James “Jim” Ferris was born in Auburn, NY in 1932 to second generation Irish immigrants. The day he graduated high school, June 25, 1950, the Korean War broke out. Since he knew that he was going to be drafted and he wanted to join the US Marine Corps, James Ferris enlisted in 1952. After going to boot camp at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune, James Ferris went on a troopship to Japan to prepare for the Korean War. Once he arrived in Korea, he never stayed long and he flew in and out using helicopters. His role as a member of G3 (General Staff Infantry Operations) was to plan for the movement of the 3rd Division. After his service in the Korean War, James Ferris was elected the state and then National President for the Korean War Veterans Association. His goal was to keep the legacy of the Korean War veterans alive through the next generation of the Korean War defense veterans.
Troopships and Preparation for Deployment into the Korean War
James Ferris was put on an American troopship with 5,000 Marines and traveled twenty-nine days to reach Japan. Once in Japan, his division was so large that the soldiers were split into multiple different locations around the country waiting for deployment to the Korean War. James Ferris was stationed with the G3 (General Staff-Infantry Operations).
Keeping the Memory of the Korean War Veterans Alive
James Ferris works daily to keep the memory of the Korean War alive, honor the fallen soldiers, and celebrate all the accomplishments of South Korea. As the state and then National Korean War Veteran Association President, James Ferris strives to reach out to all the Korean War defense veterans (soldiers after 1954) who have served at the DMZ. He said that the longevity of the Korean War legacy is with the next generation.
The Difficult Job as a US Marine
James Ferris's assignment did not allow him to stay in Korea for a long time. His job had him flying in and out of the entire country. As a corporal, he earned good money for the 1950s and he sent most of it home to his family. Once he arrived back home, he went on his first date with a girl that he wrote to for over a year while serving in the war.