Tag: Prior knowledge of Korea
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
A. Irving Osser
Prior Knowledge of Korea
As a high school student, A. Irving Osser did not know much about Korea. He had a principal and some peers who were sent to fight in the war, but he explains that he did not have a class that prepared him for what it was like there. He may have known about the geographic location, but his knowledge was very limited.
Knowledge of Korea
Achille Ragazzoni shares he served as part of the Italian Red Cross in Korea from 1951-1954. He explains how prior to serving in Korea to help the people there, his knowledge of Korea was relatively limited. His son recalls his father talking about learning how before World War II, Korea was part of Japanese Territory. He recounts how after Stalin's death, he realized that, in reality, Korea was more of a victim of the Japanese than a possession.
English translations begin at 14:58 and 16:30.
Ahmet Tan describes how education was not offered in his village and how he was illiterate when he went to Korea. His parents were farmers and illiterate also. When he went to Korea, he was a simple soldier. Ahmet Tan served in the 1st Battalion, 4th Company under Colonel Cemal Madanogln.
The Pull to Join the Korean War
Albert Kleine joined the military in May 1950 before the Korean War broke out. He became interested in the Korean War in 1952 when he met a soldier who came home from this war and he had an Indian arrow head. In 1953, he went to Korea with 4 friends.
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.
Alford Rodriguez Rivera
Living Conditions in the Foxholes
Alford Rodriguez Rivera recounts his meals and his living conditions during the war. He explains that he ate C-rations and slept in foxholes during his time there. He shares that he did not know anything about Korea before arriving. He recollects Korea being mountainous with many trees and there being snow in the winter.
Headed to Korea and First Impression
Alfred Curtis describes how he felt when he learned he would be serving in Korea. He shares that hardly anyone knew anything about Korea and that he had honestly never even heard of Korea. He adds that he and other young soldiers thought they would go over and take care of business within a few months and be home. He recalls his journey to Korea, landing in Pusan, and the suffering of the South Korean people.
Thoughts on the Korean War Legacy Project
Alice Allen understands the importance of the Korean War Legacy Project and its potential impact on future generations. Her husband, Jack Allen, did not really discuss his Korean War experiences before the interview, and now he speaks freely about it. Alice Allen believes
that it is important that younger generation learn about the Korean War and the experiences of the veterans.
Allen E. Torgerson
Feelings Towards Being Drafted
Allen Torgerson describes his feelings towards being drafted. He shares that he felt he should do his duty and believes that everyone should serve in some form or fashion such as through armed service, community service, and/or programs similar to the Peace Corps. Allen Torgerson adds that while he would prefer not to fight again, he would not trade money for his previous experience. He expresses his thankfulness that he survived.
Tending the Farm Before the Draft
Alvin Jurrens shares his family life growing up on a farm in Iowa. He explains that his father passed away when he was fourteen, leaving his mother with nine children to raise. He recounts dropping out of school after eighth grade to help tend to the farm. He shares that he did not enlist but was drafted into the Korean War in 1952.
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.
Classroom Understanding of Korea
Aristides Simoes was educated about Korea while in school. He describes that in his middle school civics class, he learned about Korea in relationship to the Joseon Dynasty and Imperial Japan. His teachers were trying to have his class understand the significance of Japan bombing the U.S. at Pearl Harbor after that had happened.
Life Prior to the Korean War for Arland Shelstad
His parents were farmers and he had 9 siblings. Arland Shelstad graduated high school in 1950, the year at the Korean War broke out. He knew about the war and joined the Minnesota National Guard, 47th Division in 1949.
A Little Bit of Military History
Arthur Alsop explains that he was taught military history in school so he knew a little bit about Korea. He shares how he had heard about the country in reference to it being invaded by Japan in the 1930's. While he knew this information, he recalls not knowing where Korea was located and just assumed it could not be far from Japan.
Asfaw Teklemariam Habteyes
Inspiration for Serving
Asfaw Habteyes describes his three motivations for serving in the armed forces. Number one, he wished to serve as his father had. He was also very impressed by the returning Korean veterans and the reception they received. Lastly, he felt for the plight of Koreans as he grew up knowing what it was like to live under occupation.
My Brother Joe
Belisario Flores speaks about his brother, Joe. He shares that his brother suffered from physical and mental complications as a result of being in the Korean War. He acknowledges neither of them had ever heard of Korea before the war started.
Ben Schrader Jr.
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.
Bernard G. Kenahan
Drafted With No Knowledge of Korea
Bernard G. Kenahan explains his plans to work at a lumber company office upon graduation. He describes how his plans changed in 1952 at the age of 21 when he was drafted into the Army. He remembers having no knowledge of Korea prior to his draft, never imagining he would be sent there.
Letter to His Grandchildren
Lucie Paus Falck reads a letter that her father wrote years after his service to his grandchildren. In the letter, Bernhard Paus describes his reasons for going to Korea. He did not know much about Korea, but sympathized as he lived through Nazi occupation of Norway much like Koreans did during Japanese occupation. He describes the NORMASH hospital and the early use of the helicopter to transport the wounded.
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.
Joining the US Army
Bob Garcia talks about enlisting in the US Army in 1950. He describes his early sentiments about joining and his experience in basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He also talks about his prior knowledge of Korea as the Korean War began.
Knowledge of the Korean War and Canadian Response
Bob Near shares that his knowledge of the Korean War stems from an interest in history and interactions with veterans his father worked with while growing up. He explains that the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War in Canada as it is overshadowed by World War II and the Cold War that followed. He adds that the relatively low number of Canadians who served in the war compared to the number who served in World War II has played a role regarding less publicity.
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.
Burnie S. Jarvis
Assigned to Assist Artillery
Burnie Jarvis shares how, following his recall to service in 1950, he was assigned to assist the artillery aboard the U.S.S. Toledo. He explains he was part of a gunnery division and operated a five-inch twin mounted gun. He notes that prior to his arrival in Korea he had not learned anything about Korea in school or ROTC training.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Enlistment and Basic Training
Carl Jacobsen describes his path into service. He shares how he felt the need to do something constructive and decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He details his basic training and recounts volunteering to represent his regiment as a mile runner, winning many of his meets. He recounts his decision to go airborne and attend jump school following basic.
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 Crow Flies High
Knowledge of Korea
Charles Crow Flies High did not know much about Korea before his deployment, except for the details about the Korean War. Since many of his relatives were in the military, he knew about the Korean War, and it made him really proud to protect the peninsula just like they did. For both deployments, Charles Crow Flies High stayed for fifteen months protecting a variety of areas along the DMZ.
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.
Orders to Korea
Charles Fowler describes returning home on a 30 day leave after being in service a year only to find that he had received orders to serve in Korea as the war had broken out. He recounts arriving in Korea and his unit receiving orders to fight its way to Yeongdeungpo to meet the Marines coming from Incheon. He admits that he his knowledge of Korea prior to being sent was limited.
Charles L. Hallgren
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.
Comparing Korea, Then and Now
Chester Coker compares what Korea looked like when he was there during the war to the Korea of today. He describes the homes as straw and mud huts and comments that there were basically no roads. He details witnessing the brick homes, elaborate highways, modern comforts, and major cities like Seoul and also recognizes the economic transformation of South Korea. He comments on how the Korean War was known at the Forgotten War back in the 50s, just as it still is today.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
Chinese Were Everywhere
Clarence Sperbeck describes when he arrived on the front lines when the Chinese were all over the place they controlled everything. When he came back to the states, counter intelligence asked him how he knew the Chinese were everywhere dominating the region, and he said, "that was easy to detect." When you entered a traditional Korean home, you were supposed to take off your shoes outside and put rubber slippers on. Clarence Sperbeck said most of the houses he saw had Chinese Army Boots at the door, so that's how he knew they were sleeping in the Korean houses.
Knowledge of Korea
Clayton Burkholder was going to junior college and worked at a grocery store in 1951 when the Korean War stared. He read about the war in newspapers and heard it on the television. After volunteering, he didn't know anything about Korea, but he did know about Japan. He knew that there was a conflict that needed to be taken care of in Asia, but that was it.
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.
Travis Air Force Base During the Korean War
Curtis Lewis was not sent to the Korean War during his time in the military. He heard that the US Army didn't have enough guns and ammunition while fighting against the North Koreans. Many of the US regiments were run over by the North Koreans due to lack of weapons. He was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California to perform maintenance and was paid 200 dollars a month and he earned his way up to Staff Sergeant.
Life on the Homefront and the US Draft
The Korean War was not spoken about much on the homefront. Civilians thought that it would be over really quick. Then, Cyril Kubista was drafted in June 1953 for the US Army right after he was married. He was upset about going Fort Sheridan, Illinois for basic training, but he prayed with a chaplain to help with his feelings.
Journey to Korea
Dadi Wako describes not knowing anything about Korea prior to his arrival. He journeyed by sea for the first time and was not the biggest fan of the rolling boat. Dadi Wako describes his excitement as a teenager upon seeing Korea for the first time as well.
Learning About Korea In School
Dale Koestler recalls having an appetite for learning history and geography as a child. He remembers taking it upon himself to locate Pearl Harbor on a map in his fourth grade textbook when it was attacked out of sheer curiosity, leading to his discovery of many countries, including Korea. He credits his teacher in the one-room schoolhouse he attended with fostering a love for learning.
Peace and Trust Among Former Enemies
David Lopez has mixed feelings about the possibility of meeting up with the North Koreans that he fought against during the Korean War. Soldiers on both sides were just doing their jobs and following through on orders, so David Lopez would meet with his former enemy. He remembers taking prisoners during the war and one of them was really tall and David Lopez believes that it was a Chinese soldier, not a North Korean.
Learning About Korea
Dimitrios Matsoukas describes George Matsoukas' knowledge of Korea prior to his service. His decision to fight in Korea inspired him to learn more.
Fear on the Front Lines That Led to PTSD
Don McCarty was afraid every minute that he was in Korea. Even after the Korean War ended, North Koreans continued to surrender to the Marines by crossing the 38th parallel. Don McCarty feels that he has a better understanding of life once he fought in the Korean War because there were so many Marines that lost their lives. Every night at 2 am, he wakes up with nightmares from his time at war. PTSD is a disease that Don McCarty is still living with 60 years after the Korean War ended.
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.
Legacies of Korean War
Donald Dempster feels that it is important to remember the accomplishments of the Korean War. He assisted in keeping democracy in South Korea instead of communism. He is very proud that South Korea has succeeded from emulating the government of the United States.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Donald Haller recalls not learning much about Korea in high school. He does remember that an older brother of his friend was stationed in Korea after World War II and shares how he learned a little bit about Korea from him. He comments on his uncertainty about where Korea was on a map but notes how confident he was that the war would be over in just a few months. He realizes just how wrong he was. He mentions how much he enjoyed the service as he had not traveled outside of Michigan before the war. He shares how he joined the Navy Reserves so he could finish college but ended up being called to Korea in 1950.
Donald L. Buske
Knowledge of Korea
Donald Buske explains that he did not know anything about Korea even when he was in boot camp because it was never talked about even in the service. He recalls enjoying his time on the aircraft carriers. He says having never seen Korea itself, it felt more like a job to him. He does have a very good impression of Koreans he has met since the war, especially through his Veteran's Association.
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.
Thoughts about Going to War
Donald Mason discusses his feelings about going to war as a twenty-one-year-old. He remembers feeling hesitant but not scared. Much of his unit was made up of experienced soldiers from World War II. He did know Korea was occupied by both China and Japan at points in history. In a way, he was excited about the new adventure. He talks about his time in Kobe, Japan.
Conquering Communism and Personal Fear
Donald Lassere shares his personal fear in going to war for a country and a people he did not know. He describes the pride he felt while helping to halt the spread of communism for these very people.
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.
Donald St. Louis
Two Attempts to Enlist
Donald St. Louis describes how he did not know much about Korea before joining the military. He elaborates that he joined the military because it provided a job at the time. He shares enlistment took two attempts before finally earning acceptance to the program.
Knowledge of Korea
Duane Hatleli explains that he didn’t know much about Korea before getting drafted. He remembers vaguely seeing it on television, including the freezing conditions the soldiers were enduring. When he received his draft notice, he knew that he had to go serve and had to give up his job.
Earl A. House
Knowledge of Korea and Arriving in Korea
Earl House shares he knew little about Korea prior to arriving as a soldier. He recalls the first time learning anything about Korea was in the Naval Reserves. He mentions he was excited to travel to Korea and fight in the war as he had never traveled outside the U.S. except for visiting Canada.
Becoming a Marine
Ed O'Toole shares his journey to fight in Korea. He joined the United States Marine Corps in November of 1951. He does not remember learning anything about Korea before he went to the war. After seeing a neighbor in the Marine Corps uniform, he recalls wanting to join. He attended boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He remembers getting in trouble for accidentally kicking a bucket of water down some stairs.
Eddie Reyes Piña
Many Felt We Had No Business Over There
Eddie Reyes Piña recounts how he volunteered for the draft before he was eligible. He recalls entering the service on August 20, 1952. He shares what those around him were saying about U.S. involvement in the Korean War and the subsequent treatment of Korean War veterans when they returned.
Reason for Joining the Air Force
Edmund Ruos shares that he learned more about Korea after joining the Air Force in 1951. He explains that he joined after his older brother urged him to so he could select which branch he wanted to serve in rather than the branch being chosen through the draft. He recounts that he wanted to serve as a bombardier and jokingly admits that he cheated on his eye exam in hopes of making the training but was later caught on the second exam. He explains that after basic training, he was assigned to communications school and then shipped to Alaska to assist with electronic repairs.
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro
From Bogotá to Korea / De Bogotá a Corea
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro describes his voyage by bus, train, and boat to Korea. His battalion started as the Bogota battalion and eventually became the Colombian battalion within the United Nations Forces. Hundreds of people waved them farewell in the streets of the Capital as they left for war. After a thirty-day voyage, they were received as heroes in April of 1951 in the port of Busan. He remembers a celebration with a military band, government officials, and President Syngman Rhee amongst the distinguished guests at the ceremony.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro discute su viaje en autobús, tren y barco a Corea. Su batallón comenzó como el batallón Bogotá y finalmente se convirtió en el batallón colombiano dentro de las Fuerzas de las Naciones Unidas. Cientos de personas los despidieron en las calles de la Capital de Colombia cuando se fueron para la guerra. Después de el viaje que duro treinta días, fueron recibidos como héroes en abril de 1951 en el puerto de Busan. El recuerda una bienvenida con una banda militar, funcionarios del gobierno y el presidente Syngman Rhee entre los distinguidos en la ceremonia.
Volunteering for Korea / Ofrecerse Para Pelear en Corea
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro knew about the war in Korea because of his military training, but he was unaware of where the country was located. The sentiment in Colombia was that the conflict was foreign and had nothing to do with Colombians. However, this changed when the United Nations, as the defenders of peace around the world, asked Colombia for a battalion. He understood the importance of combating communism and proudly volunteered to fight in Korea when asked. He describes the moment in which more than ninety nine point nine percent of those asked volunteered to fight.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro sabía lo que estaba pasando en la guerra de Corea por su entrenamiento militar, pero no sabía ni dónde estaba ubicado el país. El sentimiento en Colombia sobre la guerra era que el conflicto era extranjero y no tenía nada que ver con los colombianos. Sin embargo, esto cambió cuando Las Naciones Unidas, como defensores de la paz en el mundo, le pidió a Colombia un batallón. El entendió la importancia de combatir el comunismo y orgullosamente se ofreció como voluntario para luchar en Corea cuando el comandante pregunto quien lo acompañaría a Corea. Describe el momento en el que más del noventa y nueve punto nueve por ciento del batallón se ofrecieron como voluntarios para luchar.
Edward A. Walker
Rolls of Film and a Girlfriend
Edward Walker took photos of the Korean boy he hired to cut his hair and of Korean women carrying their babies on their backs. He sent rolls of film home to his girlfriend, Shirley. Shirley joined the interview and said she missed her boyfriend so much and she cried while he was away. Shirley also noticed that textbooks in New Zealand did not feature much content on Asia, so many people did not know where the men were fighting.
Never Heard of Korea
Interviewer Dr. Han asked Edward Brooks if he had ever heard of Korea. Edward Brooks said he'd never heard of Korea before he was sent there during the war. Dr. Han asked if he had heard of China or Japan and he replied, "yes but never Korea."
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.
Was the Korean War a Police Action?
Dr. Han, the interviewer, made the statement that, "some say the Forgotten War was a police action. Do you agree with that?" Edward Brooks replied by saying that, "when someone is shooting at you and you have to shoot back, that's not police action." Edward Brooks continued by saying, "And with what's going on over there today we need to be there in case situations begin to flare up."
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.
Impending Korean Conflict
Edmond Parmenter recalls preparations being made in 1949 while he was serving in the United States Army and stationed in Japan for an impending conflict in Korea. He comments on General MacArther's prediction of when the North Koreans would invade South Korea. He shares that he was privy to intelligence which verified MacArther's concerns.
A Response to Perceived Fiction
Edmond Parmenter explains that the publication of David Halberstam's book, The Coldest Winter, prompted him to write his own book about the Korean War, The Korean War: Fiction vs. Fact. He provides examples of what he feels is fictitious content in Halberstam's book and offers countering information based on his own experience. He further supports his claims by stating that he referenced Korean War archives.
Reduced Forces Build Enemy Confidence
Edward Parmenter shares his views on why the Korean War began. He attributes the United States' focus on reducing military forces at the time to the start of the war. He claims that reduced forces in the region gave the Communists confidence which led to the first attack, and he comments on President Truman's reluctance to allow General MacArther to bomb bases in Manchuria to prevent escalation.
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis left Korea in July/August 1951. After returning twice to Korea, in 2008 and 2013, he was able to see the great advancements that were made in Korea. Korea's advancements were 100 years more advanced than Greece.
Ernest J. Berry
Basic Training and Meeting Refugees
Ernest J. Berry describes the training as a medic at Waiouru Military Camp and sailing to Korea. He knew nothing of Korea. As he arrived, the communists were penetrating southward. He remembers streams of refugees traveling south as well. He explains his first impressions of Korean people.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez
Volunteering for War
Esipión Abril Rodríguez recounts his motivations for volunteering to fight in Korea with the Batallón Colombia. He explains that he joined the armed forces and was in the reserves which was called into action three times in his nation before heading to Korea. His remembers that his main motivations were a sense of adventure, and his hope that he would be able to live in Hawaii or the United States after he served in the war.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez relata sus motivos para ofrecerse como voluntario para luchar en Corea con el Batallón Colombia. Explica que se unió a las fuerzas armadas y estuvo en las reservas y fue llamado tres veces luchando en su nación antes de irse a Corea. Sus principales motivaciones eran el sentido de la aventura y su esperanza en poder vivir en Hawái o en los Estados Unidos después de la guerra.
Eugene Gregory shares that he experienced fear while serving in Korea. He recounts his amphibious landing as the time he was most fearful due to having never been in combat and being unsure of whether the enemy would be there to counter the landing. He shares that as he became more experienced and more combat aware, the fear diminished but never went away.
Fermín Miranda Valle
Falsifying Papers / Falsificación de Papeles
Fermín Miranda Valle recounts the story of how he lied to enter the Army. His friends were discussing the war and they decided to enlist; however, he was only seventeen. He was able to sign up for the army without his birth certificate after lying to the secretary in the office.
Fermín Miranda Valle cuenta la historia de cómo mintió para entrar al ejército. Sus amigos estaban discutiendo la guerra y decidieron alistarse; sin embargo, el solo tenía diecisiete años. Pudo alistarse en el ejército sin su certificado de nacimiento después de mentirle a la secretaria en la oficina.
Finn Arne Bakke
The Origins of NORMASH
Finn Bakke credits his experience in Korea to the first secretary-general of the United Nations, Norwegian Trygve Lie. Trygve Lie brought the plight of the Koreans to the Norwegian people, and Norway sent soldiers, doctors, and nurses to a field hospital to Korea. He explains three reasons he volunteered to go to Korea to work in a NORMASH hospital. First, he wanted to help. Second, he craved the excitement of traveling to the other side of the world. Finally, he needed money to begin his university studies. Although he was not trained as a nurse, he was able to provide basic first aid care at the field hospital.
Returning to Korea in 1983
When Finn Bakke returned to Korea with his wife in 1983, they were greeted by his wife's entire surviving family. He hardly recognized the Gimpo airport from 1953. Years later, the Korean government invited veterans' grandchildren to visit Korea in an effort to encourage the study of the Korean War. Finn Bakke struggled to choose which of his twelve grandchildren should go. When he contacted the board, they agreed to host all twelve. The trip turned into a huge family reunion with visits from family as far away as the United States. He is proud that his eldest grandson Dietrich knows so much about his Korean heritage.
Drafted and Shipped Out
Francis Bidle recalls receiving his draft notice in the mail in the summer of 1951. He shares that he knew the Korean War had already broken out as he followed the news. He recounts his US Army basic training in Missouri and shares that he was eventually shipped to Japan where he received track vehicle machinery training.
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.
Previous Knowledge of Korea
Frank Bewley explains how he first heard about Korea, a place he knew little about even though he had read a lot about other places. He knew that a few aircraft from World War II were there. He explains that he got newspapers with a little information, but most of the updates came from servicemen who had been there.
Interest in Global Affairs
Franklin Searfoss describes how having WWII veterans as his high school teachers helped develop his interest in global affairs. However, like many soldiers knowing nothing about Korea before going to fight in the Korean War, he had not learned about Korea in high school. When he enlisted in the United States Army, he hoped to train in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. By the time he finished basic training, the Veterinary Corps had been dissolved, so he pursued medical training.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Ira “Fred” Haymaker shares that even though he studied political science in college, his prior knowledge of Korea was still limited. He recalls watching a television program called the “Big Picture” that showed pictures and some footage of the war. His story emphasizes how little civilians knew about Korea before, during, and even after the war.
Fred J. Ito
Unprepared for Combat
Fred Ito enlisted in the military and received basic training before going to Japan in 1948. However, his training as an auto mechanic did not prepare him for combat when he then went to the frontlines of Korea. He describes his training and how he felt as he found himself in a situation he never expected in August 1950.
Valuable Historical Context: 1949
Fred LIddell knew a lot about the conflicts that occurred in East Asia including Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and China. Most American soldiers knew very little of this geographic area, let alone the differing political ideologies present. Fred Liddell and his fellow soldiers who had served and traveled in East Asia became more aware of the reasons for the turmoil in East Asia as the war continued.
Artillery Training Alongside Koreans at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Fred Ragusa talks about artillery training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and a fellow class of Korean soldiers who were also training there at the time. He said that the Captain that taught him also taught a class of Koreans. He heard that there was an emphasis of extreme discipline in the Korean classes, but that this Captain was able to bring his class to the top.
An Education in Warfare
Frederick Marso describes learning about Korea from a high school teacher. His teacher was a WWII veteran and educated his classes about the conflict occurring between North and South Korea. He expands that this contributed to him wanting to enlist in the United States Navy.
Galip Fethi Okay
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.
American G.I.s and the KATUSA
Gary Routh describes his interaction with the KATUSA stationed with the American G.I.s. He describes how the American forces would view Korean culture as strange, such as bathing each other or eating ramen while seated on the floor. He then describes how Koreans would view the Americans as strange, including the harsh language and loud nature of the U.S. soldiers.
George J. Bruzgis
I'd Seen A lot of John Wayne Films
George Bruzgis admitted that he'd never heard, seen, or knew anything about Korea before being shipped there. He remembered watching John Wayne films and the idea of going somewhere else in the world seemed like an exciting adventure. In actuality, he was really scared.
Gerald Land was disgraced by the term police action instead of calling the Korean War, a war. He was also upset that people, particularly educators, didn't know anything about the war when he came home. With so many people who risked their lives for the people of South Korea and to label it the way people have, is just awful.
Don't Take Life For Granted
Gerald Land left the interview with advice for the listeners. Don't take life for granted, buckle down, get out to get a job, and earn what you get. Don't expect handouts and work your way to the top. He also said the technology that kids have today isn't completely necessary to live a good life. Working hard is the way to go!
Patriotism, A Better Life, and Water Brought Me to the Navy
Gerald Spandorf volunteered for the Navy because he loved to swim and to be in the water. He also wanted to serve his country. For basic training, he went to Bay Bridge, Maryland and then he was assigned a his ship in Road Island.
Gilberto Diaz Velazco
Travel to Korea / Viaje a Corea
Gilberto Diaz Velazco details how he and others arrived in Korea. He describes the internal flights he took within Colombia and his boat trip through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean. He recalls feeling seasick for days but eventually feeling better. He fondly remembers having some time to explore Honolulu and Yokohama before being sent to the front.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco detalla cómo él y otros llegaron a Corea. Describe los vuelos internos que tomó dentro de Colombia y su viaje en barco a través del Canal de Panamá hasta el Océano Pacífico. Recuerda sentirse mareado por cinco días, pero finalmente se sintió mejor y se acostumbró. Recuerda haber tenido tiempo para conocer Honolulu y Yokohama antes de ser enviado al frente.
Glenn Paige talks about what happened after World War II. He describes not only the demobilization, but also the Soviet tension that was building. He explains that there is a lot that we didn’t know about the time, but that the soldiers did what they needed to do.
Releasing Memories About the Korean War: Terrifying
Grace Ackerman was glad that she was able to be there for her husband, Bruce Ackerman, when he started to talk about his experiences during the Korean War, but it was terrifying to know the conditions that the veterans had to endure. Bruce Ackerman didn't start speaking about it until he was retired and able to have more time to ponder his time in Korea. Grace Ackerman recalled how most of the US didn't know about Korea when the war began in 1950 until the media started to cover the Korean War.
Prior knowledge of Korea
Gustave Gevart discusses what little he knew about Korea prior to entering the military. He recalls seeing it on a map but never learned anything about Korea in school.
Stateside Service During the War
Mr. Daumann describes his role and duties during the Korean War. He explains that since he intended to enlist with the Navy eventually, he decided that he would enlist directly after high school graduation in 1951. He asked to be involved with aviation and thus was given the rating of Aviation Metalsmith and his rank was Combat Air crewman, a gunner. He explains that he attended boot camp at Bainbridge, Maryland and was transferred to Quonset Point, Rhode Island.
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.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Training and the Inchon Landing
Harry C. Graham describes his arrival in Korea. He details the circumstances of training Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers at Mt. Fuji, in Japan, before moving on to take part at the Inchon Landing in September of 1950. He describes his first impressions of Korea.
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.
The Power of a Map
Harry McNeilly's speciality during the war was Motor Transport. For the majority of the war, his job was to escort correspondent's from various countries to the front-lines. Harry McNeilly jokes about his ability to take people where they needed to go without ever studying Korean geography.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Herbert Yuttal speaks about the benefits of serving with reservist soldiers that had already served in World War II. Their experience was very beneficial because it prevented mistakes from occurring. He explains how none of them knew what to expect in Korea whether they were new or WWII veterans.
Hearing about the Korean War
Herman Gilliam was a boy on the farm when he learned about the Korean War. He explains why he wasn’t surprised. After all, he said his generation was used to war after experiencing World War II and living with parents who fought in World War I. He states that he didn’t know where Korea was until he heard about the war and had to look it up.
Hong Berm Hur
Recognition Not Going Unnoticed
Hong Berm Hur mentioned the gratitude the Republic of Korea has for the soldiers that sacrificed so much by honoring them with the Distinguished Ambassador for Peace Medal. He went on to share that during World War II, no countries ever thanked the US soldiers for extending their efforts to help rid the world of dictators. Hong Berm Hur believes that recognition and the sacrifice of soldiers should be done around the world.
Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.
Training ROK Officers and Korean Culture in the Late 1940s
Howard Ballard recalls training officers for the Republic of Korea (ROK) before the start of the Korean War. He remembers how the ROK hated the Japanese because they had taken everything of value back to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He recalls training the South Koreans to become officers, shoot Howitzers, and become leaders before the Korean War began (1948). He describes aspects of Korean culture, noting the attention to respect and the practice of purchasing wives through the use of pigs.
Howard W. Bradshaw
Laverne Bradshaw's Perspective After Visiting Korea
Letters Howard Bradshaw wrote home described in such detail what is was like in Korea. Laverne Bradshaw was well-informed about his surroundings while away. When she had the chance to see modern Korea for the first time, they described the large amount of buildings from Seoul to Pusan and they thought it was gorgeous.
Ian J. Nathan
Platoons within Ten Company
Ian Nathan arrived at Pusan in September of 1951. After three weeks organizing the vehicles and men of Ten New Zealand Transport Company, his workshop platoon moved north to merge with other platoons. There was a lot of equipment needed to maintain military vehicles, but the jobs were shared among the skilled company of about fifty men.
Democracy v. Totalitarianism: Walls Don't Work!
Ian Nathan considers the Korean War very important in world history, particularly due to the development of South Korea as a highly educated, economically strong nation with a stable government. He feels the seventy-year time span since the armistice is unfortunate, with gamesmanship and the sadness of separated families between North Korea and South Korea. He compares the divide between North and South Korea to the Berlin Wall and the wall on the southern United States border.
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.
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.
Destination Unknown & Inchon Landing
Jake O'Rourke shares that he and other fellow soldiers boarded a ship in California, not knowing its destination, in September 1950. He recounts orders not being revealed until they were halfway across the Pacific and adds that he had never heard of Korea let alone where it was located prior. He recalls arriving in Japan and experiencing a cyclone before sailing on and landing in Inchon where their mission centered on cutting off the supply routes of the North Koreans.
James A. Newman
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.
New Zealand to Texas Connection
James Newman speaks to fellow veteran Larry Kinard. They talk about their efforts with veteran organizations and share some laughs. He never expected the phone call to take place!
Modern Korea's Growth
James Cochran shares his thoughts on Korea, a country he knew nothing about prior to the Korean War. He marvels at the advances and growth of modern Korea in the automobile and electronics industries and shares that Korea's successful economic status is difficult to explain given the devastation inflicted by the war. He also acknowledges the competition between Korean businesses and Google located in his hometown despite the relatively short period of time following the war as a means of economic comparison.
Enlisting in the U.S. Army
James Houp recalls his experience enlisting in the U.S. Army. He graduated in 1949 and enlisted in the Army that same year. He recalls not learning anything about Korea in school. He attended boot camp at Fort Knox and advanced training at Fort Monmouth where he graduated at the top of his class. He describes being sent to Tokyo, Japan, before ultimately heading to Korea for the Invasion of Incheon.
James P. Argires
Korea Became the Model for War
James Argires shares why he thinks that we do not talk about Korea in schools. He then gives a bigger perspective about how Korea was placed in the context of the Cold War and the climate political at the time. He shares a quote by General Walker about how Korea became the model for how all wars are fought today.
Reflections and View of Korea Today
James Sharp reflects on the the Korean War and discusses the positive outcome. He expresses that his revisit to Korea was a life-lifting experience as he was able to witness the development that has occurred since the war. He shares that soldiers often carry bad memories of war, wondering if their service was of worth, but he expresses that after seeing Korea's development during his revisit, he is certain his service was of worth.
James Tilford Jones
James Jones very succinctly states what he perceived, at that time, as the objective of U.S. soldiers being sent to Korea. He believed the mission was to unit Korea into one nation.
Janice Feagin Britton
Experiences in Korea after World War II
Janice Britton discusses her time in Japan and Korea at the end of World War II, during which she helped transport patients from Korea to the station hospital in Japan. She marvels at the progress that has been made in Korea from the first time she went there, throughout her service during the Korean War, and modern day.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
Knowledge of Korea and Other Countries
Jean Paul St. Aubin shares he does not recollect studying Korea in school and that he knew nothing about Korea at the time the war broke out. He remembers having some knowledge of Japan and China as well as a few other countries due to their World War II connections though. He also recalls a few specifics learned in school centering on American and Canadian history.
Jean Paul White
The Marine Corps Joins the War
Jean Paul White talks about where he was when he first heard about fighting in the Korean War. He describes learning about the war in newspaper headlines. He explains how he was unsure as to where Korea was located. He describes the diminished state of the USMC at the start of the war.
Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
Korean War Veterans Response to KDVA Accomplishments
Al Jenner responds that if the veterans could see the impact that was made by their efforts to deter against communism, they would see a country that is now the 11th largest economy in the world. They would also see that it's the first nation to go from a debtor nation to a creditor nation while enjoying the freedoms they have there. Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner are very proud of the progress and success in South Korea.
"A Wartime Place"
When asked what Korea is to him now, Jerry Bowen describes Korea as "the place he fought." He vaguely remembers living in trenches, tents and dugouts when not on the front lines. It says it was a "war time place."
Korea over the years
Jesus Rodriguez talks about his return to Korea. He tells about how he was invited to go to Korea after talking with the major of Seoul at a Veterans Day function in his city, Lahabra, which happens to be the sister city to Seoul. He discusses the changes he saw in Korea during his visit and describes the hospitality and gratefulness of the Korean people during his visit.
Jimmie A. Montoya
Korean War Rarely Taught
Even as a school teacher, Georgia rarely had time at the end of 2nd semester to teach WWII, but definitely not enough time to teach about the Korean War. She said if teachers were creative and found a way to integrate the Korean and Vietnam Wars into discussion, they were lucky. Textbooks covered little, if any, information on the Korean War. She said the textbooks skipped over the Korea War by going from World War II straight to the Vietnam War.
You'll Remember This Someday
The term "Forgotten War" upset a lot of people. Georgia remembered when she watched her black and white TV as a little girl. When her family who served in the Korean War came back to the US, her parents always said, "Remember what you are watching on TV. This will be history some day."
Fear of Communism and its Affect on the US
Georgia remembered as a child the reports about Communism and her family built a "basement" that was constructed using directions from the Civil Defense. This "basement" included provisions just in case of attack. This indoctrination was a big part of US entry into the Korean War. The Interviewer mentioned the Kennan Telegram written during this time and they explained how it unveiled the Russian's plans and the Korean War made it clear that Russia and US were not partners at that time.
Joan A. Clark
Basic Training and America's Perception of the Korean War
Joan Clark recalls learning of the outbreak of the Korean War during basic training. She explains how she began teaching and her later Officer Candidate School attendance. She shares how upon training completion, she became involved in the pilot training program. She reflects on America's attitude towards the Korean War, recalling that many people did not understand why the United States was involved in the war.
Personal Understanding of the Korean War
Joan Taylor loves the Korean War Legacy Foundation because she believes that the program will create a personal understanding of the Korean War through interviews of veterans. She was able to visit South Korea with her Korean War veteran husband, Neal C. Taylor with the the help from her United States Presbyterian Church along with a Presbyterian church in South Korea. It was a history trip for her and she was treated so well by the Korean people.
Joe H. Ager
Learned About Korea While Training the Chinese
Joe Ager shares he first learned about Korea in 1948 during a mission to Peking, China. The mission he describes was part of Truman’s program that gave the United States' surplus of weapons to Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek). He recounts being sent to China to train soldiers on these weapons. He shares that before 1950, his experience with Korea included watching soldiers disembark at Incheon.
The Korean War Armistice
Although the armistice was signed, communication from coast to coast was still limited, and Joe Larkin said the farther east he went, the less people knew about the armistice. He explained that if you wanted to call back to the east coast and you were in San Francisco, you had to pick up a rotary phone, dial 0, the operator took your number, then called you back at some point. Therefore, communication was lacking, which bothered Joe Larkin since he had been in some horrible circumstances and so few knew about the war coming to an end.
Crawling Around On The Floor Due to PTSD
Joe Lopez recalled growing up with a brother who suffered greatly from the Korean War. He remembered that after his brother came back from the Korean War, he would crawl around on his hands and knees in the house and hide in the bushes outside due to PTSD. His brother, Antonio Lopez, spoke of being heavily armored and he made attempts to slow down the assault, but the Chinese just kept coming by the thousands and he couldn't get it out of his mind. Antonio Lopez died homeless and an alcoholic to hide the pain from the Korean War.
Love Your Country
When asked what lesson he learned from his experience, Joe Lopez replied emotionally to love your country. He has seen a lot and if you go to another country, you would discover how lucky you are to be living in America and people should be thankful to those who served in the US military. Joe Lopez said that It is your duty to learn about your country and become educated so that you know the decisions that were made on behalf of the US. Many soldiers who are injured or don't return, did it for their country.
Preparing for Korea
John Atkins gives a very detailed account of his time in the service, including when he was activated. He left for Korea and Japan in December of 1951. He also explains some of his training.
John Beasley tells of his experience trying to join the military after WWII, and his father's reaction upon hearing the news of his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He describes how he learned he was being sent to Korea. His recollection also includes information concerning strategical plans on the landing at Inchon by U.S. forces.
Returning to Modern Korea
Mr. and Mrs. John Cantrall described their trip to Korea in 2005. Although they did not get the opportunity to visit Pusan, they were impressed by how modern and industrialized everything was that they saw. They felt appreciated by the Korean citizens because of John Cantrall's service right after the Korean War ended through 1955.
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.
No Prior Knowledge of Korea, But Off We Go!
John Cumming was never taught about Korea before he arrived in Busan. As a Movement Officer, he took many flights all over the world and now that's the reason why he doesn't like to fly.
John J. Baker
"We Knew War Was Going to Happen"
John J. Baker recalls being a student in Japan when men were rotating in and out of Korea. He recalls General Hodge coming to Japan in 1949 to see General MacArthur, but the General would not see him at the time. John J. Baker expands on how he knew the war was coming. He remembers having a conversation about how the North Koreans were training with the Russians to prepare for war. He shares about a message that he remembers came from General MacArthur.
Enlisting in the U.S. Navy
John McBroom recalls his short experience at the University of Tennessee where he studied electrical engineering and was part of the ROTC program. After just one year of college, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent boot camp and sonar school in San Diego, California. He recalls leaving for Sasebo, Japan, in the spring of 1953 and sailing to Wonsan, Korea, from there.
Origins of the Tell America Program
John McWaters describes the Tell America program, a program in which Korean War Veterans go into high school classrooms in central Florida to teach students about the Korean War. National Geographic provided maps for the program, which immediately sent him down memory lane. He remembered the towns and villages he visited. Thanks to the maps, he was able to grow the program.
Answering the Call For the Australian Navy
John Moller recalls enlisting in the Australian Navy in 1950. He shares that he was stationed on the HMS Sydney from 1951-1952. He comments on returning to Korean twice after the war and shares how he was able to see, first-hand, the evolution of the buildings, roads, and culture in South Korea.
John O. Every
From the Mediterranean to Korea
John O. Every describes the journey to Korea from his location of deployment in the Mediterranean. He explains having to go through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, en route to Korea, for the amphibious landing at Inchon in 1950. He discusses other battles as well as what he had to eat for Thanksgiving that year.
John P. Scott
Changing Tours of Korea
Veteran John P. Scott describes his tours of Korea throughout the years and how he observed Korea changing into a major power following the Korea War.
Preparing to Build
John Singhose recalls knowing about the Korean War before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He explains basic training in infantry, and the training he received to prepare for his his Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) as a Combat Construction Foreman. He received training in machine operations, construction, and explosives.
Preparing for War
John Snodell was working in distribution when the Korean War broke out in 1950. In 1951, he received notification that he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army. He received training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before leaving for Korea by boat from Seattle, and landing at Busan.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
We Need to tell the Story
John T. "Sonny" Edwards shares his opinion on why the story of the Korean War has been absent in history. He discusses how having a proper historical perspective has been affected by the attitude from the United States Government toward the Korean War. He shares his vision for getting more information out to the public and imparting it to the younger generations.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina
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. 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. 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.
Joseph C. Giordano
War Declaration and Draft Choice
Joseph Giordano shares that he knew nothing about Korea until the day war was declared. He remembers reading about it in a newspaper at his father's barber shop. He recalls the significance of being drafted on January 12, 1951, and a choice that landed him in the Korean War. He comments on the value of his Korean War experience.
Joseph P. Ferris
Traveling to Korea and Assigned Duties
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris describes his journey to Korea. He also talks about his duties while assigned to Kimpo Air Base during the Korean War.
A Nurse's Duty in Korean War
Josephine Krowinski did not know anything about Korea before she was assigned to go, but she always trusted that wherever the Army needed nurses, that's where she was to go. She always did what she knew best, how to nurse people back to health ever since she graduated from nursing school in 1942. Josephine Krowinski was never scared and she always felt prepared for anything.
Expectations of Korea
Having learned about Korea while growing up in Hawaii, Joshua T. Morimoto had some expectations as to what he thought Korea would look like when he arrived in 1974. To his surprise, Korea was much more modern than the images he saw in textbooks. He explains the advancements that Korea made and how thankful the Korean people are for their help.
Why I Joined
When asked if he ever imagined going to a country he had never heard of, Karl Hauser explains why he joined the Red Cross after his friend told him about the opportunity. He wasn’t afraid because the war was over and other people were joining.
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.
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.
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.
Learning about Korea
Leland Wallis graduated high school in 1949. When asked about what he knew about Korea, Leland recalls never learning anything in school about Korea or most of Asia. He does recall learning about Japan in relation to World War II.
Five Week Cruise to Korea
Leonard Nicholls recalls his voyage to Korea on the Empire Ferry, talking about the living conditions on board as well as his job while at sea. He served as lookout, watching for other ships while his fellow soldiers shot at balloon targets in the water.
The Ebert Boys Heard the Calling to Arms
In June 1949, Lewis Ebert enlisted in the US Air Force a few weeks out of high school. He took his basic training in Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and then he was trained at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado for military supply training. While in Colorado, the Korean War broke out, but Lewis Ebert already had a lot of prior knowledge about Korea since his brothers all fought in WWII with one stationed in Korea.
Arriving in Korea
Lewis Ewing talks about his arrival in Korea, his journey to his unit in Chuncheon, and his first impressions of war. He explains how he felt about his deployment, and describes his rapid journey to the front lines. He recalls the living conditions on the base where he arrived.
Prior knowledge and training
Luigi Montani discusses what little he knew about Korea prior to entering the military. He also discusses his basic training which included learning about communism as well as working in communications.
Luis Maria Jimenez Jimenez
Volunteering for War / Voluntariado Para la Guerra
Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez volunteered to join the military when the recruiter came to his town. He gives an account of the locations of the training and what it entailed. He shares that when they asked for volunteers, he volunteered to go to Korea after being promoted to Second Corporal.
Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez se ofreció como voluntario para unirse a las fuerzas armadas cuando el reclutador fue a su pueblo. Cuenta donde fue entrenado y lo que le enseñaron. Él comparte que cuando pidieron voluntarios, él se ofreció para ir a Corea después de ser ascendido a cabo segundo.
Korea after the Armistice / Corea después del Armisticio
Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez shares his feelings about heading to Korea after finding out that the Armistice had been signed. He remembers being prepared to fight because he knew the peace agreement was fragile. When he arrived in Korea, he saw terrible devastation and hunger.
Luis Maria Jiménez Jiménez comparte sus sentimientos acerca de viajar a Corea después de enterarse de que se había firmado el Armisticio. Recuerda estar preparado para luchar porque sabía que el acuerdo de paz era frágil. Cuando llegó a Corea, la devastación y hambre lo impresionó.
Manuel A. Bustamente
Enlisting and Basic Training
Manuel Bustamante knew about Korea when the war broke out because his brother was in the United States Navy on an aircraft carrier. Luckily, Manuel Bustamante and his brother were assigned the same ship, the USS Point Cruz. The brothers were surprised that they were allowed to be on the same ship because usually the United States military tries to separate the family members so that they would not get injured at the same time.
Manuel Antonio Gaitan Briceño
Basic Training / Entrenamiento Básico
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño explains his reasons for entering infantry school. As the son of illiterate parents, he wanted more out of life and found an education and adventure in the armed forces. He recalls that he was not aware he would be sent to fight in a foreign war.
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño explica sus razones para ingresar a la escuela de infantería. Como hijo de padres analfabetos, quería más de la vida y encontró una educación y una aventura en las fuerzas armadas. Recuerda que no sabía que lo iban a enviar a luchar en una guerra extranjera.
Marian Jean Setter
Serving in Korea with the Army of Occupation
Marian discusses her next assignment, which was to Korea prior to the war. She served for two years at the 34th General Hospital, about twenty five miles north of Seoul, with the Army of the Occupation (later the Army of the Liberation). She remembers the hospital being housed in a former training academy, and says that they were lucky to have an actual facility, rather than living in tents. Her patients were all military, and had some Korean civilians as well.
Second Tour in Korea
Marian remembers her second tour to Korea in the 1960's, where she served as Assistant Chief Nurse at the 121st Evacuation Hospital for five months, and as the Chief Nurse at a hospital in Busan for seven months. She reflects on the difference in Korea from her first assignment, pre-Korean War to her second assignment, post-Korean War. During this assignment, she had much more contact with Korean civilians.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella
Choosing War over Colombian Violence / Elegir La Guerra Sobre la Violencia Colombiana
Mario Nel Bernal Avella explains his motivations for volunteering to fight in Korea. While he was in the military academy, Colombia erupted into the worst violence the country had seen in over 200 years. He felt that going to war was better than remaining in the unrest that existed in Colombia where he did not know where his enemy was. He states that if he were reborn, he would not change his military career as he is incredibly proud of his accomplishments.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella explica sus motivaciones para ofrecerse como voluntario para pelear en Corea. Mientras estaba en la academia militar, Colombia reinicio la violencia que el país no había visto en más de 200 años. Sentía que ir a la guerra era mejor que quedarse en Colombia donde no sabía dónde estaba su enemigo. Afirma que, si volviera a nacer, no cambiaría su carrera militar ya que está increíblemente orgulloso de sus logros.
Enlisting in the United States Army
Marion Burdette's job in the U.S. Army was a Battle Commander's Traveler. He recalls being sent to Yokohama, Japan, in early June to prepare for the invasion of Korea. He recounts entering Korea from an L3T and then storming the beaches on June 27, 1950. He shares he did not know much about Korea at the time.
Marjorie Elizabeth Cavanaugh
Knowledge, Firing, and Perception of the Korean War
Marjorie Cavanaugh discusses the extent of her knowledge of what was occurring in Korea and reflects on the slow communication of that time. She remembers her reaction to General MacArthur's firing. She comments on the American public's opinion on the role the United States played in the war and the difference in opinion compared to World War II.
Marshall E. Davis
What contributions did KMAG have on the Korean War and after?
Korea Military Advisory Group was established post WWII in 1946 (Russia/US Split Korea) as a Korean defense force as a part of the Armys 40th Infantry Division which acted as a police force divided into 8 Korea Constabulary Regiments (for the 8 provinces there). It was originally PMAG (Provisional Military Advisory Group), until the war broke out it became the KMAG 8668th Army Unit commanded by Brigadier General Francis W Farrell which would later be renamed the 8202nd Army Unit. MOST IMPORTANT: The Army helped the Korean people established a police force after the Japanese withdrew, then once the war broke out the Army would then train the "police officers" to become soldiers of war in the Korean Army.
Why is the Korea War the Forgotten War?
Given the wonderful transformation South Korea has seen between the 1950s and today and the deep gratitude Koreans have for American Veterans, the Korean War is still known as the Forgotten War. Marvin Ummel recalls people not knowing much about Korea, even after he returned from the war. Many people were still thinking about World War II.
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.
Maurice L. Adams
Maurice L. Adams describes being called to active duty and training
Maurice L. Adams recalls joining the ROTC program to offset his GI Bill from World War II ending his 3 year in college. He explains being called to active duty and being trained as a second lieutenant.
Enlisting in the US Marine Corps
Mayo Kjellsen enlisted when he was 20 years old because he figured that he would be drafted soon. That was the culture, so decided to join the US Marine Corps and he was sent to Camp Pendleton in California. Without any prior knowledge about Korea, Mayo Kjellsen was surprised to see a Korean woman openly nursing her baby right near Inchon.
Michael Daly's earliest political recollection of the Korean War was when he was 5 years old. He and his dad knelt by the side of the bed to say their prayers and he remembers his dad praying, "We thank God tonight for the armistice in the war in Korea." Since Michael Daly was born right before the Korean War, he was too young to remember the draft and other small nuances of the war.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce
Prior Knowledge of the War / Conocimiento Sobre de la Guerra
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce remembers when he first heard about the war. He shares that he was aware about what was happening in Korea but never imagined he would be drafted. He recalls the way in which his family wept upon hearing of his deployment.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce recuerda cuando escuchó por primera vez que había una guerra en Corea. Él comparte que estaba al tanto de lo que estaba sucediendo en Corea, pero nunca se imaginó que sería reclutado. Recuerda la forma en que su familia lloraba al enterarse de su despliegue.
Korea making an Impression
Mmadu Onyeuwa was sent to Korea during the winter of 1968. He describes seeing very deep, waist high snow. He explains that though he spent a good deal of time with the Puerto Ricans, his instinct told him to spend more time immersing himself in the Korean culture. He describes learning the Korean language as well as customs and music.
Kitty Movie Experience
Kitty Curry, Monte Curry's wife, was not told a lot about what her husband was experiencing during the Korean War. Before a movie began, instead of previews of other movies, a black and white news reel would review what was life like for the US soldiers in Korea. This included fighting and bombs dropping on the enemy. Kitty Curry's reaction about the news worried her, but her friends and faith kept her going.
First Impressions of Pusan
Myron Toback describes what he saw when he first arrived in Pusan in 1952. He remembers that there were no brick buildings except for the rail station. Additionally, he recalls that there were a lot of mountains.
Aboard the USS Blue
Nathan Stovall returned to active duty to take a destroyer, the USS Blue, out of mothballs to sail to Korea. Once they had readied the destroyer, the crew trained to look for submarines. After a brief leave to spend time with his father, Nathan Stovall sailed for Korea in 1951, a place about which he knew nothing upon arrival. The journey was difficult, and a heavy storm damaged nets and whale boats during the leg to Japan.
Nathaniel Ford Jr.
Korea after the war
Nathaniel Ford explains how he had never been out of the country prior to his first time in Korea. He recalls how he found it interesting to be in a country where people did not look like him nor speak the same language. He remembers that President Syngman Rhee did not want the American soldiers there. He goes on to describe how impressed he was with how hard the Korean farmers worked but having a problem with their using the contents of the latrines to fertilize their fields.
Neal C. Taylor
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.
Prior knowledge of Korea
Nina Movin remembers her father, Rasmus Movin, had no prior knowledge of Korea prior to the war. Rasmus Movin knew that his friends were in need and he had skills and training to support the war. Later in his life, Rasmus Movin visited Vietnam during the Vietnam war as an advisor to help determine hospital locations.
Norman Charles Champagne
Norman C. Champagne speaks fondly of his opportunity to revisit Korea, and his pleasure at physical changes that have occurred since his time in the country. He describes coming in by airplane into Seoul, and his surprise at the beauty of the country. He discusses frustration at the political challenges that keep the Koreans from fully enjoying a unified country.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Ollie Thompson did not know anything about Korea until the Korean War broke out. He joined the military because his brother joined and Ollie Thompson felt that he could help out during the war. He even thought that maybe his effort helped out the next generation of Korean civilians.
Pablo Delgado Medina
The Voyage / El Viaje
Pablo Delgado Medina recounts the perilous journey to Korea. He remembers not knowing where they were being sent and only finding out they were going to war once they reached Japan and were asked to fill out paperwork for beneficiaries in case they were killed in action. He explains that the voyage was terrible as the food on board the boat was awful, and the boat encountered a typhoon which forced everyone on deck to wear a life jacket.
Pablo Delgado Medina relata la historia del su viaje a Corea. Recuerda que no sabía a dónde los enviaban y solo se enteró de que iban a la guerra una vez que llegaron a Japón y se les pidió que completaran el papeleo para los beneficiarios en caso de que fallezcan. Él explica que el viaje fue terrible ya que la comida a bordo del barco era horrible, y el barco se encontró con un tifón que obligó a todos en la cubierta con los salvavidas puestos.
Trained to Be a Fighting Machine
Paul Summers and his brother served in the same platoon in the 1st Marine Division. His brother fixed radios, while Paul Summers dug trenches as a grunt. Neither brother questioned being sent to a place in Asia they had never heard of. They flew into Korea under the cover of darkness.
Reflection on the Korean War
Peter Ruland describes his opinion of the Korean War, although he did not actually participate in the Korean War. Korea today is separated, and he ponders what the US actually gained from the Korean War. He feels sorry for the families of the soldiers, of which, 37,000 United States men and women were killed during the war and approximately two million civilians.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Phil and Joanne Feehan describe how they knew nothing of Korea prior to the Korean War. They had knowledge of China and Japan but not Korea.
The U.S. President Wants You for the US Military!
Ralph Howard recalls being in Alaska when the Korean War started and listed as 1-A (available for military service). He mentions he was disappointed after being drafted because he was making good money. He recounts being sent to training as a paratrooper after having his hair cut, passing the aptitude test, and taking a physical.
Raul Martinez Espinosa
Training / Entrenamiento
Raúl Martínez Espinosa explains how he was trained and the capacity in which he served in Colombia prior to entering the war in Korea. He states that he entered the armed forces in 1944 as he was completing his bachelor’s degree in engineering. He attended the military school which trained generals and when he heard about the start of the war in Korea, he first pulled out a map to see where it was, and then volunteered.
Raúl Martínez Espinosa explica cómo fue entrenado y como sirvió en Colombia antes de entrar en la guerra de Corea. Cuenta que ingresó a las fuerzas armadas en 1944 cuando estaba completando su bachillerato en ingeniería. Asistió a la escuela militar que entrenaba a generales y cuando se enteró del comienzo de la guerra en Corea, primero sacó un mapa para ver dónde estaba y luego se ofreció como voluntario.
Ray D. Griffin
A Cook's Journey
Ray D. Griffin saw a lot of poverty when he was stationed in South Korea. Although the fighting was over, he found that it seemed life expectancy was not very long for the people due to severe poverty. He recalls multiple opportunities he turned down in the process of becoming a Military Cook and Baker. He describes the long journey he had to take to get to Korea.
Raymond H. Champeau
Journey to the Korean Coast
Raymond H. Champeau was a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy. He explains his journey to being stationed on the HMCS Huron, a Canadian Destroyer with nearly three hundred men aboard. He recalls the weapons and ammunition aboard ship, and becoming acclimated to life at sea.
Reginald V. Rawls
Life Leading into the Army
Reginald Rawls grew up living in a poor section of town and he had limited options to improve his quality of life. These circumstances served as the impetus for his enlistment in the Army. He rose up the military ranks because he was respectful to everyone and he went to a lot of training.
Richard A. Houser
The Korean War Draft and Basic Training
Richard Houser was working and got married before he was drafted in 1953. He didn't think that he would get drafted and one month after getting the letter, he was sent to boot camp.
Richard Houser went back to Korea with his wife a few years before the interview was taped. The bright lights, huge buildings, and prosperity of the Korean people made him proud for fighting to free the Korean civilians.
Richard A. Mende
Getting Acquainted with Korea
Richard A. Mende talks about acquainting himself with knowledge of Korea once he learned about the war.
Richard Carey – Part 1
Letting Freedom Ring
Richard Carey explains his knowledge of Korea before he went. He explains his reason for fighting in the war. He explains how he wanted to help the allies of South Korea and why.
What Direction is Korea from Japan?
Richard Miller discusses aptitude testing required for service eligibility. He states that many of the questions focused on the geography of East Asia, particularly the location of Korea in relation to Japan.
Transition to Military Life
Robert Fischer describes his transition to military life after being drafted in 1950. He explains life in basic training and what he what it was like for those thirteen weeks. His description includes the clothing, barracks, wake up times, training exercises, and the other expectations.
Robert H. Pellou
Walk, Walk, Walk
Robert H. Pellou remembers Korea, in the Incheon area, as a very poor country. He recalls daily life involved lots of walking and that the winters were very cold. He notes his unit's mission was to find North Koreans fleeing the north but that they did not encounter any.
"They Were Getting Everybody They Could Get Their Hands On"
Robert Kappes describes being drafted into the United States Army. He remembers that seventy-five percent of the college students were drafted because, as he shares, they were getting everybody they could get their hands on. He was trained in artillery and as a forward observer.
North Korea Invades South Korea: War is On!
Robert Kodama was stationed in Japan when the war broke out. He adds that his older brother, coincidentally, was stationed in the area and was supposed to come pick him up. He explains that while he was in the mess hall listening to the radio, he learned North Korea had invaded South Korea, and his orders quickly changed.
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.
Working His Way from Wyoming to Korea, What a Ride!
Rodney Ramsey studied petroleum jelly at the University of Wyoming. He graduated from there in June 1951 and was activated to right away because he was in the United State Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). After receiving basic training at Fort Benning, GA and additional training in California, he received his orders for Korea in 1952, but Rodney Ramsey figured that he was being sent there because he had been tracking the war since 1950.
"That's Just the Breaks of the Game"
Rodney F. Stock shares he knew where Korea was from studying maps. He remembers hearing about the beginning of the war while driving to his parents' house. Citing no fear of dying, he recalls convincing the draft office to speed up his processing. After transferring among multiple training locations in the United States, he recounts boarding a ship for Korea at the end of 1951.
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.
Ronald A. Cole
A Promise Kept
Ronald Cole vividly recalls the process of enlisting ultimately in the U.S. Army after keeping his promise to his mother to finish high school. With a strong desire to serve his country upon graduation from high school, he inquired with many branches of the service regarding becoming a pilot and serving in Korea. Ultimately, he did not end up as a pilot, but instead received training as an officer and served in the infantry. He offers a detailed account of what he remembers learning while attending El Camino High School about the events leading to the conflict which became the Korean War.
Ronald W. Taylor
Going to school
Ronald W. Taylor attended a one-room schoolhouse in Hagerstown Maryland. There was one teacher for the entire school that served up to sixth grade. He describes how the students were grouped by age and the teacher would rotate to each of the groups to teach while the other groups were doing homework. He had no knowledge of where Korea was located.
Rondo T. Farrer
Knowledge of Korea
Rondo T. Farrer explains how he had to find a map to find out where Korea was. He recalls asking his sister about Korea upon hearing about the war. He describes the "culture shock" he experienced when he first arrived in Korea.
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.
Santos Rodriguez Santiago
A Great Opportunity to Learn
Like many others, Santos Rodriguez Santiago did not learn anything about Korea before being sent there for the war. He argues that this is a good experience though because the military sends you places, and you learn a lot. He explains that he learned to work with others and the customs of others, but that many young people only learn
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz
Volunteering for Korea / Voluntariado por la Geurra en Corea
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz offers an overview as to why he enlisted in the army and was among the first to volunteer to fight in Korea. He was disillusioned with his homelife and wanted a distraction from the misery of his house. He believes in the importance of war and if he were young, he would enlist once again.
Segundo Miguel Ángel de la Cruz ofrece su historia de por qué se alistó en el ejército y porque fue uno de los primeros en ofrecerse como voluntario para luchar en Corea. Estaba desilusionado con su vida aburrida y quería distraerse de la miseria de su casa. Él cree en la importancia de la guerra, y si el fuera joven se alistaría una vez más.
Sergio Martinez Velasquez
Entering the Military / Entrar en las Fuerzas Armadas
Sergio Martínez Velásquez explains the process by which he joined the Batallón Colombia. He shares he was initially not allowed to join the military because he looked younger than he was, and the lieutenant questioned his motives. He explains that it was only after he insisted on fighting that he was allowed to join the ranks of the other volunteers.
Sergio Martínez Velásquez explica como ingresó al Batallón Colombia. Él cuenta que inicialmente no lo permitieron a unirse al ejército porque parecía más joven de lo que era, y el teniente cuestionó sus motivos. Explica que fue solo después de que él insistió en luchar, que se le permitió unirse a las filas de los otros voluntarios.
Korean War Veterans Involvement
Sotirios Patrakis details his pathway to involvement with Korean War Veterans. He shares that as a member of the Army reserve officers, he took part in a convention in Korea commemorating the start of the Korean War. He recalls how kind the Korean people were and felt it a pity that there was no opportunity for veterans from Greece to gather together and relive that period of their lives. He comments on Korea's progress since the war and is proud of its economic efforts.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Stan Golub shares what he knew about Korea prior to his deployment there, driving home the fact that those going knew very little of the country they would be defending. He discusses how his mom was anxious, yet he had few worries because he was arriving at the time of Armistice. He shares that he did not see the danger that so many others faced.
Sterling N. McKusick
Little Knowledge About What He was Heading Into
Sterling N. McKusick details the amphibious landing his unit took part in near Wonsan which was delayed to allow minesweepers a chance to clear the heavily mined waters in the area. He remembers when they finally arrived in Wonsan, the city had already been liberated, and Bob Hope was even there entertaining the troops. He recounts how from Wonsan, they were sent to the Hamhueng area for about four weeks before being sent up the mountains toward the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls really having no idea where they were heading and that they were typically told were they were when they arrived. He does remember knowing their mission--to stop Communists from occupying all of Korea.
Steven G. Olmstead
Steven Olmstead recounts his trip home to see his family. He describes two encounters with people on his way to Albany, New York. He expresses his amazement when one individual did not know where Korea was located and details a kind gesture offered by another.
Prior Knowledge of Korea
Steven Hawes explains that he did not know much about Korea before going there despite enjoying geography in school. He describes how Korea was viewed as just another part of Japan on the maps that highlighted the British Empire at the time. Students were never taught about the history or culture of the country, and it was never even given its own name on the map.
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.
We're Going to War!
Theodore Paul describes how he received the news of the outbreak of the Korean War. He recounts playing baseball with other fellow corpsmen when a truck drove onto the field with the driver yelling for them to get in the truck because they were going to war in Korea. He adds that he knew where Korea was due to having a grammar school teacher who taught his class where countries were.
Thomas B. Smith
Freezing Air Force Enlistment
Thomas B. Smith describes the events leading to his enlistment in the Marine Corps in 1951. He recounts his willingness to join the Air Force first; however, too many youths had the same idea. The Air Force froze enlistment to stop everyone enlisting in that specific branch of the military. He shares that he joined the Marines instead as he did not want to wait for the Air Force to unfreeze.
My First Time Learning about Korea was in Korea
Thomas DiGiovanna attended Samuel J Tilden High School and recalls never learning about Korea prior to landing in Pusan, South Korea, in 1952. Immediately after landing, he remembers a really horrible smell and trying to hold his breath as he was exiting the ship. He learned soon after that, at the time, South Koreans used human waste for fertilizer.
Thomas F. Miller
Prior Knowledge About Korea
Thomas Miller was not taught anything about Korea during high school since the teachers never made it to that section of the textbook. Later in life, he knew more about the Korean War because he was interested in history.
Thomas M. McHugh
A Unique Respect for Veterans
Thomas M. McHugh describes the Korean people as the most thankful in the world to American veterans. He tells of his amazement at the efforts the people went to in making sure his needs were met during his visit to Korea. He explains that seeing citizens on the sidewalk respect him for his service was shocking, compared to how the rest of the world reacts to American veterans.
Prior Knowledge About Korea
Thomas Nuzzo was attending Fordham University when he was drafted for the Korean War. Unlike most draftees, Thomas Nuzzo knew about Korea from stamp collecting and his schooling. Being sent to Korea was not scary he said because he found the Korean culture so interesting.
Prior Knowledge about Korea During WWII
Thomas Parkinson shares how was raised by his mom most of the time because his father fought in WWII. He recalls that when he turned eighteen years old, he volunteered for the Australian Army. He remembers only knowing about Korea's location before he left to join the Korean War because his uncle was a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan during WWII. He shares how he wanted to see on a map where his uncle was being held.
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.
Where in the world is Korea?
Tine Martin discusses Americans' lack of knowledge about Korea, the "conflict", and the geography of Korea during the 1950's. He discusses the fact that television was in its infancy, and there were no corespondents on the ground in Korea documenting the war. He further states that the Korean War was not a notable war on the American Homefront. This clip could serve as a precursor for students to research, discuss, analyze, investigate the role the American media played in the Korean War in relation to the Vietnam War. Analysis should include the anti war movement(s) that were influenced by media coverage during the Vietnam War Era.
Air Force Selection and Knowledge of Korea
Titus Santelli explains his reasoning for joining the Air Force in 1950. He details his experience in basic training and shares his view of the war. He admits he could not figure out why the U.S., at that time, felt required to protect Korea, but he offers his opinion.
Tom A. Bezouska
Tom Bazouska recalls the strange experience he shared with his brother when returning home. After their father picked them up from the airport, he remembers stopping at the hangout where they often meet their buddies. He recalls walking in with his brother and many of their buddies simply asking where they had been. He shares that few people knew about the war. The brothers admit that their friends treated them differently and nothing felt the same. They explain the impressive show of gratitude they experience when interacting with the Korean people.
Landing at Busan
Tommy Clough recounts how he knew little about Korea prior to shipping out on a five and a half week voyage to Korea. He recollects his first impressions of Korea, sharing that there was a stench in the air as they neared the shoreline. He remembers a United States African American band playing as they disembarked the ship and recalls South Korean women dressed traditionally and handing out apples.
Korea? Never Knew of it!
Troy Howard knew nothing about Korea prior to the Korean War. After the war, ended he visited the local library to explore more about the country and was shocked by the lack of information about Korea and the Korean War. It wasn't to after he joined the Korean War Veterans Association that he began to find out.
Vartkess Tarbassian struggled with nightmares once he returned home from Korea. His mother would have to wake him when he was screaming in his sleep. After about a year, the nightmares began to go away.
Virgil Julius Caldwell
Perception of Korea and the Korean War
Virgil Julius Caldwell discusses his perception of Korea, the Korean War, and basic training. He recalls how when he was drafted, the Korean War was going strong. He describes doubts about going to Korea but also how the Korean War was a chance to receive the GI BIll and pay for graduate school. He shares how he was placed in an integrated unit during basic training and how he was housed with other college graduates.
Out of the Reserves and into the Marines!
Wallace Stewart joined the U. S. Marines Reserves in high school. When the Korean War broke out, he reenlisted in the U. S. Marines. He knew nothing of Korea. Despite pursuing basic training at Camp Pendleton, he was too young to go to Korea and served stateside until he was old enough to see combat.
Walter Kreider Jr.
The Korean People
Walter Kreider, Jr., with no prior knowledge of Korea before serving, shares what Korea is to him now. He comments on the Korean people specifically, describing them as hardworking, creative, and caring. He adds that they are a good ally and represent freedom and liberty. He comments on similarities between Korean and Amish farmers.
Warren Housten Thomas
Revisit to Korea
Warren Thomas revisited Korea and he appreciated how well the Korean civilians and the Republic of Korean government treated him. The streets were filled with civilians and he was excited to see the population surviving so well. Even after returning home to the United States, he continues to receive letters and presents from South Koreans.
Chapter 312: "The best thing that ever happened"
Warren Middlekauf discusses the Korean War Veteran's Association Chapter 312 located in Maryland. Chapter 312 is the most active chapter in Maryland, the East Coast, and perhaps the country. He also makes a contemporary connection analyzing the help and support veterans receive today, unlike the Korean War Veterans who never even got a proper welcome home. He remarks about the numerous entities that exist today to honor, and provide assistance to war veterans.
William “Bill” F. Beasley
Not Forgotten War But Ignored
William explains how he detested for years that the war was not forgotten, but ignored. He explains how he felt that the American public didn't want to go back to war after WWII so soon. He describes returning from Korea on leave, but no one cared.
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.
"I saw the worst part of it"
William Les Bishop relives seeing wounded marines at a army hospital in Maine while he was in high school. Although he did not know much about the war, he became very familiar with the consequences. This was especially impactful because he was close in age to those wounded veterans.
Hey Bill Where Have You Been?
William Burns was very excited to come home after his time in the war because he missed his mother's favorite chicken dish. After meeting up with a friend back on the home front, he did not remember that William Burns went away to war due to the lack of media coverage. The Forgotten War was definitely evident in his hometown of Auburn, NY because WWII was so publicized and there were not a lot of information coming to the US about the Korean War.
Life as a Marine
William Duffy describes his boot camp experience as a rude awakening. He recalls having to be up very early in the morning for drills and shares how it was the hardest thing he ever went through. He describes his journey from San Diego to Japan and then eventually to the east coast of Korea.
William F. Honaman
The Real Reason We Were There
William Honaman notes the official reason for fighting the Korean War was stopping the advancement of Communism. He elaborates, however, that as he grew older and learned more, he began to understand the conflict between Korea and Japan that influenced Korea's need for freedom. He states that many people do not fully understand the segregation that Korea experienced because they have not lived under similar circumstances.
Did you know anything about Korea?
William McLaughlin speaks about his high school experiences and recalls not being taught anything about Korea. He had relatives who were Korean War Veterans, and his father would talk to him about the war. There were some cultural references to the Korean War in the media but not like what was available on World War II. He does recall hearing that Korea was an undeveloped and poor country at the time. He remembers the possibility of being drafted to Korea and the subsequent consequences.
"The Forgotten War"
William O'Kane felt that the Korean War should not have been called "The Forgotten War." He really became upset when the war that he fought in was called a Korean police action or the Korean Conflict. Soldiers from around the world fought and died during the Korean War, so William O'Kane wished that more people remembered the war.
The Impact of the Forgotten War
William Puls describes his revisits to South Korea in 2000 and 2010. He explains his amazement at the cleanliness and modernization of the cities in South Korea. He praises the South Koreans for their admiration and respect toward Korean War veterans. He shares his opinion on what can be done to resolve the continued division between the countries of North Korea and South Korea.
Ethiopian Kagnew Soldiers
Yilma Belachew describes the Ethiopian soldiers' experience. He identifies that no Ethiopian soldier became a POW and that the soldier must sacrifice their life. Therefore, men who were injured would continue to fight even when seriously injured. Yilma Belachew also describes training by Swedish elite soldiers. Soldiers must prepare their minds for combat in addition to the physical battle.