Originally drafted in 1945 to fight in World War II, Herbert Neale–an Iowa native–was called to serve yet again despite being in the inactive reserves during the Korean War in 1951. He served in the Marine Corps artillery and participated in several campaigns while there. He recounts a close call with incoming artillery and details his friend’s wound, evacuation, and healing process. He describes the massive number of Chinese casualties during his time in Korea and the gore of war. He reflects on why there were so many Chinese casualties and shares how he deals with the memories of war. He concludes with a brief message to younger generations centering on avoiding war.
Close Call on the Front Lines
Herbert Neale recounts a close call with incoming artillery fire on the front lines. He remembers waking up, lying over the artillery, from a concussion and hearing a friend call out that he had been hit. He details his friend's wound and the effort made to transport him safely to an evacuation site. He reflects on his friend's healing process after losing a lung and on how one never really recovers from the wounds of war.
"Tattoos on the Earth" (Gore of War)
Herbert Neale describes the massive number of Chinese casualties during his time in Korea. He discusses how the fast pace of war left no time to properly dispose of dead bodies and the images of moving on that have stuck with him through the years. He recounts numerous bodies covering the roads and floating in the river that they would later draw water from to drink and relates a particular childhood memory to the gore of war.
How to Deal with the Memories
Herbert Neale discusses how he deals with the memories of war. He shares that he closes his mind to the visuals as dwelling on them, he insists, would drive one crazy. He admits that even after several decades since the war though, visuals of dead Chinese soldiers enter his dreams and, every now and then, wake him up in the middle of the night.
Called to Serve and Sent to Korea
Herbert Neale explains how he ended up serving in Korea after being fully discharged from the Marine Corps following World War II. He recounts his arrival in Korea and recalls being sent to the front lines as there was a need at the time to fill holes in the lines left by casualties. He also describes the weaponry, the 155mm howitzer, he used while there.