Korean War Legacy Project

A. Irving Osser


While A. Irving Osser never intended to go to Korea, he is able to see some of the highlights of his work there. He describes having little knowledge of what life in Korea was like before he went. As a member of the Air Force, he did not have much experience with combat, but does explain how he and others took down a plane as a response to “Bed Check Charlie.” Among his greatest accomplishments in Korea, A. Irving Osser remembers helping to set up an orphanage for the tent boys who had helped him during his service. Overall, he believes that his service made a difference in helping people while he was there, but also in assisting South Korea in becoming the nation that it is today.

Video Clips

Prior Knowledge of Korea

As a high school student, A. Irving Osser did not know much about Korea. He had a principal and some peers who were sent to fight in the war, but he explains that he did not have a class that prepared him for what it was like there. He may have known about the geographic location, but his knowledge was very limited.

Tags: Prior knowledge of Korea

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Bed Check Charlie

A. Irving Osser explains the nightly disturbance of "Bed Check Charlie." Because his Air Force unit was not prepared to fight back the attacks, he traded alcohol for weapons at a local weapons depot. He describes how his unit successfully shot down one of the plans after several attempts.

Tags: Living conditions,Pride

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Setting up an Orphanage

As a highlight of his time in Korea, A. Irving Osser describes how he and other men organized the opening of an orphanage for tent boys, teenage Korean orphans who had assisted them while they were fighting there. He explains how the wife of Syngman Rhee, Franziska, was vital in setting up this orphanage and making it possible for the boys to go to college. While he does not know what happened after he left, A. Irving Osser fondly remembers helping set up the electricity and carpentry to give back to these boys.

Tags: Orphanage,Pride

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