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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Korean War

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Korean War The Korean War (1950 - 53)

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  #1  
Old 22 Dec 05, 12:38
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What did your relative(s) do in Korea?

Hope this is appropriate...

I'm sure many of us had family members who were involved in the Korean War in some way. How about we talk a bit about what they did...

My father was in the 3rd ID in Korea (drafted) in '51-52. He was a half-track mounted Quad 40 gunner. He spent most of his time off the line as a security detail for an artillery detachment as well as being stationed near a MASH unit from time to time. Luckily he didn't see much of the horrible fighting that occured there. He never really talked much about it until I started to get more interested in military stuff 5+ years ago. His memory can't recall specifically where he was, but he does remember just how *cold* it was there in the winter. He's said that he never felt that kind of cold before or since, and he lives in Cleveland.
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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 05, 13:02
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My father way in the 7th Inf Div. He participated in trhe Inchon landing and the drives across Korea and up to the Yalu. He was a member of a heavy weapons company that was cut off with the Army units East of the Chosin refered to in the Chosin post... Three members of his company made it to the evacuation on the coast.

He was lucky being over six feet tall and highly thought of by his company commander he had been transfered to an honor guard detail at 10th Corps a couple of days before the Chinese opened their offensive.

From a small rural county in south Georgia with a population at the time of only a couple of thousand my father has in the past mentioned four people he knew who were part of the task force. Two survived the war after being made POW's. Another starved since as one of his companions stated he just would not eat those fish heads they gave us.
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Old 22 Dec 05, 15:39
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My uncle Joe was with Chesty at the Chosin.
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Old 24 Dec 05, 18:21
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Well, my one grandfather was a drafter in Japan during the korean war. My other grandfather was training to be an infantyman, but the war eneded before that could happen. Pretty boring military history, actually. Although, I heard that one of my great uncles was in the battle of ghettysburg.
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Old 24 Dec 05, 18:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w john spurrell
My uncle Joe was with Chesty at the Chosin.
Same here as well, but I have no clue what he do in Korea that I had hard time to track some relatives down to find out what he do in Korea and when he came back to the state in either 1952 or 1953, he was actually an DI for little while until he was order back to Korea, but he was killed in Car accident in outside of San Diego (Orange, Cal.). I gotta find good information about him soon.
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Old 28 Dec 05, 08:32
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My father was a maintenance airman on Okinawa serving bombers on runs over Korea.
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Old 07 Jan 06, 11:45
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My grandfather was in intelligence and the scientific arm of the military back here in Canada. Worked on cold weather clothing for troops and stuff like that.
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Old 10 Jan 06, 11:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker
My father way in the 7th Inf Div. He participated in trhe Inchon landing and the drives across Korea and up to the Yalu. He was a member of a heavy weapons company that was cut off with the Army units East of the Chosin refered to in the Chosin post... Three members of his company made it to the evacuation on the coast.

He was lucky being over six feet tall and highly thought of by his company commander he had been transfered to an honor guard detail at 10th Corps a couple of days before the Chinese opened their offensive.

From a small rural county in south Georgia with a population at the time of only a couple of thousand my father has in the past mentioned four people he knew who were part of the task force. Two survived the war after being made POW's. Another starved since as one of his companions stated he just would not eat those fish heads they gave us.
I spoke to my father since making the post above. He knew Col Faith (see the Chosin Post) personally. In his position as driver/radioman for a company commander he saw Col Faith, who was the battalion commander) daily and was present at many of the meetings and planning sessions held by the battalion during the fighting prior to the Chosin campaign.

He was in the heavy weapons company of the 1st Battalion, 32nd Regiment, 7th Inf Division.

His company commander was Capt Garrett a veteran of WWII. Before the unit left Japan Garrett selected my father from a group of replacements to be his driver/radioman. He did this because he had served with another soldier named Underwood in WWII that he had thought very highly of.

Just a few little quips that some of you might find entertaining.

After the X Corps invaded at Inchon they were pulled out and launched another amphibious assault further north on the east coast. For political and propaganda reasons the ROK forces landed first and the Marines landed the next day. Between these two landings Bob Hope set up a stage and greeted the Marines on the beach with a USO show. It sort of blew the photo opportunity for the Marines and their brass was mad as hell about it. So was my father since he didn't land until the next day and missed the show.

In the advance towards the Yalu the portion of the 1/32 my father was with was briefly delayed by an ememy blocking position. His company was exchanging mortar fire with the enemy. While moving by jeep to check with forward units
my father and his commander came under rifle fire. They had stopped by the side of the road and his commander and a Tech SGT had dismounted for some reason. When the firing started CPT Garrett and the SGT took cover in the ditch on one side of the road. My father not wanting to leave "his" jeep in the open pulled it behind a "honey wagon" (a fertilizer wagon full of human manure). The wagon with the jeep behind it drew a geat deal of the incoming small arms fire. My father stated that; "They couldn't hit me but I hear the round thumping into the manure. It stirred the stuff up pretty good and in a few minutes it was smelling to high heavens. The stink reminded me of our C-rations and since I couldn't move from behind the wagon I just used the time to eat."

When the block was cleared the Koreans firing on them withdrew. CPT Garrett had been concerned about the amount of fire my father was drawing and was pretty ticked-off when he found his teenage driver parked behind the fertilizer wagon with his feet up calmly having lunch. The Tech SGT thought it was hilarious and spread the story though the unit.

More later.
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Old 10 Jan 06, 11:20
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My Dad was a young naval officer commanding a mine sweeper. His most significant action was running close inshore to clear mines in Inchon Harbor prior to the invaision.
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Old 17 Jan 06, 10:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMoss
My Dad was a young naval officer commanding a mine sweeper. His most significant action was running close inshore to clear mines in Inchon Harbor prior to the invaision.
JSMoss - what's your Dad's name?

My Dad served on a minesweeper (USS Chief or Defense, he was on both at one point or another). He was also at Inchon.

My Stepdad was in the US Army, not sure what he did.

My father in law was a MSG in the ROK Army.
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Old 17 Jan 06, 10:37
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My own family missed that party.

Grandfather saw WW2, had uncles in navy, but no Korean exploits.
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Old 17 Jan 06, 10:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos
JSMoss - what's your Dad's name?

My Dad served on a minesweeper (USS Chief or Defense, he was on both at one point or another). He was also at Inchon.

My Stepdad was in the US Army, not sure what he did.

My father in law was a MSG in the ROK Army.
James L Moss Commanding the USS Incredible

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/s...sh-i/am249.htm

Reading this it appears I misunderstand and he was at Wonsan landings.

My Gradndad was a full bird colnel in the army at the time. I believe he was still Commander at Kobe at the time
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Old 13 Aug 09, 10:23
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Relatives in Korean War

I had two uncles in the Korean War. My father was in the CIC in Korea in 1946 and in the reserves during the war. One of my father's brothers, who was born about 1930, was stationed in Hawaii and had about 10 days before going home when the war broke out- I think in the 25th division. Obviously he did not get to go home. He was in Korea sometime in August or September. He went with the 8th Army up South Korea into North Korea. By the end of his time there he was the platoon sergeant, only three of the original platoon left. He was lucky in terms of direct injury, just had a shrapnel wound to his hand, but didn't put in paperwork because he didn't want my grandmother to worry. He did suffer circulatory damage to his legs from being outside in the extreme cold so much. He has told me about how beers would sell for a $100 a bottle when there was going to be a battle the next day. He gave his to his friends because he was not a drinker. Next time I see him I am going to ask him some specific questions, but generally he does not talk about his experiences. Talked a little to me about his experiences when my father died.

One of my mother's brothers, born about 1930, was an armorer in the army. He served in the X Corps, I don't know his unit, although I would guess he was in or attached to the 7th division. He went around in a jeep with a workshop in back and repaired small arms in the field. He had excellent mechanical skills like his father, as farmboys often do (my mother and aunts and uncles spent summers on the farm in Vermont, my mother and this uncle were born there). He was caught behind the lines and my grandparents got a telegram before Christmas saying he was missing in action. He eventually made his way back to the lines after two weeks. At one point he tried to hook up with some Marines but was told "We're sorry, we have all we can do to take care of our own". Around 1972 he and my aunt adopted a Korean girl who was about a year old. My cousin is doing well. My uncle died in 1996, he didn't like to talk about the war. When I see my aunt again I'm going to see if she has any information she can share with me.

My father was in the reserves in army intelligence at the start of the war. In 1949 he and others in his unit took a course to become intelligence officers (as opposed to counterintelligence officers). In 1950 he was promoted to 1st LT .At some point, I think 1951, he was transferred to the Transportation Corps. His final rank was Captain, in 1960 or 1961. In 1946 he was in Korea as a CIC officer(2nd LT), trained in Japanese language and area and Counterintelligence. He went on missions and then was the CIC officer in a prefect/region where the police officials had to report to him. I asked him once if there was ever any talk of him being called up during the Korean War to go to Korea, he never really answered. It was probably for the best he wasn't called up because most likely it would have been a different, more brutal type of service than what he was involved with in 1946, in terms of dealing with suspected agents, POWs, etc. in a very tough manner (Actually I think the tough behavior started in 1947 or 1948, Air Force intelligence working with South Korean Police, on internet). My father later in life took up the hobby of re-studying the Japanese Language and people. At one point in the early 90's he made friends with a Japanese government official who was studying at Harvard for a year or two. I don't think he was particularly interested in present day Korea. The last couple of years of his life he loved to watch MASH every day.

He loved the episodes with the crazy intelligence officer Colonel Flagg. He especially loved the episode with the other crazy intelligence officer, when the two played a cat-and-mouse game with each other. He always laughed out loud at that. He also loved the episode where General MacArthur came for an inspection and then just drove through the camp. My father met the General once, at a play or some performance in Tokyo. He said everyone stood up, of course, and the General spoke to the officers there briefly, and while inspecting/greeting my father, he said something like "Lieutenant, I see you're in Intelligence. The eyes and ears of the military". When my father told the story he tried to do it in MacArthur's voice.

My late father -in- law was in the Navy in the South Pacific in WW II. During the Korean War he worked as a civilian in the Pentagon in the library where maps and photos were kept.

Last edited by lakechampainer; 13 Aug 09 at 11:08.. Reason: adding line on 1947-1948
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Old 13 Aug 09, 14:05
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My mom's brother

was a 1st LT serving as a B-29 bombadier. Unfortunately he was shot down on his 23rd mission (I have the little address book that he used to document them) in March 1953. According to my mom they got a couple of letters from him while he was a POW. The story was his captors took his boots and marched him barefoot to the camp. He never recovered and died shortly after.

His body was never returned and his ID card (Dewey Stopa) is still on display at Kim's war museum at the DMZ.
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Old 13 Aug 09, 18:23
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was a 1st LT serving as a B-29 bombadier. Unfortunately he was shot down on his 23rd mission (I have the little address book that he used to document them) in March 1953. According to my mom they got a couple of letters from him while he was a POW. The story was his captors took his boots and marched him barefoot to the camp. He never recovered and died shortly after.

His body was never returned and his ID card (Dewey Stopa) is still on display at Kim's war museum at the DMZ.
Do you know if there was a set number of missions limit for bomber crews when he was serving or did they serve for a period of time?

Does anyone remember how the Family was notified of his ID card being in the Museum?
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