Korean War Legacy Project

Larry Kinard

Bio

Larry Kinard started his road in the military as an ROTC member. He went to college at Texas A & M to go through the Cadet Core.  From 1950-end of 1951, he was an instructor for artillery support.  In January 1952, he was sent to the 3rd Infantry Division located at the 38th parallel.  He stayed for nine months in the mountains along the Inchon River fighting the Chinese with mortar and artillery fire.  At the end of 1952, he was sent back home where he has continued to teach Americans about the Korean War through the Tell America Program.

Video Clips

Front Lines of the 38th Parallel

Larry Kinard explains how he was embedded in the mountains along the Inchon River fighting to maintain their position against the Chinese. He shares that throughout the day, there was mortar and artillery fire, so he stayed inside his bunker. He explains that at night, the Chinese would perform assaults on his men, so he explains how there wasn't a lot of sleep for two months.

Tags: Imjingang (River),Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmF7a9KEKDU&start=1210&end=1452

Letters Home

Larry Kinard explains how he wrote letters every day to his wife and once a week to his mom while he was away. He explains how he was unable to write while he was stationed in the mountains at the 38th parallel. He explains how he sometimes sent for a time of rest. He explains how he was able to receive pictures and letters once he returned to a more protected location farther down the mountain. He shares how he kept the conversation light and still has the letters.

Tags: Imjingang (River),Front lines,Home front,Letters,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmF7a9KEKDU&start=1826&end=1963

Revisiting Korea

Larry Kinard explains how he was able to return twice to see Korea after the war. He shares how he brought his son in 1997 and his whole family in 2009. He shares how he saw the 38th parallel. He shares how he was able to show his family where he was approximately located from the DMZ observation deck. He shares how he was proud to see all the progress that was helped by US soldiers who defended South Korea from Communism. He shares he was one of the finding members of his local Korean War Veterans Charter.

Tags: Panmunjeom,Seoul,Communists,Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmF7a9KEKDU&start=2200&end=2484

Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

L:         [Abrupt Start]  have a wonderful chapter, people like Sam Best and Marvin Dunn and their families, (Robass).  We have a wonderful bond, good camaraderie, and as Sam had said earlier, we feel close to each other, and most of us didn’t talk about Korea until we found others who understood what we went through and what we were doing and what we were all about.  So I’m very proud to be a member of

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Chapter 215 and for you being here today and the next few days interviewing them and getting their stories on record.  It’s a wonderful thing.  And for me, my name is Larry Kinard. I was born in Cisco, Texas August 13, 1928.  So like Sam, I’m 84, one of the older guys right now.  But I

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went to high school in Odessa, Texas, graduated in 1945 and immediately went to college at Texas A & M University.  That was my lifelong dream is to have an opportunity to go to college and A & M, and one of the reasons was that I enjoyed the military.  I was in the ROTC in high school, and when I graduated it was kind of a natural thing

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for me to move on into a military school which A & M was at the time.  It was an all-boys school back in 1945, and most of the students at A & M were in the Cadet Corps..  Uh, you went through an ROTC program there that was four years long, and the second, the junior and senior years were advanced ROTC where you went

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in and chose a branch of the service in the Army that you wanted to serve.  So I joined the artillery ROTC when I was a junior in college, and when I graduated in 1949 I had a commission in the Army as a Second Lieutenant in the artillery.  And, of course, that was at the end of World War II, and I thought I’ll never use that. The artillery would be fine,

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and I enjoyed that because I was an engineer and it had a lot to do with mathematics and trajectories of shells and all of that.  It just appealed to me.  I thought well, that’s a combat branch but probably will never have an opportunity to use what I learned there which was totally different because a year after I graduated from college, the Korean War started, and I had been assigned to a

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Reserve unit in Midland, Texas that was activated in September of 1950.  Many high schools have ROTC programs, and sometimes they’re good, sometimes not so good.  But primarily, they teach the kids about the basics of military life and some training about how to march and perform and do what you need to do if you’re in the military. To me, it’s a very good

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basis for kids to learn how to follow orders and know what discipline is all about, and many high schools still have ROTC programs.

I:          Do you have to volunteer for it or everybody’s supposed to be part of it?

L:         No.  Uh, you have to volunteer for it. You have to take that as a subject just like anything else that you would take in the school.

I:          Oh.  Texas A & M is very good school now, and I

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didn’t know that it started as a military school.

L:         Yes.  From the time it was started back in, uh, 18, late 1800s, it was known as a land grant college, and it received funding from the State, and one of the reasons it received the funding was because of the military program they had.  So, from the beginning of the school through World War II and even now,

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they still have a Corps., but at the time I was there, we had, uh, maybe 9,000 students, and 90% of those were in the Cadet Corps..

I:          Did you know anything about Korea before you go to Korea?

L:         Very little.  I knew where it was.  I’d heard of it before but knew very little about the history of Korea, and when I was called into the service,

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I did a quick study to find out where Korea was, and my mother and I talked about it, and she cut a, a map out of the paper at that time because of the War starting there that a lot of the papers had printed maps of Korea.  So she put it on the wall so she would know what Korea was all about, and then when I went to Korea, she followed my

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travels the best she could about where I was and

I:          Oh.

L:         what part of the country I was in.

I:          Wow.  Um, so exactly what were you doing when the Korean War broke out on June 25 of 1950?

L:         I was working at a power plant.  I had gone to work for a utility company directly out of college and was working in West Texas in Monahans

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at a power plant. I was an engineer there helping, uh, produce electricity in that plant.  Uh, and, uh, Midland is about, uh, I guess 80 miles to Monahans, and when I graduated, that’s where they sent all of my papers, Army papers.  So I was assigned to that Reserve unit in Midland but had not been actively

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participating anything, and so it was, uh, a surprise to me when the War started.  I was living in a bunkhouse.  I was single at the time and working at the plant, living in the bunkhouse, and I received a telephone call one afternoon that was looking for Lieutenant Kinard.  I said well, this is Larry Kinard.  I’m not a Lieutenant, and they said yes you are.

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Your unit has been activated.  You’re now in the Army.  So that was the beginning my, of my service in September of 1950.  [Abrupt start]  Well, in college in, uh, ROTC, you go through a lot of military training.  You take courses, uh, for two years actually in, in military life and all about the military, and then you, between the junior and senior year, all of those,

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uh, the ones that are in the advanced ROTC go to their branch base somewhere.  I went to Fort Sill for two months to do training between, in the summer between the junior and senior year.  So I really didn’t get any additional training.  They expected me to know what I was supposed to do. So, [Clears throat] when our unit in Midland was activeted, we had had about, uh,

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I guess 50 officers, some of them who had been in World War II and some of them who were brand new Lieutenants like I was.  We were sent to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas at the time which was a replacement training center for infantry recruits.  All the, the recruits that were drafted or volunteered were sent to one of these Army bases to train in infantry tactics.  So

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our job was to train all the new recruits that came in in one of the branches of the service, and that particular one was an infantry.

I:          So you already in leadership position.

L:         Yes.

I:          And you began to study about Korea.

L:         Yes.

I:          Be honest with me.  What was your feeling that you were headed to a battleground and that you might lose your life?

L:         One of the things that I knew when

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I signed up for ROTC to begin with is that could happen.  I didn’t really expect it to because at the end of World War II, that was supposed to be the end of wars, and once I was called in, our unit was activated, all of knew that was a possibility.  But I think our generation at that point knew that we had a responsibility, at least that’s what I felt.

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I felt a very patriotic and strong responsibility to defend my country and do whatever was needed at the, un my lifetime to protect our freedoms.  And we really, at that time, Communism was a big deal, and we knew we didn’t want Communism in this country.  So when we first went to Camp Chaffee, that was one of the programs we

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had that we taught. I became an instructor to begin with. I taught how to fire mortars and rifles and trained troops going through the different things they needed to know when they actually got into battle.  But one of the courses that we taught was what Communism really was, and we taught why we were going to Korea.  So through the studies and the training we had, I knew pretty well what

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the, what the job was going to be, and at the time, I knew if I went, I would be a forward observer which is one of those that are attached to the infantry units to help provide artillery support. That’s what I signed up for.  That was my job, and I was ready to go do it.

I:          Was there any course on Korea?

L:         We did, and at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, that was one of the courses that we taught was we showed

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where Korea was and talked about Communism and what was going on there at the time.

I:          What exactly the date that you left for Korea?

L:         I had stayed in Camp Chaffee, Arkansas until January of ’52.  During the first, from September of 1950 to the end of ’51, my job was to teach the, the recruits,

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do the training, and I thought I was going to, to go several times before that because a number of them that had been called in at the same time I was left Camp Chaffee in August of 1951 through the end of ’51.  So I asked about that one time, and the, my Company Commander said no, you’re needed here right now.  I was responsible for a

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large section of the training at Camp Chaffee.  So they somehow didn’t, uh, need me over there until the end of December they started asking for more artillery officers.  Forward observers were being weeded out pretty fast.  We had a lot of ‘em were killed at that time, so they put a big rush on getting forward observers over there in January of 1950,

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or ’52.  So when I back and got my orders to go to Korea, they said you have 10 days to go back home and go to San Francisco and get on a plane and fly over there.  So I left the States in January of ’52 by plane, flew to Japan and went to Sasebo and got on a boat there and went

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on over to Pusan in Korea.   [Abrupt start]  To tell you the truth, I didn’t see very much of Pusan.  I, we went through a, a replacement center when I got there, and, and I could see the countryside a little from where we were, but, uh, most of it was just very beat up, a lot of tents and many, many people.  I remember millions of people

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milling around there. But they took us pretty fast through the, the receiving center and put us on a train.  So we, uh, went on a train from Pusan to Taegu which was the 8thArmy Replacement Center at the time to get our assignments of which division we were going to, uh.  We stayed two days in Taegu and got to see a little bit of the, the countryside there,

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and it looked pretty good at the time in ’52.  And then from Taegu, they sent us on to Seoul, and my assignment was with the 3rdInfantry Division.  Uh, we went to the 3rdInfantry Division Replacement Center just north of Seoul at, at that time, and we did have an opportunity to go in

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one of the days and walk around in Seoul and look at the destruction that was there, and it was absolutely devastated at that time.

I:          Can you talk a little bit more about the scenes of Seoul that you look?

L:         We walked down through what I would say was the main part of Seoul, and most of what you could see were bombed out buildings, a lot of brick walls that were standing, but there were, I didn’t see any, uh,

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buildings that had anything to ‘em, and they were all very, very well destroyed.  But the thing that impressed me the most is we walked, the, uh, Captain and I went down through the, the city late one evening, and all the little kids, many it seemed to me like there were hundreds of kids walking around through the ruins, and as soon as they would see us,

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they’d come up and, of course they wanted candy or wanted money.  They could all speak a little English and kept asking us for whatever we could give them.  And just, I imagine we had a crowd of 50 kids that were standing around, following us everywhere we went.  So we had a, a few things we gave them, but the more we gave ‘em, the more they wanted and the more they kept begging for it.  And finally, uh,

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we ended up just having to shove them away and say, you know, we don’t have anything.  I mean, we’re just here and, but they were a pitiful sight, and most of them, uh, I guess, were living in the ruins.  They didn’t seem to have any, anywhere, any home because we’d see them walking around everywhere we went in ragged clothing, very dirty, and it was a very sad sight.  I’ll always remember that.

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That was one of the dark impression I had, I guess, when we were in Seoul to see how the kids were suffering.

I:          Um.  So after Seoul, where were you assigned?

L:         I was assigned to the 3rdInfantry Division of which at that time was in Reserve up in Uijeongbu.  Oh, after we got the assignment, they picked me up in a jeep and took

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me up to, uh, C Battery, uh, the 15thInfantry Regiment, and at that time, uh, with the 3rdin Reserve, our artillery was in support of the 1stROC Division.  [Abrupt start].  Went with the jeep driver.  That was my first experience of, of heading for the combat zone, and needless to say I was pretty nervous about all that because we went up from the Replacement Center

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late at night. I mean, it was after dark.  Uh, as we were approaching the, the 38thParallel and the area up there, I could see, I could hear the artillery and see the flashes of the, the artillery pieces that were firing up there.  So I knew that I was going into an area that was getting pretty dangerous, though.  But we went on up, and I met the Battery Commander,

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and he got me all set up where I was going to live for a little while.  So he introduced me around to two or three of the other forward observers that were there, and they told me about what was going on up there and what, what we’d be doing, and the Battery Commander came in and said well, you’re going up to the front tomorrow.  I said that our Division is in Reserve, and he said we’re supporting the 1stROC Division, and your assignment

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will be with one of the ROC infantry companies.  So they put me together with my FO team.  The forward observer team usually has, uh, three or four members there, and in this case one of them was an interpreter that helped me so I could communicate with, uh, the ROC Company Commander.

I:          Korean?

L:         Korean.

I:          Was he, do you remember his name?

L:         Yes, I do.  His name was Sun Jay Kwon.

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Very nice young man. I think he had been in the university there before he was in the Army.

I:          How older

L:         Very good.

I:          was he?  How old was he?

L:         I’d say he was probably 18 or 19.

I:          And he was, his English was pretty good?

L:         Very good.

I:          Ah.

L:         Very good at what he was doing.  He had been assigned to our

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battery for a long time as an interpreter and had worked with some of the other forward observers.  But I really did like him.  I trusted him and felt like he was a real good partner to have on our team.  Uh, I had, I was assigned a jeep, radio operator and a, a wire Sergeant and Sun who was our interpreter, and that was my first experience was headed up

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to the, to the hill where the 1stROC Division was.

I:          And then you were assigned to the front line, right?

L:         Right.

I:          Um hm.  Um, what did you do?  Describe the typical day of your service at the front line since you really involved in the battle.

L:         Where we were in the mountains along the Imjin River. The river was down in front of our position.

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We were on the top of the mountain on kind of the, the leeward side.  We were on the down slope on the other side of the mountain.

I:          Uh huh.

L:         What you saw when you got up there was endless trenches, and at that time we were in kind of a stalemated position, and everybody lived in bunkers, sandbag walls and logs on the top, and I had an observation post that was

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set up, built the same way with sandbags on the side, logs on the top with a little viewing port out the front.  Then down the backside of the mountain a, a little ways was the Company Commander command post, and that’s when I went up and relieved the forward observer that was there, he said, uh, watch out for the Company Commander.  He said he’s hard to keep up with, and sometimes

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you need to know exactly where he is if something happens.  So the action that was going on at that time generally was assaults that we’d get up the front side of the mountain.  The Chinese were on the other side of the river. But because of the peace talks that were going on at that time, they kept trying to take over positions that we had on top of the mountain.  So they would come across the river at night and

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assault our position from the, the river side.  Typically in a day, you, you’d stay in the bunkers quite a bit because they fired artillery and mortars, and that was coming in all the time.  You never knew when you were going to get artillery or mortar fire.  I mean, they couldn’t see our movement most of the time because we stayed off of the ridge. But they still knew basically where some of the positions were, so we got a lot of artillery

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fire and mortar fire coming in almost every day.

I:          Every day.  On average, how many hours can you think of?

L:         Uh, it was intermittent.  It would be any time during the day time.  And you could hear it.  I mean, you could hear when their pieces fired on the other side of the river. You didn’t know where it was going, it, but it, if you could hear the shell coming in through the air, you knew it was going to be pretty close.

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But because we were on the back slope of the hill, artillery shells would usually go over us in the back, and those were generally movement they might see on the trail or a road back there somewhere.  But not the mortars.  I mean, the mortars would come in right, I mean, they have a very high trajectory, and we’d come into our position.  But the big problem we had was the assaults across the river.

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I mean, the first night I was there we had a, a major assault by the Chinese that came up, uh, the river side, and at a time like that, it looks, I remember very distinctly, it was about 2:00 in the morning.  We could tell they were coming because the first thing we saw were flares. I mean, they’d shoot mortar flares so they could kind of tell where they were going,

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and then all of a sudden we heard the bugles and the, the drums and the whistles and looked out, and all you could see is just a mass of Chinese coming up the hill.  And one of the things that we did in, uh, fortifications, we had barbed wire strung along just maybe 10 yards or so in front of our trenches, the trench position.  I had a big 50 caliber machine gun

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set up right by the observation post where I was, where I was looking out to see what was happening, and as soon as I saw the, the group that was coming up in front of us, I went down with my interpreter to the company command post and talked to the Company Commander about artillery fire, what we needed to do, and that worked out a lot better than I thought it would.

I:          Um.

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L:         Cause I always had with me a map that had the coordinates.  I knew exactly where the positions were out in front of us, and we had wire communications for a little while, but that was knocked out by mortar fire.  It destroyed all of our telephone communication, but we still had the radio.  So I could call back to the battery.

I:          What were you thinking when you saw massive Chinese soldiers crossing the river and coming at you?

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L:         Tell you the truth, I was pretty scared.  It was a frightening, I mean especially since it was my first night on the hill.  That was, I was terrified was a little too strong, but I was really, really very apprehensive about what we might be able to do for one because of being able to communicate with, uh, the Koreans and, and

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get done what we needed to do.  But once I told him what we were doing to, to make sure he understood what the artillery support would be that I could do that okay, th, things eased off a little bit. But we ended up that night with hand to hand fighting in the trenches.  We had some of the Chinese that got through the wire, and I, it didn’t happen to me, but I read

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several stories where, when they get into the trenches and you have hand to hand fighting, I was with the Company Commander in his bunker.  A lot of times the FO and the Company Commander were trapped in the command bunker and, if they ever got in there and you were concentrating on what you were doing, you were trapped in the, a number of them got killed because they didn’t have any way out.

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I:          China.  Still they are the only [INAUDIBLE] in Asia that can challenge and trying to challenge the power of United States. You fought Chinese there.  Have you thought about it, and what do you think about this relationship, China, US?

L:         At the time, they were no different than the Russians.  I mean, we were enemies of the Russians at that time and primarily because it was Communist.  I didn’t have any problems being concerned about

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the support and the friendship we had during World War II.  I felt like, uh, you know, they had converted to Communism.  They were trying to, uh, get Communism in the United States. They had invaded South Korea.  I felt like they were the true enemy that we needed to defeat.  Now, all of that being said, during that time, I didn’t much care

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for the Chinese. I thought what they had done was wrong, and so I was very concerned about trying to destroy what they were trying to do in Korea.  Since then, though, I’ve, like we did with Japan in a way.  Time heals some of those wounds.  In fact, one of the things that I have done is I brought over a young Chinese girl and helped her

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through college in the University of Texas at Arlington, and she now has a husband.  They’re living here in the United States, have two kids.  They’re just like own daughter.  And I had met her in China in 1990 when I was working with the utility company.  We went over and conducted some classes on the U.S. electric system, and she was one

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of the interpreters we had in Beijing when I was instructing there and, you know, that, that shows really how far we’ve come I guess a little bit. She was from Shanghai and very much a Communist at the time.  But she loves the United States and knows what we have and the life here is wonderful for them.

I:          Very good answer.  Um, what did you do when you were not engaging in, uh, shooting, in, inside of the bunker?

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L:         Most of the time, I was in my observation post. I had what they called a DC Scope which was a high powered telescope looking out across enemy territory looking for movement or targets or try to find something that we could fire the artillery rounds on if we needed to.  And then other times, twice, I went on

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a big assault patrol, a raid out into the Chinese territory, and the forward observers generally did not go on, on the patrols unless it was a platoon-size or a company size assault.  If we did that, then we had to go along with them or went along with them anyway to help call in artillery fire for support.

I:          Doing the letter time, there is no letter time?

L:         [SHAKES HIS HEAD]

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I           Not at all?

L:         Well, sometimes, well after I stayed, I was with the 1stROC Division for about two months, and we had a number of things like we did the first night, but at the end of two months, I went back in Reserve.  I mean they brought somebody else up with me, and I had a chance to go back to our battery

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position which was far enough behind the lines that you didn’t have to be concerned every minute of what was going on, and they’d give us a little rest time.  They’d send us somewhere else.

I:          How often did you write back to your mom and your family?

L:         I wrote to my wife at that time.  I’d gotten

I:          Were you married?

L:         I got married right before I left.  Uh, she went with me on my trip to San Francisco when, when I was going overseas, and,

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uh, I wrote to her almost every night, any time I could find the space, and I’d write to my mother maybe once a week.

I:          [LAUGHS]

L:         But I never did really tell ‘em what was going on. I just, you know, most of the time I just told ‘em things were okay and I was well and, but, and I, I have all of those letters, uh, that I’ve been going back through, and I’m trying to write down some of

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of my experiences, and I’m using the letters to do it.  But I have to rely on my memory to know what really happened.  [LAUGHS]

I:          Right.  [Abrupt end] Do you remember any contents of the letter from your wife or from your mom, specific contents?

L:         Uh, mainly it was just trying to tell me about what was going ho,

I:          Oh.

L:         going on at home and telling, telling me what they were doing.  She sent me some pictures

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of what they were doing and, I mean we had a baby at the time, so she’d send me pictures of the, the baby girl that we had.

I:          What’s her name, baby girl?

L:         Martha.

I:          Martha?

L:         Yeah.

I:          How old is she now?

L:         She’s just turned 60.

I:          Oh.  How much do you, were you paid?

L:         How much was, well, I know we got

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combat pay. I think that was $35 a month, and I didn’t, I was getting somewhere around $300 a month.  I was a First Lieutenant at the time, and I think when I went in I was getting something like $250, $260 a month and got an increase to $300 a month.  But all that money was

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sent to my wife. But I, I didn’t have any need for it over there.  But I did, added to that was combat pay of $35 a month.  So, you know, it was somewhere between $300 and $400 a month.

I:          What was the happies moment in your service?

L:         Uh, I think the happiest moment when I found out I was going home.  [LAUGHS]

I:          [LAUGHS] When was that?

L:         That was in

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September of ’52. See, I had been called in for two, two years.  I had 24 months’ active duty, and when they finally sent me to Korea, I just, I just had till October when I was supposed to get out.  So I didn’t have about nine months over there before I was supposed to come back home.  Course,

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they could have extended it, but at that time at that stage of the war, they didn’t really feel like a need to extend my time.  So I found out the end of it, end of September that I was going to go back home. Uh, well actually I went back to work for the same company in 1952 after I got back home.

I:          Yeah.

L:         So I had been working for

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the utility company. I was in Eastland, Texas at, at the time but still in a power plant, finally got to be a power plant manager in 1965 and then moved to, into Fort Worth in 1971.  So I’ve been here since then.  [Abrupt start]  I retired from my job in 1993.

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And I really didn’t, had not been active in any Korean organizations, Korean War organizations.  I knew about it, but I didn’t know, uh, anything about the organization or what it was about.  Lone Star chapter in Houston had a Korean War veterans organization, and they sent out a bunch of letters to the Korean veterans in Texas asking them to join.

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So I thought well, that’s too far down there.  I can’t go to the meetings, but I did join.  I sent in my dues, and that was my first, uh, opportunity to, to join a Korean War veterans chapter.  I also, at that time, uh, found out about the national organization and that they were sponsoring revisit trips to Korea.  So I thought well, I would

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like to do that. I think I’d like to go back and see what it looks like today.  So I joined the national organization and put my name in for a revisit trip to Korea, and I went over in 1997 with my oldest son, and that was one of the best things I ever did.  But part of my problem was my oldest son is younger than my daughter,

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and my daughter got very upset because she didn’t get to go at the time.  And I said well, you know, it’s a little bit of a problem for a, a man and a woman to be sharing a room like they wanted you to do, but for my son and I, we can do that okay.  She said that doesn’t matter.  I mean,

I:          Right.

L:         we could have [LAUGHS]

I:          That was bad excuse. [LAUGHS]

L:         Yeah, bad excuse, that’s right.  Anyway, he and I went on the first

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revisit t rip for me in ’97, and we had a wonderful time, and I think he got a, got more out of it than, than I did really as far as understanding what it was all about and what Korea is and, and all of that.  Well, that was in ’97, and then, uh, I didn’t really do anything with the Association till 2000 when

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a guy, Sam Naomi who was the chapter formation chairman at the time wrote a letter to us in this area wanting to know if we’d form a chapter.  So we got, there are 12 of us that got together.  I’m one of the charter members of our chapter in September of 2000.  We formed the chapter, and I immediately felt, uh, an akin to and

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bonding with the guys that I met. I felt very good about what we were doing.  So from September of 2000, and I was the first Vice President for the charter, of, uh, second Vice President I guess of our charter that we were issued in 2000.

I:          Did you go back to the place where you

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served?

L:         Uh, we went up to the 38thParallel, but at that time really all we saw much was around Seoul and back up to the 38thParallel.  But I haven’t been able to, I’ve been back twice.  I did take my daughter and my son-in-law and my

I:          Finally.

L:         youngest son [LAUGHS] in

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went back in 2009.

I:          What did your daughter say to you?

L:         She still says that’s one of the highlights of her life.  She and her husband both felt like that was, well, my youngest son, too.  All, all three of my kids think that was one of the high points of their life to have an opportunity to go back over there.  But what I could do when we went to, uh,

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38thParallel, we looked out of the observation area they have there, and I could point generally back where I was because when I was, I was on a battalion observation post for a while, and I could look back to my left from where I was and see the balloons over Panmunjom.  So I was fairly close anyway to Panmunjom.

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I mean fairly close; I guess maybe within 20 miles.

I:          What did you feel, and do you go around Seoul and place DMZ and Panmunjom?

L:         Proud.  I’m extremely proud of what the United States did, and even more so for the ones that went to do their duty because the

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government asked them too for one thing and number two, we defeated the Communism aggression at that point.  I think that’s probably, it should be one of the high points of any veteran’s life to know that he made a sacrifice.  He risked his life to save a country.  And I don’t think you could ask more of anyone than to do that,

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to go and protect the people that were being invaded and do what we did and stopping the aggression and the wonderful things the country has done since is all because of what we’ve done.  We didn’t do it all.  I mean, the Korean people are very industrious.  I think they’re very smart, intelligent people who want to do something good, but I think we helped them do it.

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I:          You are the Chair of Tell America program. Could you tell me briefly about Tell America program, where you are and why you think it’s important?

L:         The Tell America program in my view is one of the duties and responsibilities of Korean veterans.  In fact, that is my passion these days

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in trying to get all of our Korean veterans, as many as we can, to tell this country about what we did in Korea.  I’m concerned that we’re all getting older.  Ten years from now, there may not be very many of us left, just like the World War II veterans that are dying.  I’m concerned that we will not leave the legacy that we desire at this point to have

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people understand what we did in 1950.  So, and what I would like to see us do is to continue to work as much as we can to go into the schools ourselves, conduct programs for civic clubs, wherever we can get into with an audience and tell them about the Korean War and what we did there.  Beyond that, we’re going to have to work with

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some, either the, the younger Korean veterans or our families to carry on this legacy for us. If we don’t do something like that, our war will truly be forgotten, and people will not understand, I’m afraid, the sacrifices that were made during that time.  [Abrupt start]  Get chapters to be involved with the Tell America program and go into the schools. Right now we have 109 out of

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237 chapters with active

I:          Two hundred how many?  Two hundred

L:         One, 109

I:          Uh huh.

L:         active Tell America chapters

I:          Out of

L:         Two, 237.  So, uh, we’ve worked diligently in trying to get those involved, and we have many good chapters that have done a lot of work, and I think it made a, a difference with our students.

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When Dr. Han made the presentation in, in Boston a couple years ago, I was thrilled because I felt like that’s another way.  It’s an answer to what I’ve been trying to do in preserving our legacy.  I see that his memorial is a wonderful way to put on history and make it something that will go on forever.

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I mean if we can do that and make it a success, we will have what I think we need to do to carry forward the legacy of the Korean War and the sacrifices there and what we accomplished.  That’s the main thing that I don’t want forgotten are the sacrifices made by the ones who died there, those who gave up all to save a country.

I:          How can we fix the problem?

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Why has it been forgotten even though you emphasize the importance of it and the contribution of Korean War to the United States and also the Korea?  How do we fix this?  What is the problem of textbook coverage?

L:         The Korean War has always been one of those lesser wars as far as the population of the United States is concerned.  I’m afraid, uh,

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there are many still in our country that don’t know much about the Korean War.  A lot of the people that are coming along now that are, are Congressional representatives that serve our country don’t know much about it, and we have a, a real gap there as far as knowledge is concerned.  The legislators don’t know

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about wars in particular.  A lot of ‘em that are going into these positions now in Congress are not veterans. The World War II is getting, uh, very small recognition in textbooks these days.  Korean War even less.  The Vietnam War, the teachers don’t know about these wars.  My concern is that unless we go to these legislators

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and the education board, we’re not going to get even as much as we have now.  So I think it behooves all of our chapters, Korean veterans and anyone we can solicit to get us help to provide recognition in our textbooks of what it takes to maintain the freedoms in this country, sacrifices that are made by veterans.  We’re on a little bit of a,

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a high right now because of veterans coming back from Afghanistan, Iraq and those that are in the Middle East.  We need to recognize what they’ve done, the service they provided that we need to make sure we recognize what all veterans had done, and that’s going to take some reinforcement from our governments and the State Board of Educations to do that. [Abrupt start] And Senator Wendy Davis who is running

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for election right now, uh, she and I have talked about that, and she said I’ll work on that if I get re-elected.  So even though she’s a democrat, I’ll vote for her.  [Abrupt start]  My grandson was kind enough to make a short video to tell about his feelings of the Korean War, what he knows and the things that he and I have talked about. I’ve tried

0:48:30

to make sure my children and grandchildren understand what the Korean War was all about.  He’s a very fine young man, and Matt’s my oldest grandson and agreed and has done a wonderful job in making this short video. I think he has expressed the feeling of a lot of children and grandchildren, and I think, my view is we need to make sure our children

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as well as the grandchildren, have an opportunity to do this, but my hope is we can get more and more of the Korean veterans involved with their grandchildren and get them to make similar kinds of videos to tell, in their way, what the Korean War has meant to them and how much they appreciate what their grandfathers had done.

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I:          Great.  Could you turn it on so that people can see it?

L:         Hi.  My name is Matt Kinard.  I am the grandson of Larry Kinard who served as a First Lieutenant during the Korean War.  Dr. Han has asked several of us grandkids to take some time to make a little video and tell you a little bit about what we think about the Korean War Veterans Digital Memorial, and my first impression is simply wow.  What an amazing

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tribute to the sacrifice made by so many.  I absolutely love the opportunity I have now to go and hear the stories of these men and women in their own words.

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