James Bradshaw was born on a farm near Ashdown, Arkansas. Like many at that time, his family was very poor and struggled during the Great Depression. He dropped out of high school to work, joining the military in 1952. He was drafted into the army, but went to the Air Force recruiter and was able to switch his papers for the Air Force. His job involved extinguish planes that came in on fire, and to get the pilots safely out. James Bradshaw recalls the terrible destruction of Seoul and the children he remembers there. Overall, James Bradshaw is very proud of his service as it was the “best thing that happened to him.”
Impressions of Korea
James Bradshaw gives an emotional account of how bombed out Seoul was when he saw it. He became tearful remembering the children that he felt sorry for, and recalls saving his rations for them.
Crash Rescue Duties
James Bradshaw explains his duties as a firefighter, rescuing pilots from burning planes. He says that this happened very often, saying "it looked like a huge wrecking yard on both sides of the runway." He remembers that many times they could not get the pilot out alive, as they had often crashed against the mountainside.
Rough Times During the Depression
When asked about his life growing up, James Bradshaw recalls that it was "rough times" during the Great Depression. He explains how his family raised their own produce and how they got meat through raising livestock and hunting. He said that even as he got older, times were still tough.