Korean War Legacy Project

Carl M. Jacobsen

Bio

Carl M. Jacobsen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and enlisted in the Army in 1950. He describes his path into the service and recounts his decision to go airborne and attend jump school. He comments on being stationed in Taegu as a part of the 187th Airborne and shares memories of his combat jumps. He recounts one of the most dangerous situations he found himself in and elaborates on the living conditions he endured while serving. He speaks of his fascination of how quickly South Korea developed following the war and comments on its progress. He is proud of his service and is very appreciative of the way the Korean people have been so thankful to him and other Korean War veterans.

Video Clips

Enlistment and Basic Training

Carl Jacobsen describes his path into service. He shares how he felt the need to do something constructive and decided to enlist in the Army. He details his basic training and recounts volunteering to represent his regiment as a mile runner, winning many of his meets. He recounts his decision to go airborne and attend jump school following basic.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Living conditions,Pride,Prior knowledge of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6IztCt-yC4&start=156&end=372

Combat Jump

Carl Jacobsen recounts jump training in Taegu, Korea, and recalls making multiple training jumps in order to receive his wings. He offers an account of his first combat jump and details the related mission. He comments on the destruction he saw during his service.

Tags: Daegu,Pyungyang,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction,POW

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6IztCt-yC4&start=786&end=1015

A Dangerous Moment

Carl Jacobsen shares memories of one of the most dangerous moments he experienced in combat. He recalls being given orders to collect ammunition and receiving sniper fire on his return with the ammunition. He recounts stopping the vehicle he was driving to return fire and wondering if he would make it out of the situation alive.

Tags: Wonju,Fear,Front lines,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6IztCt-yC4&start=1144&end=1238

Living Conditions

Carl Jacobsen describes the living conditions he endured while serving. He remembers extremely cold temperatures and not being outfitted with proper winter gear. He recalls the C-Ration meals he ate and recounts a few meals he shared with locals.

Tags: Civilians,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,South Koreans,Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6IztCt-yC4&start=1437&end=1616

Legacy of the Korean War

Carl Jacobsen shares his thoughts on the legacy of the Korean War. He elaborates on his fascination of the progress South Korea has made since the war. He comments on the appreciation Koreans have towards the United States and other countries who provided aid.

Tags: Home front,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6IztCt-yC4&start=1715&end=1803

Photos

Carl Jacobsen

A picture of Carl Jacobsen in uniform. Taken in Hanjin, Korea, in 1951.
Coverage : Hanjin, Korea 1951
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1951

Carl Jacobsen

Aircraft 8337

A picture of aircraft 8337 releasing parachuting soldiers into the air. Taken in Korea.
Coverage : Korea
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Aircraft 8337

Parachuting Jump

A picture of soldiers parachuting to the ground.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Parachuting Jump

Ridgway, LeMay, and MacArthur

A picture of (L to R) General Ridgway, General LeMay, and General MacArthur.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Ridgway, LeMay, and MacArthur

Troops Aboard Aircraft

A picture of troops aboard an aircraft.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Troops Aboard Aircraft

Mass Parachuting Jump

A picture of a mass parachuting jump. Picture taken in October of 1950
Coverage : October 1950
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1950

Mass Parachuting Jump

Soldiers

A picture of two soldiers.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Soldiers

Map of Korea

A colored map of Korea dating back to the 1950's.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Map of Korea

Parchuters Arriving on Ground

A picture of parachuting jumpers landing on ground. Taken in Korea.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Parchuters Arriving on Ground

US Military: In Air and on Ground

A picture of tanks on the ground while a helicopter is in the air.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

US Military: In Air and on Ground

Parachuting Jump Picture

A picture of soldiers parachuting from aircrafts in Korea.
Coverage : Korea
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Parachuting Jump Picture

Commanders Conversing

A group of commanders conversing deeply. Taken in Korea.
Coverage : Korea
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Commanders Conversing

Carl Jacobsen and Fellow Soldiers

A picture of Carl Jacobsen with fellow soldiers. Taken on 15 April 1951 in Korea.
Coverage : Korea 04/15/1951
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 04/15/51

Carl Jacobsen and Fellow Soldiers

Carl Jacobsen

A picture of Carl Jacobsen in full body uniform.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Carl Jacobsen

Relaxing

A picture of men relaxing.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Relaxing

Battle Honors-Citation of Units Page 1

A citation honoring the 3 battalion 187 Airborne Infantry Regiment for their bravery in war.
Coverage : 05/09/51
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 05/09/51

Battle Honors-Citation of Units Page 1

Battle Honors-Citation of Units Page 2

The next page of the citation honoring the 3 battalion 187 Airborne Infantry Regiment for their bravery in war.
Coverage : 05/09/51
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 05/09/51

Battle Honors-Citation of Units Page 2

Honor the Fallen Article

The Florida Metro-The Tampa Tribune from October 20, 2000 featuring an article titled “Honor the Fallen.” The article captured the 187th Regimental Combat Team parachuting again in commemoration of the jump they took 63 years ago in Korea. Carl Jacobsen is one of the members of the 187 Regimental Combat Team.
Creator : Carl Jacobsen
Publisher : Carl Jacobsen
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Honor the Fallen Article

Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]

00:00:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Carl M. Jacobsen born Boston, Massachusetts.

Male Voice:    When were you born?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       On January 4, 1932.

Male Voice:    That’s the same birthday as my first daughter, January 4.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       All right.

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Very nice.

Male Voice:    Yeah, so, what school did you go through? Boston?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I went to Boston University. I graduated from Boston University.

00:00:30

Male Voice:    When?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       In the year 2000.

Male Voice:    In the year 2000? Wow.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I was fulfilling my obligation to getting a degree. I had started it after I came out of the Korean War. Then I had to leave because of finances, and I worked for many, many years after that. And I finally finished up.

00:01:00

I enrolled into B.U. again in 1994.

Male Voice:    Wow.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I got my degree in 2000, in the year 2000.

Male Voice:    What did you study?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Interdisciplinary studies.

Male Voice:    What is that about?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It’s more or less just liberal arts type courses. The usual English and all those type, history.

 

00:01:30

Male Voice:    Wow. How did you like it? Did you like it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I enjoyed it very much, yes, yes. I was finishing up the program that I started back in the ’50’s; it was quite an accomplishment.

Male Voice:    What kind of middle school and high school when you were growing up? Could you tell me about your educational background at the time?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       At that time I was in high school, at a school called Rindge Technical High School, it was a technical high school.

Male Voice:    And?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And I graduated from there in 1949.

00:02:00

When I got out of high school, I worked at odd jobs, small odd jobs, you know, while I was trying to determine where I wanted to go after that.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And the Korean War started in roughly June of 1950.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I decided that’s where I would do it for the meantime.

Male Voice:    Were you aware of where Korea . . .

00:02:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Was I aware of Korea at that time?

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No.

Male Voice:    You never learned about it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, Korea was never, you know, part of my studies.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       But I had been reading, you know, the newspapers up to the point where the war started.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I felt that would be the thing for me to do for a while, I guess. I was a young man; I had, you know, a lot of ambition I guess, to do something constructive.

00:03:00

So I enlisted in the army.

Male Voice:    You really thought that you were going to do something about the war?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, I wasn’t going to do anything about the war, no, but I just felt that would be a place for me to go.

Male Voice:    Really?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yes.

Male Voice:    Wow. You might lose your life.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’s true, but I’m here. I’m . . .

Male Voice:    But you really thought that you’d go there and do something about it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right. That’s right.

Male Voice:    Wow, that’s a noble cause you know?

00:03:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah.

Male Voice:    Very nice.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I enlisted in February of 1950.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh, the army?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       In the army, yes.

Male Voice:    Okay. And where did you go to basic training?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       My basic training was in Fort Dix, New Jersey. I think it was Trenton, I think it’s in Trenton, New Jersey.

Male Voice:    Yeah it’s in Trenton, New Jersey, yeah, Fort Dix.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So that’s where I did my basic training.

Male Voice:    What kind?

00:04:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       What type of training?

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       The basic, the usual, you know, the things that they put you through as a recruit.

Male Voice:    Were people afraid that they might end up in Korea at the time, at the boot camp?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I didn’t come across that at all, no, not where I was at Fort Dix. I didn’t know of any situation like that.

Male Voice:    Was it hard?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       The basic training?

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, it was, it had some difficulty to it.

00:04:30

Male Voice:    Anything that you remember from that boot camp?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well I was, at that time in my life I was a pretty good athlete.

Male Voice:    What did you do?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I was a runner, I ran. I ran the mile. And I volunteered to run for the 39th Infantry Regiment, which is the Regiment I was in at Dix. And I ran the mile for the Regiment, and I won almost all my meets.

Male Voice:    Oh, really?

00:05:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah. And . . .

Male Voice:    It was piece of cake for you.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was easy, yeah, I had no trouble. And uh, they wanted me to stay at Fort Dix when I finished my training, my basic training. The Colonel of my Regiment wanted me to stay there at Dix.

Male Voice:    As what?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       As a cadre, to train the other rookies coming in.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       But I at that point, had decided to go Airborne

00:05:30

because the Airborne people came up and put on a big display of how, you know, what you could get out of being a jumper. So I decided that’s where I would go because you could pick where you wanted to go at that time.

Male Voice:    That’s scary stuff; you had to jump, right?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I went to jump, well yes. I signed up for the Airborne. My orders

00:06:00

that they presented to me at the end of my basic training was to go to the 11th Airborne Division down in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I ended up going down there. And the personnel people had gone over my résumé, you know, while I was there at Fort Campbell. And they

00:06:30

noticed that I was also a swimming instructor so they assigned me to the lake, there was a Lake Taal, T-A-A-L on the base that, where the enlisted men’s families could go to swim and get training, in swimming. So I went out there, I went out there for, I got down, I got down to Fort Campbell in

00:07:00

April, May, June, like around June, there right around it was at the beginning of the summer. So I was assigned to teach out there at Lake Taal, I . . .

Male Voice:    You mean 1950?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       In 1950, right. I went out there for the purpose of teaching the youngsters how to swim, you know. I was enjoying it very much, and then I was assigned to H Company, which was a regiment at that time in the

00:07:30

11th Airborne Division.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I was assigned there, but I was on special duty to the lake. And when the war was building up and there was going to be an announcement I guess made that the United States was going to be deeply involved, they took me from my job at the lake.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And brought me back to the company, to train as little as they could give me as far as training goes.

00:08:00

They had me going through all kinds of night training and crawling under barbed wire and all that good stuff. And before I knew it, I was on my way to Korea in the late summer of that year. I had not been to jump school at that point so I brought it to my Captain’s attention and I said,

00:08:30

you know I’m not a jumper, yet. And he said, don’t worry about that, we’ll get you your wings later on. So but, I left, we left Fort Campbell, Kentucky in I don’t know what time it was in the summer of 1950. There was supposed to be some sort of a very quiet movement by the division where they were going. We ended up taking a troop train

00:09:00

out of Fort Campbell and headed for the West Coast. We ended up in I think it was Stoneman, Pittsburg, California, I think is where the base was.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       We ended up there and we were there for maybe a week or so. And we ended up loading up on these huge merchant marine ships for Korea.

00:09:30

It was like 4,000 on this boat going over.

Male Voice:    Wow.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was our whole Regiment, I believe it was 187th.

Male Voice:    187th Regiment.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So we ended up going over to Korea. It was a two-week journey across the Pacific.

Male Voice:    How was it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was kind of rough at times. We hit a pretty bad storm outside of Japan, it was a good typhoon, I guess.

00:10:00

They had to veer off and go up north and they unloaded us up in some part of Japan, in northern Japan.

Male Voice:    Hokkaido?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, that sounds familiar.  So we were there for a while until we were getting orders as to what was going on in Korea.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And so the word came out that we were going to make our first combat jump. I wasn’t because at that time I was still not a jumper.

Male Voice:    Right.

00:10:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       But the regiment was going to make their first combat jump at Kimpo Air Base. It was shortly after the war started, I guess. So we all ended up going, you know getting ready to go over there.

Male Voice:    Do you remember what month that you left for Korea?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I don’t remember. We left . . .

Male Voice:    September?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah it was early, maybe late August, early September.

Male Voice:    In Korea?

00:11:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, when we left the States?

Male Voice:    Right.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That had to be . . .

Male Voice:    August, late August?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’d be late August.

Male Voice:    And when was it, when you arrived in Korea? September?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah it was September, October, something like that.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       But we were supposed to, the Division was supposed to make a combat jump but they got word that the Marines had

00:11:30

just taken over Kimpo.

Male Voice:    Right. So then, you didn’t have to.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So they didn’t have the jump, they cancelled the jump. And they went over by the boat there, you know, by ship.

Male Voice:    From Japan to Korea?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       From Japan to Korea.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       We stayed for a short time at Kimpo.

Male Voice:    Where did you arrive?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Where did we arrive?

Male Voice:    Yeah, in Korea.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was in Kimpo, in that area where Kimpo Air Base was.

Male Voice:    No, but the harbor’s name.

00:12:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh, I can’t . . .

Male Voice:    Was it Incheon or Pusan?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh, it was Pusan, yeah.

Male Voice:    Was it Pusan?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was Pusan, yes. It wasn’t Incheon, no.

Male Voice:    And then how did you go up to the Kimpo airport, from Pusan?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       By truck, by you know, vehicle, military truck.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And uh . . .

Male Voice:    Yeah?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       We just took over the base while the Marines

00:12:30

moved out because they had just secured the base. So we came in and they relieved them. They moved north, and then we came in behind them. We were there a few days, cleaning up the air base.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And then we got the orders to move out and head north because there was still a lot of North Korean activity going around in the hills down in there and there were snipers. So we were responsible for cleaning it up and pushing in north.

00:13:00

The best I know of is we ended up, our main base was at Taegu. Taegu Air Base is where we finally located as our own base.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Because being an Airborne outfit, they had to put you near an air base because they had to load up planes.

Male Voice:    Right.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So we were at Taegu. I don’t know what the distance was between Kimpo and Taegu.

00:13:30

It was probably just a few hours, I would think, of traveling.

Male Voice:    Yeah. So at least three or four hours travel.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So we ended up there and that’s when I got the orders that I was going to go to jump school there. I’m pretty sure it was that area because we jumped in the Han River because it was dry at that time.

00:14:00

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       There was no water there, it was a wide, you know, big area that they could drop a bunch of us in there to get training. So when we got to Taegu, I went into training there at Taegu and made some jumps and qualified, you had to qualify so many jumps, to get my wings. There probably was 20 to 30 people that didn’t have them at that time.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

00:14:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So they put us through jump school. So we ended up, and then right after that, that Division was getting ready to make their first combat jump.

Male Voice:    Where was it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was up near Pyongyang, up in that area.

Male Voice:    Oh.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       There was, the North Koreans had a lot of prisoners that they took with them when they moved north when they were being chased.

00:15:00

There was a train, a particular train that had a lot of American soldiers as prisoners. The purpose of the first combat jump was to jump in and see if they could stop the train and free up the prisoners. When we made the jump, it was late; I mean the train had already gone through. And we found a lot of soldiers, you know, in the tunnels

00:15:30

and on the tracks where they were shot and you know, killed right there. We never did catch up with that train. That thing was moving, I guess pretty fast.

Male Voice:    But you made the jump to Pyongyang.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Wow. How was it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was exciting; I mean it was quite different.

Male Voice:    It wasn’t scary?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well, yeah it was a little fright going on, sure.

Male Voice:    Was it night or the day?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, it was day.

Male Voice:    And no resistance, no fire at you from North Korea?

00:16:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Not the first one, no. No. The second combat jump we made in the spring of 1951, the Chinese were in the war at that point. They were shooting at us as we were making the jump.

Male Voice:    Where was it? The second jump.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Sukchon, something like that.

Male Voice:    Where?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I thought it was. I don’t pronounce it right, I’m sure. It sounded like Sukchon.

00:16:30

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm. How was Pyongyang when you jumped to that place?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was pretty well, you know, had been bombed around. It was destroyed quite a bit. Like Seoul, Seoul was pretty much leveled, at that time. So, they had these outdoor showers

00:17:00

set up so that we could take the truck over, and take showers, and then come back to the base. But they had that all set up.

Male Voice:    So you guys recovered Pyongyang, right?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Yeah. And then what happened to you? Where did you go and where did you fight?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well we apparently took care of the area, you know. Our division sort of just

00:17:30

had little skirmishes around that area with the North Koreans. We were in and out of I don’t remember half the towns or the cities or villages that were involved, but there was a number. We maneuvered around in a truck and vehicles, and then we would end up going back to Taegu. Then, you know,

00:18:00

you sort of just had to wait for the orders that came from, you know, the hierarchy.

Male Voice:    But didn’t you involve in the combat with Chinese because they crossed the Yalu River early October?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, we got involved with the Chinese. I remember one incident in Wonju, I think. We had quite a battle there with the Chinese and the North Koreans. I was on a recoilless,

00:18:30

the reason why I remember is I was on a 75 recoilless rifle and we were, you know, shooting into the hills and we could see them across the way.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Not, you know, maybe a mile or two away, maybe less. I was an assistant gunner, so I can remember loading up the 75. Then the gunner would just, you know, he had a scope on top of the gun,

00:19:00

and then we would fire into the hill. Yeah.

Male Voice:    Were there any dangerous moments that you might lose your life?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh yes. It was a couple times.

Male Voice:    Tell me about that, please.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well there was one time when I was told or asked to get the, I was ordered to go get some ammunition for the 75 recoilless rifle.

Male Voice:    Where was it?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It was in, I’m pretty sure it was Wonju

Male Voice:    Wonju, mm-hmm.

00:19:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So I took the jeep, put the trailer attached to it, and I knew where the ammunition was, you know, they told me how to get down there. So I drove down, and I had somebody down there load up the trailer with this ammunition. And I had to just make a round, this turnaround, and it was on a rice paddy like. And I didn’t realize it, but I’m driving to take this ammo back and all of a sudden, I felt all these bullets

00:20:00

flying over my head.

Male Voice:    Wow.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Apparently, there was, you know, some snipers in this area that knew what was going on so once they saw me, I was all by myself, and I had this jeep full of ammo. But I got through it all right. And I managed to keep my head down. I had to stop a few times to fire my rifle that I had, you know, from the direction in which they were shooting from.

00:20:30

I get back all right, I made it.

Male Voice:    What were you thinking at the time?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Am I going to get out of here?

Male Voice:    So from Pyongyang you went north or just withdrew from there?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I think we withdrew from there.

Male Voice:    Right from the Pyongyang?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right from Pyongyang.

Male Voice:    And then you went to Wonju?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, I think that was the area, yes.

00:21:00

I’m almost sure. I could be wrong. I’m not sure right now, but . . .

Male Voice:    So you were in Kimpo area in only mid-September or late September? And then you went up to the Pyongyang?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah.

Male Voice:    And then you went down to Wonju, and what happened after that?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well then, that’s when we got involved with the second jump.

00:21:30

You know, the had, the military had planned all this.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I think it was the Eighth Army; it was the head, the main body of the people that were involved in the war.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       So we just went back and did training, did more training, you know, to get ready for whatever they wanted to do, our Division, I mean.

Male Voice:    What was the mission of this second jump?

00:22:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I’m not sure, we just maybe it was because the area was loaded with Chinese. I don’t know. The first mission was to try to salvage that train.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       But the next one I don’t remember what the plans were. I do know that they reduced the height of the jump from 1,200 feet down to about 800.

Male Voice:    Oh, why is that?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well, they wanted

00:22:30

to get everybody in, they wanted because it was going to be a small drop zone. It won’t be a big, wide one where they had plenty of, you know, area to work with in. So they reduced the height of the jump from 1,200 to 800. And they also were jumping or throwing in all of the heavy weapons and material along with the fellas jumping. I mean, it was like, you know, kind of scary to be jumping both at the same time.

00:23:00

The first time is they would jump the paratroopers and once that was all done, then they would come around with all of the ammunition, the jeeps, the trucks, the 105mm Howitzers, they would come in afterwards. But this one, and Sukchon, in the spring of  ’51 . . .

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       They jumped both the paratroopers and the equipment

00:23:30

at the same time to get everybody down, mostly because I think China was in this war by this time.

Male Voice:    So after the second jump, when did you leave for the States?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I left not too long after that, I left around April of 1951.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm. Tell me about the life there.

00:24:00

Where did you sleep, what did you eat, how was the condition? When you were in Wonju, Pyongyang, Kimpo . . .

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah. Well, there was one thing we noticed, the severity of the weather. It was one of the coldest winters I think that the Korean people ever had. It was like always below zero all the time. I mean it was freezing cold. We weren’t properly equipped as they are today.

00:24:30

I mean we didn’t have all of the nice, heavy type material that they use today. But the area was, there was just a lot of, there was a lot of people that were all mixed up, I think, during that time. I’m speaking mostly now of the Korean people.

00:25:00

They were so, you know it was just, they didn’t know what was going on, I’m sure. We found that some of them would, one minute they’d be waving the North Korean flag and then later on they’d find out that the Americans were coming, so they’d be waving the American flag.

Male Voice:    Yeah, that’s sad.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And that was because the poor people were all messed up,

00:25:30

they had no idea what the hell was going on over there. So the food was all right. We had our usual K-rations. You opened a can of beans or something.

Male Voice:    What was your favorite?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I guess the beans were probably the best. But that’s what we ate mostly, and then occasionally you’d run into a village where Mama-san

00:26:00

would cook up a half a chicken or something for you.

Male Voice:    Oh really?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh yeah.

Male Voice:    They had chicken at the time?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah they would have, you know. I assume it was chicken. I mean they were, you know, but they did some cooking. I mean, if you wanted to eat the food, the Korean people would make it. They had, you know, their cooking system was quite different, I mean it was . . .

Male Voice:    Oh yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       All heat from underneath, and they would channel it to different parts of the house.

00:26:30

But that’s all right. The only other thing that I didn’t care for was the milk sake.

Male Voice:    What is that?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It’s the, you know, it was liquor, but it was, you drank it out of a dish usually.

Male Voice:    Makgeolli, the Korean kind of sake, right?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right, the Korean kind of sake.

Male Voice:    And it’s very milky and transparent.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Exactly.

Male Voice:    Are you aware of the Korean, what Korea is right now

00:27:00

– economic development and democracy?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yes, I know exactly. Korea is a very, very strong nation now. They’re what, third? Third most successful country?

Male Voice:    In Asia, you’re talking about?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       In Asia, yeah.

Male Voice:    But it’s the eleventh largest economy in the world.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, eleventh, right.

Male Voice:    Eleventh largest economy, can you believe that?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I believe it.

Male Voice:    Nothing left at the time that you left, right?

00:27:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, it was leveled. I mean, there was nothing. You’re right. I was so taken by watching the Olympics that were in Korea.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I remember not too long ago, well it was ten years, maybe?

Male Voice:    1988.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       1988.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I was, I said to my wife, the building looks like New York City. I mean, it was amazing. I mean, the progress that was made after we left the country, I mean, it was unbelievable. Great stride, I mean, unbelievable.

00:28:00

Male Voice:    So I think you’ve got to see it.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I think so.

Male Voice:    Yeah. You can go to Kimpo.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah.

Male Voice:    That’s an international airport there.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    But we have a bigger airport in Incheon.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       In Incheon?

Male Voice:    That’s ranked number one in the world. That’s the best airport.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Uh-huh.

Male Voice:    And you can go to Wonju. Let us go there. Would you be interested in going there?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh yes, yes.

Male Voice:    Yeah, I’ll ask MPVA,

00:28:30

Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs to contact you.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       All right.

Male Voice:    What do you think is the legacy of the Korean War and Korean War veterans?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       What do I think of the legacy?

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       You mean like . . .

Male Voice:    What you did and how does that come out and things, so on.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well, I’m fascinated by what your country has done for itself from the Korean War. I mean, we’re talking sixty odd years now. And you’re still very active and making great strides

00:29:00

and showing your appreciation for what we and other countries did for that war.

Male Voice:    Have you been thanked by any Koreans?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Oh yes, several.

Male Voice:    Where?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       At that, mostly at that dinner in October usually, they have them every October.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I’ve been to three of them now. They had one just this past October. They show appreciation, like wow. It’s amazing.

Male Voice:    Yeah, that’s what I’m hearing from other Korean War veterans

00:29:30

that Europeans never thanked American soldiers.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, never.

Male Voice:    Why is that actually?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’s a good question. I don’t know why.

Male Voice:    I mean you guys are more close to each other, right? In terms of culture and religions and everything else?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’s right.

Male Voice:    You guys came from Europe.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah, most of us did.

Male Voice:    Yeah.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Our families, yes.

Male Voice:    But why not? You guys fought for them, right?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Yeah.

00:30:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I don’t know what it is. It’s the culture, maybe.

Male Voice:    That’s good. Do you meet regularly with your people who served in that Division?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I have, there was a couple of fellows that I was very close to and both of them are dead now. One didn’t make it home, and one just died from old age.

00:30:30

Male Voice:    Do you want to show the pictures?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yeah.

Male Voice:    To the camera. That’s you?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       This one was in Wonju in 1951. That’s me.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm. Who’s that?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That is General MacArthur in the middle.

Male Voice:    And?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And General Ridgway on the right of him and General LeMay, Curtis LeMay.

00:31:00

These were the three men that were pretty much the leaders of our regiment.

Male Voice:    Where did you get that picture?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       These were given to me by a friend of mine that was a photographer for the division.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh. Good, thank you.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And here’s just a whole lot of just jumps.

Male Voice:    Did you get it from your friend too?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yes, all these came from him, right.

00:31:30

Male Voice:    Do you know of his name?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well, he’s gone now. He died.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm. Okay. If you go to the website, you can see that there are more than 5,000 artifacts like that. 5,000 pictures, posters, maps, letters that they wrote back to their families.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    Promotional stuff, flyers, everything. Would you be willing to share these pictures with me

00:32:00

so I can scan it, put it into the database, and then return it to you?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       You certainly can.

Male Voice:    That would be great, yeah. You seem to have good pictures there.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       And this is my yearbook from the Eleventh Airborne Division.

Male Voice:    Uh-huh. Show that to me from the camera, please. Yes. And when was that published?

00:32:30

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Well this was when I left the military and the Airborne completely, in 1953.

Male Voice:    So they published in 1953?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Yes, this was around 1953, yes.

Male Voice:    Wow, that’s good. What does that have?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       It has all the different companies, and it will usually show all the commanding officers and all his, these are all the enlisted men in the book.

00:33:00

These are just, this was our Regimental Commander.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I was in H Company, in Headquarters Company at the time. After I came back from Headquarters, here I am right here.

00:33:30

Male Voice:    Let me see.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right where my finger is.

Male Voice:    That’s you?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’s me.

Male Voice:    Carl, hi Carl. Any other message that you want to leave to this interview?

Carl M. Jacobsen:       No, I think this was a great idea. I wish you all the very best in, you know, your pursuit of putting this all together and making something out of it.

00:34:00

I mean it’s, I’m really very, very pleased with the way the Korean people do things.

Male Voice:    Mm-hmm.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       You show a lot of enthusiasm. You know, your abilities are very sound and it’s good. I mean, I wish there were other people or other countries that would follow suit. But you know,

00:34:30

you folks have been doing it for a long, long time. You’ve become very skilled at it, and that’s, that’s good. I don’t know why, your question like back earlier about, you know, you wonder why these other countries have never shown the same appreciation. I have no idea.

Male Voice:    You know I want to thank you for your fight, sacrifice, and many people killed in action and still in, you know, missing in action.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

00:35:00

Male Voice:    Without your fight and sacrifice, there is no Korea, that’s obvious. Obviously, we did a lot of work to do, to accomplish unprecedented simultaneous development of economy and democracy.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    But the basis is there that you fought for us, and I think that’s the strongest link between the U.S. and Korea, not the politicians, not the president.

00:35:30

But the young men and women who never knew anything about Korea but were dragged into the war and fought for it.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Right.

Male Voice:    That’s why this foundation, the Korean War Veteran’s Digital Memorial Foundation, is trying to preserve your memory, honor your service, and finally, I want to educate our young generation so that they can continue on your legacy. Grandpa, talk to your grandson, ask him to do what he needs to do, okay?

00:36:00

Carl M. Jacobsen:       I certainly will.

Male Voice:    Great. Thank you again, Carl. It was a wonderful interview, and you must be proud as a man of 183 Airborne Division.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       187.

Male Voice:    187, I’m sorry.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       That’s right.

Male Voice:    Thank you again.

Carl M. Jacobsen:       Thank you.

[End of recorded material]