Korean War Legacy Project

Nick Cortese

Bio

When Nick Cortese heard about the bombing at Pearl Harbor, he felt the need to serve his country even at a young age. When he turned 17, he enlisted in the Army.  He served a tour overseas, but was called back to the reserves when the Korean War broke out.  As a member of the 24th Infantry Division his unit worked on laying mines, a very dangerous responsibility. He recalls two instances when he lost members of his unit- a comrade and his commander. Nick Cortese describes how he was horrified because he never knew what would happen next. His unit, with the help of the 187th Airborne Division was apart of a construction team to widen roads and to capture the enemy during the Seoul Recapture. Nick Cortese is very proud of his service and thankful that he was able to serve his country.

Video Clips

Losing Men Who Were Doing Their Job (GRAPHIC)

Nick Cortese recalls the terrible moments of clearing and laying the mines. He remembers one of his peers who died after making a fatal mistake- he describes in graphic details what happened. He states this that is one of the dangers of that particular job.

Tags: Depression,Fear,Front lines,Physical destruction

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=281S0-mLH2Y&start=525&end=588

Bouncing Betty Mine

Nick Cortese describes what happened when the 19th Infantry was moving north and came across a "Bouncing Betty Mine." . As the Chinese were dropping artillery his company commander jumped to get out of the way and set off the mine that detonated, killing the commander. It was later that Nick Cortese found out that this occurred in the Iron Triangle area.

Tags: Pyungyang,Chinese,Front lines,Physical destruction,Weapons

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=281S0-mLH2Y&start=629&end=714

Not Knowing What Could Happen Next

Nick Cortese explains that he was horrified watching his friends dying. He often worried that he might be the next one. He explains that he was very religious, and he always carried his Bible and rosary. He again mentions how his company commander died unexpectedly.

Tags: Fear,Front lines

Share this Clip +


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=281S0-mLH2Y&start=947&end=1005

Photos

Sgt. Nickols and Nick Cortese on Dozier Tank: Spring 1951

Sgt. Nickols and Nick Cortese on Dozier Tank: Spring 1951

Nick Cortese

Nick Cortese

Guam, Saipan, 24 Infantry Division, UN Flag, Korean Flag Patches

Guam, Saipan, 24 Infantry Division, UN Flag, Korean Flag Patches

Nick Cortese Orders to come home from Korea

Nick Cortese Orders to come home from Korea

Nick Cortese

Nick Cortese

Report of Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States

Report of Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States

Nick Cortese

Nick Cortese

Orders for Extended Active Duty

Orders for Extended Active Duty

Map of Korean War 1950-1953

Map of Korean War 1950-1953

Safe Conduct Pass

Safe Conduct Pass

Major U.S. Combat Casualties in Korea

Major U.S. Combat Casualties in Korea

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 1

Nick Cortese's Battalion before he arrived

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 1

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 2

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 2

LTOR SGT Funk, SGT. Ellison, SGT. Brady

LTOR SGT Funk, SGT. Ellison, SGT. Brady

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 3

A Deadly Reconnaissance Patrol: Page 3

Brother Tony, Friend in the Middle, Me (Nick Cortese)

Brother Tony, Friend in the Middle, Me (Nick Cortese)

Laying Mines When We Were Attacked

Laying Mines When We Were Attacked

Bob and I Went to School and Joined the Army Together

Bob and I Went to School and Joined the Army Together

Arriving in Seattle, Washington: July 31, 1951

Arriving in Seattle, Washington: July 31, 1951

Roman Yewchen on Guam and Nick Cortese on Saipan

Roman Yewchen on Guam and Nick Cortese on Saipan

Hyzers Tygerz

Hyzers Tygerz

Souvenir from the Alley Cat: Seattle

Souvenir from the Alley Cat: Seattle

Korea Veterans Return

Korea Veterans Return

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda: Page 2

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda: Page 2

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda

North Korean and Chinese Drop Propaganda

Total U.S. Deaths Worldwide during the Korean War Era

Total U.S. Deaths Worldwide during the Korean War Era

Postcard from PFC Ken Draper

One of first soldiers that landed at Pusan. His brother was killed in action while with the 19th Infantry.

Postcard from PFC Ken Draper

Pictures

ROK Soldier
Me (Nick Cortese) and Brammer
Tubes for draining culverts

Pictures

Pictures

Prisoners and Children Nick gave candy to

Pictures

Hyzer's Tiger Tank and Pontoon Bridging

Hyzer's Tiger Tank and Pontoon Bridging

From Active Duty to Reserves

From Active Duty to Reserves

Eating Bananas

Eating Bananas

Important Facts About Volunteering for the Draft

Important Facts About Volunteering for the Draft