Korean War Legacy Project

John Cole


John Cole is a strong soldier who fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir after he followed in his brother and uncle’s military footsteps.  During the Korean War, Cole was injured three times while fighting with the 3rd battalion 5th Marines.  His work in the fire team and exemplary shooting skills helped protect his men on Hill 1520.  Cole relied on his K Bar, grenades, and great hearing to protect him from the Chinese.

Video Clips

attack in the fox hole

Cole used his great hearing as one of his fighting tools. When he was about to fall asleep in his fox hole, he could hear the enemy gathering across the rice field. Soon, the Chinese began their attack and even when you thought the enemy was dead, they usually weren't. Cole found out the hard way as the enemy crept into his fox hole through the rice field.

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

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The Legacy of the Handmade South Korean Flag

A South Korean soldier wanted to trade Cole's US flag for his handmade South Korean Flag in order to protect himself so that people didn't think he was Chinese. Cole agreed to trade and the flag. Cole held that flag until he presented it to a Korean War Veteran Organization.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Impressions of Korea,Pride

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Battling for Hill 1520

Cole fought for Hill 1520 during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He lost a lot of men defending that hill. Three Chinese soldiers climbed into his fox hole and he had to fight using hand-to-hand combat. This was where Cole was shot through his right arm.

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

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