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
Adam McKenzie describes clearing the town of Sariwon, North Korea. Although they received no tank support from American aid, his battalion mounted their miniature tanks to make an advance. He recounts capturing roughly three thousand North Korean soldiers as a result of the advance.
Chinese Troops and a Rare Medal
Adam McKenzie describes his encounter with Chinese soldiers during the Korean War. He goes on to describe and show a rare Presidential Citation Medal that his regiment qualified to earn, yet he cannot wear along side awarded British medals. The rare medal was awarded to him by Syngman Rhee, President of the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
Adolfo Lugo Gaston
Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Adolfo Lugo Gaston recalls the worst and longest battle that he experienced, that of Kelly Hill. He explains that allied troops fought an incalculable number of Chinese communist troops. Their mission was to win the hill and help four-thousand marines that were trapped.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón recuerda la batalla de Kelly Hill porque fue la más dura. Explica que las tropas aliadas lucharon contra un número incalculable de tropas comunistas chinas. Su misión era conquistar el cerro y ayudar a los cuatro mil infantes de marina que estaban rodeados.
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
Adolfo Lugo Gaston provides an account of his first impressions of the country upon landing in Korea. He vividly remembers an eerie silence and seeing bodies buried beneath the snow near Seoul. Additionally, he speaks about the difficulty of trench warfare and explains the fact that many soldiers were shot because they left their foxholes to complete mundane tasks.
Adolfo Lugo Gastón relata sus primeras impresiones al llegar en Corea. Recuerda el silencio que había y una tristeza porque había cuerpos enterrados bajo la nieve cerca de Seúl. Además, habla sobre lo difícil que era la guerra de trincheras y explica que muchos soldados fueron fusilados porque abandonaron las trincheras para tareas mundanas.
Dangerous Moments in Korea
Alan Maggs recalls a few dangerous moments that he experienced in Korea. During two separate occasions, he barely escaped being hit by a shell. Unfortunately, however, he was wounded near Hill 355 and explains how he was lucky enough that a jeep was passing by and was able to take him to the medical team.
One Last Grenade
Albert Cooper talks about defending a radar station that had come under attack. Alone in a fox hole, he intermittently fired his rifle and threw hand grenades to keep the enemy at bay until he had exhausted his ammunition save one last grenade, which he kept and brought home as a memory of the battle.
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.
The North Korean Soldier
Albert Gonzales explained that the North Korean soldiers were very intelligent and skilled. He said that they knew a lot of details about their weapons and supplies. He also describes how they were so well versed that they would stare at new things to gain a better perception.
Arriving in Korea
Albert Kleine arrived in Pusan, Korea in 1953. After landing, he went to Seoul and saw fighting along with mass destruction. Many buildings were completely destroyed and he asked himself why he came all this way, but later he realized that it was to liberate South Korea.
Surviving a Chinese and North Korean Attack
Albert Kleine was stationed near the Imjin River during his time in the Korean War. He was very fearful of the flowing river and the sounds it gave off that showed its strength. Later he would realize that the river was nothing compared to the flutes signaling the attack by thousands of Chinese and North Korean troops.
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.
This Information is Classified
Albert McCarthy outlines his job responsibilities as a part of the National Security Agency. They had to assess whether the intelligence was covert or not. Many of the intelligence he was a part of collecting is still not classified information today. Due to this, he uses many metaphors to describe certain situations he was involved in.
Albert R. Sayles
Albert Sayles recounts being drafted into the Army and the training he was provided. He shares that after infantry training he chose to proceed with tank training. He recalls spending eight weeks learning all five positions in the M4 Sherman tank and elaborates on the changes made to the weapons on the tank between WW2 and the Korean War.
Albino Robert “Al” D’Agostino
Killed By Friendly Fire
Al D'Agostino describes his old army friend Sal. Sal was killed within 24 hours of arriving near Pusan. Sal was a forward observer who was unfortunately killed by American soldiers as they were completing a training mission in Pusan.
Alex Saenz provides a few examples of the conditions of ships returning from Korea in need of repair. He details working in the dry docks where repairs from shelling would be made as well as sandblasting and painting following the repairs. He recalls a ship needing repair after running over a whale and shares a more personal story regarding the Boxer CV-21, an aircraft carrier that suffered a plane's crash landing.
Alfredo Forero Parra
Battle of Old Baldy / Batalla de Old Baldy
Alfredo Forero Parra details the horrors of war as experienced at the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the way in which they were bombed for over eleven days with heavy artillery and mortars. He recounts a painful story in which his friend, Corporal Gonzalez Varela, who commanded the second squad of his platoon was brutally killed as the avalanche of Chinese troops advanced on their company.
Alfredo Forero Parra detalla los horrores de la guerra que el sufrió durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe la forma en que fueron bombardeados durante más de once días con artillería pesada y morteros. Además, relata una dolorosa historia en la que su amigo, el Cabo González Varela, quien comandaba el segundo escuadrón de su pelotón, fue brutalmente matado cuando la avalancha de tropas chinas avanzó sobre su compañía.
Toughest Battles / Batallas Más Duras
Alfredo Forero Parra explains that the Battle of Old Baldy was one of the five bloodiest battles of the war. He adds that it was the worse battle for the Batallón Colombia as ninety-five troops were killed, and twenty-eight soldiers were captured as prisoners of war. He recounts the way in which he was wounded and almost died.
Alfredo Forero Parra explica que la Batalla de Old Baldy fue una de las cinco batallas más sangrientas de la guerra. Cuenta que fue la peor batalla del Batallón Colombia, porque que murieron noventa y cinco soldados y veintiocho soldados fueron capturados como prisioneros de guerra. Además, relata la forma en que fue herido y casi muere después de una explosión.
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan
A Brother's Narrative
Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes the Korean War from his brother's perspective. His brother served in the Turkish Army at the battle of Kunu-ri. The battle was largely a guerrilla war. Turkish military fought the North Koreans in close combat with bayonets affixed. The battle was extremely dangerous and hard fought.
Ali Saglik describes the defense measures he took in order to protect his troops at the Battle of Kunu-ri and Sandbag Castle. He laid mines in the front, had dogs defending their flanks and men stationed in the rear, with machine guns in the front. At the Battle of Kunu-ri there was continuous fire for two days and eventually the Turkish soldiers defeated the Chinese in close combat with bayonets affixed. Ali Saglik lastly describes the loss of two soldiers under his command.
A Civilian War
Ali Saglik describes how the Turkish forces captured a spy. He also describes how enemy forces, hiding in civilian houses, shot and injured a fellow soldier. Not all Korean civilians were enemies, however, as some would provide fresh fish. Ali Saglik also describes the Battle of Kunu-ri and how the "Americans ran away." Turkish soldiers attached bayonets and killed Chinese for two days.
Too Short for Gendarmerie
Ali Saglik was too short for a Gendarmerie, a Turkish National Defender, and sent to Korea. He achieved a rank of Sergeant while in Korea and served at Hill Sandbag Castle (aka Hill 1220), which was a destroyed front. His company had two cannons that "killed a lot of Chinese."
Sharing Equipment and Exchanging Tea for Coffee
Allen Affolter details his assignment as a Regimental Accountable Officer. He describes having to know what equipment every battalion had as well as the provisions needed for resupplying them. He states that equipment was often shared amongst the units and comments on an unusual exchange of tea for coffee among the US and Commonwealth soldiers.
Highway Through The Danger Zone
Allen Clark described the harrowing scene he experienced coming out of the narrow road while leaving the Chosin Reservoir making them easy targets for the enemy. Allen Clark was sitting in the back seat of a Jeep when the enemy fired a shot that punctured through the gas tank (quickly emptying it), and shooting a hole right through the tire. They jumped out of the jeep and ran behind a small hill that was just beyond some railroad tracks as a parapet while the Jeep driver hooked their vehicle to a truck and pulled it out of Kunwoori.
Participation in the Inchon Landing-September 1950
Allen Clark participated in the Inchon Landing and he could see the ladders and see the fighting along the beaches. As he moved throughout Korea, he saw trucks, troops, and mortars coming into his area. While sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags with little supplies, Allen Clark and his fellow Marines worked in shifts to protect their regiment 24 hours a day.
The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War
Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
Andrew Cleveland recalls never being attacked by enemy aircraft, but he does remember being attacked by mines. He remembers constantly looking for submarines, although he could not remember finding any. He shares he was generally out of harm's way from major combat. He remembers going through a typhoon, with waves so big that they split open part of the ship. He recounts not knowing if the ship was going to sink or turnover at the time, but adds they survived the storm and were able to repair the ship.
Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.
Andrew M. Eggman
Getting out of Chosin Reservoir
Andrew M. Eggman describes his experiences during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he went from being on machine-gun outpost, to taking down the tents, and moving stretchers as a part of convoy security. He recalls seeing pallets of supplies raining down over the men.
Tootsie Rolls on the Front Lines
Andrew M. Eggman talks about how code-words were devised by the American soldiers for confusing the Chinese enemy when having to call for supplies. He describes how the use of the term "tootsie roll" was misinterpreted as the actual candy, rather than as the code of a needed supply of weaponry. He explains how nice it is for veterans to receive tootsie rolls in remembrance of when they got them on the front during the Korean War.
Ángel David Jiménez Jusino
Assigned as Scout / Asignado como Scout
Angel David Jimenez Jusino discusses the living conditions soldiers faced during Korea. He relays the story of how he came to be assigned as a scout, which was a perilous job, after he disobeyed orders. He explains the living conditions soldiers faced during the brutal winter of 1952.
Ángel David Jiménez Jusino describe las condiciones de vida que enfrentaron los soldados durante Corea. Relata la historia de cómo llegó a ser asignado como explorador, que era un trabajo peligroso, después de que desobedeció las órdenes. Explica las condiciones de vida que enfrentaron los soldados durante el invierno brutal de 1952.
Worst Experience / La Peor Experiencia
Angel David Jimenez Jusino shares the story of the Battle of Kelly Hill. He explains that as a scout, he was tasked with engaging the enemy to draw them out from their hiding spots. During a scouting mission to Kelly Hill, his team encountered so many troops, that the sergeant screamed at them to retreat and defend themselves however they saw fit. The memory of this mission saddens him, as two within the scout group were taken as prisoners of war, and two others were killed.
Angel David Jimenez Jusino comparte la historia de la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Explica que, como explorador, tenía que enfrentarse al enemigo para sacarlo de sus escondites. Durante una misión de exploración en Kelly Hill, su equipo se encontró con tantas tropas que el sargento les gritó que se retiraran y que se defendieran como pudieran. Esta misión lo entristece, ya que dos dentro del grupo dos fueron tomados como prisioneros de guerra y otros dos murieron durante el ataque.
Engaging the Enemy / Enfrentando al Enemigo
Angel David Jimenez Jusino discusses the tactics used by American planes in order to pinpoint the location of the enemy. He describes how American bombs were dropped on the enemy but sometimes missed and landed close to allied forces. Additionally, he shares a story of his friend dying in combat.
Ángel David Jiménez Jusino analiza las tácticas utilizadas por los aviones estadounidenses para ubicar al enemigo. Él describe cómo los aviones tiraban bombas sobre el enemigo, pero a veces explotaban cerca de las fuerzas aliadas. Luego comparte una historia de como su amigo murió en combate.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
Anibal Ithier-Rodriguez describes the patrol which almost cost him his life. He explains that he was left on patrol to guard a bridge for three days and nearly froze to death. When he was finally relieved of his duty, he was unable to move or speak and two soldiers warmed his body over a fire until he was able to move again.
Aníbal Ithier-Rodríguez describe la patrulla que casi le cuesta la vida. Explica que lo dejaron patrullando para vigilar un puente durante tres días y casi murió por el frio. Cuando finalmente fue relevado de su deber, no podía moverse ni podía hablar y dos soldados calentaron su cuerpo sobre un fuego hasta que pudo moverse de nuevo.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Anibal Ithier-Rodriguez describes his first impressions of the war. He explains that within the first two weeks of combat, the kitchen at his camp was bombed and one sergeant was angry that they were brought rations and demanded, at gun point, that they should all get hot food. Additionally, he shares his memories of the Korean countryside.
Anibal Ithier-Rodríguez describe sus primeras impresiones de la guerra. Explica que, dentro de las primeras dos semanas de combate, la cocina de su campamento fue bombardeada y un sargento estaba enojado porque les trajeron raciones y exigió, a punta de pistola, que todos deberían recibir comida caliente. Además, comparte sus recuerdos del paisaje coreano.
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.
An Aircraft Mechanic's Duty during the Korean War
Antone Jackim describes his duty as an aircraft and engine mechanic during the Korean War. He talks about being a part of the B-29 flight crew, his job to help operate the air vents and electric motors when the pilot needed a break. On one mission, 3 out of 4 engines were hit by gun fire, the bomber barely making it back to Japan.
372nd Bombardment Squadron
Antone Jackim talks about the mission of the 372nd Bombardment Squadron based at Kadena Air base, Japan. He describes the 9-member crew and the typical mission that was carried out on a B-29 Superfortress.
Ethiopians in Battle
Aragaw Mselu describes fighting conditions. Chinese spies were a constant threat. For example, they would disguise themselves with leaves and move slowly. Also, when attacking a battle the soldiers affixed bayonets for close combat fighting. Enemies were not spared. The Ethiopians were unable to take one hill. However, they were not overrun.
Role at the Pusan Perimeter
Arden Rowley offers an account of his role as a jeep driver at the Battle of Yongsan. He provides an overview of the troop movement that led to the North Koreans being pushed back to the Nakdonggang river. He offers an account of his role in transporting an inexperienced bazooka team to successfully destroy incoming enemy tanks.
"Little" Battle at Pusan Perimeter
Arthur Gentry fought in Pusan at the perimeter where the North Koreans had taken control. United States troops were ordered to dig in and begin to dig fox holes as heavy mortars were falling as his commander was injured. They were there for two days to help straighten out the line for the army and provide support for the army. This is an example of how quickly some troops were embroiled in battles as they landed in Korea.
Arthur Gentry lived through the "bonsai" attack near Kimpo Airfield. Japan occupied Korea for 35 years, and the North Koreans learned this "bonsai" tactic from the Japanese. Arthur Gentry remembered how Roosevelt made a decision to divide Korea while working with the Soviet Union. The U.S. Air Force was bringing in supplies to the airfield, so protection of the airfield was of great significance.
War Torn: 1950 Heungnam Evacuation
Arthur Gentry had an emotional experience when he and his fellow Marines were evacuated from Hamheung along with 100,000 North Korean refugees. As the reality of war set in, seeing the ships in the harbor the troops and the countless refugees were relieved to be rescued. Arthur Gentry remembered all the ships, his company straightening their lines, and the Marine Corps singing hymns as they marched forward.
Arthur H. Hazeldine
Young Bill's Action at Yang-do
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes action aboard the New Zealand Frigate HMNZS Taupo patrolling the east coast of Korea during the war and how he got the nickname - "Young Bill." He recounts his duties in gun direction during an attempted North Korean invasion of the island of Yang-do, which is in North Korea. As a result of Yang-do, his memories of the dead haunt him to this day.
Yang-do and Pirates
Arthur H. Hazeldine describes more of the engagement at Yang-do, consequently wounding thirteen New Zealand navy men and killing one. The North Korean soldiers were on sampans, a flat-bottomed boat and close enough to fire on the HMNZS Taupo using rifles. However, the firepower of the frigate was too much. One North Korean was fired upon while trying to surrender and subsequently lost his life. In conclusion, Arthur H. Hazeldine also describes an encounter with pirates off the coast of Taiwan.
Asefa Desta describes his Korean service. He describes being trained upon arrival in Busan. The M1 was the weapon he trained with. He also describes battles and rough terrain. Many people died and these memories stick with him. Asefa Desta also describes fighting conditions on Hill 1073, which is near the Iron Triangle.
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.
Action in Korea
Asefa Mengesha recounts seeing his friends die and is proud that his unit never surrendered nor left a man or body behind. He shows the camera his wounds suffered from 16 mm mortar rounds. One shell failed to fire from his mortar and exploded in front of him.
Assefa Demissie Belete
Danger in Korea
Assefa Demissie Belete describes the danger of Korea. For instance, he describes going on patrol at night and facing against the Chinese. But, he describes how the soldier did not have fear. Ethiopian soldiers were following orders. Assefa Demissie Belete describes one incident of a fellow soldier being hit by a heavy bomb. The other soldiers never found his body.
Basic Training at Fort Polk
Avery Creef, after enlisting in the Army in January of 1951, went to boot camp in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He reflects on his experiences and what he learned. He spent twelve weeks there and recalls countless marching drills and learning to shoot different weapons. He then went to Fort Benning, Georgia, for more training. He landed in Incheon, South Korea, in June of 1952.
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.
Baldwin F. Myers
Fighting His Way Back to the Lines
Baldwin Myers describes the Battle of Jinju and his time behind enemy lines. As the city was falling, Baldwin Myers had to find a weapon and fight his way back to American lines. He successfully rejoined American forces the day before Jinju fell.
Barry J. McKay
Action in the East Sea
Barry J. McCay describes action aboard the HMNZS Pukaki. He details how his ship patrolled the Eastern coastline of Korea. He recalls how, In one encounter, his ship came under fire from a Soviet-made MiG jet.
Cold and Rough
Barry J. McKay describes his most dangerous and difficult moments aboard two other ships in his time in Korea, a British destroyer for training and then the New Zealand frigate, the HMNZS Taupo. He describes enemy attacks and his role in escorting landing parties.
They Kept Coming Back (Graphic)
Barry McLean elaborates on an experience that haunts him after returning home from Korea and the toll of war. While climbing a mountain, he recalls encountering around three hundred Chinese soldiers eating lunch. He shares how, afterward, they began to monitor the routine of the Chinese soldiers. He describes the measures they took a few days later to eliminate the enemy soldiers.
Fighting in Ujeongbu and the Taebacek Mountains
Basil Kvale was taken to Ujeongbu (Northern Korea) with an amphibious military group to set up for battle. They moved a lot and were so close that they could see the Chinese right near their location. At a new location in the Taebacek Mountains, Basil Kvale was over 3,000 feel above sea level and it was an important location to give orders of where to bomb.
Basil Kvale captured a Chinese POW named Ping who later was sent with other soldiers. As a Marine, Basil Kvale was asked to help give the coordinates for the bombing to aid his commander. He had the cannons and bombs attack from four different sides which led to total disaster for the Chinese.
First-Hand Account of Japanese Bombing Pearl Harbor, HI
Basilio MaCalino was 6 years old when he saw the Japanese pilots flew low to the ground between two mountains. He could even see the pilot because the planes were so low. He watched with his own eyes as the lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii Pearl Harbor was bombed.
Joining the Marine Corps
Basilio MaCalino didn't graduate high school and due to his bad choices, he had to join the military.
He enlisted Feb. 12, 1953 for the Marine Corps and was sent to San Diego, CA for his bootcamp training. Right after training, he was sent to Korea. His specialty was a supplier for the military.
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
Bleak Aspects of Korea
Belachew Amneshwa Welbekiros describes the hardships of Korea. One of the hardest things for Ethiopian soldiers was the weather. Amazingly the heat during the summer months was difficult for Ethiopian soldiers. Further, winters were extreme and caused conditions they were not used to. In addition to weather, mortars were a constant threat.
Ben Schrader Jr.
Duties to Ensure Safety
The Combat Chemical Engineer Corps developed smoke screens over the rivers which would allow the battalion to lay the bridges without being attacked by the enemy. The worry was that while placing these bridges, the enemy would lay mines in the river bottoms, so the engineers were hoping they had done their job well without risking the lives their fellow soldiers. Ben Schrader hoped that all the bombs had be deactivated prior to coming so close to these rivers.
Language Acquisition was Crucial
Communication was difficult when working with the Korean infantry, so US Army trained Korean soldiers in Arabic numerals & map reading. They could help provide the coordinates to fire on the number of units, battalion or regiments they anticipated coming in. It proved crucial to know which weapons worked with the right fuse and how these weapons would effect the enemy.
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.
Benigno Ramos Perez
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Benigno Ramos Pérez shares some of the most difficult moments he experienced during the war. He explains how an enemy combatant tried to infiltrate their unit and was caught trying to do so. Following that incident, he recounts how a young man in his unit was killed during a forward observing mission. He shares the story in which his clumsiness saved his life as a mortar fell where he should have been if he had not dropped his helmet.
Benigno Ramos Pérez comparte algunos de los momentos más difíciles que vivió durante la guerra. Explica cómo un soldado enemigo intentó infiltrarse en su unidad y fue atrapado al intentar de hacerlo. Después de ese incidente, comparte la historia de cómo un joven de su unidad murió durante una misión de observación avanzada. Por último, comparte la historia en la que su torpeza le salvó la vida cuando un mortero cayó donde debería haber estado si no se le hubiera caído el casco.
Letter to Future Wife / Carta Para Su Futura Esposa
Benigno Ramos Pérez has his wife read a letter he wrote to her from the front lines. Within the letter, he provides a firsthand account of the dangers he encountered and comments on his inability to sleep. He details how two sergeants were injured during combat and praises American troops. He emphasizes the importance of their love in the letter.
Benigno Ramos Pérez hace leer a su esposa una carta que le escribió cuando él estaba en Corea. Dentro de la carta, provee un relato de los peligros que encontró y comenta como no podía dormir. Detalla cómo dos sargentos resultaron heridos durante el combate y comenta que las tropas estadounidenses eran buenas. Incluye la importancia de su amor en la carta.
Benito B. Arabe
Fighting on Hill 010
Benito B. Arabe, after arriving in Busan, joined King Company on Hill 010 on the front lines. He recalls walking three kilometers to the mountain where they joined the Americans they would soon replace. He recounts seeing many dead in the trenches. He offers a detailed account of nightly bombings including one where a bomb landed about five meters from them as they were hiding.
Bernard Clark went on a variety of patrols during his time in Korea. He calls these patrols "recce" (reconnaissance). "Recce" patrols consisted of five men and entailed going out to a point and returning with the intent to keep an eye on things in no man's land. His listening patrol consisted of three men who went out into no man's land and sat in a location all night to listen for enemy movements.
Bernard Clark had to live in trenches near and on the front lines because there were not any shelters of any kind. The trenches were six feet deep and a fire could be made during the winter to stay warm. C-Rations were eaten most of the war, and they included beans and tea. He recalls taking over for the Greeks at "Kowang San/Little Gibraltar" area near Hill 355, and he remembers finding many dead bodies left in the trenches.
Coping with Loss and Memories of Korea
Bernard Clark is still saddened by the loss of his friends while serving. He dealt with those losses as a young man in a few different ways. He also attended several concerts during his time in Korea, and he remembers a road march while on reserve which entailed a fiery mishap. Napalm drops took place during the Korean War, and he describes the aftermath of this weapon.
Right Place, Right Time, Right Training
Bernard Dykes describes how he became second in command after only seven days in Korea. He was assisting inside of a tank at the lowest rank. With all his training that he had in the U.S., he was able to reset the tank after it became inactive.
Fire Direction Center and Night Attack
Bernard Hoganson describes what his job entailed during most of his time in Korea. He details what the Fire Direction Center does and its role in the war. He recalls his actions in helping thwart an enemy attack on a military base.
Bernard Lee Henderson
Fire In The Hole
Bernard Henderson shared his experience of being struck in his chest with shrapnel. Puny Wilson, one of the members of his regiment, was pulling guard-men one night and yelled, "Fire in the hole" 5 times. After throwing the 2nd grenade, Bernard stood up from his fox hole and the grenade hit him right in the chest. Although it didn't penetrate through his clothes, he started tearing his clothes off yelling for a corps men to help him.
Life as a Soldier During the Korean War
Bernard Henderson would sleep in his foxhole with his clothes on in a sleeping bag in shifts with other Marines. As a Marine, they did not shower often since they were stationed up in the mountains. The most difficult time he had was trying to escape from a Chinese attack by running down railroad tracks since it was not even, but he just wanted to stay alive.
Bernard Smith- Struggles with Equipment
Bernard Smith described that the equipment that was set up was only good for a 50 mile radius and many times they would need to reach as far as 200 miles to get a signal. Since there wasn't a hill in between their location, they could operate from machines and make compromises to get it to work. They had multiple diesel-fueled generators to ensure they were able to continue to operate if the other ran out and the freezing cords were another concern as Bernard Smith lived through the cold winters in Korea.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago
Infiltrated by the Enemy / Infiltrado por el Enemigo
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago provides an account of a dangerous battle in which enemy troops infiltrated their unit. The problem, he explains, was that the Filipino language sounded like Chinese, and they assumed that it was allied troops returning to the line. He describes the fighting which ensued and resulted in his sergeant being shot.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago relata una peligrosa batalla en la que tropas enemigas infiltraron a su unidad. El problema, explica el, era que el idioma filipino sonaba como chino, y asumieron que eran tropas aliadas que regresaban. Describe la lucha que siguió y que resultó en su sargento herido.
Lucky to be Alive / Vivo de Milagro
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago shares one of the most impactful moments of the war. He describes the incident in which he and others were almost killed by friendly fire when they were attempting to prepare mortars in Seoul. Following that attack, he remembers how they went on a trek and forever engraved in his memory is the sight of a little four-year-old girl begging on the side of the road.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago comparte uno de los momentos más impactantes de la guerra. El describe el incidente en el que él y otros casi murieron por fuego amigo cuando intentaban preparar morteros en Seúl. Después de ese ataque, él recuerda que hicieron una caminata y siempre le quedo grabado en su mente el recuerdo de una niña de cuatro años que mendigaba al costado de la carretera.
First Days at War / Primeros Días en la Guerra
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describes his first impressions of Korea and the utter devastation he encountered. He remembers being immediately struck by the fact that the train which transported them to the front was riddled with bullet holes. Furthermore, he details the way in which Seoul was destroyed and the way in which a major bridge was blown up by the allies to prevent troop advancement by the enemy.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago describe sus primeras impresiones de Corea y la devastación total que encontró. Recuerda que le llamó la atención el hecho de que el tren que los transportaba al frente estaba lleno de agujeros de balazos. Además, detalla la forma en que Seúl fue destruida y la forma en que los aliados volaron un puente importante para evitar el avance de las tropas enemigas.
The Effects of the Winter / Los Efectos del Invierno
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago recounts the living and weather conditions they faced in Korea. He remembers being amazed by the frigid temperatures and describes the effects on both living and deceased soldiers. He further elaborates on the weather by describing how allied troops left North Korea by boat after blowing up the port.
Bernardo De Jesus Ramírez Santiago relata las condiciones de vida y del clima que enfrentaron en Corea. Recuerda estar asombrado al frio que había y describe los efectos del invierno tanto en los soldados vivos como en los muertos. Da más detalles sobre el tiempo al describir cómo las tropas aliadas se fueron de Corea del Norte en barco después de volar el muelle.
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill
Training at Tuskegee
Beverly Lawrence Dunjil discusses his advanced aviation training that took place at Tuskegee. He remembers his training and the joy of flying a more powerful airplane than his previous experiences. He recalls how, as training continued, pilots were allowed to fly combat planes such as the P-40 and the B-25.
Reenlistment and Training
Beverly Lawrence Dunjil discusses rejoining the military which had just been integrated. He elaborates on his flight training. He shares how he trained in T-33 training jets and flew solo in the F-80.
A Typical Combat Mission in Korea
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill recalls what a typical day on a combat mission in Korea was like. He offers an overview of a pilot's morning routine. He describes the role between a flight leader and wingman during combat flights.
Witnessing a MIG Shot Down in Korea
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill recounts seeing his first MIG being shot down north of the Yalu river. He shares how the pattern on the nose of the MIG showed the level of the pilot. He remembers the first plane he saw go down was a "Blue Nose" or a least experience enemy pilot.
One Hundredth Combat Mission in Korea
Beverly Lawrence Dunjill discusses his one hundredth combat mission in Korea. He details how he was relaying radio information between planes flying in North Korea and the bases in the South. After flying over Choto Island as his primary mission, he describes how he found and fired on an enemy truck at the end of his mission and narrowly missed parts of the exploding truck.
Bill G. Hartline
Role in Korea
Bill Hartline arrived in Korea as part of a group known as the 1st Replacement Draft. Since none of this group had much experience, they were divided up among other units and he ultimately ends up with the 4.2 Mortar Company of the 5th Marine Regiment. He talks candidly about never having to fire either the bazooka or machine gun assigned to him in some of the early action with his company.
Doing My Duty
Bill Hartline speaks about time in Funchilin Pass and the area around Yudamni. He recalls just finishing his four-hour watch shift and crawling into his sleeping bag when "all hell broke loose". He details taking a couple of men with him to hold a bridge on the road while the Battle of Chosin Reservoir raged all around them. Remarkably, despite all the chaos of war around him, he never had to fire his machine gun.
Lucky You Got Lost
Bill Hartline recalls an old farmhouse at the bottom of Funchillan Pass packed full of men from his unit as well as those of a utility company all trying to seek warmth. Hartline speaks about how being tasked to go look for a missing soldier, prior to his unit departing for Hagaru-ri, saved his life.
Pilot Shortage in Early Days
Bill Hall recalls being stationed at El Toro, California when the North Koreans invaded the South. He explains the pilot shortage the Marine Corps had aboard his aircraft carrier and how this challenge was met by making use of Aviation Pilots (APs), many of whom had served during World War II. He also remembers the first member of his squadron that was killed during the war had borrowed part of his equipment and his flight charts.
Bill Hall talks about "getting" a platoon of enemy with a napalm bomb from his aircraft. He explains the aircraft setup of weapons and fuel that the carrier aircraft used against the enemy. Hall recalls the story of one of the captains of his unit being shot down and later rescued.
New Equipment and Additional Pilots Leads to Advantage
Bill Hall recalls with the arrival of additional land-based pilots came additional equipment for his unit. Their new equipment included a 20 mm cannon as well as tracer bullets which allowed pilots to see where shots were being fired. This served as a great advantage for the American planes over the Chinese ground forces. He notes that his first was on August 7, 1950, but he was soon cut because he was needed as a Landing Signal Officer (LSO).
Battle of Naktong Bulge
Bill Lynn tells about the Battle at Naktong River. He survived the battle because the Korean he was fighting was unable to reload his gun. Both of the men accompanying him were killed primarily because they were using malfunctioned equipment left over from World War II.
U.S.S. Destroyer Lofberg
Billy Holbrook talks about the ship he worked on, the U.S.S. Destroyer Lofberg DD 759. He describes the weapons on the ship and the crew that worked on it. He shares there were multiple weapons aboard and that the ship would carry a crew of three hundred thirty-six. He recalls how his ship went straight to the East Sea from San Diego. He recounts the tasks his ship would undertake, including saving pilots who were ejected out of their planes.
Was there ever a time you might've been killed?
Billy Holbrook recalls a dangerous moment he encountered on his ship. He describes an incident in Yokohama, Japan, involving the pickup of new recruits. The incident resulted in the death of two new recruits by a Hedgehog, an anti-submarine weapon. He continues with comments about the US dominance of the sea.
Injury and Meeting Jennifer Jones
Bob Couch discusses an injury he incurred while setting out a mine. He recounts the tripflare going off in his hand and suffering a wound from the encounter. He describes being transported back to Pusan and to a medical ship where surgery was performed on his hand and where he met movie star, Jennifer Jones.
Fear on the Front Lines
Bob Garcia talks about his first days on the front lines in January 1952. He describes, at the age of nineteen, being "scared to death" by the strange noises found in an artillery battery.
A Strange and Rewarding Career
Bob Mitsuo Imose shares about his time flying B-29 bombers with the 5th Air Force, based in Okinawa, Japan. He offers details of the typical crew carried by these planes. Reflecting on his involvement in a special mission after the conclusion of the war, he details his role in the development of propaganda materials, written in both Chinese and Korean, to be dropped in Korea in anticipation of another potential war in the region.
Hill 187 Competition
Bob Near describes the yearly competition in Canada commemorating the capture of Hill 187. Royal Canadian soldiers compete against each other in their platoons. The event celebrates the capture of a Chinese Burp Gun.
Arriving as a Hospital Corpsman
Bob Wickman shares he arrived in Korea in May 1953 and traveled to Incheon by June 9, 1953. He explains he was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, I Company in the area north of Ascom City, above the 38th Parallel near the Berlin and East Berlin Outposts. He recalls the words of wisdom his new duty leader told him upon his arrival and offers details about what his duties would be while serving in the region.
Bradley J. Strait
Destroyers during the War
Bradley Strait explains the difference between a battleship and destroyer. He discusses being stationed on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Destroyer and shares that one of its chief functions was anti submarine warfare. He states that destroyers were used for shore bombardment at Wonsan Harbor and Incheon during the war.
Front Lines and Living Conditions
Bradley Strait explains he was stationed mostly in Wonsan Harbor. He remembers the North Koreans had pushed the Americans back to Wonsan and that a battle was taking place there, and he details the role of destroyers during this battle. He also recalls the living conditions on the ship as being very tight and cannot imagine women being stationed on the ship due to the close conditions.
Sleeping with Gun Parts
Brian Hamblett's first memory of Korea was black and dismal. He describes winter in Korea and his battalion. He explains that they were surrounding a crater and that he was positioned with a machine gun. He describes having to cool the guns with glycerin rather than water and having to sleep with the gun parts so that they would not freeze.
An Appalling Situation
Brian Hamblett describes looking into a foxhole and finding a Chinese soldier. He explains that the soldier was just as surprised and pulled his grenade without throwing it. The Chinese soldier was badly injured from his own grenade. He goes on to describe seeing the results of napalm and growing more horrified by the memories of it as he has grown older. He describes the burned bodies and total suffocation of the land.
The Korean War Homecoming and the Lack of American Pride
As Bruce Ackerman and the Korean War veterans returned home from the war, many US citizens lacked an understanding and scope of the Korean War. Many US civilians stated that the Korean War was nothing more than a police action. Bruce Ackerman recalled the success of the US Marine Corps during the Pusan Perimeter as they defeated the North Koreans and the Chinese. With the help from strong leadership and effective equipment, North Koreans and Chinese were beaten and this was monumental to Bruce Ackerman.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Bruce W. Diggle
Hill 355 and the "Apostles"
Bruce Diggle shows the famous Hill 355, also known as Kowang San. The British Commonwealth forces fought for possession of Hill 355 during the series of battles that corresponded to the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge to the east. The North Koreans were positioned on three smaller hills that the Kiwis nicknamed the Apostles - Matthew, Luke, and John. He took pictures of the North Korean positions during a truce.
Bryan J. Johnson
Naval Role and Threats
Bryan J. Johnson describes the role of his ship, steering the ship and Captain of the gun. The HMNZS Hawea provided escorts for supplies and patrolled the Han River. He also explains that the main threat was not from land bombardment, rather Russian MIG's flown by North Koreans.
Wrong Shells, Wrong Time
Bryan J. Johnson, Captain of the gun on ship, ordered a shelling of a North Korean supply train. He explains that storage of the shells were switched and he fired "star shells" for illumination, instead of explosive shells. Bryan Johnson later describes two sailors who were swept away by the Han River, but later rescued after being in the water for many hours.
Riding the Waves of a Typhoon
Burley Smith provides an account of the hours before the historic landing in Incheon Harbor by MacArthur that cut off the North Korean Army. The SS Meredith Victory was the last ship in General MacArthur's convoy. The night before the landing, he remembers seeing waves breaching the side of the vessel and realizing that they were in a typhoon. Due to the intensity of the waves, he recalls Captain Leonard LaRue having to crawl up to the bridge and giving the orders. He shares that miraculously and with a little luck, they were able to bring the ship back in line and into Incheon Harbor.
It is Remarkable It Happened Without Any Incidents
Burley Smith gives details about the minefields of Hamheung harbor. He recounts how the United States Navy marked the minefield for them to navigate around the mines. He describes the United States Navy minesweepers maneuvering beside them to mark the minefield which allowed them to navigate through the mines. Along with this, he shares that the refugees were never searched and could have overtaken the ship at any time. For these reasons, he shares that it is remarkable that it all happened without any incidents.
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.
Burnie S. Jarvis
Recalled to Service
Burnie Jarvis, at the urging of a friend and an unsubstantiated claim they could remain together, joined the U.S. Navy in the Fall of 1948. He shares he was assigned to a heavy cruiser ship, the U.S.S. St. Paul, after basic training. He offers details about what a heavy cruiser ship is. He shares how after leaving near the end of his first year to return to work for the railroads he was recalled to service following the start of the Korean War.
Assigned to Assist Artillery
Burnie Jarvis shares how, following his recall to service in 1950, he was assigned to assist the artillery aboard the U.S.S. Toledo. He explains he was part of a gunnery division and operated a five-inch twin mounted gun. He notes that prior to his arrival in Korea he had not learned anything about Korea in school or ROTC training.
Duties of the U.S.S. Toledo
Burnie Jarvis recalls he and the crew of the U.S.S. Toledo served mainly in the waters off of the east coast of Korea and about ten miles north of where the action was. He remembers spending about two weeks in any one location. He notes there was small arms fire from the shore but that it ended up being little more than splashes in the water. He notes there really was not much resistance from the enemy toward the U.S. Navy in the region. He explains the ship's main duties were to provide artillery fire for whatever the spotter located and even breaking up ice during the cold winters to prevent the enemy from crossing the rivers to resupply troops.
Life aboard the U.S.S. Toledo
Burnie Jarvis offers details about the duties of the crew members aboard the U.S.S. Toledo. He provides details regarding loading 8" projectiles as well as 5" projectiles. He shares how the ship was resupplied with ammunition, food, and fuel. He notes that the ship had pretty much everything the crew could need including a dentist, doctor, and accounting office. He recalls they had very good cooks and bakers.
Korean War Veteran Clarification and Memories
Burt Cazden recounts enlisting in the Navy in 1953. He provides clarification on the labeling of a Korean War veteran, stating that those who served during the war's time frame--despite location--are Korean War veterans. He states that he has the highest respect for those who served in Korea and shares a memory of a Native American friend who served in Korea and suffered wounds.
Navy Food and Entertainment
Burt Cazden describes the food provided during his service in the Navy. He recounts a combination of foods from cans and one particular specialty, SOS. He mentions that there were few entertainment options but recalls watching movies on the ship deck via a makeshift screen hung from a gunner turret.
Protecting Himself from the Chinese
Carl Hissman describes his sleeping arrangements. He remembers trying to find foxholes that were already dug out by the Chinese. He shares that the Chinese were better at digging foxholes than they were. He recalls it being cold but adds that he did not realize it was sometimes colder than sixty degrees below zero. He recounts how his mom sent him an additional gun so he could defend himself if the Chinese tried to take him as a prisoner while he was sleeping. He remembers the Chinese soldiers being very quiet and notes that it was an advantage seeing as they did not have the equipment the Americans had.
Carl M. Jacobsen
A Dangerous Moment
Carl Jacobsen shares memories of one of the most dangerous moments he experienced in combat. He recalls being given orders to collect ammunition and receiving sniper fire on his return with the ammunition. He recounts stopping the vehicle he was driving to return fire and wondering if he would make it out of the situation alive.
Escaping Through Marine Corps Bombs
Carl Rackley reflects on his experiences at the 38th Parallel. He describes being trapped there for roughly ten nights. He also details the amount of Chinese soldiers there. He expresses his gratitude for the Marine Corp troops who bombed the area for him to escape.
Aiming Without Seeing the Enemy
Carl Rackley describes his job responsibilities concerning weaponry of the war. His unit prepared the Artillery 155 weapons. He details loading shells and powder for combat. He also describes the inability to see their target and using spotters to help their aim.
Carl W. House
Destruction of Civilian Homes
After Carl House's unit left the Incheon landing site, they headed to Seoul. He said the first time he witnessed the capital, it was gone due to total destruction. When American tanks arrived, they would level the buildings to keep the North Koreans from using them. Carl House said they warned civilians to leave their homes before the soldiers destroyed them. However, recently, Carl House was was surprised at a doctor's office when he came across a magazine in the waiting room describing South Korea's accomplishments since the war.
Surrounded at Jangjin: Last Line of Defense
Carl House arrived at Jangjin with his unit and was told no enemy forces were within a fifteen-mile radius. He recalls many soldiers began building fires, drinking coffee, and preparing sleeping bags. He shares that Chinese forces surrounded the U.S. soldiers in a horseshoe-shaped position around three in the morning, making it nearly impossible for them to escape. He remembers fighting for three days and running low on artillery after a failed airdrop landed in enemy territory. He recounts his captain ordering his unit to stand rear guard while fellow soldiers pulled out and recalls doing what he could to hold off the Chinese.
Carl House's Capture
Carl House and his Squad Leader, Raymond Howard, were the only 2 remaining soldiers holding the line as the Chinese were throwing concussion grenades at both men. As he was covering for Raymond Howard, a gunshot broke his arm and caused massive blood-loss. The only thing that he had to hold his arm together was a slang he used to keep his arm straight during the healing process. When he made the attempt to cross the valley himself, he fell unconscious from his injury and when he woke up, Chinese had surrounded the area. He made an attempt to play dead, but the thirty-degree-below-zero temperature gave away the heat from his breath, so they stuck a bayonet in his back and took him away.
Carlos David Rodriguez Boissen
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 Eduardo Cuestas Puerto
Cold Patrols/ Patrullas Frías
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto describes a typical day on the front lines. He explains that night patrol as a machine gun operator was the most difficult assignment, especially on cold winter nights. Additionally, reconnaissance patrol duty instilled immense fear in him as he could not make a sound which was especially difficult on nights when temperatures were low. He concludes that he and others feared weather conditions more than combat.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto describe un día típico en el frente. Explica que la patrulla nocturna como operador de ametralladoras era la tarea más difícil, especialmente en las noches frías de invierno. Asimismo, la patrulla de reconocimiento le daba un miedo inmenso, ya que no podía emitir ni un sonido, y era más difícil en las noches cuando las temperaturas estaban bajo cero. Él y otros temían las condiciones climáticas más que el combate.
Fear During the Battle of Old Baldy/ Miedo Durante la Batalla de Old Baldy
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto recounts the worst action he encountered during the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes being continuously bombarded throughout the night and having to hold the front until American reinforcements arrived hours later. He explains that although their camp was surrounded by landmines and barbed wire, Chinese and North Korean troops pierced their defenses. He marvels at the tenacity of enemy troops as bodies exploded in the air as they marched through the minefield.
Carlos Eduardo Cuestas Puerto relata la peor acción que vio que fue durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él describe haber sido bombardeado continuamente durante toda la noche y tener que mantener el frente hasta que llegaran los refuerzos estadounidenses horas después que empezó la batalla. Explica que, aunque su campamento estaba rodeado de minas y alambre de púas, las tropas chinas y norcoreanas atravesaron sus defensas. Se acuerda de la tenacidad de las tropas enemigas cuando los cuerpos volaban por el aire mientras marchaban a través del campo de minas.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco
Wounded in the Line of Duty /Herido en La Linea de Combate
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco recalls the fear he experienced during the Battle of Old Baldy in which he was injured, and his friend died. He details the way in which he and three others were surrounded in a bunker when Chinese troops infiltrated their camp. He describes the hours that passed in which they had to decide whether to continue fighting and die or risk being caught as prisoners of war. Eventually, he explains, they were rescued by American and Puerto Rican troops, but sadly one of his friend’s injuries were so grave that it was impossible for him to be saved.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco recuerda el miedo que vivió durante la Batalla de Old Baldy en la que resultó herido y su amigo murió. Él y otros tres soldados fueron rodeados en un búnker cuando las tropas chinas se infiltraron en su campamento. Describe las horas que pasaron en las tuvieron que decidir si iban a seguir luchando y morir o arriesgarse a ser capturados como prisioneros de guerra. Finalmente, él explica, fueron rescatados por tropas estadounidenses y puertorriqueñas. Desafortunadamente, las heridas de su amigo eran tan grave que fue imposible salvarlo.
Battle of Old Baldy / La Batalla de Old Baldy
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco details the events which led to the worst battle for the Batallón Colombia in terms of casualties. He explains that tactical errors by the commanders in the United States Army led to Chinese infiltration of their camp. Enemy troops, he remembers, waited until relief troops entered the camp to attack because those that were part of the relief did not know the camp or where the ammunition was stored and thus chaos ensued. He adds that the Colombian commanding officer asked for the relief unit to come in during the day as opposed to the night.
Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco describe la peor batalla del Batallón Colombia en términos de bajas. Explica que los errores tácticos de los comandantes del ejército de los Estados Unidos fueron la razón por la infiltración china en su campamento. El recuerda que las tropas enemigas esperaron hasta que las tropas de relevo entraron al campamento para atacar porque los que formaban parte del relevo no sabían ni dónde estaban las guardadas las municiones. Añade que el comandante colombiano pidió que la unidad de relieve llegara durante el día y no durante la noche.
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
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Carlos Julio Mora Zea recalls that the most difficult moments he experienced occurred during his training and during his time at T-Bone Hill. He admits that he found basic training incredibly difficult even though they were given a helper. At T-Bone Hill, he explains that the conditions were terrible as they faced constant danger.
Carlos Julio Mora Zea recuerda los momentos más difíciles que sucedieron durante su entrenamiento y durante su tiempo en la Colina T-Bone. Admite que encontró el entrenamiento básico increíblemente difícil a pesar de que les dieron un ayudante. En la Colina, explica que las condiciones eran terribles ya que siempre estaban en peligro constante.
Carlos Julio Rodriguez Riveros
Difficult Moments / Los Momentos más Difíciles
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He recounts the events which occurred during the Battle of Hill 400 in which, under heavy fire, their battalion lost sixteen soldiers. He was tasked with the difficult mission of transporting the dead and wounded during this battle under heavy mortar fire.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Relata los hechos que ocurrieron durante la Batalla de la Colina 400 en la que, bajo un fuego intenso, su batallón perdió dieciséis soldados. Se le encomendó la difícil misión de transportar a los muertos y heridos durante esta batalla bajo fuego de mortero.
The Battle of Old Baldy / La Batalla de Old Baldy
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros describes some of the most dangerous moments he experienced during the war. He explains the events which led to heavy casualties of Colombian troops during the Battle of Old Baldy. As a driver, he details, he was assigned to move ammunition, artillery, and personnel as they attempted to reconquer the hill from Chinese troops.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros describe los momentos más peligrosos que vivió durante la guerra. Él explica los acontecimientos que resultaron en muchas bajas de su batallón durante la Batalla del Old Baldy. Cuenta que como conductor, él tenía que mover municiones, artillería y personal mientras intentaban reconquistar el cerro a las tropas chinas.
Memories of a Destroyed Nation / Recuerdos de Una Nación Destruida
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recalls his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival. He remembers the shock he felt at seeing the utmost misery within the civilian population. He shares that he will never forget the manner in which people begged for food and the ways in which soldiers tried to help.
Carlos Julio Rodríguez Riveros recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Recuerda la conmoción que sintió al ver la miseria entre la población civil. Comparte que nunca se olvidará de la forma en que la gente pedía comida y las formas en que los soldados intentaban ayudar.
Papasan Hill / La Colina Papasan
Carlos Rivera-Rivera shares his experience in a battle which took place as allied troops tried to gain control of Papasan Hill. As a mortarman, he recalls that the bombing was unending. It was during this battle, he explains, that he became desensitized to the reality of the war as so many perished during the fighting.
Carlos Rivera-Rivera comparte su experiencia en una batalla en la cual las tropas aliadas intentaron controlar la colina Papasan. Como él era mortero, recuerda que el bombardeo era interminable. Él explica que fue durante esta batalla que se volvió insensible a la realidad de la guerra, porque murieron tantos durante la lucha.
Long Nights / Noches Largas
Carlos Rivera-Rivera explains that night patrols were the most dangerous moments of the war. He recalls feeling that the nights would never end as they had to wait in the trenches from six in the evening until six in the morning. He remembers the anxiety he experienced as he waited for orders.
Carlos Rivera-Rivera explica que las guardias nocturnas fueron los momentos más peligrosos de la guerra. Recuerda sentir que las noches nunca terminarían ya que tenían que esperar en las trincheras desde las seis de la tarde hasta las seis de la mañana. Recuerda la ansiedad que tenían mientras esperaban órdenes para disparar.
Battle of Kunu-ri
Cevdet Sidal describes intimate details from the Battle of Kunu-ri. This battle was the first engagement on foreign soil for Turkish fighters since WWI. Cevdet Sidal provides details about being surrounded and the heavy losses to the enemy. He also describes how there were enemy war planes used in the battle.
Conditions of the Battle of Kunu-ri
Cevdet Sidal describes conditions at various battlefields. At the Battle of Kunu-ri the Turkish soldiers were surrounded. One Master Sergeant had to eat grass for three days. There was constant threat from machine gun fire. Also, the Chinese had aircraft support. Cevdet Sidal turned to praying due to fear of death. The conditions were so cold that water would freeze to your face.
Chaplain Ralph Lindon Smith Jr.
Outpost Harry (April-July 1953)
Ralph Smith talks about his time at Outpost Harry in 1953. He describes the terrain, logistics, and layout of the encampment. Manned only by one company, he talks about how they dealt with being grossly outnumbered by two Chinese battalions.
The Last Days of the War at Outpost Harry
Ralph Smith talks about the last days of the war at Outpost Harry. He describes the heavy shelling that took place up until the armistice was signed and recalls his memories of Operation Rollback. He tells the story of meeting a Chinese officer out on the battlefield the morning after the armistice.
North Korean Offense with Tanks
Charles Bissett describes the incoming forces of North Koreans armed with tanks against the, initially, light weapons of the American forces. He recounts no aid given after calling in artillery forces for assistance. He adds that many soldiers were killed.
PTSD and Its Effects on Personal Life
Charles Bissett describes his battle with PTSD. He shares that upon his return, he was quick to anger not only with his wife but with others. He describes his nightmares of seeing part of the war and his reaction to automatic weapon firing. He shares it was hard to deal with.
Having Trouble All the Time
Charles Blum describes his experiences with PTSD from the Korean War. He explains sitting on a grenade and the shrapnel that entered his body. He then describes sitting with a fellow soldier until he dies then having to quickly kill a Chinese soldier.
Second Time It Was Knees Down
Charles Blum describes his second wounding in the Korean War. He explains his encounter with a Chinese soldier with a fistful of grenades held together by bamboo. He describes jumping into what he thought was safety only to be blown out again by a grenade.
Non-Combat Related Deaths
Charles Buckley said there were many non-combat related deaths with at least 5 to 7 within his own unit. While in Wonju, a radio relay site, a young man was in a 6 X 6 truck and he was trying to get up a slick mountain with another soldier, and the 6 X 6 truck rolled over killing them both.
Training Can Be a Huge Pain in the Neck!
Charles Bull was shocked when he joined the Navy. It was difficult to take care of himself by washing, ironing, cooking, and caring for other men. He also had to learn all seamanship training for tools and ships. During a training, he almost was hit in the head with a 14 point lead pipe.
Fighting Along Side and Burying Allied Forces During the Korean War
While aboard the HMS Kenya, Charles Bull worked along side multiple naval allies including the Austrians, Canadians, Dutch, and Belgians. Sadly, bodies of soldiers would be found at sea, so his ship would take the deceased aboard until they were ready to provide a proper burial at sea. Charles Bull remembers the moving ceremonies that the British gave for fallen American soldiers during the sea burial.
Charles Crow Flies High
Charles Crow Flies High was section chief on a cannon crew. There were ten crew members in each crew, and they included a driver, chief, section chief, gunner, assistant gunner, loader, ammo track crew, and ammo team chief. He recalls one of the cannons having the ability to reach up to thirty miles away.
Entering Korea in 1993
Charles Crow Flies High was sent to Korea for his first deployment in November 1993. He flew into Kimpo Air Force Base, and then he was sent to Seoul to get finished setting up to protect South Korea. He recounts that they were "locked and stocked" at all times from that point forward. His job was to watch for Kim Jong Il and his North Korean troops to make sure that they did not take over Seoul.
Charles Earnest Berry
Experiences with Chinese Soldiers and Rethinking War
Charles Earnest Berry discusses fighting the Chinese and how quick and mobile they were since they carried less equipment than the American soldiers. He explains how the Chinese put human waste on their bayonets to increase the chances of wounds becoming infectious. He recounts finding an entire National Guard unit dead, hauling dead bodies from the front, and how all of this made him rethink war. He shares that he told his mom to send liquor not cookies when asked what he would like her to package and mail.
Capture and Escape
Charles Earnest Berry discusses the cold in Korea and being captured at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He describes how he was able to escape and return back safely to American lines. He recalls the waves of Chinese soldiers and artillery bombardments.
The Role of Aircraft at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir
Charles Earnest Berry recalls seeing American aircraft strafing the Chinese and North Koreans and pilots dipping their wings to American soldiers. He describes arriving at a bombed bridge and having to wait for the bridge to be airlifted in which rendered a loss of people and equipment during the wait. He describes the USS Missouri firing on the enemy and how he was evacuated from Korea after being wounded.
Journey to the Front
Charles Eggenberger recalls his 1950 arrival in Korea. He describes his journey, from basic training in San Diego, California, to being stationed in both Guam and China, before the Korean War broke out. He describes his participation in the amphibious Inchon Landing, and a combat lesson he learned while fighting the enemy in Seoul.
Bearing the Extreme Cold
Charles Eggenberger talks about being able to withstand the extreme cold he encountered in Korea. He describes a childhood of not having enough warmth because of poverty and neglect. He recalls seeing the injuries some soldiers suffered from not knowing how to take care of their extremities in the cold.
Charles Eugene Warriner
"You Do Crazy Things"
Charles Eugene Warriner tells a story of how he took pest control into his own hands when faced with a rat problem in his mess hall. He explains he shot the rat. He describes how it helped not only the rat problem but to cure boredom as well.
Charles Francis Jacks
Assignment, Living Conditions, and Patrol Dangers
Charles Jacks speaks of his assignment with the Marines and shares how they used a trench line for protection from incoming fire. He explains that Corpsman were sent where they were needed, and he recalls being sent to various locations via jeep transport. He remembers the dangers he and others faced while out on patrol.
Charles H. Brown
Charles H. Brown describes his service on the New Zealand frigate HMNZS Hawea. He recounts the shelling of North Korean positions by the USS Missouri. One position was shelled, but the North Koreans rebuilt. Later this position attacked the HMNZS Hawea. Charles H. Brown describes the evasive maneuvers the ship took to escape.
Attacking a Target
Charles Brown describes the attacking of a North Korean target. He had just began his shift work. He went on deck and noticed how close the ship was to shore. The next thing is the sky went bright. His ship was attacking the North Korean target.
The Reality of the Situation
Charles Hoak describes being seasick for three days and his brother being seasick for seventeen days on the way to Korea. He recalls their arrival in Korea and remembers taking a train to their base. He describes how he could see and hear mortar fire on the train and how, at that moment, the reality of war set in.
Last Push by the Chinese
Charles Hoak tells the story of when the Chinese Army were making a last push. He recalls being in the trenches with weapons loaded and U.S. Army airplanes dropping flares on their location so that they could see what was taking place on the battlefield. He remembers how the Republic of Korea (ROK) troops held the line and thwarted the advance of the Chinese Army.
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 L. Chipley Jr. recounts his first assignment on the USS Rochester CA-124. He recalls the weaponry installed on the heavy cruiser and describes its use as gunfire support for ground troops, adding that some of the weaponry on the ship served the purpose of protecting the ship from enemy aircraft. He explains that the ship's mission was also to rescue flyers at sea and to clear out underwater mines.
Charles L. Hallgren
When Bomb Drops Go Wrong
Charles Hallgren describes the dilemma of dealing with ammunition and explosives that were produced during World War II but sent to be used in Korea during bomb drops. He explains the task of having to diffuse weapons before they actually exploded to prevent deaths. He describes the challenges that accompanied working with B-26 bomber aircraft. He recounts how the enemy would also run wire in between mountains to take down planes which may have been how General Van Fleet's son was killed.
Back to Korea During the Vietnam War
Charles Hallgren describes being deployed to Japan in 1970 for the purpose of inspecting Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units in Korea. He explains that Korea had tactical nuclear weapons which had to be inspected in various base locations on the peninsula. He describes his impressions of seeing a modernized Korea in 1970.
The Destruction at the Battle of Kunu-Ri
Charles Rangel and other American troops were surrounded by the Chinese Army during the Battle of Kunu Ri in November of 1950. During this battle, more than 5,000 American soldiers were either killed, wounded, or taken as a POW. This battle was on the edge of the Chongchon River.
Inchon Landing and Movement Northward
Charles Ross describes his experience during the Inchon Landing. He recounts an order given to his unit to hold its ground at all costs and shares that it was one of the scariest moments he experienced while in South Korea. He describes traveling north, receiving little resistance along the way, and recalls North Korean soldiers surrendering as his unit crossed the 38th Parallel and made its way to Pyongyang.
Initial Attack at the Battle of Unsan
Charles Ross recounts being under the impression that the situation in Korea was under control and in the process of ending during the fall of 1950. He recalls his unit being sent north to help a unit which had run into some resistance and being attacked by the Chinese on the way. He describes an emotional scene once the attack had ended that left a lasting impression on him.
Chemical Attack at the Battle of Unsan
Charles Ross describes being trapped for three days following the attack at Unsan, near the Nammyon River. He recalls waiting for the 5th Calvary to come to the rescue and overhearing that it had met resistance and would not be able to help. He recounts a strange explosion and shares how a phosphorus chemical attack allowed him and other soldiers to make their escape.
Charles T. Gregg
Protection of the DMZ in the 1960's
Charles Gregg talks about his time in Korea as an Assistant Executive Officer for I Corps Artillery. He describes his job which was to help plot where the rounds would go. A typical day protecting the DMZ included training, cleaning, and patrolling day and night.
Chauncey E. Van Hatten
"Outgunned and Outflanked"
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the beginning of the Korean War. Stationed in Japan, he describes hearing the news of the North Korean invasion of South Korea and his unit's quick deployment to the war. He talks about being "outgunned and outflanked" by North Korean forces at Masan because of substandard equipment and supplies.
"The Fire Brigade"
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the 25th Infantry Regiment, known as "The Fire Brigade." He describes his regiments makeup and how the unit was used during the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter.
Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about the fighting at Masan, Seoul, and Pyongyang. He describes the enemy forces that his unit faced and being outflanked many times by North Koreans.
Fighting the Chinese at Pyongyang
Chauncey Van Hatten talks about fighting Chinese forces at Pyongyang. He describes eating Thanksgiving dinner before the difficult withdrawal south from Pyongyang. During the withdrawal, he says they often went for days without food and their vehicles ran out of gas.
Joining the Front Lines at the 38th Parallel
Chester Coker discusses joining the front lines when American troops took Seoul and crossed the 38th parallel. He recalls meeting severe resistance and his company losing twenty-five percent of its men, about fifty total, crossing the Imjingang River. He remembers one of his only thoughts at the time was survival. He recalls jumping into the river instead of crossing the bridge, without knowing how deep it actually was.
The Battle That Got Me
Chester Coker speaks about the battle which impacted him the most. He recalls how he and his unit were just north of Panmunjeom, close to the 38th parallel. He remembers a stalemate had been reached, and negotiations were stalled, and the Army was ordered to push north. He shares how the battle that followed was the most fierce he experienced, pushing the North Korean and Chinese soldiers back north. He recalls how they were able to push forward because many of the enemy troops were asleep. He describes how a grenade landed and blew up on top of him.
Chong Rae Sok
Inchon Landing and Osan
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Inchon Landing. His unit landed at Inchon on September 18, 1950 and fought their way to Suwon. One day later, he describes moving by foot to Osan and losing soldiers along the way, including a fellow KATUSA.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
The Hardest Part
Chuck Lusardi describes the hardest parts of his time in Korea revolved around seeing the great suffering of the civilian population. He recalls the worst living conditions for Koreans seemed to be near the Iron Triangle. He shares how much of his time was spent within sight and sound of the front lines, and he is proud he never hit a mine with his equipment and was never hit by a sniper. He remembers jeeps bringing out the severely wounded as tough times as well. He notes feeling totally helpless at times.
Clarence G. Atzenhoffer, Jr.
War Ready at Home
Clarence Atzenhoffer describes being trained and running drills for a homeland invasion in America during the Korean War. He recounts red alerts and being given guns with no bullets for practice purposes. He adds that while they knew the North Koreans did not have long range airplanes, the Russians were also a factor they had to worry about.
Poorly Prepared for War
Clarence Atzenhoffer describes his opinion on the Korean War and how unprepared he felt the United States was for the conflict. He expresses that American soldiers lacked training and were under-equipped. He describes flying to differing arsenals across the United States gathering weapons to send over to Korea.
Clarence J. Sperbeck
P.O.W. Capture: Right Into The Lion's Den
Clarence Sperbeck retails the story of being captured as a prisoner of war north of the Imjin River. He was sitting with a group of experienced "ol' timers", who told him that the Chinese were going to come around this valley, but Clarence Sperbeck told them there was no way it was going to happen. The soldiers heard the bugles blow (as a means of communicating with each other from afar) and mass firing ensues as they are given orders to pull back (which he never understood). General Ridgeway devised a trap within this valley to make the Chinese think that we were pulling back giving them the advantage, but when the Chinese made it to the center, General Ridgeway closed the gap which killed over 50,000 Chinese. However, when the original order was given, Clarence Sperbeck's platoon started to retreat and took the wrong turn. Turns out there were captured vehicles and they walked right into a group of Chinese soldiers.
Hey! Wait A Minute! That's Us!
On the date of Clarence Sperbeck's release, August 19, 1953, the first thing the US did was give him a physical examination. He said while he was there, he picked up the "Stars and Stripes" Newspaper, and saw the headlines read, "Chinese attempt to keep 400 POW's." Clarence Sperbeck said, "Hey they were talking about us!" He mentioned the Chinese kept over 800 prisoners, took them back to China, and used them for atomic experiments. There were others who refused repatriation and were not well liked by the men when they returned.
Jubiliation at Sea
Clayborne Lyles participated in the Navy's ocean search and rescue efforts when there were US pilots that were shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He felt jubilation to be part of 22 pilot rescue missions, but he was sad when none of these missions were discussed in the newspapers. One mission that made him laugh, but it was still serious event was when a pilot was shot down and he was shot in the butt. Clayborne Lyles remembered how the sailors would give each other grief to lighten the mood of war.
Joining the Navy, Basic Training, and Traveling to Show Power
Clayborne Lyles joined the Navy as a 17 year old in order to move away from poverty in Arkansas in 1947. After attending 11 weeks of basic training and Machinist Maintenance (engineer) training, he was sent way on the USS Toledo to travel to a variety of ports across the world to demonstrate the US Navy's strength during the Cold War. He spent all of his time on the ship maintaining boiler operations while working on steam turbines, generators, pumps, air conditioning and refrigeration.
The Start of the Korean War
Clayborne Lyles did not know much about Korea when the war broke out and he was located in the Pacific Ocean near the 38th parallel traveling around the Korean peninsula. He didn't have any fear about the war because he said that since he volunteered for the military, he could 't complain or worry. For the fellows who were drafted, he heard all about their complaints about the war while being stationed on the ship with the draftees.
Friend or Foe?
Clayborne Lyles was part of General Quarters, "All arms, man your battle stations." The USS Toledo didn't realize that the incoming planes were US planes, so everyone was told to get ready to fight in the middle of the night. Thankfully, sailors used the Identifying Friend or Foe (IFF) gear before any shots were fired from the USS Toledo.
Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir
Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.
Living Conditions as a POW
Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.
Radar Operator Description
Clifford Townsend details the duties of a radar operator. He comments on the challenges of using old equipment and shares that the radar team sat as close to the front lines as possible. He shares that his full color vision worked to his advantage as a radar operator.
"Up to the Hill"
Clyde Fruth describes the daily routine of an Army forward observer. He spent most of his time on the lookout, observing through binoculars at the enemy. He details the type of technology he used as well. He couldn't look too high because he didn't want to be hit by a sniper. He also describes his living conditions.
Snow and Supplies
Clyde Fruth talks about the most difficult times he had in Korea. He describes deep snows forcing traveling by foot to his mountain forward observer post. In this predicament, they had to carry all their food, supplies, water, and weapons that were heavy to carry in the cold.
Day by Day
Clyde Fruth talks about the dangers he faced as a forward observer from incoming artillery and snipers. He details about an enemy unit that was always prepared to attack them and would sneak up through the trenches. He describes always have to keep his eyes open for the enemy.
Colin C. Carley
Radio Operators in the Korean War
Colin Carley shares that he worked alongside an Australian brigade when he patrolled near Panmunjeom in late 1950 through early 1951. As a radio operator for his New Zealand Battery Brigade, he recalls being scared of all the tracer bullets that would whiz by him. He remembers how he would feel sick when battles began because he never knew if he would be able to return home again.
I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home
Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.
Colin J. Hallett
Ship Description and a Funny Story
Colin Hallett describes the HMNZS Kaniere. He describes the guns on the ship and overall living conditions. The HMNZS patrolled the West Sea and really did not encounter too many North Korean forces. He also provides a story of a mistake by the US Naval forces that could have ended in disaster.
Conditions of the Ship
Colin Hallett describes the living conditions on the ship. Crewman could not leave things around and would have to pay to retrieve possessions left out. He explains that crewmen were limited, worked during the day during one of the four watches and slept in hammocks.
Conrad R. Grimshaw
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.
Joining the National Guard and Duties
Conrad Grimshaw recounts joining the National Guard and the training that followed. He describes being in charge of 12 2.5 ton trucks and chaining the wheels due to mud issues in order to get up to the firing batteries. He recounts a switch out of trucks later on.
Facing Fear With Courage
Curtis Pilgrim recalls living in a constant state of fear while serving on the front lines, yet finding courage to stand firm. He remembers being in awe of the Chinese soldiers and their determination to survive and how the Chinese often used American weapons against them. He recalls feeling unprepared when it came time to pull the trigger, despite being trained for combat.
After 16 months of training, Dale Schlichting was sent to Florida to join Attack Squadron 35. The only propeller aircraft that was still being used in the Korean and Vietnam War was worked on by Dale and this made his so proud. He was supposed to be dismissed from the military two months early, but he wanted to stay with his squadron to travel the world. If was left behind with 13 of this squad mates because Squadron 35 wouldn't be back to their base by the time Dale Schlichting would have to leave.
Role of an Electronics Technician During Korean War
Dale Schlichting was an electronics technician during the Korean War with Attack Squadron 35. The AD (carried 22,000 pounds of supplies), Corsair, and P52 Army aircraft were his favorite planes to work on for the Army and Air Force. He had to crawl under the planes to work on and inside, and he loved it since it was very hot in the Florida heat on the tarmac.
Daniel Carvalho discusses his landing at Wonsan and subsequent retreat to Busan after being overrun by North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. He explains how the Chinese had sticks of bamboo. He shares how the LST was the mode of transport. LST stands for Landing ShipTank or tank landing ship.
Daniel Carvalho describes the spotlight on the water. He remembers having to use bamboo sticks to poke mines away from the LST. He discusses moving from Wonson to Buson.
Daniel J. Rickert
Becoming a Demolition Corporal
Daniel Rickert talks about the jobs he performed as a part of the 3rd Combat Engineering Battalion. Trained as an infantry soldier, he describes assuming his job as Demolition Corporal being given a manual. He set up removing explosives in landmines, etc.
Chinese Box Mines
Daniel Rickert talks about Chinese box mines. He describes what these mines looked like and how they operated. He also details how he went about his job to find and disarm them.
I'm a Squad Leader Now
Daniel Kawaiaea speaks of the challenges he faced as a squad leader who was provided with very little training to prepare him for commanding others. He discusses the mindset many felt in having to take a human life to save his own. He concludes with a brief account of being wounded in the jaw while serving in Korea.
Fighting on the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the mission of the USS Fletcher. He describes the destroyer's mission as an escort of other ships to Korea and it's mission once it arrived in Wonsan, as a decoy and recovery vessel.
Daily Life on the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about daily life on the USS Fletcher (DD-445). He describes the weapons systems and number of men on board. He also talks about food, living quarters, and the duty schedule.
Mission of the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the ongoing mission of the USS Fletcher during the ship's involvement in the Korean War. He describes drawing fire from enemy artillery and heading out to sea to rendezvous with naval ships that had greater artillery range.
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.
Directing Traffic at the Pass
Darrell McArdle describes the position of MP’s at the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir and their role as traffic control at the Funchillin Pass. Because the reservoir was blown apart, he explains the challenges of escorting units and the engineering of makeshift timber bridges for the trucks to cross areas. He recalls coming under fire during one escort through the pass and heading back down the pass to ensure that a 30-caliber machine gun did not fall in the hands of the enemy.
The Green Berets
David Carpenter participated in extreme exercises while in commando training. He recalls how if a trainee did not pass the test, he would be thrown out of the Marines. Training included cliff climbing, nine mile speed marches, a thirty mile trek with a seventy pound backpack, and crossing rivers on ropes. After surviving this training, they were awarded the Green Berets which signified that they had passed the All Arms Commando Course.
David Clark describes his travel to Norfolk Naval Base. He shares how the next day he was transferred to his ship, which was a Fletcher-class destroyer. He describes the U.S.S. McCord in detail.
Travel to Korea
David Clark discusses the route that he took to get to Korea via the U.S.S McCloud. He describes going through Pearl Harbor, Midway, and into Sasebo, Japan. He shares how he was immediately introduced into the war zone when they arrived in the East Asia Sea.
U.S.S McCloud and Military Occupation
David Clark shares details of the U.S.S McCord (DD-534). He describes the weapons available on the ship. He describes his job as a Quartermaster.
Koje-do Prison Camp Riots-1951
David Espinoza speaks about his participation in the combat operations within Koje-do Prison Camp. He recalls having to use flame throwers to help stop the riots incited by North Korean and Chinese prisoners. He remembers that he and the men he served with had to use hand grenades and bayonets to restore order in the camp.
On the Front Lines
David Espinoza recounts being attacked by North Korean and Chinese forces. He recalls carrying five-gallon cans of water on his back while digging trenches. He describes sustaining mortar and sniper fire by night during patrols. He recalls hearing the loud bugles sounded by Chinese soldiers during an enemy attack.
David H. Epstein
Drafted, Training, and Starting a Family
David H. Epstein recalls being drafted, going through basic training, and starting a family around the same time. He explains how he came to be in the United States Marine Corps, rather than the United States Army, although he was drafted. He describes his arrival in Korea, and the duties involved in being assigned to Command Post Security for Headquarters Company of the 1st Marine Division.
The Critical Role of the B-26 Missions
David Lehtonen recalls flying in B-26s as a radio operator. He shares a map of some mission routes and explains how the information gathered was critical for the planning of F-86 jet fighter strikes. He describes the mission that earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Images of Experiences
David Lehtonen shares images of his experiences during the war. He recounts when he switched duties and the individual who took his place was overtaken by guerillas. While continuing to look at images, he offers insight into how it felt being thrown around the back of the B28 airplane during missions. Using maps to identify different types of missions, he reflects on one dangerous mission close to Shanghai.
Two Close Calls
David Lehtonen recounts two missions that put him a little too close to enemy jets. While on a day mission, he remembers radar alerting the crew that three bogies were converging on their position. He describes the dramatic maneuvers the pilot made to avoid the bogies and then the surprise of enemy ground fire. He recalls another instance where the crew encountered an enemy jet that they were lucky enough to avoid.
The Korean War Draft, Training, and Landing
David Lewis was a longshoreman just like his father, but he was drafted in 1951. He took infantry training and left for Korea from California, but it took 18 days to get to Korea while sailing on the USS Black. There was a storm during his travel and many of the men threw up due to the pitching of the ship, but David Lewis didn't let that stop him from winning $1,800 from playing cards. At the end of June 1951, he arrived in Pusan and he thought the peace talks would end the war, but there was still more fighting to take place.
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.
Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles
David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.
Stacking Up Bodies
David White describes one of the jobs he and his men were assigned, clearing the battlefield of fallen soldiers from both sides. He had to get a body count of both sides. They also had to put out more barbed wire and traps as well.
Danger from Mortar Fire
David White talks about the frequent danger of enemy mortar fire. A lot of soldiers would get scared and try to run. However, they would get hit and it was better to lie low to the ground to avoid it.
A Close Call from an Enemy Mortar
David White tells a story about an incident when he and his sergeant's position was hit by a partially exploded enemy mortar shell. Both he and the his sergeant were not injured. In surprise, they laughed after the situation.
Kill or Be Killed
David White describes in detail a battle that began when the patrol he was leading came across a North Korean soldier. During the ensuing battle, both sides sustained heavy losses. He was wounded by an enemy mortar.
Special Forces: The Raiders
Delmer Davis talks about a special forces unit called the raiders which he was chosen to be a part of. He describes the selection process, training, and mission of this close combat unit of 100 men.
Dennis Grogan explains the circumstances of his apprenticeship in the Royal Air Force. He recalls having extensive training for three years to learn skills in various areas, such as welding and hydraulics. He shares the importance of his participation in sports throughout his training and describes a variety of locations his training took him to.
The Auster Aircraft
Dennis Grogan describes the mechanics and construction of the Auster aircraft. He explains that it was a very practical plane with no armored plating, and a metal frame that was covered with canvas. He shares how he was proficient in helping to start the aircraft, which involved switch off, throttle closed, brakes hard on. He explains the details of checking aircraft maintenance in the winter compared to what needed to be done in the summer.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War is Hell, Winter is Worse
Desmond Vinten describes spending twenty-seven days in an English military prison. His charge was "firing on the Queen's enemy without the Queen's permission." His sentence reflected the reality that sometimes shooting at the Chinese created more danger due to the Chinese soldiers' skill at firing mortars in retaliation. Besides the challenges of engaging the enemy, the heat, cold, and dust left him with the understanding that "war is hell, but winter is even worse."
Dick Lien recounts moving often while out in the field with his artillery unit. He describes defensive firing that his unit conducted while in the Marine Corps and explains that white phosphorus would be thrown into caves. He describes feeling guilty about it afterwards.
A Turk on a Mission and Losing Friends
Dick Lien describes meeting a Turkish soldier and shares that the soldier was dedicated to collecting an enemy's head every night. He recounts that the Turkish soldier would come back with the decapitated head and place it on a stake in front of his pup tent. He adds his thoughts on losing comrades while serving and states that the losses increased his anger.
Quartermaster on USS Herbert J. Thomas
Don Leaser describes his duties on the destroyer USS Herbert J. Thomas which was based out of Hawaii. He describes his responsibilities of signaling and sometimes steering the ship. He recalls the dangerous nature of his responsibilities.
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.
Donald C. Hay
Engaging North Korea
Donald C. Hay describes engaging the North Korean military. The Royal Marines would land ashore and engage the North Koreans. The New Zealand Navy would provide cover to Royal Marines. On one occasion the Royal Marines took two North Koreans prisoner. However, on another engagement, the marines lost a man. The HMNZS Rotoiti would get fairly close to the shore to provide support. On one occasion Donald Hay felt uncomfortably close to the enemy.
Action on the Han
Donald C. Hay describes his service aboard the HMNZS Rotoiti. The ship completed three missions up the Han River attacking enemy positions. He describes one occasion when an Australian ship patrolled further up the Han River. This ship was attacked and received substantial damage. On many occasions, Donald Hay would see dead bodies floating down river.
From Hitchhiker to Prisoner
Donald Campbell describes the events that led to his capture by the Chinese on November 2, 1950. He describes being attacked by a hand grenade. He shares how they fought back against the Chinese. He explains how he ended up in that area in the first place.
Donald Clayton discussed the Armistice. He discusses how the DMZ was still the site of skirmishes even after the Armistice was signed. He shares how the infantry was on an island between two bridges on the Imjingang River where there was continued action. He shares his concern about leaving gravel in the middle of the road.
Donald D. Johnson
No Idea What I'm Doing
Donald D. Johnson elaborates on his job responsibilities in Korea. He had no idea initially how to handle the artillery. He describes having to organize all the vehicles inside the LST, learning as the war continued. He describes becoming First Lieutenant Parrot's personal Jeep driver.
Donald Dempster shares how he was promoted to work for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in Washington D.C. He was part of a team that researched any inappropriate activities in the Air Force. He had extra training to receive this special position.
Donald Haller recalls never attending boot camp due to the short time between his signing up for the Reserves and his being drafted. He explains he was a great shooter, so he was assigned to the Navy ordinance as a gunner. He shares how he flew as a gunner in a bow turret located in the front of a seaplane. He remembers never feeling unsafe. He adds that before flying in Korea, he was stationed in the Philippines.
Donald L. Mason
Thoughts about Going to War
Donald Mason discusses his feelings about going to war as a twenty-one-year-old. He remembers feeling hesitant but not scared. Much of his unit was made up of experienced soldiers from World War II. He did know Korea was occupied by both China and Japan at points in history. In a way, he was excited about the new adventure. He talks about his time in Kobe, Japan.
Donald Lassere describes the moment he was shot and the events that followed. He tells of how he was transported to receive medical services. Just as he was being put to sleep, he recounts hearing a gunny sergeant with a severe leg wound begging to keep his leg only waking up to find out that he passed.
Donald Loudner talks about basic training Fort Carson, Colorado. He tells a story about earning the nickname "Tomahawk" because he could throw a grenade with such accuracy.
Injuries and Difficult Experiences
Donald Lynch talks about being injured twice. He recalls going on a patrol one day on Hill 812 and the lead man stepping on a "Bouncing Betty" release-type booby trap. He recounts how all eight to ten men were hit by pellets. He shares how a pellet hit his thigh and came out about 50 years later when he was messing with it. He notes another injury which entailed a bayonet. He recalls of his war experience occurring in the Punchbowl region, close to the 38th parallel. He references witnessing all of the wounded men leaving the frontlines when he first arrived as his most difficult experience in Korea. He also recalls assisting the sewing of wounds.
Duties and Living Conditions
Donald Lynch recalls the patrols he went on along the Kansas Line, a line back from the frontlines. He details how he would help refill supplies and bring back any North Korean defectors they came across. He recalls there being a kitchen at the medical outfit and eating hot meals every day. He remembers showering opportunities varying based on his location and shares how, at one point, shampoo saved his life.
Donald Peppard describes the exact moment the North Koreans ordered their vessel, the USS Pueblo, to follow them into port. He recalls being fired upon by the North Koreans. He shares that they could not fire back due to their two .50 caliber machine guns being exposed and frozen from the bitterly cold weather. He confirms that all eighty-three crew members, including himself, were taken as prisoners.
Donald R. Bennett
Enlisted at Fifteen, Sergeant before High School Graduation
Donald R. Bennett, who was part of the US Marine Reserve Regiment in San Diego during the majority of his high school years, recalls the early days of his service from receiving his tank in San Diego to seeing the tank loaded for transport to Japan. He notes that the tank he received was like nothing they had ever trained on. He shares that as a young eighteen-year-old high school graduate, he was put in charge of four other men, most older than he was, who had little to no training in operating tanks. He continues sharing the process of preparing his tank once they arrived in Kobe, Japan.
Moving to the 38th Parallel and Back to Incheon
Donald R. Bennett recalls his unit moved from Seoul to the Han River shortly after his arrival and fought its way to the 38th Parallel. He details their movements toward the 38th Parallel and their return to Incheon and eventually Wonsan Harbor. He notes Bob Hope actually beat his unit into Wonsan because of the delay they faced in landing due to someone, possibly the Russians, mining much of the harbor. He discusses the challenges of being a young tank commander in charge of four other men who had relatively little knowledge or training related to tanks.
Approaching Chosin Reservoir
Donald Bennett recounts moving to the base of the mountain at Chosin (Jangjin). He shares how the tanks were unable to make it up the roads which were too narrow until the engineers fixed the roads in spots. He recalls being awakened early on November 28th and being told the Chinese were attacking everywhere and that they needed to move out. He explains encountering other service members who had encountered Chinese. He finishes this segment by discussing his arrival at Kor'to-ri.
We Were in Big Trouble
Donald Bennett begins this portion of his account of the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir with his unit's departure to headquarters. Along the way, he remembers seeing burning trucks and witnessing American and Chinese units shooting at each other. He recalls their encounter with the Chinese who eventually knocked the track off of the first tank and then shortly thereafter surrounded the American trucks and tanks, including his. He details the night being very cold and dark. His tank was hit by something, which he later would discover was an anti-tank weapon that knocked off his 50-caliber machine gun. He shares the damage that was done to his tank and the destruction of another tank.
Last One Up the Mountain, Last One Down
Donald Bennett recounts living conditions while they were in the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He shares a detailed account of a close encounter between the Chinese and his tank. He recalls the challenge of driving the tanks back down the mountain after the snow had been packed down into the ice. He remembers that his tank was the last tank down. He shares how those that remained in his unit were taken by boat back to Busan and were reformed at an airstrip where they conducted foot patrols before fighting their way up the center of Korea across the 38th Parallel in support of the 1st Marine Regiment.
Donald Schneider (Part 1/2)
Memories of time in a MASH hospital
Donald Schneider received a leg wound when he was hit by a mortar round, and in this clip he explains his experiences in a MASH hospital. He recalls the stretchers of men that were waiting out in the open for the operating table. He states that it was "terrible" and that he felt "foolish" because his wound was nothing compared to others.
Donald Schneider (Part 2/2)
Experiences at Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge
Donald Schneider was a participant in several battles while stationed in Korea, including Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge. He provides a firsthand account of what it was like in these two areas, including how hard it was to take them. He explains why they gave Heartbreak Ridge back to the Chinese.
A Close Call
Donald H. Schwoch stayed busy maintaining generators. In one instance, an I Corps general took him with the First Marines to the front lines. During a stop, he left his truck during a smoke break. Fortunately, he remembered his M2, for as he rounded the front of the truck he encountered a young Korean wearing a vest with hand grenades.
Donald St. Louis
Mortar Shrapnel Wounds
Donald St. Louis elaborates on his wound from mortar shrapnel while stationed in Korea. He recounts he was in Korea for a majority of the war while healing in the military hospital. He mentions how he is unaware of how prosperous Korea has become.
Mobile Topography Units
During the Korean War, the US military had mobile TOPO (an acronym like M.A.S.H) units in trucks that were like a caravan vehicle. They included cameras, printing presses, plate making, survey and drafting equipment, as well as ink and paper just behind the lines because that's where the information was coming from. All these tools were needed to create the maps at any time and diligence was crucial. He is very proud of the work he did and in his mapping instruction.
Process of Making the Maps for the Soldiers
Don Stemper explains in detail the process of how the US military photograph images from both sides of the plane. Using stereo-projectors and drafting tables with special magnifying eye wear, mappers drew the contour of hills so troops knew the exact height of each hill directly from a flat photograph. The details were then added to the map and copied onto plastic with specific colors to identify certain landmarks.
Learning About the Armistice
Donald Urich shares he was in Korea when he heard about the Armistice. He recalls being relieved and thinking it was good because there would be no more fighting or killing. He adds nobody must have told the North Koreans about the Armistice because they were sending shells over the DMZ when he went up there with a supply truck.
Working with Foreign Troops
Donald Urich recounts his unit taking care of vehicles belonging to the Ethiopians, the Greeks, and the Turks. He remembers these foreign fighters as staunch in their religion and as ferocious fighters. He notes that the Ethiopians in particular were tall and muscular and nearly impossible to see at night until they were right upon you.
Stationed Aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
Donald Westfall shares that he completed his basic training in Bainbridge, MD, before reporting to Norfolk, VA where he was assigned to the USS Wisconsin. He notes that the USS Wisconsin was a battleship that measured 886 feet long and 108 feet across. It was equipped with nine sixteen-inch guns, twenty five-inch guns, and forty millimeter guns. He joined the crew as one of the boiler tenders who maintained the boilers, watched water levels in the boilers, and kept the fire room clean.
No Real Difficulties--Nothing at All
Donald Westfall recalls no difficulties during his time on the USS Wisconsin. He reflects on greatly enjoying both his job and visiting the countries he could along the way. He describes the hardest part being that the boiler rooms would get very hot, especially when they were running all eight boilers on the ship with the outside ventilation cut off.
Doris B. Porpiglia
The Women Just Sat There and Wouldn't Shoot
During her time in basic training, the women GIs were given the opportunity to practice shooting weapons. They were actually given a choice in the event that at any given time they were told they had to shoot their weapon, they should be ready. Doris Porpiglia said she wanted to be prepared, but most women just sat there and didn't attempt to try shooting at all, but Doris Porpiglia didn't understand their reasoning.
First experience with death
Doug Mitchell recalls a night where it was difficult to see, especially since there wasn't any light and the sites had glass installed in them which made it very hard to see through. While on duty as a machine gunner, he noticed a tank that was coming around a turn and they halted to tell them who it was or they'd shoot. It turned out that it was a lieutenant that walked up to present himself before they moved the tank any further. As they were standing on the deck, Doug Mitchell heard a mortar going off and he was able to get to safety, but the lieutenant was blown apart.
3 Dreadful Components of the Korean War
Doug Mitchell described 3 things that he hated about war: Patrol at night, crawling on the front line to knock out machine guns, and dreaming about the stress soldiers felt. He said it was scary when the guys behind you were firing at a machine gun while you were told to crawl close enough to throw a grenade at the machine gun while hoping a riflemen wasn't there to shoot you. Bayonets were another dreadful memory from the Korean War and Doug Mitchell said that no one needs to go through fighting against bayonets.
Rice Paddy Ambush
Douglas Koch describes being shot after the recapture of Seoul. He explains that he was ordered to establish an outpost on the other side of a rice paddy with his squad. As he led his men across the paddy, a North Korean machine gunner shot him multiple times in the leg and hip. He recalls ordering his squad to leave him in the field until help arrived.
Doyle W. Dykes
Doyle W. Dykes reminisces on a time he wrote his family asking for a new pair of gloves to endure the extreme cold. Upon receiving them that day, he had to bury over two hundred and seventy Chinese soldiers who died after a napalm attack. He shares that his gloves were immediately ruined and that he buried them with the soldiers.
Landing at Inchon and Fighting to Seoul
Duane Trowbridge describes nearly non-stop activity after arriving at Inchon. He explains, in detail, coming under mortar attack on the way to Seoul and receiving shrapnel in his knee. He explains how his injury sidelined him for a little while but shares he was soon back in the line of fire. He explains the struggle of a fellow soldier who got trapped in a foxhole and how a friend, Bill, lost his eyesight due to a mortar attack. He shares how he received his Purple Heart.
Duane Trowbridge discusses how when he was stationed in Hamheung, he would play a trick on his fellow soldiers. He describes how he would remove the powder from grenades and then pretend to ignite them by pulling the pin. He explains how fellow soldiers would run, but the grenade would not detonate. He describes how he found it humorous but others did not.
Duties and Experiences out in the Field
Dwight Owen discusses leaving Wolmido and heading to North Korea, specifically Wonsan. He remembers crossing the Han River and being assigned to ridding the area of old dynamite due to leaking glycerin. He recounts running out of provisions, especially food, and living on rice for awhile from which he developed dysentery. He offers a description of the Wonsan he saw at the time.
Dwight Owen discusses writing letters home to his girlfriend whom he married when he arrived home in August of 1951. He adds that his wife will not share the letters with anyone. He also speaks of his mother and how she must have been worried as not one but three of her sons were in the war at the same time.
Earl A. House
Stopping Communism and the Most Difficult Moment in the War
Earl House describes why he felt the U.S. intervened in Korea and believes it was to stop the spread of Communism. He recalls one of the most difficult times was when there was an accidental discharge of an allied weapon in the trenches. He remembers being physically and mentally distraught and being moved to a jeep patrol to drive officials up to the front lines.
Living Conditions on a Troop Ship and at the Front Lines
Earl House recalls how he was excited to join the Korean War and shares he was even more excited to leave Korea. He remembers enjoying ice cream, milkshakes, pie, and sweets on the ship home after the war. He comments on how these conditions were much better than the living conditions in Korea which included sleeping in a tent.
Basic Training Experience
Ed Donahue recalls his experience at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He remembers how his life changed as soon as he arrived. He describes being awakened the first night at three in the morning because someone spilled something on the floor. He recounts how he and all of the other new recruits were required to scrub the floor with a toothbrush. He shares how he only spent eight weeks there due to a growing need for troops in Korea. He recalls attending advanced rifle training at Camp Pendleton in California before being sent to Kobe, Japan, and then on to Pusan, Korea, in October of 1950.
The Chosin Few at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls arriving in Yudamni on Thanksgiving, November 23, 1950. He remembers not minding that their holiday meal was ice cold as their sights were set on being home for Christmas. He recalls being assigned to forward observation and recounts the difficulties of digging in as the ground was frozen. He remembers singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" while at his post until the Chinese attacked.
On the Frontlines at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls being woken up by the sound of bugles early in the morning on November 28, 1950. He describes how the Chinese soldiers were attempting to take over the area, and he remembers being told by his officers to just keep shooting. He shares how this lasted until dawn for multiple nights. He recalls how once the sun went down, the enemy fire started again. He remembers the troops kept coming and coming, at a ratio of at least ten Chinese to every one American. He remembers losing many of his comrades. He comments on how cold it was and adds that they were forced to urinate on their guns to keep the firing mechanisms from freezing.
Making it to Japan and Korea
Ed O'Toole recalls arriving in Kobe, Japan, before heading to Korea. From there, he remembers flying into Seoul, Korea, in May of 1953. He shares how, after arriving, he hopped on a truck and was taken to Yeongdeungpo. He includes he was part to the helicopter unit, HMR 161, and worked with supplies.
Eddie Reyes Piña
A Change to Trench and Outpost Warfare
Eddie Reyes Piña recalls receiving training with heavy mortars in Hokkaido, Japan, and moving to Incheon and then on to the area of Pork Chop Hill. He notes that by the time he arrived, fighting had transitioned to more trench and outpost warfare. He offers insight into the differences between outposts and listening posts.
Captured by Chinese
Edmund Reel explains the circumstances that led to his capture and imprisonment for thirty-four months. He recalls there being roughly five thousand enemy soldiers advancing towards him. He shares that he had no choice but to surrender.
Edmund W. Parkinson
Wounded on the Battlefield
Edmund Parkinson describes his role as a forward observer in the 161st Battery Regiment. He details providing targets and fire orders and acknowledges that he was often in dangerous positions on the front lines. He recounts the incident where a mortar landed near him which wounded both of his legs and being transported to Japan where his left leg was amputated below the knee.
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro
First Bayonet Fight / Primera Batalla de Bayoneta
Eduardo Arguello Montenegro recounts one of the most fearful nights in Korea. Lieutenant Vasquez never allowed his soldiers to use sleeping bags, but because soldiers were tired and cold, many of them disregarded this order. One night, North Koreans infiltrated a Colombian platoon and killed twenty soldiers while they slept. Two Colombian platoons surrounded those North Korans and were forced to draw their bayonets to fight them. It was his first bayonet offensive, and he was amazed at the fear that the bayonets evoked in the North Koreans. Through their actions, they were able to save fifty percent of the platoon that was attacked.
Eduardo Argüello Montenegro relata una de las noches más temibles que paso en Corea. El teniente Vásquez nunca permitió que sus soldados usaran sacos de dormir, pero como los soldados estaban cansados y tenían mucho frío, desobedecieron la orden. Una noche, los norcoreanos infiltraron un pelotón colombiano mientras dormían y mataron a veinte soldados. Dos pelotones colombianos rodearon al enemigo y usaron sus bayonetas para combatirlos. Fue su primera ofensiva de bayoneta y él estaba asombrado al miedo que las bayonetas provocaban en los norcoreanos. A través de sus acciones, pudieron salvar el cincuenta por ciento del pelotón que fue atacado.
Edward A. Gallant
First Weapons Monitory System
Edward Gallant was assigned as a weapons monitoring repairman on a MSQ 28 System (Fort Bliss, TX). This 40 foot computer could provide 6000 miles of microwave radar which was 2 times the distance of the United States. Edward Gallant said they could see all the way to Russia. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Edward Gallant said that the Russians who had pulled their weapons out of Cuba, gave the WMD to China, and the Chinese sold it to North Korea which is why they have access to the materials they claim they have. They gave 3 of these Weapons Systems to Germany, 2 Korea, and Edward Gallant operated one that sent over 256 missiles towards their target (mission led by Howard Hughes).
Camp Howard (near Osan) during the Cold War
Edward Gallant is a Korean War defense veteran because he protected South Korea starting in 1966. During his time in Korea, he was stationed at Camp Howard near Osan to work on the monitoring system for missiles that could reach across many countries. This 40 foot computer was watched over constantly just in case it needed to be used during the Cold War against communists.
Edward A. Walker
Shipwrecks and Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced a rushed basic training so that his regiment could quickly join troops fighting in Korea in 1951. His transport ship struck a reef on the way to Korea which required rescuing seven hundred soldiers by an oil tanker. Upon arrival in Korea, his duties involved transporting troops to a variety of military stations. He also used parts from an abandoned US Jeep to create a generator for their unit.
Truckin': The Relative Freedom of Army Truck Drivers
Edward Walker experienced relative freedom as an Army transport truck driver. On one trip, his truck separated from the convoy to take a shortcut recently built by the Americans. Another memory involves the excitement of transporting rowdy Welsh soldiers to the front lines at night.
Edward C. Sheffield
Surrounded by the North Koreans
Edward Sheffield describes the events leading to his capture by the North Koreans. He recalls receiving incoming fire and being surrounded roughly fifty miles outside of Seoul. He comments on the poor treatment he endured as a POW.
Bayonets and Belts
Edward Sheffield describes the physical treatment he endured from his North Korean captors. He shares that he was stabbed with a bayonet as well as kicked when he was first taken prisoner. He recalls thinking they might kill him due to possessing a belt he had taken as a souvenir.
Introduction to the Tiger
Edward Sheffield identifies one of the camps where he was held prisoner for the first year and a half as Camp Seven. He describes meeting the "Tiger", the enemy police force commanding officer who later began the forced death march he would survive. He recalls the "Tiger" ordering the murder of all men in the sick bay prior to the march.
The Death March
Edward Sheffield shares memories of the death march he and fellow POWs experienced. He describes the machine guns set up to potentially kill him and the turn of events following the pleas made by missionaries within the group. He recalls the punishment for being the last man in line during the death march.
Edward F. Foley, Sr.
Edward Foley recalls his worst memory while serving in Korea. He details an accident which took place on base involving an airplane explosion on the runway. He shares how he witnessed firefighters inspecting smoke at the tail of an airplane suffered the brunt of the explosion.
Edward F. Grala
The Korean War and Alaska
Ed Grala talks about the importance of the Korean war and his job helping maintain radar sites to protect the US during the Cold War. He tells a story of when his aircraft strayed into Russian airspace.
Edward Mastronardi's Arrival at Pusan
Edward Mastronardi recalled the heavy pollution, dark clouds, and high noise level upon his arrival at Pusan. Young boys were at the dock being mistreated by their boss as their ship was unloading close to nightfall. They would later move to northeast of Pusan and would anchor next to a burial ground believed to be full of prisoners.
We Were Alone and the Chinese Were Everywhere
Edward Mastronardi described the scene at hill 464 and 467 as two humps on a camel. They lacked communication due to the terrain (mountains), no air support, and overcast caused artillery to shoot without knowing directly what it was going to hit since the visibility was so bad. Edward Mastronardi brought Colonel up to witness several hundred Chinese only yards away, so the Colonel wanted to take out his 9 mm to attack the several hundred Chinese himself! They decided that attempting to attack the Chinese was too much, but they did it anyway and didn't succeed in taking Hill 464.
The Enemy Was Wearing Panchos
Edward Mastronardi described how the Chinese stole ponchos worn by the Americans and they found an American machine gun that they were planning to use in order to fire on the Royal Canadian Regiment. Edward Mastronardi also described a machine gunner named Jack Sergeant who single handedly held off the Chinese. Snipers within in his company took down 5 Chinese in a row trying to take over the enemy who were taking the machine guns and they were awarded for their efforts.
It Was About the Civilians...
Witnessing the conditions of the civilians firsthand, Edward Mastronardi was sympathetically moved by the Korean people. As the Americans advanced with tanks, guns, etc. through the Porchon Valley, they shot up everything. Knowing the Chinese did too, Edward Mastronardi witnessed so much destruction left behind. He told of a story about the Korean people dressed in white due to a funeral, and he noticed a woman lay, dying, and trying to still breast feed a dead baby. Edward Mastronardi was angry about the reckless killing of all people. It showed truly first hand what effect the war had on the Korean people.
"Let's Go You Bastards, You Can't Live Forever!"
Within 100+ yards of their objective to attack the Chinese at Hilltop 187 near Samich'on River, Edward Mastronardi described how close the shells were from the tops of their heads, but it didn't stop their advancements since the shrapnel flew forward not putting them in any immediate danger. Edward Mastronardi held his 9 mm gun in his hand and waived it in the air shouting to his men, "Let's go you bastards, you can't live forever!" Bravely charging ahead, breaking the Chinese hold without losing a single man, Edward Mastronardi fought the Chinese at Hill 187.
"Canada boy, tonight you die!"
Before the Battle of Song-gok Spur, a Chinese Company Commander walked straight up to the front line and leaned over and said, "Canada boy, tonight you die!" To which Edward Mastronardi replied, "Come and get us you SOB!" which was documented in the Canadian documentary 28 Heroes. They located the company Commander in Beijing after the war to interview about this event. The battle resulted in only 6 Canadian deaths.
Reduced Forces Build Enemy Confidence
Edward Parmenter shares his views on why the Korean War began. He attributes the United States' focus on reducing military forces at the time to the start of the war. He claims that reduced forces in the region gave the Communists confidence which led to the first attack, and he comments on President Truman's reluctance to allow General MacArther to bomb bases in Manchuria to prevent escalation.
Arriving in Pusan and Protecting the Pusan Perimeter
Edward Redmond sailed into Pusan on the Unicorn and was greeted by an all-African American regiment band playing music. After a dirty, 12 hour train ride, he and his troops had to dig in near the Nakdong River. When help was needed to protect the Pusan perimeter, Edward Redmond traveled into the Pesos To Mountains where he fought the North Koreans.
The Battle at Pyongyang
During the Battle at Pyongyang, Edward Redmond, his battalion had their first casualties. Everyone became very determined to fight. He believed that the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and the Americans were not well-trained.
Retreat from the Yalu River
Edward Redmond was surrounded by evacuating Korean refugees. They were leaving behind burned houses and their land. After fighting the North Koreans back to the Yalu River, Edward Redmond held their spot until the Americans started to retreat which surprised the British Army.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Dropping the Bridge in Chosin Reservoir
Edward Rowny reveals that he is the Corps Engineer who designed and later famously dropped the bridge from the air into the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. This was one of the most important parts of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir Battle. He shares how the Chinese were firing at them while they were building it. He recounts how this project was successful in stopping the Chinese long enough to evacuate the troops, without which there would have been tremendous casualties.
Edwin Durán González
A Difficult Night / Una Noche Peligrosa
Edwin Durán González describes an attack in which North Korean and Chinese troops advanced on their trenches. He and another soldier did not hear the command to retreat from their observation post and were forced to hide while they heard footsteps above them. He recounts the fear he felt that night.
Edwin Durán González describe un ataque en el que las tropas norcoreanas y chinas avanzaron sobre sus trincheras. Él y otro soldado no oyeron la orden de retirarse de su puesto de observación y se vieron obligados a esconderse. Ellos oían los pasos del enemigo por encima de ellos. Cuenta del miedo que sintió esa noche.
Unexpected Reunion / Reunión Inesperada
Edwin Durán González explains that although both he and his brother were in the army at the same time, they were not allowed to be deployed together and thus flipped a coin to decide who would be sent to war. He further explains how Puerto Ricans were subdivided into different companies once they arrived. He adds that it was through sheer luck that he found his bother three months later as he too was eventually deployed to Korea.
Edwin Durán González explica que, aunque tanto él como su hermano estaban en el ejército al mismo tiempo, no se les permitió desplegarse juntos y así tiraron una moneda al aire para decidir quién sería enviado a la guerra. Él explica cómo los puertorriqueños fueron asignados a diferentes compañías una vez que llegaron a Corea. Termina contando que fue por pura suerte que se encontró a su hermano tres meses después, ya que finalmente él también fue enviado a Corea.
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Edwin Durán González details his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival in the winter of 1951. He was most shocked by the cold he encountered. Furthermore, he explains that he could not understand how a country could divide itself in the way Korea did. He still remembers the fear he felt upon arriving and the relief that followed periods of rest and relaxation.
Edwin Durán González relata detalles sobre sus primeras impresiones de Corea a su llegada en el invierno de 1951. Lo que más le impactó fue el frío que encontró. Además, explica que no podía entender cómo un país podía dividirse en dos como lo hizo Corea. Todavía recuerda el miedo que sintió al llegar y el alivio durante los períodos de descanso y relajación.
Edwin R. Hanson
Incheon Landing, September 15, 1950
Edwin Hanson's boat was supposed to land around 5:00 PM as the 3rd wave, Boat 5, on Blue Beach at high tide, but they lost one of the tracks off of the LST which resulted in them encircling the area before they could land. He recalls approaching shore in an Amtrack and slogged their way through mud in his last remaining clean pair of Dungarees. Once they made it to shore down the road, they climbed a hill and 3 Soviet T-34 tanks coming right towards them. He remembers US forces hit the gas tanks located in the back of the tank, watching them blow up right in front of him.
Experiences During the Wonsan Landing
After the Seoul recapture, the men were now at the Wonsan Landing where they were sent to secure a pass that North Koreans were using to get away. The North Koreans had barricaded the road and began to open fire on US troops. Edwin Hanson described how over 93 North Koreans were killed and 7 US troops were killed including Sergeant Beard from his regiment.
You're the Guy that Saved My Life
Edwin Hanson recalls his first encounter with Chinese at Kor-'o-ri. Edwin Hanson threw 4 grenades and 2 went off, so the following morning he went down and picked up the 2 that didn't go off and threw the remaining grenades at their front lines. Ralph Alfonso Gastelum vividly details the chaos breaking out one evening while he was eating as the Chinese moved near his tent. He remembers grenades going off and it proves to be decades later that he finds out the Hanson saved his life.
First Shots at the Chinese at Chosin Reservoir
Edwin Hansen describes an occasion when a Chinese soldier played dead near an American campfire. He recollects US troops were heating C-rations by the campfire when noticed about 15-20 yards away, the enemy had lifted up off the frozen ground and began firing upon the US servicemen. Hanson shot and killed the Chinese soldier attacking his regiment. He and Ralph Gastelum recall the immediate impact of killing the enemy and its long-term effects.
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.
Elbert H. Collins
Injured in the Line of Duty
Along the front lines at the Nakdong Perimeter, North Koreans were charging the Americans and came as close as 20 yards away. Elbert Collins was actually shot with a ricochet bullet in his bottom. He explains what it was like on the front lines.
Preparation for Joining the Greek Army
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis didn't know anything about the Korean War when it began. He was a a civil servant that took care of the military horses. His specialty was to transfer food and ammunition on mules during the Korean War.
Scars From the Korean War
Eleftherios Tsikandilakis suffered many injures during the Korean War. A grenade went off right by his face and he experienced pain and scaring to his right cheek. A military artillery shell blew up right by him and he almost lost his right leg and arm.
Ellis Ezra Allen
Landing in the Pusan Perimeter
Ellis Ezra Allen shares his first impressions of Korea upon arriving. He recalls landing in the Pusan Perimeter in August of 1950 and remembers enemy fire beginning shortly after arrival. He describes being in charge of all wheeled vehicles and supplying men with ammunition.
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.
Epifanio Rodriguez Nunez
Tense Moments / Momentos Tensos
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez describes a difficult moment during the war in which he and his captain were attacked by the enemy. He recounts that they were ambushed from behind thereby pinning them to their location. He recalls how they were supported by American airplanes but were forced to jump from their jeep and landed in a septic hole.
Epifanio Rodríguez Núñez describe un momento difícil durante la guerra en la cual él y su capitán fueron atacados por el enemigo. Él cuenta que fueron atacados por atrás, fijándolos así en su ubicación. Fueron apoyados por aviones estadounidenses, pero se vieron obligados a saltar de su jeep y cayeron en un pozo séptico.
Ernest J. Berry
"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.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Esipión Abril Rodríguez discusses the most difficult moments of the war and the fear he felt during dangerous missions. He details the Battle of the El Chamizo Hill in which they were under fire for over twenty-four hours and slowly advanced to reconquer the hill from Chinese troops. Furthermore, he remembers the dangers he faced during night patrols and advanced observation missions.
Esipión Abril Rodríguez discute los momentos más difíciles de la guerra y el miedo que sintió durante las misiones más peligrosas. Detalla la Batalla del Cerro El Chamizo en la que estuvieron bajo fuego durante más de veinticuatro horas y eventualmente avanzaron para reconquistar el cerro de las tropas chinas. Además, recuerda los peligros que enfrentó durante las patrullas nocturnas y las misiones de observación avanzada.
Ethel Julia Archibald
Incident During Rest and Relaxation Leave
Ethel Archibald recalls a memorable experience while taking leave with a colleague. She shares they were intercepted by Japanese soldiers who kept them under guard at a hotel for almost the entire week of their leave. She details how the soldiers finally realized they were approved to be in that location and let them go. She speaks of her fear during that situation.
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.
Home, Food, and Weather
Eugene Dixon describes how he communicated with his family through letter writing during the Korean War. He details experiences in eating combat rations, and recalls the difficulty in accessing food in extreme cold weather conditions. He recounts the impact of low temperatures on the functioning of weapons and communications devices. He describes the precautions he took to prevent having frost-bite during the war.
Shot Down in a RB-29 Over North Korea
Eugene "Gene" Evers describes being shot down. He explains flying over North Korea during his reconnaissance mission. He describes the Russian MiG that ultimately took him out of the sky.
The Purpose of the Password
Eugene Gregory describes serving in artillery which placed him in an artillery fire support position off of the front lines where the combat was occurring. He recounts his duty of traveling between artillery bases to provide communication and to pass along the daily changing password. He shares that the purpose of the password was to ensure that those on guard duty knew who was a friendly and who may not be.
The Biggest Threat Support Faced
Eugene Gregory describes the dangers faced by artillery support and how they differ from the front lines of the battlefield. He shares that the biggest threats were not from rifle fire but from martyrs and artillery and recounts having to jump into foxholes often to take cover. He recalls the North Koreans and Chinese being very skillful in artillery weaponry and attributes their skill to their recognition of possessing limited ammunition resources.
Ezra Franklin Williams
The Battle of Bunker Hill
Ezra Frank Williams worked as an 81mm Mortar Forward Observer in the Battle of Bunker Hill. While conducting a patrol, he was wounded in his left knee. This event was the most memorable of his time in Korea.
All Marines Were Headed to Korea
Ezra Frank Williams stated that he should have put his duty station as Korea because that's where the US military was sending all their Marines. Everyone laughed at him when he asked where the enemy was while in basic training in 1951. They told him that he'll really get a good look at them while he's in Korea.
Felix Miscalichi Centeno
Most Impactful Moments / Momentos Más Impactantes
Félix Miscalichi Centeno shares the moments which were most difficult during the war. He explains that while fighting in the North, he ran out of ammunition and felt unprepared for the weather. Moreover, he explains the importance of his job finding sounds from the enemy.
Félix Miscalichi Centeno comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Explica que mientras luchaba en el norte, se quedó sin municiones y no tenía la ropa necesaria para el clima. Además, explica la importancia de su trabajo encontrando sonidos del enemigo.
Fermín Miranda Valle
The Battle of Pork Chop Hill / La Batalla de Pork Chop Hill
Fermín Miranda Valle was assigned to an American unit, as opposed to the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry, and fought during the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He explains that his mission was to move artillery to the top of the hill in a tank. He provides a compelling narrative of the battle and the dangers he faced.
Fermín Miranda Valle fue asignado a una unidad estadounidense, porque habían desbandado la Infantería 65 que era puertorriqueña, y luchó durante la Batalla de Pork Chop Hill. Explica que su misión era llevar la artillería a la cima de la colina en un tanque. El provee la historia de la batalla y de los peligros que enfrentó.
As a seventeen year old boy, Fidel Diaz says that he really didn’t have any other experiences to draw upon and was really unsure of what he was doing. He describes what happened as the unit headed down to Taegu. He shares a story of what happened to a woman that was pushing a wagon.
Forrest D. Claussen
Sleeping Near Artillery Fire Zones
Forrest Claussen describes arriving in Korea and not having sleeping quarters established yet. He explains how his group was sent to sleep inside a makeshift tent with artillery rounds and recalls artillery fire throughout the night. He adds that his group was later moved to other sleeping quarters.
Forrest Claussen shares his thoughts on the life lessons he learned from his military service. He centers his focus on questioning authority and standing up for one's self as he recalls two particular situations which rendered personal loss and physical harm. He also cautions against trusting all one is told.
Francis John Ezzo
Just Doing My Job
Francis Ezzo explains that he does not remember specific hills or battles because he was just doing his job. He describes being outnumbered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the Chinese were not well equipped as some did not have rifles or shoes.
Francisco Caicedo Montua
Difficult Moments during War - Momentos difíciles durante la guerra
Francisco Caicedo Montua describes the first battle he encountered and the trench warfare in which his battalion supported American troops. He remembers patrolling the hills and thinking about how little experience he and his fellow Colombian soldiers had prior to arriving in the north. In order to engage the enemy into battle, they had to cross a narrow ridge as there were landmines surrounding the area and dead Chinese soldiers on the barbed wire. He describes the mortar attacks which were near his platoon they endured and the heroism of his fellow soldiers as they endured a day long battle. He recalls one of his soldiers, while bleeding heavily, asking the rest of his company to leave, but they refused.
Francisco Caicedo Montua describe la primera batalla que enfrentó y la guerra de trincheras en la que su batallón apoyó a las tropas estadounidenses. Recuerda que tenían que patrullar los cerros y en esos momentos Francisco pensaba en la poca experiencia que él y sus compañeros colombianos tenían antes de llegar al norte. Para enfrentar al enemigo en la batalla, tuvieron que cruzar una cresta en la cual habían minas por toda la área y soldados chinos muertos en el alambre de púas. Describe los ataques de mortero que cayeron cerca de su pelotón y el heroísmo de sus compañeros mientras pelearon una batalla que duró un día. Uno de sus soldados, mientras sangraba mucho, le pidió al resto de su compañía que se fueran, pero ellos no estaban dispuestos a dejarlo solo.
Trench Warfare and Faith - Guerra de trincheras y la Fe de los Soldados
Francisco Caicedo Montua describes the stories that war writes for each individual soldier. He describes how he survived machine gun fire and mortar attacks by Chinese troops during a fierce battle. He offers a first hand account of a battle in which a Chinese bunker was taken over after intense fighting in which his platoon advanced into enemy lines. He credits this victory, and the fact that none of his men died in the conflict, to the Virgin Mary. The portrait that he carried to battle hangs over his bed to this day.
Francisco Caicedo Montua habla de las historias que la guerra escribe para cada soldado. Durante una feroz batalla, describe cómo sobrevivió al fuego de una ametralladora y a los ataques de mortero de las tropas chinas. Él ofrece un relato de primera mano de una batalla en la que un búnker chino fue tomado después de intensos combates en los que su pelotón avanzó hacia la posición de los enemigos. Él atribuye esta victoria y el hecho de que ninguno de sus hombres murieron en la batalla a la Virgen María. El retrato que él llevó a la guerra todavía cuelga sobre su cama hasta el día de hoy.
Life on the Carrier
Frank Bewley explains what it was like on the carrier while preparing for Korea. He remembers the items, including food and weapons that were loaded. He also explains how they had to travel with the wind for support, clean the windows, and run routine pre-flight checks.
Frank E. Butler
Enlisted at Age Fifteen
Frank E. Butler enlisted in the New Zealand Navy in 1951. He completed basic training in Auckland before sailing to Korea aboard the HMNZS Kaniere. At fifteen, he was the youngest New Zealand soldier to go to Korea. He traveled to Pusan, Seoul, and North Korea. He describes being under constant attack by North Koreans.
Patrolling the Korean Sea After the Armistice
Frank E. Butler learned that the war was over in 1953. He and his shipmates were assigned to patrol the border to prevent North Koreans from moving weaponry. At one point, gunners shot a ship filled with fruits and vegetables, but he asserts that most were transporting guns.
Frank E. Cohee Jr.
Most difficult time in Korean War
When asked about the most difficult moment of his service, Frank Cohee says that it was when the Chinese came in. He remembers having to drive down icy mountains and getting separated. He states that they were shot at during this time, but fortunately, didn’t’ get hurt.
Arriving in Korea and Bed Check Charlie
Frank Seaman describes his arrival in Korea, ferrying over from Japan to Pusan and then by rail up to Chuncheon. He recalls viewing the aftermath and destruction from the Pusan Perimeter battle on his way to Chuncheon. He offers insight to his regular duties which entailed bringing ammunition up from the south. He also recounts his introduction to Bed Check Charlie following breakfast while washing his mess kit.
Driving Over a Landmine
Frank Seaman describes a dangerous, night, service run to tanks on the Main Line of Resistance (MLR). He recalls riding in the passenger seat on a truck carrying 200-250 rounds of 90 millimeter ammunition along with 50 and 30 caliber machine gun ammunition when a sudden explosion took place. He remembers a flash and flying through the windshield as his truck had hit a landmine.
Dangerous Moment and Living Conditions
Frank Seaman shares one of his most dangerous moments while serving and recalls his basic living conditions. He recounts a particular service run to deliver fuel to a platoon of tanks where mortar rounds came in before his departure. Unscathed, he remembers dealing with flat tires on his truck on his return back to base. He also provides insight to his living conditions, describing pup tents and larger tents which could provide shelter for 4 to 5 men.
Experiences at the Inchon Landing
Frank Torres describes being part of Inchon landing. He discusses how the group made ladders for the terrain. He shares a story about witnessing the death of his commanding officer. He describes the dangerous situation.
Surrounded on "The Frozen Chosin"
Frank Zielinski trained as a machine gunner and landed at Incheon with General MacArthur. One of his friends drowned clambering over the side of the ship to go ashore. Another died in Incheon when North Koreans attacked their encampment as they slept. The soldiers lived in trenches on the front lines, sometimes without proper equipment. At times, his division was surrounded by North Koreans and Chinese.
The Hell of Living in Trenches
Frank Zielinski was stationed at Old Baldy when the Armistice went into effect. He remembers the danger of living in cold trenches filled with water. The enemy would attack at night, so soldiers stayed awake to guard their positions. With no hot food available, C-rations included pork and beans, cookies, cigarettes, and instant coffee. Soldiers would leave part of their rations for the children living in nearby villages.
Franklin O. Gillreath
Surrender and Difference Between Chinese and North Korean Treatment
Franklin Gillreath describes the events leading up to surrendering and the difference between Chinese and North Korean treatment. He explains that the North Koreans were harsh and would hit any soldier who could not understand their directions in Korean. He compares this example to the Chinese approach which involved finding a translator rather than hitting a soldier who could not understand directions.
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.
"We Were Glad to be Alive"
Fred Ragusa recalls one of his scariest experiences in Korea. In a mission to try to bring jets into the area, the smoke round burst into two because the density of it was not correct. As he was running toward that unit, the smoke rose as the jets were coming in with napalm. Fortunately, the jets did not fully come in and the troops were just glad to be alive.
Life with Underwater Demolition
Frederick Marso describes his job responsibilities as a part of the Underwater Demolition Team. He describes the training as tough and his platoon being the cream of the crop. He details everyday life living on a ship for an extended period of time.
Experiences on the Front Lines
Garry Hashimoto talks about his experiences on the front lines. He was originally a rifleman, but because he was more experienced than most after only three months out there, he became a forward observer. He shares how he had to stay one hundred feet ahead of his platoon and keep a lookout for ambushes. He reflects on the dangers he faced, including facing machine gun fire. He remembers being bombarded with artillery shells all the time, especially from the Chinese.
Chinese Soldiers and PTSD
Garry Hashimoto discusses his perspectives on Chinese soldiers. He remembers Chinese soldiers being crazy. He shares how they were often high, and that they would find drugs on them. He believes they took drugs so they would stay awake and fight all the time. He comments on his sleep schedule and shares that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He reflects on how one of his replacements was killed soon after taking his post.
Listening in on North Korea
Gary Routh describes his job secretly listening to North Korean soldiers on the radio in the 1990s. He explains that occasionally he would hear artillery practice and excitement on the other end of the radio. He describes that spying was mostly boring, hearing the same phrases every day from the North Korean soldiers.
Gene Bill Davidson
Gene Bill Davidson explains the procedure of delivering messages to the frontline and the different levels of messages that were expedited. Because of the information he was receiving and delivering, he provides insight into the level of clearance he held and differentiates between operational immediate and flash operation messages. He elaborates on the specifics of his job and one specific delivery that was a close call.
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.
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.
Enlistment and Leaving Loved Ones Behind
George Covel describes his enlistment and leaving behind his wife who was 6 months pregnant at the time. He details his role as a bandsman and placement in the Honor Guard and recounts serving as a ceremonial bandsman during the war, about 11 miles away from the front lines. He expresses that he was fortunate enough to avoid firing weapons on most occasions.
Proof the Russians Were Lying
George Dixon was an infantryman regardless of his training as a machinist. As a result, he was given a Burp Gun which was manufactured by the Russians in 1951. He explains that the gun was ultimately taken from him as a way to prove that the Russians were lying about not providing weapons during the war.
The Poverty of War
Dr. George Drake explains how children were rescued from poverty during the Korean War. He recounts his journey to find photos that were taken during the war of orphans in Korea. He shares his concern over the children who became abandoned victims of the Korean War.
George Enice Lawhon Jr.
Radio Transmitters, Ghost Towns, and Orphanages in Seoul
George Enice Lawhon Jr.'s job in the US military was to fix a BC 610 (a Collins radio Transmitter). When he arrived in Seoul, there was not anyone there and it was a ghost town. Sadly, some old and young people found in a rice field shot and bayonetted. He had a Chaplin in his group that started an orphanage for Korean children because there were so many that were left alone.
George Enice Lawhon Jr. felt the impact of the Korean War on his life with a lot of tears. He felt that he did his job well as a communications officer during the war, but there are still problems with the relationship between North and South Korea. George Enice Lawhon Jr. identified the need for the North Korean government to speak to its people to find out what would be best for them and then there might be a chance for reunification of the Korean nation.
George Geno: One Happy and Safe Soldier!
George Geno was chosen for Officer CandidateTraining School and he had a Lieutenant that wanted to be well-known, so he really worked his men. George Geno was called heavy, so he had to run 2 miles extra every night and when he was discharged July 2, 1952, he was asked to re-enlist. He decided to re-enlist the next day and they were all given their next assignments; to George Geno's surprise, he was assigned to stay at Fort Bliss in the US. He cried with excitement and eventually became the Lieutenant in charge of training the US soldiers how to shoot accurately from the trenches.
George J. Bruzgis
Signed To Cease Fire; Look What We Hit!
George Bruzgis vividly recalled on July 26, 1953, a Major approached them with a document they (both US and ROK) had to sign agreeing that at 10 p.m. on July 27, 1953, they had to stop firing their weapons. Shortly afterwards, a two-ton truck arrived taking most of their ammunition away, so they wouldn't shoot. However, at 6 a.m on July 27, 1953, they got a phone call that they were given coordinates to fire 5 rounds on what they thought maybe a cave or a bunker. He later learned in 2000 when he received a battalion pamphlet, his story of that morning was located within it saying his division destroyed a Chinese Observation Post.
Being hit; In-Going Mail, and Out-Going Mail
George Bruzgis shared some of the most difficult and horrible experiences during the war. He recalled knowing the sound of artillery shells coming and going (nicknamed it In-going mail and Out-going mail). Before he closed the tank, he could see the enemy close. After firing, they found the men in bloody pieces, and he still can't get that scene out of his head.
George P. Wolf
George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.
Scouting Troop Movement During the Battle of Jipyeongri
George Wolf was a Mosquito pilot during the Korean War who located enemy troops and directed fighters during the Battle of Jipyeongri. During the February 1951, he helped provide information from the air to help lead the UN troops to victory. This was a tough battle against the Chinese troops near the village of Chipyong-ni, present time Jipyeong-ri.
The Role of a Mosquito Pilot
George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.
Nobody Believed Us
George Wolf encountered Chinese troops early in the war while performing reconnaissance as a Mosquito pilot in February 1951. He reported many times about Chinese presence, but he felt they were ignored. In late October through early November 1951, George Wolf saw thousands of Chinese cross the Cheonggyecheon River, so he reported this information to the US intelligence officers, but they did not believe that the Chinese were fighting in the Korean War.
Air Force's Job in the Korean War
George Wolf remembered how many of the US troops would say, "Thank goodness for the Air Force!" US pilots worked with Australian, South African, New Zealanders, and British pilots during the war. George Wolf easily recognized the British by their accent and he loved the Australians' sayings during combat.
Bound for Korea and First Experiences
George Parsons chronicles his departure from the States and arrival in Korea. He comments on the ride over aboard the troop ship USS Anderson and recalls landing in Pusan. He recounts the cold weather as it was January of 1951 and recalls there being no lodging available, stating that he remembers sleeping out in the field and crowding around fires to stay warm. He details his journey to Incheon and through Seoul, sharing that Seoul was completely flattened from the fighting.
Service in Korea
George Staples describes is role in the Korean War. He shares how he piloted a Huey B-35 and transported wounded soldiers from the front lines to MASH. He describes how the enemy shot through the helicopter and hit him in the abdomen and leg. He recounts how the helicopter could not make it back to base. He shares he was able to return to U.S. controlled land north of Incheon, though, and was taken to MASH.
Pushed Back by China
George Sullivan recalls experiencing the push back to Busan by Chinese forces. He remembers hearing that General MacArthur said they were going to push back. During the push back, his tank broke, and he ended up in hand-to-hand combat with a Chinese soldier. He recounts that his arm was cut by a bayonet and had to be treated.
On the Front Lines
George Sullivan recounts his experiences in tanks along the front lines. He shares his tank unit had a direct confrontation with the enemy and recalls being wounded in the leg by gunfire. He comments on his fortune that it did not break any of his bones. He shares he continued to fight after he was mended.
George Van Hoomissen
Becoming Part of the VMO-6
George Van Hoomissen shares that by June of 1952 he was transferred to division headquarters in the G-2 section as an intelligence offers. He recollects one of his classmates recommend he fly planes just like the classmate was in the Air Force. He shares how difficult of a task this was since he was part of the Marine Corps. He remembers reaching out to the commander of a squadron of Marine observers near division headquarters expressing interest in joining the squadron which he was eventually able to do. He shares he, in late 1952, was assigned to the VMO-6, the Heavier than Air (V), Marine (M), Observation (O) unit.
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 Warfield was in the reserves when he was called into active duty. He was sent to Fort Campbell for two to three weeks to retrain for war. After training, he was shipped to Japan to set up for the Korean War with the 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Division. As a radio operator in a reconnaissance company, he had to find the enemy, go to fill-in the front line if the enemy broke the line, and he was the last unit to retreat.
A Troop Ship Hits a Cyclone
George Warfield did not know anything about Korea before he went over. When traveling on a troop ship with 1,500 soldiers, they hit a cyclone that tossed the ship all over the ocean which made men throw up all over. Luckily, George Warfield did not get sick during any of his travels in the military.
Destruction on Christmas Eve
George Warfield landed in Korea on December 24, 1950 and had Christmas Eve dinner on the ship before he was dropped off at Inchon harbor. He counted 17 tanks that went out to battle from Inchon, but only 1 came back the next morning after fighting. George Warfield passed through Euijeongbu one night and saw the terrible conditions for civilians, but he did not stay in any location longer than a day.
German Occupation of Crete
George Hahlioutis describes life as a child under German occupation. With the help of his translator, he shares how he was not allowed to attend school but was taught by a chief of Greek Army. He also shares the destruction he saw as a child during WWII.
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
Gerry Farmer describes being wounded at the Hook after he volunteered to drive a jeep to Area 3. He remembers he was blown forty yards from the jeep, and adds he still has injuries and shrapnel in his back. He recalls being transported to a Norwegian MASH and then to Seoul where he underwent three operations.
Captured near Pyongyang
Gerald Cavagnaro describes how his unit was cut off during an attack by the Chinese. He describes running out of ammunition. He shares how he along with 100-150 other men were captured in November in 1950. He describes a march he took to what the soldiers named "Death Valley".
Moment of First Combat
Gerald Harbach describes his first real moment of combat and how the weather impeded their efforts. He describes how water filling the trenches from heavy rains and then a sudden and drastic drop in temperatures made for a very difficult maneuver. He recalls they had yet to receive winter clothing and were sleeping standing up to avoid frostbite, though many did suffer from it. He remembers relieving the company on duty and shaking hands with one fellow only for him to fall dead minutes later from incoming shells.
Just Keep Running
Gerald Harbach describes scenes of intense battles that he witnessed at Outpost Harry and Pork Chop Hill, as well as the Battle of White Horse. He recalls moments where all he knew to do was to try and keep running. He vividly remembers the sound of the bullets as they whizzed past his head.
Bayonet Checks "Across His Neck"
Gerald Land admitted he had never heard of Korea before he was sent and he described his Marine friend, Bill Carroll, of Fox Company, who Gerald Land thought had been wiped out at the "Frozen Chosin." Bill Carroll managed to survive after being shot by laying on the ground pretending to be dead during "bayonet checks". His friend recalled the bayonet sliding across his neck, but he survived and woke up on the hospital ship even though he wanted to go back with his Company. A soldiers' best advice was, "don't get captured!"
Government Issued (G.I.) Gear
When they arrived at Inchon, Gerald Land had to wear khakis and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of the winter while traveling to Chuncheon. Once the soldiers arrived at Chuncheon, they were given two pairs of long underwear, a towel, soap, brush, pants, fatigues, field jacket, and pile lined jacket (no overcoat). The men were also given a M-1 Rifle w/ bandolier, cartridges, and a helmet.
Gerald Land described how he felt in December 1952 on Heartbreak Ridge in the middle of the winter. An Army loudspeakers would play Christmas carols and a woman would be telling stories back home of your girlfriend cheating on you with your best friend. He also recalled a time shortly after New Years when one of the guys started firing his weapon by making a series of shots that sounded funny and the Patton tank at the base of that mountain fired a round which it lifted their spirits. He said he felt very homesick.
War Is Hell: My First Kill
Gerald Land recalled when he was shot by North Koreans for the first time, and how terrible he felt knowing that he was tearing the enemy to pieces with his gun. As a Methodist, he carried a prayer book around and prayed for guidance/forgiveness for his time in the war. He also hoped and prayed that he would make it home safe to his family.
Patriotism, A Better Life, and Water Brought Me to the Navy
Gerald Spandorf volunteered for the Navy because he loved to swim and to be in the water. He also wanted to serve his country. For basic training, he went to Bay Bridge, Maryland and then he was assigned a his ship in Road Island.
Friend or Foe?
Gerald Spandorf's ship traveled the world including 16 countries while in the Navy. One time during a bad storm, he was allowed to de-board in England to protect himself. When his ship went to the Netherlands, Gerald Spandorf's ship was left in port because the native people didn't like Americans due to the bombing that they did during WWII.
Traveling with the Navy
Gerald Spandorf loved when his ship was in port because the sailors were able to walk around different countries. In Germany, the Germans asked him his name and they loved him because he had a strong German name. Gerald Spandorf told them that the Germans didn't like his family because his parents and grandparents are jews.
Concerns About North Korea Today
Gerald Spandorf felt mad at North Korea because they are test bombing different areas around Korea. He's afraid that their bombing will start another war and he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the Korean people. Since he's been out of the Navy, Gerald Spandorf has been learning more about the Korean people and they have all been so sweet to him.
Germaye Beyene Tesfaye
Shooting Chinese from Hidden Vantage Points
Germaye Tesfaye was a heavy machine gunner for the Third Battalion. While manning the front lines, he and his battalion hid under heavy cover to avoid being discovered and killed. Using heavy weaponry to shoot the enemy from a distance, he and his fellow Ethiopians killed numerous Chinese. At one point he was shot in heavy fighting.
Death of a Hero on White Horse Hill
Gilbert Hauffels and the Luxembourg Platoon fought at White Horse Hill. They took position six hundred meters in front of the trenches, merely 400 meters from North Korean artillery. During the barrage, Luxembourgian Sergeant Robert Mores rushed in to save soldiers whose bunkers had collapsed on them. Sergeant Mores was one of two soldiers from Luxembourg killed in the Korean War.
Gilberto Diaz Velazco
Most Difficult Night of the War / La Noche Más Difícil de la Guerra
Gilberto Diaz Velazco explains why the Battle of Old Baldy was the most difficult fighting of the war. He recounts that the Chinese took advantage of the fact that Company A was being relieved by Company C and attacked UN troops in the midst of this confusion. The Chinese and North Koreans were relentless, and the fighting seemed never-ending. He and others would be relieved for a while and then were reintroduced to the battlefield. He recounts walking over dead fellow soldiers and the measures he had to take to find a fallen friend.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco explica qué la Batalla de Old Baldy fue la lucha más difícil de la guerra. Él cuenta que los chinos aprovecharon del hecho que la Compañía A estaba siendo relevada por la Compañía C y atacaron a las tropas en el medio de esa confusión. Los chinos y los norcoreanos sequian atacando toda la noche y la lucha parecía interminable. Lo relevaron a él y otros por un tiempo y luego serían reintroducidos a el campo de batalla. Cuenta haber caminado sobre compañeros muertos y las medidas que tuvo que tomar para encontrar a un amigo que había muerto.
Recovering the Fallen / Recuperando a los caídos
Gilberto Diaz Velazco recalls the difficulty of the fighting at Hill 180 and the carnage of war. He recounts that they suffered casualties during the fighting but were not allowed to leave the dead behind. As a follow up mission, he was a member of the operation to recover the dead. He explains that he felt like bait because the enemy was waiting for them to recover the fallen and fired at them injuring his lieutenant.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco recuerda la dificultad del combate en el Cerro 180 y la crueldad de la guerra. Cuenta que sufrieron bajas durante la batalla, pero no se podía dejar atrás a los muertos. Como segunda misión, él fue miembro de la operación para recuperar a los
cadáveres. Explica que se sintió como carnada porque el enemigo estaba esperando que recuperaran a los caídos y les dispararon hiriendo a su teniente.
Night Patrol / Patrulla Nocturna
Gilberto Díaz Velazco details his duties as a forward observer. He explains the measures he took to remain undetected. He additionally explains how they had to rely on all their senses to detect the location of the enemy.
Gilberto Díaz Velazco detalla sus funciones como observador avanzado. Explica las medidas que tomó para no ser detectado de noche. También explica cómo tuvieron que confiar en todos sus sentidos para detectar la ubicación del enemigo.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama
Losing a Brother / La Pérdida de Un Hermano
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama remembers the painful events which resulted in the death of one of his best friends. He recounts how his friend was an amazing athlete and expert rifleman and because he was an excellent soldier, he was in the first line. He laments the way in which his friend and so many other young men died during that battle.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama recuerda la batalla que resulto en la muerte de uno de sus mejores amigos. Cuenta que su amigo era un atleta increíble y un fusilero experto y, como era un excelente soldado, estaba en la primera línea. Lamenta la forma en que murió su amigo y tantos otros muchachos jóvenes durante esa batalla.
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama shares the most difficult moments of the war. He discusses an incident in which their platoon was in trouble as they were forced to fight Chinese troops into the night. He remembers that air reinforcements helped save them after the intense fighting.
Gilberto Rodríguez Orama comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Habla de un incidente en el que su pelotón estuvo en problemas al verse obligados a luchar contra las tropas chinas hasta la madrugada. El recuerda que los refuerzos aéreos ayudaron a salvarlos después de horas y horas de combate.
Girma Mola Endeshaw
"Not the Worst"
Girma Mola Endeshaw describes his Korean War experience. Men lived in bunkers. There was no hot food. Men did not sleep, due to constant attacks. Mortar shells would shake the ground at all hours. Soldiers showered every ten days because the Americans made them. Girma Mola Endeshaw still describes his Korean experience as "not the worst."
Gordon H. McIntyre
Life Near the Front
Gordon McIntyre transferred to an English unit due to the extensive loss of life in the English outfit. Near headquarters he noted a Canadian field hospital and rows of drums filled with napalm. Throughout his first night he was not afraid despite the explosions from incessant artillery fire. The next morning he left the truck to find an unexploded mortar shell that would have killed everyone at the post had it exploded.
Battle of Maryang-san
Gordon McIntyre describes five to six days of continuous fighting at the Battle of Maryang-san. He camped around eight hundred meters from the front lines. The second and third nights all soldiers stood ready to leave in the middle of the night if overrun. The Battle of Maryang-san featured combat between the Australian Army and the Chinese as the North Korean army had been decimated by that point. The danger did not scare him because he was too busy to think about it at the time.
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.
Graham L. Hughes
Stress and Relief for the Radio Operators
Graham Hughes was a radio operator and worked in four-hour, two-man shifts. Radio operators had to find time to sleep, wash, and rest in four hours. This exhaustion caused him to get shingles. There was a constant, intense pressure for his military specialty throughout the Korean War. He even went fishing with hand grenades in the East Sea during the few hours that he had off.
Loss of Sailors and Shingles
Graham Hughes lost three sailors while he was stationed in the East Sea. None of the sailors died in combat, but all their lives clearly had an impact on him. He discovered one of the sailors who hanged himself. After getting shingles, he was sent to an island in Japan for Rest and Relaxation (R and R).
The HMNZS Pukaki During the Korean War
Graham Hughes experienced an intensive nine-month basic training as a radio operator. The training included typing and touch typing. The HMNZS Pukaki, his ship, was armed with a variety of weapons to aid in the Korean War.
Inferiority of the North Korean Navy
Graham Hughes believed that the North Korean Navy was inferior to those in the United Nations (UN). An example of this occurred when his ship fired on a specific target at the 38th Parallel. North Koreans fired in retaliation, but they missed. The great thing about being part of the UN was the cooperation of lots of countries patrolling the West Sea, including Argentina.
Jumping into Combat
Gregoy Garcia spent time in Pyongyang trying to stop the infiltration of Chinese and North Koreans in the fall/winter of 1950. He remembers his most dangerous moment was jumping into combat and landing while shooting. He explains that his griswold bag with his knives fell off due to their weight.
Guidberto Barona Silva
Training and Mission / Entrenamiento y Misión
Admiral Guidberto Barona Silva discusses the submarine combat training that he received at the Naval Base of Yokosuka in Japan. He was trained on search and rescue operations and how to support other war vessels. The mission of his frigate was to escort and provide security to vessels which provided essential war materials such as oil tankers and ships with warfare supplies.
El almirante Guidberto Barona Silva habla sobre el entrenamiento de combate submarino que recibió en la Base Naval de Yokosuka en Japón. Fue entrenado en operaciones de búsqueda y rescate y aprendió cómo apoyar a otros buques de guerra. La misión de su fragata era escoltar y dar seguridad a buques de abastecimiento de materiales de guerra, que incluían petroleros y barcos con todos los elementos que se necesitaban para operar la guerra en el mar y en la tierra.
Impact of Experience / Impacto de la Experiencia
Admiral Guidberto Barona Silva discusses the importance of the experience for the Colombian Marine Forces. He provides an account on the tensest moments of the war. He concludes that what they learned in Japan and through the war helped him professionally and allowed the marine forces to evolve. The war changed the Colombian Marines as they were able to grow and understand the logistics of warfare.
El Almirante Guidberto Barona Silva habla sobre la importancia de la experiencia para los marinos de Colombia. Discutió los momentos más tensos de la guerra. Concluye que lo que aprendieron en Japón y durante la guerra lo ayudó profesionalmente y permitió que las fuerzas marinas se desarrollaron. La experiencia cambió a los infantes de marina, porque pudieron entender la logística de la guerra.
Bed Check Charlie
Harold Beck describes “Bed Check Charlie.” Each night a small biplane would come and drop bombs or grenades just around bed time. Their crew moved the lights toward the mountain, and one night Bed Check Charlie flew right into the cliff.
Harold Bill Christenson
The Loss of Friends
Harold Christenson describes moving towards the fronts lines, escorted by ROK soldiers, and the fear he felt hearing small arms fire and artillery and seeing the flashes associated with the weapon fire as his company pressed inland near the mountains. He shares that within the first two months of arrival, the friends he went to Korea with were gone. With sorrow, he recounts the loss of one friend when his company was overrun by the Chinese at Gibraltar and remembers the injuries another friend sustained from a landmine.
Seeing and Experiencing Battle
Harold Don shares how he was apprehensive about his time in Korea. He recalls witnessing the destruction from prior battles upon landing in Incheon. He remembers how his unit experienced fire from North Korean tanks at Yeongdeungpo and observed the destruction at Seoul when traveling to Wonsan where they were tasked with clearing the harbor of mines.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Harold Don shares memories from the front lines at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts how the United States units were surrounded by the North Koreans and Chinese on all sides. He notes how cold the temperature dropped in the winter when the lake would freeze over. He comments on how the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was one of the epic battles in United States Marine Corps history, evidenced by many Medal of Honor recipients.
Extremely Cold Conditions
Harold Don describes the challenges of digging foxholes in Korea's frozen ground during the winter. He details how one had to clear enough snow to make an indentation to rest in. He notes how, as he was assigned to heavy machine guns, his foxhole was located at the most vulnerable point. He explains how, in an effort to keep the machine guns' barrels from freezing, he had to utilize antifreeze.
Redeployed as Machine Gun Squad Leader
Harold Don discusses being redeployed to Korea during the Chinese major offensive. He shares he was unaware, at the time, that Chinese forces had retaken Seoul and that he became a machine gun squad leader. He remembers partaking in Rest and Relaxation, which meant moving back several miles from the front for a hot shower and food. He notes he remembers the country itself when asked what he remembers most from this eleven-month tour in Korea. He describes Korea as being like a third-world country at the time with primitive farming, sanitation, and construction methods.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Frostbitten and Wounded
Harry C. Graham talks about his experience during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes suffering frostbite and being shot through the shoulder while performing his duties as a Radio Operator. He was evacuated on a truck convoy, narrowly escaping the heavy fighting against the Chinese.
Escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Harry C. Graham talks about his escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes having to wait until dark to traverse a mountain by foot because of being stranded in trucks on the mountainside. He recounts how after hours of walking, he and seven fellow soldiers found themselves in a minefield before being rescued by United States Marines.
Training and the Inchon Landing
Harry C. Graham describes his arrival in Korea. He details the circumstances of training Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers at Mt. Fuji, in Japan, before moving on to take part at the Inchon Landing in September of 1950. He describes his first impressions of Korea.
British Troopship to the Korean War
Harry Hawksworth recalls being summonsed to serve in Korean War. He recounts enduring a six to seven-week training program where he practiced trench warfare prior to departing for Korea on a troopship. He remembers the ship stopping at many locations on the seven-week journey to gather additional supplies.
Pusan Landing and Retreating to the Imjin River
Harry Hawksworth recalls arriving in Korea and docking in Pusan. He describes how African American United States troops were playing instruments as they arrived and creating a grand entrance. He shares how he, along with the Gloucestershire Regiment, traveled by foot up to the Yalu River in December of 1950 without spotting a Chinese soldier. He remembers being told he would be back home by Christmas and shares how he knew that would not happen after the US and British troops were forced to withdraw to the Imjin River.
The Battle of the Imjin River on Hill 144
Harry Hawksworth shares how he and the rest of his company were forced to retreat back to a village near Choksong along the Imjin River in late 1950 due to the Chinese entering the war. After digging into trenches, performing reconnaissance trips, and guarding Allied trenches, he was startled by a possible Chinese invasion of Hill 144.
The Battle of the Imjin River and Being Taken as a POW
Harry Hawksworth's B Company, Gloucestershire Regiment, fought the Chinese from Hill 144 until he was told to retreat to Hill 235 (Gloster Hill) in order to join with A Company and Captain Anthony Farrar-Hockley's troops. He shares how most of the troops had to leave their extra ammunition in the valleys below due to the quick retreat. He describes how he used six crates of two-inch mortars to fend off Chinese troops. Once all ammunition was used, he recalls that Captain Farrar-Hockley gave the order "every man to fight for themselves," but everyone became prisoners of war (POWs).
Life as a POW in Camp Changsong From April 1951 to July 1953
Harry Hawksworth shares how he walked at night for six weeks until he reached the prisoner of war (POW), Camp Changsong, in May 1951. He remembers how many of the British POWs escaped but notes that all were caught and punished by being placed in solitary confinement depending on the distance they escaped. He recalls becoming very sick after getting down to seven stones (ninety-eight pounds) due to eating only one bowl of rice with one cup of water a day. He recalls brainwashing sessions held by the Chinese and remembers how the US and British POWs had to fight to survive every single day.
Dangers of Protecting the Retreat
Harry Olson recounts how his extremely depleted battalion protected the line during the retreat from Unsan. He describes his experience returning from protecting the line and experiences in the rice paddies. He shares details about his first near-death experience and the enemy fire just down the hill from his position.
The Most Difficult Times: Sweeping for Mines
Henry Kosters shares that the process of sweeping for mines and removing one from a river were the most memorable and scariest time he experienced during the war. He describes the process of sweeping for three different types of mines: contact, magnetic, and a type of mine that sensed the vibration of passing ships. He recounts the process of finding the mines and bringing them to the surface of the water.
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.
Henry T. Pooley
Henry T Pooley describes when he was shelled in his bunk near Hill 355. The Chinese artillery attack left him dazed and two comrades wounded. Henry miraculously wasn't wounded.
First Patrol and the Chinese
Henry T Pooley describes his first patrol near Hill 355 on the front lines. He describes the geography of the area including a nearby minefield. He discusses the respect shown between the Chinese and the Australian soldiers on the battlefield.
Close Call on the Front Lines
Herbert Neale recounts a close call with incoming artillery fire on the front lines. He remembers waking up, lying over the artillery, from a concussion and hearing a friend call out that he had been hit. He details his friend's wound and the effort made to transport him safely to an evacuation site. He reflects on his friend's healing process after losing a lung and on how one never really recovers from the wounds of war.
Called to Serve and Sent to Korea
Herbert Neale explains how he ended up serving in Korea after being fully discharged from the Marine Corps following World War II. He recounts his arrival in Korea and recalls being sent to the front lines as there was a need at the time to fill holes in the lines left by casualties. He also describes the weaponry, the 155mm howitzer, he used while there.
Loss of a Brother in Korea
Herbert Schreiner details his brother's death while serving in the infantry in Korea. He recounts that his brother was killed by a landmine and recalls his body being delivered back to America in a bag. He shares that the news of his brother's fate was hard to deal with at the time and that it still weighs on him to this day as he and his brother were very close.
Herman F. Naville
Captured by the North Koreans
Herman Naville remembers that only 16 of the 180 men in his company made it out alive. He explains how he and others found a place on a hillside to hide. There was an explosion that hit Herman Naville in the head causing him to bleed heavily, develop blindness in his one eyes, and shattering his collarbone- he thought he was going to die. While continuing to hide, he was found by North Koreans who took him as a prisoner.
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.
Homer W. Mundy
Wounded in Combat
Homer Mundy describes being wounded in Korea only 13 days after arriving in Korea. He also talks about the withdrawal of his unit from the Yalu River area when the Chinese crossed into Korea.
Half Dead or Captured
Horace Sappington describes his encounter with North Koreans and Russians a few miles outside of Osan. Ill-equipped and undermanned, he details the scene of a Major driving out in a jeep to meet and talk with the oncoming mass of North Korean and Russian troops. He shares that the enemy fired a cannon, blowing up the jeep and killing the major, continuing to advance upon their position. He adds that he was wounded during the fighting and was tended to by a medic who was killed shortly after during their retreat. He explains that over half of US soldiers there that day were either killed or captured.
Soldiers Pouring In Everywhere
Horace Sappington recounts his experience at the Pusan Perimeter. He shares that the North Korean soldiers were pouring in on them and they received assistance from the Air Force and the USS Missouri roughly 1 mile off of the coast. He explains he was in charge of providing the ship with coordinates for firing. He recounts an injury to his head and shoulder received from enemy fire.
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.
Fighting at the Yalu River and Surviving a Land Mine Explosion
Howard Ballard discusses soldiers sustaining injuries while fighting in the Battle of Pyongyang on Thanksgiving Eve 1950. He recounts how U.S. troops headed for the Yalu River down very narrow roads and fought the Chinese until the U.S. troops were pushed back to the 38th parallel. He recalls how a land mine exploded near him and how he experienced temporary paralysis. He shares that he was sent to a MASH unit following the explosion but was soon returned to his unit.
Howard R. Hawk
Arrival in Korea
Howard R. Hawk shares he is a Korean Defense Veteran. He notes he ranked as a Private E-2 when he arrived and specialized in fire direction. He recalls his arrival to Korea and his station at Camp St. Barbara.
Heightened State of Security
Howard R. Hawk recalls being greeted upon arrival at Camp St. Barbara by the 1st Sergeant who offered the new arrivals with words of wisdom as the North Koreans massed across the border. He notes there was an EC 121 shot down over the East Sea/Sea of Japan and that North Korean guerillas attacked the Blue House in an attempt to assassinate the President of South Korea, Park Chung Hee. He recalls these events only heightened the security concerns in the area. He explains that there were nuclear weapons capabilities at this point at Camp St. Barbara.
Legacy of Korean Defense Veterans
Howard R. Hawk explains the role of the Korean Defense Veterans in Korea after the armistice. He recalls a strong desire by the Korean officers to reunite the country by attacking the North. He states they were always prepared for a potential attack by the North Koreans.
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.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Hugo Monroy Moscoso recounts the most dangerous moments of the war, which occurred near the 38th Parallel. He explains that some of the most difficult memories are those of witnessing fellow soldiers die under mortar fire. Additionally, he provides an account of the battle for Kumsong and the importance of regaining territory which was previously lost.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso relata los momentos más peligrosos de la guerra, que ocurrieron cerca del paralelo 38. Él explica que algunos de los recuerdos más difíciles son las memorias de cuando vio morir a sus compañeros soldados cuando el batallón estaba bajo fuego de mortero. Además, ofrece un relato de la batalla por Kumsong y explica la importancia de recuperar el territorio que anteriormente se había perdido.
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Hugo Monroy Moscoso remembers his first impressions of Korea. He details the destruction he encountered in every town as they arrived after the Chinese and North Korean invasion. He recalls that it gave them pleasure to share food with civilians because they understood how much they were suffering.
Hugo Monroy Moscoso recuerda sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Detalla la destrucción que encontró en cada pueblo porque llegaron después de la invasión china y norcoreana. Recuerda que les daba placer compartir comida con los civiles porque reconocían la miseria y el hambre que sufrían.
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.
From Teacher Training to K Force
Ian Nathan entered teacher training college as a twenty-three-year-old, but he left to join K Force. He trained at Burnham Military Camp, and then he transferred to Darwin. In Darwin, he joined the rescued soldiers from the ship Wahine that had run aground on a reef outside Darwin. They flew to Japan and then to Pusan.
Winter Quarters: Engineering a Tent and Shower
Ian Nathan and the Workshop Unit designed warmer quarters with petrol tanks for the troops. They pieced together a building for relatively warm showers in the frigid Korean winters. Many of their projects involved re-purposed military equipment to make new supplies the soldiers needed.
Experiences with Counter Mortar Radar
Irwin Saltzman describes Initially trained as a radio operator. He explains that he then was told he would receive additional training on equipment built for counter mortar operations. He describes rotating between headquarters at Yeongdeungpo and traveling to the front line to check on equipment. He explains how the Signal Corp maintained twenty-six positions in front of the artillery at the front lines and regularly sent harassing fire into enemy positions.
To Korea with the Whole Outfit
Isamu Yoshishige served in the United States Army in Korea beginning in 1951. He offers a brief account of his travels to Korea with some detail included on the areas within the region where his unit deployed. He speaks of working within a heavy weapons company as someone who fired 75mm recoilless rifles which possibly caused his hearing loss. He provides limited descriptions of the conflicts with the Chinese in the area in which he served.
Ismael Heredia Torres
First Days / Primeros Dias
Ismael Heredia Torres describes his arrival in Incheon and then Seoul. He explains that immediately after he arrived, he was assigned to an observation post and then to a listening post. It was during this second mission that he saw intense fighting which lasted over six hours. He was lucky to survive this attack as he was unable to move or communicate with the rest of the company.
Ismael Heredia Torres describe su llegada a Incheon y luego a Seúl. Explica que enseguida que llego al frente, lo asignaron a un puesto de observación y luego a un puesto de escucha. Fue durante esta segunda misión que vio intensos combates que duraron más de seis horas. Tuvo suerte de sobrevivir el ataque porque no podía moverse ni comunicarse con el resto de la compañía.
Saddest Battle / La Batalla Más Triste
Ismael Heredia Torres shares the story of his participation in the worst battle of the war. He explains that they were trying to climb Hill 223 when the Chinese intercepted their company and a battle ensued for over four hours. He, and others in the company, were saddened because Captain Lyman was killed in action that day.
Ismael Heredia Torres comparte la historia de la peor batalla de la guerra en el que el participo. Él explica que estaban tratando de escalar la colina 223 cuando los chinos interceptaron a su compañía y se produjo una batalla de más de cuatro horas. Él y otros en la compañía estaban tristes porque el Capitán Lyman murió en acción ese día.
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.
Observation Post Attacked
Israel Irizarry-Rodriguez shares memories of the fear he experienced while being in Korea during the war. He recounts being in a foxhole and an attack on his Observation Post (OP) occurring. He elaborates on how he defended his position with hand grenades.
J. Robert Lunney
The SS Meredith Victory Volunteers
J. Robert Lunney discusses the decision by Captain LaRue to volunteer his ship for the evacuation efforts in Heungnam. He recalls the urgency to evacuate the military personnel and civilians. He explicitly breaks down the positions and resources involved in the evacuation and the chaotic scene they encountered in the port. Because of the great leadership exhibited by Captain LaRue, he shares the crew never questioned his decision to assist in the evacuation.
Last Ship to Freedom
J. Robert Lunney describes the process of evacuating over fourteen thousand North Korean civilian refugees aboard the SS Meredith Victory. He provides a detailed description of the loading of the refugees and protection of the port. During this process, he explains how teams were securing port so the enemy troops were unable to pursue them. He emphasizes that the people on the ship were seeking freedom, and the S.S. Meredith Victory was the last ship out.
Concussion Grenades and the Aggressive Chinese Army
At the end of November 1950, Jack Allen was wounded by the Chinese who overran the US troops. The Chinese had so many troops that they easily came over the hills. A concussion grenade took the nerve out of Jack Allen's right arm, so he couldn't use it and his knee was shot too. He was laid on straw and a tarp until a helicopter basket took him back off the line and onto Japan to recover. There were hundreds of wounded that accompanied Jack Allen, but he knew that he wouldn't be left behind because that's a Marines' motto.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Participating in the Incheon Landing in September 1950
Jack Allen went to the Mediterranean in April 1950 and he was ready to fight when the war began in June 1950. He set up a telephone system in Japan and stayed there until the Incheon landing took place. Jack Allen participated in the Inchoeon Landing on day 2 while hearing and feeling the boom of guns for the first time in warfare. One of his friends landed in a hole after dodging a mortar that had been a toilet, so he couldn't get his clothes off fast enough. After that, Jack Allen went to retake the Kimpo Air Field in Seoul during the Incheon Landing in September 1950.
The Job of a Field Telephone Wireman
Jack Allen's job during the Korean War was to provide telephone connections using a wire line to prevent an enemy from listening conversations from the US headquarters to the front lines. After making their way up to a new location each day, Jack Allen would set up a telephone line for his commanders and then he would have to go backwards where they had just fought to line telephone line all the way back to battalion headquarters. If the wires were tapped, then he would cut it up, hide it, and set up a new line in the dark, but he never went out looking for who cut or tapped the wire. He did this from Incheon to Seoul.
A Near Death Experience By Friendly Fire
Jack Allen went on a ship from Incheon to Wonson in order to invade North Korea in November 1950. He was the farthest North company in Korea going over hills and feeling the temperature drop each day. The North Koreans were hiding in caves and holes in mountains to do surprise attacks on the US troops, so Jack Allen volunteered to bring a case of hand grenades to the front line US troops because they ran out of supplies. After all of the warfare, one US soldier almost killed Jack Allen because he didn't recognize him, but Jack Allen knew that that soldier had been killing so long that he was mentally lost.
Journey to Korea
Jack Cooper details his journey to Korea. He describes his train ride down to New Orleans, boarding the US William Weigel, and sailing through the Panama Canal enroute to Asia. He shares that the trip took 30 days from the time he boarded the ship in New Orleans to the time he arrived in Hokkaido, Japan. He recalls roughly 6 months of combat training in Japan before being sent to Korea where he was first assigned to test weapons.
A Picture of the Chorwon Valley
Jack Cooper paints a grim picture of the Chorwon Valley as he shares his memories. He recalls the gloom of winter, the cold temperatures, and the landscape destruction as the vegetation was reduced to mere stumps. He recounts the setting as dangerous due to close proximity to the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) and the excessive amount of North Korean, Chinese, and American mines hidden about. He recalls most fighting taking place with the Chinese rather than the North Koreans and elaborates on his living conditions in a foxhole.
Duties and Thoughts on Battle
Jack Cooper details the duties of soldiers assigned to a howitzer weapon and shares that there never was really any downtime. He recalls men rotating on and off shifts and most of the action taking place in the afternoon and evening. He shares that the intensity of battle made one nervous at times but that one grew accustomed to the reality over time. He adds that one did what he had to do.
Radio Operation in Battle
Jack Sherts describes his job as a radio operator during the Korean War. In one episode, he had to take batteries to the soldiers in the infantry line. On the journey, he slipped and went down a mountain while trying to deliver the batteries under enemy fire. Jack Sherts also describes relaying fire orders for the 18 guns of his unit.
Under Fire and Almost Killed
Jack Wolverton recalls the one time he was under fire and almost lost his life. His unit was ordered to pile a bunker with ammunition, but the mission was aborted. His unit came under small arms fire near no man's land, and a bullet, coming very close to his head, only chipped a rock.The rock hit his wrist and scared him, making him think he was shot. He luckily left the incident unharmed.
Jake Feaster Jr.
Arriving in Korea
Jake Feaster Jr. describes his arrival in Korea and the role of artillery in providing protective fire for the infantry during the peace negotiations. He shares he joined a unit holding a defensive position along the 38th Parallel. He recalls a session with Outpost Harry and another occasion when his unit provided protective fire all night long as the enemy was attempting to attack U.S. troops who had dug in.
Combat During the Week of the Final Cease Fire
Jake Feaster Jr. describes the movement of his artillery unit during the week leading up to the cease-fire. He recounts how being sent back to his unit's original position to gather supplies left behind possibly saved his life. He notes how the majority of his battalion got out, but they did lose two or three of their guns. He explains how his company pulled back to a new position and began firing upon the Chinese who had overrun them earlier.
Jake O'Rourke recounts seeing his first Marine casualty and shares the impact the encounter had on him. He continues by describing his participation in an ambush of three North Korean tanks shortly thereafter. He recalls casualties on both sides and shares that he sees them in his dreams, causing him to take inventory of his life. He also adds his thoughts on why there will always be war.
On the Move to Chosin Reservoir
Jake O'Rourke describes his time spent in the hills fighting guerrilla forces and moving to and from various locations. He details the high casualties caused by frostbite among the Chinese soldiers, adding that it was both an ally and an enemy. He attributes much of the Marines' successes to experienced leadership as many higher ranking soldiers had served during WWII. He also recounts his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, sharing that the Chinese would play their bugles when they attacked and retreated, and he describes the use of napalm against the enemy.
James “Jim” Wetmore
Jim Wetmore describes an evening when he witnessed a fiery B-29 crash just past where his unit was camped. He recalls a bright light in the sky and realized as the plane passed overhead that the magnesium aboard the plane had caught fire. He remembers he heard two explosions: the first when the plane crashed and the second when the bombs on the plane exploded.
James A. Newman
Sneak Attack on the Yalu River
James Newman was stationed on the frigate HMNZS Hawea up the Yalu River. He participated in a daring attack along the border between China and Korea. Fighting as a gunner, his ship attacked enemy positions along the Yalu River and took the enemy by complete surprise.
"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.
Advanced Infantry Training
James Burroughs describes advanced infantry training. He recalls learning to use a bayonet and to fight hand-to-hand as preparation for Korea. He discusses learning to fire all weapons, especially the .30 caliber machine gun, which he later used in Korea. He admits training and battle are not always the same since one is just surviving in battle.
Combat as a Machine Gunner and Friendly Fire
James Burroughs explains how ammo carriers would replace the machine gunner if he was killed. He recalls a Master Sergeant being shot and killed by a sniper as he stood next to him. He discusses fellow soldiers in his unit being injured and U.S. Army artillery fire not always landing where intended.
Taking an Enemy Position
James Burroughs describes the fighting for hills in Korea and the advantages of the high ground. He details how officers hid their ranks to make it harder for enemy snipers to shoot them. He recalls taking an enemy position, having to sleep on dead bodies overnight, and then rolling the bodies down the hill in the morning.
Loss of a Friend
James Burroughs recalls when the machine gunner of his squad was shot and killed. He speaks of how he carried his friend back to receive medical care and how he was reprimanded for leaving his post by an officer. He discusses how he then went back to the line and was then the squad machine gunner.
Cold Korea and Capturing a Chinese soldier
James Burroughs recalls the extreme cold in Korea and how the snow was up to his shoulders. He recounts finding a Chinese soldier behind the line and learning that the his unit was about to be attacked by the Chinese and North Koreans the next day. He discusses his unit setting up for the attack and firing until his gun barrel had to be changed.
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.
The Loss of a Close Friend During the Battle of Triangle Hill
James Butcher fought during the battle of Triangle Ridge/Hill. On Oct. 18, 1952, he charged up one specific section of the ridge that included Jane Russell Hill to fight the Chinese. Unfortunately, his friend was killed right next to him as they were taking out Chinese trenches.
A Close Encounter with a Chinese Soldier
James Butcher went face-to-face with a Chinese soldier as he was fighting for Triangle Hill. The Chinese soldier was getting ready to throw a grenade at the US troops and he became scared when he saw James Butcher in the trench with him. After a long pause, James Butcher took down the enemy trench.
James C. Delong
Combat near the Chosin Reservoir
James C. Delong describes a four day period in combat near the Chosin Reservoir before being captured days later by the Chinese. He explains that he manned a machine gun and guarded a ditch that the Chinese used for cover. He describes the nights of guarding the the ditch and easily shooting the Chinese who gathered at a bunker along the side of the hill. He goes on to describe the final night when his friend, who had been in WWII and warned him about the tenacity of the Chinese, was shot and killed.
Duties in the Fire Direction Center
James Cochran recounts his transfer and arrival at post in the Punch Bowl area and details the living conditions there amid the artillery. He describes his role in the Fire Direction Center (FDC) which entailed providing the battery with information for aiming. He offers a shift rotation example for this particular role as well.
Weather Data Use in Firing Artillery
James Cochran describes using weather data to influence firing artillery. He recalls a separate unit sending up weather balloons to collect data on wind direction, temperature, humidity, and other measures used in making artillery corrections and firing trajectory adjustments. He explains the importance of these variables with regard to successfully hitting targets.
Typical Day of Service
James Creswell describes how he served as an advisor to three or four South Korean Majors and Colonels. He recounts offering radio signal, leadership, combat, artillery, and tank advice and training to other soldiers. He explains that there was significant guerrilla warfare, and due to the successes of the advisory support he was involved in, he shares that there was a bounty on his head. He expresses the level of danger, adds that no logos or insignias were worn, and recalls having a rifle in his hands at all times.
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.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir/Battle of Jangjin Lake
James Carter describes the attack at Koto-ri. He explains how his platoon was heading to meet up with the Easy Company. He describes being attacked by the Chinese and the subsequent retreat. He recalls the dangers and losses his platoon faced. He shares how he luckily survived some possibly fatal shots.
James E. Fant
James E. Fant discusses his heavy weapons squad and going on patrol
James E Fant discusses his role and the weapons of a heavy weapons squad in Korea. He remembers going on patrol at night and not knowing if they would contact the enemy. He recalls having to know passwords when returning from patrols. He marvels to how the conflict between the North and South Koreans has never being completely solved.
Troopships and Preparation for Deployment into the Korean War
James Ferris describes being put on an American troopship with five thousand Marines. He recalls traveling twenty-nine days to reach Japan. He shares that once in Japan, his division was so large the soldiers were split and sent to multiple locations around the country to wait for deployment to Korea.
Keeping the Memory of the Korean War Veterans Alive
James Ferris shares about his daily work to keep the memory of the Korean War alive, honor the fallen soldiers, and celebrate all the accomplishments of South Korea. He explains as State and then National Korean War Veteran Association President, he strives to reach out to all the Korean War defense veterans (soldiers after 1954) who have served at the DMZ. He expresses that the longevity of the Korean War legacy is with the next generation.
The Difficult Job as a US Marine
James Ferris shares that his assignment did not allow him to stay in Korea for a long time. He explains that his job had him flying in and out of the entire country. He shares he earned good money for the 1950s as a corporal and recalls how he sent most of it home to his family. He adds that once he arrived back home, he went on his first date with a girl he wrote to for over a year while serving in the war.
James H. Raynor
Only Trained in Mess Halls
James H. Raynor describes his first combat in the Korean War. He was not prepared for the conflict, having only trained in the mess hall during basic training. He describes how scared he was and not knowing what to do during the fight.
Hand Grenade to the Groin
James H. Raynor describes his first wound during the Korean War. He suffered from a hand grenade to his groin. He describes how he endured this wound without treatment, barely managing to walk.
New Year's Eve at T-Bone Hill
James H. Raynor describes his News Year Eve at T-Bone Hill. He elaborates on the poor food rations, the extreme cold, and calling out to his "mommy" for strength. He describes a surprise attack that destroyed everything around him.
Serving Despite Skin Grafts
James Hollier describes his aircraft being hit three times. He details a time when he was burned so badly that he needed skin grafts, recovering over a 15 month period. He describes the importance of getting back on his feet to continue serving his country.
James J. Barden
James J. Barden describes preparation for the thirty bombing missions his crew executed in 1952. It took much of an entire day for his squadron to prepare the planes and bombs for night missions from Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. Each mission was to bomb various locations on the Korean Peninsula.
Making the Drops
James J. Barden details bombing missions as they were executed over various cities on the Korean Peninsula, including the capital city of Pyongyang, during the Korean War. He describes the measures taken by his crew to assure accuracy of the bomb drops in hitting intended targets. He explains that the bombings conducted by his crew were documented by another squadron that followed behind to take photos after each mission.
Making the Bomb Run
James J. Barden describes the conditions when his crew faced enemy aircraft. Each bomb run lasted about six minutes, and were three minutes apart. With the enemy hard to detect or see at night, the missions were stressful. The directives to his crew were to not fire unless they were being hit, a measure to prevent the enemy from seeing the aircraft at night.
The Incheon Landing
James Jolly describes his platoon's experience at the Incheon Landing on Blue Beach from Kobe, Japan. He explains that his platoon was the first to capture one of North Korea's T-34. He goes on to describe the lack of resistance from the North Koreans.
James L. Owen
Most Difficult Thing
James L. Owen explains that the most difficult thing of his service was knowing it had to be done. He shares it was hard to accept the fact that one must "kill or be killed." He describes how so many officers were killed, that job responsibilities constantly changed, and that one had to persevere.
James L. Stone
Medal of Honor
James L. Stone states that he was unaware he had been awarded the Medal of Honor. He shares that he was recognized for a few things that he did while serving and lists several that may have contributed to him being awarded the Medal of Honor. He specifically recounts keeping his men together as no one surrendered despited the one hundred percent casualty rate.
Army Gunner with Old WWII Weapons
James Low applied to a school in Texas as a radar repairman, but he was not taken into the program. Instead, he was trained as a 50 caliber machine gunner. Learning to get along with a variety of people, traveling, and training on his gun were the skills he learned. The anti-aircraft weapon that James Low used was from WWII, so soldiers couldn't shoot down planes and ammunition often didn't work.
James M. Cross
Scared or Mad (graphic)
James Cross describes how he was either scared or mad at the Chinese, particularly while at Heartbreak Ridge. He recalls having one hot meal a day and recounts an incident which occurred shortly after finishing a meal. He remembers being mad at the Chinese during the majority of his service for what they were doing to American soldiers, and he shares that he tried his best to stop them at whatever cost.
James M. Oyadomari
I Just Accepted What I Had to Do
James M. Oyadomari describes how he was assigned as a radio operator at a relay station just behind the front lines during his time in Korea. He recalls that most of the incoming fire flew well over their heads but that one round landed nearby. He confesses to being somewhat afraid but notes that he did not panic. He shares the struggles many of the younger soldiers dealt with while serving in Korea. He recalls the time as difficult but that he simply accepted what he had to do.
Friendly Fire Experience
James Parker recalls some of his typical duties while serving. He describes participating in exercises and his experience with "friendly fire". He shares that napalm and artillery were mistakenly dropped and fired on their own troops.
James Parker recalls the campaign for Heartbreak Ridge. He remembers many calls for medics as soldiers were continuously wounded advancing up the hill. He chronicles the change in tactics from using manpower to advance to using tanks instead as a means of taking out the enemy bunkers.
Awards and Air Drops
James Pigneri discusses the awards that he received during the Korean War. He also gives details about how he and other soldiers received their rations and supplies via air drops. The receiving of supplies was a dangerous mission where many soldiers were killed trying to supply the combat soldiers with their daily necessities.
James Ronald Twentey
James "Ron" Twentey talks about his job as an Infantry Combat Operations Specialist plotting minefields and safety lanes. He explains that his educational background resulted in his being assigned to creating the safety lanes in minefields. He describes the choices made and layout details that are involved with minefield planning. He goes on to describe what a safety lane is and its specifications.
Nuclear War in Korea?
Ron Twentey talks about a harrowing duty he was assigned to perform...plotting targets for nuclear destruction throughout North Korea. He explains that at the time he was given this top secret task, he was told to complete it and then forget about it. He says he can now discuss it because this plan was published in detail in a 2011 edition of "The Graybeards." He explains that he was responsible for plotting several targets for nuclear bombs that would have been delivered by "Atomic Annie," a large cannon that actually made its way to Korea, though never used for its ultimate purpose.
African American Marines
James Sharp recounts his basic training and speaks highly of his placement. He shares that he was the only African American in his Marine platoon at the time but adds that once in Korea, he was joined by four other African Americans for a total of five in his company. He laments that two of them were killed while there.
Integration in the Marine Corps
James Sharp describes the official integration of African American soldiers in the Marine Corps prior to the Korean War. He adds that the Korean War was the first war where African Americans could participate in combat both as a unit and as an individual assigned to units. He also offers an account of African American contributions in previous wars.
Average Day Defending an Outpost
James Sharp describes an average day while defending a trench for an 83 day period as a machine gunner. He recounts receiving mortar fire often during the day and night as well as sniper fire if soldiers emerged from the trenches. He explains the necessity of being alert and aware of movement near one's position and details the need for a machine gunner to accompany patrol units.
Machine Gunner Expertise
James Sharp details an ambush scenario a unit found itself amid one night while out on patrol. He recalls Chinese machine gunners furtively stationed on a dike in the rice patties, waiting on half of the patrol to cross before attacking. He describes his own firing expertise and his ability to take out the gunners on the dike to secure the location.
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.
Shooting from a Cave
James Shuman explains where the guns were kept during his service. He remembers having little protection when they were on the front lines. The enemy would tunnel through mountains, creating a cave-like shelter from which they would shoot at his crew.
James T. Gill
Weapons Usage in the Navy
James Gill shares that he experienced a fairly lengthy training as he partook in the usual basic but also an extended weapons training. He describes the need to be experienced with many firearms and weapons, despite the misconception that the Navy never has to fire a gun. He refers to the amphibious force to support his claim as its members are sometimes forced ashore due to boat damage.
James T. Markley
Swimming with Torpedoes
James Markley describes how the Navy and Air Force worked together after the war. The Air Force dropped torpedoes as they were looking for submarines. James' job was to swim out to the torpedo, hook a line on it, and sit on the torpedo while the sailors pulled the torpedo into the ship.
My Job as a Minesweeper
James Markley describes all of the jobs that he had on the navy ship, the USS Sagacity. He was a senior life saving yeoman, and he did administrative duties as well. His ship had 4 officers and 37 crew members.
James Tilford Jones
Fighting against the Chinese
James Jones has vivid memories of how Chinese battlefield tactics were distinctive. They had unique sounds and smells, as well as unique military strategies. His platoon would dig in each night, fight, retreat and then dig in again as the Chinese kept coming.
James Vance Scott
The Big Grenade and Surrender of North Korean Soldiers
James Vance Scott describes the grenade attached to his anti-aircraft machinery that he was instructed to activate if the troops were ever overrun. He recounts how they were also to be back-up support with machine guns. He describes the Battle of Old Baldy, including the surrender of two North Korean soldiers who voluntarily walked into the American camp starving and cold. He describes his first encounter with Chinese soldiers, as well as seeing a dead enemy civilian.
Jean Clements recalls a dangerous moment he experienced while serving in Korea. He shares that the night patrols were especially dangerous and recounts one in particular where he and fellow soldiers were assigned to check a particular post near the Imgingang River in no man's land due to an issue with the communication lines. He recounts having to maneuver through rice fields and securing one side with his machine gun as they made their way to the post.
Imjingang River Attack
Jean Clement shares an account of soldiers on patrol being attacked by the Chinese. He describes the camp where he was assigned, sandwiched between the Imjingang River and a mountain, and recalls that it was not located in the best position for defense against an attack. He shares that Luxembourg soldiers were conducting a patrol across a nearby floating bridge on the Imjingang River, and they were attacked by the Chinese. He recalls helping a soldier out of the river after he had jumped in to protect himself from the Chinese fire. He recounts destroying the equipment they could not carry with them prior to leaving so that it would not fall in Chinese hands and describes how the Belgium soldiers carved a path through the mountain to safety.
Jean Paul St. Aubin
Minefields and Cold Temperatures
Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his duty laying minefields. He recounts carrying out sweeps after opposing forces dropped shells on the fields and on their trenches. He also mentions that Canadian forces used dugouts to keep warm, utilizing gasoline and ammunition cases to create their own sources of heat.
Difficulties of War
Jean Paul St. Aubin details a difficult experience while out on patrol. He recounts orders to capture a small hill and the plan being to send 20 soldiers up the hill, leaving 20 in reserve at the base of the hill. He shares that those sent up the hill were attacked with grenades and suffered wounds, were killed, were taken prisoner, or went missing.
Jean Paul White
Jean Paul White describes war activity with the Chinese. He explains the living conditions and injuries that resulted. He describes the movements of the Marine Corps leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes events that happen during and after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains learning about General MacArthur asking them to retreat with orders from his Commanding General, General Smith.
Fighting the Cold
Jean Paul White describes how difficult it was to maintain weapons in the cold in Korea in the winter of 1950. He explains the effects on food. He explains the extents to what people had to do to keep items in use. He shares an interesting story about the medical professionals struggle difficult conditions.
Shot But Not Wounded
Jean Paul White describes an incident while he and his squad were taking a hill. He describes a Chinese soldier with an automatic rifle. He mentions a fellow officer, PFC Walter Talbot, who was hit. He explains that after dispatching the enemy soldier, he was surprised to find that PFC Talbot had been shot but not wounded. He explains how he was miraculously saved.
We Finally Took Hill 325
Jeff Liebregts does not recall knowing if they were fighting Chinese or North Korean soldiers at Hill 325. He explains that before the third attempt to take the hill it didn't matter what job you had. You were given a gun and sent up the hill. He shares that he was afraid and if someone says that they were not, they are joking. After taking the hill, he remembers feeling tired and lying down near body bags. He recalls waking up to someone kicking him to check that he was alive.
You Saved My Life Baby
Jeff Liebregts elaborates on his experience protecting the bridge in Hoengsong and saving the life of a colonel. While monitoring the replacement bridge, he shares he heard something approaching. He describes seeing a weapons carrier with mortars crossing the bridge and readying his weapon. As he assessed the situation, he shares he noticed a colonel exit the car looking completely out of sorts. After providing protection for the colonel, he remembers they opened the vehicle and found four deceased soldiers.
Jeremiah Johnson describes his job in Korea. He recounts how he would record the sounds of enemy artillery. He explains his role and how he was independent from the trench soldier. He describes the technology he would use as part of his counterfire platoon work.
Finding North Korean Shooters
Jeremiah Johnson describes the poor attitude of many soldiers who did not want to be there and comments on how they would complain. He remembers how he was bored calling artillery locations, so he asked his Lieutenant if he could figure out his own shots. He describes how he came up with a system to refine the process of locating North Korean guns.
When asked about dangerous moments, Jerry Bowen describes exchanging mortar fire with the Chinese in formation in front of his camp. He got some mortar bombs and went up to the top of the hill, but feared the Chinese would ambush them. He describes using hand grenades and the other events of that night in detail.
Kill or Be Killed
Jesse Englehart discusses landing in Busan. He discusses the personal hardship of being on a ship for such a long time. He explains how they quickly he was thrust into combat. He explains how he adapted.
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.
Taking a Hill
Jesse Englehart describes his part in taking a hill. He explains how he prepared for battle with his helmet. He described weapons used against him and others during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He also explains that he was lucky to survive and how they made sure they left nothing the enemy could use.
The Hazards of War
Jesse Englehart describes what he forgets and remembers from the war. He explains the weapons used. He explains incidents of death in what he calls the "hazards of war."
Jesús María Cabra Vargas
First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones
Jesús María Cabra Vargas shares his first impressions of a war-torn Korea. While he was not able to see many cities, he recalls that there was rubble everywhere. He reminisces being naïve upon arriving at the front and thinking that mortars during the night were fireworks from a celebration nearby.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea que estaba devastada por la guerra. Si bien no pudo ver muchas ciudades, recuerda que había escombros por todas partes. Recuerda que era tan inocente que al llegar al frente pensó que los morteros y los tiros de noche eran fuegos artificiales de una celebración cercana.
The Armistice / El Armisticio
Jesús María Cabra Vargas shares the joy and relief troops felt when they heard about the signing of the Armistice. He explains that troops were required to conduct skirmishes at night. He reminisces how there are no words to explain the joy they felt knowing that their lives were no longer on the line.
Jesús María Cabra Vargas comparte la alegría y el alivio que sintieron al enterarse de la firma del Armisticio. Explica que se requerían tropas para realizar escaramuzas por la noche. Recuerda que no hay palabras para explicar la alegría que sintieron al saber que no iban a perder sus vidas.
Experiences as an Army Armor Officer
Jim Duncan describes the difficulty of fighting at night. He describes an incident when his tank was hit. He describes the damage by enemy fire on Hill 854 in Eastern Korea.
Tanks in Charge
Jim Ducan discusses being a helpful hand to men in trenches. He discusses when he was sent to the front lines. He explains tank battalions and their set up in the war. He explains that he stood on hill 854 to the end.
I Was Thinking About My Men
Jim Duncan discusses how lucky he feels to not lose any men. He shares a difficult decision he had to make for his men. He explains how difficult his duty as a Platoon Leader could be.
Korean War Soldiers Returning Home
Joan Taylor's first husband came back home early from the war due to a death in the family. His father passed away and his mother was left to run a business, but she needed help. Joan Taylor's first husband was stationed as an Army Security Agent (ASA), so he did not participate in any fighting, but he recalled the bombs dropping and hiding in the bunkers at night.
Joe C. Tarver
Danger Aboard the Aircraft Carrier
Joe C. Tarver describes the danger involved in maneuvering the large "Sky Raider" planes on the cramped flight deck, often in unstable weather conditions. The aircraft had large bomb loads, which was a consistent reminder of how meticulous airplane maneuvers had to be. He explains how one of the men he was stationed with accidentally got blown into a running aircraft propeller. Additionally, regular practices aboard the aircraft carrier were conducted to prepare to shoot at enemy fire if necessary.
Life at Sea
Joe C. Tarver explains that most of the men he was stationed with aboard the USS Boxer were part of a reserve squadron. The ship was almost nine hundred feet long, and had places to do laundry and take regular showers; it also had a post office and gas tanks. He explains that enemy fire never came while he was aboard the aircraft carrier because other ships were in the same area for protection.
Joe H. Ager
Learned About Korea While Training the Chinese
Joe Ager shares he first learned about Korea in 1948 during a mission to Peking, China. The mission he describes was part of Truman’s program that gave the United States' surplus of weapons to Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek). He recounts being sent to China to train soldiers on these weapons. He shares that before 1950, his experience with Korea included watching soldiers disembark at Incheon.
Glad I Survived
Joe Ager offers an overview of the withdrawal. Under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith, they began abandoning resources so that the Chinese would not know they were retreating. He reflects on Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith’s treatment of African American soldiers. During the withdrawal, he remembers encounters with the Chinese and the heavy loses they suffered. He shares that three hundred eighty-five out of the two thousand men reached Heungnam. He reflects on feelings of guilt for surviving but emphasizes not wasting time and energy on regret.
Harsh Winters and Ways to Detect the Enemy
Joe Larkin described the conditions on the mountains at Punchbowl were terrible including 10-20 degrees below zero weather which made it very difficult for guns to work properly. He said the oil and grease would freeze, so the soldiers weren't able to shoot their guns. They also developed searchlights that would beam off of low lying clouds so they could detect movement and see both the enemy and their own soldiers during the Korean War.
"Battle of the Hook" at Panmunjeom
An outcrop of land between two main lines resembled a hook.
Joe Larkin's Marine Division was sent to Panmunjom to hold the line of resistance against the Chinese. His unit helped with reinforcements by bringing in timber that they would move at night so the enemy could not detect their movement. The outpost was attacked and both sides suffered casualties, but with the help of his division, the UN troops took over the area.
Joe O. Apodaca
Boot Camp at Great Lakes
Joe O. Apodaca, in 1951, went through his U.S. Navy recruit training at Great Lakes. He shares how, as a new recruit, he received the traditional short “induction” haircut. He recalls how, during his time at bootcamp, he and his fellow recruits were given medical shots that made many of them feel ill, including himself. He explains how swimming tests were also conducted, and since he was a strong swimmer who had lettered in the sport in high school, he did well. However, he remembers that those who struggled with swimming received tougher treatment from the officers.
The USS Henrico in Korea
Joe O. Apodaca discusses his time in Korea while aboard the USS Henrico. He shares he witnessed U.S. Marines disembarking from the ship via nets onto LCMs and other boats which then transported the units to shore. He remembers how the ship traveled roughly one to two miles from the beach near Incheon, Seoul, and Busan. He recalls seeing flashes of light on land throughout the night and passing enemy planes.
Bad Ankle Injury
Joe Rosato recalled that while fighting near the Yalu River, he, his sergeant, and a lieutenant were ordered to take out a machine gun nest using the 57-recoilless rifle. Not soon after their assigned task to take out the gunnery, they were ordered to quickly get down the road and regroup in no particular order. They were to just move as quickly as they could. Joe Rosato was carrying the rifle when his foot was wedged between rocks and he fell in a hole while twisting his ankle so bad he couldn't walk on it. He had to abandoned his rifle and limp as fast as he could to meet up with this regiment, but they lost a lot of men that day.
John A. Ciburk
Bombing in North Korea
John A. Ciburk describes several bombing missions in which he participated. He recalls bombing an oil refinery as well as roads and bridges in North Korea as a means of stopping enemy forces on the ground. He shares that when the Chinese forces came in, they were ordered to start bombing villages as the Chinese were using them for housing.
Flights and Mishaps
John A. Ciburk explains that he flew 43 bombing missions while serving during the war, carrying 20,000 pounds of bombs each mission. He recounts 2 particular mishaps that fortunately ended well. He shares that on one mission the bomb door kept opening which forced them to drop their bombs before reaching their target, and on another mission, 2 engines caught fire, forcing them to parachute from the plane.
Typhoon, Napalm, and a Big Breakfast
John Beasley describes the arduous trip to Inchon from Japan on a Japanese Navy Landing Ship Tank (LST). The voyage took place after a ten-day hold-up in Japan due to a typhoon. He recalls that the continuous large waves caused napalm containers aboard the ship to break loose on the deck. He describes the mood and morale of his fellow Marines as they ate a big breakfast of steak and eggs, and the concern about who would make it back alive from their mission.
Sights and Sounds of the Incheon Landing
John Beasley recalls the sights and sounds of 5:00 in the evening on September 15, 1950, the first day of the Inchon Landing. He describes only having rifles and mortars to use against Russian tanks that were coming in the next day after the landing. He recalls that other soldiers who had come off a carrier came in to assist with use of napalm. He gives a first-hand account of the heroic efforts of fellow Marine, Walter C. Monegan Jr., during the Inchon Landing. Monegan posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his valor.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
Smoke During Amphibious Assaults
John Bierman was assigned to a smoke boat and amphibious assaults. The smoke boat is typically one of the first boats in and last boats out during amphibious training. Diesel fuel was mixed with water to make a heavy white cloud of smoke to protect landing craft boats during the Korean War.
Deceptive Amphibious Assaults
The ship that John Bierman was stationed on made deceptive amphibious assaults 3 different times on the coast of Korea during the war. This was a way to draw opposing troops away from the front line. North Korean troops were tricked, so John Bierman received incoming fire and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in 1951.
Military College: Preparing For Military LIfe
John Bierman grew up during WWII and joined the Boy Scouts of America so that he could collect aluminum along with bacon fat. During the Great Depression, he would eat one piece of bread with warm milk poured over with as dinner. After graduating high school, he graduated with a pre-engineering degree at a military college in 1947.
The Holloway Program
John Bierman applied for the Holloway Program which was the Naval version of the ROTC. He was accepted after interviews and an exam, so he was sent to the University of Oklahoma. He studied chemical engineering and Naval Science until he graduated in 1951 as an officer.
Targets of Opportunity
John Blankenship participated in night time bombing raids to go after "targets of opportunity." There are differences in capability between the A26 which was piloted by John Blankenship, and the Soviet-built MIGS that were being used by the North Korean pilots. John Blankenship's A26 flew only at night because the Korean MIGS didn't fly at night, so it kept his A26 safe.
Night Missions with Napalm
John Blankenship knew that he was always in danger and a few of his friends were shot down. He flew every night and ended up flying 87 missions in about 1 year. The A26 held 14 gun, 4-6 bombs, and napalm. When enemy convoys stopped and were trapped, John Blankenship dropped napalm on North Korean troops.
Typical Day as a Pilot
John Blankenship remembers spending lots of time sleeping when he wasn't flying missions. He was provided food from Japan that was made my cooks in the Air Force and he was given one hot meal a day. The pilots often ate WWII C-Rations to supplement meals. An important mission that John Blankenship was part of included the bombing of Pyungyang and a town near the Yalu River.
3rd Battle of the Hook and the End of the Korean War
John Boyd fought in the 3rd Battle of the Hook against the Chinese during the last push against communism. After the ceasefire was called, an American tank went up north toward the Chinese troops. He recalls Chinese anti-aircraft going after the tank right as two American fighter planes came down onto Chinese positions.
John Burton Forse
First Experience in a Tank
John Burton Forse describes his first experience being in a M26 Pershing tank after being assigned as an assistant driver upon his arrival in Korea. He had to readjust to operating the machine gun in the tank. He also describes the sounds and feelings inside the tank.
First Time Driving an M46 Patton tank
John Burton Forse tells the story when a Colonel asked him to drive an M46 Patton tank up and down a hill. He did not have prior experience driving this kind of tank. It was difficult to get the tank up the hill and to make turns.
First Time on Patrol
John Burton Forse describes the way he felt the first time he went on patrol in a tank. He describes feeling confident but reluctant at the same time. This is the moment soldiers are trained for. He describes the feeling as "this is it." He also details all the Chinese he saw dead everywhere.
John C. Delagrange
Identifying Targets During Korean War
John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.
Enemy River Crossing
John Delagrange recalls spending most of his time at Kimpo Air Base, analyzing aerial photos for intelligence. He remembers sending a reconnaissance flight to investigate an area of concern on the Imjingang River. He highlights that was the location where many of the Chinese troops hid and invaded during the Korean War.
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.
"A Vicious Time"
John Fry shares that he served in the Royal Australian Regiment as a rifleman. He recalls being sent to Korea in 1953 after having joined the military due to unemployment increasing in the textile field. He remembers Korea being in terrible condition as many people were living in cardboard boxes. He shares his memories of arriving in Pusan before heading North. He comments on his involvement in the Battle of the Hook, an experience he calls a “vicious time.” He shares his amazement of the unbelievable progress Korea has made since the war.
Close to the Enemy
John Halliday describes working in a three-man team calling in airstrikes. In their forward observation positions, he notes their position was so close they could visually observe the enemy without the use of a telescope. He emphasizes that he was very lucky to have not been wounded during any of his missions.
John I. Reidy
Final Days at Pork Chop Hill
John Reidy describes what fighting was like during the final days of the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He recalls showering the Chinese with leaflets stating that in celebration of the United States' Independence, the Americans were going to take the hill. He remembers the fighting continuing and compares the difference between American and Chinese military tactics.
John Jefferies recounts a successful and massive North Korean POW escape that occurred early one morning. He details how the North Koreans used towels to destroy part of the fencing around the camp and remembers watching thousands of them flee. He recalls having to defend himself to survive the situation.
Losing a Friend on the Front Line
John Juby shares his experience of losing a close friend who died on the front line after being hit by an incoming mortar. He explains having to wrap up the body and take it the American Graves Registration Service. He describes the scene of the location of where the deceased bodies of soldiers were dropped off.
Dangerous Conditions in Korea
John Juby explains how he was wounded from being scratched by barbed wire. He describes his duties as a part of the detachment of Pioneers, and explains why soldiers have differing experiences. He recalls being fired upon by American soldiers who did not detect the presence of the British troops who were nearby.
Dealing with Guerrillas
John Levi recalls his experience with guerrilla warfare pushing north of Pusan. He recounts how, one night, they ran into the guerrillas. He calls it one of the scariest moments in his war experience - not knowing if the next mortar was going to land on him or not.
Enlisting in the U.S. Navy
John McBroom recalls his short experience at the University of Tennessee where he studied electrical engineering and was part of the ROTC program. After just one year of college, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent boot camp and sonar school in San Diego, California. He recalls leaving for Sasebo, Japan, in the spring of 1953 and sailing to Wonsan, Korea, from there.
The U.S.S. Symbol
John McBroom speaks about his experience aboard the U.S.S. Symbol, the oldest minesweeper ship in the United States fleet that was built out of steel in 1941. McBroom recalls how large the ship was, capable of holding 100 men, and describes how it was reinforced in the front so it could safely smash into submarines. Minesweeping, McBroom explains, was mostly a middle-of-the-night type of work and shares how they avoid daytime sweeps at all possible. He recalls a close encounter with what they believe was the Battleship New Jersey on one of these middle of the night sweeps.
Several Incidents on Board
John McBroom recalls several incidents on board the U.S.S. Symbol while in the Hamhueng area. He remembers North Koreans firing at the ship from the beach and recalls gunfire from both the North Koreans and another the USS Wiltsie (DD-716) that was posted nearby for protection.
John McBroom offers details on the basics of how mines worked in the Korean War. He explains his duties as a sonar man as well as those of the USS Symbol. He notes they probably found about a dozen mines during his time in Korea.
While in the Combat Engineer Battalion
John McWaters shares that while near Heungnam, he provided jackhammers and an air compressor truck to some Marines who needed help breaking up large rocks. He reported to General Oliver Prince Smith and assisted him with running the equipment. He recalls the general looking up and thanking God for his help.
Answering the Call For the Australian Navy
John Moller recalls enlisting in the Australian Navy in 1950. He shares that he was stationed on the HMS Sydney from 1951-1952. He comments on returning to Korean twice after the war and shares how he was able to see, first-hand, the evolution of the buildings, roads, and culture in South Korea.
Can I Please Join the Australian Navy?
John Moller recalls joining the Australian Navy when he was seventeen with his parents' permission. He describes working in the supply branch aboard the HMS Sydney, which was an aircraft carrier with three flight squadrons. He shares that he on the aircraft carrier along with multiple Spitfire planes.
Life on an Aircraft Carrier
John Moller describes being shipped out for two weeks while stationed aboard the HMS Sydney during the Korean War. He recalls how he would provide supplies for the sailors on the ship while Spitfires bombed the Korean mainland. He adds that he was able to enjoy a hot shower daily and clean hammocks every two weeks.
Guarding the 38th Parallel
John Munro recalls that his mission was to patrol the DMZ at Panmunjeom to make sure the border was safe. He recounts serving in a variety of battalions depending on where he was stationed in Korea. He shares that while serving on the DMZ, he also added mines along the line to keep away North Koreans who might have snuck over the 38th parallel.
Growing Up in a Korean Orphanage
John Munro shares that he did not experience any dangerous moments while patrolling the DMZ in early 1954. He recounts how, as part of 1 Battalion, he went to Seoul to spend the day at an orphanage. He recalls his time spent at the orphanage and how he was given six children to eat with and play with throughout the afternoon.
John O. Every
The Terrible Cold and Frostbite
John O. Every talks about being in combat near the Chosin Reservoir, and being evacuated due to extreme frostbite. He recalls seeing airplanes drop supplies, and recounts the tough losses of fighting. He explains being evacuated and taken to various hospitals for recovery.
Close Encounters Under Enemy Fire
John O. Every speaks about being under enemy fire and encountering Chinese soldiers. He was awarded a Marine Corps Commendation Medal for enduring the enemy fire. He explains having to repair ammunition that was not properly operating.
John P. Baker
John P. Baker describes how the war seemed to have shifted to an artillery war with America having fired more artillery shells in a three-year span in Korea than in all of World War II. Due to the position of the artillery in the rear, he shares he never felt in danger of incoming fire, yet he witnessed the immense barrage of outgoing fire. He adds he did suffer hearing loss as a result.
Work as a British Radar Plotter
John Pound was trained as a radar plotter in the operations room. The ship operated in a constant state of darkness to avoid enemy detection. From the operations room, John Pound would search the sea for enemy boats with the occasional star shell burst breaking the silence to help illuminate the water to identify ships in the surrounding water. Often, he would spot small fishing ships.
Sending and Receiving "Projjies"
John Pound's ship the HMS Charity would fire shells, or "projjies" short for projectiles, towards trains that traveled near the North Korean coastline. He remembers one Easter when North Korean gunners fired back from positions hidden in caves. He also describes assisting in spotting pilots who missed their landings on aircraft carriers.
First Job in Korea
John Pritchard was dropped off in Pusan and was shocked to see civilians living in cardboard boxes without any sanitation. After one day, he was sent to Geoje Island to work in an American workshop to fix a water tanker. He was impressed with the tools available to the American Army.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
Close Encounter with a North Korean Pilot
John Rolston describes being a flight leader and bringing people to Japan and they were returning. He shares how he was very close to shooting down a North Korean pilot who went below the 38th parallel. He shares how he could have shot the pilot, but he didn't want to murder someone who was lost.
John Sehejong Ha
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.
North Korea Mission
John Shea describes his time working at the message center in North Korea, way above the 38th Parallel. He shares few details about his mission, saying "I can't say" and "it could be" when asked if it was dangerous. He reveals that unlike most privates, he carried a rifle and a handgun.
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.
Preparing to Build
John Singhose recalls knowing about the Korean War before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He explains basic training in infantry, and the training he received to prepare for his his Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) as a Combat Construction Foreman. He received training in machine operations, construction, and explosives.
Preparing for War
John Snodell was working in distribution when the Korean War broke out in 1950. In 1951, he received notification that he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army. He received training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before leaving for Korea by boat from Seattle, and landing at Busan.
The Coldest Winter
John Snodell describes being with the 1st Marine Division and working as a combat engineer, and recalls seeing Cuban, Greek and Turkish soldiers during his time in Korea. He describes the weather as being very cold and remembers having to sleep on the ground. He recalls seeing Korean soldiers sleeping in trenches.
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.
Experiences in Battle
John Tobia discusses his recollections of being in battle. He recalls most of the fighting he witnessed occurred at night, and the next day, he and others would often go to the front lines and see how many troops were killed. He recalls how severely cold the winters were. His company used heaters and stoves to stay warm and often saw rats in their bunker also wanting to warm up. He also mentions how important it was to keep toilet paper in one's helmet.
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.
John V. Larson
Rebuilding Europe During the Korean War
John V. Larson explains that in 1950 he was not deployed to Korea, but instead to Dreux-Louvilliers U.S. Air Force Base, about fifty miles outside Paris, France. He worked to deactivate and remove mines, repair U.S. bases and bombed-out runways, and build touch-down strips for bombers in France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Poland. He recalls seeing the crematorium pits left at Nazi Death Camps.
U.S.-France Relations During the Korean War
John V. Larson describes the importance of guard duty, and having a lot of leftover World War II equipment to manage. He remembers the merging of races in the military as many African-Americans were being placed into all white units in Europe. He explains why getting help from the French seemed to be difficult when U.S. troops broke down on the roads.
The Leftovers of War
John V. Larson recalls that when compared to other bombed-out areas of Europe, it seemed that there was not much destruction in Paris, France. He describes seeing places that were demolished, and other nearby places such as cathedrals, historical areas, and key cities that were never touched by bombing. He recalls feeling fortunate to be stationed where he was because he knew the combat equipment in Korea was not very good.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina speaks about the difficulty he faced any time he was in combat. He recalls the mental toll seeing fellow soldiers blown up minutes after having a conversation with them took on his psyche. Begging god to let him live and see his family again, he remembers that it was in Korea that he really learned how to pray.
Jorge Eliécer Cortez Medina habla de las dificultades que enfrentaba cada vez que estaba en combate. Recuerda el costo mental que tuvo en su psique ver a compañeros volar en pedazos por el aire minutos después de haber tenido una conversación con ellos. Rogando a Dios que lo dejara vivir y volver a ver a su familia, recuerda que fue en Corea donde realmente aprendió a rezar.
Basic Training / Basic Training / Entrenamiento
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina offers an overview of his training prior to combat. He states that he attended communications school in Colombia and then received further training when he arrived in Korea. He provides details about the training in Korea which included nighttime navigation practice and required them to walk for miles.
Jorge Eliecer Cortez Medina ofrece su perspectiva de del entrenamiento que recibió. Cuenta que asistió a la escuela de comunicaciones en Colombia y luego recibió más entrenamiento cuando llegó a Corea. Provee detalles sobre el entrenamiento en Corea que incluía la práctica de navegación nocturna y las caminatas en la oscuridad.
Jorge Luis Rodríguez Rivera
Dangerous Missions / Misiones Peligrosas
Jorge Luis Rodríguez Rivera discusses the most difficult moments of the war. He recalls being frightened whenever he was sent on reconnaissance missions as they had to explore neighboring hills and could see the enemy’s movement and numbers. He remembers that whenever the enemy retreated, they would be able to use their foxholes. Being that they were outnumbered three-to-one, he marvels at the fact that he survived.
Jorge Luis Rodríguez Rivera analiza los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Recuerda que se asustaba cada vez que lo enviaban en misiones de reconocimiento, ya que tenían que explorar las colinas vecinas para poder ver el movimiento del enemigo. Recuerda que cada vez que el enemigo se retiraba, utilizaban sus trincheras. Dado que los superaban en número tres a uno, se maravilla por el hecho de haber sobrevivido.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna
Worse Battle / La Peor Batalla
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explains that he fought in many terrible battles. He details one in which they captured about five hundred prisoners. He remembers every detail of that battle because his friend died from an ambush by North Koreans while he was charging up a hill.
José Aníbal Beltrán Luna explica que luchó en muchas batallas terribles. Detalla una en la que capturaron a unos quinientos prisioneros. Recuerda cada detalle de esa batalla porque su amigo murió cuando los norcoreanos lo emboscaron mientras subía una colina.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane
First Days / Primeros Días
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane describes his duties as a scout for the reconnaissance patrol. He recalls that he was immediately asked to go on patrol the first day he arrived. Additionally, he describes an incident in which he almost died protecting a Jeep for his captain and it was luck that saved his life.
Jose Antonio Diaz Villafane describe sus funciones como explorador de la patrulla de reconocimiento. Recuerda que le pidieron que fuera a patrullar el primer día que llegó a Corea. Describe un incidente en el que casi muere protegiendo un Jeep para su capitán y fue la suerte lo que le salvó la vida.
Jose E. Colon
The 65th Regiment’s Efforts and Consequences
Jose E. Colon provides an account of the 65th Infantry Regiment's movement to the 38th Parallel during the Korean War. He praises the regiment's tenacity in pushing back the Chinese, allowing United States Marines to evacuate the area. He notes, however, the poor living conditions endured by the 65th Regiment and the court-martials that followed their refusal to push forward.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that any time they were on the move it was incredibly dangerous as they were always met with mortar attacks. He remembers how they were ambushed one night, and his friend was killed. He wonders if he killed anyone as they shot in all directions as they could not see the enemy. Forever etched in his memory are the hardships of civilians and what they had to resort to in order to survive.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Él explica que cada vez que se movía del sur hasta el frente era increíblemente peligroso porque siempre lo atacaban con morteros. Recuerda que una noche los emboscaron y mataron a su amigo, y ellos disparaban en todas direcciones porque no podían ver donde estaba al enemigo entonces él no sabe si mato a nadie. Las miserias de los civiles y lo que tenían que hacer para sobrevivir le han quedado grabadas en su memoria.
Living Conditions / Condiciones de Vida
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz describes the living conditions they faced in Korea. He marvels at the organization of the American army in its ability to coordinate all aspects of their lives, including the use of bulldozers to build showers with hot water. He recalls that one Colombian soldier commented that besides the fact that they could be killed, they loved everything about being in Korea.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz describe las condiciones de vida del Batallón Colombia. Él recuerda la organización maravillosa del ejército estadounidense en su capacidad de coordinar todos los aspectos de sus vidas, incluido el uso de excavadoras para construir duchas con agua caliente cada vez que el frente se movía. Él cuenta que un soldado colombiano comentó que además del hecho de que los podían matar, amaba estar en Corea porque todo era mejor.
Foreign Troops / Tropas Extranjeras
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz discusses his encounters with troops from other allied nations. He shares a story about a Korean man they called Oscar whom they spoke Spanish with and shared stories about Colombia. He remembers that many soldiers, including Americans, inquired about the ongoing political violence in Colombia.
José Guillermo Posada Ortiz habla de sus discusiones con tropas extranjeras. Comparte una historia sobre un hombre coreano que lo llamaban Oscar con quien hablaban español y compartían historias sobre Colombia. Recuerda que muchos soldados, incluidos estadounidenses, querían saber más sobre la violencia política que sucedía en Colombia.
Jose Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez
Most Dangerous Conflicts / Conflictos Más Peligrosos
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez shares his memories of the most dangerous battles that Colombian troops faced. He discusses the perils during Operation Barbula and the bloody nature of the Battle of Old Baldy. Because of the heavy fighting Colombian troops encountered in March of 1953, they nicknamed it the “gory month of March.”
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez comparte sus recuerdos de las batallas más peligrosas que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas. Habla de los peligros durante la Operación Barbula y lo sangriento que fue la Batalla de Old Baldy. Debido a los intensos combates que enfrentaron las tropas colombianas en marzo de 1953, lo apodaron "el cruento mes de Marzo".
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.
Living Conditions / Condiciones de Vida
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez describes the living conditions they experienced. He remembers that they did not have any wants as the American Military provided them with everything they needed. He adds that the logistical support provided by the United States was excellent.
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez describe las condiciones de las tropas colombianas. Recuerda que no les faltaba nada ya que el ejército estadounidense les proporcionó todo lo que necesitaban. Agrega que el apoyo logístico brindado por Estados Unidos fue excelente.
Legacy for Colombia / El Legado para Colombia
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez offers his opinion on what the legacy of the war means for Colombian veterans. He explains that the war revolutionized the Colombian military and left it changed for the better. In fact, the Batallón Colombia adopted an American military style and abandoned its use of German training.
José Jaime Rodríguez Rodríguez ofrece su opinión sobre el legado de la guerra para los veteranos colombianos. Explica que la guerra revolucionó a las fuerzas armadas colombianas y las dejó cambiadas para mejor. De hecho, el Batallón Colombia adoptó un estilo militar estadounidense y abandonó el uso del entrenamiento alemán.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez
Dangerous Arrival / Llegada Peligrosa
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez recounts the story of his voyage to Korea. He explains that his platoon were replacements for all those lost at Pork Chop Hill and Kelly Hill. His company was divided into two and he was part of the second wave of soldiers that would be sent to Korea. He provides an account on how fifty soldiers from the first wave were killed the day they arrived, as the train transporting them to Seoul was bombed by Russians.
José Luis Irizarry Rodríguez cuenta la historia de su viaje a Corea. Explica que su pelotón reemplazó a todas las bajas en Pork Chop Hill y Kelly Hill. Su compañía se dividió en dos y él formó parte de la segunda ola de soldados que serían enviados a Corea. Brinda un relato de cómo cincuenta soldados de la primera ola murieron el día que llegaron, cuando los aviones rusos bombardearon el tren que los transportaba a Seúl.
Jose Maria Gomez Parra
Sudden Attack / Sudden Attack / Ataque
José María Gómez Parra provides a detailed account of the start of the Battle of Old Baldy. He describes the intense fighting that occurred and the manner in which Chinese troops advanced into their territory. He adds that the Chinese would try to dissuade Colombians from fighting through speakerphones by telling them they were going to die or have an amputated limb to diminish troop morale. He shares that during the battle he was an assistant machine gunner along with two other individuals, one of whom was killed and the other that ran away. He recalls how he kept his position and fought until he realized the hill was lost.
José María Gómez Parra ofrece un relato del inicio de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Describe el combate intenso que ocurrió y la forma en la cual las tropas chinas entraron a su territorio. Además, cuenta que los chinos trataban de disuadir a los colombianos de pelear a través de los altavoces diciéndoles que iban a morir o que les amputarían una extremidad para romper la linea de combate. Durante la batalla, fue asistente de ametralladora junto con otros dos individuos, uno de los cuales murió y el otro se escapó. El mantuvo su posición y luchó hasta que se dio cuenta de que la colina estaba perdida.
Wounded at Old Baldy / Herido en Old Baldy
José María Gómez Parra explains how he was wounded during the Battle of Old Baldy. Blinded and wounded from a grenade, he shares how he managed to crawl into a latrine for safety. As day broke, he recalls hearing Americans enter the battlefield. Although planes heavily bombed the area in an attempt to retake the hill from the Chinese, he surmises that some allied forces were killed during the bombing as there were between thirty and forty Colombians missing in action.
José María Gómez Parra explica cómo fue herido durante la Batalla de Old Baldy. Cegado y herido en la pierna, se arrastró hasta una letrina para esconderse. Al amanecer, escuchó a los estadounidenses entrar al campo de batalla. Los aviones bombardearon intensamente el área en un intento de recuperar la colina que estaba a manos de los chinos. El supone que algunos soldados aliados murieron durante el bombardeo ya que hubo entre treinta y cuarenta colombianos desaparecidos en esa batalla.
José Pascagaza León
Combat Baptism / El Bautismo
José Pascagaza León details the training he received both in Colombia and Korea. After completing infantry school, he explains that they were sent by boat to Korea and upon landing they completed more intense training to understand how to utilize weapons and heavy artillery. Furthermore, he describes the training, which was dubbed the baptism, in which they were shot at with real ammunition to train them to stay down while crawling through a field.
José Pascagaza León detalla el entrenamiento que recibió tanto en Colombia como en Corea. Después de completar la escuela de infantería, él explica que fueron enviados en barco a Corea y al desembarcar completaron un entrenamiento más intenso para aprender cómo utilizar armas y artillería pesada. Además, describe el entrenamiento, que se denominó el bautismo, en el que se les disparaba con munición real para entrenarlos a permanecer agachados mientras se arrastraban por un campo.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Difíciles
José Pascagaza León remembers the most difficult moments he faced in Korea. As a member of the rearguard, he states that he did not have the difficulties of those in the front but felt in danger when the enemy returned fire after they launched mortars. He recalls the fighting at the Battle of Hill 180 and the use of heavy artillery to support those in the front.
José Pascagaza León recuerda los momentos más difíciles que enfrentó en Corea. Como él era miembro de la retaguardia, afirma que no tuvo las dificultades de los del frente, pero se sintió en peligro cuando el enemigo respondió con fuego después de que lanzaron morteros. Recuerda los combates en la Batalla de la Colina 180 y como tuvo que usar artillería pesada para apoyar a los que estaban en el frente.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano
Most Dangerous and Peaceful Moments / Momentos Más Peligrosos y de Paz
José Vidal Beltrán Molano recalls the fear he experienced during night patrols and how different periods of rest and relaxation felt. He explains how night patrol was especially dangerous as they were unaware if they would be ambushed at any minute. On the other hand, he states that periods of R and R in Japan instilled in him a sense of incredible peace and happiness.
José Vidal Beltrán Molano recuerda el miedo que tenía durante los patrullajes nocturnos y cómo se sentía tan diferente durante el periodo de descanso y relajación. Explica que la patrulla nocturna era muy peligrosa ya que no sabían si serían emboscados en cualquier momento. Por el otro lado, afirma que los períodos de R&R en Japón le inculcaron una sensación de paz y felicidad increíble.
Joseph C. Giordano
Arrival and a Dangerous Combat Engineer Duty
Joseph Giordano recounts his arrival in Korea on Christmas Eve, 1951. He describes his fear on the front lines of not knowing if the artillery fire overhead was coming in or going out. He details one of his dangerous duties as a combat engineer. He describes having to advance beyond the front lines to ready trenches for occupation by the infantry and shares that he and fellow engineers had to clear out the dead Chinese soldiers from the trenches.
Playing Games with the Enemy
Joseph Giordano recollects his duties as a combat engineer, particularly those of clearing the battlefield of dead bodies and setting up mines. He describes performing this duty while under direct enemy observation and "daring" enemy soldiers to launch mortars at him and fellow engineers. He comments on the difficulties of his work and how tiresome it was.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge/part of Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Joseph Dunford, Sr. shares that his first battle in the Korean War was the 2nd Battle at Naktong Bulge. He explains how the North Koreans broke the lines and he fought to push them back. He shares how responded using his training. He knew his role was critical.
Joseph Dunford, Sr. participated in the Inchon Landing. He describes his objective was to take Observatory Hill (also known as Cemetery Hill). He explains how he and his regiment did this at 5:30 PM and took the hill once it became dark. He explains how the North Koreans were fighting lightly. He shares all he could see was the dead and fires around him.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Dunford shares how he participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which is known in Korea as the Jangjin Battle. He explains that there were so many Chinese there that he couldn't even count. He explains how he had to sleep on the ground without a sleeping bag since they were told to burn everything except a few C-Rations and weapons. He shares how the lack of food, proper shelter, and other necessities made survival difficult.
Joseph F. Gibson
First Battle Came Soon
Joseph F. Gibson describes going straight from a ship to a train after landing at the Pusan Perimeter. He explains how he was trained to jump into a ditch when he heard shooting. He shares how shortly after arriving in the Pusan Perimeter he was under fire by the North Koreans. He shares how he had to run alongside the Nak dong River while dodging bullets.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Joseph F. Gibson describes having to protect seventeen injured patients who were under his care in the medic tent as the Chinese broke the line. He explains how his unit was only fourteen miles from the Chinese border. He explains how he was told that the war would be over soon since they had pushed all the way through North Korea. He describes how the Chinese joined the North Koreans and how he took a lot of incoming fire in order to hold his tent safe from invasion. He shares how many Chinese were captured by the US and the loss of a Catholic priest.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes heading towards the Chosin Reservoir. He shares how he was meant to advance to Yellow River but stopped. He shares how he didn't hit any resistance since they defeated that North Koreans and the men thought that the Chinese would not get involved. He describes the frozen ground and how it was so cold that the soldiers couldn't dig a fox hole, so they slept on the ground in their sleeping bags. He shares how the Chinese attacked them and there was nowhere to hide.
"It Was the Fourth of July"
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.
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.
Holding the Bridgehead; Defending the Belgian Battalion
Joseph Wagener remembers an incident during the Spring Offensive of April 1951 when UN troops tried to locate Chinese forces across the Incheon River. His Luxembourg battalion occupied a bridgehead so the Belgian B Company could cross the river to search for the enemy. Despite reports from nearby villagers that the Chinese had recently retreated with their equipment, the Chinese stopped only a mile away and began firing on the Luxembourg battalion as they held the bridgehead.
Juan Andres Arebalos
Stationed in Japan
Juan Andres Arebalos recounts his experience sailing on the USS Hope to Japan for advanced training on weaponry and fitness after completing basic training. He notes that every soldier had duties aboard the ship, and he worked in the ship's galley. He visited the location in Hiroshima where the atomic bomb landed during WWII, vividly remembering the indention in the land and people searching for belongings.
Landing in Korea on the Fourth of July
Juan Andres Arebalos recalls playing ping-pong on a Japanese base when an announcement came on the radio about North Korea's invasion of South Korea. He 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.
Never to Forget
Juan Andres Arebalos provides insight into General McArthur's plan to contain Chinese forces behind their border. He explains how President Truman opposed General McArthur's intention to attack Chinese territory, but to the soldiers, it was the best option to prevent further casualties. He expresses his gratitude towards the brave Korean War veterans and his reverence for those who did not make it home.
Juan Figueroa Nazario
Typical Day for a KP / Día Típico Para un KP
Juan Figueroa Nazario explains his line of work in the kitchen. He recounts that he did not know how to cook before he entered the army but was forced to learn quickly. He remembers how he was assigned to deliver hot food to the front lines which endangered him at times. He recalls the terrible sight of seeing dead soldiers piled up on either side of his trek to deliver food.
Juan Figueroa Nazario explica su línea de trabajo en la cocina. Él cuenta que no sabía cocinar antes de ingresar al ejército, pero se vio obligado a aprender rápidamente. Se le asignó la entrega de comida caliente a las líneas del frente, y ese trabajo era peligroso. Recuerda la terrible escena de ver montañas de soldados muertos en ambos lados de su caminata para entregar alimentos.
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.
Friendly Fire and Fallen Comrades
Juan Manibusan recounts his efforts to save an injured comrade. Injured himself, he details lifting a badly wounded soldier from a bunker and applying a tourniquet to the soldier's leg before leaving to search for help. He describes descending into a valley and climbing another hill, searching for the safe zone. He shares that a hand grenade was thrown at him as friendly fire and recounts the moment they realized he was one of their own.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez
Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez provides an account of the Battle of Kelly Hill. The 65th Infantry suffered many losses during this battle and needed reinforcements multiple times. He explains that Chinese forces set up traps to capture prisoners, but the traps, rigged with explosives, resulted in several casualties. After seeing so much death, he shares that he suffered vivid nightmares upon his return.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez brinda un relato de la Batalla de Kelly Hill. La Infantería 65 sufrió muchas bajas durante esa batalla y mandaron reemplazos varias veces. Explica que las fuerzas chinas tenían trampas para capturar prisioneros, pero las trampas, llenas de explosivos, resultaron en varias bajas. Después de ver tanta muerte, comparte que sufrió pesadillas a su regreso.
Vivid Memories / Recuerdos Vívidos
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez shares his insights on the recruiting tactics of the military police in Puerto Rico. The territory saw a spike in delinquency during that time, and he explains that when the police arrested criminals, they offered them a “get out of jail free card” if they enlisted in the Army. In his opinion, these former criminals diminished troop morale because they refused to take orders and caused many problems during the Battle of Jackson Heights.
Julio Cesar Lugo Ramírez comparte su opinión sobre las tácticas de reclutamiento de la policía militar en Puerto Rico. La delincuencia subió en Puerto Rico durante ese tiempo, y él explica que cuando la policía arrestaba a los delincuentes, les ofrecían un pase libre para salir de la cárcel si se alistaban en el ejército. En su opinión, estos exdelincuentes fueron responsables por la baja de moral de las tropas porque se niegaban a recibir órdenes y causaron problemas durante la batalla de Jackson Heights.
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr.
Julius Wesley Becton Jr. remembers training and deployment to Korea
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr., discusses training in one of two Black Battalions and being alerted that he would be going to Korea. He reflects on the second phase of his competitive officer tour and the possibility of changing units. He describes meeting with his commanding officer and ultimately remaining with his unit. He shares that, due to the lack of soldiers, non-infantry troops were trained on the ship in route to Korea.
Julius Wesley Becton Jr discusses medical care and rejoining his unit
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr., explains he was wounded in September of 1950. He recounts being sent to a hospital in Japan. He describes being able to walk and wanting to rejoin his unit. He comments on his return and shares a situation that occurred after his unit moved into North Korea. He reflects on how after reporting his patrol encountered the enemy, he was not believed, was forced to go back to his position, and was subsequently shot. He admits he was not too happy with the officer that did not believe him. He remembers showing his wound to the officer and asking, "Do you believe me now?"
Julius Wesley Becton Jr shares returning to the hospital and rejoining his unit again
Julius Wesley Becton, Jr., discusses being wounded right before the Chinese attacked. He shares how he knew when the Chinese were involved, he would not be home for Christmas. He explains how, after returning back to his unit, he was commanding a company due to the fact that most officers in his battalion had been killed in the Chinese advance. Recounting the experience of the Korean War, he reflects on receiving two Purple Heart Medals, a Silver Star, and the Combat Infantry badge.
Receiving Top-Secret Clearance
Kaku Akagi shares how after thirteen weeks of basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, he was transferred to Seattle for embarkation on the Marine Phoenix. He remembers reaching Yokohama, Japan, where they issued each soldier a rifle and three rounds of ammunition for target practice. He recollects being selected for an intelligence orientation along with four other Asian Americans. He says that a few weeks later, he received top-secret clearance.
Keith G. Hall
Basic Training to Field Engineering
Keith Hall trained at Papakura and Waiouru military camps in New Zealand before sailing to Korea. He arrived December 31, 1950. His unit was the field and engineering section. He describes building roads and a base camp, digging trenches, and working mine fields.
Minesweepers near "Little Gibraltar"
Keith G. Hall describes his experiences near Hill 355, nicknamed "Little Gibraltar", in October 1951 as part of the Battle of Maryang-san alongside the more famous Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. His unit helped maintain the roads and sweep for mines behind the hill. He recounts the many wounded brought down from the battle.
Patterns of Minefields
Keith G. Hall explains the process of clearing mines. For fields laid by allies, he had access to the schematics in order to know where mines had been laid. He felt fortunate that he didn't have to detect mines laid by the enemy.
Slippery Slopes and Minefields
Keith G. Hall describes the dangers of defusing anti-personnel mines, as they included both trip wires and three-prong detonation features. In one instance, a sergeant working with him slipped on a slope and exploded a mine. His body was thrown onto another mine, which Keith G. Hall had to deactivate in hopes of saving the sergeant.
Get Out of This Field!
Keith G. Hall describes training reinforcements to clear minefields. Inserting pins into mines in order to deactivate them was of utmost importance. In one instance, a soldier forgot and had clear the field fast.
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.
Military Duty and Patrols on the DMZ
Ken Thamert was stationed on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along with the Chorwon and Kumwha areas. During his patrols, he could easily see the North Korean soldiers guarding the border too. The North Koreans were even patrolling in the areas were also patrolled by American troops.
A Breakfast Surprise
The men in Kenneth Borchers's platoon were enjoying a delicatessen of eating pancakes while on the front line one morning. As they got situated on the ground to eat, they saw the enemy running through their camp. The US soldiers never could fire a shot before the enemy passed their camp and were down the hill.
Attack By the Chinese and the Rats
After spending nights as an observer on the hill they were defending, Kenneth Borchers continued to report to Lt. Stone that there were people coming up the road, but no one believed him. The area they were located had been fairly secured with barbed wire, but around 9pm, the rats began to run.
Therefore, Kenneth Borchers knew that his troops were under attack by the Chinese who mounted the barbed wire fences by using acrobatic moves to scale the fence.
Two Trips to Korea
Kenneth Dillard describes his experiences at sea during the Korean War. He was on one of many destroyers that were stationed in the East Sea and Yellow Sea. He recalls chipping ice off the ship, and chasing submarines in the East Sea.
Kenneth F. Dawson
War is War
Kenneth F. Dawson trained in Waiouru in New Zealand before sailing to Japan and then Korea. Assigned as a driver in Korea, he carried ammunition to the front lines. The work was dangerous and several men had been blown up before he was assigned to the job. He drove ammunition to Panmunjeom, but he dismisses the danger of being blown up by asserting that "war is war."
The Children Prayed for Him
Kenneth F. Dawson describes an incident in which he heard cries for help on the front lines. A soldier had been hit and needed a stretcher. As he reached the soldiers who had called, a mortar hit them. Upon return to his truck, he discovered bullet holes in the door. Kenneth Dawson attributes his survival to the children of Niue Island.
Hill 355: Death and Danger
Kenneth F. Dawson remembers being in the thick of fighting when the Chinese tried to take Hill 355. Driving up to deliver ammunition, he met an oncoming truck of Canadians. Blood was pouring out of the truck. Another time, on the Imjin River, he pulled the body of a dead American from the water and buried it in a sand bank. In a third instance, he drove a family north to the 38th Parallel so they could rejoin their relatives.
Most Difficult Thing
Kenneth Gordon shares the not knowing if you were going to leave was the most difficult part of his time in Korea. He recalls how he always carried his violin in one hand and his M1 Rifle in the other. He recounts a story of being injured while cleaning his gun one last time. He comments on another challenge he faced which was maintaining his violin throughout the time he was there, and he shares how a POW provided needed advice for doing just that.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Kenneth Newton recounts the days leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which included seeing Manchuria and partaking in a Thanksgiving meal. He remembers waking up to explosions late one night and realized they were under attack by the Chinese. He explains that chaos ensued, everyone being assigned a weapon and sent to the front lines.
Kenneth S. Shankland
"When Can You Start?"
Kenneth Shankland recalls undertaking compulsory military training in high school. He shares how the army did not appeal to him, so he decided to train as a sea cadet. He recounts how learning to sail led to his love of the Royal New Zealand Navy. He describes enlisting in 1955. He shares that after training in Australia, he specialized in guidance technology such as weapons systems, communications, and tracking.
Retrofitted Ships and Bombed-Out Cities
Kenneth Shankland recalls how his ship, The HMNZS Royalist, had been modified for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare. He shares how the ship sailed all over the Pacific Ocean, eventually landing in Incheon and Pusan in 1957 to enforce the peace. He recounts how Korean civilians were living in terrible conditions among piles of rubble. He remembers naked and hungry children begging for food.
Bombardment of North Korean Railways in 1957
Kenneth Shankland describes his ship patrolling the eastern and western coast. He shares how he participated in the bombardment of North Korean coastal railways in order to stop the movement of weapons by Chinese and North Korean Communists from the mountains down to Pusan. He recounts how The HMNZS Royalist served as a significant deterrent so he did not need to worry about attacks from enemy gunboats.
Kevin R. Dean
Introduction to the Front Line
Kevin Dean recalls how he was introduced to the front line in Korea. He recounts a World War II veteran offering him advice, telling him to keep his head down and to get used to the smell of the place. He shares his thoughts on the problematic situation of being young, scared, and sleep deprived during war. He comments on the difficulties of caring for the wounded.
Kevin Dean elaborates on the lead up and immediate aftermath of the Armistice signing. He recounts the positions of the Kiwis, Americans, and Chinese during the final days leading up to the signing and describes the heavy weapon fire. He recalls how calm it was after the signing, sharing that the killing stopped, and he elaborates on the death toll the Chinese suffered. He shares that he and other soldiers near his position narrowly missed a planned Chinese explosion.
We Knew We Were at War
Kirk Wolford tells of situation he witnessed while serving on the front lines. He recalls his communication chief stepping out into the road in the middle of the night to confront what he thought was friendly noise only to find himself facing a Russian tank, the first they would encounter followed by masses of Chinese soldiers. He remembers coming to the realization that he was indeed fighting in a war.
Lacy Bethea Jr.
Lacy Bethea participated in the Incheon Landing. He was part of "D+2." Lacy Bethea was a member of the 4th or 5th wave of troops that landed on Incheon. When the Marines landed that day, it was their first combat exposure since WWII.
Food Rations and Ammunition Delivered Daily
Lacy Bethea helped distribute food and ammunition to soldiers who landed at Incheon after the initial landing in 1950. Company trucks came up with their platoon guides and then Lacy Bethea would pass out only enough rations for that day. The suppliers would always be one day ahead, so that each soldier has 2-days worth of food. Ammunition was also rationed out to each regiment of soldiers.
Preparation for the Incheon Landing
Lacy Bethea's job was to prepare for the Incheon landing by labeling, measuring, and counting vehicles, ammunition, and supplies. He also prepared vehicles to be secured on the Navy ships during transit. Lacy Bethea really trusted and looked up to his commander because he knew that wherever the commander went, he would be safe.
Final Preparations for the Incheon Landing
Lacy Bethea worked with the embarkation captain by making diagrams for the placement of vehicles on the ship. Luckily, he was able to work with many high ranking officers while preparing the military supplies. Some officers also took Lacy Bethea to San Diego, California for drinks and finalizing preparations for the Incheon Landing.
Captured by the Chinese
Lawrence Shadler describes the night he and 68 other men were captured by the Chinese when his troop ran out of ammunition. The Dutch had pulled out an left a two and half mile gap in the lines. He was on guard when about 50,000 Chinese attacked just after midnight.
In Line Waiting to Die
Lawrence Shadler describes the Chinese lining up the captured American troops and waiting to be shot while third in line. Lining them up was just for show at times. Approximately 300 were marched north to a P.O.W. camp.
Lawrence Cole offers an account of the situation at Punchbowl upon his arrival. He explains that both sides would engage, every so often, in artillery duals. He describes this time as a tug-of-war match. He recounts patrolling and often filling in holes on the front lines where he was needed.
Remembering the Armistice
Lawrence Cole recounts the day the Armistice was signed. He recalls being on the front line when he found out. He remembers being told to keep out of sight during the day and artillery being fired later that evening by both sides in an attempt to lighten the load in preparation for equipment removal. He shares that he and follow soldiers were delighted by the news as it meant they were probably going to live. He explains how there were casualties even after the firing had ceased as soldiers lost their footing carrying equipment out.
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.
Tonight Marine, You Die!
Lawrence Elwell describes fighting the Chinese at Yudamri. Among his revelations, he speaks about the esprit de corps of the Marines in this battle and the courage of their Chinese counterparts. He also mentions that, ironically, many Chinese soldiers carried Thompson Machine Guns manufactured in the United States which resulted in high casualties among American troops.
Leandro Diaz Miranda
Discrimination / Discriminación
Leandro Díaz Miranda recounts his experiences with American troops. He states that while he did not experience discrimination, he witnessed it the night Lieutenant White, who was known to be racist, sent the darkest skinned individual as a forward observer and that young man was never seen again. He felt that that most of his American superiors were good, even though they were strict.
Leandro Díaz Miranda relata sus experiencias con las tropas estadounidenses. Afirma que, aunque a él no lo discriminaron, el fue testigo a la discriminación la noche en que el teniente White, conocido por ser racista, envió al individuo de piel más oscura como observador avanzado y ese joven nunca lo volvieron a ver. Sintió que la mayoría de sus superiores estadounidenses eran buenos, aunque fueran estrictos.
Battle of Kelly Hill / Batalla de Kelly Hill
Leandro Díaz Miranda explains the difficulty the 65th Regiment encountered at the Battle of Kelly Hill. He details the terrible fighting as they were outnumbered ten-to-one. They suffered many casualties and thus the troops were completely demoralized by the end of the battle.
Leandro Díaz Miranda explica la dificultad que encontró el Regimiento 65 en la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Detalla lo terrible que fue la lucha, ya que fueron superados en número diez a uno. Sufrieron muchas bajas y, por lo tanto, las tropas estaban completamente desmoralizadas al final de la batalla.
Lee A. Smith
Lee Smith describes his experience with raining fire. He shares how while serving as a fire fighter in the Army at the port of Incheon, one of his main jobs was to protect the petroleum storage area. He explains the danger of fifty-five gallon drums of fuel being hit by mortar fire and how the fuel would rain down as fire.
Just How Close We Were To The Enemy
Leonard Laconia's jeep squadron moved around from Seoul to Pyongyang and up to the North Korean Airports that he noted as K23 and K24 (Pyongyang). He recalled spending most of his time around K23 and he was told originally there were 30,000 Chinese headed their way, but there was actually 380,000 Chinese soldiers. Leonard Laconia's missions, known as a "sorties," would only last about 15 minutes (refuel & amp; rearm) because they would run out of ammunition so quickly due to the number of Chinese they were fighting.
The Chinese Were Smart, But Napalm Was Stronger
When Leonard Laconia's air squadron went on "strafing" missions, the Chinese were smart to just lie down flat on the ground to keep from getting shot which was a great defense tactic. Leonard Laconia's group responded by dropping napalm which wiped out most of the Chinese troops. He described that one canister of napalm would cover the diameter of a football field spreading across consuming the oxygen in the air and heat would rise under the plane. The Chinese wore thick heavy coats during the winter and the napalm would just stick to it aiding in the burning of bodies.
US B-29s Couldn't Stop the Chinese
Leonard Laconia stated that the Chinese would fly MiGs from Manchuria, but they would burn fuel so quickly that they rarely made it to Korea. The US would fly B-29s up and down the Yalu River dropping bombs to destroy bridges, but it didn't stop the Chinese from coming down into Korea. The Chinese still found a way to get across the Yalu River.
Bed Check Charlie
An enemy plane was nicknamed "Bed Check Charlie" by The Stars and Stripes newspaper which was provided for every US soldier. In the newspaper, it threatened that "Bed Check Charlie" would come at night and killed one of the men from his squadron by dropping grenades and mortar shells. Leonard Laconia remembered that many of the enemy planes maneuvered well through the night sky, so soldiers were afraid of them.
Observation Post Observations
Leonard Nicholls manned the observation posts while on duty as a radio operator. The front lines were traumatic. Traveling to a post on Hill #365 took them through Chinese lines. He describes the process of calling in artillery fire on Chinese positions.
Russian Technology v. American Technology
LeRoy Johnson explains the noticeable differences between Russian and American submarine technology at the time of the war. He describes how Russian submarine technology surpassed the American's until about 1955. He goes on to explain that the Americans did the best they could with their sonar capabilities despite the Russians being able to dive at a greater depth than American sonar could track.
Leslie Fuhrman describes the operation and headquarters of the anti-aircraft unit that he commanded near Sosa, Korea. He details the role of the operation officer in identifying MiG aircraft and their movements. He does not recall having to shoot down and enemy aircraft but remembers some instances where the unit was alerted to man battle stations. Bedcheck Charlie was a reason for many of the alerts for soldiers to man their battle stations, and he explains the reason for the nickname.
Leslie John Pye
Gathering Target Information
Leslie Pye outlines the routine and role of a signaler. To ensure accuracy of the weapons, he elaborates on the importance of knowing the meteorological information. He describes the gathering of target information to determine the type of fire pattern and trajectory for the bombardment. He clarifies that after this routine was completed, the battery operations could launch the bombardment.
Covering Little Gibraltar
Leslie Pye provides a description of his experience as a signaler covering Hill 355,known as Little Gibraltar, in the Battle of the Hook from March to the end of April 1953. He offers an overview of the amount of artillery activity during this time period. He shares that during his time, he never received incoming fire but did experience a projectile exploding just outside of one of their gun barrels.
Reassignment to the British Royal Tank Unit
Leslie Pye elaborates on his transfer to the 1st British Royal Tank Regiment and the training process for the British Centurion British Tank. He recounts his experience as a gunner sent to Hill 355 as a replacement tank supporting night patrols. He shares that most of the firing was done at night and explains some of the limitations they experienced.
Dangerous Moments Gathering the Wounded
Leslie Pye describes his mission on the 24th of July 1953 to retrieve wounded soldiers on Hill 111. While moving up the hill, he admits to not warning his driver before test firing the gun on the top rail of the tank. He provides sound advice that one should not go into battle without knowing your machine gun will work. With the battle raging around them, he describes the successful retrieval of Australian and American wounded soldiers.
Leslie Pye remembers what it was like going back up HIll 111 to gather reusable material for the new line of resistance. He reflects on the experience of arriving on the 28th of July and seeing the carnage of the previous battle. He shares memories of what he saw that haunt him.
Keeping the Guns Warm
Lester Griebenow recalls an incident that he was not involved with, how an officer told a gun crew to light fires underneath the heavy artillery to keep the guns from freezing. Unfortunately, the fires notified the North Koreans of their location. The soldiers were taken prisoner and the guns were destroyed.
An Accident at K-2
Lewis Ebert was near a rocket that was accidentally fired and blew up a tractor trailer on base. That trailer was parked near him when it blew up because he was working at the K-2 Air Base. Luckily, Lewis Ebert didn't get injured in the incident.
The Ebert Boys Heard the Calling to Arms
In June 1949, Lewis Ebert enlisted in the US Air Force a few weeks out of high school. He took his basic training in Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and then he was trained at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado for military supply training. While in Colorado, the Korean War broke out, but Lewis Ebert already had a lot of prior knowledge about Korea since his brothers all fought in WWII with one stationed in Korea.
Preparing For and Entering the Korean War
After the Korean War started in June 1950, Lewis Ebert traveled to San Fransisco to prepare to leave for Japan and arrived there the middle of July. In September 1950, he was put on a train to travel to the south-end of Japan and then flew into Taegu, South Korea (September 16, 1950, the day after the Incheon Landing). The ROK (Republic of Korea) were flying out of Taegu which had a steel mat runway.
F80 Ammunition Supplying and Documenting History Through Letter Writing
Lewis Ebert came over with 3 squadrons of F80 Jets. He was assigned the ammunition supply section of the base and worked on the ammunition reports each night including replenishing the 50 caliber machine guns bullets. His letters home helped remind him how much ammo that the military went through each day because his mom and sister kept all the letters that he wrote twice a month.
The Fierce Drive From the Chinese in November 1950
During Thanksgiving in November 1950, the Chinese entered the Korean War and pushed their troops down into Seoul. In January 1951, Lewis Ebert's troops were told to evacuate the Air Base in Taegu, but 10 airmen had to remain, so Lewis Ebert stayed. After the United Nations troops retook Seoul, Lewis Ebert was told to be a liaison in Pusan at the large gas depot.
Helicopters in Warfare
Lewis Ewing speaks about how helicopters were used for troop support and evacuating the wounded during the Korean War. He describes the Syskorsky helicopter and its uses during warfare. He recalls maintaining the helicopters, hauling ammunition, and how pilots would let him fly on occasion.
Lloyd Hellman describes working in four hour shifts as an air traffic controller. He worked to help guide the planes back to the King Three airport after they flew up to the 38th parallel. This took place after the ceasefire.
Landing In Inchon
Lloyd Pitman describes his first night in Korea. He arrived in Inchon on September 19, 1950. He and his fellow soldiers engaged the enemy and took the airfield at Suwon. He describes the enemy counterattack that overran their headquarters killing many.
Dropping Bombs and Flares by Hand
Not having bombing racks at the back of his C-47, Lloyd Thompson had to throw bombs and 15 pound flares (high illumination) by hand out of the plane at over 10,000 feet in the air. He did this to help fighters and bombers see their target. He also flew 76 missions and accumulated over 390+ hours.
Creeping Up Behind Us
Suspecting it may have been a Yakovlev (Yak-9), the enemy flew behind Lloyd Thompson's plane close enough that the radar indicated only one plane. When they landed, the Yak started dropping bombs on the runway at Gimpo Air Force Base. The Air Force responded with anti-aircraft weapons and blew the enemy plane apart.
A Piece of Missile to Keep
Loannis Farazakis describes several scenes of fighting with the help of a translator. He explains how his Company was attacked by North Korean artillery. He discusses how his unit, as well as an American jeep, were hit by fire. He explains how he didn't wear his metal helmet and he was hit by shrapnel in his head. He explains how he was not seriously injured.
Sleeping Soldier in South Korea
Loren Schumacher describes the way soldiers slept in Korea, surrounded by gunfire and at two hour intervals. His tent was in front of a 105 Howitzer which fired interjectory fire every ten minutes. He goes on to describe being sent out to the line on the east end of the 38th parallel to watch and listen for the enemy and alternating two hour watches with his partner.
Surviving an Attack by the Chinese at Outpost Reno
Loren Schumacher describes an attack of Chinese forces on outpost Reno, sometimes called Yoke. He and thirty-six other soldiers were defending the outpost when a battalion of Chinese soldiers attacked them. He describes his Lieutenant calling in on a PRC-6 and reporting they were overrun and how the Captain at the command post ordered VT artillary to be fired on their position which ended the Chinese attack. He was wounded by a Chinese shell that exploded in a pit right in front of him, causing a concussion which is how he earned his Purple Heart.
Louis F. Santangelo
The Sinking of the USS Sarsi
Louis Santangelo describes the details of the sinking of the USS Sarsi, a fleet tug that was part of the US Navy's 7th Fleet. The USS Sarsi struck a mine during a typhoon and sank in 20 minutes on the night of August 27, 1952. Louis Santangelo describes being one of the last men off the ship and eventually saving 37 men from the sea.
Louis J. Weber
Chorwon and Battle of Triangle Hill
Louis J. Weber explains how he landed. in Inchon. He shares how he was sent to Chorwon, which was part of the Iron Triangle. He explains that he was an infantryman. He shares that his job was to protect his bunker while sending out artillery to fight the Chinese.
Louis Joseph Bourgeois
The 426 RCAF Squadron
Louis Bourgeois played an important role in the 426 RCAF Squadron during the Korean War. On return trips to his military base, the aircraft brought back wounded soldiers. Their route to Asia typically started in Washington State before going to Alaska, and then onto Japan.
The Importance of Pilots During the Korean War
Louis Bourgeois also had 6 North Star Aircraft that went into Korea while others went to Japan. After the war, the planes were brought back to Canada to continue their airlift duties. He is so proud to be the president of the 426 Squadron to support fellow veterans who fought during the Korean War.
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.
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Luis Arcenio Sánchez shares the most difficult moments of the war. He recalls an incident in which he and his lieutenant were almost killed while they were relaxing and ended up laughing at the fact that they were covered in dirt from the explosions. He additionally describes the fear of going out on patrol for three days as most times forward observers did not return alive.
Luis Arcenio Sánchez comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Recuerda un incidente en el que él y su teniente casi mueren mientras se relajaban y terminaron riéndose del hecho de que estaban cubiertos de tierra. También describe el miedo que tenía cuando tuvo que salir a patrullar por tres días, ya que la mayoría de las veces los observadores de avanzada no regresaban vivos.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa
Legacy of Batallón Colombia / Legado del Batallón Colombia
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describes the most dangerous battles of the war. He provides an account of his participation in the Battle of Old Baldy and Hill 180 including a moment of heroism in which he charged up a hill to save his friend’s life. He believes that the battle of Old Baldy was a great triumph for Colombia as they the fought with so much valor.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa describe las batallas más peligrosas de la guerra. Brinda un relato de su participación en la Batalla de Old Baldy y la colina 180 y cuenta sobre su momento de heroísmo en el que subió una colina para salvar la vida de su amigo. Él cree que la batalla de Old Baldy fue un gran triunfo para Colombia porque lucharon con mucho valor y el legado del batallón.
The Voyage / El Viaje
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa remembers the fear and happiness he felt on his voyage to Korea. He explains that they enjoyed themselves during a stop in Puerto Rico as they were entertained by Celia Cruz but suffered terrible seasickness on the boat. He recalls the fear and nerves they experienced as they landed and were being attacked on the first day.
Luis Laureano Dulce Figueroa recuerda la tristeza y la alegría que sintió en su viaje a Corea. Explica que se divirtieron durante una escala en Puerto Rico porque Celia Cruz los entretuvo, pero sufrieron por el mareo del barco. Recuerda el miedo y los nervios que tenían cuando llegaron y fueron bombardeados el primer día.
Luis Perez Alvarez
Living Conditions / Condiciones de Vida
Luis A. Perez Alvarez describes the living conditions in Korea. He remembers the rations they received while on the front lines. Moreover, he tells the story in which he lost his eyesight and was almost discharged early because of his injury.
Luis A. Pérez Alvarez describe las condiciones de vida en Corea. Recuerda las raciones que recibían cuando estaban en las líneas de combate. Además, cuenta la historia en la que perdió la vista y estuvo a punto de ser dado de alta a causa de su herida.
Luis Rosado Padua
The Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Luis Rosado Padua recalls his experience during the Battle of Kelly Hill. He was originally in the tank company, but when he was transferred to the medical unit, he was responsible for carrying out the wounded from the battlefield. He describes the carnage of the battle of Kelly Hill which seemed to be unending.
Luis Rosado Padua recuerda su experiencia durante la Batalla de Kelly Hill. Originalmente estaba en la compañía de tanques, pero cuando fue transferido a la unidad médica, estaba a cargo de sacar a los heridos del campo de batalla. Describe los horrores de la batalla de Kelly Hill que parecía interminable porque había tantos chinos que estaban peleando.
Toughest Battles / Las Batallas Más Duras
Luis Rosado Padua remembers the terrible fighting which ensued during the Battle of White Horse and Kelly Hill. He explains how much soldiers suffered during these battles. He adds that the cold weather exasperated the situation.
Luis Rosado Padua recuerda las terrible battallas de White Horse y Kelly Hill. Explica que sufrieron los soldados durante estas batallas porque pasaron hambre. Agrega que el clima frío exasperó la situación.
Manuel A. Bustamente
Enlisting and Basic Training
Manuel Bustamante knew about Korea when the war broke out because his brother was in the United States Navy on an aircraft carrier. Luckily, Manuel Bustamante and his brother were assigned the same ship, the USS Point Cruz. The brothers were surprised that they were allowed to be on the same ship because usually the United States military tries to separate the family members so that they would not get injured at the same time.
Manuel Antonio Gaitan Briceño
After the Armistice / Después del Armisticio
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describes the daily operations of the Colombian troops that arrived after the signing of the Armistice. He explains that while combat was over officially, there was a fear that fighting would break out again. Given this fear, he recounts the training that combat troops endured to remain prepared for anything.
Manuel Antonio Gaitán Briceño describe las operaciones diarias de las tropas colombianas que llegaron después de la firma del Armisticio. Explica que, aunque el combate había terminado oficialmente, existía el temor de que la lucha estallaría nuevamente. Por esta razón, él cuenta del entrenamiento que tenían las tropas de combate para estar preparadas por si empezara devuelta la guerra.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Manuel Carnero describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes arriving and experiencing temperatures 20-30 degrees below 0. He describes the weapons available and how the machine guns they carried utilized belted ammunition though the soldiers were given linked ammunition. He goes on to describe seeing what he thought looked like a German grenade from WWII and being unable to escape the explosion. When he awoke, his tongue half cut-off and mouth full of blood, he looked up the hill and thought he was dead and headed to Valhalla.
Injuries and Casualties
Manuel Carnero describes how the cold and frostbite affected soldiers. He explains that he had frostbite on his hands and feet while many other men froze to death. He says it was not unusual for men to fall asleep and not wake up; that the weather claimed more lives than the Chinese. He goes on to describe how the Navy Corpsmen serving with the Marines were picking up the casualties at the battle site when they found him and helped him to a truck.
Maples and Metcalf
Refueling of a DC-4 Airplane
DC-4's range was 4,000 for its fuel length from Vancuver, Canada to Cold Bay, Alaska. They would fly 2,000 miles and then turn around near Shemya Island. Shemya Island was a WWII small refueling station. There was a very small air strip to land.
Cold Bay, Alaska
Cold Bay, Alaska was the first stop and then the veterans went to refuel in Shemya Island. Cold Bay was the beginning of the islands around Alaska. These islands are on the way down to the Aleutian Islands which became another stop for the planes to refuel.
Shemya Island has lights out on the runway on the right side, so pilots had to make sure that they didn't miss the small runway. This runway was near the Bering Sea, so it was very dangerous for the pilots. The runway was only 4 x5 miles long.
Bombed by Your Own Side
Marc Villanueva describes an incident that occurred while he was a platoon leader during a winter attack. He describes hiding in the trees of Korea near an enemy encampment and calling in for support. He radioed in the coordinates and soon the support began firing mortars at his platoon's location. He describes having to wait until nightfall, lying in the snow so that the enemy could not see them.
Fox Holes in the Snow
Marc Villanueva explains that many of his new recruits from the United States were very young, right out of high school. He describes the cold conditions and necessity for having to dig the fox holes deep and wide. Unfortunately, two young soldiers did not follow instructions and instead of digging a fox hole, they slept on top of the snow in their sleeping bags. When the enemy saw them, they used their burp guns to spray them with gunfire and the men were killed.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recalls the difficulties troops faced when fighting in trench warfare near the 38th Parallel. He details the proximity between UN and enemy troops and explains that it was unfathomable that so much fighting could occur in such a small distance. He explains the perilous nature of mundane tasks, including going to the bathroom, when one is being constantly hunted.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recuerda los momentos más difíciles que enfrentaron las tropas cuando peleaban en una guerra de trincheras cerca del Paralelo 38. Detalla la proximidad entre las fuerzas de la ONU y las tropas enemigas y explica que le parecía mentira que tanto combate pudiera ocurrir en una distancia tan pequeña. Explica los peligros de las tareas mundanas, incluido ir al baño, cuando a uno lo están cazando constantemente.
Worst Battle / La Batalla Más Dura
Mario Nel Bernal Avella recounts his experience at the Battle of Hill 400. He explains the ground operation which resulted in his platoon piercing into enemy lines and capturing a number of prisoners of war, documents, and bloody cash. He details the way in which American airpower covered the platoon with the use of machine guns and napalm. He led his platoon on this mission without ever firing his gun as he was forced to fight with his bayonet in hand-to-hand combat. He described the battle as hell on earth and went in with the mindset that he had to win or die.
Mario Nel Bernal Avella relata su experiencia en la Batalla de la Colina 400. Explica la misión que resulto en su pelotón atravesara las líneas enemigas y capturar a varios prisioneros de guerra, documentos y dinero. Relata la forma en que el aviones estadounidense cubrieron el pelotón con el uso de ametralladoras y napalm. El dirigió su pelotón en esta misión sin disparar su arma, pero estuvo obligado a luchar con su bayoneta en un combate cuerpo a cuerpo. Describió la batalla como el infierno en la tierra y entró con la mentalidad de que tenía que vencer o morir.
The Forgotten War and Causes of PTSD
Marion Burdette feels the Korean War is known as the "Forgotten War" because there was not a lot of publicity back on the home front. He recalls how many of the veterans did not speak about the war when they returned back home. He shares how he shot thousands of rounds of artillery while serving in Korea, leading to hearing loss. He recounts how he was stationed in Northern Korea and mentions he was almost caught as a POW. Due to his experiences on the front line, he shares that he has nightmares and PTSD.
Marion Burdette recounts walking in front of his vehicle when multiple land mines killed U.S. Army soldiers in his regiment. After clearing the land mines in the area, he recalls being able to set up the howitzer guns to engage in warfare. He describes how the impact of war on his life led him to feel that he needed to traveled the U.S. to release his stress. He recounts how he decided to reenlist in the Army for three years. He adds it was hard to readjust to life back in the United States.
Enlisting in the United States Army
Marion Burdette's job in the U.S. Army was a Battle Commander's Traveler. He recalls being sent to Yokohama, Japan, in early June to prepare for the invasion of Korea. He recounts entering Korea from an L3T and then storming the beaches on June 27, 1950. He shares he did not know much about Korea at the time.
Marvin “Sam” Bass
Sam Bas describes what it was like watching napalm being dropped. He explains how the planes flew in. He remembers hearing people screaming from ten miles away.
Marvin A. Flood
Serving in Korea While Stationed in Japan
Marvin A. Flood explains how he served in Korea while stationed in Japan. He describes how the military converted old Japanese hangers into bases for repairing air planes that were used during the Korean War because there were no such facilities in Korea. He discusses how he would go back and forth between Korea and Japan working on the F86.
Losing Buddies Was The Hardest Experience
Marvin Denton described times when he lost members of his unit. One solider was walking between two companies and he was killed by a mine. Gun shots fired in the middle of the night when soldiers had discovered someone was killed. Another soldier survived a shell that hit his helmet, missing death by inches, and a different soldier, who had lied to his parents, telling them everything was okay, was bombed after an ambush. Marvin Denton were extremely thankful he lived through the experience and he feels we live in the greatest country in the world despite all of our problems.
Marvin Garaway elaborates on the enemy taking the headquarters of the United States 5th Marines at the Chosin Reservoir. Due to the extreme cold, they encountered problems with the weapons malfunctioning. Reflecting on his experience, he recalls another soldier providing him protection and a close encounter with the enemy. He describes the impact of an air drop, code name "Tootsie Roll," dropping a load of tootsie rolls and the tootsie rolls helping save their lives. Along with this information, he describes the impact of the cold weather and the lack of cold weather gear. He remembers how, after a short time, they are able to regain control of their headquarters.
Mission in Korea
Mathew Thomas recalls his job description. He and his battalion were in charge of taking care of prisoners of war (POWs). He remembers the role being dangerous because some POWs were not checked for weapons when they were brought into the camp facility. He shares how there were times when POWs tried to escape.
Maurice B. Pears
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.
Dangerous Letter Writing
Maurice Morby tells a story about writing letters while sitting on a log in camp. He describes bullets coming in from all around and diving behind the log for cover. In the end, they discovered that a nearby British unit was test firing weapons nearby unaware of his unit's camp location.
"We're in a Minefield!"
Maurice Morby describes accidentally walking into a minefield while on patrol during Operation Skunk. He talks about the terrain, how he and a fellow soldier made their error, and how they escaped the potentially dangerous situation.
Mine Clearing Dogs
Maurice Morby talks about dogs that were used to discover enemy mines. He describes the dogs' duties and one particular encounter with several dogs in camp.
Second Hand Mail
Maurice Morby tells a story about what he called "second hand mail." While eating lunch one day, his unit's encampment came under heavy artillery fire. He describes that later it was found out that the artillery fire was from friendly tanks, their shells ricocheting off of a nearby river.
Secret Supply Mission
Maurice Morby describes delivering secret cargo on a supply mission. He talks about his discovery of what the cargo was, a fabricated decoy tank that was switched for a real tank that needed to be serviced.
C-Rations, Rats, and Radios, Oh, My!
Mayo Kjellsen ate lots of C-Rations while stationed in Korea. His job was to carry a 45 pound battery pack and communicate over the radio for his regiment. One night, on radio watch in his bunker, he started shooting at large rats running throughout the rafters and he scared his commander.
Wounded in Korean War
Mayo Kjellsen was wounded twice during the Korean War. He was hit by shrapnel in his knee and the other shot blew him out of his bunker. After his second injury, he was sent to a hospital ship in the harbor and was taken to Japan for rehab. After 6 months of healing, Mayo Kjellsen was sent back to the US to finish his time in the military.
Mehmet Cemil Yasar
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.
Mehmet Çöpten describes the Vegas Front. He describes how the Chinese used howitzers on one hill, while simultaneously attacking another. The Turkish fighters lost one hundred and fifty-three men. The fighting took place over thirty-six hours. They eventually won the battle and the front. The Turkish fighters then turned over the front to the American forces.
Fear and Commitment in Battle
Melese Tessema acknowledges feeling afraid as he joined the fighting in the Korean War, but he asserts that soldiers cannot allow fear to interfere with a mission. He arrived in Kumhwa and fought the Chinese on Hill 358. Shrapnel from a mortar shell injured his leg during the fighting. Melese Tessema received Korean, Ethiopian, and United States awards, including the United States bronze star.
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.
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.
Melvin D. Hill
A Brutal Attack
Melvin Hill explains a brutal attack at a roadblock on the way back from the Yalu river. He recalls his experience with hand-to-hand combat, saying he never thought he would ever put a knife into someone, stab someone with a bayonet or shoot someone right in front of him. He describes running over people in the middle of the road. He believes that his survival of the attack by the Chinese is only due to luck.
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.
Jincheng Campaign- Battle at Kumsong "All Hell Broke Loose"
Merle Degler always carried in his pocket rolls of film he had taken during his time in Korea. One day, he found an empty ammo box and decided to put the film in the ammo box, and the next thing you knew, "All Hell Broke Loose." He recalls the ROK and his unit were overrun by the Chinese, so they were told to retreat. Merle Degler learned just a few months ago, that the the US artillery regiment left their equipment when they retreated, so the Chinese used the equipment against our own people. They reorganized before the next morning to create a new front line, but with a lot less equipment since they had lost it while retreating.
Fighting in the Iron Triangle in Jan. 1953
Merle Degler was stationed in the Iron Triangle and he fought along with the US Marines who had be run off an important hill by fighting the Chinese. He went to White Horse Hill right after a battle like WWI trenches right at the front line. After he had been in a bunker for a while, a soldier took him out of the trench towards no-man's-land, and he was taken to a field full of dead Chinese soldiers.
The Troubles with Traveling by a Truck
Merle Degler's job was to work on military trucks at the front lines in North Korea in early 1953. After being told that he had to move out, Merle Degler drove a truck up into the mountains with his regiment until the engine blew. Because he was not able to fix the truck on the side of the mountain, he was towed down the hill and back to a ROK camp where he had to stay until meeting up with additional soldiers willing to lead him back to his regiment.
Fighting at the Pusan Perimeter
Merle Peterson's unit landed at Busan in August 1950. He describes fighting the North Koreans for two to three weeks until his unit broke out on September 16th to march one hundred and three miles in twenty-three hours. He recalls an evening when he saw some men in a village with a Russian burp gun and later kicking the door to their shack down and taking the gun and ammunition.
Battles from City to City Across Korea
Merle Peterson describes the difference between the 2.6 rocket launchers and the new 3.5 models. He explains that the rockets from the 2.6 launcher merely bounced off the tanks but the 3.5s were able to pierce the tanks, enabling them to take out eight of the eleven tanks that had attacked them. He goes on to describe meeting with the 7th division in Osan and from there moving through Seoul, Pyongyang, and onto the Yalu River until the Chinese joined the North Koreans and they were forced to retreat.
Mert Lassere details the difficulties faced while seeing action in the Punchbowl. Having to ration ammunition and food due to supply chain issues, he recalls daily life was a struggle. He remembers not feeling prepared for combat or having what was needed to withstand the cold weather.
First Impressions of Korea
Mert Lassere recounts his first experience with stepping on to Korean soil. Having just landed due to mechanical difficulties, he remembers being met with sniper fire while stepping off the plane. He shares no one had ammunition due to in-flight regulations, so they take cover in the ditches. He remembers how they proceeded through a burning town in the cover of night as they marched to form their perimeter, being told to make no noise along the way as Chinese were in the hills waiting for them.
Last Man Standing
Mert Lassere describes close encounters with death on the front lines. He provides an account of having multiple commanding officers killed and how it was always important to stay one step ahead of the enemy with maneuvers. He poignantly details an account of twenty eight men that went on a patrol and how only four men returned, he being one of the four.
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.
Korea: A Huge Empty Lot
When Mike Corona first arrived in Korea, he said it was just a huge empty lot without big buildings, sidewalks, and streets.
Now, Korea looks like Las Vegas, NV because of the beautiful streets, landscapes, and multi-story buildings. After going back for the third revisit, Mike Corona experienced the Korean government's reenactment of the Inchon Landing.
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.
The Realities of Warfare
Michael Fryer recalls broken buildings, poverty, and the state of destitution of the Korean people. He describes the poor conditions in Seoul in late 1951. He recounts the shock he received when he encountered battered and dead American soldiers on the front line.
Recollections from the Battle of the Hook
Michael Fryer recalls his experiences as an ammunition carrier for troops during the Battle of the Hook. He explains seeing large amounts of explosions and men who were machine gunned down. He describes watching as the bodies of deceased men were carried down and lain in a road.
Fixing Tanks on the Front Lines
Michael Glisczinski explains what it was like trying to work on a tank while the enemy was firing artillery. He states that they had to wait until night to try to get the tanks fixed before heading back to his company. He recalls that the most problems they experienced were with the batteries in the tanks.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce
Most Difficult Battle / La Batalla Más Difícil
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce discusses the most difficult battle of the war in which many soldiers died. He recounts that they were spotted by Chinese troops because of the fire from their food. During the battle, they were forced to cross a river, but because many were unable to swim, they drowned.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce habla de la batalla más difícil de la guerra en la que murieron muchos soldados. Él cuenta que las tropas chinas vieron sus posiciones debido al fuego que unos compañeros hicieron para calentar la comida. Durante la batalla, se vieron obligados a cruzar un río, pero como muchos no sabían nadar, se ahogaron.
Personal Impact / Impacto Personal
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce explains the toll the war took on his psyche. He shares the fact that seeing many of his compatriots die affected his ability to sleep upon returning, and he admits that he still cries over his lost friends. Furthermore, he became fearful and nervous, thus finding it difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Miguel Ángel Ponce Ponce explica el precio que la guerra tuvo en su psique. Comparte el hecho de que ver morir a muchos de sus compañeros lo afectó afecto al regresar y él admite que todavía llora por sus amigos que no volvieron. Además, volvió temeroso y nervioso, por eso le resultó difícil adaptarse a la vida civil.
Mike Muller describes his 72nd mission in Korea when he was shot down on Sept. 29, 1951 north of Pyongyang. He was forced to jump from the cockpit of his F-51 Mustang and parachute to safety. He waited four hours in enemy territory before he was rescued.
Dangerous Moments in the Skies
Mike Muller describes his most dangerous moments flying in Korea. He discusses two difficult landings, one with without flaps (brakes) and one with no wheels down. He recalls sustaining damage from bombing debris and narrowly clearing a hill after a low attack.
Milton E. Vega
Difficult Choices / Decisiones Dificiles
Milton Vega Rivera explains how unprepared he was for the war. He remembers the tough choice that soldiers were required to make as they had to kill or be killed. He describes the maltreatment of a prisoner of war and attributes his speaking out about it to being denied a promotion.
Milton Vega Rivera explica que no estaba preparado para la guerra. Recuerda la difícil decisión que los soldados debían tomar, ya que tenían que matar o morir. Además, describe el maltrato de un prisionero de guerra y atribuye su denuncia al hecho de que se le negó un ascenso.
Cruelty of the Turks
Monte Curry felt sorry for the Chinese (Chinks) who were being picked off so easily by the Turks and other UN soldiers that were shooting them. With three waves of Chinese soldiers, the first round, only 1 out of 10 carried a gun, so the second wave picked up the weapons on the ground. The 3rd wave had more weapons and fought using guerrilla tactics hiding behind bushes. Monte Curry described how the Turks carried leather satchels to bring back the ears they had cut off of the enemy.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
First Impressions of Seoul
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls what it was like when he first saw Seoul. He describes how it was destroyed and how tough the street fighting was. He remembers a train station that had a glass dome destroyed. A veteran friend went to Korea in later years and brought back pictures of that same dome restored.
Thankful for Tootsie Rolls
Myron “Jack” Leissler explains how he is thankful for the Tootsie Roll company for sending over the candy. He describes how it was so cold that the C-Rations froze, but that they were able to put the Tootsie Rolls in their parkas and soften them with their body heat. He halfheartedly jokes that Tootsie Rolls kept them alive.
Atomic bomb testing
Myron Bruessel was assigned to the 9677 Technical Service Unit (TSU), a branch of the military that worked on atomic and nuclear bomb testing in the United States to bomb anywhere in the world. He was assigned to a TSU unit in Hawaii because the island had large antennas necessary for the program. This testing was based on earth movement (electromagnetic force) and it used all the radio antennas to monitor radio waves.
Nuclear Fallout and Test Pigs
Myron Bruessel recognized all the United States soldiers who were "guinea pigs" during the nuclear fallout. In 1953, nuclear tests were from the air and balloon to see if buildings could withstand nuclear bombs. Pigs and cows were placed in testing areas and that scientists would subsequently examine their organs to measure the amount of radiation that was present after a nuclear test.
In 1953, Myron Brussel constructed 4 different antennae systems in Puerto Rico with different frequencies with a mile-long antenna. A portable rhombic antenna was used because it was very accurate to determine if they could find radio waves associated with atomic bombs. These tests were part of a group of nuclear tests and detection called Operation Upshot-Knothole.
Never Set Foot on Korean Soil
Nathan Stovall patrolled the East Sea near Wonsan in the summer of 1951. He neither set foot on Korean soil nor saw enemy forces, but the USS Blue engaged in firefights along the coast. Once his unit assisted the ROC by shooting onto the shore while the ROC escaped a tight spot.
Nathaniel Ford Jr.
Picking up Brass
Nathaniel Ford recalls how desperately poor the people were after the war. He describes an incident when his platoon was participating in firing exercises across a valley. His attention was drawn to the front of the machine guns when he noticed an elderly woman who, desperate to make money, put herself in grave danger to pick up spent brass from the gun. After pausing their exercises, a KATSUA asked her to stop and she began to cry and explained that she needed the brass to sell and that youths frequently stole the brass she collected.
Neal C. Taylor
Defusing a 500-Pound Bomb on a Runway
Neal Taylor had to clear a bomb off the runway at K9 Air Base near Busan after it fell off a plane in the middle of the night. It was the middle of the night and when he realized that all the men that defuse the bombs were on R&R, he had to do it on his own. Using a manual and a few simple tools, Neal Taylor defused the bomb with help from his lieutenant.
Under Enemy Sniper Fire
Neal Taylor survived being shot at by a North Korean sniper who fired down into the base from the hills. The sniper used a small gun at the beginning and many of the airmen didn't worry about the shots. Unfortunately, the sniper found a larger gun that started to tear up the cement, so the troops had to get rid of him!
Loading Bombs onto the Aircraft
Neal Taylor took pictures while he was stationed at the K9 Air Force Base. He loaded bombs on a plane with a mission to blow up a bridge. There was a loss of life and aircraft from that mission.
Necdet Yazıcıoğlu describes the conditions of the war at the Vegas Complex. There were a series of battles that took place in May of 1953 in this area. Subsequently, the fighting was fierce. Moreover, negotiations for peace were occurring. Importantly, the battles ended in arguably a stalemate after a Chinese offensive. Further, this helped with negotiations for the United Nations
Nelson S. Ladd
Operation X-Ray- The Libby Bridge Construction
Nelson Ladd was the surveyor for the bridge constructed over Imjin River known as the Libby Bridge. The high level, steel and concrete bridge that is still intact and in use today was named after Sergeant George C. Libby of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice at Taejon, Korea. Nelson Ladd was there during the dedication by Army General Maxwell Taylor on July 4, 1953.
Toughest Battle at the Nakdong River
Nelson Skinner describes a fierce battle fought near the Nakdong River. He explains that his mission was to protect his regiment and another one in front of him. He describes the weaponry used during the battle. He goes on to describe being shot in the leg by a sniper and having to go to an overwhelmed MASH unit for medical aid.
Team Work was needed to Fight at the Nakdong River
Nelson Skinner describes being stationed at the front lines at the Nakdong River. He describes their daily routines which entailed eating, working, sleeping (when they could) and firing rounds 50 feet in front of the North Koreans. He goes on to describe the difficulties in maneuvering without any maps and not realizing the men on the next hill were not Allies but North Koreans.
Benefits of the GI Bill
Nicholas Mastromatteo describes his position as an infantry medic and his use of the GI Bill. He briefly breaks down the position as a field medic during his time in Germany. Because of the resources from the GI Bill, he shares how he was able to stay in Austria and earn his medical degree.
Bouncing Betty Mine
Nick Cortese describes what happened when the 19th Infantry was moving north and came across a "Bouncing Betty Mine." . As the Chinese were dropping artillery his company commander jumped to get out of the way and set off the mine that detonated, killing the commander. It was later that Nick Cortese found out that this occurred in the Iron Triangle area.
Nick Mararac discusses how he became a commissioned officer after graduating from college. He also discusses his basic training starting at the Naval Academy. During his explanation, pride can be heard in the tone of his voice.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa
Preparing for Combat
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa explains why he believes his basic training experience was not enough to prepare him for the realities of the war. He notes that while he learned how to be an expert rifleman, he was not trained in how to conduct an amphibious landing and would have drowned were it not for his friend helping him. He shares he was not prepared for the brutal Korean winter.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa explica por qué cree que su entrenamiento no fue suficiente para prepararlo para las realidades de la guerra. Explica que, si bien aprendió a ser un experto en rifle, no estaba preparado para realizar un desembarco anfibio y se habría ahogado si no fuera por la ayuda de su amigo. Además, no estaba preparado para el invierno coreano.
Contact Patrol at Kelly Hill / Patrulla de Contacto en Kelly Hill
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa presents an overview of the Chinese and North Korean troop positions on the eve of the battle of Kelly Hill which resulted in heavy losses from the 65th Infantry. He explains that he was a member of the contact patrol which was surveying the hill and when they reported on the great number of enemy troops and heavy equipment, his lieutenant did not believe the report. He remembers their lieutenant insisted on the contact patrol capturing a prisoner of war to interrogate him, but they were unable to do so because they were greatly outnumbered.
Nicolás Cancel Figueroa describe sus memorias de las posiciones de las tropas chinas y norcoreanas en vísperas de la batalla de Kelly Hill, que resultó en grandes pérdidas del 65º de Infantería. Explica que él era miembro de la patrulla de contacto que estaba observando el cerro y cuando le informaron a su teniente sobre la gran cantidad de tropas enemigas y equipo pesado, el no creyó el informe. Recuerda que su teniente insistía en que la patrulla de contacto capturara a un prisionero de guerra para interrogarlo, pero no pudieron hacerlo porque el enemigo los superaba en número.
Noel G. Spence
Noel G. Spence recounts the dangers of his job working with artillery where he serviced twenty-five-pound artillery. He explains how repairing the guns meant a shell did not fire correctly which required him to work around live ammunition that could explode at any moment. He describes how there was no fixing a stuck anti-aircraft gun.
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.
Nolasco de Jesus Espinal Mejia
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía describes the most difficult moments of the war. He recounts the story of the Battle of El Chamizo and the triumph of the Batallón Colombia in successfully completing their mission. Within this battle, he remembers how he was shot but continued fighting.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía describe los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Cuenta la historia de la Batalla de El Chamizo y el triunfo del Batallón Colombia al completar su misión con éxito. Dentro de esta batalla, recuerda cómo le dispararon, pero explica que él continuó con su misión.
Dangerous Moments / Momentos peligrosos
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía speaks of the Battle of El Chamizo. He recalls the way in which North Koreans would infiltrate their lines and use propaganda against them. For instance, he remembers messages directly aimed at Colombian troops to deter them from continuing to fight.
Nolasco de Jesús Espinal Mejía habla de la Batalla de El Chamizo. Recuerda la forma en que los norcoreanos se infiltraban en sus líneas y como usaban la propaganda. Por ejemplo, él recuerda mensajes dirigidos directamente a las tropas colombianas para disuadirlas de luchar.
Norman Charles Champagne
Attacks on Chinese Outposts
Norman C. Champagne describes a mission to attack Hill 150 and 153, which were two Chinese outposts. As a Fire Team Leader, his goal was to blow up the Chinese bunkers and trenches to break the lower and upper trench lines. He explains why the Chinese were formidable enemies, despite the additional dropping of napalm by Corsair bombers.
Battle for the Berlin's
Norman C. Champagne shares a story about being under attack near the end of the Korean War. When asked to describe a challenging time, he talks about the Battle for the Berlin's and Boulder City. While he and another officer were driving to deliver supplies, they came under attack, experiencing a few terrifying moments that continue to live on in his memory.
Ollie Thompson received his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He received field training and hand-to-hand combat training. In Japan, he continued his training before he was sent to Korea.
Destruction in Korea
Ollie Thompson arrived in Korea at Inchon. When traveling by train through Seoul, he was able to see the destruction of the city. His first experience in combat took place in the Chorwon Valley in 1951.
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 recalls having to find the water mines left by the North Koreans. He remembers heading to Japan for rest and relaxation when they almost hit a water mine. He recounts how the ship was traveling at a fast pace and how the captain was forced to make a creative maneuver to avoid being blown up by the mine.
Othal Cooper explains the night raid missions of the B-29 planes on which he worked. He details how the night flyers would drop tinfoil from their planes to deter enemy radar, referring to it as radar jamming. He explains that by doing this it was more difficult for the enemy to shoot the planes down and recalls no planes receiving a direct hit while he was there.
P. Stanley Cobane
P. Stanley Cobane explains that Wolmido is an island in the Inchon harbor which has a causeway connecting the island to the mainland. He explains that it was the job of his platoon to protect the causeway so that a mainland landing could be made without any interference from the island. There was resistance but nobody was killed. He describes an explosion near him by what he later thought to be a WWII Japanese concussion grenade.
Pablo Delgado Medina
First Day in Korea / Primer Día en Corea
Pablo Delgado Medina describes his first day in Korea after the boat pulled into Busan. He remembers the way in which they were blessed by a Catholic priest and an evangelical minister before disembarking. He explains that after disembarking, they were led to a dock that had long tables full of ammunition and grenades and were told by loudspeaker to carry as much as they were able to because they could never have enough.
Pablo Delgado Medina describe su primer día en Corea cuando el barco llegó a Busan. Recuerda la forma en que fueron bendecidos por un sacerdote católico y un ministro evangélico antes de desembarcar. Explica que después de desembarcar, los llevaron a un muelle con mesas llenas de municiones y granadas y les dijeron por altavoz que llevaran todo lo que pudieran porque nunca les iban a sobrar.
The Battle of Imjin River / La Batalla del Río Imjin
Pablo Delgado Medina provides an account of the Battle of the Imjin River which he considers to be the most difficult of the nine months he spent in Korea. He explains that troop placement created an iron triangle with a valley of death in the middle. He remembers the harrowing way in which they were forced to cross the river and the lack of air support for five days because of the monsoon season. He laments that a friend from his town and so many others lost their lives during those six days.
Pablo Delgado Medina cuenta la historia de la Batalla del río Imjin que él considera la más difícil de los nueve meses que pasó en Corea. Explica que la ubicación de las tropas creó un triángulo de hierro con un valle de muerte en el medio. Recuerda el peligro que enfrentaron cuando se vieron obligados a cruzar el río y la falta de apoyo aéreo durante cinco días debido a la temporada de monzones. Lamenta que un amigo de su pueblo y tantos otros perdieron la vida durante esos seis días.
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Pablo Delgado Medina shares his thoughts on why every soldier returned with some trauma. He rationalizes that anyone who had to kill or be killed, especially in bayonet combat, was forever changed. He states his belief that witnessing civilians caught in the crossfire and seeing so much destruction can traumatize any person.
Pablo Delgado Medina comparte sus ideas sobre el trauma qué cada soldado tuvo al regresar. Él racionaliza que cualquiera persona que haya tenido que matar o morir, especialmente en el combate de bayoneta, queda cambiado para siempre. Además, afirma que cree que presenciar a civiles atrapados en el fuego cruzado y ver tanta destrucción puede traumatizar a cualquier persona.
Trench Warfare / Guerra de Trincheras
Pablo Delgado Medina describes what the living conditions during trench warfare were like. He remembers the c-rations and describes each type of ration they received which had to be eaten cold. Moreover, he explains the trench warfare system utilized by the enemy in detail.
Pablo Delgado Medina describe cómo eran las condiciones de vida durante la guerra de trincheras. Recuerda las raciones-c y describe cada tipo de ración que recibieron y que debían comerse frías. Además, explica con gran detalle el sistema de guerra de trincheras utilizado por el enemigo.
The 65th Infantry / El 65 de Infantería
Pablo Delgado Medina shares his thoughts about the 65th Infantry. He remembers the language barrier was a problem for Puerto Rican troops because Americans used slang during combat which they found difficult to understand. He states his belief that the 65th Infantry was the toughest combat brigade as it was assigned to the toughest missions including the Battle of Kelly Hill and Pork Chop Hill.
Pablo Delgado Medina comparte su opinión sobre el 65 de Infantería. Recuerda que a veces tenían problemas con el idioma porque los estadounidenses usaban una jerga durante el combate que les resultaba difícil de entender a los puertorriqueños. Afirma su creencia de que la 65.ª Infantería fue la brigada de combate más dura, y por eso fue enviada a las misiones más difíciles, incluyendo la Batalla de Kelly Hill y Pork Chop Hill.
Trip to the Frontline
Paciano Eugenio describes arriving in Busan in total darkness. When they first arrived he notes how quiet it was but within an hour he recalls hearing the sounds of battle. Before traveling by train to the frontline, he explains how they received weapons and military gear. He shares the surprise he felt arriving to the frontline and the enemy nowhere in sight.
Reconnaissance Mission / Misión de Reconocimiento
Pascual Rosa Feliciano shares an incident in which two squads were on patrol and were attacked by the enemy. As intelligence and reconnaissance members, they were continuously seeking the position of the enemy, and on this occasion, he describes how their sergeant was wounded during battle. Even though they were under fire, he shares the story of how their sergeant was saved by the squad.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano comparte la historia de un incidente en el que dos escuadrones estaban de patrulla y fueron atacados por el enemigo. Como estaban a cargo de inteligencia y reconocimiento, siempre estaban buscando la posición del enemigo, y en esta ocasión él describe cómo su sargento fue herido durante la batalla. A pesar de que estaban bajo fuego, comparte la historia de cómo la escuadra rescato a su sargento.
Horrors of War / Los Horrores de la Guerra
Pascual Rosa Feliciano reflects on how terrible life was for both troops and civilians in South Korea. He describes incidents in which troops burned down small houses to draw out the enemy from hiding in small villages. He compares this suffering with the horrors of a battle in which so many of their troops were massacred after the use of napalm.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano discute lo terrible que era la vida tanto para las tropas como para los civiles durante la guerra. Describe incidentes en los que las tropas quemaban las casas pequeñas para sacar al enemigo de su escondite en los pueblos chicos. El compara este sufrimiento con los horrores de una batalla en la que muchos soldados fueron masacrados con el uso del napalm.
Reconnaissance and Intelligence / Reconocimiento e Inteligencia
Pascual Rosa Feliciano speaks of his time as a patrolman on reconnaissance and intelligence missions. He admits that these missions, which were meant to locate the enemy, were costly in lives. He explains that they were tasked with conducting investigations and capturing prisoners of war.
Pascual Rosa Feliciano habla de sus misiones de reconocimiento e inteligencia. Admite que estas misiones, que estaban destinadas a localizar al enemigo, costaron muchas vidas. Explica que tenían la tarea de realizar investigaciones y capturar prisioneros de guerra.
Patrick Vernon Hickey
Straight to the Front
Patrick Hickey recalls leaving Japan for Gimpo Airport and heading straight to the front lines. He describes changing specialties in Korea and joining a unit responsible for repairing guns. He explains that Unit 163 (Easy Troop) supported Hill 355 and the Battle of the Hook.
Cold Guns and Ingenuity
Patrick Hickey shares that he woke up at five each morning to remove guns from action for maintenance. He recalls that during the heat of summer the routine was fairly straightforward but adds that the guns froze in winter. He shares how he developed a mix of oil and kerosene to prevent the gun components from freezing, an innovation that spread quickly to other units. He describes the winters being so cold that soldiers had to disassemble their guns at night and place the parts by the fire so the guns would fire in the morning.
Three Trips to No-Man's Land
Patrick Hickey took cat naps to compensate for being awakened in the night to resupply the front lines with ammunition. He shares that one night he and three other soldiers volunteered to repair a phone line in No-Man's Land. He describes feeling invincible and not being worried, even when called to continue the phone line work on two more occasions.
All Was Quiet and Then Whoomph!
Patrick Hickey never felt scared, even though he could hear Chinese and North Korean soldiers all around him. Although never wounded, he experienced close calls. He recalls one memory of heading to the toilet behind a tiny Korean house, and while there, he shares that the enemy shelled and destroyed the house. He recounts how he and another soldier climbed into the trench he had dug until the shelling ceased.
Patrick Hickey remembers losing Tom O'Neill to shrapnel. He shares how the officer in charge refused to go to check on the wounded soldier. He recalls another soldier calling the officer a coward and went himself to check on his wounded comrade. He remembers that by the time he reached Tom O'Neill, he was dead.
Writing Home and Killing the Tiger
Patrick Hickey and his wife Joy describe their correspondence as being about everyday topics at home. Patrick shares how he did not want to worry Joy. He recalls that the battles were tough, and he describes the last battle of the war, the Third Battle of the Hook. He remembers that on the third night of the battle, thousands of Chinese attacked. He recalls how the United Nations forces killed one million Chinese soldiers in three nights and how the Chinese withdrew to sign the peace treaty.
Paul H. Cunningham
Basic Training, Technical School, and Arriving in Korea
Paul Cunningham recalls sitting for seven weeks waiting for his assignment after basic training. Since he did not want to go to Germany, he volunteered for Adak, Alaska, but while training in South Carolina, the Korean War began. He remembers arriving in Korea at Pusan on September 20, 1950, and recalls setting up a radar station at the top of a hill in Pusan. After that, he moved to Osan, Incheon, and Kimpo Air Base to continue setting up radar stations.
Radar Sites in Korea and a Last Look in February 1952
Paul Cunningham set up a large radar station near the Kimpo Air Base, and that ended his seventeen-month deployment in Korea after spending two long winters there. He recalls leaving Korea with the image of poverty, huts, and dirt roads in February 1952. He also remembers the rail transportation office in Seoul as being all broken down and adds that he never thought Korea would rebuild itself like it has today.
The Most Difficult Experience in Korea
Paul Cunningham identified the lack of solid support from the US government as the most difficult experience in Korea because all of the troops were ready to follow MacArthur all the way to the Yalu River. He shares that he was a part of the Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 502 Tactical Control Group during his time in Korea. He adds that his squadron performed air surveillance for three hundred miles in all directions using radar machines that were used during WWII.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Paul Hummel remembered when the enemy forces figured out the weaknesses of United States' planes. Due to this, there needed to be a back up plan created to outwit the Chinese. Mosquito pilots used a variety of maneuvers while in the Hamhung area.
Paul Hummel had many responsibilities as a pilot during the Korean War. Some of these responsibilities included protecting bombers while on missions and dog fighting just like old World War I air battles. A variety of plane tactics used, as well as new technology behind the MiG-15 fighter planes.
Not Like the Movies
Paul Hummel was assigned a mission to bomb North Korean and Chinese troops on the ground. He saw the troops, tanks, and weapons, so he started attacking not knowing exactly which enemy troop he hit. Machine guns were attached to Paul Hummel's plane, so he could get a betters shot from the air. He believes that the real air battle was different than movie depictions of the Korean War air warfare that took place.
Friendly Fire on the Pusan Perimeter
Paul Summers was digging into a hillside on the Pusan Perimeter one night. Troops were lobbing artillery over the hillside where the Marines were setting up camp. Hearing the whistling of an artillery round, he suspected it would fall short. The explosion left four Marines dead.
The Costs of War
Paul Summers remembers lying down in a skirmish line and watching a truck dump dead U.S. Marines into a big hole. Tanks filled in the hole. The image still haunts him. Later, his division marched to Hagalwoori but ran into a fortified bunker controlled by the Chinese. As the division pondered their situation, a general up the road announced they would take the hill no matter what.
Dealing with Guilt
Paul Welsh describes a time when he had to make a difficult decision. He recalls a woman and a young boy were on a bridge with a wagon that was carrying a hidden weapon. He explains that when the woman opened fire, he ordered his men to fire on them--a decision he still struggles with today.
Paulino Lucino Jr.
Paulino Lucino Jr. was never sure of his exact location when he was fighting in Korea. Often, he was put on the back of trucks or trains and had no idea where they were headed next. He felt that this was the most troublesome experience of his time in Korea.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
Paulino Lucino Jr.'s job during the Korean War was a 81 millimeter mortar man. He still knows all of the details that he was taught during boot camp including the weight of the plate, barrels, and stakes he used. It was very hard to transport the 81 millimeter mortars on the Korean Peninsula's mountainous landscape.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales
The Battle of Kelly Hill / La Batalla de Kelly Hill
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales explains why the Battle of Kelly Hill was incredibly dangerous. He recounts a sad incident during the battle in which one of his childhood friends was killed in action. He explains that it was especially terrible because they had been friends since the first grade.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales explica por qué la Batalla de Kelly Hill fue tan peligrosa. Relata un triste incidente durante la batalla en el que uno de sus amigos de la infancia murió en acción. Explica que fue terrible porque habían sido amigos desde el primer grado y eran del mismo pueblo.
Battle of Jackson Heights / La Batalla de Jackson Heights
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describes the incident which led to his court martial. He recounts the difficulty troops had in keeping their position at the Battle of Jackson Heights. He explains that he was following the platoon when they descended and disobeyed orders to take the hill. He never imagined they would be in serious trouble for descending the hill.
Pedro Julio Jackson Morales describe el incidente que lo mando a la corte marcial. Él describe la dificultad que tuvieron las tropas para mantener su posición en la Batalla de Jackson Heights. Explica que estaba siguiendo al pelotón cuando descendieron y desobedecieron las órdenes de tomar la colina. Nunca imaginó que estarían en problemas tan serios por descender la colina.
Outfitting Planes with Cameras
Pete Flores describes installing cameras on the planes. He recalls that out of thirty or forty planes, three would be photo planes. He shares how these specific planes would take pictures as a means of gauging whether targets were being hit and missions were successful. He describes how all the gun turrets had little 16 mm movie cameras that were about the size of a pack of cigarettes and comments on how he would wait for the planes to come back and remove the film for analysis.
Peter Joseph Doyle, Jr.
Supporting the Infantry
Peter Doyle describes his job in a heavy machine gun platoon and the fear of artillery fire on Old Baldy. He explains that his was a supporting role, that he supplied the machine gun with ammunition. After supplying the gun, his platoon would spread out to protect the gun which was a target for the opposition. He describes heavy artillery fire on Old Baldy that lasted for 2-3 nights; that the first night was the worst and "scared the hell" out of him.
The Extent of Their Equipment
Philip Linsley recalls his outfit lacked combat experience and had limited weapons. Because of their attachment to different groups, he shares how his unit was completely mobile. He describes the position on a mountaintop and finally receiving a .50 caliber machine gun for armament during his last assignment.
Fortunate to Make it
Philip Linsley shares his experience during extreme cold and rumors of the Chinese surrounding them. He shares how the men were only able to work on connecting coaxial cables for a minute at a time due to the extreme cold. He elaborates on the stressful experience of completing guard duty in complete darkness and his concern that he only had a little gun to fend off the enemy. As rumors began to spread, he recalls his outfit suddenly being told to pack up everything they could and evacuate the area. He explains that since the enemy crossed the Yalu River, they headed south. He emphasizes they were fortunate to make it to Seoul because other outfits were attacked along the way.
Philip 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.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir and Roadblocks
Philip S. Kelly describes thinking he would be home by Christmas 1950, but instead, he encountered a surprise attack by the Chinese in what became the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He recalls that the United States Army pulled out and left the U.S. Marines exposed to the Chinese attack. He explains how he fought as an infantryman and the difficulty experienced by the soldiers in trying to clear out Chinese road blocks.
Philip Vatcher was most bothered by the murder of a military officer in Korea. He witnessed an officer killed because his life was worth less than the value of a military jeep. Despite the circumstance, he understands that war is war.
A Sniper Almost Took Me Out!
Phillip Olson was almost shot in the spine while traveling on a train with other South Korean soldiers. Actually, this wasn't the first time that he was shot at by a sniper because as he moved large loads of dirt into the rice patties, snipers would shoot the hood of his Caterpillar vehicle.
Transitioning From Basic Training to Running Heavy Equipment
Phillip Olson enlisted in 1951 and attended a variety of training while in the United States as part of the United States Army. His specialty was heavy equipment such as bull dozers, cranes, caterpillars, and earth movers. One of the roles that he remembered fondly was building an air strip between the 36th and 38th parallel so that the US Air Force could drop bombs on North Korea.
Lucky to Encounter a MiG
Pieter Visser presents an overview of the South African Air Force’s role in Korea. He explains the primary missions were air to ground and that meant one would be lucky if he met any enemy aircraft or MiGs. He elaborates on scenarios where one might encounter a MiG or become engaged in a dogfight. Based on his experience, he disagrees with the assessment of North Korea’s Air Force as weak, but he states they were not as equipped as the United Nations.
The Dangers of the Mustang
Pieter Visser compares the strengths and weaknesses of the Mustang, Sabre, and the enemy MiG aircraft. Consequently, he shares how the majority of the people they lost were flying Mustangs. He shares he only flew four missions in a Mustang; the majority of his missions were in a Sabre.
A Lucky Landing
Pieter Visser recounts the mission which forced him to make a tough landing. After completing an air attack, he recalls losing all of his controls and communication. He states that this left him with the tough decision to either land the plane or bail out. He describes the issues with both scenarios and why he chose to land the plane. Even with the ground crew shooting flares to deter him from landing, he remembers how he was finally, on the third attempt, able to come in slower and accomplish the landing. However, he admits his landing did cause damage which led to the commanding officer reprimanding him on his decision to force the landing.
Rafael Gómez Román
Training Tragedy / Tragedia durante Entrenamiento
Rafael Gómez Román explains the living conditions he faced while in Korea. As he describes the weather, he includes a story in which Lieutenant Higgins was showing new recruits how to throw a grenade and because of the cold it got stuck to his hand and killed everyone around including three officers. He considers himself lucky as he should have been next to him during the demonstration but was called to a different task at that moment.
Rafael Gómez Román explica las condiciones de vivienda que tenían en Corea. Mientras describe el clima, incluye una historia en la que el teniente Higgins estaba demostrándole a los nuevos reclutas cómo lanzar una granada y, debido al frío, se le quedó pegada a la mano y mató a todos, incluidos tres oficiales. Se considera afortunado ya que debería haber estado a su lado durante esa demonstración, pero en ese momento fue llamado a una tarea diferente.
Lost Brothers / Compañeros Perdidos
Rafael Gómez Román shares the stories of how two of his friends were shot during the war. He still thinks about his friend Ángel Ortiz de Orocovis, whom they called Benny, and how he was killed by a sniper as he was singing unaware of the danger in the vicinity. Additionally, he describes the moment in which another friend was shot and handicapped while he was unable to help as he had to continue firing his weapon.
Rafael Gómez Román comparte las historias de cómo dos de sus amigos fueron disparado durante la guerra. Todavía piensa en su amigo Ángel Ortiz de Orocovis, a quien llamaban Benny, y en cómo un francotirador lo mató mientras cantaba sin darse cuenta del peligro que estaba tan cerca. Además, describe el momento en que otro amigo recibió un disparo y quedó discapacitado, y como él no podía ayudarlo porque tenía que seguir disparando su arma.
Rafael Rivera Méndez
Difficult Moments / Momentos Dificiles
Rafael Rivera Méndez shares the most difficult moments of the war. He recalls the worst part of combat, which was waiting until after daybreak to remove the dead and take their places in the trenches. He reflects on the horrors of war and the degradation of human life.
Rafael Rivera Méndez comparte los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Recuerda que la peor parte del combate, era esperar hasta después del amanecer para sacar a los muertos y ocupar sus lugares en las trincheras. Reflexiona sobre el horror de la guerra y la degradación de la vida humana.
First Impressions / Primeras impresiones
Rafael Rivera Méndez shares his first impressions of Korea upon his arrival. He explains that he was unable to get a sense of the country upon landing on the beaches because he had to run for his life with his equipment. He recounts his impressions of civilians and their lifestyle when they were sent to different villages in search of guerrilla groups.
Rafael Rivera Méndez comparte sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Explica que no pudo tener una idea de lo que era el país cuando desembarco en la playa porque tuvo que correr con todo su equipo. Luego comparte las impresiones que tuvo de las familias coreanas cuando salieron a los pueblos a buscar grupos guerrilleros.
Ralph Blum recalls he was usually a half mile to three miles behind the front lines. He shares that the North Koreans were good at mortars and recalls how difficult it was to ear them coming. He remembers being shelled about every third day. He recounts watching the sky because the North Koreans would zero in with sky bursts, and then they would know there would be incoming mortars. He explains they would hide under the 105 Howitzer when they moved behind the infantry to avoid being shelled until foxholes could be dug.
Fighing in Korea
Ralph Burcham was busy as a forward observer in the Army. He valued the insight that seasoned soldiers imparted to new soldiers. As a soldier, Ralph Burcham was taught important skills that helped him survive.
Arrival in Korea
Ralph Hodge vividly details his trip from Ft. Lawton, WA, to Seoul beginning shortly after Thanksgiving 1951. He recalls the fourteen awful days and nights aboard ship which included traveling through three or four typhoons. He notes how when they arrive in Yokohama, Japan, on December 7, 1951, they wrote their wills before heading to Sasebo and onto Pusan. He shares it was in Pusan that he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, 38th Regiment, Company B Mortar Platoon as a replacement. He recounts his early experiences in country.
Pork Chop Hill
Ralph Hodge details how he and his unit came under fire on Pork Chop Hill on September 16th, 1953. He recalls the location was key in protecting the city of Seoul. He remembers being pinned down by wave after wave of Chinese descending on the hill and shares American casualties were devastatingly high.
U.S. Paratrooper Training
Ralph Howard discusses how he was trained to be a U.S. paratrooper in January 1952 after being drafted into the Army. He emphasizes that a great deal of physical training and practice using the parachute was needed. He recalls how his job was to drop into battles, cut off supply routes for the enemy, and support the U.S. Marines who had been fighting in the war since 1950.
Paratrooper Battles During Korean War
Ralph Howard recalls traveling all over Korea. He recounts how he performed airdrops into assorted battles including the Battle of Sukchon-Sunchon, the Battle of Triangle Hill, and the assault of Kot'o-ri. He described a mission where he was supposed to stop an enemy train carrying Allied POWs; however, the enemy had killed all but twenty-six POWs right outside the train.
Chute-Packing Races, C-Rations, and Poor Civilians
Ralph Howard discusses how he was scared until his parachute opened. He recalls not having to pack his own chute but adds that during training, they would compete to see who could pack his chute first. He remembers how General Westmoreland tried to ensure all men on the front lines received a hot meal once a day. He recalls enjoying beanie weenies, sausage, and hamburger from C-Rations. He notes that during his downtime, he would share some of his rations with Korean civilians as they were very poor.
Promotion to Sergeant
Raul Aguilar describes road-blocking, checking all the vehicles for everything including where they were going in order to curb black market sales of war materials. He describes everything going smoothly until one jeep with a driver and a Major came upon the road block. He asked for the Major's weapon, his ammo and his dog tags to make sure they were his, angering the Major. The next day he was called to report to the CO who told him that the Major wanted to apologize to him and that he had been promoted from Corporal to Sergeant.
Raul Martinez Espinosa
Training / Entrenamiento
Raúl Martínez Espinosa explains how he was trained and the capacity in which he served in Colombia prior to entering the war in Korea. He states that he entered the armed forces in 1944 as he was completing his bachelor’s degree in engineering. He attended the military school which trained generals and when he heard about the start of the war in Korea, he first pulled out a map to see where it was, and then volunteered.
Raúl Martínez Espinosa explica cómo fue entrenado y como sirvió en Colombia antes de entrar en la guerra de Corea. Cuenta que ingresó a las fuerzas armadas en 1944 cuando estaba completando su bachillerato en ingeniería. Asistió a la escuela militar que entrenaba a generales y cuando se enteró del comienzo de la guerra en Corea, primero sacó un mapa para ver dónde estaba y luego se ofreció como voluntario.
Most Dangerous Moments / Momentos Más Peligrosos
Raúl Martínez Espinosa remembers the most difficult moments of the war. He explains that Operation Nomad and Hill 400 were among the most dangerous battles in the war. Moreover, he shares the story of how he was almost killed the day he was given his leave to return to Colombia after eighteen months in combat.
Raúl Martínez Espinosa recuerda los momentos más difíciles de la guerra. Explica que Operacion Nómada y el Cerro 400 fueron las batallas más peligrosas de la guerra. Además, cuenta la historia de cómo casi no sobrevive el día que le dieron permiso para regresar a Colombia después de dieciocho meses de combate.
Raymond H. Champeau
Journey to the Korean Coast
Raymond H. Champeau was a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy. He explains his journey to being stationed on the HMCS Huron, a Canadian Destroyer with nearly three hundred men aboard. He recalls the weapons and ammunition aboard ship, and becoming acclimated to life at sea.
The Canadian Mission at Sea
Raymond H. Champeau explains that sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS Huron had a mission to patrol the east coast of Korea from September 1952 until the end of the Korean War. He recalls that they never met up with any enemy ships. He explains what conditions were present when the destroyer fired bombs on enemy trains that could be spotted emerging from tunnels with supplies.
Raymond L. Ayon
The War’s Painful Memories
Raymond L. Ayon vividly remembers his deployment to Korea, just two days after news of the war 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.
Raymond L. Fish
The Pusan Perimeter
Raymond L. Fish recounts his role as a medic at the Pusan Perimeter. He recalls having to keep up with inventory, which was sometimes a challenge when it came to dealing with soldiers who had alcoholic tendencies. He explains how casualties were treated for wounds at varying locations.
Saved by a Canteen
Raymond L. Fish was sent on one-week detachments to provide aid to Chinese prisoners of war who were under supervision by the United Nations. He shares how a little while later, he was injured while running from the Chinese. He shares the story of how his canteen protected him from what could have been a fatal wound during the war.
Treacherous Trips as a Navigator
Rayond Scott's job as a Navigator during the Korean War consisted of taking a trip to Japan about every three months to assist Pilots. He recalls that the most difficult flights were landing in and taking off from Shemya Air Force Base in Alaska. He recalls the encounters of difficulty due to the intense fog and high winds.
Flying in the Face of Danger
Raymond Scott had to endure very dangerous moments while being a Flight Navigator. He explains the challenges of having to plot charts around communist islands in the face of the challenges brought by fog, strong winds, and weapons firing across war zones. He recalls a story of how a plane crashed when it hit a cross wind.
Raymond W. Guenthner
Raymond Guenthner describes what they learned in Army Air Force basic training. He explained how they had to learn to care for the weapons. He also discusses his Infiltration Training, which included live ammunition and explosives.
Mortar, Machine Guns, and Multiple Hits
Raymond Guenthner describes the fear of fellow soldiers and the advice he provided to them. He explains what it was like being in the middle of a mortar and machine gun attack. After being hit, he tries to make it to safety while being targeted by Chinese machine gun forces.
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.
Richard A. Houser
Fighting Alongside with UN Nations
Richard Houser fought along with Turks, Aussies, Ethiopians, Greeks, and Columbians while fighting against communism. The Chinese were afraid of the Turks because they would cut off the ear of their enemy as a trophy.
Richard Arthur Christopher Hilton
Missiles and the USSR
Richard Hilton recalls the threat posed by the USSR as a reason for the U.S. military focus on missiles. He explains that the Russian support for the North Koreans and their advancement in missile creation led to the U.S. proliferation in missile production. He goes on to explain that his proficient math background earned him a position in the missile department, mostly in Albuquerque and in White Sands, New Mexico.
Amenities aboard the USS Salem
Richard Botto and other sailors had a variety of accommodations on the USS Salem. They had AC/Heat on the ship. They also had a cobbler shop, cigarette store, movies every night, and a readied helicopter. There were 1400 men aboard the ship and they had a crane that lifted the higher ranking officers' boats into the water.
Firing From the USS Salem
Richard Botto was on the USS Salem during his time in the Korean War. He was supposed to go in with a few friends, but he was left to join alone. After training in the Great Lakes, he was sent to Massachusetts and then he was stationed on the USS Salem. Richard Botto didn't go into Korea, but he was east of Korea and continued to follow the shoreline to fire 8 inch guns into the mountains during 1952-1953.
Duties While in the East Sea Along Korea's Shore
Richard Botto was busy on Quarter Watch because he had to do whatever he was told to do. He could see the mortar shells coming from his ship and landing into the side of Korea's mountains. He was not in danger while he was there, he thought, because Richard Botto was protected by 1,400 sailors. In February 1953, he was done with his time in the East Sea, so he was sent to the Mediterranean Sea to help NATO with a humanitarian mission.
Weekly Sermons Halted After Preacher was a No-Show
Church was usually done every Sunday on the hood of a cloth-draped jeep. The preacher would hold the bible in his hand and deliver the weekly sermon. One Sunday, the soldiers were present to start the service, but the preacher wasn't there. The soldiers saw in the distance a jeep driving about 90 miles an hour up the the soldiers to tell them that the preacher had checkout out a rifle to go pheasant hunting, stepped on a land mine and was killed.
Jackpot Charlie (Morale Booster)
Richard Brandt remembered an old airplane and a guy named Jackpot Charlie (thought to have been Bed-Check Charlie) flew over North Korea and American soldiers dropping thousands of small square propaganda leaflets. They were written for the soldiers and the leaflets said, " Don't you want to be home for Christmas GI? Tell your president you want to leave and lay down your arms." The pilot came around 2-3 times and Richard Brandt said that this plane had more bullets holes than any other plane he'd ever seen during the war.
Richard Carey – Part 1
Covered in Blood for Days
Richard Carey describes the situation in Seoul as his platoon tried to help recapture it from the North Koreans. He shares information about his squadron leaders and injuries of his platoon. He explains how they stopped for a breather and what happened in the process.
Working with Americans While Stationed at HQ
Richard Davey recounts being stationed at the Royal Army's Headquarters (HQ) during the May 1953, 3rd Battle of the Hook. Due to bombing and busy telephone lines, he recalls having to hot loop (go around the regular telephone communication system) to communicate with other HQs. During that battle, over thirty-eight thousand shells were used during the fight.
A Bunker and a Radio, What Else Would You Need?
Richard Davey shares that his job in HQ was to man the radio to maintain and assist communication between the frontlines and HQRA. Therefore, he had to store many pieces of equipment to keep the radio running all day and night. He recalls being able to stay in a bunker inside of a trench and adds that he was even able to maintain a bookshelf with books to share with the American soldiers that he was stationed with at the time.
Arrival in Pusan in the Midst of 1952
Richard Davey recalls arriving in Pusan to a band playing in the background and small camps set up with Canadian troops waiting to be shipped out. After a train and truck ride, he was stationed with the Headquarters Royal Artillery (HQRA). While stationed there, he was provided food, summer clothes, and guns.
Chosin Reservoir Reflection
Richard Davis reflects on his experiences at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts the bitterly cold conditions and being outnumbered by the Chinese. He describes the sleeping bag situation, digging foxholes, and the food available.
Purple Heart in Korea
Ekstrand reflects on a battle north of the 38th Parallel where he was wounded by a grenade on July 5, 1951. Crouching down, he yelled "Grenade!" as the grenade unfortunately landed next to him and exploded. Shrapnel injured his back, penetrating his lung, and he believes that if he had been standing, he would have been killed.
Engineering in Korea
In this clip, Ekstrand explains how he was redeployed to an engineering outfit in Busan after his injury in the infantry. He presents an overview of the types of labor he did there, including bridge and road work.
Wounded and Recovery
Richard Fuller recounts his wounds while in Korea. He incurred shrapnel in his legs on October 20, 1952, and was taken to Japan for treatment and rehabilitation. He returned to his unit in Korea 3 months later.
Helmets Without a Strap
Richard Fuller shares that his helmet was blown off 3 times. He, along with other soldiers, chose not to wear his helmet chinstrap. He describes his reasoning for his decision not to do so.
Richard L. Boxwell, Jr.
Navy Injuries Led to Lifelong Pain
Richard Boxwell experienced lifelong injuries he incurred from his service on an aircraft carrier. A plane ran over part of his leg. Earplugs were not used on aircraft carriers during the Korean War and this led to his permanent hearing loss.
No Purple Heart
Richard Boxwell did not earn a Purple Heart for his war-related injuries. Even though he was injured doing war-related work on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War, he was not eligible for a Purple Heart because he was not in direct combat. It was ironic that he went into the Navy to stay away from injury, but he still ended up injured.
Alcohol on a Naval Ship
Richard Boxwell describes attitudes about beer and alcohol. Beer was not considered alcohol, at that time. Certain on-board personnel were given beer as any flight could be their last flight.
Richard P. Holgin
First Impressions of Korea
Richard P. Holgin describes arriving at Incheon at the beginning of the Korean War. He goes into detail about seeing burnt bodies all over and crossing through cities ravaged by the Chinese. Richard P. Holgin's his job responsibilities changed when he shifted from a rifleman to an infantryman.
Burning Bridges at the Chosin Reservoir
Richard P. Holgin experienced subzero temperatures and fierce fighting at the Chosin Reservoir. After his company's missions, they would have to blow up bridges and roads so that no enemy could follow them. The weather was a major factor in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Richard V. Gordon
Guarding the Seas Off South Korea
Richard V. Gordon describes patrolling the seas off Korea from the Communists. He describes blowing up a floating mine and provides a picture of the explosion. Richard Gordon describes not really engaging the enemy due to the North Koreans not really having a Navy.
The Chinese Take Robert Battdorff
Marine engineers were building an airstrip near the Chosin Reservoir when Robert Battdorff moved onto Toktong Pass to set up positions. That's where the Chinese took over the hill and he was taken prisoner while on watch. It was November 28, 1950 and he was on watch in a sleeping bag because the weather was 40 below zero.
A Near Death Experience with the Chinese
The Chinese put Robert Battdorff in a cow shed and then put him in their own foxholes because the sun was coming up, so they assumed the US would be bombing soon from the air. Two other men were captured with him, but no US soldiers came to resume them right away. On the first assault, there were 28 casualties during that attack. The guard that captured the 3 US soldiers had the men kneel near a frozen stream so that he could kill them, but another Chinese soldier stopped the killing.
Marching and Traveling all over the Chosin Reservoir as a POW
After a further search and surviving a shooting, Robert Battdorff had to hide in a foxhole because the Australians were shooting up multiple buildings where the Chinese were hiding. One guard walked the POWs all day to Yudam ni, near Hamgyong, North Korea. He was moved many places to hide throughout December 1950 while the Chinese were picking up additional British POWs.
Travel, Food, and UN Attacks on Chinese as a POW
Robert Battdorff and one other US POW were forced to walk south to the 38th parallel in May 1951 as the US soldiers were pushing the Chinese back in battle. He was told that he was brought down south just in case if the Chinese came across additional prisoners. He would walk at night 6 days a week and then take Sunday off. Since the Chinese were traveling with supplies during the night, UN pilots looked for the headlights of the trucks to know where to hit.
33 Months as a POW
Robert Battdorff was watched by only 1 guard for all 25 POWs until the Chinese realized that it would be safer for them to separate the POWs. After moving all the Koreans out of the next city, the homes were called Camp 3 where they stayed during October 1951. He had to deal with Communist Indoctrination for over 2 years. Robert Battdorff was finally released in August 1953 after the Korean War came to a stalemate.
Robert Boyd Layman
Listening to a Barrage of Artillery Fire
Robert Boyd Layman describes where he was when the Armistice was signed. He explains that there was artillery being fired around the clock on both sides since no one wanted to carry it all back. He describes being incredulous that the war was actually stopping when he was used to hearing gunfire constantly.
Robert D. Davidson
Minefields in Korea
Robert Davidson recounts how his company of engineers was frequently sent to work on projects that needed immediate completion. He speaks at length about having to work in minefields to either lay or demine them. He shares that it was a very slow process and adds that his company never lost a man to a mine during the process. He comments on how well the North Koreans were able to set booby traps.
Training for the Korean War in the US and Cuba
Once Robert Dahms graduated high school, he volunteered for the military. He was sent to the Great Lakes for 16 weeks of basic training. After training, Robert Dahms went to Pensacola, Florida to rescue downed planes by using a lot of different types of technology to aid the rescuers.
Training and Protecting Pilots While Purifying Water
Robert Dahms continued to work on the home front to train and protect pilots while they were learning to become effective soldiers. While doing so, he also ran evaporators to purify salt water in order to turn it into drinking water. Both of these jobs were important for the soldiers during the Korean War.
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.
Driving to the Front Lines
Robert Fitts was promoted to Motor Sergeant/Staff Sergeant and was in charge of assigning drivers to tasks among other duties. He shares the story of a driver's willingness to carry supplies to the front lines for another driver who returned with a vehicle maintenance issue. He details the outcome of the second attempt.
Robert H. Pellou
Dug in on Outskirts of Hagaru-ri
Robert H. Pellou recalls serving with a heavy weapons unit in Korea. He shares they worked with heavy machine guns and water-cooled Brownings. He recalls how he operated the only weapon of its type in Hagaru-ri. He remembers being surrounded by the Chinese on Dec. 6th and then the heavy machine guns being called forward as others pushed back to Wonsan. He explains how while feeding an ammunition belt into the gun, he was hit by enemy fire, ending his combat career.
Robert H. Pellow
I Knew I'd Survive
Robert H. Pellow describes his weapons job during the war and describes loading an ammunition belt into a machine gun. He also describes being hit from three to four thousand yards away by enemy fire. He states that he never doubted he would survive.
Robert I. Winton
Patrolling The Waters Around Korea
Robert Winton describes his jobs as a signalman looking out for other ships and also in coding and decoding messages. He talks about looking for spy ships and coming across a suspected Russian submarine. Robert Winton briefly describes landing in Incheon and seeing orphans and thinking war accomplishes nothing.
A Burning Truck
Robert Johnson recollects on a dangerous experience in Korea when he was in a truck filled with TNT and how it led to a fire. He also describes seeing constant planes fly over his station. Although he didn't engage in combat, he was near much of the fighting.
Retreat from Taejon
Robert Kodama recalls the North Korean army splitting and going around his unit as they backed out of Taejon in hopes of cutting off the U.S. retreat. As it turns out, the command did not know that his unit was still stationed on the plateau in the Taejon region. He recalls packing up and moving out with little trouble, but notes that C Company, which he had once been a member of, was overrun and suffered high casualties. Later, he joined a group of volunteers to go back into the region to search for survivors but they were turned back by the sound of Russian-made machine guns.
Robert L. Jewitt
Concentrate on My Role
Robert Jewitt expands on life in the M4A3E8 Sherman tank and the different jobs in the tank. He provides details about the dangers of being in the tank and the changes they experience during the cold and hot weather. He shares how, during his time in the tank, he concentrated on getting his job done and not being consumed by any fears. With this in mind, he recounts how some soldiers were consumed by their fears and how they were ineffective.
Hit By a Shell
Robert Jewitt elaborates on surviving a shell hitting his tank at Hill 518 during the Battle of Dabudong. He notes how, after being hit by the shell, the driver was killed, and one of the other men was severely wounded. He describes helping his buddy, though injured himself, to the jeep and his lieutenant taking off with the wounded soldier. Meanwhile, he remembers shells landing all around him and the mechanic beckoning him to join him underneath the bridge. While assessing the situation, he recalls a shell exploding near him and ending up with the mechanic under the bridge.
Robert M. Longden
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 R. Moreau
From Merchant Marine to Drafted
Robert R. Moreau began his service career by enlisting in the US Merchant Marine. He shares how at the time of the Korean War, the Merchant Marine was not considered part of the service branches, and as a result, this made him eligible for the draft. He offers details on his career both as a member of the Merchant Marine and his service with the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion.
Daily Duties in Korea
Robert R. Moreau shares he arrived in Korea as part of the 13th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 7th Division in late July 1951. He explains their primary duties were clearing minefields, building roads, and checking the Bailey Bridges which the U.S. had deployed across the rivers. He notes that these bridges need to be checked almost daily because the North Koreans frequently snuck in and loosened the bolts that held them in place.
Robert S. Chessum
Memory of Engagement and Artillery
Robert Chessum describes a Chinese threat at one moment because his unit was too far forward due to a Chinese Offensive. He describes the New Zealand artillery, providing specific details on the various guns. He then describes becoming part of the 1st Commonwealth Brigade.
Hill 355 and Hill 317
Robert Chessum describes being a Temporary Captain on the assault of Hill 355 and Hill 317. He was wounded during the campaigns by mortar fire. He was evacuated to a hospital for a week and transferred to Hero Camp in Japan. Robert Chessum eventually came back to Imjin after a six month recuperation and was eventually discharged in 1952.
F.O.R.D., Fix Or Repair Daily
Robert Stephens describes fixing tanks. The tanks used in Korea had Ford V-8 engines and often the spark plug housing would crack. This occurred often and created a supply chain issue. Robert Stephens also describes how the tanks would slip their tracks. He would have to go out into the combat zone and fix the slipped track.
Robert Stephens describes his training to become a mechanic on tanks. He describes being trained on the M46 with a Continental engine, whereas the tanks in Korea were the M4 with a Ford engine. The role of a tank mechanic was to keep the tanks and Jeeps running. His particular unit was support for many different UN forces. Robert Stephens describes how when the tanks broke down in the combat zone and he and his crew would have to go into danger to fix a broken down tank.
Robert W. Hill
We Always Carried Ax Handles
Robert W. Hill explains what his impression of North Korea was and the conflict that took the lives of his predecessors. He describes how some were killed with axes by the North Koreans while cutting down trees. He also explains that you can find a memorial to the men there made from the hood of their truck.
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.
Life as an American Soldier on the Front Lines: From Bunkers to Bullets
Rodney Ramsey was supported by Korean Augmentation to United States Army (KATUSA) and these troops were seasoned fighters by the time Rodney Ramsey entered the war in 1952. While sleeping in sand-bag bunkers at the front lines in Geumgang, North Korea, he was comfortable with his summer fatigues including a field jacket. Some of the most dangerous times were when Rodney Ramsey was going on patrol or raids where the Chinese were dug in. He was shot through the helmet with a minor wound when an African American soldier standing next to him was shot with the same bullet and died.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. He notes that the U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. He remembers a sniper shoting at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. He recounts how the bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he was not hit by the actual bullet. He recalls other dangerous experiences which included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan (Busan), with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu (Daegu).
Rumor of a Cease Fire in 1952
Robert Myers recalls what it was like in Korea in 1952. He describes how both sides had patrols going back at forth across the DMZ at night. The rumor was that there was going to be a ceasefire, so each side tried to get as much territory as possible.
Roger S. Stringham
Skirmishes in Korea
Roger Stringham recounts that he was attending art school when he was drafted into the Army in late 1950. He recalls receiving his four-month basic training at Camp Roberts in California and being shipped to Korea shortly thereafter. He offers an account of the skirmishes he experienced and speaks of lives lost from a machine gun burst.
Roland Dean Brown
Food Scarcity and Living Conditions
Roland Brown recounts the food scarcity he and fellow soldiers experienced on the front lines. He recalls being surrounded by the Chinese and North Koreans, a situation that required an airdrop of provisions. He shares that he and fellow soldiers had to fight the enemy for the goods dropped, which included food and ammunition, as the Chinese and North Koreans had acquired U.S. weapons from American soldiers they had overrun and needed ammunition. He additionally comments on the living conditions, stating that they often slept on the ground and sometimes in foxholes or old bunkers.
Preparing Ammunition to be Fired
Roland Kleinschmidt explains what his life was like in Korea. He lived in sandbag bunkers and worked on a rotating eight-hour shift. His role was to compute the data to determine how much ammunition was needed to hit the target. He shares a time when he drove a major to a cave to fire on the North Koreans.
“Like a Tomb” on July 27, 1953
While they fired a lot of missions during the war, Roland Kleinschmidt recalls how much ammunition was fired at the end of the war. He says that from the time both sides signed the truce until it went into effect, both sides shot off a lot of ammunition- both to kill people at the end but also because they didn’t want to “haul it back.” However, at midnight when the armistice went into effect, it was “like a tomb” because everything on both sides just shut off.
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.
Two Chinese Soldiers
Rollo Minchaca is describing his interaction during the war with the Chinese soldiers. He witnessed a 17 year old machine gunner crying for his mother during the war when his division was ambushed by the Chinese. As a browning automatic rifle man, he almost died because they were running low on ammunition.
Ronald A. Cole
Mortar Shells and Polio
Ronald Cole shares his experience of arriving in Pusan in December 1953 and being taken to the front line as part of an infantry replacement unit. He recalls on this trip to the front lines that the North Koreans fired a mortar shell at them and that they frequently caught infiltrators. He notes that his time in Korea was cut short due to being exposed to polio while in Korea. He offers an account of what happened to him as a result of this exposure.
Rain of Steel
Ronald Bourgon recalls being completely surrounded by the Chinese for three days. He details the plan to combine weaponry from the US, New Zealand, and Canada to open an artillery barrage on their location. He recalls orders given to his company to get down in foxholes and to not come out as fire would be opened on their location in an attempt to stop the Chinese. He remembers the ravaged scene of dead Chinese soldiers once the barrage had ceased.
A Close Call
Ronald Bourgon shares a dangerous moment memory. He recalls carrying the radio and rounding a big rock to avoid hitting branches where a soldier stood with his gun raised. He remembers the soldier pulling the trigger and the gun misfiring. He recounts the soldier apologizing for the mistake and stating that the guns never work as he pointed it to the ground and pulled the trigger again. He remembers the gun firing and shares he was lucky it misfired the first time.
Combat Victories and Injuries
Setting the record for hand-to-hand combat, Ronald Rosser shares how he killed twelve people through this method. He remembers getting wounded in his foot by shrapnel during Heartbreak Ridge. He recounts some of his dangerous incidents during the war.
What Made It Worse
Ronald Yardley describes sleeping in hammocks aboard the HMS Belfast when the 6 inch guns of the ship would fire. He explains that the blast would cause soldiers to be lifted in their hammocks and then dropped. He also describes how the entire ship would turn to the side whenever the guns would fire, then settle back into the ocean.
We Broke Their Will
Roy Aldridge describes how he crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea. He shares how the North Koreans shed their uniforms, put on civilian clothing, and fled. He shares how there wasn't much resistance. He explains how the North Koreans had killed all of the prisoners of war and where they put them.
"An Angel Sitting on My Shoulder"
Roy Aldridge describes their unit being the first airborne unit that was completely self-contained. He explains how they had artillery, trucks, jeeps, ammunition, and medics. He describes the dates and movements of his Batallion. He describes the extremely cold temperatures ranging between 40-50 degrees below zero, and how they were attacked by the Chinese.
Roy Orville Hawthorne
Enlisting and Understanding His Mission
Roy Orville Hawthorne recounts how he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of seventeen. He shares he initially wanted to enlist in the “Silent Service” (the submarine force of the United States Navy). He remembers his desire to serve on a submarine originated from reading the novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne. However, he recalls how he was informed at the induction ceremony that all Navajo males were required to be inducted into the US Marine Corps during WWII, per federal legislation. He discusses going to the Navajo Communications School at Camp Pendleton where the mission for Navajo soldiers during WWII was made clear.
Maintaining Field Communications in Korea
Roy Orville Hawthorne shares how, after being discharged from the US Marine Corps in 1946, he re-enlisted in the United States Army two years later. He explains that during the Korean War, he served in the infantry and specialized in communications. Despite the sporadic nature of the fighting, he remembers being able to see the enemy on nearby hillsides. His recalls his primary responsibility was maintaining field communications as the enemy aimed to disrupt lines of communication.
Encountering the Enemy
Roy Orville Hawthorne shares he has vivid memories of working tirelessly for almost twenty-four hours straight during the Chinese Spring Offensive. He mentions the significant loss of life during this period and the urgent requirement for more soldiers on the front lines. He remembers how on one morning, while passing by a nearby ditch, he came across enemy troops. He shares that he later observed a sudden flash of light which turned out to be caused by enemy mortar fire. He explains he was seriously injured in the attack.
The Road to Recovery
Roy Orville Hawthorne describes the extent of his injuries from enemy fire. He remembers the lieutenant crying as he offered encouragement at the sight of his wounds. While at the Mash hospital, he recalls a nurse taking his hand and saying, “Chief, you’re going to make it.” He describes traveling by bus to a regular hospital in Korea where he underwent surgery. He remembers spending a year at the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C., for treatment and therapy for his wounds, including the amputation of his right leg.
No One Knew What Was Happening
Royal Vida provides details about entering a deserted Pyungyang and his perceptions of North Korea. From Pyungyang, he states that his unit moved up to the Yalu River and here they met an intense Chinese intervention. As they were retreating, he describes the loss of life he encountered and that no one can prepare for what you will encounter during a battle. Additionally, he shares his diagnosis of PTSD.
Captured by the Chinese
Russel Kingston describes how he and his group could not stay outside freezing and starving any longer, so they took shelter in the house of a North Korean family. The next morning the family left, and shortly thereafter the Chinese kicked down the door and held them at gunpoint. He believes that the family informed the Chinese that they were there.
Russell J. Kolmus, Jr.
Russell J Kolmus, Jr., describes his last tour on the Boxer CV21. He explains that during the early morning, they were arming a plane before its take-off. He notes there was a miscommunication, and the pilot fired his gun into a jet, causing a fire. He shares how he suffered smoke inhalation as a result and spent a week in the sick bay.
Russell J Kolmus, Jr., describes how an enemy submarine surfaced near his ship as it was refueling. Though unsure of who the submarine belonged to, the tanker quickly left, causing an oil spill in the ocean which was never reported. He explains that destroyers were then called in to drop depth charges to take out the submarine.
Salvatore R. Conte
Capture and Traveling to the POW Camp
Salvatore Conte remembers traveling toward Hagalwoori when his vehicle was hit and the men went into a ditch. All three of the soldiers were injured in his group and then they were taken by the Chinese. He recalls being taken to Geojedo POW camp in January 1951. He gives a thorough account of what it was like in the camps.
The Wounding of Rifleman Salvatore Schillaci in 1952
Salvatore Schillaci shares he suffered an abdominal wound during a nighttime reconnaissance mission. He recounts how his Sergeant ordered him to take an enemy's machine gun. He explains that the enemy opened fire as he walked forward. He recalls how the VA hospital gave him great care upon his return to the United States.
"Pieces of His Body Were Flying Around"
Salvatore Schillaci shares how he thinks about the bad things that happened when he has nothing else to do. He remembers how a friend of his stepped on a mine and was killed. He explains when he himself was injured, he returned home to receive hospital care in Massachusetts. He shares that, upon recovery, he returned to university to study geology on the GI Bill.
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr.
Difficult and Rewarding Times
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr., talks about being under enemy artillery fire. He recalls making it quickly into a foxhole. He discusses being scared and describes his most rewarding times in Korea and the special experience.
Samuel Boyd Fielder, Jr., describes firing so much that the barrels of the guns were red hot. He recalls how they poured water on the guns to cool them off. He says they were firing seven rounds per minute which was almost double what they said was the maximum that could be fired per minute.
Close Calls in Korea
Samuel Stoltzfus arrived in Pusan to board a train for the front lines north of Seoul. As a truck driver and radio operator, he hauled his radio across locations that included Old Baldy and Porkchop. He drove officers and radios through enemy fire. Once, during a speedy dash through enemy-observed territory, a hand grenade tumbled from the glove compartment onto the floor of his Jeep.
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.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz
Surviving the Battle of Old Baldy / Sobreviviendo a la Batalla de Old Baldy
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz recounts the dangers he encountered during the battle of Old Baldy. After two soldiers within his post were killed and his machine gun overheated, the only way for him to survive was by hiding for two days. The most difficult part of the battle was escaping as he found a fellow soldier with injured legs begging him for help which he then carried for one-and-one-half kilometers. He courageously carried him to safety while maneuvering through artillery falling nearby.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz relata los peligros que encontró durante la batalla de Old Baldy. Después que mataran a dos compañeros y su ametralladora se sobrecalentó, la única forma de sobrevivir fue escondiéndose durante dos días en un bunker. La parte más difícil de la batalla fue escapar, ya que encontró a un compañero soldado con las piernas lesionadas que le suplicaba ayuda y camino un kilómetro y medio cargándolo. Lo llevó a un lugar seguro mientras maniobraba a través de la artillería que caía cerca.
Personal Experience in Battle / Experiencia en Batalla
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz reflects on his time at the Battle of Old Baldy. He vividly remembers seeing Chinese soldiers lighting flares to find anyone that was hidden. He describes the recognition he received after his service including his five medals.
Segundo Miguel Angel de la Cruz refleja sobre su experiencia en la Batalla de Old Baldy. Recuerda vívidamente haber visto a los soldados chinos encender bengalas para encontrar a alguien que estuviera escondido. Relata del reconocimiento que recibió después de su servicio, incluyendo sus cinco medallas.
Sergio Martinez Velasquez
Most Difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Sergio Martínez Velásquez recalls the intense fighting of the Battle of Old Baldy. He explains that the Chinese were relentless in their attacks, and were it not for American tanks, they all would have perished. He shares the story of how he almost died when he left the bunker for a moment.
Sergio Martínez Velásquez recuerda los momentos más intensos de la guerra que sucedieron durante de la Batalla de Old Baldy. Él explica que los chinos fueron implacables en sus ataques y que, si no hubiera sido por los tanques estadounidenses, todos habrían perecido. También comparte la historia de cómo casi lo mataron cuando salió del búnker por un momento.
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.
Experiences at a POW Camp in Korea
Shorty Neff recalls his experiences at a Prisoner of War (POW) camp during his time in Korea. He details how he and his unit were sent to the camp to recover a commander who had been captured and shares a picture of the camp. He later returned to the front lines. He recalls traveling to Japan for Rest and Relaxation and explains that shortly after, he headed back home to the United States in April of 1953.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle
Motor Pool Duty / Asignado al Motor Pool
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle explains how his ability to speak basic English saved his life as he was assigned to one of the safer unit during the war. Within fifteen days of his arrival, he was selected to join the motor pool unit to be a driver. He explains that his job was to follow exact directions and be an interpreter for his superiors.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle recuerda de cómo su habilidad para hablar un poco el inglés le salvó la vida porque fue asignado a una unidad más segura durante la guerra. Dentro de los quince días de su llegada, fue asignado a la unidad de transporte para ser conductor. Él explica que su trabajo consistía en seguir instrucciones exactas manejando y ser un intérprete para sus superiores.
Impressions of Korea / Impresiones de Corea
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle shares his first impressions and experiences from his arrival in Korea. He explains the journey he took to arrive in Korea which included stops in San Francisco and Hawaii. He explains that it was difficult to adjust to the front lines as North Koreans infiltrated during the night, making it difficult to sleep.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle comparte sus primeras impresiones de la guerra y sus experiencias al llegar a Corea. Él cuenta sobre el viaje que hizo para llegar a Corea, que incluyó paradas en San Francisco y Hawái. Explica que fue difícil adaptarse a las líneas del frente porque los norcoreanos infiltraban las líneas durante la noche y era imposible dormir porque tenían que estar de guardia.
A Fallen Friend / Un Amigo Caído
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle shares the moments which most impacted him during the war. He explains that because he was a driver, he was responsible for delivering supplies and sometimes picking up the wounded. On one occasion, he was driving near the front line and found a friend who had been killed in action. That moment caused him guilt and sleeplessness as it reminded him of the perils of war.
Sixto Gil Mercado Valle comparte los momentos que más lo impactaron durante la guerra. Explica que, como era chofer, era responsable de entregar suministros y, a veces, de recoger a los heridos. En una ocasión, estaba conduciendo cerca de la línea del frente y encontró a un amigo que lo habían matado. Ese momento le causó culpa e insomnio porque le hizo acordar de los peligros de la guerra.
Night Patrol, the Enemy, and Explosions
Stanley Fujii describes the emotional experience of a fellow soldier who lost his mind during a night patrol. His description also includes going to take a mountain with a company of 160 men. The endeavor to take the mountain began with encountering explosions in the flatland, ultimately causing retreat. He describes his encounter with land mines, enemy flares, mortars, machine guns, and tanks.
Running from Napalm
Stanley Fujii describes the experience of seeing the bodies of young soldiers in Chinese uniforms who were burned from Napalm. His testimony describes being on patrol to look for another location to move his company to and noticing a lot of dead bodies. The bodies were burned to a crisp and the faces were very young. He saw maggots crawling from the flesh and buzzards coming down to eat the flesh.
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.
Stephen Frangos talks about the first nuclear weapons to leave the United States after the atomic bombs from World War II. The weapons were delivered to South Korea in 1958. The weapons were eventually brought back to the U.S. in 1991.
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.
Sterling D. Mestad
Communicating with Pork Chop Hill
Sterling D. Mestad offers his account of the Pork Chop Hill experience on the communications side. He shares that he did not see as much as the men who were on the lines but adds that he was never far from danger. He recounts a soldier right behind him hit in the face suffering a serious wound.
Breaking Ice to Bathe
Sterling D. Mestad recounts bathing experiences during the winter months in Korea. He details having to break ice and heat water and recalls the winter shower point experience which involved a big tent with warm water followed by a clean clothes distribution. He shares that a group of soldiers were headed to the shower point on one occasion and were hit by a mortar.
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.
Sterline N. McKusick's unit moved from Hamhueng and Wonson to Hagaru-ri on the south end of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He shares he served as part of the advanced battalion headed into the region. He recalls the Chinese moving into the region right after Thanksgiving 1950 and notes that at that point, things became a matter of survival and getting out of there. He notes that part of the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 31st Regiment were trapped on the east side of the reservoir, and two more Marine regiments were trapped on the left side of the reservoir. He remembers how the U.S. forces were severely outnumbered--one hundred fifty thousand Chinese to fifteen thousand Marines. He recounts the attempts by the convoy to slowly creep back down the mountain.
Injured, Hospitalized, and Returned to Korea
Sterling N. McKusick remembers how during the trip down the mountain from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir that it got dark quickly, and they were ordered to travel without lights. He recalls how about nine miles down the road, they encountered a Chinese roadblock in the area of a frozen creek bed. He explains his truck was sandwiched between other trucks ahead of and behind his when the Chinese started shooting. He describes how his truck was hit and how part of the engine destroyed. He shares he was wounded during this time and recalls spending a long cold night in a ditch before things subsided as the Chinese did not like to fight in daylight. He eventually spent six or seven weeks in a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, before returning to his unit to finish out his time in Korea.
The Dead Stick in Your Mind
Sterling N. McKusick states that the dead always stick in his mind. He recounts one occasion near Wonsan in October 1950 when his unit discovered between three hundred to four hundred civilians slaughtered by the North Koreans. He believes he had it easier than many of the infantrymen who were constantly under fire while in Korea. He notes that after a short time, he simply got numb to the stuff. He provides an account of seeing North Korean tank units in Seoul who had died at the hands of napalm deployed by U.S. Marines and the Navy. He concludes that it never really goes away but that he came to see himself fortunate that it was not him.
Steven G. Olmstead
"High Diddle Diddle, Right up the Middle"
Steven Olmstead describes his unit's movement through "Hellfire Alley" on its way to Hagaru. He talks about being engaged by enemy Chinese soldiers and the esprit de corps among the marines in his company. He recalls the actions of Rocco Zullo, the first sergeant in his marine unit, during the movement to Hagaru. He describes Sergeant Zullo's heroic actions which were thought to have led to his death and shares surprising news about the first sergeant.
"We Were a Team"
Steven Olmstead describes his state of mind on the battlefield. He talks about being too busy to think about food or home while engaged with the enemy. He comments on the winter living conditions and offers his reasoning as to why he and his comrades were able to survive in such a harsh environment. He recounts his unit's withdrawal from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the significance of the "Star of Kotori", and the sufferings of the Chinese Army.
The Dreaded Capture
Stuart Gunn had a confrontation with the Chinese military at the Battle of Hill 187. The Chinese were very organized. He remembers the moment him and his partners were capture and the pain they all endured. These moments lead to his capture as a Prisoner of War.
Pork Chop Hill
Suwan Chinda recalls his experience at the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He shares that he was assigned to communications and was sent to repair lines when needed. He remembers receiving orders to repair a line that had been damaged by bombs near the front lines on one particular occasion and recalls members of his team arguing with the officer who assigned them to the job as they were fearful of becoming injured. He shares that he was not scared and was willing to fight. He adds that he sustained no wounds at the battle.
Hoengsong Massacre February 1951 (Full Story)
T.J. Martin chronicles the Hoengsong Massacre where he states that approximately 2,400 Americans died. He details the events of the massacre, recalling thousands of Chinese soldiers advancing with hand grenades, rifles, and some even empty-handed, and provides a vivid account of his movements during those two days. He recalls the moments leading up to his capture by the Chinese.
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya
Bazooka and Never Leave a Man Behind
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes his experience in Korea. He was a bazooka shooter. For example, one occurrence almost left him dead when a shell did not fire. Importantly, he describes never leaving a lost soldier behind. The Ethiopians never lost a soldier to Prisoner of War.
Memories from WWII Resurfacing in Korea
Ted Kocon shares his soft side of service and well as some memories from World War II. He recollects his earnings and sending money home to his wife. He shares that seeing wounded during the war brought back memories from his time serving in World War II. He recounts his departure from Japan in 1953 and receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal for his service during the Korean War.
Smell of the Gun Makes You Drunk
Telila Deresa describes his experience in battle. He describes how the enemy was like snakes. The Chinese soldiers killed three of the commanders. However, he was not scared. Telila Deresa describes how youth and the smell of the gun makes a young man drunk with power.
Engaging the North Koreans
Teurangaotera Tuhaka fought the North Koreans. One incident entailed firing on a North Korean supply train. His frigate held a record for firing forty-two times in a minute. He was fired upon by the North Koreans, and to get away, his ship had to zigzag out of the way. He shares how lucky they were to escape.
Patrolling the Han River and Frigate Life
Teurangaotera Tuhaka spent a lot of his service patrolling the Han River (also known as the Hangang River) while receiving support from additional United Nations ships. He had to focus on his job so that he did not have fear while fighting the North Koreans. Conditions were rough at sea because he had to break through ice to get the frigate through the water.
Shallow Graves in Wonju
Tex Malcom discusses his experience in the push off offensive against the Chinese and North Koreans in Wonju. He had an "unsettling" experience as they dug into the hills, and realized they were digging into shallow graves where the North Koreans had buried their dead. During this offensive, supplies were air dropped into a valley.
Arriving to Korea in Dec. 1950
Tex Malcolm was shipped to Korea on Nov. 1950 after stopping in Japan. All the different US branches were on one ship and the conditions were packed with multiple soldiers getting seasick. He landed at Pusan on Dec. 12, 1950 on his 21st birthday.
Arriving at Masan
Tex Malcolm arrived at Masan by train and he assisted other Marine Reserves out of their LST, but they looked terrible. In the city, he only saw fox holes and no buildings. After being assigned to Baker Company, 7th Marines, Tex Malcolm volunteered to shoot the 3.5 guns to protect the command staff.
April 1951 Attacks From the Chinese
On April 23, 1951, Tex Malcolm was protecting another hill when the Chinese were trying to take Charlie Company out. By 2am, the Chinese started to attack his hill and the US Marines were running out of ammunition. Sadly, a Marine right next to Tex Malcolm was shot and killed.
Chinese and Napalm in the Chosin Reservoir
Theodore Paul recalls his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes it as disturbing and shares memories of seeing napalm dropped. He recounts fighting the Chinese from all directions.
Thomas “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.
Thomas B. Smith
Thomas B. Smith shares the details of an incident which cost the lives of two American soldiers and wounded others. He recounts Chinese soldiers overshooting their target and hitting a bunker being dug to serve as a warming place during the winter months. He adds that two soldiers were killed; two were wounded; and the other three involved were deeply shaken by the event.
Memories of the Ceasefire
Thomas DiGiovanna recalls his experience when the ceasefire was called, which was one of the most dangerous periods of time he experienced. Instead of carrying their leftover ammunition with them back to base, soldiers were lightening their payloads by shooting off rounds of bullets into the air. Many of these bullets hit objects, and he was almost hit by shrapnel.
Thomas J Dailey
Chosin Reservoir Recollections
Thomas Dailey recalls his arrival in Korea and time spent at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes collecting injured and frozen soldiers and placing them on the back of armored tanks due to the lack of space inside the tanks. He remembers one occasion where he was forced to pull his pistol on a soldier who kept attempting to get inside the tank due to thinking it was warmer.
Graphic Encounters in the Bay
Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. He explains the task of taking enemy remains to a location that appeared to be quarantined due to the presence of severe illness. The location was in a bay area off the southern coast of Korea. He explains seeing people with sickness, leaving the impression that he likely encountered a leper colony.
Coastal Deployment and Geography
Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. In his recollection, he speaks of the geographical locations where he was stationed early in his naval deployment, which included: San Diego, California-Tarawa Atoll- and Tsingtao, China. Additionally, he recounts the assignment of his aircraft carrier to safely guide pilots who were in trouble to the bay area for pick up by the warship.
Bombing from the Sky
Thomas LaCroix describes his experience in the United States Navy aboard an aircraft carrier that was guarding ocean bays along the coast of Korea. In his recollection, he tells of bombing coming down around the aircraft carrier he was aboard. His description tells of how the bombers claimed that every once in a while they would "take the paint off," in reference to the aircraft carrier.
The Forgotten War
Thomas Nuzzo felt that the Korean War was the forgotten war. Since it was so close to the end of WWII, the civilians in the United States didn't want to fight. Soldiers didn't even have supplies that they needed, so this hurt the moral.
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.
Using DDT to Cook in Korea
Thomas O'Dell used DDT for killing insects including gnats and fleas. He even used DDT for cooking C-rations by adding it to his fire in the trenches to warm he food. Hot water for baths were also warmed over a DDT-created fire.
Chinese Propaganda Leaflets and Speeches
Thomas O'Dell fought against the Chinese and North Koreans. There was propaganda slogans broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the night to try to brainwash the US troops. Leaflets were shot over the trenches by the Chinese to convince the US troops to surrender or to switch to the Chinese's side.
Fighting the Chinese While Eating Kimchi
Thomas O'Dell was told not to shoot the Chinese, so he fought hand-to-hand combat against a a soldier with a sword. While fighting on the frontlines, he received food from the South Korean soldiers who were stationed with him. Still to this day, Thomas O'Dell makes fresh kimchi just like he was fed in the trenches by his allies.
No Fear and The Invincibility of Thomas O'Dell as a Fifteen Year Old in the Korean War
Thomas O'Dell was not scared during the Korean War because he was only fifteen years old and he felt invincible. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as he was dug in the trenches, Corporal Thomas O'Dell was confronted with his commander with his birth certificate. He was caught being a fifteen year old in the Korean War, but he was able to sneak back into another battle during the mayhem.
Volunteering, Training, and Entering the Korean War
Thomas Parkinson shares how he tried to volunteer for the Korean War when he was seventeen years old but that he was too young and had to wait until April 1951. He recounts how all of the Australians volunteered to join the military and that no draft was needed. Thomas Parkinson recalls being trained in Puckapunyal, Australia, for three months and being shipped away to Korea on March 3, 1952.
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.
Thomas W. Stevens
Thomas Stevens describes Black Tuesday, a time when the U.S. Air Force lost multiple B29s flying missions over North Korea due to the newly introduced Russian MiG 15, jet propelled and faster than the P-51 Mustang escorts. He attributes this to the superiority of the MiG-15's speed. Thomas Stevens says that after Black Tuesday, the U.S. Air Command, under Curtis Lamay decreed that there would be no more daylight missions to North Korea.
Bombing Raids over North Korea
Thomas Stevens describes bombing raids over North Korea. All of the bombing missions were done at night, and had to use triangulation of an electronic arc. He describes the targets as belligerent stockpiles and bridges. Thomas Stevens describes the bombing missions as difficult, because of dropping bombs from 26,000 feet and trying to hit a small target. These bombing missions were far into North Korea and at times the planes went into Chinese airspace.
Hot Cold War to Driving Off in the Sunset
Thomas Stevens describes the military aircraft advances from B-29's, a WWII aircraft which had limited distance, to B-50's that could be air-refueled and travel to the Soviet Union if needed. He describes his training to load atomic bombs on planes in case the U.S. wanted to drop one on the Soviet Union. Air advances, like the B-47 made Thomas Stevens obsolete without more training. This led Thomas Stevens to be discharged from the Air Force.
Tirso Sierra Pinilla
Dangerous Moments / Momentos Peligrosos
Tirso Sierra Pinilla provides an account of the most dangerous moments of the war. He states that patrolling both day and night was extremely dangerous as they engaged the enemy on multiple occasions. Adding to the fear and confusion was the fact that he was unaware where shots came from.
Tirso Sierra Pinilla da cuenta de los momentos más peligrosos de la guerra. Afirma que patrullar tanto de día como de noche era extremadamente peligroso ya que se enfrentaron al enemigo unas cuantas veces. Él no sabía de dónde venían los disparos entonces tenía hasta más miedo.
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.
Tom A. Bezouska
Fear of Losing a Brother (Graphic)
Tom Bazouska shares the unique experience serving in the same company as his twin brother. He recalls his side of the control panel receiving heavy shelling; blowing three men, including himself, over the hill to their assumed death. After regaining consciousness, he shares that he immediately tried to help the men around him. While tending to the others, all of a sudden his brother appears. During the struggle to help the other men, his brother,Tony, is wounded. Even though now they were both wounded, they continued to help the others to safety.
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.
Chinese Enter and Refugee Recollections
Tommy Clough remembers advancing with his unit up to Pyongyang and within sight of the Yalu River. He shares that he and fellow soldiers began to wonder what was going on when they say American soldiers and Korean refugees coming back rather than advancing. He recounts how the Chinese had entered the war and crossed the Yalu River, forcing the Americans to retreat and causing the Korean civilians to flee. He comments on the poor conditions of the refugees.
Tommy Clough recounts the usage of napalm during the war. He recalls one particular battle where United States forces dropped napalm on a nearby hill covered with Chinese soldiers. He offers a historical tidbit on when napalm was developed and shares how it was a terrible explosion to witness. He admits that he can still hear the screams and smell burnt flesh despite how many years have passed.
Value of Life
Tommy Clough chronicles the lead-up to his capture. He details catching up to his assigned officer and advancing towards a hill only to find Chinese soldiers looking down at them with a machine gun. He recalls that he lifted his rifle on instinct and shot one of the Chinese soldiers. He shares that after he and fellow soldiers reached the other side of the hill, they were surrounded by the Chinese. He recounts being taken to the spot where the soldier he had shot earlier lay and of how little the Chinese seemed to value life.
Tommy Clough recalls his escape attempt from a Chinese POW camp. He shares that he and his friend, Dave, gathered their kit and waited for the roll call one August night. He recounts making it to the bushes near the river, and right as they were about to cross, he remembers hearing the cock of a gun. He details lights coming on and whistles sounding as they were recaptured. He describes how he was handcuffed and locked in an outhouse for roughly six weeks following the attempt.
Tony Espino describes his experience as a United States Marine during the Inchon Landing. He shares it is a date he will never forget and speaks of his boat ride towards Red Beach. He recalls the fear he experienced as the boat grew closer to the beach and comments on the casualty numbers.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Tony Espino comments on his experience as a United States Marine during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls his company digging in at a canyon and not being able to utilize mortars or flares against the Chinese as a strategy to keep their positions hidden. He remembers a significant number of Chinese soldiers pouring through the canyon.
Tony J. Bezouska
Fear of Losing a Brother (Graphic)
Tony Bezouska shares the unique experience serving in the same company as his twin brother. During one specific battle, he is sent to assist the wounded on the other side of the control point because the medic is believed dead. That medic was his brother. He remembers finding his brother alive amid the chaos.
Jobs as Medics
Tony Bezouska explains that medics carried little to no identification while serving out on the front lines. He shares that killing a medic would demoralize the unit. Because of this, medics only carried their Geneva Convention Cards for identification. In order to do their jobs, medics needed weapons that allowed them to react quickly. For this reason, he explains that medics were given a M2 automatic carbine and a .45 pistol.
Tony White shares when he first arrived in Korea, he was placed in a patrol unit. He describes being ordered to use the mine detector when they came across a suspected anti-tank minefield even though he did not even know how to even turn it on. He remembers being terrified while he was walking and feeling relieved when an armored car of the Royal Engineers arrived and took over.
Hiding Under a Bull
Tony White recollects an occasion while on patrol when they received a trip from a local regarding a Chinese soldier hiding in a house they had just searched. He explains there was a cow shed attached to the main house, and the local Korean civilian pointed to a bull. He shares that when he poked the bull, a Chinese soldier who was hiding in straw underneath the bull bolted out of the house.
Tony White discusses how hostilities continued after the cease fire. He details the process of laying mines. He explains they could not see Chinese soldiers during the day with planes but knew they were there because of gunfire at night. He recounts how he laid explosives at one point in a big pit and saw a lot of the land collapse around it. He shares how he realized the Chinese were hiding in these tunnels during the day.
Hill 355: Shouts From the Enemy
Trevor Edwards describes an unexpected engagement with the enemy on Hill 355. He recalls being assigned to build an observation post and shares he and five others were camped there, working day and night, to get it done. He remembers that one evening there was an explosion followed by shouts in the early morning hours. He shares that when they went to investigate, they found two North Koreans who had tripped a mine while setting booby traps. Grievously injured, He recalls how he and the others set forth through the minefield to retrieve the grievously injuries enemy as they helped guide their steps.
The Last Leg of Travel to Korea and Training in Japan
Vartkess Tarbassian rode on the USS General Collins for 14 days to get to Japan. When he arrived in Japan in 1953 he was trained there for a few weeks, but when he was supposed to be shipped out to Korea, he was chosen to receive more training in Japan. His MOS was a radio operator.
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.
Victor Burdette Spaulding
Victor Spaulding details the lead-up to the Armistice ceasefire. He recalls the immense shelling taking place on Heartbreak Ridge for four days prior to 10PM on July 27, 1953. He recounts the uncanniness of deafening silence from both sides at the exact time planned. He comments on the fear of wondering whether or not the enemy would honor the ceasefire agreement.
Victor D. Freudenberger
Race against the Tide at Inchon
Victor Freudenberger describes the logistics of Inchon Landing. He shares that his role as an officer with a speciality in ammunitions was to prepare munitions for the first major battle of the Korean War. He adds commentary on how the tide played a crucial role in the timing of the landing.
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 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.
Vincent A. Bentz
Learning to Kill
Vincent Bentz describes being in combat near the Kum (Geumgang) River and doing what he "had to do". He explains how the rows of weapons were set up and how the rows just kept coming. He shares what he was thinking during that time, including how it is hard to shoot someone during that time and how it still bothers him.
KIll or Be Killed
Vincent Bentz talks about the resistance they experienced. He remembers being attacked by young children and having to defend himself. He shares how he honors his buddies who never returned.
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.
Revisiting Life in a Tank
Vincent Ariola describes his reasons for not wanting to go back to visit South Korea. He explains that although he spent many hours in his tank, he did not sleep in it, but tanker operators slept in tents. He describes his experiences with having guard duty very often and being very tired from not being relieved. He further explains that artillery came very close to his tank and to his astonishment, he was never hit.
The Loneliness of Warfare
Vincent Ariola recalls that due to the isolated nature of serving in a tank, during the Korean War he did not learn names of fellow servicemen other than for functional purposes of doing his job. He remembers that his primary feeling during the war was the feeling of being alone. He describes why he did not take time to tell his family about his Korean War experiences. He tells of his son never opening up to his own warfare experiences in Somalia in the same way, and reflects on the American losses during the Korean War.
Virgil Julius Caldwell
Landing at Incheon
Virgil Julius Caldwell describes landing at Incheon. He recounts being told on his first day that the bones of the unit he was replacing were on a hill near their location and recalls the apprehension it caused him. He reflects on being under mortar and artillery attack as an anti-aircraft gunner.
Reflections on Combat
Virgil Julius Caldwell describes the terrain of Korea and his job firing on locations identified by a forward observer. He comments on the fear caused by the whistling sound of mortar shells. He details the feeling of being out in the open during an attack, lying on the ground, and hoping to not get hit.
Daily Life and Friendships in Combat
Virgil Julius Caldwell discusses his daily life in the Korean War which included maintaining the squads halftrack and sleeping in his bunker. He notes how, in combat, the members of one's squad becomes one's best friends. Recounting an experience of being contacted and meeting a soldier from his squad, he shares the bond that soldiers hold even fifty years since seeing each other last.
Food and the Front Lines
Virgil Julius Caldwell discusses hot meals and how the food served by the United States Army in Korea made him feel like being at home. He describes the conditions on the front lines and becoming accustomed to the stress. He recounts life when pulled off the line, including being shelled by the enemy and how soldiers used their helmets to bathe.
Stove Explosion Incident
Virgil Julius Caldwell describes the cold of the winter of 1952, and he recounts how his squad was forced to use gasoline because it was too cold for the diesel to run the heater. He shares how his squad was unlucky, and he discusses the stove blowing up. He explains how the explosion caused the enemy to shell their location, how he was court-martialed, and how he was forced to pay for all damages caused by the explosion. He notes that even though he was court-martialed, he still received an honorable discharge when he left Korea.
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.
A Typical Day of an Air Policeman
Virgil Malone's typical day in Daegu included riding shotgun to protect the military vehicles. There was guerilla warfare activity along all the roads. There were 3 shifts on post to protect the 5th headquarters.
Preparation for Korea
Walter Steffes describes the military effort to revamp WWII ships and planes for use during the Korean War. The US military recommissioned the USS Kula Gulf CVE-108, originally the USS Vermillion Bay from dry dock. The US military had to train pilots on landing the propeller F4U Corsair onto the USS Kula Gulf. However, the introduction of the jet, forced the Kula Gulf from training to transportation of planes across the Atlantic Ocean.
Role of a Destroyer
Walter Steffes describes the role of the Newman K. Perry, a Gearing-class destroyer. The submarine is a formidable foe for the aircraft carrier. The destroyer is expendable and would position itself around the larger aircraft carrier. However, during the time between WWII and the Korean War, the role of the Newman K. Perry was to survey tidal patterns and ocean depths of the Chinese coastline.
Warren Housten Thomas
Fighting in the Punch Bowl
Warren Thomas was stationed in the "Punch Bowl" which was an area in Korea surrounded by hills and mountains. The Punch Bowl is an area south of the 38th parallel in the Gangwon Province. In between the mountains, drifts were 20 feet high which made it difficult to travel using his tractor.
Warren Thomas was affected by the artillery fire since it was so loud that it hurt his hearing. Airplanes flying over and mortars were going off all the time, but none of the soldiers received ear plugs. These are the reasons Warren Thomas believes he has hearing loss.
Basic Training and Specialty Training to Join US Army
Warren Middlekauf was drafted into the US Army in 1952 and he was informed of this event from a letter through the mail. After attending multiple training locations, he was prepared as a Stevedore to load and unload ships during the Korean War. Stevedores were also known as the transportation corps. After that, he was trained to use amphibious duck vehicles to transport supplies to troops.
The Significance of the 52nd Ordnance Ammunition Company
Warren Middlekauf's ship landed in Incheon in Jan. 1953 after a long trip. After loading a train to Pusan, he dropped off supplies and traveled to Taegu. While driving his truck, filled with ammunition, Warren Middlekauf went to Osan to unload boxes of weapons to supply Yongjong.
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.
Air Transport Duties and Making Connections With the Injured Soldiers in Flight
Warren Ramsey started serving at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in 1949. Before the Korean War started, he would service and repair air planes. Once the war began, he deliver supplies and troops from Hawaii while pulling out the injured United States soldiers.
On-the-run from 100,000 North Koreans
Wayne Mitchell explains that his artillery unit served in over four major battles toward the end of the Korean War, one of them was at the Chorwon Valley. He describes the night 100,000 North Koreans pushed through the valley and his unit was forced to leave behind their artillery and retreat. Wayne Mitchell remembers that not all of his comrades in his unit were lucky enough to make it back - some were taken as POW's or killed.
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar
Most difficult Moments / Momentos Más Difíciles
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar shares the most difficult moments that he experienced during the war. He explains how he lost his hearing after a mine exploded near his ear. Additionally, he shares the story of an attack in which he was transporting goods when they were bombarded with mortars. He explains that he was able to escape, but lamented the fact that all their Korean civilian workers were killed during the attack.
Wenseslao Espinal Villamizar cuenta los momentos más difíciles que vivió durante la guerra. Explica cómo perdió la audición después de que una mina exploto cerca de su oído. Asimismo, comparte la historia de un ataque en el que transportaba mercancías cuando fueron bombardeadas con morteros. Cuenta que él pudo escapar, pero lamentó el hecho de que los coreanos civiles que trabajaban con ellos fueron matados durante el ataque.
Serving in Korea
Wilbur Barnes discusses what it was like on a 105mm Howitzer crew. He recalls losing his hearing and being moved to a forward observer because of hearing loss. He notes how everywhere was the front.
Willard L. Dale
Early Days in Korea
William L. Dale shares he left for Korea on November 12, 1952. He remembers the temperature being negative fourteen degrees when he landed in Pusan. He recounts staying that first night in an enormous tent with about one thousand eight hundgred others and details his movement to his duty station with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Weapon Company into the area near Panmunjeom and the Imjin River. He recalls one engagement with the enemy that lasted about six and a half hours.
Duty to Serve
Willard L. Dale confesses there was not a soul serving in Korea that was not scared. He explains he and his brother, Martin, both served in the same area while they were in Korea, and he recounts being able to share Christmas dinner together in 1952. He believes it was his duty to serve his country's mission to assist the Korean people.
Willard L. Dale believes soldiers in Korea faced danger every day until the armistice was agreed upon. He shares an account of one of the potentially most dangerous events during his time in Korea.
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 “Bill” Hoyle
Sleeping Bags Unzipped or Die
William Hoyle explains he was given the nickname "The Most Horseshit NCO" due to his ordering his men to sleep with their sleeping bags unzipped. Word got around that an Army unit slept with their sleeping bags zipped up and the enemy came in without even having to fire a gun and killed everyone in that unit with a bayonet. He explains that his men slept with their M1 at their sides and a 50/50 two hour watch.
Land of the Morning Calm
William Alli describes his arrival to Korea at Busan. As he was leaving the ship, there was a morning calm that quickly disappeared with a horrible stench, people in rags, and the anxiety of not knowing what comes next. He describes travelling deeper into Korea by trains and trucks, and his realization of his being a part of the sixth replacement draft. He describes his experience with being a machine gun ammo carrier and his first encounters with tracers and sniper fire from the surrounding hills.
In the Midst of Combat
William Alli explains the details of getting sick while in a fox hole. After his recovery, he went back to the line to face combat with North Korean and Chinese enemy fire as a part of the stretcher crew, carrying bodies of the wounded out of the combat area. He describes having to find his way to safety in the dark, with only the light of flares that were being dropped by planes from above.
Raining Flares and Mistaken Identity
William Alli describes his experience with retreating a major combat zone. He recalls helping his foxhole buddy who was wounded in combat. He further describes a unique experience in Korea where he reconnected with his father's cousin, who was fighting as a part of the United Nations forces with the Turkish troops. While on route to visit his cousin, he was mistaken for a Communist spy. He describes how he was arrested and had to get out of this situation.
A "Typical" Day
When asked to describe a typical day or battle he remembers, William Arnaiz describes how most people carried weapons even when they were delivering messages and picking up packets. He remembers times when they were under heavy fire and other times when they had to rebuild the bunkers. He describes how the North Koreans did a blanket raid on a barrack that was typically full of men showering-- it was only because the pipes had froze that many lives were saved that day.
William Arnaiz remembers a time when they all got alerted there was to be a mass attempt to overrun the "Punchbowl". During this time, he was assigned to a self propelled vehicle with Quad 50 machine guns. All remained on heavy alert for a 54 hour siege, but it ended up being a small skirmish fortunately.
William Arthur Jones
A Weapons Specialist in Korea
William Arthur Jones shares he joined the United States Air Force in 1952 and specialized in armament and weapons. He recounts being sent to Korea ten days after basic training where he served as a weapons specialist in the 67th Fighter Bomber Wing of the 12th Fighter Bomber Squadron. He describes how he aided in locating enemy troops--by dropping flares from aircraft during missions.
Flying in Korea
William Arthur Jones recounts experiences on various aircraft during his time in the Korean War. He describes an instance where ground fire traveled through the plane he was in and struck his glute. He offers information about the F-86 Sabre jet replacing the B-51 Mustang to compete with North Korean and Chinese fighter jets. He remembers flying small observation aircraft around the base during R and R. He recalls times when South Korean pilots crashed many B-26 planes that were donated by the United States.
Last Year in Korea and Returning Home
William Arthur Jones recalls 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.
William B. Sheets
Learning to Educate Future Turret Mechanics
William B. Sheets joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after receiving his initial draft notification at the end of 1952. He details the training he received that ultimately led to him becoming an instructor at Lowery Air Force Base where he taught turret system mechanics.
Teaching Turret Mechanics at Lowery
William B. Sheets spent his military career preparing servicemen to repair and maintain the B47, B52, and B36 turret systems on planes. He offers details of the classes he taught as well as the learning that was required on his part to keep up-to-date on turret mechanics.
B36 Turret Training
William B. Sheets notes that he another instructor helped develop the training manual for B36 Turret Mechanics and then taught the course at Lowery Air Force Base. He recalls that one of his first classes was completely made up of officers who were preparing to become maintenance officers of different wings of B52 aircrafts. Among his students was Wally Schirra who would later go on to become one of the early U.S. astronauts. He shares that his favorite aircraft has always been the B52 which is still in service today. He shares he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force on April 17, 1957.
Most Harrowing Moment Aboard the USS Radford
William Beastrom describes his most dangerous day aboard ship. The USS Radford entered Osan Harbor to assist a cargo ship that was out of ammunition and was being fired upon. He explains that his ship was running low on rounds also but they were able to intimidate the enemy with what they had, leading to their cease fire.
Near Collateral Damage
William Beastrom explains that the enemy were known to booby trap boats with explosives in order to sink enemy ships. He describes an occasion when a boat was approaching their ship and his captain had to choose to fire or not fire on it in order to prevent his own ship from being damaged. He describes the relief he felt that they did not fire on the boat, for it carried American Marines and they would have surely killed them had they fired upon them.
Conditions in the Korean War
It was trench warfare in 1952 and it was hit or miss fighting because the Chinese were very savage. The United States fire power is what saved William Burns' troops. The soldiers slept in the ground during the winter and it was just as cold as New York because it was not as bad as the winters of 1950-1951. Hill 1062 was a huge hill that was located near William Burns' trench and the Chinese had hospitals built into the hill along with military weapons.
William C. “Bill” Coe
Battle of Osan and Interaction with North Koreans
William Coe remembers his experiences at Osan with the North Koreans. He would have to shoot many North Koreans that were attacking, and he lost a lot of his friends during this battle. He was very lucky as a radio operator because he was not really hit.
William D. Freeman
Life at Camp One
William Freeman elaborates on his experience as a prisoner of war at Camp One. He shares that Camp One was managed by Chinese soldiers. He explains how he purposely acted "crazy" at the camp because the Chinese would treat him better due to their superstitions of people with mental illnesses. He recalls acquiring roughly forty-two dozen eggs over a period of one and a half years which helped keep him and his comrades alive.
Serving in Korea
William Duffy shares what it was like in Korea. He recalls it being freezing cold, calling it "the coldest place on Earth." He talks about his day-to-day duties and cites water being very difficult to find. He also recalls filling sand bags at his bunker with snow. Once the weather warmed, he recounts losing all protection in his bunker.
Wounded for the First Time
William Dumas describes the first time he was wounded in Seoul. He shares the lasting effects of the shrapnel still in his body. He shares his experiences working for General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.
William F. Honaman
First Experience with Death
William Honaman describes what his living conditions were like when he first encountered the death of other soldiers. He explains that he was encamped in ditches surrounded by barbed wire with only one entrance from the back. He recalls how homemade alarms were fashioned out of empty beer cans filled with rocks. He remembers the entrance was adorned with the bodies of the dead who had tried to get in.
William Honaman describes earning his first Purple Heart after being wounded during a patrol. He explains that the point man he was accompanying stepped on a land mine, losing his leg but not his life in the process. He recalls wearing an armored vest at the time, but had unzipped it due to the heat, an action that allowed the shrapnel to pierce his chest. He describes receiving his second Purple Heart in June of 1953 after five grenades exploded around him.
Inchon Landing & Seoul Recapture
William Herold describes landing in Inchon around amid Korea's heavy rain. He recounts having to wait the night out by himself until daylight when his company could regroup. He adds that there was little resistance other than sniper fire. He explains that he did not have a chance to really look around Inchon as he and his platoon members had no opportunity to get out. William Herold describes the march to Seoul following the Inchon Landing, adding that there was resistance.
Wounded at the Chosin Reservoir
William Herold recounts his Thanksgiving meal experience before heading up into the mountains of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes being outnumbered by the Chinese 36 to 1 and a fire fight commencing. He remembers silence that followed except for one round sounding out, adding that it was the round which wounded his right leg. He recalls being transported via jeep out of the mountains and eventually to the hospital ship, Consolation.
Living Among the Cold and Bullets
William Herold shares his experiences with the freezing cold of Korea. He describes keeping his shoes in his sleeping bag in order for them to keep from freezing and adds that one's urination was ice by the time it hit the ground. He explains how war made one reckless and offers a relating story of a WWII veteran who removed his helmet and was momentarily shot in the head. He recounts the changes he experienced in weight due to lack of food.
William J. Leber
On the Move
William J. Leber discusses the movements that occurred during his time in Korea. He recalls moving to Kelly Hill, Porkchop Hill as well as others. He recalls carrying drums of gas up hills for other soldiers.
William J. Leber discusses some dangerous moments during his time in Korea. He recalls the difficulties with guard duty at night and the sounds of incoming artillery.
Guarding A Truck Under Chinese Fire
William Jacque details a supply route mishap while on a truck carrying ammunition. He recounts the route being under fire by the Chinese and describes his truck hitting a hole and tipping over. He shares that he was forced to guard the truck until a wrecker could recover it, and he adds that he hitchhiked a ride back to his unit.
Horrors of War
William MacSwain describes some of the horrors of war experiences. He portrays a vivid image of scenes of war that illustrate the hardships Korean War soldiers faced. These first-hand accounts show the fear in every soldiers' mind.
Military Leadership Training
In September 1950, William MacSwain reported to a military leadership school that was led by WWII veterans. Since he was already trained on a variety of weapons, William MacSwain felt that psychological warfare treatment was important lessons that he learned. Once he returned to Fort Polk, he was in charge of 4th platoon (an infantry division) who were all older than him.
Training for War in Japan
In May 1951, William MacSwain was sent to Japan to train with his platoon on terrain that was similar to Korea. General Ridgway said that the US National Guard should not be sent to Korea because they were not trained well enough. After watching William MacSwain's platoon in Japan practicing a maneuver, he was impressed with what he saw, so the National Guard was free to fight in the Korean War.
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.
Trench War and Stretcher Duty
William Puls describes his experience on trench patrol during the last part of the Korean War just before the Armistice. He describes fighting from a position at an outpost, then having to pick up dead bodies from the trenches, which were about three-hundred yards away. He shares the repercussions of having to fire massive amounts of ammunition during the fighting.
Nightwatchman and No Bath
William Puls describes arriving in Korea, and recalls a number of soldiers who were sick from the journey at sea. He tells of the landing at Incheon, and being transported to the front on Christmas Hill. He describes the circumstances of fighting for twenty-one consecutive days without being able to stop to shower because of the intensity. His references are in reflection of the fighting shortly before the Armistice.
William Trembley describes his induction into the U.S. Army and his assignment to a training company to help train new draftees the skills necessary to go from being civilians to soldiers. He believes he was chosen to help train recruits because of his skill with the rifle from a lifetime of hunting.
Dangers of Hauling Ammunition
William Whitley spent much of his time in Korea hauling ammunition to the front lines. He notes he worked with a 105 company which meant the boxes ammunition he would drop behind the guns weighed 105 pounds. He recalls that while they were unloading ammunition, each of the six guns were ordered to fire 1200 rounds at will. The repercussions of these guns resulted in Whitley suffering broken ear drums and damaged hearing which he just accepted until 2012.
We Needed Some Sleep
Willis Verch describes transporting rockets to Kimpo Airforce Base in Korea, from Haneda Airforce Base in Japan. He discusses his main job, which was actually to take American troops or freight from Tacoma, Washington, to Japan, by way of the Aleutian Islands. He explains his role as Loadmaster, and having to move from the American barracks to the Austrailian barracks because of lack of sleep.
Willis Verch describes the round trip flights made by the Royal Canadian Air Force from McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington, to Haneda Air Force Base in Japan. The flights were made to transport American cargo and troops to Japan, so they could be taken to Korea on the war front. He uses a map to show the stopping points in the Aleutian Islands, and the locations of all airports that were used to accomplish the transport missions.
Supplies on the Front
Yusuf Artuc describes how the US military would re-supply Turkish soldiers. The US military would use helicopters to bring food to the soldiers. Also, the same helicopters would also bring weapons that needed to be assembled. Soldiers did not suffer from a lack of supplies.
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda
Dangers of a Sniper
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda describes being a sniper during the war. On one occasion a mortar exploded near him. The explosion covered him in dirt and took the life of the man beside him. Events of the war, however, made him stronger, not scared. He also describes Chinese were good at karate.
Ziya Dilimer describes his Korean War experience. His War experience is different from other Turkish soldiers. He was behind the front and not in danger. His role was to fix vehicles and guns. He would receive cars with bullet holes and swap out parts. A major thing he had to fix was the barrels of guns. Heat would damage the barrels.