Korean War Legacy Project

Charles Connally

Bio

Charles Connally grew up in Victoria, Texas and enlisted in the Air Force in 1948. He worked as an Aircraft Engineer and a flight engineer and had an interest in flying but a lung surgery disqualified him from continuing as a pilot. Almost immediately after his surgery he was notified that he would be going to Korea. Once in Korea, he was stationed in Seoul where he worked on engines for B-52, C-45, and C-46 planes. Although he was not directly on the front lines, he still had to worry about mortar fire as well as snipers. When he sees what the Republic of Korea, specifically Seoul, looks like today he is very proud of his service in Korea.

Video Clips

Living Conditions

Charles Connally describes the dangers he faced and living conditions in Korea. He explains that mortar fire, snipers, and shrapnel were a constant concern but luckily many injuries were avoided except for two men: one was shot in the shoulder by a sniper and another was hit in the leg by a shard of shrapnel. He goes on to describe the miserable food options that led to his losing nearly forty pounds during his stay and sleeping in quonset huts.

Tags: Seoul,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIPGq3OH6Jw&start=347&end=536

Psychological Warfare

Charles Connally describes two psychological strategies utilized during the war. He describes connecting large speakers to the bottoms of B-52s and playing recordings of Korean women compelling the North Korean men to go home to their wives. He goes on to explain how the Chinese would fly planes over their camp at night, occasionally dropping hand grenades and bombs, in order to limit the amount of rest soldiers got. This the troops referred to as "Bed Check Charlie."

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIPGq3OH6Jw&start=770&end=878

Opinions of MacArthur

Charles Connally explains why he feels that the media and US government falsely referred to the conflict in the Korea as a 'police action' instead of a war, originally. He explains that the Japanese and Korean people held General MacArthur in very high regard, which possibly went to his head, feeding his ego and leading him to believe that he didn't need to listen to the President. He explains that in his opinion, had MacArthur been left to do as he intended, thousands of lives would have been spared.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIPGq3OH6Jw&start=1550&end=1628

Video Transcript

00:00
my name is hell totally I’m from
00:02
Victoria here in Victoria and I
00:05
répondre rated the town movie to a Waco
00:09
and temple and I came to victory good I
00:12
would join the air force when I was like
00:15
did your own you enlisted enlisted in
00:19
the Air Force I was 18 what year was
00:22
that that day even in a nineteen forty
00:25
nine forty forty 1948 I went to basic
00:32
training at lackland air force base in
00:33
San Antonio I’m going to be in the room
00:39
I went in for one year and I was going
00:42
to be in the desert for six years but
00:47
the korean war broke out and they call
00:50
be read back you voluntarily for 11 year
00:55
and then I just said well I’ll realize
00:58
for three so I altogether i had sick
01:01
here five months and three days your
01:07
accountant let out anyway I went to go
01:13
like I didn’t did my major trading then
01:17
i went to dayton ohio and i was i’m
01:20
aircraft engine mechanic which goes up
01:23
there an aircraft engine mechanic we
01:26
tell me a little bit about what your
01:27
what your job was well we would we
01:30
worked on engine son be 25 and see 47th
01:35
and see 46 ease my job was in a mostly
01:40
in the engine part of it and i think i
01:44
checked out and all three of those
01:46
planes and then I did lots of a flying
01:49
and his assistant on-the-job training as
01:52
a flight engineer and I flew what the
01:57
whole lot i was fly without two-star
01:59
general and his crew chief was training
02:02
me and
02:04
engineer flight engineer and that’s why
02:07
we got I got to fly or I didn’t mean 25
02:10
and c-47s and c-46s general training he
02:16
lived in Nam Layton but he was stationed
02:19
in the Pentagon we used to pick up up on
02:22
friday afternoon he’d take it back and
02:23
sunday but anyway moving all over the
02:26
states to for him to inspect air bases
02:31
so that’s why I’ve had that city about
02:34
six months of flour Oh God and I had an
02:37
operation in my lungs and he took me I
02:41
would fit in flying the Lord so did I
02:44
got into aircraft parts what year did
02:47
you have surgery on I take 52 52 British
02:51
general san antonio and nine months
02:58
later they said you’re going to korea i
03:02
said i just had an operation as part of
03:06
my memory motive he said we’ve got real
03:08
good doctors for him so i went to go
03:11
really sort of one here in Korea but had
03:15
you had you heard of Korea before you
03:17
found out you’re going to be going there
03:20
had you heard of Korea before oh yeah I
03:24
knew what was going on over there but
03:26
you are just broke down right in the
03:28
July and I I was one the first one they
03:31
could recall back in start then and I’d
03:34
like say for one year they recalled me
03:37
for one year then i went ahead an
03:39
extended myself for three of real it’s
03:41
43 so I interstate over there seven
03:44
months during the War of the case 16 so
03:48
career
03:54
and but I’ve our went out of and I
03:59
whenever chef this code on a USS
04:02
Mitchell I’ll anything of Muhammad Japan
04:05
on the 24th day of the server of 1952
04:17
and I the next day up to it they flew me
04:24
out to South Korea seven degree below
04:28
zero and the wind blowing snowing on
04:30
Christmas Day I Christmas day I was a
04:36
staff sergeant it’s time and I was in
04:45
charge of if it be inserted at 23 of
04:48
animes and I chased porch he got
04:52
received cut course for aircraft came
04:54
back shut up yep I went to Japan seven
04:58
times and one year to get parts and
05:01
everything ago she ate fortune never
05:03
second his airplane that was my biggest
05:06
job I had five Koreans working for me in
05:10
the two cribben in aircraft points they
05:13
come back all shot up so I had to get
05:16
him in and Japan was I who asked for all
05:20
the ports was so in in November of
05:27
course I went to Japan for 37 our door
05:30
rest and relaxation that was a nice one
05:37
for time is perfect asian part i came
05:42
home november and not seen 53 did you
05:48
ever engage in any serious kind of
05:49
battles or anything the german calendar
05:51
any dangerous situation we had Bob stops
05:54
with it maybe a quarter of all of us and
05:57
we had jails they said it was 105 on top
06:02
of a Quonset hut
06:04
we step in the water and had lots of
06:07
shrapnel tolerance but very fortunate
06:12
that we’re getting about what man heard
06:13
that I know of that’s good they were
06:16
running him a preacher Trevor fed his
06:18
leg video but anyway that was right
06:21
there where I was and we had sniper II
06:23
up in a mountain shooting one guy was
06:27
what going to lodge a gunshot the show
06:29
but the front of us so it was always
06:33
you’re there hmm you could have any time
06:37
tell me a little bit about the living
06:40
conditions what were you getting paid
06:43
how are you being fed where are you
06:45
sleeping I wait on an 88 pounds when I
06:48
went over there and I came back on
06:50
hundred forty-six who held the food we
06:54
got a hair for job to food from the Army
06:57
down in town so sometimes they go down
07:01
here in the trucking kitty started back
07:03
to base LA city kids jump on that truck
07:06
so we didn’t have they had to give us
07:09
what is a Norman gamers so we we I had
07:13
one green onion I think those time had
07:16
to base was when i went to japan i think
07:19
properly lot but living quarters i was
07:25
living in a Quonset hut and i would
07:30
Leslie often aircraft over there it had
07:36
my first sergeant in Brooks Air Force
07:39
Base and I was together for two and a
07:42
half years it’s a time when i got to
07:45
korea seoul korea a saint guy walking
07:49
and he lived for megan holla’d at him he
07:53
turned around how my first artist so we
07:59
stayed together at six before he came
08:02
over here how many people were you in
08:04
those quantum huts with there was about
08:07
16 hours in a quarter head I was
08:11
supposed to stay of others
08:13
the base but says he was first started
08:16
in the headquarters his kirkland my
08:19
turtle got together and they let me stay
08:22
over honey I think we’re all the
08:26
activities are I didn’t have to live in
08:28
a tent over there and was before so I
08:32
had it really nice for enforced living
08:34
quarters do you recall how much you’re
08:37
getting paid well stocked I don’t
08:40
remember a second i have my check you
08:43
into my life in victoria here and i just
08:46
i was a sergeant of arms in the NCO club
08:49
so you were already married whenever I
08:52
got mad 1951 so right before you went to
08:55
Korea rule so what was her reaction
08:58
whenever she found out that you were
09:00
going to be going overseas to a country
09:02
she had probably never even really heard
09:03
of yeah what was her reaction well I say
09:06
that already been in service for about
09:08
two years IM three so she was she knew
09:12
what they play yeah sure my here in
09:15
service I can’t do you things could
09:18
happen you’re going to go right and
09:21
that’s what we did but chaqueta Victoria
09:24
Selective Service she drafted people by
09:28
husband and career so don’t everything
09:33
so you had just had surgery and they
09:36
told you Connolly you can go you’re
09:39
going to Korea true so what were you
09:41
thinking like oh my gosh like I just had
09:44
the surgery what was going through your
09:45
mind that’s when a doctor said wait we
09:48
got good doctors in Korea so I didn’t he
09:51
deep into me I went to go really check
09:53
out a real bed 37 stitches really a
09:57
negative today I had a little sis or not
10:00
cancer doctor bay and that means he just
10:02
had been born with it so absolutely but
10:07
anyway I and he wasn’t bad for the Air
10:09
Force I felt sorry for the poor me in
10:12
the Marines everybody that we killed the
10:19
frontline Harmon maybe then they left
10:21
Korea and a frozen river
10:24
does he get to be a little dinner but
10:28
everybody all the army may be anybody
10:31
killed they take a guided long dopo nor
10:34
do we and Frizzle an integral back to
10:38
the base and suddenly morning and they
10:41
just had a truck and everybody would
10:44
invite from still and they back up it
10:47
gets a big airplane out there download
10:48
them and they flew up in Japan your mom
10:52
or break a speed and instead him home
10:55
about how many people at a time were
10:57
they bring him back well very but that
11:01
Trek I’d say 28 30 hours Sunday morning
11:05
wasn’t loaded on a truck going in Japan
11:09
where they ate was it mainly American
11:11
soldiers yes they walk American sugar oh
11:14
they had a loop on each end these German
11:19
hands dagwon airplane so awful calm down
11:22
and it flows abandon involve them and
11:25
put gas bitch urban Ketchikan settles in
11:28
space so that wasn’t Pleasant say ever
11:33
suddenly see how many armed and so there
11:36
is where they brought him in from the
11:38
front we had a big Billy here and just
11:44
got helicopters came in and unload them
11:47
in that building and equipment bigger
11:49
blame for one in Japan the wooded woods
11:51
also so I’ve been on for years over
11:56
muffled officer so it was sad to see and
12:03
you know I used to walk through there
12:05
ever the emergence of him had cigarettes
12:07
courses asked him if you want to
12:10
cigarette and they was trying and died
12:13
and everything in that Billy Connolly
12:15
just came from the front and I give them
12:19
a cigarette and just talking to him
12:22
you’ll be all right you know
12:23
I’ll let you said not to like eight hour
12:27
after that Billy it was a big bill it
12:30
was all I can’t wait endure beloved to
12:34
go to Japan hospitals so that’s what I
12:39
did and main thing chasing points was
12:45
amazed they gettin port for the air girl
12:48
we had to keep them flied and we was a
12:52
psychological warfare that we’ve had
12:55
korean women and b25 had big speakers
12:59
underneath the engine happened to be
13:04
fixed me to us and they talked it and
13:07
they filled the line front lined up
13:10
there we won but nine miles so funny and
13:13
they adopted a north korean telling me
13:16
he should go home to your wife Annie why
13:19
are you fighting for and all that
13:20
probably under you know a psychological
13:24
but another thing we had about six
13:28
months over seven they’d check Charlie
13:32
they would fly over us in Eric Evernight
13:37
weather-related Bennett check check
13:41
check Charlie okay and what is possibly
13:45
the time we have to we had our radar set
13:49
on top of the hill no and there was
13:53
little bitty airplane North Korean
13:54
players real light plane but flowers and
13:57
break our morale we had to get out three
14:00
or four times a night you out
14:02
Sandra but you know and drop out a
14:06
hacker night they drop out of another 25
14:09
l bomb Jessa dr. Smith says that we had
14:12
to get up and now we cut we got an AV
14:16
plate over the earth because I real slow
14:20
from there with lid me des plaines we
14:22
put our radar down in the lower place
14:24
and we could pick up up further but that
14:27
name it plays shut down for one night so
14:30
then we got to sleep for a little walk
14:32
free after that take your thigh real
14:36
slow did you did you always know that
14:41
you wanted to go into the service did
14:45
you always know that you wanted to go
14:47
into the service what what was it that
14:52
made you want to join the air force well
14:56
I was working in Victoria here with a
15:00
guy here only 24 pollen and during world
15:03
war two and i would like to say 17 year
15:07
old and then they kept after get
15:10
recruiting excited to get me in here for
15:13
it be an Air Force I method well I’ll
15:17
join never ago decided said you’ll be
15:19
met a prince said at all if we get to
15:22
come home and they’re all huh so I
15:24
Jordan not when I got to basic training
15:28
mother said right in paterson Dayton
15:30
Ohio as a lie it’s not good set a job
15:35
but anyway that’s where I was for what
15:38
you make no hi so your wife was still
15:42
living here in Victoria were you able to
15:44
exchange letters back and forth with her
15:46
pretty easily all the time do you still
15:48
have some of those letters I know thanks
15:52
we’ve been married 57 years she passed
15:55
away in oh wait sorry to hear that yeah
15:59
it’s a long time congratulations not
16:03
very many people can even make half that
16:05
these days well I haven’t got a little
16:08
German wife and she was a good cook it’s
16:13
always a good witness pressures on earth
16:17
very sweet Johnny children way I have a
16:23
son 58 euro and I have a daughter 54
16:26
year and my son has two sons my daughter
16:31
has a son and a daughter so I got for
16:36
now I’m going is I got all together I’ve
16:43
got five or six
16:45
great-great-grandchildren oh oh so they
16:49
must just be little then well well I’m
16:51
just a quick so she’s a little girl I
16:53
the other boy boys 4 30 and the little
16:59
done it little girl the name is Tyler
17:03
mature bitch is the sun’s oldest son as
17:10
the girl in flower is for you she
17:14
created and she seems likely Gideon do
17:17
that so fantastic gradually he sends the
17:23
family’s growing we raised a little
17:26
spanish girl she about 80 when we got
17:29
her from mexico and she just I’m pop on
17:34
Manny we’ve always been with rated it
17:36
she has four children and one of the boy
17:40
and three girls and the girls go get her
17:43
master degree
17:45
daughter the 16th of maybe they smush of
17:48
ever master Wow granny rest grandson
17:53
he’s in British Army Hospital in
17:55
serotonin allowed technician and the
17:59
other to live one lives in Victoria one
18:01
is in history so ever though I was in
18:04
ROTC and we’ve always been Papa minions
18:09
they love me just like my own and I’ll
18:12
compete oh no not quite i think i might
18:20
solve some questions for you so after
18:24
you returned home from your duty did you
18:26
talk about your experience in korea at
18:28
all did you talk to your family or your
18:31
wife about what you like yes you know
18:41
you see that all that but some people
18:45
are struggling another you get death
18:47
over there and seeing what i did you get
18:51
don’t get you every will get accustomed
18:54
to it but you accepted hey Jake me see
19:00
if I was a lie caught it yes you know it
19:05
would affected me and it for anyone and
19:11
where are you stationed out in curry
19:12
again sure you were stationed in Seoul
19:15
93 they would they would bring in that
19:16
was about 10 10 miles of town 50 have a
19:21
long Tong PO long dong po po that’s what
19:26
a little air base was nothing it was ok
19:29
16 I say we had to be 25 c-47 secret and
19:36
we had some braziers experience pitfire
19:38
there too and they had that said with
19:43
psychological warfare you talking it
19:46
Korean people on the ground and that’s
19:49
when they came back with mother house
19:51
all underneath
19:54
poor child so I your military base it
19:59
was American troops and you also had
20:01
korean soldiers there as well we didn’t
20:04
have very many Corinne so did you Air
20:08
Force was different that no I remember
20:10
and that’s where the moisture look if
20:12
you’re a young people mm-hmm so what
20:16
were some of maybe your most pleasant or
20:18
rewarding memories that you had during
20:20
your time there well I you know you knew
20:30
people instead of the side of the road
20:32
in watches and everything and i get
20:37
travelling and did them dance wasn’t
20:40
nothing i Satan peoplehood I stopped
20:45
when she would ask for the kill bouquet
20:47
14 and I I seen a man floating in the
20:51
water they was working out random in a
20:53
rice paddy he was just float so I
20:56
stopped rod a dozen the best damn and I
21:00
didn’t wonder that yeah there’s
21:03
something they were so used to seeing
21:04
when I got back they put it over the
21:06
ground and then the first thing when i
21:11
got to korea but wait was a bridge can
21:14
be narrow bed and the first day I my
21:19
first thought I would so we’re down
21:22
there and there was a man hanging in the
21:24
end of the bridge hanging yep what did
21:30
what is this he said well they swim
21:32
across the river at night and it had
21:35
tents when voice low and each would have
21:39
had a footlocker and they would take
21:42
their clothes a level of her lawyer and
21:46
he’s guy was to swim across the river
21:48
coming there was a sharp knife and
21:51
everybody had a house boys are there it
21:54
was aware where you could put your pads
21:57
and everything but they would cut that
21:59
tent pull their pants out
22:02
steal their money and whatever the hell
22:05
two pockets so they county of mindy hung
22:08
him front the telework field if he gets
22:12
caught europe i shut those tents so that
22:16
was currently set up their birth
22:18
different day they could have to happen
22:19
I st. a manly on the street sidewalk did
22:25
he stayed there for Betty two days right
22:30
on the sidewalk man in town so that’s
22:35
where it was a American career well it
22:40
was Americans responsible for the
22:41
hanging or they’ll answer did that it
22:43
was actually his Korean side in it okay
22:45
I just want to make sure there was
22:47
Korean its toll hey about him as letters
22:51
tell the others and you stare they got a
22:55
good toys and Danny so um have you been
23:05
back to Korea no ma’am I hadn’t but when
23:09
they had that Olympics prep three years
23:11
ago for 24 years ago mm-hmm looking at
23:14
the pictures and everything when I went
23:17
to carry out there with every building
23:19
that would fall out I mean every would
23:23
not ever build thousands of people come
23:26
in tell us soon but one thing they
23:29
didn’t bother was that doubt that
23:33
religions and what is a brooder or
23:36
whatever you know their religious big
23:39
mouth that it wasn’t touched really yeah
23:44
it was a habit what kind of brutal
23:46
awesome Buddha well that make that
23:49
religion mmm Buddhist Buddhism I’m not
23:55
sure never elizabeth ii would that big
23:57
mouth
23:57
not her right there on main street I
24:00
remember that just pretty everything
24:03
else around its destroyed except for
24:04
that Wow incredible so what do you think
24:09
is the legacy carried on by Korean War
24:12
veterans and the Korean War what is the
24:14
legacy well you know he’s on what he
24:19
called it that what if people forgets
24:22
about it everything they don’t realize I
24:24
mean American so did we lost nearly
24:27
34,000 now and over there overseas and
24:32
fighting Iraq and we lost more than that
24:35
this certainly gets about three years
24:38
they’ve been fighting ten years over
24:41
there so we lost many other three years
24:45
three years as a nelson why do you think
24:49
it’s known as they’re forgotten more
24:53
where do i do you think it got that
24:55
title have forgotten more like you just
24:57
said where do you think that time you
24:59
know to fear now boys I guess I feel
25:03
like a dignity over they came home but
25:06
it wouldn’t recognize the nice if till
25:08
it kids now that that some shit but all
25:11
that but we came home we get nothing I
25:17
mean nothing you just came over to your
25:22
next assignment of what any anything but
25:26
we need to drive about it I me that so
25:29
we’re just glad to get home but to build
25:32
on people to get criticized so bad for
25:35
people thought they’d what he did but
25:38
that all that wasn’t true what people
25:41
with room
25:49
well the i’m tryna gotta wear this
25:55
excuse me yeah during the war the
25:59
government and newspapers called the
26:02
Korean War a police action the true why
26:07
do you think they called it a police
26:09
action and a war we must do was why
26:12
everybody opinion now this may be
26:15
subject but hey President Truman with my
26:20
daughter alone it would have been a lost
26:22
shorter warn my opinion about some other
26:25
opinions he wanted it labeled in
26:28
Japanese and the Koreans they respected
26:33
him very much so so he in and he got so
26:38
big and important he’s like he had
26:41
listened that printed Truman some found
26:45
out he did that’s when predator been
26:48
fighting but even if they had left him
26:52
alone it could have saved thousands of
26:55
lives so he was done in my opinion would
26:58
have stopped the war lot sooner than it
27:00
did but that’s what we have him
27:08
in 2013 we witnessed the 60th
27:12
anniversary of the signing of the
27:13
armistice which was signed by China
27:16
North Korea and the UN there’s no other
27:20
war in history that has lasted 60 years
27:22
after an official ceasefire what do you
27:26
think that we need to do to put a
27:27
closure on the war yeah we still have
27:30
one 3030 boy still over there in Korea
27:36
hmm and we never would you sign up what
27:40
a pitch tree in China end of the war
27:44
still active right and now North Korea
27:50
oh it’s been healed everybody for war
27:53
equipment and me and me and demand and
27:57
the people are starving to death of
27:59
their so they someday I feel like they
28:02
will have to go being again it’s bad but
28:06
I think their leadership and everything
28:09
it would visit go be another war in
28:12
Korea I knew it’s pretty village would
28:16
you support a reunification if it were
28:19
possible to do a reunification to
28:26
reunite north and south korea oh do you
28:31
think it would ever be possible I think
28:33
it’s possible for this you know this
28:37
young gible over there now the present
28:39
Eleanor for real he comes and goes but
28:41
he died and some of his old people he
28:44
don’t listen that you know they you know
28:50
he’s very young I don’t nobody comes in
28:54
over for the last year or so he did
28:56
different things to to try to aggravate
28:59
us that’s like he realized that he
29:05
should not do that because what will it
29:08
improve on his just dump all that
29:17
do you think it’s important for younger
29:19
generations to know and understand the
29:23
sacrifices and that were made during
29:26
Korea very much very much that’s why we
29:33
went over to the University of Houston
29:34
he gave it to reach of their fashion
29:37
shows what kind of service well what we
29:40
did over there tell what the real war
29:44
was no some dope they were you know it’s
29:47
60 years ago and no yeah they don’t know
29:50
but we try to explain to what happened
29:52
and everything do you think that the
29:57
Korean War Legacy Foundation is
29:59
important and necessary what we’re doing
30:01
here interviewing veterans didn’t very
30:05
important because that way some of it
30:08
you have a generation future they love
30:12
it if read this or somehow and they will
30:16
understand what happened what people
30:19
really did thank you very much