Korean War Legacy Project

David White


David Linn White was born on July 8, 1926 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  After graduating from North High School in 1944, he spent one term at Harvard College before being drafted into the US Army. He arrived in France in 1945 as a part of the 71st Infantry Division and helped clear villages through the end of the WWII. After discharge from the Army in 1946, he returned to Harvard College and graduated with a degree in Geography in 1949. He was recalled from the Army Reserve to Korea in March 1951. After arriving in Pusan, he was assigned to the 40th Infantry Division, 160th Regiment, C Company where he acted a as liaison officer to the 6th ROK Division. Later, he requested to be an infantry platoon leader, receiving the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his commitments. He was wounded in both legs and feet during the war. He went back to the US in February 1952, and remained in the Army Reserve. Later, he graduated law school and practiced law as an attorney. He was married and raised his family of two boys and two girls. He has six grandchildren. Today, his hobbies include gardening and studying the German language.

Video Clips

Working and Living Among ROK Soldiers

David White talks about working and living among ROK soldiers during his time serving as a Liaison officer to the 6th ROK Division. He describes the ROK soldiers as very disciplined. While he was there, he began to enjoy Korean food.

Tags: Food,Impressions of Korea,KATUSA,Living conditions,South Koreans

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Life as a Platoon Leader

David White talks about his duties as Platoon Leader. His responsibilities included setting up ambushes and relieving his men and the conditions under which they operated. Most of these operations were against the North Koreans and took place at night.

Tags: Cold winters,Communists,Fear,Front lines,KATUSA,Living conditions,North Koreans,South Koreans

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Stacking Up Bodies

David White describes one of the jobs he and his men were assigned, clearing the battlefield of fallen soldiers from both sides. He had to get a body count of both sides. They also had to put out more barbed wire and traps as well.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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Danger from Mortar Fire

David White talks about the frequent danger of enemy mortar fire. A lot of soldiers would get scared and try to run. However, they would get hit and it was better to lie low to the ground to avoid it.

Tags: Communists,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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A Close Call from an Enemy Mortar

David White tells a story about an incident when he and his sergeant's position was hit by a partially exploded enemy mortar shell. Both he and the his sergeant were not injured. In surprise, they laughed after the situation.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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Kill or Be Killed

David White describes in detail a battle that began when the patrol he was leading came across a North Korean soldier. During the ensuing battle, both sides sustained heavy losses. He was wounded by an enemy mortar.

Tags: Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Weapons

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Wounded in Battle, Recovery, and Returning Home

David White describes how he was recovered from the battlefield after being wounded by an enemy mortar. He talks about his month-long recovery. He also discusses returning to service before going home.

Tags: Front lines,Home front,Living conditions

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