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Experiencing War: The Korean War, Not Forgotten (Stories from the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress)

They were the mechanics who kept the planes and tanks and trucks running, the nurses who comforted the casualties of the battlefield, and the clerks who made sure the paperwork was accurate and timely. There are millions of stories in the Korean War of men and women who rarely had to duck gunfire but still made their own contributions to the war effort. And when the guns went silent, many stayed to patrol the DMZ, mindful of how quickly the 1950 attack on South Korea mobilized.

Featured Story:  James T. Markalunas
 James T. Markalunas - link to story
"The weather conditions were at best deplorable." (Video Interview, 41:05)

In high school in Aspen, Colorado, James Markalunas worked in a power plant and later studied engineering. After he enlisted in late 1950, the Marines assigned him to a transport squadron to maintain radios, based on his background. In Korea, he was based in Pusan. The planes he worked on provided air cover for the 1st Marine Division and ground support, as well as making interdiction runs and dropping night-time flares. (The latter missions were the only time he got into the air.) Markalunas found the weather in Korea to be another kind of enemy, as the extreme conditions played havoc with his equipment.

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 James T. Markalunas' story
Experience more stories of the The Korean War: In Support more stories
 
“I really cried when I left Korea. I missed the Koreans, I missed my friends, I missed the service, I missed everything -- not the war, but I missed that whole experience.” -- Ric Gleason-Mendoza
 
Kenneth Bentz - link to story
“If I had been sent to the front I probably would have killed myself, you know, shoot myself in the foot...”

Kenneth Bentz's story

Frances Louise Downing Donovan - link to story
“It was a matter of finding the right button to push.”

Frances Louise Donovan's story

Rose L. Sutherland Gibbs - link to story
“You didn’t have time really to think about what had happened...”

Rose L. Sutherland Gibbs' story

Ric Gleason-Mendoza - link to story
“... I missed everything - not the war, but I missed that whole ... experience.”

Ric Gleason-Mendoza's story

Mary L. Weiss Hester - link to story
“... He said, 'If you’re going to join the service, join the Air Force.'”

Mary L. Weiss Hester's story

Eldon Glenn Morrison - link to story
“... and the motto was 'You Call - We Haul - LST-1101.'”

Eldon Glenn Morrison's story

David P. Riley - link to story
“I'd still rather be on a flight deck ... than on a battlefield with bullets buzzing over my head.”

David P. Riley's story

Regina H. Schiffman - link to story
“There was something that stirred up the adrenalin, I think, that really kept you going.”

Regina H. Schiffman's story

Richard Alvin Simpson - link to story
“The sergeant said to me, 'Welcome, you are the first replacement since the war ended.'”

Richard Alvin Simpson's story

George Zimmer - link to story
“...It was a poor way to make a living; I wouldn't recommend it.”

George Zimmer's story

 
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  May 27, 2010
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