Korean War Legacy Project

Mike Scarano


Born in Philadelphia to a poor Polish-Italian family, Mike Scarano remembers the hardships of growing up during that time, including not wanting to go to school. As a result, he enlisted in the Army in 1948 at the age of sixteen was was stationed in Korea before the war and during the war.  He remembers his times spent at the orphanage and the poverty he saw in Korea even prior to the war. Even though he had a “good” life in New York after that time in Korea, he volunteered to go to the war, believing it was the right thing to do. He recalls the time when his unit was chased out by the Chinese in Hamheung and how important it was to prevent the enemy from getting the supplies. Overall, Mike Scarano is proud of his service and the good people that he met while he was there.

Video Clips


Mike Scarano was stationed in Korea in 1948 before the war broke out. He remembers about visiting St. Teresa's Orphanage in Incheon while he was there, including candy for the children and playing with them. He also recalls the poor living conditions of the people he saw on the streets.

Tags: Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Orphanage,Poverty

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Hungnam Evacuation

Mike Scarano was in Hungnam when, as he describes it, "the Chinese chased us out". He describes how his company emptied out as many supplies as they could, and burned the rest to prevent the Chinese from acquiring them. Then they got on the "Victory Ships" to evacuate to Pusan.

Tags: Hamheung,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction

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"There were no draft dodgers"

Mike Scarano describes good relations with the Korean people. He comments that not many people know about WWII or the Korean War, but many know about the issues surrounding the draft in Vietnam. He states that there were no draft dodgers in Korea.

Tags: Civilians,Pride

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