Korean War Legacy Project

Lester Ludwig


Lester Ludwig was born in Atascosa, Texas and moved to San Antonio at the age of two.  He has lived in San Antonio for the majority of his life.   He explains traveling 21 days from San Francisco to Japan to serve in the Korean War.  His unit arrived New Year’s Eve 1952 and was served steak dinners upon arrival. He was asked to continue serving in the military but quickly refused to return to his job in a greenhouse. He describes the only injury in his unit during the war involving a young soldier who set off a trip wire and later died. He explains that the only vision of Korea that he remembers is of the destruction and that he hasn’t returned to see what Seoul has become now.

Video Clips

The Only Injury in Our Unit

Lester Ludwig describes the only injury in his unit. He explains that the incident happened before he arrived; a young man walked over a trip wire and set off a flare. The man was badly injured and later died. He explains that he later developed big bumps all over his chest so he went to the doctor. The doctor said he had the measles but at that point he was healed so Lester had to go back to work.

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When We Were There, There Was Nothing

Lester Ludwig describes his impressions of Korea as a soldier and that he wouldn't be able to return with his knee that needs replacing. He describes what Seoul looked like during the Korean War. He explains that his entire trip, all that he saw was destruction and no civilian life.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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Arriving and Setting Up Camp

Lester Ludwig describes arriving on New Years Eve in 1952. He describes first arriving at Inchon and continuing on to just east of the Punchbowl. Upon arrival, his duties included setting up the bivouac which required digging in the frozen ground in order to erect the tents. He goes on to describe various experiences such as another soldier building a snow woman and later moving to just west of the Punchbowl.

Tags: Incheon,Cold winters

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