Korean War Legacy Project

Lawrence Elwell


Lawrence Elwell was born on December 17, 1930 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not long after his older brother joined the Army, he joined the Marine Reserves. In 1950, his unit was activated and he traveled to Camp Pendleton, California for training. In October of 1950, he boarded a troop ship to join the Korean theater as a part of Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. After a fierce battle defending Hill #1240 at Yudamni, Korea, his unit was sent to Hagaru-ri to build an airstrip to evacuate wounded Marines. In route, he was shot through the right arm by enemy fire and was evacuated to Yokosuka, Japan for treatment. After his initial recovery, he was sent stateside to Pensacola, Florida to complete his service. For his commitments, he was awarded the Purple Heart. After his discharge from the Marine Corps, he earned a PhD degree in Communications and spent the next 30 years teaching communications in several Oklahoma Universities. He was married in 1961 and raised four boys. Today, he resides in Oklahoma and still keeps up with many fellow Marines that he served with in Korea.

Video Clips

Wounded at Hagaru-ri

Lawrence Elwell describes being wounded in a battle near Hagaru-ri and his subsequent evacuation to Japan.

Tags: Hagalwoori,Chinese,Fear,Front lines

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Recovery from Wounds in Osaka

Lawrence Elwell describes his time recovering from his wounds at a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.

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A Bright Spot in the War: Evacuation of North Korean Refugees

Lawrence Elwell describes helping evacuate North Korean refugees from Korea to the United States.

Tags: Communists,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,North Koreans

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A Vivid December Memory from Korea

Lawrence Elwell recalls a vivid memory of sitting on a hillside in North Korea in early December 1950 and writing his father a letter foreshadowing what he thought would be his death in battle before his upcoming birthday.

Tags: Yudamri,Depression,Fear,Front lines,Home front,North Koreans

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Gratitude for the Marine Corps and The Korean War

Lawrence Elwell reflects on his gratitude for experiences in the Marine Corps in the Korean War that helped shape him into being a productive adult.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Pride

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Captain Milton Arthur Hull

Lawrence Elwell reflects about his commanding officer, Captain Milton Arthur Hull and the honor and respect that he bestowed upon his position.

Tags: Yudamri,Front lines,Pride

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"Tonight Marine, You die!"

Lawrence Elwell describes fighting the Chinese at Yudamni. Among his revelations, he talks about the esprit de corps of the Marines in this battle and the courage of their Chinese counterparts. He also mentions that ironically, many Chinese soldiers carried Thompson Machine Guns manufactured the United States.

Tags: Yudamri,Chinese,Communists,Fear,Front lines,Pride

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Lessons from The Korean War

Lawrence Elwell talks about lessons he learned from the Korean War including the human capacity to overcome.

Tags: Pride

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Band of Brothers

Lawrence Elwell talks about the close-knit bond he shared with his commander and members of Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

Tags: Yudamri,Front lines,Pride

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The GI Bill and the 52/20 Program

Lawrence Elwell discusses the GI Bill 52/20 Program, a program the paid veterans $20/week if they attended college 52 weeks in a given year. He used the program to attain a Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degree in Communications.

Tags: G.I. Bill,Pride

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