Korean War Legacy Project

David H. Epstein


David H. Epstein was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1932.  He was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from Central High School in 1949.  After subsequently attending the University of Missouri for one year, he was drafted into the United States Marine Corps in 1952.  Following basic training in California, he was sent to Korea in January of 1953, where he was assigned to Command Post Security for the Headquarters Company of the 1st Marine Division.  Upon returning to the United States, he worked at an insurance agency for sixty-one years.

Video Clips

A Destroyed City

David H. Epstein discusses seeing Seoul during the Korean War. He recalls that the city was a destroyed, flattened area in 1953, and describes the South Korean people as being very friendly. He describes seeing women and children walking on the roads, and remembers not being able to communicate with them.

Tags: Seoul,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans,Women

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Meeting a Friend from Home

David H. Epstein shares an endearing story about being reconnected with a childhood friend who was his military superior. He recalls that both of their mothers arranged the meeting between he and the other soldier prior to both of them being shipped overseas to Korea. He explains that after the Korean War was over, they both continued to reconnect as friends while they were both still serving in South Korea.

Tags: Basic training,Front lines,Home front,KATUSA,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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Drafted, Training, and Starting a Family

David H. Epstein recalls being drafted, going through basic training, and starting a family around the same time. He explains how he came to be in the United States Marine Corps, rather than the United States Army, although he was drafted. He describes his arrival in Korea, and the duties involved in being assigned to Command Post Security for Headquarters Company of the 1st Marine Division.

Tags: Incheon,Panmunjeom,Basic training,Front lines,Home front,Weapons

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