Korean War Legacy Project

Arthur W Sorgatz


Arthur Sorgatz was drafted and six months into his service, he decided to enlist for another year which caused him to be shipped to Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he would join the 11th Airborne Division. After hearing the news that his Company would not be going home after 16 weeks of basics, the group of men retaliated with failing the physical training test needed to remain in the Airborne Division and would be sent home, but now he regrets doing that.  Arthur Sorgatz sailed to Korea aboard the U.S.S. General Pope in December 1954 after a terrifying journey that toppled over 50 foot waves with the prop was sticking straight up out of the water causing damage that was needing continuous repair to keep the ship from sinking. Driving a deuce and a half, Arthur Sorgatz was assigned hauling merchandise throughout Pusan for a little over 5 months before being sent back to Yokohama, Japan where he continued to drive for the Army. On one occasion he recalled being assigned to headquarter duty as a guard  to protect an entire warehouse of spirits for all of the troops in South Korea and offering some R&R with the supplies he guarded. When Arthur ended his service with the Army in 1957, he spent a few years working a number of different jobs before owning his own business in 1967, until he retired in 1998.

Video Clips

Strangers Left The Dead

Based on Korean culture, if someone died and the body was lying along the road, civilians would leave the body there, claiming that if they returned the body to the family, the helper would have to take care of the deceased person's family. Sometimes, bodies would lay in the road for three to four days before it was picked up. Arthur Sorgatz had to drive around bodies any times during his tour in Busan, Korea.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Personal Loss,South Koreans

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US and Korea Relations Today & The Importance of Military Service

Arthur Sorgatz felt that Koreans appreciate Korean and US soldiers more than citizens of the United States. He felt his time in Korea was a great experience. He wishes the draft was back to require young adults to experience discipline because he feels that it has been lost.

Tags: Home front,Impressions of Korea,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Pride

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Impact from a Tour in Korea and Japan

Arthur Sorgatz was able to learn about how other people live when he was stationed in Busan starting in 1954. Poverty was very high in Korea after the war and America's poverty level is nothing compared to Korea's at that time. In Japan, Arthur shipped damaged trucks to the port while creating his own fun by scaring Japanese civilians by backfiring trucks right within busy towns.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Fear,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty

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