Korean War Legacy Project

Richard Davis


Richard Davis was born and raised in Iowa during the Great Depression. He shares that his family owned a grocery store, and they survived off of their family’s garden. He recalls enlisting in the Marines in 1948 after high school and shares he knew nothing about Korea prior to joining the service. He details being sent to Korea and participating in the early campaigns in Inchon Landing, the recapturing of Seoul, Pusan Perimeter, as well as the battles at Chosin Reservoir. He shares that he witnessed many horrific scenes and endured a lot of physical and personal struggle while in Korea. He is proud of his service, offers his thoughts on war, and has no regrets.

Video Clips

Rare Experience

Richard Davis describes one of his rare experiences in Korea. He recalls walking down the railroad tracks and remembers a plane flying low over him. He recounts entering a village the next day and capturing two hundred fifty North Koreans.

Tags: Front lines,North Koreans,Pride

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First Impressions of Korea

Richard Davis recounts landing in Pusan and offers his first impressions of Korea. He recalls what older gentlemen were wearing and remembers many children asking for food. He states that his impressions of Korea made him appreciate living in the US.

Tags: Busan,Civilians,Impressions of Korea,Poverty,South Koreans

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Chosin Reservoir Reflection

Richard Davis reflects on his experiences at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts the bitterly cold conditions and being outnumbered by the Chinese. He describes the sleeping bag situation, digging foxholes, and the food available.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Chinese,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Richard Davis describes the Thanksgiving meal offered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls airplanes dropping the food, it being cooked, collecting the food, and it being frozen by the time he could eat it. He recounts sitting on food to keep it warm. He mentions eating c-rations as well as vegetables from Korean civilian gardens which gave him and other soldiers worms due to being fertilized by human waste.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Civilians,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,South Koreans

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Thoughts on War

Richard Davis shares his thoughts on war. He vocalizes that it does not really settle anything and that many lives are lost in the process, often at the hands of politicians. He comments on the need for a military force and offers his thoughts on how to stock US forces.

Tags: Civilians,Home front,Pride

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