Korean War Legacy Project

David Carpenter


David Carpenter joined the Marines in 1949 in England.  He was a Marine for 7 years.  During WWII, his father was stationed in Scotland helping to run a military hospital.  David Carpenter’s brother was in the Royal Artillery and the Fleet Air Arm to support the Allied war effort.  David Carpenter volunteered for the Marines in 1949 because he didn’t want to go into the Army or Royal Air Force.  Training was difficult because if you were not strong enough to be in the Marines, you would be back-squaded and this really motivated David Carpenter to stay in 561 squad.  During his training, he had to crossing rivers on ropes, do 9 mile speed marches, rock climbing, and 13 mile training with only a compass.  Once he entered the commando operations in Korea, his job was maintaining weapons to help defeat the Chinese.

Video Clips

The Green Berets

David Carpenter participated in extreme exercises that he had to do while in commando training. If a trainee didn't pass the test, they were thrown out of the Marines. Training included cliff climbing, 9 mile speed marches, a 30 mile trek with a 70 pound back pack, and crossing rivers on ropes. After surviving this training, they were awarded the green berets which signified that they had passed the All Arms Commando Course.

Tags: Basic training,Living conditions,Pride,Weapons

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Korean War Reinforcements

David Carpenter was a reinforcement for different Marine groups that had fought in Korea for over 2 years. His regiment replaced the wounded or killed. At least 25% of the casualties in Korea were from frostbite.

Tags: Wonsan,Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction

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Modo Island

David Carpenter lost four Marines who were taken as POWs off the coast of Wonsan. He stayed on Korean's islands until peace talks began in 1953. David Carpenter participated in his leave in Japan to get some rest and relaxation (R & R) before he returned to England.

Tags: Wonsan,Civilians,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,POW,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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