The making of Korea: Forgotten War, Remembered Heros
Preparing for the documentary
Profiles of those interviewed:
James Vanairsdale, Korean War Veteran
Service in Korea
Jim Vanairsdale describes his first assignment in Korea, a rifle platoon leader (Easy Company), as "the best job I ever had." He later was a rifle company Executive Officer (Fox Company). Feb-Mar in eastern Korea, just north of the 38th parallel in the Taebaek Mountain Range and just south of the Diamond Mountains of North Korea. Mar-Nov in various positions along the front line about 30 miles north of Seoul. Jim Vanairsdale's biography is featured in a memorial website, Easy Company, 2nd BN, 7th REG, 1st Marine Division.
During the 10 months Vanairsdale was in Korea in 1952, the war had settled into a battle for feet and yards, rather than miles and kilometers. It was still highly dangerous. Important hills, key positions, were won and lost, mostly along the 38th parallel that had divided the two Koreas before war broke out. The mountainous terrain made fighting a logistical nightmare. History books have given this time period short-shrift, according to Vanairsdale.
After the Korean War
Vanairsdale served in VietNam with the Marines during 1968-1969. He earned two Bachelor's degrees: in Chemistry, and International Studies. He also earned a Master's in Information Technology. Jim has a website he developed himself, Experience the Korean War. It chronicles the experiences of the war and subsequent Korean war-related events in his life and the lives of his Marine comrades.
James Vanairsdale on set at Coquina Crossing