Korean War Legacy Project

James L. Owen


James L. Owen was born and raised in Texas and joined the Armed Forces when he was fourteen years old. He comments on his service in Japan during World War II prior to the Korean War where he served in the Marine Corps. He recounts the initial landing at Inchon and describes the strategy of General MacArthur to continue pushing up to the Yalu River, North Korea’s border with China, and how he played a part in that. He elaborates on his responsibilities in Korea, time spent with his brother in Korea, and coping with survival. He is proud of his service and of South Korea’s development since the war.

Video Clips

Strategy in North Korea

James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Aprokgang (Yalu River),Chinese,Communists,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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Experience at Incheon

James L. Owen details arriving at Incheon Landing in September 1950. He recalls his platoon spending 60 days pushing back North Korean troops from there. He remembers taking all the equipment back on the ship, going to the other side of the peninsula, and proceeding combat pushing the North Korean forces as far north as the Chinese border.

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,Aprokgang (Yalu River),East Sea,Yellow Sea,Front lines,North Koreans

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Most Difficult Thing

James L. Owen explains that the most difficult thing of his service was knowing it had to be done. He shares it was hard to accept the fact that one must "kill or be killed." He describes how so many officers were killed, that job responsibilities constantly changed, and that one had to persevere.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Pride,Weapons

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