Korean War Legacy Project

T.J. Martin


T.J. Martin was born in South Carolina in 1929 and grew up during the Great Depression. He was drafted into the Army in 1950 and was sent to Korea where he found himself amid the Hoengsong Massacre early on. He chronicles the events of the massacre and recounts his capture and experience as a Chinese and North Korean POW which lasted over two years. He offers an account of a typical day in the life of POW and details the indoctrination efforts of the Chinese. He reflects upon what Korea and his experience there mean to him, and he speaks of it with pride and appreciation.

Video Clips

Hoengsong Massacre February 1951 (Full Story)

T.J. Martin chronicles the Hoengsong Massacre where he states that approximately 2,400 Americans died. He details the events of the massacre, recalling thousands of Chinese soldiers advancing with hand grenades, rifles, and some even empty-handed, and provides a vivid account of his movements during those two days. He recalls the moments leading up to his capture by the Chinese.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Communists,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Pride,Weapons

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POW Experience

T.J. Martin recalls being turned over to the North Koreans and spending one month in a North Korean POW camp. He compares and contrasts the treatment of American soldiers by the Chinese and North Koreans, stating that the North Koreans were more merciful in a sense as they would simply kill a soldier rather than let him suffer. He details being turned back over to the Chinese and a long march to another camp which resulted in many prisoner deaths.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Food,Living conditions,North Koreans

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A Typical Day in a POW Camp

T.J. Martin shares memories from his experiences as a POW for over two years. He details a typical day in a POW camp and discusses the indoctrination program the Chinese implemented in their camps. He recalls how he tried to outsmart the Chinese which eventually led to him being separated from other prisoners.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,Food,POW

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Korean War Experience Impact

T.J. Martin reflects on what Korea means to him. He speaks of his experience with pride and appreciation. He shares that he developed a deeper and stronger urge to defend freedom following his service than he possessed before the war.

Tags: Communists,Home front,Impressions of Korea,Pride

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