Korean War Legacy Project

James Shuman

Bio

James Shuman served in the 75thField Artillery Battalion 2ndInfantry Division of the Army during the Korean War. He grew up on a farm, but when he left the farm it made him eligible for the draft. He remembers what it was like arriving on the beaches of Incheon in 1952. Because he was on the front lines, he often faced many dangerous situations, including having to fight the enemy who was shooting from the mountains. James Shuman shares what it was like living in the bunkers near the front lines as well. He is proud of his service and was able to witness the growth of the country he helped.

Video Clips

Arriving in Korea

James Shuman remembers what it was like arriving at the beaches in Incheon. Having come over on a trip ship, he explains how the ship could not make it to the beach and they had to board landing craft. His crew spent the night on the army base before being sent to the front lines the next day.

Tags: Incheon,Impressions of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1cYV0XT1L0&start=623&end=699

Shooting from a Cave

James Shuman explains where the guns were kept during his service. He remembers having little protection when they were on the front lines. The enemy would tunnel through mountains, creating a cave-like shelter from which they would shoot at his crew.

Tags: Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1cYV0XT1L0&start=920&end=992

Life in Korea

James Shuman describes the living conditions on the front lines. He remembers that they were not able to shower often, and how they had to use their helmets as containers for water for bathing. He shares how they lived in bunkers with a mess hall not too far from where they slept. He recalls the types of food that were available to the men serving there.

Tags: Front lines,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1cYV0XT1L0&start=1214&end=1397

Video Transcript

[Beginning of Recorded Material]

J:         My name is James R. Shuman.  S H U M A N.

I:          What is your birthday?

J:         My birthday is January 1, 1931.

I:          New Year’s baby.

J:         Yeah, New Year’s baby.  I’m 87 years old now.

I:          Ah ha.  Where were you born?

J:         I was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I:          Right here.

J:         Right here, yes.

I:          Tell me about your family when you were

0:00:30

growing up, your parents, your, um, siblings.

J:         Okay.  My, uh, I was born and raised on a farm just West of Lancaster, uh.  I had one sister, Ruth and, uh, I, uh, was born and raised on a dairy and tobacco farm.

I:          So you’re the only boy.

J:         I was the only boy, yes.  My parents only had a boy and a girl.

I:          And.

J:         And.

I:          Because it was farm so that you didn’t

0:01:00

have any shortage of food during the Great Depression.

J:         No, we didn’t.  We had, uh, raised our own vegetables, and we had a dairy, dairy farm, so we had milk, and it was a family thing, uh.  My grandmother, uh, my father, my, my, my paternal grandmother was a baker, so she made the bread and, uh, all the buns and so forth.  I had a aunt who made, uh,

0:01:30

the butter, and we furnished the milk.  So it was all a family affair, and we had no shortage of food during the Depression.

I:          So where, what school did you go, and what high school did you graduate?

J:         I went to East Hempfield, oh, I went to Roarstown Elementary School which is just West of, uh, Lancaster off of Route 20, right on Route 23 really,

0:02:00

and, uh, I lived on a farm about a mile West of Roarstown, and I went to, uh, Roarstown Elementary School from grade 1 through grade 8.  Then I went to East Hempfield Township High School which was in Landisville and, uh

I:          Could you repeat that high school name?

J:         High school?  What, Landis, East Temfield, E A S T  Hempfirld H E M P F I R L D.

0:02:30

I:          E M P

J:         F I E L D.

I:          F I E L D.  Empfield?

J:         Hempfie, Hemp, H E M P field.

I:          East, Eastern.

J:         Easter, East Hemp.  Yeah, just East Hempfield.

I:          Okay.  And when was it?

J:         That was in, uh, I graduated in 1949.

I:          Ah.  Let me ask this question.  Did anybody, teacher, teach you about Korea?

0:03:00

J:         No.  We didn’t even know anything about Korea when I went to school.

I:          So you didn’t know anything about Korea.

J:         No.

I:          But you are now Korean War veteran.

J:         Yes.

I:          What do you think about that?

J:         [LAUGHS]  Well, I, uh, after I graduated from high school, uh, I, I told my father I didn’t want to be a farmer.  So I went into construction.

I           Did your father like that? [LAUGHS]

J:         No, he did, no he didn’t. Not very much.  But anyway,

0:03:30

uh, and while I lived on the farm, I had a, a military deferment.  I didn’t have to regis, I didn’t have to be drafted for the military. But when I

I:          Why not?

J:         Because I was, I worked on, I lived and worked on a farm, and that was essential to the military effort, so I didn’t, uh, so I was exempt from, uh, military service. But when I told my father I didn’t want to be a farmer,

0:04:00

I was, uh, 20 years old, and I was immediately eligible for the draft and was drafted.

I:          So that was your mistake.

J:         Well, it

I:          If you stick to the farm, you couldn’t

J:         Right, yeah.  If I’d have stayed on the farm, I would have been exempt from, uh, the military draft.  I would have never got to Korea.

I:          So, um, you didn’t know anything about Korea.

J:         No.

I:          Did you know where it was?

J:         Uh, at, well, after I heard about it,

0:04:30

I, I learned it was somewhere between Japan and China.

I:          That’s all always Korea comes in, you know.

J:         Yes, right.

I:          Something between China and Japan.

J:         Right.

I:          People know about Japan.  People know about China.

J:         Yes.

I:          But not Korea.

J:         Not Korea.

I:          And they know Korea in between those.

J:         Yes.

I:          That’s a sad. [LAUGHS]

J:         Yes.

I:          I am South Korean, and I, I feel sad.

J:         Yes.  Um hm.

I:          So

0:05:00

you didn’t know nothing about it,

J:         No.

I:          and why do you think you were in Korea?

J:         Why did I think I was in Korea?

I:          Yeah.

J:         We were there because of a, a, United Nations action, uh, to, uh, protect South Korea from, uh, Communist North Korea.

I:          So in 1949, when were you drafted?  Uh, what month?

J:         I, I was drafted in, uh, March 31,

0:05:30

19 uh,

I:          49.

J:         No.  That’s when I graduated from high school.  Uh, I was, uh, drafted March 31,

I:          ’50?

J:         195, ’52, 1952.

I:          ’52.  So what did you do until 1952?  Did you have a job?

J:         Yeah.  I worked on the farm.  Oh, no. After, after,

0:06:00

from 19, uh, 50 until ’52, I worked in construction.

I:          Construction.

J:         Building.  And I became a bricklayer.

I:          Uh huh.  And you knew that Korean War broke out at the time.

J:         Yes.

I:          What were you thinking?  Did you think that I might be dragged into the war?

J:         Uh, after I was, after I was, uh, drafted, I thought yes, possibly I would be, uh, uh,

0:06:30

old I had to go to, uh, at that time we called it Fi, FECOM, Far East Command, and I realized that I would possibly, uh, wind up there sometime in my, uh, Army career.

I:          Did you like that idea, that you going to be

J:         Well, it was, it was a decision I made is to not go into farming, and so I had to, uh, turn my, uh, my time the same as, uh, other, uh, men had to also.

0:07:00

I:          Were you afraid?

J:         No, I, I wasn’t really afraid until I really got there.  Then I was afraid.

I:          Tell me about it.  What, what were you afraid of?

J:         Well, uh, I, I’ll start out I, uh, I started out, I had my military training in, uh, Little, in Camp Chaffee, Arkansas.

I:          Camp what?

J:         Camp Chaffee.  C H A F F E E.

0:07:30

I:          C H A F F E E.

J:         F E E.

I:          E E.

J:         Camp Chaffee, Arkansas.

I:          Uh huh.

J:         And I had, uh, I was there, I had 16 weeks of training, eight weeks of Infantry and eight weeks of Artillery.  After I graduated from, uh, Artillery training, I received, in fact my whole company of 150 some men, we all, nearly everyone got FECOM orders.

0:08:00

So I realized  I was going to, uh, serve in Korea, and, uh, I was ordered to, uh, go to Seattle, Washington, and that’s where I shipped out of. I shipped out on, uh, a, uh, a troop carrier.  The name of it was Marine Phoenix.

I:          Um hm.

J:         And, uh, it had about 2500, uh, troops on it, and we, uh,

0:08:30

sailed for, uh, we were headed for Yokohama, Japan.

I:          When was it?  When did you depart?

J:         We departed in September, 1952.

I:          Okay.  And went to Japan?

J:         And we went, uh, we went to Yokohama, Japan.  It took us about two weeks, uh, yeah, around 13 or 14 days to cross the ocean.

I:          How was it?

J:         We,

I:          Did you throw up?

J:         Yeah, I did.  I got seasick, uh,

0:09:00

when I first, uh, when I left Seattle I was not only homesick, I got seasick, too.

I:          [LAUGHS]

J:         But then I got over that.

I:          Double sick.

J:         Yeah.  And, uh, then we hit a typhoon before we got to Japan, and

I:          Lucky you.

J:         then I really got seasick again, and, uh, but we finally made it to, uh, Yokohama, Japan, and there we picked up our, uh, combat gear.  We received our carbine and a

0:09:30

steel helmet and, uh, oh, a, other gear, other combat gear that we needed, and also our orders. I was, uh, ordered to, uh, report to the 75thField Artillery Battalion, Second Army, 7th, 75thField Artillery Battalion in Korea.

I:          Could you repeat your unit again?

J:         Uh, my unit was the 75thField Artillery Battalion.

I:          Um hm.  Field

0:10:00

Artillery Battalion.

J:         Yeah.

I:          And that belongs to where?

J:         Uh, what?

Male Voice: Second Infantry Division.

J:         Yeah.  Seco, Seco, It was Second Infantry Division.

I:          Um hm.  And what was your specialty?   Artillery?

J:         Artillery, yeah.

I:          And what did you actually do?

J:         I, as a, when I, uh, wh, when I got, we, we landed at Inchon

I:          Um hm

J:         The uh,

I:          When?

J:         That would have been in September, late September,

0:10:30

  1. We come into Inchon on the troop ship, the same one that I crossed the ocean on, and we couldn’t get, uh, into the beach, so the ship stopped maybe, uh, half a mile from the beach or so quarter of a mile maybe, and they had landing craft that come up beside our troop ship.They threw nets over the side, and we had to climb down the nets and get into the, uh, landing craft.

0:11:00

The landing craft took us, uh, to the beach, but they couldn’t go right up to the beach either, uh. They, the front, uh, end of the, uh, landing craft dropped down, and we had to march off of the, uh, craft, and we walked into water about knee deep and walked up to shore.  There was no resistance, uh, and, uh, we went to the Army base, uh, right outside, uh, Inchon.  We

0:11:30

spent the night there, and then the next day we were loaded onto, uh, uh, trucks and taken to the front lines.

I:          Why were you afraid, of what?

J:         Well, I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t, hadn’t, when we were, while we were riding on the trucks,

I:          I mean obviously war, so everybody

J:         Yes.

I:          is afraid, and

J:         and, but while we were riding on the trucks, the enemy was shelling, uh, the, the

I:          Really?

J:         the roadway, yeah.

0:12:00

But nothing hap, nothing was shelled close to us.  We were probably driving about 35, 40 mile an hour so they, uh, couldn’t hit us anyway I imagine.  But anyway, they were dropping shells at us, and then I realized that, uh, I was in a dangerous situation.

I:          Um.

J:         And I was afraid.

I:          Yeah.  So do you remember any area that you stationed?

J:         Yeah.  Uh, the closest town

0:12:30

or village was Yeongdeungpo.

I:          That’s, uh, quite, it’s below Seoul.

J:         Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

J:         Oh, it’s below Seoul?

I:          Yeah.  A little bit, I mean it’s in the Seoul, yes.  It’s in Seoul.

J:         Oh, I thought it was North of Seoul.

I:          Um, not really.

J:         No, isn’t it.  Okay.  Well, anyway, uh, we were, we were, uh, in the Kumwha area.

I:          From Yeongdeungpo?  You were in Yeongdeungpo.

J:         No.  I, I thought, I thought Yeongdeungpo was only about six miles South of where we were stationed.

I:          No.

0:13:00

J:         Oh, okay.

I:          Then you were in Kumwha Valley?

J:         Kumwha area, yeah.

I:          Uh huh,.

J:         That, that’s, uh, the area where, uh, our, the, uh, 75thField Artillery Battalion was stationed.

I:          Right.  So that’s the first sight that you went from Inchon?

J:         Yes.

I:          And you stayed there

J:         I stayed there the whole time, uh.  There was, uh, two mountains, uh, came together like this,

0:13:30

and we were in this little valley here and, uh, there was, uh, three, three, uh, sections.  A section had six guns, six, uh, 155 millimeter Howitzers.  And, uh, I was in B Battery.  Each Battery had six guns, so the 75thField Artillery Battalion, uh, had eight, a total of 18 155 millimeter Howitzers.

I:          And how was the

0:14:00

battle situation there in Kumwha at the time that you arrived there?  It was late 1952, right?

J:         Yes.

I:          And that must been very intensive.

J:         It, it’s, it was at times, yes.  We also had, we, we, all, all our, our firing was done indirectly.  We, we could not see the enemy because we were in the valley behind two mountains that came together like this.  So, uh, a for, we had a forward observer who

0:14:30

determined our targets, and he was either in a plane like a, a small Piper Cub or

I:          Yeah.

J:         or a elevated area, and we’d direct our fire. But then sometimes we would take one gun at a time and come out and go around about, and we’d go right up where the front line where we could, uh, do direct fire.  We could see that the, uh, target we were shooting at.

I:          Um.

0:15:00

J:         But, we only went there occasionally.  And one gun at a time.

I:          Give me some episode that students will listen to you, I mean, because it’s mostly for the students, okay?

J:         Um hm.

I:          And give me some episode where that you can describe the battle scene where you were and, give me some of those.

J:         Okay.  Uh, we had, uh, our, our guns were deployed in bunkers, huge bunkers that would protect the,

0:15:30

uh, gun and the ammunition from, uh, incoming fire.  But when we went to the, uh, our forward position where we had direct fire, uh, we did have some sandbag protection around the gun, but, uh, it was mostly open area. And, uh, the enemy, we, we could see, uh, a mountain ahead of us, and the enemy, uh,

0:16:00

had a different, uh, deployment than we did.  They would tunnel through the mountain, and lay out a mining track in the, in the mountain, and push their, uh, cannon through the mountain and come out like a cave and would be shooting at us, and when we would return fire, they would just pull the gun back in the, in the cave, and if we would hit the mountain or something and dirt would cover and close it up, and they’d

0:16:30

just open it up again.

I:          Must be scary.

J:         Yeah, it was.

I:          Yeah.  So any other episode you remember specifically that you might have lost your life something?

J:         Uh, yeah.  We, uh, we were in a, this was back, we were back in our Battery, and we were in a intense fire time.  We were

0:17:00

firing our gun for about, uh, uh, 16 or 18 hours continuous fire, uh, and we were, we were dog tired, and we had a cease fire.  So, and it was, uh, it was very hot, sometime in July or June, I don’t remember what date it was.  But it was, it was very hot, and we were sweated and tired, and we had a cease fire. SO I, uh, I came outside the bunker

0:17:30

and crawled up on top of some sandbags and laid down, and I was the Chief of Section, so I had a telephone. I kept the telephone right with me in case we would receive a fire mission again, and immediately after I laid down I fell asleep.

I:          Immediately.

J:         Yes.  I was so tired.

I:          How did it happen?

J:         I was so tired I just fell asleep.  But I heard, my subconscious mind heard an incoming round.

0:18:00

You, you can hear an incoming round when it’s coming to you, and for a few seconds before it strikes, it goes silent.  So anyway, I was sleeping up there, and all of a sudden I woke up and I heard a round coming in, and I dove back into the bunker, and the round hit nearby, and shrapnel shredded the sandbags where I was laying down.  So that was definitely a life threatening, uh

0:18:30

I:          Wow.

J:         uh, situation.

I:          How, how was with the Chinese the main enemy, right at the time or North Koreans?

J:         It was North Koreans.

I:          North Koreans?

J:         Well, they could have been Chinese.  We didn’t know what they were.

I:          How were they?  They good?

J:         I met, I, I, I’ll tell you a situation when I was up in the front li, on our front position, uh.  We were up there and, uh, overnight and I woke up in the morning and I

0:19:00

walked outside, uh, the bunker, and was just stretching and walking around, and about a quarter or half mile or maybe it was more than that, I saw, uh, an enemy soldier also outside walking around.  And I thought I wonder what would happen if I waved to him?

I:          Hm.

J:         So I started waving my arms around, and sure enough, he waved back to me.

I:          Oh.

J:         Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  And then fire again each other.

0:19:30

J:         Well yeah, right.  Right.  And I thought to myself, uh, he’s, he’s my enemy because somebody is telling me that’s my enemy.  I’m supposed to kill him, and he has somebody telling him he’s supposed to kill me. Otherwise, we have no animosity between each other that we would want to kill each other without someone telling us hey, he’s your enemy.

I:          That’s what we call war.

J:         That’s right.  Yeah.  That, that’s the foolishness of war.

I:          Yeah.

0:20:00

Tell me about life there.  Where did you sleep?  What did you eat?  Um, how was it?  I mean, how often were you able to take a shower if there were any

J:         The, the, you didn’t take a shower very often. You, there weren’t any facilities. If we were about a mile from the Hahn River, I think it was the Hahn River.  We were about a mile from there, and they had a shower point there, and we could

0:20:30

go there and take a shower.  But we didn’t, you weren’t able to do that very often.  So the most time you had your, your steel helmet.  You could fill it with warm water and, and wash yourself and take care of yourself that way.  And we, we, uh, our, the gun bunker, we had a huge bunker where the gun was in.  We had a personnel bunker about 25 feet away from that . So

I:          Twenty-five feet.

J:         Yeah.

0:21:00

So we lived in the, in the Personnel bunker, and all, there was, uh, 13, 12, I was the Chief of Section of, uh, gun #6, and there was about, there was, uh, 12 other, uh, crew members in the, in my, uh, section, as section members.  There was, uh, myself as Chief of Section.  Then the gunner, then the uh, the uh, the uh, Projecto Man, and the Powder Man, and the Track driver

0:21:30

that our Howitzer was pulled by a armored tractor that was driven by tracks, and we all lived in the Personnel bunker.

I:          Um hm.

J:         And we had a mess hall which was, uh, uh, not, about, uh, 50 yards or 100 yards, uh, from our bunker, uh, where we went to eat, and

I:          So you had a hot meal?

J:         Yeah.  We had, yeah, we mostly had hot, not when we were up at the, uh, front line.  But when we were in our Me, our, our permanent Battery, we did have hot meals, yes.

0:22:00

I:          Did you have a steak?

J:         No.

I:          [LAUGHS]

J:         We had, we had steak no, we had turkey, yeah, we had s teak, uh, no we never had steak.  we had steaks when we came back to the United States.

I:          I was just kidding.

J:         Yeah.

I:          So what, did you have a real eggs?

J:         Yeah.

I:          Or is it powder?

J:         They were the green eggs really.

0:22:30

I:          Green eggs.

J:         They were green eggs.

I:          Tell me about it.  How it become green?

J:         I, I guess they were that old.  They, they, most, most, most of our food came from Okinawa from the Second World War, left over from the Second World War.  And we had a lot of turkey because evidently there was a lot of turkeys there, uh, stored there

I:          You mean in the can?

J:         Yeah, well, at, meal time we had a lot of turkey.

I:          What was your favorite menu?  Which

J:         I didn’t really a have a favorite, uh,

0:23:00

well, from there.  We always had, there was always coffee.  There was always onion soup.  There was always rice, and then we had turkey, and I don’t know what other kind of meat, uh, we had with

I:          At the time, what was your rank?

J:         I was, I, I was a Sergeant First Class.

I:          And how much were you paid?

J:         I received, uh, $35 a month.  My wife

0:23:30

received the rest, and I don’t, I think she received $130 or something like that a month.

I:          Every month?

J:         A month, yeah.

I:          No, no, no.

J:         Maybe not.  I don’t know.  I, I don’t

Male Voice:  You didn’t make much.

J:         No.

I:          You’re not much but not even, even less, it was less than $100.

J:         Yeah.

I:          So, and what did you do with the money, $35? Did you

J:         Well, I, I would buy, uh, oh, uh, there was a P,

0:24:00

h, there was a British

I:          PX

J:         PX, uh, somewhere not too far away, and I would go there and buy, uh, Cadbury candy or things like, uh, toothpaste or something like that, although my wife would send me toothpaste also or soap or whatever I would need.

I:          You were married.

J:         Yes, I was married.  I got married right before I went, I got married the first, the second day in March and went in the military the 31stof March.

I:          Wow.  That was a courageous decision.

J:         Yeah.

I:          You could have lost your life

0:24:30

in the war.

J:         I, right.

I:          And you could, your wife could be a widow.

J:         Right.

I:          My goodness.  So you, you must written a lot of letter.

J:         We, yes.  A lot of them.  But I only got mail about once every two weeks.  Then I’d get a whole stack of it.

I:          So your wife was high school sweetheart?

J:         Yeah.  We, we met each other in high school, went to high school together.

I:          East Hempfield?

J:         Yes.

I:          Hm.

J:         She, she was, uh,

0:25:00

lived right, uh, outside Landisville about, uh, five miles from where I lived.

I:          So what did you write about to her?

J:         Oh, things that were happening, uh, and all, and questions about what was going on at home and that sort of thing.

I:          Um.  What about your wife?  What did she write to you?

J:         Well, she wrote that she missed me, and of course I did, also.  And, uh,

I:          Must be so hard.

J:         Yes.

0:25:30

I:          What’s, what’s your wife’s name?

J:         Mary Lou.

I:          Oh.  And is she alive?

J:         No, she, I’m a, she p assed about, it was three years ago February 12th.

I:          I’m sorry to hear that.

J:         February 12th.

I:          And, so when did you depart Korea?

J:         I departed, uh, in August of 1953, right after the cease fire.

I:          Um.

0:26:00

And when you left Korea, did you think that Korea would become like this today?

J:         No, I never did.  I had no idea the, in fact, I went back to Korea in

I:          When?

J:         1986.

I:          Why?

J:         I, I just wanted to see what it was like.

I:          Did you pay your?

J:         Yes, I paid my own way back.  I, I didn’t realize that there was a,

I:          Program

J:         program that they, that they, you would be invited back.

0:26:30

But I paid my own way.

I:          Ah.

J:         Yeah.

I:          That’s very nice.

J:         And I, also I wanted to say, uh, in my section of the men, the Cannoneers in, in my section, I had three katusas.

I:          Uh huh.

J:         Koreans attached to the United States Army.  And the one’s name I can remember was Sung Ki Hong.

I:          Um.

J:         But they were all very, uh, very nice, uh, young men.  They

0:27:00

were about the same age as I was, maybe, I was 21, so they might have been a little younger than I was.

I:          Um.  How were they?  They smart or what?  What do you think about them?

J:         I thought they, I, they, they were very nice, uh, to get along with and very obedient and, uh, they did their work that they were supposed to do, and actually one of them was injured, and I believe he lost his right arm, uh.  I, he never came back, uh, to our unit after he was injured.

0:27:30

I:          Hm.  So do, so when you got, went back to Korea in 1986, how was it?

J:         I, it, it was

I:          James, describe in detail because this is for young students.

J:         Okay.  I was really amazed at the difference that, uh, there was from the time when I was there 30 years prior or so, uh.  It was, uh,

0:28:00

very well, uh, uh, developed and, uh, we, I did a lot, we did, we stayed at a hotel right in Seoul and, uh we went to Yeongdeung, no, not Yeongdeungpo.  We went to, uh, Idiwha, Idiwha and did shopping there, and I was amazed at all the shopping that was available

I:          Idiwha, you mean Itaewon.  The shopping area.

J:         Yeah.

I:          Itaewon, yes.

J:         Itaewon, yeah, yeah.

0:28:30

Went there and

I:          Um hm

J:         and, uh, was really amazed, and uh, the, the, uh, all the people that we met and talked to, uh, were very, uh, polite and very friendly to us, and I, I had an international license, and I rented a car, and I was going to drive, and after I saw how the Koreans drove, I decided no, I’m not going to drive.  So I hired a driver

0:29:00

to drive us around, and he actually took me, uh, up to near the area where I served in Kumhwa.

I:          Um.

J:         And, uh, and we

I:          Must been an experience.

J:         It was.  It was, and it, you know, I couldn’t imagine the difference between the time when I was there and t hen when, when I returned, the advances that, uh, South Korea had made in that period of time.

0:29:30

Korea was completely devastated, nothing virtually standing there, right.

J:         Right.

I:          vertically,

J:         Right.

I:          Now it’s the 11thlargest economy in the world.

J:         I know.  Yeah.  I have, I have the book, Korea Reborn.  I’m amazed at the, well I’d seen the Olympics also, uh, amazed at the, the advances that the, they have done.

I:          So you told me you didn’t know anything about Korea.

J:         No.

0:30:00

I:          And you were not sure Korea become like this when you left Korea.

J:         No, I never even, I never had it, imagined that it could, uh, redevelop like it has.

I:          And now you know what Korea is

J:         Yes.

I:          So how can you put that into a perspective?

J:         Well, I think, uh, the, it should be a show place to China and to North Korea really because, uh, of the, uh,

0:30:30

the, uh, all the restrictions and constraints and, uh, and, uh, things that they can’t enjoy and, and don’t even have available that the South Koreans have available to them. And the freedom that the, the, they enjoy in comparison to North Korea and even China.

I:          So what would you tell

0:31:00

to the American public and young children about your war, and what is the legacy?  What, what, what would you tell them?

J:         I, I, uh, tell my grandchildren that I served in the Korean War and that, uh, I served there in order to preserve the freedoms of South Korea from the Communist actions in North Korea and that, uh, oh, that

0:31:30

they have developed a, a country that, uh, has all the, uh, advantages that we have here in the United States really.  They, uh, they’re very advanced, and, and actually, uh, I, since I’ve read the, uh, Korean Re, uh, oh, uh, Reborn, I realize they’re, they’re the largest ship builder in the world and, uh, some other, uh, oh, uh, developments that they

0:32:00

have, uh, taken advantage of.

I:          But so despite such a beautiful outcome came out of your service and of the Korean War

J:         Um hm.

I:          Why don’t we teach about it in, in the school? I mean, if you look at the World History textbook, there’s only one paragraph about the Korean War.

J:         Right.

I:          While there are three pages on the Vietnam War.

J:         Yes.

I:          Why is that?

0:32:30

J:         I don’t know.  I don’t know why that, uh, we don’t, uh, uh, show more, uh, of the things that happened in Korea and why it happened and, and that sort of thing. I, I can’t, I don’t understand it. It, uh, it doesn’t make sense to me.

I:          Right?

J:         Right.

I:          Why is it forgotten?

J:         I don’t know.

I:          37,000 of American men and women died

J:         Right.

I:          and there are many still in

0:33:00

miss, uh, missing in action

J:         Yeah, there are a lot that

I:          Then why is it forgotten?

J:         I don’t know.  In fact, I have a friend, a friend of mine, his brother was, uh, uh, killed and lost at, at Chorwon, uh, back in, that would have been in 1950. His brother, Ken, Ken Kip, uh, died there.

I:          Um.  So how can we convert it

0:33:30

from forgotten to be remembered?  How can we do that?

J:         I, I don’t know how we can, uh, we, we need to encourage our educators to, uh, to, uh, include more of it in our history, uh, uh, lessons of history, uh, classes that, uh, we tell more about Korea and what, what it was and what it is now today.

0:34:00

And the difference between North Korea and South Korea.

I:          And that’s why we are doing this.  We are preserving your memory first of all, but at the same time we are making this interview into lesson plan

J:         Um hm.

I:          chapters and curriculum so that we can teach more about it.

J:         Right.

I:          Yeah.

J:         Yeah.

I:          That’s why we are doing this, and I, that’s why I am so thankful for coming for this interview, right?

0:34:30

J:         Right.  I, I, I appreciate what you’re trying to do.

I:          I appreciate that you fought for the country that you didn’t know a dam thing about it.

J:         Right.  Right.

I:          Yeah.

J:         No.  No, I had no idea about Korea at all, I, until I actually got there really, yeah.

I:          Alright.  Um, any other message you want to say to this interview?

J:         I don’t, uh,

0:35:00

No, I don’t have anything else that, uh,

I:          Okay.  So again, James, thank you for your service, and your service never been wasted because Korea is now

0:35:30

strongest economy, one of the strongest economy and substantive democracy.  We were able to build it because you gave us chance to do it.

J:         Um.

I:          So I want to thank you on behalf of Korean nation.

J:         You’re certainly welcome.

I:          And I will see you on Wednesday when you gather for chapter meeting.

J:         Okay.

I:          Alright?

J:         Very good.

I:          Excellent.  Thank you.

[End of Recorded Material]