Korean War Legacy Project

Robert Boyd Layman


Robert Boyd Layman explains how he began his military career in his college ROTC in order to be admitted into the military at a higher rank. He explains how he found it strange to be in charge of soldiers who had already seen the battlefield by his arrival towards the end of the Korean War. He describes his experience in landing at Incheon and seeing the complete destruction of the country. He explains his interaction with a commanding officer who told him to ‘learn fast’ when commanding soldiers who had seen the war in a way he hadn’t. He also describes his experience hearing round the clock ammunition being fired preceding the Armistice.

Video Clips

First Impressions of Icheon

Robert Boyd Layman describes his first impressions of landing at Incheon. He explains that he had trouble understanding why Americans would be in Korea to fight. He also describes the immediate reminder that he was in a war zone from the stacked bodies he saw and the wounded being taken to hospitals.

Tags: Incheon,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Unprepared for War

Robert Boyd Layman describes arriving in Korea already as a Platoon Sergeant. He explains how he felt unprepared to take command of soldiers who had already seen action. He describes his interaction with a regiment commander at Icheon who asked if he had any experience and upon discovering that he didn't, the commander advised him to "learn fast".

Tags: 1950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/19,Incheon,Basic training,Front lines,Impressions of Korea

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Listening to a Barrage of Artillery Fire

Robert Boyd Layman describes where he was when the Armistice was signed. He explains that there was artillery being fired around the clock on both sides since no one wanted to carry it all back. He describes being incredulous that the war was actually stopping when he was used to hearing gunfire constantly.

Tags: 1953 Armistice 7/27,Front lines,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Weapons

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