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Frank Abasciano joined the military in 1947 before the war in Korea broke out. While he had intended on playing football in college, he quickly discovered that he was not welcome in the South and decided to pursue the military. While in Korea, he found himself in some of the most notorious battles of the Korean War, including the landing at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir. He describes the landing at Incheon and what he remembers when they first landed. He served alongside a World War II veteran who shared that their situation in the Chosin Reservoir was worse than his time at the Battle of the Bulge. He explains how cold it was in Korea and how he still suffers from the effects of frostbite.
Bruce Henry Ackerman was born in Chittenango, NY and had just been laid off by Carrier Corporation when he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. During his service period from August 1949 through November 1952, he landed in Pusan and was stationed at various locations with the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 1st Marine Division. He was an Military Occupational Specialty was a 2511 Field Telephone Communications Wireman, and played a role in the UN Defensive, UN Offensive, Hungnam-Chosin Campaign, and United Nations Counter-offensive. For his commitments, he received a Combat Action Ribbon, 3 Korean Presidential Citations, Good Conduct Korean Medal with 4 stars, UN Medal, ROK 50th Anniversary Medal, NYS Conspicuous Service Cross, and a National Reserve Medal among others. Among the friends he remembers are Charles Budzinki and George Allen because he spent so much time flighting alongside these strong men. His most memorable experience from the war was the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, which had the greatest impact on him of all his experiences in the war.
Grace Ackerman, the wife of Korean War veteran Bruce H. Ackerman, met her husband in Washington D.C. after he returned from the war in 1952. She worked in the accounting department at the Capitol in Washington DC. Grace Ackerman graciously spent many years volunteering her time in a veterans hospital in New York State. She and 17 others adopted a floor of the hospital and spent time talking with the veterans, bringing them gifts, setting up bingo games, and serving as a source of support for them. While working with younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, Grace Ackerman continued her veteran outreach. She visited Korea in 2006 with her church group and was in awe with the beauty of the churches in Korea, and of the rich culture of Korea.
Allen Affolter was sent to Korea in the Spring of 1953 after serving in the Marine Corps Reserves for four years. He details his assignment as a Regimental Accountable Officer and recounts an unusual trade of equipment between the US and Commonwealth soldiers. He recounts the evening before the ceasefire in 1953, detailing that leaflets were dropped by Bed Check Charlie and comments on the message they contained. He speaks highly of the people he served with and describes in great detail his opportunity to return to Korea with a Korean War Veterans Revisit Program. He is proud of his service and of the progress South Korea has made since the war, and he offers a final message to younger generations.
Roy Aldridge was born September 10, 1934, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. In 1949, he joined the Oklahoma National Guard at the age of 16. He and his two cousins forged their parent's signatures and entered basic training on June 25, 1950, at Ft. Hood, Texas when the Korean War started. He was a part of the 147th Regiment Combat Team, 11th airborne and was a prisoner of war. He was a (POW) prisoner of war during the Korean War.
Henry T. Alex served in the United States Armed Forces during the Korean War. He provided a lot of photographs that document his experiences and impressions of Korea during that war. His pictures also showcase what life was like during the war effort.
Alice Allen is the wife of Jack Allen, a Korean War veteran. She met her husband in tenth grade, and they married in the Summer of 1950 when he returned home from his time away with the military since he enlisted in 1948. While Jack was off at war, Alice was on the home front attending college for three years at Cal Engine to become a teacher. She then taught for two years before Mr. Allen returned from war. Alice and Jack kept in touch throughout his deployment in the Korean War through letters. Alice feels that Korean War Legacy Project will allow younger generations to learn about the Korean War.
Jack Allen was born in Cortland, NY. Before enlisting in the military, he graduated from high school in Newark Valley, NY in June 1947. During his service period, he went to Inchon in September 1950 where he served in H Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment as a corporal. Jack Allen was a field telephone wireman, and participated in the Inchon Landing, the recapture of Kimpo Airfield, and the recapture of Seoul from September 15, 1950 to October 11, 1950. Jack Allen was in action against enemy aggression in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir and in the Koto ri from November 27, 1950 to December 11, 1950. For his commitments, he received a Purple Heart, Good Conduct, Navy OCC with European Clasp, Korea Service Medal with 1 Clasp, and the Presidential Unit Citation with 1 clasp.
Kenneth David Allen was born in Syracuse, NY and graduated from Syracuse University Maxwell School Class of 1952. Shortly after graduating, he was drafted for military service. He describes the journey to Korea which included several stops after basic training. He remembers his interactions with the Korean people, including the houseboy in his tent. He continued his military services through 1964, receiving two battle stars and a commendation ribbon for his commitments. He explains how he still assists veterans before they go to the Middle East, developing an appreciation for their service as he can relate to what happened in Korea.
William Edward Alli was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1932. He enlisted into the Marines while still in high school in 1950. After basic and infantry trainings, he served in Korea on the east-central front in a machine-gun unit of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1951–52. After other military assignments in the U.S. Airforce, he went on to attend Wayne State University, where he received both a bachelor's and master's degree in economics, and met his wife. He later worked with the U.S. Government in many capacities, and became very active with numerous causes for both American and Turkish veterans. He has written a book entitled Too Young For a Forgettable War, which is about his experiences in the Korean War. He describes the suffering he saw, as well as the fear he felt while serving as a young soldier in Korea.
Wilma Altizer was married to a sergeant in the military. She was an only daughter and the military was a way for her to get out of the house to experience life outside her town. She volunteered for the Air Force in 1949 and helped on the home front during the Korean War. Wilma Altizer's job was computer communications through IBM. Once she became pregnant, and the military had her and her husband in two different locations all the time, she decided to end her time in the military. While this was in 1951, the Korean War was never forgotten in her heart since she lost a brother to the war.
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez was twenty-years-old when he was drafted into the United States Army and assigned to the 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the "The Borinqueneers" after the Boriquen indigenous tribe in Puerto Rico. His unit, comprised of Puerto Rican soldiers, was joined aboard their ship by Colombian and American troops deployed to the Korean peninsula. Prior to his departure to Korea, he had no prior knowledge of the conflict. When he arrived, he found it was difficult to adjust to the climate which is very different from tropical Puerto Rico. While in Korea, his specialty was in heavy weapons and artillery. He left Korea in 1953 and continued to serve in the military for eleven years.
Leon "Andy" Anderson enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Korean War in 1951 after completing four years of college as a football player. He was part of the 1st Recon Company of the 1st Marine Division and his job was to patrol the line toward the end of the war and after it ended. Throughout his time in Korea, Leon Anderson was able to experience the twenty degrees below zero weather. Since he was only nineteen-year-old when he went to Korea, Leon Anderson looked up to many of his Marine Corps buddies in his platoon since they had fought in WWII and the beginning of the Korean War. After serving in the Marine Corps for five years, he switched to the Army and finished his military career out in the Army.
Joseph Lawrence Annello joined the United States Army in 1950, serving in the 7th Regiment 5th Division. He began his career while stationed in Japan training Korean civilians to fight in the Korean War. He describes his experience as a prisoner of war, finding himself captured after sustaining wounds from gunshot and grenade. He explains his treatment at the hands of the Chinese and their plan to kill him at the side of the road. He continues to explain his journey as a prisoner of war and how he managed to survive.
Felipe Aponte-Colon was born on March 7th, 1931, in Florida, Puerto Rico. He is one of five children to working class parents who were described as very good people. Because of the economic situation in his home, he was only able to finish his second year in secondary school before joining the workforce. While he was working, he heard about the start of the War in Korea and decided to enlist and fight for his country. Extremely proud of his service in Korea, what he remembers most is the battle on Kelly Hill in which errors led to deaths of over six hundred of his fellow Puerto Rican compatriots. He is responsible for saving the lives of six individuals which he led to safety after they were surrounded in battle. As a Puerto Rican, he is proud of his service and would do it again if given the chance to do so. Felipe Aponte-Colón nació el 7 de marzo de 1931 en Florida, Puerto Rico. Es uno de los cinco hijos de padres de clase trabajadora que eran gente muy buena. Debido a la situación económica de su hogar, solo pudo terminar el segundo año de secundaria antes de empezar a trabajar. Mientras estaba trabajando, se enteró del inicio de la Guerra de Corea y decidió alistarse y luchar por su país cuando tenía veinte años. El tiene mucho orgullo de su servicio en Corea, y lo que más recuerda es la batalla de Kelly Hill en la cual errores resultaron en la muerte de más de seiscientos de sus compatriotas puertorriqueños. El es responsable por salvarle la vida de seis personas a las que guio a un lugar seguro después de que se vieron rodeadas en batalla. Como puertorriqueño, está orgulloso de su servicio y lo haría de nuevo si tuviera la oportunidad de hacerlo.
James P. Argires was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in February of 1931. He enlisted in the Marines in June of 1950 when his other friends also joined. In early September of 1950 he arrived in Korea at Pusan (Busan), and shortly after participated in the Inchon Landing and the recapture of Seoul. He recalls the poverty that he saw and vividly remembers a young boy that followed him for an extended period of time. He served in Korea during the war until January of 1952 when he returned to the United States. He shares why he thinks that the Korean War was not taught, but how it became a model for how all other wars would be fought. After finishing his enlistment in the U.S.M.C. Mr. Argires returned to college at the University of Alabama eventually becoming Dr. Argires in 1962, and became a Neurosurgeon in 1966.
Vincent Ariola found himself drafted at age twenty-one into the Korean War in 1951. He left Chicago on a train for Fort Knox, where he learned all things related to the operation of tanks. His reflections of military service during the Korean War include his description of tanks moving toward North Korea, but not bringing South Korean soldiers along for fear of them being mistaken for enemy combatants. He explains his lifestyle while serving as a tanker and personal military encounters during the Battle of Old Baldy in 1952. He ultimately states that he hopes never to go back to Korea because of his wish to forget his painful memories of war.