Korean War Legacy Project

John Boyd


John Boyd was born in England and he was called up to join the Army as a Signal Officer for the 28th British Commonwealth Brigade and he was sent to Korea in October 1952.  During his one-year deployment, John Boyd’s Brigade fought to maintain the Jamestown Line which is a strategic set of land from Kimpo and the Yellow Sea to Kumhwa and Seoul.  John Boyd used a variety of machines to maintain communication including Morse Code, superheterodyne receiver (radio receiver), and a Wireless Set No. 19.  Fire was a constant enemy during his time in Korea, but he enjoyed the help from other countries including America, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. He describes the living conditions, his duties, and the experience of traveling.


Video Clips

John Boyd's Call to Service

John Boyd was called to service in the winter of 1951, and he wanted to join the RAF. Unfortunately, he was told he could not due to a knee injury. He tried several other options before finding a route to take.

Tags: Basic training,Cold winters

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Traveling to Korea in 1952

John Boyd took a ship and many trains to meet up with his brigade at the 1st Commonwealth Division Headquarters north of Uijeongbu. This was his first time traveling far away, and he was excited to see dolphins, flying fish, and much more. He explains the various places they stopped on the way to Korea.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Pride

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John Boyd's Life and Duty as a Signal Officer

John Boyd was a Signal Officer with various responsibilities. He explains the conditions and duties that he had during the war, including some of the sleeping arrangements. He remembers one specific time that he was left alone and was not sure what to do.

Tags: Imjingang (River),Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,Pride

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Fire! Another Korean War Enemy

John Boyd had to deal with many fires during his year in Korea because while working as a signal officer, his equipment started a fire which affected additional trucks at the headquarters. A space heater was the cause of another fire in the signal office. He remembers what it was like witnessing one particular fire.

Tags: Cold winters,Fear,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Pride

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Korea 1953 - The Last Few Months of the War

John Boyd spent the last few months of the war looking for the Barrows Balloon which signified talks were taking place at Panmunjom between the Chinese, North Koreans, and the United Nations. He describes what he calls the “silliness” that started at Panmunjom. As the weather began to heat up while they were waiting, valley fires increased, and things became dangerous.

Tags: Panmunjeom,Chinese,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction,South Koreans

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3rd Battle of the Hook and the End of the Korean War

John Boyd fought in the 3rd Battle of the Hook against the Chinese during the last push against communism. After the ceasefire was called, an American tank went up north toward the Chinese troops. He recalls Chinese anti-aircraft going after the tank right as two American fighter planes came down onto Chinese positions.

Tags: Imjingang (River),Panmunjeom,Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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