Korean War Legacy Project

Frank Abasciano

Bio

Frank Abasciano joined the military in 1947 before the war in Korea broke out. While he had intended on playing football in college, he quickly discovered that he was not welcome in the South and decided to pursue the military. While in Korea, he found himself in some of the most notorious battles of the Korean War, including the landing at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir. Frank Abasciano describes the landing at Incheon and what he remembers when they first landed. He served alongside a World War II veteran who shared that their situation in the Chosin Reservoir was worse than his time at the Battle of the Bulge. He explains how cold it was in Korea and how he still suffers from the effects of frostbite.

 

Video Clips

Landing at Incheon

Veteran Frank Abasciano describes landing at Incheon. He explains that there was a lot of small arms fire when he was there. He remembers how they dropped the LSTs and the landing was not ideal.

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

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-NW2d9g1Q&start=555&end=620

The Chosin Reservoir

Veteran Frank Abasciano describes how it felt to be in the Chosin Reservoir alongside a WWII Battle of the Bulge veteran. He remembers being trapped there for several nights and that the WWII veteran said that their situation in Korea was worse. Frank Abasciano explains how they "didn't even have a chance to be afraid."

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Front lines

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-NW2d9g1Q&start=967&end=1040

Escaping the Chosin Reservoir with Frostbite

Frank Abasciano was a radioman and had communication between the companies. He describes how cold the Chosin Reservoir felt and his frostbite. He explains that they only had a pair of combat boots. He still suffers the effects of the frostbite today.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Cold winters,Front lines

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-NW2d9g1Q&start=1041&end=1114

Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]

F:         My name is Frank Abasciano.  That’s A B A S C I A N O.

I:          Abasciano.  What is the ethnic origin of this name?

F:         It’s Italian.

I:          Italian.

F:         Yes.

I:          So you are Italian descent.

F:         Correct.

I:          What is your birthday?

F:         12/14/27

I:          Wow.

F:         Yeah.

I:          You’re going to be 90 old man?

F:         90.  Old.

0:30:00

I:          You look like 65.  What is the secret?

F:         Well, the secret is

I:          Smoke and drinking?

F:         Never smoked in my life but once, and that was over in Korea.

I:          Oh.

The night before we got trapped.  I went through three or four packs of cigarettes, one after another.

0:01:00

And my buddy says what’s going on?  You don’t smoke.  You feel something’s gonna happen, and I says I don’t know.  Sure enough, the next day, boom.  We got trapped.

I:          Where was it?

F:         Up at the Chosin.

I:          So it happened in Chosin?

F:         Yeah.

I:          That’s how intensive that was.

F:         That what?
I:          That’s how intensive that was.

F:         Oh yeah.

I:          Tell me more about it.  Suddenly you began to smoke?

F:         I started smoking one

0:01:30

after another.

I:          Why, what, what did you feel?

F:         I didn’t feel nothing, but my buddy felt that I felt something, see?  He says something’s gonna happen, he says.  But you don’t smoke he said.  What are you doing?  I said I don’t know.

I:          So what happened?  What happened after you were attacked by the Chinese?

F:         After I was all smoked out. [LAUGHS]

I:          Where were you born?

F:         Where was I born?  Wooster, Mass.  Shrewsbury.

0:02:00

I:          Spell it.

F:         I was born in Shrewsbury, Mass.  S H R E W

I:          S H

F:         Yeah.  S H R E W S B U R Y.

I:          Shrewsbury.

F:         Shrewsbury.

I:          And that’s in Massachusetts?

F:         Yeah.

I:          Tell me about your family growing up with your parents and your siblings.

F:         Well, let’s see.  There was six boys and four girls.  Big family.

I:          10

F:         10.

0:02:30

I:          And?

F:         Actually, there was 11.  One died before I was born.  So we used to plant a garden every year, and we had to go down to the pond which was about 300 yards down the street to get the water to water our plants every night, two pails.  Water the plants.

I:          And, 1929 that was the Great Depression.

F:         That’s right.

I:          How was it?

0:03:00

F:         I was two years old.

I:          Two years old.  So you didn’t know much about it.

F:         I didn’t know much about it.

I:          But must be hard times, right?
F:         Oh yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.

I:          So, what school did you go through there?

F:         I went through, I’m not sure I remember the grammar school.  It was a large school.  High school was Worcester Boys Trade School.

0:03:30

I:          And what high school did you graduate?

F:         Worcester Boys Trade High.

I:          Could you spell it?

F:         Wooster?

I:          Yeah.

F:         W O R

I:          O R.

F:         C E S T E R Boys Trade High School it was called.

I:          When did you graduate?
F:         1947.

I:          And let me ask this question.  Did you know anything about Korea at the time that you

0:04:00

were graduating that high school?

F:         I didn’t know nothing about Korea.

I:          You didn’t know of my great country?

F:         Didn’t know it at all.  And I used to love Geography,

I:          And?

F:         Can you imagine?

I:          So did you know where Korea was?

F:         Didn’t know it.  Couldn’t even pick it out of a map.

I:          Oh my goodness.  And now you are Korean War veteran.

F:         Yeah.

I:          What do you think about that?  You didn’t know nothing about it, but you are now the one of most honorable Korean War veterans.

F:         Well yeah.  But you

0:04:30

know what?  I got shanghaied over there. U was down, I was down at, I was in college at the time.

I:          In Shanghai?

F:         No.

I:          Come on.

F:         That’s an expression we use when they ship you out.

I:          So when you graduated in 1947, what did you do?

F:         I went down to college, Alabama University.

I:          What did you study?

F:         Good question.

Male Voice:    You got a sports scholarship down there [inaudible]

F:         Yeah.

0:05:00

I:          What sports?

F:         Football.

I:          Football?

F:         Yeah.  130 lbs..  130 lbs. I was.

I:          And what was your position on football team?
F:         Quarterback.

I:          Quarterback.

F:         Yeah.

I:          Oh, you must be really good.  So what happened?

0:05:30

Male Voice:  Just tell him how you left there and you end up in the Army.

F:         Yeah.  That’s what I’m trying to say, but I never got a chance to play down there.

I:          Why?
F:         I don’t know why.  Because at that time, segregation was still going on, see, and if you were from the North, you weren’t going to get a chance to play.  I didn’t realize that.  But a buddy of mine from Connecticut, he says Frank, I’m gonna tell you something.  I’ve been here two years, he says.  I was All State in the State of Connecticut, full back, big kid.  He says

0:06:00

I never got a chance to play.  He says you’re in a worst state because you’re not half the size that I am.  He says you’re never gonna get a chance to play.  He said get out of here while you got the chance, you know.  So that’s what I did.  I quit school, and I joined the Army.

I:          When was it?

F:         1947.

I:          Where did you get the basic?

F:         Where did I take basic?

I:          Yeah.

F:         Down in

0:06:30

Texas, what the hell’s the name, Fort Bliss, Texas.

I:          Fort Bliss.  When did you leave for Korea?

F:         1950.

I:          When?  Month, summer?

F:         September I think it was.

I:          September?

F:         Yeah.

I:          And what was your unit?

F:         7th Division, 32nd Infantry.

I:          32nd Infantry?

F:         Right.

0:07:00

I:          Regiment, right?

F:         Right.

I:          And?  Battalion?  Do you remember Battalion?

F:         Battalion, 1st Battalion.

I:          1st Battalion. What was your MOS?  What was your specialty?
F:         I was radio man, 1471 I think it was, specialty.

I:          Where did you leave from the United States?

F:         California.

I:          You mean San Francisco?

F:         San Diego.

I:          San Diego.

0:07:30

I:          Did you go to Japan?

F:         Yes.

I:          Where?

F:         Mount Fuji.

I:          Mountain Fuji.  Where did you arrive,  Sousable or Yokosuka or where did you arrive?  You don’t remember?

F:         Yeah, Mt. Fuji.

I:          Mt. Fuji.
F:         What was the name of the camp there?

0:08:00

I forget the camp.

I:          And from there, where did you go to Korea?  When did you go to Korea?

F:         Well, we took our training there, at Mr. Fuji, and after that, they shipped out.

I:          To where?
F:         Korea.

I:          Korea where?

F:         Pusan.

I:          Pusan.  When did you arrive there?

F:         Come on.

I:          Year.  1950?

F:         Yeah.  In ’50.

I:          Yeah.

0:08:30

Tell me about the Korea that you first saw.  How was it?
F:         Beautiful.

I:          What do you mean beautiful?  Everything was

F:         Everything was all mountains and mountains and mountains.  One mountain after another.

I:          You never seen any mountain like that?

F:         Never seen nothing like that.  That’s why I said it was beautiful.

I:          From Pusan, where did you go?

F:         Pusan, we went up to Inchon, made the invasion

0:09:00

At Inchon.

I:          You were in the Inchon Landing?

F:         Oh yeah.

I:          Oh.  Tell me about that.  How was it?

F:         Not too pleasant.

I:          Describe in detail.

F:         Yeah.  Well, we had a lot of small arms fire, nothing real big.  When we landed, we got off the, they dropped the front of the boat

I:          LST?

F:         LST, and I’ll never forget.  My commanding officer says

0:09:30

I don’t cotton to this type of landing.  He was from the South.  They say when they don’t agree with something, they say I don’t cotton to this.  And he didn’t like that at all because you dropped the front of the thing, and you go right out, and you got no protection.  But we had very little small arms fire so we were okay there.  We survived that one.

I:          But you were with the 1st Marine, right?

F:         No.  7th Infantry.

0:10:00

I:          No.  I mean the 1st Marine also landed there, too.

F:         They did.  But they landed to our right, to the right side of us.

I:          You didn’t interact with the Marines?

F:         No.  Not until later, when we came back from the Chosin.

I:          So from Inchon, did you go to Seoul?

F:         Yeah.

I:          Tell me about that on the way to Seoul.  How was it?  Were there any severe battles?

0:10:30

F:         No.  Nothing severe.  Just small arms fight here and there.  But once we got into Seoul,

I:          I just heard that you were radio man for the

F:         Colonel Faith, and Don Faith.

I:          Who’s Don Faith?  Tell me please.

F:         He was a Colonel in my outfit.  He was a Colonel.

I:          And?

F:         And a great man.  You’d follow him anywhere, you know.  He

0:11:00

Right out in front all the time.

I:          So he was on the way to Seoul?

F:         We were.

I:          Yeah.

F:         Yeah.
I:          And how did he get the Medal of Congress?

F:         Medal of Honor.

I:          Medal of Honor.

F:         Medal of Honor.

I:          Tell me about it. How?

F:         He died there at the, oh let’s see.  It was at the Battle of the Chosin.

I:          Oh.  So not in Seoul.  He died

0:11:30

In Chosin?

F:         Yeah.  In the Chosin Battle.

I:          So let’s talk about Seoul first.  When you get into Seoul, how was Seoul City?  Was it completely destroyed?

F:         Completely, no.

I:          Tell me about it.  What did you see?

F:         Some buildings were down, but there were still a lot standing.

0:12:00

I:          Were there many North Koreans?

F:         No, we didn’t have too many to begin with.

I:          So, tell me about the relationship with the Colonel Don Faith.  What kind of person was he?

F:         Tremendous.  He’s a guy you’d follow anywhere because he’s always out front, you know, always out front.

I:          So from Seoul, where did you go?

0:12:30

F:         Seoul, we went to, on the other side

I:          Wonsan?

F:         Wonsan.

I:          And you took the ship?

F:         Yeah.

I:          You took the ship and ran into Wonsan.

F:         Wonsan, invasion of Wonsan.  From Wonsan, we went up North, there was another spot there.  What the heck was it?

0:13:00

Anyway, after Wonsan, they put us on trains.  We couldn’t believe we were put on a train to go up to the Chosin.  And going through that tunnel, trains just about fit through there, and all the smoke.  Everybody was gagging.  Everybody was throwing themselves on the floor.  One on top of the other.  Get away from the smoke, you know.

0:13:30

You could just about breathe.  And we finally come out of it, and, where did we go from there?  That was to get us up at the Chosin.

I:          And explain, when did you first encounter Chinese?  When was it?

0:14:00

F:         I know they came across, when they came across the border, there was like 30,000 of them.
I:          30,000 Chinese?

F:         That’s what they said, 30.000.  I don’t know.  But they came at us in just masses, you know?  Don’t ask me how the hell I got out of there.  I don’t know.  I say

0:14:30

to everybody look up.  What do you see?  What do you see up there?  Take a look.  Look up.  What do you see?

I:          Ceiling.

F:         No, keep looking.  [INAUDIBLE] the ceiling.

I:          Tell me.  You tell me the story.

F:         The good Lord, save us.  That’s all I can say.  There had to be a power up there,

you know, that says it’s not your time.

I:          So you were with Colonel Faith there?

F:         Colonel Faith, yeah.

I:          And how did he die?

0:15:00

F:         Was killed on 1221, hill 1221.

I:          And?

F:         In making the charge on hill 1221.  Like I say, he always led.  Let’s go get them.  And that’s where he got killed, hill 1221.

0:15:30

I:          You were not killed there.

F:         No.  I survived.  I’m here.

I:          You were very close to him?

F:         Oh yeah.  Matter of fact, I still talk to his daughter from time to time, you know.  She’s living down in Georgia.

I:          So did he get the Medal of Honor or Congressional Medal?

F:         Medal of Honor.  And his name is Don Faith.

F:         Don Faith, yeah.

I:          What was the most difficult

0:16:00

thing during the Chosin Battle?  Chosin Battle?

F:         The most difficult, well, like I say, we were trapped there for five days, five nights, and matter of fact, we had a guy that was in the Battle of the Bulge in the 2nd World War.  He says Frank, he said the Battle of the Bulge doesn’t compare to this.  He says this is the worst thing he ever seen in his life, yeah.  Matter of fact, this guy

0:16:30

is 101 or 2 years old today.  I talked to him.

I:          He’s still alive.

F:         I still talk to him, yeah.  Great guy.

I:          So, were you afraid?

F:         I don’t think you have a chance to be afraid.

I:          You didn’t even have a chance to be afraid, right?

F:         No.  You just kept doing what you had to do, you know?  Yeah.

0:17:00

I:          And then you see that so many Chinese, what were you thinking?

F:         Oh my gosh.  I couldn’t believe it.  How would you like to see two machine guns bearing down in one spot?  Two machine guns firing automatically.  Burn them out.  Get that machine gun over here.  Unbelievable.

I:          But you still was a radio man.
F:         I was, yeah.

I:          So remember what part of communication did you have with others?

0:17:30

F:         Most thing I had was in between the companies.

I:          What did you remember?

F:         Whenever the Colonel wanted to talk to one of the other commanders, you know, he’d get me able 1 or baker 2, that’s what we go by, A, B, C and D.  Charley 3, you know?  Whoever they wanted to talk to in one of the companies, you know.  That’s what they talked about.

I:          How cold was it?
F:         How cold

0:18:00

Was it?  My feet are still frozen, frostbite, 40 and 50 below, and we had nothing but a pair of combat boots.  When we come out of the Chosin and we hit the Marine base, they were a little below us, and the first thing I looked for was a coat and some boots, and I grabbed them.

I:          So you still have frostbite?
F:         Oh yeah.  Oh sure.

0:18:30

You don’t get rid of that.  That stays with you.  Yeah.  You keep your toes still moving, keep them moving, you know.

I:          Were there many casualties around you?
F:         Oh yeah.  Yeah.

I:          Do you still see that image?

F:         Oh sure.  You can’t forget that, yeah.  But like I told this one guy, he says

0:19:00

I:          Speak up a little bit.

F:         Louder.  I thought I was speaking loud.  Anyway, where was I?

I:          I mean, you were talking to your, one of your friends, right?
F:         Yeah.  He said, the old man says keep going.  Once we broke out, he said don’t stop for anything.  Just keep moving.  Save yourself if you can.

0:19:30

And that was it.  So I got out, so we got out of the Chosin, I get on the ice, some guys took the road, there was a road to go back, I took the ice.  I went across the ice and made it to the Marine base.

I:          And from there, where did you go?

F:         From there, we went back down to Pusan.

I:          By ship?

0:20:00

F:         No.

I:          Oh, you just

F:         We chogeed down.

I:          Okay.

F:         That’s what they call it, choging

I:          Yeah.

F:         We chogeed down.  Then we had a little bit stuff going on, even going back down there.

I           And then from there, where did you go?

F:         Then one night we slept, and there was a snowstorm, snowing, you couldn’t see your hand in front of you.  I says to one of the guys,

0:20:30

Get up against the bulldozer there.  You take one side; I’ll take the other.  Get a few winks, you know?  And that’s what we did.  He would of, what if they move?  I said nobody’s moving anywhere.  It’s snowing, and it’s snowing like crazy.

I:          So. Yeah, go ahead.

F:         Yeah. So that was it.  That’s where we slept for the night, wouldn’t sleep, you just laid there, you know?

0:21:00

I:          Tell me about your story with the canteen, canteen story, with the plane?

F:         Oh yeah, yeah.

I:          Tell me about it.  What is it?

F:         I wish I had that canteen.  They dropped us a note.  We didn’t know which way to go.  Once we got on the ice.  They dropped us a note in the canteen, the Air Force, it says continue to where you’re going.  The Marines will meet you at the other end.  So that was, that was beautiful.

0:21:30

Once we got to the other end, because they had mines all over the place, so they let us through the mine field.

I:          How?

F:         How?  Walking.

I:          Yeah, but how do you know where mines are planted?

F:         We didn’t know.  They knew.

I:          What do you mean they?
F:         They, the Marines.

I:          Marines.

F:           Yeah.   Yeah.  We had, we had one guy that was in the 2nd World War, and he used to probe with the bayonet.

0:22:00

Then he could tell if you were in a minefield or not, you know?

I:          So, when did you leave Korea?

F:         I left there

I:          1951, right?

F:         No.

I:          You were there one year.

F:         I was there ’50, yeah, 11 months actually I was in Korea.  Eleven months.

I:          Have you been back to Korea?

F:         No.

0:22:30

I:          Do you know what happened to Korea now?  Korean economy?

F:         Beautiful.

I:          Tel me about it.  What do you know?

F:         I got a book on it that shows all about Korea, and it’s gorgeous.

I:          So what do you think?

F:         Yeah, I might take a trip back now.

I:          You’re a 90-year-old man. but you look like 65, and you’re still healthy.

F:         And I feel like 45.

I:          What do you think about the Korean transformation?

0:23:00

Are you proud about it?

F:         Oh, unbelievable, yeah, Great, great place.  Unbelievable what they did.  They move faster than the United States I think.

I:          Yeah, it’s been fast.

F:         Oh, really.  Really impressive.  I almost went back a couple times, but, see if it’s, This Korean meeting that we used to have once a month.

0:23:30

They changed places where they had their meetings.  I don’t even know where they’re at now.  But they used to, you know, go back, too, once in a while.  But I got a book on Korea.  It’s just unbelievable what they did there.

I:          Now we have a whole family, four generations together.  Frank, your son to your right, right?
F:         Right.

I:          So introduce yourself.  What is your name?

M:       My name is Mo Abasciano.

0:24:00

I:          Could you spell?

M:       M O.  Last name is A B A S C I A N O.

I:          Tell me about.  You are also a veteran?

M:       Yes.

I:          What war did you go?

M:       I was Viet Nam era.

I:          When:

M:       February of ’72 to February of 1975.

I:          So you were there three years?

M:       No, I wasn’t in Viet Nam three years.  I was just in the service

0:24:30

during the time.

I:          Okay.  How long were you there in Viet Nam?

M:       I was never in Viet Nam.

I:          So you are the Viet Nam era veteran.

M:       Right.

I:          And tell me, did your father talk about his experience during the War to you often or did he mention

M :      Never.  Never until the last 10 years.

I:          Why?

M:       Just never spoke of it.

I:          What did he talk about it?

M:       He never talked much. He said he liked the, he said he liked the service, and he told us about

0:25:00

his boot camp.  He told us how he ended up leaving college from playing for Alabama and going into the Army, and then he was playing baseball for the Army out in the Midwest.  He sprained his ankle, and they sent him home just to recuperate for the ankle, and then he said he went back to go play and the Sargent in charge of the team said eh, I think you’re all washed up.

0:25:30

We’re gonna put you on a ship and ship you off to Korea, and he said lo and behold, a week later he was headed to Korea.

I:          So, what did he talk about his war experience during the war in Korea?

M:       Like I said, it’s just the last maybe 10 years he’s been talking

I:          What did he say in the last 10 years?

M:       Not, not much.  He just said, he could remember he used to say where he pulled into, where he started at, and where he ended up within the top,

0:26:00

And then their retreat back, and that’s about it.  He never really went into big details about it.

I:          By the way, who are you?

J:         I’m Frank’s grandson, Joe Abasciano.

I:          Joe.

J:         Yes, sir.

I:          So you are grandson

J:         Yes, sir.

I:          And Mo is your father.

J:         Mo is my father.

I:          Oh my goodness.  How old are you?

J:         I’m 40.

I:          40?

J:         Yes, sir.

I:          And who’s sitting with you?

J:         This is Anthony.

I:          Your son?

J:         This is my son, yes sir.

I:          So four generations.

J:         Four generations.

0:26:30

I:          You’re blessed, Frank.

F:         Oh yeah.

I:          So tell me, Joe,

F:         I used to be a priest.

J:         But we are.  I ended up joining the Marine Corp. just after September 11th, and like my father said, you didn’t hear much, too many of the stories, heard how cold it was, you know.  That was, that was the big thing.  He used to tell you how, how cold it was and, you know, you’d see a few pictures and he said he talked about his, you know, time at basic and things like that.  It wasn’t until after my

0:27:00

grandmother passed and he came down to the 50-year Armistice down in Washington, D.C. when I was stationed 8th and I, and we started walking around Arlington and going through the Armistice he started hearing some mortar stories, that was the first time in my lifetime that I heard any specifics on the Chosin or what have you.

I:          So Frank, why didn’t you tell your son and your grandson about your war experience?  Why?  Why didn’t you tell?
F:         That’s a good question.  I don’t know.

0:27:30

I;          Answer it.  I need, I asked you good questions.  Now is for you to tell me the good answer.  Why?

F:         I don’t know why.

I:          Were you afraid, or was it too bad so that you don’t want to reveal about it or why is it?  Why you didn’t talk about it?

F:         Maybe, I don’t know.  Who knows.  I don’t know why.

I:          Okay.  And, could you introduce yourself?  What is your name?

A:        Anthony.

0:28:00

I:          I can’t hear you.

J:         What’s your name?
F:         Come on, Anthony.

I:          So, Mo and Joe, do you know anything about Korea?  Korean economy?  Korean democracy?  What do you know anything about Korea?

J:         South Korea’s become one of the leaders in democracy in Southeast Asia and one of the leader economies in the world, and it’s amazing to see.  I mean it’s, you know.

0:28:30

You, with me going to Iraq and you look at past generations and some of the past wars and [INAUDIBLE] and helped out with democracy, you kind of hope that the stories of Viet Nam and Korea and Germany and Japan could someday take root, you know, as he stated, hopefully.

I:          So, as a Marine where did you go, Iraq?

J:         Iraq, yes sir.

I:          What year?

J:         I did two tours.

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The first one was ’04, and then the second was ‘08/’09.  I spent more time in the country in ‘08/’09.

I:          Any Korean product that you identify?

J:         Any Korean product I identify?

I:          Yeah.

J:         I don’t know.  I know they make a lot of electronics and stuff like that.  I don’t know, I’m not a, I’m not a techy guy, so I’m

F:         I’ve got a Hyundai, Sonata.

I:          You got

F:         [INAUDIBLE]  Beautiful car.

I:          Beautiful car, right?

F:         Great car.

I:          When he was in Korea, your father,

0:29:30

and your grandfather was in Korea, you didn’t know a dam thing about how we can build the automobile.  We didn’t know anything about computer.  Now we are the largest market share of the semi-conductor chip, computer chip, right?  And that’s how it’s been done.  Transformed dramatically.  But our History textbook doesn’t tell much about it.  Why?  Joe?
J:         Why do I think?

0:30:00

J:         I don’t know.  It seems historically that we, you know, we don’t wanna speak about war as much, you know, and

I:          No, Americans talk a lot about war.

J:         That’s true.  But they don’t talk, they don’t talk about the, the transformation of, of war. Maybe some of the positives of the war.

I:          Exactly.

J:         They only talk about the negatives of war, and I think they lose sight of what

0:30:30

America stood for and continues to stand for as far as a, a beacon of freedom and hope in the world and what we can do as far as transformation, you know, bringing hope and, and democracy, you know, from one end to, one end of the planet to the other.  You know we’ve, you know, there are a lot of tragedies that go with war, but it’s sometimes a necessity that, you know, bring about the change

0:31:00

that we, you know, that we’ve seen in Korea and Japan and Germany and other parts of the world.

I:          So if you look at my Foundation’s brochure and just unfold it, and you will see a big picture inside.  There are many people, and they are the History and Social Studies teachers, and your grandfathers and your father’s interview will be

0:31:30

analyzed by the teachers, and they will use it in the classroom about the War of Chosin Few, Korean War so that we can teach our young generations about the legacy of the Korean War, right.  What do you think?

J:         I think it’s an absolute necessity and a positive.  You know, it’s called the Forgotten War, you know.  It would be a tragedy if my son doesn’t have something

0:32:00

historical to, you know, to grasp onto.  So this is an important project, and I can’t thank you enough for, for, for doing it, and when, you know, Jeff reached out and we started talking, and, you know, my brother and I, and we’ve been talking, we’ve been wanting to do an interview with my grandfather for a while.  So, you kind of, you’re kind of helping us out here, you know. We wanted to memorialize this because it’s, it’s truly important.

I:          See Frank, your grandson talks, you know.

0:32:30

[LAUGHS]

M:       He has said to me many times,

I:          Give the microphone, yes.

M:       He has said to me many times that he would love to take a trip to Korea to see what it looks like now.

I:          We’d love to have you back there.

M:       You know, he says to me geez, we should take a trip there.  I’d love to go back and see what the country looks like.

F:         A couple of times, a couple of times hey had a, at the vet’s place where I go, they made a couple trips back there, and they asked me if I wanted to go, you know, I said, I didn’t think I want to go back.  I don’t know why.  I’m just

0:33:00

M:       You said you always wanted, you told me you wanted to go back.

F:         I know, but at that there, I know I said that at the meeting, you know, second thought I said no, I don’t think I want to go back

I:          What about you can take your son and grandson together.

F:         Yeah, yeah.  That’d be great.

M:       I’d love to go back.

I:          Then you want to go?

F:         Then we’ll go.

I:          Ah come on.

F:         Yeah.  Then we’ll go.

I:          So I just, I think it’s a good idea for you, all of you, to go there and see what happened and how he actually contributed to

0:33:30

what Korea is now.  It’s 11th largest economy in the world. But in 1950, everything flattened.  We don’t have a drop of oil there; you know?  We are small as Indiana State, no much natural resources.  That’s the legacy of your fight and the Korean War.  And because of that

0:34:00

I want to teach our young generations about it.  It’s a good case, but people never talk about it.  So what do you think?  What do you think about your own service for Korea?
F:         I think great.  Let’s go.

I:          What do you think?
F:         Yeah, that was wonderful.  Yeah, I think I did a good job.

I:          You did a good job, and you have to see those.

F:         Yeah.

0:34:30

I:          So Mo, anything you want to add to this interview about your father’s service?

M:       No.  He was proud of it.  He was proud of what happened and, you know, how things have worked out.  Like I said, he’s often said to me we should take a trip and go back.  He’d love that, to see what the country looks like now.

I:          So your son and your grandson’s been veterans like you.  What do you think about this whole thing, that you didn’t know anything about Korea,

0:35:00

And now your son and your grandson knows all about Korea, what do you think is the legacy of your grandfather?

J:         I think the legacy of my grandfather is, he made, like so many before him and [INAUDIBLE], he raised his hand at a time, and went where he needed to go to, you know, protect, you know, our freedoms and, and other freedoms abroad.

0:35:30

I’ve always admired and cherished the generations before me such as my grandfather and my father.  Kind of made a pact for myself.  I said if I was between the ages of 18 and 25 and my country called on me like the generation before like my grandfather, I would raise my right hand and, and go do my duty.  Well, on my 25th birthday, it was the official start of the Global War on Terrorism.  So

0:36:00

I kind of took that as a sign and said well, they raised their right hand for me, and at the time I didn’t have my kids, you know.  Like that’s, you go with the hope that the next generation doesn’t have to, you know.  Sadly, it seems like every generation has their war.  But you go in the hopes that the next generation doesn’t have to, and I hope that I follow in his footsteps and my father’s footsteps the best I can.

0:36:30

I:          Joe, Mo, very nice to have you join with your father, and your father, what he did was he’s like a real soldier that he doesn’t want to brag about what he did.  But without his sacrifice and his fight, there is no Korea.  That’s why we are doing this, to preserve his memory and to be able to teach our young generations using this interview, and you made a wonderful comments, Mo and Joe, you made a wonderful comment, and I

0:37:00

And I wish that I could be, continue to connect with you so that I can talk more about your experience.  I want to expand beyond the Korean War, you know, and I think that’s really needed.

J:         My grandfather is kind of humble.  My father could probably tell a story better.  I wrote it on a note.  But, the one with, the one that was left in the back of the truck was his, was it, daughter that called from Texas, and he

0:37:30

Carried him and he wouldn’t have been alive if he didn’t carry him for however Uncle Gary answered.  Yeah.  Some, you know, he did, he, like I said we started hearing stories on the 50th Armistice and my Uncle, my father answered the phone and they asked, it was a daughter of a fellow serviceman, and he apparently carried him for miles down to the pass, you know, when they were told just to leave them on the truck because, you know,

0:38:00

they’re too severely wounded, and they had to keep moving, and apparently he carried him, and we only hear these stories from others, his humble generation that’s for sure.

I:          Yeah.  He’s the last leg of the great generation, and others call them Silent Generation.  So you are Silent Generation. I know you have a lot of stories, but is really humble, and that is the spirit of the Korean War veterans.  It was great to have all of you

0:38:30

together with your, our hero, Frank.  Very nice talking to you.  It was hard talking to you to be honest with you, but thank you.  Thank you on behalf of Korean nation.  I want to thank you for your fight, and that is the legacy that we talked about.  Thank you.

[End of Recorded Material]