Allen Clark served two tours in Korea, and was engaged in 5 battles starting with the Battle of Inchon in September 1950. Located on the outskirts of Seoul, their observation post was a prime location for in-coming and outgoing soldiers while providing effective information and co-ordinance during the conflict. Allen Clark’s experience at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir began with the loss of their Lieutenant during the first battle which put Allen Clark in a position as their Platoon Leader throughout their time stationed in Hagalwoori. Having left Chosin for Yudam-ni, he would be named Assistant Artillery Liaison Officer for the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Division as they dealt with harsh winters. Allen Clark was also apart of the rescue mission at Hungnam trying to protect the Korean people from the Chinese who had infiltrated his convoy.
Allen Clark's First Prisoner of War
Allen Clark was establishing observation posts and was maneuvering around Gimpo Airport when he came across a family who had captured a North Korean soldier. He felt the process of handing him to the property authorities went well, but he was concerned that there were many more POWs with the possibility of being outnumbered. He wasn't sure how the Korean people felt about American's arrival during the conflict, but at that time, he felt they were happy and pleased the US soldiers were there.
Highway Through The Danger Zone
Allen Clark described the harrowing scene he experienced coming out of the narrow road while leaving the Chosin Reservoir making them easy targets for the enemy. Allen Clark was sitting in the back seat of a Jeep when the enemy fired a shot that punctured through the gas tank (quickly emptying it), and shooting a hole right through the tire. They jumped out of the jeep and ran behind a small hill that was just beyond some railroad tracks as a parapet while the Jeep driver hooked their vehicle to a truck and pulled it out of Kunwoori.
G.I. Gear at Chosin
Allen Clark explained different GI provisions that were a life saver. He describes his field jacket, and his overcoat manufactured by London Fog that is reinforced with additional material that you slept and lived in. The temperature dropped to 42 degrees below zero and the soldiers covered themselves with the scarf all the way up to his eyes to prevent them from freezing.
Star for the Chosin Few at Koto-ri
As an Assistant Artillery Liaison Officer of the 7th Marine Regiment, Allen Clark told the story of the Frozen Chosin, who survived the 42 degrees below zero temperatures for several days while attempting to secure a place in the mountains that gave them an advantage point that overlooked a bridge. He described the conditions at Koto-ri were so bad, the scarf he described was the only thing that kept him from further hypothermia damage. Anxious and ready to go as the weather began to improve, Colonel "Chester" Pulley on a clear night had pointed to the star that was in the sky and said, "We are going in the morning," and that rallying point for the Marines when they needed it the most.
Participation in the Inchon Landing-September 1950
Allen Clark participated in the Inchon Landing and he could see the ladders and see the fighting along the beaches. As he moved throughout Korea, he saw trucks, troops, and mortars coming into his area. While sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags with little supplies, Allen Clark and his fellow Marines worked in shifts to protect their regiment 24 hours a day.
The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War
Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
US Marines Working with Korean Marines Throughout the Korean War
Allen Clark with Korean Marines were tough and they didn't put up with anyone who couldn't keep up. They were great Marines and were ready to fight whenever asked. There were translators to help with cooperation between US troops and the Korean Marines.
Korean Culture and Ceasefire
Allen Clark worked with and became friends with some South Korean civilians during his second tour in Korea. He observed Korean burials and was invited to eat octopus for the first time with the locals. During the ceasefire, Allen Clark used the help of civilians at the DMZ to find the enemy on the final days of the Korean War in July 1953.