Korean War Legacy Project

Gerald Edward Ballow


Gerald Ballow was born in Cannelton, IN and he was in high school when he enlisted in the US Army in 1949.  During his period of service, he worked in General MacArthur’s Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.  When the Korean War started, Gerald Ballow volunteered to join the GHQ 1st Raider Company, but he was told to stay behind to continue to clerical, orderly, and radio work that he had been doing before the war began.  For his commitments, he received a Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Commendation Medal (4OLC).   After returning from his rotation, he went back to high school for 2 years and then re-enlisted in June 1955 and was stationed at Camp Carroll in Waegwan (1966-67) as a WD1 and at Camp Howze as a CW3 (1972-73).

Video Clips

General MacArthur was a "God"

Gerald Ballow believed that General Douglas MacArthur was a "God to America" and he was benevolent to everyone. He remembers when he first saw General MacArthur and spoke to him without knowing that wasn't protocol. Japan would stop, bow, and honor him just like all of the American soldiers during the Korean War while being stationed in Tokyo, Japan.

Tags: Pride

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The Training Changed Completely

Gerald Ballow knew at the beginning of July 1950 that US troops were going to enter Korea after North Koreans invaded South Korea, so training started to change. Even though he volunteered to go, Gerald Ballow was asked to stay behind at GHQ to assist. He shares how it felt to find out that his friend was killed in combat.

Tags: Kunsan,Fear,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Pride

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Jubilation after Inchon Landing

Gerald Ballow remembered the jubilation that took place after the successful Inchon Landing took place. He also felt that General MacArthur was doing a fantastic job during the Korean War and that it was Generals George Marshal and Omar Bradley's jealousy that flushed General MacArthur out of the Korean War.

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

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Crossing the Yalu River

Gerald Ballow expresses his opinions about what he considers an “intelligence disaster” at the Yalu River. He believes that the officers knew that the Chinese were amassing across the river before they got there. He explains how the US was completely outnumbered by the Chinese and there were not any additional troops to send up there to help fight the Chinese.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Aprokgang (Yalu River),Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction

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GHQ 1st Raider Company

Gerald Ballow describes the book he wrote about the GHQ 1st Raider Company that was made up of the soldiers in General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. He explains that soldiers fought through the Chosin Reservoir and they helped with the Inchon landing too. He describes their roles and what they achieved during the Korean War.

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

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