Korean War Legacy Project

Jim Duncan

Bio

Jim Duncan was born in 1930. His father was an Army veteran of both WWI and WWII. After graduation from Louisville Male High School in 1949, he studied liberal arts for two years at Vanderbilt University in Nashville but then enlisted in the US Army in April 1950. He later completed Officer Candidate School before deploying to Korea. He served in the 140th Tank Battalion near Hill 854  providing infantry defense during most of his tour in Korea. Back home, he finished college as a promise to his father. He revisited Korea in 1993 and now resides in Texas.

Video Clips

Experiences as an Army Armor Officer

Jim Duncan describes the difficulty of fighting at night. He describes an incident when his tank was hit. He describes the damage by enemy fire on Hill 854 in Eastern Korea.

Tags: Front lines,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VicLkQEnQ1Q&start=898&end=977

Tanks in Charge

Jim Ducan discusses being a helpful hand to men in trenches. He discusses when he was sent to the front lines. He explains tank battalions and their set up in the war. He explains that he stood on hill 854 to the end.

Tags: Front lines,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VicLkQEnQ1Q&start=634&end=721

I Was Thinking About My Men

Jim Duncan discusses how lucky he feels to not lose any men. He shares a difficult decision he had to make for his men. He explains how difficult his duty as a Platoon Leader could be.

Tags: Front lines,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VicLkQEnQ1Q&start=1033&end=1132

Photos

140th Tank Battalion, 40th Infantry Division

140th Tank Battalion, 40th Infantry Division

Hill 854

Battle of the Punchbowl

Hill 854

Texas Korean War Veterans Memorial

Texas Korean War Veterans Memorial

Video Transcript

Jim Duncan Transcription Beginning through 20:34

Duncan: My name is Jim Duncan. That’s d-u-n-c-a-n, the last name.

Interviewer: What is your birthday?

Duncan: October 4th, 1930.

Interviewer: So you were born right in the middle of Great Depression here, in the United States?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: Where were you born?

Duncan: Louisville, Kentucky.

Interviewer: So tell me about your family when you were growing up. Your parents and your siblings.

Duncan: Well, my father, if I may, was a WWI and WWII veteran. And he was a reserve Officer and he was a Balloon Observer in WWI. He was Core of Engineers Officer in WWII.

Interviewer: So both WWI and II?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: Army?

Duncan: Army.

Interviewer: Wow.

Duncan: The family, my grandfather, one of my grandfathers, ect., they all lived in Louisville, KY. And I went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for 2 years after graduating from High School in Louisville.

Interviewer: When did you graduate your High School?

Duncan: January of 1949.

Interviewer: Louisville High School?

Duncan: Louisville Male High School. And that male means just exactly what it would. All the girls could a High School and the boys had a High School.

Interviewer: And then you went to Vanderbilt?

Duncan: Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Interviewer: That’s a nice school.

Duncan: Yeah.

Duncan: But it was more, really more than my mother and dad could afford and they were scraping and I was playing. And so.

Interviewer: But you were qualified academically?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: What did you study?

Duncan: Liberal Arts. But I wanted to be, at that time the United States Air Force was going around recruiting people for Pilots. And I thought, man, that would be great stuff. But when I finished getting my 90 quarter hours, which is 60 semester hours, the recruiting team for the Air Force was at Vanderbilt and they took me into a room and said now read that wall chart, cause they said, your academics are fine. They said read line seven and I said I can’t see anything below line five. They said well your eyes are strained and all that and so rest up cause we’ll be here the rest of the week, come back, and maybe you could qualify to be a Navigator. And I said okay so I went downtown Nashville and had a guy, a doctor, wall chart said it doesn’t go past five. And I said but they told me I had to read line seven. He said there is no line seven. So what they were doing was just being polite they thought that was the wrong thing for them to do they should have told me I don’t know why but that’s their call. So I called my father and told him and.

Interviewer: So they thought that you are not qualified?

Duncan: To be a Pilot.

Interviewer: To be a Pilot. What was the main reason? They thought?

Duncan: What it really was that they had already met their quota for going around.

Interviewer: Oh, I see.

Duncan: And didn’t want, they thought they were doing the right thing I guess for the University. Blah, blah, blah about coming to them. But I didn’t learn all of the parts of this until about four years ago. But I called back to that was 1950, early 50, and I called my father and said I want to drop out of Vanderbilt cause I’m not learning anything and I can’t get in the Air Force, I want to join the Army. And he said okay but you gotta promise me one thing and that was if you decide to stay in the Army and you are good enough they will probably put you through College. But you gotta go to College. And he said and if not and you want to join and not stay in the Army but serve your time and promise me you’ll get your College education. And I made that promise. So that I enlisted and I’m very proud of the fact that I enlisted as an RA.

Interviewer: When did you enlisted?

Duncan: 19, well 1950, 1950.

Interviewer: What month?

Duncan: I was sworn in Louisville and I went was shipped to Fort Mead, Maryland to be in paper route. The papers and all of that.

Interviewer: Do you remember what month? Summer or Winter or Fall?

Duncan: It was probably April, April of 1950.

Interviewer: And where did you get the Basic?

Duncan: Fort Hood, Texas.

Interviewer: Mmmmm.

Duncan: And it was interesting that at that time at least in the Army they were taking and filling it with first armored division is what it was, and they were and you go through a 16 week cycle as a division. And so when I was I got to Fort Hood they asked me because I had enlisted I guess we kind of kind of got a little bit of better what would you like to be. What do you want to be? And I said I want to be a Tanker. And they said well more specifically what do you want to do? I said I want to be a Gunner. And so that’s what I did and Basic Training that’s what I was trained for so but then I was sent to Fort Knox which was the home of armor then totally different from what it is now because it’s a different format the Army has come up with these teams and brigades and all of that. I went to armor school for the armor course for enlisted men. I was then a Corporal and then.

Interviewer: That’s a big promotion.

Duncan: It was, it was. We, they the reason was and I’ve always said being a Corporal was the best rank in the Army. People say why. They get to go to the NCO club, non-commissioned Officers Club and you don’t have to pull KP. So but then I came back to Fort Hood which is where I was stationed and I decided I ought to try for OCS, Officer Candidate School, and did and I was accepted. And so then I went back to Fort Knox and went through I guess it was 26 weeks of OCS. And then I had a furlough of a week and reported back to Fort Knox and they put me in a assigned me to a basic infantry training company. Here I am I’ve been in armor all the time and everything. And it that was in June. If I could back up a step. I was in there as a second Leutinenant in the armor and the they was short on Cadrys, they really were. And that was a problem. A month after, maybe six weeks after, I was assigned to that company I had a great, great CO, he was Roy Morgan, and he reminds me a lot of John Jackson. Did you just interview John?

Interviewer: No, Ivy Bell did.

Duncan: Okay a lot of that but. The problem was like every war that I’ve been aware of as far as the US Defense Department. They immediately start to cut back. They start to cut back. Well then they had taken General, or listen to me, First Leutinent, Roy Morgan, who was my Commanding Officer and put him in battalion because he had been through three different basic training cycles with being a Company Commander. So I became a big Company Commander of a basic training company that a. Maybe I’m telling you too much here.

 

Interviewer: No, no, no. Keep going.

Duncan: You can shed out what you don’t want. But there I was and we had 275 trainees. We had two cooks, two, and we had our own Mess Hall. Now, you know, two cooks can’t handle that. What do you do is you break all regulations and everything and with these trainees you get them all out. Good but when we got run over the first time you know we we were buttoned up in that tank. But the guys in the trenches the infantry they got run over but then the artillery we got rid we got we pushed them back. So that happened now you’re in I went online on in early May and and went to the hill 854 and never got off of it until the cease fire. The 72 tanks and the tank battalion and medium tank battalion so and I had five tanks and each company, each company had 22 tanks I think it was and all of our tanks one company was held in reserve and the other three were online. With Rocks. The Rocks loved us and they loved that 50 caliber machine gun on top. Excuse me.

Interviewer: Tell me the situation. How intensive the battle between you and the enemy?

Duncan: Well basically we fought at night, night. We would, during the day if this is the MLR we were dug right in it so when they come up that hill that I brought that picture of they its like shooting fish in a barrel and then but then they had their artillery and mortars coming in on us. Well I my tank got hit once and it knocked off the communications and it hit the turret in the front next to the gun the 90mm so I they had to get me another tank and we went from there but the primary thing was is that the Rock infantry 51st regiment they really liked us because we were there and that’s a lot of help to them being in there like that.   And as an aside, I went back to Korea on a Korea war visit that a visitor thing in I think it was 1993, 94 and the Colonel, the Rock Colonel, that was in charge of where we were online was somehow or another we found him in Seoul and we had dinner with him.

Interviewer: That have been very nice.

Duncan: It was and the first thing he did he apologize for having to call in the our artillery and I said Colonel if you hadn’t called it in none of us would be there to talk to you you know. So it was its hard to say did we go out on patrols that’s the job of the infantry.

Interviewer: Were any of your tank hit by the enemies?

Duncan: Me.

Interviewer: They were hit?

Duncan: Yeah and I had to take that tank out. And they got me brought me up another one up on the hill.

Interviewer: Were you not wounded?

Duncan: Yes I was.

Interviewer: Where were you wounded?

Duncan: Thighs and stomach.

Interviewer: So you got People Heart?

Duncan: Yes, I have a Silver Star too. But I wear that Silver Star only because I wear it for 10 men or rather my I said 10 I wear it for my whole platoon. And they know it.

Interviewer: When your tank was hit was it completely destroyed?

Duncan: No. Let me tell you about that. They first took out the 50 caliber on top and all my antennas on the tank which we had two antennas I believe it was one for battalion and one within the company. When they that’s when I pulled the tank out of the slot and got back on the reverse side of the top and they when they brought the other tank up and like I said we were fighting at night that’s when we were fighting.   And they dropped a lot mortar round or two and we had bunkers to sleep in when you can sleep on the back side of the mountain. But nobody went to bed at 10 and got up at 4, none of that crap. It its different but they brought me up another tank and the battalion maintenance officer came up with it and he said he called me after they put it in place and he said I want to show you something on your tank . If you had taken one more round in that front you wouldn’t be here talking to me and so.

Interviewer: What was the most difficult thing during your service in Korea?

Duncan: What was the most diff. From what standpoint?

Interviewer: Any standpoint. Anything you couldn’t stand. You know. What was most difficult thing if you are asked to answer?

Duncan: I don’t think I’ve ever bene asked that before but oh that’s well you take care of your men first that’s number one that wasn’t difficult but it could be sometimes. But I didn’t consider that, what was, how did you ask that question.

Interviewer: The difficult thing, difficult thing, the most difficult thing you experienced?

Duncan: Sometimes there would be some people that would come up during the daytime that were from battalion that were staff officers and not line officers and they you try to get let your men get some rest in the daytime. We had things to do in the daytime. There was one Chaplain that wanted to hold services to these men. Now these guys had been up all night etc. and I wouldn’t let him. That was probably the most difficult thing, cause they were sound asleep. They were sound asleep.

Interviewer: What were you thinking? You came to a country you never knew before much.

Duncan: That’s right.

Interviewer: You were fighting like a dog there during the nights, and you had been wounded. What were you thinking?

Duncan: I was thinking about my men.

Interviewer: You lost.

Duncan: My no one was killed out of my platoon but quite a few were wounded and it would be during the daytime they would get wounded because they weren’t in the tank. Yeah.

Interviewer: When did you leave Korea?

Duncan: That’s I left Korea in I think it was the first day of December of 53. They when I was commissioned at Fort Knox I signed up for three years but obviously I didn’t stay three years. Like I said, every time there is a war the Defense Department immediately cut back. And so what they were cutting back on was MOS’s that a where there were people that had just graduated college they didn’t have any money to put them on duty. So if you had counting my enlisted duty as a RA Corporal etc. counting my enlisted duty. If you had it was either two or two and a half years of active duty you could apply for a early release. And the reason there were three of us that fell out was in the same company with in OSC. He had second platoon and I had third and another fella that became a friend of ours we all had enough time in that at the time of the cease fire we qualified for early releases.

Jim Duncan Interview Transcript

Starts at 20:33

Interviewer: When you went back to Korea in 1993, it was a program, how was it?

Duncan: It was wonderful, it was wonderful.

Interviewer: Tell me about the detail, how-how why do you think it was wonderful?

Duncan: Well…One of my buddies in civilian life, his company…US company, they had a really was a joint venture with a Korean company making very…doesn’t matter what they made but through those connections we were… the three of us and our wives, we were allowed to leave the group go over for the trip and one day they took us back and these two men. They were…one was a colonel and two were officers of the Iraq army but they were all civilians.

Duncan: Then they took us and said,” Where do you want to go” and we said “Can you get us back over as close as we can get to where we were on line,” and they did.

Duncan: And you say which one of you had cooking experience in civilian life and work in a restaurant or has something to do within cooking? When you get those out of there and so then you what you do with those is you take them out to the rifle range and get them to qualify with a carbon copy and then you take them on a long 14 mile hoke with packs and all and then you bring them back and tell them you get back in the mess hall…you know.

Duncan: And then the next sergeant will take it from here but you gotta…you gotta do what you gotta do.

Interviewer: So you become officer?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: That’s great.

Duncan: Yeah, that’s what old…OCS is officer candidate school.

Interviewer: So how much were you paid when you were corporal?

Duncan: God, I don’t remember. I really don’t remember.

Interviewer: Not more than a $100, right?

Duncan: Oh no.

Interviewer: How much were you paid when you become the second lieutenant?

Duncan: I think it was about $180 a month. I think that’s right. So…

Interviewer: So that’s a big promotion?

Duncan: Yeah but we started OCS with 300 men in our company in our class. We graduated 75. That’s a…

Interviewer: That’s a lot of competition?

Duncan: It’s just, it’s how much harassment you can take.

Interviewer: Did you know anything about Korea at the time you were about to hear the breakup of the Korean War? Did you know anything about Korea before that?

Duncan: Yeah, because I had a brother-in-law who was a regular army, he was west pointer and he married my sister of course. My brother-in-law and he’d been through World War II and he was in Korea with a…up in at the beginning as a staff officer and he was very…he was badly wounded on Okinawa and then…

Interviewer: So he went to Korea before the war?

Duncan: No he went there after…in the war.

Interviewer: In the war?

Duncan: Yeah, he…he…when he was wounded in Okinawa he was sent back to the States and he was a career soldier and he wanted to stay in and so he hobbling around in a leg cast for about a year…two years and so then he got back to active duty immediately assigned to the 10th Corp, I think it was.

Interviewer: Did he talk to you about Korea?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: How…what did he tell you about Korea?

Duncan: Well some of the things he told me I am not going to tell you. I can’s because it would be…it would mess some people up.

Interviewer: Okay

Duncan: Since this is getting so much publicity.

Interviewer: So not much good about it but told horrible things about Korea.

Duncan: Well see my father was army, my uncle I was named for was a machine gunner in World War I. My dad was a parachute…a balloonist. That was dangerous balloons because they were filled with hydrogen not helium. So it was in my blood and sometimes, not now, I used to look back and maybe I should have stayed in but I went back to Fort Know to see my training commander and said you know sir I was trained and enlisted to be an armor and I am out of my program here and he said go back to your company. You have a company to take care of.

Duncan: I said yes, sir.

Duncan: Well I found out this com…section of the Pentagon in Washington was called career management and you could write directly to them if you…about what career and possibilities were there for you in you training and in you MOS. You know what and MOS is?

Interviewer: Yes.

Duncan: Okay, and so I write…

Interviewer: Tell for the audience what is MOS.

Duncan: It’s a Military Occupational Specialty. And I wrote to them directly here is my MOS which was a tank platoon leader, which is what I was by MOS. And they said we have vacancies for your MOS in the Far East and we all knew what that meant, it meant Korea and I said sign me up. So I went to Korea.

Interviewer: When did you leave for Korea?

Duncan: I got to Korea in March of ’53 and going through late March of ’53, I believe it was, and going through all the processing and everything then I was lucky enough to be a…

Duncan: Oh one thing I do want to tell you … that battalion commander at Fort Knox, he chewed my butt one side down the other because he had to find someone to be the battalion commander.

Duncan: But back to what you wanted to know, the…I got to Korea in Pusan and went to all kinds of stuff and then I was put on a train to go to Chuchang and then from there, there were vehicles waiting for three of us and we were all Second Lieutenants at Fort Know and two of us ended up being in the same outfit and both NOCS.

Interviewer: In Korea, what camp were you in?

Duncan: We were in 140th tank battalion but that needs some explanation. We were…the American Infantry division were built around how they did in World War II and so there was…each American army regiment had a tank company. And in addition to that there was a medium tank battalion that was the 140th , that had a ROC, I was on line with ROC infantry and this was put on line there and we were dug in right on the MLR.

Interviewer: Where was it?

Duncan: East Korea

Interviewer: Is that…do you remember the name Heartbreak Witch? Don’t move, don’t move, don’t move, I’ll give it to you.

Duncan: I had a tank platoon, an M46 patented tank is what they were and you have a heavy section and a light section. The platoon leader is responsible for it all but the heavy section is 3 tanks and the light section is 2.

Duncan: We were…the guys in the two tanks and the platoon sergeant they said they could see the Sea of Japan. That’s how far east we were and the reason we were over there was we were dug in and nobody thought that the North Koreans could break through over in the center of Korea. One of the places they would try and come through would be eastern Korea.

Interviewer: So remember the name, was it Heartbreak Witch or Pope Shock Hill?

Duncan: It didn’t have a name. That’s why the picture shows Hill 854.

Interviewer: Hill

Duncan: 854

Interviewer: 854

Duncan: And the division was the 12th ROC division.

Interviewer: 12th

Duncan: ROC, 51st Regiment and they were damn good soldiers. We got run over twice.

Interviewer: How was the situation at the time you were in the hill?

Duncan: I went on that hill in the end of May ’53 and I got off that hill at the cease fire.

Interviewer: Tell me about the situation at the time. Was it there were very intensive battery’s and combats, right?

Duncan: Yeah, yeah. Well I tell you what in a tank, it was all trench warfare…it was all trench warfare for the most part, and we were there in direct support of…I had infantry men here and infantry men here, we were just dug in and we didn’t anything like the tanks going across the desert and the dust flying and all that stuff, it was not what it was. It was direct fire support and M46 Patton tank had the main gun that was a 90mm and then it had a 50 caliber on the top and the assistant driver had a 30 caliber down there in his place and on the top there was a 50 caliber and that was exactly like the tanks were at the end of World War II.

Duncan: And that was predominantly for aircraft but they still have the 50 caliber machine gun in use of the US Army today. It’s a hell of a weapon.

Interviewer: How was the situation, how intensive the battle and you know?

Duncan: Right up out of the book a man named Rob Pechal, I think it was, he was a west pointer, he wasn’t a Korean war veteran he was a Vietnam veteran. He wrote in the closing paragraph, he wrote what the Korean war was really all about, you know. And we use it a lot in our chapter as a handout and its really good. The name of this book I think was Witness to War: Korea and what it was was a bunch of interviews he made with Korean verterans.

Interviewer: He wrote the book but he was a Vietnam war veteran?

Duncan: Correct

Interviewer: He never been in Korean war?

Duncan: He wasn’t in the Korean war but he was in the Vietnam war.

Interviewer: And he wrote the book about what the Vietnam war or the Korean war?

Duncan: No, the Korean war.

Interviewer: Okay

Duncan: He was a West Point graduate and infantry just like my brother-in-law.

Interviewer: Anything you want to add in this interview about service?

Duncan: About my service?

Interviewer: Yeah, during the Korean war. How did it affect you and why was it important, what did you do, anything you wat to add about?

Duncan: I just hope United States appreciated the Korean government and the Korean people because we don’t have an ally better than those people. A lot of people think that its Australia and Israel. They’re both great.

Interviewer: Or Japan.

Duncan: I’m not high on Japan.

Interviewer: Why not? You are very close to Japan. You have many military bases in Japan and Japan is the frontline of the US Pacific National Strategy.

Duncan: Here I am talking to a Korean whose ancestors lived under the Japanese and you’re forgiving them and I’m not.

Interviewer: Why you don’t forgive them?

Duncan: For when they occupied Korea, murder, everything the did it.

Interviewer: How do you know that?

Duncan: By history, okay.

Interviewer: So you studies?

Duncan: Yeah, I’ve gotten my library upstairs in my house consists of World War II and Korea. You know like any other veteran, you don’t tell your story unless they ask. That’s why you’re coming around.

Interviewer: You didn’t really talk, right? Much about the Korean War before you asked.

Duncan: To other veterans I did. Yeah. To all the Korean War veterans. You find that all the time, don’t you? I probably think that’s true of World War II and everything else.

Interviewer: But especially the Korean War, people didn’t have any hope of the future of Korea because it was miserable, completely destroyed, nothing left and they didn’t know anything about Korea before they leave for Korea. So that’s what it is and you are very busy to follow up with your family and you have to…

Duncan: I went back to college.

Interviewer: Yeah, so that’s why people really didn’t talk about Korea but as you pointed out that’s an excellent point. Korea is a good ally to the United States. Yes, I absolutely agree with you.

Duncan: Somebody told me that the Korean government underwrites the cost of the troops that are there, is that true?

Interviewer Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Duncan: Who else does that? Nobody.

Interviewer: No actually Japan does and many countries actually do now.

Duncan: What about the Middle East? They say that they don’t need them.

Interviewer: That’s a different story but I really want you to talk to your grandchildren and let them join this wonderful organizations called Korean War Veterans youth corps and we will have a lot of things done for them, okay?

Duncan: How much is half of the airfare?

Interviewer: Whatever from where they live right now. Now where do the live?

Duncan: Right here.

Interviewer: Texas A&M so that’s $400 airfare from here to Washington D.C. round trip. They pay $200 and we pay $200 otherwise everything free.

Duncan: I will pay for it.

Interviewer: Yeah, you chip in and everything free., okay?

Duncan: Yeah.

Interviewer: Alright, Jim so nice to meet you and to hear from you direct witness about you tank platoon and your service there. Thank you so much again for your help.

 

 

 

 

 

0:00
my name is Jim Duncan but the unca the last name what is your birthday october
0:08
fourth nineteen thirty so you born right in the middle of Great Depression here
0:15
in the united states where we want Louisville Kentucky so tell me above
0:24
your family when you’re growing up your your parents your siblings well my
0:31
father was a ww1 and ww2 and he was a reserve officer and it was a balloon
0:42
observer in ww1 he was Corps of Engineers officer and ww2 they wouldn’t
0:53
let one and two army while the family my grandfather one of my grandfather’s they
1:09
all lived in Louisville Kentucky and I went to Vanderbilt University in
1:18
Nashville for two years after graduating from high school and more when did you
1:29
graduate high school
1:30
January 1949 Louisville high school Louisville male high school and a male
1:39
mains just exactly where they were all the girls at a high school in the boys
1:43
at school and then you went to Bentonville
1:47
in nashville yea but it was more it was really more than my mother and dad could
1:57
could afford and they were scraping and I was playing
2:02
so what you are qualified academically yeah what do you study
2:08
liberal or but I wanted to be that States Air Force was going around
2:18
recruiting people for pilots and I thought the manor be great stuff but
2:24
when I finished getting my 98 quarter hours which is 60 semester hours the the
2:34
recruiting team for the Air Force was at Vanderbilt and they took me into a room
2:41
and said now read that wall charger decision your your academics or find you
2:46
should read lines serving us and i cant see lol and they said well you’re in
2:52
your eyes or strains and and all of that so well dressed up as will be here the
2:57
rest of the week come back and maybe you can qualify to be a navigator and I said
3:02
ok so I went downtown Nashville mad again a doctor wall charger done go pay
3:08
us Fire and Ice everyday trauma had to read and servant said there is no LAN
3:16
service what they were doing was just being polite they thought that was the
3:25
wrong thing for them to do they should have tell told me you know I don’t know
3:29
why but that’s their coop so I called my father told him and had a daughter you
3:37
are not qualified to be a pilot to be a pilot what what was the main reason they
3:45
were they were they were what were what it really was was that they were already
3:48
had met their quota of going around they don’t want to they thought they were
3:53
doing the right thing I guess for the University
3:56
coming to them but I didn’t I didn’t learn all of the parts of this until
4:03
about four years ago but I call my day back to back to nineteen was 19 1950
4:12
early 50 call my father and said you know I want to drop out around bill cuz
4:19
im not im not learn anything and I came here earlier reports I want to join the
4:23
army and he’s he said ok but you gotta promise me one thing and that was if you
4:31
decide to stay in the Army and you’re good enough they’ll probably put you
4:34
through college but you gotta go to college and he said and if not you wanna
4:41
join and not stay in the army but your time and promise me you’ll you’ll get
4:48
your college education and I made that promise so that I enlisted and I’m very
4:56
proud of the fact that I enlisted June 1912 1950 1950 what month was sworn in
5:13
and normal and I went was shipped to Fort Meade Maryland to be and paper I
5:24
you know the papers and all that you remember the world month summer or
5:29
winter or it will probably April April 1950 and where did you get the basic
5:44
Fort Hood Texas it was interesting that at that time in the least in the army
5:57
they were taking
6:00
building it was first armored division of what it was and they were you go
6:04
through a sixteen weeks cycle as a division and so when I was gutted for
6:11
what they ask me because I had listed I guess we kind of got a little bit better
6:18
is there what would you like to be in it if you want to be an ass and I want to
6:23
be a tanker more specifically what he wanted was as I want to be a gunner and
6:31
so that’s what I did and in basic training as what I was trying for so but
6:39
I was which was the home of armor they’re totally different from what it
6:46
is now because it’s a different format that the Army is come up with these
6:53
teams and brigades and all of that I went to armor school for other armored
7:00
course for enlisted man I was there a corporal and then click promotion it was
7:17
it was their labor that the reason was always been a corporal was a bit
7:28
ranked in the Army and say when I said when they they get guilty and CEO club
7:33
unit noncommissioned officers club and they don’t poke AP but then I came back
7:40
to 44 hood which was where I was stationed and I decided to try for
7:47
osseous Officer Candidate School and I did and I was accepted and so then I
7:53
went back to Fort Knox and went through I guess there was twenty six weeks
8:02
shares furlough week reported back to Fort Knox and they put me and sent me to
8:17
a basic infantry training company now here I am i been here all the time and
8:23
everything and it was in that was in June I was welcomed back up his death
8:30
was in there as a second lieutenant and armor and the worse they were short on
8:46
kadri they really were a problem a month after maybe six weeks after I was
9:00
asserted that company and I had a great great CEO he was Roy Morgan John Jackson
9:09
did you just interviewed John
9:11
be bailed out of there but the problem was it like every war that I’m aware of
9:20
drawers the USC defense department they immediately start to cut back their
9:27
starting to cut back well then they take in general or listen to me first
9:35
lieutenant Roy Morgan who was commanding officer and put him a text but because
9:41
he’d been through three different basic training cycles with being a company
9:48
commander so I became a big company commander of a basic training company
9:54
maybe I’m telling you too much here and you can share lol but there I was and we
10:05
we had a talk we had two hundred and seventy-five trainees we had two cooks
10:13
to her own missile to cooks can handle so what do you do is you break all
10:24
regulations and everything and you with this training these trainees you get
10:30
them all out
10:31
was good but when I got run over the person and you know we we’re
10:46
buttoned up in that time but the guys in the trenches infantry they they they
10:51
they they told them they got run over but then the artillery we we got rid of
10:58
we got pushed back that happened now you’re in went online on early and went
11:12
to the hill 854 and never got off of it till two tanks and attack but in the
11:29
main medium tank battalions so there and I had fun thanks each company had each
11:36
company had 22 thanks I think it was all of our tanks 11 company was held in
11:48
reserve in the other three were with with with rocks the rocks loved us they
11:57
they they loved us and they love that fifty caliber machine gun on top just as
12:03
usual but tell me of the situation how intensive the battle was between you and
12:09
me when we basically we fought at night
12:14
yeah and we would during during the day if this is if this is how are we were
12:27
right in it so when they come up that hill that you brought that picture they
12:34
like
12:36
but then they had their artillery and mortars coming in on us well I got hit
12:48
once and it knocked off the communications and it hit it hit the
12:54
turret in the front next to the gun the 90 millimetres so they had to get me
13:01
another tank and we went from there but the primary thing was is that the the
13:11
rock infantry 51st regiment they really liked us because we were there that’s a
13:16
lot of help to their bid and they’re like that and as an aside I went back to
13:22
Korea on the career or visit their thing in 1993 for the kernel the rock colonel
13:35
was in charge of where we were online somehow or another we found him in so we
13:46
had dinner with it very nice was in the first thing he did was apologize for
13:52
having to call in there are children are artillery and curl if you are Nicole and
14:01
in none of us will be here to talk to you know so it was hard to say they are
14:08
we there we go out on patrol that that’s that’s the job of the infantry or any of
14:14
your 10 hit by the enemies but yeah and I had that take that take out and they
14:22
got big brought me up another one on the hill where
14:29
and stomach so you got purple heart yes it was super store but I where that’s
14:38
over store only because you were pretending
14:48
eyewear eyewear for my whole foot and they know when your tank was was it
14:57
completely destroyed know they first took out the fifty-caliber and all my
15:07
and tenants of the tank which have yet to enter another believe it was 14 but a
15:14
and well within the company when they that’s when I pull the tank out the slot
15:22
get back on the reversal they when they they they brought the other tanque
15:32
like I say we were fighting at night that’s why we were fighting till they
15:37
drop a lot more but we had bunkers to sleep in when you could sleep on the
15:43
backside of the mountain but nobody went to bed at 10 and got up at four none of
15:49
that crap but it’s different but they brought me up another time and the the
16:01
Battalion maintenance officer came up with it and he said he’d call me after
16:08
they put in place should I wanna show you something you take he said if you
16:11
take it one more round through that front
16:15
you wouldn’t be here talking to me so that what was the most difficult thing
16:25
during the service in korea most from what standpoint any standpoint there
16:33
anything that you really couldn’t stand it no more than most difficult thing you
16:41
if you are asked to answer
16:44
before yeah but number one that was difficult but it could be sometimes yeah
17:06
but I didn’t consider that but was would you answer questions most difficult
17:14
thing most difficult thing that you experienced sometimes there will be some
17:24
people it would come up during the day time there were from but I that were
17:28
staff officers an outline officers and they you tried to get let your man get
17:36
some rest and in the data no we we had things to do in their job but you try to
17:41
get some rest and there was one chaplain that wanted to hold services to these
17:47
men are these Gaza been up all night you know etcetera and I wouldn’t mind it was
17:52
probably the most difficult thing I did was sound asleep it was actually yeah
17:57
what were you thinking you came to a contrary you never knew before March
18:05
fighting like a dog there during the night
18:10
you been only what were you thinking no one was killed but quite a few were
18:39
welded it would it would be during the day time that they would get wounded
18:46
because they weren’t in the tank
18:49
yeah when do you leave career that I left korea think it was the first day of
19:00
December 53 when I was commissioned for Knox and up to three years but obviously
19:13
I didn’t stay in tears because like I say every time there’s there’s a war the
19:19
defense department they merely cut back and so what they were cutting back on
19:24
was MOS is where there were people that had just graduated from college
19:32
didn’t have any money to put him on duty show if you had any money
19:38
enlisted duty as corporal etcetera counting my my my
19:44
listed daily if you had it was either two or two and a half years of active
19:54
duty you can apply for
20:00
early release the reason that there were three overs was in the same company with
20:09
a presentar here
20:14
second secretary I had another fella that we became a friend of ours we all
20:23
had enough time in the term of the cease-fire
20:30
we qualified for early releases when you went back to create in 1993 revisit
20:41
program how was it was wonderful wonderful about the detail how why do
20:48
you think there was one of well one of my buddies in civilian life his company
20:55
companies they had a really was like a joint venture with Korean company making
21:08
very be made but the through those connections we were the three of us in
21:19
our wives we were allowed to leave the group go over for the trip and one day
21:30
they took us back the two men that they were one was a colonel in two officers
21:40
and and the rock R&B they were all civilians then they took us decide where
21:45
you want to go with you can you can you get us back over as close as we can get
21:49
to where we were online and they did and you say I know which one you had cooking
21:56
experience in civilian life and work in a restaurant has something to do with
22:02
within cookie when you get those out of there and so then you what you do with
22:08
those as you take them out to the rifle range and get them to qualify with a
22:12
carbon copy and then you take a month-long 14 mile hike with tax and all
22:19
and then you bring them back and you get the message and the message and we’ll
22:25
take it from here but you gotta you gotta you gotta do what you gotta do
22:30
so you become an officer that’s great that’s 100 serious is also can you so
22:38
how much were you paid when you are hopeful
22:43
remember I really don’t remember more than $100 from you appeared when you
22:49
become the second lieutenant think it was about $180 a month that’s right so
22:58
that’s a big promotion we started also years with three hundred men in our
23:08
company in our class we graduated 75 that’s a lot of competition for its just
23:20
how much irrationally can you take these you know anything about career at the
23:25
time you were about to hear the breakup of the korean war did you know anything
23:31
about career before that because I had a brother-in-law who was regular army he
23:38
was west pointer and he married my sister of course my brother-in-law and
23:44
he’d been through world war two and then he was in Korea with a pin at the
23:50
beginning as a staff office in he was very he was wounded badly on okinawa
23:57
went to create before the war know he went there after in the war in the world
24:05
yeah he when he when he was wounded on okinawa it was back to the states and he
24:11
won’t he was a career soldier and he wanted to stay in and so he was around
24:17
in a leg cast for about a year two years and suddenly got back to active duty in
24:23
the melee was assigned to score thank you talk to you about career how what
24:29
did it tell you over korea well some of the things he told me I’m not gonna tell
24:33
you I K because it would it would be awesome people up
24:37
ok this is getting so much publicity so how much of our part to a horrible
24:43
things about korea yeah we’ll see my father was army was named for was a
24:54
machine gunner in ww1 my dad was a parachute was a balloonist that was
25:02
dangerous
25:03
balloons where he’ll fill with hydrogen and helium so it’s it was in my blood I
25:10
sometimes I don’t know but I used to look back and maybe I should have stayed
25:14
here but I went to see my back to Fort Knox I went to see my
25:23
commander General Sir was trade enlisted trained to be a farmer and the amount of
25:38
my program here he said go back to your company company commander you gotta come
25:45
here to take care of us said yes sir
25:47
well I found out about this company
25:52
section and the Pentagon in Washington was called career management and you
25:59
could write directly to their if you about what career possibilities are
26:06
there for you in your in your training and in your room away as you know what
26:11
animal is ok and so I wrote directly hotel for the ideas what is Mrs its
26:17
military occupational specialty they wrote to them directly and told him
26:25
which was a tank but only which is what I was by MOS and they said we have
26:35
vacancies for your wares in the Far East career and I said Sunday so I went to
26:48
career when do you leave for Korea and got I got two career in March of 53 and
27:00
then going through late march of 53 I believe it was and then going through
27:08
all the processing everything then I was lucky enough to be one thing I do want a
27:16
battalion commander for now she chewed my butt down the other because he
27:23
wouldn’t he had to find somebody else to be the company coming back to back to
27:29
what you want to know the
27:32
I got two career in Pusan went to all kinds of them was put on a train to go
27:48
to change on and then from there there were vehicles waiting for three of us
27:56
and we were all out of love for knowledge and so we always two of us
28:05
ended up being in the same same outfit both in OC years and then in korea camp
28:22
we were we were the hundred and forty two hundred and fortieth tight but there
28:29
that need some explanation we were
28:35
the american infantry divisions at that were built around how they did it in
28:42
world war two and so there was an American army regiment
28:50
company and in addition to their there was a medium tank but that was the 140th
29:01
that had a rock I was online with rock country and that was put on my way there
29:11
in the tanks were dead dog in it we were dug in right on the MLR where was it his
29:17
career I’ve gotta do you remember the name heartbreak which of the two move to
29:23
move our only two minor you know that’s not without my look on the back of a
29:37
clip something very important patent ranks and you have a heavy section in a
29:55
large section 210 leader is responsible for all but heavy section is 33 Kakes
30:03
and the lights section is too and we were they were they began in
30:10
the two tanks and put territory was in charge of those days they said on
30:20
certain days clear days they receive the Sea of Japan that’s how far east we were
30:24
the reason we were over there was we were dug in and nobody thought that the
30:33
north koreans could break through or in the center of career in that one of the
30:44
places they would try to come thru would be in eastern Korea so remember the name
30:49
of was it heartbreak which it didn’t have a name like that that was the
30:56
picture shows Hill 854 that’s what it was you know 85 4854 and the the
31:04
division was the 12th row division called
31:08
51st regiment and they were damn good soldiers and we got we got run over run
31:19
run over twice how was the situation at the time that you in that he’ll win on
31:27
that hill in the end of May 53 and I got off that hill at the cease-fire about
31:41
the situation at the time there were very intensive batteries and
31:47
and
31:48
and the combats right yeah yeah tell me about those what was well I’ll tell you
31:53
work in a tank because it was all trench warfare there it was all trench warfare
31:59
really for the most part and we were there in direct support of women here we
32:10
were just dug in and we didn’t do anything like a lot of people think
32:15
about tanks going across the desert molded US line and all that stuff that’s
32:19
not what it was it was direct fire support and imported 6 tank had the main
32:26
going with a nine-millimeter gun and then it had a fifty-caliber on the top
32:31
gun or the assistant driver had 30 caliber down there in his place and then
32:43
on the top was fifty caliber and that was really all this was exactly like the
32:50
tanks were end of world war two and that was predominately for aircraft but they
32:57
still have they still have the fifty caliber machine gun in use in the USSR
33:02
me today this is a hell of a weapon but how was the situation how intensive the
33:09
bar pero and you know the owner and tank well write up a book man named Michelle
33:23
I think it is he was a west point or he was not a career or beverages he was
33:27
vietnam and he wrote in the closing paragraph of that he wrote what the
33:35
Korean War was really all about you know
33:39
we use it a lot and I chapter as a handout and it’s really good in the name
33:47
of his book I think was witness to war career and what it was was a bunch of
33:53
interviews that he made with Korean War veterans the book but he was very yet
33:59
now I’m veteran increasing he was in the korean war but he was in the war and he
34:06
wrote about what vietnam war on the Korean War and he was he was a West
34:12
Point graduate entry just like my brother-in-law anything you want to this
34:20
interview about your service during the Korean War how did it affect you and why
34:29
was it important what did you do anything you wanna have about
34:39
United States appreciate the korean girl in the current record because we don’t
34:57
have a better than those people a lot of people think that it’s Australia Israel
35:05
they’re they’re both great or Japan
35:08
I’m not high on japan won a very close to Japan you have many military bases in
35:17
Japan Japanese to frontline of the us-led Pacific National Here I am
35:25
talking to a Korean whose ancestors lived under the japanese and you’re
35:32
forgiven of another one for all that when they occupied Korea no murder
35:42
everything they did it
35:44
yeah how do you know that history ok so you started
35:51
yeah I’ve gotten my library upstairs in my house
35:58
the two main parts of it or ww2 and career
36:02
you know we like any other veteran day don’t you don’t tell your story in this
36:07
area that’s why you’re kind of you didn’t really talk right much about the
36:16
present were right before you asked to other veterans are ya
36:21
the Korean War veterans you found that all time don’t you i think is probably
36:26
true
36:27
ww2
36:31
especially the Korean War people didn’t have any hope about the future of Korea
36:36
when they left career because it was miserable completely destroyed nothing
36:41
left and didn’t know anything about Korea before they leave for Korea so
36:48
that’s what it is and you are very busy to follow up with your family and you
36:53
have a back page so that’s why people really didn’t talk about korea well as
37:00
you pointed out that’s why excellent point that the Creator is a good ally to
37:05
the United States yes I absolutely agree with you maybe you know somebody told me
37:10
that the Korean government underwrite the cost of the troops that are there is
37:19
that true
37:20
oh yeah who asked us nobody actually depend on many countries do actually now
37:30
what about Middle East Middle list that’s a different story but I really
37:39
want you to talk to your grandchildren
37:42
let them join this wonderful organization called guerrilla war
37:46
veterans youth corps and we will have a lot of things done for them ok but
37:53
whatever from where they live right now where do they live in Texas A&M so $400
38:04
airfare from here to washington D C round trip they pay 200 we pay 200
38:11
otherwise everything free for all right if they want to go you chip in England
38:17
they are all free
38:18
all right jim so nice to meet you and to hear from your direct witness about your
38:26
template to your service there thank you so much again for your help