Korean War Legacy Project

Daniel J. Rickert

Bio

Daniel J. Rickert was born in Los Angeles, California on March 17, 1929. He graduated from a parochial Catholic high school in 1947 before enlisting in the Army Reserve. He was activated to service in January 1951 and attended basic training and advanced infantry training at Fort Ord, California before being sent to Camp Stoneman to await orders to Korea. He arrived in Korea in April 1951 as a combat replacement assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, 3rd Combat Engineers Battalion. His unit was reassigned and attached to the 5th Regimental Combat Team where he served on a demolition team, locating and disarming mines and demolishing infrastructure. He spent much of his time in Korea in the Iron Triangle and took part in Operation Nomad. He was wounded in battle and received the Bronze Star. Today, he lives in the Los Angeles area and is active in the KWVA.

Video Clips

Becoming a Demolition Corporal

Daniel Rickert talks about the jobs he performed as a part of the 3rd Combat Engineering Battalion. Trained as an infantry soldier, he describes assuming his job as Demolition Corporal being given a manual. He set up removing explosives in landmines, etc.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=622&end=673

Chinese Box Mines

Daniel Rickert talks about Chinese box mines. He describes what these mines looked like and how they operated. He also details how he went about his job to find and disarm them.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Front lines,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=684&end=829

Enemy Bunkers and Trenches

Daniel Rickert talks about the many enemy bunkers and trenches. He describes how they were designed and built. They were very hard to find.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=892&end=971

Dangerous Times

Daniel Rickert talks about several times he was in danger while serving as a demolition corporal in Korea. He talks about suffering a concussion and a severe leg injury. He also mentions that because of his attached status, though deserving, he was not written up for a Purple Heart.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=977&end=1069

Operation Nomad

Daniel Rickert talks about his role in Operation Nomad. This was the last major UN offensive of the war. He describes in detail the demolition of a railroad tunnel near Kunsan.

Tags: Kunsan,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=1204&end=1402

Life in the Winter of '51-'52

Daniel Rickert describes life during the winter of 1951-1952. He talks about his duties, frozen food, and "hot bunking." He also details other aspects of bunker life on the front lines.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=1798&end=1931

"It Was a Miracle"

Daniel Rickert revisited South Korea in 1998. He compares and contrasts his Korean experiences that were 50 years apart. He describes the rebuilding and modernization as "a miracle."

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

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=2053&end=2100

Regimental Combat Team

Daniel Rickert gives a description of a regimental combat team. He talks specifically about the 5th RCT. This was his battalion he was attached to.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NM3gLhnbFE&start=2198&end=2255