Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Location of Service: Parris Island, South Carolina; Korea
  • Highest Rank: Corporal

View full service history

"I joined the Marine Corps so I could do what the guys did in Life Magazine. I want to land on a beach. I want to know if I have the mettle. Do I have what it takes to conduct myself in combat. Am I a coward?" (Audio Interview, 19:52)

Inspired by the service of his older brothers and others in World War II, 18-year-old Ralph Steele joined a Marine Corps Reserve unit in 1948. Two years later, he was called into active duty when the Korean War broke out. Trained as a machine gunner, he saw action in Korea as a rifleman but was wounded not long after arriving in country. Fifty years after the events, Steele is able to recall in vivid detail his short tour in Korea, when the reality of war collided with the ideals which had prompted him to join the service.

Ralph B. Steele Collection
Interview / Recording

Transcript: XML

About this Item

Title

  • Ralph B. Steele Collection

Names

  • U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar
  • Lugar, Richard
  • Steele, Ralph B.
  • Ordner, Larry
  • National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
  • Jodi Algarin

State of Birth

  • IN

Home State

  • IN

Headings

  • -  Steele, Ralph B.
  • -  Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Korean War, 1950-1953

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Location of Service: Parris Island, South Carolina; Korea
    • Highest Rank: Corporal
    • Dates of Service: 1948-1953
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 08/28/2002)
  • Photograph: Original photographic print [1 item] -- Portrait (collected 2002)
  • Audio: Audio Cassette [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 08/28/2002)
  • Computer File: Floppy Disk [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected 08/28/2002)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of audio recording (collected 08/28/2002)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/2616

Cite as

  • Ralph B. Steele Collection (AFC/2001/001/2616), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • audio
  • image
  • online text

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar, Richard Lugar, Ralph B Steele, Larry Ordner, National Court Reporters Association, and Jodi Algarin. Ralph B. Steele Collection. 1948. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02616/.

APA citation style:

U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar, Lugar, R., Steele, R. B., Ordner, L., National Court Reporters Association & Jodi Algarin. (1948) Ralph B. Steele Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02616/.

MLA citation style:

U.S. Senate/Richard Lugar, et al. Ralph B. Steele Collection. 1948. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.02616/>.