Korean War Legacy Project

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Your search returned 16 results - showing results 1 - 16:

Kevin Dean

Video screen capture: Kevin  Dean

Kevin Dean grew up in Tumut, New South Wales, and joined the Australian Army at a young age. He was sent to serve in Korea in 1953 and recalls his introduction to the front line, recounting how a World War II veteran offered him advice to keep his head down and to get used to the smell of the place. He shares his thoughts on the problematic situation of being young, scared, and sleep deprived during war and comments on the difficulties of caring for the wounded. He elaborates on the lead up and immediate after aftermath of the Armistice signing and recounts his return visit years later to a modern Korea. He comments on how generous the South Korean people are and praises them for their efforts to remember veteran sacrifices. He is proud of his service and feels strongly that the Korean War story and the role Australian soldiers played in helping secure South Korea's freedom need be taught in schools.

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Peter Elliott

Video screen capture: Peter  Elliott

Peter Elliott served in Korea after joining the Royal Australian Air Force. He arrived in Korea near the end of the war in 1953, but has tremendous insight into the war, the impact, and the legacy. During the war he focused on air mechanics, supporting the war front by repairing the frames of the planes. He is able to give some feedback about what the living conditions during the war were like based on what he was told and what he saw. He shares a comparison between the Korea he saw in the 1950's and modern Korea, saying that it should not be a surprise that the industrious and intelligent people of Korea were able to accomplish so much. Peter Elliott argues that everyone must do what they can to support the cost of freedom.  

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John Fry

Video screen capture: John Fry

John Fry was born in Melbourne and had one brother and one sister. He served in the Royal Australian Regiment as a rifleman. Having joined the military due to unemployment increasing in the textile field, he went to Korea in 1953. He recalls that Korea was in terrible condition as many people were living in cardboard boxes. He shares his memories of arriving in Pusan before heading North. He was involved in the Battle of the Hook, an experience he calls a “vicious time.” He is in awe of the unbelievable progress that Korea has made, especially when he says his own country seems to have gone backwards in some ways.

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Albert Grocott

Video screen capture: Albert Grocott

Albert Grocott joined the British Army in 1948 and served as a gunner in the 34th Anti-Aircraft Brigade during the Korean War. He recalls his first impressions of Korea and compares them to modern Korea after having participated in multiple revisits since the war. He elaborates on his time spent on Rest and Relaxation (R&R) in Seoul during the war and shares that he encountered several orphaned children who needed food and clothing while there. He details providing for some of their needs and the means by which he did so in exchange for Korean language lessons. He avoids painful memories and chooses only to share the good as he reflects on his legacy. He states that he is proud of his service and hopes for Korean unification one day.

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Norma Holmes

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While Norma Holmes did not serve in the Korean War, her life has been heavily impacted by the war. Both her first husband, Neville Exon Hubbard, and her second husband, Dennis George Holmes, served in the war. Norma Holmes shares how her first husband had many mental health issues that arose from his experiences as a sniper. She said that both of her husbands never really spoke of the war. However, she learned more about the war when she visited Korea with her husband in 1989. She explains her heavy involvement in the Salvation Army and how that is connected to Korea as well. She considers herself an ambassador for  the Korean War as she has spent much time trying to share about the war.

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Rex McCall

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Rex McCall grew up in a big family with nine children in Tasmania, Australia.  He made money as a kid boxing apples and potatoes which were sold to American Liberty ships during World War II.  He enlisted in the Army, trained in Japan, and participated in the Battle of the Hook shortly after arriving in Korea. He stayed in the Army until 1975, was able to revisit Korea in 2000, and was impressed with Seoul, the buildings, and the activity going on.  He was treated very well in Korea and saw the invasion tunnels at the DMZ.

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John Moller

Video screen capture: John Moller

John Moller graduated high school in 1947 and wanted to join the Australian Navy. His parents told him to wait a month before they would sign the paperwork since he was only seventeen years old. Once he was trained, he was sent to Korea stationed on the HMS Sydney with one thousand two hundred other sailors. As a member of the supply branch, he was given a hot shower daily and he was sent out for two weeks to the east coast of Korea. Three squadrons of planes were sent off his aircraft carrier to the Korean mainland to bomb and strafe the land. Since he joined the reserves after returning home from the Korean War in 1952, he was then sent to the Vietnam War in a troopship. Luckily, he was able to returned to Korea two times and to see the vast improvements made to the country throughout the years.

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John Munro

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John Munro was raised on a farm with his siblings and his father fought in WWII.  After being called up for service, John Munro was trained for three months and decided to transfer over to the Regular Army in 1953 so that he could fight in the Korean War. After being trained, he was sent to Korea in 1954 to protect the 38th parallel while creating a safe barrier between North and South Korea. While in Seoul, he was sent to a Korean orphanage to eat and play with the children who were left without parents due to the war.  This experience and the multiple Korea Revisit Trips allowed John Munro the opportunity to see the rebuilding of South Korea.

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John Parker

Video screen capture: John Parker

John Parker joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1950 and earned his wings as a pilot in 1951. He had the opportunity to fly many different aircraft as a fighter pilot and later trained pilots for the Vietnam War. He flew one hundred and seventy missions in Meteor planes over areas like Hamheung and Pyungyang. He remembers one particular mission when he experienced heavy damage to his plane. He explains that he left Korea bitter because his friends had been killed, but his feelings changed after revisiting Korea and seeing the progress the country had made. He is proud of his service, including the many medals he earned, and believes the legacy of the Korean War must be taught to younger children.

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Edmond Parkinson

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Edmund Parkinson was born in 1929 and grew up in Sydney, Australia. He joined the Australian Army at the end of WWII in 1945 and served until 1948. He recalls traveling to New Zealand after his service to visit family members and deciding to join the New Zealand Army in 1951. He describes his role as a forward observer in the 161st Battery Regiment while serving in Korea during the war and offers an account of the incident where he lost his lower left leg. He is joined by his wife to discuss modern Korea, and they recall their visit to modern Korea, speaking highly of the Korean people and their fighting spirit for having rebuilt their country in such a short time frame. He offers a message to students stating that the war was not lovely, but it was necessary and worthwhile for the result. He describes Korea as a marvelous piece of history and shares how proud he is to have served during the war.

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Thomas Parkinson

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Thomas Parkinson was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1933. He attended school until he was thirteen years old and by fourteen he went to work because his dad was away fighting during WWII. After being sent to the Korean War in 1952, he landed in Incheon and saw the devastation across the city. Buildings and bridges were in rubble, but luckily, Thomas Parkinson was able to revisit Korea four times starting in 2000 to see the positive impact of the United Nations troops. During his time fighting as a machine gunner from 1952-1953 with the Australian Army, he fought the North Koreans and Chinese from the Jamestown Line (Seoul) and Kansas Line (Panmunjeom). Thomas Parkinson will always be proud of the work that he did to free South Korea from communist rule.    

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Maurice Pears

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Maurice Pears was born on November 14, 1929 in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. After graduating high school, he attended a military college and then joined the Australian Army in 1950. After training, he was sent to the Korean War in 1951 as a platoon leader and was dug in at the front lines fighting in many famous battles such as Operation Minden, Battle of Kapyong, and the Battle of Hills 227, 355, and 317.  During his time in Korea, he was able to see the destruction in Seoul, Korean civilians trying to survive in small villages, and difficult terrain surrounding his men. He felt lucky to have the assistance of the Korean civilians to help transport supplies, ammunition, and work along side the Australian soldiers during battle. He was so proud of his country's effort during the Korean War that he organized the creation of a Korean War memorial in Australia.

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Henry (Harry) Pooley

Video screen capture: Henry (Harry) Pooley

Henry T. Pooley, also known as Harry, joined the Royal Australian Army in 1951. He served in the valley of the Imjin River fighting in the hills outside Seoul. He survived intense shelling by Chinese forces on Hill 355. Henry T. Pooley has spent years since his service researching Korea and is proud of what he did and what South Korea has become today. He hopes to see Korea reunited one day.

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Matthew Rennie

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Matthew D. Rennie grew up just outside of Sydney, Australia, in Canley Vale, and enlisted in the Australian Army in 1951. He vividly recounts the poverty and devastation he witnessed upon his arrival in Busan and comments on the suffering the Korean people endured. He recalls a particular encounter with Chinese soldiers on the front lines and details suffering a head wound resulting in a visit to a MASH unit to receive care. He comments on the feelings of helplessness and fear he experienced on the battlefield and shares that he continues to suffer from nightmares and PTSD. He offers his thoughts on why the Korean War is known as the Forgotten War and shares the difficulties he and other Korean War veterans experienced upon their return home. He is proud of his service and of South Korea's transformation from a war torn land to a major world economic player.

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Gerald Sheperd

Video screen capture: Gerald  Sheperd

Gerald Sheperd was born in 1926 in Brighton, Victoria in Australia. Having struggled in school, he ended his education at the age of fourteen and began working. He joined the Navy on his birthday at age seventeen, having to wait a few months before he could actually start his service because of the quotas. He shares that at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Commencement of the Korean War he was not only the oldest veteran in attendance, but the only one that had also fought in World War II. He displays tremendous pride in his service in both wars.

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Robert Winton

Video screen capture: Robert Winton

Robert Winton was born in Western Australia and grew up with two brothers and a sister. He learned about the geography of Korea while in school and trained in Morse Code in high school.  When he learned about the war in Korea he wanted to join the Army at age seventeen, but his father would not sign the paperwork. He then asked his father if he could join the Navy, and he said yes because it was safer. He was on a light aircraft carrier called the HMAS Sydney with twelve hundred sailors and served as a signalman patrolling the water around Korea in 1953 and 1954.  He never went back to Korea, but his grandson visited Korea and loved it. Robert Winton is impressed with how far Korea's economy has come because he saw a devastated country when he briefly went ashore in 1953.

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