Korean War Legacy Project

George Sullivan


George Sullivan was born on June 14, 1933, in New Hampshire, soon became an orphan, and lived in many foster families throughout his childhood. He enlisted in the Army 1949 but began his service in 1950. He attended basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey. After his training, the Korean War broke out, and he volunteered to go to Korea. He arrived in Pusan in January 1951 and served eighteen months. He served in the 38th Tank Company of the 2nd Infantry Division. He fought on the front lines at Heartbreak and Bloody Ridge and was wounded three times. He then came home for two months and returned to Korea for a second tour, eventually ending his service in 1953. He also fought in the Vietnam War. In addition to having two children by birth, he and his wife fostered many children over the years and officially adopted nine children.

Video Clips

Battle Stories

George Sullivan recalls some stories of battles that he experienced fighting against both North Korean and Chinese soldiers. He recounts earning a number of awards, including both a Bronze and Silver Star, a Purple Heart, the Combat Industry Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the Korean Flag, etc.

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Impressions of Korea

George Sullivan talks about his experiences in Korea during the 1950s. He remembers how cold the weather was and how destitute the South Koreans were. He recalls many of them living in tents or broken down cars and shares that Seoul was totally destroyed. He is amazed at the transformation South Korea has made over the last half century and adds that he really enjoys kimchi.

Tags: Cold winters,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Message to Students,Modern Korea,Orphanage,Poverty,South Koreans

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Pushed Back by China

George Sullivan recalls experiencing the push back to Busan by Chinese forces. He remembers hearing that General MacArthur said they were going to push back. During the push back, his tank broke, and he ended up in hand-to-hand combat with a Chinese soldier. He recounts that his arm was cut by a bayonet and had to be treated.

Tags: Busan,Chinese,Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Weapons

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On the Front Lines

George Sullivan recounts his experiences in tanks along the front lines. He shares his tank unit had a direct confrontation with the enemy and recalls being wounded in the leg by gunfire. He comments on his fortune that it did not break any of his bones. He shares he continued to fight after he was mended.

Tags: Busan,Chinese,Front lines,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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The Most Severe Battle

George Sullivan shares he lost a cousin at the Battle at Heartbreak Ridge. He remembers digging a trench and crawling into it. He recalls not being able to move the next morning and shares he ended up with malaria. He recounts how he healed after a short hospital stay and returned to the front lines.

Tags: 1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/,Front lines,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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