Korean War Legacy Project

Nathaniel Ford Jr.

Bio

Nathaniel Ford Jr. was born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania.  After graduating from high school in 1953 he joined the US Army.  He was deployed to Korea as a part of the 24th Infantry Division from January 1954 to April 1955.  He spent time at Kojito Island, Pusan, Yegu Valley, and Inchon before being rotated back to Fort Hood, Texas. He left the Army for two years before making the decision to reenlist in 1958. As a part of the 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne Divisions, he was deployed stateside and abroad, including a return to Korea in 1964-1965.

Video Clips

Korea after the war

Nathaniel Ford explains how he had never been out of the country prior to his first time in Korea. He recalls how he found it interesting to be in a country where people did not look like him nor speak the same language. He remembers that President Syngman Rhee did not want the American soldiers there. He goes on to describe how impressed he was with how hard the Korean farmers worked but having a problem with their using the contents of the latrines to fertilize their fields.

Tags: Busan,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Prior knowledge of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLAVSX7YB6o&start=512&end=646

Picking up Brass

Nathaniel Ford recalls how desperately poor the people were after the war. He describes an incident when his platoon was participating in firing exercises across a valley. His attention was drawn to the front of the machine guns when he noticed an elderly woman who, desperate to make money, put herself in grave danger to pick up spent brass from the gun. After pausing their exercises, a KATSUA asked her to stop and she began to cry and explained that she needed the brass to sell and that youths frequently stole the brass she collected.

Tags: KATUSA,Poverty,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLAVSX7YB6o&start=1195&end=1355

A lot of sensitivity at the DMZ

Nathaniel Ford recalls an incident when he and several other members of his unit were going to watch a football game and accidentally arrived at the DMZ. He describes the chaos the ensued including being accused of trying to defect to the north. He goes on to explain the constant state of alarm with so much infiltration on both sides of the DMZ.

Tags: Seoul,North Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLAVSX7YB6o&start=1632&end=1811