Picture of the Day: The Imjim Classic

Imjin Classic 2018

A Canadian veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War, Claude Charland (L), receives a plaque of appreciation from Army Maj. Gen. Park Jung-hwan, chief of the 1st Infantry Division, before a commemorative ice hockey game, the Imjin Classic 2018, at the Yulgok Wetland Park in the South Korean border town of Paju, north of Seoul, on Jan. 19, 2018. The Canadian Embassy organized the game, which coincided with the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics torch relay, in partnership with the PyeongChang Organizing Committee. During the 1950-53 Korean War, Canadian soldiers stationed near the front lines carved out a makeshift hockey rink on the frozen Imjin River, and two regiments played friendly hockey matches. (Yonhap)

Picture of the Day: “Turn Towards Busan” Remembrance Ceremony

Prayer for U.N. troops killed in Korean War

Veterans and their families of the 1950-53 Korean War, alongside South Korean soldiers, offer a one-minute silent prayer at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery in the southern port city of Busan on Nov. 11, 2017, to pay tribute to U.N. troops killed in the conflict. Organized by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Turn Toward Busan ceremony was simultaneously held in 21 other countries that fought for the South Korean side against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag in the three-year conflict. (Yonhap)

A Korean War Love Story

A ROK Drop favorite Robert Neff has a good love story published in the Korea Times about a US Marine working in the US Embassy in Seoul during the time of the Korean War:

George Lampman and Lee Sook-ei in the 1950s / Courtesy of Robert Neff collection

Recently, The Korea Times had the opportunity to interview George V. Lampman who, as a young Marine, was assigned to the American Embassy from 1949 to 1951. Despite being 90, Lampman has a youthful, if not mischievous, twinkle in his eyes, and is quick to smile as he recalls his time in Korea.

He arrived in Korea on Jan. 9, 1949, as part of the security detachment of the American Embassy in Seoul. It was a relatively easy assignment checking identification at the entrance of the embassy (located in the Bando Hotel, now the site of downtown Seoul’s Lotte Hotel) and staying out of trouble. The first part was easy but the second part was a little more difficult.

But things changed when Lee Sook-ei, a young Korean woman working in the communication section of the embassy, caught his attention. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.In the beginning their meetings were rather controlled: “Maybe a once-a-week dinner at a close-by Chinese restaurant and an occasional conversation in the Embassy lobby while we were both on breaks. But never a date between just the two of us.”

Eventually their attraction to one another overcame the potential disapproval of her mother and they began dating. But this was cut short by the evacuation of the embassy when the Korean War started on June 25, 1950.  [Korea Times]

I recommend reading the whole thing at the link.

Picture of the Day: Remains of French Korean War Veteran to Be Buried in South Korea

Remains of French Korean War vet come to S. Korea

An honor guard carrying the portrait of the late French Korean War veteran Jean Le Houx and a box containing his ashes enters Incheon airport, west of Seoul, on Nov. 1, 2017. Le Houx, who took part in the 1950-53 Korean War, died at 84 in December 2016 and left a will expressing his wish to be buried in South Korea. Soldiers from France and 15 other nations fought for South Korea against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag during the war. (Yonhap)

Picture of the Day: UN Day Recognized at UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan

Remembering fallen heroes

A U.S. veteran of the 1950-53 Korean War salutes in front of the graves of deceased fellow soldiers at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Oct. 24, 2017, the 72nd United Nations Day. A total of 2,300 people are interred at the cemetery that honors U.N.-led coalition forces who fought with the South in the conflict. (Yonhap)

The Story of an Orphaned Baby Cared for On A US Navy Ship During the Korean War

Here is an interesting story from the Korean War that I had not heard of before about an orphaned baby that was taken aboard and cared for by sailors on a US ship:

Father Riley looks on as Genevieve Keenan holds her new son in 1953.

Life could only get better for Danny Keenan after a Navy medic found him as an abandoned infant on the steps of an infirmary at a U.S. base in South Korea in 1953.

His luck changed so much for the better that it must have rubbed off on a gambling chaplain who won him a Korean passport in a poker game, wagering a bottle of the captain’s best scotch as the final, winning bet.

Before that, however, it appeared as though the baby might die of neglect in an orphanage, until Navy seamen, including two from La Crosse, took him aboard the USS Point Cruz (CVE 119) and doted on him.

“I never would have survived if not for the intervention of the skipper and the men of the Point Cruz,” the 64-year-old Keenan said during an interview last week in La Crosse.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link, but the baby was eventually adopted by a Navy surgeon and brought back to the US where he became Danny Keenan who attended Washington State University and became a sports journalist.

Picture of the Day: 67th Anniversary of the Incheon Landing Operation

67th anniversary of Incheon landing operation

This photo, provided by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs on Sept. 16, 2017, shows South Korean and U.S. Korean War veterans pledging allegiance to their national flags during a ceremony in the United States to mark the 67th anniversary of the Incheon landing operation. The historic operation, led by MacArthur and code-named Operation Chromite, was staged from Sept. 15-19, 1950, and turned the tide of the war in favor of the U.N. troops by successfully cutting the North’s supply and communication lines. (Yonhap)

Picture of the Day: Cemetery for Chinese Soldiers Killed in the Korean War

S. Korean cemetery for fallen Chinese soldiers

Flowers are laid at the tombs of Chinese soldiers, killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, in the city of Paju, north of Seoul, on Sept. 12, 2017. China fought on the North Korean side in the war against South Korea aided by the United States-led Allied Forces. (Yonhap)