Korean War Legacy Project

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis


Eleftherios Tsikandilakis lived in Crete, Greece and this area is known for all the vegetables and fruits that grow there.  He volunteered for the Greek Army in 1950 and was sent to Pusan right away.  After spending 8 days in Seoul, he was able to see the physical destruction that was made from war.  Korean children were begging UN soldiers for food and this really affected Eleftherios Tsikandilakis, so he gave leftover scraps to the children.  He was severely injured by a grenade and artillery, so he has arm, face, and leg scars from his time in the Korean War.  Even though he was injured, he as very proud of his time protecting South Korea.  He even went back twice to see the advancements since the war.

Video Clips

Preparation for Joining the Greek Army

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis didn't know anything about the Korean War when it began. He was a a civil servant that took care of the military horses. His specialty was to transfer food and ammunition on mules during the Korean War.

Tags: Basic training,Civilians,Food,Front lines,Home front,Living conditions,Weapons

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Entering the Korean War

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis entered the Korean War in December 1950 and he entered through Pusan. After spending time there, he was sent through Seoul and then went onto the 38th parallel. During this whole time, he didn't have to fight any enemy.

Tags: Busan,Panmunjeom,Seoul,Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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Scars From the Korean War

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis suffered many injures during the Korean War. A grenade went off right by his face and he experienced pain and scaring to his right cheek. A military artillery shell blew up right by him and he almost lost his right leg and arm.

Tags: Panmunjeom,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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Modern Korea

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis left Korea in July/August 1951. After returning twice to Korea, in 2008 and 2013, he was able to see the great advancements that were made in Korea. Korea's advancements were 100 years more advanced than Greece.

Tags: Seoul,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Poverty,Pride,Prior knowledge of Korea,South Koreans

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Destruction in Seoul

Eleftherios Tsikandilakis saw extreme hunger and destruction when he entered Seoul. It was so bad that he considered Korea to be 100 years before Greece in 1950. Korean children begged for food from UN troops as they exited restaurants and food tents.

Tags: Seoul,Civilians,Depression,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans

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