Korean War Legacy Project

Edward Rowny


Edward Rowny, the highest-ranking Koran War officer still alive at the time of his interview, has a wealth of information to share about his military experiences, including his time during the Korean War. As a recipient of the Medal of Honor, he has a very commendable career.  He was one of the original planners with General MacArthur in the planning of the Inchon Landing. During his service, Edward Rowny had the opportunity to go back to Korea to oversee the the first combined US -Korean corps at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He explains how he views the progress in Korea as an economic miracle. Edward Rowny has published books about his experience so that others can learn about the war. Among his great accomplishments was the designing of the project that dropped the bridge during the Jangjin Battle. He also remembers a time when he tried to explain how he tried to be proactive in planning for the Chinese invasion. As a final success, he and his team were able to evacuate from Hamheung and be reunited with their families.

Video Clips

Inchon Landing

Edward Rowny describes the planning of the Inchon landing in detail. He remembers how his team had to convince the Joint Chiefs of Staff to move forward with the plan, and this ultimately saved the Marine Corps. After explaining some of the logistics of the landing, Edward Rowny remembers the reaction of General MacArther when the landing was successful. He also describes how moving the troops forward across the Han River was a controversial decision. .

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,Incheon,Front lines,Pride

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Revisiting Korea to Oversee the DMZ

Edward Rowny has revisited Korea about six or seven times. He explains how he went back a generation later and commanded the first combined US -Korean corps at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He states that over the years, the Koreans went from not being very organized to creating a very effective and efficient military.

Tags: Pride

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Two- Sided Legacy of the Korean War

Edward Rowny explains that he had no idea how industrious and successful the Koreans would become after the War. He mentions the Korean world leadership in technology and calls it an "economic miracle". He also mentions his own fears that the present-day generation does not realize the grave danger of North Korea today. He advises them to keep their military trained and equipped at all times, even with the US nuclear capacity.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,North Koreans,South Koreans

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Rowny's Book about the War

Edward Rowny has written books and also shared information about his experiences Teachers and Veteran's Youth Corps Convention in 2015. His book, An American Soldier's Saga in the Korean War, received a lot of coverage and was translated into Korean. He encourages students to pay attention to what they learn in class to prevent events like the Korean War from happening again. In this clip, he summarizes his book as it retells his experiences and accomplishments in the war.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/,Pride

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Dropping the Bridge in Chosin Reservoir

Edward Rowny reveals that he is the Corps Engineer who designed and later famously dropped the bridge from the air into the Chosin Reservoir. This was one of the most important parts of the Jangjin Battle. He shares how the Chinese were firing at them while they were building it.
This project was successful in stopping the Chinese long enough to evacuate the troops, without which there would have been tremendous casualties.

Tags: Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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Why didn't MacArthur do more about the Chinese?

The interviewer gives some background about the Chinese involvement in early October. As a response, Edward Rowny explains that the numbers began slowly, and his staff reported this as a concern to a skeptical General Willoughby in Japan. Edward Rowny invited him to meet two of the Chinese that they had captured; Rowny said he had studied anthropology and know from the folds of their eyes that they were Chinese, but he was not believed. General Willoughby was mistaken, but, unfortunately, MacArthur believed him instead of Rowny and his corps.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines

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Evacuation from North Korea

Edward Rowny was put in charge of the evacuation of the 600,000 tons of supplies, 100,000 troops, and 100,000 refugees at the port at Hamhung, North Korea. His job also included blowing up the port so that the Chinese could not use it. He was scheduled to be on the last ship to leave, but that ship was blown up. The commander thought he had gone down with the boat, but instead he was stranded on the beach with his radio operator and jeep driver. They were finally rescued by American plane. Despite being shot at, he made it home by Christmas.

Tags: Hamheung,Chinese,Physical destruction,Pride

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