Korean War Legacy Project

Jean Paul White


Jean Paul White joined the US Marine Corps just two days after high school graduation in hopes of joining the fray of WWII, but the war ended while he was in basic training.  In 1950, he was ordered to Korea as a part of the 7th Marines. While in Korea, he participated in many battles including the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, the Battle of Inchon Landing, and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir during which he was wounded. He was evacuated to Japan where he recovered from his wounds. After the war, he was stationed at Seattle Naval Station. He continued serving in the Marines until retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Video Clips

The Marine Corps Joins the War

Jean Paul White talks about where he was when he first heard about fighting in the Korean War. He describes learning about the war in newspaper headlines. He explains how he was unsure as to where Korea was located. He describes the diminished state of the USMC at the start of the war.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Busan,Front lines,Home front,North Koreans,Prior knowledge of Korea

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We Trained for It

Jean Paul White describes being a tactical soldier. He explained how he slept in the ground. He describes carrying only a one-day food, ammunition, and gear. He explains that conditions were hard for him and his fellow Marines endured after landing at Inchon, but that he had trained for it.

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,Incheon,Food,Front lines,Living conditions

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Chinese Intervention

Jean Paul White describes war activity with the Chinese. He explains the living conditions and injuries that resulted. He describes the movements of the Marine Corps leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes events that happen during and after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains learning about General MacArthur asking them to retreat with orders from his Commanding General, General Smith.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Hagalwoori,Yudamri,Chinese,Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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Fighting the Cold

Jean Paul White describes how difficult it was to maintain weapons in the cold in Korea in the winter of 1950. He explains the effects on food. He explains the extents to what people had to do to keep items in use. He shares an interesting story about the medical professionals struggle difficult conditions.

Tags: Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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Paying a Speeding Ticket from 6,000 Miles Away

Jean Paul White discusses sending money (Korean Won) home. He explains how he captured North Koreans and liberated the Won he gathered from them. He explains how he used the money to pay an outstanding speeding ticket he had received just prior to leaving for Korea. He explains how he sent money to the Chief of Police and was told he was cleared.

Tags: Home front,Letters,North Koreans

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Shot But Not Wounded

Jean Paul White describes an incident while he and his squad were taking a hill. He describes a Chinese soldier with an automatic rifle. He mentions a fellow officer, PFC Walter Talbot, who was hit. He explains that after dispatching the enemy soldier, he was surprised to find that PFC Talbot had been shot but not wounded. He explains how he was miraculously saved.

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

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The Greatest Reward: Korean Progress

Jean Paul White describes how he felt rewarded after the war. He expliains the change in Seoul from then to know. He describes a place of ashes with little remaining and to see the huge city now so modernized is a reward. He was proud of the South Korean people. He explains feeling has done so much with the freedom that he fought for.

Tags: Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Pride

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