Korean War Legacy Project

Salvatore Schillaci


Salvatore Schillaci was born on December 6, 1929, in Buffalo, New York. Drafted into the United States Army in 1951, he served in Korea as an Army rifleman doing nighttime recon missions. He was wounded in a nighttime mission in 1952, and was discharged from the army. Fortunately, he received exemplary care, for his wound, from the VA hospital. Upon his return home, he, under the GI Bill, earned two degrees in geology. He shares he has served as the Chaplain for his Korean War Veteran’s post in New York.

Video Clips

The Wounding of Rifleman Salvatore Schillaci in 1952

Salvatore Schillaci shares he suffered an abdominal wound during a nighttime reconnaissance mission. He recounts how his Sergeant ordered him to take an enemy's machine gun. He explains that the enemy opened fire as he walked forward. He recalls how the VA hospital gave him great care upon his return to the United States.

Tags: Communists,Fear,Front lines,Home front,Weapons

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"Pieces of His Body Were Flying Around"

Salvatore Schillaci shares how he thinks about the bad things that happened when he has nothing else to do. He remembers how a friend of his stepped on a mine and was killed. He explains when he himself was injured, he returned home to receive hospital care in Massachusetts. He shares that, upon recovery, he returned to university to study geology on the GI Bill.

Tags: Front lines,G.I. Bill,Home front,Personal Loss,Weapons

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Always C Rations

Salvatore Schillaci explains he does not recall where he landed when he arrived in Korea in 1951. He recounts how, as part of a reconnaissance team, they slept in foxholes or even on the open ground. He remembers extreme cold and C Rations. He describes how he tried, unsuccessfully, to heat up a can of pork and beans on the exhaust manifold of a truck.

Tags: Seoul,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Living conditions,Modern Korea

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