Korean War Legacy Project

Leonard R. Stanek

Bio

Leonard Stanek served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War from October 1952 until March 1954. He was born in Austin, Minnesota on the 22nd of Janurary 1935, but moved and went to school at nearby Eberle, Minnesota before dropping out of school to join the United States Marine Corps. Leonard Stanek volunteered to go to Korea and arrived in country shortly after his 18th birthday in January of 1953.  During the Korean War, Leonard Stanek served for the EZ Company of 2nd Batallion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, along what would later become the demilitarized zone.  He fought in three major engagements with the enemy and was wounded in the head by shrapnel on the 26th of July 1953, the day before the signing of the Armistice.  After completing his military service in March of 1953, he went to work for the Wilson Meatpacking Company where he worked in for 35 years.

Video Clips

Welcome to Korea

Leonard Stanek describes arriving in Incheon Harbor in 1952. Incheon, secured by the US military, however, Leonard Stanek could still hear artillery being fired 30 miles away. Soon after arrival, he was sent to the front lines, due to his company having many losses, both death and wounded. Leonard Stanek also describes the food on the frontlines, C-Rations, and SPAM and Eggs with a cracker being his favorite meal.

Tags: Imjingang (River),Incheon,Chinese,Food,Front lines

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nRFyNLcIJI&start=583&end=763

Wounded

Leonard Stanek describes how the Chinese attacked on July 26th, 1953, the day before the Armistice took effect. Leonard Stanek was in a trench and hunkered down, when one of the last artillery shells exploded with a piece of shrapnel piercing his helmet. He medivacked to the Hospital Ship Haven to recover and earned a Purple Heart.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Imjingang (River),Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nRFyNLcIJI&start=1104&end=1402

The Armistice

Leonard Stanek describes where and when he learned about the Armistice signing. He suffered a head injury and medivacked to a hospital ship and learned about the Armistice when he woke up from injury or exhaustion. A week later, after his injury, Leonard Stanek rejoined his unit. Upon returning, he learned about the loss of a buddy that was helping retrieve wounded.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Imjingang (River),Chinese,Front lines,Personal Loss

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nRFyNLcIJI&start=1837&end=2023