Korean War Legacy Project

Francis Bidle

Bio

Francis Bidle spent his early childhood years in Ohio and later moved to Illinois with his family, graduating high school in 1948. He recalls receiving his draft notice in the summer of 1951 and offers an account of his journey from basic training to his shipment to Japan and later service in Korea. He comments on the most difficult thing he experienced while serving, sharing that it was difficult trying to figure out why and what he and his fellow soldiers were doing. He recalls a time he asked a colonel why and what he and his fellow soldiers were doing in Korea and was given a rather comical response. He recounts the trouble he experienced upon his return home, remembering that he was turned away from several job opportunities simply because he was a Korean War veteran. He recalls claims of US soldiers at the time treating the women in Korea poorly and shares that many business owners on the home front where he returned associated all Korean War veterans with the claims. He is proud of his service and believes the splitting of Korea was a mistake.

Video Clips

Drafted and Shipped Out

Francis Bidle recalls receiving his draft notice in the mail in the summer of 1951. He shares that he knew the Korean War had already broken out as he followed the news. He recounts his US Army basic training in Missouri and shares that he was eventually shipped to Japan where he received track vehicle machinery training.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Prior knowledge of Korea

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppscQDYZQrU&start=328&end=547

Difficulties in Korea

Francis Bidle comments on the most difficult thing he experienced while serving. He shares that it was difficult trying to figure out why and what he and his fellow soldiers were doing. He offers an account of the time he asked a colonel why and what he and his fellow soldiers were doing in Korea, and the colonel responded, "Son, if I knew the answers to your questions, we wouldn't be here." He adds that he did know he was fighting against Communism.

Tags: Communists,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppscQDYZQrU&start=746&end=822

Home Front Hardship

Francis Bidle recounts the hardship he experienced upon his return home. He shares that he was turned away from several job opportunities simply because he was a Korean War veteran. He recalls claims of US soldiers at the time treating the women in Korea poorly and shares that many business owners on the home front where he returned associated all Korean War veterans with the claims. He shares that he eventually passed over the fact that he had served in his succeeding job interviews.

Tags: Civilians,Home front,South Koreans,Women

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppscQDYZQrU&start=1251&end=1373