Korean War Legacy Project

John Davie


Born in Olean, New York on September 12, 1933,  John Davie was one of seven children. He graduated from Olean High School in 1952 and recalls not being taught anything about Korea. He worked in a machine factory after graduation and joined the United States Marine Air Reserves in Niagara Falls, New York. After attending a six-week bootcamp for basic training, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in late 1952 and was stationed at Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, New York. He worked under the chief dietitian as a medical administrative specialist, handling care for wives and children of the troops stationed there. He recalls that delivery of a baby cost only seven dollars and fifty cents. In the hospital, he witnessed a great deal of physical and psychological injuries, which was very eye-opening. After the war, he was stationed at a base hospital in Évreux, France.


Video Clips

Stories from Friends in Combat

John Davie recalls stories he heard about Korea from childhood friends. He received a letter from a friend who was fighting in Korea in 1953. This friend told him he was lucky to not be in Korea, that it was a cold, and a tough time. He had another friend who was wounded as a paratrooper in Korea. That friend lost part of one of his leg calves in gunfire and didn't talk much about his experience beyond that. Korea seemed so distant to him, but many of his friends were affected directly.

Tags: Cold winters,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Personal Loss

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The Forgotten War?

John Davie speculates about the reasons why the Korean War is known as the forgotten war. He thinks many people got callous feelings about the war and took the war for granted. He also thinks the Second World War and Vietnam War were more of a focus for much of the country.

Tags: Home front,Impressions of Korea

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Experiences in Post-War Korea

John Davie recounts his experiences after the war where he earned his associates and bachelors degrees, became an international procurement manager, and traveled to Korea for business. He attended SUNY at Alfred and Saint Bonaventure University thanks to the GI Bill, earning his business degree and immediately working for IBM after being recruited at an on-campus recruitment event. Later on in his career, in 1985, his work with Samsung took him to Seoul, South Korea.

Tags: Seoul,Modern Korea,South Koreans

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Video Transcript

00:00:00 [Beginning of Recorded Material]

I: This is November 2, 2021, beautiful city of Bell Villages, Florida.  My name is Jongwoo Han.  I am the president of Korean War Legacy Foundation, which has about 1500 interviews of Korean War Veterans, not only from the United States, but all other countries that participated in the war.

We are doing this to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the breakup of the Korean War, which was 2020, 


but still, we are doing this so that we can include more interviews and direct witness from the veterans who were following — fighting for Korea.

J: Yes.

I: We are doing this to preserve your memory, first of all, because it’s been a long time already, and we want to honor your service.  You answered the call from the United States, and you helped Korea to rebuild their economy and democracy. 


But at the same time, this interview will be analyzed by the teachers here in the United States who are working for my foundation.  And they write the curriculum resources for the students and teachers in the classroom when they talk about the Korean War.

J: Okay.

I: So that’s why we are doing this.  I think it’s a very important thing to do.  And it’s my great pleasure to meet you, sir.  And thank you for coming.  It’s my honor to know of you.

Please introduce yourself.  What is your name and spell it for the audience, please?

J: My 


name is John Davie.  That’s D-a-v, as in Victor, i-e.

I: Davie?

J: Davie.

I: That’s not usual name.

J: No, very unusual, with the — especially in the Far East.  They used to say, You have two names, John and Davie.

I: Right.


Very popular name.

J: Yes.

I: But use mostly Dave or Davie?

J: Just — just John.

I: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

I: So what is your birthday?

J: It’s 



I: You’re kidding me?

J: Yeah.

I: It’s my birthday.

J: Is that right?

I: In a different year, though.

J: A little — a little bit.

I: September 12th.

J: Yep, September 12, 1933.

I: That’s my birthday, too.  Oh, my goodness.  Very nice meeting you.

J: Very — very nice meeting you.

I: Yeah.  You born in a very good day.


Where were you born?

J: I was born in Olean, 


New York.

I: Could you spell it?

J: O-l-e-a-n.

I: Olean, New York?

J: Yeah.  It’s about 60 miles south of Buffalo on the New York/Pennsylvania border.

I: I’m from Central New York.

J: Oh, is that right?

I: Syracuse, New York.

J: Syracuse, okay.  I spent my commercial time after the military with IBM in Endicott, New York.

I: Endicott.

J: So I know Syracuse very well.  I have — I have two granddaughters that graduated from Syracuse.

I: You and I friend, 



J: Yes.

I: Right?  We sharing the birthday and we share the Central New York together.

J: Exactly, yeah.

I: Would you put a little bit of — little bit, yes, yes.  Good, good.

So tell me about your family background, your parents, you know, father, mother —

J: Okay.

I: — and your siblings when you were growing up.

J: Okay.  Well, I was — I’m from a family of seven children.

I: Wow.

J: And it was — you know, we grew up through the 


early — 

I: Are you the eldest?

J: The eldest was — was my sister.  She was — Betty war born in 1925.  

I: [Unintelligible]

J: Yeah, 1925.  And then my brother was born in 1928.

I: So you’re the third?

J: I’m the third.  There was another child between my brother and I, but unfortunately did not survive the birth.  And then 


I have three other younger sisters.

I: So tell me about the school you went through.

J: I went to a public school in Olean, New York.  And it was a very — very nice experience.  I was — I would say I was not an academic as much as I was — 

I: [Laughter]

J: I was an athletic.  I — I did more athletes — athletic things than —


and didn’t prepare — at that time, we didn’t talk much about college.

I: So when did you graduate?  What is the name of the high school?

J: I graduated — the only — it’s Olean High School.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And I graduated in 1952.

I: 1952.

J: And —

I: Before you continue —

J: Uh-huh.

I: — did you learn anything about Korea at the time?

J: At that particular time, no, no.  I hadn’t — I — well, I did know in my senior year because 


several of my friends had left , had joined, and gone and, unfortunately, a — a couple of them were — perished as first — first end troops into —

I: Hmm.

J: — into Korea.

I: So you came to know about Korea?

J: Yes, in — in my senior year of high school, I was very — well, I would say in 1951 


to ’52, we — we got to know more about Korea.

I: But before that, you —

J: Before then, you know, no, nothing, really.

I: But not even the geography class, that they didn’t talk about Korea in the map or —

J: No.  We – we were more, probably, centered on Japan and — and the Philippines, that way.  And speaking of that, my father was a —


a chief machinist, petty officer, in the Seabees in the Second World War, in Guam. 

I: Uh-huh.

J: So he was —

I: So you didn’t know anything about Korea?

J: No, nothing.

I: Other than the breakout and then —

J: Yeah.

I: Were you kind of thinking that you may be dragged into the war?

J: Yes, at that time, we — you know, when coming out of high school, not going — I wasn’t going to college.  I — I actually got 


a job in factory and was working in a machine — machine shop —

I: You mean after graduation?

J: Right, yeah.

I: Ah.

J: From the graduation.  So I was working.  And, you know, there was always the thought of being drafted into the military.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And I — I joined the Marine — U.S. Marine Air Reserve.

I: U.S. Marine, yep.

J: Air Reserve in Niagra Falls, 


New York.

I: Uh-huh.

J: At the Naval Air Station.

I: When was it?

J: That — that was in — that would have been in June of 1952.

I: Right.

J: And then we went through training with that.  In — in fact, the — the — we went through bootcamp on — at–

I: So you were drafted?

J: No, I —

I: You enlisted?

J: I just — I went and joined the Reserve.

I: Ah.

J: It was — they called us Weekend Warriors.


I: Yeah.  [Laughs]

J: We would go on the weekend.  And — and then I — I spent, I think it was, a six-week training, in basic training, at — at the Naval Station at Niagra Falls.  And we were trained by a returning Chosin Reservoir sergeant.

I: Ah.  What do you mean by that, returning?

J: He was — he returned — they — he was 


returning from the war —

I: Oh, I see.

J: — from Korea.

I: Yeah.

J: And they brought him back to be our drill instructor.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And he — he was pretty — pretty — well, I would say very strict and —

I: Do you know is his name?

J: I — I cannot remember the name right now.

I: So you were instructed by the Korean War Veteran who fought at the Chosin [few].

J: Yes.  He was —

I: And returned from 



J: Returned from Korea, yes.

I: So what did he tell you about the Korean War?

J: Ah, that — what his instruction was going to be, that would — would save your life.  In other words, if you didn’t pay attention to the drills and what he was talking about, the weaponry, just different things that we — we talked about at the time.  But it was mostly just, you know, being a drill sergeant,


 he did — he imposed his will on us and wanted to make us better marines, better soldiers.  And it — it was — it was quite an intense training.  He didn’t fool around.  And — and it was — he just said, you know, it was your — your life is on the line, so pay attention.

I: But did he mention anything about Korea to you guys?

J: Uh, 


he didn’t talk a whole lot about it, other than, you know, the severity of the weather, how — how bad it was in — in the — coming — you know, when they had to pull out of the reservoir in — in Chosin.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And — and it was — as they said, you know, they — they weren’t retreating.  They were just — what was it, the — I forget the exact words, but 


I: Yeah.

J: I — I don’t remember that right now.  I got to tell you the truth, it was so long ago.

I: Hmm.  So he didn’t mention anything about Korea?

J: Uh, just the — the ruggedness of — of the terrain.  Uh, the — you know, the — just the — the poverty that was going on with — with the war itself.

I: Hm.

J: And — but he — he didn’t — you know, I — I don’t think that — you know, in that particular case, when you have a — a drill sergeant, he doesn’t talk to you, you know, man to man so much as it is demanding your — your presence in — in learning what they have to drill.

I: Got it.  So after that bootcamp, where did you go?

J: Uh, I was — I went from there to — um, that’s when I went in and 


enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and transferred to — in November of 1952.  And that’s when I was sent to Sampson Air Force Base in Geneva, New York.

I: Yep.  You were there.

J: Uh-huh.

I: And what did you learn from there?

J: Well, it was — it was — it — the Air Force basic training wasn’t 


quite as intense as the Marine training that we went through.

I: Uh-huh.

J: But it — it was, you know, a very intense training through the — from November to January, which was very — it was bitter cold 


on the Finger Lakes.  So we — we graduated in — in January.  And I was — I was just transferred three miles 


from — from my basic training, up to the Air Force hospital —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — at Sampson, which was the — the — the hospital was an actual East Coast receiving center for many of the wounded coming back from Korea.

I: You mean at Sampson Air Base?

J: Sampson Air Force Base, yes.

I: Uh-huh.

J: It was a — a large, huge medical facility.   


 And I — I brought here in — in this Airman’s book that it’s the — of the — the base, and it — and it will — it tells you pretty much the — let’s see if I can find — I should have [creamed] it up.

I: So what kind of training did you receive at —

J: Well, 


it — it was, you know, general basic training at Sampson.  You — you went through the — the drillings and the classroom study.  They had many courses that we took.  And we did a lot of drilling outside and had to do — you know, go through physical training.  It was — it pretty much standard basic training situation until — 


for about 12 weeks.

I: And then what did you do?

J: And then after that, we — like we said — I said, we — I was assigned to the Air Force hospital to the chief — I worked under the chief dietician as a medical — what it would be — medical specialist, administrative specialist, and 


was assigned to a group right there at the hospital and basically worked with — most of the time, we worked with, um, the administration of — of handling civilian — the — what do I want to —

I: Wounded soldier?

J: No, it’s not — not the wounded, but the actual dependents of — of the families that 


were stationed on the base.  They had several dependent families there, you know, that were civilian, that would come — wives and —

I: Yeah, yeah.

J: — children of — of the — of the troops.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And — and that was ours — we — we handled most of that.  And the — all the food service portion for the — the whole hospital.  So I — I did mostly work with that and administrative work.

I: So 


can you give me more detail, what you actually did?

J: Okay.  In — in doing — what I did was, did more accounting work, admit — we would admit and — and dis — discharge patients and take their — you know, their money.  The — the thing that I have to remember is back in — at that time, 


like a young married mother would come in to have a baby at the hospital.  At that time, she would have that baby, would cost, like, $7.50 —

I: That’s it.

J: — for delivery —

I: That’s it.

J: — and discharge.

I: In your medical facility —

J: Yes, yes.

I: — they had to pay, but it’s seven dollars.

J: Yeah, yeah, but – about — in today — in today’s world, it’s astronomical for what you’d have to pay for. 


But it — I remember that — that part of it.  But I also a lot of the — I did the headcount for all of the officers coming into the — to the mess hall and have to — because they had to pay for their meals —

I: Oh.

J: — because they — they got a surcharge, and I would have to take — make sure that they — they paid their fair share for — for a meal.  So I got to know all of the doctors and 


— and everything.  But we would — coming through at that — doing that at the station that I was at, a lot of the wounded would be wheeled in early.  And it — it was — it was very traumatic.  There was a lot of psychological problems.  Many, many wounded, where you’ve seen, you know, they got their arms up and they — they’ve got where they 


had grafted skin to them.  It was — it was an eye-opening experience to — 

I: Uh-huh.

J: — to see the — the wounded come in.

I: Uh-huh.

J: But they were well treated, taken care of at — at the hospital.

I: Hmm.  Did you have any Korean War Veteran actually taken from Korea and hospitalized in Sampson Air Base?

J: They — they had — you mean American 



I: Soldiers who were in Korea and came back.

J: And came back.

Uh, I’m not sure that — you know, that was not wounded.  I’m — I don’t recall any in my area.  But I’m sure that there were several that did come back —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — and — and were stationed.  

But, you know, the war stopped, was — was over, when, 1953?

I: Right.

J: Uh, they closed Sampson Air Force Base in 1956.

I: Uh-huh.


J: Because it was no longer needed as a training base.  It — because it was — it was the equivalent to what — what they do today in — in San Antonio.  So we — we were — every — we were the training base for everything east of the Mississippi.

I: I see.

J: And so I — it was — the — you were assigned — you know, once you went through that, then you were assigned 


out.  And fortunately, I — I guess I — I was one of the lucky ones to be able to be sent up to the base hospital and work — work there.  But I — I left the — I was shipped out of the base hospital in 1955, to Evreux, France.

I: Hmm.

J: So — where I spent the rest of my — my enlistment.

I: I see.

J: So I was discharged 


from — I was in the 4 — 465th field hospital in — it was — it was, like, a MASH outfit.

I: Yeah.

J: It was a 19-bed infirmary.  My job was —

I: You — you mean in France?

J: In France.  

I: Uh-huh.

J: My job was — was, like, Radar in MASH.  I worked for the flight surgeon and three doctors.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And — but that was in — 


after the Korean War.

I: I see.  

J: And — and I was in — I was in charge of air evacuation, a lot of — it was a whole different change of events, as far as responsibility.

I: Uh-huh.  And so when you served in Sampson Air Base —

J: Yes.

I: — are there any stories that you want to share that related to the Korean War?  Family?

J: Well, I —


I had — I had several childhood friends who were stationed in Korea.

I: Oh.

J: And I have one that — that had a — a card, because in 1954 —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — I was going to be married.  And I — I received a — a card in — in 1953 from a — a good 


friend with his — you know, all in his — Army garb in — in Korea, that had — had sent and told me how lucky that I was to be home and not — not have to be in the Chosin frozen land of Korea.  It was at — in wintertime.  And he was — he said it was — it was a very bitter —

I: Memories.

J: — very — tough time for him.

I: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

I: Uh-huh.

J: I — from —


you know, I — I had another good friend who was a paratrooper in Korea that made one of the early jumps and — 

I: Uh-huh.

J: — and was wounded.  And later — later on came back — after the war, we were good friends.  But he would never talk much about — about what happened.

I: Uh-huh.

J: But he was — he was wounded in — in a — a parachute drop. 


They blew off his cap of his leg.

I: Oh.

J: But later, he became a very — very — still worked his — his way back and became a very good athlete.  And — and I had another — another good friend that was in grade school, that we had heard — you know, because everything seemed to be so distant to us, that 


had — had been killed in — in Korea.  So there’s many — many of our friends and other — other families, there were many cases where we — you know, we felt so saddened by what happened, but we knew that they had to be there to —

I: Hmm.

J: — to defend our freedom.

I: So when you worked in the Sampson Air Base, what was —

J: Uh-huh.

I: — the kind of reactions 


from the American people about the Korean War?  Do they — did they follow with it?

J: Oh, yeah.

I: Did they talk a lot about it, or what —

J: Yeah.

I: — was it?  What was it?

J: Yeah, there — there was, you know, people talked a lot about the — the Korean War and — and who — you know, where their families and — and friends were.

I: Uh-huh.

J: It was — it was quite a bit of discussion from time to time, you know, wondering what it was like there and what — what you would experience 


if you had to go.  And many — you know, there’s many discussions like that.  And the people were — were very supportive of — of the — the war and — but, you know, with — with everything that was going on, they — you know, many felt that we should have continued.  And, of course, McArthur wanted to, but the — that changed.

I: Hmm.


But — so you say that many people really concerned about it.  But why is it known as Forgotten War?

J: Well, you know, I — I think that they got so calloused about the whole thing that, you know, everything was being more political and everything, it became kind of a Forgotten War.  And in that respect, because people — the Second World War 


seemed to take all of the accolades of — of the — of what went on.

I: Yeah.

J: And I’m — I’m not — you know, I’m — I’m not sure why people just kind of shut down on — on the Korean War, or what.  But the — it was not — you know, you were not received as well, not as bad as the Vietnam War, but, uh, people, you know, took it more for


granted, I think —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — in that respect.  But, you know, there were, you know, many discussions about Korea, but noth- — you know, I don’t think that the common families were — were all that tied into it, unless they had a — a member there, that had been there and had been wounded or fought and came back or whatever.

I: So you never saw 


a Korean War Veteran returning from Korea when you were in Sampson Air Base?

J: Uh, I — I might — you know, there’s probably several of them there.

I: Uh-huh.

J: But it was so big that, you know, you didn’t know, not specifically in my — in the squadron that I was in, that had come back and just — I — I knew personal friends that had come back.

I: So even though you were not in Korea, but you’re


a senior from high school.  Your friends went to Korea.

J: Uh-huh.

I: Fought for Korea.  And now Korea — do you know what Korea stands for now, in terms of its economy and democracy?  Do you now follow up with the Koreans?

J: Oh, yeah.

I: What do you know about it?

J: Well, the — the big turning factor, as I was telling you, after I — I went back — 


I was discharged, I — I went back to school and went to a college —

I: University?

J: Alfred University.  It was a state university of New York.

I: Uh-huh.

J: At Alfred for two years —

I: I see.

J: — and got a — got a two-year degree.  And then I — I worked for a little bit in an accounting firm in Olean, in my hometown.  And I went to — I started going to school nights at St. Bonaventure University.

I: Uh-huh.  I know that.


J: And then finally ended up going full time and getting my degree when I was 33 years old.

I: Ah.

J: I began — I got my business degree.

I: Excellent.

J: And IBM — IBM Corporation hired me from the campus.

I: Yeah.

J: And I went to work for IBM.

I: What did you do there?

J: I was in — in purchasing.  I ended up becoming an international — 


excuse me —

I: Procure?

J: Procurement manager.

I: Uh-huh.  Uh-huh.

J: Which is where I’m leading to.  It — it eventually sent me to Korea.

I: When did you go to Korea?

J: I was in Korea — I went — I — in 1958 — or, no, 1985, I’m sorry.  1985.  And we were doing — we were doing a lot of work with Sumsung at that time —


I: Uh-huh.

J: — in Suwon.  And that was when I spent a — a lot of time in Seoul at the Shilla Hotel.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And, of course, the famous Itaewon.

I: Yeah.

J: [Laughs]

I: I’m from Itaewon.

J: Is that right, yeah?

I: Yeah.

J: That was very, very prevalent at that time.  But it was amazing.  When I first started, I could see where there were some resemblances from the war, 


but from — by the time of the Olympics in 1988, Korea was really starting to come back.

I: So what was it like?  You are officially Korean War Veteran, even though you were not in the theater.  And now you are in Korea as an IBM —

J: Yep.

I: — procurement officer.

J: Right.

I: What did you buy, actually, from Korea?

J: We were — we were working with the Samsung.  They were manufacturing monitors for 


us —

I: Ah.

J: — for the computers.

I: So —

J: And I — in fact, I — the — we had what they called International Procurement Offices, which was run by Korean Nationals.  So they became our interpreter and would pick us up at Gimpo and take us to the — to the 


business and do all of the interpretation or translations for us.  And I — I did — one of the officers was — he was an Air Force officer for the Korean Air Force.  And when we would go to Suwon, he would point out the mountains, what the — why we couldn’t take photographs and things, that 


there was different emplacements up there —

I: Yep.

J: — in the highways, how they built the highways, so they could move everything apart and — 

I: Into a runway

J: — make it into a runway, yeah.

I: Huh.

J: And it was amazing.  It would take us probably 45 minutes to get to Suwon in 1985.

I: Right.

J: By 1988, it would take us two and a half hours because —

I: Heavy traffic.

J: — heavy traffic.  It — the — the — I had my first 


ride in a Hyundai —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — in — in Seoul, much — before they ever were introduced in the United States.  And I — I asked them, what kind of a car is this.

And they said, it’s a — a Hyundai.  

And I’m, hmm.  

He says, they will come to the United States one day. And they did.

I: Yeah, now —

J: And now look at them.

I: Yeah.

J: Yeah, yeah, so…

Yeah, it was — I mean, you could see 


much of the destruction that had been done, like I say, in 1985.  But how it — reconstruction and building, it’s — it’s — Seoul is a fabulous city.

I: So you are in a very unique kind of condition or situation, where that you could imagine how was it like in 1950, when you were a senior and friends went to Korea —

J: That’s right.

I: — while you are looking at kind of modern Korea 


in 1980s.

J: That’s right.

I: What were you thinking?

J: I — I — it just was — it was very difficult to believe what had happened.  But you only had to go to the 38th Parallel to find out.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And — and that — the — it was night and day, north and south.

I: Yeah.

J: And I just — it was — it was very difficult 


to believe, you know, that so much destruction had taken place.

I: Hmm.

J: And — and I’d seen, you know, many of the war films and different things previously, and it’s just hard to believe that from all of that rubble, what has — the democracy that had grown from — you know, in Seoul.  

I: Uh-huh.

J: It was beautiful.

I: So how was the business 


relationship between Samsung and IBM?

J: Very good.  You know, we — it was a — heavy negotiations back and forth, but we had — we had a very good relationship.  And it was — it was amazing to me, with Samsung, they had us — they took me — one day, they took us to their microwave plant.

I: Hmm.

J: And I never realized that 


they were making every microwave in the world.  They — they were 90 percent of the microwave.  You’d go in there, and there was GE and — and Sharp and everybody else, every line that you could ever see.  They’re — all of the products were going down with the — the names going on, they were being made by Samsung.  And this was back in — in late ’80s.

I: Isn’t it kind of amazing —

J: Yeah.

I: — that Korea was completely 


demolished.  They didn’t know anything about computer at the time.

J: That’s right.

I: Now, they are making monitors and the Samsung is the largest market share of semiconductor, the computer chips, in the world.

J: That’s right.

I: Huh.

J: And at that time, we were — IBM was one of the — the top Burlington, Vermont; and Manassas, Virginia, where the chip and computer — you know, they made chips and — 


and were the leaders in the world.  Today, everything is — is gone.  And I don’t know why.  You know, it’s — it’s just amazing to me as to what — what has happened in that respect.

I: Uh-huh.

J: I’m — I’m — you know, I’m sorry I can’t give you a lot more about, you know, the — the actual wartime part.  And that’s — that’s something that troubles a — a veteran, you know.  I’m — I was 


in during that time, but not physically in the wartime.  But…  

I: They needed you at the Sampson Air — 

J: Yeah, yeah.

I: — Air Base so that they can continue on the war.  So your contribution has been many.

J: It worked.  And, you know, I — I look back.  My family has been totally military.  My uncle was a — a pilot in a B-17, shot down over Germany and Prisoner of War of the Germans for 11 months 


and came back home.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And my dad was in the Second World War in — in the South Pacific.  So it’s — it’s been — our family has totally indoctrinized in — in military over the years, but —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — it — it — I was very fortunate to be — you know, to be a part of the military,  but was glad to get out and — and work in industry, 



I: Uh-huh.  So anything you want to say to Korean people about —

J: Well, I — I would say to the Korean people that they are very gracious.  They’re very humble.  And knowing — I — I felt, you know, going back later as a businessperson —

I: Hmm.

J: — I was treated very well.  I know there was a lot — you know, at that time, in the ’80s, there were some — 


some real hard times going on and — and people were not overly happy with — with some of the things in the government, but it’s — it was — it was a very joyful experience to go — go back to see a — a rebuilt Korea.

I: Absolutely, yeah.

J: And it was just — and not having been there in — during the wartime, I could only imagine 


what it was.  But you — you always felt the presence of their security —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — because when you flew into Gimpo, no cameras to be taking pictures out the windows of the airplanes.  And at the time — that time, it was very militarized, and especially when it was the Olympics.  It was — I was really locked down hard.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And they — 


they kept — but as far as the Korean people, I — I have a great respect and thank them for accepting us as businesspeople, even though we were there in — in — as military and — at the time.  In fact, the 8th Army was — was still there.

I: Yeah, of course.

J: Yeah.

I: So 


you were Korean War Vet.  You tell the Samsung people that you are Korean War Veteran, right?

J: Yes.

I: Did the fact that you were Korean War Veteran affects you in your business with Samsung?  Did you have a better relationship because you —

J: Yes.  I — I would say so because they — you know, they had a — they were very, I think, more respectful in — in a way.

I: Uh-huh.


J: And I know that the — right where the International Procurement Office was for IBM, right down below was a big, oh, military museum of all of the equipment that had been used.

I: Uh-huh.

J: And — and the Army was down there, and they — they — they had tents and — and kind of barracks in the — they were doing some 


instruction there and then moved off — I — I’m not sure where they went later, but they took that whole facility and moved it away.

I: Uh-huh.

J: But they were very strict about the — I — I knew the — the one thing they were very strict about was air raids.

I: Hmm.

J: You — you have — when they would — say there was going to be an air raid, you went inside, you —

I: Evacuate.

J: — stayed away — yeah, stayed away from windows. 


You didn’t — it was very — it’s a very serious thing.

I: So it was a drill, emergency drill?

J: Yes.

I: Yes.

J: You felt the — you felt the urgency in that.

I: Yeah.

J: And in somewhat of a fear.  So it’s not — we just don’t know where — where this — this world is going with all the —

I: Yeah.

J: — nonsense that goes with it.

I: Great.


J: I don’t know if I helped you —

I: No, no.  [It helped.]  But can you show me the pictures?

J: Oh, yeah.

I: Can you show the —

J: Yeah.

I: — cover, cover first?

J: Okay.

I: Can you put it onto your chins; yeah, like that, right.  The Airman, Sampson Air Force Base, New York.  And can you just show something that you —

J: Yeah, I can show you — let me see if I can find the hospital here. 


I was trying — yeah, this is it here.  It would be something in here.  Here it — this is some of the — the physical therapy that they did.

I: Uh-huh.

J: I don’t know if you can see.


I: Can you just go up?

Yes.  Physical therapy, yes.  All right.  Can you hold it, like that?

J: Uh-huh.

I: Hold on.  All right. 

And look for other pages, please —

J: Yeah, okay.  

I: — to show.

J: In here.  Okay.  Here’s —

I: [Just one moment.]

J: Uh-huh.

I: Show that to the camera, please.


J: Okay.  And this — this, again, is — here’s where they’re working on —

I: What is it?

J: This is in their — this is where they’re working on legs, the — in the — it’s the — [makes sounds].  Let’s see.

I: Can you show it again?

J: Yeah, where they work on hands, legs.

I: Just bring it a little bit down; 


a little more; more, more.  Thank you.  So that I can see your face.

J: Uh-huh.

I: Great.

J: And there — there should be one in here that I was looking at that — this is a lot of x-ray technicians — oh, right here.  You can see, here’s a wounded — right — right over here in this side, see where they’re — 

[00:41:30] if you can see the — the graft of the skin from the arm through the —

I: Uh-huh.  Yeah, they are grafting it.

J: Yeah.

I: Yes.

J: All of this.  This — you know, this is the — it was a huge hospital —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — in — yeah, of the U.S.A. hospital, it’s got there.  And then, it — this was like a — a yearbook —

I: Uh-huh.

J: — because it had all 


your —

I: Where are you?

J: I’d have to find it here.  This was a training squadron.  Let’s see.

Oh, this — let’s see.  Right there is a picture of the hospital.

I: Ah.

J: Right at the bottom — bottom part.

I: Yeah.  Yes.

J: And — and you go there 


now, and that is all a state park.  Everything is gone.

I: [Laughs]

J: Everything is gone.

I: Yeah.

J: Uh-huh, yeah.  Let’s see here.  If I can find it here.  Oh, boy.  I had it.  I should have marked the page for you, and I didn’t.  Hm. 


I had a — [laughs].  Oh, boy.  I had it there at one time, and I don’t know what I did with it.  Ah.

I got it here. 


There.  They were all — they were all officers.

I: Yeah.

J: Yeah.  You got —

I: Show that to the camera.

J: You can see.

I: Uh-huh.  All right.

J: Uh-huh.  And then they had the — I don’t know where they — where I hid that part, 


but I had it in there.  If I could only find it.  

[Abrupt stop]

J: [Shows page of book]

I: And you are in the black dots there.

J: Uh-huh.  Right where the dot is, yeah.

I: So you — the dot is above your head, right?

J: Yeah, I think it is.

I: Yeah.

J: Uh-huh.

I: Excellent.  Finally you find it.

J: I found it, 



I: Yeah.

J: Well, see, I — I was looking at all of these dots here.  These are all — all my buddies that I had.

I: Uh-huh.

J: Yeah.  It was — yeah, we — yeah, this — this was quite a — this — you can see the training area and — and one of the basic training —

I: Got it.

J: — drill halls.

I: Uh-huh.

J: I don’t know if you can see that or not.


I: All right.  So thank you very much for sharing this.

J: Okay.

I: And I really appreciate you coming and talking about your —

J: Okay.

I: — your experience.  And that really be the part of your whole legacy —

J: Uh-huh.

I: — as a Korean War Veteran.  And I want to think you again, John Davie.  You are — you have a very good birthday.

J: I do.  Yes, I do.

I: Thank you, sir.

J: Good — a good Virgo.

I: Yes.  Thank you very much.

J: Thank you.

[End of Recorded Material]