John E. Gragg
John E. Gragg (85) was born in Wilmar, AR in 1927. He entered the military while still in high school, and after completing high school he arrived in Korea in June of 1950. He was a part of the 3 Amp Duck Company, entering the war as an SFC E6, and being discharged as a Chief C. Officer. He received the Bronze Star, Commendation Medal, and 12 other medals for his commitments. He departed from Korea in July 1951 and was discharged in January 1973. He went to college for 3 years after his discharge and owned his own business. He says the most memorable experience of the war was the cold weather and fighting. He also says what impacted him most during the war was the “sad state of the Korean people.” His hobbies now include fishing, hunting, and gardening.
Segregation in Korean War Units
John Gragg was in a segregated unit even though the 1948 desegregation law were supposed to be enforced. The only white person in his group was the commander who often mistreated the African American men. John Gragg mentions his experiences with white officers as well as how life in the South prepared him for the experience.
Invasion of Inchon and Life as an amphibious vehicle soldier
John Gragg's amphibious (duck) company was in charge of unloading supplies, food, and ammunition during the Inchon Landing using his ducks. His unit would follow troops to Seoul with all the supplies until the trucks were brought to Korea. John Gragg's unit also supported the troops by bringing soldier across the Han and Nak Dong Rivers.
Executive Order of 1948
John Gragg discusses the impact of an executive order in 1948 which should have integrated the Army. Yet his time in the Korean War was spent mostly within an all-black company with white leadership. He also mentions his happiest moment in Korea was when he left in July of 1951 after staying an extra month.