Korean War Legacy Project

Percy D. Mohr


Percy Mohr was born April 27, 1929 in Valley City, North Dakota. One of thirteen siblings, he grew up during the Great Depression. He and all his brothers served in some branch of the military. He went to basic training at Camp Chaffee in Arkansas and entered the United States Army in 1949. Arriving in Korean on July 15, 1950, his unit was the 61st Field Artillery, 1st Calvary Division serving with General MacArthur.

Video Clips

Very First Battle with North Koreans

Percy Mohr describes his very first encounter with the North Koreans. His artillery unit, right behind the infantry division, fought North Korean soldiers from hill to hill. Both divisions experienced casualties in the difficult battle.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-17,Busan,Pyungyang,Seoul,Front lines,North Koreans,Personal Loss

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We Never Saw a Bed!

Percy Mohr describes the worst parts of war. The cold weather made sleeping outside uncomfortable, and baths were rare. He also disliked the food.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-17,Pyungyang,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Why Did They Miss Me?

Percy Mohr recounts the battle in which Chinese soldiers overran his division, pushing them back to headquarters. He was standing beside a captain who was shot by the Chinese, and he pauses to wonder why he survived. During the battle, Chinese soldiers overran his artillery division. When the U.S. soldiers returned to camp, they were greeted by a surprise.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-17,Pyungyang,Chinese,Cold winters,Communists,Front lines,Living conditions,Personal Loss

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Parades for MacArthur

Percy Mohr describes parades for General MacArthur. According to him, MacArthur had a particular interest in the cavalry due to his love of horses. MacArthur also wanted to pull the Japanese in to fight in Korea. He describes President Truman's attempts to avoid a war with the Chinese as political maneuvering.

Tags: Chinese,Communists

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Video Transcript

From clip 25:18 to 27:10 (Why’d They Miss Me?)

Percy Mohr: We was back far enough, we didn’t get too much in the…. But I don’t know what happened to the prisoners we picked up that day, because they wasn’t there long enough….

Interviewer: You captured the prisoners?

PM: Yeah, the northern… the Chinese.

Int: Chinese? How? How did it happen?

PM: Well, they were in our sleeping bags and everything.

Int: Who?

PM: Yeah, they was frozen waist down.

Int: They were in your sleeping bags? How did they come into it?

PM: How did they what?

Int: Come into your sleeping bag.

PM: They overrun us, come across the river… There were so many of them.

Int: Yeah?

PM: And we only had the artillery, they were shooting point blank at them. They just kept on coming, you couldn’t…

Int: But you told me you captured the Chinese.

PM: Yeah, the ones that got over there and got in the sleeping bags.

Int: So they ran over you and they went into your sleeping bag but you captured them later?

PM: They chased us back to the back to the headquarters and the headquarters company. We was… we ended up down with them. There was a hill and a railroad track in that. And uh, the captain  I had… he was directing the traffic on the guns, and I was standing beside him when they shot him. Why’d they miss me? Its… But it’s just something that happened. You know… it was just a job to do. That’s what they said it was. And I enlisted, so I had nothing to complain about.