Korean War Legacy Project

David Valley


David Valley was born on July 23, 1931 in New Hampshire. Growing up in Massachusetts, he enlisted in the US Army in 1949. He attended engineering school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia where he was trained in mapping and mapmaking. He was deployed to Japan in 1950 and, soonafter, sent to Korea as the war broke out. While in Korea, he was attached to the 19th Regiment, 24th Division participating in several battles including the Pusan perimeter, the Invasion of Inchon, Seoul Recapture, Battle of Pyongyang, and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was assigned to a unit that guarded General Douglas MacArthur and served there until he rotated back to the US in 1952. Today, he is active in his local chapter of the KWVA.

Video Clips

Arrival in Korea

David Valley talks about arriving in Korea. He was sent to Jinju and attached to an intelligence reconnaissance platoon. He describes bring separated from his unit on his first night of fighting and having to make his way back while behind enemy lines. He also talks about a friend that never made it back home.

Tags: Aprokgang (Yalu River),Chuncheon,Basic training,Front lines,North Koreans

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Unprepared for War

David Valley talks about his lack of preparation for war as a 19-year old. He describes seeing the bodies of dead soldiers and being taken under the wing of a WWII veteran.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Busan,Fear,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles

David Valley talks about his participation the Pusan Perimeter, Invasion of Inchon, and Pyongyang Battles. He describes what happened to enemy soldiers that were captured and tells a story of opening a vault in Pyongyang.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,1950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/25,1950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-17,Busan,Incheon,Pyungyang,Seoul,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction,Weapons

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Retreating from Pyongyang

David Valley talks about what happened as his unit retreated from the north into Seoul. He describes burning villages as they moved south and talks about the condition of Seoul upon their return.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-17,Aprokgang (Yalu River),Hangang (River),Pyungyang,Seoul,Chinese,Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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Protecting General MacArthur

David Valley describes being part of a unit charged with protecting General MacArthur. He talks about how he was chosen and his duties in Japan where General MacArthur stayed.

Tags: Seoul,Chinese,Pride

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"Do I Get a Purple Heart for This?"

David Valley tells a story about why he does not like kimchi. He talks about retreating through a village and inadvertently falling in a kimchi pot and injuring his leg.

Tags: Food,Impressions of Korea

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