Korean War Legacy Project

Ollie Thompson

Bio

Ollie Thompson was born in Fauquier County, Virgina on August 31, 1930.  He enlisted in the Army on January 18, 1951 and received his basic training as an infantryman at Camp Polk in Louisiana before being sent to Japan to be trained in Field Artillery.  After arriving in Korea at Incheon on December 1,1951, he was stationed in the Chorwon Valley as part of the 189th Field Artillery, 45th infantry division at the rank of Corporal.  During his service he earned the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, Japanese Occupation Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.  He left Korea in September of 1952, and was discharged From the Army on October 21, 1952.  After leaving the service, Ollie Thompson got married and started a family.

Video Clips

Prior Knowledge of Korea

Ollie Thompson did not know anything about Korea until the Korean War broke out. He joined the military because his brother joined and Ollie Thompson felt that he could help out during the war. He even thought that maybe his effort helped out the next generation of Korean civilians.

Tags: Civilians,Home front,Pride,Prior knowledge of Korea

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0Q4Rx2BmY&start=145&end=212

Basic Training

Ollie Thompson received his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He received field training and hand-to-hand combat training. In Japan, he continued his training before he was sent to Korea.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Living conditions,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0Q4Rx2BmY&start=218&end=311

Destruction in Korea

Ollie Thompson arrived in Korea at Inchon. When traveling by train through Seoul, he was able to see the destruction of the city. His first experience in combat took place in the Chorwon Valley in 1951.

Tags: Gangneung,Incheon,Seoul,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Poverty,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0Q4Rx2BmY&start=316&end=434

Video Transcript

00:00
my name is Ollie book Thompson I went to
00:05
school in fauquier county in Virginia
00:08
and I went went from there I joined the
00:17
G Army during the 45th division which
00:22
was an Oklahoma National Guard unit and
00:25
they didn’t have their quota so I want
00:28
with them to camp Polk Louisiana before
00:31
I had my basic training i was born in
00:34
porter county august 1930-31 1930 Howard
00:46
oddish date bought the 31st day my
00:57
family I had three brothers in the
01:01
military in World War two yes and I had
01:08
my mother’s brother’s wife passed away
01:12
and she raised the son who was 66 years
01:16
old and he went to Germany 1950 I was
01:29
working at that time on the farm Mel of
01:35
the state I was yet alive stuff and
01:39
whatever was needed to be done today I
01:42
work for he was a thoroughbred at
01:44
thoroughbred horses Vera Laden raced
01:47
races it was a big estate no no he never
01:55
he bought more horses than when he got
01:57
old after racing to make kept him and
02:00
retirement couple Meza pension and the
02:04
horses on the farm there and his flower
02:07
the guy that worked for was paul mellon
02:10
his father was an to melon he was sick
02:13
Terry treasure and he made his money in
02:17
fitchburg and he came from yeah yes he
02:23
was well the first i heard it was a day
02:33
it started on the radio just so clear at
02:42
the attack no i didn’t know sir I didn’t
02:51
at the time no no no well maybe a few
03:01
things by 80 but not much but I didn’t
03:04
know really heard much about career
03:06
until the war broke out then I got heard
03:09
a lot about it and the reason that I
03:12
would in the service because my brother
03:14
served and I thought I could help
03:16
somebody and I think maybe I helped you
03:19
I don’t know Korean people I unless I
03:25
unless because I want to serve my
03:29
country like my full builders dead I was
03:42
army it was getting came Polk Louisiana
03:52
that’s why I took the entity training
03:55
there and didn’t learn how to do
03:58
hand-to-hand combat and I was in the
04:02
dinner when I left there I went to oak I
04:05
to Japan and I was a Japan in the first
04:14
part of June 51 I was signed when I got
04:22
there I was signed to the artillery 155
04:25
how thurs
04:26
and dare I got in like I said I didn t
04:34
artillery and a little place on the a
04:37
little kite of Japan and over from us a
04:43
little bit old Qaeda was the Russians
04:46
and at that time we were pretty well in
04:51
the field a lot training and stayed in
04:55
the field a lot at the time but that we
04:58
things was there I kept us on alert a
05:01
lot and I thought well I’ll be probably
05:07
beautiful wall but that wasn’t true when
05:12
the last part of November came in 1951 I
05:17
look for career on the shipping moon we
05:21
arrived there we came in to Incheon and
05:24
the tide was low we couldn’t come in so
05:28
I had to climb down over the net into
05:30
LSU that bottom grab boat you know what
05:34
I’m talking about came in there and when
05:37
we boarded that we got down there and
05:40
boarded that we got on a train near they
05:45
rode the train for a while and the train
05:48
was looked like it had been shot up
05:50
pretty well at that time so going
05:53
through part of Seoul wife saw a lot of
05:56
buildings didn’t have any windows in it
05:58
no house then I we then we got into a
06:03
truck then we went on up to the
06:06
artillery the 155 houses and there we
06:13
spend the night out in the cold first
06:16
part of do some 1951 the first Calvary
06:21
was there dead and we replaced first
06:24
calorie and they went back to old
06:27
cottage Japan but during that night
06:29
period everything was quiet sup on the
06:34
ground in the cold because no place Doug
06:39
dig in to go anywhere
06:40
so we’ve got bud center oh yeah it was
06:45
half half way asleep and all of a sudden
06:48
I care we open up well we didn’t know
06:51
where it was coming from but it was our
06:53
own artillery that’s scared of their own
06:55
artillery you guys be your place doesn’t
06:59
the house is there and from there we got
07:07
took over the battery of the 189 45th
07:12
division artillery I mean from from
07:18
there we done a lot of touring there and
07:23
I do have a something for you read where
07:27
we park so many rounds into the early
07:29
point of career I have internet yes you
07:32
can that was a different type of
07:34
Tennessee and 189th artillery last week
07:38
when Charlie baby opened for members of
07:40
the battalion knew however that there
07:43
are three days wait was over well from
07:46
their guns came 50,000 around for by the
07:50
189 since their arrival in career the
07:54
firing of the round was a monetary value
07:58
also to the United States government and
08:00
24 members of the battalion to the
08:03
government had meant that approximately
08:05
eight million dollars worth of Mo have
08:08
been blessed at the enemy by the 189 for
08:13
members of Italian was rewarded by the
08:14
occasion for they were the winners over
08:17
seventy dollar food and which they
08:19
guessed the date and time of the actual
08:21
Florrick three days before the 50,000
08:24
round was fired battalion for directly
08:26
center announced that they were on the
08:32
short of the mark 108 he ground sort of
08:36
the more the contest begin at each round
08:39
was anxious away team buddy Battaglia
08:41
the tension mounting when Charlie
08:43
battery for the 32 round on a suspected
08:47
gun position to raise the total to 40
08:50
9999 the shot heard round the
08:54
I became a short while later and 100
08:57
arrives period there was winners was
09:00
pilot Paul tulip primate Canada’s Force
09:05
sergeant illin presswood Wichita Kansas
09:09
20 sergeant she’ll have us you Swain
09:13
Georgia and PFC david knew well hardware
09:16
New York tried all these gianna was
09:19
pulled the land routes well the 50,000
09:21
round went to second lieutenant james
09:24
Hale Cherokees Oklahoma yes I kept
09:35
faster than this book and has been glued
09:38
to it every sense the reason I kept it
09:41
was we had quite a bit of form when we
09:45
first got to you buying fiery yes point
09:51
a house of yes and real live in tents
10:02
then we only had time to we only could
10:06
break our house her down or a rifle down
10:10
only by orders when we could break him
10:13
down so we wouldn’t all break down at
10:16
one time so that was any of the
10:19
individual but one house or at a time so
10:24
then you said you went into soul my soul
10:31
i way off in the cheerwine valley take
10:37
there for a while yes what was your
10:40
mission there protecting our 45th entry
10:46
division yeah we were shelling yeah pump
10:54
under there yes so you are supporting
10:58
those divisions from the rear yes using
11:02
usually our terrorism yeah how was north
11:06
korean artillery what were the actors
11:10
were they you for what are you good my
11:15
state do I take so they were but to me
11:20
of our division went back in reserve and
11:23
a lot of guys was like I say was
11:25
national guards and they got to go home
11:29
and I was one of the last eight in their
11:34
battery battery artillery to leave
11:37
career but when they went in reserve I
11:41
went over and reporter and supported you
11:46
guys to South Korea no not really and
11:59
like I said we were back quite a ways we
12:05
didn’t have a lot of problem but
12:07
sometimes we had some of the guys had to
12:09
go up to help to lay back the message
12:13
for formation at night and for some guys
12:16
got hit Bali we’re up there I left
12:24
career in in September 1952 when I left
12:34
there I I went back to buy safe of his
12:37
Cisco and I went to Marilyn had George
12:42
Bigfoot meeting in Rowan then I went
12:46
home I came back to Fort Meade and at
12:49
that time I got separated for 66 years i
12:53
was still hooked up with the army to go
12:58
back if they needed me if we call back
13:00
so when I got out and in and I got
13:06
married and started a family and they
13:10
had a good job of working job and
13:13
I never really talked too much about the
13:18
grimoire really well I today I talk more
13:30
analysis i joined a chapter here in
13:32
winchester i got to know a lot of these
13:34
guys and I got nobody i never said too
13:39
much to anybody about i don’t know i
13:43
just didn’t want to talk too much about
13:44
it well I guess the difference was we
13:50
were a lot like the world war two
13:53
bedroom because it was only five years
13:54
difference here so you saying there is a
14:00
difference between young generation of
14:02
old generation yes you know people say
14:07
that the Korean War has been forgotten
14:09
what do you say to that not anymore that
14:15
means that sometimes it’s forgotten time
14:18
now people really thank you for your
14:22
service it’s a different thing when we
14:28
came home we just came home you know
14:33
yeah a lot of saying where you haven’t
14:35
seen you lately but to me well one thing
14:42
you know as well as I do who shot the
14:44
Communist we helped to brother and like
14:49
I said again my brother got the Silver
14:53
Star been in in in World War two and my
15:03
other brother he served in the Pacific
15:05
in the Navy tomorrow I was in the Navy
15:09
and avoided my mother dad raised he was
15:15
in core he went to Germany but to me it
15:21
was was honor to serve my country and
15:25
I’m well pleased
15:28
you’re kind of people because you so
15:31
cheerful so happy and you give us
15:34
welcome anywhere we do we see you many
15:36
of you no no I don’t you never be
15:45
invited by the Korean church oh yes I’ve
15:49
been there yes yes well they had the
15:56
service in Korea headed to tax rate over
15:59
to english language and they were very
16:02
nice very good and now this guy that
16:08
that has a church there he eats really
16:11
nice fellow and of course I know that
16:15
you know that we’re going to have a room
16:18
all bill here in Winchester I guess you
16:21
heard about that and that’s one of the
16:25
great things that’s really come to life
16:27
oh these are nice people in near you
16:30
because they helped us so with donor and
16:32
even down south korea’s helped us a lot
16:39
do you know that Korea is now one of the
16:43
strongest economy nor cantor’s is that
16:46
right yeah I heard that the other night
16:49
could I was in Washington all right yeah
16:54
did you like her oh yes yes she’s a
16:58
beautiful looking woman sounded pleased
17:02
to hear that well she had and it was a
17:08
quite an honor to go see something like
17:10
that and I thank you people for coming a
17:14
bus to take us to DC to Washington and
17:19
brought us back and you had a nice
17:21
colonel on the bus and a good bus driver
17:24
and it was very nice have you ever
17:27
imagine that the Korea would become a
17:30
credit nation with such a power I tell
17:34
you all came a long ways you work
17:36
together and you had love for one
17:38
another that’s what the country’s needs
17:40
today I’ll tell you my story now I don’t
17:48
know what’s been in the artery I don’t
17:51
know how many people I kill how many
17:53
North Koreans I kill how many Chinese I
17:57
helped to kill but yet again I don’t
18:01
know how many men that I saved help to
18:06
save brother you know because I never
18:10
know the owners one really knows is a
18:13
good lord I don’t know what happened but
18:15
sometimes in my mind I often wonder
18:18
about that yeah you Christian yes so
18:26
what do you think God let you do you
18:31
said you you don’t know when you kill
18:33
but at the same time how many you don’t
18:35
know how many been saved by you that’s
18:37
right I don’t know where is the willow
18:39
Gotham in the world he was with me he
18:44
was right with me because I prayed to
18:49
him a lot and I still pray for your
18:53
nation I pray that you would kind of get
19:02
together somehow and have something that
19:05
you work together but it seemed to be
19:07
justice north and south is so you know
19:11
it’s just like back in our history books
19:13
in a civil war the North and the South
19:16
fighting we head into that in our
19:19
country and coaching read about that too
19:21
I’m sure oh that’s very nice of you yes
19:28
we want our finish law be reunited and
19:32
we want to have a piece in The Phantom
19:35
right and I also like to see go back
19:39
into North career and see if we can find
19:42
summer
19:43
missing in action true yes you never
19:50
been back to Korea know and be frank
19:55
about it I’ll tell you like I’ve been
19:58
asked for all the time to go back but to
20:01
me everything would be so different to
20:03
me there today and this show got trees
20:06
over there now and and it’s just today I
20:18
guess the reason I didn’t go back
20:19
because I’ve seen New York and all and
20:21
there’d be no place that I would really
20:23
know where I was but you will be pleased
20:27
to know how Koreans change themselves
20:31
and become the one of the strongest
20:33
nation in the world yeah I found out
20:36
from a lot of your personnel why don’t
20:38
you find yourself yeah I should you know
20:45
why because there is a revisit program
20:47
as you know what I’m then we the
20:50
Ministry of patriots and Veterans
20:52
Affairs they cover everything and you
20:55
pay half of the international airfare
20:57
that’s all well see I’m 83 now you know
21:00
it do you want to show some features ah
21:03
I tell you this is the old 45th book I
21:05
got it mark it’s just some places in
21:07
career that this is when we
21:16
I thought I had these places marched
21:22
right here with police career yeah
21:32
that’s what it says down they used to
21:35
say pretty section not to worry right
21:38
here it’s a long way from home this is
21:50
some of the guys getting off the ship
21:53
arriving and cliff and died see signs of
22:01
the 180th a 31 89 through arteries 171
22:08
fill out during the tire company 8120
22:13
engineers this was a headquarters this
22:18
is a campaign of headquarters sportsman
22:23
taking division was in in terms of World
22:27
War two genovation forward sickbay was
22:36
set up directing was closed and dusty is
22:46
that Quinn man yes he is very good
22:50
looking well you know it’s a big change
22:55
in today’s people we look look really
23:01
better and then did cause me I’m getting
23:04
to look like an old soul it’s consistent
23:11
the unis as a as a maintenance shop that
23:15
built there and career course it will
23:18
Washington with the vehicle and this is
23:22
something about the rice paddy striking
23:25
and this is the up composition yeah you
23:29
for me with all that yeah I had similar
23:32
pictures that i collected from other
23:34
criminal veterans okay then let me use
23:39
guy here from Texas and trying to Texas
23:42
client anything creo yeah this guy was
23:49
worse than his stock now I smell it but
23:54
we had a warning you’re jumping been
23:58
young boy he would he send to Washington
24:00
for us in career I have a picture him in
24:04
there to go it’s getting a hair trim
24:10
outside looking out for looking for the
24:15
enemy kind of snow a little bit on the
24:18
ground in this is the Ricola wife of the
24:24
wind action the motor squad clean busy
24:31
ppl or would matter you familiar with
24:37
all this I’m just of course you didn’t
24:41
have any how we go where they get their
24:43
opinion when I was there yeah that’s the
24:49
template that book drive favorite
24:52
machine gun patrol we’re out after them
25:05
this is a nine-team elevator how to we
25:09
went up moved up they said that one up
25:13
to do a little bit more direct foreign
25:21
course is all about the archery of their
25:23
fighting a target and relevant in the
25:27
position of our hands do you keep any
25:30
letters that you wrote back to your
25:32
family you know I get by a funny and
25:36
we’re notice he is i canna Kevin now and
25:40
a long time you did I think that’s
25:44
enough so thank you very much sharing
25:46
those because without this is the
25:50
certificate of ambassador police issued
25:54
by the Korean government ministry of
25:56
patriots and Veterans Affairs and also
25:59
Korean veterans association and already
26:03
pop Thompson then there is the middle
26:08
from the same ministry right thank you
26:14
very much Bob for your service and five
26:16
photo grand nation and there is no Priya
26:19
without your sacrifice I want you to
26:22
know that I appreciate that