers during an enemy attack.
David H. Epstein
A Destroyed City
David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.
Prior Knowledge and 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. He was injured in his right arm when he fought with the 2nd Platoon against the Chinese and North Korean troops.
Unprepared for War
David Valley talks about his lack of preparation for war as a 19-year old. He describes seeing the bodies of dead soldiers and being taken under the wing of a WWII veteran.
Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles
David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.
Retreating from Pyongyang
David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.
Delbert Ray Houlette
Massacre in a Korean Village
Delbert Ray Houlette recollects here on some of his toughest moments while serving in Korea. He describes the disconnect between the Marine Corps with the Army and ROK soldiers. He also details having to build a causeway over a river in the middle of fighting. Lastly, he remembers witnessing a village after it had experienced a massacre.
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.
Suwon in 1955
Delbert Tallman remembers that there was not much left in Suwon in 1955. He shares that there were very few houses left, describing one house that was better than the others. The countryside at that time was “pretty much barren.”
Gunsan Landing: Sept. 12, 1950
Delmer Davis talks about the Gunsan Landing, an operation that he and the special operations company participated in on Sept. 12, 1950 while the Inchon Landing was taking place. Delmer Davis describes the operation in detail and remarks that he feels his unit was used as a decoy for the Inchon Landing.
Missions on Gimpo Peninsula
Delmer Davis talks about several missions that his unit participated in on the Gimpo Peninsula. He describes working with other military units and capturing enemy soldiers.
Danger Remained Before Our Eyes
Demetrios Arvanitis discusses his near death experience shortly before the ceasefire went into effect. He describes how the Chinese seemed focused on removing his unit from their location north of the 38th parallel. During the night before the ceasefire, he remembers shells detonating and cutting down all of the trees surrounding his trench. He reveals how the chaplain held a mass the following morning at the location in which he escaped death.
Dennis E. Hultgren
Sandwiches in a War Torn City
Dennis E. Hultgren explains that a stop to transfer trains allowed him an hour or so to wander through a war-torn city. He describes a young boy who was watching him intently as he took a bite of his sandwich. He recounts that he offered the boy the rest of his sandwich, and with a deep bow, the boy accepted it and ran behind a building.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
Never Wanted to Return
Desmond Vinten left Korea with the intention of never returning. Upon arrival in 1951, he could smell Busan from thirty miles out at sea. The total war zone was so intense that he did not think South Korea could recover to become what it is today. After all, the main goal of the United Nations was to keep the Communist Chinese out, not to rebuild South Korea.
War is Hell, Winter is Worse
Desmond Vinten describes spending twenty-seven days in an English military prison. His charge was "firing on the Queen's enemy without the Queen's permission." His sentence reflected the reality that sometimes shooting at the Chinese created more danger due to the Chinese soldiers' skill at firing mortars in retaliation. Besides the challenges of engaging the enemy, the heat, cold, and dust left him with the understanding that "war is hell, but winter is even worse."
Dirk J. Louw
Stories of My Father
Dirk J. Louw describes his father's stories of devastation and destruction in Korea. He remembers a particular story and photographs his father shared with him beside a jeep truck that belonged to the United States. Dirk J. Louw's father, Johannes J. E. Louw, returned the jeep back to the Americans multiple times.
Recipe for Success
Dirk J. Louw visited South Korea in September of 2013. As president of the South African Korean War Association, he has seen many photographs from veterans regarding the devastated South Korean Country. He was amazed at the big cars, smooth roads, and large buildings when he visited. He comments that the commitment of the Korean people has led to what they have been able to achieve.
Domingo B. Febre Pellicier
Danger on the Front Lines
Domingo Febre Pellicier describes his experiences on the front lines. He shares that they would often be on patrol watching for the Chinese troops. During the attacks on the hills, there would often be mortar flying around. He recounts a mishap he had with a hand grenade that almost cost him his life.
Domingo Morales Calderon
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Domingo Morales Calderon shares his first impressions of Korea. He describes a nation that was cold, mountainous, and devoid of adults. He recalls an incident in which he helped a small child and was hailed as a hero as he brought her to a doctor.
Domingo Morales Calderón comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Describe una nación fría, montañosa y desprovista de adultos. Recuerda un incidente en el que ayudó a una niña pequeña y fue aclamado como un héroe cuando la llevó al médico.
Not a Pacific Ocean / Un Océano que no es Pacífico
Domingo Morales Calderon describes his journey to Korea. He jokes about the fact that there is nothing pacific about the ocean as most of those on board the MacArthur Ship got sick on their thirty-day voyage due to the rough seas. He explains that his seasickness debilitated him to the point where he had to be hospitalized for ten days in Japan. He recalls understanding the devastation of war when he finally arrived in Korea in April.
Domingo Morales Calderón describe su viaje a Corea. Bromea sobre el hecho de que no hay nada pacífico en el océano, ya que la mayoría de los que estaban a bordo del barco MacArthur se enfermaron durante su viaje de treinta días debido a las olas. Explica que se enfermó tanto que tuvo que ser hospitalizado durante diez días en Japón. Recuerda como entendió la realidad de la guerra cuando finalmente llegó a Corea en abril.
War's Toll on a Country / La Destrucción de la Guerra
Domingo Morales Calderon shares his beliefs on why diplomacy is better than war. He recalls the hardships of civilians and the utter destruction of the nation. He provides an account of a mission in which they were tasked with finding North Koreans hiding in Seoul as evidence of the brutality of war.
Domingo Morales Calderón comparte sus opiniones sobre por qué la diplomacia es mejor que la guerra. Recuerda las dificultades de los civiles y la destrucción total de la nación. El comparte un relato de una misión en la que se les encomendó encontrar a norcoreanos escondidos en Seúl como explicación de la brutalidad de la guerra.
Big Muscles were Needed for Machine Gunners
Don McCarty's specialty during the Korean War was a heavy machine gun operator. The tripod was 54 pounds and the gun with water was 40 pounds. He left for Korea in March 1953 and landed in Inchoeon. Once he arrived in Seoul, it was devastated and there were children begging for candy and cigarettes.
Don R. Childers
Arriving in Korea
Don R. Childers recalls his journey to Japan and Korea by ship, where some of the men suffered from severe seasickness. After landing in Korea, his company was loaded onto trucks and taken to a small, remote town called Wonju. There, they set up camp in a dry river bed and were immediately told to "dig in." It was only later, when someone yelled "incoming mail" - referring to enemy artillery shells - that he realized the importance of this command. He was then assigned to the Weapons Company and the Eighty-one Mortar Patrol, starting as an ammunition carrier and eventually volunteering to be a forward observer, responsible for identifying target locations.
Don R. Childers recalls the distressing experience of seeing the remains of enemy soldiers. He notes that the United States military retrieve the bodies of their fallen soldiers to bring them back home. He discusses his role as a forward observer, responsible for locating targets and requesting ammunition as required.
Donald Arthur Summers
Nuclear Weapon Tests
On March 1, 1954, Donald Arthur Summers was involved in Operation Castle, a series of nuclear weapon tests. Although they were twenty-seven miles away from the blast site, the explosion brilliantly lit the sky just before daybreak. He recalls the crew thoroughly washing the ship from the bow to the stern to rid it of any radiation contamination.
Donald C. Hay
Action on the Han
Donald C. Hay describes his service aboard the HMNZS Rotoiti. The ship completed three missions up the Han River attacking enemy positions. He describes one occasion when an Australian ship patrolled further up the Han River. This ship was attacked and received substantial damage. On many occasions, Donald Hay would see dead bodies floating down river.
From Hitchhiker to Prisoner
Donald Campbell describes the events that led to his capture by the Chinese on November 2, 1950. He describes being attacked by a hand grenade. He shares how they fought back against the Chinese. He explains how he ended up in that area in the first place.
Life as a Radio Operator During the War
Donald Clark describes what it was like to serve as a Radio Operator during the war. He explains what members were on the team and what it was like in the radio truck. He mentions the only moments of combat they experienced while they were set up next to a river and the bridge was bombed- they quickly moved to a new location!
Korea Then and Now
Donald Clayton shares that he knows how South Korea has changed. He compares the devastation and destruction he saw in Seoul in 1954 to the modern city he has seen in pictures today. He was astounded by the process South Korea has made.
Why the Forgotten War?
Donald Dempster believes that since the Korean War was after WWII, the American public had enough of war. He further feels that the Korean War has been forgotten by the public because it was not reported by US media as much as other wars. He acknowledges that recruitment was not as large during the Korean War as it was during WWII.
Donald L. Buske
Donald Buske describes his duties as a boilermaker, operating steam driver generators on ship. His crew's duties were to house the Air Patrol that were patrolling around the DMZ. One of his jobs was to stand on the bridge and watch the smokestacks to ensure that the air pilots could see through the smoke to navigate. He describes seeing several airplane crashes during this time.
Donald L. Mason
Donald Mason discusses revisiting Korea in 2019 with his wife. He compares his visit then to what he remembered from his time in 1950. He remembers Seoul being destroyed during the war, with all the tall buildings gone. There were some huts still standing. But in 2019, he remembers seeing large skyscrapers from his hotel room. He was amazed at how the city was rebuilt to such an impressive scale.
Donald Mason discusses his experience during the Incheon Landing. He knew it was high tide and shares that he was in a LST landing craft. His unit, the artillery unit, went in after the infantry landed, and they pushed beyond Incheon to Seoul. He was surprised at all of the destruction he witnessed.
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
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.
Last One Up the Mountain, Last One Down
Donald Bennett recounts living conditions while they were in the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He shares a detailed account of a close encounter between the Chinese and his tank. He recalls the challenge of driving the tanks back down the mountain after the snow had been packed down into the ice. He remembers that his tank was the last tank down. He shares how those that remained in his unit were taken by boat back to Busan and were reformed at an airstrip where they conducted foot patrols before fighting their way up the center of Korea across the 38th Parallel in support of the 1st Marine Regiment.
Donald Schneider (Part 2/2)
Experiences at Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge
Donald Schneider was a participant in several battles while stationed in Korea, including Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge. He provides a firsthand account of what it was like in these two areas, including how hard it was to take them. He explains why they gave Heartbreak Ridge back to the Chinese.
Donald H. Schwoch talks about the poverty and destruction of Seoul that he saw in 1955. Throughout Seoul, desperate children begged for food among the destroyed buildings. Even in Uijeongbu, the civilian population lived in huts with dirt floors.
Donald St. Louis
The Destruction of Seoul
Donald St. Louis describes what he saw in Korea while serving overseas. He remembers the country's geography filled with rice paddies. He recalls how devastated the city of Seoul was during the war.
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.
Mobile Topography Units
During the Korean War, the US military had mobile TOPO (an acronym like M.A.S.H) units in trucks that were like a caravan vehicle. They included cameras, printing presses, plate making, survey and drafting equipment, as well as ink and paper just behind the lines because that's where the information was coming from. All these tools were needed to create the maps at any time and diligence was crucial. He is very proud of the work he did and in his mapping instruction.
Donald Urich recalls Seoul being desolate in 1954. He remembers houses were in shambles and businesses were in bad shape. He recounts seeing kids without shoes and lacking clothes in middle of a severely cold winter. He describes interactions with the children through sharing candy with them. Despite the challenging circumstances, he remembers the Korean people as cordial.
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.
Leading the Charge
Douglas Koch describes the 5th Marines' role in the Inchon Landing. He explains that the Inchon Landing was imperative in the cutting off of the rail lines that led to Seoul and fed the North Koreans the supplies they needed to fight in South Korea. He recalls that upon hearing the Marines were headed to Seoul to recapture the city, the civilians fled for the hills.
Doyle W. Dykes
Working with the KATUSA
Doyle W. Dykes describes having to work with the KATUSA (South Korean soldiers) because there were not enough American soldiers to prepare and fire the ammunition. He led training with them due to his knowledge of the Korean language. He describes his relationship with them, enduring the experience of the Nakdong River Battle, as well as preparing and carrying ammunition along the Manchurian border.
Korea Then and Now
Duane Trowbridge discusses the changes he noted upon his return to Korea in 2010. He shares differences between how Korea was and how it has changed. He expresses his amazement in the quick growth not only of the people but of the infrastructure, including roads and buildings.
Duties and Experiences out in the Field
Dwight Owen discusses leaving Wolmido and heading to North Korea, specifically Wonsan. He remembers crossing the Han River and being assigned to ridding the area of old dynamite due to leaking glycerin. He recounts running out of provisions, especially food, and living on rice for awhile from which he developed dysentery. He offers a description of the Wonsan he saw at the time.
Earl A. House
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.
Living Conditions on a Troop Ship and at the Front Lines
Earl House recalls how he was excited to join the Korean War and shares he was even more excited to leave Korea. He remembers enjoying ice cream, milkshakes, pie, and sweets on the ship home after the war. He comments on how these conditions were much better than the living conditions in Korea which included sleeping in a tent.
On the Frontlines at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls being woken up by the sound of bugles early in the morning on November 28, 1950. He describes how the Chinese soldiers were attempting to take over the area, and he remembers being told by his officers to just keep shooting. He shares how this lasted until dawn for multiple nights. He recalls how once the sun went down, the enemy fire started again. He remembers the troops kept coming and coming, at a ratio of at least ten Chinese to every one American. He remembers losing many of his comrades. He comments on how cold it was and adds that they were forced to urinate on their guns to keep the firing mechanisms from freezing.
Edmund W. Parkinson
Wounded on the Battlefield
Edmund Parkinson describes his role as a forward observer in the 161st Battery Regiment. He details providing targets and fire orders and acknowledges that he was often in dangerous positions on the front lines. He recounts the incident where a mortar landed near him which wounded both of his legs and being transported to Japan where his left leg was amputated below the knee.
Edward A. Walker
Shipwrecks and Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced a rushed basic training so that his regiment could quickly join troops fighting in Korea in 1951. His transport ship struck a reef on the way to Korea which required rescuing seven hundred soldiers by an oil tanker. Upon arrival in Korea, his duties involved transporting troops to a variety of military stations. He also used parts from an abandoned US Jeep to create a generator for their unit.
I Never Wanted to Go Back to Korea Until Now!
Dr. Han asked Edward Brooks if he ever wanted to return to Korea and he said that he never wanted to go back. Edward Brooks changed his mind when he looked at a satellite image of what South Korea looks like today compared to the North. He couldn't believe it. He couldn't imagine Seoul looking the way it does today.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
Edward Foley recalls his worst memory while serving in Korea. He details an accident which took place on base involving an airplane explosion on the runway. He shares how he witnessed firefighters inspecting smoke at the tail of an airplane suffered the brunt of the explosion.
Battle of the Chosin Reservior
Edward Hoth fought in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the winter of 1950. The weather was 42 below zero and it was so cold that guns became sluggish while oil froze on the guns.
Christmas in Korean War and Iron Triangle
Edward Hoth was excited to receive two Christmas dinners, one from the Marines and the Navy including turkey, candy, and beer. After Christmas he fought in the Iron Triangle at Cheorwon and then he went to Wonsan, North Korea where he found many dead soldiers along the road.
Edward L. Kafka
Korean Terraign and Fighting in Major Battles in Korean War
Edward Kafka described the mountains and farm land that reached all over that land. He fought at Heartbreak Ridge, the Iron Triangle, and Porkchop Hill.
Edward Mastronardi's Arrival at Pusan
Edward Mastronardi recalled the heavy pollution, dark clouds, and high noise level upon his arrival at Pusan. Young boys were at the dock being mistreated by their boss as their ship was unloading close to nightfall. They would later move to northeast of Pusan and would anchor next to a burial ground believed to be full of prisoners.
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.
It Was About the Civilians...
Witnessing the conditions of the civilians firsthand, Edward Mastronardi was sympathetically moved by the Korean people. As the Americans advanced with tanks, guns, etc. through the Porchon Valley, they shot up everything. Knowing the Chinese did too, Edward Mastronardi witnessed so much destruction left behind. He told of a story about the Korean people dressed in white due to a funeral, and he noticed a woman lay, dying, and trying to still breast feed a dead baby. Edward Mastronardi was angry about the reckless killing of all people. It showed truly first hand what effect the war had on the Korean people.
"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.
It's Fantastic to See What Has Happened to Korea Now!
The Interviewer asked Edward Mastronardi how he feels about Korea today in the 21st century, knowing he has a clear picture of Korea during the Korean War. He said, "Fantastic! It shows the true strength, diversity, flexibility of what can be done. There is always a way to do it if you are willing to work for it." Edward Mastronardi is very proud to have been apart of saving South Korea.
Arriving in Pusan and Protecting the Pusan Perimeter
Edward Redmond sailed into Pusan on the Unicorn and was greeted by an all-African American regiment band playing music. After a dirty, 12 hour train ride, he and his troops had to dig in near the Nakdong River. When help was needed to protect the Pusan perimeter, Edward Redmond traveled into the Pesos To Mountains where he fought the North Koreans.
The Battle at Pyongyang
During the Battle at Pyongyang, Edward Redmond, his battalion had their first casualties. Everyone became very determined to fight. He believed that the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and the Americans were not well-trained.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Dropping the Bridge in Chosin Reservoir
Edward Rowny reveals that he is the Corps Engineer who designed and later famously dropped the bridge from the air into the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. This was one of the most important parts of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir Battle. He shares how the Chinese were firing at them while they were building it. He recounts how this project was successful in stopping the Chinese long enough to evacuate the troops, without which there would have been tremendous casualties.
Evacuation from North Korea
Edward Rowny shares was put in charge of the evacuation of the 600,000 tons of supplies, 100,000 troops, and 100,000 refugees at the port at Heungnam, North Korea. He recounts his job also included blowing up the port so that the Chinese could not use it. He recalls he was scheduled to be on the last ship to leave, but that ship was blown up. He recounts how the commander thought he had gone down with the boat, but, instead, he was stranded on the beach with his radio operator and jeep driver. He describes how they were finally rescued by an American plane and made it home by Christmas, despite being shot at.
Edwin Maunakea, Jr.
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Edwin Maunakea Jr. remembers what he was doing at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He tells the story about fishing as Japanese planes descended on the Harbor and waved at him. He describes what happened after the attack began.
Crash and Burn
Edwin Maunakea Jr. describes an incident when a US Navy plane crashed nearby his location. He explains his attempt to rescue the downed pilot. During the rescue attempt, he explains how he was burned by a napalm bomb that exploded on the downed plane.
Edwin R. Hanson
Incheon Landing, September 15, 1950
Edwin Hanson remembers his boat was supposed to land around 5:00 PM as the 3rd wave, Boat 5, on Blue Beach at high tide. They were delayed when the tracks on the LST was lost resulting in them encircling the area before they could land. He recalls approaching shore in an Amtrack and slogged their way through mud in his last remaining clean pair of Dungarees. Once they made it to shore down the road, they climbed a hill and three Soviet T-34 tanks coming right towards them. The US forces hit the gas tanks located in the back of the tank, watching them blow up right in front of him.
Experiences During the Wonsan Landing
After the Seoul recapture, the men were now at the Wonsan Landing where they were sent to secure a pass that North Koreans were using to get away. The North Koreans had barricaded the road and began to open fire on US troops. Edwin Hanson described how over 93 North Koreans were killed and seven 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 four grenades and two 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.
First Shots at the Chinese at Chosin Reservoir
Edwin Hansen describes an occasion when a Chinese soldier played dead near an American campfire. He recollects US troops were heating C-rations by the campfire when noticed about 15-20 yards away, the enemy had lifted up off the frozen ground and began firing upon the US servicemen. Hanson shot and killed the Chinese soldier attacking his regiment. He and Ralph Gastelum recall the immediate impact of killing the enemy and its long-term effects.
Eilif Jorgen Ness
Seoul - Then and Now
Eilif Jorgen Ness describes the Seoul he knew in 1952 compared to the Seoul upon his return in 1995 and 2013. In 1952, Seoul was not a city, it was ruined a landscape. Upon his return, years later, he describes that there was no resemblance between the two. He was impressed with the efficiency and ability to deal with large numbers of people.
We Knew Why We Were There
Elburn Duffy remembers leaving Ft. Lewis Washington in early April 1951 and arriving in Busan by the end of the month. He notes they did not stop in Japan as most other servicemen headed to Korea did because troops were desperately needed at the time of his arrival. He recalls the shock of the total desolation of the country and in particular the state of the children.
Care in Air and Ditching the Patient
Eleanor Newton describes the training she received in caring for patients in the air as well as 'ditching' patients. She explains that the training involved what to do if an airplane transporting patients ever crashed into the ocean or desert. She describes the steps taken to ensure that the patients survived until help arrived.
Earthquakes and PTSD
Eleanor Newton describes the responsibilities of responding to civilian accidents while on base at Edwards Air Force Base. This included responding to help after an earthquake in Tehachapi, California. She also explains the importance of treating patients with PTSD and assuring them they were safe.
Entering the Korean War
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis entered the Korean War in December 1950 and he entered through Pusan. After spending time there, he was sent through Seoul and then went onto the 38th parallel. During this whole time, he didn't have to fight any enemy.
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.
Destruction in Seoul
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis saw extreme hunger and destruction when he entered Seoul. It was so bad that he considered Korea to be 100 years before Greece in 1950. Korean children begged for food from UN troops as they exited restaurants and food tents.
Seoul During the War
Elliott Landall describes how Seoul was in a terrible state. He explains that the people were living in a shell of a city and he felt sorry for them. He was amazed at the spirit of the people, including how the people would listen and were good learners.
Elliott Landall is satisfied with his service in the Korean War. He really liked helping the people of South Korea and feels he had a lasting impact. He explains that the Korean War is a Forgotten War because it was after the "Big Wars," World War I and World War II.
Ellis Ezra Allen
Landing in the Pusan Perimeter
Ellis Ezra Allen shares his first impressions of Korea upon arriving. He recalls landing in the Pusan Perimeter in August of 1950 and remembers enemy fire beginning shortly after arrival. He describes being in charge of all wheeled vehicles and supplying men with ammunition.
Impressions of Korea
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki describes what he saw in Korea as well as his impressions of the people. Additionally, what he saw reminded him of his youth in Crete under German occupation.
Ernest J. Berry
Skating Over Dead People
Ernest J. Berry describes traveling by truck from Busan to the Han River. He recalls the unsettling realization that people were paid and encouraged to kill him. Upon arrival, he and his unit found Canadians skating on the frozen river, so the new arrivals joined them. Beneath the ice, he saw the faces of dead soldiers and people peering up at him.
"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.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez
The Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea
Esipión Abril Rodríguez recalls feeling a sense of adventure as he left for Korea in 1951. He explains that the voyage lasted about a month with a one-day respite in Hawaii. He shares his memories of the devastation he encountered in Korea as he arrived after Busan had been attacked. Additionally, he remembers the poverty of the civilian population and the way in which civilians helped soldiers with everyday tasks.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez recuerda la sensación de aventura que tuvo cuando partió hacia Corea en 1951. Explica que el viaje duró aproximadamente un mes con un respiro de un día en Hawaii. Comparte sus recuerdos de la devastación que encontró en Corea cuando llegó que fue después que Busan había sido atacado. Además, él recuerda la pobreza de la población civil y la forma en que los coreanos ayudaban a los soldados en las tareas cotidianas.
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.
Service After Armistice
Fekede Belachew describes his service after the Korean War. He explains how the thought at the time was the Communists would break the truce. Fekede Belachew patrolled jungle where he frequently encountered Chinese at a distance. He also describes his fondness for injera, an Ethiopian dish, that he missed in Korea.
Felipe Cruz recounts his experience of supplying the infantry at the front lines during the Korean War. He proudly lists the medals he received for his service, one of which was the Ambassador for Peace Medal that he was presented with during his return to South Korea in 1998 through the Republic of Korea's "Revisit Program." He shares the highlights of his and his wife's trip to South Korea, which included a visit to the location of the armistice agreement. He expresses he was initially reluctant to return to South Korea due to the devastation he witnessed during the war, but he acknowledges the positive impact it had on him.
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Felix DelGiudice participated in the Inchon Landing on September 15th and then fought the North Koreans during the Seoul recapture along with his 1st Marines Battalion. He remembers getting injured shortly after arriving in Korea. He also explains that Seoul was covered with sandbags, blown railroad tracks, and exploded glass domes from the railroad station.
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Felix DelGiudice and his battalion describes how their battalion was ambushed and fourteen people were killed. He explains how the units were divided and argues that the General was in too much of a hurry. He remembers how much of a struggle the units had during that time.
Felix Miscalichi Centeno
Legacy of the War / Legado de la Guerra
Félix Miscalichi Centeno shares his thoughts on the legacy of the war. He remembers that even though Koreans were very different, he made friends and learned some of the language. This skill was useful when a group of Koreans burned by napalm were asking for water.
Félix Miscalichi Centeno comparte sus pensamientos sobre el legado de la guerra. Recuerda que, aunque los coreanos eran muy diferentes, se hizo amigos y aprendió algo del idioma. Esta habilidad fue útil cuando un grupo de coreanos quemados por napalm les pedían agua.
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.
Forrest D. Claussen
Shell Craters Lining the Streets of Seoul
Forrest Claussen describes his first arrival in Seoul. He recounts walking streets destroyed by shell craters. He describes the rain filling each crater and the hazard they presented as evidenced when a soldier fell into one.
Francisco Caicedo Montua
The Front and the Tyranny of the North - El Frente Militar y la Tiranía del Norte
Francisco Caicedo Montua discusses his first impressions of the front and the enemy. He spent seven months on the front lines of combat and over a year in the country. While most of his countrymen knew nothing of Korea prior to arriving, they were awestruck at the devastation in the nation and the lack of basic needs for the people. While he was aware that the Colombians would be fighting a communist and tyrannical regime, backed by China, they could not believe what the North was doing to the South. In seeing the hunger and tragedy in the nation, he further understood his role in the war.
Francisco Caicedo Montua comenta sobre las primeras impresiones del frente de la guerra y el enemigo. El pasó siete meses en el frente de combate y más de un año en el país. Aunque la mayoría de sus compatriotas no sabían nada sobre Corea antes de llegar, estaban asombrados por la devastación en la nación y la falta de necesidades básicas para la gente. Él sabía que los colombianos estarían luchando contra un régimen comunista y tiránico, respaldado por China, pero no podían creer lo que el Norte le estaba haciendo al Sur. Al ver el hambre y la tragedia en la nación, comprendió aún más porque Colombia se involucró en la guerra.
Rebuilding Efforts in Korea
Frank Churchward explains his job as part of a Combat Engineering Company. He explains how he supported infrastructure rebuilding efforts through preventative maintenance and repair. He describes the large area of land he was responsible for maintaining. He shares how the roads were created and the jobs that entailed.
Frank E. Butler
Patrolling the Korean Sea After the Armistice
Frank E. Butler learned that the war was over in 1953. He and his shipmates were assigned to patrol the border to prevent North Koreans from moving weaponry. At one point, gunners shot a ship filled with fruits and vegetables, but he asserts that most were transporting guns.
Arriving in Korea and Bed Check Charlie
Frank Seaman describes his arrival in Korea, ferrying over from Japan to Pusan and then by rail up to Chuncheon. He recalls viewing the aftermath and destruction from the Pusan Perimeter battle on his way to Chuncheon. He offers insight to his regular duties which entailed bringing ammunition up from the south. He also recounts his introduction to Bed Check Charlie following breakfast while washing his mess kit.
Driving Over a Landmine
Frank Seaman describes a dangerous, night, service run to tanks on the Main Line of Resistance (MLR). He recalls riding in the passenger seat on a truck carrying 200-250 rounds of 90 millimeter ammunition along with 50 and 30 caliber machine gun ammunition when a sudden explosion took place. He remembers a flash and flying through the windshield as his truck had hit a landmine.
The Reality of the Front Lines
Frank Torres describes defending a pass at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes situations he experienced on the frontlines. He shares the outcomes of his experience and provides insight into the reality of decisions that are made under those conditions.
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.
A Dangerous Moment of Friendly Fire
Fred Barnett did not see any combat in Korea. He describes an incident of "friendly fire" when he and other soldiers were out on patrol on nearby railroad tracks. He heard shots coming from the nearby rice paddy. He and his lieutenant investigated, and found it was American soldiers shooting at ducks.
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.
Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea
Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.
Arriving at Incheon
Frederick Schram describes first impressions of Korea. He arrived by ship to a city annihilated from shelling. He remembers his first encounters with Koreans and describes distributing bars of soap to desperate people.
KMAG & the Railroad
Frederick Schram describes his time with KMAG working on the reconstruction of the railroad near Busan. KMAG was a critical component in the rebuilding of the South after the war. He describes the challenge of the work and the surrounding destruction and poverty.
Galip Fethi Okay
Korean War Experience
Galip Fethi Okay describes his Korean War experience. He was stationed at three different fronts during the war (Vegas, Elco and Berlin). He was also at Sand Bag Castle. Galip Fethi Okay also describes his injury from shrapnel that hospitalized him for two months. For his service, he earned many medals.
In Korea, Now
Galip Fethi Okay describes his arrival into a war zone. His brigade was relieving the previous brigade. He describes the reaction of the previous brigade's men. The previous brigade was so happy to be leaving Korea. He also describes the conditions of the Korean people.
Experiences on the Front Lines
Garry Hashimoto talks about his experiences on the front lines. He was originally a rifleman, but because he was more experienced than most after only three months out there, he became a forward observer. He shares how he had to stay one hundred feet ahead of his platoon and keep a lookout for ambushes. He reflects on the dangers he faced, including facing machine gun fire. He remembers being bombarded with artillery shells all the time, especially from the Chinese.
A Pile of Rubble
Gene Jordan describes what it was like when he landed in Incheon. He describes the horrific scene and the utter despair of Korean children. He describes the shock he experienced from the damage and civilians begging for food.
Incheon Then vs. Now
Gene Jordan describes how hard working the Korean people were during the war era. He discusses how the Korean people have established a united, stable democratic society. He shares how he never thought much about Korea after he left, but when he attended the Marine Corp Reunion, he was amazed to see and hear about the economic growth.
George A. Edwards
Like a Thousand Years of Progress
George Edwards says that when he returned to Korea it was like they made over a “thousand years of progress.” He feels that this progress is gratifying. He said whenever he would walk around, the Korean people would thank him for his service.
Top Secret Misssion
George Carson describes removing inhabitants of the Bikini and Ilowite Islands. He explains the reason was to protect civilians prior to American hydrogen bomb testing. He explained the procedures that sailors onboard the USS Renshaw followed during that testing.
First Impressions of Korea and Living Conditions
George Covel describes his first impressions of Korea as shocking and recounts significant devastation. He recalls his living conditions, stating that he was one of the fortunate ones to have lived in an old sergeant's quarters with cots, houseboys, and enough clothing. He mentions that an officer peddled their food on the black market which rendered poor food options for the bandsmen.
The Poverty of War
Dr. George Drake explains how children were rescued from poverty during the Korean War. He recounts his journey to find photos that were taken during the war of orphans in Korea. He shares his concern over the children who became abandoned victims of the Korean War.
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
Radio Transmitters, Ghost Towns, and Orphanages in Seoul
George Enice Lawhon Jr.'s job in the US military was to fix a BC 610 (a Collins radio Transmitter). When he arrived in Seoul, there was not anyone there and it was a ghost town. Sadly, some old and young people found in a rice field shot and bayonetted. He had a Chaplin in his group that started an orphanage for Korean children because there were so many that were left alone.
PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans
George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
George Geno: One Happy and Safe Soldier!
George Geno was chosen for Officer CandidateTraining School and he had a Lieutenant that wanted to be well-known, so he really worked his men. George Geno was called heavy, so he had to run 2 miles extra every night and when he was discharged July 2, 1952, he was asked to re-enlist. He decided to re-enlist the next day and they were all given their next assignments; to George Geno's surprise, he was assigned to stay at Fort Bliss in the US. He cried with excitement and eventually became the Lieutenant in charge of training the US soldiers how to shoot accurately from the trenches.
George H. Campbell
Seoul's Growth and Gains
George H. Campbell discusses how devastated Korea was after the war. He explains how he saw pictures of places that lost everything. He explains the changes in Seoul in the 1970s seeing the skyscrapers and the resiliency of the people.
George J. Bruzgis
Signed To Cease Fire; Look What We Hit!
George Bruzgis vividly recalled on July 26, 1953, a Major approached them with a document they (both US and ROK) had to sign agreeing that at 10 p.m. on July 27, 1953, they had to stop firing their weapons. Shortly afterwards, a two-ton truck arrived taking most of their ammunition away, so they wouldn't shoot. However, at 6 a.m on July 27, 1953, they got a phone call that they were given coordinates to fire 5 rounds on what they thought maybe a cave or a bunker. He later learned in 2000 when he received a battalion pamphlet, his story of that morning was located within it saying his division destroyed a Chinese Observation Post.
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
George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.
Scouting Troop Movement During the Battle of Jipyeongri
George Wolf was a Mosquito pilot during the Korean War who located enemy troops and directed fighters during the Battle of Jipyeongri. During the February 1951, he helped provide information from the air to help lead the UN troops to victory. This was a tough battle against the Chinese troops near the village of Chipyong-ni, present time Jipyeong-ri.
The Role of a Mosquito Pilot
George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.
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.
Air Force's Job in the Korean War
George Wolf remembered how many of the US troops would say, "Thank goodness for the Air Force!" US pilots worked with Australian, South African, New Zealanders, and British pilots during the war. George Wolf easily recognized the British by their accent and he loved the Australians' sayings during combat.
Bound for Korea and First Experiences
George Parsons chronicles his departure from the States and arrival in Korea. He comments on the ride over aboard the troop ship USS Anderson and recalls landing in Pusan. He recounts the cold weather as it was January of 1951 and recalls there being no lodging available, stating that he remembers sleeping out in the field and crowding around fires to stay warm. He details his journey to Incheon and through Seoul, sharing that Seoul was completely flattened from the fighting.
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
Assigned to Battery Supply
George "Bill" Liebenstein details his assignment beginning with his arrival in Korea. Initially, he was assigned to the motor pool, but when his commanding officer learned he was trained in supply, he was quickly transferred to battery supply. He quickly moved up to the rank of Battery Supply Sergeant. He describes his role in battery supply serving Batteries A, B, C, and Headquarters. He notes the types of products they were in charge of distributing but does share that most rations did not typically come through supply.
Celebrating the Armistice and Going Home
George "Bill" Liebenstein saw only limited parts of Korea beyond the area behind the front lines where he was stationed. He shares his experience seeing the damage in Seoul and taking a supply run to Uijeongbu. He was still serving in Korea when the armistice was signed and recalls how the celebration of the event was marred by the accidental death of a man in his unit. He concludes by fondly remembering his arrival home to his family, business, and community.
George Warfield was in the reserves when he was called into active duty. He was sent to Fort Campbell for two to three weeks to retrain for war. After training, he was shipped to Japan to set up for the Korean War with the 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Division. As a radio operator in a reconnaissance company, he had to find the enemy, go to fill-in the front line if the enemy broke the line, and he was the last unit to retreat.
A Troop Ship Hits a Cyclone
George Warfield did not know anything about Korea before he went over. When traveling on a troop ship with 1,500 soldiers, they hit a cyclone that tossed the ship all over the ocean which made men throw up all over. Luckily, George Warfield did not get sick during any of his travels in the military.
Destruction on Christmas Eve
George Warfield landed in Korea on December 24, 1950 and had Christmas Eve dinner on the ship before he was dropped off at Inchon harbor. He counted 17 tanks that went out to battle from Inchon, but only 1 came back the next morning after fighting. George Warfield passed through Euijeongbu one night and saw the terrible conditions for civilians, but he did not stay in any location longer than a day.
German Occupation of Crete
George Hahlioutis describes life as a child under German occupation. With the help of his translator, he shares how he was not allowed to attend school but was taught by a chief of Greek Army. He also shares the destruction he saw as a child during WWII.
Tears in My Eyes
George Hahlioutis describes how it felt to see Korea for the first time. He explains how he could see the destruction. He also shares the pain and suffering he saw of the locals as well as the hungry children.
Life Under Occupation
Georgios Margaritis recalls the challenges of growing up during the German occupation of Greece in World War II. He draws parallels between his own life under occupation and that of the Korean people.
Note: English translations to answers to questions begin at 2:49 and 4:21
George Margaritis reflects on his first days in Korea as he traveled from Busan to Cheorwon. He recalls seeing fires on the outskirts of Seoul and absolute disaster in most places they traveled through. He shares is concern for the Korean people and their futures.
Note: English translations of answers begin at 12:12, 13:34, and 15:04
Battle for Outpost Harry
George Margaritis vividly recalls the events of the attack on Outpost Harry, which he references as Hill Harry in June of 1953. He explains his unit was sent to replace the American forces on the hill after devastating fighting. He shares his memories of the brutal fighting that went on at the hill.
Note: English Translation begins at 29:49
Brutal Fighting on Harry Hill (Outpost Harry)
George Margaritis offers vivid details of the devastating fighting at Outpost Harry (Harry Hill). He recalls death and brutal fighting. He concludes by sharing the happiness felt when the armistice was reached.
Note: English Translation begins at 39:36
Gerald Edward Ballow
Crossing the Yalu River
Gerald Ballow expresses his opinions about what he considers an “intelligence disaster” at the Yalu River. He believes that the officers knew that the Chinese were amassing across the river before they got there. He explains how the US was completely outnumbered by the Chinese and there were not any additional troops to send up there to help fight the Chinese.
GHQ 1st Raider Company
Gerald Ballow describes the book he wrote about the GHQ 1st Raider Company that was made up of the soldiers in General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. He explains that soldiers fought through the Chosin Reservoir and they helped with the Inchon landing too. He describes their roles and what they achieved during the Korean War.
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!"
Gerald Land's First Encounter with North Koreans
Gerald Land described how his Company Commander and his Sergeant were at an Outpost at Kumwha Valley for 3 days for 3 nights with no sleep. They barricaded themselves with barbed wire and hung C-ration containers so if anything hit the wire, it would make a sound, and the men knew where to shoot. Gerald Land spoke often of rats crawling around touching the C-rations, but it did alert him when the North Koreans were near.
War Is Hell: My First Kill
Gerald Land recalled when he was shot by North Koreans for the first time, and how terrible he felt knowing that he was tearing the enemy to pieces with his gun. As a Methodist, he carried a prayer book around and prayed for guidance/forgiveness for his time in the war. He also hoped and prayed that he would make it home safe to his family.
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.
Friend or Foe?
Gerald Spandorf's ship traveled the world including 16 countries while in the Navy. One time during a bad storm, he was allowed to de-board in England to protect himself. When his ship went to the Netherlands, Gerald Spandorf's ship was left in port because the native people didn't like Americans due to the bombing that they did during WWII.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Helping Starving Civilians and Funding Orphanages
Germaye Tesfaye witnessed terrible destruction in Korea. Arriving in 1952, he encountered Koreans in dire circumstances. Many civilians lacked basic food. Rather than throwing away uneaten food as directed by fellow American soldiers, Ethiopian solders gave their leftovers to hungry Korean people. Further, many Ethiopian solders donated their salaries to fund the creation of orphanages for Korean children who had lost their parents in the conflict.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
"Not the Worst"
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes his Korean War experience. Men lived in bunkers. There was no hot food. Men did not sleep, due to constant attacks. Mortar shells would shake the ground at all hours. Soldiers showered every ten days because the Americans made them. Girma Mola Endeshaw still describes his Korean experience as "not the worst."
Gordon H. McIntyre
Arrival in Busan and Seoul
When Gordon McIntrye first arrived in Busan, the New Zealand troops were met by an American Dixie band. He describes seeing Seoul's utter destruction, claiming it must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Fronts of buildings were blown out on either side of the wide streets, but he encountered a relatively untouched brick cathedral.
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.
Returning to Korea and Supporting the US Veterans
Grace Ackerman was told by her husband, Bruce Ackerman, about the poor conditions in Korea during the war with mud paths, dirt roads, and huts. While visiting Korea during a church trip, she was able to see their new beautiful churches and the teenagers who were so courteous. As part of the Auxiliary, Grace Ackerman helps the veteran community by adopting a floor at the local veterans' hospital to make food, send gifts, and play bingo.
Graham L. Hughes
Inferiority of the North Korean Navy
Graham Hughes believed that the North Korean Navy was inferior to those in the United Nations (UN). An example of this occurred when his ship fired on a specific target at the 38th Parallel. North Koreans fired in retaliation, but they missed. The great thing about being part of the UN was the cooperation of lots of countries patrolling the West Sea, including Argentina.
Change in Plans
Gregory Garcia remembers that he left for Korea around August or September 1950. He recalls how they put the battalion together and they were going to land in Seoul to help the Marines, but the Marines had retaken Seoul. Therefore, he explains that his job at Gimpo was to clean up dead and injured in addition to on guerrilla missions to clear out the mountains around the area.
Seeing Seoul for the first time in 1953
After arriving in Pusan in 1953, Gustave Gevart traveled to Seoul where he spent two days before heading to the front lines. Gustave Gevart recalls Seoul being completely flat except the "old gate." The city was destroyed with few tall buildings. This image reminded him of Germany in the 1940's.
Korea at the Beginning of the War
Haralambos Theodorakis left for Korea in 1950 and came back in 1951. Everything was destroyed when he arrived and the people were very sweet people. Korean civilians didn't have a lot of clothes to wear or food to eat. If Haralambos Theodorakis had extra food, he gave it to the civilians and he saw a lot of Korean children running the streets during his 8 months there.
Haralambos Theodorakis knew that he was fighting communists during the war. Now, Korea is the 10th strongest nation in the world and he feels that it was a destroyed country in 1950. Now, he's excited to see the progress that has been made in Korea.
Haralambos Theodorakis has a weakness for the Korean people because he loves all the Korean people. As he recalled the war, there were many times that he almost died. He went and fought a war without knowing what he would face, but luckily, he was never wounded.
Message to the Korean People
Haralambos Theodorakis never experienced PTSD since the Korean War. He thanked the Korean people for allowing him to fight for them and he would do it again if needed. If he was able to speak to both North and South Korea, he would say that there were a lot of loss of life and these two countries should not reunite.
Living Conditions and the Front Lines
Harlan Nielsen explains the living conditions on the front lines and not wanting to talk about Korean War battles he witnessed from the front lines. He recalls that many soldiers were killed. He continues to say that he feels war is close again with the activity of North Korea.
Harold A. Hoelzer
Experiencing a Whole New World
Harold Hoelzer speaks about his initial experiences with Korea during the war. He offers stark details contrasting what he saw in Korea with the world he was familiar with back in the United States. Coming from a world of cities, roads, and factories, he remembers how "crude" Korea seemed to him at the time.
Atrocities in Seoul
Harold Beck’s first impression of Korea was that of “atrocity.” When he drove into Seoul, he remembers how the building were “all shot up” having changed hands three times. However, among the most atrocious memories was that of the bodies hanging off the bridge- new ones were placed there daily.
Bed Check Charlie
Harold Beck describes “Bed Check Charlie.” Each night a small biplane would come and drop bombs or grenades just around bed time. Their crew moved the lights toward the mountain, and one night Bed Check Charlie flew right into the cliff.
Assessment of Enemy Air Force
Harold Beck argues that the enemy Air Force was weaker than the American plans. He says that when the enemy planes would come to harass the American troops, they would quickly fly back as soon as the US F86 planes engaged. He heard that these plans were a combination of Russian and Chinese crews that originated north of the Yalu River.
Seeing and Experiencing Battle
Harold Don shares that he was apprehensive about arriving to Korea. He recalls witnessing the destruction from prior battles upon landing in Incheon. He remembers how his unit experienced fire from North Korean tanks at Yeongdeungpo and observed the destruction at Seoul. His unit then boarded another ship and attempted a landing at Wonsan but were forced to wait due to mines needing to be cleared.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Harold Don shares memories from the front lines at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts how the United States units were surrounded by the North Koreans and Chinese on all sides. He notes how cold the temperature dropped in the winter when the lake would freeze over. He comments on how the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was one of the epic battles in United States Marine Corps history, evidenced by many Medal of Honor recipients.
Extremely Cold Conditions
Harold Don describes the challenges of digging foxholes in Korea's frozen ground during the winter. He details how one had to clear enough snow to make an indentation to rest in. He notes how, as he was assigned to heavy machine guns, his foxhole was located at the most vulnerable point. He explains how, in an effort to keep the machine guns' barrels from freezing, he had to utilize antifreeze.
Redeployed as Machine Gun Squad Leader
Harold Don discusses being redeployed to Korea during the Chinese major offensive. He shares he was unaware, at the time, that Chinese forces had retaken Seoul and that he became a machine gun squad leader. He remembers partaking in Rest and Relaxation, which meant moving back several miles from the front for a hot shower and food. He notes he remembers the country itself when asked what he remembers most from this eleven-month tour in Korea. He describes Korea as being like a third-world country at the time with primitive farming, sanitation, and construction methods.
Terrified and misguided from the very first night
Harold Heckman remembers his first night on the front lines of Korea - a night that resulted in seven American causalities. Due to the ineptitude of a senior commanding officer, American soldiers on night patrol) ended up walking through a minefield which resulted in many unnecessary causalities. Harold Heckman never saw the commanding officer again.
Harry Burke describes his first days in the orient. He shares how he was surprised with the odor and stench in Japan and Korea. He recalls the initial landing on Incheon happened on the 18th but that he arrived on the 21st to see the devastation that had taken place three days prior.
My Most Difficult Days
Harry Burke is describing how eight men were killed and twelve were wounded is his company. After experiencing this, he was sent back to Incheon and went around from the west side of Korea to the east side to Wonsan. He describes their days in the war.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Frostbitten and Wounded
Harry C. Graham talks about his experience during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes suffering frostbite and being shot through the shoulder while performing his duties as a Radio Operator. He was evacuated on a truck convoy, narrowly escaping the heavy fighting against the Chinese.
Experiences at Incheon in 1945
Harry Castro described experiencing snow for the first time. He shares that he spent Thanksgiving there. He describes the visuals of the area. He shares that they had no weapons and were there due to a typhoon. He shares the destruction he saw in other places as well.
British Troopship to the Korean War
Harry Hawksworth recalls being summonsed to serve in Korean War. He recounts enduring a six to seven-week training program where he practiced trench warfare prior to departing for Korea on a troopship. He remembers the ship stopping at many locations on the seven-week journey to gather additional supplies.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American United States troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
The Battle of the Imjin River on Hill 144
Harry Hawksworth shares how he and the rest of his company were forced to retreat back to a village near Choksong along the Imjin River in late 1950 due to the Chinese entering the war. After digging into trenches, performing reconnaissance trips, and guarding Allied trenches, he was startled by a possible Chinese invasion of Hill 144.
The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW
Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment, fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. He shares how most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below due to the quick retreat. He describes how he used six crates of two-inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, he recalls that Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).
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.
Becoming a War-Time Father
In this clip, Harry McNeilly recounts his brief time in Seoul during the war. In a truly unique war story McNeilly talks about building a strong relationship with a young, dutiful Korean orphan while staying in Seoul for a few months. The boy, who was "smart as a button", was left without a family during the Korean War and latched onto Harry McNeilly who tried to look after him.
Korea then Versus Korea now
Harry McNeilly recalls the Korea he saw during the war to the Korea he saw revisiting over forty years later. During the war he remembers a Korea had been made barren by being stripped of all its trees. Upon revisiting he was astounded by the development Korea had achieved in such a short time. Even more astounding was the respectful reception he received as a Korean War veteran.
Memories of Women and Children Hiding
Harry Olson reflects on one experience during the retreat from the Battle of Unson. He details his discovery of a cave during the retreat and finding eight to twelve Korean women hiding with their children. He recounts how the image of those women holding on to their children has haunted him. After this encounter, he remembers witnessing the destruction of supplies at the airport and being upset that they were burning food because he could not remember the last time he had eaten.
First Impressions of Korea
Henry MacGillicuddy talks about arriving in Korea and describing Seoul as flat because it was devastated. He recalls that it looked like the farmers did just enough to stay alive.
A Visit Back to Magnificent Seoul
Henry MacGillicuddy describes going back to Seoul by invitation and being amazed and surprised at the transformation of Seoul from 1953 to 1980. He calls Seoul magnificent. He recounts seeing the South African monument and the DMZ.
Henry River, Jr.
Korea in the 1950s
Henry River, Jr., recalls the living conditions of Koreans in the 1950s. He remembers life being tough for the Koreans and speaks about a nine-year-old Korean boy who did his clothes in exchange for bags of rice. Additionally, he recalls the human waste fertilizer smell in Incheon.
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.
Revisiting Korea and Memories
Henry T Pooley remembers his return to Korea in 2000. He recounts his amazement at the progress and compares it to his time in 1952. He shares his memories of the destruction and his hope that Korea reunites during his lifetime.
"Tattoos on the Earth" (Gore of War)
Herbert Neale describes the massive number of Chinese casualties during his time in Korea. He discusses how the fast pace of war left no time to properly dispose of dead bodies and the images of moving on that have stuck with him through the years. He recounts numerous bodies covering the roads and floating in the river that they would later draw water from to drink and relates a particular childhood memory to the gore of war.
Landing in Korea and First Impressions
Herbert Schreiner describes landing in Korea for the first time as a soldier and his impressions of the smell and scenery. He recalls being greeted with a stench from what he believed to be the honey buckets used to fertilize fields with human waste. He adds that the area was ravaged and war-torn. He also recounts the houseboy who cleaned soldiers' clothing and offers his impressions of the Korean people during wartime.
Herbert Taylor describes witnessing the destruction of Incheon following his arrival in 1954. He shares how he saw just walls and shells of buildings there. He describes the trees and how they had been shot off and the land was barren in the countryside. He describes the straw huts people were living in. He shares his experiences with local children.
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.
Korea Is My Second Home
After returning home from his service in Korea, it wasn't long before Herbert Werner was back in Korea as a professional boxing referee. He described after spending 3 full years of his life there, he was amazed at the resilience of the people despite the terror of war, how much the country of South Korea has improved, their patriotism, and the respect the civilians had for the soldiers who fought for South Korea. He felt like he was treated with so much respect and built an unconditional friendship.
What Serving in Korea Meant to Herbert Werner
When Herbert Werner was still in an orphanage during WWII, the boys that left to fight during that war had such a lasting impression on him, so he joined the Marine Corps. Originally, he wanted to go to China as a Marine, but after the war broke out in Korea, he was so caught up in the moment and excited that he wanted to go to be a part of this war. Much of what Herbert Werner saw was terrible including the treatment of refugees during the Korean War.
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.
On The Frontlines
Herbert Yuttal talks about being on the front lines as a Forward Observer at an outpost near Kaesong. He explains that they fired a lot of artillery rounds, destroying a lot of the landscape at Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill. He remembers seeing his friends dying during these battles.
First Glimpse of the Korean People
Homer Garrett described the Korean people when he first arrived in Korea as hungry and begging for food/supplies. It was the worst the worst catastrophic area that he had ever seen and Korea really needed a lot of help to rebuild. Korea was still in ruins 12 years after the Korean War ended.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives
Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.
When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!
Soldiers Pouring In Everywhere
Horace Sappington recounts his experience at the Pusan Perimeter. He shares that the North Korean soldiers were pouring in on them and they received assistance from the Air Force and the USS Missouri roughly 1 mile off of the coast. He explains he was in charge of providing the ship with coordinates for firing. He recounts an injury to his head and shoulder received from enemy fire.
Nothing Worse Than The Cold
Horace Sappington describes being cold as the most difficult thing during his service. He recounts low temperatures near the 38th Parallel and during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. As part of a task force, he shares that he was sent in to help bail out Marines before the Chinese took it all.
Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.
Fighting at the Battle of Pyongyang in October and November 1950
Howard Ballard recalls leaving Pusan after fighting there in August of 1950 to fight the North Koreans all the way through Pyongyang, North Korea, and up to the Yalu River along the Chinese border. He describes fighting the North Koreans at the Battle of Pyongyang in October of 1950, noting there was little resistance. He remembers seeing Chinese captured in November 1950 at the Yalu River despite General MacArthur telling President Truman that the Chinese were not fighting in the war.
Fighting at the Yalu River and Surviving a Land Mine Explosion
Howard Ballard discusses soldiers sustaining injuries while fighting in the Battle of Pyongyang on Thanksgiving Eve 1950. He recounts how U.S. troops headed for the Yalu River down very narrow roads and fought the Chinese until the U.S. troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. He recalls how a land mine exploded near him and how he experienced temporary paralysis. He shares that he was sent to a MASH unit following the explosion but was soon returned to his unit.
Howard Faley describes his amazement at South Korea's advancement since the war. He comments on the grandeur of the city of Seoul and its modernity. He goes on to explain that the cargo containers that are shipped across the United States arrive on huge ships built by modern Korea. He notes that this advancement is due to the hard work of the Korean people.
Landing at Incheon
Howard Lee recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon landing at Incheon. He remembers the early morning journey on a Landing Ship Tank (LST) and walking in waist-deep water towards the shore where he saw a city on fire. He recounts dead bodies floating in the water and the fear he felt as he and his company made land and rallied at the assigned checkpoint.
Howard Street recounts Pusan's terrible condition. He remembers everything being destroyed, even in Seoul. He recalls that he and other soldiers rode a train north for 2 plus days with little food and that people were throwing things at their train.
Howard W. Bradshaw
Howard Bradshaw's Love for Orphaned Koreans
Howard Bradshaw encountered many orphans during his time in Korea. He offered them candy and expressed his love for these kids.
Howard Bradshaw took pictures of these children while he was there during the Korean War.
a Soldier's Wife Remembers Life Without Her Loved One
Laverne Bradshaw, just like Howard Bradshaw, spent every night writing letters to each other. She described how she grew a vegetable garden to save money while her neighbors would shoot a deer to help feed Laverne Bradshaw's family. Howard Bradshaw wrote about how he would help to feed orphans while he was away in Korea.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Hugo Monroy Moscoso remembers his first impressions of Korea. He details the destruction he encountered in every town as they arrived after the Chinese and North Korean invasion. He recalls that it gave them pleasure to share food with civilians because they understood how much they were suffering.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Detalla la destrucción que encontró en cada pueblo porque llegaron después de la invasión china y norcoreana. Recuerda que les daba placer compartir comida con los civiles porque reconocían la miseria y el hambre que sufrían.
Hussen Mohammed Omar
Money for an Orphanage
Hussen Mohammed Omar describes the condition of the people in Korea. People were in bad shape. He describes how the Ethiopian soldiers donated money to help build an orphanage. Once the orphanage was built, soldiers continued to donate money to keep it running.
Ian J. Nathan
From Teacher Training to K Force
Ian Nathan entered teacher training college as a twenty-three-year-old, but he left to join K Force. He trained at Burnham Military Camp, and then he transferred to Darwin. In Darwin, he joined the rescued soldiers from the ship Wahine that had run aground on a reef outside Darwin. They flew to Japan and then to Pusan.
Letters to Mom
Ian Nathan did not have a girlfriend at the time of his service in Korea, but he wrote to his mother and brother. His brother helped him identify Venus from his observations of the dark night sky from his tent. He visited Seoul once during his time in the Army, but the city was in shambles due to the fighting that occurred there. Markets were set up, but most of the goods had been created from scavenged items. He contrasts his experience with pictures of modern Seoul.
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.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes being very happy to be in Korea. The people of Korea were so friendly and thankful for the help. The country was so beautiful with a sunrise over the mountains. With all the beauty, the people were suffering. Some children had no legs or arms. Inga-Britt Haglund also describes providing food to Korean children.
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.
Ismael Heredia Torres
First Days / Primeros Dias
Ismael Heredia Torres describes his arrival in Incheon and then Seoul. He explains that immediately after he arrived, he was assigned to an observation post and then to a listening post. It was during this second mission that he saw intense fighting which lasted over six hours. He was lucky to survive this attack as he was unable to move or communicate with the rest of the company.
Ismael Heredia Torres describe su llegada a Incheon y luego a Seúl. Explica que enseguida que llego al frente, lo asignaron a un puesto de observación y luego a un puesto de escucha. Fue durante esta segunda misión que vio intensos combates que duraron más de seis horas. Tuvo suerte de sobrevivir el ataque porque no podía moverse ni comunicarse con el resto de la compañía.
Experiences along the Front
Ismail Pasoglu describes the fighting conditions at Sandbag Castle. Sandbag Castle experienced very fierce fighting. He also describes conditions of Seoul. He describes Seoul as being destroyed and in ruins. At another front, he describes twenty-six straight hours of shelling. Shelling for that long was dangerous for those shelling. The heat from the mortars could explode the shells while still in the box.
Concussion Grenades and the Aggressive Chinese Army
At the end of November 1950, Jack Allen was wounded by the Chinese who overran the US troops. The Chinese had so many troops that they easily came over the hills. A concussion grenade took the nerve out of Jack Allen's right arm, so he couldn't use it and his knee was shot too. He was laid on straw and a tarp until a helicopter basket took him back off the line and onto Japan to recover. There were hundreds of wounded that accompanied Jack Allen, but he knew that he wouldn't be left behind because that's a Marines' motto.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Participating in the Incheon Landing in September 1950
Jack Allen went to the Mediterranean in April 1950 and he was ready to fight when the war began in June 1950. He set up a telephone system in Japan and stayed there until the Incheon landing took place. Jack Allen participated in the Inchoeon Landing on day 2 while hearing and feeling the boom of guns for the first time in warfare. One of his friends landed in a hole after dodging a mortar that had been a toilet, so he couldn't get his clothes off fast enough. After that, Jack Allen went to retake the Kimpo Air Field in Seoul during the Incheon Landing in September 1950.
The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman
Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.
A Near Death Experience By Friendly Fire
Jack Allen went on a ship from Incheon to Wonson in order to invade North Korea in November 1950. He was the farthest North company in Korea going over hills and feeling the temperature drop each day. The North Koreans were hiding in caves and holes in mountains to do surprise attacks on the US troops, so Jack Allen volunteered to bring a case of hand grenades to the front line US troops because they ran out of supplies. After all of the warfare, one US soldier almost killed Jack Allen because he didn't recognize him, but Jack Allen knew that that soldier had been killing so long that he was mentally lost.
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.
Morale in Wonsan
Jack Howell describes landing in Wonsan, Korea, shortly after the Marines had taken over Wonsan. He recounts the morale of fellow soldiers and shares memories of a commander greeting them on the beach with a pep talk once they had landed. He recalls scenes of Wonsan and shares that there seemed to have been little resistance as there was no major destruction to observe.
Importance of Military Service
Jack Kronenberger describes the poverty he saw in Seoul. He describes people living in shacks, making him realize how fortunate he was. He explains how this is a completely different way of life than he had experienced. He says the experiences were so important for a young man, and believes re-instating mandatory military service would be very helpful for the youth of our country, although he doubts it will happen.
First Impressions of Devastated Refugees
Jack Spahr expresses that he knew nothing about Korea until he entered the service. He shares that his first impressions of Korea were depressing as he saw many refugees searching for food and assistance. He recounts servicemen trying to help them as much as they could. He recalls several South Koreans working on the base with them and states that they were paid well compared to what they would get elsewhere at the time.
Under Fire and Almost Killed
Jack Wolverton recalls the one time he was under fire and almost lost his life. His unit was ordered to pile a bunker with ammunition, but the mission was aborted. His unit came under small arms fire near no man's land, and a bullet, coming very close to his head, only chipped a rock.The rock hit his wrist and scared him, making him think he was shot. He luckily left the incident unharmed.
Comparing Korea Then and Now
Jack Wolverton offers his impressions of Korea today versus what he experienced during the war. He shares he was never taught about Korea as a kid and recalls seeing a devastated country when he arrived. He adds that he recently bought a Korean car, a Hyundai Tucson, and loves it. He comments on the company's reliable reputation and how Korea's economic success impresses him given his first impression of the country during the war.
James “Jim” Valentine
Giving Money to the Children
James "Jim" Valentine discusses how he got disoriented and was in a tank in the 1950's liberation of Seoul. He discusses the destruction. He shares an emotional experience he has with the South Korean children. He explains that due to an accident he lost his few items and that he didn't have/take pictures.
James A. Newman
Sneak Attack on the Yalu River
James Newman was stationed on the frigate HMNZS Hawea up the Yalu River. He participated in a daring attack along the border between China and Korea. Fighting as a gunner, his ship attacked enemy positions along the Yalu River and took the enemy by complete surprise.
Nobody Argues with Padres
James Newman was sent ashore in 1951. Rare for a Navy man, he was able to see a devastated Seoul and fight on the frontlines. He had rare access due to accompanying an Anglican clergyman.
"Pushing" to Hill 355
James Newman fought in the Battle for Hill 355 or Kowang-san. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Mayang-San, a joint British, Australian, and New Zealand engagement along the Imjin River. He describes his experiences on the frontline where he shared a foxhole with a Korean kid while mortars from the Chinese exploded near them.
Return to Korea
James Newman has participated in five trips back to Korea since 2002. He is very impressed with the modern nation. He feels pride in the accomplishments of the Korean people and his part in freeing South Korea from North Korean rule.
Impressions of Korea
James Bradshaw gives an emotional account of how bombed out Seoul was when he saw it. He became tearful remembering the children that he felt sorry for, and recalls saving his rations for them.
Crash Rescue Duties
James Bradshaw explains his duties as a firefighter, rescuing pilots from burning planes. He says that this happened very often, saying "it looked like a huge wrecking yard on both sides of the runway." He remembers that many times they could not get the pilot out alive, as they had often crashed against the mountainside.
Entering Korea in 1952
James Butcher was sent Korea with the 17 Infantry Regiment 7th Division in 1952. After arriving in Inchon, he took a train to Army headquarters and then worked his way to the front lines. As James Butcher traveled through the country, he saw whole towns brought to the ground.
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.
Supply Train Ambush
James Creswell recounts a supply train ambush where guerrillas had dynamited the track, forcing the train to stop roughly twenty miles from its destination. He shares that the civilians on the train got off, and the guerrillas then gunned down around four hundred of them. He recalls the event being so horrific that it made headlines in the U.S. and believes it to be the largest civilian massacre in 1952.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Capturing Seoul and Wonsan
James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.
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.
The Difficult Job as a US Marine
James Ferris shares that his assignment did not allow him to stay in Korea for a long time. He explains that his job had him flying in and out of the entire country. He shares he earned good money for the 1950s as a corporal and recalls how he sent most of it home to his family. He adds that once he arrived back home, he went on his first date with a girl he wrote to for over a year while serving in the war.
James H. Raynor
New Year's Eve at T-Bone Hill
James H. Raynor describes his News Year Eve at T-Bone Hill. He elaborates on the poor food rations, the extreme cold, and calling out to his "mommy" for strength. He describes a surprise attack that destroyed everything around him.
Flying from England to Korea
James Hollier describes his assignment in the 64th Bombardment Squadron flying from England to Korea for three years. He describes his responsibilities as a tailgunner during the Korean War. He also elaborates bombing in high altitude attacking North Korea's fighter planes.
James Houp reflects on his experience at the Incheon Landing. He shares how he and his unit went in on the third day of the invasion, on September 18, 1950. He explains that his job was to lay telephone wire. He remembers that Seoul had not been recaptured yet when he arrived. He remembers seeing enemy soldiers sticking their heads outside of the foxholes as he was re-laying wire that had been run over by tanks. He shares how, at that point, he recognized they were actually at war.
Korea Today and the Honor Flight
James Houp recalls reading about Korea today and recognizes its great economic achievements. He remembers participating in an honor flight to the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He shares how three South Koreans stopped him to take a picture and were very grateful for his service in Korea. He emphasizes how he cannot believe the transformation Korea has made from a very poor country to one of the richest in the world today. He expresses his pride in being a Korean War Veteran.
James J. Barden
James J. Barden describes preparation for the thirty bombing missions his crew executed in 1952. It took much of an entire day for his squadron to prepare the planes and bombs for night missions from Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. Each mission was to bomb various locations on the Korean Peninsula.
Making the Drops
James J. Barden details bombing missions as they were executed over various cities on the Korean Peninsula, including the capital city of Pyongyang, during the Korean War. He describes the measures taken by his crew to assure accuracy of the bomb drops in hitting intended targets. He explains that the bombings conducted by his crew were documented by another squadron that followed behind to take photos after each mission.
Pure Destruction: Seoul
James Jolly describes the recapturing of Seoul in 1950 and the destruction that was endured. He explains that the majority of the city's buildings were destroyed in order to get rid of the enemy who were inside of them. He goes on to describe his pride for the strength and will of the Korean people to rebuild.
James L. Owen
Strategy in North Korea
James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.
Army Gunner with Old WWII Weapons
James Low applied to a school in Texas as a radar repairman, but he was not taken into the program. Instead, he was trained as a 50 caliber machine gunner. Learning to get along with a variety of people, traveling, and training on his gun were the skills he learned. The anti-aircraft weapon that James Low used was from WWII, so soldiers couldn't shoot down planes and ammunition often didn't work.
James M. Cross
Impressions of Korea
James Cross discusses his first impressions of Korea. He remembers everything as small and ruined and recounts children being hungry as there was not enough food. He shares that he would give candy bars or whatever else he had to the children.
Friendly Fire Experience
James Parker recalls some of his typical duties while serving. He describes participating in exercises and his experience with "friendly fire". He shares that napalm and artillery were mistakenly dropped and fired on their own troops.
Commanding from a Ditch
James Pigneri describes first getting to Korea and going straight into the war zone. The command post was in a ditch. Here he tells of his first official job transporting deceased soldiers while coming under enemy mortar fire from the Chinese.
Retracing my Steps
James Purcell describes the devastation after the war that he witnessed around Seoul. He arrived after the war had ended to an almost devasted airport that has now been transformed into the largest airport in the world. He was so impressed with the Korean people and their industrious nature.
We were very unprepared for WAR.
James Rominger believes the North Koreans were winning the war because the American soldiers were very unprepared. There was little food and their boots were rotten. He shares how soldiers were in the North Korean territory of Kumhwa Valley working hard to gain stabilization in an area that had been completely destroyed.
James T. Markley
Swimming with Torpedoes
James Markley describes how the Navy and Air Force worked together after the war. The Air Force dropped torpedoes as they were looking for submarines. James' job was to swim out to the torpedo, hook a line on it, and sit on the torpedo while the sailors pulled the torpedo into the ship.
Message to the Younger Generation
James Markley gives students a message on the achievements of the Korean people. After the devastation of World War II and the Korean war, the Korean people have set a great example for the entire world. They have become a resilient nation of people.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
First Impressions of Korea
Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his first impressions after landing in Korea. He recounts the destruction, seeing few trees and buildings. He shares that it was hard to believe how poor the living conditions were for the Koreans as he witnessed malnourishment, naked children begging in the streets, and women working in the rice fields with their babies.
Maybe She Helped Spring Korea Forward
Jeff Liebregts shares his experience of saving a baby while walking with his friend after the Battle of Hoengsong. He describes walking along the road and all of a sudden being under fire. As they took cover, he recalls hearing a baby crying and seeing a child strapped to a mother who had expired. For fear that the child would die from exposure, he shares how he extracted her and delivered the child to the medical station. When he sees people on the street, he wonders if any of them are the child that he saved. He hopes she was part of the generation that helped Korea become successful.
You Saved My Life Baby
Jeff Liebregts elaborates on his experience protecting the bridge in Hoengsong and saving the life of a colonel. While monitoring the replacement bridge, he remembers hearing something approaching. He describes seeing a weapons carrier with mortars crossing the bridge and readying his weapon. As he assessed the situation, he recalls seeing a colonel exit the car looking completely out of sorts. After providing protection for the colonel, he describes opening the vehicle and finding four deceased soldiers.
Conditions in Seoul
Jerry Bowen describes passing through Seoul that was "a mass of rubble" that had been badly beat up, full of barbed wire and trenches. He describes being amazed at the differences in the city now. He has never gone back to Korea because they do not go where the trenches were, but he does know what Korea is like today. Jerry Bowen compares the growth of Seoul to that of London during World War II.
The Hazards of War
Jesse Englehart describes what he forgets and remembers from the war. He explains the weapons used. He explains incidents of death in what he calls the "hazards of war."
Jesús María Cabra Vargas
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Jesús María Cabra Vargas shares his first impressions of a war-torn Korea. While he was not able to see many cities, he recalls that there was rubble everywhere. He reminisces being naïve upon arriving at the front and thinking that mortars during the night were fireworks from a celebration nearby.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea que estaba devastada por la guerra. Si bien no pudo ver muchas ciudades, recuerda que había escombros por todas partes. Recuerda que era tan inocente que al llegar al frente pensó que los morteros y los tiros de noche eran fuegos artificiales de una celebración cercana.
Jimmy A. Garcia
Leaving California for the Front Lines
Jimmy A. Garcia reflects on his desire to join the United States Marine Corps when the Korean War broke out in 1950. He shares that in 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Army after his family insisted he not enlist. He recalls how, after completing sixteen weeks of basic training in Camp Roberts, California, he was sent to Korea by ship. He describes his journey to the front lines, which involved disembarking in Incheon and taking trucks to reach their designated destination. He explains he was assigned to the Third Division, Fifteenth Regiment, Second Battalion, George Company, and was entrusted with the responsibility of holding the line at Outpost Harry.
An Outpost Harry Survivor
Jimmy A. Garcia shares his experience of patrolling for Chinese activity at night. He recalls a time when he was ordered to patrol alone, which was a perilous and nerve-racking task. He provides an overview of the sieges of Outpost Harry that took place in June 1953. He speaks of the casualties his company suffered as they defended the hill and expresses pride in being called a survivor of Outpost Harry.
The Last Days of Service
Jimmy A. Garcia pays tribute to two of his closest comrades who lost their lives during the Korean War. He acknowledges they all experienced moments of fear, but they did their best to conceal their emotions. He narrates two incidents where some soldiers he knew had trouble coping with the uncertainty and horror of war. He shares how he found solace and happiness by joining the regimental choir during his last days of service in Korea, which brought joy to those who heard the performances.
Joe D. Slatton
The Most Difficult Time Above the 38th Parallel
Joe D. Slatton recalls three difficult events while he was in Korea. He reflects on the passing of his father, how Howitzers ruined his hearing, and getting lost in no-man's-land.
Korea after the Armistice
Joe Henmuller describes what Korea was like when he arrived after the Armistice was signed and what he knows about South Korea today. He recalls how Korea was devastated by war and that Seoul had been destroyed. He explains that the destruction after the war makes the transformation Korea has gone through all the more amazing.
"Battle of the Hook" at Panmunjeom
An outcrop of land between two main lines resembled a hook.
Joe Larkin's Marine Division was sent to Panmunjom to hold the line of resistance against the Chinese. His unit helped with reinforcements by bringing in timber that they would move at night so the enemy could not detect their movement. The outpost was attacked and both sides suffered casualties, but with the help of his division, the UN troops took over the area.
Girl In The Picture
As his battalion moved from the south to northern Korea, Joe Larkin's battalion passed through several villages coming in contact with the Korean people. The civilians were very thankful for what the US troops were doing. One little girl saw a picture of Joe Larkin's niece in his pocket, and kept pointing at the picture, but Joe Larkin didn't understand. He called over an interpreter and he said the girl couldn't believe that his niece had a flower in her hair.
Joe O. Apodaca
The USS Henrico in Korea
Joe O. Apodaca discusses his time in Korea while aboard the USS Henrico. He shares he witnessed U.S. Marines disembarking from the ship via nets onto LCMs and other boats which then transported the units to shore. He remembers how the ship traveled roughly one to two miles from the beach near Incheon, Seoul, and Busan. He recalls seeing flashes of light on land throughout the night and passing enemy planes.
Ox Steps on a Field Mine-We have meat!
Joe Rosato did have C-Rations that he took advantage of for meals. As he was passing through villages, he was aware that the food was grown in human waste, but that didn't stop him from eating the cucumbers, watermelons, peppers, and beans. Joe Rasato saw an ox step on a field mine and blew itself apart, so the soldiers built a fire and made sauce with the chili peppers to go along with this fresh meat.
John A. Ciburk
Flights and Mishaps
John A. Ciburk explains that he flew 43 bombing missions while serving during the war, carrying 20,000 pounds of bombs each mission. He recounts 2 particular mishaps that fortunately ended well. He shares that on one mission the bomb door kept opening which forced them to drop their bombs before reaching their target, and on another mission, 2 engines caught fire, forcing them to parachute from the plane.
Typhoon, Napalm, and a Big Breakfast
John Beasley describes the arduous trip to Inchon from Japan on a Japanese Navy Landing Ship Tank (LST). The voyage took place after a ten-day hold-up in Japan due to a typhoon. He recalls that the continuous large waves caused napalm containers aboard the ship to break loose on the deck. He describes the mood and morale of his fellow Marines as they ate a big breakfast of steak and eggs, and the concern about who would make it back alive from their mission.
Sights and Sounds of the Incheon Landing
John Beasley recalls the sights and sounds of 5:00 in the evening on September 15, 1950, the first day of the Inchon Landing. He describes only having rifles and mortars to use against Russian tanks that were coming in the next day after the landing. He recalls that other soldiers who had come off a carrier came in to assist with use of napalm. He gives a first-hand account of the heroic efforts of fellow Marine, Walter C. Monegan Jr., during the Inchon Landing. Monegan posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his valor.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
Deceptive Amphibious Assaults
The ship that John Bierman was stationed on made deceptive amphibious assaults 3 different times on the coast of Korea during the war. This was a way to draw opposing troops away from the front line. North Korean troops were tricked, so John Bierman received incoming fire and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in 1951.
Targets of Opportunity
John Blankenship participated in night time bombing raids to go after "targets of opportunity." There are differences in capability between the A26 which was piloted by John Blankenship, and the Soviet-built MIGS that were being used by the North Korean pilots. John Blankenship's A26 flew only at night because the Korean MIGS didn't fly at night, so it kept his A26 safe.
Night Missions with Napalm
John Blankenship knew that he was always in danger and a few of his friends were shot down. He flew every night and ended up flying 87 missions in about 1 year. The A26 held 14 gun, 4-6 bombs, and napalm. When enemy convoys stopped and were trapped, John Blankenship dropped napalm on North Korean troops.
Typical Day as a Pilot
John Blankenship remembers spending lots of time sleeping when he wasn't flying missions. He was provided food from Japan that was made my cooks in the Air Force and he was given one hot meal a day. The pilots often ate WWII C-Rations to supplement meals. An important mission that John Blankenship was part of included the bombing of Pyungyang and a town near the Yalu River.
Fire! Another Korean War Enemy
John Boyd remembers having to deal with several fires during his year in Korea. He recalls one such occasion when a space heater caused a fire in the signal office and the subsequent chaos that followed.
Korea 1953 - The Last Few Months of the War
John Boyd recalls the last few months of the war were full of anticipation as the talks were taking place at Panmunjom between the Chinese, North Koreans, and the United Nations. He recalls seeing a barrage balloon hovering over the site of the talks. As the weather began to heat up while they were waiting for the conclusion of the peace talks, valley fires increased in numbers and things became quite dangerous.
3rd Battle of the Hook and the End of the Korean War
John Boyd recalls the devastating Battle of the Hook against the Chinese during the last push against communism. He notes that they were always getting messages in regarding how had been wounded or killed. He remembers that artillery fire often went over their location. John Boyd details his duties during his final days in Korea.
John Burton Forse
First Time on Patrol
John Burton Forse describes the way he felt the first time he went on patrol in a tank. He describes feeling confident but reluctant at the same time. This is the moment soldiers are trained for. He describes the feeling as "this is it." He also details all the Chinese he saw dead everywhere.
John C. Delagrange
Identifying Targets During Korean War
John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
Prior Knowledge About Korea
John Candrall was very sad when he went to Korea at the end of the Korean War in 1953 because he saw what true poverty looked like even compared to the US during the Great Depression. The advancement that took place from 1955 until he went back for his revisit was huge and John Candrall included the advancements in transportation in addition to housing. He was very proud of his service in the military and the help that he was able to provide for Korea between 1953 and 1955.
Bed Check Charlie
John Denning describes the enemy's use of "Bed Check Charlie" and its effects upon the troops at Suwon Air Base. He explains that the enemy would fly low enough to drop had grenades onto the base and make the men have to get up and check on the situation. He goes on to describe the horrible living conditions of the local population outside of the Air Base. He recalls that in the aftermath of the war, people would often take packing crates and use them as shelters to live in for their families.
Life in Korea then and now
John Denning describes the living conditions of the South Korean people when he was there compared to when his son was in Korea more recently. He describes the people living in packing crates and huts with thatched roofs and the unpaved roads that were just mud and rubble. He describes the pictures he saw that his son recently took and being amazed at the vast developments and modernization.
Not a Substantial Building Standing
John Fry gives a tremendous comparison of what Korea was like in 1953 and when he returned in 2014. He remembers the war-torn state of the country that had no substantial buildings standing, people living in cardboard boxes, and too many orphans. He shares that compared to the “unbelievable” progress that Korea has made, it seems like Australia has gone backwards.
"A Vicious Time"
John Fry shares that he served in the Royal Australian Regiment as a rifleman. He recalls being sent to Korea in 1953 after having joined the military due to unemployment increasing in the textile field. He remembers Korea being in terrible condition as many people were living in cardboard boxes. He shares his memories of arriving in Pusan before heading North. He comments on his involvement in the Battle of the Hook, an experience he calls a “vicious time.” He shares his amazement of the unbelievable progress Korea has made since the war.
First Impressions of Korea
John Funk shares how he saw sadness the first time he laid eyes on Korea and the Korean people. He recalls people being hungry, sad, and poor, and he offers an account of their impoverished living conditions at the time. His adds that his time in Korea made him and other soldiers realize that they needed to help the Korean people.
John H. Jackson
Fighting During the Pusan Perimeter
John H. Jackson shares he fought from the second he arrived in Korea and participated in the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter. He recalls how the the most difficult part about the battle was that he did not know who was the enemy since the North Koreans dressed up as civilians and then attacked the US soldiers.
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson shares he fought in the Battle at the Chosin Reservoir through Christmas Eve of 1950. He recalls how the weather was very cold, reaching down to fifty degrees below zero. He remembers how some of the soldiers were freezing to death as the Chinese continued to fight.
Returning to the Korean War after being Evacuated from Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson explains he was put back into battle after he was evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir. He shares he fought at the Imjin River and Han River. He recounts how he continued fighting during the Seoul Recapture, Chorwon Valley, and Ontrang.
A Lucky Man
John Halliday discusses some lucky moments in Korea. While in Seoul, he remembers an officer asking him to accompany him on a survey flight. As they prepared to leave, he recalls realizing he did not have his field jacket. By the time he arrived back with his jacket, he shares the pilot had taken off with another soldier. He remembers preparing to head back to the DMZ and finding out the plane crashed with no survivors. He reminisces about another experience in which he was chosen to guide in Marilyn Monroe's plane.
John Hartup, Jr.
Comparing Korea: Before, During, and After the War
John Hartup, Jr., compares the Korea he witnessed in 1946-1947 to the Korea he experienced in 1951. He recalls seeing many refugees going south in 1951. He remembers the city of Incheon as a bustling metropolis in 1947, and in 1951, it was completely leveled and destroyed. He remembers the same about Seoul. He recounts how there was no farming or agriculture taking place in 1951. He shares that he revisited Korea three times after the war and emphasizes that he was very impressed by modern Korea. He notes that it is difficult to compare modern Korea to the devastation he witnessed during the war.
John I. Reidy
Final Days at Pork Chop Hill
John Reidy describes what fighting was like during the final days of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He recalls showering the Chinese with leaflets stating that in celebration of the United States' Independence, the Americans were going to take the hill. He remembers the fighting continuing and compares the difference between American and Chinese military tactics.
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. He recounts how 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 one hundred seventy-nine left in the unit and how they returned to Taegu and onto Kumchon with the 19th and 21st Infantry. He describes how when they arrived, they encountered a gory scene along the roadside.
Not What They Expected
John J. Baker describes how the Korean people were forced to deal with the physical destruction around them. He recalls men heading down to the village and finding food consisting of rice and meat. He shares there was an older Korean woman cooking the food, and speaking to her in Japanese, he recounts his discovery that the food was not what they had expected.
Helping Injured Comrades
John Baker details the stark reality of war. 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.
Dangerous Conditions in Korea
John Juby explains how he was wounded from being scratched by barbed wire. He describes his duties as a part of the detachment of Pioneers, and explains why soldiers have differing experiences. He recalls being fired upon by American soldiers who did not detect the presence of the British troops who were nearby.
John L. Johnsrud
Reconnoissance Work, Weather, and Relying on other Warriors
John L. Johnsrud was part of a reconnaissance platoon that would maintain communication for battalions, work with the South Korean Army, and spy on the enemy. Hawaiian soldiers who had been in the war since the beginning were a major asset for John Johnsrud since they taught the new men how to protect their foxhole.
Why Should We Study the Korean War?
John McWaters speaks about why he believes students need to learn about Korea and why it has become known as the forgotten war. He reflects on his experiences talking to high school students about the Korean War. He wants to correct the public perception of the forgotten war and frame it as an important victory, as we saved a fine country and enabled it to become the impressive nation is it today. He recollects the brilliant reception he received from South Koreans on his Revisit Korea trip.
John P. Downing
Life as a Soldier on Hill 355
John P. Downing explained that life as a soldier was cold, wet, and hungry. He had limited rations and many of his friends died during his time participating in the Korean War for 13 months. Hill 355 was a hill that overlooked the 38th parallel and it was constantly under attack by the enemy. Artillery and mortars were incoming while John was protecting the hill.
Lucky to be Alive
John Parker recalls completing one hundred and seventy sorties as a fighter pilot during his time in Korea. He shares one of his most memorable missions above Pyungyang which involved a lot of aircraft damage. He shares how he is thankful to be alive after he had severe damage to his plane’s fuselage.
Sending and Receiving "Projjies"
John Pound's ship the HMS Charity would fire shells, or "projjies" short for projectiles, towards trains that traveled near the North Korean coastline. He remembers one Easter when North Korean gunners fired back from positions hidden in caves. He also describes assisting in spotting pilots who missed their landings on aircraft carriers.
First Job in Korea
John Pritchard was dropped off in Pusan and was shocked to see civilians living in cardboard boxes without any sanitation. After one day, he was sent to Geoje Island to work in an American workshop to fix a water tanker. He was impressed with the tools available to the American Army.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
John R. Stevens
The recapture of Seoul
John R. Stevens describes his experiences during the recapture of Seoul. He explains how his platoon captured many North Koreans along the river they followed into the city. He also describes the task of having to destroy the North Korean's weapons along the way. He recalls a particular incident when, in an attempt to break the stock of a gun, one of his lieutenants accidentally killed somebody.
Moments of Danger
John Rolston shares how he had to land on pierced steel planking instead of cement. He shares concerns he had about flying in certain weather conditions. He explains how the snow and rain were terrifying conditions that made his plane spin around. He shares the fears he had that he might not survive some landings or take-offs.
John Sehejong Ha
John Sehejong Ha explains the role of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA). He shares his duties as a translator. He explains how he was often escorted by military police (MPs) all around Korea to translate as needed. He shares how he went to the field hospitals to translate for US medical staff aiding South Korean soldiers. He shares all the places he visited doing his translator duties. He shares the destruction he saw as well.
War in Seoul
John Shea describes the conditions in Seoul, saying everything was wiped out. It was what he expected, he says, knowing what war was all about through his brother's stories of WWII and from watching war movies. He shares he knows why he was there, to do his job to free the Korean people.
The Pass is Open
John Singhose describes working with his men to use bulldozers for building a pass that shortened travel from the "Punchbowl," through the hills of Yanggu County. He recalls hiking overland to construct a tram road, which helped the U.S. Army supply ammunition to the Republic of Korea infantry. He describes supervising the paving of an airstrip.
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".
Experiences in Battle
John Tobia discusses his recollections of being in battle. He recalls most of the fighting he witnessed occurred at night, and the next day, he and others would often go to the front lines and see how many troops were killed. He recalls how severely cold the winters were. His company used heaters and stoves to stay warm and often saw rats in their bunker also wanting to warm up. He also mentions how important it was to keep toilet paper in one's helmet.
Prepping for War
John Turner discusses the process he went through from enlistment to arriving in Incheon, South Korea. He enlisted in the Marines and attended Parris Island for bootcamp. After he graduated from basic training, he attended advanced training at Camp Pendleton in California. After advanced training, he departed from San Diego for Inchoen.
What was Korea like when you were there?
John Turner discusses what Korea looked like on his journey north towards the 38th parallel. He recalls the destruction he witnessed in Incheon, Seoul, and Panmunjeom. He recalls starving people begging for food. He would give them some of his rations, as would other soldiers. His unit went on patrol near the 38th parallel, walking along deep trenches, and spying on North Koreans at Outpost Kate, about five hundred feet beyond the front lines .
Were you afraid? Did you ever think you would die?
John Turner talks about his experiences on the front lines of the war. Once his leg was grazed by a bullet, which ended up sending him to a M.A.S.H. (mobile army surgical hospital) in Seoul for a ten-day recovery. After feeling better, he returned to the front lines and was injured again shortly after, this time with a concussion from North Korean fire and explosions in a cave. He recalls trouble sleeping at night due to constant loud and bright explosions.
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.
John V. Larson
Rebuilding Europe During the Korean War
John V. Larson explains that in 1950 he was not deployed to Korea, but instead to Dreux-Louvilliers U.S. Air Force Base, about fifty miles outside Paris, France. He worked to deactivate and remove mines, repair U.S. bases and bombed-out runways, and build touch-down strips for bombers in France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Poland. He recalls seeing the crematorium pits left at Nazi Death Camps.
U.S.-France Relations During the Korean War
John V. Larson describes the importance of guard duty, and having a lot of leftover World War II equipment to manage. He remembers the merging of races in the military as many African-Americans were being placed into all white units in Europe. He explains why getting help from the French seemed to be difficult when U.S. troops broke down on the roads.
The Leftovers of War
John V. Larson recalls that when compared to other bombed-out areas of Europe, it seemed that there was not much destruction in Paris, France. He describes seeing places that were demolished, and other nearby places such as cathedrals, historical areas, and key cities that were never touched by bombing. He recalls feeling fortunate to be stationed where he was because he knew the combat equipment in Korea was not very good.
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. He recalls that this battle was particularly brutal because Chinese troops outnumbered them ten-to-one. He adds that 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. Él se acuerda que esta batalla fue brutal porque las tropas chinas los superaban en número diez a uno. El agrega que 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.
Lying to go to War / Mentiras Antes de La Guerra
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina recounts the way in which he lied to his family about his decision to go to war. He explains that he knew they would object, so he told them he was being sent to Panama to train in communications. He admits that it was only when he arrived in Korea and saw a nation turned to ashes and the devastation of the civilian population that he understood the reality of war and the consequences of his decision.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina relata la forma en que le mintió a su familia sobre su decisión de ir a la guerra como voluntario. Explica que sabía que se opondrían, por eso les dijo que iba hacia Panamá para hacer un entrenamiento en comunicaciones. El admite que fue sólo cuando llegó a Corea y vio una nación convertida en cenizas y la devastación de la población civil, que entendió la realidad de la guerra y las consecuencias de su decisión.
Jorge Hernando Uricoechea Castro
First Days in Korea / Primeros Días en Corea
Jorge Hernando Uricoechea Castro provides an account of the devastation and poverty he encountered upon arriving in Korea. He explains that he will never forget the way in which civilians begged for food and clothing at every train station. Additionally, he describes the living conditions the Colombian army faced in Korea.
Jorge Hernando Uricoechea Castro describe la devastación y pobreza que vio cuando llego a Corea. Explica que nunca olvidará la forma en que los civiles pedían comida y ropa en cada estación de tren. Además, relata las condiciones de vida que enfrentó el ejército colombiano en Corea.
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi
"I Didn't Know What Poverty Was"
Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi describes the difficult living conditions for refugees in Pusan (Busan). He describes the crowded nature as well as the difficulty in acquiring foods due to the lack of good roads and transportation.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna describes the destruction he encountered in Korea. He explains that it is difficult for anyone that lived through a war to explain what happened. He recalls being saddened by the fact that Koreans, including professionals from universities, were forced to take menial jobs.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna describe la destrucción total que encontró en Corea. Explica que es difícil para cualquiera que haya luchado en una guerra explicar lo que vio. Recuerda que le entristeció el hecho de que los coreanos, incluidos los profesionales de las universidades, se vieron obligados a aceptar trabajos manuales ayudando a los soldados.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane
First Days / Primeros Días
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane describes his duties as a scout for the reconnaissance patrol. He recalls that he was immediately asked to go on patrol the first day he arrived. Additionally, he describes an incident in which he almost died protecting a Jeep for his captain and it was luck that saved his life.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane describe sus funciones como explorador de la patrulla de reconocimiento. Recuerda que le pidieron que fuera a patrullar el primer día que llegó a Corea. Describe un incidente en el que casi muere protegiendo un Jeep para su capitán y fue la suerte lo que le salvó la vida.
Jose E. Colon
The 65th Regiment’s Efforts and Consequences
Jose E. Colon provides an account of the 65th Infantry Regiment's movement to the 38th Parallel during the Korean War. He praises the regiment's tenacity in pushing back the Chinese, allowing United States Marines to evacuate the area. He notes, however, the poor living conditions endured by the 65th Regiment and the court-martials that followed their refusal to push forward.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that any time they were on the move it was incredibly dangerous as they were always met with mortar attacks. He remembers how they were ambushed one night, and his friend was killed. He wonders if he killed anyone as they shot in all directions as they could not see the enemy. Forever etched in his memory are the hardships of civilians and what they had to resort to in order to survive.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Él explica que cada vez que se movía del sur hasta el frente era increíblemente peligroso porque siempre lo atacaban con morteros. Recuerda que una noche los emboscaron y mataron a su amigo, y ellos disparaban en todas direcciones porque no podían ver donde estaba al enemigo entonces él no sabe si mato a nadie. Las miserias de los civiles y lo que tenían que hacer para sobrevivir le han quedado grabadas en su memoria.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz discusses his first impressions of Korea. As soon as they landed in Busan, they were transported by truck to the north, and he recalls the terrible condition the country faced. He was especially taken aback by the misery of civilians. Within hours of arriving to the front, he witnessed an American airplane shot down.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz explica sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Tan pronto como aterrizaron en Busan, fueron transportados en camiones hacia el norte, y él recuerda las terribles condiciones en las que se encontraba el país. Mas que la destrucción, se acuerda de la miseria de los civiles. A las pocas horas de llegar al frente, el enemigo derribo un avión estadounidense.
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.
Memories and Lessons Learned / Recuerdos y Lecciones Aprendidas
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez reflects on his feelings about leaving Korea at the end of his tour. He explains that he learned what it meant to be a soldier and could have only done so through his experience during the war. Additionally, he laments what the people of Korea experienced during the century of conquests which culminated in the war.
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez reflexiona sobre sus sentimientos cuando se fue de Corea. Explica que aprendió lo que significa ser un soldado y solo pudo haberlo hecho a través de su experiencia en la guerra. Además, lamenta lo que vivió el pueblo de Corea durante un siglo de conquistas que termino con la guerra entre el Norte y el Sur.
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.
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.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
José Vidal Beltrán Molano describes his first impressions of Korea and the living conditions they faced. He shares the awe he felt upon witnessing the complete destruction that resulted from the first offensive wave. Moreover, he describes the living conditions they faced and the supplies they were given.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y sus condiciones de vida en el frente. Comparte el asombro que sintió al ver la destrucción completa de la primera ola ofensiva. Además, describe las condiciones de vida que enfrentaron y los suministros que recibieron.
Forever Changed / Cambiado Para Siempre
José Vidal Beltrán Molano explains that the war had a huge impact on his life and left him forever changed. He marvels at how well he was treated upon returning to South Korea. He shares there were parades by the military, high schools, and elementary schools in their honor. In sum, he is thankful to all whom have recognized their sacrifices.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano explica que la guerra tuvo un gran impacto en su vida y lo dejo marcado de por vida. Se maravilla de lo bien que lo trataron al regresar a Corea del Sur. Él comparte que hubo desfiles de militares, escuelas secundarias y escuelas primarias en su honor. En suma, está agradecido a todos los que han reconocido sus sacrificios.
Joseph De Palma
Then and Now
Joseph De Palma describes the changes he saw when he returned to South Korea in 2010. He recalls how Seoul had been flattened the first time he saw it. He marvels at how big and amazing the city is now with its tall buildings and expressway.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
Joseph Dunford, Sr. participated in the Inchon Landing. He describes his objective was to take Observatory Hill (also known as Cemetery Hill). He explains how he and his regiment did this at 5:30 PM and took the hill once it became dark. He explains how the North Koreans were fighting lightly. He shares all he could see was the dead and fires around him.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Dunford shares how he participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which is known in Korea as the Jangjin Battle. He explains that there were so many Chinese there that he couldn't even count. He explains how he had to sleep on the ground without a sleeping bag since they were told to burn everything except a few C-Rations and weapons. He shares how the lack of food, proper shelter, and other necessities made survival difficult.
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.
Seoul during the War
Joseph Hamilton describes Seoul as he saw it during the war. He explains that it was pretty “rustic,” especially because they had suffered the bombing. He describes how there were a few open shops, but for the most part, there was not much there. He states that the capital city was completely destroyed.
Trench Fighting and PTSD
Joseph Horton describes his experience fighting in the trenches. He details the close proximity of the Chinese troops as well as the nervous adrenaline he felt in combat. He speaks candidly about dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after returning from Korea. He highlights his bout with depression, alcoholism, and losing his family on a few occasions.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
"It Was the Fourth of July"
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.
Joseph P. Ferris
South Korea Rebuilt
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris compares the rebuilding of South Korea to that of Europe after World War II.
Joseph T. Wagener
From a Nation of Poor Farmers to Beautiful Reconstruction
Joseph Wagener describes many return trips to Korea since leaving in 1951. He marvels at the transformation of South Korea from a nation of poor farmers to a beautiful country filled with new construction and economic development. Along with admiring the progress of the Korean people, he fondly remembers the South Koreans who fought with the Belgian battalion.
Destroyed Russian Tanks Littering the Ground
Joseph Wagener provides an account of his experience along the 38th Parallel with the 29th British Brigade, the strongest brigade of the British army. He elaborates on his experience fighting along the Imjin River and patrolling the Naktong Perimeter where the South Korean and UN soldiers blocked the North Korean advancement. He reflects on seeing the destroyed Russian tanks littering the ground around the area they patrolled, suggesting the intensity of fighting in the region.
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.
Josue Orlando Bernal García
The Battle of Old Baldy / La Batalla de Old Baldy
Josue Orlando Bernal García shares his memories of the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that Chinese troops waited until replacement troops were sent in to unleash their terrible attack. He describes the chaos that ensued after they were infiltrated by enemy troops and the way in which American troops were mobilized to support them. He details his role during the ordeal and the resulting toll of the battle.
Josue Orlando Bernal García comparte sus recuerdos de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él explica que las tropas chinas esperaron hasta que se enviaran tropas de reemplazo para empezar el ataque. Describe el caos que resultó cuando entro el enemigo, y la forma en que se movilizaron las tropas estadounidenses para apoyarlos. También el relata su experiencia y el precio resultante de la batalla.
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 shares 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.
Landing in Korea on the Fourth of July
Juan Andres Arebalos recalls playing ping-pong on a Japanese base when an announcement came on the radio about North Korea's invasion of South Korea. He remembers receiving orders to pack his belongings for combat and the next day, landed in Korea on the Fourth of July. He recalls seeing bright flashes of lights in the distance that could have been mistaken for fireworks. His shares his duty was to hold the enemy back until reinforcements arrived from the United Nations Forces.
The Battle of Taejon
Juan Andres Arebalos provides an overview of the North Korean's advancements in Taejon. He recounts retreating from the city to reinforce his troops. He remembers observing the city burning after the North Koreans seized it. He provides information about General William Dean, the United States general who was captured during the retreat from Taejon.
Tales of Survival
Juan Andres Arebalos admits he did not feel he would survive the situation in Taejon. He comments on how enemy troops would snatch the food and supplies dropped by United Nations airplanes. He recalls being so hungry that he ate fly-infested rice in a South Korean village. He recalls an enemy sniper shooting at them as they filled their canteens with water at a creek. He admits to being unable to sleep at night because of his fear.
Never to Forget
Juan Andres Arebalos provides insight into General McArthur's plan to contain Chinese forces behind their border. He explains how President Truman opposed General McArthur's intention to attack Chinese territory, but to the soldiers, it was the best option to prevent further casualties. He expresses his gratitude towards the brave Korean War veterans and his reverence for those who did not make it home.
Juan Figueroa Nazario
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Juan Figueroa Nazario recalls his first impressions of a war-torn Korea. He describes the civilian living conditions and the plethora of refugee he encountered. In his opinion, the poverty of the Korean people was worse than that of Haiti. He shares he could not believe the way in which the infrastructure of the nation had been decimated.
Juan Figueroa Nazario recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea devastada por la guerra. Describe las condiciones de vida de los civiles y los refugiados que encontró. En su opinión, la pobreza del pueblo coreano era peor que la de Haití. No podía creer la forma en que había sido diezmada la infraestructura de la nación.
Typical Day for a KP / Día Típico Para un KP
Juan Figueroa Nazario explains his line of work in the kitchen. He recounts that he did not know how to cook before he entered the army but was forced to learn quickly. He remembers how he was assigned to deliver hot food to the front lines which endangered him at times. He recalls the terrible sight of seeing dead soldiers piled up on either side of his trek to deliver food.
Juan Figueroa Nazario explica su línea de trabajo en la cocina. Él cuenta que no sabía cocinar antes de ingresar al ejército, pero se vio obligado a aprender rápidamente. Se le asignó la entrega de comida caliente a las líneas del frente, y ese trabajo era peligroso. Recuerda la terrible escena de ver montañas de soldados muertos en ambos lados de su caminata para entregar alimentos.
Searching for Food Amidst Destruction
Juan Manibusan recounts his first impressions of Korea upon arrival. He remembers the poor shape of the country as well as observing people desperately searching for food. He compares it to his time spent as a child in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. He also shares how his experiences there impacted his marriage.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez
Medical Unit / Unidad Médica
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez describes his job as a medic during the war. He explains that his unit was responsible for gathering all injured soldiers and administering first aid. At times, he was forced to conduct operations on injured soldiers, even though he was not trained on how to perform surgeries. He adds that he was responsible for referring patients to the M.A.S.H. unit, which was better equipped to handle the most severe injuries.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez cuenta como era su trabajo como médico durante la guerra. Explica que su unidad era responsable de sacar a todos los soldados heridos y tratarlos. Se vio obligado a realizar operaciones en soldados heridos, a pesar de que no estaba entrenado. Además de tratar a los heridos, estaba encargado de referir pacientes a la unidad M.A.S.H. porque estaba mejor equipada para manejar las lesiones más graves.
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.
Jutta I. Andersson
Busan: September 1950
Jutta Andersson describes Busan when she arrived in September of 1950. She describes the despair of the people living around Busan. She also describes life as a nurse and how nurses could not freely move about. However, she did visit the hills surrounding Busan and go to a Buddhist Temple with an escort.
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas
Wounded During the Battle of Old Baldy / Herido en la Batalla de Old Baldy
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas presents an overview of the Battle of Old Baldy in which he was severely wounded. He explains that the battle was particularly brutal because the enemy offensive was conducted when replacement troops were entering the front. Furthermore, he states that it was an unwinnable fight because they were outnumbered ten-to-one. He remembers how he and others sought refuge in a bunker and describes the way in which they were wounded.
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas comparte sus recuerdos de la Batalla del Viejo Calvo en la que fue herido gravemente. Explica que la batalla fue brutal porque la ofensiva enemiga empezó cuando las tropas de reemplazo entraban al frente. Además, afirma que fue una pelea imposible de ganar porque los superaban en número diez a uno. Recuerda cómo él y otros buscaron refugio en un búnker y describe la forma en que fueron heridos.
Rescue from Combat / Rescate del Combate
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas shudders at the memories of regaining consciousness in the middle of the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that he was disoriented and could barely see as his face was covered in blood and dirt. He laments the loss of his friend during this battle and explains how he and others were able to reach safety and were eventually rescued.
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas comparte sus recuerdos de como recupero la conciencia en el medio de la Batalla del Old Baldy. Explica que estaba desorientado y apenas podía ver porque tenía la cara cubierta de sangre y tierra. Lamenta que murió su amigo durante esta batalla y explica cómo él y otros pudieron ponerse a salvo y eventualmente fueron rescatados.
Surviving the Attack / Sobrevivir al Ataque
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas shares his memories of being wounded in action. He details the way in which he used trenches to avoid being hit by napalm during the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that he felt like a dead person as he was convinced that he would never recover.
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas comparte sus recuerdos de haber sido herido en combate. Detalla la forma en que utilizó las trincheras para evitar las bombas incendiarias durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Explica que se sentía como un muerto porque estaba convencido de que nunca se recuperaría.
The Voyage / El Viaje
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas details the voyage to Korea. He describes the way in which they travelled through Colombia to reach the coast and then by ship to Hawaii, Japan, and finally Busan. He remembers the cold they encountered arriving on the peninsula in January.
Juvenal Sendoya Vargas detalla el viaje a Corea. Describe la forma en que viajaron a través de Colombia para llegar a Cartagena y luego en barco a Hawái, Japón y finalmente Busan. Recuerda el frío que sufrieron al llegar a la península en enero.
Kebede Teferi Desta
Arriving in Korea
Kebede Teferi Desta describes his arrival in Korea. He had no previous knowledge or experience with Korea. He was part of the First Kagnew Battalion arriving in 1951. Kebede Teferi Desta describes the situation as bleak for the people. Buildings were destroyed, with lots of destruction overall.
Keith G. Hall
"Smashed to Bits"
Keith G. Hall describes the differences between Korea in 1950 and Korea in 2010 when he returned. He describes poor conditions in the villages, with villagers farming rice paddies with primitive wooden plows. Seoul and Daegu had been "smashed to bits."
A War That is Worthy
Keith Gunn recounts his first impressions of Korea upon landing, expanding upon his opinion regarding the worth of the war. He details Korea's poor state at the time, comparing it to England. He speaks highly of the progress Korea has made since the war, ultimately agreeing that the war was worth the effort.
Keith H. Fannon
Keith H. Fannon describes seeing the destruction of Korea for the first time.
Keith H. Fannon shares his most difficult memories of the Korean War. These include friends that were killed at Kimpo Air Base (near Seoul), his reaction at the time as well as later in life. He also briefly shares his nightmares about the children.
Arrival in Korea With Thoughts of the Incheon Landing
Ken Thamert traveled to Korea aboard a ship with many seasick soldiers and he arrived at Incheon in April of 1954, after the Korean War. With all of this basic training, he did not feel afraid when he landed. Ken Thamert did imagine what it was like during the Incheon Landing, only a few years ago right on the spot he entered Korea.
Kenneth Aijiro Tashiro
The Horrors of War
Kenneth Aijiro Tashiro describes his letters back home explaining the horrors of war. He explains his feelings for the civilian population and their absorption of the war. He describes that once he left the Korean War, he wondered what happened to those people he had seen.
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.
Attack By the Chinese and the Rats
After spending nights as an observer on the hill they were defending, Kenneth Borchers continued to report to Lt. Stone that there were people coming up the road, but no one believed him. The area they were located had been fairly secured with barbed wire, but around 9pm, the rats began to run.
Therefore, Kenneth Borchers knew that his troops were under attack by the Chinese who mounted the barbed wire fences by using acrobatic moves to scale the fence.
Kenneth David Allen
Journey to Korea
Kenneth Allen explains his journey to Korea which started shortly after he graduated college. He remembers attending basic training in Ft. Dix, New Jersey before being sent to Japan then Pusan before headed to Seoul. He describes the train ride and how they had to be very careful.
Two Trips to Korea
Kenneth Dillard describes his experiences at sea during the Korean War. He was on one of many destroyers that were stationed in the East Sea and Yellow Sea. He recalls chipping ice off the ship, and chasing submarines in the East Sea.
Kenneth F. Dawson
Hill 355: Death and Danger
Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.
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.
Impressions of Korea
Kenneth Gordon recounts landing in Busan before making his way to Daegu where his musical career in Korea began. He recalls the terribly rough trip from Seattle to Tokyo on board the Colonel Black where so many men, including himself, were sea sick. He details the conditions of Busan when he arrived and remarks on the incredible changes made when he returned in 1965 with Leonard Bernstein.
Kenneth S. Shankland
A Peaceful Solution for a Divided Country
Kenneth Shankland recalls how he knew nothing about Korea until he was sent to the East Sea to patrol the Korean coast. He shares that since his service in Korea, he has closely studied the developments of the Korean War, from the actual fighting to the Armistice that has not resolved the war. He adds that he would like for Korea to find a peaceful solution between the North and South.
Retrofitted Ships and Bombed-Out Cities
Kenneth Shankland recalls how his ship, The HMNZS Royalist, had been modified for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. He shares how the ship sailed all over the Pacific Ocean, eventually landing in Incheon and Pusan in 1957 to enforce the peace. He recounts how Korean civilians were living in terrible conditions among piles of rubble. He remembers naked and hungry children begging for food.
Bombardment of North Korean Railways in 1957
Kenneth Shankland describes his ship patrolling the eastern and western coast. He shares how he participated in the bombardment of North Korean coastal railways in order to stop the movement of weapons by Chinese and North Korean Communists from the mountains down to Pusan. He recounts how The HMNZS Royalist served as a significant deterrent so he did not need to worry about attacks from enemy gunboats.
Treadway Bridge (graphic)
Kenneth Warner describes the obstacles created by the dangerously cold temperatures and the engineering behind bridge drops, where floating box cars would descend with all the necessary items to construct a bridge where existing bridges had been destroyed. He credits such engineering as the reason why they were able to get out of that area. He recalls learning sometime after the war that the Chinese dead were used to fill the holes between the steel and the ground because the ground was so frozen they were unable to get sufficient dirt.
Kevin R. Dean
Return to Korea
Kevin Dean comments on his return visit to Korea. He recalls the physical destruction of Incheon during the war and compares it to the modern city into which it has blossomed. He describes Seoul and Busan's progression and shares that the transformation is mind boggling to him. He states that South Korea is one of the only countries in the world that thanks those who helped secure its freedom.
Kim H. McMillan
First Impressions of Korea
Kim McMillan describes his journey to Korea by boat to Busan. The terrible smell met him as he sailed into the port. Passing through Seoul to join his unit, he was dismayed at the sad and backward state of the country. The Korean people looked depressed. Initially assigned as a driver in the transportation unit of 10 Company, his superiors later assigned him to the workshop unit as a carpenter.
Kirk Wolford discusses his perspective as he recalls being an excited twenty-year-old looking for adventure, not initially realizing the seriousness of the situation. He remembers the utter destruction of Korean cities and remarks on the recovery made by sheer determination of its people. Having never returned, he wonders if the division will ever be resolved.
Lacy Bethea Jr.
Lacy Bethea participated in the Incheon Landing. He was part of "D+2." Lacy Bethea was a member of the 4th or 5th wave of troops that landed on Incheon. When the Marines landed that day, it was their first combat exposure since WWII.
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.
Prior Knowledge of the Korean War
From 2004 to 2008, Lawrence Dumpit's second tour, was filled with working with tanks on the ground. This was a change from the first tour in 1997. He didn't know a lot about Korea before he was stationed there, but he did know about the war because he learned about it during school.
The Last Ten Days
Lawrence Hafen talks about his experience during the last ten days before the signing of the Armistice. He mentions continuous shelling by both sides in an effort to expend stocks of ammunition. He describes the front lines after the ceasefire.
Leandro Diaz Miranda
Hunger and Sadness / Hambre y Tristeza
Leandro Díaz Miranda describes the conditions he encountered in Korea upon his arrival in 1951. He was shocked at the poverty in the country as it was worse than the poverty in Puerto Rico. He explains that he, and many of his colleagues, would toss food rations over the fence to help Koreans that were continuously begging for food. He and others were willing to disobey orders to help starving orphans.
Leandro Díaz Miranda describe las condiciones que encontró en Corea a cuando llego en 1951. Se sorprendió por la pobreza en el país, porque era peor que la pobreza en Puerto Rico. Explica que él y muchos de sus amigos puertorriqueños tiraban raciones de comida por encima del alambrado para ayudar a los coreanos que continuamente pedían comida. Él y otros estaban dispuestos a desobedecer las órdenes para ayudar a los huérfanos hambrientos.
Battle of Kelly Hill / Batalla de Kelly Hill
Leandro Díaz Miranda explains the difficulty the 65th Regiment encountered at the Battle of Kelly Hill. He details the terrible fighting as they were outnumbered ten-to-one. They suffered many casualties and thus the troops were completely demoralized by the end of the battle.
Leandro Díaz Miranda explica la dificultad que encontró el Regimiento 65 en la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Detalla lo terrible que fue la lucha, ya que fueron superados en número diez a uno. Sufrieron muchas bajas y, por lo tanto, las tropas estaban completamente desmoralizadas al final de la batalla.
Lee A. Smith
Service as a Firefighter
Lee Smith describes his service in the US Army as a firefighter. He speaks about how his duties not only pertained to the military instillation but to the community as well. He shares how their role was to help battle fires within the community by sending tankers and manpower when available. He recalls there being many such fires to assist with.
Leland Wallis describes seeing Busan after being destroyed. He remembers seeing huts, shacks and the difficult life of the people.
Leo C. Jackey
Making Their Way Down the Mountain
Leo C. Jackey recounts the challenges his unit and others faced in making their way down the narrow roads from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir region. He recalls one truck getting too close to the edge and going over the side of the mountain. He shares his unit was one of the last to leave Heungnam.
They Have Everything Now
Leo Calderon describes the difference between first seeing Korea during the war and the country it has become today. He explains the physical characteristics of Seoul at the time: buildings no taller than half a story, potholed roads, homes made of hay and mud. He says at that time the people had nothing compared to today, that they have everything.
Just How Close We Were To The Enemy
Leonard Laconia's jeep squadron moved around from Seoul to Pyongyang and up to the North Korean Airports that he noted as K23 and K24 (Pyongyang). He recalled spending most of his time around K23 and he was told originally there were 30,000 Chinese headed their way, but there was actually 380,000 Chinese soldiers. Leonard Laconia's missions, known as a "sorties," would only last about 15 minutes (refuel & amp; rearm) because they would run out of ammunition so quickly due to the number of Chinese they were fighting.
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.
US B-29s Couldn't Stop the Chinese
Leonard Laconia stated that the Chinese would fly MiGs from Manchuria, but they would burn fuel so quickly that they rarely made it to Korea. The US would fly B-29s up and down the Yalu River dropping bombs to destroy bridges, but it didn't stop the Chinese from coming down into Korea. The Chinese still found a way to get across the Yalu River.
Bed Check Charlie
An enemy plane was nicknamed "Bed Check Charlie" by The Stars and Stripes newspaper which was provided for every US soldier. In the newspaper, it threatened that "Bed Check Charlie" would come at night and killed one of the men from his squadron by dropping grenades and mortar shells. Leonard Laconia remembered that many of the enemy planes maneuvered well through the night sky, so soldiers were afraid of them.
Armistice Signed, But Fighting Continued
Leonard Laconia mentioned how bad the fighting was from 1950 through 1951, but when talk of armistice was being discussed in 1951, no one wanted to take a chance of dying. Therefore, none of the soldiers showed interest in the armistice. After the Armistice was signed in 1953, territory along the DMZ had many battles that continued to secure and occupy any land.
Leonard Nicholls contrasts his time in Seoul during the Korean War with his revisit to the city in 2017. The difference between the flattened city of the war and what had been rebuilt in seventy years was amazing. He was astonished at the industriousness of the Korean people in rebuilding their country.
Leslie John Pye
Reassignment to the British Royal Tank Unit
Leslie Pye elaborates on his transfer to the 1st British Royal Tank Regiment and the training process for the British Centurion British Tank. He recounts his experience as a gunner sent to Hill 355 as a replacement tank supporting night patrols. He shares how most of the firing was done at night and explains some of the limitations they experienced.
Dangerous Moments Gathering the Wounded
Leslie Pye describes his mission on the 24th of July 1953 to retrieve wounded soldiers on Hill 111. While moving up the hill, he admits he did not warn his driver before test firing the gun on the top rail of the tank. He provides sound advice that one should not go into battle without knowing your machine gun will work. With the battle raging around them, he describes the successful retrieval of Australian and American wounded soldiers.
Leslie Pye remembers what it was like going back up HIll 111 to gather reusable material for the new line of resistance. He reflects on the experience of arriving on the 28th of July and seeing the carnage of the previous battle. He shares the memories of what he saw that haunt him.
Landing in Korea and Train to Pusan
Leslie Peate describes landing in Korea at Incheon and recalls the devastation he witnessed when he first arrived. He recounts sleeping on wooden planks aboard a train, describing the experience as something from an old "Wild West" movie. He remembers there being nothing for miles and being served American C-Rations at mealtime.
When We Were There, There Was Nothing
Lester Ludwig describes his impressions of Korea as a soldier and that he wouldn't be able to return with his knee that needs replacing. He describes what Seoul looked like during the Korean War. He explains that his entire trip, all that he saw was destruction and no civilian life.
An Accident at K-2
Lewis Ebert was near a rocket that was accidentally fired and blew up a tractor trailer on base. That trailer was parked near him when it blew up because he was working at the K-2 Air Base. Luckily, Lewis Ebert didn't get injured in the incident.
Preparing For and Entering the Korean War
After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.
F80 Ammunition Supplying and Documenting History Through Letter Writing
Lewis Ebert came over with 3 squadrons of F80 Jets. He was assigned the ammunition supply section of the base and worked on the ammunition reports each night including replenishing the 50 caliber machine guns bullets. His letters home helped remind him how much ammo that the military went through each day because his mom and sister kept all the letters that he wrote twice a month.
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.
A Bird's-Eye View of Destruction
Lewis Ewing speaks about seeing vast areas of destruction across the Korean landscape. He describes seeing devastation of mountain areas, which he viewed from helicopter flyovers. He recalls his impressions upon seeing the war-torn areas of Seoul and Busan from a bird's-eye view.
Landing In Inchon
Lloyd Pitman describes his first night in Korea. He arrived in Inchon on September 19, 1950. He and his fellow soldiers engaged the enemy and took the airfield at Suwon. He describes the enemy counterattack that overran their headquarters killing many.
Dropping Bombs and Flares by Hand
Not having bombing racks at the back of his C-47, Lloyd Thompson had to throw bombs and 15 pound flares (high illumination) by hand out of the plane at over 10,000 feet in the air. He did this to help fighters and bombers see their target. He also flew 76 missions and accumulated over 390+ hours.
Creeping Up Behind Us
Suspecting it may have been a Yakovlev (Yak-9), the enemy flew behind Lloyd Thompson's plane close enough that the radar indicated only one plane. When they landed, the Yak started dropping bombs on the runway at Gimpo Air Force Base. The Air Force responded with anti-aircraft weapons and blew the enemy plane apart.
Civilians Digging In The Trash to Survive
As a naive young man who had never witnessed much beyond a small Midwestern town, Lloyd Thompson saw Korean civilians digging in the US soldiers' trash for scraps. The realization was knowing what the UN were fighting for. Lloyd Thompson recognized the hope to give Korean civilians a normal life again.
Finding Body Bags
As Lloyd Thompson was shoveling sand on a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 truck near a flood plain at Kimpo Air Force Base, he unearthed a wooden box and unveiled an abandoned burial ground filled with body bags. He reported the incident, but nothing ever came of it. The bodies were left right there in the flood plain.
Surviving an Attack by the Chinese at Outpost Reno
Loren Schumacher describes an attack of Chinese forces on outpost Reno, sometimes called Yoke. He and thirty-six other soldiers were defending the outpost when a battalion of Chinese soldiers attacked them. He describes his Lieutenant calling in on a PRC-6 and reporting they were overrun and how the Captain at the command post ordered VT artillary to be fired on their position which ended the Chinese attack. He was wounded by a Chinese shell that exploded in a pit right in front of him, causing a concussion which is how he earned his Purple Heart.
Louis G. Surratt
Two Brothers Serving in Korea
Louis Surratt was selected to spend Christmas with his brother. While he spoke on the phone with his brother to make plans, a deadly plane collision happened on the airport runway. All men aboard the two planes died in the crash. The high number of casualty reports that ensued meant that Louis Surratt could not join Donald for the holiday.
Life on Suwon Air Base
Louis Surratt describes daily living on the air base in Suwon. Overall the base provided safety and security, although many soldiers who departed on sorties faced danger and death. Stories of crashes reminded him of his fortunate situation.
Luigi Montani discusses how he never was able to return to Korea after the war. He discusses the progress they have made and how he has learned about their progress through reading and talking with friends who have traveled to Korea. He recalls going through Seoul during the war and seeing all the buildings leveled, burnt trucks and complete destruction.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernandez
First Impressions and Religion / Primeras impresiones y religión
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recalls his first impression of a devastated Korea. He expresses the sorrow he felt given the terrible conditions that civilians were forced to endure. Furthermore, he shares a story of how he heard a calling from God when one of his friends needed help on the battlefield.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recuerda su primera impresión de Corea cuando recién llego. Lamenta las terribles condiciones que los civiles se vieron obligados a soportar como la tristeza y el hambre. Igualmente, comparte una historia de cómo escuchó un llamado de Dios cuando uno de sus amigos necesitaba ayuda en el campo de batalla.
Luis Rosado Padua
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.
Lynwood Ingham appreciates all the soldiers today who are trying to end communism on the Korean peninsula. Like many other countries around the world, the US wants to help the people by getting rid of communism. The US and South Korea have a strong friendship and trade-relationship because of the Korean War.
Manuel Antonio Gaitan Briceño
Korea Then and Now / Corea Antes y Ahora
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describes the changes he witnessed in Korea between the time he was stationed there and when he returned in 2010. Compared to the sadness, hunger, and destruction of Korea when he served in 1954, he marvels at what Korea has become. Indeed, he expresses being amazed at the cleanliness, infrastructure, and even the underground stores near the subway system that exist in modern Seoul. He credits the intelligence of South Koreans for their advances.
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describe los cambios que vio en Corea entre el tiempo que sirvió en el Batallón Colombia y cuando regresó en 2010. En comparación con la tristeza, el hambre y la destrucción de Corea cuando sirvió en 1954 se maravilla como Corea se ha cambiado. De hecho, expresa estar asombrado por la limpieza, la infraestructura e incluso los almacenes subterráneas cerca del sistema subterráneo que existen en la Seúl hoy en día. Le da crédito a la inteligencia de los surcoreanos por sus avances económicos y políticos.
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
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recalls the difficulties troops faced when fighting in trench warfare near the 38th Parallel. He details the proximity between UN and enemy troops and explains that it was unfathomable that so much fighting could occur in such a small distance. He explains the perilous nature of mundane tasks, including going to the bathroom, when one is being constantly hunted.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recuerda los momentos más difíciles que enfrentaron las tropas cuando peleaban en una guerra de trincheras cerca del Paralelo 38. Detalla la proximidad entre las fuerzas de la ONU y las tropas enemigas y explica que le parecía mentira que tanto combate pudiera ocurrir en una distancia tan pequeña. Explica los peligros de las tareas mundanas, incluido ir al baño, cuando a uno lo están cazando constantemente.
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.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Mario Nel Bernal Avella details his first impressions of Korea upon arriving. He recalls arriving in Busan and being received very well by American and Korean dignitaries before being sent to a training camp nearby. The human misery and terrible sadness of Korea at that time is vivid in his memories and exemplified by one incident in which a Colombian soldiers threw a tin of C-Rations over the truck, and they watched a malnourished child, a starving dog, and man running towards the can of discarded food. He also bears witness to the devastation and utter destruction of Seoul and explains that it looked like a ten-magnitude earthquake hit the city.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda haber llegado a Busan y haber sido muy bien recibido por dignatarios estadounidenses y coreanos antes de ser enviado a un campo de entrenamiento. La miseria humana y la terrible tristeza de Corea en ese momento están vívidas en su memoria y ejemplificadas por un incidente en el que un soldado colombiano arrojo una lata de C3-Ration fuera del camión y vieron a un niño desnutrido, un perro hambriento y un hombre viejo corriendo hacia la lata de comida desechada. También es testigo de la devastación y destrucción total de Seúl y explica que le parecía que un terremoto de magnitud diez arrasó la ciudad.
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.
Mark C. Sison
U.S.S. Iowa Battleship
Mark C. Sison discusses being stationed on the U.S.S. Iowa battleship during the Korean War. Their mission was to shell enemy locations on command. He explains how the crew operated the rifles and maneuvered the ship during these operations.
Shelling in Korea
Mark C. Sison provides an account of the U.S.S. Iowa's shelling in various locations in Korea, including Wonsan and Busan. He explains how the ship used smoke screens to conceal the transport of United States Marines. At Busan Harbor, the U.S.S. Iowa bombarded the North Korean's railroad construction to disrupt their supply line. Today, he is a member of the Intertribal Warrior Society, which performs honor guard duties for veteran burials.
Marshall E. Davis
Former POWs sabotaging their generators
The location of their headquarters was near a fence line that once held POWS that had integrated with the locals but some became apart of a guerrilla style action that would sabotage their generators and effect the transmitter that was far away from the headquarters. When the transmitters would go out it was usually because of the generators. Marshall was assigned night duty and was always on the lookout for possible saboteurs affecting their generators.
Literacy Would Prevail
Martin Rothenberg noted that there was a little girl he befriended who's mother worked in the wash tent and she would talk to him because she wanted to learn English. When Martin Rothenberg left Korea in 1955, he knew there would be a massive economic boom in South Korea because the majority of the people were literate. Plus, South Koreans had a desire to be educated and work toward the reconstruction of their country after the Korean War.
Marvin “Sam” Bass
Sam Bas describes what it was like watching napalm being dropped. He explains how the planes flew in. He remembers hearing people screaming from ten miles away.
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.
Landing at Incheon, Impressions of Korea
On August 1, 1952, Marvin Ummel's unit made it to Incheon, South Korea. The entry into Incheon was challenging due to bad weather and the fact that the communists had destroyed most of the harbor. The ship captain had to improvise their landing. Shortly after landing, he boarded a railroad car to his first duty station near Seoul. He noticed garbage and destruction all over the landscape of South Korea. He acknowledges not knowing what it looked like prior to the war, but his first impression was a total mess. There was no building that had not been at least damaged by the war. The condition of Seoul was pretty distressing.
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.
Impressions of South Korea, Then and Now
Marvin Ummel revisited South Korea in 2017. He reports that the opportunity to travel back with Revisit Korea was incredible. He recalls the development in Seoul being impressive, as there were no undamaged buildings present when he was there in 1952. Now, the buildings, houses, and roadways are numerous and well-constructed. He rode the bullet train from Seoul to Pusan and was impressed that it went over one hundred and eighty miles an hour! He also remembers just how thankful the South Koreans were to Americans for their help during the war.
Patients at the Hospital
Mary Reid describes the types of patients that she saw in the hospital. She recounts many soldiers having worms and treating them with medications. She elaborates on what happened to those too badly wounded to stay at the Army hospital compound.
Matthew D. Rennie
Witnessing Poverty and Devastation
Matthew Rennie vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed in Busan upon his arrival. He recalls the refugee camp there with hundreds of thousands of civilians living in cardboard boxes and children begging for food. He comments on their suffering during the cold winters as they possessed inadequate clothing and heating. He describes the countryside as he made his way up to Euijeongbu.
Maurice B. Pears
Korea Revisit: A Time to Remember the War
Maurice Pears shares how he traveled back to Korea in the early 1990's as a guest of the Korean government. He describes remembering how Seoul was in rubble and there was poverty everywhere while traveling around the nation. He shares how impressed by the evolution of the shops, modern businesses, and transportation he was upon his return.
The Forgotten War Being Remembered in Australia
Maurice Pears states that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because it came right after WWII and that was a time when the world was tired of war. He shares how he worked with many organizations to gather donations for a monument in Australia to help people remember the Korean War. He recalls how after thirteen months, he was able to reveal the beautiful Korean War memorial.
Life as a Korean War Soldier and Operation Minden
Maurice Pear recalls living in foxholes during his year in Korea from 1951-1952. He remembers patrolling through small Korean villages that were filled with only women and children. He recounts that during Operation Minden, his troops fought the Chinese for Hill 355, 317, and 227 while enduring many casualties.
Life of a Korean War Soldier
Maurice Pears shares how he was on the front line for one month without a chance to shower or eat a hot meal and recalls dealing with a water shortage. He remembers how each soldier had his own foxhole where he endured snow and heat. He shares that the soldiers were able to travel up and down the Korean hills with the help of Korean civilians.
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 Cemil Yasar
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the fighting conditions at the Geumyangjangri Front. The Chinese were surrounded and could not escape. Therefore, this battle helped the Allies maintain control of the advancing Chinese Army. Further, he also describes the overall destruction that war brought. Towns were bombed out and looted. However, Pyongyang had people, while the South suffered.
First Experiences of War
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the people he encountered after arriving in Korea. He describes how Busan was a ghost town. He saw only one person, who had frozen to death. The buildings were all riddled with bullets. Overall the war brought hunger, misery, disease and death. Mehmet Cecil Yasar also describes the constant danger. There were many traps set by the enemy.
Children Crying in the Streets
Melese Tessema arrived in the first detachment on May 6 of 1951. The city was in ruins. Orphaned children cried in the streets. Poverty reigned. He returned five years ago and was surprised at the progress of modern Korea. Haile Selassie donated $400,000 dollars to Korea during the war. Now Melese Tessema notes that Korea’s and Ethiopia’s roles have reversed economically.
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 D. Lubbers
Melvin D. Lubbers talks about the physical destruction he saw in Incheon upon his arrival in Korea. He explains that they didn’t get to a see a lot because it was nighttime, and they had been loaded up to move to another part. He remembers thinking “how could anyone even survive?”
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.
The Troubles with Traveling by a Truck
Merle Degler's job was to work on military trucks at the front lines in North Korea in early 1953. After being told that he had to move out, Merle Degler drove a truck up into the mountains with his regiment until the engine blew. Because he was not able to fix the truck on the side of the mountain, he was towed down the hill and back to a ROK camp where he had to stay until meeting up with additional soldiers willing to lead him back to his regiment.
Life as a Radioman
Merlyn Jeche describes landing at Inchon and being sent to work in Chorwon City, which was in rubble. He recalls the terrain in Korea was much like Minnesota, though with more hills. He explains his duties as a radioman for the Army included maintaining 24-hour communication, keeping the generators going and basic maintenance.
Korea: A Huge Empty Lot
When Mike Corona first arrived in Korea, he said it was just a huge empty lot without big buildings, sidewalks, and streets.
Now, Korea looks like Las Vegas, NV because of the beautiful streets, landscapes, and multi-story buildings. After going back for the third revisit, Mike Corona experienced the Korean government's reenactment of the Inchon Landing.
The Realities of Warfare
Michael Fryer recalls broken buildings, poverty, and the state of destitution of the Korean people. He describes the poor conditions in Seoul in late 1951. He recounts the shock he received when he encountered battered and dead American soldiers on the front line.
Recollections from the Battle of the Hook
Michael Fryer recalls his experiences as an ammunition carrier for troops during the Battle of the Hook. He explains seeing large amounts of explosions and men who were machine gunned down. He describes watching as the bodies of deceased men were carried down and lain in a road.
Fixing Tanks on the Front Lines
Michael Glisczinski explains what it was like trying to work on a tank while the enemy was firing artillery. He states that they had to wait until night to try to get the tanks fixed before heading back to his company. He recalls that the most problems they experienced were with the batteries in the tanks.
Impressions of Korea
Michel Ozwald shares his travels from Camp Drake to the front lines in Korea. Much of his travel was via train through Busan and Sasebo. He recalls one incident on the train when his food rations seemed to disappear. He recalls a short stay in Seoul which he remembers as completely destroyed.
Battle of Arrowhead
Michel Ozwald recalls his involvement in the Battle of Arrowhead as being the most difficult of his time in Korea. He explains that the North Koreans and Chinese bombarded the hill for 24 hours. He notes it was the most intense fighting he was involved in while serving in Korea.
Mike Muller describes his 72nd mission in Korea when he was shot down on Sept. 29, 1951 north of Pyongyang. He was forced to jump from the cockpit of his F-51 Mustang and parachute to safety. He waited four hours in enemy territory before he was rescued.
Dangerous Moments in the Skies
Mike Muller describes his most dangerous moments flying in Korea. He discusses two difficult landings, one with without flaps (brakes) and one with no wheels down. He recalls sustaining damage from bombing debris and narrowly clearing a hill after a low attack.
Mike Scarano was in Hungnam when, as he describes it, "the Chinese chased us out". He describes how his company emptied out as many supplies as they could, and burned the rest to prevent the Chinese from acquiring them. Then they got on the "Victory Ships" to evacuate to Pusan.
Cruelty of the Turks
Monte Curry felt sorry for the Chinese (Chinks) who were being picked off so easily by the Turks and other UN soldiers that were shooting them. With three waves of Chinese soldiers, the first round, only 1 out of 10 carried a gun, so the second wave picked up the weapons on the ground. The 3rd wave had more weapons and fought using guerrilla tactics hiding behind bushes. Monte Curry described how the Turks carried leather satchels to bring back the ears they had cut off of the enemy.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
First Impressions of Seoul
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls what it was like when he first saw Seoul. He describes how it was destroyed and how tough the street fighting was. He remembers a train station that had a glass dome destroyed. A veteran friend went to Korea in later years and brought back pictures of that same dome restored.
A “Safe” Foxhole
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls a “humorous” moment in Korea. While advancing toward a group of Chinese troops in Kotori, he had a chaplain, medical corpsman, and machine gunner join him in the foxhole. They joked that this is the “safest they felt since being in Korea.”
Thankful for Tootsie Rolls
Myron “Jack” Leissler explains how he is thankful for the Tootsie Roll company for sending over the candy. He describes how it was so cold that the C-Rations froze, but that they were able to put the Tootsie Rolls in their parkas and soften them with their body heat. He halfheartedly jokes that Tootsie Rolls kept them alive.
Atomic bomb testing
Myron Bruessel was assigned to the 9677 Technical Service Unit (TSU), a branch of the military that worked on atomic and nuclear bomb testing in the United States to bomb anywhere in the world. He was assigned to a TSU unit in Hawaii because the island had large antennas necessary for the program. This testing was based on earth movement (electromagnetic force) and it used all the radio antennas to monitor radio waves.
Nuclear Fallout and Test Pigs
Myron Bruessel recognized all the United States soldiers who were "guinea pigs" during the nuclear fallout. In 1953, nuclear tests were from the air and balloon to see if buildings could withstand nuclear bombs. Pigs and cows were placed in testing areas and that scientists would subsequently examine their organs to measure the amount of radiation that was present after a nuclear test.
In 1953, Myron Brussel constructed 4 different antennae systems in Puerto Rico with different frequencies with a mile-long antenna. A portable rhombic antenna was used because it was very accurate to determine if they could find radio waves associated with atomic bombs. These tests were part of a group of nuclear tests and detection called Operation Upshot-Knothole.
Korea then and now
Narce Caliva compares his memories of his time in Korea during the war to his return to Korea as Assistant Director of the Red Cross in the Far East. He recalls being a young man "on a great adventure," despite the devastated Korean nation. He describes returning to Korea eighteen years later and marveling at the remarkable changes that had taken place in the interim period.
Planes Sinking into the Sea
Nathan Stovall served as an electrician in the engine room of the USS Blue. One night, he opened the hatch to watch planes launch from the air craft carrier nearby. As he watched, the Corsair launched but dropped straight into the sea. The pilot probably didn't survive.
Neal C. Taylor
First Impressions of Korea
Neal Taylor never thought about Communism when he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He just went there to do a job. After he flew in, he noticed the lack of cars and technology. Sanitation conditions were deplorable.
Defusing a 500-Pound Bomb on a Runway
Neal Taylor had to clear a bomb off the runway at K9 Air Base near Busan after it fell off a plane in the middle of the night. It was the middle of the night and when he realized that all the men that defuse the bombs were on R&R, he had to do it on his own. Using a manual and a few simple tools, Neal Taylor defused the bomb with help from his lieutenant.
Under Enemy Sniper Fire
Neal Taylor survived being shot at by a North Korean sniper who fired down into the base from the hills. The sniper used a small gun at the beginning and many of the airmen didn't worry about the shots. Unfortunately, the sniper found a larger gun that started to tear up the cement, so the troops had to get rid of him!
Return To Korea
Neal Taylor felt pride when he revisited Korea. There was also a feeling of "closure" when he returned because of all the progress created by the people of Korea. He noticed all the trees and tall buildings that were built around the country.
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.
Pain of Captivity
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the suffering in Busan. People were out of hope. Moreover, they had lost everything. Many children, four to six, were parentless. Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give candies, biscuits and chocolates. The Turkish soldiers even had a Korean houseboy. Importantly, they treated him like their own. For example, the houseboy was listed in official Turkish government correspondence. Likewise, the houseboy would complete errands for the Turkish soldiers. His name was Zeki or clever.
Nelson S. Ladd
Operation X-Ray- The Libby Bridge Construction
Nelson Ladd was the surveyor for the bridge constructed over Imjin River known as the Libby Bridge. The high level, steel and concrete bridge that is still intact and in use today was named after Sergeant George C. Libby of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice at Taejon, Korea. Nelson Ladd was there during the dedication by Army General Maxwell Taylor on July 4, 1953.
Advancements in Korea: Then vs Today
After having visited Korea in 2013, Nelson Ladd is still amazed by the advancements Korea has made and how ambitious the people have been throughout the years. He had seen images of what Korea looked like before his revisit, however he had feared that Korea would have become like many East Asian countries, disparaged and unable to recover. Nelson Ladd described the Taft-Katusa Agreement (1905) between the US and Japan that led occupation of Korea and the Philippines that created the oppression upon the peoples of those countries.
Losing Men Who Were Doing Their Job (GRAPHIC)
Nick Cortese recalls the terrible moments of clearing and laying the mines. He remembers one of his peers who died after making a fatal mistake- he describes in graphic details what happened. He states this that is one of the dangers of that particular job.
Bouncing Betty Mine
Nick Cortese describes what happened when the 19th Infantry was moving north and came across a "Bouncing Betty Mine." . As the Chinese were dropping artillery his company commander jumped to get out of the way and set off the mine that detonated, killing the commander. It was later that Nick Cortese found out that this occurred in the Iron Triangle area.
Nikolaos Filis identifies his wife who recounts a few of his observations while serving in Korea. She shares that he saw disaster and found ruins of houses, people massacred, babies crying on the bodies of their dead parents, and poverty. She adds that he did not think solely of protecting himself and that he had even made preparations to ensure he would not be captured alive by the Chinese.
Noel G. Spence
Conditions for Korean Children
Noel G. Spence describes his duty driving trucks of waste. He recounts how desperate Korean children would come to the dump to find supplies. He remembers how Seoul was captured and re-captured many times and how people were in desperate conditions. He recalls that the "lucky" Koreans had boxes for houses, clothing from soldiers, and scraps for food.
Nolasco de Jesus Espinal Mejia
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía describes the most difficult moments of the war. He recounts the story of the Battle of El Chamizo and the triumph of the Batallón Colombia in successfully completing their mission. Within this battle, he remembers how he was shot but continued fighting.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía describe los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Cuenta la historia de la Batalla de El Chamizo y el triunfo del Batallón Colombia al completar su misión con éxito. Dentro de esta batalla, recuerda cómo le dispararon, pero explica que él continuó con su misión.
Dangerous Moments / Momentos peligrosos
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía speaks of the Battle of El Chamizo. He recalls the way in which North Koreans would infiltrate their lines and use propaganda against them. For instance, he remembers messages directly aimed at Colombian troops to deter them from continuing to fight.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía habla de la Batalla de El Chamizo. Recuerda la forma en que los norcoreanos se infiltraban en sus líneas y como usaban la propaganda. Por ejemplo, él recuerda mensajes dirigidos directamente a las tropas colombianas para disuadirlas de luchar.
Norman Charles Champagne
Attacks on Chinese Outposts
Norman C. Champagne describes a mission to attack Hill 150 and 153, which were two Chinese outposts. As a Fire Team Leader, his goal was to blow up the Chinese bunkers and trenches to break the lower and upper trench lines. He explains why the Chinese were formidable enemies, despite the additional dropping of napalm by Corsair bombers.
Battle for the Berlin's
Norman C. Champagne shares a story about being under attack near the end of the Korean War. When asked to describe a challenging time, he talks about the Battle for the Berlin's and Boulder City. While he and another officer were driving to deliver supplies, they came under attack, experiencing a few terrifying moments that continue to live on in his memory.
Norman Renouf describes the fear of his first battle. At one point it was so exhausted that he actually fell asleep and what woke him up was the shooting from fifty caliber weapons.
Destruction in Korea
Ollie Thompson arrived in Korea at Inchon. When traveling by train through Seoul, he was able to see the destruction of the city. His first experience in combat took place in the Chorwon Valley in 1951.
Orville Jones speaks about the possibility of visiting Korea today to see the amazing progress the country has made to lift itself out of the devastation of war. He recalls learning about a great deal of poverty and undeveloped land.
Osman Yasar Eken
Osman Eken describes how the condition of the Korean people increased his fighting morale. The Korean people were hungry, wearing shabby clothes, and did not have a home. People were just wandering around begging for food. This condition made Osman Even even more determined as a fighter.
Otto G. Logan
Tornado Devastation in Incheon
Otto G. Logan shares his memories of Incheon. He likens the sights he saw to the damage from a tornado and expresses that it was devastating as he had never seen anything like it. He adds that he would like to return to see its transformation as he has heard it is rebuilt and beautiful.
Ovid Odean Solberg
Landing in Korea
Ovid O. Solberg recalls landing in Busan and seeing the demolished villages. He remembers never setting foot in a building. He was stationed in North Korea with the 3rd Infantry.
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.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Pablo Delgado Medina shares his thoughts on why every soldier returned with some trauma. He rationalizes that anyone who had to kill or be killed, especially in bayonet combat, was forever changed. He states his belief that witnessing civilians caught in the crossfire and seeing so much destruction can traumatize any person.
Pablo Delgado Medina comparte sus ideas sobre el trauma qué cada soldado tuvo al regresar. Él racionaliza que cualquiera persona que haya tenido que matar o morir, especialmente en el combate de bayoneta, queda cambiado para siempre. Además, afirma que cree que presenciar a civiles atrapados en el fuego cruzado y ver tanta destrucción puede traumatizar a cualquier persona.
Reconnaissance Mission / Misión de Reconocimiento
Pascual Rosa Feliciano shares an incident in which two squads were on patrol and were attacked by the enemy. As intelligence and reconnaissance members, they were continuously seeking the position of the enemy, and on this occasion, he describes how their sergeant was wounded during battle. Even though they were under fire, he shares the story of how their sergeant was saved by the squad.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano comparte la historia de un incidente en el que dos escuadrones estaban de patrulla y fueron atacados por el enemigo. Como estaban a cargo de inteligencia y reconocimiento, siempre estaban buscando la posición del enemigo, y en esta ocasión él describe cómo su sargento fue herido durante la batalla. A pesar de que estaban bajo fuego, comparte la historia de cómo la escuadra rescato a su sargento.
Horrors of War / Los Horrores de la Guerra
Pascual Rosa Feliciano reflects on how terrible life was for both troops and civilians in South Korea. He describes incidents in which troops burned down small houses to draw out the enemy from hiding in small villages. He compares this suffering with the horrors of a battle in which so many of their troops were massacred after the use of napalm.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano discute lo terrible que era la vida tanto para las tropas como para los civiles durante la guerra. Describe incidentes en los que las tropas quemaban las casas pequeñas para sacar al enemigo de su escondite en los pueblos chicos. El compara este sufrimiento con los horrores de una batalla en la que muchos soldados fueron masacrados con el uso del napalm.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
All Was Quiet and Then Whoomph!
Patrick Hickey never felt scared, even though he could hear Chinese and North Korean soldiers all around him. Although never wounded, he experienced close calls. He recalls one memory of heading to the toilet behind a tiny Korean house, and while there, he shares that the enemy shelled and destroyed the house. He recounts how he and another soldier climbed into the trench he had dug until the shelling ceased.
Paul E. Bombardier
"It Was Terrible"
Paul E. Bombardier describes first seeing Seoul in 1952. He described the city as "total devestation." He recounts most all buildings being destroyed. He goes on to describe the living conditions on farms outside of town and the work done by all family members.
Paul H. Cunningham
Basic Training, Technical School, and Arriving in Korea
Paul Cunningham recalls sitting for seven weeks waiting for his assignment after basic training. Since he did not want to go to Germany, he volunteered for Adak, Alaska, but while training in South Carolina, the Korean War began. He remembers arriving in Korea at Pusan on September 20, 1950, and recalls setting up a radar station at the top of a hill in Pusan. After that, he moved to Osan, Incheon, and Kimpo Air Base to continue setting up radar stations.
Radar Sites in Korea and a Last Look in February 1952
Paul Cunningham set up a large radar station near the Kimpo Air Base, and that ended his seventeen-month deployment in Korea after spending two long winters there. He recalls leaving Korea with the image of poverty, huts, and dirt roads in February 1952. He also remembers the rail transportation office in Seoul as being all broken down and adds that he never thought Korea would rebuild itself like it has today.
Paul H. Nordstrom
Generations Behind in Korea
Paul H. Nordstrom shares his memories of Seoul and of the country he saw while serving in Korea. He recollects the living conditions and way of life as being generations behind the United States at the time. He shares that the United States was more mechanized in comparison to Korea then.
Fighting on Pork Chop Hill
Paul Hockla describes what combat was like fighting against the Chinese at Pork Chop Hill.
Paul Hummel had many responsibilities as a pilot during the Korean War. Some of these responsibilities included protecting bombers while on missions and dog fighting just like old World War I air battles. A variety of plane tactics used, as well as new technology behind the MiG-15 fighter planes.
Not Like the Movies
Paul Hummel was assigned a mission to bomb North Korean and Chinese troops on the ground. He saw the troops, tanks, and weapons, so he started attacking not knowing exactly which enemy troop he hit. Machine guns were attached to Paul Hummel's plane, so he could get a betters shot from the air. He believes that the real air battle was different than movie depictions of the Korean War air warfare that took place.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.
Dealing with Guilt
Paul Welsh describes a time when he had to make a difficult decision. He recalls a woman and a young boy were on a bridge with a wagon that was carrying a hidden weapon. He explains that when the woman opened fire, he ordered his men to fire on them--a decision he still struggles with today.
Paulino Lucino Jr.
The Korean War Armistice and Ceasefire
Paulino Lucino Jr. remembers in detail what it was like to be in Korea when the ceasefire was announced. He continued fighting until the last moments of the war. Since Paulino Lucino Jr. was stationed in Korea until 1954, he saw and felt the change in Korea during the year after the war.
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández
The Battle of Hill 180 / La Batalla de la Colina 180
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández details the Battle of Hill 180 which he dubbed his baptism by fire. He shares that the battle was especially violent because it resulted in twenty-three dead, thirty injured, and three soldiers missing in action. He describes the troop movement and the way in which they were supported by tanks. He recoils at the memory of the bewilderment in the faces of soldiers from the front lines after the intense combat that day.
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández detalla la Batalla del Cerro 180 a la que denominó su bautismo de fuego. Él se acuerda que la batalla fue especialmente violenta porque resultó en veintitrés muertos, treinta heridos y tres soldados que desaparecieron. Él describe los movimientos de las tropas y la forma en que fueron apoyadas por tanques. Retrocede ante el recuerdo del desconcierto en los rostros de los soldados del frente después del intenso combate de ese día.
The Battle of Old Baldy / La Batalla de Old Baldy
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández recounts the events of the Battle of Old Baldy. He shares his thoughts on why enemy troops were relentless in their bombings and attacks for two weeks before the battle. He explains that Chinese troops waited until replacement troops were sent to the allied front before their full-scale attack which resulted in over one hundred casualties and sixty-nine soldiers missing in action. He laments how one of his friends was among those missing in action.
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández relata los hechos de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Comparte sus ideas sobre por qué las tropas enemigas fueron implacables en sus bombardeos y ataques durante las dos semanas antes de la batalla. Explica que las tropas chinas esperaron hasta que tropas de reemplazo entraron al frente aliado antes de su ataque más grande, que resultó en más de cien bajas y sesenta y nueve soldados desaparecidos en combate. Lamenta que entre los desaparecidos en combate se encontraba uno de sus amigos.
The Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández details his voyage to Korea and his first impressions of the country. He describes the route taken by the boat and the month-long training that awaited them in Korea. He remembers the utter destruction in Seoul they encountered.
Pedro Hernando Vergara Hernández detalla su viaje a Corea y sus primeras impresiones del país. Describe la ruta que tomó el barco y el mes de entrenamiento que les esperaba en Corea. Recuerda la destrucción que encontraron en Seúl.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales
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.
Battle of Midway
Pete Arias, during WWII, was deployed to Midway. He recounts an incident where their ship encountered a Japanese submarine while en route to the island. Upon arriving at the island, their unit was ordered to dig holes to squat in. He remembers the morning when the Japanese forces invaded Midway. It was during the Battle of Midway that he witnessed his first dead body.
Battle of Guadalcanal
Pete Arias, during WWII, had a harrowing experience on Guadalcanal. He recalls trudging through the dense jungle with a limited supply of food. He remembers being part of the squadron that led the platoon in a surprise attack on Japanese soldiers. Unfortunately, during the maneuver, the enemy fired a machine gun at their squadron. As a result, only two of them survived the attack.
Outfitting Planes with Cameras
Pete Flores describes installing cameras on the planes. He recalls that out of thirty or forty planes, three would be photo planes. He shares how these specific planes would take pictures as a means of gauging whether targets were being hit and missions were successful. He describes how all the gun turrets had little 16 mm movie cameras that were about the size of a pack of cigarettes and comments on how he would wait for the planes to come back and remove the film for analysis.
Arriving and Korea
Peter Ford speaks about arriving in Korea in 1952. He describes driving through Seoul. He discusses how he had no idea why he was assigned to the 26th Field Ambulance, explains where the unit was set up, and recalls being told what his assignment was. He shares a story of being stopped for speeding.
Coming to Korea
Phil Feehan describes the rubble upon landing in Incheon in 1952. He described being placed straight on trucks before heading to Sandbag Castle.
Philip S. Kelly
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir and Roadblocks
Philip S. Kelly describes thinking he would be home by Christmas 1950, but instead, he encountered a surprise attack by the Chinese in what became the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He recalls that the United States Army pulled out and left the U.S. Marines exposed to the Chinese attack. He explains how he fought as an infantryman and the difficulty experienced by the soldiers in trying to clear out Chinese road blocks.
Philip Vatcher's his first impressions of Korea were that of a desolate landscape. He there weren't any trees, roads, and barely any shops. Korea during the war was like slave country when the Japanese ran Korea.
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.
A Sniper Almost Took Me Out!
Phillip Olson was almost shot in the spine while traveling on a train with other South Korean soldiers. Actually, this wasn't the first time that he was shot at by a sniper because as he moved large loads of dirt into the rice patties, snipers would shoot the hood of his Caterpillar vehicle.
Transitioning From Basic Training to Running Heavy Equipment
Phillip Olson enlisted in 1951 and attended a variety of training while in the United States as part of the United States Army. His specialty was heavy equipment such as bull dozers, cranes, caterpillars, and earth movers. One of the roles that he remembered fondly was building an air strip between the 36th and 38th parallel so that the US Air Force could drop bombs on North Korea.
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.
A Lucky Landing
Pieter Visser recounts the mission which forced him to make a tough landing. After completing an air attack, he recalls losing all of his controls and communication. He explains this left him with the tough decision to either land the plane or bail out. He describes the issues with both scenarios and why he chose to land the plane. Even with the ground crew shooting flares to deter him from landing, he remembers how he was finally, on the third attempt, able to come in slower and accomplish the landing. However, he admits his landing did cause damage which led to the commanding officer reprimanding him on his decision to force the landing.
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.
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Rafael Rivera Méndez shares his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival. He explains that he was unable to get a sense of the country upon landing on the beaches because he had to run for his life with his equipment. He recounts his impressions of civilians and their lifestyle when they were sent to different villages in search of guerrilla groups.
Rafael Rivera Méndez comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que no pudo tener una idea de lo que era el país cuando desembarco en la playa porque tuvo que correr con todo su equipo. Luego comparte las impresiones que tuvo de las familias coreanas cuando salieron a los pueblos a buscar grupos guerrilleros.
Ralph A Gastelum
My First Experience at Inchon Landing September 15, 1950
Ralph recalls being very anxious, had arrived just before nightfall and was circling out at sea for awhile. He remembers watching the beach being heavily shelled (Just like you see in the movies," he said.) which he thought was incredible before they went in. Once they landed they had little resistance but found a large foxhole they stayed in for the night (with no sleep) and something kept crawling around in the hole but he couldn't figure out what it was. The next morning he realized it was a frog, but being in a foreign land he wasn't sure what to expect.
Death Results in PTSD Chosin Reservoir
Ralph describes the number of bodies on the battlefield as far as the eye could see both the enemy and their fallen comrades frozen the way they had fell. The bulldozer that was shoveling North Korean soldiers bodies and covering them up.The moaning and the groaning at night just got to them both and the bitterness they have. Their wives didn't talk at the time but when they sleep they tell them what they say and their reactions to it. Both Ed and Ralph live with this daily they just learn to cope with it.
A Tale of Two Seouls
Ralph Blum contrasts Seoul in March 1952 and May 2012 upon his revisit. He shares that Seoul was a mess and totally demolished in 1952. He recalls there were only a few bridges at the time, and he recounts crossing the Imjin River on a pontoon bridge. He explains that Seoul was completely different in 2012 with modern buildings and lots of traffic.
Ralph Burcham arrived in Busan in 1952. He felt that the scene was "heart wrenching" to see shoeless children running next to the trains in the hopes that U.S. soldiers would toss out food. Families were so poor and willing to do anything for food scraps.
Fighing in Korea
Ralph Burcham was busy as a forward observer in the Army. He valued the insight that seasoned soldiers imparted to new soldiers. As a soldier, Ralph Burcham was taught important skills that helped him survive.
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.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
Raoul Van Ocker
Living Conditions as a Sergeant
Raoul Van Ocker served in Korea from 1952 to 1954. He vividly recalls the living conditions he and his fellow soldiers endured, including horrific cold with little protection from the low temperatures. He shares that when the ceasefire was announced, he felt it was a good thing because soldiers on all sides did their jobs.
Raul Martinez Espinosa
Most Dangerous Moments / Momentos Más Peligrosos
Raúl Martínez Espinosa remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that Operation Nomad and Hill 400 were among the most dangerous battles in the war. Moreover, he shares the story of how he was almost killed the day he was given his leave to return to Colombia after eighteen months in combat.
Raúl Martínez Espinosa recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Explica que Operacion Nómada y el Cerro 400 fueron las batallas más peligrosas de la guerra. Además, cuenta la historia de cómo casi no sobrevive el día que le dieron permiso para regresar a Colombia después de dieciocho meses de combate.
Raul Segarra Alicea
Wounded at Pork Chop Hill / Herido en Pork Chop Hill
Raúl Segarra Alicea details the events which transpired at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He describes the way the allied lines were arranged and explains how he was shot during combat. He shares that he earned the Purple Heart because of his actions during this battle. Furthermore, he notes that there were tactical mistakes made by the United States which may have resulted in more casualties.
Raúl Segarra Alicea detalla los hechos que ocurrieron durante la Batalla de Pork Chop Hill. Él describe como estaban situadas las líneas aliadas y explica cómo lo dispararon durante el combate. Él comparte que obtuvo el Corazón Púrpura por sus acciones durante esta batalla. Además, él se acuerda de que Estados Unidos cometió errores tácticos que pueden haber provocado más bajas.
Ray D. Griffin
A Cook for the Army
Ray D. Griffin was trained to be a Cook and Baker after he finished basic training in 1960. He had to monitor the military rations and supervise the functioning of the military mess hall. He recalls having to be prepared to feed troops and other military personnel around the clock. Military trash was required to be guarded from hungry Korean orphans, but he was able to bring surplus milk to the orphanages.
A Cook's Journey
Ray D. Griffin saw a lot of poverty when he was stationed in South Korea. Although the fighting was over, he found that it seemed life expectancy was not very long for the people due to severe poverty. He recalls multiple opportunities he turned down in the process of becoming a Military Cook and Baker. He describes the long journey he had to take to get to Korea.
Raymond H. Champeau
The Canadian Mission at Sea
Raymond H. Champeau explains that sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS Huron had a mission to patrol the east coast of Korea from September 1952 until the end of the Korean War. He recalls that they never met up with any enemy ships. He explains what conditions were present when the destroyer fired bombs on enemy trains that could be spotted emerging from tunnels with supplies.
Raymond L. Ayon
The War’s Painful Memories
Raymond L. Ayon vividly remembers his deployment to Korea, just two days after news of the war breakout on his base in Japan. Upon arrival in Suwon, he shares he could hear the sounds of artillery in the distance. He recalls how, 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 emphasizes he was taken aback by the number of pine boxes he saw, which he later discovered were caskets made by South Korean carpenters. He shares how his experiences treating young soldiers, many of whom were no more than eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, left him with painful memories he still carries with him to this day.
Caring for Wounded Enemy POWs
Raymond L. Ayon shares how, during his time in Daegu, he was responsible for the care of wounded enemy POWs for a period of two years. He recalls the conditions of one particular POW who required an inoculation but was afraid of the syringe. As a corpsman, his duty was to provide the necessary treatment and release them once they were fit to go. He remembers a moment when General McArthur passed by in a motorcade while they were waiting to cross the Han River on a pontoon, which was an exciting experience for most of the men. He briefly discusses the numerous medals he was awarded due to his military service.
The Risks of Being at War
Raymond L. Ayon vividly recalls the day when he was in the back of one of the last vehicles in a truck convoy. He recounts how, as they were passing a road raider that was clearing the area, their driver had to swerve to avoid a collision. As a result, he shares he was thrown out of the truck bed and was left suspended in midair. He remembers feeling like his life was flashing before his eyes before hitting the ground, which he believed would be unsurvivable. He notes he and the other passengers were injured and remembers applying first aid to himself shortly after the crash. He states the accident impaired vision in his right eye, which is now officially blind.
Raymond L. Fish
Saved by a Canteen
Raymond L. Fish was sent on one-week detachments to provide aid to Chinese prisoners of war who were under supervision by the United Nations. He shares how a little while later, he was injured while running from the Chinese. He shares the story of how his canteen protected him from what could have been a fatal wound during the war.
Flying in the Face of Danger
Raymond Scott had to endure very dangerous moments while being a Flight Navigator. He explains the challenges of having to plot charts around communist islands in the face of the challenges brought by fog, strong winds, and weapons firing across war zones. He recalls a story of how a plane crashed when it hit a cross wind.
Reginald V. Rawls
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.
Ricardo Roldan Jiménez
Difficult Battle / La Batalla Más Difícil
Ricardo Roldan Jiménez remembers the difficulty of the Battle of Kumsong. He recalls that there were very old people in the town which they had to forcibly move out of the combat zone to spare them their lives. He admits that it was difficult to keep fighting while his buddies were killed in action. He explains that he will never forget the terror of hearing bombs before they exploded.
Ricardo Roldán Jiménez recuerda lo difícil que fue la Batalla de Kumsong. El recuerda que había ancianos en la ciudad y los tuvieron que sacar a la fuerza de la zona de combate para salvarles la vida. Admite que fue difícil seguir luchando después de ver a sus compañeros morían en combate. Explica que nunca olvidará el terror que sintió al oír las bombas antes de que explotaran.
Ricardo Torres Perez
Fighting for His Father
Ricardo Torres Perez shares he wanted to represent and work hard for his father since his father served in the Korean War with the 65th Infantry Division from Puerto Rico. He recalls how his father hid under two dead bodies while the Chinese were looking for living soldiers to take as POWs.
Richard A. Houser
Leaving for Korean War in 1953
Richard Houser took a ship and landed in Inchon in April 1953 after a lonely 20 day ship ride to Korea. While traveling to his base in the Chorwon Valley known as the Iron Triangle, Richard Houser was able to see Seoul leveled, small thatched homes, and dirt roads all around him.
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.
Firing From the USS Salem
Richard Botto was on the USS Salem during his time in the Korean War. He was supposed to go in with a few friends, but he was left to join alone. After training in the Great Lakes, he was sent to Massachusetts and then he was stationed on the USS Salem. Richard Botto didn't go into Korea, but he was east of Korea and continued to follow the shoreline to fire 8 inch guns into the mountains during 1952-1953.
Duties While in the East Sea Along Korea's Shore
Richard Botto was busy on Quarter Watch because he had to do whatever he was told to do. He could see the mortar shells coming from his ship and landing into the side of Korea's mountains. He was not in danger while he was there, he thought, because Richard Botto was protected by 1,400 sailors. In February 1953, he was done with his time in the East Sea, so he was sent to the Mediterranean Sea to help NATO with a humanitarian mission.
The Dutch Were Tough: an American Soldier's Perspective
Richard Brandt felt the Dutch were very brave and they had forcefulness in battle. Soldiers would pick fights with each other, box, and wrestle in their free time. The Dutch didn't take prisoners, so as soon as they interrogated an enemy, they would kill them. Dutch solders were mean, salty, very tough, and unreal!
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.
Working with Americans While Stationed at HQ
Richard Davey recounts being stationed at the Royal Army's Headquarters (HQ) during the May 1953, 3rd Battle of the Hook. Due to bombing and busy telephone lines, he recalls having to hot loop (go around the regular telephone communication system) to communicate with other HQs. During that battle, over thirty-eight thousand shells were used during the fight.
Arrival in Pusan in the Midst of 1952
Richard Davey recalls arriving in Pusan to a band playing in the background and small camps set up with Canadian troops waiting to be shipped out. After a train and truck ride, he was stationed with the Headquarters Royal Artillery (HQRA). While stationed there, he was provided food, summer clothes, and guns.
Poverty in Korea
Richard Ekstrand recalls arriving in Korea in April 1951. He relays his first impressions of Korea. He speaks about poverty in Korea, including the poor infrastructure of the country and how many Korean homes had dirt floors but also had under-floor heating systems.
Engineering in Korea
Richard Ekstrand explains how he was redeployed to an engineering outfit in Busan after his hospital stay resulting from an injury in the infantry. He presents an overview of the types of labor he did there, including bridge and road work.
"Friendly Fire, They Call It"
Richard Higa describes an incident when allied Australian warplanes accidentally strafed his unit's position. This misidentified them as North Korean forces. During the incident, he was wounded by shrapnel.
Richard J. Dominguez
Korea Arrival and Departure
Richard J. Dominguez shares his experience of arriving in Korea during a ceasefire for negotiations among opposing forces. Upon arrival, his unit was sent to replace another division on the front lines. He describes how the previous division had constructed trenches and tents to maximize protection from incoming fire. He recalls his own division losing men on the front lines, including a fellow medic. He reflects on receiving an emergency furlough while in Korea to travel home and visit his ill mother.
Richard K. Satterlee
Riots and Road Construction
Richard Satterlee describes his various experiences while serving in Korea. Students rioted in 1965 to protest Park Chung-hee's efforts to trade with Japan. Labor issues arose when Korean house boys went on strike for better pay. Meanwhile, Korean women hauled rocks used in road construction. In one tragic incident, North Koreans killed two U.S. soldiers cutting down a tree in the DMZ.
Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.
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
First Impressions of Korea
Richard P. Holgin describes arriving at Incheon at the beginning of the Korean War. He goes into detail about seeing burnt bodies all over and crossing through cities ravaged by the Chinese. Richard P. Holgin's his job responsibilities changed when he shifted from a rifleman to an infantryman.
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.
Richard Perkins recalls in late 1950, off the east coast of Korea, when the destroyer he crewed, the USS Charles S. Sperry took three direct hits from enemy shore batteries. He describes where the ship was hit and what happened after the incident.
Duty off the Coast of Korea
Richard Perkins describes the mission of the Navy destroyer, USS Charles S. Sperry during the Korean War. He talks about all-night firing missions aimed at Chinese beach patrols on the east coast of Korea. He mentions the ship encountering refugees and giving aid in the form of food and supplies.
Richard W. Edwards
A Picture Tells a Thousand Words
Richard Edwards describes the condition of Busan during the Korean War. He shows his photographs that illustrate how rural the city was at the time. He explains that the soldiers would use a laundry near their encampment and pay very little money for their services.
Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson
"Why are we even here?"
Robert Johnson reflects on his first impressions of the Korean War. He talks about his journey to Korea and what he was thinking when he stepped foot on Korean soil for the first time. He remembers his participation in the Battle of Seoul and his reaction to all the destruction.
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 C. Jagger
Impressions of Korean People
Robert C Jagger discusses his impression of the Korean people he met, both in 1952 and in visits back since. He is amazed at the progress Koreans have made since the war. He describes the poor living conditions he saw contrasted to Seoul today.
Battle of Pork Chop Hill
Robert Chisolm shares how he was assigned to the 187th Parachute Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He recalls being stationed right near Pork Chop Hill in the Cheorwon Valley in defensive positions. He recounts how the Chinese attacked on July 25, 1953, (a few days before the ceasefire) and how he was tasked with calling for an artillery barrage.
Living Conditions During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill
Robert Chisolm recalls how he and others were not able to shower until they came returned to camp. He recounts sleeping inside a bunker near his trenches with three other men in the company command post.
Punishment on a Naval Ship
Robert Dahms stated that if you didn't follow orders, you spent time in Brig 1 for misconduct. The brig was a steel stall that was very small with a hard bed with no mattress, and the room was the size of a large office. You had a place to sit and you ate out of your lap. They made sailors pay for whatever they did and a person could spend up to 2 days in the brig, depending on the severity. Luckily, Robert Dahms he never spent time in the brig.
Training for the Korean War in the US and Cuba
Once Robert Dahms graduated high school, he volunteered for the military. He was sent to the Great Lakes for 16 weeks of basic training. After training, Robert Dahms went to Pensacola, Florida to rescue downed planes by using a lot of different types of technology to aid the rescuers.
Training and Protecting Pilots While Purifying Water
Robert Dahms continued to work on the home front to train and protect pilots while they were learning to become effective soldiers. While doing so, he also ran evaporators to purify salt water in order to turn it into drinking water. Both of these jobs were important for the soldiers during the Korean War.
Robert F. Wright
Bombed by Bed Check Charlie
Robert shares the story of being bombed by Bed Check Charlie in the middle of the night throughout his time in Korea. His Quonset Hut was covered with a canvas top and sand bags were stacked about 6 ft high around the hut, and as the bombs dropped the shrapnel would rip the top of their huts.. Fortunately no one was killed and US Air Force was able to detect this North Korean single engine plane and took care of them.
Heading to the Front Lines
Robert Fischer describes what it was like to head to the front lines. He describes the hills and the fires they saw along the road. On the journey, his company saw a tank that had run over a civilian. Because he did not have an assignment, Robert Fischer became the one who had to carry the radio.
Robert I. Winton
Patrolling The Waters Around Korea
Robert Winton describes his jobs as a signalman as well as his responsibilities for coding and decoding messages. He recalls looking for spy ships and coming across a suspected Russian submarine.
Robert J. Rose
We've Got to Get Rid of This Plane
Robert Rose recalls one particular journey across the Pacific as part of a Canadair North Star flight crew. He recalls coming across damaged planes on the trip with preceding and seceding tail numbers to the that of the plane on which he served. He jokes about having to get to Tokyo to get rid of the plane on which he was flying.
An Unfortunate Surprise at the Prisoner of War Camp
Robert Kodama describes what it was like moving with a company of five tanks which had to stop about every thirty miles to refuel. He shares how, during one of the stops near Taejon, they saw what they thought was an abandoned prisoner of war (POW) camp. He describes the terrible scene when they went into the camp, a scene that would give him nightmares.
Living through Typhoons
Robert Kohler remembers experiencing many typhoons in Okinawa. The storms would lift the roofs off of the huts that they were in. Robert Kohler says his most difficult time was doing guard duty outside, during a typhoon.
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.
A “Hot” Cold Place
Robert Atkins remembers that things were really “hot and heavy” from Thanksgiving to the first of December. He explains how they were ambushed often and how the Chinese crossed the Yalu River. Even though they were outnumbered, he shares that the Fox Company was able to fight the Chinese and it became a turning point.
Robert L. Jewitt
Hit By a Shell
Robert Jewitt elaborates on surviving a shell hitting his tank at Hill 518 during the Battle of Dabudong. He notes how, after being hit by the shell, the driver was killed, and one of the other men was severely wounded. He describes helping his buddy, though injured himself, to the jeep and his lieutenant taking off with the wounded soldier. Meanwhile, he remembers shells landing all around him and the mechanic beckoning him to join him underneath the bridge. While assessing the situation, he recalls a shell exploding near him and ending up with the mechanic under the bridge.
Robert M. Longden
Robert M. Longden arrived in Busan in 1953 to witness terrible poverty. He and his fellow soldiers gave their rations to hungry children. Construction work had already begun in Seoul. When he returned to Korea a few years ago the change was miraculous. Hard work had returned Korea to great prosperity. He is grateful for the hospitality of the Korean people during his visit.
Witnessing Napalm Bombs
Robert Mount describes how he worked in the reserves behind the front lines. He did not engage the enemy, but did get shot at while searching for explosives. He recalls a time when he saw the Air Force drop napalm bombs on the hill, causing the enemy to run out of the bunkers-- it was like a scene from a movie.
Robert S. Chessum
Memory of Engagement and Artillery
Robert Chessum describes a Chinese threat at one moment because his unit was too far forward due to a Chinese Offensive. He describes the New Zealand artillery, providing specific details on the various guns. He then describes becoming part of the 1st Commonwealth Brigade.
From Rubble to Riches!
Rodney Ramsey is the president of his Korean War regiment's organization and ever since 1989, they meet for a yearly reunion. The year of the interview was the 27th reunion and about 50 members attend. During his Korea revisit in 1991, Rodney Ramsey was shocked to see the improvement in living conditions. He took a picture when he was in Seoul, South Korea in 1952 and it only had an ox cart and a military jeep, but in 1991 during his revisit, it was filled with cars.
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.
Legacy of the Korean War Veterans
Rodney Ramsey was proud that the UN troops for pushing back the Chinese and North Koreans. He wishes that they could have made all of Korea non-communist, but life was better for the civilians in the South. The Korean War was named the "Forgotten War" due to it being called a conflict, not a war. After the Korean War, civilians on the home front did not see the war on television like they did for the Vietnam War. As the Korean War veterans came home, many people did not even know that they had left to fight in a war.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. He notes that the U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. He remembers a sniper shoting at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. He recounts how the bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he was not hit by the actual bullet. He recalls other dangerous experiences which included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan (Busan), with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu (Daegu).
Roger S. Stringham
Introduction to Korea
Roger Stringham comments on his knowledge of Korea prior to the war and draws attention to the fact that Korea had been awarded to Japan following the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. He shares how he held a great deal of respect for the Korean people, acknowledging they had endured a difficult life under Japanese rule. He describes landing at Incheon and his first impressions of Korea.
Roland Dean Brown
First Impressions and Friendly Fire Encounters
Roland Brown recalls his first impressions upon arrival in Pusan. He describes the scene as horrible, recounting the sewage running in gutters down the streets, children begging for food, and the poor living conditions. He shares that many soldiers were killed from friendly fire due to inadequate training and a lack of communication, adding that he and others even dug holes with their helmets as defense during friendly fire encounters.
“Like a Tomb” on July 27, 1953
While they fired a lot of missions during the war, Roland Kleinschmidt recalls how much ammunition was fired at the end of the war. He says that from the time both sides signed the truce until it went into effect, both sides shot off a lot of ammunition- both to kill people at the end but also because they didn’t want to “haul it back.” However, at midnight when the armistice went into effect, it was “like a tomb” because everything on both sides just shut off.
Ronald A. Cole
Remembering Post-War Korea
Ronald Cole served in the U.S. Army following the cease-fire in Korea. He offers details on what he remembers about the people and cities in South Korea while he was there. He talks about people being in poor shape and diseases being widespread. He notes that Seoul was still heavily damaged, but was making progress in rebuilding.
Rain of Steel
Ronald Bourgon recalls being completely surrounded by the Chinese for three days. He details the plan to combine weaponry from the US, New Zealand, and Canada to open an artillery barrage on their location. He recalls orders given to his company to get down in foxholes and to not come out as fire would be opened on their location in an attempt to stop the Chinese. He remembers the ravaged scene of dead Chinese soldiers once the barrage had ceased.
A Near Miss in the Trench
Ronald Shaw describes what it was like in battle and in the trenches. While he jokes that the biggest enemies were the rats, he quickly shifts to a memory of when he was almost killed. Had the Corporal not demanded that Ronald Shaw come to see him, he would have been killed by a shell that hit their trench shortly after he left.
Visuals aboard Ship
Ross Pittman expresses that their main mission aboard ship was to help ground forces and to destroy enemy supply lines, warehouses, and the like. He explains that they traveled the coast to hit targets. He remembers the terrain as hilly and explains that the weapons on board were capable of hitting targets 20 to 25 miles inland. He recalls watching a crane topple after a location was fired upon and recounts other visuals of destruction.
The Job of Battalion Soil Engineers
Since Roy Cameron was working on his Bachelors Degree in soil science, he was assigned to the Battalion Soil Engineers where he built roads and bridges for the troops. While traveling in his Jeep near Pusan, he as thousands of refugees coming from the North in order to escape war.
Death Near Taegu and PTSD
Roy Cameron was traveling a road near Taegu and Taejon when they were ambushed. Two soldiers were killed and he had to take their bodies back to Grave Registration, so seeing those bodies has given Roy Cameron PTSD.
Roy Orville Hawthorne
Maintaining Field Communications in Korea
Roy Orville Hawthorne shares how, after being discharged from the US Marine Corps in 1946, he re-enlisted in the United States Army two years later. He explains that during the Korean War, he served in the infantry and specialized in communications. Despite the sporadic nature of the fighting, he remembers being able to see the enemy on nearby hillsides. His recalls his primary responsibility was maintaining field communications as the enemy aimed to disrupt lines of communication.
Encountering the Enemy
Roy Orville Hawthorne shares he has vivid memories of working tirelessly for almost twenty-four hours straight during the Chinese Spring Offensive. He mentions the significant loss of life during this period and the urgent requirement for more soldiers on the front lines. He remembers how on one morning, while passing by a nearby ditch, he came across enemy troops. He shares that he later observed a sudden flash of light which turned out to be caused by enemy mortar fire. He explains he was seriously injured in the attack.
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.
“Exciting” Times in Korea
Ruben Rains states that everything was hard during the war. If he had to choose something that was difficult, it was when they were retreating. He remembers how the engineers would blow up bridges and they always ended up on the other side. He said that this was always “exciting.”
Russell A. King explains how the Korean civilians suffered. He remembers that people did not have a lot of food, especially in Incheon which had been badly damaged. However, the civilians were extremely grateful for what they received. He states that he thought it seemed senseless that the civilians suffered.
Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes his feelings about going to war and what he though when first seeing Korea. He was not afraid ro fight and was instead eager to help due to the destruction and poverty he witnessed.
Korea in 2005
Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes returning to Korea in 2005. He never dreamed that the changes he saw were possible. He recalls going from sleeping on the floor in 1952 to staying in skyscrapers in 2005.
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.
Scary Moment During Service
Samuel Stoltzfus drove officers all around the front lines. Once, while parked at the bottom of a mountain waiting for Colonel Rouse and Lieutenant Ruble, he heard the shouts of a South Korean pinned under a tire he had been changing. As Samuel Stoltzfus went to help, North Koreans began firing white phosphorous shells at him. He retreated and hid under his Jeep. Another time, he was late for Christmas dinner because he drove a colonel up to a bunker that had sustained a direct hit. Because he was with an officer, they returned to find the cooks had saved the best food for them.
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.
Sergio Martinez Velasquez
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Sergio Martínez Velásquez recalls the intense fighting of the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that the Chinese were relentless in their attacks, and were it not for American tanks, they all would have perished. He shares the story of how he almost died when he left the bunker for a moment.
Sergio Martínez Velásquez recuerda los momentos más intensos de la guerra que sucedieron durante de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él explica que los chinos fueron implacables en sus ataques y que, si no hubiera sido por los tanques estadounidenses, todos habrían perecido. También comparte la historia de cómo casi lo mataron cuando salió del búnker por un momento.
Fight the Aggressors!
Stanley Fujii describes the big picture of why he was deployed to fight in the Korean War. He knew he was there to fight against communist aggressors to free Korea. His testimony includes his discussion on why he was thankful to have a role in helping Korea to be free. His description includes reflections on two Korea's, one he saw from the frontlines, and modern Korea he was able to return to see in 2010.
Stanley I. Hashiro
Moving from Place to Place
Stanley I. Hashiro moved around a lot with his unit in Korea. He had to live in desolate conditions, taking baths in the river, and living in bombed out concrete buildings. Within the desolate mountain valleys was another location that Stanley I. Hashiro had to stay in the extreme weather conditions.
Stanley Jones describes the transformation of Korea that he witnessed on his revisit in 2004. He shares the sights he saw. He offers a story about taking a subway and being overwhelmed at the sight of skyscrapers where once stood only rubble. He notes that where there had once been extreme poverty, he then saw incredible economic recovery.
What Did You Do While Not Working with Radios?
Stephen Frangos recalls spending a great deal of time in the fields. He mentions the poverty that was still common. He shares that he befriended a group of Irish priests, and together, they helped build orphanages. He recalls how the orphans would often go to the Army camp to have meals. He adds that many Americans also sent food and clothing over to help the orphanages.
Impressions of Korea and of Koreans
Stephen Frangos reflects on his impressions of Korea and of Koreans. He describes a Seoul that was devastated but adds he did see signs of revival. He remembers having tremendous optimism for Korea because of the hard working and industrious people. He comments that he knew they would be successful but states he did not realize just how successful they would turn out to be.
Sterling N. McKusick
Arrival in Korea
Sterling N. McKusick recounts the story of his arrival to Korea from bootcamp in San Diego. He shares the 1st Marine Division landed in Incheon on September 15, 1950, just months after the start of the war. He notes that this was a totally different experience for him, especially seeing deceased people. He recalls his boat was near the U.S.S. Missouri and other large ships which were firing upon the city prior to their arrival. He recalls the taking of Wolmido Island as well as arrival in Incheon and movement to Yeongdeungpo and Seoul.
Korea Then and Now
Stuart Gunn revisited South Korea in 1995. He noticed all of the changes to the land and advancements in technology during his revisit. A strong work ethic was needed by the Korean people to be able to reap such benefits and success in Korea today.
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.
Stuart William Holmes
Bad Flying Instructor
Stuart Holmes describes his flight training during the Korean War. He explains that his initial flight instructor did not provide adequate instruction, leaving him feeling ill-equipped to handle the taxi in-and-out procedures. He recalls how this resulted in an accident when he crashed his plane into another as he tried to taxi after a flight.
Remembering through Photos
Ted Bacha remembers that many people were killed. He uses photos to explain what they did on the front lines and all of the lives that were lost. While he was there, a little boy gave him some film as a gift for helping him during that time- Ted Bacha's father developed the pictures and said that he couldn't show them for years. Ted Bacha even had a shop where he would display his Korean War memorabilia.
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen
Arriving in Korea
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes his voyage to Korea. Men aboard the ship were mixed between Ethiopians and Greeks. At first, both countries were friendly but soon erupted into constant fighting. Upon arriving in Korea, Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen did not see anything memorable. He describes one farmer having an ox, but that was it.
Service During Armistice
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes his service that started after the signing of the Armistice. The war was technically over. However, patrolling was very important. Constant observation for lights or fires were reported to commanders for a possible enemy. Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen describes constant climbing of mountains as the toughest part of his service during Armistice.
Engaging the North Koreans
Teurangaotera Tuhaka fought the North Koreans. One incident entailed firing on a North Korean supply train. His frigate held a record for firing forty-two times in a minute. He was fired upon by the North Koreans, and to get away, his ship had to zigzag out of the way. He shares how lucky they were to escape.
Patrolling the Han River and Frigate Life
Teurangaotera Tuhaka spent a lot of his service patrolling the Han River (also known as the Hangang River) while receiving support from additional United Nations ships. He had to focus on his job so that he did not have fear while fighting the North Koreans. Conditions were rough at sea because he had to break through ice to get the frigate through the water.
Shallow Graves in Wonju
Tex Malcom discusses his experience in the push off offensive against the Chinese and North Koreans in Wonju. He had an "unsettling" experience as they dug into the hills, and realized they were digging into shallow graves where the North Koreans had buried their dead. During this offensive, supplies were air dropped into a valley.
Arriving 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.
Chinese and Napalm in the Chosin Reservoir
Theodore Paul recalls his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes it as disturbing and shares memories of seeing napalm dropped. He recounts fighting the Chinese from all directions.
Thomas B. Smith
Thomas B. Smith shares the details of an incident which cost the lives of two American soldiers and wounded others. He recounts Chinese soldiers overshooting their target and hitting a bunker being dug to serve as a warming place during the winter months. He adds that two soldiers were killed; two were wounded; and the other three involved were deeply shaken by the event.
Thomas F. Miller
Basic Training and Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller went to basic training in Georgia and then he was shipped to Inchon Harbor to start his tour of duty. After landing, he noticed poor living conditions of the civilians which looked like America in the early 1800s.
Bombing from the Sky
Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. In his recollection, he tells of bombing coming down around the aircraft carrier he was aboard. His description tells of how the bombers claimed that every once in a while they would "take the paint off," in reference to the aircraft carrier.
Thomas Norman Thompson
The Forgotten War
Thomas Norman Thompson recalls seeing small children who were bare feet in the snow as he describes devastation in Korea during the war. He says it seemed that civilians only had the choice of going to the rice paddies or mountains to get away from combat areas. He tells that although a cease-fire was ordered, some people did not realize it, causing him to be ambushed a few times as he attempted to make his deliveries. He tells why the Korean War is the forgotten war.
The Forgotten War
Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.
Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches
Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.
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.
Korea: Unbelievable Differences Between 1952 to 2000
Thomas Parkinson shares how he saw unbelievable differences between the time he was stationed in Korea in 1952 to 2000 during his first revisit. He describes going back four times since 2000 and recalls how the advancements in buildings, technology, and bridges was astounding. He shares how the changes from the Korean cardboard houses to the multi-stored houses was a visible difference.
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.
Journey to Korea
Thomas Tsuda recalls his journey to Korea and landing in Incheon in September of 1952. He speaks of the destruction he witnessed and shares that he felt sorry for the Korean people. He adds that he soon found himself on the front lines fighting the Chinese.
Thomas W. Stevens
Thomas Stevens describes Black Tuesday, a time when the U.S. Air Force lost multiple B29s flying missions over North Korea due to the newly introduced Russian MiG 15, jet propelled and faster than the P-51 Mustang escorts. He attributes this to the superiority of the MiG-15's speed. Thomas Stevens says that after Black Tuesday, the U.S. Air Command, under Curtis Lamay decreed that there would be no more daylight missions to North Korea.
Bed Check Charlie
Titus Santelli describes the bombings, known as Bed Check Charlie, that took place many nights while he was on base. He explains that the bombings were meant to tire them by keeping them up at night and to damage the runway. He shares that this was the most life threatening experience he encountered during the war.
*Note: This segment contains explicit language.
Letters Home and Education
Titus Santelli recounts sending letters home to family. He remembers making himself look heroic and sending pictures and money with the letters. He explains that his duty after a plane had crashed was to remove top secret equipment and explosives from it. He shares that he would send pictures to his mother after performing his duty expressing that he had made it again and was safe. He also details his post-war eduction acquirement.
Tom A. Bezouska
Fear of Losing a Brother (Graphic)
Tom Bazouska shares the unique experience serving in the same company as his twin brother. He recalls his side of the control panel receiving heavy shelling; blowing three men, including himself, over the hill to their assumed death. After regaining consciousness, he shares that he immediately tried to help the men around him. While tending to the others, all of a sudden his brother appears. During the struggle to help the other men, his brother,Tony, is wounded. Even though now they were both wounded, they continued to help the others to safety.
Pusan and Seoul Living Conditions
Tom Collier describes a rough trip to Pusan by ship and overall conditions of the people. People would make houses of anything they could, mostly tin and cardboard. The people did not know English and lived in poverty. Tom Collier then transferred to Seoul and describes the conditions of the people as similar to Pusan.
Tom Collier returned to South Korea in 2004 and was amazed at the different place Seoul had become. He tried to locate landmarks from his days fighting in Korea and could find nothing that was similar because of the transformation. Tom Collier is also proud of his service and how South Korea has turned out.
Tommy Clough recounts the usage of napalm during the war. He recalls one particular battle where United States forces dropped napalm on a nearby hill covered with Chinese soldiers. He offers a historical tidbit on when napalm was developed and shares how it was a terrible explosion to witness. He admits that he can still hear the screams and smell burnt flesh despite how many years have passed.
Tony J. Bezouska
Fear of Losing a Brother (Graphic)
Tony Bezouska shares the unique experience serving in the same company as his twin brother. During one specific battle, he is sent to assist the wounded on the other side of the control point because the medic is believed dead. That medic was his brother. He remembers finding his brother alive amid the chaos.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
Korea - Then and Now
Tsege Cherenet Degn describes the conditions in Korea in 1954. He stayed in a destroyed home with no roof and used to watch movies on a destroyed wall. He returned to South Korea in 2013 and shares his thoughts and admiration for the vast improvements.
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.
Cold Trench Warfare/ Guerra de Trincheras y el Frío
Ulises Barreto González recounts the consequences of the weather. He explains how fellow soldiers were affected by the cold and how some died from exposure. He describes the difficulty of surviving trench warfare.
Ulises Barreto González relata las consecuencias del clima en Corea. Explica cómo sus compañeros fueron afectados por el frío y cómo algunos murieron a causa de la temperatura. Describe la dificultad de sobrevivir a la guerra de trincheras.
First Impressions of Korea near Busan (Pusan Perimeter)
Vartkess Tarbassian was surprised when he saw the devastation in the Pusan Perimeter (Busan). There were shell holes from the mortars all across the land. Korean civilians were staving and missing shelter.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Veli Atasoy describes the fighting conditions at the Battle of Kunu-ri. There were many casualties of the Turkish troops and to evacuate, therefore approximately twenty five men were needed per Jeep. The person in command took a wrong turn into harm's way. The Chinese had surrounded the entire area and eventually killed many Americans, but spared Veli Atasoy and many of his fellow Turkish troops. After that the men walked under armed escort to Pyoktong, near the Chinese-North Korean border.
Life as one of the first soldiers in the Korean War
Vernon Waldon was exposed to the elements of weather, lack of food, and limited supply of ammunition. He explains what it was like to be one of the first soldiers in Korea, including hills, muddy roads, and rough terrain were all around the soldiers. He remembers a night of shooting a plane from North Korea.
Fighting Through the Winter of 1950
Vernon Walden was only seven miles from China's border when General MacArthur wanted to invade, but he was told to pull his troops back. Vernon Waldon explains that when his regiment began to retreat in 40 below zero weather, gas began to run out along with food and ammunition. He describes how snow blindness was a condition that troops had to deal with while traveling on foot with snow up their knees.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Images of South Korea and Working with UN Soldiers
Victor Spaulding describes the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on the state of the buildings and peasant life. He explains it was not the images of South Korea seen today and likens the images to going back in time two hundred years. He details fighting with other United Nations troops. He elaborates mostly on the courage of the Korean soldiers (KATUSAS) and says most historical accounts depict them inaccurately. He comments on serving with other countries' troops as well.
Víctor Luis Torres García
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Víctor Luis Torres García shares his memories of the first days in Korea. He recalls being shocked at the destruction and poverty in the country. He speaks about his first mission to search and destroy in Munsan and shutters as he remembers how his friend was killed in the Chorwon Valley.
Víctor Luis Torres García comparte sus recuerdos de los primeros días en Corea. Recuerda que quedo impresionado por la destrucción y la pobreza que encontró en el país. Habla de su primera misión de buscar y destruir en Munsan y con lastima recuerda cómo mataron a su amigo en el valle de Chorwon.
Message to Future Generations / Mensaje a Las Generaciones del Futuro
Víctor Luis Torres García reflects on the legacy of the war and what he wishes future generations will learn from it. He explains that while he would like to see a reunified Korea in his lifetime, he doubts it will happen. He hopes people remember the sacrifices made by so many to protect democracy against communism.
Víctor Luis Torres García reflexiona sobre el legado de la guerra y lo que desea que las generaciones futuras aprendan de ella. Explica que, si bien le gustaría ver una Corea reunificada durante su vida, duda que eso suceda. Él espera que la gente recuerde los sacrificios hechos por tantas personas para proteger la democracia contra el comunismo.
The Experience of India's Custodian Forces
Lieutenant General Mohan Lal Tuli took many photographs. He witnessed a desolate Korea. He recounts that both the north and the south saw the Indians as partial, which was proof that they were not. Many of the troops whom he served with were experienced fighters who fought with the British Army in World War Two. He also recalled the incredible strength of the Korean people.
Revisiting Life in a Tank
Vincent Ariola describes his reasons for not wanting to go back to visit South Korea. He explains that although he spent many hours in his tank, he did not sleep in it, but tanker operators slept in tents. He describes his experiences with having guard duty very often and being very tired from not being relieved. He further explains that artillery came very close to his tank and to his astonishment, he was never hit.
Life in Daegu During the Korean War
Virgil Malone shares photos he took while stationed in Daegu, South Korea. These photos illustrate the living and working conditions of the South Koreans in Daegu area. They touch upon the economic disparity among South Koreans during the war; some lived in farmhouses, while others lived in huts.
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr.
I Fell in Love with the Korean People
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr., shares how he fell in love with the Korean people during his time in the country. He recalls being in a position where he had daily contact with the Korean people which he notes the average soldier did not experience. He offers details on the living conditions of the Korean people when he was stationed there after the cease-fire.
Walter Kreider Jr.
Contrasting Korea: 1950s vs 1980s
Walter Kreider, Jr., contrasts the Korea he saw in the the 1950s to the Korea he revisited in the 1980s. He shares his recollections of Seoul and the destruction he saw while serving. He comments on how the war left many children orphaned. He shares that the Korea he saw on his return visit starkly contrasted his memories as there were many cars and buildings, and he comments on its beauty. He attributes the transformation to Korea's quest for education.
Wounded on Sniper Hill
Warren Nishida provides an account of the extraordinary events which left him wounded on Sniper Hill in October 1952. After his platoon leader found him unconscious at the bottom of a hill, he recalls his evacuation to a MASH hospital where they discuss the possibility of amputating his arm. Soon after, he recounts the trip to Tokyo and undergoing multiple procedures. His recovery from his wounds continued after his return to the United States. He recalls spending two and a half years undergoing twenty-one operations in Honolulu before his discharge in 1953.
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.
War-torn Seoul versus a Prospering Seoul
Wayne Mitchell compares his experiences during the war with the experiences he had upon revisiting Korea over sixty five years later. He recalls the biggest change to him was the agricultural boom that now covers much of the South Korean countryside. He also remembers his recent experiences in Seoul as being filled with modern museums, skyscrapers, and freeways - A big change from the war-torn Seoul he arrived in during the 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.
Submarines and Hurricanes
Willard Maktima shares a story about his squadron's mission to transport a detachment of United States Marines from Hamburg, Germany, to Sweden, in order to participate in the funeral procession of the Swedish king. He recounts how, during their journey, the ship's sonar detected submarines in the Baltic Sea, forcing the crew to be on high alert until they left the region. He recalls the ship encountering two hurricanes while sailing through the Atlantic Ocean. He describes the harsh conditions below deck and the ship's violent impact against the waves, which he found to be a very frightening experience.
William Arthur Jones
A Weapons Specialist in Korea
William Arthur Jones shares he joined the United States Air Force in 1952 and specialized in armament and weapons. He recounts being sent to Korea ten days after basic training where he served as a weapons specialist in the 67th Fighter Bomber Wing of the 12th Fighter Bomber Squadron. He describes how he aided in locating enemy troops--by dropping flares from aircraft during missions.
Flying in Korea
William Arthur Jones recounts experiences on various aircraft during his time in the Korean War. He describes an instance where ground fire traveled through the plane he was in and struck his glute. He offers information about the F-86 Sabre jet replacing the B-51 Mustang to compete with North Korean and Chinese fighter jets. He remembers flying small observation aircraft around the base during R and R. He recalls times when South Korean pilots crashed many B-26 planes that were donated by the United States.
Last Year in Korea and Returning Home
William Arthur Jones recalls a "house boy" on the military base being discovered as a North Korean spy. He reflects on his final year in Korea after the Armistice and shares his experience of playing football on the base, where his team emerged as the Korean Touch Football Champions in 1953. He recounts how, after returning to the United States, he was sent to Wendover Air Force Base where he led efforts to clean up an atomic testing site.
Conditions in the Korean War
It was trench warfare in 1952 and it was hit or miss fighting because the Chinese were very savage. The United States fire power is what saved William Burns' troops. The soldiers slept in the ground during the winter and it was just as cold as New York because it was not as bad as the winters of 1950-1951. Hill 1062 was a huge hill that was located near William Burns' trench and the Chinese had hospitals built into the hill along with military weapons.
William C. “Bill” Coe
Fighting the Chinese Up to the Yalu River
William Coe’s company fought the Chinese all the way up to the Yalu River. He describes the scene at the time, explaining that the North Koreans didn't take any prisoners, so either did the US. William Coe recalls a time when he had to blow up many US supplies so that the Chinese wouldn't use them against him.
William C. Hoehn
Quite an Arrival to Korea
William C. Hoehn describes arriving in Korea by first taking a slow boat from San Francisco to Japan. They then transferred by plane with standing room only passengers. He explains that when they came onshore, they came across a train wreck of Korean civilians.
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.
Comparing Korea, Then and Now
William Duffy recalls Seoul being in rubble. He remembers Korea being totally destroyed and adds that he could touch the top of any building that was still standing. He remembers going back to Korea years later and seeing a beautiful and impressive Seoul; the skyscrapers were numerous, and the traffic around the city was heavy. He shares that the Korea today is not the Korea he left in 1952 and adds he never would have imagined Korea would look like it does today. He recalls the South Korean people being exceptionally nice.
Progress in Korea, 1953-1960
William Edwards describes the progress in Korea from the his time there during the Korean War and his return in 1960.
William Eugene Woodward
Importance of the U.S. Air Force
William Eugene Woodward discusses the significant impact that the United States Air Force had during the wars of the twentieth century. He recalls a personal experience where he had a near miss with a U.S. fighter plane in Korea. He expresses his patriotism and pride in serving his country during the Korean War.
William F. Borer
The Korean People Had Nothing
William Borer describes his shock at the terrible sight of the Korean people and how desperate they were. He explains that the starving civilians stole and begged for food and dug through the trash looking for scraps the soldiers had thrown away. He explains that being a child from the Great Depression, he knew what being hungry was like but the Korean civilians literally had nothing. He recalls feeling disdain for President Truman for not helping the Korean people.
William F. Honaman
Arriving in Korea
William Honaman describes his long route to Busan, Korea, from the United States. He remembers arriving in Busan and it being full of military personnel. He describes being herded to the trains and not remembering much of Busan. He recalls eventually arriving at the front line across from the Freedom Bridge. He notes his first impression of Korea in 1953 was of war and lots of devastation.
Dangerous Situations in Korea
William Hall recalls his experience as one of the first troops to land in Korea in 1950. He lost a close friend in an ambush during the early days of their arrival. He discusses his role in the mortar company when his unit took over from other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes the dangerous situation they faced and how he felt that his survival was uncertain.
Wounded, But Alive
William Hall recognizes how lucky he was to have survived the Korean War without being captured or killed. He vividly remembers the harsh conditions of the Korean landscape and the poverty-stricken state of the local population. After being wounded in Korea, he was sent to a hospital in California where he received medical attention.
William Hall recalls the moment on the front lines when his legs were severely injured. He remembers retaliating by throwing grenades into an enemy bunker. A short time later, he was ejected from a helicopter by enemy fire. He notes having to spend twenty-seven months in the hospital as a result of his battle wounds.
Inchon Landing & Seoul Recapture
William Herold describes landing in Inchon around amid Korea's heavy rain. He recounts having to wait the night out by himself until daylight when his company could regroup. He adds that there was little resistance other than sniper fire. He explains that he did not have a chance to really look around Inchon as he and his platoon members had no opportunity to get out. William Herold describes the march to Seoul following the Inchon Landing, adding that there was resistance.
William J. Leber
William J. Leber discusses some dangerous moments during his time in Korea. He recalls the difficulties with guard duty at night and the sounds of incoming artillery.
Guarding A Truck Under Chinese Fire
William Jacque details a supply route mishap while on a truck carrying ammunition. He recounts the route being under fire by the Chinese and describes his truck hitting a hole and tipping over. He shares that he was forced to guard the truck until a wrecker could recover it, and he adds that he hitchhiked a ride back to his unit.
Talking to the Dead
William Jacque recounts his experience at a M.A.S.H. (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) after sustaining a shoulder and hip injury. He describes waking up to use the restroom and tripping over a person on the way. He shares that he felt so badly about the incident that he spent the next 2 hours talking to the soldier only to find out that the unidentified man was deceased when morning came.
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.
Tricking the US Government to Join the National Guard
In 1945, William MacSwain lied to recruiters at the age of 15 when he told them that he was 17 so that he could join the National Guard with friends. Due to the low number of military divisions, recruiters signed him without a second thought. In 1949, he was put to work in Oklahoma to protect businesses after a tornado tore through the state.
Arrival in Korea in 1952
William O'Kane arrived in Korean in 1952 at Sokcho-Ri. He was assigned his job as a wireman with Head Quarters Company 2nd Battalion 11th Marines. He remembers a lot about the conditions in Korea when he arrived and the conditions of the villages.
Trench War and Stretcher Duty
William Puls describes his experience on trench patrol during the last part of the Korean War just before the Armistice. He describes fighting from a position at an outpost, then having to pick up dead bodies from the trenches, which were about three-hundred yards away. He shares the repercussions of having to fire massive amounts of ammunition during the fighting.
William Trembley describes how he felt guilty about leaving his wife with newborn twins. He developed an ulcer which sent him to the hospital. This led his duty to change to helping take care of soldiers returning from service in the Korean War. This experience changed his life as he became aware of the suffering many of these veterans experienced.
Beginning of His Military Career
William Whitley shares his initial orders were to Japan, but these orders were changed to Korea at the last minute. He recalls participating in the Incheon Landing on September 15, 1950. He shares that even though he went through training to become an engineer, he served as an administrative NCO early in his time in Korea. He recounts being a few days shy of separation when President Truman gave everyone another year, so he signed up for six more years. He notes this was the beginning of his over twenty-one year military career.
Desolation: No Houses, No Building, No Nothing of Any Kind
William Whitley shares he spent much of his time in Korea as an ammunition truck operator. He recalls how when he first arrived in Korea, the country was dominated by forests, but these forests were soon destroyed by napalm bombers to prevent the North Koreans and Chinese from using them as cover. He recalls the desolation of the area at the time. He notes that he does not remember ever being in a building while in Korea.
Yilma Belachew describes the condition of Korea upon arrival at Busan. He describes the destruction he observed. For example, there were deceased people lying in fields and destroyed buildings. However, the people of Korea were still working in the fields during the Civil War. Yilma Belachew also describes having to retrain on newer American weapons in Korea.
Ziya Dilimer describes his Korean War experience. His War experience is different from other Turkish soldiers. He was behind the front and not in danger. His role was to fix vehicles and guns. He would receive cars with bullet holes and swap out parts. A major thing he had to fix was the barrels of guns. Heat would damage the barrels.