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
SCARWAF: Special Category Army with Air Force
Andrew Greenwell describes the special unit, SCARWAF, that he served in during his time in Korea. He shares that his unit was attached to the Air Force because, at that time, the Air Force did not have all of the capabilities to function and still relied on Army Engineers. He explains that his unit had a threefold mission which was to build, maintain, and defend.
Billy J. Scott
The Friendship of Two Strangers
Billy Scott describes his friendship with a KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) named Pyon during his time in Korea. He recounts the opportunity Pyon was given to pay a visit to his family he had not seen in roughly a year's time. He shares that American soldiers gathered food, clothing, blankets, and money and gifted them to Pyon to secure his family's safety. He adds that he will never forget him.
Making Sure Communication was Always On
Bob Mitsou Imose recounts one 1954 flight mission to penetrate air defense systems in the western part of the peninsula. Furthermore, he describes his time in Korea as a communication electronics officer with the 5th Air Force beginning in 1967, working in cooperation with the 8th Army Division, to ensure communication always remained on. He details the military bases he visited in Korea as part of his duties during this period.
Hitchhiking Their Way Home
Burley Smith reminisces about the time he and a fellow merchant marine, Merl Smith, become stranded on a trip to see the front line. After hitching a ride up to the front, their pilot receives orders to head to Japan. He elaborates on their journey back to the SS Meredith Victory, which includes a ride in a Sherman Tank and an encounter with bed check charlie.
Charles L. Hallgren
Back to Korea During the Vietnam War
Charles Hallgren describes being deployed to Japan in 1970 for the purpose of inspecting Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units in Korea. He explains that Korea had tactical nuclear weapons which had to be inspected in various base locations on the peninsula. He describes his impressions of seeing a modernized Korea in 1970.
The Forgotten War and Korea Today
Clayton Burkholder felt that people call the Korean War the "Forgotten War" because people didn't know what to do with a communist country. He thought that great things came out of the Korean War because of the fortitude of its civilians. United States veterans are proud for their service in the war which led to South Korea's freedom today. Clayton Burkholder is surprised to see the change from dirt and huts to paved roads when he looks at Google Maps.
Letter Writing to Family and Fighting Men of Michigan
Clayton Burkholder wrote letters home to his wife twice a week. In the letters, he wrote about the different propaganda posters that he made. He also made releases for US newspapers using sketches of pilots that he drew. These releases were used to publicize the war in the pilots' hometown.
Clayton Burkholder slept in metal huts and buildings with a cafeteria to eat. Since he was in headquarter staff, he was in that office most of the day. Clayton Burkholder made charts as an illustrator technician. He proudly shared pictures that he took while in Korea.
Some pilots that were stationed in Suwon with Clayton Burkhodler later became well-known such as John Glenn and Captain McConnell.
Clyde D. McKenrick
What is Cryptography?
Clyde McKenrick describes the job of a cryptographer. This is an older version of coding. He explains that a cryptographer encodes and decodes information, allowing for secure communication between units. This allows enemies to not access confidential information.
"What Kind of Trouble Are You In?"
Clyde McKenrick tells an amusing story of when he was called into the office of an alarmed personnel director because the FBI had been asking questions about him. He had no idea why the FBI was interested in him. He explains that the FBI interest was because of the security clearance he needed to become a cryptographer.
Half-Brothers, Meeting for the First Time in Korea
Clyde McKenrick tells the remarkable story of reconciliation of two soldiers in his unit. The two men were half-brothers that had never met until assigned to the same barracks in Korea. He talks about how their relationship went from an uneasy beginning and evolved to a close friendship.
A New Mess Sergeant
Clyde McKenrick talks about his duties as a personnel clerk in Korea. He was responsible for assigning new personnel to appropriate units. He tells the story of assigning a corporal to the duties of mess sergeant and the fortuitous results that happened.
Suwon in 1955
Delbert Tallman remembers that there was not much left in Suwon in 1955. He shares that there were very few houses left, describing one house that was better than the others. The countryside at that time was “pretty much barren.”
A Famous Photograph
Donald Duquette discusses taking a photograph of John Allen (35th Infantry Division) going up a hill. This photograph, Donald Duquette's most famous, was published nationwide back in the United States. He shares the photo with the interviewer.
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.
The capture of Fred Liddell: POW
Fred Liddell was captured by the Chinese in May 1951 at Hill 151 (Jirisan Mountain). His regiment was supposed to hold this hill until the US artillery saturated the hill. As Fred Liddell went down a slope around rocks, he met up with the Marines that were milling around near multiple vehicles on fire. The Chinese surrounded the US soldiers even as Fred Liddell was killing some of them in the bushes. Injured US soldiers were burned to death in a hut while over 300 POWs were forced to march to a cave and then onto Camp Suan.
Comparing POW Camps
Fred Liddell had to survive in multiple POW camps from 1951 through 1953 when he was released. At Camp Suan (the mining camp), there was a "hospital," but it was really a death house. Fred Liddell tried to feed a friend of his that was in the death house, but he didn't survive the next day. The surviving POWs were allowed to bury their follow soldiers, but only in a 2 foot grave. Fred Liddell is surprised that some of the bodies of POWs have been identified and sent back to the US.
Korean War POW PTSD
Fred Liddell suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the experiences that he had to endure as a POW during the Korean War. Nightmares would come every night where Fred Liddell was running from the North Koreans because they performed terrible torturous acts on POWs such as stabbing and shooting soldiers for no reason. Many people would think that the Chinese would be worse, but Fred Liddell saw first-hand the terror created by the North Koreans.
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.
Letters From Home as a POW
Fred Liddell received letters from his wife who delivered their baby right after he was released from the hospital, but before he became a POW. He received a picture from his wife and the baby and it was supposed to contain a religious medal, but the medal was taken. Fred Liddell was so upset that he screamed at the leaders of the POW camp and was punished by standing overnight with his arms outreached. He was thankful that another man, who had been thrown through the door, was there to lean on during those long hours.
Ian J. Nathan
Platoons within Ten Company
Ian Nathan arrived at Pusan in September of 1951. After three weeks organizing the vehicles and men of Ten New Zealand Transport Company, his workshop platoon moved north to merge with other platoons. There was a lot of equipment needed to maintain military vehicles, but the jobs were shared among the skilled company of about fifty men.
James C. Delong
Contact with the Enemy
James C. Delong describes the activities of the 31st Infantry Regiment from Inchon to Suwon including contact with the enemy. He explains that he landed in Inchon the day after the Inchon Landing. He goes on to explain there was little resistance on the way to Suwon because the North Koreans were trying to evade them, abandoning their tanks and everything along the way.
James Shigeo Shimabuku
Waves of Chinese Forces
James Shimabuku describes the situation in Pusan upon his arrival and recounts making his way up to Suwon. He remembers encountering the Chinese and recalls wave after wave of them. He shares that when the Chinese soldiers in the front died, the Chinese soldiers behind them would pick up their weapons and continue pushing forward.
John C. Delagrange
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.
Suwon Airbase - Combat Laundry Unit
John Denning describes his arrival in Korea at Suwon Air Base and his work in the Combat Laundry Unit. He explains that he supervised the people who were responsible for cleaning the clothes. He goes on to explain that the Papa San was a Sergeant in the Korean Army and was very effective at dealing with men who created problems and were brought in by the MPs.
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.
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.
Enlisting in the U S Army
Lloyd Pitman had three brothers serve in World War II. One of his brothers was killed in action so his parents did not want him to serve at the age of 17 when he wanted to enlist. Therefore he waited and enlisted in the Korean War at the age of 18.
Landing In Inchon
Lloyd Pitman describes his first night in Korea. He arrived in Inchon on September 19, 1950. He and his fellow soldiers engaged the enemy and took the airfield at Suwon. He describes the enemy counterattack that overran their headquarters killing many.
Louis G. Surratt
Killed in Action Versus Missing in Action
Louis Surratt served in the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing at Suwon. Suwon had the longest runway in Korea and housed three different Air Force squadrons of about 30 pilots each. The 8th Fighter Bomber Wing oversaw the F80 Shooting Star. Louis Surrat's job was casualty reporting and awards and decorations. He estimates that around thirty pilots were reported as either killed or missing in action.
Two Brothers Serving in Korea
Louis Surratt was selected to spend Christmas with his brother. While he spoke on the phone with his brother to make plans, a deadly plane collision happened on the airport runway. All men aboard the two planes died in the crash. The high number of casualty reports that ensued meant that Louis Surratt could not join Donald for the holiday.
Life on Suwon Air Base
Louis Surratt describes daily living on the air base in Suwon. Overall the base provided safety and security, although many soldiers who departed on sorties faced danger and death. Stories of crashes reminded him of his fortunate situation.
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.
Ballistic Meteorology Work
Stanley Jones describes the work of ballistic meteorologists. He explains the codes used by anti-aircraft guns. He shares how this job supports military operations.
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.
Thomas “Tommy” Tahara
Horrors of War (Graphic)
Thomas "Tommy" Tahara shares his experience seeing the use of napalm for the first time. He recounts the horrible effects napalm had on the North Koreans. He describes how he still remembers what he witnessed.
Arrival and Duties in Korea
Titus Santelli recounts his arrival in Korea. He explains that he was the only one in the area that knew about radar. This would later qualify him for running a radar gun bombsight shop on base. He describes having to help put fuses on bombs and load them onto planes.
Reflections on Service
Titus Santelli reflects on South Korea's progress since the war. He shares that he is proud of his service not because of heroics but because he feels it made him a grown and responsible person. He explains that his service allowed him to attend school upon his return.
The Journey to Korea from England
Tony White shares when he left Southampton, England, the ship experienced a steering problem in the Indian Ocean which resulted in hitting the rudder with a sledgehammer in order to steer. He remembers how the ship diverted to Singapore. He recalls they also had to go to Hong Kong and then to Kure, Japan, after enduring a typhoon. He spent three weeks in Japan training and then went on to Korea.
William D. Freeman
Recaptured as a POW
William Freeman details his experiences being recaptured as a POW after his release in Panmunjeom. He recalls the rough march to the camp and being buried alive after US forces blew up the camp. He discusses the differences in treatment by Chinese soldiers versus North Korean soldiers, describing the North Koreans as being the most brutal.