Korean War Legacy Project

Joseph T Monscvitz


Joseph T. Monscvitz enlisted in the Army in October in 1948. He is extremely proud of his service in Korea and is thankful that it lead him to a career that he loved. However, during his time in the war he was captured and was a prisoner of war when his unit was surrounded at Taejon. Fortunately he survived and was able to return to Korea about fifteen years ago. Joseph T. Monscvitz recalls those terrible events, but can see how he was able to make a contribution to the modern success of Korea.

Video Clips

Surrounded at Taejon

When they woke up in the middle of the night in Taejon, Joseph Monscvitz and his unit saw a large tank that quickly started shooting at them. They jumped in a sewer to seek cover, but soon learned that they would need to escape further. Joseph Monscvitz explains how he made the wrong choice, ended up being surrounded again in a little village, and found himself as a Prisoner of War.

Tags: Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Personal Loss,POW

Share this Clip +


Prisoner of War

Joseph Monscvitz describes his experience as a Prisoner of War marching from Taejon to Seoul to Pyongyang. He remembers being interrogated by a Russian soldier and eventually loaded onto a train that he thought was headed to Manchuria. The train stopped in the Sunchon Tunnel where many of the men were killed, but Joseph Monscvitz was fortunate to respond.

Tags: Pyungyang,Seoul,Fear,Living conditions,North Koreans,POW

Share this Clip +


Revisiting Korea

Joseph T. Monscvitz describes when he went back to Korea approximately 15 years ago. When he first landed in South Korea, he was extremely impressed with how modern everything was. He recalls not only how nice the country was, but also how welcoming the people were.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,Pride

Share this Clip +