Korean War Legacy Project

Dick Lien


Dick Lien enlisted in the American Marine Corps with a group of friends in 1951, thinking the experience would be fun. He soon found himself shipped overseas to Korea and in the middle of a war. He describes using white phosphorus as a defensive maneuver in caves, though recalls feeling guilty about it afterwards. He details meeting a Turkish soldier who would go headhunting at night and recounts the anger of losing comrades on the battle field. He explains that when coming home from war, the only people who truly understand are the soldiers who served with you. He shares that he is proud of the development that has taken place in South Korea since the war.

Video Clips

Combat Remembrances

Dick Lien recounts moving often while out in the field with his artillery unit. He describes defensive firing that his unit conducted while in the Marine Corps and explains that white phosphorus would be thrown into caves. He describes feeling guilty about it afterwards.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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A Turk on a Mission and Losing Friends

Dick Lien describes meeting a Turkish soldier and shares that the soldier was dedicated to collecting an enemy's head every night. He recounts that the Turkish soldier would come back with the decapitated head and place it on a stake in front of his pup tent. He adds his thoughts on losing comrades while serving and states that the losses increased his anger.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Weapons

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Forgotten upon Arrival Home

Dick Lien describes what it was like to come home from war. He explains that it was perceived just like coming home from college. He says that the only people who can understand what war is like are the people serving overseas with you.

Tags: Home front

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Worth His Service

Dick Lien expresses his thoughts on serving in the Korean War. He shares that he is proud of the development that has taken place in South Korea since the war and feels that his service was worth the effort. He points to South Korea itself and what it is today as the legacy of the Korean War.

Tags: Communists,Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,South Koreans

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