Korean War Legacy Project

Basil Kvale


Basil Kvale was a WWII veteran who tried to join the British military to fly their planes, but he was told he was too young, so as a 17 year old, Basil Kvale lied about his age to get into the Marine Corps.  He fought in Guadalcanal and Okinawa during WWII, and then Basil Kvale went over to Korea when the Korean War began.  He fought in the Uijeongbu and the Taebaek Mountains which stretch across North and South Korea.  Basil Kvale was so close to the Chinese that he could see the type of guns they had.  While using cannon fire, planes, and aircraft carriers, he assisted in the war effort by giving the coordinates of where to fire on the Chinese.  It was difficult to fight in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir due to the extremely cold weather that reached 40 below zero.

Video Clips

The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

Basil Kvale fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in weather that reached 40 degrees below zero. The men nicknamed the region the "Frozen Chosin" since the temperature was cold enough to freeze a soldiers' skin. He worked with a lieutenant to create locations to hit the enemy throughout his time in this battle.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Jangjin,Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction

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Fighting in Ujeongbu and the Taebacek Mountains

Basil Kvale was taken to Ujeongbu (Northern Korea) with an amphibious military group to set up for battle. They moved a lot and were so close that they could see the Chinese right near their location. At a new location in the Taebacek Mountains, Basil Kvale was over 3,000 feel above sea level and it was an important location to give orders of where to bomb.

Tags: Gangneung,Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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Chinese POW-Ping

Basil Kvale captured a Chinese POW named Ping who later was sent with other soldiers. As a Marine, Basil Kvale was asked to help give the coordinates for the bombing to aid his commander. He had the cannons and bombs attack from four different sides which led to total disaster for the Chinese.

Tags: Gangneung,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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