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"If we don't tell our story, then nobody will know."

   Donald M. Griffith
Image of Donald M. Griffith
Donald M. Griffith, 2003
War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: F Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: Japan; Korea
Rank: Staff Sergeant
POW: Yes
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Donald Griffith's account of three years as a prisoner of North Korea reads like a laundry list of indignities, beginning with his captors' indifference to wounds he suffered immediately before his imprisonment. He was thrown into a pig pen for a month and saw a fellow G.I. lose his mind and die, he watched in horror as another soldier's diseased feet came right off with his boots, and he was temporarily blinded after being subjected to medical experiments. He cites his superior training by the Marines as an advantage in surviving his POW ordeals.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (10 clips)
»Complete Interview  (82 min.)
»Transcript
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»Photo Album (1 photo)
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»POWs in Korea or Vietnam
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (10 items)
"Where's Korea? I never heard of it." (00:41) Coming ashore under fire at Inchon. (06:14) An encounter with Bob Hope. (02:36)
"Fighting in a different direction;" captured by the Chinese. (08:05) A brief escape; confined to a pig pen. (06:00) Medical experiements on prisoners. (04:08)
Substandard diet of rice and water. (01:28) Released on his birthday; first days as a free man. (04:26) Honored at the White House. (03:26)
A fraternity of honor. (02:37)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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