Korean War Legacy Project

Victor Burdette Spaulding

Bio

Victor Burdette Spaulding was born in Erieville, New York, and was living at home and working as an arc welder at Carrier Air Conditioning Company when he was drafted into the United States Army. He describes how racial tensions were commonplace at the time and shares his experiences with troops from differing countries. He comments on the cultural barriers experience while serving with soldiers from Puerto Rico, and he elaborates on the courage of the Korean soldiers (KATUSAS), sharing that most historical accounts depict them inaccurately. He describes the uncanniness of the Armistice Ceasefire on July 27, 1953, and comments on his PTSD experience following his time serving in Korea. He received multiple medals for his commitments during the war and is proud of his service.

Clips

Racial Segregation Issues

Victor Spaulding details how racial segregation was an issue while he served in a mixed troop. He elaborates on a memory in basic training when one of his fellow Black soldiers was denied a drink at a bar despite fighting for the country in the United States Army. He describes how these racial tensions were commonplace then.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Living conditions

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rwTJSrQ6k&start=285&end=408

Images of South Korea and Working with UN Soldiers

Victor Spaulding describes the Korea he saw in 1953, commenting on the state of the buildings and peasant life. He explains it was not the images of South Korea seen today and likens the images to going back in time two hundred years. He details fighting with other United Nations troops. He elaborates mostly on the courage of the Korean soldiers (KATUSAS) and says most historical accounts depict them inaccurately. He comments on serving with other countries' troops as well.

Tags: Civilians,Impressions of Korea,KATUSA,Physical destruction,Poverty,South Koreans

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rwTJSrQ6k&start=1095&end=1280

Puerto Ricans: Cultural Barriers

Victor Spaulding describes the difficulties when working with Puerto Rican soldiers due to cultural barriers (e.g., language). He shares how it was hard for Puerto Rican soldiers to adjust to the change in climate from their native land. He adds that despite these challenges, Puerto Rico's regiments were strong, and he recounts how he successfully integrated with them.

Tags: Cold winters,Living conditions,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rwTJSrQ6k&start=1282&end=1578

Experience with PTSD

Victor Spaulding discusses his experience with PTSD following his time in Korea. He shares that he dealt with alcoholism and divorce and admits that he found little relief until he begin sharing his story. He emphasizes the importance of sharing distant memories in order to relieve some of the burden.

Tags: Depression,Home front,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rwTJSrQ6k&start=2160&end=2233

Armistice Ceasefire

Victor Spaulding details the lead-up to the Armistice ceasefire. He recalls the immense shelling taking place on Heartbreak Ridge for four days prior to 10PM on July 27, 1953. He recounts the uncanniness of deafening silence from both sides at the exact time planned. He comments on the fear of wondering whether or not the enemy would honor the ceasefire agreement.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rwTJSrQ6k&start=2399&end=2563

Photos

Discharge Order

Subject : Personal document, discharge order, letter order
Description : Discharge Order letter to Victor Spaulding
Coverage : New Jersey, 1960-10-31
Publisher : Headquaters, US Army Corps
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/31/60

Discharge Order

Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (front)

Subject : Personal document, withholding exemptions
Description : Employee's withholding exemption certificate
Coverage : 1954-10-4
Publisher : US Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/4/54

Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (front)

Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (back)

Subject : Personal document, withholding exemptions
Description : Employee's withholding exemption certificate
Coverage : 1954-10-4
Publisher : US Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/4/54

Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (back)

Application for Identification Card

Subject : Personal document, application for identification card
Description : Application for Identification Card - for enlistment
Coverage : 1952-12-24,
Creator : Vitor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/24/54

Application for Identification Card

Allotment Authorization

Subject : Personal document, allotment authorization
Description : Allotment authorization
Coverage : 1953-5-11
Publisher : W M Avery CAPT AGG APO 613
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/11/53

Allotment Authorization

Checklist for Overseas Movement (front)

Subject : personal doucment, checklist
Description : Checklist for overseas movement
Coverage : 1954-9-26
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 9/26/54

Checklist for Overseas Movement (front)

Checklist for Overseas Movement (back)

Subject : Personal document, checklist
Description : Check list for oversea movement
Coverage : 1954-9-26
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 9/26/54

Checklist for Overseas Movement (back)

Special Order Oct 20, 54 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order 74th Inf to Det #5
Coverage : 1954-10-20
Publisher : Headquarters 74th regimental combat team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/20/54

Special Order Oct 20, 54 (front)

Special Order Oct 20, 54 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order 74th Inf to Det #5
Coverage : 1954-10-20
Publisher : Headquarters 74th regimental combat team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/20/54

Special Order Oct 20, 54 (back)

Special Order Nov 19, 54 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order Det #5 are rel asg
Coverage : 1954-11-19
Publisher : Headquarters 74th regimental combat team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 11/19/54

Special Order Nov 19, 54 (front)

Special Order Nov 19, 54 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order Det #5 are rel asg
Coverage : 1954-11-19
Publisher : Headquarters 74th regimental combat team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 11/19/54

Special Order Nov 19, 54 (back)

Service in the U.S. Army Reserve

Subject : Official document, welcome letter
Description : Service in the U.S. Army Reserve
Coverage : 1954-12-23, New York
Publisher : Headquarters New York Military District
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/23/54

Service in the U.S. Army Reserve

Service Record and Allied Papers Checklist

Subject : Official document, service record, checklist
Description : Service record and allied papers checklist
Coverage : 1954-11-13, Massachusetts
Publisher : Head quarters 74th Regimental Combat Team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 11/13/54

Service Record and Allied Papers Checklist

Installation Clearance Certificate

Subject : Personal document
Description : Installation Clearance Certificate
Coverage : 1954-11-13, Massachusetts
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 11/13/54

Installation Clearance Certificate

Special Order (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order for reserve information
Coverage : 1954-12-21, New York
Publisher : Headquarters New York Military District
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/21/54

Special Order (front)

Special Order (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order for reserve information
Coverage : 1954-12-21, New York
Publisher : Headquarters New York Military District
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/21/54

Special Order (back)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (1)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (1)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (2)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (2)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (3)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (3)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (4)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (4)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (5)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (5)

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (6)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-22
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/22/53

Victor Spaulding's Letter to His Family (6)

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (1)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-3
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/3/53

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (1)

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (2)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-3
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/3/53

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (2)

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (3)

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-3
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/3/53

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family (3)

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family - Envelope

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Victor Spaulding's letter to his family
Coverage : 1953-6-3
Creator : Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/3/53

Victor Spaulding's Personal Letter to His Family - Envelope

Postcard Picture

Subject : Postcard photo, picture
Description : Postcard from US
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Postcard Picture

Postcard Picture

Subject : Postcard photo, picture
Description : postcard from US
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Postcard Picture

Victor Spaulding in His Uniform

Subject : Uniform, US Army
Description : Victor Spaulding in his uniform
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Victor Spaulding in His Uniform

Victor Spaulding and His Friend in Uniform

Subject : Uniform, US Army
Description : Victor Spaulding and his friend in uniform
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Victor Spaulding and His Friend in Uniform

Address Change Form 1

Subject : Personal document, address change
Description : Address change form
Coverage : 1953-4-22
Publisher : Department of Defense
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Address Change Form 1

Address Change Form 2

Subject : Personal document, address change
Description : Address change form (mail)
Coverage : 1953-4-22
Publisher : Department of defense
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Address Change Form 2

Withholding Statement

Subject : Personal document, withholding statement
Description : Withholding statement
Coverage : 1952
Publisher : US Treasury Department Internal Revenue Service
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Withholding Statement

With Korean Soldiers

Subject : Korean soldiers, ROK soldiers, vest
Description : With Korean soldiers
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

With Korean Soldiers

Two Soldiers

Subject : Soldiers
Description : Two soldiers
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Two Soldiers

Lying Back inside Tent

Subject : Soldiers, tent
Description : Lying back inside tent
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Lying Back inside Tent

Eating Food by Tent

Subject : Eating, food, tent
Description : Eating food by tent
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Eating Food by Tent

Two Topless Soldiers

Subject : Topless, soldiers
Description : Two topless soldiers
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Two Topless Soldiers

Sign of Ridge

Subject : Ridge, sign
Description : Sign of ridge - Heart break ridge
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Sign of Ridge

With Korea Soldier Wearing Helmet

Subject : Korean soldier, ROK soldier, helmet, vest
Description : With Korea soldier wearing helmet
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

With Korea Soldier Wearing Helmet

In Front of Tent

Subject : Soldier, tent
Description : In front of tent
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

In Front of Tent

Vitor Spaulding with His Back to Field

Subject : Field, mountain
Description : Vitor Spaulding with his back to field
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Vitor Spaulding with His Back to Field

With Korean Soldier Wearing Helmet

Subject : Korean soldier, ROK soldier, helmet, vest
Description : With Korea soldier wearing helmet
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

With Korean Soldier Wearing Helmet

Walking forward Carrying a Gun

Subject : Gun, walk
Description : Walking forward carrying a gun
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Walking forward Carrying a Gun

Group of People Writing and Smoking

Subject : Entertaining, writing, smoking
Description : Group of people writing and smoking
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Group of People Writing and Smoking

Envelope of Order Letter from Department of Army

Description : Envelope of order letter from Department of Army - Headquarters reassignment station 1264th ASU, Personnel center
Coverage : 1954-6-8
Publisher : Headquarters reassignment station 1264th ASU, Personnel center
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/8/54

Envelope of Order Letter from Department of Army

Special Order #125 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #125
Coverage : 1954-5-20, New Jersey
Publisher : Headquarters reassignment station 1264th ASU, Personnel center
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/54

Special Order #125 (front)

Special Order #125 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #125
Coverage : 1954-5-20, New Jersey
Publisher : Headquarters reassignment station 1264th ASU, Personnel center
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/54

Special Order #125 (back)

Soldiers Sitting down with His Back to Clotheslines

Subject : Soldiers, laundry, clotheslines
Description : Soldiers sitting down, with his back to laundries
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Soldiers Sitting down with His Back to Clotheslines

With Korean Soldiers Wearing Helmet

Subject : Korean soldier, ROK soldier, helmet, vest
Description : With Korea soldiers wearing helmet
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

With Korean Soldiers Wearing Helmet

Soldiers with Laundry

Subject : Soldiers, laundry, Korean, ROK, clotheslines
Description : Soldiers with laundry
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Soldiers with Laundry

Soldiers with Laundry

Subject : Soldiers, laundry, Korean, ROK, clotheslines
Description : Soldiers with laundry
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Soldiers with Laundry

Two Soldiers in Woods

Subject : Soldiers, woods
Description : Two soldiers in woods
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Two Soldiers in Woods

Soldiers with Laundry

Subject : Soldiers, laundry, Korean, ROK
Description : Soldiers with laundry
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Soldiers with Laundry

Vitor Spaulding's Letter to Family from Japan

Subject : Personal letter, family
Description : Vitor Spaulding's letter to family from Japan - Japanese postcard
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Vitor Spaulding's Letter to Family from Japan

Certificate of Membership for the 40th Infantry Division

Subject : Personal document
Description : Certificate of membership for the 40th infantry division
Coverage : 2001-4-15, California
Publisher : Fortieth Infantry Division Association California Chapter
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 4/15/01

Certificate of Membership for the 40th Infantry Division

Award from Korean War Veteran's National Museum and Library

Subject : Acknowledgement, award
Description : Award from Korean War Veteran's National Museum and Library
Coverage : 1988-8-5
Publisher : Korean War Veteran's National Museum and Library
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Award from Korean War Veteran's National Museum and Library

Special Order

Subject : Official document, special order, extract HQS270th RCT. Ft Devens
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Special Order

Special Order

Subject : Official document, special order, extract HQS270th RCT. Ft Devens
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Special Order

Special Order #111

Subject : Official document, special order,
Description : Special order # 111
Coverage : 1954-6-11, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters 278th Regimental Combat Team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/11/54

Special Order #111

Special Order #202

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 202
Coverage : 1954-10-8, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters 278th Regimental Combat Team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/8/54

Special Order #202

The Forgotten War - Cold, Snow, Guerrillas, Blood & Bodies

Subject : Newspaper article
Description : The forgotten war - Cold, Snow, Guerrillas, Blood & Bodies
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

The Forgotten War - Cold, Snow, Guerrillas, Blood & Bodies

South Korean Ambassador Thanks U.S. Veterans

South Korean Ambassador Thanks U.S. Veterans

Brief Introduction of the Korean War

Subject : Newspaper article
Description : Brief introduction of the Korean War
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Brief Introduction of the Korean War

News Article: Pictures of Two Korean War Veterans

Subject : Newspaper article, photos
Description : News article pictures of two Korean War veterans
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

News Article: Pictures of Two Korean War Veterans

Forgotten War Remembered

Subject : Newspaper article, photos
Description : Picture of Victor Spaulding wearing uniform on newspaper article
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Forgotten War Remembered

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (1)

Subject : Poster board, photos, documents
Description : Korean War documents and photos poster board by Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (1)

Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination

Subject : Personel document, order, physical examination
Description : Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination (Victor Spaulding)
Coverage : 1952-6-10, New York
Publisher : Local Board No. 52
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/10/52

Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination

Envelope - Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination

Subject : Personel document, order, physical examination
Description : Envelope - Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination (Victor Spaulding)
Coverage : 1952-6-10, New York
Publisher : Local Board No. 52
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/10/52

Envelope - Order to Report for Armed Forces Physical Examination

Requisites to Armed Forces Physical Examination

Subject : Official document, physical examination
Description : Requisites to Armed Forces Physical Examination
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Requisites to Armed Forces Physical Examination

Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding

Subject : Personel document, certificate, acceptability
Description : Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding
Coverage : 1952-6-12, Syracuse
Publisher : Local Board No. 52
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/12/52

Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding

Envelope - Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding

Subject : Personal document, certificate, acceptability
Description : Envelope - Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding
Coverage : 1952-6-12, Syracuse
Publisher : Local Board No. 52
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/12/52

Envelope - Certificate of Acceptability for Victor Spaulding

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (2)

Subject : Poster board, photos, documents
Description : Korean War documents and photos poster board by Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (2)

Honorable Discharge

Honorable Discharge

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (3)

Subject : Poster board, photos, documents
Description : Korean War documents and photos poster board by Victor Spaulding
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA

Korean War Documents and Photos Poster Board by Victor Spaulding (3)

Sign of 'Heartbreak' Ridge

Subject : Ridge, sign
Description : Sign of 'Heartbreak' ridge
Coverage : 1953-6-9
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/9/53

Sign of 'Heartbreak' Ridge

After the "Cease Fire", Part of 1st Squad

Subject : Cease fire, Korean soldiers, ROK soldiers
Description : Part of 1st Squad - 3rd Platoon in the "Rear"
Coverage : 1953
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1953

After the

View from a Machine Gun Bunker on Heartbreak Ridge

Subject : Ridge
Description : View from a machine gun bunker on Heartbreak Ridge, of enemy positions.
Coverage : 1953
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1953

View from a Machine Gun Bunker on Heartbreak Ridge

After the "Cease Fire" in Effect - Chinese Officer Greeting 40th Division Soldiers

Subject : Cease fire, Chinese Officer
Description : After the "Cease Fire" in effect, Chinese Officer greeting 40th Division soldiers
Coverage : 1953-6-28
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/28/53

After the

In the Rear after the "Cease Fire"

Subject : Rear, cease fire
Description : Don Brickhiemer and Tony Regina
Coverage : 1953
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1953

In the Rear after the

Mail Call - in the Rear after "Cease Fire"

Subject : Mail call, rear, cease fire
Description : Mail call - in the rear after "cease fire"
Coverage : 1953
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1953

Mail Call - in the Rear after

KATUSAS - Taken in Trench Area on Heartbreak Ridge

Subject : KATUSA, ridge, trench area
Description : KATUSAS - taken in Trench area on Heartbreak Ridge
Coverage : 1953
Publisher : Victor Spaulding
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1953

KATUSAS - Taken in Trench Area on Heartbreak Ridge

Special Order #111 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 111
Coverage : 1954-6-11, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters 278th Regimental Combat Team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/11/54

Special Order #111 (front)

Special Order #111 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 111
Coverage : 1954-6-11, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters 278th Regimental Combat Team
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/11/54

Special Order #111 (back)

Special Order #109 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #109
Coverage : 1954-5-10, New Jersey
Publisher : Headquarters 1264th SU, Personnel Center
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/10/54

Special Order #109 (front)

Special order #109 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 109
Coverage : 1954-5-10, New Jersey
Publisher : Headquarters 1264th SU, Personnel Center
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/10/54

Special order #109 (back)

Special Order #108 (1st)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 108
Coverage : 1954-5-6, Washington
Publisher : Headquarters Oversea Returnee Station, 6021 SU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/6/54

Special Order #108 (1st)

Special Order #108 (2nd)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 108
Coverage : 1954-5-6, Washington
Publisher : Headquarters Oversea Returnee Station, 6021 SU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/6/54

Special Order #108 (2nd)

Special Order #108 (3rd)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 108
Coverage : 1954-5-6, Washington
Publisher : Headquarters Oversea Returnee Station, 6021 SU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/6/54

Special Order #108 (3rd)

Special Order #108 (4th)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 108
Coverage : 1954-5-6, Washington
Publisher : Headquarters Oversea Returnee Station, 6021 SU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/6/54

Special Order #108 (4th)

Special Order #108 (5th)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 108
Coverage : 1954-5-6, Washington
Publisher : Headquarters Oversea Returnee Station, 6021 SU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/6/54

Special Order #108 (5th)

Movement Order #13 (front)

Subject : Official document, movement order
Description : Movement order #13
Coverage : 1954-4-20, Inchon
Publisher : Headquaters Inchon Replacement Depot 8057th AU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 4/20/54

Movement Order #13 (front)

Movement Order #13 (back)

Subject : Official document, movement order
Description : Movement order #13
Coverage : 1954-4-20, Inchon
Publisher : Headquaters Inchon Replacement Depot 8057th AU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 4/20/54

Movement Order #13 (back)

Special Order #104 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 104
Coverage : 1954-4-16
Publisher : Headquarters 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 4/16/54

Special Order #104 (front)

Special Order #104 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #104
Coverage : 1954-4-16
Publisher : Headquarters 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 4/16/54

Special Order #104 (back)

Special Order #45 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #45
Coverage : 1954-3-9
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 3/9/54

Special Order #45 (front)

Special Order #45 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #45
Coverage : 1954-3-9
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 3/9/54

Special Order #45 (back)

Special Order #268 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 268
Coverage : 1953-10-23
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/23/53

Special Order #268 (back)

Special Order #268 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #268
Coverage : 1953-10-23
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 10/23/53

Special Order #268 (front)

Special order #217 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #217
Coverage : 1953-8-23
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 8/23/53

Special order #217 (front)

Special Order #217 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #217
Coverage : 1953-8-23
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 8/23/53

Special Order #217 (back)

Special Order #165 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #165
Coverage : 1953-6-24
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/24/53

Special Order #165 (back)

Special Order #165 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #165
Coverage : 1953-6-24
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/24/53

Special Order #165 (front)

Special Order #161 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 161
Coverage : 1953-6-20
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/20/53

Special Order #161 (back)

Special Order #161 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 161
Coverage : 1953-6-20
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 6/20/53

Special Order #161 (front)

Special Order #137 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 137
Coverage : 1953-5-19
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/19/53

Special Order #137 (front)

Special Order #137 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #137
Coverage : 1953-5-19
Publisher : Headquarters 223D Infantry Regiment 40th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/19/53

Special Order #137 (back)

Special Order #128 (1)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #128
Coverage : 1953-5-20
Publisher : Headquarters Camp Drake Replacement Depot
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/53

Special Order #128 (1)

Special Order #128 (2)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #128
Coverage : 1953-5-20
Publisher : Headquarters Camp Drake Replacement Depot
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/53

Special Order #128 (2)

Special Order #128 (3)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #128
Coverage : 1953-5-20
Publisher : Headquarters Camp Drake Replacement Depot
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/53

Special Order #128 (3)

Special Order #128 (4)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #128
Coverage : 1953-5-20
Publisher : Headquarters Camp Drake Replacement Depot
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 5/20/53

Special Order #128 (4)

Special Order #66 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order # 66
Coverage : 1953-3-20, Kansas
Publisher : Headquarters 10th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 3/20/53

Special Order #66 (front)

Special Order #218 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special Order #218
Coverage : 1952-12-4, Kansas
Publisher : Headquarters 10th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/4/52

Special Order #218 (front)

Special Order #218 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #218
Coverage : 1952-12-4, Kansas
Publisher : Headquarters 10th Infantry Division
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/4/52

Special Order #218 (back)

Special Order #239 (front)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #239
Coverage : 1952-12-1, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters Reception Center 1013th ASU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/1/52

Special Order #239 (front)

Special Order #239 (back)

Subject : Official document, special order
Description : Special order #239
Coverage : 1952-12-1, Massachusetts
Publisher : Headquarters Reception Center 1013th ASU
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 12/1/52

Special Order #239 (back)

Burial Bugler Shortage

Subject : Magazine article
Description : The Echo Taps project's goals are to enlist more voluteer buglers, honor military service in our country, and raise the profile of America's 120 national cemeteries
Coverage : 2005-3
Publisher : The Graybeards
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 2005-3

Burial Bugler Shortage

Burial Bugler Shortage - Pictures in the Article

Subject : Magazine article, pictures
Description : The Echo Taps project's goals are to enlist more voluteer buglers, honor military service in our country, and raise the profile of America's 120 national cemeteries
Coverage : 2005-3
Publisher : The Graybeards
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 2005-3

Burial Bugler Shortage - Pictures in the Article

Final Hours of Korean Conflict

Subject : Magazine article, pictures
Description : The pictures on Heartbreak taken by Victor Spaulding
Coverage : 1999-9
Contributor : Jongwoo Han
Rights : KWVA veterans & KWVDA
Date : 1999-9

Final Hours of Korean Conflict

Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

V:        My name is Victor Spaulding.  I’m 78 years old.   My birthday will be June 28.  I’ll be 79. I’m honored and proud, uh. Professor Han has invited our group to many programs that he has been involved in, and when I’m dealing with, uh, the friends and, uh, people that he brings, the Korean community, there’s nothing but

0:00:30

the greatest amount of respect and love for what we helped provide in South Korea.

I:          Uh.  So this is an opportunity to

V:        To share my experiences and, uh, a little knowledge on why I feel, uh, the way I feel, I feel, and I’m dedicated to, uh, let others know, uh, about my experiences.  I was drafted into the military

0:01:00

in 1952, November, and at that point I had two years with Carrier Corporation which was an air conditioning company.  I was an arc welder.  I loved my job.  Previously, I had grown up on a small dairy farm, hard work, uh, and I found a skill and a occupation that I really wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

0:01:30

When I received my draft notice, it was devastating. I came from a family of seven, the oldest but the only boy, uh.  Consequently, it was not just devastating for me, it was devastating for my mother and father.

I:          So they maybe relied on you to help the family out, [INAUDIBLE]

V:        Oh definitely, definitely.

I:          So you were drafted, and you were, you went to basic training immediately.

0:02:00

How did your family take that?

V:        Uh, it was tough on them, very tough.  In fact, I mentioned, uh, Sullivan Act.  I think if they had known that the, uh, surname, uh, Spaulding could have been protected and, uh, I could have been, uh, removed from being drafted, they would have probably attempted to do it.

I:          So the Sullivan Act wasn’t just because they were brothers.  It’s because it was the last male name

0:02:30

within the household. V:        To carry the name tradition of the family name on, it would have been possible, uh, as I understand the Sullivan Act.

I:          Um hm.   Well, you’re here. [LAUGHS]  You carried it on.  Um,

V:        It was God’s will, sir.

I:          That’s right, that’s right.  And how did your sisters take it?

V:        Um. I:          Did they understand what was going on?

V:        I think with the six of them, they were tied pretty much together, and being the oldest, uh,

0:03:00

I, I think they were maybe glad to get rid of me. [LAUGHS]

I:          [LAUGHS] Cause you were so hard on them probably.

V:        Well, uh, probably, yes, yes.

I:          You’re protective of them.

V:        Well not necessarily protective, maybe a little bossy.

I:          Yeah.

V:        Uh, the oldest boy, and traditionally I grew up in that, uh, uh, in that age of, uh, the male being the dominant, uh, um, family member.  Well, I, uh, and, and this was part of the philosophy of the, uh,

0:03:30

government, uh. Get the draftee or the enlistee far enough away from home where family and, uh, uh, familiar contacts wouldn’t, uh, be as possible.  So I was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas

I:          Uh huh.

V:        uh, a state that as far as I’m concerned was hill and clay mud because when we went out on bivouacs, uh, I think most of the days in Fort Riley, Kansas,

0:04:00

there were seven different kinds of weather.  The hills, you’d take one step up and three back, and it was, uh, really, uh, excellent for boot training

I:          Training, yeah.

V:        boot training but terrible for the trainee

I:          Yeah, that’s right. V:        with, uh, uh, I must mention that the outfit that I was serving with taking basic training happened to be the 10th Mountain Division which is the same division that presently is in, uh,

0:04:30

Camp Drum, Fort Drum.  And I’ve been to their museum, uh, and, and I have deposited quite a collection of memorabilia at the Fort Drum, uh, museum.  Uh, but one of the interesting that I found and it continued once I got into Korea, uh, ide, identified as a, a bit of a problem, uh, was, uh, racial.  Uh, our first

0:05:00

leave from basic training happened to be a, about six weeks after our training had gotten underway, and we went into, uh, Junction City which is a little burb outside of the post, and four of us, I had developed a friendship with another New York State guy and two Chicago, Illinois boys.  And we walked into the first gin mill and ordered drinks and were told we can’t serve you.

0:05:30

And, uh, we wanted to know why, and it was because one of the boys from Chicago happened to be black. Now, he said we can serve the three of you, but we can’t serve him.  He’s got to leave and go across the track if he wants to be served.  Well, we figured we were all soldiers for the United States Army, and we left the place, and all four of us went across the tracks where we could drink together.

0:06:00

I:          That’s great.  I mean I think that really resonates with the kids nowadays because obviously there’s still racial issues, but you understood.  You, you’re training with each other.  You’re all people, whether or not one is, one person is black and one person is white.

V:        I was not, I, I don’t think I even knew, I don’t think, uh, segregation was part of my vocabulary.  But the longer I was in the service and, and thankfully, uh, some of the skilled training, the NCO

0:06:30

Schools and so forth that I went to helped pre, prepare me for, uh, that being one of the difficulties.  Uh, there were racial tensions within, uh, most of the organizations I, I dealt with.

I:          Uh huh.  So what rank were you when you were shipped out?

V:        I, I arrived in Korea as a private, uh.  They

0:07:00

They have since changed the, uh, uh, ranking a little bit, but I, I have to go by what mine was.  I was a private when I entered, uh, Korea.

I:          Okay.

V:        Approximately mid-April, 1953.

I:          And what was that like?

V:        Well, it was a boat ride, uh, out of, uh, Fort Lewis, Washington, Seattle, Washington, I guess and, uh,

0:07:30

into Japan where we spent two days, uh, making sure that all of our gear and, and, uh, papers were in order.  And then we went back on the ship and went to Korea, landed in Inchon and then took a, uh, rat her peculiar, antiquated train with wooden cars and so forth up through the mountains and so forth, north to where I arrived at a replacement depot.

0:08:00

And here you were accumulated as a group, and those outfits up front that were in need of replacing manpower, uh, this is where you were, uh, appointed who you were going to serve with.

I:          And you were

V:        Most of the boat ride was rather, uh, rough water

I:          Okay.

V:        and if you’ve ever dealt with seasickness, it’s not the greatest thing in the world, especially when you’re among, uh, 3,500 other soldiers, uh, of which maybe

0:08:30

one quarter of them are dealing with this, uh, problem.  Walking around the ship was no pleasure, uh.  So while I was on board ship, I had, all I could do is to take care of myself, my needs and, uh, the, the, the personal things that were going on. I, I, in, in fact quite frankly, I couldn’t believe that I’d been drafted.  I was not a good soldier through basic training.

0:09:00

I:          Hm.  So you had other things to think about than fighting.

V:        Yes.  Yes. It wasn’t until I arrived at the replacement depot which was probably 10 miles to the rear of the mainline of resistance, uh, and, and, by the time I got to Korea in April of ’53, uh, the war had become a static situation.  A trench line which

0:09:30

actually ran from east to west across the whole peninsula of Korea, and what you did was occupy a trench, and the enemy was to your north, and if they felt the wanted your property, uh, you had to stand your ground and hopefully defend it. Uh, my first night in that replacement depot, uh, during the night I’m laying in a pup tent on the ground,

0:10:00

and, uh, to the north I could see what looked like heat lightening, and then the ground would kind of rumble or you’d hear this sound, and it was at that point that I made up my mind you’re in Korea. You’re in somewhat of a war, and if you don’t remember some of the things that were taught to you in the last 12 weeks, you may not make it home.

I:          Um hm.  So maybe you decided to be a good soldier at that point.

0:10:30

V:        I decided to soldier, yes.  I use the expression God was with me.

I:          Um hm.

V:        God gave me the instinct to do some of the things that I did that made my job a little bit easier.

I:          What are some of those things that you did?

V:        Well, leadership school.  When the opportunity came up to pick up a little education on dealing with people, uh, I jumped at the chance, um.  I soldiered

0:11:00

dedicatedly, dedicatedly, um, and opportunity for promotion that was given to me, I’d grab it. Maybe I, I felt a little unprepared but, uh, I felt I could learn on the job.

I:          That’s what it’s all about.

V:        And it turned out, uh, extremely well.

I:          Uh huh.  So what was your first encounter with, so when you were on the line, you actually, you know, were exchanging

0:11:30 fire with the opposition.

V:        Yes.

I:          What was that like?  Were you, the first time you went through that?

V:        Well, at the repot depot, they took my M1 and handed me a BAR, and when I got to, uh, Abel Company, 40th

I:          What’s a BAR?

V:        Uh, Browning Automatic Rifle, uh, which is a feared weapon as far as the enemy is concerned.  In fact, uh, weapons that are automatic are usually the things that artillery and their heavy weapons

0:12:00

zero in on to shut them up.  And it turned out that two days after I was given the BAR and placed into Abel Company, 3rdPlatoon, uh, one of my comrades indicated to me oh, you’re the new, uh, recruit that has replaced the, uh, BAR man that was killed on our last patrol, which, again, leaves you with a, a, rather bad feeling on

I:          Yeah.

V:        what your chances are.

0:12:30

I:          So you’re going into the position oh great.

V:        You’re in a position where you’re going to be the center of attraction if you do get into a skirmish.

I:          And what was that first skirmish like?

V:        It turned out that the first skirmish was, uh, Mayday is celebrated by maybe North and South Korea.  Mayday had something to do with maybe fireworks and everything else. And we used to call them turkey shoots. Everybody had

0:13:00

a zone of fire. My BAR had a zone of fire out of a 32” aperture 4” wide that you would use the weapon on tripods or bipods with kind of a sweeping action on a personnel approach.  Your intent was to cut them down before they got to you and to make sure that you were covering that

0:13:30

avenue of approach. Consequently, when it turned out, uh, to be just a turkey shoot and then to make matters worse, uh, we had, uh, in support of us a quad 50 which fired indefilate fired.  Now that means that it fires into the air.  A quad 50 is a, is an aircraft weapon, and it fires 50 caliber armored piercing, and we used them

0:14:00

in a, a, a, a situation where they would fire into the air, lob the 50 caliber bullet into the ground in a personnel approach, and when it hit the ground, it, it exploded, and the cartridge would, uh, injure and, and slow people down.  But when that burst, when that 50 caliber would burst, I thought it was muzzle fire. So I’m working that BAR like the blazes

0:14:30

because I thought this is where they were coming, and I was seeing muzzle fire.  It wasn’t until my platoon leader grabbed me by the shoulder and said what are you doing?  And I told him, and he said, no, no, no.  That’s quad 50.  That’s not the enemy.  They weren’t making an attack on us, but, uh, I was scared.

I:          Yeah.  Well you were scared and you reacted.

V:        [LAUGHS] That’s

I:          I’m not letting them come closer to me.

V:        No way.  No way.  Uh, but, uh, in

0:15:00

June we were, it was a very serious attack by the North Koreans.  Our line was actually penetrated, uh.  They broke through Charlie Company which Abel Company was attached to.  I happened to be the Abel Company platoon that connected to Charlie Company, and Charlie Company had, uh, I think 14 killed in action and, uh, nearly as many wounded, uh.

0:15:30

Abel Company had three or four killed in action and, uh, two or three, uh, wounded in action.

I:          So what happened once they broke through. Did you guys have to retreat to a further line back or

V:        No.  We were able to hold the position, but at night, uh, guard at night in the trenches was from dusk till dawn, 6:00 at night till 6:00 in the morning was 100% personnel

0:16:00

were in the trenches, and after that attack where they broke through, we had no idea how many people had broken through and whether they would be turning around and coming back.  So every platoon, uh, took about 10% of their personnel and faced them to the south to make sure that you weren’t being crept up on by anybody that had infiltrated.

0:16:30

I:          This is scary.

V:        It is, yes, yes.

I:          So

V:        This was on Punch Bowl Rim which, again, is probably 30, 35, 40 miles north of the 38thParallel.  Most of the, all of the time I spent in Korea was actually in that general vicinity, 30, 40 miles north of the 38thParallel. That’s why in the

0:17:00

final days, I think that North Koreans and Chinese wanted to push us back off the existing

I:          That’s when the fighting was a little more intense.

V:        Yes.  Yes. The last few days, four days on Heartbreak Ridge which was the last position we, we held, were extremely rough, extremely rough.  Well, I think, uh, I, I think you said it, uh, I was scared that first night when I was 10 miles from the front, but when I’m

0:17:30

actually in the trench, and every, every battalion commander, uh, has a phobia for digging your trenches deeper so that your head is not sticking up above the sand bags. So digging trenches was something that, uh, all of us filled in any of our vacant, what little vacant time you might have, getting the trenches deeper was something that, uh, most soldiers were constantly doing, and the ground was hard,

0:18:00

and many times when the ground wasn’t hard you better be prepared because it could have already been loosened up to become a grave, and some of the things that you’d run into weren’t, uh, the greatest things in the world.

I:          Yeah.  So, I mean, I guess you, you started fighting pretty soon after you arrived.  Did you get a chance to observe Korea at all?

V:        Not really.  The only observation was from that

0:18:30

train, and believe me, it was one of the most antiquated steam engines and, and, uh, trains that I’ve ever been on in my life.  It traveled very, very slow.  It went through a mountainous terrain, uh.  So what little I saw of Korea back in 1953, I was amazed at the, at the backwardness I guess is, I hope it’s not, uh,

0:19:00

a bad word to use. But the, the peasants and the way of life and the things I saw, the buildings, uh, were just unbelievable.

I:          Different from where you came from.

V:        Absolutely, absolutely.  I mean, this was like going back 200 years in time.

I:          Did you ever think, you know, what, what are we doing here?  Why are we in

V:        I certainly did because it wasn’t, I don’t think I was

0:19:30

any of the time that I was in Korea was I, was I totally comfortable in the situation I found myself in.

I:          Um hm.

V:        None of us want to die.

I:          Yeah.

V:        You know, books I’ve read indicate that the South Korean soldiers, uh, weren’t a dedicated or an intent organization to win the war.   But I found the Korean, uh, soldiers, the KATUSAS that I dealt with very courageous people.  In fact,

0:20:00

very protective of the U.N. soldiers that they were dealing with, uh.  I don’t know how South Korea did it, but um, there was not a terrible language barrier between KATUSAS and the English-speaking people.  They must have done some sorting and, either sorting or training because you began to understand the jargon, uh, rather quickly,

0:20:30

and I had three KATUSAS that meant the world to me and, uh, their sergie was going back to the States alive.  They were gonna make sure of that.  And, uh, I, I have the greatest respect in the world for all of the South Korean soldiers that I dealt with.  Uh, some of the fiercest battled, battlers that I ever dealt with were Turks, and here again, it was the United Nations situation I think that, uh,

0:21:00

integrated different nations, uh, a couple of people into a platoon, maybe a couple into a, a company and would move them from platoon to platoon so that you had a chance to learn a little bit of the customs and the, the dealings.  But the Turks were vicious fighters and, uh, the, the, uh, Puerto Ricans, uh, it turned out that, uh, to begin with were one of my, my most serious problems.

0:21:30

A very serious language barrier, a very serious attitude problem, uh, when they’d get mad at their leaders, uh, it could be an assistant squad leader, squad leader, uh, they’d spit out words in Spanish.  Well, being a high school dropout, uh, I, I barely spoke good English and knew nothing about what they were saying.  So I, I wound up developing a friendship with one of the Puerto Ricans through

0:22:00

making him a pen pal was one of my sisters who was in music college at, uh, Ithaca, and it turned out to be one of the smartest things I ever did.

I:          Why?

V:        Because he became my liaison.  He became the person that would spit back the same, the same Spanish to the Puerto Rican that was being a problem and explain why he had to straighten out.

I:          So not everything he said was completely irrational.

V:        Yes.

0:22:30

Yes.  Yes.

I:          And you guys clearly formed a pretty close relationship.

V:        We had an excellent relationship.  Rodriguez was his last name.  I’ve often wondered whether he’s still alive.

I:          I was just gonna ask have you had a chance to

V:        No, I haven’t.

I:          get in touch at all.

V:        No, no.

I:          And, and you mentioned that there, there’s difficulty between the soldiers from the United States and the Puerto Rican soldiers. But you also mentioned that when they were amongst each other, they were great fighters, and the problem was

0:23:00

when they’re integrated because of the communication problems.

V:        Well, a serious problem happened before I even got there.  I think it was the early ‘50s when a Puerto Rican regiment was drafted or was, I should say, activated out of Puerto Rico, and the entire regiment went to Korea in the early part of the war.  Well, I’ve mentioned this before.  The early part of the war was something that thank God I didn’t have to get into with inadequate clothing, uh,

0:23:30

cold.  The winter of 1950 was one of the coldest winters that Korea’d ever seen.  They weren’t prepared for the, the environmental situations that were gonna go on over there.  But the Korean, or the Puerto Rican, uh, regiment, uh, I, three years ago was able to obtain a, uh, documentary on their, uh, experience,

0:24:00

and they were fighting fools.  They were one great combat team until rotation of their leaders which is, uh, an expression you use when you develop enough points to, uh, rotate and go back home. Their leaders wound up being replaced by American English-speaking officers, and from that point on, language become a problem for that entire regiment

0:24:30

as it had done for me in just a squad level.  So I can imagine what the leadership problems were in a regiment when you’ve got them being lead by people that don’t understand the language being said by those under them, or the people under them don’t understand the language from those above.

I:          And do you think it was all because of a language problem or maybe because the Puerto Rican soldiers might have been

0:25:00

a little bitter that they weren’t being lead by their own people?

V:        Oh, there’s no doubt about it.  A couple things there.  Puerto Rico, obviously being of the southern hemisphere, uh, the weather in Korea was not something they, they liked dealing with.  They’re very much like my situation.  I loved my job, I loved being a welder, I loved Carrier Corporation, and I didn’t want to be drafted.  I don’t think the Puerto Ricans wanted to be drafted, either.  I, I certainly don’t think that those, uh, that that regiment, uh, and remember, when you’re dealing

0:25:30

with a, an organization that is actually National Guard, you’re talking about brothers, cousins, uh, very close friends, relations, all in the same organization, and you get into a battle situation where people are going to be getting killed, you’re losing some very, very close relatives.

I:          And you want to rely on those people when you’re fighting, not necessarily that new person that comes in and

V:        Absolutely.

0:26:00

Absolutely.  Absolutely.  And obviously the leaders that they had lost through rotation were great leaders, and as I said, I received this documentary three years ago, and it’s given me a whole different view on why the Puerto Rican soldier was tough to deal with.

I:          Okay.

V:        The one thing I noticed, uh, in Korea, uh, and, and this did not apply to, uh, Fort Riley, Kansas.  But in Korea, uh, you could, within

0:26:30

a matter of days identify where the person was, whether he was from the north or whether he was from the south, a northern black man, uh, held no resentment, uh, uh, within the group being drafted and integrated into a white mix.  But if they’re, if, if it happened to be a black man from the south,

0:27:00

I truly believe that part of the problem, or at least the problem as I saw it and as I had to deal with it, was the fact that he didn’t really care for being integrated into the white unit.  He’d rather have had the old total black organization.

I:          And you think that’s because of the segregation in the south?

V:        No doubt about it.  In, in my opinion.  And nobody has ever carried an argument out with me.  One thing I think I should mention, too, at this point, uh,

0:27:30

being able to draft people into the services, branches of the service for the Korean War became somewhat difficult for the government.  I don’t know why they had, maybe they had used the number of people up that were eligible or what.  But they actually went to, uh, Army and, uh, Marine brigs and offered those that were incarcerated for lesser charges,

0:28:00

the opportunity to have the charges dropped if they would go to Korea and fight in the war. Uh, and I have to say that those who had been let out of the brig and sent to Korea maybe made up their mind that maybe they should have stayed in the brig and, uh, since they were over here in a bad situation.  They were gonna make it tough on everybody.

I:          Yeah.

V:        because it was those that had

0:28:30

bad time that I found hard to deal with.

I:          So then what did you think about, how do you feel about the integration then, uh, in Korea? Were you generally proponent of being mixed with different races but, or do you think it would have been easier if

V:        To be quite honest, uh, I, I hadn’t, at the time I was in Korea, at the time I was drafted, integration didn’t really enter into it.

0:29:00

Only in the past few years have I developed the opinion that integration was great.  It was a U.N. action.  The way they integrated other nations into a, a organization where you were mixed was good.  If you can do it with nations, you ought to be able to do it with, with, uh, colored.  And I think it was a good thing.  I think it’s,

0:29:30

I, I think it should lead to a more harmonious, uh, situation in life.

I:          Um hm.  Well, I think that draws parallels to discussions that are going on right now with the whole don’t ask, don’t tell situation and gays in the military, how maybe at first a lot of soldiers are against it, but ultimately it could be for the greater good.

V:        I gotta tell you right now, I’m all for it.

0:30:00

I:          Um hm.

V:        I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.  The only thing I would say when I stop and think back to some of the situations I found myself in in battle, I’d feel very uncomfortable with a lady standing next to me.

I:          Do you feel like you have to perform a little bit better?

V:        Uh, that’s probably it.  That’s probably it.  But if she got hurt, I think I would be, take the responsibility for it.

0:30:30

I, I just, when you talk about, uh, uh, integration of, uh, gays and, and lesbians and so forth, I include the female gender, also. I feel they have all the right, in fact, some of our greatest pilots over in Iraq and Afghanistan right now are females.  I watch it on the news all the time.  And I see absolutely nothing wrong.  But I think back to how I would have felt in 1950

0:31:00

I:          Um hm.

V:        And it does bother me a little bit.  How, how would I feel back then?

I:          Um hm.  Well I guess since a couple generations have passed, soldiers are, have been fighting with females and in the future it will continue.  So the barriers will fall, and everyone will be more comfortable.

V:        Right.  To know back thenwhat I know now, I think I would accept that easily.

I:          Um hm.  That’s great.  So those are all great

0:31:30

experiences, and I’m really glad you got a chance to share that with us.  Thinking back on the war and your experiences there, what do you think the most challenging part of it was to your personally?

V:        Well I, I’ve mentioned, uh, dealing with people. I had a junior high school education. I dropped out, um.  I came from a small family farm quite frankly.  At 16 and 17 years old I, I, I don’t think I got more than 35 miles away from home.

0:32:00

Uh, we’d go into the big city shopping maybe once a year for school clothes and stuff like that, um.  There were times on our farm in the ‘40s that we would be snowed in with the road impassable for two, three weeks at a time, uh.  So the same, I, I grew up in almost the same situation as the peasants that I saw from the train going up through Korea.  Uh, we lived

0:32:30

very, very antiquated, uh, uh, lifestyle.

I:          So is that the part of the war that impacted you the most then?

V:        Dealing with people and, and the opportunity that I took advantage of for leadership and becoming better in dealing with human beings.

I:          So you clearly exchanged with and, and fought with people of a lot of different

0:33:00

cultures.  But did you ever get a chance to interact with Korean civilians while you were over there?

V:        No.  Uh, during your, during your time on line, you would get a seven-day R and R where they’d fly you to Japan.  I had one vacation to go to Japan, and, you know, you kind of party.  You let loose, uh, you shop, uh.

0:33:30

But no.  In dealing with these, I, I take that back because my last job or assignment that I had at, at, in Korea, I was moved from company level to regimental lever, level.  I became MCO in charge of the regimental officers’ club.  This required that I make sure that the regimental club was, uh,

0:34:00

stocked and supplied for parties.  When a USO show would come into the area, they would come in to regiment, and we had a big stand, band stand and so forth set up.  But at the end of the show, the USO show, they would come up to the regimental officers’ club, and we’d have it set up in a party fashion with snacks and napkins and, uh, dolled up real nice because within this group there would be ladies

0:34:30

and, uh, the opportunity to go to Seoul and do a little shopping, uh, to make sure that these supplies were always plentiful was something I had to do about once every two months.  Uh, now, I’ve got more recent pictures of Seoul and other places around, uh, South Korea and believe me, Seoul was not what Seoul is now.

I:          Yeah.

V:        So yes.  Dealing with people, buying stuff

0:35:00

and so forth, uh, a little bit, a little bit.

I:          So were those the happiest times of the war for you, when you

V:        I can’t say as they were, uh.  I, I think some things happened.  I, I was back there in regimental area, and my hours were long. I, I’d be in the club until 2:30, 3: 00 in the morning, and I’d go back to the tent and climb into my, my, uh, sleeping bag and, uh, I was awoken

0:35:30

one morning with somebody twisting my foot and, uh, I unzipped the bag and looked out and I’m staring my cousin in the face, uh, who was also in Korea.  I knew he was in Korea, but he was a truck driver, and it turned out he realized where I was and was going right through the regimental area, and he stopped to see me.

I:          That’s great.

V:        Uh, so yeah.  Things like that happen, but

0:36:00

quite frankly, quite frankly I look back at it now and, my time on line and, and action was time well spent.

I:          Um hm.

V:        Well you know, I had, I had a lot of time between, uh, 1954 and 1990, uh.  That, believe me, post-traumatic syndrome is something I think a lot of us have and don’t even know it.

0:36:30

I’ve been through drinking problems.  I’ve been through divorce.  But I never felt better with myself as I do now since I started talking, as I’m doing now, and as I do at Tell America programs about my experience.

I:          I think that’s so important because asking and talking to a lot of veterans, many of them don’t necessarily share their experiences with their family or their children, their wives and their grandchildren

0:37:00

V:        Absolutely.

I:          It’s almost like this distant memory in the back of their head that’s always there.  But I think it is important that these experiences are

V:        Absolutely.

I:          kept going.

V:         Can I take this jacket off?

I:          Of course, of course.

V:        I’m sorry.

I:          Oh, no problem at all.  So one last question about the war.  Then I want to talk a little bit about post-war life.

0:37:30

Did you get a impression that the Koreans that you were fighting with and that you were friends with, they were gracious of American presence in the peninsula?

V:        Absolutely.  Absolutely. Well, I, I use the phrase my three KATUSAS made sure Sergie, meaning me, was gonna make it back to the States because they wanted to keep me there as long as they could and continue

0:38:00

doing what we were doing.

I:          Uh huh.  That’s great.  So shipping home.  When did you ship home?

V:        I think it was about May of 1954.

I:          So after the cease fire.

V:        Oh yes.  In fact, I was on Heartbreak Ridge the morning of July 28, 1953 when the truce went into effect.

0:38:30

I:          What was, what was that like living

V:        One of the most awesome periods of my life.  One of the most awesome morning, mornings.  I sat on the trench on the sandbag top of the trench looking off towards, uh, enemy trenches that were only about 75 yards away, and they were playing stateside music, and they were, uh, hollering out phrases like, uh, we no be buddy, buddy from now on, uh,

0:39:00

No more bang, bang, um, and, and playing stateside music.  And I was not, uh, the biggest letter writer to my family, but I sat there this morning, that morning in candlelight, and I wrote a five-page letter to my folks indicating just exactly how I felt, that God apparently had been with me, uh, brought me through this thing and hopefully I’d be back home.

0:39:30

I:          Oh.  So you had a chance to pour your heart out.

V:        Absolutely.

I:          And, I’d like to talk a little bit about a picture that you showed us earlier, um.  I think you said it was maybe the morning or right after the, the truce when you and two other, your fellow soldiers were greeting a North Korean officer. Could you tell a little bit about that?

0:40:00

V:        I’d like to go ahead to the night before

I:          Okay.

V:        which would be July 27th, 1953, and all hell had been going on for four days, and the conditions of the truce were such that at 10:00 on the evening of July 27th, there would be a cease fire. Weapons would be unloaded.  Those in charge were picked, would pick up the ammunition,

0:40:30

and there would be no more firing from that point on.  From that point on, there would be no fraternizing with enemy if the occasion came up.  Otherwise, it was a court martial offense.  And honestly, leading up to that 10:00 date and the four days of shelling that we went through, it was almost as though the Chinese and North Koreans wanted to, rather than carry all this, uh, weaponry back,

0:41:00

unload it on Heartbreak Ridge because, uh, it’s been referred to as one of the heaviest periods of bombardment, bombardment that, uh, American forces had been through all during the conflict.

I:          Is that why it was called Heartbreak Ridge?

V:        No.  It picked up that name long before I got there.  It was one of the hardest fought for

I:          Um hm.

V:        pieces of property in North Korea, and that may be where it picked up the name Heartbreak Ridge

0:41:30

because there were a lot of hearts broken up there.  But the uncanny thing was that for those of us that had been through four days of hell, at 10:00 it was like somebody muted the world. There was deafening silence, and from that point on, the truce continued.

I:          Uh huh.

V:        It was scary, though.  I mean many of us wondered, as I said,

0:42:00

we were, we were told we had to remove ammunition from those that we were in charge of because they didn’t want any mistakes.  They didn’t want any mistaken firing.  So we had to make sure that the opportunity was not there for somebody to use a piece of ammunition. And as a squad leader at the time, this is exactly what I had to do.

I:          But that’s scary for the American soldier.

V:        It’s scary for every soldier you’re asking for his ammunition.

0:42:30

I:          Yeah.  And you don’t know if that, you don’t know if the other side is going to

V:        Absolutely, whether they’re going to honor the agreement or not.

I:          Uh huh.  That’s interesting.

V:        Well, I didn’t.  I took the picture

I:          Um hm. V:        and after being told that one of the stipulations was there would be no fraternizing with the enemy.  I was a little concerned with it, and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to

0:43:00

associate names of those that were out front with the North Korean officer.  So no names were ever dealt with.  Uh, but it was one of the, it is one of the pictures of my experience in the Korean Conflict that will stay with me forever.

I:          Why?

V:        Well, it turned out that, uh, 15 years ago I got a call from a

0:43:30

Harry Minnel who lived in Spring Hill, Florida who recognized himself in that picture, and he had lost all of his Korean War memorabilia and asked if I would share some of it with him.  So I took the pictures that I had, had them copied or reproduced, and I sent a package to him down in Florida, and a week or two later I got a

0:44:00

thank you card back from him with a $20 bill and a note to take your wife out and enjoy things on me.  He said I really appreciate what you, you shared with me.  Now, in the many conversations, telephone conversations that I had with Harry, I noticed a stutter.  He had a very, very pronounced stutter, and as years went on the stutter didn’t get any better.  In fact, it may have got worse.  And he started

0:44:30

going to the Veterans Administration.  Now, up until the time I shared the pictures with him, he was getting no benefits from the Veterans.  But over a period of 10 years, he wound up, uh, going from 20% to 60%, and before he died he was up to 90%.

I:          Um hm.

V:        I got a call from his daughter after his death thanking me for all I had provided for Harry.

I:          I’m sure it meant a lot to him.    [INAUDIBLE] on the economy of Korea nowadays?

0:45:00

I can ask a question about that.

V:        Only, only if, if you’re interested.  Professor Han has given me the opportunity to meet some people, to hear some things, to know statistics

I:          Uh huh.  [INAUDIBLE]

V:        And, and I, I can’t remember now whether they’re 7th or 8th in world economy standing.

I:          Uh huh.

V:        But

I:          Okay.  Well I’ll ask you a question then.

V:        I’m proud to have helped create that.

I:          I’ll give you a chance to say that.

0:45:30

I:          Are we good?  Okay.  So you’re back in the States, and you had a chance, this is many years later, of course, you had a chance to send photos to that other soldier.  What did you do when you got back in to the States?  Were you discharged from the military?

V:        When you came back into the States, if you had more than

0:46:00

six months to serve in your enlistment or drafted, uh, span, you had to complete whatever time it was. If you had less than six months, they discharged you immediately.  Now remember, I was drafted, so I had two years of active service to serve and then six years of what they call inactive reserve.  I could have joined the reserve and been a reservist, or I could be a

0:46:30

inactive reservist which was you’re on call.  If anything happens and they want to grab you, you, you’re gonna be picked.

I:          Right.

V:        I chose not to continue active reserves.  So for six years until 1960, I was actually still, uh, able to reach out and grab me.

I:          Um.

V:        But I wound up going to Fort Devins, Mass., and I became a cadre, uh, working both in the rifle range,

0:47:00

uh, training, map reading, uh, other phases of basic training to ROTC students.

I:          That’s great.

V:        It was a three-day week, uh, program that, uh, I had time off and could enjoy life a little bit, and, I, I enjoyed my last few months at Fort Devins.  [Abrupt start]  For this young man, it gave me an opportunity to try to teach college kids something. I felt real proud to be able to do it. Yes.

I:          That’s great.  So

0:47:30

now looking back on, on your service, how do you think, I mean you’ve expended a little bit, but I’d like to get a better idea of how your perspectives on life have, have changed and how your service has impacted your life.

V:        I can’t imagine what my life would have been without the two years in the service.  It gave me opportunity to grow up in mind, body, dealing with

0:48:00

people.  It, it, it was two years that I wouldn’t have taken away from me for anything in the world.  I’ll cherish it all my life.  It’s giving me the opportunity to do things since I got out of the service that I could never have done from what I was picking up under my father’s, uh, jurisdiction.

I:          Just learning how to deal with people,

0:48:30

V:        Absolutely.

I:          That’s great.

V:        Absolutely, absolutely.

I:          That’s great.

V:        I think we have to go to, uh, these gatherings that, uh, have been made available to us and hear South Korean, uh, people who are now living in the United States, uh.  Give us praise and honor and really respect what we provided as opportunity

0:49:00

for South Korea and their government.

I:          Um hm.  So you’ve had a chance to interact with Koreans then.

V:        Oh definitely, definitely.  In fact, it’s some of the proudest moments that I, I have.

I:          Um hm.  Could you maybe tell a story or, about someone that you’ve met and the exchange that you had?

V:        Uh, my very proudest was to have met Goh Kun who, at the time I met him the first time was the Mayor of Seoul, Korea,

0:49:30

and I met him later a year or two, uh, and at that time he had elevated to Prime Minister of South Korea.  I’ve met, I, uh, and I’m not sure of his name, but he’s a very, very respected doctor, cancer doctor, Chung Ti Chung I believe, uh, and these people are just so nice, absolutely.  I, I, greatest

0:50:00

respect in the world for these people.

I:          Uh huh.  So clearly you said that you’re proud to have been able to facilitate Korea’s development, not necessarily you personally but as an American soldier in the war, to facilitate Korea’s development from 60 years ago to today.

V:        I provided the opportunity.

I:          Uh huh.

V:        They took advantage of the opportunity, and they’ve done one whale of a job.

I:          So how do you feel about the

0:50:30

contrast between South Korea and North Korea?

V:        I’m troubled.  I’m troubled from a standpoint that I hate to see something break out again.

I:          Um hm.

V:        And troubled that North Korea doesn’t have the opportunity to live as South Koreans are living.  And, and, you know, I wasn’t even aware that over the past 50 years, the South Korean government has had their problems

0:51:00

with, uh, people being in charge, presidents who had maybe Army experience and so there’s been, as I understand it, some coups, uh, where they’ve, you know, I don’t want to use the word forcefully, but I think in a very democratic way, they try to keep their government clean, uh.  Goh Kun used the word transparency in his government, and I think they tried very

0:51:30

hard to do just that.

I:          So how do you, how would you anticipate any kind of reunification of the two countries?

V:        I have no objections to a unification as long as North Korea accepts some temperance to their human relations.  I, I, it bothers me greatly what’s going on up there as far as human beings.

I:          Okay.

0:52:00

So if you were in your 20’s again and some, some conflict did escalate, what would you do?

V:        Be right there.

I:          Ha.

V:        I’m serious.

I:          Uh huh.  Hopefully it’d be more of a peace keeping mission then rather than

V:        Well, if, if we could make things turn out for half the people as we did 50, 60, 60 years ago, it would be worth it.

I:          So reflecting then

0:52:30

on the 60 years that have passed, the last 60 years that have passed since you were over there, and you said that you, you have had the opportunity to share your experiences and you clearly think about your, your time back there a lot,

V:        Oh yes.

I:          Uh huh.  And what does that mean to you?

V:        Memories that I’ll never, never let loose.

I:          Yeah.

V:        I don’t know why I’m a little uncomfortable with our present, uh,

0:53:00

incursion I’ll call it, into the Middle East. I’m not comfortable with anything that’s going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or even the new outbreaks in Northern Africa. I, for some reason in 1950 when the Korean War broke out,

0:53:30

it broke out under different, uh, political atmospheres, and there was a purpose that doesn’t seem to be there for the present things that are going on.  I just wish our interference into other nations were more planned, fixed and limited,

0:54:00

maybe such as they were in Korea.  I mean, it was a three-year war, and granted, uh, President Clinton is the one that had it, uh, changed from conflict to war.  I don’t mind having it referred to as a conflict, but at least it stopped, and at least somebody had the opportunity to benefit from the lives lost. What’s going on now in the world is, is just, I’m not comfortable with.

0:54:30

So you don’t … necessarily see the relation between this, uh, mentality to stop the spread of Communism versus to stop the spread of extreme terrorism?

V:        I, I understand, uh, the fear of, of terrorists spreading, but as I said, I think maybe it’s the

0:55:00

way, the amount of planning that’s going into it.  We’re spending all too much time, uh.  I, I, I’m not even comfortable talking about my opinions because my opinions may vary an awful lot from the general public.

I:          I think that’s okay.

V:        [LAUGHS]

I:          That’s freedom of speech [INAUDIBLE]

V:        Well, there’s freedom of speech but, uh, you can make a lot of enemies by shooting your mouth off.

I:          Well I think something that you’ve discussed a

0:55:30

lot throughout this interview is, you know, it’s, it’s about people communicating with each other and understanding each other

V:        You’re absolutely right.

I:          and that’s one of the things that we’re lacking in many parts of the world.

V:        And, and that’s exactly, I think, part of the problem.  They don’t know why we’re there helping them, and we’re really not wanted by a big [INAUDIBLE]

I:          Okay.  Well, on that note I think we’re gonna end the interview.  I appreciate you coming and sitting, sitting with us.

0:56:00

V:        Thank you so much.

I:          [INAUDIBLE]the government of the Republic of Korea would like to present you with this Ambassador for Peace medal.  It’s given by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs as well as the Korean Veterans Association.  And this

V:        Oh, beautiful.

I:          medal right here, if you don’t mind, I’m going place that around your neck.

V:        Well, if you’ll notice

I:          You already got one.

V:        Eugene Chin Yu presented this at our 50th ceremony,

0:56:30

50th anniversary ceremony at Landmark Theater.

I:          That’s a nice medal.  Well, hopefully this one won’t weigh you down too much.

V:        [LAUGHS] Thank you.

I:          [LAUGHS]

V:        Thank you so much.

I:          Thank you very much for your service

V:        Thank you so much.

I:          and everything you’ve done for us.

V:        Thank you.

[End of Recorded Material]