Korean War Legacy Project

Donald Schneider (Part 1/2)


Donald Schneider was an Army Ranger during the Korean War, and served in both Japan and Korea.  His combat experiences included living in foxholes, the loss of fellow soldiers, and participation in battles such as Heartbreak Ridge, Bloody Ridge, the Punchbowl, and many others.  He remembers his times at basics training and his thoughts on being drafted. After being wounded, he recalls what it was like in the MASH hospital. Donald Schneider also describes the difficulties of letter writing and how the moon, something that can be considered beautiful, was not a good thing during war. He has vivid memories of the brutality of wartime and describes how those experiences have left a lasting impression on him.

Video Clips

Early Experiences

Donald Schneider describes his early involvement from registering for the draft in Wisconsin to being sent to basic training at Indiantown Gap, PA. He describes his uneventful goodbyes. When asked how he felt about being selected, he said he didn't mind it because it was "good for him."

Tags: Basic training

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Memories of time in a MASH hospital

Donald Schneider received a leg wound when he was hit by a mortar round, and in this clip he explains his experiences in a MASH hospital. He recalls the stretchers of men that were waiting out in the open for the operating table. He states that it was "terrible" and that he felt "foolish" because his wound was nothing compared to others.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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The Challenges of Letter Writing

Donald Schneider colorfully describes not only the challenges of writing letters from the front lines, but also the dangers faced by the soldiers whose job it was to deliver the incoming mail. He remembers having to use his helmet to write on while having to use pencils because the pens were frozen. He said that while it was difficult to write, everyone looked forward to the mail that they received.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Letters,Living conditions

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The Moon during Patrols

Donald Schneider explains the effect that a full moon can have on foot patrols, and how memories of those patrols still influence him today. He associates that moon with the night patrols that became very dangerous since the enemy could see them. He said that always meant "someone was not coming back."

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Living conditions

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