Korean War Legacy Project

Bryan J. Johnson

Bio

Bryan J. Johnson enlisted in the New Zealand Navy at the age of 15 in 1946. He remained in the Navy through 1952 and ultimately became a quartermaster, who is in charge of steering the ship. He served on the HMNZS Hawea during the Korean War from 1951 to 1952. The HMNZS Hawea was tasked with patrolling the West Sea and providing military escorts for supplies. He explains a time when he rescued a family, moments of combat, and even witnessing smuggling.  After the war Bryan J. Johnson became a teacher and even taught Social Studies, however he did not teach the Korean War because of exclusion from New Zealand curriculum. The growth of South Korea impresses Bryan Johnson, based upon his re-visit to South Korea.

Video Clips

Rescuing Refugees from North Korea

Bryan J. Johnson describes his service in the West Sea off the Island of Cho-do. He was defending this territory from North Korean invasion. At one point his ship was responsible for the rescuing a Christian family from North Korean territory.

Tags: Pyungyang,Yellow Sea,Civilians,Front lines,North Koreans,Poverty

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBboNnVKwt4&start=300&end=435

Naval Role and Threats

Bryan J. Johnson describes the role of his ship, steering the ship and Captain of the gun. The HMNZS Hawea provided escorts for supplies and patrolled the Han River. He also explains that the main threat was not from land bombardment, rather Russian MIG's flown by North Koreans.

Tags: Hangang (River),Yellow Sea,Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBboNnVKwt4&start=525&end=707

Wrong Shells, Wrong Time

Bryan J. Johnson, Captain of the gun on ship, ordered a shelling of a North Korean supply train. He explains that storage of the shells were switched and he fired "star shells" for illumination, instead of explosive shells. Bryan Johnson later describes two sailors who were swept away by the Han River, but later rescued after being in the water for many hours.

Tags: Hangang (River),Yellow Sea,Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBboNnVKwt4&start=1188&end=1431

Detaining Smugglers

Bryan Johnson describes life aboard the HMNZS and working 90 hours a week. He describes one incident of detaining a father and son from South Korea who were "smuggling" rice to North Korea. The ship and crew were to hold the father and son until the South Koreans could come and "take them out to sea," assuring death.

Tags: Yellow Sea,Communists,Food,Front lines,North Koreans,Poverty,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBboNnVKwt4&start=1501&end=1642

A Teacher-Veteran, not Teaching About the War He Fought In

Bryan Johnson describes the legacy of the Korean War and how the United Nations rightly aided South Korea. He also describes how upon returning home to New Zealand he became a teacher and did not teach about the Korean War. Bryan Johnson explains that the Korean War was relatively brief in comparison to the First and Second World War as the main issue with the war, when designing a curriculum.

Tags: Home front,Message to Students

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBboNnVKwt4&start=1720&end=1963

Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

B:        My name’s Bryan John Johnson.  B R Y A N, J O H N, J O H N S O N.

I:          What is your birthday?
B:        Bryan.

I:          No, what is your birthday?
B:        Uh, my birthday is the twelfth of October, 1930.

I:          So you are now

B:        Eighty-eight years old.

I:          Wow.  You look like 44.

B:        Yes

0:00:30

I:          Forty-four, just half.

B:        Not so young on the inside.
I:          But in your forehead, I don’t fine any wrinkle there.

B:        No, no.  My wife has beaten them out.

I:          You’re, you are here with your wife.  What’s her name?

B:        Her name is Margaret Ann, but she’s called Ann.

I:          Ann.

B:        And we’ve been together 62 years and married 60.

I:          Wow.  You are the endangered species.

0:01:00

B:        And we have 38 offspring, children and so forth.

I:          Very productive.

B:        Indeed.

I:          Yes.  Where were you born?
B:        I was born in Napier.

I:          Oh, that’s where.

B:        Just before the earthquake destroyed the town in 1931.

I:          Oh.  I’m headed to Napier.

B:        Nice place.

I:          Yeah.  So tell  me about the family background when you were growing up, when you are a child, your parents and your siblings.

0:01:30

How many siblings and so on?
B:        I had an elder brother and a younger sister.

I:          Um hm.

B:        And my father worked as a clerk in a shipping company in Ahuriri, Napier.

I:          Um.

B:        And I went through a Catholic education system and left in 1945 and joined the New Zealand Navy.

I:          Nineteen forty-five?

B:        In 1946.

I:          Forty-six.

B:        at the age of 15.

I:          And you joined the Navy, right?

0:02:00

B:        Joined the New Zealand Navy, yes.

I:          Um hm.  And at the age of 15, that was so young, wasn’t it?

B:        Well, it seemed an appropriate age at the time.

I:          Really.

B:        My brother, my brother had served in the War in the latter stages of the War and was in Tokyo when the Armistice was signed, or the surrender in Japan was signed.

I:          Um.

B:        in 1945.  So I joined and I followed him into the Navy.

0:02:30

I:          I see.  And where did you get the basic military training?
B:        We had military training on an island called Motuihe Island

I:          Uh huh.

B:        in Auckland Harbor, and the ship was called the HMNZS Tamaki.

I:          For how long?

B:        We trained initially for 14 months before we went to sea.

I:          Fourteen month?
B:        Yes.

I:          That was very  long.

0:03:00

B:        And then, and I served in Korea from 19, April 1951 till April 1952.

I:          So you served for a year.
B:        Well, from the time we left New Zealand until the time we returned, yes.

I:          And when you were in school and before you left for Korea, did you know anything about Korea?

B:        Well, as a school teaches subsequently no.  Never,

never heard about it really.

0:03:30

I:          You never heard about Korea.
B:        Well, we  knew that it had been occupied by Japan for a long time.  So no, we didn’t  know a great deal.  It was never advertised.

I:          I see.  And nobody taught you f rom the school?

B:        No.

I:          No.  So when did you leave for Korea, from where?

B:        Left from Auckland

I:          Um hm

B:        In April 1951.

I:          Uh.  And then from Auckland, where did you go?

0:04:00

B:        We went from Auckland to Brisbane and from Brisbane to Darwin, Darwin to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Yokosuka in Japan.

I:          And what did you do in Japan?
B:        We operated patrols from Kurae and Sasebo to Korea, to escort, um, vessels

0:04:30

taking supplies to the War and to patrol up the North Korean coast and, uh, you know.

I:          Yeah.  What kind of ship was it ?
B:        It was a frigate called the Hawea which is not a very good picture here.

I:          You brought some pictures, good.

B:        I brought some pictures.

I:          Yes.

B:        Yeah.

I:          Show it to me.

0:05:00

B:        Well, this was when we used to patrol up the North Korean coast on an island called Cho Do.

I:          Cho do, yes.

B:        which is about 30 kilometers from Pyongyang.

I:          Uh.
B:        And about, uh, six kilometers from the coast. And it was occupied by American forces, and we were there to see the

0:05:30

North Vietnamese did not invade.

I:          North Koreans.
B:        North Koreans

I:          Yeah.

B:        did not invade because it was North Korean territory.

I:          I see.

B:        And we received, on one occasion, some people waving from the beach

I:          Oh.
B:        and we took a motor craft ashore to pick them up.  And that was me with a [brin] gun.

I:          Oh.

B:        I was the cocksan of the boat and

I:          What was the occasion again?  Could you show that again

0:06:00

and explain?

B:        I was the cocksan, and I was the, in charge  of the gun.  And these were

I:          Why?  What, what happened there, rescuing the refugee?
B:        Rescuing refugees, and those are the refugees that we brought from North Korea to Cho Do.

I:          Um.

B:        Or Do, Do being

I:          How, how did you encounter them?  What was the occasion?

0:06:30

B:        They waved from the shore.

I:          Shore in North Korea?

B:        In North Korea.

I:          Yeah.
B:        We thought it might be a trap.  That’s why we took the firearms.

I:          I see.

B:        And we picked them up from the beach and took them back and put them on a, on Korean naval vessel to be taken back to South Korea.

I:          That’s amazing.  How many were there?
B:        There were, I think, six, a family.

I:          Six?

B:        And they said they were Christians.

I:          Oh.
B:        And they wanted to get out of North Korea.

0:07:00

I:          I see.  That’s a very noble thing that you did.

B:        Sorry?
I:          That’s a very good thing that you did.
B:        Yes.

I:          You saved their lives.

B:        Yes, saved their freedom anyway.

I:          Yes.

B:        You know.

I:          So tell me about the frigate?  What was the name of the frigate?
B:        Hawea.

I:          Could you spell it?
B:        H A W E A.

I:          Okay.

B:        There’s a very

0:07:30

That is the island of Cho Do

I:          Yes.
B:        We used to patrol off.

I:          Hm.

B:        That’s a sketch that I did at the time.

I:          Um.

B:        And that’s the, sort of, winter year that we used t o dress in when on watch.

I:          Yeah.
B:        And this is the ship’s company.

I:          Yes.

B:        Taken in Hong Kong.

0:08:00

I:          Hold on.  Let me, no.  Hold, hold up.  Put it back, yes.  So these are the soldiers that you worked with

B:        Sailors.

I:          Okay, in the frigate?  Is that the frigate?
B:        No.

I:          Okay.

B:        No, that’s previous ship that I was on.  The frigate that we were in was smaller.  I don’t know that I have a picture.  Oh there.  That’s the proper ship, but it’s very poor

0:08:30

I:          Uh.

B:        photography.

I:          Thank you.  So that’s one of the frigate?
B:        That was a frigate.
I:          Okay.

B:        That’s the one that we patrolled in.

I:          Oh.  Actually that  was the one?

B:        We’d spend about 22 – 28 days at sea patrolling off the coast, escorting tankers and, uh, supply vessels

0:09:00

and protecting the offshore islands from the North Koreans.

I:          Um.

B:        And then we’d go back into Sasebo or Kurae

I:          Uh.
B:        and restore for three or four days and then go back on patrol.

I:          Tell me about, were there any dangerous moment that you might have lost your life or did problems to your ship?

0:09:30

B:        Well, we did, some of the frigates got bombarded.  We, we didn’t, our main

I:          Bombarded by whom?
B:        Uh, by, from the shore.

I:          Oh.
B:        By North Korean forces.

I:          Yes.

B:        But our main concern was MIG fighters.

I:          Um.

B:        that used to patrol, and we thought we’d be attacked by them in which case they, they, uh, uh, they would move very rapidly, 700 miles an hour, and they’d be out of gun range.

0:10:00

So we, we’ve looked upon them as the greatest threat to us, the Soviet MIGS operated by the e North Koreans.

I:          I see.   So.  But U.N. Forces was dominant in the sea, right?
B:        Yes, completely.

I:          Completely.
B:        We went as far North as the Hahn River, and on the East Coast we, we went almost as far as, uh, Port Arthur in, [[INAUDIBLE]

0:10:30

I:          Un.  Oh, up that North?

B:        Yeah.  I see your name is Han?

I:          Yes.

B:        We patrolled up the Hahn River.

I:          Yes.  That’s right.
B:        Eighteen miles up the Hahn River.
I:          Yeah.

B:        North Koreans on the, on the Northern bank, and us on the Southern bank.

I:          Was it Imjin River or Hahn River?

B:        It was the Hahn.

I:          Hahn.
B:        Yeah.

I:          And you were in Korea from ’51 to ’52.

B:        Yeah.

I:          Yes.  So tell me about, so then

0:11:00

you might saw, you might see the Seoul City from the Hahn River.  Did you?

B:        Well, we could see, uh, we could see Seoul.  Well, uh, Inchon.
I:          Uh huh.

B:        cause Seoul is, is what, some distance

I:          Yeah.

B:        Yeah.  Because that’s where the Inchon Landings had taken place before we got up there.

I:          Exactly.
B:        and they had cut off the North Koreans and pushed them back to the Chinese border

0:11:30

before the Chinese came into the War.  So we used to operate sometimes out of there as one of our operations.  But I never actually got ashore into Korea

I:          Um.
B:        But I did go to Korea in 2001.

I:          2001.

B:        with a group.
I:          Yes.  You were invited by the Korean government.
B:        Yes.  We were invited by the Korean Veterans Association.

I:          Yeah.  Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, yes.

0:12:00

B:        That was, um, the group.

I:          Yes.

B:        We toured in 2001.  The 51st anniversary.

I:          Upkim Battle, yes, 1951.  So when you see Korea in 2001, how was it?

B:        Well, I could only see it from ship board.  I never went ashore.

0:12:30

I:          No, no, 2001.

B:        Oh, 2001.  They gave us a wonderful time.  We were

I:          Tell me about the detail.  What did you see?  What was the program?  Where did you go?

B:        We went, we went down to, uh, Musan, or Pusan, and we went to, uh, Inchon

I:          Um hm

B:        We went  to the, uh, Panmunjom and looked at the, uh, looked across the North Koreans,

0:13:00

and we were treated extremely well by everybody and have been subsequently.  When I meet Korean people and they find out that I served in Korea, they’re most gracious, most grateful to us, most generous to us.

I:          Um.

B:        So I’ve only been back twice, staying overnight on the flight to the, to Europe, back to Seoul.
I:          So when you saw the Seoul in 2001, what city was like?

0:13:30
B:        Well, it was quite an impressive city at what they have done.  But it changed, I think, dramatically since then.

I:          Um.

B:        Yeah.  Because it was almost totally destroyed by the North Vietnamese.

I:          Yes.

B:        North Koreans I should say, not North.

I:          Yeah, right.
B:        North Koreans.

0:14:00

I:          And tell me about the  soft side of your service.  What was it like to live in a frigate?  Where, where did you sleep?  What did you eat?  What was it  like?  What did you do there?

B:        It  was very rough living because frigates were built in 1942

I:          Um hm.

B:        for service in the convoys to Russia supporting the supply vessels

0:14:30

around the  North of, uh, Norway and Finland to Russia.  They were very basic vessels.  They had very little heating and very little room.

I:          Um.
B:        We slept in hammocks and were very crowded conditions.  Eating food was for, was very bad, and because the cooking arrangements, um.  On one occasion,

0:15:00

they served us up fish that had been frozen in 1941.  And they brought it out and served it up to us.  So the, the food conditions were bad and

I:          It’s a resurrection of bad fish.

B:        The, the, uh, we were not provided with good, um, battle equipment.  I was Captain of the 4” gun and command.

I:          So you were gunnery?

0:15:30

B:        I was, well, I was a Quarter Master.  But I was Captain of the gun.

I:          Um.
B:        We only had one 4” gun, and I was the Captain of that.  And instead of anti-flash gear, all we had for our ears was cotton ball.  Just put in a bit of cotton ball.
I:          Hm.

B:        And that protected you from the blast.  So that’s why I’m deaf.

I:          What is the Quarter Master do?

0:16:00

B:        Quarter Master’s responsible for manning the gangway in harbor and steering the ship at sea.

I:          Oh, you steered the ship.

B:        Steering the ship, yes, a Quarter Master.
I:          That’s pretty good.
B:        He’s in charge of the wheel house and the steering of the ship.

I:          Did you learn that before you joined the  Navy or

B:        Oh, well I trained for that later, yes.

I:          I see.

B:        Yeah.

I:          And at the time, you were not married.  Did you have a girlfriend?

0:16:30

B:        Not permanently.

I:          Not permanently.
B:        No.

I:          Just many.

B:        Well, you spent a lot  of time at sea.

I:          Uh.

B:        You didn’t really get to meet a great number of girls.

I:          So where did you, and when did you meet your  wife?
B:        I left the Navy in 1954

I:          Uh huh.

B:        went to teacher’s college

I:          Oh.

B:        a r esid, a residential teachers’ college

0:17:00

called Ardmore in New Zealand in 19, that was in 1955.  And in 1956 I met Ann in her second night.

I:          Um.

B:        at Ardmore at a dance.

I:          I see.  And you’ve been with her since then.

B:        Virtually, yes.

I:          Yes.  So tell me more about the, your service as a Navy.  Where were you,

0:17:30

mostly in the West Sea, right, Yellow Sea?

B:        Well, in most, mostly, um.  Some in the Sea of Japan, and we did some patrols.  The American

I:          We call it East Sea, not Sea of Japan.

B:        The East Sea.  The Americans patrolled the East coast, and the British Forces or Commonwealth Forces.

I:          Yes, in the

B:        controlled the West coast.

I:          Um hm.

B:        But we went on a patrol, an American patrol up the East coast

I:          Together?

B:        Yeah.

I:          Hm.

0:18:00

What was it  like to work with the American Navy?

B:        Well, the American Navy had the Army there and, and they weren’t very friendly with each other because

I:          With the British you mean?
B:        The British were, and with Australians and New Zealanders, if we went to a bar and an Australian was there

I:          Um.

B:        we’d have a

I:          Fight ?
B:        Yeah, but a friendly fight.

I:          Okay.

B:        We’d abuse them,

0:18:30

and the Americans and the Brits would think we’re going to come to blow, blows.  But we wouldn’t.  We might, if he was one guy, might strip off his medals and so forth.

I:          Ha.

B:        But we were great friends with those.  And we got on well with the Dutch who were also in Korea.

I:          Uh huh.

B:        Um, didn’t have a great deal to do with the Americans.  But  the problems the Americans was the division between

0:19:00

the Army and the Navy each, fighting for the most, the biggest budget, the biggest and the one that had the collected or appeared to be doing the, the best, they got the bigger budget.  So there as a certain degree of antipathy between Australia, the Army.

I:          Um.
B:        We picked up an Army patrol craft one time, brought it alongside, cooked them a meal, baked them some, invited them on board, and they were quite surprised

0:19:30

because they said our own Navy would not do that for us.

I:          I see.

B:        Cause there was this, yeah.

I:          Um hm.  Any special episode that you remember during your service in the frigate that you want to share with us?

B:        Well, I, we had a bombardment.  We were on the East coast

I:          Um.
B:        patrolling with American forces, and an American ship

0:20:00

had, uh, h it a train.  The robbery line supplying the South and supplying the, uh, North Koreans to the South

I:          Um.

B:        they had to run along the coast.  And so it was open to bombardment from sea, they’d have a series of tunnels, and the trains would stoke up and rush across from one tunnel to the next.  Now an American ship

0:20:30

had caught one of these, stopped one of these trains, and we were sent in to destroy it.

I:          Hm.

B:        And I was Captain of the gun.  And what you did normally, you illuminated the target by firing off star shells, three star shells.  And then you bombarded.  So I said stand by to illuminate.  They did that, and then I said stand by to bombard.  Unfortunately, the gunnery

0:21:00

instructor had changed the ammunition from one locker to the other

I:          Hm.
B:        so that where the star shells was, was the high explosive.  So when we noted to fire of, uh, high explosive shells, all that went off was the star shells.  And Americans said very good illumination, and you didn’t get  a shot away.

I:          Um hm.

B:        And Captain and the

0:21:30

gunnery  officer Boyd, he was very irate, and I said well sir.  So I went down and got a pot of white paint and got my tin hat and painted Star Shell Johnson cause I knew that I’d get rubbished by the rest of the crew.  So I got in first.  So I was known as Star Shell Johnson.

I:          What a memory that is.  Any other episode?

B:        Oh, there were, there was,

0:22:00

we had some very interesting characters.  We had one character, because we lost our motor boat. It got sunk in the Hahn River at night time in the dark.

I:          Small motor boat.

B:        Yeah, a small motor boat about, uh, 22, 26’.  And, uh, it, it got tipped over and, uh, sunk.  And the two ratings, a Petty Officer and a, a Naval Seaman, were swept away into the dark.

0:22:30

Now we couldn’t light up because the North Korean shore was only a couple hundred meters away.  So a, a crew from the English frigate Amethyst, HMS Amethyst,

I:          Um hm.

B:        they eventually picked up these chaps after they’d been in the water for about six hours.  The Amethyst was famous because it was up the Yangtze River,

0:23:00

and it had to escape down to the sea, and a film was made about the escape of the Amethyst, right through all the Chinese Communist Forces.

I:          I think it must  been, uh, Imjin River rather than Hahn River, right?
B:        No, the Hahn.

I:          No, I think it’s Imjin River.  Anyway, um,

B:        What is the river that goes in at Inchon?

I:          That goes, you know, Inchon?  That’s the Hahn River.  But at the same time, Imjin River goes to,

0:23:30

to Inchon, too.

B:        Well, it was the Hahn River that we patrolled.

I:          Got it.  So they survived, right?

B:        They survived, yes.

I:          Good, good.

B:        And when they got back aboard, the Officer of the watch, instead of offering them a rum to warm them up, offered them a cup of cocoa.  Yes.

I:          Yes.  So when you went  back

0:24:00

0:24:30

to Korea 2001, you saw marvelous change in Korea.

B:        Oh indeed, yes.  But I hadn’t been ashore previously.  So I didn’t  have much to compare it with.  But we went to a ceremony in, uh, uh, Musan

I:          Um.
B:        that was conducted by Prince Harry, Prince Harold, one of the, uh, Royal Family

I:          From British.

B:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

B:        And there were, um, American

0:25:00

Canadian, Australian, New Zealand forces there, North Korean and, I think, a couple of South American countries.  And they had quite a big ceremony in, uh, Busan.  It was a, we flew down from, uh, Seoul.

I:          Were you proud to be presented as Korean War veteran there?
B:        Well, we, we, we were just, that’s what we had joined the Navy for, to defend out country.  So it was just  a job. There’s no great heroism about it.  We just, it was long hours at sea.  You worked for 80 – 90 hours a week because you, you were, you were either on watch

0:25:30

or you were looking after the ship.

I:          Um.

B:        Cleaning up [INAUDIBLE]  So, uh, they were very uncomfortable.  But you, it was what we knew.

I:          What about Korean War known as Forgotten War.  Why is it?  Why Korean War has been known as Forgotten War?
B:        Well, the thing that concerned us

0:26:00

was the fact on one occasion the people on, uh, Cho, some of them thought they’d make some extra money by smuggling rice that they’d grown on Cho, taking it and selling it in North Korea.  They didn’t  know what radar was.  They didn’t realize that in the black of night that they’d be picked up.  And we had a

0:26:30

couple, father and son, picked up in their small junk, brought alongside, and we were to watch, to guard them until the North Korean, at least the South Korean, patrol crowd took them away.  I mean, you, when they were taken away, they  wouldn’t  come back.  They’d be taken out to sea.  So we spent an hour trying to encourage them to go over the side and swim for shore.

0:27:00

We couldn’t explain it to them.  And in the morning, they were taken away.  The boy was probably 12 or 13 with his father.  But  because we couldn’t speak the language, and they didn’t trust what we were saying, they were taken out and

I:          Um.

B:        didn’t come home.

I:          But still, we haven’t signed the Peace  Treaty yet.

B:        Not yet.

I:          We are technically at war,

0:27:30

and Kim Jung Un and Trump, they are talking about ending the War and do better things for the Korean reunification.  What do you think about that?
B:        I think it’s good publicity.  It’s good for the media.  But I don’t trust the media because they’ll only tell stories that they think are interesting, and they won’t necessarily tell the truth.  I haven’t  got much time for the media, either in New Zealand or worldwide.  The media, what we get

0:28:00

to hear is what they want us to hear.

I:          Um.

B:        Not what may be the truth.

I:          Very critical.
B:        Yeah.  And that’s why in New Zealand, Trump gets bad publicity all the time.  But there are some who say him is being more successful for the American, for some certain Americans than Clinton was and, and, O, Obama.

I:          Hm.
B:        They see him solving a few of the problems they needed solved.  But he gets  bad publicity.

0:28:30

I:          Um.  In your  opinion, what is the importance of the Korean War in World History?

B:        It was the  first time that the United Nations had joined together to repel

I:          Um hm.

B:        an aggressor.  And that was only because Khrushchev I think it was, had let our meeting

I:          Stalin.

B:        No, not Stalin.  Stalin was the le, leader.  But Khrushchev

I:          Khrushchev was

0:29:00

far later and

B:        I’m sorry, no.  At the United Nations

I:          Yes.  The Soviet Union representative was Addison

B:        was Kruchev I think because he took off his shoe and he hit the table and he left before they could vote to take part.

I:          Um.

B:        Otherwise Russia would have put an embargo on it, and the  United Nations would not  have been able to contribute.  So it was the first time the United Nations tried to protect

0:29:30

the freedom of our, of our member country.

I:          Um.

B:        I don’t think they’ve done as well since.

I:          That’s the first thing that you can think of as a important aspect  of the Korean War.  What else?

B:        Um, I think that, that, that the main thing that occurs to me

I:          Um hm.

B:        the fact that it has never been concluded is also a bit of a worry. And the fact that, uh, that in many cases,

0:30:00

the United Nations forces didn’t get  the best publicity.  But, uh, that happens.

I:          Um.  Do you know that New Zealand, uh, World History, New Zealand World History class talk about Korean War?

B:        When I was teaching, it was never on the history.
I:          What did you teach?
B:        I taught  basically general subjects

0:30:30

and at secondary, from the age of seven year olds to the, uh, pre-university.

I:          Oh.
B:        I taught through, it was secondary co-educational school.  I taught  Art and Craft .  But I also taught English and Basic Mathematics and Social Studies and

I:          Wow.  Did you, did you talk about Korean War?

B:        Never mentioned the Korean War.

I:          You never mentioned?

B:        No.  It was never mentioned.

0:31:00

I:          That’s the War that you fought  for.  Why didn’t you teach that?

B:        Oh no.  When I came home in the Navy

I:          Yeah, yeah.
B:        I was invited by one of the teachers of the school I’d gone through to come and talk to the, the kids about the Korean War.  But, uh, I attended one or two, uh, Korean Veterans.  But mostly, the Korean veterans were Army.  And New Zealand Navy had, uh, the crews of six frigates

0:31:30

that, uh, served up there.  But mostly, uh, uh, Korean veterans were Army types.
I:          But  when you were a teacher, you didn’t talk about the war that you fought for?

B:        No.

I:          No.  Why?

B:        Well, it wasn’t on the, it wasn’t on the teaching curriculum.  I mean, there were so many other things

I:          Exactly.

B:        happening in the world.

I:          Um.

B:        I suppose in general,

0:32:00

we may have, uh, we never got around, we didn’t have the amount of publicity  that you’re getting these days with television and all the rest of those aids.  So

I:          You made a good point because there was no Korean War in the curriculum so that you couldn’t teach about it, right?

B:        Well, it was

I:          You couldn’t spend too much time on it.

B:        Well, it wasn’t considered. It was only a brief period of time, and a small number of New Zealanders involved.

0:32:30

So it was not really mentioned as the First and Second World Wars been.

I:          Um.

B:        And then the Vietnamese War got very bad press because the peace people seeking so called peace.

I:          Did you look at this book and read the title for us?  What is it?  What is the title of that book?

B:        Korea’s Place in Teaching  World History.
I:          Yeah.  Could you show that

B:        World History Digital Education Foundation.

0:33:00

I:          Could you, could you show that, right.  That’s the book my Foundation published in the United States.  And it’s not about the War.  It’s about the Korean government’s role in rapid economic development and digital technology in Korean society.  And it is t o teach about the successful outcome out  of the Korean War.  Teacher’s don’t, they don’t know much about it.

0:33:30

So that’s why we made this lesson plan modules and primary and secondary resources so that teachers can teach about it.

B:        Yep.  Yes.  It’s a pretty important aspect.  But, uh, if it’s money or history

I:          Um hm.

B:        Then money’s gonna win out every time.

I:          Yeah, right .  So that’s what we are trying to do here in New Zealand making this interview into curricular resources so that teachers

0:34:00

here in New Zealand can talk about the Korea and the Korean War.  What do you think?
B:        I don’t think it’ll ever get  into a syllabus in New Zealand.

I:          Ah.  You will see.  What  will be the differences that my Foundation can make

B:        I think that the education system in New Zealand is, is not objective.

I:          Hm.

B:        It is controlled by certain forces, ethnic forces.

I:          I see.

B:        And, uh,

0:34:30

history seems to  be sadly lacking at  times.

I:          Yeah. It’s everywhere that history’s not measured.

B:        I know presently in the United States,

I:          Yes

B:        and the universities, there is a strong swing to the left

I:          Um

B:        extreme left, and a lot of universities are unable to operate freely, freedom of speech

0:35:00

because there’s a, a growing number of students who thinking that they are doing right for a, talking about, uh, transsexuals and race and so forth, get very offended if anybody passes a comment that they consider unfair.

I:          But still, racial discrimination is the thing we need to avoid, right ?
B:        Yes, but the point is most of the claims they make are, many

0:35:30

of the claims they make are not happening today.
I:          Hm.
B:        They go back a hundred years or two hundred years.  You have the  Untied Nations now which is controlled by the small countries that had been colonized.  And because they’ve got equal vote with the larger countries, England’s got one vote and, and, uh, Chad or some place like that,

0:36:00

because they’re pre-colonial pals, now they’re trying to get their own back. So the European countries are getting very bad press.  And white people, if you’re an old white man, they consider you past your prime.  They have a saying for me in New Zealand, in the  media, pale, frail, and stale.

I:          Yeah.

0:36:30

So by next year, 2020, it’s going to be the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.  Is there any special message to the Korean people from your heart?
B:        Look after your freedom.  You have your freedoms in South Korea challenged by many politicians who have been corrupted in their office in the  past, so much so that some

0:37:00

of your leaders have had to be brought before the court.

I:          Um.

B:        So treasure freedom of speech and the individual’s right to express himself, whether he is white, black, whatever his sexuality, whatever his race, whatever his political feelings are, treat him with respect and listen to him.

I:          Yes.  Great message.  What about to the world about the war

0:37:30

that you fought for? It has not been replaced by the Peace Treaty, and a lot going on in the Korean Peninsula.  What would you say to the world about the Korean War?

B:        No, I haven’t really considered.

I:          Hm.
B:        I haven’t cons, I couldn’t give advice without considering it for longer than that.

I:          What is it your advice?
B:        I no, I think that, that, that for the good

0:38:00

of the, for the, uh, the health, the freedom of the people of North Korea, have to be taken away from the present indoctrination that they have from Kim el Jung.
I:          Um hm.

B:        And, uh, they need to be freed.  They need the money to go to feeding them, not to providing weapons against the West.
I:          Very  important, yes.  Um.

B:        So I think the  uniting of the Koreas is very important.

 

[End of Recorded Material]