Korean War Legacy Project

Robert “B.J.” Boyd Johnson


Born during the Depression, Robert “BJ” Johnson enlisted in the Marine Corp thinking he would never see war. He explains a time which he called “No Boot Camp Marines,” where he explains how he set foot in Korea a day after the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter was over. He reflects on his involvement in the Battle of the Chosen Reservoir, life as a soldier in Korea, and the destruction of Korean cities. He shares the importance of remembering the Forgotten War and the impact it has on students today.

Video Clips

"No Bootcamp Marines"

Robert Johnson describes his memories of President Truman's attitude toward the Marine Corps. He remembers when MacArthur called on the Marine Corps to provide back up in Korea. He discusses how little training he had before setting foot in war.

Tags: Basic training,Pride

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"Why are we even here?"

Robert Johnson reflects on his first impressions of the Korean War. He talks about his journey to Korea and what he was thinking when he stepped foot on Korean soil for the first time. He remembers his participation in the Battle of Seoul and his reaction to all the destruction.

Tags: 1950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/25,Incheon,Seoul,Impressions of Korea,Physical destruction

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World War II Leftovers in the Korean War

Robert Johnson talks about eating World War II left-over cans of food during his time in the Korean War. He discussed rations and he described eating WW II leftovers. He remembers how soldiers would use cans as barter for goods and services from Koreans. He also discussed how he would trade a can of food for a haircut or laundry services.

Tags: Food,Impressions of Korea

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