Korean War Legacy Project

Robert L. Wessa


Robert L. Wessa enlisted in the Air Force in 1948 and quickly rose to become a Staff Sergeant based out of Okinawa, Japan. Only leaving the base once during his entire tour, Robert L. Wessa has an interesting perspective of Korea and the war because the majority of his time was spent up in the air or on the base. During his interview, Robert L. Wessa describes his experiences evacuating wounded soldiers from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Robert Wessa then recalls a touching moment when he evacuated a wounded North Korean woman. Finally, he recalls his special missions where he was ordered to drop off soldiers in the middle of the night.

Video Clips

First In, Last Out

Robert L. Wessa describes his time in Korea evacuating wounded soldiers from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The battle wounded so many soldiers that during the time of the evacuation Robert Wessa never got the chance to leave the temporary airstrip.

Tags: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13,Fear,Front lines,Pride

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Language Barrier bridged by Evershot Pen

Robert L. Wessa describes a particularly memorable evacuation involving a North Korean woman. He noticed the wounded woman was shivering so he handed her a blanket. The Korean woman was unable to communicate with the Americans due to language barriers but offered him an Evershot Pen as thanks, a token that Wessa still has to this day.

Tags: Living conditions,North Koreans,Pride

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Air Drop- All Business

Robert L. Wessa recalls the special missions where he dropped off paratroopers as a response to many different battles. Often he would drop off a small set of people in the dead of night on top of a mountain ridge. To this day, Robert L. Wessa does not know what they were doing or what happened to them but he knew not to ask because the missions were top secret.

Tags: Front lines

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