Korean War Legacy Project

Raul Aguilar


Raul Aguilar knew that he would eventually be drafted into the Korean War and in 1951, he was drafted into the United States Army. He draws upon a rich collection of memories to describe his experiences in Korea. He describes his first impression of the war being that he needed to act like a robot, not an emotional human being. He explains using the latrines in Korea, including one time when explosions began going off around him. He describes bathing in the streams of Korea and having to run back uphill naked to avoid shrapnel. In addition, he explains that many soldiers were forced to go to the bathroom on themselves due to the length of trips within Korea.

Video Clips

Walking Like a Duck

Raul Aguilar describes his first impressions of arriving in Korea and how arriving as a replacement, he was completely unaware of where he was or how to go about things. He describes one night when he arrived in December when he went to visit the latrine. He remembers there was snow and ice on the building and having to wipe the ice off of the boards so he could sit down. He describes wearing a lot of clothing and having to take everything off when suddenly explosions began around him. He explains grabbing his gun, not having time to pull up his pants and finding his way back to his troops only to discover there was a friendly reason for the explosions.

Tags: Cold winters,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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It Just Happened You Know

Raul Aguilar describes getting ready to relieve the Marines when he received a Dear John letter from his girlfriend. He explains that immediately after reading the letter from his girlfriend, he was sent off into the dark with his troop. He describes how cold the weather was and that due to the lack of stops, several soldiers evacuated their bowels onto themselves.

Tags: Cold winters,Letters

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Going Naked Up the Hill

Raul Aguilar describes bathing in a stream in Korea with a fellow soldier. Once shrapnel began hitting the water around them, they ran up the hill back to their troop. He explains what it was like to run naked up a hill in Korea.

Tags: Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Promotion to Sergeant

Raul Aguilar describes road-blocking, checking all the vehicles for everything including where they were going in order to curb black market sales of war materials. He describes everything going smoothly until one jeep with a driver and a Major came upon the road block. He asked for the Major's weapon, his ammo and his dog tags to make sure they were his, angering the Major. The next day he was called to report to the CO who told him that the Major wanted to apologize to him and that he had been promoted from Corporal to Sergeant.

Tags: Weapons

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