Korean War Legacy Project

Harrison Lee


Harrison Lee was an infantry man who saw some of the earliest US action in Korea. His intense experiences during the Korean War ultimately turned him against warfare in general. Nonetheless, he sits down and shares with us some of the heroic moments he had during his deployment in that “beautiful” country.  Harrison Lee describes how losing his best friend during the war still haunts him, especially how he was forced to leave his friend’s body behind enemy lines. He also describes his “baptism by fire” that left him running for his life from a North Korean machine gun. Finally, Harrison Lee recalls how the war became ‘real’ to him after he was forced to look at a dead comrade by his commanding officer.

Video Clips

When war makes you leave a friend behind

Harrison Lee recalls a story that he never told anyone for a very long time - a story that follows him to this day. During the Battle of Taejon Harrison Lee and his best friend engaged a North Korean machine gun nest setting up along a dirt road. Upon realizing that the machine-gun nest had them outgunned he begs his friend to retreat with him... only to realize his friend was KIA.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans

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"Baptism by Fire"

Every front line soldier has a "baptism by fire" story (i.e. first enemy contact story) and here Harrison Lee shares his. He remembers how a peaceful dining experience in Korea turned into his first moment of military combat. He can still remember the intense feeling of fear during those drawn-out moments many years ago.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,North Koreans

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Seeing the face of war

Within the first two nights in Korea, Harrison Lee witnessed the effect of war in a way that made what him and his comrades were getting into real danger. After retrieving a KIA soldier from the front lines the commanding officer at Harrison Lee's post made each soldier look at the body. It was then that Harrison Lee felt the full gravity of his situation in Korea.

Tags: Fear,Front lines

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Harrison Lee in Uniform

An image of a proud Harrison Lee in uniform.

Harrison Lee in Uniform

Discharge Papers

An image of Harrison's Lee discharge papers that includes a lot of biographical information.

Discharge Papers