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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Korean War

The Korean War, often referred to as the “Forgotten War” is being remembered at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) with a new special exhibit.  On Armed Forces Day, May 18, 2019, and in anticipation of the 70th commemoration of the start of the Korean War in June 2020, the Center will open a new exhibit - “Where the Hell is Korea?” – Warfare in the land of Sorrow.

Jack Leighow, the Director of the Army Heritage Museum at USAHEC explains why this exhibit was needed.  “The Korean War is often overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of World War II and by the media coverage and social upheaval associated with the Vietnam War.  This exhibit seeks to illuminate this conflict and once again demonstrate the adaptability, toughness, and dedication of the Soldiers of the United States Army through the eyes of the Soldiers themselves".

This was and still is a difficult war for many Americans to understand.  Korea, far away and a minor theater during WWII, was unknown to many in the country.  However, when North Korean communist forces crossed the demarcation line between the two Koreas in June 1950, our Nation was pulled into a conflict that today still lacks a final signed peace treaty and remains an international concern.  More than 1.8 million U.S. Service Members served in the theater of war from 1950 to July 1953 and more than 36,000 died.  Another 103,000 were wounded.  United Nation participants from 15 other nations suffered more than 3,000 killed and almost 12,000 wounded.  Korean, North and South, and Chinese military casualties exceeded 1.2 million and civilian casualties exceeded 1.6 million. Seventy years later, the war still has lasting and dividing effects regionally and internationally.

Two years in planning, the exhibit attempts to promote a better understanding of the war through graphic presentation of the war’s phases and through the stories of the Soldiers who fought and those that supported Soldiers on the front lines.  In total, more than 12 Soldiers’ personal stories are highlighted in the exhibit.

They include Corporal Jack Zimmermann, a Holocaust survivor, who as a boy, served as a runner with the Polish Resistance.  Emigrating from Poland to the U.S. after World War II, Zimmermann enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1949.  His armor unit, the 6th Battalion, reached Pusan on July 30, 1950 and joined the 24th Infantry Division.  After the Inchon landing, his unit advances to the Yalu and subsequently retreats after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army intervened. 

Another is Captain Anna Mae McCabe Hays who served as a nurse in the 4th Field Hospital.  In the year after the September 1950 Inchon landing, she and the members of her unit cared for more than 25,000 patients in a small 400-bed hospital, with only thirty-one nurses, several doctors, and support personnel.  After the war, she would serve as the personal nurse of President Eisenhower when he was recovering from his heart attack, and in 1970, she became the first female to attain the rank of general officer in the Army.

The exhibit also highlights often overlooked aspects of the war and particular units – the Eighth Army’s partisan forces.  These forces and their mission in the Korean War remained unnoticed for almost 40 years and were only made public in 1990.  A forerunner to today’s Special Operations units, our partisan elements operated clandestinely in territory held by North Korean and Chinese Communist Forces.  Composite units of U.S. and Korean Soldiers, these partisan forces conducted both land and amphibious operations that sought to disrupt enemy operations, damage and destroy infrastructure, and report on troop movements and preparations.  

In addition to showcasing the stories of individual Soldiers, the exhibit highlights the war graphically and through photographic images.  Included are maps that highlight decisive phases of the war and a photo of Chaplain Burgess Riddle of the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, as he is holding his unit’s Thanksgiving service along the Yalu River in 1950, while his assistant plays a field pump organ.   On the other end of the spectrum, several display panels showcase the transportation and distribution of beer to the troops from the United States to Soldiers in the field. 

The tools of the Soldiers, both allied and enemy, are also on display.  The U.S. Soldier’s clothing, accouterments, and weapons, - to include the M1 Garand, the 75 mm, and the M3 Grease Gun - are contained in the exhibit.  So too are those of the Chinese and North Korean Soldiers.  A North Korean Flag, a Soviet revolver, and a Japanese light machine gun are displayed.  Several unique items are also presented.  These include a portable pump organ used by chaplains in the field, the shoulder patch of the United Nations Partisan Forces Korea, and a bugle used by the Chinese Volunteers to coordinate troop movements during an attack.

The exhibit will continue to be on display, in the Soldier Experience Gallery beginning May 18, 2019.  The staff of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center hopes that you come to visit this often overlooked conflict. The Center also has other exhibits, including the Soldier Experience Gallery and the Army Heritage Trail, a mile long outdoor interactive trail with historical macro exhibits from the French and Indian War through Current Operations. Additional exhibits currently focus on World War I, World War II artwork, and Reserve Forces. The Center is open to the public Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers free admission and parking. To learn more about USAHEC and all that it has to offer, please go to ahec.armywarcollege.edu.

 

Author:  Mike Perry, Army Heritage Center Foundation

Tagged in: Korean War
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On June 4, 2016, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will open a new Soldier art exhibit. Sleepless Nights features the artwork of the late John A. Cook, Professor Emeritus at Penn State University.

John A. Cook served as a Sergeant in Company G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division from mid-September 1950 to June 1951 in Korea.  During that period, his unit deployed from Japan to Korea, helped to secure the Pusan Perimeter, fought its way north to the vicinity of Yongsan-dong in North Korea and then withdrew, under tremendous adversity, during the Chinese intervention beginning in November 1950.  While serving in Korea, Cook was wounded three times and was awarded the Purple Heart. 

Working intermittently over 46 years, the drawings came to him in the middle of the night.  He saw his midnight artwork as a means of release from what he believed was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  John Cook’s drawings serve as a tribute to American Veterans of all wars, but particularly to those who served in Korea, where more than 36,000 were killed in theater, 103,000 were wounded, and 7,800 remain missing or unaccounted. 

After the war, John A. Cook continued as an artist and joined the faculty of the Department of Visual Arts in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University where he ultimately was recognized as a professor emeritus.  During his 30 years at Penn State, he pioneered medallic art and served as a leader of an effort to make sculpture accessible to everyone.  He designed the Scholars Medal, a symbol of academic distinction and achievement, which is presented to graduating Scholars during the Schreyer Honors College’s Medal Ceremony which is traditionally held on the eve of Penn State's commencement exercises.

John A. Cook’s midnight drawings will be available for viewing in the Omar N. Bradley Art Gallery at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013.  The gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The exhibit is sponsored through the generosity of The Richard C. von Hess Foundation and the Army Heritage Center Foundation.

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U.S. News and World Report called the Korean War the “forgotten” war back in 1951, but the conflict on the peninsula is far from over. At 7:15 PM on Thursday, August 6, 2015, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will present author Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager as part of the Brooks E. Kleber Memorial Readings in Military History Lecture Series. Jager will speak about her most recent book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, published in 2013. The book and Jager’s lecture consider the Korean War as a whole and how it extends beyond the 1953 armistice over six decades into the present day. Brothers at War also addresses the conflict’s international impact from the perspective of China, Russia, and the United States, which all vie for control in both countries.                                                

According to Jager, Korea’s history of war spans from 1945, before the armed conflict began, and is still seen in the antagonistic divide between North and South Korea. Following the lack of a formal peace treaty in 1953, the two sides have clashed in naval battles on the Yellow Sea, in North Korean attacks on South Korean landmarks, and economically in a complete trade suspension. The threat of nuclear weapons also persists between the two Koreas. Countries such as the U.S. intervene further on the peninsula through economic aid in exchange for North Korean nuclear concessions. North Korea has become dependent on this type of fear-induced aid for survival, Jager considers, which prevents the country from moving towards unity with the free South. These examinations among others earned Brothers at War a place as one of three Foreign Affairs Best Books of 2013 in the subjects of Asia and the Pacific. 

Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager is a Professor and department head in East Asian Studies at Oberlin College. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, and focuses her writing on contemporary Korean politics in history. Her previous works include Narratives of Nation Building in Korea: A Genealogy of Patriotism (2003), a study of the effects of gendered tropes on modern Korea, and Ruptured Histories: War, Memory, and the Post-Cold War in Asia (2007), about the major reassessment East Asian states underwent following the end of the Cold War. Currently, Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager resides with her husband and children in Ohio. 

All USAHEC lectures are open to the public and FREE to attend. Doors to the Visitor and Education Center will open at 6:30 PM, and the lecture will begin at 7:15 PM. Parking is free, books for a signing after the lecture will be for sale, and the Museum Store will be open. For directions, more information, and a complete schedule of USAHEC events, please visit: www.usahec.org or call: 717-245-3972. 

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