Korean War Legacy Project

Larry Shadler


Lawrence Shadler was drafted into the Korean War from Baroda, Michigan.  He soon found himself a Prisoner of War after being captured by the Chinese. He describes the night he was captured after his division ran out of ammunition.  He describes waiting in line to be shot and the Chinese taunting them, taking their weapons and pretending they were going to kill them.  He also describes the Korean winters being so cold that the wings of birds froze in mid air.  He ends with his eventual release after the war ended.

Video Clips

Captured by the Chinese

Lawrence Shadler describes the night he and 68 other men were captured by the Chinese when his troop ran out of ammunition. The Dutch had pulled out an left a two and half mile gap in the lines. He was on guard when about 50,000 Chinese attacked just after midnight.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,POW,Weapons

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In Line Waiting to Die

Lawrence Shadler describes the Chinese lining up the captured American troops and waiting to be shot while third in line. Lining them up was just for show at times. Approximately 300 were marched north to a P.O.W. camp.

Tags: Chinese,POW,Weapons

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A Prisoner's Winter

Lawrence Shadler describes spending the winter in a Chinese P.O.W. camp. He was given a "long-John," a piece of steamed bread. The flue from the stove tunneled under the building and created heat under the floor. The men had to move around or "you would burn your butt." The cold was so overbearing that birds wings froze in mid air.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Living conditions,POW

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What do you think of the War?

Lawrence Shadler describes being taken to the headquarters of the Chinese prison camps after 15-18 months and being asked about his impressions of the war. The enemy propaganda papers reported they had been advancing 30-40 miles a day. He asked how they liked Hawaii, since they must have made their way to San Francisco after 15-18 months of advancing so significantly.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,North Koreans,POW

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Release of the P.O.W.

Lawrence Shadler describes his release just north of the 38th Parallel. For every 100 American solidiers released, 500 enemy POWs were also repatriated. They were taken on trucks to a white stone path and were not officially released until stepping onto those stones.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,North Koreans,POW

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