William Puls was a junior in high school in Hempstead, New York, when the Korean War began. After high school, he was drafted in 1952 to serve in the United States Army, then sent to serve as an Ammunition Bearer on the Korean War front. He explains being given duty as Nightwatchman on the ship journey to Japan, and later serving on stretcher duty to retrieve dead and wounded soldiers on the front. After his military service, he became an electrician and later a safety director in a rendering company for many years. He re-visited Korea in 2000 and in 2010, and shares his personal reflections upon traveling back.
Trench War and Stretcher Duty
William Puls describes his experience on trench patrol during the last part of the Korean War just before the Armistice. He describes fighting from a position at an outpost, then having to pick up dead bodies from the trenches, which were about three-hundred yards away. He shares the repercussions of having to fire massive amounts of ammunition during the fighting.
The Impact of the Forgotten War
William Puls describes his revisits to South Korea in 2000 and 2010. He explains his amazement at the cleanliness and modernization of the cities in South Korea. He praises the South Koreans for their admiration and respect toward Korean War veterans. He shares his opinion on what can be done to resolve the continued division between the countries of North Korea and South Korea.
Nightwatchman and No Bath
William Puls describes arriving in Korea, and recalls a number of soldiers who were sick from the journey at sea. He tells of the landing at Incheon, and being transported to the front on Christmas Hill. He describes the circumstances of fighting for twenty-one consecutive days without being able to stop to shower because of the intensity. His references are in reflection of the fighting shortly before the Armistice.
Pictured is twenty year-old William Puls, at basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He is wearing his army uniform.
The photograph was taken in 1952.
William Puls in front of Quonset Huts
William Puls is pictured standing in front of a Quonset hut. He helped build both the hut and the H Company sign. He is holding his equipment in the picture.
William Puls next to 4.2 mm Mortar
William Puls is pictured standing next to a 4.2 mm mortar. He is located with the 3rd Division in the picture. The photograph was taken in 1954.
Shower Near Inje, 1953
Pictured is a shower next to a stream where the soldiers could bathe. They used kerosene heaters inside of the drum to warm the 55 gallons of water in the container. The water would then be spilled into a trough with holes.
William Puls next to 81 mm mortar
William Puls is pictured kneeling next to an 81 mm mortar. The mortar was actually used during the Korean War. He spent much of his time working with mortars during his service in the war.
William Puls Resting
William Puls is pictured resting at a reserve area. The area was where the 45th Division stayed when fighting stopped. The photograph was taken in front of a tent.