Korean War Legacy Project

Donald Urich


Donald Urich was born in Missouri in 1932. He moved to Zurich, Kansas, when he was eight and was drafted into the Army in 1953. He was in Korea when the Armistice was signed and was relieved when he heard about it. He served as a Motor Sergeant and was a good mechanic. He serviced the vehicles of Ethiopian and Greek troops. He learned a lot from being in Korea and is impressed with modern-day Korea. When he returned in 1954, he used the GI Bill to go to Stevenson Automotive Body School for six months. He worked in the automotive industry his whole life in various jobs such as a body mechanic and service manager. He would love to go back to Korea, but he does not think his health will allow it.

Video Clips

Landing in Incheon

Donald Urich remembers first landing in Incheon which he describes as crowded. He recalls that, from there, he went north and remembers seeing the DMZ. He explains he was with the 45th Infantry Division but was then transferred to the 7th Division. He recounts how he worked in a motor pool and became Motor Sergeant in charge of one hundred seven vehicles and dozens of mechanics.

Tags: Incheon,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Learning About the Armistice

Donald Urich shares he was in Korea when he heard about the Armistice. He recalls being relieved and thinking it was good because there would be no more fighting or killing. He adds nobody must have told the North Koreans about the Armistice because they were sending shells over the DMZ when he went up there.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Fear,North Koreans,Weapons

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1954 Seoul

Donald Urich recalls Seoul being desolate in 1954. He remembers houses were in shambles and businesses were in bad shape. He recounts seeing kids without shoes or many clothes in the winter. He shares he would have candy for the kids and remembers Seoul being very poor. Despite the circumstances, he remembers the people were cordial.

Tags: Seoul,Civilians,Cold winters,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Poverty,South Koreans

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Modern-Day Korea

Donald Urich speaks about modern-day Korea and how impressed he is with how it has changed over the years. He comments on how Korea outdid itself and how it produces a lot of good things now. He thinks having thirty thousand American troops in Korea today is a deterrent to North Korea.

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

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