Korean War Legacy Project

Henry MacGillicuddy

Bio

Henry MacGillicuddy was born in South Africa, joined the Air Force in 1947, and became an airplane mechanic.  He went to Korea near the end of the war and enjoyed working as an airplane mechanic for the 2 Squadron.  He said he stayed on what was mainly an American base which had plenty of ice cream and some Korean children working there.  After returning from Korea he got married, had three sons, and remained in the Air Force until 1985.  He returned to Seoul in 1980 and was amazed at the transformation of Seoul from 1952 and described it as “magnificent”.  Another return trip to Korea would be great he said, but doesn’t think he will be able to make the trip.

Video Clips

First Impressions of Korea

Henry MacGillicuddy talks about arriving in Korea and describing Seoul as flat because it was devastated. He said it looked like the farmers did just enough to stay alive.

Tags: Seoul,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKtznQ-pTEc&start=914&end=1030

Staying On The American Base

Henry MacGillicuddy talks about what it was like staying on the American base. His favorite food was turkey and he remembers ice cream being served at every lunch and dinner. He remembers many Korean children worked on the base cleaning and doing other jobs. He also wrote home frequently.

Tags: Civilians,Food,Letters,Living conditions,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKtznQ-pTEc&start=1032&end=1229

A Visit Back to Magnificent Seoul

Henry MacGillicuddy describes going back to Seoul by invitation and being amazed and surprised at the transformation of Seoul from 1953 to 1980. He called Seoul magnificent and he saw the South African monument and the DMZ.

Tags: Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Modern Korea,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKtznQ-pTEc&start=1231&end=1540