Korean War Legacy Project

Brian Hamblett


Brian Hamblett left school at age fourteen and shares how he did not learn anything about Korea growing up. He went to Korea in 1950 and served in the British military manning machine guns in his platoon. Reflecting on his memories, he more fully realizes the horror of what he experienced. He describes the winters being so cold that the guns were unable to be cooled by water; rather, they had to use glycerin. He recounts stumbling onto a Chinese soldier in a foxhole who ultimately set off his own grenade, injuring himself. He further describes his horror at the use of napalm and what life at Camp I was like where he was held as a prisoner of war. Despite the terrible events he experienced during the war, he has returned to Korea several times and is quite taken aback by the sincere gratitude of the Korean people for his service.

Video Clips

Sleeping with Gun Parts

Brian Hamblett's first memory of Korea was black and dismal. He describes winter in Korea and his battalion. He explains that they were surrounding a crater and that he was positioned with a machine gun. He describes having to cool the guns with glycerin rather than water and having to sleep with the gun parts so that they would not freeze.

Tags: Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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An Appalling Situation

Brian Hamblett describes looking into a foxhole and finding a Chinese soldier. He explains that the soldier was just as surprised and pulled his grenade without throwing it. The Chinese soldier was badly injured from his own grenade. He goes on to describe seeing the results of napalm and growing more horrified by the memories of it as he has grown older. He describes the burned bodies and total suffocation of the land.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction,Weapons

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Prisoner of War

Brian Hamblett describes life at Camp I after the Chinese took him as a prisoner of war. He explains that it was like a Korean village with mud huts and paper windows. He describes how the soldiers would find warmth sleeping on the floor which had flues running underneath it. He goes on to describe the indoctrination the Chinese forced on the men.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Living conditions,POW

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