Korean War Legacy Project

Merlyn Jeche

Bio

Merlyn Jeche was born May 8, 1931 in Minnesota and was drafted to the war in 1951.  He landed in Inchon and spent much his time in Chorwon City which had been reduced to rubble.  While stationed near the DMZ, he would go on patrols without any ammunition in his M1 riffle.  As a radioman, his job was to maintain 24-hour radio communication while keeping up maintenance of the equipment.  In 1954, his unit was rotated to Japan until 1955 when he came home.

Video Clips

Volunteer with a Friend

Merlyn Jeche was drafted in 1951 but a friend wanted to go with him so they volunteered together. He recalls that they both attended basic training but were separated after; he being assigned to Korea and his friend being assigned to Germany. He goes on to explain that after his eight weeks of basic training, he attended twelve weeks of radio school where he learned morse code.

Tags: Basic training

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn0CkDvmKgE&start=50&end=150

Life as a Radioman

Merlyn Jeche describes landing at Inchon and being sent to work in Chorwon City, which was in rubble. He recalls the terrain in Korea was much like Minnesota, though with more hills. He explains his duties as a radioman for the Army included maintaining 24-hour communication, keeping the generators going and basic maintenance.

Tags: Incheon,Living conditions,Physical destruction

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn0CkDvmKgE&start=150&end=315

Dogs, Cats, and Letters at the DMZ

Merlyn Jeche describes a particular inspection when his Captain asked him if everything on his bunk was military issue. He explains that he replied in the affirmative before turning around and seeing a cat with her kittens asleep on his bunk. He goes on to describe his correspondence with friends who were fighting elsewhere and the tribulations they were experiencing. He recalls feeling grateful that he was there at such a fortuitous time, just after the armistice.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Letters,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn0CkDvmKgE&start=356&end=499