Korean War Legacy Project

James E. Carter, Sr.


James Carter explains that he joined the United States Marine Reserves in 1948 and was called to Korea in 1950. He describes several challenges, including adjusting to the cold weather compared to his experiences in Texas. He shares the hardships of war. He recalls traveling throughout Korea without many incidences until he found himself under fire at Koto-ri. He shares how he was lucky during the war.

Video Clips

Capturing Seoul and Wonsan

James Carter describes his first experiences in Korea while traveling to Seoul, which had both recently been taken under American control. He describes the widespread destruction he witnessed. He explains how he then was put on a ship and landed in Wonsan. He explains that he faced no resistance by the time he arrived.

Tags: 1950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/25,Seoul,Wonsan,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction,South Koreans,Weapons

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Thoughts of Home

James Carter discusses how he would go to the ship deck and think about his family. He shares his thoughts and concerns about leaving his wife at home who was five months pregnant when he headed to Korea. He mentions her several times during the interview and how their separation weighed on his mind. He shares his experience of meeting Chesty Puller an awarded leader of the Marines.

Tags: Fear,Home front

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Battle of the Chosin Reservoir/Battle of Jangjin Lake

James Carter describes the attack at Koto-ri. He explains how his platoon was heading to meet up with the Easy Company. He describes being attacked by the Chinese and the subsequent retreat. He recalls the dangers and losses his platoon faced. He shares how he luckily survived some possibly fatal shots.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Weapons

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