Korean War Legacy Project

Clifford Petrey


Clifford Petrey served in the Army during the Korean War and made his entrance into Korea at Inchon Landing. He describes his experiences during both Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir and the injuries he sustained during those battles. He recounts his capture by the Chinese and the harsh living conditions he endured as a prisoner of war (POW). He comments on the correspondence he had through letters with his family while a POW and shares that his family members were relieved to hear from him as they were told he was simply Missing in Action. He is proud of his service and of what South Korea has transformed itself into today compared to North Korea and shares that his faith has helped him heal in many ways since his time there.

Video Clips

Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir

Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Busan,Hamheung,Heungnam,Seoul,Chinese,Cold winters,Front lines,POW,Weapons

Share this Clip +


Living Conditions as a POW

Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,POW,Weapons

Share this Clip +


POW Experience

Clifford Petrey further details his POW experience. He recalls there being little firewood and comments on the close sleeping arrangements. He shares that lice was an issue and how he and other soldiers picked lice off of each other. He details food portions and content and speaks of rampant dysentery.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Living conditions,POW

Share this Clip +


Letters to and from Home

Clifford Petrey recalls being allowed to write letters home occasionally. He recounts his mother keeping three or four of his letters through the years as a means of assurance that he was alive after having previously been listed as Missing in Action. He shares that he received a few letters from his family during his time as a POW as well.

Tags: Chinese,Home front,Letters,POW

Share this Clip +