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Belay Bekele served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was part of the 1st Ethiopian Battalion to go to Korea. His father served in the Ethiopian military, however, perished in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. Belay Bekele could not attend formal school because of the war with Italy. He enlisted in the Ethiopian military in 1947 and went to Korea in 1951, where he served one year. The Ethiopian forces were the only United Nations to not surrender, nor retreat during the war. Belay Bekele even met future President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower on a battlefield in Korea. Upon returning to Ethiopia, Belay Bekele served in the Imperial Guard until 1960. He has revisited Korea two times and Korea's transformation amazes him.
Fekede Belachew served in the Ethiopian military in Korea. His service came after the signing of the armistice. However, he came into contact with many Chinese soldiers. Tasks for soldiers during this time were to be a presence in case of invasion. While there was no fighting, Fekede Belachew went on patrols and protected Korea from the threat of invasion. He also saw children starving and donated part of his wages to an orphanage in Seoul. He is happy for what South Korea has become and would fight again if called upon.
Yilma Belachew served with the famed Kagnew Battalion from Ethiopia during the Korean War. He was Platoon leader of a very successful ambush patrol that saw no casualties. He went to Korea in 1952 and served for a year with the Second Kagnew Battalion. Yilma Belachew continued his service in the Ethiopian military after the war. Subsequently, he attained the rank of Captain. Yilma Belachew recently filmed a Korean War documentary to help keep the Korean War Legacy alive and also has a Korean War museum in his home. Further, he is very proud of his service and what South Korea has accomplished since the war.
Assefa Demissie Belete served in the Ethiopian army during the Korea War. He went to Korea at seventeen years of age in 1952. He was part of the famed Kagnew Battalion. The 2nd Kagnew Battalion served in Korea for one year and three months. Above all, Asefa Demissie Belete is excited to see what Korea has become. Further, Korea is like a brother to him. He has revisited Korea three times. His son even works in Korea. Assefa Demissie Belete wants Korea to keep being successful.
Bezuneh Mengestu was born outside Addis Ababa and joined the military in 1947. He left for Korea in 1952 and served in the 3rd Kagnew Battalion from 1953 to 1954 primarily around Chuncheon. Bezuneh Mengestu was in an infantry unit and fought in the mountains against the Chinese. He remembers the deaths of many, including almost all the Turkish soldiers on one battlefield, but knew he had no choice but to fight on out of respect for his commanders and the Emperor Haile Selassie. Bezuneh Mengestu is very thankful for the support provided to Korean War Veterans by the South Korean government which included building his current home.
Tsege Cherenet Degn served in the Fourth Kagnew Battalion beginning in 1954. The battalion was named after an Ethiopian warhorse and members were drawn from the Ethiopian emperor's bodyguard division. Tsege Cherenet Degn traveled by ship to Korea with Greek and UK troops and was stationed in Chuncheon and Seoul. He served in a patrol unit and reported on the movements and activities of Chinese troops across the DMZ. Tsege Cherenet Degn is most proud of his work with the poor children which included an Ethiopian run orphanage. He returned to South Korea in 2013 and was amazed and proud of the progress that had been made since he left in 1954.
Telila Deresa served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was part of the Third Kagnew Battalion. This battalion saw key battles along the 38th Parallel prior to the signing of the Armistice. As a soldier, he was too young to be scared. Telila Deresa describes how the war helped him become the man he is today. The transformation that Korea has undergone in his lifetime amazes him. Telila Deresa is proud of his Korean War service and prays Korea will continue to become a powerful nation.
Mekonen Derseh served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He went to Korea at the age of sixteen. Part of the reason for going to Korea was to stop an aggressor nation. This is something that stuck with him, being from Ethiopia defending against the Italian aggressor. He is proud of his service in the Korean War. Mekonen Derseh has revisited Busan and is amazed at the transformation.
Asefa Desta served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. Growing up in Ethiopia, he experienced an aggressor nation trying to take over another nation. Later, he was part of the famed 1st Kagnew Battalion. He arrived in Busan in 1951 with other United Nation troops from Turkey and Greece. Asefa Desta is proud of his service to keep South Korea from becoming a communist state. His service came at a cost. When the Communists took over in Ethiopia, they resented Korean War veterans. He has revisited Korea and the changes are difficult to explain.
Kebede Teferi Desta served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He went to Korea as part of the First Kagnew Battalion. He was one of the younger members of the battalion. Due to his age, military leaders held him back from military engagements. Kebede Teferi Desta had to plead to be put into an engagement, which finally did happen. He has revisited Korea since his service. He is happy to see the massive changes that the country has undergone.
Girma Mola Endeshaw served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was a medical assistant and helped wounded soldiers. He was part of the Third Kagnew Battalion. Girma Mola Endeshaw has been back to Korea and is amazed at the transformation. He understands the true word of sacrifice. When the Communists seized power in Ethiopia, Girma Mola Endeshaw had most of his possessions confiscated, because of his military service in Korea. However, he is proud of his service during the Korean War.
Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was part of the Third Kagnew Battalion that served near the 38th Parallel before Armistice. Being a sniper, placed him in danger many times. He has revisited Korea on one occasion. The transformation of a country from war amazed him. He prays that Korea will continue to be prosperous. Zenebwrk Balaynea Geamda is thankful for the generosity of the Korean government today.
Lakew Kidane Goshene was born in 1935 in Addi Ababa, Ethiopia. He attended a religious school through the age of 13 and later joined the Imperial Bodyguard at age 17 in 1952. In 1954, he went to Korea in the 4th Kagnew Battalion which was attached to the US 7th Infantry. He served as radio operator in a machine gun platoon that he describes as a peacekeeping unit. He spent one year in Korea and marvels at the transformation that he saw upon his return in 2019.
Asfaw Teklemariam Habteyes was born in Ethiopia on February 21, 1941 according to the Ethiopian calendar (1934 in the Western calendar). His father served in the armed forces fighting the Italian occupation which served as inspiration for him to join the army in 1952. Asfaw Habteyes served in the 4th Kagnew Battalion that was attached to the US 7th Division in Chuncheon. During his service starting in 1953, Asfaw Habteyes served in the infantry as a corporal primarily engaged in security operations as fighting had ceased. He describes his joy at the reception he and his fellow soldiers received upon their return. Asfaw Habteyes serves on the board of Ethiopia's Korean War Veteran's association and in 1999 returned to visit Korea. He wishes that the Koreas would unite and believes that Ethiopian schools should teach more about his country's experience in the war.
Asefa Werku Kassa served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He was part of the famed Kagnew Battalion, 2nd Battalion, and served as a half lieutenant. Asefa Werku Kassa was born in Gondar, Ethiopia and attended Orthodox Church School. He later became a guard for Haile Selassie. Asefa Werku Kassa was promoted, not because of his name, but because of his skills and talent. In Korea, one engagement with the Chinese left him with a long scar from a knife. He sees Korea as his child, because of the sacrifice of his blood.
Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen served in the Ethiopian military in Korea. His service in Korea came after the signing of the armistice. He came from a family of soldiers. His father served in the Imperial Guard and was a hero to his son. Tasks for soldiers after the signing of the armistice were to be a presence in case of invasion. While there was no fighting, Tesfaye Asmamau Kewen went on patrols and protected Korea from the threat of invasion. He also saw children starving and donated part of his wages to an orphanage in Seoul. He is happy for what South Korea has become, but wants the brotherhood of Korea to be united.
Asefa Mengesha was born in 1929. He joined the Ethiopian Imperial Guard at age 16 in 1945. He was a member of the 2nd Kagnew Battalion that fought in Korea from July 1952 through April of 1953. Asefa Mengesha fought from the moment he arrived in Korea in the mountains. He was wounded in the legs from mortar rounds, saw friends die, and took Chinese prisoners. He considers himself and his fellow soldiers to be heros and spent a year in prison back home when communists took over in 1974 because of his heroism. Asefa Mengesha has revisited Korea and cried when he saw what the nation had become.
Tereda Mersha was born in Ethiopia in 1936. He joined the military at age 16 and journeyed to fight in Korea with the 3rd Kagnew Battalion in 1953. He fought in the frontlines during the last six months of the conflict. Tereda Mersha was severely wounded at Yoke Mountain and has struggled with his health since. He does not regret his service and asks that Korea educates his descendents to learn more about his experiences.
Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya served in the Ethiopian military during the Korean War. He served as part of the famed Third Kagnew Battalion in 1953. For instance, the Ethiopian Kagnew Battalion was the only United Nations country to not lose in battle or have a Prisoner of War (POW). His military occupation was a bazooka shooter. Upon returning to Ethiopia after his service, he became an athlete for the national team in running. Above all, Taddese Weldmedhen Metaferiya is humble about his experience in Korea and prays to God that South Korea will continue to thrive.