Korean War Legacy Project

Andrew Lanza


Andrew Lanza was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. He was studying to be a watchmaker when he decided to enlist because his brother was serving in Korea. He enlisted in the United States Marines and was in Korea from 1952-1953. As a Marine, he specialized in artillery and security all the way through the end of the war. He revisited South Korea in 2002 and was awed by its advancement along with the gracious hospitality of the Korean people. He feels great pride in the fact that he played a role in helping to forge a path to freedom for the people of South Korea.


Video Clips

Children of War

Andrew Lanza's initial encounter as he landed in Pusan was filled with shock because he never heard of Korea. One image that he will never forget is hungry children carrying other children on their backs. Some of the children were, as he described, "disfigured."

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Fear,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans

Share this Clip +


Police Action or War?

Andrew Lanza debated about the early onset of the Korean War being described as a police action by President Truman. The American foreign policy of containment provided Truman leverage to become involved in this conflict. Andrew Lanza felt that it should be considered a war.

Tags: Communists,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Pride

Share this Clip +


Armistice Day

Andrew Lanza was upset when the armistice took place in 1953 because he was fighting for every last hill against the enemy. The United States Marines were so sad to see his fellow troops die on the last few days of war. After going home, he was overjoyed to see his girlfriend, family, and friends again.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Panmunjeom,Chinese,Civilians,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Letters,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,POW,Pride,Weapons,Women

Share this Clip +