Korean War Legacy Project

Franklin Searfoss


Franklin Searfoss was born in 1936 in Goshen, Indiana. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1954. Franklin Searfoss says that at the end of basic training in Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, one-third of his unit was sent to Formosa, one-third to Germany and one-third to Korea. Franklin Searfoss completed medical training in Germany and served as a Medical Specialist with the 7th Infantry Division. After his service, he studied engineering and worked for IBM.

Video Clips

Interest in Global Affairs

Franklin Searfoss describes how having WWII veterans as his high school teachers helped develop his interest in global affairs. However, like many soldiers knowing nothing about Korea before going to fight in the Korean War, he had not learned about Korea in high school. When he enlisted in the United States Army, he hoped to train in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. By the time he finished basic training, the Veterinary Corps had been dissolved, so he pursued medical training.

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

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Routed to Germany

Franklin Searfoss completed medical specialist training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Although he felt an obligation to go to Korea, he ended up serving as a licensed practical nurse in Bremerhaven, Germany. He describes his work driving ambulances as the Cold War escalated.

Tags: Basic training,Communists,Fear

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$97 a Month

Franklin Searfoss earned $97 each month while he lived in Germany in 1954. He used his pay to cut his hair, launder his uniforms, and support his wife. Otherwise, life was fairly stable, although normal accidents happened among the army soldiers.

Tags: Living conditions,Women

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