Korean War Legacy Project

Tag: Women

Political/Military Tags

1950 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 Tags

AnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri

Social Tags

Basic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen

Alan Guy

Arriving in Korea and Placement

Alan Guy recounts his arrival in Korea. He remembers bitter cold and a horrendous smell as Koreans had just fertilized nearby rice patties with human manure. He recollects a band playing rousing music upon arrival and being transported to a transit camp in Busan. He details his placement in a field hygiene section.

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan

Recounts From Post-Armistice Korea

Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan describes post-Armistice South, Korea. He describes women with small feet from forced stunting. He also describes the suffering of the people from a war-torn land. People were starving. Ali Muzaffer Kocabalkan gave food to the people. However, this was against military rules. He had to spend fifteen days in military prison for giving food. He also discusses the taboos of the suffering of the people.

Alice Allen

Thoughts on the Korean War Legacy Project

Alice Allen understands the importance of the Korean War Legacy Project and its potential impact on future generations. Her husband, Jack Allen, did not really discuss his Korean War experiences before the interview, and now he speaks freely about it. Alice Allen believes
that it is important that younger generation learn about the Korean War and the experiences of the veterans.

College, Letters, and Love

Alice Allen was going to college when her husband, Jack Allen, joined the military in 1948. During his time away, she earned a degree in education, and began teaching which helped pass the time while he was away. On leave in 1950, Alice Allen was married to Jack Allen and the two stayed in contact through letters while he participated in the Korean War from 1950 through 1951.

Injuries During War Never Tarnished Their Love

Alice Allen was on the home front when her husband, Jack Allen, was injured during the Korean War. Thankfully, he was injured on his right arm and not his left because he is left-handed. Even with an arm and leg injury, Alice Allen maintained her love for her Korean War Veteran.

Alice Rosemary Christensen

Family Military History, Message to Students, and Feelings on Women in Combat

Alice Christensen reflects on the many benefits serving in the military provided her--personally, professionally, and financially. She admits she would have liked to have remained in the military and made it a career. She expresses that she doesn’t think women should serve in combat, but that there are many jobs available for women in the military. She shares that her family have been serving since the Revolutionary War. She shares that she even tried to convince her daughter to join, but without success. .

Women in the Military

Alice Christensen explains the concept of the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service or "WAVES" in the U.S. Navy, as well as the women U.S. Marines, whom she worked with extensively while serving on a Marine base in North Carolina. She describes the rules for their uniforms and makeup and admits that the U.S. Marines were much more strict than the U.S. Navy.. She discusses the camaraderie between the women in the two branches.

Receiving a Commendation for a Special Patient Case

Alice Christensen recalls a special patient she cared for during her time in Portsmouth. She shares how the patient had viral encephalitis and survived the condition, which was extraordinary for the time. She describes the treatment this patient underwent, especially the use of an iron lung. She adds she received a special commendation from Washington, D.C., for her role in the care of this patient. She shares that she even had a picture of her and the other medical staff in the newspaper

Allen Clark

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 Greenwell

Meeting Marilyn Monroe

Andrew Greenwell describes meeting Marilyn Monroe at a USO (United Service Organizations) show while in Korea. He recounts making his way up towards the stage for the performance and positioning himself to obtain her autograph. He recalls persuading her to sign his book not once but twice.

Andrew Lanza

Armistice Day

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.

Arthur Gentry

Inchon Landing: 15 Foot Ladders

Arthur Gentry and his comrades created 15-foot ladders to use to "land" in Inchon by scaling a 15-foot sea wall. The tide went out for 6 miles, so this was how the troops had to get ashore.
The marines climbed over the side of the ship and went into the boats. Rockets and bombardments awaited the Marines as they approached Inchon.

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.

Augusto S. Flores

Augusto Flores Notes Poverty in Korea while He Works as a Clerk

Augusto Flores worked as a clerk for the Filipino army while in Korea. His quarters was in tents. His only assistant was a nine year old Korean errand boy whom he paid with his own money and chocolate. The poverty was so great in Korean, he also noted even a Korean colonel's wife had to work to make ends meet.

Barbara A. Bateman

Training for Her Job

Barbara Bateman shares her job training sent her to Illinois where she learned how to rig parachutes. She recounts her experience of "falling" out of the aircraft while practicing with dummies in the airplane and almost being courtmartialed for it. She describes the process of rigging a parachute, and after her six-week job training, she shares she was sent to Waco, Texas.

Types of Parachutes and Working on the Flight Line

Barbara Bateman describes the types of parachutes utilized and how where one was located in the plane determined the type of parachute worn. She explains how when she reported to Waco, all the parachute rigors were civilians, leading to her assignment to the flight line. She explains how this role meant she kept track of records and fitted trainees with equipment before flights. She discusses how she worked with pilots, keeping current with flight hours as well as foreign pilots training in the T-33 fighter jet.

Finding Ways to Fly and Living Conditions

Barbara Bateman discusses her experience of being able to fly in B-25s and B-29s as the pilots logged their flight hours. She shares how much she loved flying and wishes women were allowed to be pilots when she was in the U.S. Air Force. She recalls how there were eight thousand men and one hundred women on base in Waco and shares that men and women had different mess halls, barracks, and even went on different marches.

High Altitude Equipment, Foreign Pilots, and Plane Crashes

Barbara Bateman describes the equipment needed to parachute out of a plane at high altitude due to lack of oxygen. She recalls how she checked that equipment fit properly and that pilots knew how to properly hook up their equipment. She remembers how, even though the pilots spoke English, it was sometimes difficult to communicate. She explains how, occasionally, they would have to go to crash sites and presents a time a pilot was flying upside down. She shares the pilot panicked and attempted to eject while upside down and was killed.

Basilio MaCalino

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.

Bernard Brownstein

Everyone Looked Beautiful

Bernard Brownstein describes his arrival in Incheon and drive to his camp. He explains that the soldier driving him whistles at Korean women as they are driving. He explains that initially he didn't find the girl attractive but as time went on, everyone became beautiful.

Bernard Clark

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.

Betty Jane Beck

Joining the Navy

Betty Beck explains she wanted a career related to aviation and saw the U.S. Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES, as an opportunity to live her dream. She recalls everything happening quickly as she joined the Navy on a Wednesday and was shipped out by that Friday. She speaks about the entrance requirements for women for the WAVES, all of which she found easy. She recalls how the entire process only took a couple of days and how she was assigned to aviation. She remembers how, at that time, women were very limited in the jobs they could do, but the limitations eventually changed.

Aviation Electronics Training

Betty Beck explains how even though she qualified for aviation, her options were limited since she was not allowed to fly. She describes learning basic electronics and how to repair the different types of electronics used in the U.S. Navy. She recalls that during her time, women could still serve in the U.S. Navy if they were married but not after they were pregnant or had children. She remembers all women in aviation were to be sent to Pensacola, Florida, to be evaluated on their abilities related to the jobs currently open to them. She shares did not want to go, and she expands on how lucky she was in being sent to San Diego, California, instead.

Women in the Service

Betty Beck reflects on women in the service and remembers civilians did not understand the role women played. She explains that her family was supportive of her service, including a brother-in-law in the U.S. Navy and another in the Maritime service. She shares her father had to sign for her to join the U.S. Navy as she was not yet twenty years old. She admits that her brother-in-laws talked him into signing the form. She explains how he father wanted her to remain in the military when she decided to leave because he felt she was living a good life.

Bill Chrysler

Traveling to Korea

Bill Chrysler vividly remembers the nervous anticipation as they headed to Korea. They stopped in the Aleutian Islands and again in Hawaii to pick up American forces. Onboard, the daily routine involved regular exercise on the deck to maintain fitness. When they arrived in Pusan, he recalls seeing refugees suffering, struggling without food or shelter, leaving a lasting impression on his memory.

Hard to Forget

Bill Chrysler recalls more bad memories than happy ones from his year in Korea. Among the most horrific scenes, he remembers discovering a mother and child killed in a small house and witnessing a man using an axe to chop off his wife's severely injured leg. Even after many years, these haunting memories continue to stick with him.

Bill Hall

Medical Care for Wounded

Bill Hall recalls the challenges doctors faced in treating the wounded. He remembers their inability to treat everyone, so they frequently stacked the injured up and covered them with a blanket. He vividly describes one new, very green reservist who arrived in Korea having never touched a gun. He remembers this reservist was injured and later transferred to a Navy hospital for treatment. He jokingly recalls how an Army nurse declared that this young man would live.

Bill Lynn

The Plight of the Korean People

Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.

Billy J. Scott

The Rubble of Seoul

Billy Scott describes civilian men, women, and children starving in the destruction of Seoul. He shares that he and other American soldiers had never seen anything like it. He recounts gathering c-rations along with other fellow troops and tossing them to those in need.

The Friendship of Two Strangers

Billy Scott describes his friendship with a KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to the United States Army) named Pyon during his time in Korea. He recounts the opportunity Pyon was given to pay a visit to his family he had not seen in roughly a year's time. He shares that American soldiers gathered food, clothing, blankets, and money and gifted them to Pyon to secure his family's safety. He adds that he will never forget him.

Bruce Ackerman

Home for Christmas?

Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.

Bruce W. Diggle

Departure and Revisit

Bruce Diggle left Korea in 1954 by ship and went to London. In London, he met up with his soon-to-be wife who left for London when he left for Korea. They were married upon his arrival in London. He returned to Korea with a revisit program offered to New Zealand veterans. He is very appreciative of South Korea's efforts to bring veterans back and is impressed by the development of South Korea since the war.

Carl Hissman

Evacuating Heungnam, Off to Busan

Carl Hissman describes his experience at the evacuation of Heungnam. He remembers being the last one off of the beach. He recalls seeing many North Korean refugees and remembers the roads were so full of people. He shares they were able to save some but not all. He remembers seeing a blown-up village and two civilians frozen dead. After Heungnam, his unit went down to Busan and began pushing back up north towards Seoul.

Carl M. Jacobsen

Living Conditions

Carl Jacobsen describes the living conditions he endured while serving. He remembers extremely cold temperatures and not being outfitted with proper winter gear. He recalls the K-Ration meals he ate and recounts a few meals he shared with locals.

Carl W. House

I Now Know Why I'm Fighting in the Korean War!

Carl House's attitude of "why am I here fighting this war?" changed from a free education to the protection of civilians. Carl House and his fellow soldiers were sent on a mission to find the enemy that was targeting US planes. While they were searching, they found women who had been tortured and murdered which instantly changed his perception of war. He would much rather fight to help the Korean people, than see this happen to his own family back in the United States.

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco

First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco discusses his first impressions of the war and Korea. He remembers that he and others experienced real fear upon first landing in Incheon. During the first two months he spent in Korea, he recalls that they trained in modern warfare and took care of prisoners of war. He recounts the desperation of the civilian population, in particular, what women were forced to do to survive.

Carlos Guillermo Latorre Franco cuenta de sus primeras impresiones sobre la guerra y Corea. Recuerda que él y otros tuvieron miedo cuando llegaron por primera vez en Incheon y vieron lo que es la guerra. Durante los dos primeros meses que pasó en Corea, recuerda que tenían entrenamiento y los asignaron a cuidaron a los prisioneros de guerra. El se acuerda de la desesperación de la población civil, en particular, de lo que las mujeres se vieron obligadas a hacer para sobrevivir.

Cecilia A. Sulkowski

Experiences in MASH Hospitals in Korea

Cecelia Sulkowski arrived to Korea in 1949 and began working in a MASH hospital. She recalls seeing shrapnel, fire, and fireworks but was not afraid as she felt far enough away. She explains the MASH unit was set up in an old schoolhouse because it was well built.

Describing Her Duties as an Operating Room Nurse

Cecelia Sulkowski describes her experiences as an operating room nurse. She discusses the condition of the operating room and recalls her first experience with maggots. She explains they kept the wounds very clean. She discusses her shifts and types of hours she worked as well as aspects of her daily life.

Experiences with Patients and First Experience in Korea

Cecelia Sulkowski recalls the variety of patients she saw, describing them as seasoned soldiers, not new recruits. She describes the feelings of the patients and how they felt disheartened with the lack of supplies they were sent in to fight with. She becomes quite emotional when she recalls her feelings about these soldiers. She continues discussing her arrival to Korea and remembers the cold winters especially.

Feelings About the Army, Treating North Koreans, and Humor in Daily Life

Cecelia discusses a wide range of topics in this clip. She wholeheartedly recommends the Army for someone who wants a good and secure life. She recalls treating North Korean patients and how grateful they were for the good care they received. She speaks about the need for humor in their daily lives to help the medical professionals cope with the terrible things they would see on a daily basis. She remembers having to be very careful with their possessions as there was a lot of theft occurring for black market purposes.

Discussing Patient Deaths

Cecelia Sulkowski recollects her perpetual struggle with death and destruction surrounding her. She discusses the importance of humor. She speaks about the advent of triage and the usage of MASH hospitals. She explains her hospital was a stationary unit and that she was not on the move like others. She describes the makeup of her unit as well.

Operating Room Conditions

Cecelia Sulkowski describes protocols and procedures used in the operating rooms in the MASH hospitals. She recalls how they would treat the patients in the hospital, and then the patients would be evacuated to Japan. She discusses the superiority of Army medical technique compared to civilian medical life. She notes how Army nurses could perform many more procedures than civilian nurses could at this time, as well as write orders and prescribe some types of medication.

Charles Buckley

Thoughts of an Airman: Get the Hell Out Of There!

Charles Buckley's initial thoughts when he reflects on his experience during the war was to "get the hell out of there." He remembers his contribution to the country by helping various people, specifically the orphaned children. Charles Buckley would order from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and he would look forward to seeing the smiles on the children's faces. He also recalled the living conditions of all of the children and the civilians were able to obtain supplies they needed to rebuild their own country.

Charles Connally

Psychological Warfare

Charles Connally describes two psychological strategies utilized during the war. He describes connecting large speakers to the bottoms of B-52s and playing recordings of Korean women compelling the North Korean men to go home to their wives. He goes on to explain how the Chinese would fly planes over their camp at night, occasionally dropping hand grenades and bombs, in order to limit the amount of rest soldiers got. This the troops referred to as "Bed Check Charlie."

Charles Falugo, Jr.

Communicating During and After the War

Charles Falugo does not recall what he was paid, but he does remember sending his paychecks home to his wife, Rosemary. He recalls writing and receiving many letters back and forth with her during his time in the Korean War. He also talks about a Korean man that he befriended and somewhat adopted. He seeks to reconnect with him.

Charles Fowler

Horrors of War

Charles Fowler describes the devastating effects of the war on women and children. He shares that the North Koreans even used children as decoys. He also recounts images of those afflicted by napalm as being some of the most difficult for him.

Clara K. Cleland

Caring for Patients at Incheon

Clara Cleland discusses her arrival in Korea, approximately ten days after the Incheon landing. She describes entering a harbor full of ships of all sizes. She explains how some of the nurses were sent to a Prisoner of War Camp for captured North Koreans and how she went with nurses to an old schoolhouse that was being used as a hospital to treat civilians. She remembers the children, many of which suffered from burns, and how they cried all night. She recounts how she and other nurses came under fire while attempting to help injured servicemen when a headquarters company was attacked.

Nursing Duties and Medical Facilities

Clara Cleland describes her nursing duties prior to the Chinese invasion. She recalls how they received soldiers with all types of wounds but that gunshot wounds were the most prevalent. She explains that one of their jobs was to bathe soldiers who were unable to take care of themselves. She recalls moving to the receiving ward, which included providing care before soldiers went into surgery. She explains how the hospital was a miniature of what might be found at a larger hospital, including laboratories and x-ray machines.

Living Conditions and Food in Korea

Clara Cleland describes how her time in Korea was spent in tents and school houses. She explains they wore fatigues and boots. She admits it was hard for her to find boots her size, so she would wear snow packs to make them fit. She details how she used and cleaned her mess kit and canteens. She shares she often drank coffee in the middle of the night and details the typical foods, including C-Rations when they were moving and pancakes which she thought was the best food served.

Clarence J. Sperbeck

Camp 1: Sustenance

When Clarence Sperbeck arrived at his first POW Camp (Camp 1-Ch'ang Song), Chinese soldiers gave each man a wash cloth and a bar of soap, but then they were instructed to go to the polluted river at the camp to take a bath. Korean civilians (women and children) stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched the G.I.'s take a bath. Men were given little food and Clarence Sperbeck describes the pork they ate and how the Chinese would slaughter and drink the blood of the pig.

Clayton Burkholder

Letter Writing to Family and Fighting Men of Michigan

Clayton Burkholder wrote letters home to his wife twice a week. In the letters, he wrote about the different propaganda posters that he made. He also made releases for US newspapers using sketches of pilots that he drew. These releases were used to publicize the war in the pilots' hometown.

Colin C. Carley

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

Engaged During the War

Colin Hallett describes his engaged to Ina Everitt. Both Collin Hallett and Ina Everitt sent letters to stay in contact. Colin Hallett sent letters that spoke of daily and weekly events. Ina Everitt had a busy life at home that kept her busy and not just thinking of her fiancé.

Dale Schlichting

Squadron 35

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.

David H. Epstein

A Destroyed City

David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.

Dennis Grogan

Recollections of Korea

Dennis Grogan talks about the sacrifice he made to serve in Korea. He explains how he received correspondence from his wife, saying his daughter had been born while he was in Korea. He discusses why he is proud to have been a part of the Korean War legacy and the issue of little acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by Korean War veterans.

Diana Kathleen Cattani

Experience in Basic Training

Diana Cattani reflects on her experience in basic training in the United States Air Force. She recalls the training included math and language skills as well as learning how to follow rules without question. She explains this included clothing being ironed and starched as well as strict rules around how much clothing could be in their laundry bag. She describes marching from one end to another on base and swears they marched nine hours a day. She shares she never learned how to use a gun however, because leadership knew she would not be fighting. She reflects on her time at basic training, sharing the experience made her stronger physically and mentally.

Job Description and Living Conditions

Diana Cattani describes undergoing placement training while in the U.S. Air Force which included a rating in seven categories. She admits she struggled with the mechanical tasks but excelled in administration and office procedures. She shares she also attended a radio operations course held with male soldiers where she learned how to use a radio and morse code. She recalls being told she had a perfect voice for radio since it was loud and clear. She remembers how, despite graduating at the top of her class, her assignment was as a typist, a position she was unhappy about. She details her living conditions on her first assignment, expanding on the fact there were no dryers on base and how the base commander's wife would not allow laundry to be hung outside on Sundays.

Working as a Civilian for the Department of Defense

Diana Cattani reflects on her time working as a civilian for the Department of Defense after her discharge from the U.S. Air Force due to her pregnancy. She shares there was no way to fight the discharge at the time. She states things are much better for women today who get pregnant while serving in the military. She recalls feeling her skills were underused and feels women were treated unfairly. She remains very disappointed she was forced to leave the Air Force upon her pregnancy which was the norm of that time.

Don McCarty

Go to Jail or Go to the Marines

Don McCarty joined the US Marine Corps when he was 17 years old because if he didn't, he would have ended up in jail. With is mom's permission, he was sent away to Parris Island, SC for boot camp. After growing up in Chicago, Illinois and Kentucky, he said that he received the positive push in life that he needed once entering boot camp.

Fear on the Front Lines That Led to PTSD

Don McCarty was afraid every minute that he was in Korea. Even after the Korean War ended, North Koreans continued to surrender to the Marines by crossing the 38th parallel. Don McCarty feels that he has a better understanding of life once he fought in the Korean War because there were so many Marines that lost their lives. Every night at 2 am, he wakes up with nightmares from his time at war. PTSD is a disease that Don McCarty is still living with 60 years after the Korean War ended.

Donald L. Mason

A Wife's Perspective

Donald Mason's wife, Sheri, recalls what he told her about the Korean War. She says he does not like to share much about Korea because it makes him emotional. She reflects on her visit to Korea, when she and her her husband visited. She shares that the trip was wonderful, and she notes how appreciative the Korean people are. They both enjoyed the food and say they were treated like royalty. Sheri recalls that their hotel bed had a large sign on it saying "Our Hero". One of the most memorable events for her was visiting the DMZ.

Doris B. Porpiglia

Letters to Where?

No soldier could have imagined that their letters would be analyzed to determine their IQ. Doris Porpiglia was called aside while at Camp Cook and she was told to go through stacks of mail to determine which G.I.s had high IQs. If they had high IQs, they would be assigned certain jobs, but she didn't know what they were being assigned to.

Ladies Don't Do Such A Thing

Doris Porpiglia was asked how her family felt about her being in the military. Although her parents and immediate family were proud of her, her rich aunt told her that "Ladies don't do such a thing." Doris Porpiglia replied, "I am more of a lady than you'll ever be, and what I wear isn't going to determine the person I am going to be."

Women's Wartime Jobs

During the Korean War, women worked as switchboard operators and they drove jeeps for officers. Doris Porgiglia was given an aptitude test and she was qualified for over 150 types of jobs. She decided to go to Indianapolis to obtain the training for the Post Office.

Training For The Future

Doris Porpiglia explained that many women had standard jobs that most women had during that time period. This included telephone operator and secretary. She said the main thing women wanted from their experiences during the war, was skills they needed that they could use when the war ended.

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.

Big Surprise

Doris Porpiglia tells a story that the most surprising thing about her job was some of the men that didn't know how to read or write, so they would quietly ask her to read the letters they received. The male GIs since didn't want others to know that they were uneducated. Doris Porpiglia felt sorry for them and she said that most of the men who had difficulty reading were from the south, but race didn't matter. She believes that it inspired her to become a teaching assistant when the war was over.

Dorothy Stanosek

Letter from the President of South Korea

Dorothy Stanosek shares a framed letter from the President of South Korea in September of 2011. She comments on how very proud she was to receive the letter and is to be a Korean War Era veteran. She mentions her brother, Donald Sharp, served in the Korean War as a bombardier.

Dottie Harris

Sexism and Racism in the Air Force

Dottie Harris recalls the first time she ate at the mess hall at Connally AFB. She explains that she was the only WAF stationed at Connally at that time and was reluctant to go to the mess hall by herself. She describes walking in and, with all eyes on her and the room silent, she sat at nearest table and hurriedly ate her meal. She explains how she had inadvertently sat at a table where African American Airmen were also seated and was harassed not only for being a female officer, but for sitting with African Americans.

WAF Living Conditions on Base

Dottie Harris describes her living conditions while living in the barracks with other women. She explains that the barracks she shared with three other women at Connally AFB was entirely too small and only allowed for twenty-eight inches of open space between the bunk beds. She describes the open bay area of uncomfortable cots at Lowry AFB.

From Khaki to Air Force Blue

Dottie Harris explains that the book she is currently (at the time of the interview) writing entitled 1951 From Khaki to Air Force Blue is fictional but contains some factual events that she experienced. She shares photos from her time at Connally AFB. She recalls an incident involving the men on base playing a prank on her.

Dwight Owen

Letters Home

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.

Edmund Reel

Korea Prior to War

Edmund Reel recounts being stationed in South Korea prior to the war. He recalls the easy ability to see into North Korea from the mountains near the 38th Parallel. He comments on the peacefulness and shares that right before he left Korea, tensions started to mount.

Edward A. Walker

Rolls of Film and a Girlfriend

Edward Walker took photos of the Korean boy he hired to cut his hair and of Korean women carrying their babies on their backs. He sent rolls of film home to his girlfriend, Shirley. Shirley joined the interview and said she missed her boyfriend so much and she cried while he was away. Shirley also noticed that textbooks in New Zealand did not feature much content on Asia, so many people did not know where the men were fighting.

Edward Brooks

Night Patrol to Apprehend Migun Wianbu

Edward Brooks patrolled at night to catch American soldiers looking for US military comfort women & their pimps. They apprehended them on many occasions.
The comfort women and their pimps were turned into the Korean authorities and then the soldiers were disciplined for their illegal actions.

Edward Mastronardi

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.

Edward R. Valle

"This is the Best Thing Jim Ever Did"

Edward Valle explains how the Minnesota Korean War Veterans Association has expanded its mission to include a social arm of the organization that now includes the wives. He recalls a story when a wife of a disabled Korean War veteran related to him that joining and participating in the Minnesota Korean War Veterans Association provided closure and healing for her husband who had been bitter about the war.

Edward Redmond

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.

Edwin Durán González

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

I Jumped In Front of a Torpedo Bomber to Mail My Postcard

Edwin Hanson reminisces about one occasion at Kor-'o-ri when a torpedo bomber (plane) came through to pick up wounded soldiers. He had a postcard that he wanted to deliver to his mother. He remembers the bomber sitting at the end of the runway, preparing to take off, and running down the middle of the runway blocking his takeoff and waving his letter. This postcard was among the many sent home to his mother, but he notes that most dealt almost exclusively with the weather.

Eingred Fredh

Helping the Korean People

Eingred Fredh describes the Busan she experienced in 1952. She reflects on seeing many refugees and people in need. She describes the various wards she worked in throughout her time at the hospital and treating a variety of patients. Yet, she recalls many of her patients were Korean people who sustained injuries from being in the streets.

Elbert H. Collins

What Happened to Injured Civilians and Soldiers?

Elbert Collins recalls what sticks out most in his mind- tons of civilians, including women and children- walking down the sides of the road. He describes a time that these civilians almost killed a man. As a medic, he often questioned what happened to the people that he treated, but Elbert Collins did get a letter from one Marine he treated.

Ernest J. Berry

Basic Training and Meeting Refugees

Ernest J. Berry describes the training as a medic at Waiouru Military Camp and sailing to Korea. He knew nothing of Korea. As he arrived, the communists were penetrating southward. He remembers streams of refugees traveling south as well. He explains his first impressions of Korean people.

Ethel Julia Archibald

Role in the Korean War Effort and Taking Care of Patients

Ethel Archibald describes requesting a logistics role while stationed in Japan as a way of helping in the war effort. She expresses that her job was filling orders for supplies needed in Korea which included materials from toilet paper to engines for ships. She explains how materials such as weapons and ammo were loaded on a barge to be taken to a ship that would eventually deliver the needed materials to the soldiers in Korea. After working during the day, she recalls helping in the hospital as injured soldiers were arriving from Korea. She remembers how the hospital was full of injured soldiers. She shares her job was to triage their care, identifying soldiers who could be saved if they had immediate help.

Incident During Rest and Relaxation Leave

Ethel Archibald recalls a memorable experience while on 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 reflects on the fear she felt amid the situation and recalls sleeping with a camera tripod under her pillow just incase. The remembers how they were eventually released by the Japanese soldiers, and she admits she did not tell anyone about the incident because she did not want the incident publicized.

Felipe Cruz

Induction into the U.S. Marine Corps

Felipe Cruz reminisces about his enlistment into the United States military in 1951. He recalls a sergeant from the United States Marine Corps advising him to relax and enjoy some coffee and cookies as he waited for his induction into the U.S. Naval Service which he initially believed meant joining the U.S. Navy. He recounts how, later, when he returned to the waiting area and helped himself to more cookies, he was reprimanded by the same Marine Corps sergeant who exclaimed, "From now on you don't move unless you're told." He highlights the strong bond among U.S. Marines and how he attends reunions for the amphibian tractor battalion he served in.

Fermín Miranda Valle

Impact of War / Impacto de la Guerra

Fermín Miranda Valle was negatively affected by the war as he suffered from PTSD. He explains that he drank too much, and suffered from nightmares and sleepwalking upon his return. He attributes the difficulty in returning to normal life to the fact that he witnessed many soldiers killed.

Fermín Miranda Valle se vio muy afectado por la guerra ya que sufría de TEPT. Explica que por años bebía demasiado, sufría de pesadillas y sonambulismo a su regreso de la guerra. Atribuye la dificultad para volver a la vida normal al hecho de que fue testigo a la matanza de muchos soldados.

Finn Arne Bakke

Bakke Met His Wife

Finn Bakke was an ordinary private in the 2nd and 7th contingents operating in the NORMASH field hospital. Although originally run by the International Red Cross, his unit was soon absorbed by the 8th United States Army. Staffed at first by Norwegian nurses and doctors, the hospitals began training Korean women just out of school. His future wife was one such nurse. When the NORMASH unit closed, she joined the Red Cross hospital in Seoul, working in a ward built to treat Korean children with tuberculosis. Pressed to describe his attraction for his wife, He spoke admiringly her, stating, "She was a very nice girl."

Frances Louise Donovan

Experience at Basic Training

Frances Donovan describes her basic training in San Antonio,Texas. She admits she had never traveled outside of the area she grew up and basic training was a big change of pace. She shares how she learned how to do things in the U.S. Army way as well as how to accept everything and everyone. She remembers, with pride, how she left basic training with a commission as second lieutenant.

Working in a Stateside Tuberculosis Hospital

Frances Donovan recalls her first assignment at a Stateside tuberculosis hospital. She remembers all of her patients were soldiers returning from Korea with tuberculosis or other respiratory issues. She explains how the treatment for tuberculosis was to collapse the lung and then bed rest until the lungs healed. She recounts one difficulty centered on soldiers not following these orders which delayed their recovery as well as made her job more difficult.

Treating Patients

Frances Donovan describes the wards of the hospital and how many patients would be there at a time. She recalls her patients and the difficulty she had getting some of them to stay in bed and rest. She shares how she had to find the right button to push with the soldiers for them to follow orders. She remembers working on the prison ward at times and being harassed by some of the men.

Frances M. Liberty

Basic Training and Women in the Military

Frances Liberty discusses her experience at basic training. She recalls that Ft. Dix was not prepared for women. She recounts the experiences of learning to pitch tents, climb walls, and being shot at as she crawled under barbed wire. She reflects that the experience was rewarding and opened up a big world. She compares how nurses were seen during World War I to her experiences in the military.

Off to Japan and Korea and the Hospital Trains

Frances Liberty recalls traveling to Japan and then Korea after being recalled by the military following her World War II service. She recounts she was stationed on the hospital trains. She explains these trains transported patients from the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) units to hospital ships. She shares that once she dropped the patients off on the hospital ships, she was able to get clean clothes and take a hot shower. She admits that she often would take medical supplies from the M.A.S.H. units for use on the trains.

Remembering an Incident on the Train

Frances Liberty recalls an incident where the fireman and stoker on the train ran away when they saw Chinese Soldiers on a nearby hill. She admits she thought she was going to die, but a soldier was able to drive the train back to Pusan. She discusses another experience that occurred while serving in a medical facility. She remembers everyone pulling out overnight and being left behind with a young captain. She recounts they were discovered by U.S. Marines that helped them evacuate.

Treating Soldiers Across Three Wars

Frances Liberty discusses the use of triage, which was a new concept. She recalls it was very difficult for nurses to adapt to, but that the triage process ended up saving a lot of lives. She reflects on the patients that she treated and how she used to sit with dying soldiers, offering them comfort. She remembers a specific patient who was very close to death, but he ended up surviving. She discovered years later that his first granddaughter was named after her.

Francis Beidle

Discrimination Against Veterans at Home

Francis Beidle discusses the difficult time he had finding work after he returned from the war. He recalls experiencing a lot of negative attitudes about Korean War Veterans which included some potential employers throwing him out when they learned he was a Korean War Veteran. He attributed the negative feelings towards veterans to the unpopular news stories circulating about soldiers raping women.

Francis Bidle

Home Front Hardship

Francis Bidle recounts the hardship he experienced upon his return home. He shares that he was turned away from several job opportunities simply because he was a Korean War veteran. He recalls claims of US soldiers at the time treating the women in Korea poorly and shares that many business owners on the home front where he returned associated all Korean War veterans with the claims. He shares that he eventually passed over the fact that he had served in his succeeding job interviews.

Fred Liddell

Korea Revisit Program in 1986: The Evolution of Korea

Fred Liddell could not believe that evolution of South Korea in 1986 when he revisited through the Korea Revisit Program. He remembered Seoul train station completely in ruins along with all the buildings, but when he saw it rebuilt, it was a miracle. When he visited the Suan cultural center, Fred Liddell was able to share all of the changes that he saw from 1951 to 1986 including straw huts to homes and women plowing fields to mechanization. Fred Liddell was invited to visit the hut where the peace treaty was signed, but he felt extremely nervous because it was so close to North Korea.

Letters From Home as a POW

Fred Liddell received letters from his wife who delivered their baby right after he was released from the hospital, but before he became a POW. He received a picture from his wife and the baby and it was supposed to contain a religious medal, but the medal was taken. Fred Liddell was so upset that he screamed at the leaders of the POW camp and was punished by standing overnight with his arms outreached. He was thankful that another man, who had been thrown through the door, was there to lean on during those long hours.

Gene Peeples

Mostly Gunshot Wounds

Gene Peeples describes his treatment of the most common wounds he encountered as a medic during the Korean War. He explains his quick treatment of gunshot wounds before sending injured soldiers off to evacuation. He also describes another of the most common conditions they saw in the hospital, venereal disease.

George Drake

The War's Innocent Victims

Dr. George Drake discusses his research on Korean War information found in various archival locations. He explains the repercussions of war on society. He describes the problem with poverty left in Korea because of war, and his passion for getting more information out about his humanitarian concerns.

A Life Abroad Before Korea

Dr. George Drake explains how growing up in poverty affected his life decisions. He describes his travels to South America and Europe before enlisting into the United States Army. He recounts wanting to be a part of the Army Corps of Engineers to study topography, but he was placed with Intelligence instead.

George Enice Lawhon Jr.

PTSD on Korean War and War on Terror Veterans

George Enice Lawhon Jr. was assigned to the Korean War for one year because the US government knew that men couldn't handle the mental stress of warfare. He recognizes the strain on present-day veterans when they are sent back to war zones over and over again because they'll need mental help. George Enice Lawhon Jr. and his wife knew that the veterans' hospital is going to need to take in a lot more veterans to make sure that they can handle the transition back to civilian life.

George Myron

The Difficulty with Sharing the War

George Myron concedes that he experienced difficulty in sharing his experiences with war and that opening up was a slow process. He particularly remembers what he saw the civilian women having to endure as unfortunate, such as them lying down in gutters to deliver their babies. He recalls offering his poncho to one such lady as she gave birth there on the street.

George P. Wolf

Flying in the Berlin Airlift

George Wolf was a pilot in the Air Force during the Berlin Airlift after WWII. He provided food, but mostly coal to the people living in West Berlin during the Russian blockade. He flew the same path that the famous, Gail Halvorsen, flew during the 11-month blockade.

George W. Liebenstein

The Most Difficult Part

George "Bill" Liebenstein recollects the most difficult parts of his time in Korea. At the top of his list was being away from his wife and his business. He shares that he wrote her about every two days but was not always able to share what he was experiencing. He still possesses many of the letters he wrote her but, sadly, does not know what happened to those she wrote. He remarked that he also missed good home-cooking, playing ball with friends, and simply being free to do what he wanted.

Gerald Land

Live or Come Home In A Box

Gerald Land described how long the journey was from California to Japan which was a total of 14 days. When he arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they were picking up more soldiers to take to Korea and he stumbled upon an old high school friend (yelling down from the top of the ship to the deck). They had some time to talk about why he was in Japan, and his friend said he had gone AWOL while in the Air Force because of a girl he wanted to be with in Japan, but was located and brought to trial. He was given a choice: go to Fort Leavenworth to serve a 4-year sentence or be sent to Korea with the 40th Division. "Live and your record is wiped clean or come home in a box."

Homesick Soldiers

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.
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Geraldene Felton

Influence of the Military on Her Life

Geraldene Felton recalls the immense impact of the U.S. Army on her life. She expresses she is especially grateful for the support of the G.I. Bill and how it allowed her to practice nursing and develop her career. She shares that the rules in the military were something she enjoyed, as well as the structure the military provided.

Serving as a Nurse in Korea

Geraldene Felton describes military nursing in Korea and the living conditions while there. She recalls feeling very protected by the men in Korea. At the time of her service in Korea, she says she was a regular nurse and was there when there was active conflict. She describes how the MASH units worked and how they would move depending on where the fighting was located. She notes her tour of duty in Korea was thirteen months.

Setting up MASH Units and Feelings on Respect for Women in Korea

Geraldene Felton reflects on the treatment of women in Korea and feels that she was highly respected by her superior. She shares she felt very protected by the men serving there. She describes the process of moving the MASH units as well as her living conditions within Korea.

Later Career and Message to Students

Geraldene Felton describes her gratitude for the military. She feels her long career in military nursing prepared her for her later career as a nurse anesthetist and later a nursing educator. She recommends people work hard and take advantage of opportunities when they arise. She expresses her gratitude for the opportunities she received as a member of the U.S. Army Nursing Corps.

Gilbert Hauffels

Occupation and Missing Apologies

Gilbert Hauffels draws parallels between the German occupation of Luxembourg and the Japanese occupation of Korea while reflects on the contrasting approaches to reconciliation. He believe that thanks to apologies from Germany, Luxembourg has managed to overcome resentments. While acknowledging Shinzo Abe's apology to Korea for occupation, he points out Japan's failure to apologize for the use of Korean women as sex slaves. With extensive reading on Japanese atrocities across East and Southeast Asia, he deems this lack of apology unacceptable.

Grace Ackerman

Speaking About War: A Healing Process

Grace Ackerman feels that the Korean War Legacy Foundation is important because it allows the veterans to speak about their experiences during the Korean War. Students and future generations will also be able to gain knowledge from the interviews. Experiences such as the cold weather, being away from family, and personal experiences endured during the Korean War.

PTSD: Iraq and Afghan War Veterans

Grace Ackerman goes to the veterans' hospital in Syracuse, New York with the Auxillery group to help in the healing process. Her group is not officially there to help veterans from the Iraq and Afghan War overcome their Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), but they are there to listen when the veterans need it. Older war veterans have had time to heal and process their experiences, whereas the young veterans are still finding their way. Grace Ackerman believes that veterans' hospitals should be doing more to address PTSD in our young veterans.

Releasing Memories About the Korean War: Terrifying

Grace Ackerman was glad that she was able to be there for her husband, Bruce Ackerman, when he started to talk about his experiences during the Korean War, but it was terrifying to know the conditions that the veterans had to endure. Bruce Ackerman didn't start speaking about it until he was retired and able to have more time to ponder his time in Korea. Grace Ackerman recalled how most of the US didn't know about Korea when the war began in 1950 until the media started to cover the Korean War.

Returning to Korea and Supporting the US Veterans

Grace Ackerman was told by her husband, Bruce Ackerman, about the poor conditions in Korea during the war with mud paths, dirt roads, and huts. While visiting Korea during a church trip, she was able to see their new beautiful churches and the teenagers who were so courteous. As part of the Auxiliary, Grace Ackerman helps the veteran community by adopting a floor at the local veterans' hospital to make food, send gifts, and play bingo.

Haralambos Theodorakis

Growing Up in Greece

Haralambos Theodorakis was born into a farming family with 5 brothers and 3 sisters on Crete, Greece. While attending only a few years of school, he was not taught about Korea. He didn't even know about Japan or China, so his schooling was very narrow based on his home country.

Korea at the Beginning of the War

Haralambos Theodorakis left for Korea in 1950 and came back in 1951. Everything was destroyed when he arrived and the people were very sweet people. Korean civilians didn't have a lot of clothes to wear or food to eat. If Haralambos Theodorakis had extra food, he gave it to the civilians and he saw a lot of Korean children running the streets during his 8 months there.

Harold Bill Christenson


Harold Christenson remembers the fun he had with friends in Japan, going to Japanese bars and buying women drinks. He recounts one experience in particular where he gave a woman $20, which was a larger sum of money at the time, to buy drinks, and she did not return with his change. He also shares of his experience riding in a rickshaw.

Harry Hawksworth

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.

Harry Olson

Memories of Women and Children Hiding

Harry Olson reflects on one experience during the retreat from the Battle of Unson. He details his discovery of a cave during the retreat and finding eight to twelve Korean women hiding with their children. He recounts how the image of those women holding on to their children has haunted him. After this encounter, he remembers witnessing the destruction of supplies at the airport and being upset that they were burning food because he could not remember the last time he had eaten.

Henry T. Alex

Laundry Service

Henry T. Alex describes the process of laundering clothes when serving on the front lines. He explains how the tents were set up for showering and that the Korean men would take the dirty clothes and the Korean women would have freshly laundered clothes for you to exchange. He recalls the importance of having to know your size because you did not get your clothes back but simply exchanged dirty laundry for clean laundry.

Herbert Werner

Refugees During War

Herbert Werner became very emotional as he described being an 18 year old seeing war first hand. He said witnessing the wounded, being under fire, civilians fleeing, and children affected by war made him overcome with emotion. He never saw as much fear as he did while there and it still gets to him even today. Herbert Werner made an instant personal connection with the refugees during the Hamheung Evacuation since he was an orphaned child himself.

Homer Garrett

Earnings for his Service

Homer Garrett briefly described, what few kids understand, which is how little soldiers were paid for their service. When he first entered as a Private First Class soldier, he started making $43.00 per month even while having a wife and two children back at home. When Homer Garrett came home, his highest earning was $130.00 per month which was much better than when he first entered the service in 1965.

Captured Submarine & Firing at the UN Troops

Homer Garrett described encounters with North Korean agents during his service in Korea. His unit captured a 2-man operating submarine that was trapped on a sand bar which carried 4 North Korean agents. That same submarine is now located in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum. The other close call incident involved their Military Police Jeep and a lady who was standing in the road. She ran from the intersection when suddenly shots were fired piercing the radio in their jeep.

Dedicated to Improving Civilian Lives

Homer Garrett never witnessed people in such despair not want help from their government, yet the Korean civilians continued to prosper with what they had. Korean civilians had a willingness to improve their lives. Homer Garrett felt the values of the South Korean people are lessons all Americans could learn from. He appreciated what he witnessed and respected Koreans' desire to succeed.

Transportation Transformation

When Homer Garrett first arrived in Korea, the only means of transportation were ox-drawn carts for the wealthy, buses, and small taxis ("red birds"). The roads were only dirt roads that the Military Police shared with the civilians to transport goods and supplies. When Homer Garrett revisited Korea in 2007, (his wife visits often since she is from Korea- met and married her there and brought her back to Texas) he recalled the highway system in Seoul rivals that of our highway system in the United States, and that there are more cars on the road there, than there are in Dallas or Houston, Texas!

Howard A. Gooden

Testing Classified Weapons and Vehicles

Howard A. Gooden discusses being assigned to a testing unit after basic training where he tested new weapons and vehicles before sending them out to the troops. He recalls testing trucks and jeeps but admits that he enjoyed operating tanks the best. He explains that security was extremely tight due to the classified nature of the equipment being tested. He recalls being housed in a large barracks with the Military Police stationed between his unit and the Women's Army Corp on the opposite side.

Howard Ballard

Pusan Perimeter

Howard Ballard discusses being trained to serve in Korea from 1947 to 1948 with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Division. He recalls leaving Korea but returning later after re-enlisting. He remembers landed at Pusan at night to fight the North Koreans at the Pusan Perimeter on August 2, 1950. He recalls how he saw North Korean soldiers slaughter entire South Korean villages which made it difficult for him to speak about the war.

Training ROK Officers and Korean Culture in the Late 1940s

Howard Ballard recalls training officers for the Republic of Korea (ROK) before the start of the Korean War. He remembers how the ROK hated the Japanese because they had taken everything of value back to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He recalls training the South Koreans to become officers, shoot Howitzers, and become leaders before the Korean War began (1948). He describes aspects of Korean culture, noting the attention to respect and the practice of purchasing wives through the use of pigs.

Howard Street

Difficulties Faced

Howard Street shares that his most difficult obstacle in Korea was keeping clean. He recalls it being tough to find a shower and good food. He recounts having to sleep on the ground in tents, even in snow as high as six feet and temperatures below 40 degrees.

Howard W. Bradshaw

Writing Home

Howard Bradshaw wrote to his wife every day. In the letters, he described the impact he'd made on the Korean people through his faith. Howard Bradshaw felt that these letters saved his life by giving him comfort and joy.

a Soldier's Wife Remembers Life Without Her Loved One

Laverne Bradshaw, just like Howard Bradshaw, spent every night writing letters to each other. She described how she grew a vegetable garden to save money while her neighbors would shoot a deer to help feed Laverne Bradshaw's family. Howard Bradshaw wrote about how he would help to feed orphans while he was away in Korea.

Ian J. Nathan

Small Boys, Heavy Loads, and Weather

Ian Nathan shows pictures of his time in Korea. One photo has a small Korean boy carrying a load supported by an A-frame pack. Other photos represent living conditions such as a tent covered in winter snow and a swollen creek blocking access to the latrines in the rainy season.

Letters to Mom

Ian Nathan did not have a girlfriend at the time of his service in Korea, but he wrote to his mother and brother. His brother helped him identify Venus from his observations of the dark night sky from his tent. He visited Seoul once during his time in the Army, but the city was in shambles due to the fighting that occurred there. Markets were set up, but most of the goods had been created from scavenged items. He contrasts his experience with pictures of modern Seoul.

Inga-Britt Jagland

Rules for Nurses

Inga-Britt Jagland recounts the strict regulations imposed by the US military on nurses during her service. She explains nurses were strictly prohibited from bringing men into their quarters, with severe consequences such as being barred from entering the United States for those who violated this rule. Additionally, she notes members of the Swedish Red Cross received compensation from the US military.

Jack Allen

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.

Frozen Bodies and Paralyzed Limbs

Jack Allen was sent to an Army hospital in Japan and he stayed there for 7-10 days until he was shipped to a Naval hospital where Marines were supposed to be sent. When he walked in there, there were over 100 frozen bodies that lost arms, legs, and/or toes. Thankfully, a neurosurgeon performed surgery to help get feeling back in his arm while at the Naval base. Jack Allen was sent back to the US in February 1951.

Jack Wolverton

Communication with Home

Jack Wolverton remembers writing letters home. He was not married and recalls relationships were tough to keep going while he was at war. He would correspond via letters with his mother, updating her on his day-to-day activities. She would return letters with stories from home. He recalls asking his mother, at times, to send back some of the money he forwarded home.

James Ferris

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 Kenneth Hall

Sending a Letter Home

James Hall recounts how the Chinese wanted the prisoners of war to write letters home after the peace talks began in 1951. He explains how the prisoners were told to write about accolades of the Communist way of thinking and to put down the United States government. He recalls how he refused to write the letters and remembers a Chinese nurse helping him write a letter to his mother to let her know he was alive.

James Low

Begging to Join the US Army

James Low wanted to join the US Army after he graduated high school because he wanted to do his part just like everyone else did during WWII. There was a group of James Low's friends that went to volunteer month after month until there was a spot open. Finally, in February 1951, he was accepted into the Army, but had to wait until he was 18 years old to sign the paperwork because his mom refused to give permission to his 17 year-old son.

James Parker

Letters Home

James Parker recalls writing letters home to his sister. He produces a folder containing a letter he had written and offers the viewing of a magazine he was sent from the States pertaining to Heartbreak Ridge. He utilizes the map to show the routes he and other soldiers took during the campaign.

James Shipton

Transporting the Troops

James Shipton describes the transport missions moving soldiers bound for Korea from the United States to Japan. Shortly after the Chinese crossed the Yalu River, he recalls a major shift in their return missions which included evacuating injured soldiers back to the United States. During November and December of 1950, he remembers flight nurses with the Royal Canadian Air Force mainly accompanying soldiers suffering from severe frostbite.

Jean Paul St. Aubin

First Impressions of Korea

Jean Paul St. Aubin describes his first impressions after landing in Korea. He recounts the destruction, seeing few trees and buildings. He shares that it was hard to believe how poor the living conditions were for the Koreans as he witnessed malnourishment, naked children begging in the streets, and women working in the rice fields with their babies.

Letters During War

Jean Paul St. Aubin recalls writing letters home and receiving letters often. He remembers that he, collectively, received 3-4 letters from his family members and girlfriend each week despite being on the front lines and mentions that the mail service was good. He describes the topics of conversation on which most of the letters centered.

Jeff Liebregts

Maybe She Helped Spring Korea Forward

Jeff Liebregts shares his experience of saving a baby while walking with his friend after the Battle of Hoengsong. He describes walking along the road and all of a sudden being under fire. As they took cover, he recalls hearing a baby crying and seeing a child strapped to a mother who had expired. For fear that the child would die from exposure, he shares how he extracted her and delivered the child to the medical station. When he sees people on the street, he wonders if any of them are the child that he saved. He hopes she was part of the generation that helped Korea become successful.

Joan A. Clark

Basic Training and America's Perception of the Korean War

Joan Clark recalls learning of the outbreak of the Korean War during basic training. She explains how she began teaching and her later Officer Candidate School attendance. She shares how upon training completion, she became involved in the pilot training program where she worked the flight line giving and grading pilots.. She reflects on America's attitude towards the Korean War, recalling that many people did not understand why the United States was involved in the war.

Job Duties as Protocol Officer and Receiving a New Job in Europe

Joan Clark discusses how she came into her job as Protocol Officer in the pilot training program. She summarizes her responsibilities and recalls that when she left that position, they replaced her with three people. She recounts how she was sent to Paris, traveling with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and notes that she became Protocol Officer for USAFE (United States Air Forces in Europe), helping to oversee all of the airbases in Europe.

Deciding to Join the United States Air Force

Joan Clark recalls the circumstances that led to her deciding to join the Air Force. She shares how she was unsure of the medical field despite the fact it was the field she was majoring in in college. She recalls taking an aptitude test which told her that she was a "jack of all trades." She recounts deciding to join the Air Force because she saw it as something that would provide an education, pay her, and allow her to see the world.

Joan Taylor

The Importance of Care Packages

Joan Taylor describes what it was like to be a young bride of a Korean War soldier. She recalls living with her parents while her first husband was away at war. She describes the care packages she made for her husband that included warm clothes because winter military clothes had yet been provided.

Korean War Soldiers Returning Home

Joan Taylor shares her first husband came back home early from the war due to a death in the family. She explains his father passed away, and his mother was left to run a business and needed help. She communicates that her first husband was stationed as an Army Security Agent (ASA), so he did not participate in any fighting; however, he recalled the bombs dropping and hiding in the bunkers at night.

Joe Larkin

Girl In The Picture

As his battalion moved from the south to northern Korea, Joe Larkin's battalion passed through several villages coming in contact with the Korean people. The civilians were very thankful for what the US troops were doing. One little girl saw a picture of Joe Larkin's niece in his pocket, and kept pointing at the picture, but Joe Larkin didn't understand. He called over an interpreter and he said the girl couldn't believe that his niece had a flower in her hair.

Joe O. Apodaca

Baking at Sea and Corresponding with Spouse

Joe O. Apodaca recalls experiencing bouts of seasickness while aboard the USS Henrico. He shares how severe weather and rough waters made baking cakes and other goods difficult. He remembers how the ship's crew graciously enjoyed the food despite any mishaps. He explains he had married a woman in the last year of his enlistment, and during that time, his wife lived in an apartment in San Diego, working for various government agencies. He recalls how hey kept in touch regularly through letters.

John Cumming

By God They Were Tough

John Cumming describes finding ways to keep casualties from freezing to death while traveling on the Dakota Aircraft. He reflects on one experience during a flight in which he attempted to do everything he could to keep a soldier warm. Even with all of his efforts, he shares how his jacket had to be cut off of him because there was no saving the soldier. He recalls not knowing who he was handling during transports and just focusing moving the soldiers. Yet, he notes one particular incident in which he did know a group of soldiers were from Turkey because they were upset with the Americans leaving them behind.

John Funk

MASH Description

John Funk offers an account of the 8076 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). He describes the facility and the nearby area. He recalls soldiers being admitted with their uniforms still on as well as sometimes still in their sleeping bags and details the triage system utilized to determine who was tended to first. He additionally speaks of the role women played as nurses.

John J. Baker

Vivid Memories of Murdered Civilians

John J. Baker details movement from east of Taegu to a place called Ulsan. He recollects moving through the region with his company commander when they encountered the National Police and the Korean Army on both sides of the road. He recounts how the commander explained that these people were South Korean Communists. He notes that much of his unit had been wiped out in Taejan leaving only one hundred seventy-nine left in the unit and how they returned to Taegu and onto Kumchon with the 19th and 21st Infantry. He describes how when they arrived, they encountered a gory scene along the roadside.

Not What They Expected

John J. Baker describes how the Korean people were forced to deal with the physical destruction around them. He recalls men heading down to the village and finding food consisting of rice and meat. He shares there was an older Korean woman cooking the food, and speaking to her in Japanese, he recounts his discovery that the food was not what they had expected.

John Moller

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.

John Munro

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.

Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi

Emergency Leave from Korea

Jose A. Vargas-Franceschi describes his arduous journey from Korea on emergency leave. He notes how his leave allowed him to be with his pregnant wife in Puerto Rico.

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.

First Impressions / Primeras Impresiones

José Guillermo Posada Ortiz discusses his first impressions of Korea. As soon as they landed in Busan, they were transported by truck to the north, and he recalls the terrible condition the country faced. He was especially taken aback by the misery of civilians. Within hours of arriving to the front, he witnessed an American airplane shot down.

José Guillermo Posada Ortiz explica sus primeras impresiones de Corea. Tan pronto como aterrizaron en Busan, fueron transportados en camiones hacia el norte, y él recuerda las terribles condiciones en las que se encontraba el país. Mas que la destrucción, se acuerda de la miseria de los civiles. A las pocas horas de llegar al frente, el enemigo derribo un avión estadounidense.

Joseph De Palma

Creating The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Joseph De Palma describes his experiences during the creation of the Demilitarized Zone and his interaction with the local Koreans who lived in the area along the 38th parallel. He describes the day a woman with two toddlers needed to be moved south to safety. He recalls that along the way she wanted to stop and build a fire and prepare a meal for her children but since that was not feasible, he gave her cans of food and she and the children sat on a rock and had a picnic.

Josephine D. Abreu

Basic Training and Initial Thoughts About the United States Air Force

Josephine Abreu recalls arriving at basic training in San Antonio, Texas. She shares how, due to a surgery when she arrived, she was the last person of her group to receive orders. She describes some of the rules in the barracks regarding dress and cleanliness and the consequence of missing dances if they violated the rules. She admits that she looked forward to dances when she was marching or going to school.

Working for the Pentagon and the Korean War

Josephine describes receiving orders for shipment to Japan, which she was happy about. She shares that her commander, however, decided to send her to the Pentagon to work for the Director of Intelligence as a typist. She recalls typing up intelligence reports as well as the papers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She discusses typing up histories of the war which, in turn, meant she had detailed knowledge of what was taking place.

The Pentagon During the Korean War

Josephine Abreu discusses the environment at the Pentagon during the Korean War. She describes her role in meetings of the "Watch Committee" which was a predecessor to the National Security Council. She explains how she would hand out agendas, pencils, and type the minutes after meetings. She admits that the meetings were always exciting. She notes her role required her to have a very high clearance level, and she recalls being told she could not discuss what she did there for ten years.

Josephine Krowinski

Army Pay During Korean War

Josephine Krowinski did not recall how much she was paid while working during the Korean War as an Army nurse. She sent all the checks directly to Boston to her mother. Josephine Krowinski could tell that her mother needed the money more than she did, so that's why all her pay was sent back home.

A Nurse's Duty in Korean War

Josephine Krowinski did not know anything about Korea before she was assigned to go, but she always trusted that wherever the Army needed nurses, that's where she was to go. She always did what she knew best, how to nurse people back to health ever since she graduated from nursing school in 1942. Josephine Krowinski was never scared and she always felt prepared for anything.

They Took Care of Us

Josephine Krowinski described how well-protected she was by the Military Doctors she worked with. She always had G.I.'s looking after her. As a woman, Josephine Krowinski felt she was treated with respect and dignity.

Kenneth D. Cox

A Unique Meeting in Hawaii

Kenneth Cox shares a story of meeting a Korean waitress in Hawaii years after his service in Korea. He recounts that she lived near the hospital the 44th Engineer Battalion built near Teagu. He recalls exchanging a few memories and catching up on its present state.

Kenneth F. Dawson

Seoul Was a Dead Place

Kenneth F. Dawson describes the cruelty of Chinese soldiers and their murder of a Korean woman as they retreated from a battle. He recounts the destruction that took place in Seoul. He is proud to have served the Korean people and asks to join a group of veterans returning to Korea for the 70th anniversary celebration.

Lakew Kidane Goshene

Korea in 1954

Lakew Kidane Goshene describes the conditions of the country upon his arrival. He describes how Korean women would scavenge for wood. He also explains how his unit would share their rations with civilians. He is amazed at how different the Korean people's lives are now from then.

Laurence E. Johns


Laurence "Bud" Johns discusses joining the U.S. Coast Guard. He discusses how small the U.S. Coast Guard was at the time. He mentions the women who served in the Coast Guard, the SPARs. He shares that though he did not see many, they existed.

Leo Calderon

Selling Their Mothers and Sisters

Leo Calderon describes the atmosphere of South Korea after the war. He notes that some of the people did not like the American presence. He also describes the crime and poverty after the war. The people sold anything, including their mothers, sisters, haircuts and boot shining for cigarettes. Bars eventually popped up though American soldiers were not allowed to go beyond the MSR (Main Supply Rode).

Leslie Fuhrman

Daily Life in Anti-aircraft Operations Unit

Leslie Fuhrman describes the fairly comfortable living conditions. He shares how his living arrangement had heat, cots to sleep on, a mess hall, and house ladies to clean the floors. During his service, he recalls earning two hundred dollars a month as a Second Lieutenant. While he sent most of his pay to an account back home, he remembers keeping some money to spend at a small px, or military exchange, that was a few miles away.

Lester Griebenow

They only had each other

Lester Griebenow describes how the unit of twelve men he was with had nothing but they got by with what they could. He describes eating C and K rations. He goes on to explain how they rigged a WWII Catapillar to help make their gun encasements faster and dam up a creek so that the soldiers could bathe. Their nude bathing led to complaints on behalf of some Red Cross nurses who were scandalized to see naked soldiers swimming. The men were told to wear boxer shorts from then on.

Lloyd Thompson

Civilians Digging in the Trash to Survive

Lloyd Thompson had a relatively easy life compared to other soldiers and especially citizens in Korea. He had more comfortable quarters and warm meals. As a naive young man who had never witnessed much beyond a small midwestern town, he saw Korean civilians digging in the US soldiers' trash for scraps. The realization enabled him to understand why the UN was fighting. He recognized the hope to give Korean civilians a normal life again.

Marian Jean Setter

Basic Training and First Assignment

Marian Setter discusses her experience at basic training and explains her first assignment in a general hospital near Modesto, California. She notes she treated both medical and surgical patients. She recalls many of her patients were injured World War II veterans who had been in the hospital for quite some time. She reflects that this was her first experience with war casualties, and it confirmed she made the right decision to join the military.

Nursing on Medical Evacuation Trains

Marian Setter speaks about her second nursing assignment which centered on helping transport World War II prisoners of war to hospitals closer to their homes from the ports where they arrived by ship. She explains that on these medical trains, she and other nurses would ride with the patients the entire length of the trip, care for them, and assist them with any needs they had. She remembers the men being severely malnourished as a result of their time in captivity.

Serving in Korea with the Army of Occupation

Marian Setter discusses her next assignment, which was to Korea prior to the war. She shares she served for two years at the 34th General Hospital, about twenty-five miles north of Seoul, with the Army of the Occupation (later the Army of the Liberation). She remembers the hospital being housed in a former training academy and states they were lucky to have an actual facility rather than living in tents. She recalls her patients were all military with some Korean civilians as well.

Second Tour in Korea

Marian Setter remembers her second tour to Korea in the 1960's, where she served as Assistant Chief Nurse at the 121st Evacuation Hospital for five months and as the Chief Nurse at a hospital in Busan for seven months. She reflects on the difference in Korea from her first assignment, pre-Korean War to her second assignment, post-Korean War. She notes that during this assignment, she had much more contact with Korean civilians since she was also working with Korean graduates and students from local hospitals. She recalls helping a former soldier who was on a church mission to South Korea set up an operating room in a hospital the church was building.

Treating the Rescued Hostages from the USS Pueblo

Marian Setter recalls a notable experience while serving her second tour of duty in Korea. She explains that upon their release by the North Koreans, she was one of the nurses that cared for the hostages of the USS Pueblo on Christmas Eve 1968. She remembers how she and her fellow nurses gave each of them physical examinations, treatment if needed, and fed them a Christmas dinner.

Marjorie Elizabeth Cavanaugh

Knowledge, Firing, and Perception of the Korean War

Marjorie Cavanaugh discusses the extent of her knowledge of what was occurring in Korea and reflects on the slow communication during that time. She remembers her reaction to General MacArthur's firing. She comments on the American public's opinion of the role the United States played in the war and the difference in opinion compared to World War II.

Treatment of Korean War Veterans and Women Veterans

Marjorie Cavanaugh discusses the difference in the treatment of World War II veterans upon the war's ending compared with Korean War veterans. She reflects on the impact of joining the American Legion after her discharge, saying it gave veterans a sense of belonging. She details her experience as being a woman veteran of the Korean War, remembering that women in the military were generally looked down upon.

Perception of Women Veterans and Experiences with Sexism

Marjorie Cavanaugh shares her experiences as a woman veteran, recalling implied sexism through newspaper articles and radio programs/news. She provides a specific example that happened directly to her upon her attempting to enroll in college using the G.I. Bill. She notes this interaction was just one of many obstacles she faced as a woman veteran.

Impressions of the Treatment of Women in the Military

Marjorie Cavanaugh recalls the treatment of women in the military as being very good, saying that she had good experiences and never felt deterred while in the military. She remembers her treatment upon leaving the military was much worse than the treatment she received while serving. She discusses being treated fairly by men while serving but details the caste system between enlisted servicemembers and officers.

Thoughts on the Racial Integration of the Armed Services

Marjorie Cavanaugh speaks about the racial integration of the military, offering her thoughts and experiences specifically as well as other examples she noticed second-hand. She remembers the differences in opinion based on the region where the service members were from, noting that she believes the women from the South likely did not like having to take orders from their African American officers.

Martin Rothenberg

Literacy Would Prevail

Martin Rothenberg noted that there was a little girl he befriended who's mother worked in the wash tent and she would talk to him because she wanted to learn English. When Martin Rothenberg left Korea in 1955, he knew there would be a massive economic boom in South Korea because the majority of the people were literate. Plus, South Koreans had a desire to be educated and work toward the reconstruction of their country after the Korean War.

Marvin Denton

Seoul: A Sad Sight

Marvin Denton recalled the hardships many Korean people faced during the Korean War. Men and women yoked with long poles carrying heavy buckets filled with sewage (honey pots).
Groups of children ransacked the soldiers for anything they had (pencils, papers, etc.). Marvin Denton felt so sorry for the civilians in South Korea.

Mary L. Hester

Describing Flight School and Her First Incoming Soldiers

Mary Hester explains that after seeing a posting for volunteers for flight school, she signed up. She describes the month long course, she learned the differences between providing medical care on the ground and in the air. She recalls seeing that volunteers were needed to go to Japan and she quickly volunteered. She becomes emotional when she remembers the first plane of injured soldiers and how her chief nurse told her they came to work, not to cry. She recalls the quick on-the-job training she received that day.

Duties as a Flight Nurse

Mary Hester speaks about her typical flight shift as a flight nurse, flying from Japan to Korea to evacuate injured soldiers, many of which were badly hurt. She explains that the size of the plane they took depended on the number of soldiers that were to be evacuated. She recalls that typically it was one nurse on a plane for eighteen to twenty injured soldiers, but at times they would take a C-54 that could hold thirty to fifty patients and required two nurses. She describes how soldiers were loaded based on their injuries with the worst injured going near the front of the plane and in the middle bunks. She explains that she had to fly 750 hours to rotate home, and she was sure she flew more than that.

Mary Reid

Volunteering for Korea

Mary Reid discusses why she volunteered to go and serve as a nurse in Korea during the war. She shares that she had lived a sheltered life prior to her service, and serving opened the doors of a larger life to her. She recalls feeling that she owed the United States Army and country for its willingness to invest in her.

Back to Busan

Mary Reid describes going to Busan by train. She provides an account of what her job entailed at the Army hospital compound in Busan. She recalls patients at the hospital being tended to and then sent back to the line.

Patients at the Hospital

Mary Reid describes the types of patients that she saw in the hospital. She recounts many soldiers having worms and treating them with medications. She elaborates on what happened to those too badly wounded to stay at the Army hospital compound.

Matthew D. Rennie

Witnessing Poverty and Devastation

Matthew Rennie vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed in Busan upon his arrival. He recalls the refugee camp there with hundreds of thousands of civilians living in cardboard boxes and children begging for food. He comments on their suffering during the cold winters as they possessed inadequate clothing and heating. He describes the countryside as he made his way up to Euijeongbu.

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.

Mayo Kjellsen

Enlisting in the US Marine Corps

Mayo Kjellsen joined the US Marine Corps at the age of 20, anticipating an imminent draft, a common practice at the time. He underwent training at Camp Pendleton in California. With no prior exposure to Korea, Kjellsen was taken aback when he witnessed a Korean woman openly nursing her baby near Inchon.

Mehmet Esen

Caring for Orphans

Mehmet Esen describes how he cared for two orphans he met while in Korea. While he was in a hospital he met Chin Chol. He provided her with money for her schooling. He also provided for another orphan named Kerim. Kerim followed the Turkish troops everywhere they went.

Melvin Colberg

One-Room Schoolhouse Education

Melvin Colberg recounts his educational experience in a one-room schoolhouse growing up in Illinois. He shares that learning and even teaching on some days were cooperative efforts between students and the teacher. He expresses that the experience allowed students exposure to an environment conducive to learning how to get along with others and learning how to adapt in preparation for the real-world setting beyond the classroom.

Impressions of Korea in the 1960s

Melvin Colberg recalls his impressions of Korea in the 1960s during his service, a perspective which centers on the years between the war-ravaged Korea of the 1950s and today's modern Korea. He recounts that infrastructure was still in the development stage as there were many dirt roads at the time and few factories present. No large farming equipment as water buffalo were mainly used in the agricultural setting along with a few rototillers here and there. Most people were still poor, living in one-room houses heated through the floor, and many civilians still wore traditional Korean clothing.

Melvin Norris

Cryptology in Vietnam

Melvin Norris studied cryptology in California. He mentions women of the WAVES being trained nearby. After cryptology training, he served Guam and joined bombing raids over Vietnam. His role was to intercept communications and send them to Washington D. C. He recounts an incident of another soldier sending Washington the wrong tape.

Merl Smith

The Hungnam Evacuation

Merl Smith discusses his role in the Heungnam Evacuation. He shares that his ship saved over fourteen thousand people from Heungnam after being called to duty from Pusan. He details how the ship only had supplies for forty-eight men, did not have heat or toilet facilities, and had very little water. He remembers the Chinese blew up the port as the ship was exiting Heungnam and sailing with the Korean refugees for three days while bringing them to safety.

Michael Fryer

Finally Some Rest

Michael Fryer describes rest and relaxation at Inchon and Tokyo. He recalls that the Red Cross ran a center which allowed for both men and women from the British Commonwealth of Nations. He describes the Kookaburra Club, a recreation center located near Tokyo, Japan. He talks about food, the duration of the stay, and what they did while off duty.

Mildred Marian Thomason

Decision to Join the Military

Mildred Thomason reflects on her decision to join the United States Air Force after completing her initial nursing training. She recalls seeing many advertisements urging nurses to consider enlisting and shares she decided to join because she was bored living in her hometown. She remembers how she was able to ride on military airplanes without cost, which helped her see many places.

Nursing at Her First Air Force Base

Mildred Thomason describes her first assignment at Reese Air Force Base. She explains she never received any basic training, having enlisted during a short window of time when nurses were not given any basic training. She admits she would walk across the street from other officers because she was not taught how to salute. She recalls a time, during her first assignment, when a new commanding officer thought everyone should do an obstetrics rotation. She discusses being on a rotation with an Orthopedic surgeon as the blind leading the blind. She recalls how this rotation made her want to go into obstetrics and shares she used the GI Bill after her service to pursue a B.A.

Serving at a Small Hospital in Korea

Mildred Thomason recalls serving at a small hospital in Korea where she was stationed with fighter jet pilots. She shares how, while there, she treated minor illnesses like pneumonia. She recounts seeing Marilyn Monroe perform and even meeting her. She describes Marilyn Monroe as courteous and friendly and details how the troops were “hooping and hollering” when she came out to perform in her tight red dress. She admits it probably did raise the morale of the troops.

Monte Curry

Kitty Movie Experience

Kitty Curry, Monte Curry's wife, was not told a lot about what her husband was experiencing during the Korean War. Before a movie began, instead of previews of other movies, a black and white news reel would review what was life like for the US soldiers in Korea. This included fighting and bombs dropping on the enemy. Kitty Curry's reaction about the news worried her, but her friends and faith kept her going.

Morris J. Selwyn

Rude Soldiers at the American PX

Morris Selwyn's memories of his time in Korea do not involve any direct fighting during his service. Rather, he describes losing a fellow solider and friend to the Asian flu. Another particularly troubling memory is the way U.S. soldiers treated Korean women. While visiting an American PX, he disliked the way U.S. soldiers made rude demands on the Korean women. He has never forgiven the Americans for their behavior.

Myron Toback

First Impressions of Pusan

Myron Toback describes what he saw when he first arrived in Pusan in 1952. He remembers that there were no brick buildings except for the rail station. Additionally, he recalls that there were a lot of mountains.

Neal C. Taylor

First Impressions of Korea

Neal Taylor recalls having never given communism a second thought when he was sent to fight in the Korean War. He remembers feeling a call to duty and wanting to do the right thing for his country. He describes how far behind the times Korea was when it came to living conditions.

Nelson S. Ladd

Dear John Letter

Nelson Ladd was very in love with a young lady and he planned to get engaged before deployment. However, after 6 months of being overseas, he received a letter from his fiance stating that she had met someone else. There was nothing he could do being 7,000 miles away from home, and by the time he had returned, she was already married to someone else.

Nick Ross

Remembrances of the Battle Field

Nick Ross describes leading Canadian troops in their first coastal battle. He recalls that many British troops in the area were completely wiped out, and the survivors were left hungry. During skirmishes in the Chorwan Valley, he found himself cut off from his platoon and under fire from snipers. The senseless killing of South Korean farmers and their families, along with the destruction of their crops and property, still disturbs him today.

Heavy Losses at Chail-li

Nick Ross recalls artillery and mortar fire raining down on his unit during the Battle of Chail-li, describing it as awful—like a day in hell. Despite fighting hard to put these events out of his mind, he still ponders the cruelty of the Chinese and North Koreans, noting that those killed were just boys.

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa

Baptism by Fire / Bautismo de Fuego

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recalls how foolish he was for asking to be a machine gunner. He explains that this was an unwise decision because his commander told him that machine gunners were the first ones killed. He recalls the horrors of his first battle and losing the first machine gun. He laments these experiences and is not willing to fully discuss them.

Nicolás Cancel Figueroa recuerda lo tonto que fue por pedir ser ametrallador. Él explica que esta fue una mala decisión porque su comandante le dijo que los ametralladores eran los primeros que eliminan. Recuerda los horrores de su primera batalla y la pérdida de la primera ametralladora. Lamenta estas experiencias y no está dispuesto a discutirlas mucho.

Paul Welsh

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.

Phillip Olson

Letters, Cookies and War

Phillip Olson tried his best to consume his time while he was not on the front lines working with large equipment. He wrote letters to his family about Korea. They in turn sent cookies and letters back to him while he was stationed there from 1952-1953.

Rafael Rivera Méndez

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 Burcham

First impressions

Ralph Burcham arrived in Busan in 1952. He felt that the scene was "heart wrenching" to see shoeless children running next to the trains in the hopes that U.S. soldiers would toss out food. Families were so poor and willing to do anything for food scraps.

Ralph Hodge

Suffering All Around

Ralph Hodge notes there was suffering all around in Korea. He recalls soldiers suffered from frost bite and trench foot. He shares how showers were few and far between for soldiers on the front line. He explains suffering was not limited to the soldiers. He adds the Korean people suffered severely as well. He recounts an occasion when a little boy tried to sell his grandma to the soldiers for food or money.

Ralph Howard

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.

Raymond L. Ayon

Training as a Corpsman

Raymond L. Ayon shares he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1948 after graduating from high school. He explains how while serving in Japan, he operated a rig to refuel large aircraft. He remembers how, one day, he was transferred to a medical laboratory technical school to train as a corpsman, providing aid to the wounded. Having excelled in biology in high school with straight A's, he believes this was a factor in his selection as a corpsman. He describes the challenging task of taking and giving blood samples with his fellow trainees. He confesses to being unaware of what this new specialty would entail.

Raymond L. Fish

Returning Home

Raymond L. Fish recalls the moment his ship approached land, and he saw the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge when he returned home in 1951. He remembers going right to the Army mess hall, and receiving fresh milk for the first time in three years. He explains having to serve additional time in active duty at Walter Reed Hospital, and how he later became a veterinarian.

Rebecca Baker

Decision to Enter the Service and Basic Training

Rebecca Baker shares her decision to join the Navy. She explains how she originally wanted to be a stewardess, and at that time, they were required to have a nursing degree. She shares she grew too tall to be a stewardess and joined the Navy after graduating with her degree in nursing. She recalls waiting for basic training to start and later discovered from neighbors that she was being investigated by the FBI so she could obtain proper security clearance.

Arrival to Korea, Duties, the DMZ and Hiroshima

Rebecca Baker discusses her first assignment on a hospital ship where she would perform medical evacuations from Korea to Japan. She recalls how Korea was the coldest place in the world and describes an opportunity she and the other nurses had on her ship to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). She recounts the area being filled with mines and seeing the eyes of the North Koreans on the other side. 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 this had on her.

Daily Life Aboard the Ship

Rebecca Baker discusses her daily life in comparison to the television show "MASH." She notes how it was important to find humor in the sometimes difficult times. She explains that without something to break the tension they were more likely to make mistakes. She recalls the food aboard the ship as well as recounts a story about a fellow nurse's constant seasickness.

Why the Navy, Boot Camp and How Nursing Changes a Person

Rebecca Baker explains that she decided to join the Navy since she lived in Cairo, Illinois, and was always near and in water. She describes boot camp and her U.S. Marine Instructor saying all of the nurses had two left feet since they struggled at marching. She explains when she visited home, she saw mostly family. She conveys how the life and death nature of being a nurse led her to outgrow her old friends.

Richard A. Simpson

Tragedy of War

Richard Simpson describes the raping of a South Korean woman by an Allied soldier. He express his thoughts on the utter depravity of the actions of the soldier and his lack of respect for the human race. He describes this as the tragedy of war.

Richard Arthur Christopher Hilton

Car Accident

Richard Hilton describes the car accident that left him blind and without smell. He explains that he also suffered a broken wrist and shoulder as well as five ribs in addition to a punctured lung and a chipped knee. He explains that the greatest loss that resulted from this accident was the loss of his fiancee who did not survive the crash. He describes his mantra: "As well as you learn to live with what you have, you also learn to live with what you don't have."

Richard Bartlett

Radio Maintenance Specialty and a Civilian Encounter

Each soldier is trained with a specialty to strengthen the military. Richard Bartlett's duties were to keep the radio equipment working and operational as it was used to guide aircraft along the 38th Parallel. There was a lot of on-the-job-training. While stationed at Osan, Richard Bartlett encountered many civilians off base.

Richard Brandt

Helping a Father See His Son

The most memorable moment in Korea was when a young soldier from Iowa ran up daily for mail call to get information about his new baby. Every time they got mail, the young soldier received many pictures of his son bathing in the tub (always naked), he was so proud. The young soldier asked Richard Brandt when he was going home and he replied that it was within two weeks, but after speaking to his commander, Richard Brandt allowed the young soldier to go home in his place to see his son.

Richard J. Dominguez

U.S. Air Corps and Infantry Training

Richard J. Dominguez explains that the United States Air Corps was a division of the U.S. Army before the establishment of the U.S. Air Force. He shares how, in 1944, he was sent to Arizona State Teachers College to complete coursework in preparation for his duties in the U.S. Air Corps. He remembers how, at that time, women did not serve in the U.S. Air Corps. He recalls his experiences during his training at the college, which included ten hours of flying instruction. He recalls, however, before he could complete his Air Corps training, he was transferred to the Army Infantry, 13th Armored Division, where he received instruction on firing anti-tank weapons.

Preparing for the Korean War as a U.S. National Guard

Richard J. Dominguez shares he made the decision to join the United States National Guard while working as a police officer. He mentions that his choice to reenlist in the service was largely influenced by the payment of thirty dollars he received each month which helped to supplement his income from the police department. He remembers how, a few months after joining the National Guard, he was sent to Camp Cook, California, to train as a medic and mobilize for the Korean War. He describes how his training and departure affected his wife and young daughter who went to live with relatives.

Richard K. Satterlee

Riots and Road Construction

Richard Satterlee describes his various experiences while serving in Korea. Students rioted in 1965 to protest Park Chung-hee's efforts to trade with Japan. Labor issues arose when Korean house boys went on strike for better pay. Meanwhile, Korean women hauled rocks used in road construction. In one tragic incident, North Koreans killed two U.S. soldiers cutting down a tree in the DMZ.

Richard S. Smith

Memories of the Korean War and Coming Home

Richard S. Smith does not recall any really difficult parts of the war, but he notes that this might be because he was such a young man at the time. He remembers there were times he was pretty scared, but he really does not count that as a difficulty. He concludes that the happiest time of his service was the coming home which included a trip through the Panama Canal and an awaiting soon-to-be bride.

Robert D. Davidson

Most Difficult Thing

Robert Davidson shares a heartwarming story about assisting a pregnant Korean civilian. He recalls having been out with a fellow soldier working on a rock crusher, and on their drive back, he noticed something odd along the road. He recounts finding a pregnant Korean woman in the middle of labor and describes how they loaded her into the back of their truck and took her to a nearby MASH unit. He explains how the unit refused to offer her services until he spoke with the commander and urged him to do so.

Rodney Ramsey

Legacy of the Korean War Veterans

Rodney Ramsey was proud that the UN troops for pushing back the Chinese and North Koreans. He wishes that they could have made all of Korea non-communist, but life was better for the civilians in the South. The Korean War was named the "Forgotten War" due to it being called a conflict, not a war. After the Korean War, civilians on the home front did not see the war on television like they did for the Vietnam War. As the Korean War veterans came home, many people did not even know that they had left to fight in a war.

Rose L. Gibbs

Recalling Patients She Helped Treat

Rose Gibbs discusses notable patients she helped treat while stationed at the U.S Army hospital in Osaka, Japan. She recalls the cold winters which resulted in seeing many frostbite patients being brought in, so many that the Army issued a statement to servicemen that they would be court-martialed if it was found that they were not wearing their wool socks. She comments that the number of cases did slow after the orders were issued resulting in the closing of the frostbite center.

Describing Other Duties as a Medical Technician

Rose Gibbs recalls having to spend time in different sections of the lab including the blood bank and in the morgue. She remembers autopsies of patients who had died of fevers and having to take extra precautions. She shares that one point the refrigerator for blood stopped working and blood was being stored in the morgue. She admits that she was scared to go to the morgue and got the blood as quickly as possible.

Joining the U.S. Army and Basic Training

Rose Gibbs recounts her decision to join the U.S. Army after seeing a sign about Uncle Sam needing women to serve. She admits that the idea of free clothes, food, boarding, training, and $75 a month seemed like pretty good. She shares that she didn’t travel far at first since she was stationed thirty miles from home. She explains that during basic training you could request a pass to leave the post. She admits that she requested a pass every weekend, and received it every time. She admits she was only allowed one pass but used eight passes during basic training.

Rudolph “Rudy” J. Green

You are on CQ Tonight

Rudy Green describes one of the most difficult times in his military service in Korea. He explains details about Koreans during the war. Rudy describes his job as CQ- Charge of Quarters and how the unknown of that night still bothers him.

Salvatore Scarlato

"Joining Hands"

Salvatore Scarlato describes the story behind a drawing he was given. He shares that during a revisit to South Korea in 1999, a high school student promised him she would create a drawing depicting the relationship of the United States and South Korea. He recalls the drawing arriving in the mail several months later and states that her drawing shows how, after sixty years, the United States and South Korea are still united.

Sangmoon Olsson

Life During the War

Sangmoon Olsson describes her life during the Korean War. Her brother had a high position under the Japanese Imperial control and when the communists took over, they wanted to capture her brother. Sangmoon had to go into hiding for a total of eight months, interrupting her nursing studies. When the Allies eventually pushed back the Communists, Sangmoon Olsson was able to complete her nursing studies.

Sergio Martinez Velasquez

Entering the Military / Entrar en las Fuerzas Armadas

Sergio Martínez Velásquez explains the process by which he joined the Batallón Colombia. He shares he was initially not allowed to join the military because he looked younger than he was, and the lieutenant questioned his motives. He explains that it was only after he insisted on fighting that he was allowed to join the ranks of the other volunteers.

Sergio Martínez Velásquez explica como ingresó al Batallón Colombia. Él cuenta que inicialmente no lo permitieron a unirse al ejército porque parecía más joven de lo que era, y el teniente cuestionó sus motivos. Explica que fue solo después de que él insistió en luchar, que se le permitió unirse a las filas de los otros voluntarios.

Shirley F. Gates McBride

To This Day, That is Unfair

Shirley F. Gates McBride describes the training all of the women received at basic training at Fort Lee, Virginia, and the shock of encountering racism for the first time. During a trip off of the base, she shares her first experience with segregated facilities. She explains being aware of the racial issues in America but did not understand it until her friend provided further explanation. The experiences involving segregation are some of the things she can never truly get over.

Cry Until You Can No Longer Cry

Shirley F. Gates McBride describes the first lesson she received at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. Shortly after her arrival, she describes walking into a room and a sergeant separating her from the other soldiers. She explains that he instructed her to go cry in a room until she could not cry anymore. After following his orders, she shares how he explained to her that she would see a lot of death, and she acknowledges this helped to train her to deal with death.

We Saw A Lot

Shirley F. Gates McBride discusses different types of injuries she treated while serving at Valley Forge. She describes doctors trying to restore circulation for soldiers suffering from frostbite would open the soldiers' abdomen and place their frostbitten hands inside. She remembers one particular patient, who was a pianist, suffering from frostbite and how they tried to save his fingers. While working with some soldiers, she recalls they were struggling mentally and had to be in a special unit. She highlights that their youth made some of them unprepared to deal with some of the experiences. Not only did she work with soldiers coming home from Korea, but she shares some of her experiences dealing with Korean women in the maternity ward.

Shirley Toepfer

Spy School

Shirley Toepfer describes her basic training as well as transferring to Ft. Holabird, Marylind. This facility housed U.S. Army Intelligence training. Shirley Toepfer was based here for counterintelligence training or as she calls it spy training.

Leaving the Military

Shirley Toepfer describes the circumstances surrounding the end of her service. She began dating her future husband at Ft. Holabird. She got married and then she and her husband both left the service and moved to Illinois where she raised four children.

Stelios Stroubakis

Photos from the Past

Stelios Stroubakis provides a glimpse of the past through several personal photos. He offers a picture viewing of his unit's Korean translator as well as photos related to a baptism which took place near the school he helped construct. He additionally provides a photo of the soldiers and staff who aided in the construction of the school.

Stephen Frangos

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.

Steven G. Olmstead

Writing Letters Home

Steven Olmstead talks about writing letters home. He mentions that there were not opportunities to write when on the front lines and that while he received letters from family and friends, he did not write back very often. He recalls a fellow marine asking his permission to write to his sister and shares that the marine and his sister were eventually married.

Svend Jagd

Seoul Liberation Parade

Svend Jagd reflected on participating in a Seoul Liberation Memorial Parade. He remembered seeing women lift their children so they could touch the veterans. During the parade he recalled being embraced by an old Korean man who was crying. He reflected on returning to Korea several times and always being moved by his feelings.

Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya

Ethiopian Donations Create an Orphanage

Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya describes donating money that opened an orphanage in Korea. Ethiopian soldiers had endured in battle. In addition, they also donated money to Korean people suffering during the war. The orphanage was able to help many Korean children. Korea has not forgotten about this donation.

Theodore Garnette

After a Year in England

Theodore Garnette remembers his year-long assignment in England where he encountered many people who were fascinated by his American Indian heritage. He recalls feeling disappointed when the military halted personnel promotions after the Korean War ended. He shares how this development prompted him to not re-enlist. He recounts how after returning to Illinois he worked in a watch factory and car garage to support himself and his mother.

Thomas DiGiovanna

Why Study Korea?

Thomas' wife, Andrea DiGiovanna, shared the stories he told her over the years. The two were married on October 10, 1993, and she recalls the stories he told her about the sea sickness he experienced on his way over to Korea. She also recalls stories about his father passing, as well as him finally returning from war and taking his first wife on their belated honeymoon. She also explains why it is so important to learn about Korea.

Thomas F. Miller

Basic Training and Korea During the 1960s

Thomas Miller went to basic training in Georgia and then he was shipped to Inchon Harbor to start his tour of duty. After landing, he noticed poor living conditions of the civilians which looked like America in the early 1800s.

Thomas Nuzzo

Prior Knowledge About Korea

Thomas Nuzzo was attending Fordham University when he was drafted for the Korean War. Unlike most draftees, Thomas Nuzzo knew about Korea from stamp collecting and his schooling. Being sent to Korea was not scary he said because he found the Korean culture so interesting.

Thomas O’Dell

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.

Thomas Parkinson

Korea: Unbelievable Differences Between 1952 to 2000

Thomas Parkinson shares how he saw unbelievable differences between the time he was stationed in Korea in 1952 to 2000 during his first revisit. He describes going back four times since 2000 and recalls how the advancements in buildings, technology, and bridges was astounding. He shares how the changes from the Korean cardboard houses to the multi-stored houses was a visible difference.

Fighting and Living in Korea From 1952-1953

Thomas Parkinson recalls fighting from the Kansas Line and the Jamestown Line while in Korea from 1952-1953. He remembers eating American C-Rations, sleeping in trenches, and writing letters home to his mom along with pen pals from England.

The Korean War Yielded the Most Difficult and Rewarding Moments

Thomas Parkinson shares that his most difficult time was when a Jeep landed on his legs with petrol and napalm spilling around him. He recalls how, even though it was such a scary time, he will never forget the Indian regiment that helped him recover in a field ambulance. He shares that the most rewarding moment was related to helping the Korean children in and out of Seoul and the surrounding cities.

Tine Martin

Letter from Home

Tine Martin shares that he missed his mother the most and wrote letters to her often. He recounts one painful letter from his girlfriend while in Korea which he refers to as a "Dear John" letter and resulted in a breakup. He recalls having to censor the content in his letters and provides an example of one incident he was not allowed to write about due to its sensitivity.

Tommy Clough

Landing at Busan

Tommy Clough recounts how he knew little about Korea prior to shipping out on a five and a half week voyage to Korea. He recollects his first impressions of Korea, sharing that there was a stench in the air as they neared the shoreline. He remembers a United States African American band playing as they disembarked the ship and recalls South Korean women dressed traditionally and handing out apples.

Trygve Jensen

Camp Casey Special Guest Star

Trygve Jensen describes attending 4th of July celebrations at Camp Casey in 1953. Besides lots of American beer, Trygve Jensen also got to see Marilyn Monroe. She was late to arrive and the anxious and beer-soaked soldiers greeted her by throwing tomatoes.

Tsolakis Akrivos

A Close Relationship with Death

Tsolakis Akrivos discusses the memories of flights that still haunt him. He describes his experience of transporting critical patients and the trauma when soldiers perished during flights. Due to these experiences, he reflects on living with post-traumatic stress disorder and accepting a role that keeps him closely connected with death.

Vern Rubey

Revisiting Korea

Vern Rubey comments on his return to Korea and speaks highly of the Korean people, praising their friendliness and support. He details his trip in particular and recalls the progress Korea had made since his departure back in the 1950's. He offers his opinion on Korean-US relations.

Victor D. Freudenberger

Witnessing Resiliency

Victor Freudenberger talks about his impressions of the Korean people while he was stationed at Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the suffering of civilians and families being displaced. He describes observing a Korean woman washing clothes in sub-zero temperature at six in the morning and marvels at the resilience and commitment of the Korean people. He comments on the war atrocities committed by the Chinese against civilians he saw along the way.

Vikram Tuli

The Costs of War

Vikram Tuli talks about the effects of war, and how the families of veterans from twenty-two countries were affected by this conflict. Generations will pass before that wound fully heals. He believes the deeper connections between countries such as education, commerce, and culture will help prevent these types of conflicts in the future. He reminds us to love thy neighbor and that we are one.

Voelia Thompson

Women in the Military

Voelia Jeanne Thompson describes what is was like to be a woman in the service in her era. She particularly remembers difficulties with bathroom facilities. She also comments that women could not carry weapons at the time which required her to have an armed guard when she delivered top secret documents.

Walter Dowdy, Jr.

First Experiences in Combat

Water Dowdy, Jr., recounts how his White officers were replaced with Black officers while preparing for shipment to Korea. He remembers being hopeful that President Truman had integrated the military. He describes the tense moment of waiting to be loaded for combat with ammunition and his radio and the fear of anticipating the combat that awaited him.

Walter Kreider Jr.

Growing Up During the Great Depression

Walter Kreider, Jr., shares that he grew up as an only child. He recalls his family experiencing hards times as many others did during the Great Depression, but he fondly remembers the love and support his parents, aunts, and uncles shed on him during his upbringing. He recalls the willingness of neighbors to help one another.  

Landing in Korea and Military Entry

Walter Kreider, Jr., recounts landing in Korea. He shares that he was greeted by soldiers waiting to return home and recalls how they shouted words in an effort to frighten the arriving soldiers. He details riding a train up to the front lines near Panmunjeom. He backtracks and describes how he was drafted and his placement in artillery.

Warren Middlekauf

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.

William Burns

Hey Bill Where Have You Been?

William Burns was very excited to come home after his time in the war because he missed his mother's favorite chicken dish. After meeting up with a friend back on the home front, he did not remember that William Burns went away to war due to the lack of media coverage. The Forgotten War was definitely evident in his hometown of Auburn, NY because WWII was so publicized and there were not a lot of information coming to the US about the Korean War.

William Steele

The Honor Flight

William Steele describes the emotion felt when participating with the Honor Flight, a flight where veterans are taken to the nation's capital to be honored and celebrated for their service to the country. He recalls the warm send-off and all of the details that go into that day. In particular, he shares the tribute made by a ninety-four year old woman who was a retired B-17 Bomber mechanic that stood outside and saluted them as they went by her house.

Willie Frazier

Integration of the U.S. Military

Willie Frazier provides an overview of President Truman's order to desegregate the United States military in 1948. He discusses Eleanor Roosevelt's role in helping to integrate the armed forces after her visit to Camp Lejeune. He explains that Eleanor Roosevelt questioned why African Americans received basic training at Montford Point, a segregated facility within Camp Lejeune. He notes that the first African American to become a Marine was in 1942, just three years before his induction into the U.S. Marine Corps.