Korean War Legacy Project

Harold H. Hoelzer


Harold Hoelzer spent his time in the service as an auto mechanic in charge of maintaining scout vehicles. Arriving late in the war (1952), his experience reflects a late-stage Korean War, with lines along the 38th parallel. He contrasts the Korea he saw in 1952 to the America he was used to which was a starkly different experience. He discusses the recreational hunting he managed to orchestrate and enjoy with Korean soldiers. He recounts his first experience in Korea, a comedic story that had many U.S. soldiers running from a single North Korean scout plane.

Video Clips

Experiencing a whole new world

Harold Hoelzer talks about his initial experiences with Korea during the war. He starkly contrasts what he saw in Korea with the world he was familiar with back in the United States. Coming from a world of cities, roads, and factories he remembers how "crude" Korea seemed to him at the time. Ultimately, he finds a new respect for the country after learning how successful South Korea (as a nation) later became.

Tags: Incheon,Impressions of Korea,Physical destruction

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Finding a way to have fun in Korea

Harold Hoelzer may have been at war, but that didn't mean he wanted to stop having a fun time. In this atypical war story he describes how he adopted a hunting dog only to have it disappear during his R&R to Japan. Upon returning from Japan he convinces a Korean detachment to take him hunting and act as a flush for pheasants. Needless to say the Koreans weren't excited about the task.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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All hands on deck!

Upon getting to Korea Harold Hoelzer took his first shower since leaving the US. He recalls how his ordinary shower experience took an unexpected and hectic turn when an air-raid siren sent soldiers scrambling from the shower depot. He merrily recalls the mass of laughter that ensued after the shower had been evacuated and the half-naked troops looked up to see a single, dinky surveillance airplane putter by.

Tags: Panmunjeom,Fear,Home front,North Koreans

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