Political/Military Tags1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9
Geographic TagsAnyangAprokgang (Yalu River)BusanByeokdongCheonanCheongcheongang (River)ChuncheonDaeguDaejeonDongducheonEast SeaEuijeongbuGaesongGangneungGeojedoGeumgangGeumgang (River)GotoriHagalwooriHamheungHangang (River)HeungnamHwacheonHwangchoryeongImjingang (River)IncheonJangjinJipyeongriKunsanKunwooriLanggoonMasanNakdonggang (River)OsanPanmunjeomPohangPyungyangSeokdongSeoulSudongSuwonWolmidoWonjuWonsanYellow SeaYeongdeungpoYeonpyeongYudamri
Social TagsBasic trainingChineseCiviliansCold wintersCommunistsDepressionFearFoodFront linesG.I. BillHome frontImpressions of KoreaKATUSALettersLiving conditionsMessage to StudentsModern KoreaMonsoonNorth KoreansOrphanagePersonal LossPhysical destructionPovertyPOWPridePrior knowledge of KoreaPropagandaRest and Relaxation (R&R)South KoreansWeaponsWomen
Wounded While Serving the Citizens and Soldiers
Achille Ragazzoni explains that with the deployment of Italian troops to Korea, this became the first foreign mission involving Italian soldiers. He recalls how his preparations for deployment to Korea involved learning to treat citizens in addition to the soldiers. He shares he was wounded while transporting medicine and spent some time being treated in an American hospital. He recounts how when offered the chance to go home to recover, he chose to remain in Korea.
English translations begin: 23:52 and 26:20.
Memories of Children in the Hospital
Achille Ragazzoni shares stories of the young children brought to the hospital. He recalls how these children were orphaned and, as a Catholic hospital, the facility made sure they were baptized and placed with new Korean families. He recounts how after the war, he received many letters from those families.
English translations begin at 46:30 and 47:27.
Learning to Understand the Korean People
Achille Ragazzoni shares he saw the importance in learning as much as he could about the Korean people. He comments on how he took advantage of every opportunity to socialize with the Korean people, unlike many of his colleagues. He explains he noticed many similarities between the Korean and Italian people, notably the music. He adds that though he left Korea in 1954, the hospital continued its operation.
English translations begin: 49:23, 50:32, and 50:41.
Andrew V. “Buddy” Blair
Air Raid Support for the Chosin Reservoir
Andrew V. "Buddy" Blair describes working on airplanes heading out for raids on the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls not knowing what was occurring in the battle as Marines who were brought in were too traumatized to share much information. He adds that airplanes evacuated wounded soldiers from there to either Japan or to hospital ships off the coast of Korea.
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.
When I Went Back, I Could Not Believe It
Bob Mitsuo Imose recollects Korea as a region that was very rural with few high rises during his time there from 1967-’71. He notes that seeing much of the country was hampered by the 10:00 p.m. curfew, which required them to be on base. Fortunate to return to Korea in both 2018 and 2019, he marvels at the growth of Seoul with all its high rises, condominiums, and new bridges. He recalls the traffic jams and the new cars he saw on each of his return trips.
Orders to Korea
Charles Fowler describes returning home on a 30 day leave after being in service a year only to find that he had received orders to serve in Korea as the war had broken out. He recounts arriving in Korea and his unit receiving orders to fight its way to Yeongdeungpo to meet the Marines coming from Incheon. He admits that he his knowledge of Korea prior to being sent was limited.
A Typical Day
Dennis Kinney describes a typical day as a general's aid. He shares that they would perform air base and unit inspections. He recalls flying all over the Pacific with Major General Fay R. Upthegrove.
Desmond M. W. Vinten
War Zone and Road Conditions
Desmond Vinten describes the fighting in and around Seoul and how the line shifted three times causing great destruction. Buildings were uninhabitable and citizens evacuated. As the center of the country, Seoul suffered war zone traffic. Road conditions on the routes to Seoul, Incheon, Daegu, and Yeongdeungpo were horrible with a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour. The First British Commonwealth lay four or five miles behind the front lines.
Making it to Japan and Korea
Ed O'Toole recalls arriving in Kobe, Japan, before heading to Korea. From there, he remembers flying into Seoul, Korea, in May of 1953. He shares how, after arriving, he hopped on a truck and was taken to Yeongdeungpo. He includes he was part to the helicopter unit, HMR 161, and worked with supplies.
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 P. Wolf
George Wolf was a "Mosquito" pilot who flew reconnaissance missions in support of Army infantry. These missions took him very low to the ground. Tanks would hide under foliage and shoot at his plane from the ground.
The Role of a Mosquito Pilot
George Wolf's role during the Korean War was that he was a Mosquito pilot that provided reconnaissance for UN nations. The Chinese wore dark green uniforms and he only flew 100 feet off the ground. Both the North Koreans and Chinese would hid really well with their camouflage uniforms.
George W. Liebenstein
Thought I Would Be Drafted
George "Bill" Liebenstein served as part of the 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion of the 8th Army Division in Korea from April 1953 through July 1954. He recounts the fear of being drafted in part because he was not ready to leave home. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and offers an accounting of the days leading up to his deployment to Korea. He notes that upon arrival in Korea he "pulled" guard duty the very first evening. He recalls the fear of being in a strange country where he did not really know what was going on.
Assigned to Battery Supply
George "Bill" Liebenstein details his assignment beginning with his arrival in Korea. Initially, he was assigned to the motor pool, but when his commanding officer learned he was trained in supply, he was quickly transferred to battery supply. He quickly moved up to the rank of Battery Supply Sergeant. He describes his role in battery supply serving Batteries A, B, C, and Headquarters. He notes the types of products they were in charge of distributing but does share that most rations did not typically come through supply.
Change in Plans
Gregory Garcia remembers that he left for Korea around August or September 1950. He recalls how they put the battalion together and they were going to land in Seoul to help the Marines, but the Marines had retaken Seoul. Therefore, he explains that his job at Gimpo was to clean up dead and injured in addition to on guerrilla missions to clear out the mountains around the area.
Seeing and Experiencing Battle
Harold Don shares how he was apprehensive about his time in Korea. He recalls witnessing the destruction from prior battles upon landing in Incheon. He remembers how his unit experienced fire from North Korean tanks at Yeongdeungpo and observed the destruction at Seoul when traveling to Wonsan where they were tasked with clearing the harbor of mines.
Experiences with Counter Mortar Radar
Irwin Saltzman describes Initially trained as a radio operator. He explains that he then was told he would receive additional training on equipment built for counter mortar operations. He describes rotating between headquarters at Yeongdeungpo and traveling to the front line to check on equipment. He explains how the Signal Corp maintained twenty-six positions in front of the artillery at the front lines and regularly sent harassing fire into enemy positions.
Party Until We All Get Home
Irwin Saltzman discusses the weekly parties after the Armistice was signed his outfit would have every Friday. He explains the ships home would leave on Monday so they would celebrate on Fridays for those who were returning to the United States. He shares the honor of his group and how it helped provide libations and steaks for these parties.
With the Help of Koreans
Irwin Saltzman describes briefly the conditions of the Korean civilians during the war. He shares that the Koreans that helped his group were very kind. He shares how his group had the help of Korean houseboys and cooks. He also remembers a special way the Koreans who cared for the soldiers' clothes were able to identify the soldier's items.
Journey to Korea
Jack Cooper details his journey to Korea. He describes his train ride down to New Orleans, boarding the US William Weigel, and sailing through the Panama Canal enroute to Asia. He shares that the trip took 30 days from the time he boarded the ship in New Orleans to the time he arrived in Hokkaido, Japan. He recalls roughly 6 months of combat training in Japan before being sent to Korea where he was first assigned to test weapons.
James E. Fant
James E. Fant discusses guarding prisoners and living conditions
James E. Fant discusses guarding prisoners at ,Yeongdeungpo, outside of Seoul. He describes his living conditions and how sandbags protected them from artillery attacks. He recounts only having hot food when he was back from the line and warming up baked beans.
John A. Fiermonte
Traveling to Korea
John A. Fiermonte talks about his journey traveling to Korea via Japan. He explains the types of instruction they were given in Japan prior to arriving in Korea..
John C. Delagrange
Identifying Targets During Korean War
John Delagrange shares he was trained as a photo interpreter and had difficulty identifying targets in North Korea. Using reconnaissance photos of battles throughout the mountains and hills, the United States Army Aerial Photo Interpretation Company (API) Air Intelligence Section pieced together maps in order to create a massive map of Korea. Every ravine, elevation, mountain, and hill was labeled by this photo analysis company.
North Korean Defector - Kenneth Rowe
John Delagrange remembers the day No Kum Sok landed his MiG 15 fighter at Kimpo Air Base defecting to South Korea in 1953. No Kum Sok (Kenneth Rowe) wrote a book, and he heard about the incident first-hand during their phone conversations later in life. No Kum Sok was a North Korean pilot during the Korean War, but he stole a MiG-15 and flew over the DMZ to Kimpo Air Base to earn his freedom.
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.
The Various Jobs of a REME Engineer
John Pritchard helped a group of English entertainers by fixing the ambulance they were transported in after breaking down in transit. They kept a very unique souvenir hanging from their flagpole. This humorous episode was balanced by the realities of war, including one episode where John was sent off base to tow a mortared tank and came face to face with human loss.
Christmas in Korea
John Pritchard spent Christmas off for 24 hours due to his commander speaking up for his men. To show that he cared for the commander, John Pritchard and a few lads went to Seoul to buy a Christmas present for him, 400 cigarettes, and this made him cry.
Joseph P. Ferris
Orphanage at Yeongdeungpo
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris shares his thoughts about the performance of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and shares a treasured memory he has of the children from an orphanage.
South Korea Rebuilt
In this clip, Joseph P. Ferris compares the rebuilding of South Korea to that of Europe after World War II.
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 David Allen
Journey to Korea
Kenneth Allen explains his journey to Korea which started shortly after he graduated college. He remembers attending basic training in Ft. Dix, New Jersey before being sent to Japan then Pusan before headed to Seoul. He describes the train ride and how they had to be very careful.
Got Each Other's Back
Kenneth M. Swanson describes how everyone looked out for each other at the compound where he was stationed between Inchon and Seoul. He describes how it was set up like a city and the bartering that took place. He describes a moment when a friend came to visit and how well he was taken care of when he arrived with no clothes after they had been stolen.
Arriving in Korea
Lewis Ewing talks about his arrival in Korea, his journey to his unit in Chuncheon, and his first impressions of war. He explains how he felt about his deployment, and describes his rapid journey to the front lines. He recalls the living conditions on the base where he arrived.
Landing at Incheon, Impressions of Korea
On August 1, 1952, Marvin Ummel's unit made it to Incheon, South Korea. The entry into Incheon was challenging due to bad weather and the fact that the communists had destroyed most of the harbor. The ship captain had to improvise their landing. Shortly after landing, he boarded a railroad car to his first duty station near Seoul. He noticed garbage and destruction all over the landscape of South Korea. He acknowledges not knowing what it looked like prior to the war, but his first impression was a total mess. There was no building that had not been at least damaged by the war. The condition of Seoul was pretty distressing.
Paul H. Cunningham
Radar Sites in Korea and a Last Look in February 1952
Paul Cunningham set up a large radar station near the Kimpo Air Base, and that ended his seventeen-month deployment in Korea after spending two long winters there. He recalls leaving Korea with the image of poverty, huts, and dirt roads in February 1952. He also remembers the rail transportation office in Seoul as being all broken down and adds that he never thought Korea would rebuild itself like it has today.
F.O.R.D., Fix Or Repair Daily
Robert Stephens describes fixing tanks. The tanks used in Korea had Ford V-8 engines and often the spark plug housing would crack. This occurred often and created a supply chain issue. Robert Stephens also describes how the tanks would slip their tracks. He would have to go out into the combat zone and fix the slipped track.
Typical Day: North of the 38th Parallel
Robert Stephens describes a typical day North of the 38th parallel. He describes the extremely harsh weather, living conditions, and a near death experience where he almost drowned. The weather was cold enough to freeze tank tracks. At another point, Robert Stephens had to cross a river that swelled due to rain. The tank retriever stalled in the middle of the river and Robert Stephens almost drowned trying to make it to shore.
Robert Stephens describes his training to become a mechanic on tanks. He describes being trained on the M46 with a Continental engine, whereas the tanks in Korea were the M4 with a Ford engine. The role of a tank mechanic was to keep the tanks and Jeeps running. His particular unit was support for many different UN forces. Robert Stephens describes how when the tanks broke down in the combat zone and he and his crew would have to go into danger to fix a broken down tank.
Too Many Cooks
Rodney F. Stock explains he arrived in Korean in January of 1952. Assigned as a cook, he shares he disliked his position and convinced his superiors that he could work switchboards, repair phone lines, and act as courier to outposts. He notes that besides maintenance and communications, his army unit protected the soldiers of the 5th U.S. Air Force. He recalls he was particularly impressed by the lovely old farmhouses as he traversed the countryside around Yeongdeungpo.
War Wounds and Train Attacks
Rodney F. Stock explains that North Koreans left farms in Yeongdeungpo unmolested since North Korea relied heavily on rice harvests. He notes that the U.S. soldiers were not so fortunate. He remembers a sniper shoting at him while he repaired a wire up a telephone pole. He recounts how the bullet missed him, but wood splinters embedded in his leg. He resents not being listed as wounded in combat since he was not hit by the actual bullet. He recalls other dangerous experiences which included the armored train ride from Yeongdeungpo to Pusan (Busan), with enemy attacks on the train each time they passed through Tegu (Daegu).
Experiencing the Front Lines
Stanley Jones describes the differences he saw between the National Guard and the traditional Army. He shares an experience he had where officers were relieved and chaos and mistreatment ensued. He describes where the ballistic stations were located as well as a situation concerning a fuel dump in Busan.
Sterling N. McKusick
Arrival in Korea
Sterling N. McKusick recounts the story of his arrival to Korea from bootcamp in San Diego. He shares the 1st Marine Division landed in Incheon on September 15, 1950, just months after the start of the war. He notes that this was a totally different experience for him, especially seeing deceased people. He recalls his boat was near the U.S.S. Missouri and other large ships which were firing upon the city prior to their arrival. He recalls the taking of Wolmido Island as well as arrival in Incheon and movement to Yeongdeungpo and Seoul.
Using DDT to Cook in Korea
Thomas O'Dell used DDT for killing insects including gnats and fleas. He even used DDT for cooking C-rations by adding it to his fire in the trenches to warm he food. Hot water for baths were also warmed over a DDT-created fire.