Korean War Legacy Project

Albert Frisina


On May 18, 1933, Albert Frisina was born in Allegany, New York. He graduated from Allegany Central High School in 1951. He remembers only learning about Korea when, during his senior year, his good friend Clifford Finn was sent to Korea and killed in battle. After school, he went to Buffalo State Technical Institute to learn about electricity and electronics, earning a deferment from military service. A few years later he was drafted in 1954 and attended boot camp training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Afterward, he went to Fort Devins in Massachusetts to train with the Army Security Agency and learned to detect radar transmissions. He arrived in Korea in August of 1955, shortly after being married. He was stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea, until he left in August of 1956.

Video Clips

What Did You Do in Korea?

Albert Frisina speaks about his training in the Army Security Agency and the work he did. He shares he was a radar transmission locator and was stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea. He and his unit would listen to radar transmissions in an attempt to locate and listen to the North Koreans. He recalls how they were not always sure about what was being said, but they were able to identify the transmission location through a method of triangulation.

Tags: Front lines,Message to Students,North Koreans,South Koreans,Weapons

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Life in Korea

Albert Frisina recalls life in Uijeongbu. He remembers they would work six-hour shifts. He recalls eating and drinking very well and, sadly, remembers seeing Korean civilians digging through his company's garbage. He shares how he invited the Koreans to eat their leftovers, rather than having to dig through garbage. Despite the nice treatment he received, he remembers returning to the United States and kissing the ground.

Tags: Food,Front lines,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Message to Students,Poverty,South Koreans

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Korean Now

Albert Frisina notes how free and prosperous South Korea is today. He expresses how proud he is that he was able to contribute to its success. He cites the successes that South Korea is witnessing now as reasons why the United States helped fight for what is now South Korea. He remembers witnessing Japan during leave time known as Rest and Relaxation and seeing how much it had progressed. He remembers hoping Korea would also progress. He expresses his pleasure in knowing that South Korea is now the tenth largest economy in the world.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Rest and Relaxation (R&R),South Koreans

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

I: November 6, 2021, beautiful city of the Villages in Florida.  My name is Jongwoo Han.  I am the President of Korean War Legacy Foundation which has more than 1,500 interviews, not only from the United States but also all other 21 countries that participated in the Korean War, um.  We are doing this to preserve your memory because it’s been a long time and to honor your service.


But at the same time, we want to bring this interview to the classroom for the teachers so that they can use this interview direct witness of the Korean War veterans for their own students when they talk, about the Korean War and the context of Cold War, right.  And we are supported by the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Republic of Korea.  It’s the Veterans Affairs Department in Korea to commemorate the 70 anniversary of the breakout of the Korean War in 1950.



I am so honored, and I am so pleased to have you here for the interview.  And you are with your beautiful wife, Peggy, right.  


A: Correct.

I: So, I will ask her to join you later at the end of this interview.  Please introduce yourself.  What is your name?

A: My name is Albert Frisina.

I: Frisina.

A: Frisina.

I: You spell it?




I: What kind of ethnic origin does this

A: Italian.

I: Italian?

A: Yes.  Um hm.  My dad was born there, and my grandparents on my mother’s side were, were born there.

I: What is your birthday, sir?

A: Uh, May 18, 1933.  I’m an old guy.

I: 19

A: Thirty-three.

I: No, you are young.  You’re the youngest one that I’ve met here.  Yeah.  So are 88, right?

A: Yes.
I: Yeah.  



I: You are the youngest.  So where were you born?

A: I was born in Allegany, NY in my mother’s home.

I: Could you spell it?  AL

A: ALLEGANY, Allegany


A: ALLEGANY,  Allegany.

I: Allegany, yeah, I know that.  I’m sorry.

A: Um hm.

I: I’m from Central New York, Syracuse.

A: Um hm.

I: And tell me about your family background when you were growing up.  



Your parents, what did they do and then your siblings?

A: My dad was in business for, he had a, uh, dry cleaner and tailor shop.  He made suits for the bankers and the lawyers in the area.  He also had a large, uh, dry cleaning business.

I: Um.

A: And my mother, uh, was born on a farm in Pennsylvania, and she, uh, when they got married, she had, uh, seven children, and I was the middle child.

I: Seven siblings.

A: Yes.

I: Wow.

A: Three, three sisters, and three brothers, and I was in the middle.



I: Big family.  And where did you graduate high school?
A: Uh, Allegany Central.  I went to, first to St. Bonaventure Parochial School which happened to be two, two houses down from me, well, the church and then the school.  

I: Um.
A: So.  Uh,

I: So close.

A: So close, yes.

I: When did you graduate?

A: I graduated from high school in 1951.

I: Oh.  So, you, when you were Sophomore, you, already the Korean War broke out.



A: I was what?
I: When you were Sophomore in high school, the Korean War broke out.

A: Yes.

I: So, did teacher talk about the Korean War in the school?
A: You know, they probably did.  I can’t remember.

I: Did you learn anything about Korea from the school, either geography or the history?

A: Not until I was a Senior and uh, one of my uh, one of my friends went to Korea and uh, Clifford Finn, and he, he was killed there.

I: I am so sorry to hear that.



A: So, I remember that.

I: Um.  But in the school, they didn’t teach anything about Korea or the Korean War?

A: Not that I remember.  But I was probably interested in girls rather than the subject at hand.

I: So, you were chasing the girls rather than

A: Probably, yeah.

I: Studying about the history of Korea.

A: Yes.  It wasn’t foremost on my mind.

I: Now you are the Korean War veteran.

A: Yeah.

I: How, how ironical, huh?
A: Yes.



I: You’re not interested in Korea at all?

A: Um hm.

I: So, when you graduate, what did you do?

A: I uh, I went to school in Buffalo.  It was called Buffalo State Technical Institute.  

I: Buffalo

A: Buffalo State Technical Institute. It’s now called Erie Community College.

I: Ah.  What did you learn there?
A: And I majored in Electricity and Electronics.

I: And

A: After that, I went right, I got a deferment while I was in school, and I got one deferment while I was, uh, working for Niagara Mohawk.

I: Um.  



A: Uh, I went to work for Niagara Mohawk right after, uh, college cause I was, I co-oped with them.

I: So, when did you leave for Korea then?  When did you join the military?

A: Actually, I was drafted, and I was drafted in, uh, 1954.

I: 1954.  

A: Um hm.

I: Okay.  And where did you get the boot camp training?

A: Uh, Fort Knox, Ken, no.



Yes.  Fort Knox, Kentucky.  

I: And when did you leave from there, Korea?
A: I, I, after that, I went to, I was selected after eight weeks to go to Fort Devens for the ASA.

I: Um hm.  

A: And uh, I studied there for 10 months at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

I: Ten months.  That’s quite long.

A: Yes, it is for, for, for somebody who was drafted.  It was unusual.

I: Why did that happen to you?


A: I don’t know.  They, they selected me, I think, based on scores in electricity maybe or in electronics.  I’m not sure.

I: Um.

A: I’m not sure why I was selected.  But uh.

I: And you already a, you now, college graduate.  So, you were expert already, and you don’t need that month, that long

A: Well, it was, it was training in the ASA.

I: What does ASA mean?

A: Army Sec, Army Security Agency.  It was the Army equivalent of the NSA.



I: What did you do there then?

A: I, I did uh, I did, I guess somebody’d call it direction finding.

I: Direction finding?

A: Direction finding and loc, locating uh, uh, transmissions, where, where radio transmissions were coming from.

I: So, can you give me some example because the young children, I don’t think they will understand.

A: I’m not sure how much I can, I’m allowed to say about it.  But uh

I: It’s okay. It’s 70 years.

A: It was, it was so long ago, I think it’s okay.

I: Yeah.  



I: Yeah.

A: But uh, we were assigned, I was assigned to, with uh, my fellow ASA group to a place near Uijeongbu, Korea.  And uh, it was out in the middle of nowhere.  And we, we would walk to a hut. It was in the rice paddies and very secure but not guarded.  And we would, uh, listen to transmissions and try to get a, uh, location on where they were.



I: But that was after the war, right?

A: Yes, it was after, it was after the war, right.

I: Uh, we still intercept the, the conversation there then.

A: Yes.  Um hm.

I: Uh huh.  And what did you find, something very important?

A: You know, we never really knew what we found.  Our job was to find it, pass it on, and not ask any other questions.

I: I see.  So, you didn’t know about the contents, but you were able to identify where that transmission coming from, right?
A: Yes. It was trianglized.  It would have

I: Trianglized.

A: Yeah.



I: When did you arrive in Korea?

A: You gotta tax my old memory, uh.  Oh, I know now cause it was shortly after I got married.  

I: So?

A: Yeah.  That was it, that was uh, August, August 1955.  

I: Wow.  So, every war’s gone, nothing going around at the time.  But you are locating, what was your unit?



A: I can’t remember that.  I’d have to look it up I guess.

I: Um.  Division?
A: I was with, with the, I was assigned with the First Army.

I: First Army.

A: I believe so. I believe that was it.

I: First Army.  That sounds, any company or regiment or battalion that you remember?

A: No cause we were, we were, we were up by ourselves.  Sometimes

I: So, ASA.

A: Yeah.  Sometimes we didn’t even have any officer with us.



I: I see.  What was your rank at the time?
A: I was a Private and then a Corporal.  I guess they, they don’t call it a Corporal.  There was another name for it.

I: Um hm.  Anything you, during your service, when did you leave Korea?

A: I left Korea in, uh, in August of 56.

I: And so, you were there almost like a year.



A: Um hm.  Yes.

I: And during, during your service, were there any dangerous moment that you might have been killed?

A: Uh, yes.  But it wasn’t, wasn’t from the enemy, uh.  I was driving a deuce and a half with a couple of, uh, uh, people from our, soldiers from our group.

I: Um hm.

A: And uh, there was a convoy coming down the, the muddy road.  It was a rainy season. I pulled over to the side of the road.

I: Um hm.

A: to uh, let the convoy by.



And the, the uh, bank gave away, and we turned upside down in a, in a ditch.  All I remember is telling the, uh, the uh passenger, a fellow soldier, to turn out his darn cigarette.

I: Um.

A: Language or something like that.  And uh, and you know, what I, what’s unusual about it is I don’t know what happened after that.  It’s blank in my memory.  I don’t know what happened.  I blanked out.


I: Really:

A: I don’t know how I got out of there. I don’t know if I went to a hospital.  I don’t know what happened to anybody else.  So, if anybody else is watching this interview and they know about that, they can let me know.  But I, I, I have no, no recollection of what happened.  All I know is I eventually was back working again.  

I: Hm.
A: That’s all I remember.

I: But you were able to resume your work, right.

A: Yes.
I: As a member of ASA.

A: Yes.  

I: But you just forget, you erased everything about that accident from your memory.

A: Yes.  I can’t, I’ve tried several times to try to think about it.  It, it has bothered me.  



I: How convenient that is.

A: Yes.

I: You don’t need to remember that, right?

A: I guess not.  I don’t know what happened.

I: Yeah.  

A: Um hm.

I: So, tell me about the life there in Uijeongbu.  Where did you sleep?  What did you eat?   What, what time did you wake up?  What did you do after the work, things like that?
A: We worked, uh, six-hour shifts.  We’d walk out to the, uh, to our huts and give the password.



And they would let us in and relieve the person who was on duty.

I: Um hm.

A: And we’d go in and listen to the, to possible transmissions.  And uh, we ate, we ate really well because we ate in the General’s Mess.  

I: You ate from what?
A: From the General’s Mess, the General’s, uh, they called it the General’s Mess.  It was a, uh, it was really, we really ate well.

I: Like what?  Did you

A: And drank well.

I: Did you have a steak?

A: Oh, we’d have steak.  We’d have, uh, good, good pork chops. 



And uh, what was, uh, what was sad about it was when we looked outside the, the window one day, there was a Korean, Korean gentleman going through our garbage.  Still bothers me.

I: Yeah.  Of course.  There was nothing to eat, not much there, yeah.

A: Yeah, right. So, we, we invited him in and told him not to, not to, to go near our garbage, that we would give him the, our good leftovers, that we, we didn’t serve.  And he would take it to his family.



I: Yeah.  So, you were treated very privileged, sharing the food of Generals.  You had ice cream?

A: Oh yes.  We had Scotch.  We had

I: Scotch.

A: Yes.  We had good, good booze, uh huh.  I’d have a Scotch every day I think a little bit.

I: How lucky you are, huh?
A: Um hm, yes.

I: Other soldiers, the have C-ration.

A: I know that.

I: And it was cold so that they had to.

A: We were treated well.

I: Yeah.  That’s very good.  

A: And before I left Korea, I was interviewed by a Major that came on to our compound who, uh, was asking me, he was recruiting me for, for the NSA in Washington.



I: Um.

A: I turned that down because I, I had a job waiting for me back home.  And uh

I: You mean Niagara Mohawk?

A: For Niagara Mohawk.  And I, and I didn’t want to, I had worked for them for a year before I was drafted, uh.  So, I went back to Niagara Mohawk to work and, and swore I would never leave home again.

I: Hm.

A: Cause I kissed the ground when I got back to San, when we got back to San Francisco

I: Um.

A: From Korea.



I: Tell me about the Katusa that worked with.  How was it?  How the Korean soldier, Katusa?

A: Oh.  Uh, we, we didn’t interact with, with anyone.

I: Were you able to go to visit Seoul, other city?

A: Yes.

I: Tell me about the Seoul you saw at the time.

A: What I saw, there were, there were holes in the concrete from where mortars had hit.  And it didn’t look, it looked stark and dreary, uh.  People, uh, blocking the roads, uh, looked extremely poor.

I: Um hm.



A: Uh, it was, it was, it was sad.  And what’s nice is they made a wonderful comeback.  And I think the Korean War was well worth it because of the, you can see the contrast between the North and South.  So, living, living testament to freedom versus Communism.  And uh, and they contribute so much to society now, not just from Korea, their own country, but to this country, too, the Koreans that, that came over here.



I: Yeah.

A: My doctor, my doctor is Korean.

I: What’s her name?

A: My doctor is, uh, Dr. Kang.

I: Kan.

A: Kan.

I: And she’s the

A: It’s he.

I: He.

A: It’s he.

I: He.  And what’s his specialty?

A: Internal Medicine.

I: Internal Medicine.

A: He’s my Primary Care Doctor.

I: Got it.

A: And he told me, Dr. Kan, he told me that he, uh, his dad told him that if he ever has the opportunity to take care of PI’s that were in Korea, to do a special, special, take special care of them because they were, they were so good.



I: Yeah.

A: In Korea.

I: Um hm.

A: And uh, and he means, he’s a, he’s a good man.  He, he serves The Villages from his office in Summerville and Impala.

I: Um.  So, he’s here in The Villages.

A: Yes.  And Summerville, um hm.

I: Yeah.  Have you been back to Korea since then?

A: No, I haven’t.

I: So, but you aware of how well the Korean economy is.

A: Yes, I followed it, yes, um hm.

I: So, tell me, tell, tell students about the Korea now.



A: The Korea now is, is, is, since it’s free, it’s, the people are smiling, uh, and that’s what’s really noticeable.  And uh, and they’re darn good golfers (LAUGHS), especially the women.

I: LPGA.  

A: Yes.

I: Yeah.  

A: Uh huh.  I follow that, and I’m, I’m, I’m just very proud that I was over there and very proud to see the, the Koreans, uh, on a world stage.

I: Do you play golf?

A: Uh, I play at it.  I’m not a golfer.

I: Oh.  How ‘bout Peggy?

Female Voice: If I have to.  I played volleyball hours and hours and hours.

I: Wow.  You know the rank of Korean economy in the world now?

A: No, I don’t.

I: It’s number 10.



A: Doesn’t surprise me that they aren’t even higher, yeah.
I: But do you know the size of South Korea, land size?

A: No, I don’t.

I: Half of Florida State.

A: Wow.

I: Just a little bit bigger than Indiana.

A: Um hm, wow.

I: Yeah.  And they, they don’t have a drop of oil.  They don’t have a much natural resources.  Everything is in the north side.

A: Um hm.  

I: But they became the 10th largest economy in the world, 6th largest trading partner to the United States, and strongest ally to the United States now.

A: Um hm.


I: What do you think about that?

A: I think that even says a lot about why we were there

I: Yeah.

A: And we’re glad that we helped gain their freedom.  And uh, you can see how, when freedom, when there is freedom that commerce can flourish.

I: Um hm.  

A: And, and, and I, I just look at it as, uh, as something that, that had to be done.  And I, I’m glad I was part of it.

I: When you left, um, August of 1956, did you ever imagine that Korea would become like this today?



A: No, I didn’t.  But I thought they had an opportunity because I did go to Japan during that, for two weeks while I was in Korea.

I: R and R?

A: And, and r and r.  And I, I saw how the Japanese were progressing.  And uh, their department stores were modern, uh.  Their trains were fast back then.  And uh, I thought that could possibly happen to Korea.  I actually thought that.  



I: Do you know that Japan was the enemy of United States during the World War II, right?

A: Uh, that’s for sure.  

I: Yeah.  Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor in December 7 of 1941, right?
A: Right.

I: And, but and after World War II, Germany was divided, right?

A: Um hm.

I: By the French, British and US and Russia.

A: Russia.



I: So, in East Asia, Japan was supposed to be divided because they are the axis power, right?  But instead, Korean Peninsula was divided by the United States.  Did you know that?

A: Yes.

I: Yeah.  

A: Yes.

I: Why is that?

A: I don’t know.  

I: Yeah.  

A: I don’t know how, I don’t know, for example, how Koreans feel about that.  

I: Yeah.

A: You know.

I: So, I just wrote another book about that, U.S, U.S. Korea Relationship, Metamorphosis of the U.S. Korea Relationship, The Korean Question Revisited.



It’s going to be published next year, early next year.  And also, because the Korean War broke out right after the World War II, right?  So that Japan got the all the economic boost from the United States because the uniform you wear, the bullets and everything was produced in Japan.  So, Japan got the special demands out of Korean War after they colonized Korean War from 1910 – 1945.



A: Yes.

I: So, I really love history there.

A: Um hm.

I: Yeah.  Let’s talk about the soft side of the, uh, your service. How much were you paid for the very important ASA job?

A: Hey, I have no

I: Same, same as others?

A: Same as others.  There was no special.  It was same, same as others.

I: How much?
A: I cannot remember.

I: Like a hundred dollars per month?


A: I have no idea. I just don’t remember.

I: Why:
A: I, I don’t know.
I: Didn’t, you didn’t use that money there, right?
A: I had the money sent home.  I sent some, I was married at the time back

I: You were married?
A: Back, to back it up a little bit.  

I: Oh yeah.
A: I was, I was going with this wonderful lady, wonderful girl. And uh, we decided to get married.  And uh, I was scheduled to go to Germany.

I: Right.

A: So, I and, and she could go with me as my wife.

I: Um.
A: So, I thought that’d be really great.  So, we got married. And them my orders were cut to go to Korea.  

I: Um.
A: So, I was married for two weeks as it turned out.  Then I left for Korea for 10 months.

I: Wow. Must have been very hard for your wife, right?
A: Yeah, yes.  It was difficult for both of us.  But she, she lived at home at the time and was working and uh, so it, when you’re in the same boat as everybody else, you don’t mind it so much I guess.  There are other, other people that, you know, I’m surrounded by other people that were there for, you know.



They may not have liked it, but we, I actually enjoyed what I did.  And I knew it was worthwhile.

I: Um hm.

A: And uh, I’m not sorry I did it.

I: Yeah.

A: I’m pleased.

I: So, you were honest that you wanted to be in Germany rather than Korea, right?
A: That’s for sure.

I: Yeah, for sure because you didn’t know anything about Korea during the school.  And you didn’t know much about it, right?

A: That’s right.  I thought it’d be fun to go to Germany.  But uh, as it turned out, I’m glad I went to Korea.



I: So, you don’t have any regret.

A: No, I have no regrets whatsoever.

I: Um.  When you stationed in Uijeongbu, what was your image of Korea at the time?  Just be honest, okay?  Tell students about the Korea you saw in 1950.

A: I saw a very, very poor country.  I didn’t really realize that the industrial, uh, country they would become commercial.

I: Um.



A: And uh, you’d see people on the side of the roads going to the bathroom so they didn’t have facilities, uh.  It was just sad.

I: Yeah.

A: And you, you, you just wondered what you could do to lift them up somehow.

I: Um hm.  

A: So, all in all, it was a humbling experience to know that even though I grew up poor cause my dad died when I was seven and I, and I, uh, my mother raised, uh, seven children, uh, from age 39 up.  I mean, she was aged 39.

I: Uh huh.

A: When my dad passed away.



So uh, I thought I was poor.  But it, there’s no comparison.  Poor people over here aren’t, would not be considered poor in Korea at that time, that’s for sure.

I: Um hm.  

A: So, uh, we’re very fortunate.

I: As you mentioned that the Koreans didn’t have much, much things to eat at the time, and in my website, Foundation’s website, you can see a lot of pictures where that young naked, half naked children, Korean children



A: Yes.

I: is actually swimming in the waste dump.

A: Yes.

I: And they tried to find something to eat, right?
A: Yes.

I: Yeah.
A: We saw some of that as we drove some of the roads.

I: Um hm.  But those Korean people now in the United States and become your Primary Doctor

A: Yes, they contribute back to our, to our country now.

I: Yeah.  

A: Well, to his country.  He’s a citizen of U.S.

I: But U.S. has poured the money into Korea in the beginning after the War.



And that’s how Korea was able to and also technology transfer, lot of technology transfer.  So, it’s a symbol of ally between these two countries.  What, what are you reading?

A: I was, I was looking here to see if I left anything out that I was gonna, wanted to mention.

I: Yeah.
A: I guess I mentioned my records were burned at a fire at Fort Knox.  So, there’s no record of actually what I did in the Service, uh.



I guess that was it.  I just wanted to make sure I mentioned about Dr. Kang contributing to, to helping, especially GI’s out.

I: Yeah.  But also, so tell me about. Your, your grand, granddaughter, uh, what’s her name?

A: Nicole Starr it is now.  It was, it was Evans, Nicole Evans.  And uh, she’s a graduate of Syracuse University.



I: When?

A: The new house, oh you know.  You’re asking me tough questions.  I’m 88 years old.  I can’t remember when she, I know, I know I went to the graduation.

I: Like 10 years or

A: Did you go with me, Peggy, to that graduation?
Female Voice:  No.

A: Okay.  But anyway, uh.  I can’t remember it.  But it was probably uh, well she’s married now and has two children.

I: How ‘bout 10 years ago?  More than that?

A: Let’s see.

I: It was 20, 20. 21st century, right?

A: (LAUGHS) We’re getting close.



I: Yeah. (LAUGHS)

A: Uh, I would say probably 12 years ago.

I: Twelve years ago.
A: Yes.
I: So, it’s more like, uh, 2009.

A: Yeah.  She’s probably 34 years old.

I: Um hm.  

A: So, you can go back from there.  She graduated when she was 22.

I: Yeah.  

A: She went to Newhouse School of Journalism.

I: I was still there in, in Syracuse University.



A: Oh.  Oh.
I: Yeah.  So, say hello to her.

A: I will.

I: Yeah.

A: I will, for sure.

I: And give the challenge according to her please.

A: Yes. And she’s, she, she and her husband and the two children will be visiting us on Thanksgiving.

I: Thanksgiving.  Good.  Good for you.

A: Um hm.

I: Any other episode you wanna leave to this interview?

A: Any what?

I: Any other episode?
A: No, I really can’t, really.



I: Oh.  What was the most difficult thing during your stay in Korea?  If I ask you to pinpoint only one out of many difficult things, what bothered you most at the time?

A: Two things bothered me.  One had to do with Koreans eating out of our garbage can.  That still bothers me.  And uh, the other was uh, the, the truck incident where I can’t remember, and I’m, I’m just so curious as to what happened.

I: Um hm.  

A: Uh, whether somebody else got hurt, how I got out of there, how I got back to the camp, uh.  I have no idea.  So those things still kind of bother me.  



But regarding the Korean eating out of the garbage, uh, that’s changed now so much because of the Korean economy.  So that it makes me feel good.  It makes me feel proud that I was there.

I: Absolutely.  Yeah.  You know Samsung, right?  

A: Oh, sure.  

I: Yeah.  Samsung is the, the company that shared the largest market share of the semi-conductor which means computer chips.  They made the cellular phone, right?  Hyundai make automobile.  


They are far ahead in hydrogen engines for the future. And LG making all this, you know, the electronics for the Americans.  So, Korea is now largest ship builder in the world.

A: Wow.

I: Yeah.  

A: That’s wonderful.

I: Fantastic, isn’t it?  

A: Um hm.

I: But the problem is that the Korean War has been known as Forgotten War, Forgotten.



Why is it?

A: I don’t know.  And I don’t, I don’t know as it is, uh.  They say that it is, uh, you know.  I sort of remember it.  

I: Sure, of course.  You, you should.  But if you look at the World History textbook, you know, like the AP or Advanced Placement here or World History but regular History book, you will find one paragraph description about the Korean War.



And it’s very dry.  It’s starting like this, that the Communists North of (INAUDIBLE) of Korea in June 25 of 1950, MacArthur did wonderful job and Truman fired MacArthur and things like that.  And then still technically at war.  It was armistice, cease fire, not peace treaty.  

A: Right, right.

I: That’s it/

A: Um hm.

I: So, what do you think, when children listen from you about your work in ASA and eating with the Generals, steak while others eating C-rations, it will be very interesting, don’t you think?


A: Yes, I was, I was fortunate.  

I: Yeah, you were very, very fortunate.  So, you were able to go to Seoul City, and you went to R and R, and you never wounded, right?

A: I never what?
I: Wounded.

A: Wounded?

I: No.
A: No, no.

I: No.  Right.

Female Voice:  (INAUDIBLE) you cigarettes.  How excited the people were when you would trade cigarettes.



I: So, you gave to

A: I, I quit smoking over there because it was easier to pay uh, a person to, in cigarettes to uh, to take care of my bunk and laundry.

I: So, who did that, Korean boy?
A: A Kor, a Korean girl.

I: Korean girl.

A: Korean woman.

I: Oh, woman.  How old was she?

A: I don’t know.  I, I, If I had to guess, I’d say probably in her 30’s.  

I: Thirties.  

A: Um hm.



I: You don’t remember her name, right?
A: No, I don’t.

I: Yeah.  So, she did laundry for you?
A: She did laundry and, you know

I: Clean?

A: Cleaned my area out where I slept.

I: Uh huh.  Where did you sleep, Quonset?

A: In a Quonset hut. When I first went there, I was in a tent.  The tent leaked.  So, I complained.  And they said just move your bunk.  They said Quonset huts are coming.  And so we did get Quonset huts.

I: You a really spoiled Korean War veteran.  (LAUGHS) You are the luckiest man.



I: And so, did you pay for her job?

A: I would pay, we paid her in cartons of cigarettes.  That’s what she wanted.

I: Oh.

A: And she could sell those I guess.
I: Oh.  So, you kicked the cigarette to pay for her.

A: Yes. I wanted to quit anyway.
I: Anyway.

A: Cause I didn’t enjoy it.  I, I’d smoked for about two months, and then I quit.

I: Um hm.  Anybody else, the Korean boy or house boy, busboy, work in your Quonset?



A: There were for other, for others that were in there.  And I, you know, I can’t remember.

I: I see.  Got it.  

A: Okay. I wish I could have remembered more for you.  But I can’t

I: No, it’s more than enough.  And

A: Sometimes it pops in my mind, you know, and I remember

I: Sometimes not.

A: And if I’d have known I was gonna be interviewed actually, I, you know, a few years ago I’d have kept making notes every time I thought of something.



I: But you had a very important job there ASA.  And still there are 26,000 U.S. Forces there. And in Korea, the U.S.S, the biggest U.S. station building in the world, not in Japan, not in Germany, but the biggest one is in Kumtek South of Seoul in Korea.  So that’s the symbol of alliances between two countries.  And you did your job as a Korean War veterans there.

A: Yeah.


I: So, I wanna thank you and thank you for sharing your stories with me.

A: You’re welcome.  It was a pleasure.

I: Thank you, sir.

A: Um hm.