Korean War Legacy Project

Paul Summers


Paul Summers was born January 24, 1930 in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Both he and his brother Eugene Summers served in the Korean War. They enlisted together and served in the United States 1st Marine Division. They witnessed the death of many American and Korean soldiers. Though they were both injured, they both returned home and were grateful for having served in the war.

Video Clips

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Paul Summers enlisted in United States Marines with his brother Eugene. They went to boot camp together at Paris Island, South Carolina. While home attending a Yankee baseball game with his parents, he learned of the Marines being sent to Korea. Paul Summers couldn't wait to go.

Tags: Basic training,Home front

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"All Hell Broke Loose"

Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Seoul,Wolmido,Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Physical destruction

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Trained to Be a Fighting Machine

Paul Summers and his brother served in the same platoon in the 1st Marine Division. His brother fixed radios, while Paul Summers dug trenches as a grunt. Neither brother questioned being sent to a place in Asia they had never heard of. They flew into Korea under the cover of darkness.

Tags: Basic training,Prior knowledge of Korea

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Friendly Fire on the Pusan Perimeter

Paul Summers was digging into a hillside on the Pusan Perimeter one night. Troops were lobbing artillery over the hillside where the Marines were setting up camp. Hearing the whistling of an artillery round, he suspected it would fall short. The explosion left four Marines dead.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Busan,Incheon,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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The Costs of War

Paul Summers remembers lying down in a skirmish line and watching a truck dump dead U.S. Marines into a big hole. Tanks filled in the hole. The image still haunts him. Later, his division marched to Hagalwoori but ran into a fortified bunker controlled by the Chinese. As the division pondered their situation, a general up the road announced they would take the hill no matter what.

Tags: 1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/18,Hagalwoori,Yudamri,Chinese,Cold winters,Communists,Fear,Front lines,Personal Loss,Weapons

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