Korean War Legacy Project

James Kenneth Hall

Bio

James Kenneth Hall was born in 1932, in North Carolina.  After enlisting in the Army in 1948, he was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky for basic training, then to Fort Lewis, Washington, for field artillery training.  During his service in Korea, his unit provided support after the Inchon Landing, then headed north, where he was taken as a prisoner of war (POW) by Chinese soldiers near the Yalu River on November 30, 1950.  In the following days he was held in an abandoned mine, then taken on a march to POW Camp 5, where he was held until August 10, 1953.  After his release, he reenlisted for a second deployment to Korea in 1958 and 1959.  He wrote a poem to leave a message for the next generation to remember the sacrifices of United States soldiers during the Korean War.

Video Clips

Life as a Prisoner of War

James Kenneth Hall describes being captured in North Korea by the Chinese, and being temporarily placed into a mine. He describes being forced to march all night because the Chinese did not have a place to put prisoners. He shares his testimony of being starved and sleep deprived while in the prisoner of war encampment. He tells of being placed in Compound 39, where prisoners were placed, then left to die.

Tags: Aprokgang (Yalu River),Kunwoori,Chinese,Communists,Depression,Food,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,POW

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFLB8Adn24E&start=841&end=1130

Surviving POW Camp 5

James Kenneth Hall describes how he was able to survive nearly starving to death in Camp 5, a Chinese prisoner of war camp. He discusses what he was fed while in the encampment. He recalls that when peace talks to bring about a ceasefire started, he noticed the prisoners were getting fed rice to be able to get their strength back.

Tags: Kunwoori,Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Living conditions,North Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFLB8Adn24E&start=1134&end=1404

Getting a Letter Home

James Kenneth Hall tells about how the Chinese wanted the prisoners of war to write letters home after the peace talks began in 1951. He explains how the prisoners were told to write about accolades of the Communist way of thinking, and to put down the United States Government. When he refused to write the letters, a Chinese nurse helped him write a letter to his mother to let her know he was alive.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Home front,Letters,Living conditions,North Koreans,POW,Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFLB8Adn24E&start=1603&end=1849

Finally Released

James Kenneth Hall tells the story of his being released from POW Camp 5 on August 10, 1953. He recalls being placed on a barge, then a train on his journey south to cross the 38th Parallel. He shares his experience of acclimating back into the possession of the United States Government authorities, after his release. He recalls having his first meal at Inchon, after he was released as a POW.

Tags: Incheon,Panmunjeom,Chinese,Food,Living conditions,POW,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFLB8Adn24E&start=2032&end=2296