Korean War Legacy Project

John Cumming

Bio

John Cumming joined the Royal Air force as a 20 year old from Glasgow, Scotland.  He job in the service included movement officer for supplies such as napalm, flight nurse caring for casualties from a variety of UN countries, and flight attendant until the end of his service in 1955.  Iwakuni, Japan was where John Cumming was stationed for 18 months throughout the Korean War from 1951 through 1952.  Many flights were taken into Busan Airbase to assist evacuation of casualties.  Some of his most memorable experiences include holding injured soldiers in his arms to keep them from freezing to death inside the plane.

Clips

No Prior Knowledge of Korea, But Off We Go!

John Cumming was never taught about Korea before he arrived in Busan. As a Movement Officer, he took many flights all over the world and now that's the reason why he doesn't like to fly.

Tags: Basic training,Fear,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Prior knowledge of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_vTXiZDXY&start=490&end=746

Stationed in Iwakuni, Japan for Hundreds of Flights to Busan

John Cumming was stationed at an Australian Air Force Base in Iwakuni, Japan for this 18 month deployment during the Korean War. He helped transport everything from spare parts and food to casualties from a variety of UN countries.

Tags: Busan,Fear,Food,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_vTXiZDXY&start=746&end=1176

First Landing in Busan, Korea and Many Evacuation Flights that Followed

John Cumming landed on Busan's runway which was pitted with bombing holes. In order to load the casualties, POWs were used to assist the flight crew and once in flight, flight nurses held the injured to keep them from dying due to the temperature.

Tags: Busan,Imjingang (River),Civilians,Cold winters,Fear,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,POW,Pride,South Koreans,Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_vTXiZDXY&start=1176&end=1652

The Dreaded Stacking System and Plane Configuration

John Cumming's plane would have to go into a stacking system if there were too many planes waiting to land at the same time and that was very stressful to the flight crew along with the injured soldiers. A scary time was when he had to fly napalm from Japan, but he had to go higher which caused the napalm canisters to shrink to the size of cigars due to heightened air pressure.

Tags: Busan,Cold winters,Fear,Living conditions,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_vTXiZDXY&start=1652&end=2160

Life as a Flight Nurse and the Long Waited R&R

John Cumming would wear five layers of clothing to stay warm during the winter of 1951 and he learned the hard way never touch the skin of a plane otherwise, you lose your own skin. R&R in Tokyo as a young man was a blast and he didn't end up with any extra money.

Tags: Busan,Cold winters,Living conditions,Pride,Rest and Relaxation (R&R),Women

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y_vTXiZDXY&start=2160&end=2691