Korean War: In Support

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

"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.