John M. Snodell was born on July 11, 1929 in Independence, Missouri. After graduating from De La Salle Military Academy in 1948, he worked in distribution until he was drafted into the United States Army in 1951. He was trained as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he attended basic training. Leaving by boat from Seattle in early 1952, he was deployed to Korea and landed in Busan. He spent time in Japan before being rotated back to the United States in 1953.
Preparing for War
John Snodell was working in distribution when the Korean War broke out in 1950. In 1951, he received notification that he was to be drafted into the U.S. Army. He received training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before leaving for Korea by boat from Seattle, and landing at Busan.
From Busan to the Punchbowl
John Snodell describes his first impressions of Busan, Korea. He recalls having a negative experience getting on a truck in Busan, then connecting with the 1st Marine Division for the Battle of the Punchbowl. He recalls being in Korea during a very cold winter.
The Coldest Winter
John Snodell describes being with the 1st Marine Division and working as a combat engineer, and recalls seeing Cuban, Greek and Turkish soldiers during his time in Korea. He describes the weather as being very cold and remembers having to sleep on the ground. He recalls seeing Korean soldiers sleeping in trenches.