Korean War Legacy Project

Mark C. Sison

Bio

Mark C. Sison was born on September 3, 1933, in Washington State. He was raised on an Indian reservation by his Native American mother and his father who was from the Philippines. At the age of eighteen, he joined the United States Navy and served as a crew member on the U.S.S. Iowa during the Korean War. While on the battleship, he participated in various missions to shell enemy locations on command in locations such as Wonsan and Busan. Later, he worked in the ship’s galley to prepare the captain’s breakfast. After serving in the U.S. Navy and Standby Reserve, he used the GI Bill to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees. He became a member of the Intertribal Warrior Society where he performed honor guard duties for veteran burials.

Video Clips

U.S.S. Iowa Battleship

Mark C. Sison discusses being stationed on the U.S.S. Iowa battleship during the Korean War. He shares how their mission was to shell enemy locations on command. He explains how the crew operated the rifles and maneuvered the ship during these operations.

Tags: Basic training,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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Shelling in Korea

Mark C. Sison provides an account of the U.S.S. Iowa's shelling in various locations in Korea, including Wonsan and Busan. He explains how the ship used smoke screens to conceal the transport of United States Marines. He remembers how, at Busan Harbor, the U.S.S. Iowa bombarded the North Korean's railroad construction to disrupt their supply line. He recounts how he became a member of the Intertribal Warrior Society which performs honor guard duties for veteran burials.

Tags: Busan,Wonsan,Cold winters,Home front,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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Boxing and Cooking

Mark C. Sison remembers his time as a member of the U.S.S. Iowa’s boxing team where he won the runner-up position in the Battleship Cruiser competition. He recalls the unique experience of serving TDY (temporary duty travel) while the crew resided on an Army base and worked on the ship while it was docked. He mentions being assigned to cook breakfast for the ship’s captain and reveals that on one occasion, they had the honor of preparing dinner for the king of Norway.

Tags: Food,Living conditions,Message to Students,Pride,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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