Korean War Legacy Project

Charles Elder


Charles Elder was born on July, 27 1927. He graduated from Towson High School in 1945 and worked for his father as a farmer. In 1949, without the possibility for a deferment, he volunteered to the US Army. He arrived at Pusan in May of 1951 and was stationed near the Punch Bowl while serving in the 2nd Infantry Division, 38th Regiment. Later that month on May 23, while on patrol, he was captured by North Korean soldiers. During that skirmish, he was wounded (hip) by friendly fire with artillery shrapnel. After an arduous journey, he was taken to Camp #5, a Chinese encampment on the Yalu River where he spent the next two years recovering from his wounds as a prisoner of war. He was finally released after the signing of the Armistice agreement.

Video Clips

Taking Care of Myself

Charles Elder talks about the cycle of taking care of himself during his time as a wounded prisoner during the Korean War. He had moments of extreme highs or lows. He had to remind himself to have hope of survival.

Tags: Aprokgang (Yalu River),Chinese,Depression,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,POW

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