Political/Military Tags1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9
Geographic TagsAnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri
Social TagsBasic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Benjamin Arriola (brother of Fernando Arriola)
MIA in the Chosin Reservoir
Benjamin Arriola describes his brother Fernando Arriola's motivation to join the U.S. Army. He recounts his brother's landing in Inchon and journey to the Chosin Reservoir. He shares that his brother, Fernando, went MIA (Missing in Action) during the battle there and is still considered MIA at the time of this interview.
We are taking Prisoners of War
Bill Lynn describes his company taking two prisoners of war. Once they had the North Koreans imprisoned, the Koreans told plans the Chinese had to ambush Americans. It was a cold, snowy day and the Chinese were all dressed in white to camouflage themselves. The Americans would have never known they were coming had it not been for the prisoners of war they captured.
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.
Bradley J. Strait
Destroyers during the War
Bradley Strait explains the difference between a battleship and destroyer. He discusses being stationed on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Destroyer and shares that one of its chief functions was anti submarine warfare. He states that destroyers were used for shore bombardment at Wonsan Harbor and Incheon during the war.
Front Lines and Living Conditions
Bradley Strait explains he was stationed mostly in Wonsan Harbor. He remembers the North Koreans had pushed the Americans back to Wonsan and that a battle was taking place there, and he details the role of destroyers during this battle. He also recalls the living conditions on the ship as being very tight and cannot imagine women being stationed on the ship due to the close conditions.
Bruce R. Woodward
Training for Korea
Bruce Woodward describes his unique circumstances entering the conflict without having been to bootcamp. He learned how to shoot an M1 Rifle before his arrival in Korea at Wonsan Air Base from the deck of a ship.
Flights to Support UN Forces
Bruce Woodward describes his duties as an Assistant to the Squadron Commander during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He along with the commander received intelligence briefings from headquarters in Japan. This intelligence was used to provide close air support to the troops on the ground.
Bruce Woodward talks about the missions pilots flew out of Wonsan Air Base in support of the United Nations ground forces. He assisted the work of around 25 pilots and about the same number of aircraft.
Daniel Carvalho discusses his landing at Wonsan and subsequent retreat to Busan after being overrun by North Koreans and Chinese soldiers. He explains how the Chinese had sticks of bamboo. He shares how the LST was the mode of transport. LST stands for Landing ShipTank or tank landing ship.
Daniel Carvalho describes the spotlight on the water. He remembers having to use bamboo sticks to poke mines away from the LST. He discusses moving from Wonson to Buson.
Fighting on the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the mission of the USS Fletcher. He describes the destroyer's mission as an escort of other ships to Korea and it's mission once it arrived in Wonsan, as a decoy and recovery vessel.
Mission of the USS Fletcher
Darold Galloway talks about the ongoing mission of the USS Fletcher during the ship's involvement in the Korean War. He describes drawing fire from enemy artillery and heading out to sea to rendezvous with naval ships that had greater artillery range.
Korean War Reinforcements
David Carpenter was a reinforcement for different Marines groups that had fought in Korea for over two years. His regiment replaced the wounded or killed. At least twenty-five percent of the casualties in Korea were from frostbite.
David Carpenter lost four Marines who were taken as POW's off the coast of Wonsan. He stayed on Korea's islands until peace talks began in 1953. He recalls going on leave to Japan to get some rest and relaxation (R & R) before he returned to England.
Searching for the Chinese
Delmer Davis talks about the raiders' mission near Wonsan. He describes moving far forward of the front lines in search of enemy forces, eventually locating 10,000 Chinese troops.
Rescuing an American Pilot
Don Leaser describes rescuing an American pilot from the sea who had been shot down. He said North Koreans were also shooting from the banks near Wonsan. He was hit by shrapnel from a North Korean cannon that bounced off his helmet while on the deck, but he was not injured.
Donald Peppard recalls North Koreans boarding the USS Pueblo, navigating it to shore, and docking at a pier in Wonsan. He details how he and fellow crew members were taken as prisoners, tied, blind folded, and separated from each other. He shares that half of the crew was loaded onto a train while the other half, including himself, was taken by bus to a building where he experienced multiple beatings by a crowd of people. He describes being reunited with fellow crew members on the train previously specified and comments on the ride to Pyongyang.
Surviving North Korea
Donald Peppard describes how he and his fellow crew members spent their days as prisoners in North Korea. He recalls having to entertain themselves for eleven months through card games, exercise, and reading and writing. He shares that he and others endured what they referred to as "Hell Week" where they were beaten for forty-eight hours straight before they were released.
General MacArthur Gives Korea to Syngman Rhee
Duane Trowbridge discusses the handoff of the key to the city. He discusses the devastation he saw as he went back to Icheon. He explains his trek back to Wonsan and then to a town between Wonson and Seoul where his regiment captured North Koreans. He discusses how he captured 1600 North Korean (NPKA) soldiers in October and November of 1950.
Duties and Experiences out in the Field
Dwight Owen discusses leaving Wolmido and heading to North Korea, specifically Wonsan. He remembers crossing the Han River and being assigned to ridding the area of old dynamite due to leaking glycerin. He recounts running out of provisions, especially food, and living on rice for awhile from which he developed dysentery. He offers a description of the Wonsan he saw at the time.
Captured by Chinese
Edmund Reel explains the circumstances that led to his capture and imprisonment for thirty-four months. He recalls there being roughly five thousand enemy soldiers advancing towards him. He shares that he had no choice but to surrender.
Christmas in Korean War and Iron Triangle
Edward Hoth was excited to receive two Christmas dinners, one from the Marines and the Navy including turkey, candy, and beer. After Christmas he fought in the Iron Triangle at Cheorwon and then he went to Wonsan, North Korea where he found many dead soldiers along the road.
Edwin R. Hanson
Experiences During the Wonsan Landing
After the Seoul recapture, the men were now at the Wonsan Landing where they were sent to secure a pass that North Koreans were using to get away. The North Koreans had barricaded the road and began to open fire on US troops. Edwin Hanson described how over 93 North Koreans were killed and 7 US troops were killed including Sergeant Beard from his regiment.
Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving
Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.
Young and Dumb
Gene Spicer explains why he wanted to join the military. Not thinking about the dangers, Gene looked forward to seeing things outside of Indiana.
Empathy for the Dead
Gene Spicer recounts his most difficult memories from Korea. The image of a dead Chinese soldier stuck in his mind. It reminds him of the reality of war and its consequences for families and the young.
Gene Spicer describes his two revisits to Korea. His first trip reminded him why he fought, to create the country he was now visiting. On his second trip, he retraced his steps from 1951. The contrast between the North and South from the DMZ and from the air moved him.
Thanksgiving Day at War
Harold Barber describes a Thanksgiving Day that he spent during the Korean War. The soldiers were given a bowl of soup to eat, but they had to leave and return to patrolling their area and became completed surrounded by the enemy. Those who did return after the ambush, only returned to soup that was frozen solid.
My Most Difficult Days
Harry Burke is describing how eight men were killed and 12 were wounded is his company. After experiencing this, he was sent back to Incheon and went around from the west side of Korea to the east side to Wonsan. Here he is describing their days in the war.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
A Near Death Experience By Friendly Fire
Jack Allen went on a ship from Incheon to Wonson in order to invade North Korea in November 1950. He was the farthest North company in Korea going over hills and feeling the temperature drop each day. The North Koreans were hiding in caves and holes in mountains to do surprise attacks on the US troops, so Jack Allen volunteered to bring a case of hand grenades to the front line US troops because they ran out of supplies. After all of the warfare, one US soldier almost killed Jack Allen because he didn't recognize him, but Jack Allen knew that that soldier had been killing so long that he was mentally lost.
Morale in Wonsan
Jack Howell describes landing in Wonsan, Korea, shortly after the Marines had taken over Wonsan. He recounts the morale of fellow soldiers and shares memories of a commander greeting them on the beach with a pep talk once they had landed. He recalls scenes of Wonsan and shares that there seemed to have been little resistance as there was no major destruction to observe.
On the Move to Chosin Reservoir
Jake O'Rourke describes his time spent in the hills fighting guerrilla forces and moving to and from various locations. He details the high casualties caused by frostbite among the Chinese soldiers, adding that it was both an ally and an enemy. He attributes much of the Marines' successes to experienced leadership as many higher ranking soldiers had served during WWII. He also recounts his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, sharing that the Chinese would play their bugles when they attacked and retreated, and he describes the use of napalm against the enemy.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Capturing Seoul and Wonsan
James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.
You Get Used to It
Jesse Englehart describes how a South Korean man was communicating with North Korea. He remembers an incident and seeing this man beaten with a bat. He explains how in war soldiers become desensitized to violence.
Taking Back Seoul and the Wonsan Landing
John Beasley describes being in combat and his near death experience in the recapturing of Seoul. He describes his unit's voyage from Incheon to Wonsan after leaving Seoul. His description highlights the contributions of the U.S. Coast Guard and naval support in the Korean War.
Smoke During Amphibious Assaults
John Bierman was assigned to a smoke boat and amphibious assaults. The smoke boat is typically one of the first boats in and last boats out during amphibious training. Diesel fuel was mixed with water to make a heavy white cloud of smoke to protect landing craft boats during the Korean War.
Deceptive Amphibious Assaults
The ship that John Bierman was stationed on made deceptive amphibious assaults 3 different times on the coast of Korea during the war. This was a way to draw opposing troops away from the front line. North Korean troops were tricked, so John Bierman received incoming fire and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon in 1951.
John E. Saxton
Carry Over Racism from WWII
John Saxton recounts how a commander of the X Corps held African American troops in Korea in low regard based on his belief that African American soldiers had performed poorly during a WWII campaign in Italy.
Traveling to Combat
John Saxton describes what it was like to be on a ship full of young men from the U.S. South who had not been on an ocean voyage before. The last part of the clip mentions how the army treated Puerto Rican soldiers as "black" soldiers.
John Saxton describes how the Korean War is still in his dreams.
Enlisting in the U.S. Navy
John McBroom recalls his short experience in college. On July 1, 1952, after one year of college, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy and attended both boot camp training and sonar school in San Diego, California. He recalls leaving for Sasebo, Japan, in the spring of 1953 and sailing to Wonsan, Korea, from there.
The U.S.S. Symbol
John McBroom speaks about his experience aboard the U.S.S. Symbol, the oldest minesweeper ship in the United States fleet. He explains that the ship was built out of steel in 1941. He recalls how large the ship was, capable of holding 100 men, and describes how it was reinforced in the front so it could safely smash into submarines. He describes minesweeping as mostly a middle-of-the-night type of work and shares how they avoid daytime sweeps at all possible. He details one particular incident north of Wonsan.
Several Incidents on Board
John McBroom recalls several incidents on board the U.S.S. Symbol while in the Heungnam area. He remembers North Koreans firing at the ship from the beach and recalls gunfire from both the North Koreans and another U.S. ship that was posted nearby for protection. He describes a minesweeping mission.
John O. Every
From the Mediterranean to Korea
John O. Every describes the journey to Korea from his location of deployment in the Mediterranean. He explains having to go through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, en route to Korea, for the amphibious landing at Inchon in 1950. He discusses other battles, as well as what he had to eat for Thanksgiving that year.
John Sehejong Ha
John Sehejong Ha explains the role of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA). He shares his duties as a translator. He explains how he was often escorted by military police (MPs) all around Korea to translate as needed. He shares how he went to the field hospitals to translate for US medical staff aiding South Korean soldiers. He shares all the places he visited doing his translator duties. He shares the destruction he saw as well.
LeRoy Johnson describes his interactions with other nation's troops. He explains that he often engaged with South Korean soldiers when they picked up prisoners in the harbor. He elaborates on mainly picking up mostly Chinese soldiers and transporting them to a carrier.
Louis F. Santangelo
The Sinking of the USS Sarsi
Louis Santangelo describes the details of the sinking of the USS Sarsi, a fleet tug that was part of the US Navy's 7th Fleet. The USS Sarsi struck a mine during a typhoon and sank in 20 minutes on the night of August 27, 1952. Louis Santangelo describes being one of the last men off the ship and eventually saving 37 men from the sea.
Recovery from the USS Sarsi
Louis Santangelo describes the time after the USS Sarsi sank off the coast of Korea. The area where the USS Sarsi sank was controlled by North Korea. He describes that four sailors perished and how he was recovered in the hours after the sinking by other US ships. Louis Santangelo earned accommodation for keeping his men at sea, instead of allowing them to go ashore into enemy hands.
House Boys and Sleeping Conditions
Everywhere Mike Corona's unit went, no matter how long they stayed, they had to dig a hole to sleep. He still remembers the two house boys the soldiers named "Pat" and "Mike." These boys cleaned and helped the soldiers with basic daily needs. In return for payment, US soldiers provided the boys with food and clothing.
Myron “Jack” Leissler
A “Safe” Foxhole
Myron “Jack” Leissler recalls a “humorous” moment in Korea. While advancing toward a group of Chinese troops in Kotori, he had a chaplain, medical corpsman, and machine gunner join him in the foxhole. They joked that this is the “safest they felt since being in Korea.”
Thankful for Tootsie Rolls
Myron “Jack” Leissler explains how he is thankful for the Tootsie Roll company for sending over the candy. He describes how it was so cold that the C-Rations froze, but that they were able to put the Tootsie Rolls in their parkas and soften them with their body heat. He halfheartedly jokes that Tootsie Rolls kept them alive.
Picking up Pilots and POWs
Nathan Stovall describes how his ship supported the war effort by picking up pilots who were shot down. The ship also transported North Korean POWs to the South for interrogation. In the clip, Nathan Stovall describes how scared and starved the North Koreans looked.
Death of a parent
Nathan Stovall's mother died when he was 2 years old. His father died while his ship was on patrol near Korea. After he received word of his father's death, he describes the complicated and long journey home for mourning.
Never Set Foot on Korean Soil
Nathan Stovall patrolled the East Sea near Wonsan in the summer of 1951. He neither set foot on Korean soil nor saw enemy forces, but the USS Blue engaged in firefights along the coast. Once his unit assisted the ROC by shooting onto the shore while the ROC escaped a tight spot.
Pete J. Nadeau
From Rubble to Democratic Metropolis: The Rise of South Korea
This clip articulates the epiphany Pete J. Nadeau had while revisiting South Korea. He frequently contemplated the legacy and purpose of the war as well as the lives lost, including some of his good friends. He came face to face with that legacy when he revisited South Korea in 2000. He recalls being in awe of the roads, the cars, the children going to school, the growth in population, and the complete renewal of a country he left in 1951. When he left, the country lay in ruins.
Philip S. Kelly
From Inchon to Wonsan
Philip S. Kelly describes the amphibious landing at Inchon. He recalls seeing the extreme poverty of the Korean people, and how his life was changed after he saw children fighting for scraps. He explains why he had limited information about his missions before they were carried out.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir and Roadblocks
Philip S. Kelly describes thinking he would be home by Christmas 1950, but instead he encountered a surprise attack by the Chinese in what became the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the United States Army pulled out and left the U.S. Marines exposed to the Chinese attack. He explains how he fought as an infantryman, and the difficulty experienced by the soldiers in trying to clear out Chinese road blocks.
Richard Carey – Part 1
Richard Carey explains the goal of landing at Wonson. He shared how they wanted to cut off the North Koreans. He explains how they had to patrol and captured North Koreans.
Richard S. Smith
Patrolling the Coast of Wonsan
Smith spent 10 months patrolling the coast of Wonsan while stationed on the Battleship New Jersey from 1951-1952. He was excited about this experience since he knew he was well-trained and possessed weapons.
Robert “Bob” W. Ezell
Journey to Korea
Bob Ezell talks about his journey to Korea and the process "Replacements" went through being assigned to a unit.
Robert H. Pellow
I Knew I'd Survive
Robert H. Pellow describes his weapons job during the war and describes loading an ammunition belt into a machine gun. He also describes being hit from three to four thousand yards away by enemy fire. He states that he never doubted he would survive.
Visuals aboard Ship
Ross Pittman expresses that their main mission aboard ship was to help ground forces and to destroy enemy supply lines, warehouses, and the like. He explains that they traveled the coast to hit targets. He remembers the terrain as hilly and explains that the weapons on board were capable of hitting targets 20 to 25 miles inland. He recalls watching a crane topple after a location was fired upon and recounts other visuals of destruction.