Korean War Legacy Project

William MacSwain

Bio

William “Billy” McCoy MacSwain was born on November 7, 1930 in Oklahoma.  He graduated high school in 1948 and joined the National Guard while enrolled in junior college to become a diesel mechanic.  By 1950, he was already promoted to a Buck Sergeant in the National Guard, and he was shipped off to war in 1951.  William MacSwain trained at Camp Keefer as a chemical, radiological, and bacteriological warfare specialist (CBR) non-commissioned officer.  He was a Section Leader with Baker company in the 4th platoon.  A feeling of true amazement comes through his mind each time he returns to Korea due to the political and economic transformation.

Video Clips

Horrors of War

William MacSwain describes some of the horrors of war experiences. He portrays a vivid image of scenes of war that illustrate the hardships Korean War soldiers faced. These first-hand accounts show the fear in every soldiers' mind.

Tags: Chinese,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHQ9FnRIxZM&start=1999&end=2428

Tricking the US Government to Join the National Guard

In 1945, William MacSwain lied to recruiters at the age of 15 when he told them that he was 17 so that he could join the National Guard with friends. Due to the low number of military divisions, recruiters signed him without a second thought. In 1949, he was put to work in Oklahoma to protect businesses after a tornado tore through the state.

Tags: Basic training,Civilians,Home front,Living conditions,Physical destruction,Pride

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHQ9FnRIxZM&start=220&end=469

Military Leadership Training

In September 1950, William MacSwain reported to a military leadership school that was led by WWII veterans. Since he was already trained on a variety of weapons, William MacSwain felt that psychological warfare treatment was important lessons that he learned. Once he returned to Fort Polk, he was in charge of 4th platoon (an infantry division) who were all older than him.

Tags: Basic training,Civilians,Fear,Home front,Living conditions,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHQ9FnRIxZM&start=579&end=840

Training for War in Japan

In May 1951, William MacSwain was sent to Japan to train with his platoon on terrain that was similar to Korea. General Ridgway said that the US National Guard should not be sent to Korea because they were not trained well enough. After watching William MacSwain's platoon in Japan practicing a maneuver, he was impressed with what he saw, so the National Guard was free to fight in the Korean War.

Tags: Basic training,Civilians,Fear,Impressions of Korea,Living conditions,Pride,Weapons

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHQ9FnRIxZM&start=998&end=1250

Photos

Railroad

Railroad

R & R

R & R

Baldy

Baldy

Stan Bakula

Stan Bakula

Al Winnie

Al Winnie

Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura

Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura

The trade port of Kobe

The trade port of Kobe

Mt. Fuji and Lake Shoji

Mt. Fuji and Lake Shoji

G. Bouilet and O.C. Gray

G. Bouilet and O.C. Gray

W. Macswain

W. Macswain

Day before bivwar. Ethel has the one the day after, the one with big feet

Day before bivwar.  Ethel has the one the day after, the one with big feet

Chitose

Chitose

Stan

Stan

An old grass mat to slide down the spillway provides entertainment. One trip was usually enough!

An old grass mat to slide down the spillway provides entertainment.  One trip was usually enough!

Tambson

Tambson

Camp Polk

Camp Polk

Pier of Yokohama Harbour

Pier of Yokohama Harbour

Stan

Stan

Shopping Center at Hakata

Shopping Center at Hakata

Dave Ferris 7/1951

158th Field Artllery attached to 179th Inf. Reg.
Taken at beach at Atomic City

Dave Ferris 7/1951

Denton, Weatherbie, Toone, Boratsky

Panama

Denton, Weatherbie, Toone, Boratsky

Jack Bond, B Co 1st Sgt. (took Sedmiss's place)

Jack Bond, B Co 1st Sgt. (took Sedmiss's place)

Sapporo Union Station

Sapporo Union Station

Joe Greco

Joe Greco

Joe Greco, Rochester, NY

Joe Greco, Rochester, NY

Carl E. Barr, Detroit
Lawrence S. Armstrong, Norwich, Connecticut

Otaru Bay

Otaru Bay

Bird Hunting; Feb. 53

Slick Frates is sure proud of these birds. Walked 20 miles to hunt.

Bird Hunting; Feb. 53

Gavin, Maquoketa, Iowa

Gavin, Maquoketa, Iowa

He rode his bicycle through the chow line for slice of bread and strawberry jam. In Japan as elsewhere they always look hungry.

Construction: scaffolding made of poles bound together with rope braided from straw

Land of Rising Sun

Land of Rising Sun

Shiktotsu-Toya National Park

Shiktotsu-Toya National Park

Pride of Ogdea, Oakie, and import from Puerto Rico

Pride of Ogdea, Oakie, and import from Puerto Rico

Mt. Ezo Fuji at Hokkaido, Japan

Mt. Ezo Fuji at Hokkaido, Japan

Lake Ashi at Hakone

Lake Ashi at Hakone

Russell Watkins, Citron, Toone, Dueha, Zwahl

Russell Watkins, Citron, Toone, Dueha, Zwahl

Otaru

Otaru

This is Whitney on K.P. peeling spuds. Al Winnie

This is Whitney on K.P. peeling spuds.  Al Winnie

The Famous Fall Kegon at Nikko

The Famous Fall Kegon at Nikko

The Famous Fall Kegon at Nikko

The Famous Fall Kegon at Nikko

Curfew 2100 Hours

Curfew 2100 Hours

Picture of girls

Here's a cute one fo ya, mom. They were all dressed up in their Sunday best one night in Chitose...bout as big as buttons. See the baby on the guy's back behind them. He's popa to all of 'em...aug 51 in Chitose.

Picture of girls

Picture of Girls

Here's a cute one fo ya, mom. They were all dressed up in their Sunday best one night in Chitose...bout as big as buttons. See the baby on the guy's back behind them. He's popa to all of 'em...aug 51 in Chitose.

Picture of Girls

The excursion boat at Shikotu Lake - mountain with volcano right behind - too fogg tho, to get it. Sept. 51 Conrady

The excursion boat at Shikotu Lake - mountain with volcano right behind - too fogg tho, to get it. Sept. 51 Conrady

Port of Sasebo

Port of Sasebo

Rice paddy

Rice paddy

Ginza Street, Tokyo

Ginza Street, Tokyo

Ginza Street, Tokyo

Ginza Street, Tokyo

Camp Crawford Chapel

Camp Crawford Chapel

Camp Crawford Chapel

Camp Crawford Chapel

Bakula, Henderson, Toone, Short, Armstong, Greco, Kennedy, Lynch, Maseda

Bakula, Henderson, Toone, Short, Armstong, Greco, Kennedy, Lynch, Maseda

Beer party, Yokohama

Beer party, Yokohama

Himes, Bakula, Gavin, Connollly, Curoe, Dueha, Nauman

Himes, Bakula, Gavin, Connollly, Curoe, Dueha, Nauman

Himes, Bakula, Gavin, Connollly, Curoe, Dueha, Nauman

Himes, Bakula, Gavin, Connollly, Curoe, Dueha, Nauman

Hydroelectric

Hydroelectric

Yokohama

Yokohama

Aug 51 Japan

"These are two Jap houseboys that sometimes come around shine boots, sweep up, etc. for a few yen."

Aug 51 Japan

"These are two Jap houseboys that sometimes come around shine boots, sweep up, etc. for a few yen."

Stan Bakula

Stan Bakula

Headquarters Camp Chitose

Headquarters Camp Chitose

May 1951: Stop during hike

May 1951: Stop during hike

Navy Port at Sasebo

Navy Port at Sasebo

Matsushima Island

Matsushima Island

Kiyomizu Temple, Stands on a Cliff at Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple, Stands on a Cliff at Kyoto

Radio guys: Sept. 51

Radio guys: Sept. 51

The Osaka Castle

The Osaka Castle

Sasebo P.X.

Sasebo P.X.

Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi at Hakone

Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi at Hakone

Enlisted Men's Club, Yokosuka

Enlisted Men's Club, Yokosuka

Apartment House

Apartment House

Aug 51: Camp in Hokkaido, Japan

Lt. Clark, a former P-38 flyer

Aug 51: Camp in Hokkaido, Japan

April 51: Streetenberger and Evans

April 51: Streetenberger and Evans

The Desutude of Hiroshima destroyed by Atomic Bomb

The Desutude of Hiroshima destroyed by Atomic Bomb

Ohori Park at Hatara

Ohori Park at Hatara

Ohori Park at Hatara

Ohori Park at Hatara

Japanese family, sells beer, does our laundry

Japanese family, sells beer, does our laundry

GHQ Building at Tokyo

GHQ Building at Tokyo

The Shopping Center at Yokosuka

The Shopping Center at Yokosuka

Claude Green

Claude Green

Backyard Chitose

Backyard Chitose

Akan National Park at Hokkaido

Akan National Park at Hokkaido

Helping

This is me scraping the dirt from Hartman after he came in from the field. How dya like the lip fuzz?

Helping

This is me scraping the dirt from Hartman after he came in from the field. How dya like the lip fuzz?

Shikotsu - Toya National Park

Shikotsu - Toya National Park

First view of Hokkaido

First view of Hokkaido

Hokkaido

Crowding the rail for a good look. Hokkaido - The Port of Otaru

Hokkaido

U.S. Headquarter of Sendai

U.S. Headquarter of Sendai

Japanese temple and grounds

Japanese temple and grounds

Pedro Miguel: Panama Canal

Pedro Miguel: Panama Canal

Shoe repair

Shoe repair

Entrance to the Imperial Palace: Tokyo

Entrance to the Imperial Palace: Tokyo

Mount Fuji from Hakone

Mount Fuji from Hakone

Volcano

Mt. Tarume - South of Lake Shikotusu - active volcano 1023 meters high. Center dome formed in 1909. The rise of fall of this dome is subject of scientific interest. This is the one I am going to climb.

Volcano

Lake and Volcano

Mt. Tarume - South of Lake Shikotusu - active volcano 1023 meters high. Center dome formed in 1909. The rise of fall of this dome is subject of scientific interest. This is the one I am going to climb.

Lake and Volcano

Everybody goes in.

Everybody goes in.

The Nagoya Castle

The Nagoya Castle

Women Building

These Japanese women work as carpenters constructing pre-fab quonsets

Women Building

Archery

Instructor of archery at park in Sapporo. It took him 5 minutes to assume position and usually held as is for one or two.

Archery

Chitose: The only paved street.

Chitose: The only paved street.

Putting Out At Sand Trap!

Putting Out At Sand Trap!

Putting Out At Sand Trap!

Putting Out At Sand Trap!

The Shopping Center at Yokosuka

The Shopping Center at Yokosuka

Great Buddha at Nara

Great Buddha at Nara

Sapporo

Sapporo

Shinsaibashi St., Shopping Center of Osaka

Shinsaibashi St., Shopping Center of Osaka

Explosives demonstration during training exercise

Explosives demonstration during training exercise

The Harbour at Kure

The Harbour at Kure

Me and Big Nose, who is from Michigan, in rear of tents.
He's a radio man, carries the big 300 on his during patrols.

Me and Big Nose, who is from Michigan, in rear of tents.
He's a radio man, carries the big 300 on his during patrols.

This is a command inspection they pulled on us one Saturday...this is a HQ Section Capt. Hyde has his back to cam

May 51 - Back After A Long Walk

May 51 - Back After A Long Walk

Taken at Mukuna waiting to make our amphibious landing 11-51. Braddock Reading Book.

Taken at Mukuna waiting to make our amphibious landing 11-51.  Braddock Reading Book.

Benny Cavatio

Benny Cavatio

Chico, Shigi

Chico, Shigi

Chico

Chico

Chitose

Chitose

Tobira Department Store: Downtown Sapporo

Tobira Department Store: Downtown Sapporo

The Imperial Palace, Tokyo

The Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Fishing boat, Otaru Bay

Fishing boat, Otaru Bay

Panama

Panama

Chitose Air Base

Chitose Air Base

Sapporo Union Station

Sapporo Union Station

The Main St. of Hirokoji at Nagoya

The Main St. of Hirokoji at Nagoya

Diesel motor for LST aboard USS Bexar

Diesel motor for LST aboard USS Bexar

Gillard Cut - Panama Canal

Gillard Cut - Panama Canal

Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossom

Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossom

Ronald Harper

Ronald Harper

Sapporo

Sapporo

Japan 1951

There's the mountain and front of Nick's and my room.

Japan 1951

Arashiyama Park, River, and Hill, is a very nice view

Arashiyama Park, River, and Hill, is a very nice view

Aug. 21 Conrady

Supply room door by our desk.

Aug. 21 Conrady

Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle

To Korea: February 1951

To Korea: February 1951

1st Row: Left to Right: Whitney, Podochiak - Binghamton, NY
Kelly - Brooklyn, NY, Fox - Binghamton, NY
2nd Row: Czajkowski - Connecticut
West - Detroit
Colette - Connecticut

Al Winnie

1951

Al Winnie

1951

Pilot parachuted and was escorted to rear. Chajo who carried parachute got his .38 caliber as souvenir

Four hour train trip gets tiring

Four hour train trip gets tiring

My old CO, Capt. Jack Isler, now 52, takes one of our deluxe showers.

Shopping Center at Sasebo

Shopping Center at Sasebo

Entrance to Maruyama Park, Sapporo

Entrance to Maruyama Park, Sapporo

Golden Nugget Gambling Hall

Golden Nugget Gambling Hall

Laundry and Day Cleaning - Chitose

Laundry and Day Cleaning - Chitose

The Roman Catholic Church at Uragami (Nagasaki)

The Roman Catholic Church at Uragami (Nagasaki)

1951

1951

GHQ 45th Division Football

GHQ 45th Division Football

Muroran City, Hokkaido

Muroran City, Hokkaido

Nimble fingered natives clean eels with deftness born of long experience. Kept fresh in tubs of water, placed in basket at left table, cleaned, placed on wire and broiled over charcoal

Friends

Friends

Sandstone quarry

Sandstone quarry

The Kintai-Bashi, funny round bridge

The Kintai-Bashi, funny round bridge

The Yomeimon at Nikko, one of the world's most beautiful Gates.

The Yomeimon at Nikko, one of the world's most beautiful Gates.

Ammo Dump with effect of American strafing during last war

Ammo Dump with effect of American strafing during last war

Shinkyo (Sacred Bridge) at Nikko

Shinkyo (Sacred Bridge) at Nikko

Ernie Pyle theatre in Tokyo

Ernie Pyle theatre in Tokyo

Sgt. Schmisseur

Sgt. Schmisseur

Garden

Garden

Atomic Bomb Center - Nagasaki

Atomic Bomb Center - Nagasaki

Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu

August 1951

Sgt. Schmisseur, Platoon Sgt. Gustafson and Captain Hyde look on as the inspecting officer inspects weapons during the command in.

August 1951

Sgt. Schmisseur, Platoon Sgt. Gustafson and Captain Hyde look on as the inspecting officer inspects weapons during the command in.

Gene A. Lambson, Roma, New Mexico

Gene A. Lambson, Roma, New Mexico

Henderson, Baer, Wehby, Bombsberger, Harper, Graham, Antelope, Anthofer

Welcome Thunder Birds

Welcome Thunder Birds

Seoul

Seoul

Young cracked a good joke

Hudson and myself. He was our messenger now truck driver.

Hudson and myself.  He was our messenger now truck driver.