Korean War Legacy Project

Clifford L. Wilcox


Clifford Wilcox was born on April 15, 1925 in Archer, Idaho. He grew up on a small farm with seven siblings and graduated from Big Spring High School (ID) in 1943. He received a deferment from being drafted to serve in WWII but later volunteered for the Army in 1946. His early service in the Army included time in Japan working as a heavy equipment operator. Utilizing the GI Bill, he graduated from Utah State University in 1949 with a  degree in Dairy Husbandry. He was called to duty in Korea in January 1952 as part of the 987 Field Artillery Battalion. Stationed near the 38th parallel, he served as a forward observer for artillery. After the war, he earned an advanced degree from University of Minnesota Agriculture College and raised a family. He revisited Korea in 2010. Today, he lives in southern Utah.

Video Clips

A Great Discovery

Clifford Wilcox talks about experiencing cold nights while on duty as a forward observer. He stayed in a cave and froze for about two nights. He quickly discovering the ancient Korean way of heating a home.

Tags: Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions

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Religion on The Front Lines

Clifford Wilcox talks about religion as a soldier on the front lines. He had to rely on prayer to persevere. He also details a priest who didn't want to be there during a monsoon.

Tags: Front lines,Monsoon

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A Close Call

Clifford Wilcox describes a time when on duty as a forward observer, an enemy shell exploded in front of his foxhole. He was lucky that the shell fired right over his head, missing him. Thankfully, he was covered with dirt with no shrapnel.

Tags: Communists,Fear,Front lines

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The Worst Day of My Life

Clifford Wilcox describes the day he left home for Korea as being the worst day of his life. He had to leave behind his wife and a newborn baby boy. He also just had a new house, car, and job. He describes his wife's experience waiting by the window for him, yearning for her husband to return home.

Tags: Depression,Fear,Home front

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I Was Not Near as Happy as I Thought I'd Be

Clifford Wilcox talks about feeling bittersweet leaving Korea in 1953. He enjoyed the purpose of his service as well as his fellow soldiers. It was hard for him to say goodbye to the soldiers he served with, waving farewell to them.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Pride

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One of The Greatest Experiences

Clifford Wilcox talks about the remarkable contrast between the Korea he saw during the war and the Korea he saw and experienced while revisiting in 2010. When he first arrived, he saw extreme poverty and destruction. In 2010, his experience was first class, seeing South Korea's progress.

Tags: Busan,Seoul,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Physical destruction,Poverty,Pride,South Koreans

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Why Do Veterans Not Talk About Their Experiences?

Clifford Wilcox discusses the reasons he think veterans do not talk about their experiences in war. He mentions the killings, prisoner of war experiences, as well as wounds inflicted. Although he understands this, he feels differently wanting to share his experiences in the Korean War.

Tags: Depression,Fear,Front lines,Home front,Personal Loss,POW

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