Korean War Legacy Project

Howard Faley


Howard Faley was born on December 5, 1929 in Dubuque, Iowa.  After graduating from High School in 1948 from Loras Academy, he joined the Naval Reserve until 1951 when he was drafted into the US Army.  He was deployed to Korea and arrived at Incheon in 1952 where he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Regiment, 3rd Battalion, K Company as an infantry rifleman. He participated in battles at the Iron Triangle, Old Baldy, Pork Chop Hill, and Little Gibraltar where he was severely wounded in his right leg by an enemy mortar on February 4, 1953.   He was later awarded two purple hearts for his injuries. Today, as a disabled veteran, he enjoys speaking about the Korean War to various audiences.

Video Clips

An Unlucky Mortar Round

Howard Faley describes being hit by a mortar round at Little Gibraltar. He recalls being later told that there was only one mortar fired that whole day, the one that badly injured him. He explains that he was taken on a stretcher to Forward H station where the doctor put a cigarette in his mouth and then four sticks of gum before setting his leg and ankle back into place.

Tags: Front lines

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"You Go to Hell, Sir"

Howard Faley describes being relocated to Seoul before leaving for the hospital in Japan; he and other patients were told they had to wait for a General to come and thank them. After reluctantly waiting for five days, though the General had not arrived, they were flown to Japan. He recalls the severity of his injury, how the nerve in his leg was slashed and how every movement was excruciating. When a Capitan told him to get on a table he refused and told him to go to Hell.

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Korea's Transformation

Howard Faley describes his amazement at South Korea's advancement since the war. He comments on the grandeur of the city of Seoul and its modernity. He goes on to explain that the cargo containers that are shipped across the United States arrive on huge ships built by modern Korea. He notes that this advancement is due to the hard work of the Korean people.

Tags: Seoul,Modern Korea,North Koreans,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]


HF:      My name is Howard Faley.

I:          Could you spell for the audience?

HF:      F A L E Y is Faley  Howard is H O W A R D.

I:          What is your birthday?

HF:      My birthday is December 5, 1929.

I:          You born on the year of Great Depression.

HF:      Yes.  My father claimed that I caused it.  You’re gonna have to put up with a lot of Irish I’m afraid.


I:          Okay.  You’re Irish.

HF:      100%.

I:          100%.  Are you proud of being Irish?

HF:      Am I what, sir?

I:          Proud of being Irish?

HF:      Yes, I am, very proud.

I:          What’s good for Irish people?

HF:      Good whiskey is good for Irish, but I don’t drink.

I:          Oh my goodness.  You are not Irish then.

HF:      Oh yes.  I quit. I was smart enough to quit when I, 25 years ago.

I:          Do you know my favorite whiskey?



HF:      Jameson?

I:          Yeah.

HF:      How about that?  I remembered, didn’t I?

I:          I was in Dublin and

HF:      Twice I was in Dublin.

I:          When I arrived in airport, all wall, you know, was Jameson there.  Oh my goodness.  So how do you pronounce it?  I, I used to pronounce it as Jameson.

HF:      Jameson.

I:          so it’s got to be Jameson?

HF:      Yeah.

I:          Jameson?


HF:      Yeah.  My wife always says you don’t pronounce that right, and I said that’s the way the Irish pronounce it.

I:          So is it Jameson or Jameson ?

HF:      You’re getting me mixed up.  Jameson.

I:          Jameson.

HF:      Jameson.  Yes.

I:          I don’t think that’s correct answer.

HF:      Oh well, hey.

I:          But I love it.  That’s a really nice whiskey.

HF:      Yes.

I:          And I love, what is it, the black beer.  What is it?

HF:      The beer?


I:          Yeah.

HF:      That’s

I:          Like Guinness.  Guinness.

HF:      Guinness, yeah.  Guinness beer.  Have you ever got a glass of beer in Ireland?

I:          Yeah.

HF:      How long it takes them to pour it?

I:          I know.  I got the certificate.

HF:      Yeah.  It takes them almost like the whole day to pour , and beer.

HF:      Good.

I:          And I like Irish people.  They, they are really


warm, kind, hospitable, and I like them.

HF:      Right.

I:          But they are very strong, too, like the Koreans.

HF:      Right.  Very strong like the Koreans.

I:          Where were you born?

HF:      Where at?

I:          Where were you born?

HF:      Dubuque, Iowa.

I:          Could you spell it?

HF:      D U B U Q U E.  A fellow by the name of Julian Dubuque found it.  He started a lead mine in Dubuque.


I:          Dubuque.  It’s hard to pronounce.  So tell me about your parents when you were growing up and your siblings.

HF:      My parents, there was five of us kids in the family.  There’s two girls and us three boys, and my parents were Irish from the word go.


Also, I’ll tell you a little joke about the boys and the girls.  When my dad would say goodnight, he’d say goodnight boys.  And then with the two girls, he would say goodnight the apple of my eye.

I:          What is that?

HF:      That means that he really loved the girls more than he, well I won’t say he loved the girls more than the boys, but it, it seemed like it. But it never bothered me


that he said the apples of my eye.

That’s like saying my two beauties.

I:          So what did your father do?
HF:      My father worked for the State of Iowa.  He was a road construction.

I:          So when the Great Depression hit, did he

HF:      He was lucky.  He was working, and he was not working for the State of Iowa at that time,


but he would jump around with different jobs, and Irish are not afraid to work.  They’re like Koreans.  Koreans aren’t afraid to work, either.  I found that out when I was over there.  But he worked cleaning out steam engines.  He worked on a barge in the river.  He leaned against the posts by mistake, and he fell into the river.  But my mother said well, you got your bath early today, didn’t you?


I:          Oh boy.

HF:      So anyway, I talk kind of loud, too.

I:          When did you graduate, what high school?

HF:      Loras Academy.

I:          Could you spell it?

HF:      L O R A S  Academy.

I:          Where? In Dubuque?
HF:      In Dubuque, right.

I:          When?

HF:      That was in 1948.

I:          What did you do?


HF:      What did I do when I got out of school?

I:          Yeah.
HF:      I went to work, I got out in June.  I went to work on the railroad.  I had two jobs in between, but I went to work on the railroad in September of 1948, and I worked on the railroad until 1951 when I got drafted into the Army.  The reason I got drafted into the Army is because I was in the Navy Reserve


for four years, and I missed too many meetings.  So I got a draft notice from the Draft Board you’re in the Army now.  So I went through Fort Knox basic training. I had a friend that I worked with on the railroad, and he was in World War II.  He was a paratrooper, and he landed on Corregidor.


MacArthur wanted the paratroopers to take Corregidor, the island.  He didn’t want guys to come in from the sea because it had a rugged beach or whatever.  Anyway, so when I got out of basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, I went to Airborne training in Fort Benning, Georgia.  There, they’d teach you how to jump off


of a 2’ box, then a 34’ tower, then a 250’ tower, and then you graduate. You go up for five jumps out of the plane, and my dad used to say why do you want to jump out of a perfectly good plane?  I said for $50 a month.  [LAUGHS] So anyway, after


jumping out of the plane, I got, I passed, and I went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  That was the home of the 82nd Airborne, and at one time during World War II, the 82nd had the youngest General that was in charge of the 82nd in Europe.  But anyway, back to my history, so then anyway, I was at Fort Bragg for about, oh about five weeks,


and then they got an order that came down.  They wanted 1500 people to Korea right now.  So I was one of the last ones in the Fort Bragg, so I was one of the 1500.  When I got off the ship in Yokohama, they put a 2 on my helmet.

I:          Hold on.  You are getting too fast to handle everything.


When you were in school, did you know anything about Korea?

HF:      In school?

I:          Yeah.

HF:      No.  We, I was that was  a long time before Korea.  I didn’t even know there was such a Korea.

I:          You didn’t know, right?

HF:      No, I didn’t know there was a Korea.  A North and a South or East or West.  I did not know.  And I don’t think anybody in the class knew.

I:          Because it’s so small.

HF:      Right.  Well, we were young,


But, you know, you don’t, in high school so much, you don’t get that much history of the country.  Usually it’s the country you’re in.

I:          Ok.  When did you leave from United States to Japan?  When was it ?
HF:      That was about late, real late December of 1951.


I:          And you knew that you are going to the Korean War?
HF:      Oh yes, by all means.

I:          Were you afraid?

HF:      No, not really.  I wasn’t there yet.  I was 15 days on a boat.  I guess being Irish you’re not afraid of anything.  Anyway, I got to Yokohama, Japan on a troop ship, and when I got off the troop ship, they were putting numbers on our helmets,


and I said what’s the two, and he said you’re going to the 2nd Infantry Division, and I said no, I’m going to the 187th Airborne.  They had a regiment over there of the 82nd, 187th, and he said no, and he only had two stripes, too.  And he’s telling me, and he said you go where we put you, and a lot of guys were going like the 3rd Division


or the 40th Division, 45th Division, 7th Division.  I can remember almost all of the outfits that were in Korea except for different artillery battalions and stuff like that.  But I got there, and I got up from Japan, I got on a troop ship, went down around Japan, down around Korea and come up into the China Sea is it?


I:          No, West Sea.

HF:      The what?
I:          West Sea.

HF:      Wet?

I:          West, West,

HF:      West?

I:          Yeah.  Because it’s so West to Korean Peninsula.

HF:      What does it say there?

I:          It says Yellow Sea.

HF:      Yellow Sea.

I:          Yes.  So either Yellow Sea or West Sea.  The stand dart is Korea.  And it’s not Sea of Japan, it’s the East Sea, okay?

HF:      It’s west of Japan.

I:          Yeah, but it’s still east to us.


HF:      Oh, is it?

I:          So East Sea, okay?  When did you arrive in Inchon, and how was Inchon to you?

HF:      Just another bunch of water.  We went over the side of the ship, down into Higgins boats.  Then we went to the wharf in Inchon.  Then we had to climb up and then went along, the


I:          I think you better put your arm under, yeah, that’s good.

HF:      We had to go from the wharf to our trucks that were waiting for us, and when we went by this one truck, there was a Marine in there doing something with loading it or something, and the first thing that the guy ahead of me said look it, the Jarheads aren’t doing anything over here.  You know what a Jarhead is?

I:          No.

HF:      That’s a Marine.

I:          Uh huh.


See, we’re Dogfaces. Army Dogfaces.  Navy is, I don’t know what they call the Navy guys.  I should know, but I don’t.  But anyway, then we got on trucks, and then I went like I showed you up to Iron Triangle to the 2nd Infantry Division.

I:          What was your unit, 2nd Division and?
HF:      Second Division, 9th Infantry Regiment.


King Company of the 3rd Battalion.

I:          And what company?
HF:      King Company.

I:          King Company.  And your MOS was Riflemen?
HF:      Yeah.

I:          You, you ought to go to the, the, what is it?  What is it?  Jump.

HF:      Yeah.  Paratropper.

I:          Airborne.  Airborne.

HF:      Airborne.

I:          Yeah.  But they put you into the 2nd Division.


HF:      Right.

I:          So, you show me this map.  Show it to the camera.  Up hold it.  Up your chin.  Yes. And there, this is 38th parallel, around the 38th parallel, and there’s a triangle in the middle of the map, and that’s where, that’s where Howard went, right?

HF:      Right.

I:          And that is the most severe battle zone


during the Korean War, right?

HF:      No.

I:          No?

CF:      No.  They never let a Division there long enough.

I:          No.  What I’m saying is Triangle was one of the severe, the most severe battle zone.

HF:      That was for the second.  There was a lot of battles in the triangle.

I:          But you were not there.

HF:      I was there.

I:          Oh.

HF:      But after probably about, after about I’d say six weeks or eight weeks or month, couple months,


then they’d take us off the line, and another Division would come up in our spot, then we’d go farther down the line.  We went from there, I can’t remember if it was Old Baldy right away or where it was.  But we went to Old Baldy, at least I did,

I:          Um hm.

HF:      and, I, well before I got there, though, I think I was six


months before I got to Old Baldy from the Iron Triangle, and anyway, when I got to the

I:          When did you arrive in Inchon?

HF:      Inchon?  I don’t even know what time I arrived in Japan.

I:          So you were there in 1951.

HF:      one, right.

I:          So it’s got to be ’52.

HF:      1952 is when I got to, in Korea.  January,

I:          Yeah.

HF:      About the 1st or 2nd, somewhere in there.


Then I was in the Triangle, and a couple of the hills on the, on the west side of the Triangle, and then my Lieutenant,he thought he, because I was always volunteering.  If there was a married man going out on patrol, I’d say I’ll take his place.

I:          Oh.

HF:      I was single.


So I would take the married man’s place if I could.  It got to be that he didn’t like me when I did that.  He still liked me but not when I was volunteering like that.  So anyway, I got to get the brain going right.  When I went from there, when we come off of the Iron Triangle,


we moved in reserved I think, and he got rotated back home, the Lieutenant did.  He was nice, and he said I’m gonna put you in a, get you transferred to an outfit where you’re not gonna be.  So he said you’re going down to the 3rd Battalion, to Headquarters Company of the 9th Infantry Regiment.  And I said okay, whatever you say, sir.  And you want to call my mother and dad and tell them


I’m fine when you get home, and he said yes.  I said well, that would be wonderful.  So then I went, when I got down to Old Baldy, I was in the, what do they say…Oh God…they call it Wire Company I guess.


Be the Wire Company.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      Okay. I was in the Wire Company for the next six months, seven months, till February, and I thought well I’d be doing a lot of behind the line work.  Well, it turned out that I was up on the line more than I was when I was a rifleman. So our job as a wireman was to fix and make sure that they had communications with the front line


and the rear with artillery and whatever, and then we went from, I went from there, No, we stayed there, I went, well, we went to Porkchop, and then we went to the Arrowhead and the T-Bone, and then we went down, our outfit went down to the Little Gibraltar. I didn’t know where I was at until I got back in the States.  And at Little Gibraltar,


we were right on top of the hill in these bunkers, and I had to go over to the next bunker and make sure that the communications were good.  So on the way back it was noon,

I:          Yeah.

HF:      and that’s when a mortar round come in and I got it in the leg.  Busted.

I:          So Little Gibraltar is very West, right?
HF:      Right.  Very West.

I:          And when was you wounded?


HF:      February 4, 1953.

I:          ’53.  And how you got that wound?

HF:      How?

I:          How?  Mortar round.  Came in

I:          Chinese.

HF:      I was going, I guess.  Chinese or North Korean.

I:          West of the Chinese, yes.

HF:      I never knew who was out in front of us, you know. Could be anybody.

I:          And you couldn’t tell between Chinese and Korean.


HF:      It could have been the British.  [LAUGHS]

I:          [LAUGHS] British.  Yeah.

HF:      But anyway I got it halfway, going to my next bunker, and I got up and tried to move but I couldn’t because my leg was all busted up, and the ankle.  So my buddy came out of the bunker and drug me into the bunker so I’d be, that was the only mortar round we got they told me, that whole day, and I got it.  And so they come up with the


Jeep with a stretcher on it, took me back to the forward aid station, they put me on a thing there, and he put a cigarette in my mouth.  Well, I never have smoked in my whole life.

I:          Really?  Irish?

HF:      Never smoked.  My Dad smoked like a trooper, and chewed like a trooper.  But I never smoked.  I think there’s only two of us


in the family of five that never smoked.  My two brothers smoked, and one sister smoked.   But the, my, one, the young sister and myself, we, we never smoked.  So he put it in, he took it out, and they put four sticks of gum in my mouth.  They said you might need that.  So he kind of straightened my leg as much as he could, put like a two boards on this.

I:          That’s your?

HF:      Yeah, this is the bad one.


I:          Yeah.  It’s swollen, or it’s, what happened?

HF:      This is a big wound patch on there.  It’s draining again.  It’s been,  it it’ll drain for like nine months.  But this one here’s drained for about 14 months.

I:          Drained?

HF:      Drain.

I:          Oh.


And I get nurses come in Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and they dress it all the time.  The VA won’t let them come in five days a week.  One doctor up at the VA wanted them to come in five days a week, but they wouldn’t let them.  But I came, when I got wounded, I went to a Swedish hospital.

I:          Yeah, in Inchon, right?

HF:      In, no, that was, not too far back.


That was about four miles back from the front line.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      And, anyway, it was a Swedish hospital,

I:          Yeah.

HF:      Out of Sweden, and anyway, there they took out a lot of shrapnel, and then when I come out of it and I’m laying there and I thought where am I at, you know?  I didn’t know I was at a Swedish hospital, and the orderly come out and said you’re in a Swedish hospital. I said


where’s all the tall blondes at then?   They said, I always thought there was tall blondes in Sweden.  I won’t tell you what color the guy was, so. But anyway, then they loaded me down in a, on a train, sent me down to Seoul, and then at Seoul they said they, they put us in this building,


and they said the General wants to come down and thank us.  I thought the hell with that.  Get us to Japan or wherever we’re going, you know.  So anyway, he never came.  We laid there for five days.  Finally they loaded us on the airplanes and flew us to Japan.  I had two operations at the Swedish hospital.  Then I got to Japan, and it was midnight, and they took me right to the


hospital, put me in a bed, and the nerve was sliced.  The biggest nerve in the leg, and every time they moved me, mostly every time they moved me, the nerve would go like this, and I’d go straight for the ceiling.  Oh that was pain.  I never felt pain like that.  The mortar round didn’t even, not like that nerve.  So anyway, I got in the hospital,


and I had a real nice nurse there, and she said are you hungry? I said yeah, I could eat something, I said, but don’t fuss about it, whatever you got.   And

I:          American nurse?

HF:      American nurse.  They were all American except for, they used Japanese girls, young ones, for orderlies, like, you know.   They’d, they’d come in and they’d wash your arm.  You know, she came in that morning,


a little Japanese girl with a basin of water and soap and all that, and she washed this arm down and then rinsed it.  It was blacker than those cabinets.  That’s how dirty I was.  I think I had two showers in about a year.  That’s all.  So they had to clean me up before they could do anything with me.

I:          Right.

HF:      So anyway, then they took me in,


and he did some work and got some more shrapnel out and everything, then they put me back in bed again, and then he, the doctor come in and he says we’re going to operate on you again.  In about three days, we’re gonna fix the nerve so it don’t do that.  So anyway, the next, about three days later, they come in to take me into x-ray, and while I was the captain in the x-ray room said jump up on this table.


I said I’m not going to jump up on any table.  I’m gonna stay right on here because every time I moved, that sucker might send me in orbit.  He said you’re gonna get up on the table.  I said no I’m not, and he said it one more time and I said you go to Hell, Sir.  I put sir on the end.  You know, he ran out of the room and brought the Colonel in.  The Colonel said to me what seems to be the problem?  The Colonel was a doctor.


And he won’t get on the table.  He said he don’t have to get on the table.  You do it right where he’s laying and boy, that put the, that made the Captain a Private right now.  But anyway, then they, they fixed the nerve and

I:          Finally

HF:      Finally, then about five or ten days later, they loaded us on the hospital ship


so it’d come back to the United States because they unloaded I guess everybody in the hospital out and put them on the ship, and we stopped at Pearl Harbor.  But you know, they had, I think that all they had to feed us was with beans, all the way to Pearl Harbor.  Then. at Pearl Harbor they got more supplies on, and then they took us on it to San Francisco.


Then from San Francisco, I went to a hospital there, and they tried to get you in the hospital closest to your home.  I never had an Army hospital that close to home.  So I ended up in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the hospital there.  And then, but I could always get like weekend passes and week passes and stuff like that because they couldn’t do anything.


I had a cast on my leg from the hip to the toes for eight months.

I:          Wow.

HF:      The, the bones wouldn’t heal, and they have a, had a hard time getting those bones.  They thought maybe they were going to have to make a graft of the hip to put down there.  But finally it started to drop.  The bones are like this here, and finally it started to get together, so,


and I was two months extra in the Army over what they should have got me out, and they said we’re not going to give you your pay that you’d been working at.  We’re going to give you Army pay for two months. So I didn’t care, you know. I. when you’re single, you don’t worry too much, at least I don’t.  I don’t worry about it too much.  You get a little stiff sitting here, don’t you?  So anyway,


I got in, in Battle Creek, Michigan, then they did away with Battle Creek, Michigan and put us down to Indianapolis, Indiana to a big hospital there, Army hospital, and then after, I think it was the first of November, that they discharged me.  They, I was free

I:          When?  November 1953?

HF:      Pardon?

I:          When? ’53 or

HF:      ’53 I got discharged,


HF:      In September of, I think it was 5th I read on the, just read it the other day on my discharge papers.

I:          So were you able to work after that?

HF:      I, I didn’t go back to work for five years.

I:          Because of that?

HF:      Yes.

I:          And were you paid by the Army or what?

HF:      No.  No.  I was, I was paid Disability from the railroad.


They paid me.

I:          I mean, didn’t Army paid you any

HF:      I got money from the, from the Veterans, from the VA.

I:          VA, Right.

HF:      Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      The VA gave me money, and then the railroad gave me a little money, too.

I:          How much was from the VA?
HF:      I think from the VA, I think right off the bat I got 40%,.  I can’t remember what the paycheck was.

I:          But it has to be 100% because you cannot work.


HF:      Well, they wouldn’t give me that right away.  They’d tell you what your Disability is see.  That’s what they go by.  I get 80% now which is equal to 100% because I get 30% for my eyes, I get 30% for my ears,

I:          Um hm.

HF:      And 80% for this, and 20% for something else, but I can’t think what the heck it is.

I:          Um hm.


HF:      But I get the same amount of money as a guy at, that’s 100%.

I:          Good, that’s good.  So have you been back to Korea?

HF:      No.

I:          No.

HF:      I didn’t lose anything there, only blood. I never, I, it never, you know, it, it just never got to me that I, I wanted. I want to go to Ireland was where I wanted to go. So we went twice to Ireland.


I:          But you know the transformation made in Korea after you left.

HF:      Oh, yes.

I:          Tell me about it.

HF:      I’ve read a lot about it.  How Seoul built up and all those tall buildings, but when I seen that idiot up North Korea, was rattling the chains, you know, I thought they should have built them further South.  And not too high.


Some of them are what?  20 stories?  That’s not good.  That’s not good.

I:          But what do you think about what happened to Korea after you left?
HF:      I think, good.  I thought, they really

I:          Just good?

HF:      Yeah, everything went good over there because they did a lot more than what Russia would do for North Korea and China.  They’re not going to supply them for all their life.


Look at what they did? They built the biggest ships that haul these containers, and we used to get container trains from the Union Pacific in Omaha and take them into Chicago, and then they’d go further East to New York, and then they go back on ships to Europe.  So I think they’ve done wonderful.

I:          Isn’t that amazing?  A country completely destroyed.  We didn’t have anything to build on.


We don’t have a drop of oil.  Still, we don’t have oil.

HF:      I know it.

I:          And we became the largest ship builder in the world.
HF:      Right, correct.

I:          Isn’t that amazing?
HF:      It is amazing.  That’s because you’re hard workers.  You’re good workers.

I:          But we had United States with us.

HF:      Well, yes.  You had us with you.  But what did we, you know I have a grandson that went over there and taught school with


his girl, girlfriend for two years.

I:          In Korea?

HF:      Yeah.  They were at, North of Korea, North of Seoul,

I:          Uijongbu?
HF:      Yeah.  Right.  Uijeongbu.  When I went through Uijeongbu, there was nothing.  When I went through Seoul on the truck, there was hardly anything, and I don’t know about Pusan.


You don’t,  you don’t call that Pusan, do you?  Busan, with a B.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      Yeah.  We call it with a P.

I:          Yeah.  What would you tell to the American people that Korean War is forgotten war?

HF:      I had a lady, I gave a talk at a meeting one morning.  I know this bank president,


and he had me come as one of his talkers, and I gave a speech on the Korean War, and the last que, then I asked for questions, and the last question was what do you think about being called the Forgotten War?  I said lady, all wars are forgotten.  I said the Civil War is forgotten.  I said the Revolutionary War is forgotten. I said they don’t teach nothing in school anymore.


I went to school too,  to the middle school, that’s between high school and the lower, and I gave a speech there, too.  I was happy to do that.

I:          But Civil War is not forgotten as Korean War.

HF:      No.

I:          Korean War is just one paragraph in our history textbook.  What would you tell them?

HF:      About the, I said, well I said talk to all the Korean veterans that laid in hospitals.  I said they won’t tell you it was a forgotten war.


Or any Korean veteran will tell you that it is not forgotten to them.  I have not forgotten it.  If I did, I wouldn’t be wearing this.  It had a big patch on the back of the 2nd Division.  This is the 2nd.  You’ve probably seen that over there.  They’re still there.

I:          Yeah.  They’re still there, about 28,000 American forces there in Korea.


HF:      You know, they take a regiment of them, and they’ll send them, they used to send them to Iraq to get a little war in them, and then they’d send some, they come back, the Regiment would come back, and then another one would go over, and I talked to one of the Majors, we had a reunion in Tacoma, Washington.  That’s where I got this hat here, at Fort Lewis.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      That’s the home of the 2nd Division in the States.


That’s the only time I was ever there was when we had a reunion, and we went on the, the base, and I couldn’t believe what I seen when I first got through the front door.  All I seen was Wendy’s and, and Burger King Macs, the other one with the golden arch.  That’s all I seen till we got farther in, then we seen the barracks and things like that.


I:          So did you got, did you get the Purple Heart?

HF:      Yeah, I got two of them?
I:          Two of them?  Why?

HF:      The first one I got these teeth knocked out.

I:          Where?

HF:      Right, that was, I was there about two months when that happened.

I:          When?  Where?

HF:      That was up on, just west of the Iron Triangle.

I:          Oh, I see. You didn’t tell me about it.

HF:      Well?

I:          So was it Iron Horse or Jackson Heights?


HF:      I think it was, I think it might have been Iron Horse.  Now the Koreans were on White Horse Mountain, weren’t they?
I:          I don’t know.

HF:      Yeah.

I:          That was White Horse.

HF:      White Horse, the Koreans were on there.  You know, that was a bad deal.  You know what they did?

I:          What?

HF:      Every time the Chinese, when the Chinese hit you, they hit you with about 2,000 men, 1,500 men.  And you only got maybe 90 men to maybe 120 men on a hill.


But you got backup.

I:          I see.

HF:     You, you guys, you, Korea sent a whole outfit to Vietnam.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      Right.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      And the 2nd Division sent the 4th Regiment.  See we used to have just three regiments in the division, and they made it a 4th, and they sent them to 2nd Division in Vietnam.


I:          So.

HF:      But don’t feel bad.  I didn’t know there was a Vietnam, either.  [LAUGHS] They don’t, they never taught that to us people, the school, the different countries you know and.  They did,

they did talk about Britain, though.

I:          Any other episode that you think you missed?

HF:      I think I pretty well covered it.

I:          Any other message that you want to leave to this interview?

HF:      Don’t be afraid if you have to go.

I:          Do you want to go back to Korea?

HF:      Do I want to?

I:          Yeah.  Korea, Korean government has a re-visit program.

HF:      Yes.

I:          They invite Korean War veterans back so that they can see what’s been done after they left


and fought for us, and they cover most of the expenses except half of the airfare.  Otherwise, everything will be taken care of.

HF:      I can afford the airfare.

I:          So why don’t you go?

HF:      I don’t know.  I just, my wife used to say the same thing, why don’t you go  on one of those?

I:          Yeah.

HF:      Why don’t you go?  I don’t know.  I just didn’t want to go back.


I:          When you see those, the modern Korea, when you see those modern Korea,

HF:      Yeah?

I:          you will not believe your eyes.

HF:      Yeah.  But maybe, when I, when I would go back, maybe that idiot up North is starting [INAUDIBLE]

I:          No, no.

HF:      I don’t think he will.

I:          No, I don’t think so.  But, but I think I,  I really strongly encourage you to go back when you can, and when you walk, and we’ll take care of you.  We’ll put you in a wheelchair when we have to go through all this difficult, you know,


HF:      Yeah, right.

I:          road and so on.  You don’t worry about it.  They will treat you like an emperor.  So, I want you to think about it, and if you want to go, you let me know.

HF:      We used to stay at a, at a casino out in Laughlin, Nevada,

I:          Yeah.

HF:      and there was a Korean bus, or a bus pulled up, and they unloaded a bunch of Koreans that came from Korea to tour.


There’s all, there was about 11 casinos in Laughlin, Nevada.

I:          Yeah, I’ve been there.

HF:      And, you’ve been there?

I:          Yeah. I, I was doing interview for 24th Division.

HF:      Oh, and anyway we were eating in the restaurant, in the, well it’s a, it’s a smorgasbord restaurant, and anyway we’re eating there, and, and the Koreans come in and they were looking for a place to sit,


You know, and it was loaded in there, and we were at a table and there were two chairs there and I said hey, come over and sit down here.  So they, the man and his wife, Korean and his wife, came over and sat down and she could speak English, but he couldn’t speak English.  So he said, she said you were in Korea?  I said yes, I was with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.


Oh, yes, yes.  Then she told him, and he got up and he bowed to me three times.  I said no, no, no.  I said sit down, that’s, that’s okay.  That’s alright.  I said tell, tell your husband it’s okay. I said how long are you gonna be here, and they told us, you know, and I don’t remember anymore.  That’s about 15 – 20 years ago, and real nice.


I:          Yeah.  I want you to go back and meet with the Korean people, how they live now, and you will be really happy, and you will, you will be able to close your, your whole experience on there.

HF:      The women sure look a lot better now.  [LAUGHS]  Ah, shoot.  They do.

I:          Yeah.

HF:      They do.

I:          Actually, what you did was to feed the hungry people, you gave the water to the thirsty people,


and you protect them so that they were able to rebuild their nation, and they are so proud.  It’s 11th largest economy in the world with the size of Indiana.  Indiana State.

HF:      Yeah.

I:          That’s it.  So, I want you to be proud of, and we

HF:      I am proud of you.


[End of Recorded Material]