Korean War Legacy Project

Eugene Johnson


Eugene Johnson was born in Philipsburg, PA on January 23rd, 1932.  At the age of 16, he enrolled in the army.  He was only able to join the army because he had forged a document that changed his birth year from 1932 to 1930.  Although he lacked much knowledge of Asia, he was sent to Japan to work in the aftermath of WWII, and then was sent to Korea when the war broke out serving in the infantry.  When he was seventeen he was captured by the Chinese Army and spent time in prison camps.  While in the camps he was relentlessly interrogated by the Chinese, and was subject to Communist propaganda, but maintained his strength and dignity.  He says he was so resilient in the camp because of his tough upbringing.

Video Clips

The Only Way Out

In this clip Eugene Johnson tells the story of how he changed his birth certificate to make himself two year older so that he could enlist. He enlisted to get away from a tough homelife.

Tags: Basic training,Home front

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Chinese Treatment of Prisoners

In this clip, Eugene Johnson details his treatment by the Chinese Army after he became a Prisoner of War (POW).

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Communists,Depression,Fear,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Pride

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Eugene Johnson discusses the indoctrination and interrogation that he faced by the Chinese Army while he was a Prisoner of War (POW).

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Depression,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions

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