Charles Eggenberger was born in 1930 on a farm in Wisconsin, then moved to Minnesota. Having lost his mother at four years of age, and growing up with an impersonal father, he wanted to be a part of something that would teach him necessary life skills. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After basic training in California, he spent one year of service in Guam, followed by three months in Tsingtao, China. Upon his return to the United States, he attended additional training at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, where he received orders to go to Korea. In 1950, he participated in the amphibious Inchon Landing and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
Journey to the Front
Charles Eggenberger recalls his 1950 arrival in Korea. He describes his journey, from basic training in San Diego, California, to being stationed in both Guam and China, before the Korean War broke out. He describes his participation in the amphibious Inchon Landing, and a combat lesson he learned while fighting the enemy in Seoul.
Encountering the Chinese
Charles Eggenberger describes going up a mountain in trucks through Hagalwoori to the Chosin Reservoir area. He recalls how his unit learned that the Chinese had crossed the border near the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the surrounding units of soldiers had taken off out of the area during the initial attack by the Chinese.
Bearing the Extreme Cold
Charles Eggenberger talks about being able to withstand the extreme cold he encountered in Korea. He describes a childhood of not having enough warmth because of poverty and neglect. He recalls seeing the injuries some soldiers suffered from not knowing how to take care of their extremities in the cold.