Tag: South Koreans
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
Wounded While Serving the Citizens and Soldiers
Achille Ragazzoni explains that with the deployment of Italian troops to Korea, this became the first foreign mission involving Italian soldiers. He recalls how his preparations for deployment to Korea involved learning to treat citizens in addition to the soldiers. He shares he was wounded while transporting medicine and spent some time being treated in an American hospital. He recounts how when offered the chance to go home to recover, he chose to remain in Korea.
English translations begin: 23:52 and 26:20.
Learning to Understand the Korean People
Achille Ragazzoni shares he saw the importance in learning as much as he could about the Korean people. He comments on how he took advantage of every opportunity to socialize with the Korean people, unlike many of his colleagues. He explains he noticed many similarities between the Korean and Italian people, notably the music. He adds that though he left Korea in 1954, the hospital continued its operation.
English translations begin: 49:23, 50:32, and 50:41.
Impressions after Return Trips to Korea
Achille Ragazzoni shares he returned to Korea ten or twelve times over his lifetime. He marvels at the improvements made, especially related to the sanitary situation of the country. He expresses sadness that many Korean people had abandoned tradition and history but shares he was impressed with one young woman he met along the way studying a medieval Italian map.
English translations begin: 51:05 and 53:46.
Back to the 38th Parallel
Adam McKenzie discusses having to turn around and go back to the 38th Parallel after reaching Pyongyang. He explains that the command to retreat came before Chinese soldiers entered the Korean War, and it was given at the direction of United States military leadership. He expresses frustration at having to retreat, and feels that Korea would be unified today if soldiers could have kept moving northward.
Ahmet Tan describes the enemy and fighting conditions near Cheorwon when he first arrived. The action was very violent, but eased when the Armistice was signed. After the Armistice, Turkish soldiers returned home. Ahmet Tan was happy to be home in Istanbul. He has revisited South Korea once and describes it as beautiful. Also, if war ever breaks out again, Ahmet Tan would go again.
Albert Cooper talks about a secret counterintelligence mission alongside two British spies to uncover South Koreans working against American interests. He mentions that while this mission itself bore little fruit, he developed a "love affair with the Korean people."
Proud at Every Bend of the Road
Albert Cooper compares and contrasts the Korea that he left in 1953 with the Korea he revisited in 2009. Amazed at Korea's progress, he describes being "proud at every bend of the road." He says he is most proud that Koreans are happy and prosperous.
What Did You Do in Korea?
Albert Frisina speaks about his training in the Army Security Agency and the work he did. He shares he was a radar transmission locator and was stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea. He and his unit would listen to radar transmissions in an attempt to locate and listen to the North Koreans. He recalls how they were not always sure about what was being said, but they were able to identify the transmission location through a method of triangulation.
Life in Korea
Albert Frisina recalls life in Uijeongbu. He remembers they would work six-hour shifts. He recalls eating and drinking very well and, sadly, remembers seeing Korean civilians digging through his company's garbage. He shares how he invited the Koreans to eat their leftovers, rather than having to dig through garbage. Despite the nice treatment he received, he remembers returning to the United States and kissing the ground.
Albert Frisina notes how free and prosperous South Korea is today. He expresses how proud he is that he was able to contribute to its success. He cites the successes that South Korea is witnessing now as reasons why the United States helped fight for what is now South Korea. He remembers witnessing Japan during leave time known as Rest and Relaxation and seeing how much it had progressed. He remembers hoping Korea would also progress. He expresses his pleasure in knowing that South Korea is now the tenth largest economy in the world.
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.
Infiltrators Hiding in Barrels
Albert McCarthy recalls an incident that happened when he worked for the security agency. Intelligence came in that there were 12 North Korean infiltrators sneaking into South Korea through the Han River hiding in barrels. Once caught, the infiltrators were killed that night. He also recalls receiving intelligence of a school bus filled with infiltrators heading to kill the South Korean president. They also blew up at least two gunboats a week.
Code Names, Signals, and Spies
Albert McCarthy describes working with a North Korean spy. He details having to use code names and signals. He also elaborates on how this spy helped alleviate a set up from the North Koreans that almost occured in the Chorwon Valley.
Headed to Korea and First Impression
Alfred Curtis describes how he felt when he learned he would be serving in Korea. He shares that hardly anyone knew anything about Korea and that he had honestly never even heard of Korea. He adds that he and other young soldiers thought they would go over and take care of business within a few months and be home. He recalls his journey to Korea, landing in Pusan, and the suffering of the South Korean people.
Thoughts on Service, Memories, and the Korean War Legacy
Alfred Curtis offers his thoughts on service and memories of his brother who served in Korea. He shares that his brother was at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir and that he died from wounds he sustained in battle. He comments on the legacy of the Korean War, sharing that what the country of South Korea has done for itself since the war is unbelievable.
Alfredo Forero Parra
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Alfredo Forero Parra remembers the complete devastation he encountered upon arriving in Korea. He conveys the disbelief he felt when he saw the destruction of most structures and bridges. He recalls the suffering of the civilian population as they begged for food. He states that suffering was most reflected in the eyes of the children.
Alfredo Forero Parra recuerda la devastación que encontró al llegar a Corea. Habla del horror que sintió cuando vio la destrucción de la mayoría de las estructuras y puentes en el país. Recuerda el sufrimiento de la población civil y como rogaban por comida. En su opinión, el sufrimiento se reflejaba más en los ojos de los niños.
Destruction and Living Conditions
Ali Dagbagli describes the poor conditions of the Korean people. Kids would beg for food and cigarettes. People lived in houses made of rice stalks. Ali Dagbagli traveled from Incheon to Daegu, before moving north to Kunu-ri, North 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.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.
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.
Allen Affolter describes South Korea as an amazing country. He recounts the progress made since the war after returning to Korea with a Korean War Veterans Revisit Program and comments on its differences compared to North Korea. He shares that he was greeted warmly by the citizens of South Korea and left the trip proud of the contributions he and his colleagues had made to the success of their nation.
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.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
US Marines Working with Korean Marines Throughout the Korean War
Allen Clark with Korean Marines were tough and they didn't put up with anyone who couldn't keep up. They were great Marines and were ready to fight whenever asked. There were translators to help with cooperation between US troops and the Korean Marines.
Korean Culture and Ceasefire
Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.
Allen E. Torgerson
Knowing What You Are Fighting For
Allen Torgerson describes fighting alongside KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) soldiers and ROK (Republic of Korea) soldiers. He explains that while there was a language barrier, the KATUSA and ROK soldiers knew enough English among themselves to communicate with Americans. He emphasizes that both groups showed pride in their country and knew what they were fighting for during the war. He adds that South Koreans show appreciation for what America did for them.
Leaving Korea after the Armistice and Returning to Korea
Andrew Cleveland recalls leaving Korea earlier than planned in September of 1954. He shares how after the armistice was signed, soldiers who signed up for college could go home and attend school. He recounts attending the University of Texas after leaving Korea, thanks to the G.I. Bill. He shares how he returned to Korea twenty-eight years later on business, specifically to coordinate the manufacturing of new products for his company. He describes befriending a Korean manufacturer and visiting Korea multiple times a year for many years in a row. His shares how his grandson captured this friendship in a work of art.
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.
Children of War
Andrew Lanza's initial encounter as he landed in Pusan was filled with shock because he never heard of Korea. One image that he will never forget is hungry children carrying other children on their backs. Some of the children were, as he described, "disfigured."
Angad Singh reflects on his impressions of Korea immediately following the war. He remembers arriving in Incheon in 1953 when Syngman Rhee was Korea's President. He noticed devastation everywhere. He arrived at the DMZ and recalls seeing no buildings left. He remembers seeing huts made from mud and next to no industry in the area.
Angad Singh reflects on his recent trip back to Korea along with the Korean Veterans Association. He shares how he was well-received by the Korean people and recalls his amazement of the Incheon airport. He remembers seeing a sixteen-lane highway, which was impressive to him considering there were few functioning roads there after the war. He reflects on the improvement and progress made in Korea.
Experience in Korea
Angad Singh speaks about his living arrangements in Panmunjom, along the DMZ. He describes their living quarters, U.S. tents, being well-built and remembers having kerosine heaters in the tents because the temperatures in Korea were very cold. He recalls some of his duties while in Korea and adds that he left Korea and arrived home in India in August of 1954.
Mandeep Singh, Grandson of Angad Singh
Mandeep Singh, the grandson of Lieutenant Colonel Angad Singh, joins the interview. He was born on February 11, 1992. He shares his reflections on his grandfather's service in Korea and explains that he was able to join his grandfather on a return to Korea trip in 2009. He recalls attending the United Nations Peace Camp run by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
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.
This Father's Experience in the Custodian Force
Anil Malhotra talks about his father's (Brigadier Tilka Raj Malhotra) experience in the Custodian Force from 1953 to 1954. This was when Syngman Rhee was the Republic of Korea (ROK) President. The five infantry battalions that made up the Custodian Force were called the CFI, the Custodian Force of India. He reflects on how much South Korea has improved since the war.
Poem about War
Aragaw Mselu describes a poem he made after defeating the Chinese at one particular mountain. Importantly, the poem is about his experience. Ethiopia came to Korea to defeat the enemy. Above all the enemy would have to kill the Ethiopians to take Korea. The poem illustrates the resolve of Aragaw Mselu.
Moment of Hesitation Led to Capture
Arden Rowley describes the night of November 30, 1950, and his capture by the Chinese Communist Forces. He describes how his unit was surrounded which led them to destroy their equipment and leave the convoy. He recalls how he and another soldier became separated from the group and seeing a group of soldiers approaching. He remembers that by the time they could properly identify the approaching soldiers, it was too late. He shares how being captured was a traumatic experience as one minute you are firing at them and then you are at their mercy. He elaborates on his fears while being captured and the twenty-four day march he endured to the first POW camp.
Devastation and Destruction of Seoul
Aristides Simoes reflects on his memories of the capital of South Korea, Seoul, after the war. Despite seeing civilians and soldiers on the streets, the city itself was filled with dust, destruction, and debris. He also details the extreme poverty many South Koreans were experiencing at the time.
Helping the Children
Aristofaris Androulakis discusses the tragedies of war. He shares how he tried to help children as much as he could. He explains how many struggled for food and would beg. He explains that helping the children is what makes him most proud.
Legacy of the Korean War
Arthur Gentry believes that if it were not for the Marines, there would not have been victory at the Chosin Reservoir. Casualties were hight with 3600 U.S. soldiers killed in action, and another 6000 suffered from frostbite. Arthur Gentry believes that the Korean War, otherwise known as the "Forgotten War," was the last war the U.S. "won" and accomplished anything. He believes the victory lies within the Marines holding the line and the U.S. nurturing South Korea to flourish economically and democratically.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
The Korean People
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes his encounters with Korean people while aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo. Further, he describes his admiration for the youth who fought for their country. He shares one memory of rescuing fishermen and returning them to their village.
Arthur W. Sorgatz
Strangers Left The Dead
Based on Korean culture, if someone died and the body was lying along the road, civilians would leave the body there, claiming that if they returned the body to the family, the helper would have to take care of the deceased person's family. Sometimes, bodies would lay in the road for three to four days before it was picked up. Arthur Sorgatz had to drive around bodies any times during his tour in Busan, Korea.
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 Desta describes the details of his service in the Korean War. He describes how Korean civilians were so helpful during the war. American supplies were a necessity. Engagements with the Chinese were frequent. He describes how he did not want to even blink to give his position.
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.
Experiences from the Front Lines
Avery Creef speaks about his experiences on the front lines at the Kumhwa Valley, Old Baldy, and the Iron Triangle. He recalls fighting against both the North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. There were a few dangerous situations where he almost lost his life. He remembers constantly firing flares.
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.
Memories and a Message
Ayhan Karabulut describes how he cannot forget the memories of the men he served with who lost their lives. He also describes how he feared the sound of planes overhead after returning home. He did have a special message for the Republic of Korea, "May Allah give them long life."
The Dangers of Providing Supplies for Troops
Basilio MaCalino landed at Incheon in March 1953. From there, he went to Sasebo on his way to his station in Ascom City. When arriving there, human waste was everywhere and the smell was something that he'll never forget. When leaving his station in a truck to bring supplies to troops, he was shot at multiple times.
Life in Ascom City
Basilio MaCalino was stationed at Ascom City and he hated that there wasn't any fresh milk, eggs and hot water for his shower. When it was cold, he only showered once a week. Basilio MaCalino was able to sleep in an old building and was signed house boys to help around the base.
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros
Battle of Triangle Hill
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the Battle of Triangle Hill. Ethiopian forces were located on Papasan Hill (Hill 1062) during the battle. Ethiopian forces never went on the offensive and defended the Hill. In addition, Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros also describes how no Ethiopian forces were taken as prisoners of war (POW). Ethiopian forces never surrendered.
Protecting a Country Being Attacked
Belay Bekele describes the reasoning for Ethiopian forces going to Korea. Emperor Haile Selassie made a promise to the United Nations to protect nations being attacked. Ethiopia was the only country in Africa to send troops to Korea. Belay Bekele also describes the suffering of the people. He says the people would eat food scraps from the soldiers.
Ben Schrader Jr.
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.
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.
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.
Everyone Looked Beautiful
Bernard Brownstein describes his arrival in Incheon and drive to his camp. He explains that the soldier driving him whistles at Korean women as they are driving. He explains that initially he didn't find the girl attractive but as time went on, everyone became beautiful.
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.
What Adjective Would You Chose to Describe Korea during the war?
Bernard Smith described Korea as if the conditions and people during the war went "back in time." He said he could equate what he saw to living the harsh life in rural America where people had next to nothing, but were still happy. He described children would pull empty Hershey boxes with a string as if it was a toy truck and were so content.
Bernard Smith's encounter with Seoul when they arrived was a devastated and torn apart city. An example is a governmental business that had its windows blown out and walls collapsed, but what parts were still standing and areas safe enough to work, the government continued to work there. The area where Bernard Smith was stationed appeared to be untouched.
Lucie Paus Falck reads from her father's diary describing the first patient he treated. The patient was a 13 year old boy named Park who was severely burned in July of 1951. The boy was transferred away to Seoul but would return when Dr. Bernhard Falck engineered his return after hearing about him from a nurse who journeyed to Seoul to see him.
What Makes Ethiopian Soldiers Different?
Bezuneh Mengestu describes what he believes make an Ethiopian soldier unlike others who fought in Korea. He discusses the respect and reverence they had for their emperor who sent them with the command to "kill or be killed". They were taught to never surrender and never leave any man behind.
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.
At War at Just Sixteen
Bjarne Christensen explains how he exited the hospital ship in Busan to see poverty. He shares that he had never seen anything like it at sixteen. He shares how he saw children begging and it bothered him.
The Eye-Opening Trip to Pusan
Bob Couch discusses his basic training in California and his deployment to Korea. He recounts the "jolt" he experienced upon his arrival in Pusan after seeing the state of destruction and poverty level among civilians. He recalls trucks making rounds each morning to collect bodies of civilians who had died during the night.
Bob Mitchell describes the food in combat and what the soldiers craved. He also speaks about the poverty and how soldiers set up orphanages for the children.
Bradley J. Strait
Animosity towards the North Korean Leadership
Bradley Strait shares the level of animosity he feels towards the leadership in North Korea. He weighs in on the benefits of reunification and suggests that South Korea is a good model of democracy. He highlights the economic gains South Korean has made as well.
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.
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.
Departure and Revisit
Bruce Diggle left Korea in 1954 by ship and went to London. In London, he met up with his soon-to-be wife who left for London when he left for Korea. They were married upon his arrival in London. He returned to Korea with a revisit program offered to New Zealand veterans. He is very appreciative of South Korea's efforts to bring veterans back and is impressed by the development of South Korea since the war.
Bryan J. Johnson
Bryan Johnson describes life aboard the HMNZS and working 90 hours a week. He describes one incident of detaining a father and son from South Korea who were "smuggling" rice to North Korea. The ship and crew were to hold the father and son until the South Koreans could come and "take them out to sea," assuring death.
Burnie S. Jarvis
Impact of the Korean War
Burnie Jarvis shares he received the South Korean Peace Ambassador Meal from the South Korean government and recalls not considering himself much of a hero despite what the Korean government said. He believes that it was important for the United States to be involved in the war as a matter of protecting the South Korean people from being overrun by the North and to preserve freedom. He describes how he proudly served his country and shares that his military service taught him many things including an appreciation for his own country. He add that, following the war, he took advantage of the GI Bill and trained to become an aviation mechanic, the field which he worked in the remainder of his career.
Thoughts on Modern Korea
Burt Cazden shares that he supported US intervention in Korea and agreed with President Truman on the matter. He states that the war was won due to South Korea obtaining its freedom. He offers his thoughts on the accomplishments of modern Korea and describes it as a marvelous country.
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 describes the living conditions he endured while serving. He remembers extremely cold temperatures and not being outfitted with proper winter gear. He recalls the K-Ration meals he ate and recounts a few meals he shared with locals.
Legacy of the Korean War
Carl Jacobsen shares his thoughts on the legacy of the Korean War. He elaborates on his fascination of the progress South Korea has made since the war. He comments on the appreciation Koreans have towards the United States and other countries which provided aid.
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 David Rodriguez Boissen
Life in Korea After the War
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen describes his daily life in Korea as a member of the Military Police after the Korean War had ended. He shares that it was not easy and that he and others there worked 7 days a week. He expresses that the only thing that really bothered him throughout the experience was not being with his family.
On Their Feet
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen describes how he feels he helped the Korean people get up on their feet after the war. He shares that his aid came through distributing clothing, food, and assistance where needed while he was there. He explains that he knew they were going through a difficult time and that they needed all the help soldiers and the government could give them.
Speaking Spanish with a Korean Boy
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen recounts a young Korean boy attempting to trade a weapon with him in exchange for a case of c-rations. He describes the boy speaking in Spanish to him rather than Korean as he had learned it from other Puerto Rican soldiers. He adds that he did not make the trade.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco discusses his first impressions of the war and Korea. He remembers that he and others experienced real fear upon first landing in Incheon. During the first two months he spent in Korea, he recalls that they trained in modern warfare and took care of prisoners of war. He recounts the desperation of the civilian population, in particular, what women were forced to do to survive.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco cuenta de sus primeras impresiones sobre la guerra y Corea. Recuerda que él y otros tuvieron miedo cuando llegaron por primera vez en Incheon y vieron lo que es la guerra. Durante los dos primeros meses que pasó en Corea, recuerda que tenían entrenamiento y los asignaron a cuidaron a los prisioneros de guerra. El se acuerda de la desesperación de la población civil, en particular, de lo que las mujeres se vieron obligadas a hacer para sobrevivir.
Carlos Julio 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.
Legacy of the War / El Legado de la Guerra
Carlos Julio Mora Zea shares his views on the legacy of the Korean War. He believes that all troops in the allied forces conserved liberty and demonstrated the ideals for all nations. He explains that while wars have negative consequences, Korea would not have the economy, peace, and stability it enjoys without the efforts of all that fought.
Carlos Julio Mora Zea comparte sus opiniones sobre el legado de la Guerra de Corea. Él cree que todas las tropas de las fuerzas aliadas conservaron la libertad y demostraron los ideales para todas las naciones. Explica que, si bien las guerras tienen consecuencias negativas, Corea no tendría la economía, la paz y la estabilidad que disfruta sin los esfuerzos de todos los que lucharon.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Carlos Rivera-Rivera describes his first impressions of Korea and the people in the country. He explains that he was astonished by the abject poverty and need he witnessed. He reflects on the fact that he could not understand how civilians were able to survive without water and living under the conditions they faced.
Carlos Rivera-Rivera describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y de la gente en el país. Explica que estaba asombrado por la pobreza y la necesidad que vio. No podía entender cómo los civiles podían sobrevivir sin agua y viviendo en las condiciones a las que se enfrentaban.
Cecil Franklin Snyder
Cecil Snyder describes Seoul based on his visits there in late 1958 though 1959. He talks about the condition of the city, its infrastructure, sanitation, and people.
Food for Korean Orphanages
Cecil Snyder, a clerk stationed at Osan Air Base, talks about delivering food to nearby orphanages. He describes collecting and delivering unused food, oftentimes used to feed the orphanages' livestock such as pigs.
Cecil K. Walker
Desperate Living Conditions
Cecil Walker describes the living conditions in South Korea during the time of war. People were in desperate conditions during the time of winter. He describes poor housing and lack of general items. Cecil Walker describes how the people of South Korea needed help and he would go to war again to help people in need.
Conditions In and Around Seoul
Cecil Walker describes conditions in and around Seoul. He helped bring supplies from Incheon to Seoul and transport Australian forces from the Second Line of Defense. Cecil Walker also describes how Seoul was deserted, with the exception of "Street Kids." He describes how when people did return to Seoul, they used any scrap to build shelter.
Panmunjeom Peace Talks
Cecilio Asuncion discusses his belief that the war should not have happened. He highlights the original division of Korea and then the division at the Panmunjeom Peace Talks. While describing the peace talks, he provides an overview of the delegates who were in attendance. Since South Korea did not take part in the peace talks, he clarifies that North and South Korea are still at war.
Kinda Disappointed with My Own People
Charles Blum explains what the Korean War meant to him. He describes the pain from his wounds with every step he takes. He also elaborates on his thoughts towards South Korea appreciating their freedom while he feels that America may take it for granted.
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.
Charles Crow Flies High
United States and Republic of Korea
Charles Crow Flies High talks about why the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea is a good thing for both countries. He believes that Kim Jung Un is influenced by his father, but there is a lot of camaraderie between US troops and Korean civilians. The Korean culture has spread around the United States, and he feels that this is a very positive interaction.
Encountering the Chinese
Charles Eggenberger describes going up a mountain in trucks through Hagalwoori to the Chosin Reservoir area. He recalls how his unit learned that the Chinese had crossed the border near the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the surrounding units of soldiers had taken off out of the area during the initial attack by the Chinese.
Charles Falugo, Jr.
What were living conditions like in South Korea?
After a twenty-two day trip from Seattle, Washington, Charles Falugo recalls being relieved that they finally landed in Pusan, South Korea. He recalls the poor living conditions he witnessed--all Korean houses were made of clay, the people used oxen to help them transport water, and they picked roots for food. He also recalls South Korean children taking his unit's leftovers home to feed their families. He felt very lucky relative to the South Koreans he encountered and feels immense pride for the advancements South Korea has made today.
What 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.
Horrors of War
Charles Fowler describes the devastating effects of the war on women and children. He shares that the North Koreans even used children as decoys. He also recounts images of those afflicted by napalm as being some of the most difficult for him.
South Korean Effort
Charles Fowler briefly describes how the South Koreans were basically fighting for their lives, freedom, and country. He emphasizes that South Korean soldiers fought just as hard as the United Nations soldiers and served on the front lines as well. He recalls verbal communication being a barrier at times due to a difference in languages but adds that soldiers found other means to communicate.
Charles Francis Jacks
Korea Today and Lessons Learned
Charles Jacks draws comparisons between 1950s Korea and Korea today. He shares that South Korea today is far more modern than it was during the war and contrasts it to North Korea. He reflects on lessons learned from his time serving.
Charles Gregory Caldwell
Life of a Peace Corps Teacher
Charles Gregory Caldwell shares he taught English to Korean boys at the Jeongeub Boys' Middle School in Jeongeub, Jeollabukdo. He details what a typical school day was like for him and how he went about instructing his students in English. He recalls, at one point, wondering exactly why he was teaching them English as he feared they would never use it again except for acceptance into high school.
Challenges of Living In Korea
Charles Gregory Caldwell shares the challenges of working in Korea. He recalls medical issues that many people living in Korea, foreigner and natives alike, typically faced. He shares he found his time in Korea most rewarding as it opened the world to him and changed his career path.
Charles L. Chipley
Chinese Attacks Against Civilians
Charles L. Chipley Jr. offers his account of providing evacuation aid to the Marines at Heungnam. He recounts that his ship provided gunfire support so that troops could be loaded onto the evacuation ships. He describes the movement of a speculated 100,000 Chinese troops killing civilian Koreans.
Charles Rangel identified the determination of the Korean people in the aftermath of the Korean war. The resilience and kindness of the Korean people is something that he will never forget. He even has pictures of his time in Korea inside of his office as a United States Representative.
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.
"They Liked Us, We Liked Them"
Chuck Walther speaks about working with and being around native Koreans during his time serving in Korea after the Armistice. He describes that they had a good relationship with each other. He shares the only thing that was hard for him to adjust to was Korean food, particularly kimchi.
What Was the Point of War?
Chester Coker talks about how senseless he originally thought the war was. He reports being confused about his purpose and why the U.S. Army was there. He shares how he later understood the great value the war provided South Korea. He mentions stopping the spread of communism and shares he has returned to South Korea five times.
The Battle That Got Me
Chester Coker speaks about the battle which impacted him the most. He recalls how he and his unit were just north of Panmunjeom, close to the 38th parallel. He remembers a stalemate had been reached, and negotiations were stalled, and the Army was ordered to push north. He shares how the battle that followed was the most fierce he experienced, pushing the North Korean and Chinese soldiers back north. He recalls how they were able to push forward because many of the enemy troops were asleep. He describes how a grenade landed and blew up on top of him.
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.
Heading to Korea
Chuck Lusardi recalls the process of learning he and his brother were both headed to Korea while he was at Camp Stoneman, California. He recalls how, from Camp Stoneman, they were consigned to a troop ship which took about three thousand five hundred men on a fourteen-day voyage to Yokohama, Japan. He remembers that upon arrival at Camp Drake, there were no ships left because they had been dispersed from the Heungnam Evacuation. He vividly recounts the masses of humanity upon arrival in Busan on January 11, 1951, estimating the throng of refugees to be about two and a half million.
The Hardest Part
Chuck Lusardi describes the hardest parts of his time in Korea revolved around seeing the great suffering of the civilian population. He recalls the worst living conditions for Koreans seemed to be near the Iron Triangle. He shares how much of his time was spent within sight and sound of the front lines, and he is proud he never hit a mine with his equipment and was never hit by a sniper. He remembers jeeps bringing out the severely wounded as tough times as well. He notes feeling totally helpless at times.
Never Saw a Korean Cry
Chuck Lusardi recalls finding it difficult to see what humanity had to do just to survive during the Korean War. He shares he was impressed with the resilience of the Korean people. He notes that everything in his memory from his time stationed in Korea is in black and white.
Clara K. Cleland
Nursing Wounded Soldiers After Various Campaigns
Clara Cleland describes her nursing duties as various battles were occurring, including taking care of patients from the Jangin (Chosin) Reservoir. She recalls how she and her unit set up various Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) and remembers witnessing the U.S.S. Missouri firing its guns and heavy fire from other ships as well. She explains how her unit was then moved to assist another unit on a hospital ship and how, from there, they began treating non-emergent patients with illnesses.
Clarence G. Atzenhoffer, Jr.
The Forgotten War
Clarence Atzenhoffer shares his thoughts on why the Korean War is seen as the Forgotten War. He explains that many young people do not know about the war and many of the Korean War veterans are no longer alive now to tell their story. He describes the South Korean government's efforts to help spread awareness regarding the war.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
Chinese Were Everywhere
Clarence Sperbeck describes when he arrived on the front lines when the Chinese were all over the place they controlled everything. When he came back to the states, counter intelligence asked him how he knew the Chinese were everywhere dominating the region, and he said, "that was easy to detect." When you entered a traditional Korean home, you were supposed to take off your shoes outside and put rubber slippers on. Clarence Sperbeck said most of the houses he saw had Chinese Army Boots at the door, so that's how he knew they were sleeping in the Korean houses.
Camp 1: Sustenance
When Clarence Sperbeck arrived at his first POW Camp (Camp 1-Ch'ang Song), Chinese soldiers gave each man a wash cloth and a bar of soap, but then they were instructed to go to the polluted river at the camp to take a bath. Korean civilians (women and children) stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched the G.I.'s take a bath. Men were given little food and Clarence Sperbeck describes the pork they ate and how the Chinese would slaughter and drink the blood of the pig.
Help from South Korean Soldiers and Civilians
Clarence Jerke recalls his experiences with KATUSA soldiers and South Korean civilians. He describes one particular South Korean soldier who was especially adept at laying communication lines. He talks about civilian boys who washed military uniforms for food or money.
Helping the Hungry
Claude Charland describes the most vivid memory he has of his time in Korea. He shares the experience of a Korean family while on the front lines. He describes how he and his platoon led a Korean family down a hill to recuperate the food that the family had stored before the war.
The Hardship of Just Living
Claude Charland describes how hard it was to stay clean while serving on the front lines. He describes where they lived. He describes the attack by the bugs. He describes the weather and how it affected his living conditions..
Knowledge of Korea
Clayton Burkholder was going to junior college and worked at a grocery store in 1951 when the Korean War stared. He read about the war in newspapers and heard it on the television. After volunteering, he didn't know anything about Korea, but he did know about Japan. He knew that there was a conflict that needed to be taken care of in Asia, but that was it.
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.
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 J. Hallett
Engaged During the War
Colin Hallett describes his engaged to Ina Everitt. Both Collin Hallett and Ina Everitt sent letters to stay in contact. Colin Hallett sent letters that spoke of daily and weekly events. Ina Everitt had a busy life at home that kept her busy and not just thinking of her fiancé.
Invitation onboard a Republic of Korean Ship
Colin Hallett describes pride in his Naval service. He attended a ceremony where he was able to go onto a contemporary Republic of Korea ship due to his military service. The Republic of Korea Navy Captain was a generous host and showed Colin Hallett around the ship, which made him feel proud of his Naval service.
Conrad R. Grimshaw
The Houses of the Korean People
Conrad Grimshaw describes arriving in Korea and seeing the devastation of the Korean households. He recounts their homes being burnt and crudely replaced by stones, straw, and dirt. He shares that American soldiers were empathic and took care of the Korean people any way they could.
The Burning of Chinese Rifles
Conrad Grimshaw briefly shares his thoughts on South Korea in comparison to North Korea. He describes the Chinese soldiers being killed by the hundreds. He recounts the burning of Chinese rifles to keep them out of circulation among the Chinese troops.
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.
Daniel J. Rickert
"It Was a Miracle"
Daniel Rickert revisited South Korea in 1998. He compares and contrasts his Korean experiences that were 50 years apart. He describes the rebuilding and modernization as "a miracle."
Darrell D. McArdle
Darrell McArdle describes his experience during the Incheon Landing on September 15, 1950. On his way to Korea from Japan, he recalls the men dealing with seasickness and equipment on deck breaking loose during a typhoon. Once the typhoon passed, he remembers stepping on deck and seeing the surrounding vessels ready for the invasion. He explains that once Incheon was secured by the United States Marines, his squad went ashore to clear out any remaining enemy snipers or combatants in the area.
David Carsten Randby
Electrician for NORMASH
David Randby served as an electrician for NORMASH. Electricity was important for a field hospital. The electrical equipment was very rudimentary and required skill to keep running. He kept the generators running in times of great need.
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.
Medals and President Moon Jae-in
David Randby describes the medals he earned for his service in the Korean War. He has personally met with President Moon Jae-in. President Moon Jae-in spoke with the veterans and reminded them that the North Korean leader is a dictator and South Korea is a democracy because of their actions.
David H. Epstein
A Destroyed City
David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.
Prior Knowledge About Korea and David Lopez's First Battle in the Korean War
David Lopez did not know anything about Korea before he was drafted. When he arrived at Pusan, he was living in tents and was given food rations to eat while waiting to be sent to the Kansas Line which was a few miles from the 38th parallel. After the Chinese pulled out of peace talks, he took trucks from Pusan to the Kansas Line while worrying about incoming artillery. He loved receiving help from young Korean boys who would help him carry supplies, wash clothes, and help when he was short on soldiers. David Lopez was injured in his right arm when he fought with the 2nd Platoon against the Chinese and North Korean troops.
More Observant of the World Around Me
David Nevarez describes his role as a combat support specialist and remembers walking around a South Korean camp with the pressure of North Korea looming. He recounts a time when a South Korean soldier cracked his gun and the shock sending him into a deeper appreciation for the possibility of war with the North. From then on, he describes his readiness to fight and awareness of the world around him.
Impressions of the Korean People
David Nevarez describes his interactions and impressions of Korea. He expounds upon his appreciation of the food as well as the people. He draws comparisons between the Hispanic community and the South Korean people.
I Don't Think the North Koreans Want to Give up Their Little Empire
David Simon shares his thoughts on the transformation of Korea into an economic power. He focuses on current events related to the possibility of unifying the peninsula but expresses doubt that this will happen under the current North Korean regime. He closes by noting that he does not really consider himself a Korean War Veteran, but a veteran who was in the service at the time of the Korean War.
Working and Living Among ROK Soldiers
David White talks about working and living among ROK soldiers during his time serving as a Liaison officer to the 6th ROK Division. He describes the ROK soldiers as very disciplined. While he was there, he began to enjoy Korean food.
Life as a Platoon Leader
David White talks about his duties as Platoon Leader. His responsibilities included setting up ambushes and relieving his men and the conditions under which they operated. Most of these operations were against the North Koreans and took place at night.
Dennis E. Hultgren
Sandwiches in a War Torn City
Dennis E. Hultgren explains that a stop to transfer trains allowed him an hour or so to wander through a war-torn city. He describes a young boy who was watching him intently as he took a bite of his sandwich. He recounts that he offered the boy the rest of his sandwich, and with a deep bow, the boy accepted it and ran behind a building.
Concrete Outcomes of the Korean War
Dennis E. Hultgren speaks highly of Korea and of his respect for the country. He expresses that the Korean War should not be forgotten and that it was a successful war as opposed to others. He agrees that no other war since the Korean War has produced such concrete outcomes.
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.
Worth His Service
Dick Lien expresses his thoughts on serving in the Korean War. He shares that he is proud of the development that has taken place in South Korea since the war and feels that his service was worth the effort. He points to South Korea itself and what it is today as the legacy of the Korean War.
A Nice World without War
Diego Dantone lost his father, Sabino Dantone, at age nineteen. He remembers his father crying when Sabino first heard the news of the 1991 Gulf War, and he shares his father's sentiments that war is a shame. Sabino Dantone had joined the first Italian Red Cross team that served in the Korean War. The elder Dantone did not speak of the war to his young son, but Diego Dantone remembers his father and mother being proud of the friendship between the Korean and Italian people.
Interviewing School Children in the 68th Hospital
The Italian Red Cross operated in the 68th Hospital located in a Korean school. Diego Dantone visited the school when he filmed his documentary, A Forgotten War. The atmosphere of the place was still powerful even though the school had been damaged by fire and rebuilt. As the interview ends, Diego Dantone sends his father a message that he misses him and loves him, wishing they had shared more before Sabino Dantone died.
Civil War in Greece
Dimitrios Matsoukas briefly describes the Greek Civil War and the parallels between fighting communism in Greece and the fight against communism in South Korea.
Doddy Green (Widow of Ray Green)
The Relationship between American and KATUSA Soldiers
Doddy Green, widow of veteran Ray Green, recalls her husband's feelings towards KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) soldiers and the Korean people. She expresses that her husband was truly impressed with the gentleness of the Korean people. She describes the Korean people as being grateful for the sacrifices Americans made.
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.
Legacies of Korean War
Donald Dempster feels that it is important to remember the accomplishments of the Korean War. He assisted in keeping democracy in South Korea instead of communism. He is very proud that South Korea has succeeded from emulating the government of the United States.
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 L. Mason
Donald Mason discusses revisiting Korea in 2019 with his wife. He compares his visit then to what he remembered from his time in 1950. He remembers Seoul being destroyed during the war, with all the tall buildings gone. There were some huts still standing. But in 2019, he remembers seeing large skyscrapers from his hotel room. He was amazed at how the city was rebuilt to such an impressive scale.
Donald Mason discusses his experience during the Incheon Landing. He knew it was high tide and shares that he was in a LST landing craft. His unit, the artillery unit, went in after the infantry landed, and they pushed beyond Incheon to Seoul. He was surprised at all of the destruction he witnessed.
Legacy of the Korean War
Donald Lynch recalls not learning much about Korea in school. He thinks the Korean War was one of the greatest efforts put forth by the United States as it was an effort to stem the growth of world Communism. He believes the war's effects continue to resonate today. He speaks about many of the atrocities that the Koreans have had to face, including the invasions by Japan. He shares how impressed he is by the successes of Korea today.
Korea Then and Now
Donald Lynch recalls thinking Korea would not thrive after what he witnessed. He remembers the terrible smells coming from all major cities due to the open and combined sewer systems. He notes Korea now has skyscrapers and is one of the tenth largest economies in the world.
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.
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.
Korea Then and Now
Duane Trowbridge discusses the changes he noted upon his return to Korea in 2010. He shares differences between how Korea was and how it has changed. He expresses his amazement in the quick growth not only of the people but of the infrastructure, including roads and buildings.
Earl A. House
Knowledge of Korea and Arriving in Korea
Earl House shares he knew little about Korea prior to arriving as a soldier. He recalls the first time learning anything about Korea was in the Naval Reserves. He mentions he was excited to travel to Korea and fight in the war as he had never traveled outside the U.S. except for visiting Canada.
Impressions of Korea
Earl Coplan describes his experiences while in Korea. He describes the excitement he felt on his way to Korea. He goes on to explain the one scary moment he experienced: when the South Koreans and Americans were no longer in sight of the North Koreans along the DMZ, the North Koreans crossed the line and attacked them.
Eddie Reyes Piña
Witnessing the Horrors of Pork Chop Hill and Then the Armistice
Eddie Reyes Piña served his country as part of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He reflects on how the unit fought back against the Chinese and North Koreans. He notes how he left his position in the rear guard to assist a medic in bringing the dead and wounded back. He further explains that the medic received a Bronze Star for Valor, but he did not in part because he did not know how to advocate for himself to ensure he received the medal. He concludes by sharing his recollections of witnessing the Armistice.
Impressions of Korea and the Korean People
Eddie Reyes Piña recalls always being in danger while serving in Korea. He recounts how, prior to returning home in 1954, he assisted in building Camp Casey and protecting the DMZ. He reflects favorably on the country of Korea and the Korean people themselves.
First Impressions and Relying on the Americans
Edgar Green reflects on his first impressions of Korea. He recalls the stench of human waste as they drew nearer to the dock in Busan and remembers an American band and Korean choir there to welcome them. He shares that they were part of the very first British land forces to enter the Korean War and comments on having to rely on the Americans for food and transport for the first several days.
Edmund Ruos shares his post war thoughts on the state of Korea and its people. He describes his service and its impact on his life while acknowledging Korea's advancements since the war. He shares that he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and that he is proud to be a Korean War veteran.
Edmund W. Parkinson
Proud of Korea
Edmund Parkinson is joined by his wife to discuss modern Korea. They jointly recall their visit to modern Korea and speak highly of the Korean people and their fighting spirit for having rebuilt their country in such a short time frame. Edmund Parkinson shares that the loss of his leg was worth what Korea has become today.
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro
From Bogotá to Korea / De Bogotá a Corea
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro describes his voyage by bus, train, and boat to Korea. His battalion started as the Bogota battalion and eventually became the Colombian battalion within the United Nations Forces. Hundreds of people waved them farewell in the streets of the Capital as they left for war. After a thirty-day voyage, they were received as heroes in April of 1951 in the port of Busan. He remembers a celebration with a military band, government officials, and President Syngman Rhee amongst the distinguished guests at the ceremony.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro discute su viaje en autobús, tren y barco a Corea. Su batallón comenzó como el batallón Bogotá y finalmente se convirtió en el batallón colombiano dentro de las Fuerzas de las Naciones Unidas. Cientos de personas los despidieron en las calles de la Capital de Colombia cuando se fueron para la guerra. Después de el viaje que duro treinta días, fueron recibidos como héroes en abril de 1951 en el puerto de Busan. El recuerda una bienvenida con una banda militar, funcionarios del gobierno y el presidente Syngman Rhee entre los distinguidos en la ceremonia.
Volunteering for Korea / Ofrecerse Para Pelear en Corea
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro knew about the war in Korea because of his military training, but he was unaware of where the country was located. The sentiment in Colombia was that the conflict was foreign and had nothing to do with Colombians. However, this changed when the United Nations, as the defenders of peace around the world, asked Colombia for a battalion. He understood the importance of combating communism and proudly volunteered to fight in Korea when asked. He describes the moment in which more than ninety nine point nine percent of those asked volunteered to fight.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro sabía lo que estaba pasando en la guerra de Corea por su entrenamiento militar, pero no sabía ni dónde estaba ubicado el país. El sentimiento en Colombia sobre la guerra era que el conflicto era extranjero y no tenía nada que ver con los colombianos. Sin embargo, esto cambió cuando Las Naciones Unidas, como defensores de la paz en el mundo, le pidió a Colombia un batallón. El entendió la importancia de combatir el comunismo y orgullosamente se ofreció como voluntario para luchar en Corea cuando el comandante pregunto quien lo acompañaría a Corea. Describe el momento en el que más del noventa y nueve punto nueve por ciento del batallón se ofrecieron como voluntarios para luchar.
Edward A. Walker
Rolls of Film and a Girlfriend
Edward Walker took photos of the Korean boy he hired to cut his hair and of Korean women carrying their babies on their backs. He sent rolls of film home to his girlfriend, Shirley. Shirley joined the interview and said she missed her boyfriend so much and she cried while he was away. Shirley also noticed that textbooks in New Zealand did not feature much content on Asia, so many people did not know where the men were fighting.
Edward B. Heimann
Thanks and Appreciation
Edward Heimann explains the reason why he agreed to be interviewed. He recalls that one day, while playing golf, a young South Korean man joined his group of three. He describes the man as being incredibly grateful for what he did for South Korea and being quite taken aback by the young man's gratitude.
Night Patrol to Apprehend Migun Wianbu
Edward Brooks patrolled at night to catch American soldiers looking for US military comfort women & their pimps. They apprehended them on many occasions.
The comfort women and their pimps were turned into the Korean authorities and then the soldiers were disciplined for their illegal actions.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
Edward Foley describes the living conditions while in Korea. He recalls the winters as "colder than blazes" but admits that he was lucky as he had warm clothes and a lot of downtime. He shares that it was hard for him to be away from home and that letters were sporadic.
Korean War Legacy
Edward Foley comments on the grateful attitudes South Koreans have towards the U.S. He shares that the legacy of the Korean War, despite it being called a police action and the Forgotten War, is being kept alive by the veterans associations and the Korean people themselves. He adds his thoughts on how young people should serve their country in some form or fashion for a few years.
It Was About the Civilians...
Witnessing the conditions of the civilians firsthand, Edward Mastronardi was sympathetically moved by the Korean people. As the Americans advanced with tanks, guns, etc. through the Porchon Valley, they shot up everything. Knowing the Chinese did too, Edward Mastronardi witnessed so much destruction left behind. He told of a story about the Korean people dressed in white due to a funeral, and he noticed a woman lay, dying, and trying to still breast feed a dead baby. Edward Mastronardi was angry about the reckless killing of all people. It showed truly first hand what effect the war had on the Korean people.
Impending Korean Conflict
Edmond Parmenter recalls preparations being made in 1949 while he was serving in the United States Army and stationed in Japan for an impending conflict in Korea. He comments on General MacArther's prediction of when the North Koreans would invade South Korea. He shares that he was privy to intelligence which verified MacArther's concerns.
Arriving in Pusan and Protecting the Pusan Perimeter
Edward Redmond sailed into Pusan on the Unicorn and was greeted by an all-African American regiment band playing music. After a dirty, 12 hour train ride, he and his troops had to dig in near the Nakdong River. When help was needed to protect the Pusan perimeter, Edward Redmond traveled into the Pesos To Mountains where he fought the North Koreans.
The Battle at Pyongyang
During the Battle at Pyongyang, Edward Redmond, his battalion had their first casualties. Everyone became very determined to fight. He believed that the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and the Americans were not well-trained.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Two- Sided Legacy of the Korean War
Edward Rowny explains that he had no idea how industrious and successful the Koreans would become after the War. He mentions the Korean world leadership in technology and calls it an "economic miracle". He shares his own fears that the present-day generation does not realize the grave danger of North Korea today. He advises them to keep their military trained and equipped at all times, even with the US nuclear capacity.
Rowny's Book About the War
Edward Rowny shares he has written books and provides information about his experiences with the Teachers and Veteran's Youth Corps Convention in 2015. He comments on how his book, An American Soldier's Saga in the Korean War, received a lot of coverage and was translated into Korean. He encourages students to pay attention to what they learn in class to prevent events like the Korean War from happening again. He summarizes his book as it retells his experiences and accomplishments in the War.
Evacuation from North Korea
Edward Rowny shares was put in charge of the evacuation of the 600,000 tons of supplies, 100,000 troops, and 100,000 refugees at the port at Heungnam, North Korea. He recounts his job also included blowing up the port so that the Chinese could not use it. He recalls he was scheduled to be on the last ship to leave, but that ship was blown up. He recounts how the commander thought he had gone down with the boat, but, instead, he was stranded on the beach with his radio operator and jeep driver. He describes how they were finally rescued by an American plane and made it home by Christmas, despite being shot at.
Edwin S. Leak
Edwin S. Leak describes what he called during the war "line crossers". Line Crossesr were North Koreans defecting to South Korea after the war. He discusses reasons he felt they were defecting to the South post-war.
Living Conditions on the 38th Parallel
Edwin S. Leak describes living conditions on the 38th Parallel in post-war Korea. He elaborates about sleeping quarters and food provided. In addition, he explains improvements being made to improve the devastation caused by the war.
First Impressions of Korea
Edwin Vargas gives his first impressions of Korea. He explains that while the hot summers did not bother him, he really struggled with the Cold Winter. While he did not have the chance to interact with many people, he recalls that those he met were very friendly.
Korean Axe Murder Incident
Edwin Vargas describes the tragic incident that occurred while he was at the DMZ. He shares that during his service, two of his officers were killed while trimming back trees from their outpost view. He describes this event as unfair as they were unarmed and could not retaliate.
Contrast of Korea
Eingred Fredh describes the people of Busan. The people she cared for at the hospital were better off than the people in the city. There were many children without parents and clothes in Busan. The children were begging for anything and desperate. Eingred Fredh also describes her one day off from work a week. For instance, she would go to the beaches or the mountains during her time off.
Descriptions of Korea
Eingred Fredh describes the Korea she saw. She was very happy she volunteered. There were many refugees and people in bad ways. She worked six days a week in various wards at the hospital. In one ward she would care for soldiers. In another ward there were many patients had tuberculosis. As the war pushed North, away from Busan, she cared for more civilians.
Transformation of Korea
Eingred Fredh describes the transformation of Busan since the war. None of the landmarks that she remembered were still there. The building were much taller and everything is rebuild. She does like the transformation. However, she likes to live a little calmer than the hustle of a large city. Citizen of Korea, though, are very thankful for her service to them during the Korean War.
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.
We Knew Why We Were There
Elburn Duffy remembers leaving Ft. Lewis Washington in early April 1951 and arriving in Busan by the end of the month. He notes they did not stop in Japan as most other servicemen headed to Korea did because their arrival was at a time when troops were desperately needed. He recalls the shock of the total desolation of the country and in particular the state of the children.
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.
Less Than Modern Hospitals
Elvin Hobbs describes his job as an x-ray technician at 121 Hospital located in Ascom City. He describes the layout of the hospital. He explains the challenges he faced while working with less than modern medical equipment.
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.
Exploding While Searching for Metal
Elvin Hobbs describes the most common injuries they saw at 121 Hospital. He describes how many Koreans were injured while scavenging for metal. Many civilians were drastically wounded when they came across live ordnance that had not exploded during the war.
A Message of Peace
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki wishes peace and unity among all Koreans.
Epifanio Rodriguez Nunez
Voyage to Korea / El Viaje a Corea
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez explains that he was sent as an advanced group to Korea and, therefore, his voyage was different from that of other Colombian troops. Upon arriving, he was sent to Busan to organize the training for troops that would follow. He recalls the warm greeting they received from dignitaries which included Syngman Rhee.
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez explica que fue enviado con un grupo avanzado a Corea y por lo tanto su viaje fue diferente al de otras tropas colombianas. Al llegar a Corea, fue enviado a Busan para organizar el entrenamiento de las tropas que seguirían. Recuerda que los recibieron bien con muchos dignatarios incluido Syngman Rhee.
Engineering Role in Korea
Erich Reuter recalls his role as a Siemens engineer in Korea. He shares that he was a "doctor" for the Siemens medical equipment provided which included x-ray, electromedicine, and dental equipment. He comments on Koreans working with them while there.
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
"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.
Eugene Buckley was trying to make it back to the front line after escaping from the ravine when he and O'Donnell got on the back of a family ox cart and spent most of the day traveling. Not having eaten in 4 or 5 days, Eugene Buckley broke into a large container of applesauce and ate the whole thing. He said it wasn't long after that when they were back in the same situation of extreme hungry again.
Taking Terrritory in the Busan Perimeter
Eugene Dixon talks about the role of the United States Marines in securing the Busan Perimeter. He describes the sounds and smells he took in upon arrival in South Korea. He recalls the casualties he encountered during his first months in combat.
Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving
Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.
Important to Learn About Sacrifices
Eugene Ferris believes that any war and the sacrifices people make are important for our future generations to learn. He shares his concern for people wanting power and the hope that people will learn from previous experiences. He elaborates on the legacy of the Korean War and the pride Americans have in our support of South Korea.
Lessons from Previous Generations
Eugene Ferris expresses his concern about younger generations not fully appreciating the experiences and sacrifices earlier generations endured. To elaborate on this, he reflects on lessons he learned during his youth from a World War II veteran. He reveals how he has expanded his own understanding of Korea’s history through the Tell America Program. He describes South Korea’s transformation as unbelievable and how the United States will continue to support their progress.
Eusebio Santiago recalls how the sight of Korean villagers catching and cleaning fish reminded him of daily life in Puerto Rico. He describes the rice fields and how villagers continued their life with war around them. Eusebio Santiago recalls his childhood while war was going on.
Living Conditions in Post War Korea
Everett Kelley provides his impressions of Korea when he arrived in 1976. He recounts the living conditions of American soldiers during that time as well as the status of relationships between American and South Korean soldiers. He expresses that American contributions post-1953 were focused on maintaining peace between North and South Korea while maintaining a high readiness level.
The Impact of the Orphans
Everett Kelley shares how his service spent in Korea impacted his life in many ways. He describes his involvement in sponsoring orphaned children through various donations. He recalls the number of orphans in Korea at the time being extremely high.
Bridging the Divide for Peace
Everett Kelley opines on the closure of the Korean War. He states that there is both a military and political solution to the question of peace but does not profess to know the answer. He explains that if any solution were to occur, it would most likely stem from a uniting of both the North and South.
Ezra Franklin Williams
"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.
Felix Miscalichi Centeno
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
Félix Miscalichi Centeno describes his first impressions of Korea. He explains that even though Busan was a city, most of the civilians were farmers who were incredible different to the people he knew. He details the way in which Koreans built their homes and utilized heated floors.
Félix Miscalichi Centeno describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que, aunque Busan era una ciudad, la mayoría de los civiles eran agricultores que eran increíblemente diferentes a la gente de Puerto Rico. Detalla la forma en que los coreanos construían sus casas y utilizaban suelos radiantes.
Finn Arne Bakke
Absorbed by the 8th US Army
Finn Bakke was an ordinary private in the 2nd and 7th contingents operating in the NORMASH field hospital. Although originally run by the International Red Cross, his unit was soon absorbed by the 8th United States Army. Staffed at first by Norwegian nurses and doctors, the hospitals began training Korean women just out of school. Finn Bakke's future wife was one such nurse. When the NORMASH unit closed, she joined the Red Cross hospital in Seoul, working in a ward built to treat Korean children with tuberculosis. Pressed to describe his attraction for his wife, Finn Bakke speaks admiringly her, stating, "She was a very nice girl."
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
Winter Clothing from Home
Forrest Claussen recounts cold winter nights in Korea and shares a story about receiving winter clothing from home. He recalls writing home to his mother, asking for additional winter clothing as the military had not issued winter clothing yet. He recounts receiving the clothing, only to be ordered to discard it as other men in his group did not have access to the same. He describes digging a hole and placing the clothing inside in hopes that South Korean civilians would find and utilize his discarded items.
Home Front Hardship
Francis Bidle recounts the hardship he experienced upon his return home. He shares that he was turned away from several job opportunities simply because he was a Korean War veteran. He recalls claims of US soldiers at the time treating the women in Korea poorly and shares that many business owners on the home front where he returned associated all Korean War veterans with the claims. He shares that he eventually passed over the fact that he had served in his succeeding job interviews.
Francis John Ezzo
Korea Then and Now
Francis Ezzo describes walking through the countryside. He recalls seeing rice paddies and giving kids some food. He shares that even though he has never been back, he is thankful that Koreans appreciate the sacrifices American soldiers made for their country.
Francisco Caicedo Montua
Return to Korea and Korea Today - Regreso a Corea y Corea hoy en dia
Francisco Caicedo Montua was an honorary member of the first group of Korean War Veterans invited by General Park to visit Korea. He was the sole representative for Colombia and traveled to Korea with two Americans, two Canadians, and one person from New Zealand. He describes that through this honor, he decided to give the president a copy of the book he wrote: Bansay, Diary in the Korean Trenches. He credits the rapid development and revival of South Korea with Park’s policies. On reflecting about South Korea today and the technological progress and strong economy, he believes it is resultant from the Korean virtues including the love of the country the people have for their homeland, the bravery of its people, and the honesty in the administration and command of the nation.
Francisco Caicedo Montua fue un miembro honorario del primer grupo de veteranos de la guerra de Corea invitados por General Park a visitar Corea. Fue el único representante de Colombia y viajó a Corea con dos estadounidenses, dos canadienses y un veterano de Nueva Zelanda. Cuenta que a través de este honor, decidió darle al presidente una copia del libro que escribió: Bansay, Diary in the Korean Trenches. Él atribuye el rápido desarrollo y el renacimiento de Corea del Sur a las acciones de Park. Pensando sobre Corea del Sur hoy, y el progreso tecnológico y su economía, él cree que es el resultado de las virtudes coreanas, incluido el amor al país de la gente por su patria, la valentía de su gente, y la honestidad en la administración y el comando de la nación.
Frank E. Butler
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.
"I Love Them!"
Frank E. Butler sends his heartfelt love to the Korean people. He is proud of the medals bestowed upon him by the Korean government, but he wishes the government of New Zealand would honor him as well. He feels the North Korean people did not fully intend the conflict that has split Korea, but he asserts that the world owes the South Koreans a debt of gratitude for standing firm.
Legacy of Korean War
Frank Montolio talks about the American presence in Korea as being so crucial for the development of the country. He describes how we abated the growth of Communism and allowed the country to flourish. He believes it was the right thing to do at the time.
Father of the Day
Frank Zielinski has taught his grandchildren and great grandchildren about his service in the Korean War. He is proud of his service in Korea, particularly his interaction with Korean youth during R and R (Rest and Recuperation). Soldiers would play Father of the Day, adopting up to ten boys at a time to ensure they received something to eat, if only for that day.
Valuable Historical Context: 1949
Fred LIddell knew a lot about the conflicts that occurred in East Asia including Japan, North Korea, South Korea, and China. Most American soldiers knew very little of this geographic area, let alone the differing political ideologies present. Fred Liddell and his fellow soldiers who had served and traveled in East Asia became more aware of the reasons for the turmoil in East Asia as the war continued.
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.
Potpourri From Around the World
Frederick describes his first assignment in Dongducheon. He was encamped in a valley with soldiers from all over the world including Turks, Danes, and Brits. He vividly remembers Australian parties in the evenings. He recounts joining KMAG, the Korean Military Advisory Group, to work directly with Koreans in Busan.
KMAG & the Railroad
Frederick Schram describes his time with KMAG working on the reconstruction of the railroad near Busan. KMAG was a critical component in the rebuilding of the South after the war. He describes the challenge of the work and the surrounding destruction and poverty.
Galip Fethi Okay
In Korea, Now
Galip Fethi Okay describes his arrival into a war zone. His brigade was relieving the previous brigade. He describes the reaction of the previous brigade's men. The previous brigade was so happy to be leaving Korea. He also describes the conditions of the Korean people.
American G.I.s and the KATUSA
Gary Routh describes his interaction with the KATUSA stationed with the American G.I.s. He describes how the American forces would view Korean culture as strange, such as bathing each other or eating ramen while seated on the floor. He then describes how Koreans would view the Americans as strange, including the harsh language and loud nature of the U.S. soldiers.
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 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.
A Pile of Rubble
Gene Jordan describes what it was like when he landed in Incheon. He describes the horrific scene and the utter despair of Korean children. He describes the shock he experienced from the damage and civilians begging for food.
Incheon Then vs. Now
Gene Jordan describes how hard working the Korean people were during the war era. He discusses how the Korean people have established a united, stable democratic society. He shares how he never thought much about Korea after he left, but when he attended the Marine Corp Reunion, he was amazed to see and hear about the economic growth.
Mostly Gunshot Wounds
Gene Peeples describes his treatment of the most common wounds he encountered as a medic during the Korean War. He explains his quick treatment of gunshot wounds before sending injured soldiers off to evacuation. He also describes another of the most common conditions they saw in the hospital, venereal disease.
Top Secret Misssion
George Carson describes removing inhabitants of the Bikini and Ilowite Islands. He explains the reason was to protect civilians prior to American hydrogen bomb testing. He explained the procedures that sailors onboard the USS Renshaw followed during that testing.
First Impressions of Korea and Living Conditions
George Covel describes his first impressions of Korea as shocking and recounts significant devastation. He recalls his living conditions, stating that he was one of the fortunate ones to have lived in an old sergeant's quarters with cots, houseboys, and enough clothing. He mentions that an officer peddled their food on the black market which rendered poor food options for the bandsmen.
The War's Innocent Victims
Dr. George Drake discusses his research on Korean War information found in various archival locations. He explains the repercussions of war on society. He describes the problem with poverty left in Korea because of war, and his passion for getting more information out about his humanitarian concerns.
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
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 J. Bruzgis
Befriending The KATUSA
Short on men within his own division, the KATUSA pictured with George Bruzgis is Corporal Yu daek yoo. He described him as a great man and he was considered a part of the division. George Bruzgis mentioned how little the KATUSA was paid, so the men in his division pitched in 5 dollars each, so that they could paying him over 20 dollars a month. This was a lot of money in 1953.
Signed To Cease Fire; Look What We Hit!
George Bruzgis vividly recalled on July 26, 1953, a Major approached them with a document they (both US and ROK) had to sign agreeing that at 10 p.m. on July 27, 1953, they had to stop firing their weapons. Shortly afterwards, a two-ton truck arrived taking most of their ammunition away, so they wouldn't shoot. However, at 6 a.m on July 27, 1953, they got a phone call that they were given coordinates to fire 5 rounds on what they thought maybe a cave or a bunker. He later learned in 2000 when he received a battalion pamphlet, his story of that morning was located within it saying his division destroyed a Chinese Observation Post.
Enduring Fondness for Korea and Koreans
George Parsons explains that the Korean War and veterans of the Korean War should be remembered as honorable and should be valued for helping render a free country. He comments on the enduring fondness he feels for the people and government of Korea due to their appreciation for the Korean War veterans and their efforts. He offers an example of the gratitude he was shown while in line at a donut shop.
Legacy of the Korean War and Korean War Veteran
George Parsons speaks on the legacy of the Korean War and Korean War veteran. He feels that veterans saved a country and a people worth saving willingly. He believes the United States did the right thing by fighting, saving, and then handing the country of South Korea back into the hands of its citizens. He feels strongly about the reunification fo the Korean Peninsula and offers supporting reasons.
Impressions of Korea
George Sullivan talks about his experiences in Korea during the 1950s. He remembers how cold the weather was and how destitute the South Koreans were. He recalls many of them living in tents or broken down cars and shares that Seoul was totally destroyed. He is amazed at the transformation South Korea has made over the last half century and adds that he really enjoys kimchi.
The Most Severe Battle
George Sullivan shares he lost a cousin at the Battle at Heartbreak Ridge. He remembers digging a trench and crawling into it. He recalls not being able to move the next morning and shares he ended up with malaria. He recounts how he healed after a short hospital stay and returned to the front lines.
George 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.
Duties as a Member of VMO-6
George Van Hoomissen explains he served as part of the Marine Corps's VMO-6 unit from late 1952 until he returned from Korean in 1953. He offers details of what his job was as an observer. He recalls always being in danger because they were constantly flying about 3000 feet over the Chinese lines.
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.
Tears in My Eyes
George Hahlioutis describes how it felt to see Korea for the first time. He explains how he could see the destruction. He also shares the pain and suffering he saw of the locals as well as the hungry children.
Thoughts of a Soldier
George Hahlioutis describes being instructed to shoot at two figures with the help of an interpreter. He explains that there could have been North Korean but he believes in his heart he didn't kill anyone. He shares how he feels regret about his actions but is glad he helped the Korean people.
Gerald ‘Gerry’ Farmer
Battle of the Hook 1953
Gerry Farmer describes the Battle of the Hook and how he was wounded. He says the Hook was action from the start compared to Hill 159. He recalls there being four or five solders in the bunker which connected to trenches and other bunkers. He adds there were different types of patrols.
Gerald Land was disgraced by the term police action instead of calling the Korean War, a war. He was also upset that people, particularly educators, didn't know anything about the war when he came home. With so many people who risked their lives for the people of South Korea and to label it the way people have, is just awful.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Occupation and Missing Apologies
Gilbert Hauffels compares German occupation of Luxembourg to the Japanese occupation of Korea. Largely due to apologies from Germany, Luxembourg has been able to move past resentments from occupation, exchanging the negative term "Prussia" for the more expansive term "Deutschland" in reference to Germany and Germans. Although Shinzo Abe apologized to the Korean nation for occupation, Gilbert Hauffels notes that Japan falls short of apologizing for the use of Korean women as sex slaves. Having read much about Japanese atrocities throughout east and southeast Asia, he finds the lack of apology unacceptable.
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.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes the complications of Ethiopia after the Korean War. Communists came into power in 1974 in Ethiopia. The government stripped Korean War veterans of many of their possessions. This is because the veterans participated in a war to defeat communism. Still, to this day, South Korea helps the veterans, not Ethiopia.
Children of War
Gordon Evans describes how he felt children of war suffered the most. He tells of a young boy he came across who was alone in the cold with no coat and how he took that boy in as his own houseboy. He points out that this was not uncommon due to the orphanages being overrun.
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.
Korean War in Context of War
Gordon McIntyre laments the political blunder of United States President Harry Truman in calling a cease fire rather than fighting to the end of the war. He acknowledges the Korean War as being a "forgotten" war, but he is proud of the the New Zealand effort, comparing it to ANZAC efforts during WWII. He has spoken about the Korean conflict at ANZAC parades and feels it should be taught in greater depth in New Zealand schools.
Gordon McIntyre discusses PTSD and and the effects of the Korean War on returning soldiers. During a return trip to Korea in 2008, he visited the DMZ and viewed Hill 355. Reminiscing on the death of a friend just before the cease fire, he reiterates that many men died in the last days before the cease fire. He considers the peace talks a big mistake. He feels that efforts at reunification are hampered by contemporary North Koreans' "skillful" ability to do nothing, and he doubts Donald Trump will be able to break that trend. He reminds students of the Korean War's lasting message: "Freedom is not free."
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.
Guidberto Barona Silva
Legacy of the War / Legado de la Guerra
Admiral Guidberto Barona Silva feels it is unfortunate that the Korean War has become a “forgotten war.” In his opinion, the success of South Korea is an example to other nations as it has become a significant economic power and a beacon of democracy. He believes that it can serve as a model for nations which are still developing as South Korea is a symbol of the advancements of the human spirit.
El almirante Guidberto Barona Silva siente que es lamentable que la Guerra de Corea es una “guerra olvidada”. En su opinión, el éxito de Corea del Sur es un ejemplo para otras naciones, porque el país se ha desarrollado mucho y tiene una económica robusta y una democracia fuerte. Él cree que puede servir como ejemplo para las naciones que aún se están desarrollando, porque Corea del Sur es un símbolo de los avances del espíritu humano.
Korea at the Beginning of the War
Haralambos Theodorakis left for Korea in 1950 and came back in 1951. Everything was destroyed when he arrived and the people were very sweet people. Korean civilians didn't have a lot of clothes to wear or food to eat. If Haralambos Theodorakis had extra food, he gave it to the civilians and he saw a lot of Korean children running the streets during his 8 months there.
Haralambos Theodorakis knew that he was fighting communists during the war. Now, Korea is the 10th strongest nation in the world and he feels that it was a destroyed country in 1950. Now, he's excited to see the progress that has been made in Korea.
Haralambos Theodorakis has a weakness for the Korean people because he loves all the Korean people. As he recalled the war, there were many times that he almost died. He went and fought a war without knowing what he would face, but luckily, he was never wounded.
Message to the Korean People
Haralambos Theodorakis never experienced PTSD since the Korean War. He thanked the Korean people for allowing him to fight for them and he would do it again if needed. If he was able to speak to both North and South Korea, he would say that there were a lot of loss of life and these two countries should not reunite.
Afterthoughts of War
Harlan Nielsen explains his thoughts on his service in the Korean War. He explains that serving in war can be necessary to a person's life and that American service during the war went to a good cause. He also describes how knowing the bad helps one recognize the good.
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.
Changes in Korea
Harold Huff discusses the differences seen in Korea before and after the war and compares the two Koreas today. He remembers hearing about the turmoil experienced in Korea prior to the war and recognizes the benefits Korea has amassed due to democracy. He talks about the hunger and sadness many North Koreans face in comparison to the fortunes of the South Koreans.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Training and the Inchon Landing
Harry C. Graham describes his arrival in Korea. He details the circumstances of training Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers at Mt. Fuji, in Japan, before moving on to take part at the Inchon Landing in September of 1950. He describes his first impressions of Korea.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American United States troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
Best War Our Country Was In
Harry Olson recalls the feeling of nervous trepidation, in fear of the memories that would return if he returned to Korea. He describes his final decision to make the trip back to Korea and the overwhelming appreciation the Korean people showed him for his service. He compares this experience to his experience returning home from the war and his service not being acknowledged.
Poverty and Survival
Henry Kosters describes his interaction with some South Korean children who took some of his possessions. He explains that upon landing at Inchon, the city was mostly occupied by US Marines. He recalls how he and another man went off together and came upon a group of teenagers who stole his watch band and camera film from his pockets. He shares that though he was not pleased with his loss, he understood that the children were desperate and needed to take whatever they could.
Staying On The American Base
Henry MacGillicuddy speaks about what it was like staying on the American base. He shares his favorite food was turkey, and he remembers ice cream being served at every lunch and dinner. He remembers many Korean children worked on the base, cleaning and doing other jobs. He recalls writing home frequently.
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.
House boys and Mama-sans
Henry N. Rabot describes how the locals would be employed by the Company to help with chores. He recalls a house boy that would help clean the barracks and a Mama-san that would come in and help with the laundry. They would receive pay from the company for their work.
Henry River, Jr.
Henry River, Jr., describes a couple moments during his service where his life was in danger, including a training session with RCATs. He recalls an additional time when he was involved in the capture and torture of some North Korean soldiers.
The Korean War in World History
Henry River, Jr., states he has personally never thought of the Korean War as the Forgotten War because so many Americans served in the war and have served in Korean defense since. He shares that his grandson attended the Peace Camp in Korea during college and enjoyed the experience. He adds that the experience in Korea enlightened him on the what the world should be.
Korea in the 1950s
Henry River, Jr., recalls the living conditions of Koreans in the 1950s. He remembers life being tough for the Koreans and speaks about a nine-year-old Korean boy who did his clothes in exchange for bags of rice. Additionally, he recalls the human waste fertilizer smell in Incheon.
Henry T. Pooley
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.
Thoughts on Modern Korea
Herbert Taylor reflects on what he knows about modern Korea. He shares the appreciation felt by the Korean government for the efforts made by American soldiers. He describes his understanding and pride in the economic and physical growth in Korea in such a short time.
Refugees During War
Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.
Korea Is My Second Home
After returning home from his service in Korea, it wasn't long before Herbert Werner was back in Korea as a professional boxing referee. He described after spending 3 full years of his life there, he was amazed at the resilience of the people despite the terror of war, how much the country of South Korea has improved, their patriotism, and the respect the civilians had for the soldiers who fought for South Korea. He felt like he was treated with so much respect and built an unconditional friendship.
What Serving in Korea Meant to Herbert Werner
When Herbert Werner was still in an orphanage during WWII, the boys that left to fight during that war had such a lasting impression on him, so he joined the Marine Corps. Originally, he wanted to go to China as a Marine, but after the war broke out in Korea, he was so caught up in the moment and excited that he wanted to go to be a part of this war. Much of what Herbert Werner saw was terrible including the treatment of refugees during the Korean War.
The Hills were Bare
Hiroshi Shima recalls his earliest impressions of Korea. He speaks of the fear felt when he first arrived on the front lines and notes that since there was no action in the area how they were assigned to night patrol. He offers a good contrast between life on the front lines with life in Chuncheon where he was later assigned.
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.
Americans Forget, Koreans Don't Forget
Hiroshi Shima addresses the issue of the Korean War being the “Forgotten War”. He notes that it is the Americans that forgot, but that the Korean government and people never forgot. He remembers how the Korean War veterans were never really recognized as the World War II veterans had been. He is joined by his friend Hannah Kim who escaped Korea following the war. She reads a “Letter to Gray Beard” she wrote to express her gratitude and that of the Korean people for what the Korean War veterans did.
First Glimpse of the Korean People
Homer Garrett described the Korean people when he first arrived in Korea as hungry and begging for food/supplies. It was the worst the worst catastrophic area that he had ever seen and Korea really needed a lot of help to rebuild. Korea was still in ruins 12 years after the Korean War ended.
Working With KATUSA and Turkish Armed Forces
Homer Garrett protected South Korea along with the Turkish armed forces and local KATUSA. KATUSA soldiers are the South Korean soldiers that worked directly with the US forces. Homer Garrett was assigned the task of guarding the crossroads between North Korean agents and the ROK (the Republic of Korea) Military Police with his M14 and bullet proof vest in the middle of the night.
Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops
Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.
Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives
Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.
When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!
Hong Berm Hur
Success in South Korea
Hong Berm Hur is very proud of the relationship between the US military and the South Korean government. The US soldiers and sailors worked very hard during the Korean War to protect South Korea. The alliance between the US and South Korea has led to the success in South Korea.
Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.
Training ROK Officers and Korean Culture in the Late 1940s
Howard Ballard recalls training officers for the Republic of Korea (ROK) before the start of the Korean War. He remembers how the ROK hated the Japanese because they had taken everything of value back to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He recalls training the South Koreans to become officers, shoot Howitzers, and become leaders before the Korean War began (1948). He describes aspects of Korean culture, noting the attention to respect and the practice of purchasing wives through the use of pigs.
Fighting at the Battle of Pyongyang in October and November 1950
Howard Ballard recalls leaving Pusan after fighting there in August of 1950 to fight the North Koreans all the way through Pyongyang, North Korea, and up to the Yalu River along the Chinese border. He describes fighting the North Koreans at the Battle of Pyongyang in October of 1950, noting there was little resistance. He remembers seeing Chinese captured in November 1950 at the Yalu River despite General MacArthur telling President Truman that the Chinese were not fighting in the war.
Howard Faley describes his amazement at South Korea's advancement since the war. He comments on the grandeur of the city of Seoul and its modernity. He goes on to explain that the cargo containers that are shipped across the United States arrive on huge ships built by modern Korea. He notes that this advancement is due to the hard work of the Korean people.
Landing at Incheon
Howard Lee recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon landing at Incheon. He remembers the early morning journey on a Landing Ship Tank (LST) and walking in waist-deep water towards the shore where he saw a city on fire. He recounts dead bodies floating in the water and the fear he felt as he and his company made land and rallied at the assigned checkpoint.
Howard R. Hawk
Life at Camp St. Barbara
Howard R. Hawk explains he served as a Korean Defense soldier at Camp St. Barbara which was near the end of the supply routes from the Spring of 1969 until July 1970. He recounts details of the large black market in the villages for American supplies. He recalls army rations being pretty bad in general which led him to eat frequently in the villages.
Speculation on the Future of the Region
Howard R. Hawk speculates on the future of the region. He offers insight into the motives of Kim Jong Un as well as the Chinese.
Legacy of Korean Defense Veterans and Korean War Veterans
Howard R. Hawk pays tribute to the efforts of the Korean War veterans. He notes that everything these veterans faced was every bit as ugly as what American soldiers experienced in Vietnam or World War II. He discusses the important role the Korean Defense veterans and soldiers stationed in Korea still play today in both the security of the region and the development of Korea as a country.
Howard Street shares that his most difficult obstacle in Korea was keeping clean. He recalls it being tough to find a shower and good food. He recounts having to sleep on the ground in tents, even in snow as high as six feet and temperatures below 40 degrees.
Howard W. Bradshaw
Howard Bradshaw's Love for Orphaned Koreans
Howard Bradshaw encountered many orphans during his time in Korea. He offered them candy and expressed his love for these kids.
Howard Bradshaw took pictures of these children while he was there during the Korean War.
English and the Mormon Church
Howard Bradshaw spoke of a professor from Cornell University and the soldiers who came to Korea during the war. They helped to organize English courses for the Korean civilians and they spoke about the Latter Day Saints. A Mormon temple is now located in Korea and it's estimated that over 125,000 Koreans are Mormons.
a Soldier's Wife Remembers Life Without Her Loved One
Laverne Bradshaw, just like Howard Bradshaw, spent every night writing letters to each other. She described how she grew a vegetable garden to save money while her neighbors would shoot a deer to help feed Laverne Bradshaw's family. Howard Bradshaw wrote about how he would help to feed orphans while he was away in Korea.
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
Small Boys, Heavy Loads, and Weather
Ian Nathan shows pictures of his time in Korea. One photo has a small Korean boy carrying a load supported by an A-frame pack. Other photos represent living conditions such as a tent covered in winter snow and a swollen creek blocking access to the latrines in the rainy season.
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.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes her work as a nurse. Originally, she worked in the tuberculosis ward. However, the Red Cross started to take UN soldiers fighting in the North. These men were only there for two or three days before evacuated to Japan. A nurse would work from 6am to 10pm, caring for men that had serious injuries. Some men would panic and need restraint from other marines.
Inga-Britt Jagland describes being very happy to be in Korea. The people of Korea were so friendly and thankful for the help. The country was so beautiful with a sunrise over the mountains. With all the beauty, the people were suffering. Some children had no legs or arms. Inga-Britt Haglund also describes providing food to Korean children.
Big Love in Busan
Inga-Britt Jagland describes meeting her future husband in war-torn Busan. She met him at a Swedish spring festival. He slipped her vodka and orange juice. He was a driver taking people back to their villages for the Red Cross.
With the Help of Koreans
Irwin Saltzman describes briefly the conditions of the Korean civilians during the war. He shares that the Koreans that helped his group were very kind. He shares how his group had the help of Korean houseboys and cooks. He also remembers a special way the Koreans who cared for the soldiers' clothes were able to identify the soldier's items.
Ishwar Chandra Narang
Madhu Patel's Reflections of her Father and Korea
Madhu Patel reflects on the stories of her father. She visited Korea in 2010 with her father for the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. She remembers him telling her about the war and was excited to join him on the anniversary trip. She remembers visiting all of the war memorials around the country. She speaks about how down-to-earth and appreciative the Korean people are.
Is Korea Popular in India?
Ranjana and Naresh Paul discuss the popularity of Korean goods in India. They mention that Indians love Korean-made electronics and cars and that the products are of high quality. They highlight the multiple associations for Koreans in India, both for war veterans and civilians. At the time of this interview, there were only two Indian veterans from the Korean War still living. The Korean War Legacy Foundation has interviewed both of them.
What Would Your Father Say about Korea?
Ranjana and Naresh Paul and Madhu Patel reflect on what their father would have said if he were still alive today. They share he would say he was proud of the country Korea has become. He would say it has improved in many ways since the Korean War and that the Koreans are doing amazing things today. He would note that the war veterans are treated so well that they feel a part of Korea just as they do in India and that Koreans are so warm toward the war veterans. They share that he was very emotional and sentimental about his relationship with the Korean people and how he expressed he would never forget them.
Ismael Heredia Torres
Message to Future Generations / Mensaje para las Generaciones Futuras
Ismael Heredia Torres offers his views on the war and the toll it had on civilians. He states that he believes that civilians suffered the most as they faced hunger, poverty, and attacks. He is proud that the allied forces stopped the spread of communism and helped save the people of South Korea.
Ismael Heredia Torres ofrece sus opiniones sobre la guerra y lo difícil que fue para la población civil. Afirma que cree que los civiles fueron los que más sufrieron al enfrentar el hambre, la pobreza y los ataques. Él está orgulloso de que las fuerzas aliadas detuvieron la expansión del comunismo y ayudaran a salvar al pueblo de Corea del Sur.
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.
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez recalls his interaction with South Korean orphans during the war. He shares how he felt seeing the orphans and remembers wanting to help them. He speaks of how he and other soldiers would take the orphans to get food.
Reflection of Service
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez shares his thoughts on his service during the Korean War and why the United States went to help South Korea. He expresses his fondness for the Korean people and culture. He shares his pride regarding the progress South Korea has made economically since the war.
The Rise of South Korea
Jack Howell offers his thoughts on Korea when he left in 1951 and then returning in 2000 for the 50th Anniversary. He recalls thinking that Korea would recover but not to the degree it has in such a short time frame. He expresses that it was amazing to see the country in 2000 and how the country has evolved as a world power.
First Impressions of Devastated Refugees
Jack Spahr expresses that he knew nothing about Korea until he entered the service. He shares that his first impressions of Korea were depressing as he saw many refugees searching for food and assistance. He recounts servicemen trying to help them as much as they could. He recalls several South Koreans working on the base with them and states that they were paid well compared to what they would get elsewhere at the time.
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.
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.
"Pushing" to Hill 355
James Newman fought in the Battle for Hill 355 or Kowang-san. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Mayang-San, a joint British, Australian, and New Zealand engagement along the Imjin River. He describes his experiences on the frontline where he shared a foxhole with a Korean kid while mortars from the Chinese exploded near them.
Return to Korea
James Newman has participated in five trips back to Korea since 2002. He is very impressed with the modern nation. He feels pride in the accomplishments of the Korean people and his part in freeing South Korea from North Korean rule.
Korean War Peace Talks
James Burroughs recounts when he was pulled from the line and being ordered to guard the peace talks between the Chinese, North Koreans, South Koreans, and United States. He discusses seeing the general on all sides. He comments on being part of a regimental combat team.
Entering Korea in 1952
James Butcher was sent Korea with the 17 Infantry Regiment 7th Division in 1952. After arriving in Inchon, he took a train to Army headquarters and then worked his way to the front lines. As James Butcher traveled through the country, he saw whole towns brought to the ground.
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.
Guerilla Clearance (graphic)
James Creswell, in somewhat graphic detail, describes the Guerilla Clearance as a dangerous and deadly time in Incheon and around the Pusan Perimeter. He details the banding together of Chinese and North Koreans troops and their plan to attack his location. He offers a visual of witnessing a mass shooting in a rice field, of beheadings, and scare tactics used by the South Korean soldiers to keep opposition at bay.
Supply Train Ambush
James Creswell recounts a supply train ambush where guerrillas had dynamited the track, forcing the train to stop roughly twenty miles from its destination. He shares that the civilians on the train got off, and the guerrillas then gunned down around four hundred of them. He recalls the event being so horrific that it made headlines in the U.S. and believes it to be the largest civilian massacre in 1952.
South Korean Soldiers "Bugging Out"
James Creswell describes how he went up to the front line several times to see how the South Koreans were fighting due to having helped train them. He shares that two other men along with him would communicate via walkie-talkie on the status of the line. He recalls that the South Korean soldiers, when scared, would leave the British and American soldiers in the middle of the night without warning. He refers to this as "bugging out" and adds that it left the British and American soldiers vulnerable to attack by the Chinese.
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.
Keeping the Memory of the Korean War Veterans Alive
James Ferris shares about his daily work to keep the memory of the Korean War alive, honor the fallen soldiers, and celebrate all the accomplishments of South Korea. He explains as State and then National Korean War Veteran Association President, he strives to reach out to all the Korean War defense veterans (soldiers after 1954) who have served at the DMZ. He expresses that the longevity of the Korean War legacy is with the next generation.
Korea Today and the Honor Flight
James Houp recalls reading about Korea today and recognizes its great economic achievements. He remembers participating in an honor flight to the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He shares how three South Koreans stopped him to take a picture and were very grateful for his service in Korea. He emphasizes how he cannot believe the transformation Korea has made from a very poor country to one of the richest in the world today. He expresses his pride in being a Korean War Veteran.
James L. Owen
Strategy in North Korea
James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.
Contemporary Korea and a Message to Future Generations
James Low hopes that future generations are able to experience one democratic Korea. He stresses the importance that future generations understand the Korean War was fought against three Communist countries: North Korea, China, and Russia. James Low believes that the Korean war helped to impede any further advancement of Russian Communism.
Interaction with Korean MP's
James Pigneri talks about his time serving with two young Korean military police officers. Because of the dedication of the MP's, Pigneri goes unharmed but the MP's die tragically in battle.
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.
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.
James Ronald Twentey
Cigarettes as Money
Ron Twentey describes the need that still existed among the Korean people during his time there.
He explains that though the war was over, the people were still terribly impoverished and begged for food. He describes the children begging for food and for cigarettes which they sold to make money. He explains that he has never smoked but he would pay for the cigarette rations so that he could use them as currency and for trade. He recalls paying for his clothes to be laundered with cigarettes.
Reflections and View of Korea Today
James Sharp reflects on the the Korean War and discusses the positive outcome. He expresses that his revisit to Korea was a life-lifting experience as he was able to witness the development that has occurred since the war. He shares that soldiers often carry bad memories of war, wondering if their service was of worth, but he expresses that after seeing Korea's development during his revisit, he is certain his service was of worth.
James T. Markley
Message to the Younger Generation
James Markley gives students a message on the achievements of the Korean people. After the devastation of World War II and the Korean war, the Korean people have set a great example for the entire world. They have become a resilient nation of people.
Jeff Brodeur (with Al Jenner)
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.
Korean War Veterans Response to KDVA Accomplishments
Al Jenner responds that if the veterans could see the impact that was made by their efforts to deter against communism, they would see a country that is now the 11th largest economy in the world. They would also see that it's the first nation to go from a debtor nation to a creditor nation while enjoying the freedoms they have there. Jeff Brodeur and Al Jenner are very proud of the progress and success in South Korea.
First Impression of Busan
Jeremiah Johnson recalls traveling to Korea aboard the General Black troopship and describes the experience. He recounts arriving in Pusan and seeing Korean men in boats he was unfamiliar with. He remembers men from his ship tossing down fruit to the Korean men in the boats and watching them put the fruit into boxes.
Hiring Orphans to Help
Jeremiah Johnson remembers two orphaned South Korean boys who worked for the unit. He describes the jobs they were given. He shares how they paid them and comments on how they learned from the soldiers.
You Get Used to It
Jesse Englehart describes how a South Korean man was communicating with North Korea. He remembers an incident and seeing this man beaten with a bat. He explains how in war soldiers become desensitized to violence.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas
The Progress of South Korea / El Progreso de Corea del Sur
Jesús María Cabra Vargas speaks about his views on modern Korea. He states he is incredibly proud of their advancements and believes the changes are marvelous. He attributes the progress to the fact that Korea had to start over and decided to industrialize every aspect of its economy.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas habla sobre la transformación de Corea del Sur. Afirma que está muy orgulloso de los avances del país y cree que los cambios son maravillosos. Él atribuye el progreso al hecho de que Corea tuvo que empezar de nuevo y decidió industrializar todos los aspectos de su economía.
Personal Understanding of the Korean War
Joan Taylor loves the Korean War Legacy Foundation because she believes that the program will create a personal understanding of the Korean War through interviews of veterans. She was able to visit South Korea with her Korean War veteran husband, Neal C. Taylor with the the help from her United States Presbyterian Church along with a Presbyterian church in South Korea. It was a history trip for her and she was treated so well by the Korean people.
Joe Henmuller expresses that he learned a lot from the military. He describes the skills he learned which included how to follow orders and teamwork. He shares how he thinks it would be a good idea for every person to serve one or two years in the military.
Korea 1953 - The Last Few Months of the War
John Boyd spent the last few months of the war looking for the Barrows Balloon which signified talks were taking place at Panmunjom between the Chinese, North Koreans, and the United Nations. He describes what he calls the “silliness” that started at Panmunjom. As the weather began to heat up while they were waiting, valley fires increased, and things became dangerous.
John C. Delagrange
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.
Sleeping and Eating Conditions for US Troops
John Cantrall described how fortunate we was to experience the living conditions that he was assigned, but the food was never something that he could report that he enjoyed. He also reported that the housing arrangements for the American and Korean soldiers were quite different. He expressed concern that it was an unfair situation.
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.
First Landing in Busan, Korea and Many Evacuation Flights that Followed
John Cumming landed on Busan's runway which was pitted with bombing holes. In order to load the casualties, POWs were used to assist the flight crew and once in flight, flight nurses held the injured to keep them from dying due to the temperature.
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.
A Christmas Eve Miracle for Joe
John Farritor recounts the beautiful story of how he befriended an orphan on a cold Christmas Eve. He shares he took him in to clothe and feed him and hired him as his houseboy, naming him Joe. He explains how war had left Joe alone in the world, so he did everything within his power to keep Joe with him for as long as he could, handing him off some months later when his assignment there was complete. He recalls teaching Joe everything he could to make him a valuable asset so that the Army would want to keep him and provide for him.
Not a Substantial Building Standing
John Fry gives a tremendous comparison of what Korea was like in 1953 and when he returned in 2014. He remembers the war-torn state of the country that had no substantial buildings standing, people living in cardboard boxes, and too many orphans. He shares that compared to the “unbelievable” progress that Korea has made, it seems like Australia has gone backwards.
First Impressions of Korea
John Funk shares how he saw sadness the first time he laid eyes on Korea and the Korean people. He recalls people being hungry, sad, and poor, and he offers an account of their impoverished living conditions at the time. His adds that his time in Korea made him and other soldiers realize that they needed to help the Korean people.
John Funk offers an account of the 8076 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). He describes the facility and the nearby area. He recalls soldiers being admitted with their uniforms still on as well as sometimes still in their sleeping bags and details the triage system utilized to determine who was tended to first. He additionally speaks of the role women played as nurses.
John Funk shares how he saw more devastation and pain than the average soldier because he was with the medical unit. He recounts the stories of three patients which have remained with him through the many years since his service. He recalls one centering on a Korean solider he transported in the middle of the night, another regarding an American soldier that had attempted suicide and was airlifted to his team, and finally, the image of a Korean child who lost both parents.
John G. Sinnicki
Encounters with the Koreans
John Sinnicki reflects on his encounters with the North Koreans in various settings. He describes how on the battlefield, they were dedicated to their Communist cause; however, in a civilian sense, they were very friendly and willing to engage with the Americans. He recalls KATUSA playing an incredibly helpful and important role and regrets they haven't received the credit they deserve.
John Hartup, Jr.
Korean Reaction to the American Soldiers
John Hartup, Jr., recalls the Koreans loving the American soldiers. The American soldiers operated the port of Incheon, so the Koreans depended on them to provide jobs. He recalls there were probably one thousand workers hired to operate the port. He remembers the presidential election of 1948 when Syngman Rhee was elected as the first president of the new Republic of Korea. He remembers being paid roughly fifty dollars a month, saving some of it in a U.S. bank and spending the rest in the base exchange (PX).
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
Vivid Memories of Murdered Civilians
John J. Baker details movement from east of Taegu to a place called Ulsan. He recollects moving through the region with his company commander when they encountered the National Police and the Korean Army on both sides of the road. The commander explained that these people were South Korean Communists. He notes that much of his unit had been wiped out in Taejan leaving only 179 left in the unit. They returned to Taegu and onto Kumchon with the 19th and 21st Infantry. When they arrived, they encountered a gory scene along the roadside.
A Sergeant's Mistake and a South Korean helper
John Jefferies shares memories of an encounter with a drunk American sergeant. He recalls happening upon a drunk American sergeant who was firing at children running in a village. He shares that when he confronted the sergeant, the gun was turned on him. He recalls running to seek the help of several South Korean soldiers, but upon his return with aid, the sergeant had fled. He adds that he luckily found no children wounded.
John K. Barton
Pride in Service
John K. Barton describes how he feels about his service and mission in Korea. He explains that America had to contribute to better the country and people of Korea. He explains that he is proud that he served his country.
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.
Why Should We Study the Korean War?
John McWaters speaks about why he believes students need to learn about Korea and why it has become known as the forgotten war. He reflects on his experiences talking to high school students about the Korean War. He wants to correct the public perception of the forgotten war and frame it as an important victory, as we saved a fine country and enabled it to become the impressive nation is it today. He recollects the brilliant reception he received from South Koreans on his Revisit Korea trip.
Origins of the Tell America Program
John McWaters describes the Tell America program, a program in which Korean War Veterans go into high school classrooms in central Florida to teach students about the Korean War. National Geographic provided maps for the program, which immediately sent him down memory lane. He remembered the towns and villages he visited. Thanks to the maps, he was able to grow the program.
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.
Then and Now
John Naalstad describes the state of Korea during this time. He recounts a local Sunday school service he attended and the rough state of the church. Later, he contrasts that image with his pride in what Korea has become today.
Sending and Receiving "Projjies"
John Pound's ship the HMS Charity would fire shells, or "projjies" short for projectiles, towards trains that traveled near the North Korean coastline. He remembers one Easter when North Korean gunners fired back from positions hidden in caves. He also describes assisting in spotting pilots who missed their landings on aircraft carriers.
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.
John Sehejong Ha explains the role of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA). He shares his duties as a translator. He explains how he was often escorted by military police (MPs) all around Korea to translate as needed. He shares how he went to the field hospitals to translate for US medical staff aiding South Korean soldiers. He shares all the places he visited doing his translator duties. He shares the destruction he saw as well.
Fears for the Future
John Shea, while he does not wish it, says he "feels sorry" for the South Korean people because he believes North Korea will again try to take it over.
The Pass is Open
John Singhose describes working with his men to use bulldozers for building a pass that shortened travel from the "Punchbowl," through the hills of Yanggu County. He recalls hiking overland to construct a tram road, which helped the U.S. Army supply ammunition to the Republic of Korea infantry. He describes supervising the paving of an airstrip.
Working with Koreans
John Singhose recalls being reasonably warm in his sleeping bag when he had to sleep in a tent while in Korea. He describes interacting with Koreans in several capacities, and speaks of them with admiration. He shares that everyone he encountered, from their cook to construction workers, were industrious and honest workers.
From Busan to the Punchbowl
John Snodell describes his first impressions of Busan, Korea. He recalls having a negative experience getting on a truck in Busan, then connecting with the 1st Marine Division for the Battle of the Punchbowl. He recalls being in Korea during a very cold winter.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
Combat Engineering and South Korea in 1957
John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes the duties of an Army Combat Engineer. He explains that although they are trained to handle explosives, the primary mission is bridge construction and demolition. He recalls his first impressions of South Korea upon his arrival in 1957, near Musan-ni, just below the DMZ. He describes observing the farming methods used by the people of South Korea, and having to carry out the duties of extending a run-way and building a wooden bridge across a river.
Memories of South Korea, 1957
John T. "Sonny" Edwards describes his experience getting to South Korea in 1957. He recalls seeing meats hanging in the market, honey buckets, and the smell of kimchi. He describes his impression of Korean people and his appreciation for their warm sentiment toward Korean War Veterans.
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.
Memories of Korean Friends from the War
John Tobia gets very emotional regarding a memory he had of a young boy his company encountered while clearing buildings. He shares that the boy lived with his company for about a month. He also recalls a young Korean interpreter that worked with his company who became as close to him as a brother would be. He recalls giving cigarettes to the interpreter so he could trade them for food for his family.
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 .
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.
Stationed at Panmunjeom
Johnney Lee recalls leaving technical school to join the United States 8th Army. He shares that he was stationed at Panmunjeom and offers an account of his duties while there. He describes his role as quartermaster and recounts sorting supplies.
Working for the United States 8th Army
Johnney Lee recalls being paid for his work with the United States 8th Army. He describes the living conditions at the time and states that he was assigned to at tent with US soldiers. He remembers traveling back and forth each day between camps for negotiations, leaving in the morning for Panmunjeom and returning in the evening to base camp.
Reflecting on Experiences
Johnney Lee reflects on his experiences while working with the United States 8th Army at Panmunjeom. He recalls that in his younger years when asked about his time serving, he would simply say that he was working and trying to survive. He shares that he now speaks of how good the experience was for him as he understands the difference between Communism and Democracy.
Johnney Lee shares that the negotiations at Panmunjeom lasted nearly two years. He recalls feeling frustrated that the negotiations seemed to be going nowhere while soldiers died. He adds that he wanted peace quickly, but the same story seemed to be playing out after each meeting.
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.
Helping Civilians / Ayudando a los Civiles
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna details the heartbreaking conditions that civilians endured during the war. He remembers entering living dwellings and encountering weak elderly people and malnourished children. While it was frowned upon by American troops, he explains that Puerto Ricans gave rations to those civilians.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna detalla las condiciones de los civiles durante la guerra. Recuerda entrar en viviendas y encontrarse con ancianos débiles y niños desnutridos. Él explica que los puertorriqueños les daban raciones a esos civiles aunque las tropas estadounidenses no lo hacían por miedo de darle comida al enemigo.
Message to future generations / Mensaje a las Futura Generaciones
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna shares his ideas regarding the effects and causes of war. He explains that he fought in Korea with pride and valor but would not want others to experience war. He concludes by stating that without the veterans that fought, there would be no South Korea.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna comparte sus ideas sobre los efectos y las causas de la guerra. Explica que luchó en Corea con orgullo y valor, pero que no querría que otros tengan que sufrir con la guerra. Concluye afirmando que sin los veteranos que lucharon, no existiría Corea del Sur.
Jose E. Colon
Poor and Dangerous Living Conditions
Jose E. Colon presents an overview of their living conditions in Korea. He describes the South Koreans’ primitive farming and sanitation methods, which led to an infestation of snakes and rats in the unit's living quarters. He explains how the rats carried insects that caused some soldiers to develop a fever by penetrating their veins. He discusses the low quality and limited supply of food and shares his unit had only C-rations to eat while on the front lines.
Jose Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez
Memories and Lessons Learned / Recuerdos y Lecciones Aprendidas
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez reflects on his feelings about leaving Korea at the end of his tour. He explains that he learned what it meant to be a soldier and could have only done so through his experience during the war. Additionally, he laments what the people of Korea experienced during the century of conquests which culminated in the war.
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez reflexiona sobre sus sentimientos cuando se fue de Corea. Explica que aprendió lo que significa ser un soldado y solo pudo haberlo hecho a través de su experiencia en la guerra. Además, lamenta lo que vivió el pueblo de Corea durante un siglo de conquistas que termino con la guerra entre el Norte y el Sur.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez shares the moment in which he feared that his patrol unit would restart the Korean War. He explains that after hours of patrolling near the DMZ, they were lost and decided to split up. His group stumbled on a group of Koreans which luckily were South Koreans that helped them return to their base.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez comparte el momento en el que temió que su patrulla reiniciara la Guerra de Corea. Explica que después de horas de patrullaje cerca de la DMZ, se perdieron y decidieron separarse. Su grupo se topó con un grupo de coreanos que afortunadamente eran surcoreanos y los ayudaron a regresar a su base.
Jose Maria Gomez Parra
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
José María Gómez Parra shares his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival. He recalls how he was immediately struck by the weather. Arriving in winter, he shares he was astonished at the barren landscape in which everything was frozen. He comments on the terrible state that civilians were in at the time.
José María Gómez Parra comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea al llegar al país. Inmediatamente fue impresionado por el clima. Al llegar en invierno, se asombró que no había nada en el paisaje porque todo estaba congelado. Además, comenta el pésimo estado en que se encontraban los civiles en ese momento.
Jose Ramon Chisica Torres
Impressions of Korea and Its People / Impresiones de Corea y su gente
José Ramón Chisica Torres describes the extreme poverty the Korean people faced in the last year of the war. He explains that the soldiers were well taken care of even though the weather was bitterly cold. He goes on to describe the extreme measures taken by some Koreans in order to find food and other necessities.
José Ramón Chisica Torres discute la suma pobreza del pueblo Coreano en el último año de la guerra en Corea. Él comenta que hacía mucho frio cuando llegaron, pero los soldados tenían todo lo que necesitaban. Después, el discute las medidas extremas tomadas por algunos Coreanos para encontrar comida y otras necesidades.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano
Forever Changed / Cambiado Para Siempre
José Vidal Beltrán Molano explains that the war had a huge impact on his life and left him forever changed. He marvels at how well he was treated upon returning to South Korea. He shares there were parades by the military, high schools, and elementary schools in their honor. In sum, he is thankful to all whom have recognized their sacrifices.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano explica que la guerra tuvo un gran impacto en su vida y lo dejo marcado de por vida. Se maravilla de lo bien que lo trataron al regresar a Corea del Sur. Él comparte que hubo desfiles de militares, escuelas secundarias y escuelas primarias en su honor. En suma, está agradecido a todos los que han reconocido sus sacrificios.
Joseph C. Giordano
Korean Service Corps
Joseph Giordano describes the Korean Service Corps. He shares that the members were mainly older Koreans who were too old to fight. He recalls Korean Service Corpsmen being assigned to each platoon to help do various activities, and he speaks of the friendship that he developed with one such worker named Kim.
Thoughts on Peace Treaty
Joseph Calabria speaks about how he would like for the Koreas to be reunified. He believes that he would then sign it. He gives the suggestion that North Korea should follow the model of South Korea.
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 F. Gibson
Working with Korean Civilians
Joseph F. Gibson shares how he worked daily with Korean civilians who helped take care of the wounded soldiers. He shares how he was often invited into the village to eat within the homes of civilians. He explains that he built a relationship with South Koreans. He shares how he learned some bad words in Korean.
From a Nation of Poor Farmers to Beautiful Reconstruction
Joseph Wagener left Korea 4th September 1951. In the six decades following the war, he returned to Korea many times. His most recent trip was in 2016. With each return visit, he watched Korea transform from a nation of poor farmers to a beautiful country filled with new construction and economic development. Joseph Wagener fondly remembers the South Koreans who fought with the Belgian battalion.
Destroyed Russian Tanks Littering the Ground
Joseph Wagener describes fighting along the 38th Parallel with the 29th British Brigade, the strongest brigade of the British army. They fought along the Incheon River and patrolled the Naktong Perimeter where the South Koreans and their UN allies had blocked the North Korean advancement. Destroyed Russian tanks littered the ground around the area they patrolled, suggesting the intensity of fighting in the region.
Expectations of Korea
Having learned about Korea while growing up in Hawaii, Joshua T. Morimoto had some expectations as to what he thought Korea would look like when he arrived in 1974. To his surprise, Korea was much more modern than the images he saw in textbooks. He explains the advancements that Korea made and how thankful the Korean people are for their help.
Juan Andres Arebalos
Landing in Korea on the Fourth of July
Juan Andres Arebalos recalls playing ping-pong on a Japanese base when an announcement came on the radio about North Korea's invasion of South Korea. He received orders to pack his belongings for combat and the next day, landed in Korea on the Fourth of July. He saw bright flashes of lights in the distance that could have been mistaken for fireworks. His duty was to hold the enemy back until reinforcements arrived from the United Nations Forces.
The Battle of Taejon
Juan Andres Arebalos provides an overview of the North Korean's advancements in Taejon. He recounts retreating from the city to reinforce his troops. He remembers observing the city burning after the North Koreans seized it. He provides information about General William Dean, the United States general who was captured during the retreat from Taejon.
Tales of Survival
Juan Andres Arebalos admits that he did not feel he would survive the situation in Taejon. He comments that enemy troops would snatch the food and supplies dropped by United Nations airplanes. He recalls being so hungry that he ate fly-infested rice in a South Korean village. He recalls an enemy sniper shooting at them as they filled their canteens with water at a creek. He admits to being unable to sleep at night because of his fear.
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado
A Thankful People / Un Pueblo Agradecido
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado explains that while he has not revisited Korea, he is aware of their economic and political development. He shares that the Korean people have been extremely thankful for his service and have recognized him more than the recognition he received from his own country. He is proud of the work that his battalion did in Korea.
Juan de Jesus Cortes Jurado explica que, aunque no ha vuelto a Corea, está al tanto de su desarrollo económico y político. Comparte que él y los veteranos de la guerra han recibido más reconocimiento por el gobierno coreano que por el gobierno de su propio país. Está orgulloso del trabajo que hizo su batallón en Corea.
Juan Figueroa Nazario
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Juan Figueroa Nazario recalls his first impressions of a war-torn Korea. He describes the civilian living conditions and the plethora of refugee he encountered. In his opinion, the poverty of the Korean people was worse than that of Haiti. He shares he could not believe the way in which the infrastructure of the nation had been decimated.
Juan Figueroa Nazario recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea devastada por la guerra. Describe las condiciones de vida de los civiles y los refugiados que encontró. En su opinión, la pobreza del pueblo coreano era peor que la de Haití. No podía creer la forma en que había sido diezmada la infraestructura de la nación.
Juan Jose Lopez De Victoria
No Soldier Left Behind / Ningún Soldado Olvidado
Juan José López de Victoria shares the story of how the remains of fallen Marines were never left behind. He recalls that six of his friends were killed following a helicopter ration drop as they were spotted by the enemy. While the remains were not immediately sent back to the United States, the Pentagon never gave up hope in returning them to their families. Decades after the war, the Pentagon contacted him to inquire about the incident, and the remains were finally sent to their loved ones.
Juan José López de Victoria comparte la historia de cómo los restos de los soldados caídos nunca se abandonaban. Él recuerda como seis de sus amigos murieron después de que un helicóptero tiro las raciones y fueron vistos por el enemigo. Aunque los cuerpos no fueron devueltos de inmediato a los Estados Unidos, el Pentágono nunca perdió la esperanza de devolverlos a sus familias. Décadas después de la guerra, el Pentágono lo contactó para preguntarle sobre el incidente y los restos finalmente fueron enviados a sus seres queridos.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez
Legacy of the War / El Legado de la Guerra
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez shares his opinions on his participation in the war. He states that he thanked God that the United States got involved in the war because it was better to fight communism in Korea than allow it to enter the United States or Puerto Rico. He believes it was a just war because it saved Korea.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez comparte sus opiniones sobre su participación en la guerra. Afirma que agradeció a Dios que Estados Unidos se involucró en la guerra porque fue mejor combatir el comunismo en Corea que dejarlo entrar a Estados Unidos o a Puerto Rico. Él cree que fue una guerra justa porque salvó a Corea.
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez
Julio Cesar Mercado Martinez shares that seeing the children in Korea experiencing poverty made him more family oriented. He recounts a touching story about a boy he befriended in South Korea. He shares that he offered food to the boy, receiving hugs in return.
Jutta I. Andersson
Busan: September 1950
Jutta Andersson describes Busan when she arrived in September of 1950. She describes the despair of the people living around Busan. She also describes life as a nurse and how nurses could not freely move about. However, she did visit the hills surrounding Busan and go to a Buddhist Temple with an escort.
Into the Fire
Jutta Andersson describes first arriving into Busan at the very beginning of the war and treating the first patient within one week of arrival. New medical buildings were being constructed everyday including barracks for patients and new surgical buildings. Jutta Andersson also describes living conditions and having a hard time finding fresh water.
Kebede Teferi Desta
Arriving in Korea
Kebede Teferi Desta describes his arrival in Korea. He had no previous knowledge or experience with Korea. He was part of the First Kagnew Battalion arriving in 1951. Kebede Teferi Desta describes the situation as bleak for the people. Buildings were destroyed, with lots of destruction overall.
Keith G. Hall
"Smashed to Bits"
Keith G. Hall describes the differences between Korea in 1950 and Korea in 2010 when he returned. He describes poor conditions in the villages, with villagers farming rice paddies with primitive wooden plows. Seoul and Daegu had been "smashed to bits."
A War That is Worthy
Keith Gunn recounts his first impressions of Korea upon landing, expanding upon his opinion regarding the worth of the war. He details Korea's poor state at the time, comparing it to England. He speaks highly of the progress Korea has made since the war, ultimately agreeing that the war was worth the effort.
The Forgotten War
Keith Gunn shares that the Korean War, also known as the Forgotten War, received little attention during the effort as well as today despite the positive outcome. He adds that the Korean War was the first major United Nations effort and therefore should receive more attention. He also offers his opinion on political correctness and the role he feels it is playing today regarding content being taught in schools.
Arrival in Korea With Thoughts of the Incheon Landing
Ken Thamert traveled to Korea aboard a ship with many seasick soldiers and he arrived at Incheon in April of 1954, after the Korean War. With all of this basic training, he did not feel afraid when he landed. Ken Thamert did imagine what it was like during the Incheon Landing, only a few years ago right on the spot he entered Korea.
Prior Knowledge of Korea Before Entering the Korean War
Ken Thamert was given a book about Korea from the United States military once he enlisted since they assumed that's where most of the soldiers would be headed after bootcamp. The book included Korean culture and the games that Korean children played. Ken Thamert still has the book about Korea along with many pictures that he took while stationed in Korea.
Kenneth D. Cox
Rewarding Experiences with Children
Kenneth Cox recalls one of the most rewarding times during his service. He recounts offering food to child laborers and remembers a musical experience. He shares that the children would sing songs learned from missionaries while working, and he states that he would join in with them for particular songs he knew.
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.
A Unique Meeting in Hawaii
Kenneth Cox shares a story of meeting a Korean waitress in Hawaii years after his service in Korea. He recounts that she lived near the hospital the 44th Engineer Battalion built near Teagu. He recalls exchanging a few memories and catching up on its present state.
Kenneth David Allen
A Very Thankful People
Kenneth Allen describes his interactions with the Korean people, stating that they did what they could for them. He remembers a house boy they had at their tent and how they would give him clothes and food from the mess hall. He states that overall the Korean people were a really thankful people.
Kenneth F. Dawson
"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.
Kenneth J. Winters
Reflections about the Korean People
Kenneth Winters describes the Korean people he encountered during his deployment to Camp Casey in 1967-1968. He remarks about the friendliness and industriousness of the people in nearby Tongduchan Village. He also mentions his interactions with Korean children and how they reacted to American soldiers.
Kenneth S. Shankland
A Peaceful Solution for a Divided Country
Kenneth Shankland recalls how he knew nothing about Korea until he was sent to the East Sea to patrol the Korean coast. He shares that since his service in Korea, he has closely studied the developments of the Korean War, from the actual fighting to the Armistice that has not resolved the war. He adds that he would like for Korea to find a peaceful solution between the North and South.
Retrofitted Ships and Bombed-Out Cities
Kenneth Shankland recalls how his ship, The HMNZS Royalist, had been modified for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. He shares how the ship sailed all over the Pacific Ocean, eventually landing in Incheon and Pusan in 1957 to enforce the peace. He recounts how Korean civilians were living in terrible conditions among piles of rubble. He remembers naked and hungry children begging for food.
Kevin R. Dean
Return to Korea
Kevin Dean comments on his return visit to Korea. He recalls the physical destruction of Incheon during the war and compares it to the modern city into which it has blossomed. He describes Seoul and Busan's progression and shares that the transformation is mind boggling to him. He states that South Korea is one of the only countries in the world that thanks those who helped secure its freedom.
Kim H. McMillan
First Impressions of Korea
Kim McMillan describes his journey to Korea by boat to Busan. The terrible smell met him as he sailed into the port. Passing through Seoul to join his unit, he was dismayed at the sad and backward state of the country. The Korean people looked depressed. Initially assigned as a driver in the transportation unit of 10 Company, his superiors later assigned him to the workshop unit as a carpenter.
Tensions at the Base
Kim McMillan describes the tension at his base between North Korean civilians and South Koreans. Several North Koreans worked in the galley and the South Koreans did not like them. While in Korea, he attained the rank of Lance Corporal.
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
Korea in 1954
Lakew Kidane Goshene describes the conditions of the country upon his arrival. He describes how Korean women would scavenge for wood. He also explains how his unit would share their rations with civilians. He is amazed at how different the Korean people's lives are now from then.
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.
Korean War Legacy
Lawrence Cole agrees that while it did take 30-35 years after the war before South Korea became democratic politically. He shares how he feels that Korea has transformed its economy into one of significance. He shares that industrialization has changed family relationships and old traditions in Korea. He shares how he thinks students going back and forth from South Korea to the US are an influence on modern South Korea. He explains how the United States is still trying to learn from the fighting in the far.
Prior Knowledge of the Korean War
From 2004 to 2008, Lawrence Dumpit's second tour, was filled with working with tanks on the ground. This was a change from the first tour in 1997. He didn't know a lot about Korea before he was stationed there, but he did know about the war because he learned about it during school.
First Impressions of Korea in 1997 and Korean Culture
Lawrence Dumpit was not a lot to go off base when he went to Camp Casey until he was given a one-week training about the Korean culture including the food, language, and civilians. The living conditions in Camp Casey were old WWII barracks because they were the oldest on the base and it was a lot better than the Koreans living in one room. He was paid 3,000 dollars a month.
South Korean Soldiers Work With US Troops
Lawrence Dumpit worked with South Korean soldiers, but they were not professional soldiers because they were drafted into the military. Therefore, many of the soldiers were not as professional as the US troops. The Korean soldiers made rank, but the US soldiers felt that they didn't earn it, so this started some problems with the US troops.
Leo C. Jackey
Frozen to Death
Leo C. Jackey shares a moving memory. He remembers seeing lines of Korean civilians, including children, frozen to death with their hands up one morning while in the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir area. He speaks with pride of the small role he played in helping Korea pick itself up and rebuild itself into a leading economic power in the world.
You Can't Blame Them for Having Nothing
Leo Calderon describes his job maintaining security of the planes while being stationed in Suwon in South Korea. They had to guard the planes 24 hours a day. He worked 8 hour shifts. He describes how a papa-san tried to steal a tip tank and he had to chase him to retrieve it.
Selling Their Mothers and Sisters
Leo Calderon describes the atmosphere of South Korea after the war. He notes that some of the people did not like the American presence. He also describes the crime and poverty after the war. The people sold anything, including their mothers, sisters, haircuts and boot shining for cigarettes. Bars eventually popped up though American soldiers were not allowed to go beyond the MSR (Main Supply Rode).
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.
Arriving on the Front Lines
Leonard Nicholls arrived at a valley called San Marie near the front lines. The trucks dispatched the men to a valley near the First Blazes battery of artillery. Young Korean boys wandered the camp performing odd jobs.
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.
LeRoy Johnson describes his interactions with other nation's troops. He explains that he often engaged with South Korean soldiers when they picked up prisoners in the harbor. He elaborates on mainly picking up mostly Chinese soldiers and transporting them to a carrier.
Daily Life in Anti-aircraft Operations Unit
Leslie Fuhrman describes the daily living conditions and explains that it was fairly comfortable. He recalls having heat, cots to sleep on, a mess hall, and house ladies to clean the floors. He recalls earning two hundred dollars a month as a Second Lieutenant. He shares he sent most of his pay to an account back home but kept some money to spend at a small px, or military exchange, that was a few miles away.
Payment for Service
Leslie Peate discusses the amount soldiers in the British Army were paid while serving in Korea. He shares that they were one of the lowest paid with only the Korean soldiers earning less than them. He recalls actually losing money due to being transferred from Hong Kong to Korea where it was deemed he no longer needed a living allowance. He comments on what script was used and the trading of products among soldiers.
Leslie Peate elaborates on the work of the Korean porters. He defines them as mostly farmers and/or anyone who would help out during the war. He shares that those men worked harder than any other group of people during the war and stresses that they received no recognition at all and most likely no payments for their efforts.
Modern Korea and Appreciation for Service
Leslie Peate recalls the differences between South Korea in 1951 and the South Korea he saw later on during his revisit experiences. He states that the South Korean government as never failed to recognize or appreciate the efforts they contributed to helping secure a free South Korea. He comments on the industrial powerhouse South Korea has become and refers to the country as a place where his friends live.
Preparing For and Entering the Korean War
After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.
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.
Christmas In Korea
Lloyd Pitman describes a Christmas day in Korea. The army gave him two beers and two cigars. He had spent three Christmases away from home and spent some time thinking about his family. The horrors of war returned as he soon found South Korean civilians executed by the North Koreans and Chinese as they retreated.
Korea Then and Now
Loannis Farazakis explains his amazement in South Korea's growth in such a short time. He was impressed by the economic growth. He also shares his pride in being part of the war and seeing the South Korean people become democratic.
Louis F. Santangelo
Louis Santangelo describes the conditions of the people in and around Busan Harbor. He describes people coming up to the ships in boats begging for cigarettes and being "poor." Louis Santangelo compares the conditions of Busan Harbor during the Korean War to the pictures he saw during the 2018 Winter Olympics and was amazed at the changes.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Luis Arcenio Sánchez describes his voyage to Korea and his first impressions of the country. He explains the route the boat took from Colombia including the many ports in which they stopped. He then goes on to describe the sadness within Korea and marvels at the intelligence of the Korean people.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez describe su viaje a Corea y sus primeras impresiones del país. Él explica la ruta que tomó el barco desde Colombia, y da detalles sobre los puertos en los que se detuvieron. Luego describe la tristeza dentro de Corea y se maravilla de la inteligencia del pueblo coreano.
Legacy of the War / El Legado de la Guerra
Luis Arcenio Sánchez shares his opinions regarding a possible reunification and the success of South Korea. He explains that communism should never be accepted by the South. He adds that he is proud of his service and encourages the next generation to represent Colombia as well as his generation did.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez comparte su opinion sobre la reunificación entre las dos Coreas y el éxito de la economía de Corea del Sur. Explica que el comunismo nunca debe ser aceptado por el sur. Agrega que está orgulloso de su servicio y le pide a la próxima generación a representar a Colombia tan bien como lo hizo su generación.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernandez
Personal Effect / Efecto Personal
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández explains the toll the war took on him and laments the loss of life caused by the war. Although he was not wounded, he was troubled with thoughts about what happened to him and others once he returned home. He composed a song as a tribute to Colombian soldiers and Korea. His original song highlights the valor of the Colombian soldier and is an homage to the people of Korea.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández explica el precio que le costó la guerra y lamenta la pérdida de vidas causada por la guerra. Aunque no fue herido, se vio obligado a tratar de dejar de pensar en lo que le sucedió a él y a los demás durante la guerra. Compuso una canción en homenaje a los soldados colombianos y a Corea. Su canción original ejemplifica el valor del soldado colombiano y es una oda para el pueblo de Corea.
First Impressions and Religion / Primeras impresiones y religión
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recalls his first impression of a devastated Korea. He expresses the sorrow he felt given the terrible conditions that civilians were forced to endure. Furthermore, he shares a story of how he heard a calling from God when one of his friends needed help on the battlefield.
Luis Fernando Silva Fernández recuerda su primera impresión de Corea cuando recién llego. Lamenta las terribles condiciones que los civiles se vieron obligados a soportar como la tristeza y el hambre. Igualmente, comparte una historia de cómo escuchó un llamado de Dios cuando uno de sus amigos necesitaba ayuda en el campo de batalla.
Luis Rosado Padua
The Draft / El Reclutamiento
Luis Rosado Padua discusses his feelings on being drafted and joining the war effort. He was immediately struck by the cold weather as he had never experienced freezing temperatures. He describes his feelings about the Korean people.
Luis Rosado Padua habla sobre sus sentimientos al ser reclutado y unirse al esfuerzo de la guerra. Él explica que lo más impactante al llegar fue el clima frío, ya que nunca había salido de Puerto Rico. Describe sus sentimientos sobre el pueblo coreano.
Lynwood Ingham appreciates all the soldiers today who are trying to end communism on the Korean peninsula. Like many other countries around the world, the US wants to help the people by getting rid of communism. The US and South Korea have a strong friendship and trade-relationship because of the Korean War.
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez explains that though he has not revisited Korea, he would like to return and see what he missed while he was there. He explains that during his time in Korea, all he saw were small villages and rice paddies but he would like to see the large, modern cities. He reflects upon the success of the Korean people since the war.
Manuel A. Bustamente
Manuel Bustamante said that a little white baby was found in a Korean Orphanage. The baby was kept in the sickbay on the ship and it kept the moral high for months. Sailors all took turns caring for the baby. The doctor and his wife adopted the baby once he arrived in America. They named him Daniel Keenan and he went to many of the Korean War reunions in order to see his rescuers.
Manuel Antonio Gaitan Briceño
Korea Then and Now / Corea Antes y Ahora
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describes the changes he witnessed in Korea between the time he was stationed there and when he returned in 2010. Compared to the sadness, hunger, and destruction of Korea when he served in 1954, he marvels at what Korea has become. Indeed, he expresses being amazed at the cleanliness, infrastructure, and even the underground stores near the subway system that exist in modern Seoul. He credits the intelligence of South Koreans for their advances.
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describe los cambios que vio en Corea entre el tiempo que sirvió en el Batallón Colombia y cuando regresó en 2010. En comparación con la tristeza, el hambre y la destrucción de Corea cuando sirvió en 1954 se maravilla como Corea se ha cambiado. De hecho, expresa estar asombrado por la limpieza, la infraestructura e incluso los almacenes subterráneas cerca del sistema subterráneo que existen en la Seúl hoy en día. Le da crédito a la inteligencia de los surcoreanos por sus avances económicos y políticos.
Like Being in New York City
Manuel Carnero describes the difference between Korea during the war and its appearance when he traveled back for the Revisit Program. He describes landing at the Inchon airport which is on an island which he had not seen during the war. He describes the beauty of the mountains and the country, how it reminded him of New York and Houston. He also describes how the Korean children were very appreciative of the American veterans and chanted "America number 1!" He says that the appreciation of the Korean people for the American sacrifice and the growth of South Korea makes it worth while.
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.
Foreign Troops / Tropas Extranjeras
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recounts his amicable interactions with troops from other countries. He explains that they all had a sense of adventure in common. He enjoyed meeting individuals with tattoos and pierced noses from Ethiopia, Turks who refused to wear bulletproof jackets, and those from Australia, Canada, and France. He marveled when all these individuals congregated together for mass. He credits this experience with making him a more open-minded individual as he realized that people from different countries have more in common than most realize.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata que sus interacciones con tropas de otros países fueron muy cordiales. Explica que todos tenían un sentido de aventura en común. Disfrutó conocer a personas con tatuajes y narices perforadas de Etiopía, turcos que se negaron a usar chalecos antibalas y personas de Australia, Canadá y Francia. Se maravilló cuando todos estos individuos se congregaron para la misa. Él atribuye a esta experiencia el haberlo convertido en una persona de mente más abierta al darse cuenta de que las personas de diferentes países tienen mucho en común.
First Impressions of Korea
The train ride from Pusan to Seoul was incredible. Martin Rothenberg saw so much beauty on the trip, particularly with the rice crops. While the rice crops were in their stages of growing, the vistas of patterns within the fields was beautiful. Poverty was all around, especially at Seoraksan Peak where people were living in cardboard straw-thatched-roofed homes. The villages always smelled because the sewage laid in a trench that ran through the middle of the street.
Civilians' Lives in Poverty-Stricken Villages
Martin Rothenberg was stationed at the base of a mountain during the winter of 1954 near a village that was poverty-stricken. This village had a wood-burning flute that ran under the houses to keep the floors warm and the villagers slept on the floor. He also saw a round stone based where the villagers had planted colored flowers. Martin Rothenberg thought that it was nice the way South Koreans took the time to make their homes special.
Mission Impossible: Speaking a Foreign Language
Martin Rothenbert was proud that the US Army had provided soldiers with a book containing Korean instructions and he used it to ask simple questions to the Korean people he met. He recalled a time while in the village at the base of the hill, an older Korean man wasn't friendly to anyone and never spoke. Therefore, Martin Rothenberg took the time to learn some basic questions to get to know the older Korean man and his attitude totally changed. This made all the difference to build a bond between soldiers and civilians.
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.
Not Much Experience with the People Until Later Years
Martin Vasquez explains that he didn't have much experience with the people of South Korea during wartime. He recalls his only experience with the people was with the South Korean military men who were fighting along with him. He explains that he has seen a very different Korea during the times he has revisited compared to during the war. He goes on to describe the purpose for the United States entry into the 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.
Landing at Incheon, Impressions of Korea
On August 1, 1952, Marvin Ummel's unit made it to Incheon, South Korea. The entry into Incheon was challenging due to bad weather and the fact that the communists had destroyed most of the harbor. The ship captain had to improvise their landing. Shortly after landing, he boarded a railroad car to his first duty station near Seoul. He noticed garbage and destruction all over the landscape of South Korea. He acknowledges not knowing what it looked like prior to the war, but his first impression was a total mess. There was no building that had not been at least damaged by the war. The condition of Seoul was pretty distressing.
Prisoner of War Exchange
Marvin Ummel recalls witnessing the exchange of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the released prisoners changing clothes once released and many Korean locals picking up and taking the clothes back to their homes. Doctors would inspect the released POWs before sending them back home. Often the POWs were in poor condition, some even being sprayed with DDT insecticide to kill off vermin. He recalls that while the soldiers were thrilled to be back, the condition the POWs arrived in was poor and very depressing.
Impressions of South Korea, Then and Now
Marvin Ummel revisited South Korea in 2017. He reports that the opportunity to travel back with Revisit Korea was incredible. He recalls the development in Seoul being impressive, as there were no undamaged buildings present when he was there in 1952. Now, the buildings, houses, and roadways are numerous and well-constructed. He rode the bullet train from Seoul to Pusan and was impressed that it went over one hundred and eighty miles an hour! He also remembers just how thankful the South Koreans were to Americans for their help during the war.
Why is the Korea War the Forgotten War?
Given the wonderful transformation South Korea has seen between the 1950s and today and the deep gratitude Koreans have for American Veterans, the Korean War is still known as the Forgotten War. Marvin Ummel recalls people not knowing much about Korea, even after he returned from the war. Many people were still thinking about World War II.
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.
Prisoners of War
Mathew Thomas speaks about his experiences with prisoners of war (POWs). He recalls how some POWs did not want to return to their home countries and explains that some were left behind or even taken back to India. He shares that other POWs wanted to go to North Korea as they felt they might have a chance of reuniting with their families.
Committee Mission Complexities
Mathew Thomas talks about the committee's mission. He recalls how the Korean officials wanted the small number of remaining POWs released so they could return home; however, the United Nations orders were to not release the POWs. Instead, the orders were to hand them over to the United States command. He recognizes the complexities of the situation that are hard to decipher even today. He remembers leaving Korea in 1954 after nine months of service.
Life in the POW Camp
Mathew Thomas discusses the living situation in the POW camp. He describes how they lived in wooden structures and canvas tents and remembers having heaters because it was very cold. He recalls eating goats, having good morale in the camp, and the bathrooms being outdoors. He shares he was able to mail letters home if he wanted.
Matthew D. Rennie
Witnessing Poverty and Devastation
Matthew Rennie vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed in Busan upon his arrival. He recalls the refugee camp there with hundreds of thousands of civilians living in cardboard boxes and children begging for food. He comments on their suffering during the cold winters as they possessed inadequate clothing and heating. He describes the countryside as he made his way up to Euijeongbu.
Legacy of a Forgotten War
Matthew Rennie shares that he never expected South Korea to transform itself from a war torn land to a major world economic player. He offers his thoughts on why the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War despite its rich legacy, stating that it occurred on the heels of World War II and was overshadowed by the Vietnam War which was shown nightly on the news. He recounts that the Korean War was overlooked and described as a police action rather than a war, adding that veterans were not even allowed to join the Return Service League due to the labeling and lack of recognition as war veterans.
Maurice B. Pears
Korea Revisit: A Time to Remember the War
Maurice Pears shares how he traveled back to Korea in the early 1990's as a guest of the Korean government. He describes remembering how Seoul was in rubble and there was poverty everywhere while traveling around the nation. He shares how impressed by the evolution of the shops, modern businesses, and transportation he was upon his return.
The Forgotten War Being Remembered in Australia
Maurice Pears states that the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because it came right after WWII and that was a time when the world was tired of war. He shares how he worked with many organizations to gather donations for a monument in Australia to help people remember the Korean War. He recalls how after thirteen months, he was able to reveal the beautiful Korean War memorial.
Life as a Korean War Soldier and Operation Minden
Maurice Pear recalls living in foxholes during his year in Korea from 1951-1952. He remembers patrolling through small Korean villages that were filled with only women and children. He recounts that during Operation Minden, his troops fought the Chinese for Hill 355, 317, and 227 while enduring many casualties.
Life of a Korean War Soldier
Maurice Pears shares how he was on the front line for one month without a chance to shower or eat a hot meal and recalls dealing with a water shortage. He remembers how each soldier had his own foxhole where he endured snow and heat. He shares that the soldiers were able to travel up and down the Korean hills with the help of Korean civilians.
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.
Enlisting in the US Marine Corps
Mayo Kjellsen enlisted when he was 20 years old because he figured that he would be drafted soon. That was the culture, so decided to join the US Marine Corps and he was sent to Camp Pendleton in California. Without any prior knowledge about Korea, Mayo Kjellsen was surprised to see a Korean woman openly nursing her baby right near Inchon.
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 Cemil Yasar
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the fighting conditions at the Geumyangjangri Front. The Chinese were surrounded and could not escape. Therefore, this battle helped the Allies maintain control of the advancing Chinese Army. Further, he also describes the overall destruction that war brought. Towns were bombed out and looted. However, Pyongyang had people, while the South suffered.
First Experiences of War
Mehmet Cemil Yasar describes the people he encountered after arriving in Korea. He describes how Busan was a ghost town. He saw only one person, who had frozen to death. The buildings were all riddled with bullets. Overall the war brought hunger, misery, disease and death. Mehmet Cecil Yasar also describes the constant danger. There were many traps set by the enemy.
Devastation of Korea
Mehmet Çöpten describes the condition of Korea when he landed in Busan. The city was destroyed from war. People, specifically children were orphaned and starving. The Turkish troops were being supplied by the American forces and had more than enough food. They would secretly give food to the children and needy.
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.
Condition of Busan
Mekonen Derseh describes the condition of Busan. People were starving and Ethiopians gave them leftovers. Ethiopians were supplied by the Americans and needed the supplies also. He tries to make a comparison between Ethiopia and South Korea. The main difference was Ethiopia was not going through war.
Excitement for War
Mekonen Derseh describes an excitement for going to war. He went to Korea partially because of his personal experience with Italy trying to conquer Ethiopia. He did not want this to happen to another country. Mekonen Derseh still has some resentment for Italy and aggressor nations.
Children Crying in the Streets
Melese Tessema arrived in the first detachment on May 6 of 1951. The city was in ruins. Orphaned children cried in the streets. Poverty reigned. He returned five years ago and was surprised at the progress of modern Korea. Haile Selassie donated $400,000 dollars to Korea during the war. Now Melese Tessema notes that Korea’s and Ethiopia’s roles have reversed economically.
Chinese Artillery Barrage
Melese Tessema considers the Battle of Triangle Hill Battle his most dangerous experience. His platoon had just arrived at their location and thus had not yet dug many trenches. The Ethiopian soldiers had the high ground, but large numbers of Chinese approached. The Chinese had difficulty climbing in the steep terrain. Still, he lost fellow soldiers, including his dearest friend. Melese Tessema and the other platoon officers spoke English, but soldiers from the lower ranks did not, creating language barriers across groups. At one point his platoon provided machine gun support to Korean forces nearby. After fighting ended, their only hope was to communicate in sign language.
Testament to the Bravery of Korean Soldiers
Melese Tessema attests to the bravery of South Korean soldiers, describing hand-to-hand combat of South Koreans during the Battle of Triangle Hill. Though his memory is sharp, he has not preserved his letters. He wrote many letters, a few to his girlfriend, but more to his mother. As an only child, he knew his mother missed him terribly. His happiest moment during the conflict was returning to Ethiopia in June 1952. Since his return from Korea, Melese Tessema has wished that Ethiopia could learn from the economic successes of South Korea.
Impressions of Korea in the 1960s
Melvin Colberg recalls his impressions of Korea in the 1960s during his service, a perspective which centers on the years between the war-ravaged Korea of the 1950s and today's modern Korea. He recounts that infrastructure was still in the development stage as there were many dirt roads at the time and few factories present. No large farming equipment as water buffalo were mainly used in the agricultural setting along with a few rototillers here and there. Most people were still poor, living in one-room houses heated through the floor, and many civilians still wore traditional Korean clothing.
American Weaponry and Transfer of Knowledge Contributions
Melvin Colberg offers an account of his life as part of the 83rd Ordinance Battalion in Gimpo, South Korea, which was responsible for special ammunition and served as the northernmost depot. He summarizes the weaponry at the time and Melvin Colberg assisted in the testing and maintenance of the weaponry. There was a transfer of knowledge from American soldiers to the South Korean civilians in many forms and he agrees that these contributions should be highlighted.
South Korea: A Success Story
Melvin Colberg shares his views on the relationship between Korean War veterans and defense veterans along with the legacy of the Korean War. The outcome of the Korean War is a success story for both the South Koreans as well as the Americans. South Korea has changed so much, for the better, since he left, and he acknowledges that it is a shame that this success story is not taught in schools today.
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.
First Impressions of Korea
Merl Smith recalls his first image of Korea. One of the first sights he remembers seeing was that of destroyed tanks. He remembers the Korean civilians he met were all very stoic and never crying. He is still amazed at how well they handled the effects of war. He recalls how each time he would cross paths with children, he would give them something and shares a warming story of giving a shivering girl his winter coat. He adds that he witnessed a totally devastated Seoul.
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.
The Hungnam Evacuation
Merl Smith discusses his role in the Heungnam Evacuation. He shares that his ship saved over fourteen thousand people from Heungnam after being called to duty from Pusan. He details how the ship only had supplies for forty-eight men, did not have heat or toilet facilities, and had very little water. He remembers the Chinese blew up the port as the ship was exiting Heungnam and sailing with the Korean refugees for three days while bringing them to safety.
The Troubles with Traveling by a Truck
Merle Degler's job was to work on military trucks at the front lines in North Korea in early 1953. After being told that he had to move out, Merle Degler drove a truck up into the mountains with his regiment until the engine blew. Because he was not able to fix the truck on the side of the mountain, he was towed down the hill and back to a ROK camp where he had to stay until meeting up with additional soldiers willing to lead him back to his regiment.
Coming Home from the Korean War
Merle Peterson did not receive a big reception when he came home from the Korean War. He explains that at the time of his return, Americans were consumed with the new household staple, the television, and were not interested in hearing stories of Korea. He explains that even at the VFW and American Legion, he was not treated well since they didn't "win the war." He explains that the most respect and welcome he has received is from the Korean-American people and people of Korea who were incredibly appreciative and grateful for his services both times he revisited Korea.
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.
Mike Corona honors the strength of both the US soldiers and the Koreans loading 1-ton jets onto the Landing Ship Tank (LST). South Korean soldiers harnessed wooden boards to their shoulders and connected chains to the jets. Together, four South Korean soldiers sang a song while they dragged the 1-ton jet onto the LST.
House Boys and Sleeping Conditions
Everywhere Mike Corona's unit went, no matter how long they stayed, they had to dig a hole to sleep. He still remembers the two house boys the soldiers named "Pat" and "Mike." These boys cleaned and helped the soldiers with basic daily needs. In return for payment, US soldiers provided the boys with food and clothing.
Importance of US Soldiers in Korea today
The US government, after the armistice was signed in 1953, extended this period to give soldiers benefits and there have been over 2 million soldiers still there in South Korea. Michael Daly explained that Korea has benefited greatly (uses the saying "trip wire" as an advantage) from US presence as a deterrent for North Korea, China, and possibly Japan since the end of WWII. With American soldiers, armor, and training, few countries would even attempt to attack American troops.
What is Korea to United States?
As many Koreans have migrated to the US, Michael Daly feels it has inspired a community of entrepreneurs and are hungry to succeed. He has seen the impact the Korean children have had on his own children with the edge of competitiveness they have. He has learned that the younger generations don't feel the same way as their elders do with US military support in Korea, yet without US there as a safety net, South Korea is vulnerable (nuclear development).
Morris J. Selwyn
Rude Soldiers at the American PX
Morris Selwyn's memories of his time in Korea do not involve any direct fighting during his service. Rather, he describes losing a fellow solider and friend to the Asian flu. Another particularly troubling memory is the way U.S. soldiers treated Korean women. While visiting an American PX, he disliked the way U.S. soldiers made rude demands on the Korean women. He has never forgiven the Americans for their behavior.
Morris J. Selwyn feels proud of his service in Korea and describes his amazement at South Korea's expanding economy. He wishes for the reunification of North and South Korea and hopes that Kim Jong-un will be able to help Korea reach that goal.
First Impressions of Pusan
Myron Toback describes what he saw when he first arrived in Pusan in 1952. He remembers that there were no brick buildings except for the rail station. Additionally, he recalls that there were a lot of mountains.
Neal C. Taylor
First Impressions of Korea
Neal Taylor never thought about Communism when he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He just went there to do a job. After he flew in, he noticed the lack of cars and technology. Sanitation conditions were deplorable.
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.
Pain of Captivity
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the suffering in Busan. People were out of hope. Moreover, they had lost everything. Many children, four to six, were parentless. Turkish soldiers were well supplied and would give candies, biscuits and chocolates. The Turkish soldiers even had a Korean houseboy. Importantly, they treated him like their own. For example, the houseboy was listed in official Turkish government correspondence. Likewise, the houseboy would complete errands for the Turkish soldiers. His name was Zeki or clever.
Nelson S. Ladd
Less than a month after the dedication of the Libby Bridge, Nelson Ladd was a witness to a prisoner exchange between the North and South Koreans. He estimated on the day of the exchange, some 80,000 prisoners were returned to North Korea despite the South had detained about 400,000 North Korean soldiers. He observed that many of the prisoners had thrown the clothes that had been given to them at the camps along the roadside except their shorts and boots. The trucks headed back picked up the articles of clothing left by the prisoners.
Advancements in Korea: Then vs Today
After having visited Korea in 2013, Nelson Ladd is still amazed by the advancements Korea has made and how ambitious the people have been throughout the years. He had seen images of what Korea looked like before his revisit, however he had feared that Korea would have become like many East Asian countries, disparaged and unable to recover. Nelson Ladd described the Taft-Katusa Agreement (1905) between the US and Japan that led occupation of Korea and the Philippines that created the oppression upon the peoples of those countries.
After some time in Hong Kong, Neville Williams remembers traveling to Busan. He shares that his first impressions of the city were not good as he remembers the shanty town that surrounded the city and the orphans. They remained there for 4-5 days to transition to their next post on the front lines.
The Forgotten Armistice and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission
Nick Mararac describes the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), and its role in the armistice/DMZ area. It was created during the armistice with North Korea. The NNSC is used during talks between North and South Korea ever since 1953.
Impmressions of Korea and Living Conditions
Nick Mararac recalls seeing Korea for the first time prior to serving there. He found the language intimidating and had difficulty with it. After moving to Korea he remembers being able to get around quite easily. He remembers living on the 26th floor on a high rise in a comfortable apartment.
Nikolaos Filis identifies his wife who recounts a few of his observations while serving in Korea. She shares that he saw disaster and found ruins of houses, people massacred, babies crying on the bodies of their dead parents, and poverty. She adds that he did not think solely of protecting himself and that he had even made preparations to ensure he would not be captured alive by the Chinese.
Noel G. Spence
Conditions for Korean Children
Noel G. Spence describes his duty driving trucks of waste. He recounts how desperate Korean children would come to the dump to find supplies. He remembers how Seoul was captured and re-captured many times and how people were in desperate conditions. He recalls that the "lucky" Koreans had boxes for houses, clothing from soldiers, and scraps for food.
Noel G. Spence addresses why he fought in Korea. He discusses what fighting meant to him and how it saved South Korea. He expresses remorse about the shelling of the enemy. He recalls how on the night before the signing of the armistice, the Allies used up their shells as they did not want to be responsible for live artillery shells.
Yankee, Go Home
Noreen Jankowski recalls her husband sharing memories of Korean civilians telling him and other American soldiers to go home as they did not want them there. She points to pictures stating that the Koreans wanted unification or death. She adds that when she met a Korean American years later, he was thankful for the sacrifices American soldiers had made for South Korea.
Legacy of the Korean War
Orville Jones recalls his sadness when General Douglas MacArthur was fired. He shares how he felt as if the legacy of the war would be a lot different if he had been able to continue as the U.S. general in Korea. He speculates that maybe the Koreas would be unified but that nuclear weapons might have been used.
Orville Jones speaks about the possibility of visiting Korea today to see the amazing progress the country has made to lift itself out of the devastation of war. He recalls learning about a great deal of poverty and undeveloped land.
Osman Yasar Eken
Osman Eken describes how the condition of the Korean people increased his fighting morale. The Korean people were hungry, wearing shabby clothes, and did not have a home. People were just wandering around begging for food. This condition made Osman Even even more determined as a fighter.
Othal Cooper reflects on how the Korean War relates to the U.S. Civil War. He makes many parallels on what life would be like today in the U.S. if we had never ended our conflict. He explains what situations many Koreans must endure today due to lack of peace negotiations.
Otto G. Logan
Never Seeing Korean Soldiers
Otto G. Logan describes his experience in Incheon upon arrival. He explains that his days were mainly filled with drills and training. He adds that during his time there, he never saw a Korean soldier as he stayed on base, only venturing out on a bus ride once.
Pablo Delgado Medina
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Pablo Delgado Medina shares his thoughts on why every soldier returned with some trauma. He rationalizes that anyone who had to kill or be killed, especially in bayonet combat, was forever changed. He states his belief that witnessing civilians caught in the crossfire and seeing so much destruction can traumatize any person.
Pablo Delgado Medina comparte sus ideas sobre el trauma qué cada soldado tuvo al regresar. Él racionaliza que cualquiera persona que haya tenido que matar o morir, especialmente en el combate de bayoneta, queda cambiado para siempre. Además, afirma que cree que presenciar a civiles atrapados en el fuego cruzado y ver tanta destrucción puede traumatizar a cualquier persona.
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.
Horrors of War / Los Horrores de la Guerra
Pascual Rosa Feliciano reflects on how terrible life was for both troops and civilians in South Korea. He describes incidents in which troops burned down small houses to draw out the enemy from hiding in small villages. He compares this suffering with the horrors of a battle in which so many of their troops were massacred after the use of napalm.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano discute lo terrible que era la vida tanto para las tropas como para los civiles durante la guerra. Describe incidentes en los que las tropas quemaban las casas pequeñas para sacar al enemigo de su escondite en los pueblos chicos. El compara este sufrimiento con los horrores de una batalla en la que muchos soldados fueron masacrados con el uso del napalm.
Paul E. Newman
Post Office Soldiers Sent to Korea
Paul E. Newman shares that upon his return from Europe following World War II, he served as a civil service officer in the US Army Post Office in Yokohama, Japan, during the Korean War. He explains that when the war broke out, his post was directly impacted as roughly half of the military personnel there was sent to Korea. He offers a specific account of an officer from his post sent to Korea to establish a post office there for correspondence purposes during the war.
Paul Frederick Steen
Paul Steen recounts his revisit Korea experience. He describes the contrast between the Korea he saw years ago and modern Korea. He comments on the warmth and thankfulness of the Korean people.
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.
Korean Medical Experience
Paul Olsen describes the ailments of the civilians the Swedish Red Cross Hospital treated for. Tuberculosis and worms are generally associated with poor and/or crowded living conditions. Paul Olsen was the only X-Ray doctor in the camp and and no other doctor had experience with X-Rays.
Photos around the Swedish Red Cross Hospital
Paul Olsen provides pictures of the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. He describes living conditions at the hospital and how free time was limited. He provides a picture around the hospital in Busan. Paul Olsen also provides pictures of the civilians he treated and describes the various ailments.
Life within the Confines of the Hospital
Paul Olsen describes life inside the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. The doctors could not go outside the converted high school. So, various lessons and lectures were provided to the doctors to provide excitement. Paul Olsen describes how his experience was different from other doctors, because his wife was with him.
Rajeev Sharma recalls his visits to Korea. His father, a Korean War Veteran, was able to accompany him on the first of his two trips. He remembers his father noticing the huge transformation Korea has made over the years. He compares Korea's rise to India's and believes Korea has surpassed India in development. He was very amazed at the infrastructure in Korea. He also mentions how hardworking the Korean people are.
The Koreas Today
Pete Flores comments on US-Korea relations. He shares his thoughts about the US allowing North Korea to things it should not have been allowed to do. He comments on how impressed with South Korea he is as it has become an industrial leader. He mentions his concern with what might happen with North Korea and shares how he hopes things turns out for the better if something boils over.
Peter Joseph Doyle, Jr.
Living and Working with Korean Soldiers
Peter Doyle explains that his division stayed several miles behind the front lines in the reserve area, sometimes for as long as two months at a time. He goes on to explain that the 7th division had some Korean soldiers mixed in with their nine man squads and what their exchanges were like. He says that their communication was limited but they were able to exchange some English, Korean, andJapanese words. He recalls one young Korean soldier, who he nicknamed Junebug, died after Peter left Korea. He describes how one day Junebug seemed bothered that the American soldiers get to leave the war to go home and the Korean soldiers do not get to leave.
Peter Doyle explains that his parents regularly sent him packages including film for his camera and food which he shared. One time he received a chocolate cake with what he thought was green frosting but was actually mold. He recalls when they were on the frontline, the company clerk would have to move through artillery and mortar fire to get the mail to the men. Occasionally the mess Sergeant and crew would cook hot meals and send them up in thermos with the Korean laborers who would also have to brave the artillery and mortars and sometimes were killed.
A New South Korea
Philip Davis describes the commemoration events that he has attended for Korean War Veterans. He is grateful for how the veterans are treated and honored at celebrations throughout their community and nation, stating that it is different than how the Vietnam Veterans were treated. He is amazed at how well South Korea has continued to establish their economy and democracy.
Philip S. Kelly
64th Anniversary of the War
Philip S. Kelly reads letters he wrote for the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War. He describes the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir by reading details of his personal experience. He recalls hearing the bugles of the Chinese blaring and engaging in hand-to-hand combat as a combat infantryman.
From Inchon to Wonsan
Philip S. Kelly describes the amphibious landing at Inchon. He recalls seeing the extreme poverty of the Korean people and how his life was changed after he saw children fighting for scraps. He explains why he had limited information about his missions before they were carried out.
A Sniper Almost Took Me Out!
Phillip Olson was almost shot in the spine while traveling on a train with other South Korean soldiers. Actually, this wasn't the first time that he was shot at by a sniper because as he moved large loads of dirt into the rice patties, snipers would shoot the hood of his Caterpillar vehicle.
Death All Around While Landing in Pusan
Phillip Olson could smell the port by Pusan even before he entered the bay. Dead soldiers were still floating near the shore while dead fish also added to the smell of decay. He was shocked at the beginning because it was not what he would imagine it would look like in Korea.
Rafael Gomez Hernandez
Chosin Reservoir Experience
Rafael Gomez Hernandez describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the deep snow, cold temperatures, cold food, and having to fight the Chinese. He shares that he saw many refugees at the time and that his unit was the last to leave the Heungnam port during the Chosin Reservoir evacuation.
Rafael Gómez Román
Legacy of the War / Legado de la guerra
Rafael Gómez Román explains the necessity of the war in his opinion as stopping the spread of communism was imperative. He shares the belief that his eleven months and twenty-one days were not in vain. While he is not against reunification, he notes that South Korea should never allow the politics of the North to infiltrate its government.
Rafael Gómez Román explica que, en su opinión, la guerra fue necesaria porque era imperativo detener la expansión del comunismo. Comparte la creencia de que sus once meses y veintiún días no fueron en vano. Aunque no está en contra de la reunificación de las Coreas, indica que Corea del Sur nunca debería permitir que la política del Norte se infiltre en su gobierno.
Rafael Rivera Méndez
Message to Future Generations / Mensaje a las Generaciones Futuras
Rafael Rivera Méndez shares his thoughts about the war and its legacy with future generations. He urges young people to serve their country because it is the highest calling in his opinion. He states that through war, the principles, honor, and values of a nation are magnified. Because of his belief in the importance of helping people who are being abused, he never regretted his decision to join the army.
Rafael Rivera Méndez comparte sus pensamientos sobre la guerra y el legado de la guerra para las generaciones futuras. Él les pide a los jóvenes que sirvan a su país porque es la vocación más alta. Afirma que a través de la guerra se ven los principios, el honor y los valores de una nación y sus soldados. Debido a su creencia en la importancia de ayudar a las personas que sufren abusos, nunca se arrepintió de su decisión de unirse al ejército.
Brothers and Relatives
Rahim Günay describes revisiting South Korea in 2008. The buildings of steel and thirty to forty stories amazed him. He enjoyed how Korean textbooks discuss Turkish involvement. Koreans showed their appreciation during his revisit. Rahim Günay identifies with Koreans and thinks of them as relatives and brothers.
Stories from His Father
Rajiv Chatrath shares stories of his father's experience in Korea. His father went to Toyko and Hiroshima, Japan for Rest and Relaxation. He also reads some of his father's notes about the war and postwar when he was able to revisit Korea in the 2000s. His father attended the Revisit Korea program and was able to meet the Korean Ambassador. He recalls his father mentioning how hard-working the Korean people are.
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.
A Tale of Two Seouls
Ralph Blum contrasts Seoul in March 1952 and May 2012 upon his revisit. He shares that Seoul was a mess and totally demolished in 1952. He recalls there were only a few bridges at the time, and he recounts crossing the Imjin River on a pontoon bridge. He explains that Seoul was completely different in 2012 with modern buildings and lots of traffic.
Ralph Burcham arrived in Busan in 1952. He felt that the scene was "heart wrenching" to see shoeless children running next to the trains in the hopes that U.S. soldiers would toss out food. Families were so poor and willing to do anything for food scraps.
Suffering All Around
Ralph Hodge notes there was suffering all around in Korea. He recalls soldiers suffered from frost bite and trench foot. He shares how showers were few and far between for soldiers on the front line. He explains suffering was not limited to the soldiers. He adds the Korean people suffered severely as well. He recounts an occasion when a little boy tried to sell his grandma to the soldiers for food or money.
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.
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.
Raul Martinez Espinosa
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Raúl Martínez Espinosa shares the memories of his arrival in Korea. He describes a desperate Korea full of orphans, widows, hunger, and indigence who resorted to desperate measures to survive. He discussed these conditions with fellow soldiers and Puerto Rican troops, as he notes that even the South Korean army was decimated.
Raúl Martínez Espinosa comparte sus recuerdos de su impresión de Corea a su llegada. El describe una Corea destruida que estaba llena de huérfanos, viudas, hambre e indigencia y habla sobre las medidas que tomaban los civiles para sobrevivir. Discutió estas condiciones con soldados compañeros y tropas puertorriqueñas, ya que nota que incluso el ejército de Corea del Sur fue diezmado.
Ray D. Griffin
A Cook for the Army
Ray D. Griffin was trained to be a Cook and Baker after he finished basic training in 1960. He had to monitor the military rations and supervise the functioning of the military mess hall. He recalls having to be prepared to feed troops and other military personnel around the clock. Military trash was required to be guarded from hungry Korean orphans, but he was able to bring surplus milk to the orphanages.
A Cook's Journey
Ray D. Griffin saw a lot of poverty when he was stationed in South Korea. Although the fighting was over, he found that it seemed life expectancy was not very long for the people due to severe poverty. He recalls multiple opportunities he turned down in the process of becoming a Military Cook and Baker. He describes the long journey he had to take to get to Korea.
Raymond L. Ayon
The War’s Painful Memories
Raymond L. Ayon vividly remembers his deployment to Korea, just two days after news of the war broke out on his base in Japan. Upon arrival in Suwon, he could hear the sounds of artillery in the distance. As soon as he disembarked from the C-47 transport plane, he and other medical personnel immediately tended to the wounded and attended to casualties. He was taken aback by the number of pine boxes he saw, which he later discovered were caskets made by South Korean carpenters. His experiences treating young soldiers, many of whom were no more than eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old, left him with painful memories that he still carries with him to this day.
The Risks of Being at War
Raymond L. Ayon vividly recalls the day when he was in the back of one of the last vehicles in a truck convoy. As they were passing a road raider that was clearing the area, their driver had to swerve to avoid a collision. As a result, he was thrown out of the truck bed and was left suspended in midair. He remembers feeling like his life was flashing before his eyes before hitting the ground, which he believed would be unsurvivable. He and the other passengers were injured, and he applied first aid to himself shortly after the crash. The accident impaired vision in his right eye, which is now officially blind.
Arrival to Korea, Duties, and Hiroshima
Rebecca discusses her first assignment to a hospital ship where she would perform medical evacuations from Korea to Japan. She discusses her time aboard the ship, and notes a memorable experience when she went to Hiroshima. She reflects on witnessing lasting effects from the atomic bomb and expresses the profound impact that this had on her.
Reginald V. Rawls
A Strong Love for Korean Civilians
Reginald Rawls believes that the Korean War should be recognized and remembered.
That's why many people call this war, the "Forgotten War." Any extra food, he gave to the Korean civilians because most were starving. During the war, Reginald Rawls had many interactions with Korean civilians, one man was even his driver.
Rex L. McCall
Battle of the Hook
Rex McCall discusses arriving in Korea and describes his experiences in the Battle of the Hook. He shares how there was sporadic fire from the Chinese and recalls how he went on night time patrols. He remembers he would try to sleep in a bunker farther down the hill during the day. He comments on how it reminded him of trench warfare during World War I. He recalls the Chinese only being about four hundred fifty feet away.
Working with South Korean troops
Rex McCall talks about working with South Korean troops who were called KABCF or Korean Augmentation British Commonwealth Forces. He recalls they did the same thing as the Australian troops and acted as interpreters. He shares that he got along well with one South Korean named Han Man Sum.
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.
Rex McCall shares there is not much coverage of the Korean War in Australian textbooks. He says for many years it was not called a war in Australia and was referred to as a police action because of political reasons. He states the Korean War should be remembered because of the sacrifices made by the soldiers and civilians and because Korea is doing very well economically and politically.
Richard A. Houser
The Ceasefire, Korean Civilians, and the Death of a Friend
Richard Houser protected the 38th parallel throughout the winter of 1953 from a trench and Camp Casey. After the ceasefire civilians wanted to go back to their land to farm, but it was filled with mines which took the lives of many civilians.
Richard Houser went back to Korea with his wife a few years before the interview was taped. The bright lights, huge buildings, and prosperity of the Korean people made him proud for fighting to free the Korean civilians.
Richard A. Simpson
Richard Simpson recalls the despair of the Korean people. He describes an incident of a woman trying to commit suicide by lying on train tracks and describes giving simple necessities such as a shirt to Korean people. He offers an account of troop actions.
Tragedy of War
Richard Simpson describes the raping of a South Korean woman by an Allied soldier. He express his thoughts on the utter depravity of the actions of the soldier and his lack of respect for the human race. He describes this as the tragedy of war.
War, What Is It Good For?
Richard Simpson describes war through religion. He questions what God thinks of war and ultimately what comes from war. He discusses the impact of the war on his life and how the war helped him enter the priesthood.
Radio Maintenance Specialty and a Civilian Encounter
Each soldier is trained with a specialty to strengthen the military. Richard Bartlett's duties were to keep the radio equipment working and operational as it was used to guide aircraft along the 38th Parallel. There was a lot of on-the-job-training. While stationed at Osan, Richard Bartlett encountered many civilians off base.
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.
Legacy of the Korean Defense Veteran
Richard Bartlett believes that the defense veterans serve and fill the void after the Korean War ended. He feels defense veterans over the years have done a very good job keeping the North and South Koreans separated since the war. He wishes he had personally done more to help the Korean people while there.
First Impressions of Korea
Richard Davis recounts landing in Pusan and offers his first impressions of Korea. He recalls what older gentlemen were wearing and remembers many children asking for food. He states that his impressions of Korea made him appreciate living in the US.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Richard Davis describes the Thanksgiving meal offered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls airplanes dropping the food, it being cooked, collecting the food, and it being frozen by the time he could eat it. He recounts sitting on food to keep it warm. He mentions eating c-rations as well as vegetables from Korean civilian gardens which gave him and other soldiers worms due to being fertilized by human waste.
Poverty Affected All
Mr. Faron recalls how people were starving. He describes the poverty of the South Koreans. He hired children to help so they could have food. He shares an interaction with a young boy who was stealing food to survive.
Prejudice Amongst the Ranks
Richard Friedman describes his reaction to prejudice among his company toward South Korean soldiers. He drives home the importance of respect. He shares how he personally treated South Korean soldiers as Sergeant 1st Class and the brotherly relationship he built with one soldier in particular.
Military Service and Forgotten Wars
Richard Fuller explains his views of military service and Korea. He shares that he grew up in military service and feels he learned many lessons along the way. He communicates to younger generations that there is nothing wrong with entering military service if desired. He shares that he is satisfied with what has become of South Korea. He closes with his views on why the Korean War is considered the Forgotten War.
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.
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.
Working for the Big Guys
Richard K. Satterlee reinlisted with the United States Army, trying to go to Vietnam. Instead, he traveled to Korea. He didn't know much about Korea before his arrival, but he enjoyed the country and the fact that his paycheck stretched pretty far while he was there. Stationed at Camp Red Cloud and Camp Mosier, he reported to high-ranking Korean officers.
Riots and Road Construction
Richard Satterlee describes his various experiences while serving in Korea. Students rioted in 1965 to protest Park Chung-hee's efforts to trade with Japan. Labor issues arose when Korean house boys went on strike for better pay. Meanwhile, Korean women hauled rocks used in road construction. In one tragic incident, North Koreans killed two U.S. soldiers cutting down a tree in the DMZ.
Richard W. Edwards
You Can Tell They Are Hard Workers
Richard Edwards describes his admiration of the Korean people and their survival during the Korean War. He explains that he grew up during the Great Depression so that he feels a little relation to the plight of the Koreans in such dire circumstances. He describes his legacy as a Korean War veteran being easier for him growing up on a farm so that he further understood what the Korean people had to do to survive.
Return to Korea
Robert Arend returned to Korea in 2010. He was surprised and totally amazed at the progress. He visited the prison, which has been partially restored. He says that although he believes war is senseless, this war gave the South Korean people some hope and allowed them to find the ambition to build up their country.
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
Feeding Hungry Civilians
Robert Davidson shares how sorry he felt for the Korean civilians while there. He speaks of how many had no food or proper clothing and of how GIs would give them candy or whatever they had to spare. He recalls an incident at the mess hall where GIs were collecting the food they were not eating to give to the Koreans. He recounts an angered lieutenant informing the mess sergeant that the GIs should be eating the food, not giving leftovers to civilians. He describes the mess sergeant standing his ground and stating that he was in charge of running his kitchen and would continue to do as he saw fit.
Most Difficult Thing
Robert Davidson shares a heartwarming story about assisting a pregnant Korean civilian. He recalls having been out with a fellow soldier working on a rock crusher, and on their drive back, he noticed something odd along the road. He recounts finding a pregnant Korean woman in the middle of labor and describes how they loaded her into the back of their truck and took her to a nearby MASH unit. He explains how the unit refused to offer her services until he spoke with the commander and urged him to do so.
Infantry Scout Dogs Saving Lives
Robert Fickbohm explains the role and duties of the scout dog in the Korean War. He shares multiple stories of scout dogs saving the lives of American soldiers. He recounts the importance of the scout dog during the war and elaborates on its ability to sense danger.
And Then The Firing Stopped
Robert Fickbohm recounts the day the Armistice was signed. He shares that the artillery on both sides continued and that he and the men he was with did not think there was going to be a truce. He recollects that late that night, the firing stopped and it was completely quiet.
Comparison of South Korea and North Korea
Robert Greitz explains how the war was also between the US and China. He also explains the difference between a truce and winning. He discusses the differences between South and North Korea as an example of the benefits of the democratic system.
Robert I. Winton
My Grandson Loves Korea
Robert Winton has not been back to Korea, but his grandson has visited. His grandson loved the culture, food, and how safe it was in Korea. His grandson loved kimchi and the people he met. Robert Winton didn't think Korea would become the country it is today because of all the destruction he saw during his brief stop there. He is impressed with the modern day Korean economy.
Robert J. Auletti
It Wasn't In Vain
Robert Auletti describes his revisit to the country of South Korea in 2010. He explains that after seeing the recovery and comeback of South Korea, he feels that his sacrifice wasn't in vain. He describes young Koreans coming up to him to thank him for his service to the country.
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.
North Korea Invades South Korea: War is On!
Robert Kodama was stationed in Japan when the war broke out. He adds that his older brother, coincidentally, was stationed in the area and was supposed to come pick him up. He explains that while he was in the mess hall listening to the radio, he learned North Korea had invaded South Korea, and his orders quickly changed.
Robert L. Atkins
An Astounding Change
Robert Atkins has been back to Korea three times since his service. He describes his astonishment about how things had positively changed so quickly. He took his daughter back to Korea and remembers it being an “astounding place” that reflects the people of South Korea.
Robert M. Longden
Trump and Kim Jong-un
His message to New Zealand children would include the incredible hospitality offered to veterans by the Korean people. Further, he articulates the importance of forging a peace deal. He hopes the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un can achieve unification so that families in Korea can see one another again.
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.
Robert S. Chessum
Battle of Kapyong
Robert Chessum describes the Battle of Kapyong. The Chinese were on the Offensive until Kapyong. Robert Chessum was part of the 16 New Zealand Field Regiment providing support to the 27th Commonwealth Brigade. He describes being on a full offensive prior to the Battle of Kapyong and how his unit became really efficient as an artillery unit. Robert Chessum provides a complete description about the prelude to the Battle and ultimate Battle of Kapyong.
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.
The Future of Korea
Robert Tamura shares his hopes of seeing the official end of the Korean War and the reunification of North and South Korea. He reminisces about life back in the States following his service. He explains he has had the privilege of returning to Korea as part of a revisit program sponsored by the Korean government. He recalls that during his revisit, he visited the DMZ and cemetery. He muses about a friend who took his photo while he served at Koje-do, but the photo was lost so he has no proof of serving there.
Robert W. Hill
Thought They'd Be Unified Now
Robert W. Hill describes that after all his experience in Korea, he was sure they would have unified by now. He explains that everything in the news when he was there seemed to be pointing towards unification, including a drought in North Korea and the loosening of culture in South Korea. He describes a factory supplied by South Korea where North Koreans can work as an example of the Koreas getting along.
One of the Greatest Things We Ever Did
Robert Whited recalls movement of his unit from Seoul to Inchon and later Wonsan. The 5th Marines did not immediately go up to the Chosin Reservoir, but instead ran patrols out of Heungnam where he remembers encountering their first Chinese. He describes how when they were establishing a roadblock they were hit by the Chinese and pushed back to Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri and ultimately to the seashore. During the retreat, they were protecting thousands of Korean refugees who were ultimately loaded on a cargo ship and taken to Busan.
Robert Whited recalls the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was the worst memory of the war. He remembers having very little intelligence when they were hit by 100,000 Chinese. He shares how he and the other members of his unit dealt this tragic events such as having to fight their way out of the Chosin Reservoir resulting in the death of many men.
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.
Legacy of the Korean War Veterans
Rodney Ramsey was proud that the UN troops for pushing back the Chinese and North Koreans. He wishes that they could have made all of Korea non-communist, but life was better for the civilians in the South. The Korean War was named the "Forgotten War" due to it being called a conflict, not a war. After the Korean War, civilians on the home front did not see the war on television like they did for the Vietnam War. As the Korean War veterans came home, many people did not even know that they had left to fight in a war.
Roland Dean Brown
First Impressions and Friendly Fire Encounters
Roland Brown recalls his first impressions upon arrival in Pusan. He describes the scene as horrible, recounting the sewage running in gutters down the streets, children begging for food, and the poor living conditions. He shares that many soldiers were killed from friendly fire due to inadequate training and a lack of communication, adding that he and others even dug holes with their helmets as defense during friendly fire encounters.
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.
Songs from Korea
Roland Fredh describes music during his service. He sings a classic Korean song for the viewer. He recalls his favorite Swedish music that he would sing in Korea. Yet, he is much more impacted by the Korean music and songs that he learned while in Korea.
Rollo Minchaca describes arriving in Pusan and Incheon Landing. He talks about the 300 rounds of ammo he carried, while his assistant carried twice as much. He had a very difficult job at the age of 18.
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.
North Korea and South Korea Must Decide Their Own Destiny
Ronald Cole offers his thoughts on the state of Korea and its people since he left the country. He theorizes why the war occurred and the impact the Chinese had in its escalation. He shares what he believes needs to be done to reunify the two Koreas.
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.
This is the Hard Part
Royce Ebesu reflects on the present and future of Korea. He expresses he would like to see negotiations to reunite the peninsula so that families can be reunited. He concludes by noting that there was not much pleasant to remember about his experience.
Rudolph “Rudy” J. Green
You are on CQ Tonight
Rudy Green describes one of the most difficult times in his military service in Korea. He explains details about Koreans during the war. Rudy describes his job as CQ- Charge of Quarters and how the unknown of that night still bothers him.
South Korea Then and Now
Rudy Green describes the images that he saw as he was leaving South Korea. He explains the vast poverty and devastation he saw. He compares it to what he knows of South Korea today.
ROK Solders on the Ship
Russell A. King remembers a time when he and the men had to transport ROK officers. He recalls that they took all of the food with them, this included live animals. He describes how the ROK officers were amazed by forks, the water cooler, and other differences on the ship.
Russell A. King explains how the Korean civilians suffered. He remembers that people did not have a lot of food, especially in Incheon which had been badly damaged. However, the civilians were extremely grateful for what they received. He states that he thought it seemed senseless that the civilians suffered.
Salvatore Scarlato describes the story behind a drawing he was given. He shares that during a revisit to South Korea in 1999, a high school student promised him she would create a drawing depicting the relationship of the United States and South Korea. He recalls the drawing arriving in the mail several months later and states that her drawing shows how, after sixty years, the United States and South Korea are still united.
Scary Moment During Service
Samuel Stoltzfus drove officers all around the front lines. Once, while parked at the bottom of a mountain waiting for Colonel Rouse and Lieutenant Ruble, he heard the shouts of a South Korean pinned under a tire he had been changing. As Samuel Stoltzfus went to help, North Koreans began firing white phosphorous shells at him. He retreated and hid under his Jeep. Another time, he was late for Christmas dinner because he drove a colonel up to a bunker that had sustained a direct hit. Because he was with an officer, they returned to find the cooks had saved the best food for them.
Sanford Epstein recalls sending half of his monthly wages home to his family and shares that he gave quite a bit of his money away as there were many orphans. He shares how orphaned children would follow them around and offer to do odd jobs. He recounts fellow soldiers adopting Korean orphans and elaborates on how one of the orphans, with monthly support from the men in his unit, graduated from college in Buffalo, New York, and became a CPA.
Japanese Imperial Control
Snagmoon Olsson describes life as a child under Japanese Imperial control. The Japanese restricted children in school from speaking Korean. Students lost a coupon when speaking Korean. Other punishments and control measures included the Japanese changing the names of the people of Korea to Japanese names.
Life During the War
Sangmoon Olsson describes her life during the Korean War. Her brother had a high position under the Japanese Imperial control and when the communists took over, they wanted to capture her brother. Sangmoon had to go into hiding for a total of eight months, interrupting her nursing studies. When the Allies eventually pushed back the Communists, Sangmoon Olsson was able to complete her nursing studies.
Swedish Red Cross
Sangmoon Olsson describes the services the Swedish Red Cross offered. The Swedish Red Cross in 1954 treated mostly civilians, but a few veterans because the war had ended in 1953. The Swedish Red Cross offered Surgery, Operation, and Plastic Surgery. Sangmoon Olsson describes that her training prepared her well to help the civilians of Korea in the various medical services.
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.
On the Frontlines, in a Minefield
Shorty Neff recalls an experience he had on the frontline. His unit was in a minefield, and they lost a tank. He recalls how after the battle was over, he and his unit went to recover the tank. He shares how his unit ended up losing a platoon leader in the minefield. He includes a story and photograph of a Korean soldier.
Letter from a Korean Friend
Shorty Neff reads and reflects on a letter he received from a Korean friend who was a Sergeant in the Korean Army and served as an interpreter. "Hello, Neff (July 8, 1953) - I received the package from you, and I was very glad to get it. I and all the boys enjoyed ourselves with the candies. How have you been lately, Neff? I bet you have a nice time in your home life. Do you remember the night you left here? I was on guard that night. As soon as I walked in the tent from the guard, you were going out with two bags. Then I helped you carry your baggage. I was very sorry because I was on guard. I should write you before but I didn't know your address. Now I know your address so I can write you whenever I have time. I'd like to hear from you and let me know how things are going. Is that okay? Well, nothing is new over here, so I think I better close for now. Until I hear from you, take care good care of yourself, Neff. Thanks again for your package. From sincerely friend..." He then reflects on his time with his friend.
Arrival in Busan
Somdee Musikawan arrived in Korea as part of the second rotation in 1951. He shares his fear at the time of not knowing when he would die. He notes the special connection between the Korean people and the Thai soldiers. He offers details of the living conditions in Busan when he arrived.
English translations occur at 3:51, 8:00, and 11:45
Relations Between the Korean People and Thai Soldiers
Somdee Musikawan describes the war as very severe. He ponders on how people who are like family could go to war with each other. In sharing his battle experiences, he explains the close relationship the Korean people had with Thai soldiers who they viewed as the "same" as them.
English translations begin at 18:38 and 21:14
Suffering in Korea
Somdee Musikawan shares examples of the strong connections between the Korean people and the Thai soldiers. He recalls the living conditions and suffering that went on across the country as the war dragged on. He recounts sharing his own food with the children who came to him crying because they were hungry. He concludes by sharing his recollections of witnessing deaths among the Korean population.
English translations begin at 23:18 and 24:58
When the War Broke Out
Soonae Enberg was a college student at Seoul National Medical School when the war broke out. She shares what she saw as she found out about the war, including tanks coming very close to her. Not knowing what to do, she started to run towards home.
Korean War Veterans Involvement
Sotirios Patrakis details his pathway to involvement with Korean War Veterans. He shares that as a member of the Army reserve officers, he took part in a convention in Korea commemorating the start of the Korean War. He recalls how kind the Korean people were and felt it a pity that there was no opportunity for veterans from Greece to gather together and relive that period of their lives. He comments on Korea's progress since the war and is proud of its economic efforts.
Preservation and Educating Youth
Sotirios Patrakis shares his thoughts on preserving the memory of Korean War veterans' service and on educating youth about the Korean War. He expresses that this endeavor began rather late as many veterans have since passed or mix their facts due to age. He adds that it is good to do it even now though so that everyone knows and remembers this history.
Message to Veterans and South Koreans
Sotirios Patrakis offers a congratulatory message to Korean War veterans from Greece as well as to the South Korean people. He shares that the veterans went on their own accord as the people of Greece believe in democracy and freedom. He commends South Korea's economic strength developed through the years since the war and adds that it is a very good example for many countries like his own.
Fight the Aggressors!
Stanley Fujii describes the big picture of why he was deployed to fight in the Korean War. He knew he was there to fight against communist aggressors to free Korea. His testimony includes his discussion on why he was thankful to have a role in helping Korea to be free. His description includes reflections on two Korea's, one he saw from the frontlines, and modern Korea he was able to return to see in 2010.
Experiencing the Front Lines
Stanley Jones describes the differences he saw between the National Guard and the traditional Army. He shares an experience he had where officers were relieved and chaos and mistreatment ensued. He describes where the ballistic stations were located as well as a situation concerning a fuel dump in Busan.
School Construction Assistance
Stelios Stroubakis shares his experience assisting with the construction of a school large enough to serve 200 students when complete. He recalls that the school was located next to a Greek Orthodox church. He recounts putting tiles on the roof and adds that the school was still under construction when he left.
Stelios Stroubakis describes his revisit to Korea in 2016. He expresses that he could not believe his eyes regarding the process Korea had made since the war, adding that it was a miracle. He wishes Korea well and shares his hope of Korea never facing war in the future.
Photos from the Past
Stelios Stroubakis provides a glimpse of the past through several personal photos. He offers a picture viewing of his unit's Korean translator as well as photos related to a baptism which took place near the school he helped construct. He additionally provides a photo of the soldiers and staff who aided in the construction of the school.
What Did You Do in Korea?
Stephen Frangos, as a 2nd Lieutenant, was a platoon leader of a radio platoon. He describes the radio relay spots in Korea and what his platoon did to keep communications flowing, supporting the ROK army. He talks about the other types of radios they had. He remembers that his troops were all over, near the 38th parallel. He discusses having to fly often due to the remote locations of some of the radio relayers and adds that he survived three flight accidents.
What Did You Do While Not Working with Radios?
Stephen Frangos recalls spending a great deal of time in the fields. He mentions the poverty that was still common. He shares that he befriended a group of Irish priests, and together, they helped build orphanages. He recalls how the orphans would often go to the Army camp to have meals. He adds that many Americans also sent food and clothing over to help the orphanages.
Impressions of Korea and of Koreans
Stephen Frangos reflects on his impressions of Korea and of Koreans. He describes a Seoul that was devastated but adds he did see signs of revival. He remembers having tremendous optimism for Korea because of the hard working and industrious people. He comments that he knew they would be successful but states he did not realize just how successful they would turn out to be.
Sterling N. McKusick
Arrival in Korea
Sterling N. McKusick recounts the story of his arrival to Korea from bootcamp in San Diego. He shares the 1st Marine Division landed in Incheon on September 15, 1950, just months after the start of the war. He notes that this was a totally different experience for him, especially seeing deceased people. He recalls his boat was near the U.S.S. Missouri and other large ships which were firing upon the city prior to their arrival. He recalls the taking of Wolmido Island as well as arrival in Incheon and movement to Yeongdeungpo and Seoul.
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.
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.
Return to Korea
Suwan Chinda recalls his return visit to Korea. He describes his experience and the changes he witnessed, stating that the transformation was unbelievable compared to Thailand which is still a developing country. He shares that he never dreamed Korea would be what it has become and adds that he felt welcomed there.
Message to Koreans
Suwan Chinda describes the people of South Korea as hardworking and attributes the country's development to the work ethic of the people. He expresses that South Korea is a model country. He shares that he is happy for the Korean people and feels appreciated for his service.
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya
Ethiopian Donations Create an Orphanage
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes donating money that opened an orphanage in Korea. Ethiopian soldiers had endured in battle. In addition, they also donated money to Korean people suffering during the war. The orphanage was able to help many Korean children. Korea has not forgotten about this donation.
Transformation of Korea
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes the transformation of Korea. He describes the war-torn Korea. Buildings were destroyed by the enemy. Even the water was contaminated. However, now Korea has become green and everything is clean. This is a major difference from his war-torn experience. He is happy that Korea has undergone this transformation. He is not asking for compliments.
Message to the Korean People
Thomas DiGiovanna recalls feeling pride after a visit from a Korean representative who gave him a medal and expressed her immense gratitude. The Korean representative tells him that if it were not for Korean War Veterans like himself, that she would not have even been born. He really enjoyed the visit and was full of pride.
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.
Thomas J Dailey
Thomas Dailey comments on Korea's progress since the war. He shares his pride for having served there but conveys that he still has many dark memories from that time. He elaborates on the kindness Koreans have shown him over the years.
Prior Knowledge About Korea
Thomas Nuzzo was attending Fordham University when he was drafted for the Korean War. Unlike most draftees, Thomas Nuzzo knew about Korea from stamp collecting and his schooling. Being sent to Korea was not scary he said because he found the Korean culture so interesting.
Fighting With and Training the ROK
Thomas Nuzzo went to bootcamp and specialized as an infantryman. Once he was sent to Korea, he was stationed with the 1st Republic of Korea (ROK) to train the South Korean troops. By the end of his time in Korea in 1954, Thomas Nuzzo was able to participate in a changing of the guard for the 10th Headquarters which made him very proud.
Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi
Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.
Korea: Unbelievable Differences Between 1952 to 2000
Thomas Parkinson shares how he saw unbelievable differences between the time he was stationed in Korea in 1952 to 2000 during his first revisit. He describes going back four times since 2000 and recalls how the advancements in buildings, technology, and bridges was astounding. He shares how the changes from the Korean cardboard houses to the multi-stored houses was a visible difference.
Fighting and Living in Korea From 1952-1953
Thomas Parkinson recalls fighting from the Kansas Line and the Jamestown Line while in Korea from 1952-1953. He remembers eating American C-Rations, sleeping in trenches, and writing letters home to his mom along with pen pals from England.
The Korean War Yielded the Most Difficult and Rewarding Moments
Thomas Parkinson shares that his most difficult time was when a Jeep landed on his legs with petrol and napalm spilling around him. He recalls how, even though it was such a scary time, he will never forget the Indian regiment that helped him recover in a field ambulance. He shares that the most rewarding moment was related to helping the Korean children in and out of Seoul and the surrounding cities.
Journey to Korea
Thomas Tsuda recalls his journey to Korea and landing in Incheon in September of 1952. He speaks of the destruction he witnessed and shares that he felt sorry for the Korean people. He adds that he soon found himself on the front lines fighting the Chinese.
Typical Day on the Front Lines
Thomas Tsuda remembers what it was like fighting on the front lines. He comments on the cold temperatures he and other fellow soldiers experienced and shares that most of the fighting took place at night. He recalls resting, sleeping, and writing letters during the day while there was little action taking place. He speaks of the wounds he sustained on the front lines and shares his pride in serving to prevent the spread of Communism.
Thomas Tsuda reflects upon his revisit to Korea. He compares modern Korea with the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on its buildings and prosperous economy. He describes the Korean people as friendly and kind.
Letter from Home
Tine Martin shares that he missed his mother the most and wrote letters to her often. He recounts one painful letter from his girlfriend while in Korea which he refers to as a "Dear John" letter and resulted in a breakup. He recalls having to censor the content in his letters and provides an example of one incident he was not allowed to write about due to its sensitivity.
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.
Critique on Truman and MacArthur
Tom Muller describes his take on the MacArthur v. Truman debate. Tom Muller provides the quintessential military perspective on MacArthur. He then compares this event to what is happening under President Trump.
Landing at Busan
Tommy Clough recounts how he knew little about Korea prior to shipping out on a five and a half week voyage to Korea. He recollects his first impressions of Korea, sharing that there was a stench in the air as they neared the shoreline. He remembers a United States African American band playing as they disembarked the ship and recalls South Korean women dressed traditionally and handing out apples.
Tsege Cherenet Degn
His Most Important Contribution
Tsege Cherenet Degn was most proud of his work with the poor in South Korea. He recounts his work helping with the poor children and their school. His pride also extended to an orphanage that was sponsored by the Ethiopian army.
2013 Korean Visit
Tsege Cherenet Degn describes his return to South Korean in 2013. Upon his return to Ethiopia, a Korean citizen visited his home and built 13 homes including one for Tsege for which he is grateful.
Ulises Barreto González
Legacy of the War/ Legado de la Guerra
Ulises Barreto González shares some of his memories of the Korean countryside. He also explains what he believes is the legacy of the war and why the Korean War was a just one.
Ulises Barreto González comparte algunos de sus recuerdos del paisaje coreano. También explica cuál cree que es el legado de la guerra y explica por qué la Guerra de Corea fue una guerra justa.
First Impressions of Korea near Busan (Pusan Perimeter)
Vartkess Tarbassian was surprised when he saw the devastation in the Pusan Perimeter (Busan). There were shell holes from the mortars all across the land. Korean civilians were staving and missing shelter.
Vern Rubey comments on his return to Korea and speaks highly of the Korean people, praising their friendliness and support. He details his trip in particular and recalls the progress Korea had made since his departure back in the 1950's. He offers his opinion on Korean-US relations.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Images of South Korea and Working with UN Soldiers
Victor Spaulding describes the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on the state of the buildings and peasant life. He explains it was not the images of South Korea seen today and likens the images to going back in time two hundred years. He details fighting with other United Nations troops. He elaborates mostly on the courage of the Korean soldiers (KATUSAS) and says most historical accounts depict them inaccurately. He comments on serving with other countries' troops as well.
Victor D. Freudenberger
Victor Freudenberger describes the usage of butterfly bombs by the United States Air Force. He details this particular bomb and his role in destroying over six hundred of them when they were no longer needed. He recalls civilians sneaking into the danger zone that had been roped off at night and bombs detonating, wounding and killing those who stepped on them. He reflects on the time his own life was spared despite walking around a bomb during this particular assignment.
Victor Freudenberger talks about his impressions of the Korean people while he was stationed at Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the suffering of civilians and families being displaced. He describes observing a Korean woman washing clothes in sub-zero temperature at six in the morning and marvels at the resilience and commitment of the Korean people. He comments on the war atrocities committed by the Chinese against civilians he saw along the way.
Victor Max Ramsey
Friend or Enemy?
Victor Max Ramsey recalls his interactions with guerrilla fighters. He describes an incident where he passed two horsemen. The two men later committed atrocities against a United States camp. He discusses how one can't tell who was an enemy and who was just a civilian.
A Boy named "Slick"
Victor Ramsey discusses having a houseboy named Slick. He describes the young boy who worked running errands for his unit. He was so small there were misconceptions of his age. With the taste of American food and help, he grew and his family even got jobs.
The Experience of India's Custodian Forces
Lieutenant General Mohan Lal Tuli took many photographs. He witnessed a desolate Korea. He recounts that both the north and the south saw the Indians as partial, which was proof that they were not. Many of the troops whom he served with were experienced fighters who fought with the British Army in World War Two. He also recalled the incredible strength of the Korean people.
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.
The Costs of War
Vikram Tuli talks about the effects of war, and how the families of veterans from twenty-two countries were affected by this conflict. Generations will pass before that wound fully heals. He believes the deeper connections between countries such as education, commerce, and culture will help prevent these types of conflicts in the future. He reminds us to love thy neighbor and that we are one.
The Tank on the Front-lines
Vincent Ariola remembers that South Korean soldiers were present in camps with American soldiers, but not brought north with tanks to prevent them from getting killed by American soldiers who could confuse them with the enemy. He describes fighting against forces atop Hill 266, at the Battle of Old Baldy. He remembers seeing a young American soldier in a foxhole before closing the tank hatch when firing broke out, and then seeing the same soldier dead after the firing stopped. His recollection includes his description of the hot atmosphere inside the tank.
Life in Daegu During the Korean War
This clip shows primary source pictures that Vigil Malone took in Daegu, South Korea. The pictures illustrate living and working conditions of the South Koreans in Daegu. The primary sources touch upon the economic disparity among South Koreans during the war; some lived in farmhouses, while others lived in huts.
"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 Bradford Chase, Jr.
I Fell in Love with the Korean People
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr., shares how he fell in love with the Korean people during his time in the country. He recalls being in a position where he had daily contact with the Korean people which he notes the average soldier did not experience. He offers details on the living conditions of the Korean people when he was stationed there after the cease-fire.
Transferring to the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC)
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr., joined the Marine Corps on March 25, 1952. After serving in the Marines for two years, he transferred to the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army. He shares his decision to make the change and what the requirements for anyone interested in being part of the CIC at the time had to meet. He notes that his service in Korea came after the cease-fire but at a time when many politicians were fearful of a potential World War III.
Doing His Job
Walter Bradford Chase, Jr., shares that he served as part of the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps beginning in 1954. Although he does not recall any big cases as there were not too many spies at the time, he does recall an occasion when an indigenous worker on the base was suspected of taking confidential documents and another when a code book for messages went missing.
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.
The Korean People
Walter Kreider, Jr., with no prior knowledge of Korea before serving, shares what Korea is to him now. He comments on the Korean people specifically, describing them as hardworking, creative, and caring. He adds that they are a good ally and represent freedom and liberty. He comments on similarities between Korean and Amish farmers.
Warren Housten Thomas
Revisit to Korea
Warren Thomas revisited Korea and he appreciated how well the Korean civilians and the Republic of Korean government treated him. The streets were filled with civilians and he was excited to see the population surviving so well. Even after returning home to the United States, he continues to receive letters and presents from South Koreans.
School, Letters, and the Excitement of the Armistice
Warren Middlekauf's military base was located near a Korean school that continued through the war. During the armistice of 1953, he was in Korea and was excited to send the US soldiers home. Throughout his time in the war, Warren Middlekauf wrote letters to his wife along with money to save for after the war.
Proud to be a Veteran
Wayne Derrer discusses his pride for having fought in the war. He explains the South Korean rehabilitations and improvements have been tremendous. He goes on to describe the great appreciation the South Korean people have for the American veterans and how he has received the Ambassador Peace Medal.
Willard L. Dale
Do Your Job Like You Are Supposed to Do
Willard L. Dale ranked as a Private First Class while serving in Korea. He explains he learned respect and the work ethic one needs to do his job like he should. He recalls the pay rate while in Korea and shares he did enjoy a five-day R and R in Japan before returning to the U.S. on Dec. 1, 1953.
William Arthur Jones
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.
Last Year in Korea and Returning Home
William Arthur Jones recalls identifying a "house boy" on the military base as a North Korean spy. He reflects on his final year in Korea after the Armistice and shares his experience of playing football on the base, where his team emerged as the Korean Touch Football Champions in 1953. He recounts how, after returning to the States, he was sent to Wendover Air Force Base where he led efforts to clean up an atomic testing site.
US Soldiers Fighting Along Side KATUSA
William Burns worked with many KATUSA and Korean civilians during his 11 months in Korea during the war. The Koreans who worked with the US troops worked hard, but had a difficulty with communication. William Burns showed personal pictures of two KATUSA that he worked closely with during the war, but he remembers about 10-15 were stationed with this regiment.
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.
William F. Borer
The Korean People Had Nothing
William Borer describes his shock at the terrible sight of the Korean people and how desperate they were. He explains that the starving civilians stole and begged for food and dug through the trash looking for scraps the soldiers had thrown away. He explains that being a child from the Great Depression, he knew what being hungry was like but the Korean civilians literally had nothing. He recalls feeling disdain for President Truman for not helping the Korean people.
Go With Them or Die
William Borer describes the night his squad arrived at a police station and asked the police chief to contact the American Forces to pick them up. Shortly after, a South Korean Patrol, commanded by a First Lieutenant, joined his group. After questioning the police chief the South Korean Lieutenant discovered he was actually a North Korean Communist and had phoned the North Korean Army to come kill them all in the morning. After killing the "police chief," the South Korean Lieutenant said it was time to leave but the US Lieutenant said they weren't leaving until US Forces picked them up. Against orders, William left with the South Korean Patrol, leaving his squad and lieutenant behind though they soon began to follow the South Korean Patrol.
William F. Honaman
The Real Reason We Were There
William Honaman notes the official reason for fighting the Korean War was stopping the advancement of Communism. He elaborates, however, that as he grew older and learned more, he began to understand the conflict between Korea and Japan that influenced Korea's need for freedom. He states that many people do not fully understand the segregation that Korea experienced because they have not lived under similar circumstances.
Rather Fight Communism There Than Here
William Jacque shares the reasoning for his willingness to serve in Korea. He explains that he wanted to fight for the Korean people as he was familiar with Communism and it's movement into Korea. He shares that he would rather fight Communism somewhere else than in his own country.
The "Modern" Port of Busan
William Kurth offers a description of his experience in the port of Busan. He describes the modernization of the harbor by the Japanese and details the differing outlets available. He recounts a Japanese built railroad yard, describing some of the everyday operations taking place during the war.
Thievery in Wartime
William Kurth describes stealing as one of the biggest challenges he faced while serving. He recounts both American soldiers and Korean civilians stealing supplies to either eat or sell for a profit. He recounts building relationships with several Koreans throughout his service.
The Songs and Culture of Korea
William Kurth offers his experiences with the deeply saturated Korean culture. He describes physical appearances of the Korean people, the Korean alphabet, and a folk song. He performs his own rendition and shortened version of the Korean folk song, "Arirang."
Events in Korea
William McLaughlin discusses his responsibilities while in Korea as well as his training. He also discusses some dangerous events, including when two drunk Korean soldiers stole a cab and were eventually killed by his brigade. A Korean newspaper, though, called it a suicide. This made him question what he was reading in the newspapers. He also witnessed the Rangoon bombing in October of 1983. He recounts his experience.
Arrival in Korea in 1952
William O'Kane arrived in Korean in 1952 at Sokcho-Ri. He was assigned his job as a wireman with Head Quarters Company 2nd Battalion 11th Marines. He remembers a lot about the conditions in Korea when he arrived and the conditions of the villages.
Interaction with Korean Marine Corps and Anzacs
William O'Kane worked with a seventeen year old Korean interpreter for his battery group. The Korean Marine Corps were tough and they worked on the left side of William O'Kane's regiment. He also fought along side with the Commonwealth Division of New Zealand (Anzacs/Australians) and had fun sharing stories about politics.
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.
Desolation: No Houses, No Building, No Nothing of Any Kind
William Whitley spent much of his time in Korea as an ammunition truck operator. He recalls when he first arrived in Korea that the country was dominated by forests, but these forests were soon destroyed by napalm bombers to prevent the North Koreans and Chinese from using them as cover. After this time, he recalls the desolation of the area. He does not remember ever being in a building while in Korea.
Yilma Belachew describes the condition of Korea upon arrival at Busan. He describes the destruction he observed. For example, there were deceased people lying in fields and destroyed buildings. However, the people of Korea were still working in the fields during the Civil War. Yilma Belachew also describes having to retrain on newer American weapons in Korea.
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda
No Regret to Kill
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes the suffering of the Korean people. Children were orphaned, their parents were killed by the war. People were begging for food. Seeing these images made the Ethiopians fight harder. Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes having no regret to face the Chinese and ultimately kill them.
Sacrifices for Good
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes revisiting Korea. He is amazed at the transformation Korea has undergone. His sacrifices were not wasted. Korea also has given back to the Ethiopian soldiers. The Ethiopian government has given the veterans nothing.