Korean War Legacy Project

Joseph Lawrence Annello


Joseph Lawrence Annello joined the United States Army in 1950, serving in the 7th Regiment 5th Division. He began his career while stationed in Japan training Korean civilians to fight in the Korean War. He describes his experience as a prisoner of war, finding himself captured after sustaining wounds from gunshot and grenade. He explains his treatment at the hands of the Chinese and their plan to kill him at the side of the road. He continues to explain his journey as a prisoner of war and how he managed to survive.

Video Clips

Cross Cultural Training

Joseph Annello describes training Korean civilians to fight in the Korean War. He explains that they were unable to communicate well with either side not speaking the other's language, so they identified soldiers by the numbers written on their hats. He also discusses Korean soldiers getting sick from the American diet that was served to them.

Tags: Basic training,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Stacked Up Like Cordwood

Joseph Annello describes the cold winter's affect on dead bodies during the Korean War. He explains that bodies would be stacked up like wood and frozen limbs would have to be broken to evacuate them. He describes the horror of the situation not setting in until after the fighting had ended.

Tags: Cold winters,Fear,Impressions of Korea

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Why Waste A Bullet

Joseph Annello describes being hit with a bullet and hand grenade. He describes it being the last thing he remembers before being prodded by a Chinese bayonet. He explains that he became a prisoner of war and was soon left by the side of the road to die.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines

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Terrible Medical Conditions

After being seriously wounded, Joseph Annello was taken to a Chinese medical unit where he met up with several severely wounded prisoners of war. He describes the terrible conditions, including maggots and gangrene. He shares how he and others buried a soldier in a kimchi pit.

Tags: Chinese,Living conditions,Personal Loss

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