Korean War Legacy Project

John Burton Forse


John Burton Forse was born in Jasper City, Texas on December 30, 1930. After attending Stephen F. Austin University and Colorado University, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps at the age of 19. After training, he was sent to Korea in the summer of 1951 as a Basic Infantryman. However, after landing in Pusan, he was reassigned to be a tanker, working with M26 and M46 tanks. He spent the next 10 months in combat taking part in many battles. He rotated back to the states in the spring of 1952. Today, he lives in Royse City, Texas and is active in his local chapter of the the Korean War Veterans Association.

Video Clips

First Experience in a Tank

John Burton Forse describes his first experience being in a M26 Pershing tank after being assigned as an assistant driver upon his arrival in Korea. He had to readjust to operating the machine gun in the tank. He also describes the sounds and feelings inside the tank.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,Weapons

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First Time Driving an M46 Patton tank

John Burton Forse tells the story when a Colonel asked him to drive an M46 Patton tank up and down a hill. He did not have prior experience driving this kind of tank. It was difficult to get the tank up the hill and to make turns.

Tags: Front lines,Weapons

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Traveling to Inchon by Ship

John Burton Forse describes the journey from the east coast of Korea to Inchon on a tank landing ship (LST). It was much better than the conditions he had prior. They had access to better food, showers, etc. While at sea on the ship, he experienced a bad storm and one of the tanks became loose on the ship.

Tags: Incheon,Yellow Sea,Food,Front lines,Living conditions

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First Time on Patrol

John Burton Forse describes the way he felt the first time he went on patrol in a tank. He describes feeling confident but reluctant at the same time. This is the moment soldiers are trained for. He describes the feeling as "this is it." He also details all the Chinese he saw dead everywhere.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction,Weapons

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