7:44 | Ben Malcom recalls a mission to infiltrate and destroy a 76mm gun hidden inside a North Korean mountain. During the cover of night on July 14, 1952, Malcom managed to sneak 120 guerilla fighters onto the mountain and into the bunker, and describes the combat that ensued.
Ben Malcom explains how his Special Forces unit controlled several small islands off the coast of North Korea, where he helped command a guerrilla unit of Korean fighters, along with a guerrilla leader named Pak Chol, to disrupt North Korean military and economic actions as much as possible. His missions were Top Secret and even other Army leaders in the area knew little or nothing of his activities.
Ben Malcom recalls how three North Korean agents had infiltrated one of their attempts to recruit guerrilla fighters, which resulted in a series of "tremendous firefights" while Malcom's men attempted to escape the volatile area.
On a mission to gather intelligence on North Korean land targets including a hydroelectric plant, Ben Malcom's B-26 was hit nine times by anti-aircraft fire. Having narrowly survived that excursion, Malcom devised a plan to team his guerrilla fighters on the ground with Army airborne assets to take out that hydroelectric plant.
Ben Malcom recalls a story involving a fellow Special Forces operative, Jim Mapp, who helped rescue a downed Air Force pilot, Col. Albert Schinz, in North Korea.
Ben Malcom remembers a clandestine mission to bring supplies to his Special Forces compatriot Jim Mapp, who was imbedded deep in North Korea near the Yalu River.
Ben Malcom describes some of the more unique aspects of living on the small islands near North Korea. Boats were numerous and very important, and his boats were specialized to disguise their function and speed. Aircraft flying missions over the area also depended on the small islands to crash land when necessary, in which case Malcom would destroy the irreparable aircraft.
Ben Malcom describes how his Special Forces unit would capture North Korean soldiers as prisoners 150 miles behind enemy lines.
Ben Malcom describes the makeup of the 8240th Army Unit, a Special Forces collaboration between the U.S. Army and guerilla fighters in North Korea. Over 200 Americans were spread out over nearly two dozen individual units, commanding and assisting hundreds of guerrilla fighters each. Malcom's individual unit became known as the White Tigers.
Ben Malcom comments on the disappointment many of his North Korean guerrilla fighters felt that the United States didn't press further into North Korea, and instead negotiated a compromise to end the war. Some of his fighters settled in South Korea, but many stayed behind in the North, some of those even continued to report on their operations after the war.
Ben Malcom discusses how his Special Forces unit worked with the indigenous Montagnard people of Vietnam in order to train them to fight against North Vietnamese forces.
Ben Malcom recalls the lesson he quickly learned about how to secure convoys to reduce the likelihood of taking fire from Viet Cong.
Ben Malcom remembers the bombing of the Brink Hotel by Viet Cong forces in Saigon in December of 1964. Bob Hope was scheduled to be in the building when it was destroyed, but luckily he'd been held up at the airport.
After moving around South Korea, Records Clerk Lou Pardy prepared to head into North Korea to Hungnam. The unit was in relief of Marines, whose tanks were not winterized. It was bitterly cold and there was a constant stream of refugees to screen in addition to regular duties. Finally, as the Allies lost ground, the city was evacuated in almost disastrous fashion.
Evarist LeMay recalls the capturing of a group of Chinese soldiers by his regiment and the actions they took for retribution. While scouting, LeMay and his fellow scouts come across a group of American soldiers that had been brutally executed. He credits these types of situations for the PTSD that happens to guys like him when they come home.
Within his regiment, there was some animosity between Martin Overholt and his lieutenant. Clashing with someone who had power over him made it difficult, but he looks back on it fondly now.
Korea got real exciting real quick. It was the practice for the commander to fly with new bomber crews on their first mission. Bill McCowen's B-29 crew almost didn't survive that first mission after the Instructor Pilot nearly killed them twice. The rest of the tour was a little less stressful.
He had been a Radioman for the Navy and when Turner Harris was called to active duty during the Korean War, they sent him to Adak, Alaska, where he monitored Russian Morse Code for Communications Support Activities, a Naval signal intelligence agency. He missed his wife, but the chow was good.
He wasn't even eighteen, but after seeing The Sands Of Iwo Jima, Archie Parrish and his pals tried and failed to enlist in the Marine Corps. But the Navy recruiter next door told him how to hide his real age and he set off to boot camp. This allowed him to escape his strict brother, who was overcompensating for a missing father.
His father was a coal miner in Nova Scotia and it shortened his life, so Ralph McKay did not go into the mines, he joined the army as soon as he was eligible at seventeen. He was assigned to the Royal Canadian Regiment, the oldest unit in Canada, and then to jump school. His first jump was memorable.
The North Koreans had retreated northward and Bill Bates and his Marines were finally able to take hot showers under the curious watch of a local crowd. They returned to the fight, pushing toward the Yalu River when reports of Chinese units started coming in.
Hospital Corpsman Archie Parrish did not care for his first assignment following boot camp, helping deliver babies in the Dependents Ward. He was told he could always volunteer for the Fleet Marine Force. Despite not knowing exactly what that was, he was soon integrated with the 2nd Marine Division training at Camp Lejeune. The mission of the Corpsman? To have as many Marines as possible firing as many guns as possible for as many days as possible.
Jim Walsh had the term "Killer From a Distance" applied to him by his squad leader, Ron Smith. Walsh had used his heavy machine gun to suppress Chinese fire and allow the squad to move forward. Later, Walsh would write a book with that title, referring to artillerymen on whom the infantry depended. Of all the weapons used in Korea, napalm was the most horrendous.
There were no more big battles but there was still danger on the front line in Korea, even if you were just trimming bushes. Glen Weber had a close call while doing just that, but then he was transferred to a new unit in Japan where there was no danger but lots of calisthenics. His last duty in country was providing escort for the prisoner swap after the peace.
Colonel Andy Smith talks about his time in the Korean War as a Marine pilot. As a pilot of the AU-1 Corsair, Colonel Smith's job was to observe the movements of North Korean and Chinese soldiers crossing the border. Colonel Smith retired from the Marines after 30 years of service.
After the treaty had been signed, Harold Maples and his regiment were responsible for setting up a no man's land. In processing enemy soldiers, he found that the brutal Korean winters were equally hard on the North Koreans and Chinese, who were barely equipped to handle them.
B-29 Radio operator Bud Ellis was retrained in electronic countermeasures before his deployment. His job was to jam enemy systems by broadcasting noise on their control frequencies. One problem was, where was he going to sit on the plane?
The trip home on the troop ship was no picnic for Alfred DePietro. A typhoon caused flooding where he was bunked and it was an ordeal to get everyone out of there. Still mystified at being recalled for Korea, he nevertheless states that had a hell of a good time in the military.
Before Al Carter could reach the front lines in Korea, he had to go through a hurricane at sea which made everyone sick. Then he had to ride underpowered Korean trains, which would often not make it up a hill, roll back and have to build up more steam for another try.
It was cold in Korea but Al Carter says that a body gets used to it and that he was prepared from the tough basic training. His unit moved a lot on the front, but he never saw Korean towns or cities, only the lonely front, where all the civilians had been evacuated. During this time, a Korean friend he met after the war was fleeing the North.
The explosion in the tank happened in a second and Bob Jewitt didn't even know what just happened. "Get the hell out of here!" came the order, but first, under fire, he pulled another crew member from the forward hatch and dragged him to safety under the tank. But there was one more crew member. Part 2 of 2.
At the age of sixteen, Bob Humphery was already in the National Guard and as soon as he was old enough, he went into the Army. At boot camp, he was getting tired on the long marches so he came up with a plan to lighten his load. He was pulling good duty occupying Japan when his unit was called for Korea and soon he was an expert at climbing hills.
He shipped out to Korea and, right away, he was disturbed by something he saw in the streets of Pusan. Ralph McKay knew then he was somewhere very different from his home in Canada. It was 1953, late in the war, but the shelling was nearly constant on the front line.
They were not hurting for supplies. The problem was being outnumbered ten to one by the Chinese. When they began "advancing in a different direction," Corpsman Archie Parrish remembers destroying a lot of material so the enemy would not get it. As they approached Koto-ri, he had to dive from an exploding ambulance onto the frozen ground, where he had a chance encounter that would change his life. Part 4 of 4.
Max Ferguson was arriving in Korea just as the armistice was being signed. Deployed near the 38th Parallel, he flew Korean generals and American Colonels around, but only one at a time. The cabin was a clear bubble with two seats. The biggest danger along the DMZ was simply that is was poorly marked, so you had to be careful.
One of the duties of airmen in Korea was to provide close air support to Marines on the ground. They cheered and egged the flyers on to hit even closer. Alfred DePietro recalls those missions and then describes the concept of second sky. It was there he encountered the only enemy fighter plane he ever saw.
Helicopter pilot Max Ferguson had a M.A.S.H. unit down the road from his air strip in Korea. In an escapade worthy of an episode from the TV show of the same name, he chased down a fox at weed level in his helicopter.