Korean War Legacy Project

Charles Gaush


Charles Gaush was born on November 15, 1929, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. After graduating from St. John’s High School in 1947, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Waynesburg College in 1951. He enlisted in the US Army under Scientific and Professional status in July of 1951 and received basic training at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania followed by psychological warfare training at Fort Riley, Kansas. In 1952, he was deployed to Japan and was stationed at Camp Iomia, twenty miles north of Tokyo, helping create propaganda to support the war. He returned to the US in June of 1954 and completed additional degrees with help from the GI Bill. In civilian life, he taught university science courses and worked in biological research.

Video Clips

Psychological Warfare with Propaganda

Charles Gaush talks about his time in the US Army's physchological warfare unit. He describes creating, designing, photographing, and printing propaganda leaflets during the Korean War. The leaflets were printed in Russian, Korean, and Chinese to promote democratic values.

Tags: Aprokgang (Yalu River),Chinese,Communists,Front lines,Letters,Pride

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Leaflets After Korean War

Charles Gaush talks about his job in psychological warfare after the armistice was signed. He describes making leaflets which were dropped in South Korea to give civilians suggestions to improve health and water quality.

Tags: Panmunjeom,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Poverty

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Life in Japan at Camp Iomia

Charles Gaush talks about his time at Camp Iomia, Japan in the US Army's psychological warfare unit. He describes the building he was housed, living conditions, and how much he was paid.

Tags: Food,Living conditions

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of Transcribed Material]


C:        Charles R. Gaush, GAUSH.  Birthday is November 15, 1929.

I :         Where were you born?

C:        Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

I:          Uniontown?
C:        Yes.
I:          Ah.  What is the ethnic origin of Gaush?

C:        German.

I:          German.  (CAN’T HEAR)

C:        Original spelling was Gaus.



I:          Uh huh.  Right.

C:        But one of my ancestors came south from probably Stuttgart.  There’s a lot of Gaush’s around Stuttgart.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        And he went to Croatia as I think what we would call a Customs Agent.  And Gaush is ZAUS is not a Croatian name.  They don’t know how to pronounce that.

I:          Right.

C:        So, it’s GAUS with that critical mark over the S.



Which makes it sound S, SH.

I:          Um hm.
C:        So, when my father came to the United States and was naturalized, they said we would suggest that you put an H on the end of your name, so it’s pronounced correctly.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        So, that’s how it become GAUSH.

I:          Kind of natural adaptation.  Hm.  Tell me about your family, you know, your father.



You said that your father had a business over

C:        My father was born in Croatia.

I:          Croatia.

C:        In 1884.  And he came to the United States, I’m not sure when because I still can’t find the record.  Somewhere between 1909 and 1913.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        And he traveled around the states to see what it was like I guess.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        And he finally settled in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.

I:          Uh huh.



C:        And he was a self-taught photographer.  And he built a studio called the Palace Studio in Brownsville.  And he put thousands of pictures there.  But he lost all that.

I:          Oh.

C:        In 1929 when I was born.

I:          Tell me about those days, the Great Depression.  It was hard times.

C:        Very hard, yeah.



We were poor.

I:          I thought that you were rich because your father was a photographer.

C:        Well, he

I:          He even had a studio.

C:        He owned his own studio.  He owned his own car.  He owned his own house which was built to his specifications.  But he lost all that.



I:          Yeah.

C:        He had to sell it.

I:          Out of the blue.

C:        Yeah.  So, you know, it’s hard to sell a studio in the Depression.  So, he was very, very generous.  He issued, people would ask him for money caused they were poor, and they were unemployed.  And he’d give them vouchers.

I:          Uh huh.



C:        That were good only at clothing stores and grocery stores, not good at a liquor store.  So, by 1929, he had an awful lot of friends.  And he’s get in contact with them and say on such and such a day, you come to my studio and look around cause he had a buyer for his studio.  So, he, you know, was kind of busy.



So, it would make a good impression on the buyer.  But finally, I guess he sold it.

I:          And that’s how your family survived?

C:        That’s how the family survived.  And they came to Brownsville, and then they moved to Uniontown.  And my father got a job, well he was unemployed.



So, we were on Welfare, what they would call Relief then for several years.  And then he got a job on a WPA.

I:          What is that?

C:        Work Projects Administration.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        It’s one of Roosevelt’s programs.

I:          Right.

C:        And he got a job digging ditches.  And he was pretty smart, so he worked himself up to General Foreman for which he was paid $82.50 a month.



Thirty dollars of which went for rent that we had.

I:          Thirty dollars?
C:        We had to live on the rest.  So, of course, you know, eggs were .13 a dozen.  So, the rest of it went fairly well.  We were never hungry or poorly clothed.  But many people were.

I:          Thirteen cents for a dozen eggs.

C:        Yeah.

I:          Tell me about the school you went through.



In elementary school, we didn’t have kindergarten, you know.  We went to first grade.  And I bounced between the public school and a Catholic school.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Sometimes I’d go to the public school, and sometimes I’d go to the Catholic school.  Third grade, for example, was Catholic school.  And I remember I was in the boys’ choir.



And until I got to high school and my mother insisted that I stay at the Catholic high school, St. John’s High School.  So, I stayed there for four years and graduated in 1947.

I:          What did you do after graduation?

C:        I went to college.

I:          What college?
C:        Waynesburg College.

I:          Could you spell it?


I:          College?
C:        Yeah.  That’s also in Pennsylvania.

I:          How did you get into it?  You said that your family was poor.  Did you get a scholarship?

C:        No.  My father helped me cause he was working then.  He’d gone from WPA to renting a studio.

I:          Again.
C:        So, he’s back in business.



So, he paid for a lot of it, and then I worked for some of it.

I:          Um hm.

C:        At college.

I:          What did you study?  Was it for two years or one year?
C:        Two years.  They had a college center in Uniontown.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Because this was right after the War.  They had a lot of students, and they couldn’t handle them all in Waynesburg.  So, I took my first two years in Uniontown.

I:          What did you study?

C:        Well, you took your basic core courses like English, History, stuff you needed for a degree.



I:          Um hm.

C:        And then when I got to Waynesburg, then you took your specialty courses.

I:          What?
C:        My major was Biology.  And my minor was Chemistry.

I:          Ah.  Were you interested in this stuff?
C:        Oh yeah.

I:          Ah.  Why?

C:        I always wanted to be a scientist.  But I didn’t know which science I wanted. I was a chemistry major at first.



But my Chemistry grades weren’t that great.  And so, the dean scratched that out and put in Biology majors.  But I had four semesters of Biology, and I had four As.  So, he said you’d make a better biologist than you would a chemist.  So, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be.  Biology, that’s a big field.  And I wasn’t really thrilled about any fields of Biology.



Until the last semester of my senior year. I had to fill out my schedule, so I’d have a full schedule.  And they had a new course they just added.  Never had it before called Bacteriology.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        And I put that.  That’s what I wanted.  That’s what I wanted to do.



I:          As a college student at the time, not everybody had that college degree, did you know, did you have any knowledge about Asia and Korea?

C:        None.

I:          None?
C:        While in college I had some because the War started when I was in college.  The War started in ’50, and I graduated in 1951.

I:          Um hm.



C:        So, we knew what was going on.

I:          What did you know about Korea?
C:        I knew there was a war on.  And in 1950, it didn’t look too good cause I was walking up the street one day and the college President was sitting in his car.  And we stopped and said hi Pretsy.  How you doing, and we chatted a while.  He had the radio on, and he says wait, listen to this.


And we listened to the news report that some battle or something in Korea.

I:          When were you drafted?
C:        I wasn’t drafted. I enlisted.

I:          You enlisted.

C:        Yeah.

I:          When?
C:        Nineteen fifty-one.

I:          Month, date?
C:        July 13, Friday.

I:          Enlisted for Army or what?
C:        Army.

I:          Army.

C:        I shopped around.  And I looked at the Navy and they gave me a test that had a hundred questions, sort of qualifying test.

I:          Um hm.



C:        I got 98 out of 100.

I:          Why didn’t you go to the Navy?
C:        The Navy was four years active and four years Reserve.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Which I think most of them were that way, four and four.

I:          Um hm.

C:        The Army had a special program called S & P, Scientific and Professional.

I:          S & P.

C:        P.
I:          P.  Scientific and Professional.

C:        Right.

I:          And what is that?

C:        That was a program the Army had to collect expertise.



I:          I see.

C:        And since I had a bachelor’s degree in science, that’s where I took that.  That was three years active.

I:          And?
C:        No Reserve.

I:          No Reserve.
C:        Yeah.  So, I thought that was a pretty good deal.

I:          Why not Air Force?

C:        I don’t know.  I think it was four and four.

I:          Where did you go to receive basic military training?
C:        Basic training was in Indian town Gap Military Reservation.




I:          Where?
C:        Indian town Gap Military Reservation.

I:          Where is it, in Pennsylvania?
C:        In Pennsylvania, very near Hershey.  We were in the Fifth Infantry Division.

I:          Fifth?
C:        That was Yellow, or Red Diamonds for.  So, then the Fifth Infantry Division, at the time, was commanded by Major General Kaiser who had just gotten fired in Korea for ruining the Second Division.



I:          And what was your specialty?
C:        I didn’t have a specialty.

I:          Rifleman?
C:        Well, everybody’s a rifleman.

I:          Um hm.  You didn’t have any specialty.

C:        No.  So, I was classified as RA Unassigned.  So, on my cap, everybody else had some kind of piping red or green or yellow or whatever service they were in.


But I was RA Unassigned, so I had green piping.  I was the only one with green.

I:          And did you know that you were going to go to Korea?
C:        We assumed that we’d end up in Korea.

I:          So, when did you leave for Korea?

C:        I don’t remember.  I remember we first went to Fort Riley in Kansas.  That was a holding detachment for psychological warfare because they needed people.



I:          Uh huh.

C:        They needed photographers, printers, pressman, bindery people.  It was a printing shop is what they were collecting.  And finally, that was organized as a psychological warfare unit.  We moved to Fort Bragg.



And there was, I don’t know what they called it, but the Army unit was 8239 if you want to know exactly what you were in.

I:          Um hm.

C:        You were in 8239 Army unit.

I:          What is that?

C:        Psychological warfare.

I:          What kind of

C:        8240 incidentally was Special Forces.  We were right next door to them.

I:          What kind of training did you receive for this?



C:        We had the printing part of psychological warfare, and we had a radio unit.  We broadcast.  And we had a guy in our outfit who was from Russia.  He spoke fluent Russian.

I:          So, the printing and radio, you were promoting American value?
C:        We were promoting democratic values and freedom, and we also did modern military stuff.



Like health, nutrition and welfare.  And I remember we had, we printed posters instead of, in addition to leaflets.  We printed millions and millions of leaflets.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        We printed in three languages.



I:          Um hm.

C:        Korean, Chinese and Russian.
I:          Uh huh.
C:        Because we knew there were some Russian pilots mixed in there.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        In North Korea.  And we printed one million of these leaflets, that’s including all of the three languages.  And they sat in leaflet bonds in our shop for about two or three months.



And then all of a sudden, they came, I think it was 3:00 in the morning and woke us up and said we’re loading your leaflets.  Get over to the shop.

I:          So, you actually worked on that poster or what?
C:        Oh yeah.  My section chief and I shot the halftone.  And a lot of photo lithography, everything has to be photographed first.

I:          Hm.
C:        Everything.


The type, the photograph.  And that’s sent to the, what we call the stripping section.  And they put it together on a flat.

I:          Where did you make this poster?  Was it in?

C:        In Omiya.

I:          Omiya?
C:        Japan.

I:          Huh?
C:        The shop, this is where I worked for 18 months.

I:          That’s Omiya in Japan?
C:        Yes.

I:          Huh.

C:        Camp Omiya.

I:          Right.  And then?  Show me another one.



This one I have to tell you more about that one.

I:          Omiya?
C:        The blue leaflet.

I:          Oh, okay.
C:        The reason they were waiting for, to drop it, they were waiting for a weather pattern.  They were waiting for a very strong wind flowing north into China because we couldn’t fly across the Yalu.

I:          Um hm.



C:        So, they loaded them into B29s and flew however high a B29 could fly, it was around 25,000 feet, and they flew exactly over the Yalu River.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Then they dropped bombs, and they were set to explode at 20,000 feet.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        And so you had thee hundreds and hundreds of thousands of leaflets floating up into China.

I:          Um hm.

C:        And so our Intelligence on the ground said they found them 200 miles up into China.



And shortly after that or at that time, North Korean pilots flew down to Kimpo.

I:          Really?
C:        Yeah.  And he said he never saw that leaflet.

I:          He never saw that?
C:        We don’t believe it cause he landed at Kimpo.

I:          Right.

C:        And they put the plane in a hangar and kept it there for 10 days, and they didn’t say anything.  And he said he would not fly down to South Korea with that airplane for money.



He says now if they had offered something like, you know, freedom and some other things.

I:          Um hm.
C:        That would be something else again.  But we were ready to go with the second leaflet.  But we couldn’t drop it cause the Armistice was signed.

I:          Ha.

C:        And this is the second one, that’s in Korean.  You can read that.  And somewhere in there it would say how much freedom we were offering him., like $50,000 and a trip to the United States,



A new identity, a house, a job.  How much more freedom do you want?

I:          (KOREAN) So, this is basically asking them to surrender.



And you know, if you want to pursue freedom and if you want to have a more safe and better life and honorable life, there is opportunity.  That’s the basic message.

C:        Yes.

I:          Show that to the camera.  Did you work in this?
C:        Yes.

I:          Ha.

C:        I photographed all that.  And the same thing.  We printed a million of those in three languages.



I:          How many different kinds of leaflets or posters did you work on?
C:        How many different?
I:          Different kinds?
C:        Oh Jesus, I don’t know.  Eighteen months, millions.  We printed millions and millions of leaflets, two million for those two leaflets there.  So, you can imagine what we printed.  Our basic leaflet was a, I didn’t bring it with me I don’t think, 5 ½ x 8 ½ because our presses were Harris LTVs.



And a Harris LTV printed 17 x 22 sheets.

I:          Um hm.

C:        That’s a basic measure in printing with paper.  If you want a ream of paper is 500 sheets of 18 x 22.  So, if you cut 18 x 22 in half twice, you end up with 8 ½ x 11 which is what these leaflets are.



I:          Do you remember when you left for Japan?

C:        I left in the winter of 1952 after we processed at Fort Lawton, Washington.

I:          Yeah.

C:        And we had special orders instructions from psychological warfare to call their headquarters in Tokyo.

I:          Uh huh.



C:        And they put the number on the inside of my records jacket, so I’d have it with me.  I didn’t have time to do that because processing, they kept you pretty busy. So, we finished, and I was sitting around Sunday, and I thought I might as well call them.  So, I called them, and I talked to the officer.  And he says well, it’s kind of late.  Since you’re ready to go and yo have your combat equipment and you have your rifle.



But he says I’ll see what I can do.  So, we fell out at midnight to go down to the dock to get on a ship.  And they called names, and they would call Gaush, and I would answer Charles R. and my number, but I didn’t hear my name.  But I thought I didn’t hear it cause I didn’t want to hear it.



So, there were several of us, about half a dozen of us standing there after everyone was called.  And we went up to the Sergeant and I said what happened to my name?  What?  And I said, you know, Gaush, RA30613406366.  And he says you’re red lined.  You’re scrapped.  He says you go back to the barracks for another assignment.



So, I guess the psychological warfare did his magic and pulled me off.  The reasoning was that I spent the first half of my enlistment, 18 months, studying psychological warfare, military intelligence and photography.  I spent four months in Fort Monmoth, New Jersey studying photography.

I:          Um hm.



C:        So, then I go overseas, and they didn’t want me to go to an infantry outfit.  Actually, my orders said I was going to combat engineers.  So, then they’d have an opening on psychological warfare, and they’d have to take someone from infantry or artillery and bring him into psychological warfare and train him all over again.

I:          Um.

C:        The Army thought that was wasteful.

I:          How many were in your team making these leaflets and posters?



C:        I suppose we had 60, 70, 75 people altogether. And we would usually run two shifts.  And when we were very busy, we would run three shifts.  And when we’d run extra shifts, I was the photographer in charge.  And when we’d run three shifts, I as the photographer, I got the third shift.

I:          You never been in Korea then?



C:        Technically, I was in Korea.  When I left, the ship left Japan.  We went around to Korea.  We went into Pusan Harbor.

I:          Yeah.

C:        And we unloaded troops, and we loaded guys coming back.  And we spent the night in Pusan Harbor.

I:          And then you went back to Japan.

C:        Then we went back, from Pusan we went to Fort Lewis, Washington.



I:          Did you like the work that you’d done in Omiya, Japan?
C:        Yes. I was very good at it.

I:          How do you feel about your role there?

C:        I thought it was pretty important because we felt that we got it made. I wasn’t in combat or anything.  But we felt we got it made.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        There’s controversy about that because Lieutenant Know, the guy that flew the plane, said he never saw anything.



I:          Right.

C:        I don’t believe him.  But that’s, I’m a little biased.

I:          So, how many leaflets do you have?  Now do you have many?

C:        I didn’t bring very many back with me because we printed thousands of them.

I:          Um hm.

C:        Over a period of 18 months.  After the Armistice was signed, of course, there was, we didn’t do very much for military affairs.



When we switched to civilian affairs, I can remember printing leaflets dealing with health and nutrition.  I definitely remember one poster we printed about how to get clean water because the text said portable water.  As a biologist, I knew that was wrong.  It’s potable water.



And the commanding officer who was a captain, he says are you sure, Gaush?  I said, I’m positive.  So, he called Tokyo and says is this right, and did you make a mistake?  And they said yes, we did, potable, not portable.

I:          So, this is for the South Koreans.

C:        For South Korea, yeah, cause we couldn’t, I guess, fly over North Korea.



I:          Very interesting.

C:        Yeah.
I:          Where do you think I should go to look at all those leaflets and posters that the American, I mean, the psychological warfare team has made?  Is there any place where I can see?
C:        Yes.  There is a place online, and I can’t give you the URL right now.  But there is this one Sergeant Major who, for some reason, collects leaflets from all wars.



I:          What will be the keyword for me to find that in the internet?
C:        Google Moolah Leaflet.

I:          M?
C:        MOOLAH.

I:          MOOLAH.

C:        Leaflet.

I:          Leaflet.

C:        Moolah in American slang means money.

I:          And what’s Moolah have to do with this leaflet?
C:        Fifty thousand dollars reward for flying the plane.



Instead of calling it a Mig Leaflet as we called it, we called it a Moolah Leaflet.
I:          Oh.  Moolah, MOOLAH.

C:        Yes.  Korean War Moolah Leaflet.
I:          And I can see all of those.

C:        You will get a URL, I’m trying to remember the guy’s name.  He’s a Sergeant Major, and he has a site devoted entirely to that leaflet.



And you will find those two leaflets there, and you will find a picture of the building.

I:          Uh huh.
C:        And you will find my picture working.

I:          You don’t have a picture?

C:        I had it, and I t thought I brought it, but I didn’t.  I left it in my office.

I:          You wanna share those pictures and leaflets with me so that I can put into the data base?
C:        Sure.

I:          Could you send it?

C:        Sure.

I:          Yeah.  I have my



C:        I have your address.

I:          Yes.  I will scan it, and if you want to have it returned to you, I can mail it back to you.

C:        No, I have it on my computer.

I:          Oh.  Then send me the file from your computer rather than sending this.

C:        Okay.

I:          Meaning that you already scanned it.

C:        Oh yeah.

I:          How did you like life in Japan?

C:        Very nice.

I:          Tell me.  How nice?  Why nice?



C:        It was like being a civilian.  You had quarters, and the building that looked like the one I showed you.

I:          Like a hotel.

C:        No.  It was a building.  This, we had earthquakes.  But the building would rattle and

I:          Yeah.

C:        shake, and everybody’d run out and I would stay in bed.  I said look, this is nothing.  Nothing gonna happen to that building.



So, we’d get up and go out and get dressed, go to breakfast and go to work and do your job, have lunch, come home at 5:00, and you’re off duty unless you’re on the second shift.

I:          What a lucky man you are, huh?  Nine to five.  You have an office.

C:        Or four to midnight.

I:          How many were.

C:        For me, mostly four to midnight.



I:          How many were in the room when you slept?
C:        Forty roughly.

I:          In the room?
C:        Thirty, forty.

I:          Thirty, forty altogether in a big room?
C:        Yes.

I:          Okay. Did you have your own bed?

C:        Yes.  I have a picture of that, too, I’ll send you.

I:          Yeah.  Wow.  Did you go around, I don’t know where Omiya.

C:        Omiya?
I:          Yeah.  Is it close to Tokyo?

C:        It’s 22 miles northwest of Tokyo.

I:          I see.

C:        And we’d take the train back and forth.



And we’d go from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro and Wayno and some others that I’ve forgotten.

I:          Did you like Japanese food?

C:        I didn’t eat that much.

I:          Raw fish?
C:        We were advised not to eat the raw fish.

I:          You were advised not to eat?
C:        Yes.

I:          Why?

C:        Because we were from America.  And we don’t have the same immunity as Japanese resident had.



I:          You never tried raw fish.

C:        No.

I:          How much were you paid at the time for your special psychological warfare job?
C:        I was a Staff Sergeant, and I made $145 a month.

I:          Staff Sergeant.  One hundred what?

C:        One hundred and forty-five dollars a month.

I:          What did you do with the money?
C:        Some of it I spent.  I think I sent at least every month half of it home.

I:          To whom?



C:        To my parents.  They saved it for me till I got back.  That’s part of the money I continued my education with.  Of course, I had the GI bill, 36 months’ worth of GI bill.

I:          Thirty-six months?

C:        Yeah.

I:          How much were you paid through this GI bill?

C:        One hundred and ten dollars a month.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Plus tuition.

I:          Plus tuition or included in that?



C:        I think that was included.

I:          Yeah.  One hundred ten dollars included tuition, right?
C:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  And

C:        Well no.  The $110 wasn’t for me.  The University got money for my tuition.

I:          So, you didn’t pay the tuition by yourself.  But it was through the government.

C:        Yeah.

I:          What did you study and where?
C:        I studied Medical Microbiology.

I:          Medical?

C:        Microbiology.

I:          Uh huh.  Where?



C:        At George Washington University at the School of Medicine.

I:          Ah.

C:        Which is in D.C.

I:          Yeah.  For how long?
C:        One year.  Then I decided that I would go to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School for a PhD.

I:          Huh.  And?

C:        And that’s where I went.  I was accepted.



And they asked me what kind of virology do you want to study, he says.  We have three places.  We have Biophysics with Max Sulphur. We have Epidemiology.

I:          Um hm.

C:        Or we have Medical Microbiology with Jonas Salk.  So, I went to Jonas Salk’s lab for about a year and a half.



Then he moved to California, and I was invited to go along.  But they said I would be an employee, and I couldn’t get any degrees.  So, I said no thanks.  I’ll stay here.

I:          When did you start your master’s degree?
C:        I started my master’s degree in 1954.

I:          When did you come back to the United States from Japan?



C:        Nineteen fifty-four.

I:          When?
C:        June.

I:          And, when did you finish your PhD?

C:        Nineteen sixty-one.

I:          What kind of job did you have after that?
C:        I got a job at the University of South Dakota Medical School.

I:          University of South Dakota.  And you taught there?
C:        I taught there.  I taught Virology and Tissue Culture for 15 years.



I:          Very good, huh?
C:        I thought I would go there as we say in America, to get my feet wet, maybe two or three years, you know, to get some experience.  Then I’d go somewhere else.  But I stayed.  It was alright.  It was a nice job.  I ended up as a tenured associate professor.

I:          Good.



C:        And then, I think they had another war.  That was the Viet Nam War.

I:          Um hm.

C:        And money was getting tight.  So, they didn’t have enough government money to support you.  And I got, from the National Institute of Health, over a period of seven years, I got $225,000 for research.


That was in the 1950’s and ‘60’s dollars.

I:          Um hm.
C:        I don’t know how much that is today.  But

I:          It’s a lot.

C:        But that was two cycles of funding.  And then you had, because they had more PhD’s coming online, and the government had to support those.  So, you had to dig and scratch to get money elsewhere.  So, I got some money from the local National Cancer Institute.



I:          So, you’re

C:        Everything was getting more and more difficult.  So, I decided this is not for me.  I mean, I could go to another University.  But I would be faced with the same problem.  So, I got another job, a different kind of job as a laboratory safety officer because the Genetic Engineering lab were using hazardous materials.

I:          Yeah.



They were using radioactive material.  They were using hazardous chemicals.  And they were handling hazardous viruses.  So, they needed safety.  And at that time, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, promulgated two new rules, one covering hazardous biologicals and another covering hazardous chemicals.


So, now everybody needed safety officers whereas before they wouldn’t even have thought to.

I:          Um hm.

C:        So, I got a job with my first job with BRL, Biological Research Laboratories which is one of the first 10 biological research laboratories, genetic laboratories.

I:          ELR.

C:        BRL.


And I was there for a few years.  Then they ran out of money.

I:          Had you ever thought that your military service would turn out like this?
C:        No.  When I was at Camp Drake waiting to be shuffled one way or the other,

I:          Right.


C:        Everything was up in the air.  I had no idea what would happen.  I knew what I would like to do.  And that’s fortunately what happened.  I feel bad.

I:          Why?

C:        Because I think I should have gone to Korea to be a rifleman I guess or maybe I would have been allowed to be a photographer.  I don’t know.  That wasn’t a very good job because the average lifetime of a combat photographer in Korea was six months.



I:          Yeah.

C:        So, I don’t know.  I guess survival is the ultimate something.

I:          No.
C:        I have great admiration for those who were in Korea.

I:          That’s for sure.

C:        Those are the real heroes.

I:          But you did play a role.

C:        Yeah.

I:          As you mentioned, right?
C:        Many people played that role.

I:          Yeah.  Have you been back to Korea?



C:        No, I haven’t.

I:          Wanna go back?

C:        No.

I:          No?

C:        I wouldn’t have anywhere to go because I was never there except visit the Port of Pusan.  But I have never been back to Japan, either.  But I did Google Tokyo environs, and I found Camp Omiya.

I:          Um hm.



C:        It’s still there.

I:          It’s still there.

C:        It’s occupied by the Japanese Forces.

I:          Um.

C:        Defense Forces.  They changed it around some because I don’t recognize some of the buildings.

I:          What is Korea to you?  You’ve never been to Korea, but you are a Korean War veteran, and you played a significant role there.

C:        Yes.

I:          What is Korea to you?

C:        A great shining example of our efforts.


I:          Why?
C:        Because the Korean, South Korean country still exists. It wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for us.  So, we take great pride in that.  It’s a big country, big economy, 12th nationally in economy whereas North Korea, I think NATO classified it as 119th in economy.



So that’s a pretty big difference.

I:          That is the legacy of the Korean War and the Korean War veteran.  But why is it being called the Forgotten War?

C:        Because we were stuffed in between the Second World War which was worldwide, a very great war, 12 or 13 million people in the service.  Then the Korean War which was exactly three years.


That was followed by the Viet Nam War which lasted 10 years, and it was very controversial.  They had everybody there.  They had television there.  They had photographers there. In Korea, we didn’t have television.

I:          Um hm.

C:        So, there were no television cameras there.  A few civilian news agencies there.

I:          Very good point.



C:        But what you see coming out of the Korean War with photographs and the movie footage, most of that was shot by Signal Corps photographers.  Most people at home didn’t know where Korea was, and it didn’t make that big of an impression on the news.



So, they even forgot about it while the War was on.  And then after the War was over, they forgot more.

I:          What is this program about?
C:        That’s your program for the Descendants of Korean War veterans.

I:          Right.  As you mentioned, the Korean War has been kind of regarded as forgotten.

C:        Um hm.
I:          Despite the great importance of this War because it was the beginning of the Cold War.


And still the frontline between South and North Korea represents confrontation between free capitalistic and communism.  But it’s been regarded as forgotten.  Why?  Because as you pointed out, not much media coverage, and not much controversy because you didn’t talk about it.

C:        Uh huh.

I:          And you’ve been silent.  That’s why I created this Korean War Veterans Youth Corps.  It’s like a Peace Corps created by President Kennedy.


And I want them to learn about the Korean War and your service.   And we are trying to educate them how to do interviews so that they can do interviews with their own grandfather.  And we gather together, and I invited two History teachers who are the granddaughters of Korean War veterans from Georgia this time, and they analyze how lightly the Korean War is covered in our own History textbooks.

C:        Hm.



I:          This has been a very interesting interview.

C:        Thank you.

I:          And I hope that I can get some of your artifacts so that we can store in the database.  And you know the power of the internet, that anybody from anywhere can have access to it at any time, right, without any fees involved.  So, this is the best way and most effective way to let people know about your service.  You did an important role.



And I want everybody to know about it, especially young generations.  I want to thank you, and let’s keep in touch, okay?

C:        Sure.
I:          Yeah.  Thank you.




Charles Gaush's DD214 Military Records

Charles Gaush's DD214 Military Records

Leaflet Production Building

A picture of the leaflet production building in Omia, Japan. Here, Charles Gaush worked by producing propaganda and other publications while in service from 1952-54.

 Leaflet Production Building

U.S. Propaganda (Chinese)

One of the propaganda letters Gaush aided in producing while in Omia, Japan. Addressed to Chinese soldiers, a U.S. soldier urged the Chinese to support the R.O.K. and the US in the Korean War.

U.S. Propaganda (Chinese)

U.S. Propaganda Letter (Korean)

One of the propaganda letters Gaush aided in producing while in Omia, Japan. Addressed to North Korean soldiers, a U.S. soldier urged the North Koreans to support the R.O.K. and the US in the Korean War.

U.S. Propaganda Letter (Korean)