This is a pretty amazing sequence of events that reunited two Korean War buddies:
One day in July, he decided that he wanted to plant some sweet corn. He borrowed a corn planter from a friend and started to drive it home, but he unintentionally hit a car that was parked on the right side of State Route 208.
Virginia State Trooper Greg Finch responded to the accident. It was a hot day and he invited Cunningham to come and sit in his car while he wrote up the citation.
“We got to talking. It took him an hour and 15 minutes to write up the ticket,” Cunningham said.
During the conversation, Cunningham mentioned that he’d served in Korea.
“I told him I had a real good friend in Korea and I was still looking for him,” Cunningham said. “I told him his name was Don McIntyre. He said, ‘I know Don McIntyre!’ ” [Army Times]
You can read the rest at the link.
During a recent interview with Defense Secretary James Mattis conducted by a high school journalism student; Secretary Mattis recommended that people read a 2013 article in the Atlantic by James Wright that discusses what was learned from the Korean War. The main point the article makes is that the Korean War began a trend of the US becoming involved in military conflicts before settling on political objectives:
Korea established a pattern that has been unfortunately followed in American wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. These are wars without declaration and without the political consensus and the resolve to meet specific and changing goals. They are improvisational wars. They are dangerous.
The wars of the last 63 years, ranging from Korea to Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq (but excepting Operation Desert Storm, which is an outlier from this pattern) have been marked by:
Inconsistent or unclear military goals with no congressional declaration of war.
Early presumptions on the part of the civilian leadership and some top military officials that this would be an easy operation. An exaggerated view of American military strength, a dismissal of the ability of the opposing forces, and little recognition of the need for innovation.
Military action that, except during the first year in Korea, largely lacked geographical objectives of seize and hold.
Military action with restricted rules of engagement and political constraints on the use of a full arsenal of firepower.
Military action against enemy forces that have sanctuaries which are largely off-limits.
Military action that is rhetorically in defense of democracy–ignoring the reality of the undemocratic nature of regimes in Seoul, Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul.
With the exception of some of the South Korean and South Vietnamese military units, these have been wars with in-country allies that were not dependable.
Military action that civilian leaders modulate, often clumsily, between domestic political reassurance and international muscle-flexing. Downplaying the scale of deployment and length of commitment for the domestic audience and threatening expansion of these for the international community.
Wars fought by increasingly less representative sectors of American society, which further encourages most Americans to pay little attention to the details of these encounters.
Military action that is costly in lives and treasure and yet does not enjoy the support that wars require in a democracy. [The Atlantic]
You can read the rest at the link.
The evacuation of Hungnam during the Korean War is a well known event, but I will have to read up more about Colonel Edward Forney’s part in the evacuation when I have the time:
The descendants of U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Edward Forney who helped evacuate about 100-thousand Koreans during the Korean War visited South Korea on Thursday.
The First Marine Division announced on Friday that it invited Forney’s granddaughter Alice Krug and great-grandson Ben Forney to mark June, which is the Month of Patriots and Veterans.
The two guests viewed a road named after Forney inside the unit in Pohang on the southeastern coast and an exhibition hall honoring his achievements.
Forney is considered to be a war hero because he persuaded then Commanding General of the U.S. X Corps, Edward Almond, to evacuate roughly 100-thousand refugees during the Hungnam evacuation in December 1950 from North Korea to the South.
He stayed on for three years after the war to serve as a senior adviser for South Korea’s Marine Corps. [KBS World Radio]
This makes you wonder how many more US soldiers are still buried under the ground in South Korea waiting to be found?:
A U.S. soldier’s body is heading home 67 years after he went missing in action during the Korean War.
The U.S. accepted the remains of the 1st Cavalry Division soldier Thursday during a repatriation ceremony hosted by the South Korean military and United Nations Command at Yongsan Garrison. UN colors draped his casket, which stood alone on the ceremonial field.
The soldier is thought to have died in late July 1950 when U.S. forces, including elements of the 1st Cavalry Division, delayed the North Korean army’s advance along the peninsula and bought time for the U.N. to establish a line of defense around the southern city of Busan. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but the body was found this past March by a telecom worker installing cables under a road. Hopefully the body is quickly identified and returned to surviving family members.