Ronald L. Swift
Ronald L. Swift was born on September 30, 1931 in California. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve at 16 years old, and then joined the Army to serve with his friends in Korea. He served in Korea in 1951, and also served in the Vietnam War. Mr. Swift was a combat engineer in the 2220 POW Processing Unit where he furnished equipment for POW’s to work in the Ko-jedo Prison Camp. He lost friends who served with him, and feels lucky to have returned home without injury. He shows great empathy for the suffering of the South Koreans, and is glad to have contributed to their plight.
Ko-Jedo Prison Camp: "Prison Island"
This interesting clip delves into Mr. Swift's time as a combat engineer in Ko-Jedo. He discusses how he furnished the equipment for the POW's to do the work in the camp. He also discusses the riot that took place involving a Brigadier general. Mr. Swift also recalls an American Jet fully loaded for combat, including napalm, that exploded over the POW camp killing 500 POWs.
Ronald Swift remembers his friends during the war. He shares that it’s hard to remember what happened to them at this time, including losing 6 close friends. He states that he was “one of the lucky ones that made it home.”
Ronald Swift describes the living conditions in the camp. He remembers having fuel to keep the stoves hot because the winters were so cold and they only had “horse blankets.” He is thankful that he made it through those conditions.