Korean War Legacy Project

Tine Martin


Tine Martin was born in Indiana in 1930. Despite being exempt from the draft in 1951 due to being an only child, he felt it was his duty to serve in the Korean War and decided to join the Army. He discusses Americans’ lack of knowledge about Korea, the “conflict”, and the geography of Korea during the 1950’s. He recounts leaving for Korea in 1951 and being stationed at Kimpo Air Force Base where he worked in the 865th AAA Antiaircraft Artillery Unit. He recalls the living conditions and the provisions he was given as well as corresponding with family back home. He comments on his revisit to Korea years later and feels that he and the Korean people are brothers and sisters. He is honored to have served his country and the Korean people.

Video Clips

Where in the world is Korea?

Tine Martin discusses Americans' lack of knowledge about Korea, the "conflict", and the geography of Korea during the 1950's. He discusses the fact that television was in its infancy, and there were no corespondents on the ground in Korea documenting the war. He further states that the Korean War was not a notable war on the American Homefront. This clip could serve as a precursor for students to research, discuss, analyze, investigate the role the American media played in the Korean War in relation to the Vietnam War. Analysis should include the anti war movement(s) that were influenced by media coverage during the Vietnam War Era.

Tags: Home front,Prior knowledge of Korea

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Living Conditions in Korea

Tine Martin shares his memories of the living conditions he experienced while serving in Korea. He recalls living in 12-man tents and the cold temperatures. He comments on the food offered at Kimpo Air Force Base which included only one hot meal a day and the others consisting only of C-rations. He mentions trading items from his rations he was not fond of for Coca-Cola.

Tags: Cold winters,Food,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions

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Letter from Home

Tine Martin shares that he missed his mother the most and wrote letters to her often. He recounts one painful letter from his girlfriend while in Korea which he refers to as a "Dear John" letter and resulted in a breakup. He recalls having to censor the content in his letters and provides an example of one incident he was not allowed to write about due to its sensitivity.

Tags: Home front,Letters,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Pride,South Koreans,Women

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