The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » transcriptturner

 Memoirs: "My Korean War Experience - 'Mosquito Wars'"

view larger imageprevious[page 11 of 11]nextpage:
text transcription
Image of page 1

{illigible} holes of cotton twine--they wore cotton underwear under and over it and the trapped air (holes) made it warmer than our {woll} woolen longjohns!--

{Dicipline} ^Discipline in the South Korean Army was brutal to watch-they would have a soldier doing pushups (infraction of some rule against them) and they had to remain rigid and got a rifle but to the head, if they faltered even a fraction--their concept of life was much different than ours--

Once when our forward lines were under attack, and all our perimeter big guns were in {actt} action, the waves of North Korean and Chinese troops were screaming, at the top of their lungs and running forward, {at} in waves, into our guns--the ration of guns ^held by the enemy^ was about 8 to 1--the one's without guns had clubs and whistles and they would stop and retrieve a gun that another soldier had ^used before he was hit--the casulties {were} ^were enormous, but if they wanted a position, they would expend all their troops to overrun it-!-

The Northern troops were masters at {camofldge} ^camouflage--they would [strip] a big gun down to carrying size objects and trek up a large hill and reassemble it on the top--the trail they used was not visible to us in the air--on our side, the trail was big enough to drive a truck and visible for miles--we could always tell when we were over enemy territory, as there was no visible indications of anyone in the area-

Right after I became a forward air controller, my friends back at my home base informed me another of my buddies had been killed, so that made two that I knew very well-I guess I was lucky I finished my 57 combat missions.

I finished my two months, with I Corps, and allowed to return to Seoul--in Seoul, our headquarters, tried to get me to take the 5th AF Finance Office (I was qualified) and offered me a promotion to Major, but I declined--

My finance career followed me into the forward line--I paid the local South Koreans--I would take a yardstick and measure out the stack of new bills (won)--(Good to the dollar) and each worker lined up and when they made their "X", they had their wrist stamped--they'd leave the line, with their money, work on the inked stamp until it disappeared, then get back in line--when I ran out of won, then everyone was declared "paid" and I folded up my shop (Jeep) then I went swimming by running my jeep into the water and using it to dive off into the creek (all the GD's used {it} ^the creek^ for bathing and recreation)--end of my financial career in Korea-

I rejoined my wife, in Nagoya, Japan, and came back home on the troop ship "Randall"--We had a stateroom (one of six) and her bunk was on one bulkhead and mine was on the other side--we had a piston shaft separating [sic] us--{it} ^the piston^ moved up and down (back and forth) the entire journey back home {illigible}--but it got us home safely!!-

-with love to you all!!

Corbin B. Willis Jr

view larger imageprevious[page 11 of 11]nextpage:
text transcription

 Memoirs: "My Korean War Experience - 'Mosquito Wars'"

Home » transcriptturner
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us