Korean War Legacy Project

Sterling D. Mestad


Sterling D. Mestad was drafted in 1952 and served in the United States Army during the Korean War. His duties centered in communications and operating the switchboard which kept him from the front lines of both the Battle of Triangle and the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He recounts living conditions during the winter months as he details bathing experiences and recalls the dangers involved. He is proud of his service and expresses that he is glad he was drafted. He adds that his experiences in the service made him a better person and helped him better understand life, encouraging those who are unsure of their direction in life to join the service.

Video Clips

Switchboard Duties and Rest Rotations

Sterling D. Mestad describes his communication duties on the switchboard. He explains shift rotations as well as how one was able to work himself up the ladder in rank. He shares his experience in Japan during his Rest & Relaxation (R&R) rotation.

Tags: Food,Living conditions,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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Communicating with Pork Chop Hill

Sterling D. Mestad offers his account of the Pork Chop Hill experience on the communications side. He shares that he did not see as much as the men who were on the lines but adds that he was never far from danger. He recounts a soldier right behind him hit in the face suffering a serious wound.

Tags: 1953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/16,Fear,Front lines,Weapons

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Breaking Ice to Bathe

Sterling D. Mestad recounts bathing experiences during the winter months in Korea. He details having to break ice and heat water and recalls the winter shower point experience which involved a big tent with warm water followed by a clean clothes distribution. He shares that a group of soldiers were headed to the shower point on one occasion and were hit by a mortar.

Tags: Cold winters,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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