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
Hospital Work in Korea
Achille Ragazzoni shares he initially arrived in Seoul. He explains there was no Italian embassy in the country as it was covered by the embassy in Tokyo. He shares knew little of the Korean language and recalls how there were many Japanese words used in Korea. He describes working for an Italian hospital which used medicines provided by the Americans and shares that when given days off, he enjoyed traveling around areas in Korea.
English translations begin at 30:50, 32:39, 35:52, and 37:11.
A Picture of Before and After
Adam McKenzie offers a reflection on the Korea of 1950, compared to what he saw when he revisited in 2011. He describes a former Korea of ruins, and a modern society full of high rises and bullet trains. He shares his perception that South Korea has made advancements much more rapidly since the Korean War than the United Kingdom did during the Industrial Revolution.
Adolfo Lugo Gaston
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
Adolfo Lugo Gaston provides an account of his first impressions of the country upon landing in Korea. He vividly remembers an eerie silence and seeing bodies buried beneath the snow near Seoul. Additionally, he speaks about the difficulty of trench warfare and explains the fact that many soldiers were shot because they left their foxholes to complete mundane tasks.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón relata sus primeras impresiones al llegar en Corea. Recuerda el silencio que había y una tristeza porque había cuerpos enterrados bajo la nieve cerca de Seúl. Además, habla sobre lo difícil que era la guerra de trincheras y explica que muchos soldados fueron fusilados porque abandonaron las trincheras para tareas mundanas.
Korea is Thankful
Albert Gonzales describes how he believes Korea is the only country thankful for what America has done for them. He explains how they have assisted in several other wars and have shown their appreciation over time. He states that they are proud of us and we are proud of them too.
*There is some explicit language in this clip.
Korea Then and Now
Albert Grocott shares that he visited Korea three times since the war and offers a view of Korea then and now. He recalls small villages with outside toilets while serving and compares them to the metropolis that Seoul has become through the years with beautiful homes and high-rises. He states that the landscape has even changed but the people have not.
For the Love of Learning a Language
Albert Grocott recalls his time spent on Rest and Relaxation (R&R) in Seoul during the war. He shares that he encountered several orphaned children who needed food and clothing while there and details bringing them food from the mess hall and stealing clothing for them. He states that he did it for the love of learning a language, and the only payment he required was that they teach him Korean words and songs.
Second Battle of the Hook
Albert Harrington describes the Second Battle of the Hook between combined elements of British and 1st Commonwealth Division forces and Chinese forces. He acknowledges that the Chinese forces were effective in battle and appeared well trained. He explains the significance of the battle, emphasizing that a Chinese victory would have allowed the enemy a more efficient route to Seoul.
Arriving in Korea
Albert Kleine arrived in Pusan, Korea in 1953. After landing, he went to Seoul and saw fighting along with mass destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and he asked himself why he came all this way, but later he realized that it was to liberate South Korea.
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.
Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino
"After the War-Impressions of Korea"
Though he has never been back, Al D'Agostino had business dealings with Korean Airlines out of Los Angeles. He could not believe the level of fluency, sophistication, affluent business behavior, and growth of South Korea.
Transformation of Korea
Ali Dagbagli describes the transformation of South Korea. He describes what he saw during the war. Kids were begging for food and cigarettes for their fathers. Contrast this with today where Seoul was clean, no dirt and no cigarettes on the ground. Ali Dagbagli could never have imagined the transition in such a short period of time.
Allan A. Mavin
Seoul: Before and After
Allan A. Mavin recollects here on his journey back to South Korea in 1998. He describes the hospitality of the South Korean people. He also compares and contrasts what he witnessed changed in Seoul before and after the Korean War.
Message to Younger Generations
Allen Affolter offers a message to younger generations. He states that they should appreciate what they have and should take full advantage of the opportunities available to them. He shares that sacrifices must be made in order to obtain something and that they should limit their distractions in order to obtain what they want. He adds that they should practice being respectful of their elders, doing what they are told, and being punctual.
Allen Clark's First Prisoner of War
Allen Clark was establishing observation posts and was maneuvering around Gimpo Airport when he came across a family who had captured a North Korean soldier. He felt the process of handing him to the property authorities went well, but he was concerned that there were many more POWs with the possibility of being outnumbered. He wasn't sure how the Korean people felt about American's arrival during the conflict, but at that time, he felt they were happy and pleased the US soldiers were there.
Allen E. Torgerson
Off Duty & Rest and Relaxation
Allen Torgerson shares that one was never really off duty during the war as one was still involved in everyday army duties other than when on Rest and Relaxation (R&R). He recounts spending a few days in both Japan and Seoul during R&R and remembers there not being much to do in Seoul as the city was destroyed. He shares that if one found some spare time in camp, he would play cards to pass the time.
Alves James “AJ” Key
Korea in 1968-1970
Alves James "AJ" Key describes what life was life for him as a member of the Air Force stationed in Korea between 1968 to 1970. He describes the weather. He also explains how the base where he was stationed was too crowded and that aircraft were constantly leaving and arriving.
Korea in Transition
Alves James "AJ" Key was in Korea after the war, so he was able to witness its transition to a modernizing country. He describes the development both in Seoul and in the countryside. He explains that he really did not understand how remarkable this transition was until years later when he fully understood the harsh conditions Korea had been under when Japan occupied the country.
Alvin A. Gould
Arriving in Korea
Alvin Gould talks about arriving at Incheon in December 1953 and traveling to Seoul. He describes leaving the ship and his impressions of the capital city. He mentions that one of the few buildings standing was called the Chosin Hotel.
Service in Korea
Asoke Banerjee was a medical officer in Korea from 1950-1953. He used to look after the ADS, the advanced dressing station attached to many of the battalions on the front lines. Amitava shares some correspondence his father wrote. His father recalls Korea being very cold, especially as they moved towards Pyongyang. Once the Chinese began their advance, his father's unit moved south towards Seoul. His father was working in a large hospital associated with the United States MASH hospitals.
Returning to Korea
Andrew Greenwell describes his return to Korea in the 1980s. He recounts seeing multistoried buildings and other advances that left him in disbelief. He expresses his amazement at what the Korean people had done for their country in such a short span of time following the war.
The Stories His Father Told Him
Anil Malhotra reflects on the stories his father, Brigadier Tilka Raj Malhotra, told him about his experience in Korea. On November 19, 1950, the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit of India moved in to Korea. It was the time when the Chinese army put in a massive counter-attack. His unit was ordered to evacuate because of the Chinese attack. The unit became known as the Bucket Brigade because they carried buckets of water from the nearby river to a steam engine to get it working once again. The steam engine hauled all medical equipment away from the conflict zone and was not lost to the war. The steam engine carried all of the medical equipment to Seoul, across the Han river, just in time because the communists blew up the bridge right after. He expands on other stories about the 60 Parafield Ambulance Unit. The goal of the unit was to save as many lives as possible.
Military Training and a Fight
Aragaw Mselu describes the military training. For example, there were many trainings for the soldiers, attack, defense, hunting spies, and searching for mines. In addition, soldiers were to respect other soldiers. However, Aragaw Mselu describes how he fought with other soldier. Subsequently, this caused him to end up in military prison for ninety days.
Journey to the Korean Peninsula
Aristides Simoes describes in length his journey to Korea. During his time in Korea, he describes a variety of different tasks and responsibilities he had maintaining the aircraft radar systems. He also describes the purpose these missions had for the military at the time.
Devastation and Destruction of Seoul
Aristides Simoes reflects on his memories of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, after the war. Despite seeing civilians and soldiers on the streets, the city itself was filled with dust, destruction, and debris. He also details the extreme poverty many South Koreans were experiencing at the time.
Aristofaris Androulakis discusses how all he saw in Korea in the 1950s were ruins and destruction. He shares how he felt proud when he returned to Korea in 2007. He shared how it was so different and he couldn't believe it was the same place.
Why Would They Fight for This?
Arthur Alsop remembers arriving into a really rough wharf on a hot day in June. He describes the “flimsy” houses that he saw. He said Seoul was bombed out. He shares how he asked himself a very important question- Why would anyone fight over a country like this?
Arthur C. Golden
Baptism By Fire (Graphic)
Arthur Golden recounts his first days in Korea and the fear he experienced when the shooting began. He describes the experience of his company moving to set up the perimeter and a rifle company digging in near them. He remembers meeting the rifle company's squad leader while digging a foxhole and the following day seeing that soldier’s lifeless body removed. He shares as part of their role for the United States Marine Corps 1st Division, they successfully pushed the enemy back. Following this success, he remembers they regrouped for the Incheon Landing. He describes the retaking of Seoul and moving down to Wonsan following the Incheon Landing.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
Two Different Koreas
Asefa Desta describes the two different Koreas, war-torn and present. He never thought there would be such a significant change. Korea was so broken during the war. However, hard work by the people was able to transform Korea into what it is today. Asefa Desta also compares the change between Ethiopia and Korea over the same time period.
Asefa Werku Kassa
Korea, like my Baby
Asefa Werku Kassa describes how Korea is like his baby. He sacrificed his blood for the freedom of South Korea. He describes how he would still fight for South Korea. Asefa Werku Kassa wants to revisit to see what his sacrifices look like seventy years later.
Korea: Yesterday to Today
Austin Timmins compares his observations from visiting Korea in 1998, to what he witnessed during the Korean War. He also details how impressed he is with Korea's development. He has knowledge of South Korea's development, but his legacy far exceeded his expectations.
Impressions of Korea
Avery Creef shares the image of Korea he has in his mind. He recalls seeing many mountains. He recounts landing in Incheon at dark but remembers the city being destroyed. He also recalls seeing Seoul on his way out of Korea and remembers it being destroyed.
Impressions of Korea
Ayhan Karabulut describes the despair of Korea when he landed in 1951. He describes a train from Incheon to Seoul where it was faster to walk. He also describes women and children begging soldiers for food. There were many orphaned children during this time that were also begging for food.
So Many Refugees
Barry McLean shares his experience walking through Wonsun in sub-zero temperatures. During the evacuation, he shares he encountered a young girl and offered his rations, but she refused. He recalls the touching moment when the girl came back with a token to trade for his food. Along with this experience, he describes seeing thousands of refugees they loaded onto the ships to evacuate.
Ben Schrader Jr.
Duties to Ensure Safety
The Combat Chemical Engineer Corps developed smoke screens over the rivers which would allow the battalion to lay the bridges without being attacked by the enemy. The worry was that while placing these bridges, the enemy would lay mines in the river bottoms, so the engineers were hoping they had done their job well without risking the lives their fellow soldiers. Ben Schrader hoped that all the bombs had be deactivated prior to coming so close to these rivers.
Language Acquisition was Crucial
Communication was difficult when working with the Korean infantry, so US Army trained Korean soldiers in Arabic numerals & map reading. They could help provide the coordinates to fire on the number of units, battalion or regiments they anticipated coming in. It proved crucial to know which weapons worked with the right fuse and how these weapons would effect the enemy.
Learning Japanese Headed to Korea and the Army Point System
While on the troop ship going over to Korea, the loud speaker system on the ship was only playing conversational language in Japanese, not in Korean. This showed the soldiers that no one had the opportunity to learn Korean before landing in this combat zone. While stationed in a war zone, the Army gave out 4 points for soldiers at the front lines, 3 for troops farther back, 2 for soldiers in Japan providing supplies, and 1 point for troops on the home front. Ben Schrader was earning 4 points a month, so he was able to rotate off the front lines after a year.
10 Days and a Much Needed Shower
Everything was provided for the soldiers, so pay was always sent back to the US. Combat fatigues were provided and showers were only provided every 10-12 days. Charcoal was provided for heat and since you had to carry your water for drinking, water was scarce. Ben recalled the trucks carrying large containers of hot water pulled up and they had installed pipes that sprayed hot water to produce a "shower" effect for the men as they stood under in 20-degree weather.
We Suffered Together
Ben Schrader remembered before going up on the hill, they would stop over at the kitchen and pick up whole raw onions and potatoes. He remembered while cooking the C-Ration that contained some form of meat, they would eat the whole onion raw and potato uncooked to add flavor. Koreans would have double rations so that they could share with the American military and the meals consisted of rice with fish.
Closure to the Present Hostilities with North Korea
Ben Schrader believed that the hostilities will continue because North Korea continues to threaten the US with bombs. It is just like the Cold War the lasted for many years. He would support reunification between North and South Korea since he went back to Korea for a revisit and he saw first-hand the civilian desire to become one country again.
First Days in Korea
Benjamin Allen speaks about traveling to Korea and arriving in Busan (Pusan). He also talks about seeing Seoul burn as the North Koreans were retreating. Benjamin Allen gives his take on fear.
Benjamin Basham describes his company going into the city of Seoul, capturing the Capital, raising the flag, and clearing out the resistance. He says that during the night they were assaulted, yet he was so tired he slept through all the gunfire. He remembers the reception of the Korean residents, who at first were dazed, but then were welcoming of the Americans.
No Windows Anywhere
Bernard Brownstein describes the condition of Seoul during the war. He explains what the food markets looked like at the side of the street. In addition, he explains the bullet holes and blown out windows of the capital's buildings.
Ingenuity of the Korean People
Bernard Brownstein shares his memories of Seoul and its disheveled state. He marvels at the ingenuity of the South Korean people as he recounts how they constructed their homes and carried out everyday tasks. He adds that the automatic internal ingenuity of the Korean people led them from where they were to where they are now.
Bernard Clark went on a variety of patrols during his time in Korea. He calls these patrols "recce" (reconnaissance). "Recce" patrols consisted of five men and entailed going out to a point and returning with the intent to keep an eye on things in no man's land. His listening patrol consisted of three men who went out into no man's land and sat in a location all night to listen for enemy movements.
Bernard G. Kenahan
Route to Korea
Bernard G. Kenahan describes departing for Korea in 1953 via ship. He describes making multiple stops along the way, including stops in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Japan. He recounts the living conditions regarding showering and explains that his duties aboard ship entailed overseeing the sleeping quarters.
Bernard Smith- Struggles with Equipment
Bernard Smith described that the equipment that was set up was only good for a 50 mile radius and many times they would need to reach as far as 200 miles to get a signal. Since there wasn't a hill in between their location, they could operate from machines and make compromises to get it to work. They had multiple diesel-fueled generators to ensure they were able to continue to operate if the other ran out and the freezing cords were another concern as Bernard Smith lived through the cold winters in Korea.
Bernard Smith's encounter with Seoul when they arrived was a devastated and torn apart city. An example is a governmental business that had its windows blown out and walls collapsed, but what parts were still standing and areas safe enough to work, the government continued to work there. The area where Bernard Smith was stationed appeared to be untouched.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago
Lucky to be Alive / Vivo de Milagro
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago shares one of the most impactful moments of the war. He describes the incident in which he and others were almost killed by friendly fire when they were attempting to prepare mortars in Seoul. Following that attack, he remembers how they went on a trek and forever engraved in his memory is the sight of a little four-year-old girl begging on the side of the road.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago comparte uno de los momentos más impactantes de la guerra. El describe el incidente en el que él y otros casi murieron por fuego amigo cuando intentaban preparar morteros en Seúl. Después de ese ataque, él recuerda que hicieron una caminata y siempre le quedo grabado en su mente el recuerdo de una niña de cuatro años que mendigaba al costado de la carretera.
First Days at War / Primeros Días en la Guerra
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describes his first impressions of Korea and the utter devastation he encountered. He remembers being immediately struck by the fact that the train which transported them to the front was riddled with bullet holes. Furthermore, he details the way in which Seoul was destroyed and the way in which a major bridge was blown up by the allies to prevent troop advancement by the enemy.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y la devastación total que encontró. Recuerda que le llamó la atención el hecho de que el tren que los transportaba al frente estaba lleno de agujeros de balazos. Además, detalla la forma en que Seúl fue destruida y la forma en que los aliados volaron un puente importante para evitar el avance de las tropas enemigas.
Return to Korea
Lucie Paus Falck gives her unique perspective of Korea having worked a year as an intern of sorts with her father in Seoul in 1958 and then returning on three occasions in 2001, 2008, and 2010. In 1958, she describes the country as war-torn and remembers shacks assembled from all kinds of building materials. She marvels upon her return in 2001 about the evolution of Seoul and comments on the growth of traffic! She is particularly proud of Norwegians for their work with Korea including the adoption of over 6000 Korean orphans.
The Plight of the Korean People
Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.
When Bill Scott arrived in Seoul, they were given 4-5 days worth of rations. After seeing the starving children with or without parents, the soldiers fed the babies with their own food rather than watch them starve. Soldiers knew they had to take care of the kids and they were proud to have done it for them.
Billy J. Scott
The Rubble of Seoul
Billy Scott describes civilian men, women, and children starving in the destruction of Seoul. He shares that he and other American soldiers had never seen anything like it. He recounts gathering c-rations along with other fellow troops and tossing them to those in need.
Korea Then and Now
Bjarne Christensen explains how he was struck during the war at the amount of poverty he saw in Busan, South Korea. He shares how it has changed during his recent visit. He explains how he was impressed and overwhelmed by the differences.
When I Went Back, I Could Not Believe It
Bob Mitsuo Imose recollects Korea as a region that was very rural with few high rises during his time there from 1967-’71. He notes that seeing much of the country was hampered by the 10:00 p.m. curfew, which required them to be on base. Fortunate to return to Korea in both 2018 and 2019, he marvels at the growth of Seoul with all its high rises, condominiums, and new bridges. He recalls the traffic jams and the new cars he saw on each of his return trips.
But the Korean People Never Forgot
Bob Mitsuo Imose, following two return trips to South Korea, marvels at what the country has become. He shares his amazement at how the South Korean industry blossomed in such a short time. Although the Korean War is often called the "Forgotten War", he remembers an encounter with a little girl on his return trip in 2018 that showed that the Korean people never forgot.
Running a Petroleum Pipeline
In this clip Brian Kanof explains his role in leading a specialist group in the running of the oil pipeline that was built, maintained, and manned by the US Army. The South-to-North pipeline helped supply petroleum to Seoul. Not only does he describe his role in operations, but also his battalion's interactions with the local South Korean people through cooking a meal to rival the spiciness of local cuisine.
An Appreciation for South Korea
Brian Kanof shares some of his thoughts about Korea and Korean culture. He also speaks about the progress he saw in Korea as a member of the U.S. Special Forces.
Unsettling First Few Days
Bruce Kim describes flying over the Han River and the disturbing experience of arriving in Korea shortly after martial law was imposed by President Park Chung-Hee. Shortly after their arrival, he remembers traveling to the DMZ. He recalls a strong military presence everywhere and being told to be careful in Seoul. He emphasizes how he was shocked by the number of checkpoints and the tense atmosphere.
Bruce W. Diggle
Bruce Diggle shares photos he took while in Korea. He shows photos of his travels from Pusan to Seoul through the countryside. His photos show the low level of development of Pusan and the destruction of bridges along with the city of Seoul itself.
Hitchhiking Their Way Home
Burley Smith reminisces about the time he and a fellow merchant marine, Merl Smith, become stranded on a trip to see the front line. After hitching a ride up to the front, their pilot receives orders to head to Japan. He elaborates on their journey back to the SS Meredith Victory, which includes a ride in a Sherman Tank and an encounter with bed check charlie.
Evacuating Heungnam, Off to Busan
Carl Hissman describes his experience at the evacuation of Heungnam. He remembers being the last one off of the beach. He recalls seeing many North Korean refugees and remembers the roads were so full of people. He shares they were able to save some but not all. He remembers seeing a blown-up village and two civilians frozen dead. After Heungnam, his unit went down to Busan and began pushing back up north towards Seoul.
Carl M. Jacobsen
Carl Jacobsen recounts jump training in Daegu, Korea, and recalls making multiple training jumps in order to receive his wings. He offers an account of his first combat jump and details the related mission. He comments on the destruction he saw during his service.
Carl W. House
Destruction of Civilian Homes
After Carl House's unit left the Incheon landing site, they headed to Seoul. He said the first time he witnessed the capital, it was gone due to total destruction. When American tanks arrived, they would level the buildings to keep the North Koreans from using them. Carl House said they warned civilians to leave their homes before the soldiers destroyed them. However, recently, Carl House was was surprised at a doctor's office when he came across a magazine in the waiting room describing South Korea's accomplishments since the war.
First Night with a North Korean Spy
Carl House described that his unit worked with ROK soldiers and the language barrier made it difficult to understand each other. They relied heavily on sign language as a way to interpret their needs. During the first night, Carl House discovered that the person in his foxhole was a North Korean spy with assistance from the ROK soldier. They questioned the spy and the ROK soldiers took him away. Carl House felt he was lucky and he was amazed that the ROK was able to identify the spy.
I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!
Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto
A Destroyed Korea/ Una Corea Destruida
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto recounts his first impressions of Korea. He recalls the utter devastation of cities including Seoul and Incheon and other important villages. Amongst the destruction, he remembers the many orphans he saw while he was being sent to the front lines. This occurred while he and others were being sent to support troops from the First Battalion that were fighting with U.N. Forces.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto cuenta sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda la devastación total de ciudades como Seúl e Incheon y otros pueblos importantes. Entre la destrucción, recuerda a los muchos huérfanos que vio mientras lo enviaban al frente por ferrocarril y camión. Esto ocurrió mientras él y otros fueron enviados a apoyar a las tropas del Primer Batallón que luchaban con las Fuerzas de la ONU.
Carlos Julio Mora Zea
First Impressions/ Primeras Impresiones
Carlos Julio Mora Zea reflects on his first impressions of Korea. He explains that he still feels pity remembering the terrible conditions civilians faced. He explains that children lined up along truck routes to beg and offer unthinkable things to soldiers. He remembers the destruction in most of the cities which had no buildings but were simply heaps of rubble.
Carlos Julio Mora Zea habla sobre sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que todavía siente lástima cuando recuerda las terribles condiciones a las que se enfrentaban los civiles. Explica que los niños hacían fila a lo largo de las rutas de los camiones para mendigar y les ofrecían cosas a los soldados que ni entendían. Recuerda la destrucción de la mayoría de las ciudades y cuenta que no habían más edificios sino que eran simplemente montones de escombros.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Cecil Snyder describes Seoul based on his visits there in late 1958 though 1959. He talks about the condition of the city, its infrastructure, sanitation, and people.
Cecil K. Walker
Conditions In and Around Seoul
Cecil Walker describes conditions in and around Seoul. He helped bring supplies from Incheon to Seoul and transport Australian forces from the Second Line of Defense. Cecil Walker also describes how Seoul was deserted, with the exception of "Street Kids." He describes how when people did return to Seoul, they used any scrap to build shelter.
Mass Grave Site Filled with Civilians
Charles Buckley drove all throughout Korea during his time there and witnessed the narrow roads, trees, and the damage incurred. He recalls a massive grave site that had been unearthed full of slaughtered children. It's predicted that this grave site was from when the North Koreans overran Seoul, South Korea and killed anything is their path.
Thoughts of an Airman: Get the Hell Out Of There!
Charles Buckley's initial thoughts when he reflects on his experience during the war was to "get the hell out of there." He remembers his contribution to the country by helping various people, specifically the orphaned children. Charles Buckley would order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and he would look forward to seeing the smiles on the children's faces. He also recalled the living conditions of all of the children and the civilians were able to obtain supplies they needed to rebuild their own country.
The Korean People Are Different Than Other People Around the World
Charles Buckley traveled all over the world and he said the people of Korea are so different in such a positive way. He feels their conduct, willingness to help themselves, and loyal to their country is what sets them apart from other countries. Charles Buckley also said the Koreans were so loyal to the US soldiers and respectful to those who died for their cause during the Korean War. They are the only people that continue to thank US soldiers.
Charles Comer describes the Korean civilians that he saw upon his arrival at Seoul. He explains that the city itself was destroyed. He describes the sad state of the people who had been frequently moved around due to war evacuations. He goes on to describe the children, many of whom had been orphaned by the war and would crowd around the passing trains as the troops would give them their c-rations to eat.
Excitement Dissipated Quickly
Charles Comer describes his feelings of excitement as he left Japan for Korea. He explains that being a young man of eighteen, he was looking forward to seeing a new country but was quickly disheartened when he arrived at Seoul. He explains that the destruction he witnessed was a stark difference from the thriving city of Kobe he had just left in Japan.
Charles Connally describes the dangers he faced and living conditions in Korea. He explains that mortar fire, snipers, and shrapnel were a constant concern but luckily many injuries were avoided except for two men: one was shot in the shoulder by a sniper and another was hit in the leg by a shard of shrapnel. He goes on to describe the miserable food options that led to his losing nearly forty pounds during his stay and sleeping in quonset huts.
Charles Crow Flies High
Entering Korea in 1993
Charles Crow Flies High was sent to Korea for his first deployment in November 1993. He flew into Kimpo Air Force Base, and then he was sent to Seoul to get finished setting up to protect South Korea. He recounts that they were "locked and stocked" at all times from that point forward. His job was to watch for Kim Jong Il and his North Korean troops to make sure that they did not take over Seoul.
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 E. Gebhardt
Destruction in Seoul
Charles Gebhardt describes the destruction of Seoul he witnessed when passing through on his way to Kimpo Airfield. He says he "may have became a pacifist at that time," referring to the conditions that he saw Koreans living under.
Journey to the Front
Charles Eggenberger recalls his 1950 arrival in Korea. He describes his journey, from basic training in San Diego, California, to being stationed in both Guam and China, before the Korean War broke out. He describes his participation in the amphibious Inchon Landing, and a combat lesson he learned while fighting the enemy in Seoul.
Charles Falugo, Jr.
What is Korea like today?
Charles Falugo revisited South Korea in 2016 and was amazed at the differences he witnessed. The buildings, the highways, and other improvements he witnessed were so different from how he remembers Seoul in 1951. It was totally destroyed then, with only a couple of buildings standing.
What did you experience driving through Korea?
Charles Falugo recalls the roads being so bad that their truck chassis would constantly break. Every time his division would stop to fix its trucks, they would encounter starving children begging for food. He would give his rations to the children. He recalls moving into Seoul and only seeing the blue capitol building and the railroad station. All embassies were blown up. There was one Shell Oil Company building that was guarded, located right next to his company's housing.
Communicating During and After the War
Charles Falugo does not recall what he was paid, but he does remember sending his paychecks home to his wife, Rosemary. He recalls writing and receiving many letters back and forth with her during his time in the Korean War. He also talks about a Korean man that he befriended and somewhat adopted. He seeks to reconnect with him.
Charles Falugo shares that some units would find bombed out schools and remodel them into orphanages for orphaned South Korean children. He recalls finding supplies for the units who rebuilt the buildings. He remembers working and living with a Christian missionary named Horace Grant Underwood, who was the founder of Underwood International College in Seoul.
Rest and Relaxation
Charles Falugo recalls that when he was not on duty, he would hang out with the Korean people. Often he would give them supplies not being used by his unit. He recalls a good life in the Underwood house. He enjoyed all of the food that his Korean cooks would make and enjoyed saki with his friends.
Pusan Perimeter in July
Charles Fowler describes the intense July heat at the Pusan Perimeter when he arrived in Korea. He recounts suffering severe blisters due to taking his shirt off as he attempted to cool down while digging a foxhole. He also recalls helping build the "Al Jolson Bridge" which he later helped blow up during a retreat from enemy forces.
Charles Francis Jacks
Charles Jacks recounts bandaging the wounded on the battlefield. He recalls jeep ambulances transporting the wounded to field medical stations. He describes serving with Dog Medical Company (D Company) stationed between Seoul and Incheon and remembers assisting two doctors--one Korean and one American--at a hospital. He shares that they treated minor to more serious wounds which occurred on the front lines.
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.
Charles Ross shares his thoughts on the progress Korea made since his time spent there in the 1950s. He recalls the poverty he saw and compares it to Korea now. He comments on the speed at which Korea transformed itself.
Charles T. Gregg
Poverty in Korea
Charles Gregg talks about some of his experiences with Korean civilians in the mid-1960's. He describes seeing dead people beside the road, a Korean man killing and eating a dog, and how Koreans fertilized their fields.
Orphanage in Seoul
Chuck Walther tells a story about when he and several of his fellow soldiers went in search of an orphanage and what happened when they found it. He shares they often contributed donations to the orphanage; however, he and fellow soldiers wanted to see the local orphanage they were donating to. He details how they bought gum and candies and delivered them to the orphanage.
Charles Walther describes interacting with other United Nations troops. He recalls interacting with Koreans, Turks, Greeks, and Canadians. He remembers that with the Koreans, Turks, and Greeks, he ran into language barrier issues as it was difficult for them to understand one another.
Chauncey E. Van Hatten
Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the fighting at Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang. He describes the enemy forces that his unit faced and being outflanked many times by North Koreans.
Joining the Front Lines at the 38th Parallel
Chester Coker discusses joining the front lines when American troops took Seoul and crossed the 38th parallel. He recalls meeting severe resistance and his company losing twenty-five percent of its men, about fifty total, crossing the Imjingang River. He remembers one of his only thoughts at the time was survival. He recalls jumping into the river instead of crossing the bridge, without knowing how deep it actually was.
Chester Coker recalls the recapture of Seoul. He remembers a great deal of artillery and many airstrikes preceding the foot soldiers marching into the city. He remembers a devastated city, with only one brick building left standing. He recalls having the North Koreans on the run after leaving Seoul two to three days. He recalls never making it to Pyungyang due to multiple truck accidents.
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.
Clara K. Cleland
Caring for Patients Upon Arrival
Clara Cleland discusses her arrival in Korea, approximately ten days after the Incheon landing. She shares her first assignment was to what she remembers as an old schoolhouse which was being used as a hospital to treat civilians. She especially remembers the children she treated there who suffered from burns and other injuries. She recounts how she and other nurses came under fire while attempting to help injured servicemen.
Clarence Jerke speaks about driving a supply truck while he was stationed in Seoul in 1952. He describes the city, civilians, and the difficulties that he faced when transporting supplies.
Clifford L. Wilcox
One of The Greatest Experiences
Clifford Wilcox talks about the remarkable contrast between the Korea he saw during the war and the Korea he saw and experienced while revisiting in 2010. When he first arrived, he saw extreme poverty and destruction. In 2010, his experience was first class, seeing South Korea's progress.
Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir
Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.
What it was Worth
Clyde Fruth talks about the gratitude of the Korean people that he experienced during his revisit in 2010. Every person he met in South Korea bowed down to him to thank him for his service. It was a very emotional experience for him.
Colin C. Carley
Sneaking into the Military
Colin Carley shares how he was so proud and eager to volunteer for the New Zealand Army at the age of seventeen, but he never realized the conditions that he would have to face. Since it was so cold, he remembers that his drinks froze the first night in Korea in 1950. As a soldier who snuck into the military, he shares how he did not mind any challenges because he knew he had to blend with the traditional soldiers who were the required age of twenty-one.
Orphans, Mama-sans, and Katusa!
Curtis Pilgrim talks about the Korean people and how he came to care for them. From the shoe shine boys to the mama-sans, he remembers how he and fellow soldiers would sometimes give their last dime to help buy them necessities, especially the orphans. He recalls having great respect for the KATUSA that served alongside him.
Dadi Wako discusses revisiting South Korea in 2018. He was amazed by the many changes he saw. He was especially proud of how veterans were treated.
David Carsten Randby
David Randby describes conditions in Dongducheon. He provides details about helping with surgery at one point due to the many actions at the front. He describes going on a trip from Dongducheon to Seoul and having to watch a video over how to act when out on leave.
David H. Epstein
A Destroyed City
David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.
First Impressions of Incheon Harbor
David Heine describes the early morning sight of Incheon Harbor and the feelings he experienced that stayed with him during his time in Korea. As a young man, he remembers being very scared because he didn't know what to expect. He describes how they disembarked the ships and were then sent off to their units.
The Critical Role of the B-26 Missions
David Lehtonen recalls flying in B-26s as a radio operator. He shares a map of some mission routes and explains how the information gathered was critical for the planning of F-86 jet fighter strikes. He describes the mission that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles
David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.
Retreating from Pyongyang
David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.
Protecting General MacArthur
David Valley describes being part of a unit charged with protecting General MacArthur. He talks about how he was chosen and his duties in Japan where General MacArthur stayed.
A Typical Day
Dennis Kinney describes a typical day as a general's aid. He shares that they would perform air base and unit inspections. He recalls flying all over the Pacific with Major General Fay R. Upthegrove.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
Desmond Vinten initially lied on military documents to enlist in the military at nineteen. He arrived at Busan in June of 1951 and remained until the Armistice. He served as a dispatch rider based in the headquarters of the Forward Maintenance Area. He left July 27, 1953, as the cease fire came into effect. He has returned to Korea four times since his service.
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
War is Hell, Winter is Worse
Desmond Vinten describes spending twenty-seven days in an English military prison. His charge was "firing on the Queen's enemy without the Queen's permission." His sentence reflected the reality that sometimes shooting at the Chinese created more danger due to the Chinese soldiers' skill at firing mortars in retaliation. Besides the challenges of engaging the enemy, the heat, cold, and dust left him with the understanding that "war is hell, but winter is even worse."
"The War That Never Ended: New Zealand Veterans Remember Korea"
Desmond Vinten displays the book he published about New Zealand veteran experiences in the Korean War. The book provides interviews and photographs of twelve veterans. He is proud of his service and has served as National President of the New Zealand Korean Veterans.
Remembering a Hero
Dimitrios Matsoukas shares a photo of himself and one of his sisters. In 2001, he and his sister participated in the Korea Revisit Program and found the name of their brother, George Matsoukas, inscribed on the Korean war Memorial wall in Seoul.
Domingo B. Febre Pellicier
Landing in Incheon
Domingo Febre Pellicier describes what it was like when they landed in Incheon after a month's-long journey to Korea. He talks about climbing down rope ladders to get off the ship. He shares how they then went to the train which took them to the front lines. He remembers how cold it was when they landed. He recalls how friendly the Korean people were.
The Nevada Campaign: Bloody Nevada
Don McCarty fought North Korean and Chinese soldiers during the Nevada Campaign. He experienced battle fatigue and fear while fighting at the front lines. Don McCarty still thinks about the death of his assistant gunner and ammo carrier.
Big Muscles were Needed for Machine Gunners
Don McCarty's specialty during the Korean War was a heavy machine gun operator. The tripod was 54 pounds and the gun with water was 40 pounds. He left for Korea in March 1953 and landed in Inchoeon. Once he arrived in Seoul, it was devastated and there were children begging for candy and cigarettes.
Cold Winters as a Radio Operator
Donald Clark describes the cold winters in Korea. He explains that the men would fight over who would get to serve the midnight shift because the radio truck was much warmer than their tent thanks to the BC10 transmitter and other equipment. He recalls a time in Seoul when they had to cut cardboard boxes to cover the holes in the tent and block the cold winds.
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.
Donald Haller recalls revisiting Korea, along with his family, in the 1980s. He shares how vastly different Korea was from how he remembered it in the 1950s. He remembers how poor Korea was in the 1950s, lacking basic infrastructure such as proper roadways and bridges. He remembers the Koreans as both honest and hardworking. He comments he is not surprised that the Korean economy is now booming.
Donald J. Zoeller
Part of Donald Zoeller's platoon was sent to Seoul when the Chinese tried to retake the city. He describes how his colleague "fell apart" and he was asked to take over leadership. He describes living in a foxhole constantly hearing shrapnel and was called upon at times to open fire.
Donald L. Mason
Donald Mason discusses revisiting Korea in 2019 with his wife. He compares his visit then to what he remembered from his time in 1950. He remembers Seoul being destroyed during the war, with all the tall buildings gone. There were some huts still standing. But in 2019, he remembers seeing large skyscrapers from his hotel room. He was amazed at how the city was rebuilt to such an impressive scale.
Donald Mason discusses his experience during the Incheon Landing. He knew it was high tide and shares that he was in a LST landing craft. His unit, the artillery unit, went in after the infantry landed, and they pushed beyond Incheon to Seoul. He was surprised at all of the destruction he witnessed.
Donald R. Bennett
Moving to the 38th Parallel and Back to Incheon
Donald R. Bennett recalls his unit moved from Seoul to the Han River shortly after his arrival and fought its way to the 38th Parallel. He details their movements toward the 38th Parallel and their return to Incheon and eventually Wonsan Harbor. He notes Bob Hope actually beat his unit into Wonsan because of the delay they faced in landing due to someone, possibly the Russians, mining much of the harbor. He discusses the challenges of being a young tank commander in charge of four other men who had relatively little knowledge or training related to tanks.
Donald H. Schwoch talks about the poverty and destruction of Seoul that he saw in 1955. Throughout Seoul, desperate children begged for food among the destroyed buildings. Even in Uijeongbu, the civilian population lived in huts with dirt floors.
Donald St. Louis
The Destruction of Seoul
Donald St. Louis describes what he saw in Korea while serving overseas. He remembers the country's geography filled with rice paddies. He recalls how devastated the city of Seoul was during the war.
Donald Urich recalls Seoul being desolate in 1954. He remembers houses were in shambles and businesses were in bad shape. He recounts seeing kids without shoes or many clothes in the winter. He shares he would have candy for the kids and remembers Seoul being very poor. Despite the circumstances, he remembers the people were cordial.
Donald Urich speaks about modern-day Korea and how impressed he is with how it has changed over the years. He comments about how Korea outdid itself and how it produces a lot of good things now. He thinks having thirty thousand American troops in Korea today is a deterrent to North Korea.
Captured North Korean Soldier
Doug Mitchell and some men in his unit that were in their foxholes spotted a North Korean solider who was coming down the road towards them. Rather than shooting him, the soldier held up his hands in the air. The North Korean soldier surrendered to the US Army, and the men behind the lines took him back.
Leading the Charge
Douglas Koch describes the 5th Marines' role in the Inchon Landing. He explains that the Inchon Landing was imperative in the cutting off of the rail lines that led to Seoul and fed the North Koreans the supplies they needed to fight in South Korea. He recalls that upon hearing the Marines were headed to Seoul to recapture the city, the civilians fled for the hills.
Rice Paddy Ambush
Douglas Koch describes being shot after the recapture of Seoul. He explains that he was ordered to establish an outpost on the other side of a rice paddy with his squad. As he led his men across the paddy, a North Korean machine gunner shot him multiple times in the leg and hip. He recalls ordering his squad to leave him in the field until help arrived.
General MacArthur Gives Korea to Syngman Rhee
Duane Trowbridge discusses the handoff of the key to the city. He discusses the devastation he saw as he went back to Icheon. He explains his trek back to Wonsan and then to a town between Wonson and Seoul where his regiment captured North Koreans. He discusses how he captured one thousand six hundred North Korean (NPKA) soldiers in October and November of 1950.
Duties and Experiences out in the Field
Dwight Owen discusses leaving Wolmido and heading to North Korea, specifically Wonsan. He remembers crossing the Han River and being assigned to ridding the area of old dynamite due to leaking glycerin. He recounts running out of provisions, especially food, and living on rice for awhile from which he developed dysentery. He offers a description of the Wonsan he saw at the time.
Making it to Japan and Korea
Ed O'Toole recalls arriving in Kobe, Japan, before heading to Korea. From there, he remembers flying into Seoul, Korea, in May of 1953. He shares how, after arriving, he hopped on a truck and was taken to Yeongdeungpo. He includes he was part to the helicopter unit, HMR 161, and worked with supplies.
Job in Korea
Ed Wuermser did not enjoy his training for code intercept and wanted a new job upon arrival in Korea. With the help of a letter from his time in Ft. Devens, he was able to get a new job and a promotion as a Master Sergeant and Troop Information and Education Specialist.
Women in Basic Training
This video clip describes the 6 weeks of basic training that Edith Pavlischek endured. She says it was bunch of "crap". In her own hilarious nature, she gives the details of Army life for women in basic training during the Korean War era.
Letter to my Parents
Edith Pavlischek reads a letter that she wrote to her parents in July 1953 while she was serving as a nurse in the army. She describes the daily events of her interactions with the soldiers and doctors. She describes to her parents a recent trip that she took to Seoul while she was serving in the Korean War.
Korea Prior to War
Edmund Reel recounts being stationed in South Korea prior to the war. He recalls the easy ability to see into North Korea from the mountains near the 38th Parallel. He comments on the peacefulness and shares that right before he left Korea, tensions started to mount.
Edward B. Heimann
Life in Korea
Edward Heimann describes life in Korea after his winter arrival at Incheon. He recalls his living conditions, being fed well, and being able to take warm showers most of the time. He explains that he was also able to enjoy leave (rest and relaxation) in Japan and received care packages from home.
I Never Wanted to Go Back to Korea Until Now!
Dr. Han asked Edward Brooks if he ever wanted to return to Korea and he said that he never wanted to go back. Edward Brooks changed his mind when he looked at a satellite image of what South Korea looks like today compared to the North. He couldn't believe it. He couldn't imagine Seoul looking the way it does today.
Edward C. Sheffield
Surrounded by the North Koreans
Edward Sheffield describes the events leading to his capture by the North Koreans. He recalls receiving incoming fire and being surrounded roughly fifty miles outside of Seoul. He comments on the poor treatment he endured as a POW.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
War Reflections and Impressions of Modern Korea
Edward Foley shares that he does not have bad dreams or resentment towards the war or even the North Koreans, stating that they were only doing what they were told to do. He comments on his revisit to Korea and the improvements made since he was there during the war. He describes Seoul as a Westernized city and compares it to New York City.
DMZ and Seoul during 1969
Edward Langevin describes his time in Korea in 1969. He remembers that it was “kinda scary” at the DMZ where they were repairing missiles because everyone was always on alert. However, he also got to enjoy good times that included sightseeing around Seoul. His two cousins also served in Korea and he found one of their names in a recreation book during his time there.
Eilif Jorgen Ness
Seoul - Then and Now
Eilif Jorgen Ness describes the Seoul he knew in 1952 compared to the Seoul upon his return in 1995 and 2013. In 1952, Seoul was not a city, it was ruined a landscape. Upon his return, years later, he describes that there was no resemblance between the two. He was impressed with the efficiency and ability to deal with large numbers of people.
Recollections of a Revisit to Korea
Elburn Duffy shares he returned to Korea in 1987 as part of a trip sponsored by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs. He recounts how, during his revisit, he noted tremendous changes between the Korea of 1952 and that of the country over three decades later. He recalls they visited Taegu, Suwon, and Uijeongbu/Seoul. He explains the pride he felt being a part of something that helped the people of Korea.
Entering the Korean War
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis entered the Korean War in December 1950 and he entered through Pusan. After spending time there, he was sent through Seoul and then went onto the 38th parallel. During this whole time, he didn't have to fight any enemy.
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.
Destruction in Seoul
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis saw extreme hunger and destruction when he entered Seoul. It was so bad that he considered Korea to be 100 years before Greece in 1950. Korean children begged for food from UN troops as they exited restaurants and food tents.
Conditions in Korea
Elliott Landall describes the weather in Korea. The winters were extremely cold and summers extremely hot. He explains that men were well fed and living conditions had ten men to a tent.
Seoul During the War
Elliott Landall describes how Seoul was in a terrible state. He explains that the people were living in a shell of a city and he felt sorry for them. He was amazed at the spirit of the people, including how the people would listen and were good learners.
Elliott Landall is satisfied with his service in the Korean War. He really liked helping the people of South Korea and feels he had a lasting impact. He explains that the Korean War is a Forgotten War because it was after the "Big Wars," World War I and World War II.
Daily Life in Seoul, 1964
Elvin Hobbs describes Seoul after the conclusion of the war in 1964. He talks about the rebuilding of the city and its transformation from total destruction. He expands in detail on descriptions of transportation and Korean daily life.
Impressions of Korea
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki describes what he saw in Korea as well as his impressions of the people. Additionally, what he saw reminded him of his youth in Crete under German occupation.
Erich Reuter comments on his experience in the hospital. He shares that the Siemens medical equipment brought in was handed over to the Koreans when upon his departure. He adds that the Koreans were very thankful for the offer.
Ernest J. Berry
Skating Over Dead People
Ernest J. Berry describes traveling by truck from Busan to the Han River. He recalls the unsettling realization that people were paid and encouraged to kill him. Upon arrival, he and his unit found Canadians skating on the frozen river, so the new arrivals joined them. Beneath the ice, he saw the faces of dead soldiers and people peering up at him.
"Pronounced Dead, the Continuing Tick of his Watch"
Ernest J. Berry wrote a book called "The Forgotten War" in 2000 to commemorate his experiences. The message of the book is that war was devastating and should be avoided. Invasion is unjustified. Ernest J. Berry describes Korea as a second home and laments the many lives lost in the conflict. He then reads poems from his book, Forgotten War, providing poignant vignettes of the Korean War.
"Luxuries, which we dreamed of"
Ernest J. Berry describes being ordered to move out quickly at one point. His unit encountered an abandoned American M.A.S.H. outpost. He describes his amazement at encountering the luxurious conditions and resources the Americans had abandoned. Ernest J. Berry describes American abundance. When Americans left a camp, they buried their supplies. In contrast, New Zealand soldiers would have to pay for lost socks.
Attacked by 135,000 Soldiers
Ernesto Sanchez describes the night 135,000 Chinese soldiers attacked in an effort to push back UN Forces . The Chinese pushed the United Nations forces back, but with the help of the American Soldiers they were able to hold off the Chinese and no land was ultimately lost. This location was a strategic position because it was a gateway to Seoul.
Being Drafted and Making a Living
Ernesto Sanchez describes his mother's reaction to his being drafted. As a result, his mother said she would go with him, which clearly she could not. When first arriving in Korea, the US Army provided winter clothing due to the cold, but expected to Ernesto Sanchez and his platoon to walk from Incheon to Seoul. While walking he was able to hitchhike aboard some American tanks the distance to Seoul.
Ezra Franklin Williams
The Battle of Bunker Hill
Ezra Frank Williams worked as an 81mm Mortar Forward Observer in the Battle of Bunker Hill. While conducting a patrol, he was wounded in his left knee. This event was the most memorable of his time in Korea.
"The Older I Get, The Prouder I Am"
Ezra Frank Williams is very proud of his contribution during the Korean War to fight off the North Koreans and Chinese. He has admiration for Korean immigrants that came to the United States after the war. South Koreans really show that they appreciate everything the UN did to protect their country.
Medley of Korean War Topics
Fekede Belachew describes various topics about his Korean War experience. He discusses talking to wounded returning soldiers about their experience. He describes Korean people in sad shape. He also describes that the Americans supplied United Nations troops with food and clothing.
Service After Armistice
Fekede Belachew describes his service after the Korean War. He explains how the thought at the time was the Communists would break the truce. Fekede Belachew patrolled jungle where he frequently encountered Chinese at a distance. He also describes his fondness for injera, an Ethiopian dish, that he missed in Korea.
Ist Marine Division.
In July 1950, Felix Byrd was called from the Reserves to go to Korea, where he participated in the Invasion of Incheon in Sept 1950. He describes himself as lucky because was in communications, behind the infantry, which was not as dangerous. He landed in Incheon and proceeded to Seoul, where he helped run the telephone lines to each military outfit.
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Felix DelGiudice participated in the Inchon Landing on September 15th and then fought the North Koreans during the Seoul recapture along with his 1st Marines Battalion. He remembers getting injured shortly after arriving in Korea. He also explains that Seoul was covered with sandbags, blown railroad tracks, and exploded glass domes from the railroad station.
First Impressions of Korea
Fermin Cantu gives his first impressions of South Korea. He shares how it was to go to a country he has never seen or heard of before. He explains how he saw first-hand how difficult it is for South Koreans to rebuild their country and improve their economy after so much devastation from the war. He shares how the infrastructure has changed and how the Koreans used to use American goods and now we use goods from South Korea.
Life in the Barracks
Fermin Cantu describes the living conditions he experienced while in Korea in 1974 and again in the 80s. He describes the barracks that he slept in. He shares his estimated pay at the time.
A Change is Coming
Fermin Cantu describes changes Korea went through from the fifties to the time in the 70s and 80s when he was there. He shares how the products that were there now like Samsung wasn't there. He shares how South Korea has improved international trade.
Finn Arne Bakke
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.
Forrest D. Claussen
Shell Craters Lining the Streets of Seoul
Forrest Claussen describes his first arrival in Seoul. He recounts walking streets destroyed by shell craters. He describes the rain filling each crater and the hazard they presented as evidenced when a soldier fell into one.
Rebuilding Efforts in Korea
Frank Churchward explains his job as part of a Combat Engineering Company. He explains how he supported infrastructure rebuilding efforts through preventative maintenance and repair. He describes the large area of land he was responsible for maintaining. He shares how the roads were created and the jobs that entailed.
Frank E. Butler
Enlisted at Age Fifteen
Frank E. Butler enlisted in the New Zealand Navy in 1951. He completed basic training in Auckland before sailing to Korea aboard the HMNZS Kaniere. At fifteen, he was the youngest New Zealand soldier to go to Korea. He traveled to Pusan, Seoul, and North Korea. He describes being under constant attack by North Koreans.
Frank E. Butler describes going ashore in Seoul while serving in the New Zealand Navy. He remembers seeing millions of people in Seoul and describes it as being very busy. He reminisces about his later return visits. He appreciated the gratitude the South Korean people showed him upon return.
A Determined People
Frank E. Butler describes modern South Korea as an amazing recovery story. He was amazed at the massive city of Seoul and marveled at the determination of the Korean people. He said it is hard to believe that the two Koreas are so close geographically but extremely different in many ways.
Korean War: Forgotten and Its Importance
Frank Seaman shares his view on why the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War. He shares that when he came home, no one knew where he had been and that the war was not even talked about; life just went on. He also describes why he feels the Korean War was important and how the war changed South Korea.
Frank Torres describes the amazement of modern Korea. He explains that the growth he saw in the economy. He explains he has had the opportunity to return to Korea twice. He shares the importance of studying and learning from the Korean War.
Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea
Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.
Like Living in a Ghetto
Gary Routh describes what it was like to live in the barracks stationed in Korea. He explains that the conditions were rough and that the buildings were falling apart. He describes being able to hang out with soldiers who were friends at a moment's notice but that the majority of the experience was similar to living in a ghetto.
Gene Bill Davidson
Finally Understood the Scripture
Gene Bill Davidson reflects on the work he completed during the war and standing out because of his height. Even after the signing of the armistice, he explains they still encountered ambushes. Because of this, he shares he continued to view the delivery of every message as life and death. Because of his work during the war, he reveals he finally understood and related to a verse of scripture that he received from his father in high school.
Gene C. Richards
Poverty Stricken Villages
Gene C. Richards discusses how Seoul was when he left Korea in 1953. He describes Seoul as not the major city seen today. He describes how majority of Korea was agricultural villages rather than urban. He also describes how so many people at the time lived in immense poverty.
Satisfaction for the Sacrifice
Gene C. Richards describes how much South Korea has changed since he served there. Much of the places where he served no longer exist. He describes how he was amazed at the success of South Korea today. Gene C. Richards expresses how he is proud of his service and seeing South Korea's implementation of democracy has provided soldiers closure for their sacrifices.
Gene Spicer describes his two revisits to Korea. His first trip reminded him why he fought, to create the country he was now visiting. On his second trip, he retraced his steps from 1951. The contrast between the North and South from the DMZ and from the air moved him.
Enlistment and Leaving Loved Ones Behind
George Covel describes his enlistment and leaving behind his wife who was 6 months pregnant at the time. He details his role as a bandsman and placement in the Honor Guard and recounts serving as a ceremonial bandsman during the war, about 11 miles away from the front lines. He expresses that he was fortunate enough to avoid firing weapons on most occasions.
The Poverty of War
Dr. George Drake explains how children were rescued from poverty during the Korean War. He recounts his journey to find photos that were taken during the war of orphans in Korea. He shares his concern over the children who became abandoned victims of the Korean War.
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
Radio Transmitters, Ghost Towns, and Orphanages in Seoul
George Enice Lawhon Jr.'s job in the US military was to fix a BC 610 (a Collins radio Transmitter). When he arrived in Seoul, there was not anyone there and it was a ghost town. Sadly, some old and young people found in a rice field shot and bayonetted. He had a Chaplin in his group that started an orphanage for Korean children because there were so many that were left alone.
PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans
George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
George H. Campbell
Seoul's Growth and Gains
George H. Campbell discusses how devastated Korea was after the war. He explains how he saw pictures of places that lost everything. He explains the changes in Seoul in the 1970s seeing the skyscrapers and the resiliency of the people.
Bound for Korea and First Experiences
George Parsons chronicles his departure from the States and arrival in Korea. He comments on the ride over aboard the troop ship USS Anderson and recalls landing in Pusan. He recounts the cold weather as it was January of 1951 and recalls there being no lodging available, stating that he remembers sleeping out in the field and crowding around fires to stay warm. He details his journey to Incheon and through Seoul, sharing that Seoul was completely flattened from the fighting.
George Van Hoomissen
Arriving in Korea
George Van Hoomissen shares he was activated as a Marine during the summer of 1951 destined for Korea. He recalls leaving Camp Pendleton for Korea arriving in the spring of 1952. He explains he was stationed near Panmunjeom initially and remembers the Chinese to the the north occupying a high mountain. He notes there were no severe battles near where he was initially stationed but remembers constant artillery air strikes occurring.
George Van Hoomissen remembers Seoul being absolutely demolished. He notes that the capitol was a shambles. He shares his thoughts on the Korea of today, especially as related to the successful economy of the country.
George W. Liebenstein
Celebrating the Armistice and Going Home
George "Bill" Liebenstein saw only limited parts of Korea beyond the area behind the front lines where he was stationed. He shares his experience seeing the damage in Seoul and taking a supply run to Uijeongbu. He was still serving in Korea when the armistice was signed and recalls how the celebration of the event was marred by the accidental death of a man in his unit. He concludes by fondly remembering his arrival home to his family, business, and community.
Working as a welder for transportation company
George Zimmerman worked at the Transportation Headquarters at Camp Casey. Because of his experience welding in FFA in high school, he volunteered to serve as the company's welder. Occasionally he would 'go to the field,' using his welding skills to repair damaged vehicles. During these forays, KATUSA soldiers accompanied him for training. They traveled to areas near the DMZ and to Seoul, wherever troops needed their services.
Gerald ‘Gerry’ Farmer
Gerry Farmer describes being wounded at the Hook after he volunteered to drive a jeep to Area 3. He remembers he was blown forty yards from the jeep, and adds he still has injuries and shrapnel in his back. He recalls being transported to a Norwegian MASH and then to Seoul where he underwent three operations.
Thoughts on Modern Korea
Gerald Campbell returned to Korea in 2008. He shares how he found Seoul upon his revisit. He describes being impressed by the towering skyscrapers. He discussed visiting the DMZ.
Returning to Korea: Pride and Fascination
Gilbert Hauffels marvels at Korea’s current economic status. When he visited Korea in 1975, even then the new buildings in Seoul were impressive. Traveling with veterans from Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands, he met school children who honored his service. He has returned to Korea more at least ten times. Gilbert Hauffels is proud of his service, and he feels the sacrifices were worth it.
Gordon H. McIntyre
Arrival in Busan and Seoul
When Gordon McIntrye first arrived in Busan, the New Zealand troops were met by an American Dixie band. He describes seeing Seoul's utter destruction, claiming it must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Fronts of buildings were blown out on either side of the wide streets, but he encountered a relatively untouched brick cathedral.
Returning to Korea and Supporting the US Veterans
Grace Ackerman was told by her husband, Bruce Ackerman, about the poor conditions in Korea during the war with mud paths, dirt roads, and huts. While visiting Korea during a church trip, she was able to see their new beautiful churches and the teenagers who were so courteous. As part of the Auxiliary, Grace Ackerman helps the veteran community by adopting a floor at the local veterans' hospital to make food, send gifts, and play bingo.
Change in Plans
Gregory Garcia remembers that he left for Korea around August or September 1950. He recalls how they put the battalion together and they were going to land in Seoul to help the Marines, but the Marines had retaken Seoul. Therefore, he explains that his job at Gimpo was to clean up dead and injured in addition to on guerrilla missions to clear out the mountains around the area.
Seeing Seoul for the first time in 1953
After arriving in Pusan in 1953, Gustave Gevart traveled to Seoul where he spent two days before heading to the front lines. Gustave Gevart recalls Seoul being completely flat except the "old gate." The city was destroyed with few tall buildings. This image reminded him of Germany in the 1940's.
Atrocities in Seoul
Harold Beck’s first impression of Korea was that of “atrocity.” When he drove into Seoul, he remembers how the building were “all shot up” having changed hands three times. However, among the most atrocious memories was that of the bodies hanging off the bridge- new ones were placed there daily.
Seeing and Experiencing Battle
Harold Don shares how he was apprehensive about his time in Korea. He recalls witnessing the destruction from prior battles upon landing in Incheon. He remembers how his unit experienced fire from North Korean tanks at Yeongdeungpo and observed the destruction at Seoul when traveling to Wonsan where they were tasked with clearing the harbor of mines.
Redeployed as Machine Gun Squad Leader
Harold Don discusses being redeployed to Korea during the Chinese major offensive. He shares he was unaware, at the time, that Chinese forces had retaken Seoul and that he became a machine gun squad leader. He remembers partaking in Rest and Relaxation, which meant moving back several miles from the front for a hot shower and food. He notes he remembers the country itself when asked what he remembers most from this eleven-month tour in Korea. He describes Korea as being like a third-world country at the time with primitive farming, sanitation, and construction methods.
The Battle of the Imjin River on Hill 144
Harry Hawksworth shares how he and the rest of his company were forced to retreat back to a village near Choksong along the Imjin River in late 1950 due to the Chinese entering the war. After digging into trenches, performing reconnaissance trips, and guarding Allied trenches, he was startled by a possible Chinese invasion of Hill 144.
Becoming a War-Time Father
In this clip, Harry McNeilly recounts his brief time in Seoul during the war. In a truly unique war story McNeilly talks about building a strong relationship with a young, dutiful Korean orphan while staying in Seoul for a few months. The boy, who was "smart as a button", was left without a family during the Korean War and latched onto Harry McNeilly who tried to look after him.
Korea then Versus Korea now
Harry McNeilly recalls the Korea he saw during the war to the Korea he saw revisiting over forty years later. During the war he remembers a Korea had been made barren by being stripped of all its trees. Upon revisiting he was astounded by the development Korea had achieved in such a short time. Even more astounding was the respectful reception he received as a Korean War veteran.
A Wonderful Feeling
Henk Bos shares he has returned to Korea twice since his service ended there in 1954. Each time it was to create documentaries based on the Korean War experience. He reminisces about his final trip in the 1980s when he saw a thriving country. He notes that at the time there was still a nighttime curfew with troops still walking the streets but that despite this he had a wonderful feeling knowing he had helped Korea continue to grow.
First Impressions of Korea
Henry MacGillicuddy talks about arriving in Korea and describing Seoul as flat because it was devastated. He recalls that it looked like the farmers did just enough to stay alive.
A Visit Back to Magnificent Seoul
Henry MacGillicuddy describes going back to Seoul by invitation and being amazed and surprised at the transformation of Seoul from 1953 to 1980. He calls Seoul magnificent. He recounts seeing the South African monument and the DMZ.
Henry N. Rabot
Dangers On the Road
Henry N. Rabot discusses the dangers associated with driving the trucks on the roads at night, even after the Armistice. He describes the desperation of the Korean people and their need for food and supplies following the war and their determination to get it. He empathized with their needs and wanted them to have it.
Henry River, Jr.
Modern Korean Economic Growth
Henry River, Jr., talks about the economic growth in Korea he witnessed by being a banker in the United States. He recalls being impressed by the Korean automobile and banking industries in particular. He discusses other South Korean advances and just how tremendously successful they have been as a country, especially given both where they came from and the constant stress created by their northern counterparts.
Henry T. Pooley
Revisiting Korea and Memories
Henry T Pooley remembers his return to Korea in 2000. He recounts his amazement at the progress and compares it to his time in 1952. He shares his memories of the destruction and his hope that Korea reunites during his lifetime.
Landing in Korea and First Impressions
Herbert Schreiner describes landing in Korea for the first time as a soldier and his impressions of the smell and scenery. He recalls being greeted with a stench from what he believed to be the honey buckets used to fertilize fields with human waste. He adds that the area was ravaged and war-torn. He also recounts the houseboy who cleaned soldiers' clothing and offers his impressions of the Korean people during wartime.
Herbert Taylor describes witnessing the destruction of Incheon following his arrival in 1954. He shares how he saw just walls and shells of buildings there. He describes the trees and how they had been shot off and the land was barren in the countryside. He describes the straw huts people were living in. He shares his experiences with local children.
Korea Is My Second Home
After returning home from his service in Korea, it wasn't long before Herbert Werner was back in Korea as a professional boxing referee. He described after spending 3 full years of his life there, he was amazed at the resilience of the people despite the terror of war, how much the country of South Korea has improved, their patriotism, and the respect the civilians had for the soldiers who fought for South Korea. He felt like he was treated with so much respect and built an unconditional friendship.
I Wanted to Come Home Safe
Hiroshi Shima offers an account of a one-time visit to Seoul. He recalls the joy people felt with the signing of the armistice and his return home to Hawaii. He admits that one of the greatest difficulties soldiers faced was fear, especially because everyone wanted to come home. He explains that many saw buddies die, but that really they were not there long enough to have real buddies.
When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!
Homer M. Garza
Account of Noguen-ri Massacre
Homer M. Garza shares his thoughts of the Noguen-ri massacre (about 100 miles Southeast of Seoul). He speaks about his units’ encounter with the North Koreans during their time near the site of the massacre.
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.
"You Go to Hell, Sir"
Howard Faley describes being relocated to Seoul before leaving for the hospital in Japan; he and other patients were told they had to wait for a General to come and thank them. After reluctantly waiting for five days, though the General had not arrived, they were flown to Japan. He recalls the severity of his injury, how the nerve in his leg was slashed and how every movement was excruciating. When a Capitan told him to get on a table he refused and told him to go to Hell.
Howard Faley describes his amazement at South Korea's advancement since the war. He comments on the grandeur of the city of Seoul and its modernity. He goes on to explain that the cargo containers that are shipped across the United States arrive on huge ships built by modern Korea. He notes that this advancement is due to the hard work of the Korean people.
Howard R. Hawk
Arrival in Korea
Howard R. Hawk shares he is a Korean Defense Veteran. He notes he ranked as a Private E-2 when he arrived and specialized in fire direction. He recalls his arrival to Korea and his station at Camp St. Barbara.
Howard Street recounts Pusan's terrible condition. He remembers everything being destroyed, even in Seoul. He recalls that he and other soldiers rode a train north for 2 plus days with little food and that people were throwing things at their train.
Howard W. Bradshaw
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.
Hussen Mohammed Omar
Relations Between Korea and Veterans
Hussen Mohammed Omar describes how the relationship between the Korean government and the veterans is strong. The Korean government pays soldiers a salary. They also help build schools in Ethiopia and provide a scholarship.
Ian J. Nathan
Letters to Mom
Ian Nathan did not have a girlfriend at the time of his service in Korea, but he wrote to his mother and brother. His brother helped him identify Venus from his observations of the dark night sky from his tent. He visited Seoul once during his time in the Army, but the city was in shambles due to the fighting that occurred there. Markets were set up, but most of the goods had been created from scavenged items. He contrasts his experience with pictures of modern Seoul.
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.
Desperation of the South Koreans
Ibrahim Gulek describes the people of South Korea. South Korea was war-torn. The people were desperate. He describes South Koreans as having no clothes and constantly begging for food. The conditions were heartbreaking. Ibrahim Gulek and his fellow soldiers would give food and supplies to the people in need.
Pride and Best Wishes to the Korean People
Iluminado Santiago reflects on the advancements in modern South Korea. He is proud to have served in Korea to stop the advancement of North Korea. His message to young people includes his pride in the Puerto Ricans who served in the war, and he wishes the best for the Korean people.
Life in Korea During the War
Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was constantly traveling during the war and had to sleep wherever he could find a spot to rest his head. Eating canned food rations was the norm. He recalls the extreme cold in Korea.
To Korea with the Whole Outfit
Isamu Yoshishige served in the United States Army in Korea beginning in 1951. He offers a brief account of his travels to Korea with some detail included on the areas within the region where his unit deployed. He speaks of working within a heavy weapons company as someone who fired 75mm recoilless rifles which possibly caused his hearing loss. He provides limited descriptions of the conflicts with the Chinese in the area in which he served.
Ismael Heredia Torres
First Days / Primeros Dias
Ismael Heredia Torres describes his arrival in Incheon and then Seoul. He explains that immediately after he arrived, he was assigned to an observation post and then to a listening post. It was during this second mission that he saw intense fighting which lasted over six hours. He was lucky to survive this attack as he was unable to move or communicate with the rest of the company.
Ismael Heredia Torres describe su llegada a Incheon y luego a Seúl. Explica que enseguida que llego al frente, lo asignaron a un puesto de observación y luego a un puesto de escucha. Fue durante esta segunda misión que vio intensos combates que duraron más de seis horas. Tuvo suerte de sobrevivir el ataque porque no podía moverse ni comunicarse con el resto de la compañía.
Experiences along the Front
Ismail Pasoglu describes the fighting conditions at Sandbag Castle. Sandbag Castle experienced very fierce fighting. He also describes conditions of Seoul. He describes Seoul as being destroyed and in ruins. At another front, he describes twenty-six straight hours of shelling. Shelling for that long was dangerous for those shelling. The heat from the mortars could explode the shells while still in the box.
Revisiting Korea with President Abdullah Gül
Ismail Pasoglu describes how he has re-visited Korea on two occasions. Korea has really transformed in the years since the war. He and his fellow veterans could not recognize any locations. On one trip to Korea, he attended with President of Turkey Abdullah Gül. Korea has rapidly developed since the Korean War.
The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman
Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.
Retracing my Steps
Jack Sherts is telling the exact locations that they traveled during the war the entire time he was in Korea. His work as a radio operator helped him to know the towns they were in at all times. He recorded these names in a Bible that he carried around the entire time he was in the war.
Honoring the Soldiers Who Served
Jack Spahr expresses his interest in returning to South Korea to see the changes since the Korean War. He shares that Korean people were very thankful that U.S. soldiers were there to aid. He adds that South Koreans are dedicated to honoring the U.S. soldiers who fought for them.
Jake Feaster Jr.
Arriving in Korea
Jake Feaster Jr. describes his arrival in Korea and the role of artillery in providing protective fire for the infantry during the peace negotiations. He shares he joined a unit holding a defensive position along the 38th Parallel. He recalls a session with Outpost Harry and another occasion when his unit provided protective fire all night long as the enemy was attempting to attack U.S. troops who had dug in.
No Regrets and Pride
Jake O'Rourke shares that he has no regrets and compares the experience to a baseball game in that one plays the game the best he can, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. He feels he played his best and had a good time while doing so. He describes being proud of his service and adds that while he has not revisited Korea since the war, he keeps up with its progress.
James “Jim” Cawyer
I'd Rather Be in Seoul
James "Jim" Cawyer reminisces about some of the activities he enjoyed while stationed in Seoul. He recalls seeing movies on occasion, playing pool, and playing dime poker. He describes why he felt there were better living quarters for soldiers stationed in Seoul, than for those stationed in Daegu.
Close Calls and Rough Rides
James "Jim" Cawyer discusses the large amount of Korean War casualties. He raises the point that many losses of life were not combat-related. He describes three examples of his own close calls he encountered during the war.
James “Jim” Valentine
Giving Money to the Children
James "Jim" Valentine discusses how he got disoriented and was in a tank in the 1950's liberation of Seoul. He discusses the destruction. He shares an emotional experience he has with the South Korean children. He explains that due to an accident he lost his few items and that he didn't have/take pictures.
I Was Only 17/18
James Valentine discusses being evacuated. He discusses that he thought he was leaving but was sent back to liberate Seoul the second time from North Korea. He explains how he didn't completely understand since he was just a teen and how it changed him. He shares his struggles post-war. His wife, Beth, adds a story about rations and being able to eat during the cold. She explains how he didn't speak of the war until being involved with the VFW in Washington.
James A. Newman
Nobody Argues with Padres
James Newman was sent ashore in 1951. Rare for a Navy man, he was able to see a devastated Seoul and fight on the frontlines. He had rare access due to accompanying an Anglican clergyman.
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.
Conditions in Pusan
James Creswell describes his first impressions of Korea. He recounts the horrible living conditions civilians faced in Pusan. He shares that people were living in river beds, freezing to death due to lack of clothing, and had no food or money.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Capturing Seoul and Wonsan
James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.
James E. Fant
James E Fant discusses being drafted and going to Korea
James E Fant describes being drafted. He reflects on basic training and his route to Korea and eventually to Hill 355. He explains, that in Korea, that they were constantly fighting for high ground.
James E. Fant discusses guarding prisoners and living conditions
James E. Fant discusses guarding prisoners at ,Yeongdeungpo, outside of Seoul. He describes his living conditions and how sandbags protected them from artillery attacks. He recounts only having hot food when he was back from the line and warming up baked beans.
The Difficult Job as a US Marine
James Ferris shares that his assignment did not allow him to stay in Korea for a long time. He explains that his job had him flying in and out of the entire country. He shares he earned good money for the 1950s as a corporal and recalls how he sent most of it home to his family. He adds that once he arrived back home, he went on his first date with a girl he wrote to for over a year while serving in the war.
James Houp reflects on his experience at the Incheon Landing. He shares how he and his unit went in on the third day of the invasion, on September 18, 1950. He explains that his job was to lay telephone wire. He remembers that Seoul had not been recaptured yet when he arrived. He remembers seeing enemy soldiers sticking their heads outside of the foxholes as he was re-laying wire that had been run over by tanks. He shares how, at that point, he recognized they were actually at war.
Time in Korea
James Houp speaks about his time in Pusan and Heungnam, up towards the Yalu River, and recalls meeting Chinese forces. He describes how his unit was pushed back to Heungnam where he worked to set up communication lines with the ships. He recalls how his unit stayed in a warehouse and remembers seeing the Army retreating away from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He comments on the temperature being thirty-two degrees below zero at the time. He recalls his departure via a U.S. ship headed back to Pusan and then to other locations south of Seoul.
Korea Today and the Honor Flight
James Houp recalls reading about Korea today and recognizes its great economic achievements. He remembers participating in an honor flight to the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He shares how three South Koreans stopped him to take a picture and were very grateful for his service in Korea. He emphasizes how he cannot believe the transformation Korea has made from a very poor country to one of the richest in the world today. He expresses his pride in being a Korean War Veteran.
Pure Destruction: Seoul
James Jolly describes the recapturing of Seoul in 1950 and the destruction that was endured. He explains that the majority of the city's buildings were destroyed in order to get rid of the enemy who were inside of them. He goes on to describe his pride for the strength and will of the Korean people to rebuild.
James M. Cross
Impressions of Korea
James Cross discusses his first impressions of Korea. He remembers everything as small and ruined and recounts children being hungry as there was not enough food. He shares that he would give candy bars or whatever else he had to the children.
James M. Oyadomari
Arriving in Korea
James M. Oyadomari shares the story of his arrival in Korea and the travels to his station at headquarters, about four miles behind the front lines. He recollects traveling from Busan to Incheon and Seoul on a slow train. From Seoul, he recalls traveling via truck through the West Gate to Chuncheon and ultimately to headquarters near the Kunson River. He recalls building bunkers for the first couple of months before transferring to a radio relay station closer to the front lines at a location referred to as Hill 949.
I Couldn't Even Imagine: Returning to Korea
James M. Oyadomari shares he has been fortunate to return to Korea on two occasions. Although his recollections of what the country was like while he was stationed there are limited, he explains he was amazed by how much it has been rebuilt over the past 50 years. He shares he is proud of the country's success and the role he played in it. He articulates he would like to one day see the war officially come to an end and lead to a unified Korea, but he questions how this will be possible under the current leadership of North Korea.
James P. Argires
Poverty and a Friendship
James Argires how they went from Incheon to Seoul and then North. He explains the poverty he saw in detail. He remembers a little boy that would follow him for about a month.
Retracing my Steps
James Purcell describes the devastation after the war that he witnessed around Seoul. He arrived after the war had ended to an almost devasted airport that has now been transformed into the largest airport in the world. He was so impressed with the Korean people and their industrious nature.
Life After Korea
James Purcell describes his life after he returned home from Korea. He returned to America, followed in his father's footsteps, and began working in construction. His experience in the service helped to expand his career.
James R. Kaleohano
I willed myself to live.
In this video James Kaleohano describes the brutal winters in Korea. Coming from Hawaii, his company had no winter clothing. The Chinese army pushed them back to Seoul. It was so cold that sometimes the weapons did not even fire.
Korean House Boys
James Rominger talks about the duties of the Korean house boys who took care of all the general housekeeping needs of the soldiers. The house boys washed clothes, cleaned shoes and kept the general area clean in the foxholes and the bunkers in exchange for food and clothing. James Rominger shares why the teenage boy was unable to even return home.
We were very unprepared for WAR.
James Rominger believes the North Koreans were winning the war because the American soldiers were very unprepared. There was little food and their boots were rotten. He shares how soldiers were in the North Korean territory of Kumhwa Valley working hard to gain stabilization in an area that had been completely destroyed.
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.
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 White
The Greatest Reward: Korean Progress
Jean Paul White describes how he felt rewarded after the war. He expliains the change in Seoul from then to know. He describes a place of ashes with little remaining and to see the huge city now so modernized is a reward. He was proud of the South Korean people. He explains feeling has done so much with the freedom that he fought for.
Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
Concerns About Recognition KDSVA
Jeff Brodeur wishes that the US Government could replicate the Korean Service Veterans Memorial that is in Seoul here in Washington DC. There isn't any monuments in the US represents the Korean Service Veterans. He believes that veterans won't want to join or become members if they're not being recognized.
We were there during the Cold War
Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner received word that the North Koreans wanted to participate in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, so they were heavily guarding the 38th parallel. They were doing this to ensure that the Olympics would remain safe. The 38th parallel is the dividing line between North and South Korea that we created during the signing of the armistice on July 29, 1953.
Conditions in Seoul
Jerry Bowen describes passing through Seoul that was "a mass of rubble" that had been badly beat up, full of barbed wire and trenches. He describes being amazed at the differences in the city now. He has never gone back to Korea because they do not go where the trenches were, but he does know what Korea is like today. Jerry Bowen compares the growth of Seoul to that of London during World War II.
Canadian Field Dressing Station
Jesse Chenevert describes the wards in the small hospital north of Seoul where she worked during the war. She describes how she took care of patients with minimal wounds or diseases. She describes the personnel and departments that could be found at the hospital.
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.
Korea after the Armistice
Joe Henmuller describes what Korea was like when he arrived after the Armistice was signed and what he knows about South Korea today. He recalls how Korea was devastated by war and that Seoul had been destroyed. He explains that the destruction after the war makes the transformation Korea has gone through all the more amazing.
Joe O. Apodaca
The USS Henrico in Korea
Joe O. Apodaca discusses his time in Korea while aboard the USS Henrico. He shares he witnessed U.S. Marines disembarking from the ship via nets onto LCMs and other boats which then transported the units to shore. He remembers how the ship traveled roughly one to two miles from the beach near Incheon, Seoul, and Busan. He recalls seeing flashes of light on land throughout the night and passing enemy planes.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
John C. Delagrange
Identifying Targets During Korean War
John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
North Korean Defector - Kenneth Rowe
John Delagrange remembers the day No Kum Sok landed his MiG 15 fighter at Kimpo Air Base defecting to South Korea in 1953. No Kum Sok (Kenneth Rowe) wrote a book, and he heard about the incident first-hand during their phone conversations later in life. No Kum Sok was a North Korean pilot during the Korean War, but he stole a MiG-15 and flew over the DMZ to Kimpo Air Base to earn his freedom.
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.
Experiences in Post-War Korea
John Davie recounts his experiences after the war where he earned his associates and bachelors degrees, became an international procurement manager, and traveled to Korea for business. He attended SUNY at Alfred and Saint Bonaventure University thanks to the GI Bill, earning his business degree and immediately working for IBM after being recruited at an on-campus recruitment event. Later on in his career, in 1985, his work with Samsung took him to Seoul, South Korea.
Bed Check Charlie
John Denning describes the enemy's use of "Bed Check Charlie" and its effects upon the troops at Suwon Air Base. He explains that the enemy would fly low enough to drop had grenades onto the base and make the men have to get up and check on the situation. He goes on to describe the horrible living conditions of the local population outside of the Air Base. He recalls that in the aftermath of the war, people would often take packing crates and use them as shelters to live in for their families.
Life in Korea then and now
John Denning describes the living conditions of the South Korean people when he was there compared to when his son was in Korea more recently. He describes the people living in packing crates and huts with thatched roofs and the unpaved roads that were just mud and rubble. He describes the pictures he saw that his son recently took and being amazed at the vast developments and modernization.
John E. Gragg
Invasion of Inchon and Life as an amphibious vehicle soldier
John Gragg's amphibious (duck) company was in charge of unloading supplies, food, and ammunition during the Inchon Landing using his ducks. His unit would follow troops to Seoul with all the supplies until the trucks were brought to Korea. John Gragg's unit also supported the troops by bringing soldier across the Han and Nak Dong Rivers.
John G. Sinnicki
John Sinnicki explains his pride for having fought in the war. He describes his experience revisiting Korea and being impressed with how well the country has recovered and modernized and continues to do so. He goes on to describe the great appreciation the Korean people showed him for his service.
John H. Jackson
Returning to the Korean War after being Evacuated from Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson explains he was put back into battle after he was evacuated from the Chosin Reservoir. He shares he fought at the Imjin River and Han River. He recounts how he continued fighting during the Seoul Recapture, Chorwon Valley, and Ontrang.
John Hartup, Jr.
Stories of His Experience in Korea
John Hartup, Jr., recalls his experiences in and around Seoul when he and his friends had time away from work. He remembers USO (United Service Organizations) shows would happen about once a week. He recalls renting a jeep on the weekends for cheap to go sightseeing and mentions staying in a nice U.S. Army hotel in Songdo to get away from work. He remembers Songdo being very nice.
Comparing Korea: Before, During, and After the War
John Hartup, Jr., compares the Korea he witnessed in 1946-1947 to the Korea he experienced in 1951. He recalls seeing many refugees going south in 1951. He remembers the city of Incheon as a bustling metropolis in 1947, and in 1951, it was completely leveled and destroyed. He remembers the same about Seoul. He recounts how there was no farming or agriculture taking place in 1951. He shares that he revisited Korea three times after the war and emphasizes that he was very impressed by modern Korea. He notes that it is difficult to compare modern Korea to the devastation he witnessed during the war.
John J. Baker
No Longer Embarrassed
John Baker offers a passionate reply when asked about what Korea means to him. He explains feeling embarrassed about the war and ashamed to come home. He felt concerned about what his family would think about him. However, he is proud today of what Korea has accomplished.
Korea, Then and Now
John McWaters compares his memories of Korea in the 1950s and Korea today. When he left Korea after the war, there were only three buildings still standing in Seoul. When he returned in 2016, he witnessed a very modern and highly developed city. He shares how continuously impressed he is by the changes Korea is undergoing.
When the Nation Calls, You Answer
John Munro shares how he was called to service for the Australian National Army in 1952 and was going to be stationed on the home front. Since he wanted to fight in the Korean War, he describes joining the Regular Army in 1953. He recalls being sent to Korean as a nineteen year old in 1954 after the ceasefire to patrol the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Growing Up in a Korean Orphanage
John Munro shares that he did not experience any dangerous moments while patrolling the DMZ in early 1954. He recounts how, as part of 1 Battalion, he went to Seoul to spend the day at an orphanage. He recalls his time spent at the orphanage and how he was given six children to eat with and play with throughout the afternoon.
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. Downing
Dangers as an Infantrymen
John P. Downing spent 13 months fighting in the Korean War north of Seoul. During night patrols, he fought the Chinese and participated in ambush patrols. During his patrols, he suffered a wound to his right arm, but it didn't take him away from Korea.
Life as a Soldier on Hill 355
John P. Downing explained that life as a soldier was cold, wet, and hungry. He had limited rations and many of his friends died during his time participating in the Korean War for 13 months. Hill 355 was a hill that overlooked the 38th parallel and it was constantly under attack by the enemy. Artillery and mortars were incoming while John was protecting the hill.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
Christmas in Korea
John Pritchard spent Christmas off for 24 hours due to his commander speaking up for his men. To show that he cared for the commander, John Pritchard and a few lads went to Seoul to buy a Christmas present for him, 400 cigarettes, and this made him cry.
R&R in Tokyo
John Pritchard took a 5-day R&R in Tokyo which was his first 5 days off after an entire year in Korea. Armed with a lot of cash, he and his mates were ready for a break. From the food to the stiff bedsheets, readjusting to normal life and conditions was odd for the men.
John R. Stevens
The recapture of Seoul
John R. Stevens describes his experiences during the recapture of Seoul. He explains how his platoon captured many North Koreans along the river they followed into the city. He also describes the task of having to destroy the North Korean's weapons along the way. He recalls a particular incident when, in an attempt to break the stock of a gun, one of his lieutenants accidentally killed somebody.
John Sehejong Ha
"We were Fooled"
John Sehejong Ha describes listening to the Seoul radio station to get information about WW II. He shares how the Korean President Syngman Rhee told the people we were winning the war on the station. He explains how he soon realized "we were fooled. He shares how he found out it was not true not only by word of mouth but also how he saw the Korean refugees fleeing from the North passed his house.
The Luxury of Food
John Sehejong Ha describes obtaining food during wartime. He shares how he had the responsibility to get food and market. He explains that they could buy food but it wasn't much. He explains how eating more than once a day was a luxury. He shares how he is not sure how they managed but thankfully they were able to survive.
John Sehejong Ha describes being at Douglas MacArthur entering South Korea. He describes being in attendance for the Seoul recapture. He shares a memory of seeing S. Koreans who had been forced to collaborate with North Korea's army. He shares how he witness the first group of US Marines enter South Korea.
War in Seoul
John Shea describes the conditions in Seoul, saying everything was wiped out. It was what he expected, he says, knowing what war was all about through his brother's stories of WWII and from watching war movies. He shares he knows why he was there, to do his job to free the Korean people.
What was war like? What did Korea look like?
John Tobia talks about being dropped off by a truck to meet his company line. He recalls seeing two helicopters swooping down, apparently transporting the dead and the wounded. Seeing that was his introduction to his company and to the war. He shares how it was a real eye-opener. He contrasts the Seoul he witnessed during and after the war. He also describes a Korean "honeypot".
Leaving Korea and Remembering a Reemerging Seoul
John Tobia recalls being given his discharge papers and being sent home in 1953. He talks about the weapons he collected from the Russian and Chinese soldiers. His commanding officer told him he could not take any weapons for souvenirs; otherwise, he would end up in prison for some time. He also recalls how the South Koreans quickly began rebuilding Seoul as he was leaving.
Prepping for War
John Turner discusses the process he went through from enlistment to arriving in Incheon, South Korea. He enlisted in the Marines and attended Parris Island for bootcamp. After he graduated from basic training, he attended advanced training at Camp Pendleton in California. After advanced training, he departed from San Diego for Inchoen.
What was Korea like when you were there?
John Turner discusses what Korea looked like on his journey north towards the 38th parallel. He recalls the destruction he witnessed in Incheon, Seoul, and Panmunjeom. He recalls starving people begging for food. He would give them some of his rations, as would other soldiers. His unit went on patrol near the 38th parallel, walking along deep trenches, and spying on North Koreans at Outpost Kate, about five hundred feet beyond the front lines .
Were you afraid? Did you ever think you would die?
John Turner talks about his experiences on the front lines of the war. Once his leg was grazed by a bullet, which ended up sending him to a M.A.S.H. (mobile army surgical hospital) in Seoul for a ten-day recovery. After feeling better, he returned to the front lines and was injured again shortly after, this time with a concussion from North Korean fire and explosions in a cave. He recalls trouble sleeping at night due to constant loud and bright explosions.
Everyday Life in Korea
John Turner talks about what it was like to sleep and eat in Korea. They slept in sleeping bags inside two-man tents and would receive one hot meal a week; other than that, they ate rations. He recalls the weather not being as cold as it was up north. They were occasionally allowed to shower. He recalls writing letters to his wife when he could.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna describes the destruction he encountered in Korea. He explains that it is difficult for anyone that lived through a war to explain what happened. He recalls being saddened by the fact that Koreans, including professionals from universities, were forced to take menial jobs.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna describe la destrucción total que encontró en Corea. Explica que es difícil para cualquiera que haya luchado en una guerra explicar lo que vio. Recuerda que le entristeció el hecho de que los coreanos, incluidos los profesionales de las universidades, se vieron obligados a aceptar trabajos manuales ayudando a los soldados.
Joseph C. Casper
Joseph C. Casper describes his recent visit to Korea. He describes the memorial wall of inscribed names of Korean War Veterans who lost their life. He also describes his experiences visiting the DMZ.
Korean Then and Now
Joseph Calabria discusses his war memories of Korea. He juxtaposes his memories of Korea with what he saw on a recent return visit. He shares the growth of the industry in South Korea. He expresses his pride in seeing South Korea going from destruction to a place of growth and infrastructure in such a short time. He shares how the South Koreans are very appreciative of the veterans for what they did for their country.
Joseph De Palma
Then and Now
Joseph De Palma describes the changes he saw when he returned to South Korea in 2010. He recalls how Seoul had been flattened the first time he saw it. He marvels at how big and amazing the city is now with its tall buildings and expressway.
Seoul during the War
Joseph Hamilton describes Seoul as he saw it during the war. He explains that it was pretty “rustic,” especially because they had suffered the bombing. He describes how there were a few open shops, but for the most part, there was not much there. He states that the capital city was completely destroyed.
Joseph Horton recalls the two occasions he revisited Korea. He shares how he revisited in 1998 and then again in 2000. He expresses that South Korea was breathtaking and applauds the Korean people and government for the transformation.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Inchon Landing and Seoul Recapture
Joseph Lewis Grappo explains how he participated in the Inchon Landing as a sixteen-year-old. He shares how he had little fear since he didn't know what to expect. He explains that since he was a part of the heavy mortar company, he created a defensive line behind the US Marines in order to recapture Seoul from the east side. He explains that he then went to Busan awaiting orders for the next invasion but there was a delay. He describes how he then traveled to Hamheung. He shares a memory from Hamheung where he witnessed money coming from a looted North Korean bank so he took some and bought apples from the locals.
It Was a Hard Life, But a Good Life
Joseph Lissberger describes the daily life of a soldier assigned to the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. He talks about the rigorous schedule and difficult demands of working in a print shop. Though difficult, he mentions that he enjoyed the service.
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.
Spam, Spam, and more Spam
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris describes a situation at Kimpo Air Base during a time when water and food were in short supply.
South Korea Rebuilt
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris compares the rebuilding of South Korea to that of Europe after World War II.
Joseph T Monscvitz
Prisoner of War
Joseph Monscvitz describes his experience as a Prisoner of War marching from Taejon to Seoul to Pyongyang. He remembers being interrogated by a Russian soldier and eventually loaded onto a train that he thought was headed to Manchuria. The train stopped in the Sunchon Tunnel where many of the men were killed, but Joseph Monscvitz was fortunate to respond.
Joseph T. Wagener
Chinese Spring Offensive of 1951
Joseph Wagener describes battles he was involved in as part of the Belgian Battalion in 1951. He was involved in defending against the Chinese during their Spring Offensive. His battalion was attacked and held the rear while others retired. Later, his unit replaced a British brigade at the Battle of the Imjin River that suffered heavy Chinese attacks.
Meeting his American Cousin
Joseph Wagener describes the chance meeting of an American cousin during his service in Korea. He learned through letters home of an American cousin and made a trip from his frontline position to meet him. They met and celebrated with beer and a warm bed.
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado
Devastation in a Tranquil Place / Devastación en un Lugar Tranquilo
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado describes Korea as quiet upon his first arrival as troops were no longer engaged in combat. While there was no fighting, there was destruction and human misery everywhere. He shares that it was difficult witnessing the poverty and hunger in Korea, especially seeing children rummage for food in the debris.
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado describe a Corea como un lugar tranquilo al llegar por primera vez porque ya se había terminado el combate. Si bien no hubo lucha, hubo destrucción y miseria humana en todas partes. Él comparte que fue difícil ver la pobreza y el hambre en Corea, especialmente ver a los niños rebuscar comida en los escombros de sus pueblo.
Kebede Teferi Desta
Kebede Teferi Desta describes the worst and best parts of his Korean War experience. He has since revisited Korea. Korea has undergone a complete transformation. He describes the large train stations and road network. Overall, he is happy about the transformation.
Keith G. Hall
"Smashed to Bits"
Keith G. Hall describes the differences between Korea in 1950 and Korea in 2010 when he returned. He describes poor conditions in the villages, with villagers farming rice paddies with primitive wooden plows. Seoul and Daegu had been "smashed to bits."
Keith H. Fannon
Keith H. Fannon describes seeing the destruction of Korea for the first time.
Difficult and Happy Memories
Keith H. Fannon talks about his experiences trying to help orphaned children. He talks about seeing dead orphans. Keith H. Fannon shares how helping an orphan family brought joy to him.
Keith H. Fannon shares his most difficult memories of the Korean War. These include friends that were killed at Kimpo Air Base (near Seoul), his reaction at the time as well as later in life. He also briefly shares his nightmares about the children.
Kenneth D. Cox
Korea Past and Present
Kenneth Cox shares memories of Korea past and present. He comments on the major changes made in South Korea since the time of the war he noticed while on his revisit and recounts a story centering on firewood. He adds that he is proud of the outcome.
Kenneth David Allen
Journey to Korea
Kenneth Allen explains his journey to Korea which started shortly after he graduated college. He remembers attending basic training in Ft. Dix, New Jersey before being sent to Japan then Pusan before headed to Seoul. He describes the train ride and how they had to be very careful.
Kenneth F. Dawson
War is War
Kenneth F. Dawson trained in Waiouru in New Zealand before sailing to Japan and then Korea. Assigned as a driver in Korea, he carried ammunition to the front lines. The work was dangerous and several men had been blown up before he was assigned to the job. He drove ammunition to Panmunjeom, but he dismisses the danger of being blown up by asserting that "war is war."
"I Want to Go Back."
Kenneth F. Dawson speaks of wanting to go back to Korea. Friends have told him that the economy is amazing, and he wants to see the shopping malls. He is proud to have served in the Korean War and would love to return for a visit, though he mentions that Korea was too cold for an island boy when he was there during the war.
Seoul Was a Dead Place
Kenneth F. Dawson describes the cruelty of Chinese soldiers and their murder of a Korean woman as they retreated from a battle. He recounts the destruction that took place in Seoul. He is proud to have served the Korean people and asks to join a group of veterans returning to Korea for the 70th anniversary celebration.
Playing for the President
Kenneth Gordon shares he was invited to play for South Korean President Syngman Rhee and his wife at the palace in Seoul. He recalls how General James Van Fleet suggested him as a performer. He explains that since the president's wife was Viennese, tunes were carefully selected for her enjoyment. He shares his belief that Syngman Rhee was president at the right time.
Kevin R. Dean
Return to Korea
Kevin Dean comments on his return visit to Korea. He recalls the physical destruction of Incheon during the war and compares it to the modern city into which it has blossomed. He describes Seoul and Busan's progression and shares that the transformation is mind boggling to him. He states that South Korea is one of the only countries in the world that thanks those who helped secure its freedom.
Kevin Dean elaborates on the lead up and immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing. He recounts the positions of the Kiwis, Americans, and Chinese during the final days leading up to the signing and describes the heavy weapon fire. He recalls how calm it was after the signing, sharing that the killing stopped, and he elaborates on the death toll the Chinese suffered. He shares that he and other soldiers near his position narrowly missed a planned Chinese explosion.
Kim H. McMillan
First Impressions of Korea
Kim McMillan describes his journey to Korea by boat to Busan. The terrible smell met him as he sailed into the port. Passing through Seoul to join his unit, he was dismayed at the sad and backward state of the country. The Korean people looked depressed. Initially assigned as a driver in the transportation unit of 10 Company, his superiors later assigned him to the workshop unit as a carpenter.
Transformation and Learning About The Korean War
Kim McMillan contrasts impressions about South Korea's modern economy and the miraculous turnaround with his experiences during the war. His daughter, Deborah, joins the interview and explains that New Zealand students do not learn much about Korea. She has asked her father questions about his experiences in order to better understand his role in the Korean War.
Kirk Wolford discusses his perspective as he recalls being an excited twenty-year-old looking for adventure, not initially realizing the seriousness of the situation. He remembers the utter destruction of Korean cities and remarks on the recovery made by sheer determination of its people. Having never returned, he wonders if the division will ever be resolved.
Lakew Kidane Goshene
Lakew Kidane Goshene never thought that South Korea would become what it is today. He remembers the poverty and poor living conditions in 1954. He thinks the transformation is a miracle and nothing he thought could happen.
Larry Kinard explains how he was able to return twice to see Korea after the war. He shares how he brought his son in 1997 and his whole family in 2009. He shares how he saw the 38th parallel. He shares how he was able to show his family where he was approximately located from the DMZ observation deck. He shares how he was proud to see all the progress that was helped by US soldiers who defended South Korea from Communism. He shares he was one of the finding members of his local Korean War Veterans Charter.
Lawrence Paul Murray (Paul Murray)
Lawrence Paul Murray describes his first injury on his way to Seoul after the Incheon Landing. He describes a bullet injury to his ribs from a machine gun. He received the Purple Heart for this injury.
Reflecting on Korea
Leland Wallis discusses his feelings about Korea's progress since the war. Leland discusses how great the country of Korea has become since what he saw in the war. The only big city he saw was Seoul and part of Incheon. Leland Wallis discusses his pride in serving the country in Korea.
They Have Everything Now
Leo Calderon describes the difference between first seeing Korea during the war and the country it has become today. He explains the physical characteristics of Seoul at the time: buildings no taller than half a story, potholed roads, homes made of hay and mud. He says at that time the people had nothing compared to today, that they have everything.
Leonard Nicholls contrasts his time in Seoul during the Korean War with his revisit to the city in 2017. The difference between the flattened city of the war and what had been rebuilt in seventy years was amazing. He was astonished at the industriousness of the Korean people in rebuilding their country.
Leslie Fuhrman describes the operation and headquarters of the anti-aircraft unit that he commanded near Sosa, Korea. He details the role of the operation officer in identifying MiG aircraft and their movements. He does not recall having to shoot down and enemy aircraft but remembers some instances where the unit was alerted to man battle stations. Bedcheck Charlie was a reason for many of the alerts for soldiers to man their battle stations, and he explains the reason for the nickname.
Traveling Through Korea in Cars without floors
Lester Griebenow describes traveling through Korea from Busan to Seoul in cars without floors. The soldiers stuffed their bags under their feet but the floors were open so that in case of attack, they could easily jump out of the automobile. They traveled this way for three days eating C and K rations.
A Bird's-Eye View of Destruction
Lewis Ewing speaks about seeing vast areas of destruction across the Korean landscape. He describes seeing devastation of mountain areas, which he viewed from helicopter flyovers. He recalls his impressions upon seeing the war-torn areas of Seoul and Busan from a bird's-eye view.
Korea then and now
Lloyd Hellman visited Seoul in 1954 and said there were no buildings of any size, just Korean huts. The biggest building was the United States PX. He describes seeing Seoul on TV when he was home in Kansas City when President Eisenhower visited and he was amazed at the change. He said he can't imagine what the North Korean leader thinks when he sees modern South Korea.
Dropping Bombs and Flares by Hand
Not having bombing racks at the back of his C-47, Lloyd Thompson had to throw bombs and 15 pound flares (high illumination) by hand out of the plane at over 10,000 feet in the air. He did this to help fighters and bombers see their target. He also flew 76 missions and accumulated over 390+ hours.
Creeping Up Behind Us
Suspecting it may have been a Yakovlev (Yak-9), the enemy flew behind Lloyd Thompson's plane close enough that the radar indicated only one plane. When they landed, the Yak started dropping bombs on the runway at Gimpo Air Force Base. The Air Force responded with anti-aircraft weapons and blew the enemy plane apart.
Civilians Digging In The Trash to Survive
As a naive young man who had never witnessed much beyond a small Midwestern town, Lloyd Thompson saw Korean civilians digging in the US soldiers' trash for scraps. The realization was knowing what the UN were fighting for. Lloyd Thompson recognized the hope to give Korean civilians a normal life again.
Finding Body Bags
As Lloyd Thompson was shoveling sand on a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 truck near a flood plain at Kimpo Air Force Base, he unearthed a wooden box and unveiled an abandoned burial ground filled with body bags. He reported the incident, but nothing ever came of it. The bodies were left right there in the flood plain.
Luigi Montani discusses how he never was able to return to Korea after the war. He discusses the progress they have made and how he has learned about their progress through reading and talking with friends who have traveled to Korea. He recalls going through Seoul during the war and seeing all the buildings leveled, burnt trucks and complete destruction.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernandez
First Impressions and Religion / Primeras impresiones y religión
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recalls his first impression of a devastated Korea. He expresses the sorrow he felt given the terrible conditions that civilians were forced to endure. Furthermore, he shares a story of how he heard a calling from God when one of his friends needed help on the battlefield.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recuerda su primera impresión de Corea cuando recién llego. Lamenta las terribles condiciones que los civiles se vieron obligados a soportar como la tristeza y el hambre. Igualmente, comparte una historia de cómo escuchó un llamado de Dios cuando uno de sus amigos necesitaba ayuda en el campo de batalla.
Impressions of Korea and Withdrawal from Seoul
Luther Dappen describes his arrival in Korea and his transfer north from Inchon. He describes his unit's experiences during the withdrawal before Seoul was taken over by the Chinese. He recalls seeing not only the troops retreating but also lines of civilians carrying everything they could carry away from their homes. He goes on to explain that his company was the last to cross the bridge at the Han river, leaving them with the responsibility to blow the bridge up in order to slow the Chinese' progress.
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
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Mario Nel Bernal Avella details his first impressions of Korea upon arriving. He recalls arriving in Busan and being received very well by American and Korean dignitaries before being sent to a training camp nearby. The human misery and terrible sadness of Korea at that time is vivid in his memories and exemplified by one incident in which a Colombian soldiers threw a tin of C-Rations over the truck, and they watched a malnourished child, a starving dog, and man running towards the can of discarded food. He also bears witness to the devastation and utter destruction of Seoul and explains that it looked like a ten-magnitude earthquake hit the city.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda haber llegado a Busan y haber sido muy bien recibido por dignatarios estadounidenses y coreanos antes de ser enviado a un campo de entrenamiento. La miseria humana y la terrible tristeza de Corea en ese momento están vívidas en su memoria y ejemplificadas por un incidente en el que un soldado colombiano arrojo una lata de C3-Ration fuera del camión y vieron a un niño desnutrido, un perro hambriento y un hombre viejo corriendo hacia la lata de comida desechada. También es testigo de la devastación y destrucción total de Seúl y explica que le parecía que un terremoto de magnitud diez arrasó la ciudad.
First Impressions of Korea
The train ride from Pusan to Seoul was incredible. Martin Rothenberg saw so much beauty on the trip, particularly with the rice crops. While the rice crops were in their stages of growing, the vistas of patterns within the fields was beautiful. Poverty was all around, especially at Seoraksan Peak where people were living in cardboard straw-thatched-roofed homes. The villages always smelled because the sewage laid in a trench that ran through the middle of the street.
Literacy Would Prevail
Martin Rothenberg noted that there was a little girl he befriended who's mother worked in the wash tent and she would talk to him because she wanted to learn English. When Martin Rothenberg left Korea in 1955, he knew there would be a massive economic boom in South Korea because the majority of the people were literate. Plus, South Koreans had a desire to be educated and work toward the reconstruction of their country after the Korean War.
Korea Then and Now
Martin Vasquez explains how different modern Korea is compared to the Korea he knew during the war. He describes Seoul of 1951 having very few bridges and today having many beautiful bridges. He goes on to describe the buildings in Seoul that are even bigger than the buildings in the United States. He recalls the warm reception he and other American veterans received upon their arrival during their Revisit Korea trips.
Seoul: A Sad Sight
Marvin Denton recalled the hardships many Korean people faced during the Korean War. Men and women yoked with long poles carrying heavy buckets filled with sewage (honey pots).
Groups of children ransacked the soldiers for anything they had (pencils, papers, etc.). Marvin Denton felt so sorry for the civilians in South Korea.
Landing at Incheon, Impressions of Korea
On August 1, 1952, Marvin Ummel's unit made it to Incheon, South Korea. The entry into Incheon was challenging due to bad weather and the fact that the communists had destroyed most of the harbor. The ship captain had to improvise their landing. Shortly after landing, he boarded a railroad car to his first duty station near Seoul. He noticed garbage and destruction all over the landscape of South Korea. He acknowledges not knowing what it looked like prior to the war, but his first impression was a total mess. There was no building that had not been at least damaged by the war. The condition of Seoul was pretty distressing.
Impressions of South Korea, Then and Now
Marvin Ummel revisited South Korea in 2017. He reports that the opportunity to travel back with Revisit Korea was incredible. He recalls the development in Seoul being impressive, as there were no undamaged buildings present when he was there in 1952. Now, the buildings, houses, and roadways are numerous and well-constructed. He rode the bullet train from Seoul to Pusan and was impressed that it went over one hundred and eighty miles an hour! He also remembers just how thankful the South Koreans were to Americans for their help during the war.
Mary L. Hester
Mary Hester reflects on her revisit to Korea in 1997, alongside her husband, Kenneth, who was also a Korean War veteran. She marvels at the progress South Korea has made and discusses how meaningful the trip was. She expresses how meaningful the gratitude from the South Korean people was to her and her husband.
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.
Life of a Korean War Soldier
Maurice Pears shares how he was on the front line for one month without a chance to shower or eat a hot meal and recalls dealing with a water shortage. He remembers how each soldier had his own foxhole where he endured snow and heat. He shares that the soldiers were able to travel up and down the Korean hills with the help of Korean civilians.
First Days in Korea
Maurice Morby describes his first impressions of Korea and the journey from Busan to Seoul. He talks about arriving at Busan harbor, picking up vehicles, and the arduous 3-day drive to Seoul through difficult terrain.
Maurice Morby talks about his revisit to Korea. He describes the his amazement at the transformation of the country and his appreciation for the courtesy shown to veterans by the people of Korea.
"What the Hell am I Doing Here?"
Max Sarazin describes an incident in Seoul; he had never seen a helicopter and as they flew in and landed in the hanger, he took that opportunity to see one up close. Upon inspection, he was shocked to see severely wounded soldiers who had been flown in from the battlefield. He recalls hearing someone say "what the hell am I doing here?" and quickly realized that voice was his own.
Life of a private during War
McKinley Mosley describes his life as a 16 year old leaving home, going through basic training, and then on to Korea for the war. He learns infantry at Ft. Riley, Kansas and artillery in El Paso, Texas. He then travels from Ft. Custer in Michigan on to California to Japan and ultimately to Korea.
Condition of Seoul
Mehmet Aksoy describes the condition of the people in Seoul. He describes the people as desperate. Moreover, people were constantly begging for food and supplies. For example, the people would constantly be saying "chab chab." The Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give food to people. Most everything was destroyed. Consequently, the buildings left standing were pock marked by bullets. The situation was desperate.
Pride for Service
Mehmet Aksoy describes his return to Korea. Above all, he is amazed how the people of Korea are thankful for the Turkish sacrifices during the Korean War. He wishes people in Turkey would be so grateful and considerate as the Korean people. Consequently, Ahmet Aksoy considers the people of Korea his brothers and sisters. He could never imagine the change of Korea. He is proud of his service during the War.
Mehmet Arif Boran
We Shed Our Blood for Korea
Mehmet Arif Boran describes his revisit to Korea. He is very proud of Korea's accomplishments. He calls Korea, Super Korea due to the buildings and accomplishments. Mehmet Arif Boran would stay in Korea if asked.
Caring for Orphans
Mehmet Esen describes how he cared for two orphans he met while in Korea. While he was in a hospital he met Chin Chol. He provided her with money for her schooling. He also provided for another orphan named Kerim. Kerim followed the Turkish troops everywhere they went.
Melvin D. Hill
Life on the Front Lines: Busan to the Yalu River
Melvin Hill describes living on the front lines for thirteen months. He describes his journey through Seoul on his way to the Yalu River. He explains that a bullet struck his front tire, leaving him unable to steer the truck. He and another young man had to change the tire, surrounded by a multitude of people, completely unaware if they were North Korean or South Korean. He attributes their ability to change the tire in roughly fifteen seconds and throw a five-hundred pound tire onto the truck to fear and adrenaline.
Serving as a Merchant Marine
Merl Smith discusses his role as a merchant marine in the Korean War. Merchant Marines were a civilian unit supplying troops with whatever they needed. He recounts his time at the Incheon Landing. He remembers taking on four North Koreans who wanted to surrender. He also recalls seeing the invasion from afar on his boat. He, alongside a friend, rode up to Seoul, following the American troops.
Merl Smith discusses his impressions of Korea during a visit in 2007. He recalls not believing the recovery of Seoul. He was amazed at the prosperous and happy people, which was in complete contrast to what he witnessed in 1950. He believes the Korean people are resilient people and have a positive outlook on life.
Battles from City to City Across Korea
Merle Peterson describes the difference between the 2.6 rocket launchers and the new 3.5 models. He explains that the rockets from the 2.6 launcher merely bounced off the tanks but the 3.5s were able to pierce the tanks, enabling them to take out eight of the eleven tanks that had attacked them. He goes on to describe meeting with the 7th division in Osan and from there moving through Seoul, Pyongyang, and onto the Yalu River until the Chinese joined the North Koreans and they were forced to retreat.
Meeting Marilyn Monroe and Transporting POWs
Merlin Mestad describes meeting Marilyn Monroe in Korea when she performed for the USO. He recalls being surprised when she sang "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in below zero weather. He goes on to describe transporting North Korean POWs from Panmunjom to Seoul after the war ended. He explains that many South Korean people were incredibly angry with the North Koreans after the war and threw rocks at the POWs when they arrived in Seoul.
The Realities of Warfare
Michael Fryer recalls broken buildings, poverty, and the state of destitution of the Korean people. He describes the poor conditions in Seoul in late 1951. He recounts the shock he received when he encountered battered and dead American soldiers on the front line.
Michael White recall the physical destruction he saw when he was in Korea during the war. He compares how Korea looked during the Korean War with what he saw during his three visits to South Korea since the war.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
First Impressions of Seoul
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls what it was like when he first saw Seoul. He describes how it was destroyed and how tough the street fighting was. He remembers a train station that had a glass dome destroyed. A veteran friend went to Korea in later years and brought back pictures of that same dome restored.
A “Safe” Foxhole
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls a “humorous” moment in Korea. While advancing toward a group of Chinese troops in Kotori, he had a chaplain, medical corpsman, and machine gunner join him in the foxhole. They joked that this is the “safest they felt since being in Korea.”
Thankful for Tootsie Rolls
Myron “Jack” Leissler explains how he is thankful for the Tootsie Roll company for sending over the candy. He describes how it was so cold that the C-Rations froze, but that they were able to put the Tootsie Rolls in their parkas and soften them with their body heat. He halfheartedly jokes that Tootsie Rolls kept them alive.
Stationed in Korea After the Korean War
Myron Vaughn was stationed in Seoul, South Korea after the Korean War. He had fun in Seoul as part of the 8th Army.
Different Jobs to Support the Military
Myron Vaughn earned the rank of Corporal for the 8th Army. He worked on rifles and small arms so that soldiers had working weapons to protect South Korea.
Korea then and now
Narce Caliva compares his memories of his time in Korea during the war to his return to Korea as Assistant Director of the Red Cross in the Far East. He recalls being a young man "on a great adventure," despite the devastated Korean nation. He describes returning to Korea eighteen years later and marveling at the remarkable changes that had taken place in the interim period.
Nathaniel Ford Jr.
A lot of sensitivity at the DMZ
Nathaniel Ford recalls an incident when he and several other members of his unit were going to watch a football game and accidentally arrived at the DMZ. He describes the chaos the ensued including being accused of trying to defect to the north. He goes on to explain the constant state of alarm with so much infiltration on both sides of the DMZ.
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.
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.
Destruction in Korea
Ollie Thompson arrived in Korea at Inchon. When traveling by train through Seoul, he was able to see the destruction of the city. His first experience in combat took place in the Chorwon Valley in 1951.
Osman Yasar Eken
Osman Eken describes how the condition of the Korean people increased his fighting morale. The Korean people were hungry, wearing shabby clothes, and did not have a home. People were just wandering around begging for food. This condition made Osman Even even more determined as a fighter.
P. Stanley Cobane
Shrapnel Injury Leading to Paralyzation During Battle
P. Stanley Cobane describes taking Hill 296 outside of Seoul. He describes a fierce battle that involved artillery and mortars. He describes sticking his head out of fox hole "at the wrong time." A mortar exploded and shrapnel went into his neck, hit a bone and splattered. He has had one surgery to remove the biggest piece of shrapnel but seven pieces still remain and he was left paralyzed. He goes on describe being pulled from the foxhole and taken to Hill 296 and was air-vac'ed out.
They Built Up Quickly
Paciano Eugenio elaborates on his experience returning to Korea. He comments on the impressive transformation of Seoul and similarity to buildings in the United States. During his return visits, he remembers becoming emotional seeing the people and the overwhelming appreciation the Korean people showed him. He admits when he left in 1953, he did not believe that Korea would become what it is today.
Paul E. Bombardier
"It Was Terrible"
Paul E. Bombardier describes first seeing Seoul in 1952. He described the city as "total devestation." He recounts most all buildings being destroyed. He goes on to describe the living conditions on farms outside of town and the work done by all family members.
Paul H. Cunningham
Radar Sites in Korea and a Last Look in February 1952
Paul Cunningham set up a large radar station near the Kimpo Air Base, and that ended his seventeen-month deployment in Korea after spending two long winters there. He recalls leaving Korea with the image of poverty, huts, and dirt roads in February 1952. He also remembers the rail transportation office in Seoul as being all broken down and adds that he never thought Korea would rebuild itself like it has today.
The Most Difficult Experience in Korea
Paul Cunningham identified the lack of solid support from the US government as the most difficult experience in Korea because all of the troops were ready to follow MacArthur all the way to the Yalu River. He shares that he was a part of the Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 502 Tactical Control Group during his time in Korea. He adds that his squadron performed air surveillance for three hundred miles in all directions using radar machines that were used during WWII.
Paul H. Nordstrom
Generations Behind in Korea
Paul H. Nordstrom shares his memories of Seoul and of the country he saw while serving in Korea. He recollects the living conditions and way of life as being generations behind the United States at the time. He shares that the United States was more mechanized in comparison to Korea then.
"That's not the Korea I remember!"
Paul Hofwolt sees an image of modern day Seoul, South Korea. He cannot believe how much South Korea has advanced since he served there. He describes how happy he is for the South Korean people and his pride for his service.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.
Dealing with Guilt
Paul Welsh describes a time when he had to make a difficult decision. He recalls a woman and a young boy were on a bridge with a wagon that was carrying a hidden weapon. He explains that when the woman opened fire, he ordered his men to fire on them--a decision he still struggles with today.
Paulino Lucino Jr.
Paulino Lucino Jr. was never sure of his exact location when he was fighting in Korea. Often, he was put on the back of trucks or trains and had no idea where they were headed next. He felt that this was the most troublesome experience of his time in Korea.
Percy D. Mohr
Very First Battle with North Koreans
Percy Mohr describes his very first encounter with the North Koreans. His artillery unit, right behind the infantry division, fought North Korean soldiers from hill to hill. Both divisions experienced casualties in the difficult battle.
Arriving and Korea
Peter Ford speaks about arriving in Korea in 1952. He describes driving through Seoul. He discusses how he had no idea why he was assigned to the 26th Field Ambulance, explains where the unit was set up, and recalls being told what his assignment was. He shares a story of being stopped for speeding.
Fortunate to Make it
Philip Linsley shares his experience during extreme cold and rumors of the Chinese surrounding them. He shares how the men were only able to work on connecting coaxial cables for a minute at a time due to the extreme cold. He elaborates on the stressful experience of completing guard duty in complete darkness and his concern that he only had a little gun to fend off the enemy. As rumors began to spread, he recalls his outfit suddenly being told to pack up everything they could and evacuate the area. He explains that since the enemy crossed the Yalu River, they headed south. He emphasizes they were fortunate to make it to Seoul because other outfits were attacked along the way.
Philip Vatcher's his first impressions of Korea were that of a desolate landscape. He there weren't any trees, roads, and barely any shops. Korea during the war was like slave country when the Japanese ran Korea.
Philip Vatcher was most bothered by the murder of a military officer in Korea. He witnessed an officer killed because his life was worth less than the value of a military jeep. Despite the circumstance, he understands that war is war.
Philip Vatcher details a time when they rescued a guy on the road. This man's intestines were outside of his body. They had to clean up his intestines and wrap him up. The man's life was sparred and he kept communications with him after the war.
Phillip E. Hahn
Encountering Guerrillas and Civilians
Phillip Hahn recalls the heartbreak of war when he describes seeing children serving as guerrillas and watching as they had to be eliminated. He describes the plight of the many refugees who barely had the clothes on their backs. He remembers being hungry enough while on the front lines to fight for dead soldier's rations.
Being Drafted and Going to Korea
Rahim Günay describes how his regiment, Bergama Regiment, was drafted to go to Korea. He served as a Cryptanalyst. When first arriving in Korea the destruction of Korea amazed him. He also describes the conditions of the people. People were living in shabby shelters.
Not a Forgotten War in Korea
Ralph Blum revisited Korea in 2012 with his son. He shares how his view of Korea changed because of the advances he saw. He recounts wearing his Korean War cap and jacket while visiting the DMZ and Seoul. He shares how everyone thanked him for his service, including cab drivers and school children. He explains that his revisit answered his question about why he served in Korea.
Arrival in Korea
Ralph Hodge vividly details his trip from Ft. Lawton, WA, to Seoul beginning shortly after Thanksgiving 1951. He recalls the fourteen awful days and nights aboard ship which included traveling through three or four typhoons. He notes how when they arrive in Yokohama, Japan, on December 7, 1951, they wrote their wills before heading to Sasebo and onto Pusan. He shares it was in Pusan that he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, 38th Regiment, Company B Mortar Platoon as a replacement. He recounts his early experiences in country.
Pork Chop Hill
Ralph Hodge details how he and his unit came under fire on Pork Chop Hill on September 16th, 1953. He recalls the location was key in protecting the city of Seoul. He remembers being pinned down by wave after wave of Chinese descending on the hill and shares American casualties were devastatingly high.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
Heading to Korea
Ralph Leon O'Bryant recalls serving with the 822nd Airborne Division in Korea. He remembers how after spending sixteen weeks in basic training at Ft. Belvoir, VA, he was shipped to Taegu and ultimately assigned to A Company in Busan. He recounts how he stayed there for a few months before being sent to Seoul for the remainder of his time in Korea. He communicates how, while in Seoul, he looked after the tool room as there was little need for his specialty--plumbing--in Korea.
Recollections of Korea
Ralph O'Bryant shares is recollections of the Korean people during his time stationed in Taegu, Busan, and Seoul. He notes that he was not very close to most of the fighting as he was stationed largely in Seoul. He states unit spent most of its time building airstrips for the U.S. Air Force.
Raymond L. Ayon
Caring for Wounded Enemy POWs
During his time in Daegu, Raymond L. Ayon was responsible for the care of wounded enemy POWs for a period of two years. He recalls the conditions of one particular POW who required an inoculation but was afraid of the syringe. As a corpsman, his duty was to provide the necessary treatment and release them once they were fit to go. He remembers a moment when General McArthur passed by in a motorcade while they were waiting to cross the Hans River on a pontoon, which was an exciting experience for most of the men. Towards the end of the video, he briefly discusses the numerous medals he was awarded due to his military service.
Raymond V. Miller
The Chinese Were Everywhere
Raymond Miller describes feeling no fear most of the time despite being surrounded by the Chinese. He recalls having to take cover in a foxhole during a grenade attack, and when he stepped out the next morning, he could not take a step without stepping on a Chinese soldier, noting that the stacks of bodies were horrendous. He has a recurring nightmare of pulling the trigger and his gun not firing despite squeezing and squeezing it.
Rex L. McCall
A Revisit Trip in 2000
Rex McCall shares how he was able to travel back to Korea and that he was impressed with Seoul and modern-day Korea. He recalls there being a lot of activity, tall buildings, and everyone treating him well. He recounts visited the invasion tunnels at the DMZ, a traditional village, and seeing the Korean National Dancers during his revisit trip.
Richard A. Houser
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.
The Air Force's All-Korean Basketball Team Experience
Richard Bartlett played for the All-Korean Basketball Team while in the Air Force and stationed in Korea. He traveled to Seoul and played a variety of Korean teams. These experiences allowed him a chance to get to know some Korean civilians. The Korean teams were comprised of talented basketball players.
Richard Carey – Part 1
March to Seoul
Richard Carey describes a recognizance mission. He shares an encounter with North Korean troops on the way to Seoul. He explains how he was awarded the Bronze Star for capturing the North Korean platoon.
Covered in Blood for Days
Richard Carey describes the situation in Seoul as his platoon tried to help recapture it from the North Koreans. He shares information about his squadron leaders and injuries of his platoon. He explains how they stopped for a breather and what happened in the process.
Richard Franklin talks about revisiting Korea. He mentions the graciousness of his Korean hosts and the unique opportunity to witness a speech by President Barack Obama.
Richard H. Fastenau
Just Trying to Get Anything They Can
Richard H. Fastenau describes the arrival of Helen Moore Van Fleet, wife of General James Van Fleet, with supplies from the American Red Cross for the Korean people. He recalls the supplies being sorted for distribution near the main gate but that chaos broke out as crowds pushed down the gates and fencing in a rush to get supplies. He speculates that many of the goods taken ended up on the black market.
Change in Duty Assignment: Front Lines to Seoul
Richard Fastenau shares he was transferred from the front lines to the city of Seoul to join the 558th Military Police Unit of the 8th Army as a security guard. He explains this unit protected thirty different locations, including the United States Embassy, 8th Army Posts, VIP Posts, and the Chosen Hotel. He details the differences between being on the front line and in Seoul. He shares photos and other artifacts to help convey his story along the way.
Remembering the Good Times and Bad Times
Richard Fastenau recalls that although there were good times on the front lines with the 40th Infantry that most of his good memories occurred while serving in Seoul as part of the 558th Military Police Unit. He notes that he has forced himself to forget many of the worst memories of being on the front line as things were never easy there. He shares memories of an attack while serving at the outpost near the front lines as well as an account dealing with a member of the Air Force on guard duty while he was stationed in Seoul.
Astounded by Korean Progress
Richard Higa talks about his amazement at the progress of South Korea from the perspective of his 1970 revisit. He makes remarks about Seoul as well as the South Korean economy.
Richard K. Satterlee
The assassination of President Park Chung Hee: Unrest in South Korea
Richard K. Satterlee remembers the assassination of the President of South Korea. Park Chung-hee was assassinated by the chief of his intelligence service, Kim Jae-gyu. Referring to Park as a dictator, he describes student riots and the promotion of Korea's export economy.
Richard Knoebel revisited Korea in 1987 with a Chosen Few group. He particularly remembers the drive from Incheon to Seoul. He mentions trying to go back to Korea the year of the interview but had to decline due to the physical nature.
Richard W. Robinson
America Introduces Sports to Korea
Richard W. Robinson recalls better times in Korea when baseball was introduced. He remembers serving as an umpire for a baseball tournament between two Army teams and two Korean teams and the good times that were had by all. He mentions how the Koreans have excelled in golf, particularly the LPGA.
Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson
"Why are we even here?"
Robert Johnson reflects on his first impressions of the Korean War. He talks about his journey to Korea and what he was thinking when he stepped foot on Korean soil for the first time. He remembers his participation in the Battle of Seoul and his reaction to all the destruction.
Traveling to the Chosin Reservoir
Robert Battdorff moved through Seoul, Ko do Re Pass, and then went onto the Chosin Reservoir. Using a line of soldiers, 20 feet apart, he made his way to East Hill overlooking the Chosin Reservoir. Without any enemy resistance, Robert Battdorff sent out patrols to check the different possible enemy positions in November 1950.
Robert C. Jagger
Impressions of Korean People
Robert C Jagger discusses his impression of the Korean people he met, both in 1952 and in visits back since. He is amazed at the progress Koreans have made since the war. He describes the poor living conditions he saw contrasted to Seoul today.
Robert D. Davidson
First Impressions of Seoul
Robert Davidson recalls landing in Incheon and his first impressions of Seoul. He describes the devastation and damaged buildings he witnessed. He shares that civilians lacked housing and food and adds that the city of Chuncheon was leveled. He comments on Korea's weather, comparing its similarities to the weather of Wyoming.
Robert F. Wright
Bombed by Bed Check Charlie
Robert shares the story of being bombed by Bed Check Charlie in the middle of the night throughout his time in Korea. His Quonset Hut was covered with a canvas top and sand bags were stacked about 6 ft high around the hut, and as the bombs dropped the shrapnel would rip the top of their huts.. Fortunately no one was killed and US Air Force was able to detect this North Korean single engine plane and took care of them.
Robert J. Rose
Robert Rose recounts his visit to Korea in 2008 as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs tour. His visit included commemorations at many battle sites as well as a trip to the DMZ where he saw the reality of the relationship between North and South Korea. Although he did not personally witness the devastation of cities like Seoul and Busan during the war, he recalls seeing photos and notes his amazement of how far the country had come in its rebuilding efforts.
Robert M. Longden
Robert M. Longden arrived in Busan in 1953 to witness terrible poverty. He and his fellow soldiers gave their rations to hungry children. Construction work had already begun in Seoul. When he returned to Korea a few years ago the change was miraculous. Hard work had returned Korea to great prosperity. He is grateful for the hospitality of the Korean people during his visit.
North Korean Refugees
On the road to Seoul, Robert Mount describes the devastated landscape and the streams of refugees that he witnessed heading south. He describes how they were carrying as much as they could on their backs, very disheveled and sick-looking. He shows a picture of a refugee in North Korea; he does not remember who took it.
Robert O. Gray
From Hospitals to Prisons
Robert Gray discusses how he got hit and went to the hospital. He explains his motivation for lying to avoid staying in the hospital. He also describes how that decision caused him to be captured by the Chinese as a prisoner of war (POW).
Robert R. Moreau
Daily Duties in Korea
Robert R. Moreau shares he arrived in Korea as part of the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 7th Division in late July 1951. He explains their primary duties were clearing minefields, building roads, and checking the Bailey Bridges which the U.S. had deployed across the rivers. He notes that these bridges need to be checked almost daily because the North Koreans frequently snuck in and loosened the bolts that held them in place.
Robert S. Chessum
Forgotten Men of the Unknown War
Robert Chessum describes how the Korean War is "forgotten." He explains how there was nothing for the troops when they returned. Robert Chessum also describes how changing the perception of the Korean War will be difficult, because teaching about war is unpopular.
Arriving in and Returning to Korea
Robert Tamura shares he served as part of the Army Security Agency during the Korean War. He recalls how much of his time was spent in Korea at Koje-do Prison Camp and later at Geoje-do POW Camp on Geoje Island. He begins with his recollections of revisiting Korea where he saw firsthand the development of Seoul. He continues to share his memories of basic training and being assigned to assist in escorting prisoners of war as part of the 8th Army's Army Security Agency.
Robert W. Hammelsmith
Robert Hammelsmith describes being wounded by machine gun fire while on a scouting patrol near the Manchurian border in November of 1950. He explains that he was carried out on a stretcher and then transported on the second of two ambulances, the first of which was attacked by the Chinese. He goes on to describe his evacuation to a hospital in Japan where the bullet in his shoulder was removed.
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.
Reenlistment: Above the DMZ
Rodney F. Stock remembers being one of the first to receive a $500 bonus to reenlist. He shares when he returned to Korea in 1954, Seoul looked less war torn than when he had left. He notes that initial recovery was a testimony to the Korean people who had already begun the rebuilding process. Serving above the DMZ, at one point he recalls coming face-to-face with an entire Chinese division.
Roland Dean Brown
Reflections on Korea
Roland Brown expresses that he wanted to be in Korea as it was his goal to fight for his country. He recalls his first vision of Pusan and compares it to modern Korea. He reflects upon how poor the Korean people were during the war and comments on the thriving conditions in Korea today.
Korean Soccer Club
Roland Fredh describes his leisure time in Korea. He played soccer with fellow Swedish members. The team traveled, located in Busan, traveled to Seoul and Daegu to play various teams. They beat an English team. But, they lost to a Korean team.
Ronald A. Cole
Remembering Post-War Korea
Ronald Cole served in the U.S. Army following the cease-fire in Korea. He offers details on what he remembers about the people and cities in South Korea while he was there. He talks about people being in poor shape and diseases being widespread. He notes that Seoul was still heavily damaged, but was making progress in rebuilding.
Ronald Bourgon comments on the changes South Korea has made since the Korean War. He recalls scenes from his revisit experience and compares them to years past. He expands upon how genuinely nice the people are and expresses his gratitude for having played a small role in helping South Korea become what it is today.
We Broke Their Will
Roy Aldridge describes how he crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea. He shares how the North Koreans shed their uniforms, put on civilian clothing, and fled. He shares how there wasn't much resistance. He explains how the North Koreans had killed all of the prisoners of war and where they put them.
"An Angel Sitting on My Shoulder"
Roy Aldridge describes their unit being the first airborne unit that was completely self-contained. He explains how they had artillery, trucks, jeeps, ammunition, and medics. He describes the dates and movements of his Batallion. He describes the extremely cold temperatures ranging between 40-50 degrees below zero, and how they were attacked by the Chinese.
No One Knew What Was Happening
Royal Vida provides details about entering a deserted Pyungyang and his perceptions of North Korea. From Pyungyang, he states that his unit moved up to the Yalu River and here they met an intense Chinese intervention. As they were retreating, he describes the loss of life he encountered and that no one can prepare for what you will encounter during a battle. Additionally, he shares his diagnosis of PTSD.
Does Not Know Why So Many Had to Suffer (Graphic)
Royal Vida expresses his sorrow for the loss and suffering the Korean people endured during the war. He shares memories of seeing the remains of hundreds of slaughtered Koreans and does not know why innocent people suffer. After sharing details about the resilience of the Korean people, he reminisces about the local food soldiers acquired and recalls an unpleasant experience with hot chocolate.
Korea in 2005
Sahlemariam Wmichaea describes returning to Korea in 2005. He never dreamed that the changes he saw were possible. He recalls going from sleeping on the floor in 1952 to staying in skyscrapers in 2005.
Always C Rations
Salvatore Schillaci explains he does not recall where he landed when he arrived in Korea in 1951. He recounts how, as part of a reconnaissance team, they slept in foxholes or even on the open ground. He remembers extreme cold and C Rations. He describes how he tried, unsuccessfully, to heat up a can of pork and beans on the exhaust manifold of a truck.
Samuel Henry Bundles, Jr.
From Japan to Korea
Samuel Bundles, Jr., discusses being shipped to Japan and being assigned to a Medical Company. He recalls waiting two or three months before arriving in Pusan, Korea, and eventually working at a hospital ninety miles from Seoul. Drafted to play baseball during college, he recounts how he played second base on a baseball team during his downtime to entertain troops.
Returning to Korea
Samuel Bundles, Jr., reflects on his return to Korea. He shares that after working in many different companies he returned to Korea to buy wigs. He recounts seeing Seoul as a modern city.
Close Calls in Korea
Samuel Stoltzfus arrived in Pusan to board a train for the front lines north of Seoul. As a truck driver and radio operator, he hauled his radio across locations that included Old Baldy and Porkchop. He drove officers and radios through enemy fire. Once, during a speedy dash through enemy-observed territory, a hand grenade tumbled from the glove compartment onto the floor of his Jeep.
"Captain" Sanford Epstein
Sanford Epstein, an Army Staff Sergeant during his time in Korea, shares a story of when he took advantage of a trip to Seoul. He recounts being the only soldier from his outfit who wanted to participate in the Passover service held in Seoul and remembers traveling alone in a jeep with a driver which is generally only reserved for officers. He recalls being saluted along the route as soldiers thought he was an officer.
Revisiting Korea and Socialism
Sangmoon Olsson describes her experience when re-visiting Korea after many years. She did not want to put out her family and make them come to her. She remembered the roads of "old Korea." However, the family met her and reminded her the country had changed and was not the "old country." She was filled with pride and amazed at the rebuilding of South Korea. Sangmoon Olsson also describes that Sweden, being more left on the political spectrum. Being left probably impacted Sweden's positive relations with North Korea.
Playing During the Revolution
Seymour Bernstein explains how he went back to Korea 1960 with the State Department to play the piano. He explains that there was a revolution during that time. He witnessed a mass protest against the first president of South Korea, Syngman Rhee. After several students were killed, Seymour Bernstein asked to have his piano to be moved to the hospital to play for them.
Impressions of Korea
Seymour Bernstein describes what it was like to live in Korea during the war. He then explains how Korea became more modern on each subsequent trip he took back to the country after his initial encounter. However, even though it was more modern there were certain precautions that he had to take.
Stanley Jones describes the transformation of Korea that he witnessed on his revisit in 2004. He shares the sights he saw. He offers a story about taking a subway and being overwhelmed at the sight of skyscrapers where once stood only rubble. He notes that where there had once been extreme poverty, he then saw incredible economic recovery.
Stephen Frangos talks about the first nuclear weapons to leave the United States after the atomic bombs from World War II. The weapons were delivered to South Korea in 1958. The weapons were eventually brought back to the U.S. in 1991.
Impressions of Korea and of Koreans
Stephen Frangos reflects on his impressions of Korea and of Koreans. He describes a Seoul that was devastated but adds he did see signs of revival. He remembers having tremendous optimism for Korea because of the hard working and industrious people. He comments that he knew they would be successful but states he did not realize just how successful they would turn out to be.
Sterling N. McKusick
Arrival in Korea
Sterling N. McKusick recounts the story of his arrival to Korea from bootcamp in San Diego. He shares the 1st Marine Division landed in Incheon on September 15, 1950, just months after the start of the war. He notes that this was a totally different experience for him, especially seeing deceased people. He recalls his boat was near the U.S.S. Missouri and other large ships which were firing upon the city prior to their arrival. He recalls the taking of Wolmido Island as well as arrival in Incheon and movement to Yeongdeungpo and Seoul.
The Dead Stick in Your Mind
Sterling N. McKusick states that the dead always stick in his mind. He recounts one occasion near Wonsan in October 1950 when his unit discovered between three hundred to four hundred civilians slaughtered by the North Koreans. He believes he had it easier than many of the infantrymen who were constantly under fire while in Korea. He notes that after a short time, he simply got numb to the stuff. He provides an account of seeing North Korean tank units in Seoul who had died at the hands of napalm deployed by U.S. Marines and the Navy. He concludes that it never really goes away but that he came to see himself fortunate that it was not him.
Steven G. Olmstead
The Legacy of the Korean War
Steven Olmstead describes why he thinks the Korean War was important and its legacy. He compares his opinion if he were to have been asked in 1950, his first time there, versus his opinion about its importance in 1965 when he returned. He comments on the remarkable progress Korea had made in such a short time and how seeing it firsthand made him feel.
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.
Telila Deresa describes how he still has a hatred for Chinese. China has built many things in Ethiopia like trains, bridges and roadways. However, he still loves Korea. Korea is like a mother and provides for the veterans.
Thomas F. Miller
Basic Training and Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller went to basic training in Georgia and then he was shipped to Inchon Harbor to start his tour of duty. After landing, he noticed poor living conditions of the civilians which looked like America in the early 1800s.
Living and Working Conditions in Korea During the 1960s
Thomas Miller was a supply specialist who helped provide clothes, oil, and food rations to the troops. He stayed in quonset huts, had cold showers, and ate a hot meal most of his time in Korea.
Fighting and Living in Korea From 1952-1953
Thomas Parkinson recalls fighting from the Kansas Line and the Jamestown Line while in Korea from 1952-1953. He remembers eating American C-Rations, sleeping in trenches, and writing letters home to his mom along with pen pals from England.
The Korean War Yielded the Most Difficult and Rewarding Moments
Thomas Parkinson shares that his most difficult time was when a Jeep landed on his legs with petrol and napalm spilling around him. He recalls how, even though it was such a scary time, he will never forget the Indian regiment that helped him recover in a field ambulance. He shares that the most rewarding moment was related to helping the Korean children in and out of Seoul and the surrounding cities.
Arrival and Duties in Korea
Titus Santelli recounts his arrival in Korea. He explains that he was the only one in the area that knew about radar. This would later qualify him for running a radar gun bombsight shop on base. He describes having to help put fuses on bombs and load them onto planes.
Reflections on Service
Titus Santelli reflects on South Korea's progress since the war. He shares that he is proud of his service not because of heroics but because he feels it made him a grown and responsible person. He explains that his service allowed him to attend school upon his return.
Hill 355 and Military Life
Tom Collier describes the fighting at Hill 355 and said many New Zealand soldiers died in the battle. He was never in imminent danger, but there was a constant threat from Chinese artillery. Tom Collier also fondly recollects a South Korean houseboy who was about fourteen years old that completed chores such as laundry and Tom Collier said the boy lost all his money gambling. He looked for the houseboy upon return to South Korea, but could not find him.
Pusan and Seoul Living Conditions
Tom Collier describes a rough trip to Pusan by ship and overall conditions of the people. People would make houses of anything they could, mostly tin and cardboard. The people did not know English and lived in poverty. Tom Collier then transferred to Seoul and describes the conditions of the people as similar to Pusan.
Tom Collier returned to South Korea in 2004 and was amazed at the different place Seoul had become. He tried to locate landmarks from his days fighting in Korea and could find nothing that was similar because of the transformation. Tom Collier is also proud of his service and how South Korea has turned out.
Tom Muller describes life on the front lines and compares this to the TV show M*A*S*H*. He likes the show, but disagrees with the drama and the antics of the show. He describes having a potbelly stove that was adequate up to 10 feet away. He goes further and describes the South Korean people, scrawny and begging for food near Busan.
Transporting a Wounded Chinese Soldier
Tommy Clough offers an account of transporting a wounded Chinese soldier. He recalls his unit's location at Hill 327 and remembers that a moaning noise was identified coming from no man's land. He recounts that they were cautious at first as they thought it might be a trap but shares that the moaning was coming from a wounded Chinese soldier. He details having to transport the wounded soldier to receive medical treatment and shares how he convinced the driver to continue the journey rather than killing the wounded soldier on the way.
The Journey to Korea from England
Tony White shares when he left Southampton, England, the ship experienced a steering problem in the Indian Ocean which resulted in hitting the rudder with a sledgehammer in order to steer. He remembers how the ship diverted to Singapore. He recalls they also had to go to Hong Kong and then to Kure, Japan, after enduring a typhoon. He spent three weeks in Japan training and then went on to Korea.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
Korea - Then and Now
Tsege Cherenet Degn describes the conditions in Korea in 1954. He stayed in a destroyed home with no roof and used to watch movies on a destroyed wall. He returned to South Korea in 2013 and shares his thoughts and admiration for the vast improvements.
Ulises Barreto González
Destruction Everywhere / Destrucción en Todas Partes
Ulises Barreto González recounts the destruction he saw in Incheon and Seoul. He could not believe that beautiful five story buildings were leveled by the bombing. He also speaks about the carnage of Kelly Hill. He explains the fact that this battle is the most vivid in his mind because the mountain was so high and because it was lost to Chinese forces.
Ulises Barreto González habla sobre la destrucción que vio en Incheon y Seúl. No podía creer que tantos hermosos edificios de cinco pisos fueron destruidos por el bombardeo. También habla del peligro de Kelly Hill. Esa batalla es la más vívida en su memoria porque la montaña era muy alta y porque las fuerzas chinas ganaron y ellos perdieron.
Welcome to Your Duty Station
After arriving in Korea in 1953, Vartkess Tarbassian was stationed in the Iron Triangle. He had to live in a foxhole to protect the area from the North Koreans. After surviving the cold and terrain, Vartkess Tarbassian was sent home in November 1954.
Opportunities To Visit South Korea
Vikram Tuli discusses the benefits of college students attending the peace camp funded by the Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veteran Affairs. His children have attended those camps, as well as many other Indian students. The peace camp is one of two programs run by the Ministry, the other being the Revisit Korea program for its war veterans. It is important to pass on the legacy of the Korean War Veterans in that way so that they can become future change makers. He also discusses his visit to Seoul seven years prior, remembering the war memorial and the solemn ceremony he attended. He remains impressed by the progress Korea has made.
Virgil Malone was sent to Lackland Air Force Base for basic training. He went to Florida to get training to become a Air Policeman. It's the Air Force's version of the military police. When he was in Daegu, he was attached to the 5th Division to guard the headquarters, but nothing near the front lines. Later on, he was moved to Seoul after the headquarters moved there.
"I Thought We Had Landed in the Wrong Place."
Wallace Stewart returned to Incheon in 2010 and could not believe the phenomenal growth that had occurred since 1950. Korea had been an agrarian economy, with farmers plowing fields with mules and fertilizing with night soil. No paved roads left Seoul, and only one bridge crossed the Han River. The infrastructure and tall buildings of 2010 demonstrated phenomenal growth.
Walter Kreider Jr.
Contrasting Korea: 1950s vs 1980s
Walter Kreider, Jr., contrasts the Korea he saw in the the 1950s to the Korea he revisited in the 1980s. He shares his recollections of Seoul and the destruction he saw while serving. He comments on how the war left many children orphaned. He shares that the Korea he saw on his return visit starkly contrasted his memories as there were many cars and buildings, and he comments on its beauty. He attributes the transformation to Korea's quest for education.
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.
War-torn Seoul versus a Prospering Seoul
Wayne Mitchell compares his experiences during the war with the experiences he had upon revisiting Korea over sixty five years later. He recalls the biggest change to him was the agricultural boom that now covers much of the South Korean countryside. He also remembers his recent experiences in Seoul as being filled with modern museums, skyscrapers, and freeways - A big change from the war-torn Seoul he arrived in during the war.
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.
South Korean Villages
William Arthur Jones provides photographs taken during the war of Korean villages located forty miles south of Seoul. He describes how the South Koreans grew crops and prepared food and contrasts the area to its current urban development. He shares last photograph is of him using his military-issued hunting license to hunt pheasants in Korea.
Flying in Korea
William Arthur Jones recounts experiences on various aircraft during his time in the Korean War. He describes an instance where ground fire traveled through the plane he was in and struck his glute. He offers information about the F-86 Sabre jet replacing the B-51 Mustang to compete with North Korean and Chinese fighter jets. He remembers flying small observation aircraft around the base during R and R. He recalls times when South Korean pilots crashed many B-26 planes that were donated by the United States.
William D. Freeman
William Freeman describes a little known event during the Korean War, the Hoengsong Massacre. He recalls his capture as a Prisoner of War (POW). He describes the details of the event as well as his project archiving the experiences of the American soldiers captured there.
Comparing Korea, Then and Now
William Duffy recalls Seoul being in rubble. He remembers Korea being totally destroyed and adds that he could touch the top of any building that was still standing. He remembers going back to Korea years later and seeing a beautiful and impressive Seoul; the skyscrapers were numerous, and the traffic around the city was heavy. He shares that the Korea today is not the Korea he left in 1952 and adds he never would have imagined Korea would look like it does today. He recalls the South Korean people being exceptionally nice.
Seoul Evacuation- April 1950
William Dumas describes the parachute training he received prior to parachuting into Seoul on April 1, 1950. He discusses landing in a rice patty on the outskirts of Seoul. He shares the evacuation plan he was given.
Wounded for the First Time
William Dumas describes the first time he was wounded in Seoul. He shares the lasting effects of the shrapnel still in his body. He shares his experiences working for General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.
Progress in Korea, 1953-1960
William Edwards describes the progress in Korea from the his time there during the Korean War and his return in 1960.
Inchon Landing & Seoul Recapture
William Herold describes landing in Inchon around amid Korea's heavy rain. He recounts having to wait the night out by himself until daylight when his company could regroup. He adds that there was little resistance other than sniper fire. He explains that he did not have a chance to really look around Inchon as he and his platoon members had no opportunity to get out. William Herold describes the march to Seoul following the Inchon Landing, adding that there was resistance.
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.
William Rooyakkers describes his duty of hauling ammunition from the ships to the front lines. He recalls the day his truck hit a mine resulting in serious injury. He remembers being carried out by a M.A.S.H. chopper and receiving care on a hospital ship.