Korean War Legacy Project

Herbert Taylor


Herbert Taylor describes enlisting in the Army and serving the next two years as a Military Policeman in Korea.  He describes getting to know and appreciate the Koreans. He shares many stories about encounters he had with locals as a result of his professional responsibilities.  He shares many of his memories are based in agricultural and construction experiences since he is the son of a farmer and grew up on a farm.  He also speaks openly regarding his thoughts about why the Korean War has been considered forgotten, President Truman’s performance, and the accomplishments of modern Korea.

Video Clips

Chingu (Friend)

Herbert Taylor describes witnessing the destruction of Incheon following his arrival in 1954. He shares how he saw just walls and shells of buildings there. He describes the trees and how they had been shot off and the land was barren in the countryside. He describes the straw huts people were living in. He shares his experiences with local children.

Tags: Incheon,Seoul,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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Thoughts on Modern Korea

Herbert Taylor reflects on what he knows about modern Korea. He shares the appreciation felt by the Korean government for the efforts made by American soldiers. He describes his understanding and pride in the economic and physical growth in Korea in such a short time.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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Thoughts on "The Forgotten War"

Herbert Taylor describes why he believes that Americans tried to suppress the importance and consequences of our involvement in Korea. He contrasts the focus on World War II with Korea, which followed soon afterward. He shares how he feels that there was little known for Korea and World War II had personal effects on everyone due to the war effort.

Tags: Home front

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Video Transcript

 [Beginning of Recorded Material]


 Herbert Taylor:           Herbert Brooke Taylor.  H–H-E-R-B-E-R-T  Brooke B-R-O-O-K-E  T-A-Y-L-O-R

Interviewer:                What is your birthday?

H:        2-8-3-0

I:          2–

H:        February the 8th, 1930.

I:          So you born one year after the Great Depression.

H:        That’s right.  I still suffered through it.

I:          You still what?

H:        Suffered through it.

I:          Oh.

H:        The family suffered through it, yes.

I:          Yeah.

H:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah it’s very difficult time, right?


H:        Yes.  We lost the farm, the family lost the farm in ’36.

I:          [in half]

H:        Yeah.

I:          But you were very young so that you don’t remember.

H:        No, I don’t remember that, but things were still struggling.

I:          Yeah.

H:        We were still struggling through that when I came along, yep.

I:          Where were you born?

H:        Where? Winchester, Virginia.

I:          Right here?

H:        Yeah. Frederick County.

I:          Uh-huh.

H:        Probably should have said Frederick County.

I:          Tell me about your parents and your sibling when you were growing up.

H:        Okay.


I lived on the same farm though we lost the farm.  But my grand–great-grandfather came here 200 years ago, over 200 years ago.  My great grandfather farmed the farm.  My grandfather farmed the farm.  My father farmed the farm, a while, until I say they lost it, due couldn’t pay the taxes in the 1930’s that’s come along.

I:          So, after you–your father lost your own farm. What did you–what did you do?

H:        He went to work at a plant– apple processing plant

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        Close by, in West Virginia.


I:          Hmm.  So, it was a very difficult.

H:        It was.

I:          To live.

H:        Yes. It was three of us children came along. And at that time, you know, pay was low and the–but we–we struggled through it. Thanks to the Lord, we kept it going kept the family together. We all built and we later years we built on the farm and–and had a good life.

I:          So what kind of farm?

H:        What kind of farm?

I:          Yeah.

H:        Just a farm.


You know, we raised corn and wheat and cattle.

I:          Cattle too?

H:        Mm-hmm. We had some cattle.

I:          So, how many cattle?

H:        Yeah.  You always have a farm, you always have some farm land you’re planting corn, and wheat and then you have some grazing land for some cattle.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        Not– not a lot of cattle.  You’d have you know probably 4 or 5 maybe no more than that at that time.

I:          Mm-hmm.  And is it difficult to raise cattle?

H:        Is it difficult? Well it’s just like anything else, a lot of the work it’s–it’s a full time job when you got cattle


you actually milk. You know, for milk for the family.  And you got to be there 7 days a week, you know. But all farms are like that you have–raising cattle. Yep.

I:          What about the school you went through.

H:        School? Well, I started in a four room schoolhouse. A lot of–we had a one room school house that my brother went to, but the year that I come along to go to–to the first grade,


Well, the one room school closed and went to a big–got a big four room school house.

I:          [laughing]

H:        Two story house.  Two story school.  Yeah. And–and my–my brother and I would get there and there would be a fire on the stove, and get the heat going okay. Cause we were close by,

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        And that’s how we kind of operated.

I:           So, when did you graduate high school?

H:        April 1947.  We went onto another high school close by,


it was built in 1941 and I went to the high–finished my high school there in ’47.  At that time, we only went 11 years.  And later, in 1950, they started 12 years in Frederick County.

I:          What did you do after you graduate?

H:        After I graduated, I worked on the farm and orchard together.  Had a neighbor had some–a lot of orchards and–and farms and I worked there.  He had several sons and I was good friends with them so, I just, after I got out of high school,


I–I just went to work on the farm.

I:          Did you learn anything about Korea while you were in school?

H:        No, never heard of it. Didn’t know nothing about it. I never

I:          They don’t teach.

H:        No.  When they said it was a war–or a police action in Korea.  Where’s Korea? Never heard of it you know. Where is it at on the map? Couldn’t find it. Well, it must be there some place.

I:          Oh my goodness. So, you never thought that you going to


be dragging to the Korean War?

H:        No I didn’t, because at that time, I said I was on that farm, so at that time you could get a deferment. If you worked on the farm, you could get a deferment and not go.  And so, I didn’t go until later, until the–in other words, I didn’t go until February of 1954.  When the things had stopped there in Korea.

I:          1950–

H:        1954 is when I went in the service.

I:          So, did you enlist?

H:        I–I– gave up


deferment to go and so, but when I did go it was 19– February 1954.

I:          And what did you enlisted for? Navy?

H:        Two years in the Army.

I:          Army.

H:        Army.  Army.

I:          And where did you get the basic training?

H:        Fort Gordon, Georgia.

I:          Fort–

H:        Fort Gordon Georgia.

I:          Gordon.

H:        Georgia.  Fort Gordon Georgia.

I:          Yeah.

H:        Okay.


I:          And what was your MOS specialty?

H:        Military Police.

I:          Oh.  Tell me about it. What–so, did you have a different basic military training for mil–military police–police?

H:        Yes, after–after our basic training then we went for another 12 weeks of military police training.

I:          What kind? Tell me about it.

H:        Well, I suppose it would be


and–and of course, civilian but, like–like civilian place we can do. We did all things all– set up–set up different things to–to do in case it was what you would be doing.  Has one other place where patrolling and taking–riding up if someone’s speeding or whatever the case might be on wherever you’re at on the camp. Yep.

I:          So then, when did you leave for Korea? From where?

H:        From where? I left from San Francisco


in 19–Januaray of 1955.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        I was–when I left Fort Gordon Georgia Military Police Training I went to San Francisco and I was there a period of time.

I:          So that was already the war over.

H:        Well, the cease fire–

I:          Yeah.

H:         in July ’53.

I:          ’53 so–

H:        So, when I got there, you know, at ’54 things had–had settled

I:          No, ’55


H:        50–I’m sorry ’55 things settled down, correct. January of ’55 when I got there.

I:          Mm-hmm.  Where did you land?

H:        Where to land? Incheon.

I:          Incheon.  And tell me about the Incheon that you saw.  Tell me about the Incheon the city that you saw, how was it?

H:        Well, it was devastated. It was just shells of buildings we went in there.

I:          Give me the details.

H:        Shells of buildings I went through. Couldn’t believe it.


I see just walls of buildings that stood. We was in Incheon and then we went–we went from Incheon through Korea–through Seoul and it was just shells of building.  We country–and the countryside it was just devastated. The trees had been shot off there was just plain hills and everything was bare. Everything I saw.

I:          Hmm.

H:        And I saw–I seen as we drove through, of course we went on to Munson and we drove through was a road and trucks were there and saw that the people were living in–


in straw huts being built by rice straw and c-ration boxes and things the military had used there.

I:          So, what did you feel about it when you saw completely destroyed country.

H:        Well, I–

I:          What were you thinking?

H:        I felt sorry for the people. Absolutely. I always had. All the time I was there sometimes people make talk about other–other nationalities being different and I would say, but these people are good people.


and I–being in the military place I was able and fortunate to be able to help them some in things of their daily life there after I got stationed there.

I:          So, what do you think about the Korean people. Did–were they smart? What kind of people do you think that they were?

H:        They were good people. The people I felt sorry–

I:          How do you know?  How do you know?

H:        Because they treated me good.  Just for instance, I was there and I had–I had my own Jeep as a military policeman


and a young–boy and girl and– boy and his daughter was there and they take our clothes, take our clothes down to the–to the stream and have their mother or whoever in the family wash our clothes.  And then, they’d wash my Jeep for me.  So, after you been there for six months in Korea, they would send you on R&R, rest and recuperation back to Tokyo, okay?

I:          Yeah.

H:        So, I go back to Tokyo.


The greatest gift I’ve ever bought in my life probably cost me less than two dollars. I bought the little boy a harmo– harmonica and the little girl a pair of ankle socks they’d never seen before.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        and I still can remember in my mind those–walking them up and down the village the little girl strutting in those white socks and the little boy playing his harmonica.  I could’ve done more, but I didn’t. I wish–I always wished I could’ve done more for them.  And they were good.  And the people around there they would–I always would buy form our post exchange there and buy


candy and chewing gum and get–pass it out to them as I was driving down in my Jeep and they called me [chingo friendo] there.

I:          Wow, you brought the gift for your house boy and the girl.

H:        Yes and others along–their friends along the village, you know, I would just give it to them, you know give them some ch–chewing gum. They liked chewing gum.  Give them chewing gum, passing out chewing gum.  And it didn’t cost me nothing, but I just–I wished–I wished I could have and wished I had done more, but that’s over with.


I:          So, you stationed in Munson-ni?

H:        Yes.

I:          For how long?

H:        Well, I was there from–from let’s say January ’55, ’56 I guess. I guess January ’56 I came back, yeah or February, yep.

I:          And how was the situation there?  I mean it settled right, after the ceasefire so, there was not much danger or skirmish


or anything like that?

H:        Well, we had people–snipers coming through. We was always on the look out–

I:          Snipers?

H:        Yeah.  People coming through, yeah.  And always had to be on the lookout for that.  Lots of problems with that.

I:          So, what was your main mission in Munson-ni as a military police? What was the main job?

H:        Well, I was with the 24thdivision and, of course, you patrol the roads there.  And I was–I was given opportunity by my company just to go and help the Korean people.


Now, of course, I’d done a lot of things you know guarding or–guarding but patrolling for service men that may have gotten in trouble.  But I would go out and particularly in the–during the summer when the monsoon season of rain I would go out and help the Korean people. They built their village, their little huts along the water and–and the rains, when the rains would–the waters would get up they’d be washed away. I’d take a rope and get some of those guys to help me and go down along there


and put a rope on it–on their huts and pull their huts back up on the bank so that the water wouldn’t sweep them away. Help them. I don’t know what the thing was, but some of them didn’t want to leave. Some of them didn’t want to leave the huts and go in and I’d go in there and get them out.

I:          Hm.

H:        I remember going in one Sunday night going in one a man had a–had a chicken or rooster on his head and the water was up there almost to their chin. I mean it was– it was like they was just going to drown in there.


And the lady had a bag of rice on her head.  And got them out of that little hut. I’ll never forget that.

I:          It must be dangerous for you too.

H:        It was dangerous.  I never forget that.  The Lord was with me.  I went– I left there I had another fella with me in the Jeep and I got into the high water and I didn’t think I’d ever make it I didn’t think the Jeep would make it through it.  I got through, crossed this little bridge and soon as I got across the bridge and stopped, the little bridge just went. It was gone.  Just swept it right away.


The Lord was with me that night, absolute–that was the same night as I went in and got these people out of these hut because these local people had told me they were in this hut they wouldn’t come out.

I:          Your friend Gary Fletcher,

H:        Yes.

I:          told me that you have so many stories to tell about your service in Korea, what else do you have?

H:        Well, [laughing] I don’t think, whenever you have servicemen around and you have girls around, you know what’s going to take place, okay.

I:          Right.

H:        Alright.  That was one of the things, you know


we got they wasn’t– of course, the guys wasn’t supposed to be out there with the girls, but of course naturally they were and this was a way the girls had to make some money and help–help for their family, you know. They were doing.  And so we’d go out, lots of times we’d go out and raid and bring the guys in. one of the things was, we set up a program that we would test the girls once a month we’d take them in to test them for venereal diseases, okay.

I:          Yeah.

H:        One of my jobs was to go out and get some–another driver with a big truck and we’d have a VD


Patrol sha–on the something and–and the girls would stand there along the road just like girls going to school, we’d pick them up.  Now, if they wasn’t up to par, they’d run from us and that was one of the jobs, I had to chase them through the rice paddies to bring–to bring them back to there. Of course, we knew who they were and what–the villages they were in.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        So, that was one of the jobs we did.

I:          Hmm.  Was horrible to see that people are suffering form, you know lack of things


to eat and there’s–they don’t have money

H:        No, right.

I:          and so that they have to sell their bodies prostituting and so on, right.

H:        Absolutely, yeah.

I:          Yeah.

H:        They did, yeah. They were helping their families. I work at a–a program here in Winchester giving away food to underprivileged people or people that are low income families.  And often times people come through and they say, we’ll maybe give them some meat or hot dogs and they’ll say oh we don’t eat that.


I say, Ma’am, you’ve never been hungry.  And I’d have to tell them the story, I saw people, they take the garbage cans that the cooks would throw the coffee grounds, their egg shells, they men would put their ground out their cigarettes and things, dumped it all and take it down to the end of the compound where the–where–where we were at and they would eat into it and eat just like they were pigs. Just slop in their hands because they were starving to death.

I:          You mean in Korea?

H:        In Korea, right.

I:          Yeah.

H:        The Koreans were–they were starving to death.  Men were out straining the streams for snails and bugs


and anything they could feed their families with. People were laying in the roads dead. Starving to death in the mornings. So I know what–I know what hunger does to people.

I:          Have you been back to Korea?

H:        No, I should–I should’ve gone back, but I haven’t.

I:          So you, but you have been following on with what Korea has accomplished so far?

H:        Oh absolutely.

I:          Economy and democracy, right?

H:        Absolutely.

I:          Tell me about it. What do you know about modern Korea now?

H:        What do I know about the modern–

I:          Korea.

H:        Well,


big industry I know is there–[they’re raising money]. I know the Korean people, the Korean government have been great to us.  Probably other interviewers have told you the same thing. They’ve been great.  We’ve been to the–I’ve been to the Master’s house for–for lunch twice. You know, we’ve gone down there.  They send a bus up here to pick us up. They’ve been great to us in many ways. They paid for fees–we were having a luncheon here, they’ve come up and we–and they paid for the luncheon done a lot of things for–paid for a lot of things. Done a lot for–


the South Korean people have–and government have been great to us.  More than any country I believe ever the United States has ever been involved in, in any combat.

I:          So, the country that you remember in 1955 and ’56 is very, very poor.

H:        Very poor.

I:          Now, it’s the 11thlargest economy in the world.

H:        Yes, mm-hmm that’s what I hear.

I:          What do you think about this amazing differences?


H:        Somewhere they organized themselves to get–to get into it and do it there.  And these things I don’t know about, but they’ve done it–so many have done such a great job. All of the things, all of the pictures I’ve seen, all of the stories I’ve heard what goes on there yeah.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        Yeah.

I:          But in–in U.S. we don’t teach about this Korean War.

H:        No, many people know nothing about it.  Go out on the streets right now and say something to the pe– to the group


of people right up there now about the Korean War, they don’t know anything about it.  A lady said to me one time, this is true–a lady said to me one time, was that before or after the Civil War?

I:          [laughing]

H:        And I says–that’s true.  They don’t know what it is.  38,000 men lost their lives there.  And one of the men lost their lives there was a good friend of mine. I worked with him the day before he went into the service.  He had a poor family life at home, and his–his mother had put him up for somebody else to


take care of him. So, he joined the service thinking he’s going to better his life. And when he–and when he went to Korea, course we never knew what happened, but he never came–he never returned.   Missing in action.  So, we built a memorial here in the Winchester Park, you probably heard about that memorial park and one of the names on that memorial is this boy’s name. And that’s why I was co-chairman with Gary Fletcher to help to build this memorial.  The boots in–the boots in is five sets of boots representing the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.


They were my boots I wore in Korea. Because the sculpture made a mold of them.  And so one of the things I think about this boy that–that he never made it back.  Good friend of mine.

I:          Yeah.  37,000 American soldiers killed.

H:        Whatever.  Yeah.

I:          And still we have missing 8,000.

H:        Yes.

I:          Yeah.

H:        So they have the DNA–

I:          Missing in action.

H:        Maybe someday they’ll find the remains of him.  Because they do have the DNA on him and–and return him.


That would be a great honor. Would it were to happen.

I:          It’s exactly, but the thing is now the Korean is completely industrialized so that there are many parts covered by the concrete or asphalt.

H:        Yes.

I:          It’s hard to dig in.  And the North Korea we not allowed to go now, right now,

H:        Nope.

I:          So, it’s a–it’s a bad things.

H:        Yeah.

I:          For the families.

H:        Yes.  Yes.

I:          So, let’s go back to the Munsan-ni.  What was your rank?

H:        Corporal specialist first class, yeah.


I:          Corporal

H:        Same as a corporal specialist

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        Military police corps, yeah.

I:          And how much were you paid.

H:        Oh!

I:          [laughing]

H:        I really don’t know.  I–I–

I:          About $100?

H:        I guess.

I:          Over or less than $100?

H:        Probably around $100 a month, yes.

I:          And what did you do with that money? Did you send the money back to your family?

H:        I–I–I, mostly yes, because I really didn’t have a reason to send it there


other than just the PX, post exchange there.  I didn’t smoke at that time, so I didn’t need any money for that. And all I was doing is buying some chewing gum and candy for the kids in the streets in the village out there and I didn’t–really didn’t need it.  Except for the time I went back to Japan and when I went back to Japan, two of the boys that was on the farm with me were in Japan in the military police so I was able to go back and visit with them for–for a few days.


I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        But sent the money home.

I:          What was the most difficult thing during your service in Korea? What did bother you most or hated or difficult?

H:        Well, I guess the cold weather.  The cold is–

I:          Tell me about it, how cold was it?

H:        Well, again, people often mention how many degrees below zero it was. I didn’t–we didn’t have any thermometers so I don’t know–I didn’t know about that.  People have been talking about 10 and 20 degrees below zero, maybe so. We didn’t have them because at that time, we


didn’t have as much clothing as–as they got later.  You know, there weren’t–but we did have clothes you’d put on and you–you–you’d be on patrol at night and you go in the tent there and a–you didn’t take off any clothes you just lay in there–we had a little cot there in the tent.  And we didn’t take off any clothes because it was too cold for that.  So, we didn’t take many baths or showers.

I:          Do you have a frost bite?

H:        No, I didn’t.

I:          No.

H:        Yeah I’m–wasn’t–


I:          Where did you sleep?

H:        Where did we sleep? Well, we had a–a tent I guess probably six of us in a tent, I guess, 6 or 8 of us in the tent and…

I:          What did you eat? Eat food.

H:        What did we eat?

I:          Yeah.

H:        Just regular food.  Food I–I don’t have any complaints about the food just regular–

I:          Hot meal?

H:        Yeah–good food–oh yeah, we had tents. We had cooks in our tents, yeah.

I:          What kind, tell me.


Because this interview will be listening–will be listened by the childrens.

H:        Mm-hmm.

I:          They want to know.

H:        Well,

I:          You may take it for granted but when you say food, give us the–

H:        Right.

I:          what kind and how was it and so on.

H:        Well, when we were there at–at the compound, you know, if you had to go out on patrol, spend the night out, then they’d just give you a pack of what they call c-rations boxes. Just give them.  But there, you know, we had beans and potatoes and


Probably sometime mashed potatoes, gravy.  Coffee wasn’t the best, they just made the coffee in a 10 gallon pot and–so you drink that coffee and you got down the road in the Jeep jumping up and down first thing you know, you had to stop.  [Laughing]. The coffee would get to you.

I:          [laughing]

H:        But that was okay.

I:          And after you come back, what did you do? Please tell me about it.

H:        After I came back,


on the GI bill I went to a vocational center.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        And I taken up cabinet making.  Furniture building and cabinet making.

I:          Mm-hmm.  And…

H:        Then I went to–went to work in a cabinet shop.  And while I was in the cabinet shop, I would go in the–take night classes in the carpentry program.  And so I went for two years at–at you know the school years at night two nights a week and we would–what was called carpentry.


So that’s–so I went from the cabinet making into carpentry. I did that for 14 years. I was the foreman of the–of the shop.  And then, I went to a vocational center. Went–I was 41 years old I’d never been in any college and so I–I went to Virginia Tech institution in–in Virginia and got a teaching certificate so I could teach.  Because I’d never been in college and did that.


And I taught for 24 years.

I:          You got the GI Bill?

H:        GI Bill, uh-huh.

I:          How much did they pay actually? Do you remember?

H:        Well, now, no I didn’t get the GI bill–I got the GI bill for going to the cabinet class and the carpentry, but not when I went to–to the college or the institution, I didn’t get it.

I:          So, how much was it, GI Bill?

H:        I do not know. I–I–those things don’t–you know whatever–whatever they paid to take the classes,


but then I do not know.

I:          Did that cover tuition and–

H:        Just for the–that’s all it covered tuition. Had nothing to do with–didn’t give–didn’t give nothing to me, personally other than–other than paying for the classes.

I;          Didn’t they pay for your housing?

H:        No, I was working. Well I wasn’t for the year I went to college [thinking]. Well, yes they did, because I was staying at the school.

I:          Yeah.

H:        Yes they–they


They did give me something for that.

I:          Mm-hmm. I think stipend some stipend and

H:        Yes. Had to be.

I:          And books. Money to buy the books.

H:        It had to be, yes.

I:          Yep.

H:        It had to be, yes.

I:          that was very nice, right?

H:        It was.  It was a good thing they did for us, yes.

I:          Do you know why the Korean War has been Forgotten War? Why was it?

H:        Because it was after the Civil–after World War II and the people wanted to forget about wars.  They’d been through it


They wanted to pass it off as something going on someplace else and didn’t want to get involved in it, is my thinking. I think they passed it down to their families, you know. It was something that happened over there someplace. It didn’t happen here.  We weren’t involved in it there was no–no big thing [unintelligible] out of Korea, at that time.  During the Second World War, there was a big thing in the schools, you know we gathered up papers for the war drive.  We did everything for the war drive.  We–we bought


war bonds and stamps. We did all these things for the–for the war effort, you know.  We couldn’t drive down this main street here, because of the gas rations.  Okay. If you had a “A” sticker on your windshield the police would stand on the corner. If you came around twice, they’d check you where’d you get your–where’d you get your gas from, at that time. So, that was a big thing, you know, because of the war effort. I–I believe after that, the Korean War happens shortly after that and


I–I think people wanted to get to think anything to pass it down.  That’s not my thinking, but–

I:          Go ahead.

H:        I don’t think that–get my thoughts here–they I think I wanted to touch on I think President Truman did a tremendous job.


He wasn’t my political man, but I think he did a good job. He was a great president. I think he did a proper thing. He didn’t take it from congress he went ahead with this police action. Didn’t have to declare war. I think he did a great job. I think he did right–big–right decision in not going further up in Manchuria and they didn’t. I think he had a–did a right job in releasing MacArthur.  MacArthur was a great general, but you can’t have the military run the government.


I:          Right. Did you know anything about the MacArthur at the time?

H:        No.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        I’m just–nothing about him. I know of the big thing he did there in Incheon.

I:          Incheon landing.

H:        Which he did do it in great thing in Incheon.

I:          Yeah.

H:        He was a great–he was the greatest general. Great things.

I:          When you left Korea, did you think that the Korea would come like this today? 11thlargest–

H:        No.

I:          economy and—

H:        I couldn’t see how they could do it.


I think– I thought they’d all be devastated. I couldn’t see them being what they are.  When I came back and then I start hearing things how Korea was growing I couldn’t think–see how it could happen in a little country like that, you know, where the people were just struggling to survive see the–

I:          Isn’t it amazing?

H:        It is amazing.

I:          That small country completely devastated

H:        That’s right.

I:          become 11thlargest economy in its–how many, 60 years.

H:        Yeah, isn’t that something?


How they’ve done that.

I:          Are you proud about your service?

H:        Yes I am proud of my service.  I’m proud– I’m gonna get choked up– I’m proud when people say to me thank you for serving. I just had a lunch at a little restaurant and I had three people come by me, because I had this uniform on, and thank me for my service. And I’m proud when people say that.  I was just one of many, but people–so many people gave up so much to go and help.  I–I never


Talk to service men that wasn’t proud he did what he did there.

I:          Mm-hmm. So how can we keep the legacy of your service as a Korean War Veteran?

H:        Well I think in our–

I:          And of legacy of Korean War, how can we keep it?

H:        Well, I think in our case, of our chapter we going out to schools and talking to young students and tell them about what’s going on. And telling them–try to tell–tell American–tell people what’s going on and what we were involved in there and how Korea has come along.


And not–never let it be done. Because one of these knows will be like the Second World War and the First World War veterans will be gone.  Our people will–are all almost–are all almost in their 80’s and we won’t be here forever. And somebody has to tell the people what’s–what’s going on. I think people need to tell the people of Westchester what’s going on what has–what did go on and what’s happening today.

I:          And that’s why we are doing this.

H:        Yes.  I–I

I:          We are preserving your memory

H:        Right–mm-hmm.

I:          and we going to use this as a

H:        uh-huh


I:          Teaching material for children and–and–and teachers.

H:        Yes.

I:          Isn’t that nice?

H:        It is great. It’s great what you’re doing. Absolutely. I’m proud of it. I’m proud to be a part of it.  I’m thankful to you that’s doing this and working for this project. Yes sir.

I:          Any other story that you still remember that you want to say?

H:        Yes, I’ll tell you one story.  I told you about going out in the–to the villages


and the GI’s out of the village. And of course in there in another company, not the company I was in of course, in another company there was a Capitan and he was pretty strict on his soldiers that went out at nights. If they come before him boy they–they’d tell me he’d [strip the racks] and he was rough on them.  So, happens one night we went out particularly in the village close to where he was at and–and we pick a truck we go out and we’d go into these huts and get them out.


And so, I went in this hut. And his name was in there, you know, no clothes on I say okay soldier get your clothes on.  When he started putting his clothes on, I saw his Capitan ranks.

I:          Mm-hmm.

H:        Capitan right.  And so I was taking him back to our compound. To our–to our police station. And I did and, of course, they went through the process with him. So I was designated of taking him back to his compound. I knew if I take him back to his compound and take him in through the gate guard you know and here’s the Capitan the police are bringing him back.


All the way back, and this was probably we were probably 10 mile from where the village was, so close to that and all the way back he’s begging me, corporal please let me go. Please don’t take me in by. And we got almost with–to where his compound was at and I stopped the Jeep. And I said, Capitan, I’m going to let you out right here. Cause I know when you go before your–your you have to sneak back in through the fence, you know, if– if he go back in through the gate guard what’s gonna happen to you. I said


I just ask you one thing. What can I do? I said one thing, when a man comes before you in the same position where you’re in tonight I want you–I want you to remember this situation and give him a break like I’m giving you. He said corporal I will certainly do that.

I:          Do you remember his name.

H:        No, no I don’t remember.

I:          Do you remember Douglas Barclay? He was also in Munson-ni about the same time.  Douglas Barclay. He is tall man.  No?

H:        I don’t know any name, no.  Only names I would know is


some person that was right with the tent with me I would know some–

I:          Okay.

H:        It’s been a long time to remember names. Yeah. Uh-huh.

I:          So, you want to go back to Korea?

H:        I could. But I’m 87 years old I–I don’t know–I.

I:          You will make it, don’t worry.

H:        Uh-huh.

I:          So–

H:        I–I–I–I was some time I did a guard duty at the end of the Freedom Gate Bridge,


alright, we go out there at night it be so cold, be so cold and we’d have a [cartuccia] with us and I remember one night and we were out there and it was so cold and he got a can and drained some gasoline out of the Jeep and–and lit fire to it.  So, we sat under there– well, the next–the next morning we were black all that was white was the white of our eyes. I said its gotta be a better way and that than being–being a carpenter. I said well, I got with the–with the company clerk there, I said let’s get some lumber and build a shack out there.


So, I built a shack. We built a shack and we take it out there.  So some pictures have come back have been in national magazines. Not now, of course but of that little shack I built at the end of that bridge.  So, I was kind of proud of that [laughing].

I:          Do you–you don’t have that picture?

H:        I don’t have the picture.

I:          Ah. That’s too bad.

H:        No, I should’ve got out that picture.  Yep, but that was–

I:          Do you have some pictures?

H:        Oh yes, I–I take a lot of slides, you know.

I:          How many do you have?

H:        How many? Mmm.  These carousels,


I probably got three of the carousels or more. Probably more than that of them things.  Yeah.

I:          Wow.

H:        Yeah.

I:          What kind of picture did you take?

H:        Well, just personal things. Pictures of the–I like– of course, being a farm boy, I liked to go where the fellas was out ri–working the rice paddies. And I’d go out with the guy in the rice paddies and they’d have their oxen, you know, I’ve got some pictures of me standing with the oxen little cart and–

I:          I would love to have that pictures.

H:        I can probably get some of them to you.


I:          Yeah, can you–do you know how–do you have young children around you? Young children?

H:        No.

I:          Grandson?

H:        Wha–wha–what did you?

I:          I want to–so you said its old slide, not picture?

H:        But I can make them into pictures. You know,

I:          Yeah.

H:        I just take–take the slides and get some made of pictures even with that.

I:          Can you do that?

H:        Yeah.

I:          And send it to me?

H:        Sure.

I:          If you send that, I will publish in the website so that everybody can see it.


H:        Alright.

I:          Do you understand?

H:        How many do you want?

I:          As many as possible.

H:        Uh-huh.

I:          All–everything you have.

H:        I’ll get the ones–well I’ll get the ones I think they’re–you know some of the soldiers or–

I:          Yeah.

H:        things that have I don’t know if anybody’d want them.

I:          Or you are in front of oxen. That’s very good.

H:        Uh-huh.

I:          The Korean house, Korean people, everything that you have, that you took picture in Korea.  Not in japan but in Korea.

H:        Uh-huh.

I:          I would love to have them.


H:        Okay.

I:          Would you do that?

H:        Yeah I can get you some–I can get you–

I:          Yeah.

H:        Get slides made of them pictures, you know, yeah.

I:          Yeah, please do that, okay?

H:        I’ll do it.

I:          Yeah, because if you don’t do that nobody will be able to see those.

H:        Mm-hmm.

I:          But, if you give it to me I can publish it–

H:        Right.

I:          in the internet so that everybody can see.

H:        Alright.

I:          Alright?

H:        I’ll have them made up into pictures.

I:          And send it to me, please.

H:        Yeah.

I:          I can pay for the shipping.

H:        But then you give me an address and–

I:          Yeah, I have my business card.


H:        I –you give me–I got your card right here yeah. Yeah.

I:          There’s a P.O. Box address, okay?

H:        Okay.

I:          Yeah.

H:        Alright.

I:          It would be very nice if you can send those.

H:        I’ll do it.

I:          Because the kids and the people right now they don’t have any idea how Korea was at the time–

H:        Mm-hmm.

I:          that you were there.

H:        I got some pictures of villages–the ones in the vill–

I:          That’s what I want to see.

H:        The old papasans with their A-frames on the back carrying

I:          Yes. Yes.

H:        the rice straw, yeah.

I:          And that’s what you


took right?

H:        Right.

I:          Not–not what other people took?

H:        No, no, I took the pictures myself.

I:          So, please send it to me.  I will–I will be really appreciating.

H:        Okay.

I:          That’s how we want to educate the children.

H:        Uh-huh.

I:          When young students see those Korea in 1950 and when they see the modern Korea right now they will have a clear picture, right?

H:        Yes. Uh-huh.

I:          And they will know what you did for Korean people.

H:        I’ll get them together for you.


I:          Thank you so much.

H:        Give me a few days–

I:          Absolutely.

H:        because I got a lot of things going.

I:          I will give you–take–take

H:        See one thing about it–I’m a Christian man.  And when I tell somebody I will do something that’s exactly what I do. Unless the Lord strikes me down, you will get those pictures. Alright. Fair enough?

I:          When you send me those pictures, I will send my book about New Testament. You know Gospel, right?

H:        Right. Absolutely.

I:          Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

H:        Right


I:          They are four books, right?

H:        Right.

I:          I made it into one.

H:        Is that right?

I:          I will give you that. Why don’t we exchange this?

H:        I was just reading of John just before I came in here. I’m out here in the parking lot–

I:          What–

H:        I’ve still got some time. So–so I’m reading from John oh 38thchapter when John was –well when Jesus was telling the Pilate, you know, Pilate asked him, you know, is you–Pilate asked him, are you


the leader of the Jews? Or that– something to that affect, you know, and he said you–you say that I am–you know.

I:          Oh you mean with the Pilate?

H:        Right, uh-huh.  Right, the pre–yeah Pilate or Pilate, yeah. Mm-hmm.

I:          And so, the Pilate asking Jesus what, you are the head of the Jew and he said yes, right?

H:        Right.

I:          Yeah.

H:        That’s it.

I:          Any other things that you want to say?

H:        Life’s been good to me. 87 years old I just–I just planted my onions today in the garden. I’m ready for–


for spring and I have a–I have a place–I have a nice home in the country and keep it going. I have a good wife, grandson.

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