The making of Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heros
Preparing for the documentary
Profiles of those interviewed:
History and References
The website at the Art Institute introduces our documentary, "Korea - Forgotten War, Remembered Heroes" with a quote from General MacArthur:
“Never before has this nation been engaged in mortal combat with a hostile power without military objective, without policy other than restrictions governing operations, or indeed without even formally recognizing a state of war.”
-General Douglas MacArthur
On June 25, 1950, Soviet-supported North Korean forces invaded U.S.-backed South Korea. Thus Korea became a battleground that pitted the United States and more than a dozen allies against Asian countries that few Americans knew or cared about. World War II had ended less than five years ago and U.S. politicians dared not declare yet another war. Former World War II commanders, emboldened by victories in Europe and the Pacific, made disastrous military decisions in Korea. Millions of Americans fought to an outcome that left Korea divided, essentially as it was in early 1950.
Almost 34,000 US troops died fighting in the “Korean Conflict” that took Congress 46 years to rename a “War”. Over 20,000 more American military perished as a result of “conflict” related injuries, disease, or sub-zero temperatures. Surviving POWs were suspected of communist collaboration. Best not to speak about it – to just forget. But those who served should not be forgotten. Each answered America’s call for a hero in his own way. Five veterans tell their stories in this film so that those who listen may remember; all who truly served were heroes.
Although MacArthur was a central figure in the war, he was removed from his command by President Harry Truman. The year the armistice was signed calling for an end to the fighting, the Democrats lost their bid for a presidential election. World War II hero and member of the Republican Party, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president. As the public lost confidence in its previous leaders, its fear of the "Communist threat" to America grew, ignited by Senator Joseph McCarthy. It seemed nobody could find a way to defeat the Communists in Korea and the ambivalent outcome of the Korean War was something Americas preferred to forget.
Our documentary honors the memory of all Korean War veterans, by showcasing five who served their country honorably. For those not familiar with the history of the Korean War, we present some references to help you understand it better.
References & Map
Korea - Battles and North Korean POW camps 1950-1953
The map above depicts the major battles, cities and North Korean prisoner of war camps. Below is a list of resources that deal with the Korean War. There are "locator" sites to help Korean War veterans get in touch with each other.
Web References For The Korean War
A soldier in the Korean War (courtesy of Herb Schnellinger)
The Korean War Project by Hal and Ted Barker and Jan Curran
The Korean War by Ed Evanhoe
Experience the Korean War by James Vanairsdale
Korean War Educator by Lynnita Brown
Korean War Documentary by B. L. Kortegaard
North Korean soldier with Russian submachine gun (courtesy of George Gaspard)
Locate a Korean War Veteran or Discuss the Korean War
Veterans History Project (Locate a Veteran featured in the website.)
US soldier with South Korean (courtesy of Bob Callari)
Korean War Veteran Database - Search for or pay a remembrance to a Korean War POW/MIA./KIA/WIA (Prisoner of War, Missing in Action, Killed in Action, Wounded in Action)
Sailor at work on the USS Boxer (courtesty of Bob Lee)
And the Wind Blew Cold. Richard M. Bassett, Kent State University Press (January 2003)
The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953. Clay Blair, Jr. Naval Institute Press (March 31, 2003)
A woman carries a bundle through the rubble in Seoul (photo courtesy of the family of Ray House)
The Coldest Winter. David Halberstam, Hyperion (September 25, 2007)
Red Cross truck is shot up (photo courtesy of Jerry Davis)