Korean War Legacy Project

Horace Sappington


Horace Sappington enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 15. Serving as a young master sergeant in the infantry, he saw combat in multiple encounters with North Korean, Russian, and Chinese troops–including the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He suffered several injuries during his service in Korea. He speaks highly of South Koreans and their kindness towards American servicemen. He is proud to have served and he expresses surprise at how well South Korea had recovered when he returned to the country in 1983.

Video Clips

Half Dead or Captured

Horace Sappington describes his encounter with North Koreans and Russians a few miles outside of Osan. Ill-equipped and undermanned, he details the scene of a Major driving out in a jeep to meet and talk with the oncoming mass of North Korean and Russian troops. He shares that the enemy fired a cannon, blowing up the jeep and killing the major, continuing to advance upon their position. He adds that he was wounded during the fighting and was tended to by a medic who was killed shortly after during their retreat. He explains that over half of US soldiers there that day were either killed or captured.

Tags: Osan,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,North Koreans,Weapons

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Soldiers Pouring In Everywhere

Horace Sappington recounts his experience at the Pusan Perimeter. He shares that the North Korean soldiers were pouring in on them and they received assistance from the Air Force and the USS Missouri roughly 1 mile off of the coast. He explains he was in charge of providing the ship with coordinates for firing. He recounts an injury to his head and shoulder received from enemy fire.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Busan,Chinese,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,North Koreans,Physical destruction,Weapons

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Nothing Worse Than The Cold

Horace Sappington describes being cold as the most difficult thing during his service. He recounts low temperatures near the 38th Parallel and during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. As part of a task force, he shares that he was sent in to help bail out Marines before the Chinese took it all.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Cold winters,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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