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Do you have questions about the Korean War? Doing research? Seeking Korean War-related documents? Wanting to know more about some aspect of the war? Writing a term paper? Searching for a photograph? Whether you were a participant and want a point clarified, or whether you are a member of the general public who has a question to ask, you are invited to post your query on this page. Readers are encouraged to help us find the answers. Searches for lost buddies can be found on the Korean War Educator’s Buddy Search pages. The Queries page is a bulletin board for non-buddy search Korean War-related queries.

Query #1 - Hagaru-ri Airfield:

Lynnita - during our interview at the reunion in Pigeon Forge, you made mention that I was the first person to tell you about the loss of half the airfield at Hagaru-ri for a short period of time. So when I arrived back home, I consulted the account of the battle in Vol. III of "U.S. Marine Operations in Korea." To my surprise, I found one small mention of the incident. A paragraph on page 210 states:

"A few Chinese actually broke through and fired at the Marines operating the dozers. Second Lieutenant Robert L. McFarland, the equipment officer, led a group of Dog Company engineers who counterattacked and cleared the airstrip at the cost of a few casualties. Then the men resumed work under the floodlights."

I was hospitalized at Hagaru during this period, and I can tell you that the loss of half of the airfield was a great concern to the doctors and corpsmen there. The hospital was becoming over-crowded and they were depending on air evacuation to make room for those yet to come. They were informed of the loss shortly after it occurred, and learned of its recapture just before noon the next day. Now, fifty years later, I cannot tell you if the medical staff were victims of poor communications or the historians glossed over the incident for some unknown reason. Regardless, this is the way it happened in my little part of the war.

Should you ever find someone else who remembers the loss, it would be nice if you could drop me a line. My curiosity has been aroused.

Query #2: The First Korean War

Almost 70 years before the 1950 war in Korea, U.S. troops battled Korean forces. In the end, three U.S. servicemen were killed and more than 300 Korean troops were killed. While teaching at a university here in Korea, I have been researching this first U.S.-Korean military action for several years. It has required a great deal of sleuthing, trying to pin down facts from both sides, history of participants and even finding their descendants, when possible. In this quest for knowledge, I learned of some quite touching human events. One of them was the healing of a wound almost 130 years old.

One of the three U.S. servicemen killed in action, Lt. Hugh Wilson McKee (USN), of Lexington, Kentucky, was of extreme interest to me. He seemed to be quite a gentleman, officer and interesting fellow. I searched and searched for his descendants, but came up with not much, for the longest time. Then, a couple of years ago, after posting a query on the Internet, I got a reply from a distant relative.

Hugh McKee never married and had no descendants. His brother, George McKee, did marry and that is where I found relatives. The relation did not know much more than I did, except for a name and a possible place, in Pennsylvania. I found a listing of the family name I was looking for and called; it turned out to be the right family, but the fellow I talked with had seemingly no interest in his family’s history. However, he gave me the name and number of his nephew, who did. I called the nephew, James (Jamie) Wardrup, who was interested in talking with me. We probably spent two hours on the phone. It just so happened he had all the known existing personal effects of his great-great-great-uncle and he sent me pictures of them.

Last spring, Wardrup came to Korea for the 129th anniversary memorial ceremony for the Korean commanding general, Uh Je-yeon. He was an honored guest of the grandson, Uh Yoon-won, of the Korean general. They hugged and I believe a few tears were shed, as the 130-years feud was laid to rest. Wardrup brought a framed picture of his ancestor and presented it to Mr. Uh. It is kept in the area’s historical museum. A photo of Wardrup and Uh is at http://www.shinmiyangyo.org/cgi-bin/i/jwuyw2.jpg .

I am still looking for descendants of the other two who were killed and a third who died of illness: Seth Allen (landsman, USN); Denis Hanrahan (Pvt. USMC), and Thomas Driver (USN). Although Lt. McKee’s body was returned to his home town for burial, the others were buried locally, on a small island. The Korea Military Academy and I are working together to try to find any remains; however, it is not very hopeful. If you know of any descendants or, maybe, your ancestor served in that action, please contact me. - Thomas Duvernay goongdo@hotmail.com ; http://www.shinmiyangyo.org .

Query #3 - Hill 314 or Hill 660

I am looking for images of Hill 314 or Hill 660 (September 12, 1950). - James K. Palmer James.Palmer@wpafb.af.mil .

Query #4 - Wounded Corpsman

If you have the book "This is War" by David Douglas Duncan, there is a picture on page #51 in the lower right half of the page. That is a picture of Dale Brown who lives in the State of Washington. He is pictured patching up a corpsman, and I believe it was the first battle at the Naktong. The corpsman was the corpsman prior to Doc Bryan joining the Marine unit. Dale has wondered and wondered about that corpsman and as he says, things were happening so fast when they hit there that he doesn't remember his name. If you ever run across such a corpsman, I'd love to tell Dale who he was. He would appreciate it, too. That is a "needle in a haystack", I know, but one never knows.

Contact Ted & Shirley Heckelman, Bellingham, WA or contact the Korean War Educator.

Query #5 - Searching For Either Of These Two Men

(Click the picture for a larger view)

Can you help me?

I am searching for either of these two men. This photograph was taken during the Korean War in the city of Chunchon (South East of Seoul) between 1951 and 1954. It is possible that one of them is named "Hassenburg" or "Hassentot"--not sure of spelling, but sounds something like either of those names. Our family has been searching for the identification of either of these men for many years. Visit my homepage at: http://hometown.aol.com/drobb72/myhomepage/personal.html

Email: drobb72@aol.com
Thank you. - Dave Robb

Query #6 - Raymond C. Corley

Looking for anyone who knew Raymond C. Corley, SFC, US Army Ret. He was in USAR Control Group, 1 ROK Corps KMAG Advisory Group, Korea. Company A USARECSTA USATC Infantry 3 Div USA, 712th Engineer Depot Co., Specialist 2, Battery A, Fourth Battalion Artillery Training Command.

Contact Rick Corley: Rick.Corley@jmfamily.com

Query #8 - Searching for death march survivors

Kathy Williams is looking for anyone who was a POW. Her husband's brother was killed in a death march in Korea sometime in the summer of 1950. He was Pfc. James L. Williams. He was in the 21st Infantry in the 24th Division. The family would like to talk to someone who might have been with him.

Query #9 - George Franklin Hursey

Denise Baker is interested in finding anyone who served with her father in the Korean War. She tells us: "My father passed away of cancer in 1988. He never talked much about the war but was very much affected by it both physically and mentally until the day he died. He was disabled because of the war and was in a wheel chair for most of his adult life. He had to have both legs amputated in the early 80s.

This war affected my life also. I grew up with the affects of what this war did to him. I faced it every day. The struggle it was for my mom to take care of him. The stress and the pain. The pain I felt for my father when he was ashamed to leave the house for fear someone would stare or whisper about him. The anger I felt when people did. I just wanted to scream at them that he was this way to make sure you had your freedom! I still feel that way and am proud of him. Also even after all he went through he would always make sure my mother put the flag out. And that she took proper care of it.

He loved his country and was very proud to have fought for it. He did not talk about the war because the memory was too painful. I do know a few stories he did tell my mom. It would just be really interesting to hear from someone who knew him back then.

His name is George Franklin Hursey. He served in the army. He was in the 2nd Infantry, 38th regiment. He came from Newcomerstown, OH. He served from 1949-51. He got the Purple Heart and was wounded several times." Denise also wants to know if there are any groups where she can talk to other children of Korean War veterans.

Query #10 - POW Camp #5

From Johnnie H. Lemaster, 6221 Kyle Court, Ashland, KY 41102; ph. 606-929-9206; e-mail jlem@netacs.net .

"My brother, Cpl James Everett Lemaster, RA 15421651, Hq & Hq Co., 9th inf. Reg, US Army, was captured December 1, 1950 near Kunu-ri, North Korea. My parents were informed at this time that he was missing in action. They received a letter in James' handwriting dated 12 January 1951 in which he stated he was a prisoner of war and was ok, was getting good treatment. The next two lines were marked out. Nothing else was learned of James' fate until after the POW exchange in 1953. The whole family sat by the radio most of the night when they were announcing the names of prisoners that were exchanged. I'll never forget the gloom and forlorn looks when the last one was announced and his name was not among them. Some time later Mom and Dad received a message that he had died in a POW camp in February of 1951. As I grew older I started making phone calls to Congressmen. And always got the same answer We're doing all we can. Several years later I called my Senator's office and was put in touch with someone who was in charge of the POW/MIA affairs. This gentleman was a member of the Armed Forces and informed me that most material concerning the Korean War had recently been declassified and he sent me all the folder on my brother. There were statements signed by about a dozen ex POWs who stated they were with James when he died in Prison Camp #5 in the spring of 1951. By this time both my mother and father had passed away. I can't understand why the government held this material classified for so long. Maybe it could have given them a little closure, who knows? If I may I would like to disclose the names of ex POWs that signed the statements of death. Maybe one of them will see this and get in touch with me. They are Lester O. Morris, George R. Taylor, Donald J. Carver, Alfred A. Goforthl, Edward F. Topping, Solomon Thomas, Cecil f. Traw. There are some that I can't decipher.

I am not the oldest sibling so I was not designated primary next of kin. The McCain bill may have had good intentions but I haven't figured out what they are yet. My oldest sister, I have three older than me, started receiving material in response to the wrok I had been doing for many years trying to find out what happened to James. She informed me she wasn't able to respond to this material. When I informed the US Total Army Personnel Command of this, they said that's tough, nothing we can do. I was real persistent and finally ended up getting a power of attorney from my sister naming me the PNOX. Recently I received a letter from the Personnel Command informing me that James' name was on the list with the bodies that were turned over in 1954. I called and they said that his name was on the list but they never identified his body. I asked why we were just now being notified. The gentleman made some excuses so I finally in frustration asked: "If not for this gentleman disclosing information about the list and names it contained would I ever have been notified?" He answered probably not. You may print any or all of what I have written. Maybe someone will remember something about Prison Camp #5 during that cold spring in Korea. Several stated that the body was taken across the river and buried on the hillside. Anything anyone can contribute will be greatly appreciated."

- Johnnie H. Lemaster

[Editor's Note: Johnnie's letter was forwarded to The Korean War Educator by Irene Mandra of the Coalition of Families.]

Query #12 - 14th Combat Engineer Battalion

Seeking former members of the US Army 14th Combat Engineer Battalion. We have formed an association of former members of this battalion. Forward your name, address, email address, phone number. We will send you latest association newsletter.

Stanely H. Schwartz, 313 Hollow Creek Road, Mount Sterling, KY 40353.
Ph. 859-498-4567. E-mail: shs313@mis.net .

Query #13 - 4th Missile Command

I was with the 4th Missile Command at Camp Page (Chunchon) Korea during 1962-63, and believe me it does not or did not look like it does now, according to various Websites. I live here in Rockport, West Virginia, and we probably got the same rocks and mountains, but not the weather. It really can get cold there.

The real question you may not be able to help me, but maybe you can head me in the right direction. I was with the 4th Missile Command--home of the antique Honest John. I cannot remember if there was a corp. involved or not. My DD-214 just states EUSA. I know that is the Eighth army, but I have had many ask me what Corp that was in and there I stand. Do you know, or can you please direct me to someone who knows?

- Sammy W. Snyder - US Army veteran.
E-mail: sampam@wirefire.com .

Query #14 - Alfred S. Jordan death

Searching for information on Alfred S. Jordan who died July 15, 1953. He was in the 187th. Service number 32626688. All records destroyed in fire St. Louis. I'm his nephew. They refuse to release any info in St. Louis to me, but they do tell me that his records were destroyed. Looking to find someone with him when he died. Tried posting ads. Want circumstances of his death and anything. He is at Arlington. My mother had told me his actual remains were never found. Arlington say's he's in there, but that's all they will tell me. It is like a big secret that is being kept from the only people that survived him and care to know.

Can you help me?

Bob Klauber. E-mail ohpoppy2@hotmail.com .

Query #15 - USS Trathen Association

Looking for former crew members 1943-65 to join USS Trathen Association.

Ron Keeler
E-mail dd530ron@shentel.net

Query #16 - 1st BN KOSB

My father served in Korea in part of 50, 51, and part of 52. His name is Robert N.M.F. Doherty. He was drafted and did his training at Fort George, Scotland. He was an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Special Forces training.When he got to Korea his unit was transferred into the 1st BN KOSB.

He never talked about it much but what he did state, it was pure hell. In fact, it took about 40 years before I was able to talk him in to getting his medals. If you get a chance, check out what Merv has done on the Injim Buddy Bunker site [see Best on the Net]. He has a lot of info on my father on his site.

If you have any info on the KOSB in Korea, or know anyone, it would be great to hear from you. Thanks, John JOHNBEVERLYDOH@aol.com

Query #17 - Combat Readiness

I've been researching combat readiness in the Eighth Army in Japan for my MA thesis (and eventually a PhD dissertation). Basically, I'm interested in hearing anything veterans have to say on the quality, frequency, and adequacy of the training conducted between April 1949 and June 1950, under General Walker's Training Directive Number 4, published in final form in May, 1949.

I am Tom Hanson, Captain, Infantry, US Army.
My e-mail address is: renegade06@earthlink.net .

Query #18 - Willys jeep markings

I am in the process of restoring a 1951 M38 Willys jeep. I would like to honor the 8th Army Rangers (the first Rangers in Korea) but I need help in how to designate this group on the front and rear bumpers on the jeep. (I want to be accurate with the Army regs on vehicle markings for a unit.) The first Ranger group was started by the Eighth Army, G3, of the Far East Command. So, I am thinking that the markings might be (left to right on the front bumper facing the front of the jeep): 8A-G3 8013-1 (Where the "1" is the vehicle number.) I don't know if I should include the "G3" or not and if the 8013 is the first Army Ranger Unit started by the FEC G3.

Whatever help you could provide would be appreciated!

Jay and Brenda Ritzen
14995 Boulder Pointe Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55347 USA

Query #19 - Sgt. Robert Leroy Wiegman - KIA

Anyone knowing KIA in 4.2 Mortar Co. 7th Reg

Need any and all information on this Marine's death for research.

Please contact Jack C. Walker
E-mail: WalkJck@netscape.net .

Query #20 - May Massacre

My name is Ed Secula. I was a member of George Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. I joined the unit in April 1951.

The question I'm looking for is this: Near the end of May 1951, we moved forward, as I understood it, to plug a hole in the line where the Chinese broke through the 24th Army Div. I was new in the outfit by several weeks, so I didn't know the names of the places very well. I was later told it was Soyang. We had just relieved Fox Company as they were hurt quite bad. We took off from our position early in the morning. We left the top of the ridge and made our way down into the valley. Nearing the bottom I found the first of what I will never forget--bodies of men along the trail. They appeared to have been dead several days.

I have in the years since my time in the service, tried to find some record of the events that happened here but to no avail. I haven't spoken to anyone about this as it bothered me so much. It's in my mind all the time, and I can't, nor I guess want to, forget it, but here goes.

Some of the dead were hanging in the trees, apparently with barb wire. I came across one man, he looked very young--and I was only 18 at the time--he was lying face up in the middle of the trail, like the Chinese left him there as a message, with a pick axe through his chest. There were more bodies all along the trail.

In the valley near the former CP, I was told that they found tents packed with American wounded, and it was related that they had been there about 7 days. We worked our way across the valley and up the other side to the top of the ridge. It took us all night to get up there. Once there it was the worse place I have ever seen or want to again. It looked like captured American soldiers were tied up with wire, their shoes removed, their feet were burned as if placed in a fire, their shirts were gone, there were like cigarette burns all over them. They were lined up and shot in the back of the head. I didn't count, but it looked like fifty or more. Other dead were all over the area.

In the May issue of the VFW Magazine, they had a story titled "May massacre on the Soyang " but no mention of the American dead, just the Chinese. I wrote to them about this but received no answer.

My question is do you have any information on this, or has it been quietly hidden?

My e-mail address is: ed_flo@msn.com

Query #21 - Willie Viera Herrera

Hello. My name is Carlos Herrera. I am looking for any information about my grandfather Willie Viera Herrera. I believe that he was a private. This information is very important to me. He passed away when I was four years old and both my family and I are looking for any information about him.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you have any recommended links where I can follow his career in the military, I would love to get a hold of any information available.

Please contact me. My e-mail is FtbalUbet71@aol.com .
- Carlos Herrara, Jr.

Query #22 - Sgt Jerry W. Johnson

We have just come across some information concerning the death of my wife's father Jerry W. (Wade) Johnson. We have a certificate signed by Harry Truman that states "In grateful memory of Sergeant Jerry W. Johnson who died in the service of his country" in the Pacific area, July, 12, 1945. There is a number on the back of this certificate, 14135602.

We also have a Purple Heart certificate issued to him "for military merit and for wounds received in action resulting in his death, July 12, 1942". It is issued to Sergeant Jerry W. Johnson, A.S. No 14135602.

Then we have a "Citation Of Honor" to Sergeant Jerry W. Johnson "Who gave his life in the performance of his duty" with the date May 15, 1946 and it is signed by H.H. Arnold, General of the Army. This citation also shows him as in the United States Army Air Force.

How do we find information about Jerry W. Johnson? We do not know what Unit he served with or the true facts concerning this death. My wife's' mother told her he was buried in St. Louis, MO

Thanks - Jim Strickland Jstrick365@aol.com

Query #23 - John W. Miller

Judy Miller Hoff is trying to locate anyone who might have known her father, 1st Lt. (USAF) John W. Miller.

Miller was a navigator on a RB-26C invader bomber with the 12th Tactical Recon Squad, 67th Tactical Recon Wing. His plane crash landed at Suwon on October 8, 1951 and John was KIA.

If anyone knew John, please contact:

Judy Miller Hoff, 173 Mile Ridge Estates, Lebanon Church, VA 22641.
Phone 540-465-4633.

Query #24 - Gene Dixon

While the Marines were located in the so called "bean patch", a photographer took photos of the units of the Brigade. I do not recall if he was a military photographer or not, but I would like to obtain the photo of the unit I was with.  I have never heard any information on the photos after they were taken. Would appreciate any information from anyone that might have knowledge of these photos.

Gene Dixon (contact Lynnita at Korean War Educator)




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