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Decorated Army Veterans of the Korean Conflict

The Official Website of the Decorated Army Veterans of the Korean Conflict Association


The Decorated Army Veterans of the Korean Conflict Association is a veterans' organization dedicated to preserving the memory and history of America's forgotten Korean War, and the memory and history of the military veteran who fought in it.



For Communist China and the Soviet Union, Korea was a dagger pointed at Japan. Behind a facade of native government, the Soviets, in rather short order, communized all of northern Korea. By the autumn of 1948, the 38th Parallel represented a confirmed border between two hostile governments, and two hostile ways of life.

Although taken by surprise initially by the first North Korean invasion, many South Korean border garrisons fought stout delaying actions and actually brought the North Koreans to a full halt in two areas.

Forces and facilities eventually assembled under United States aegis within the unified command came from 20 U.N. members and one nonmember nation(Italy).

President Harry Truman frequently described operations in Korea as a "police action," a euphemism for war that produced both criticism and amusement.


" A Veteran's Courage"

" If Courage made the measure
as to who was big or small
Then the Veterans we honor
are the tallest of them all.

The day that gives no quarter,
cramped and deadly,in the air, on sea and land,
Hand-to-hand,America's Bravest Sons and Daughters
cast a shadow, tall and grand.

In their Patriots' line of duty
was the knowledge bittersweet,
that the enemies of Freedom
were constant companions,
on a never ending beat.

O weep,
You Patriots, for the
Ones you cannot see.
Then cease your weeping and rejoice
For They is still here with us
like a Tall Oak Tree.

And where They fell on foreign soil or sea
Their Sacred Blood has sanctified that space.
And Liberty stands there with America's Flag,
And She has a Veteran's face."


"The axes used to murder two U.S. servicemen [On 18 August 1976, during the "Tree Pruning Incident" at the DMZ, North Korean troops murdered two U.S. Army officers] are there [pointing to the North Korean "Peace Museum" due north of the demarcation line]. No wonder I think they're evil."
-President George W. Bush, standing at the 38th Parallel, February 20, 2002

Visiting South Korea on February 22,2002 President Bush pretended that the U.S. and South Korea have a common strategy to North Korea. We don't, not with the Kim Dae Jung government, anyway. But Bush's diplomacy may still work, especially if we win the War on Terror.

On the same date, the North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a statement on President Bush, saying: "We are not willing to have contact with his clan." We're not sure, exactly, who "his clan" refers to, but we think it means us. On the other hand, if these Kim Jong Il types want to talk to Jimmy Carter, former President Clinton, Jesse Jackson, or former Vice-President Gore, maybe they should.
Kim Jong Il, born in 1942 in the U.S.S.R., of course, is somewhat of an expert on clan rulerships of countries. Kim, who teases and dyes his remaining hair, and who is known in diplomatic circles as a heavy drinker with a history of molesting girls as young as 12 years old, inherited the dictatorship of North Korea from his father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994. Kim Il Sung had ruled as dictator of North Korea from 1948 through 1994.

As we speak, there are nearly 900,000 North Korean troops poised along the 38th Parallel, a huge number considering the total population of the country (North Korea has the 4th largest army in the world).
Opposing them are 37,000 U.S. troops, most of them Army, the South Korean defense forces, and about one million land mines. The land mines, by the way, make it as difficult for us to invade North Korea as they do for the North Koreans to invade the South.






As the army of North Korea struck south in June 1950, catching the United States and its government off guard, U.S. Army troops brought quickly onto the Peninsula from Japan caught the brunt of the aggression. While waiting for the Administration in Washington to firmly decide what to do, Army units were pushed further and further south. Bravely they held at the Pusan Perimeter, waiting for help to arrive.

It did. In one of the most spectacular tactical sea-borne invasions of all time, the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division, under the leadership of one of America's greatest military commanders, U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur, executed a behind-the-lines landing at Inchon, on Korea's west coast. This surprise move, on the morning of September 15,1950, caught the North Korean army in what became a classic "hammer and anvil" movement with U.S. Forces advancing eastward from Inchon and U.N. Forces, spearheaded by the U.S. Eighth Army under the command of Lieutenant General Walton ("Johnny") Walker, advancing northward from Pusan. In short order Seoul and all of South Korea were liberated.

Following orders from President Truman on September 27 to proceed northward, Army units under MacArthur's command led the way to the Yalu River, Korea's border with the Peoples' Republic of China, thus freeing the entire Korean Peninsula and, in the process, pummelling and decimating the North Korean army. Unfortunately, MacArthur was given neither the resources , manpower or support U.S. Forces needed to sucessfully complete his mission, and Army and Marine units again had to bear an overwhelming assault beginning in November 1950 as hordes of Chinese infantry pushed southward across the Yalu to attack U.S. and U.N. positions. In temperatures dropping sometimes to as low as minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the 1st Marine Division, and especially its 5th and 7th Regiments, was particularly hard hit by the Chinese at To-Kon Pass and the Chosin Reservoir.

As South Korean forces disintegrated on the eastern side of the front, the U.S. Eighth Army was left without a right flank. In its place it only had a gaping void 40 miles wide and into it came the Communist "Chinese Peoples' Volunteers," as China called them, hurrying to swing west and thus drive General Walker's two other corps against the Yellow Sea. These were the darkest days of the War, as U.S. Army and Marine Corps units suffered exceedingly high casualties, as Chinese infantry units outnumbering them sometimes ten to one launched human wave after human wave frontal assaults. Fighting retrograde after retrograde action, underequipped and outnumbered, U.S. Forces nevertheless began to stem the Chinese invasion, as moderate numbers and amounts of U.S. reinforcements and re-supplies arrived, enough, finally, and with the assistance of U.S. airpower, to stalemate the War at the 38th Parallel in November 1951.

Both the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations in Washington were never willing,however, to go back to the strategy that had in fact liberated the entire Peninsula during MacArthur's drive to the Yalu. MacArthur was himself relieved of his command and forced into retirement due to his personal disagreements with President Truman over the conduct of the War. The Korean Conflict ended where it had begun almost exactly three years earlier, at the 38th Parallel, with an armistice signed by the opposing sides on July 27,1953.

The United States lost over 36,000 service personnel killed, and over 103,000 wounded. Approximately 8,000 men were never accounted for, even to this day. Korea remains to this day a divided nation, with a Communist dictatorship in the North, and the democratic Republic of Korea in the South.

As of 2002, 37,000 U.S. Forces, most of them U.S. Army troops, are in South Korea.


The Forgotten War

The Korean Conflict is America's forgotten War.

Korean War veterans have never been paid the respect they deserve. Many of them do not qualify for, or cannot actually receive, under current regulations, either retirement or VA benefits. Although there is a Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., there is no monument for Korean War veteran commensurate with the effort he and she put out for the cause of Freedom, in the hearts and memory of the American people.

Yet, as one of our Pusan Perimeter veterans has said, had we been pushed off Pusan, it is likely the Truman Administration would have withdrawn into itself and there never would have been an Inchon. The Communists may have taken over Japan in the next election and the U.S., after the defeat of the French at Dienbienphu, would have given up on Vietnam in 1955, not 1975. The Hukbanalap would have probably rode into Manila as conquerors. The Communist Party of India would have probably taken over that country. Nasser would have moved the Arab and Muslim world into the Soviet camp and world history could have been changed, perhaps irrevocably. The enemies of the United States would have been riding the tide of fortune.

Had our Army at Pusan been massacred by the North Koreans, the world's newest principal power, reputedly possessing the Army that had won World War II, would have gone down to utter military defeat at the hands of a third-rate nation, leaving America's citizens dazed and probably demoralized. The Twentieth Century, strewn as it was with the wrecks of many a mighty empire, would not have seen such a sudden cataclysm.

We did in fact come that close to this in two weeks in the summer of 1950.

And yet we forget Korea, and what happened there.

Even today,after the turn of the 21st Century, there is more talk in certain sectors of the American media of "atrocities" carried out by American infantry units in Korea, and no talk, whatsoever, of actual atrocities carried out by Chinese troops on Korean civilians and U.S. P.O.W.S, although the evidence is overwhelming as to the latter and almost nonexistent as to the former. At the same time, there is almost no talk in this same sector of the media in remembrance of the bravery and heroism of the American soldier, airman, sailor and marine who fought and died in Korea to keep it free, and to keep the cause of democracy in Asia alive.

The Association finds all this particularly troubling, especially in light of the fact many prominent living Americans served bravely and heroically in the Korean Conflict, including former U.S.Senator John Glenn, baseball legend Ted Williams, former astronauts Wally Schirra and Buzz Aldrin, former test pilot Chuck Yeager, U.S. Representative Charlie Rangel and Presidential Advisor James Baker.


You may e-mail us for a free Membership Application at

Membership is open to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who support the purposes and mission of the Association, although only U.S.Army veterans with service in Korea or significant contact with the Korean Conflict are eligible to sit on the elected Board of Directors.

Membership brings with it the benefits of our free monthly magazine, "The Korean Conflict," your membership card, our monthly newsletter, " The U.S.Army in Korea," and notices and invitations to special events, meetings, conferences and reunions relating to the activities of U.S. Forces and their historical and current presence in Korea.



The Association is a Nationally Recognized Partner with the Department of Defense as an Approved Korean War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Community Organization.






MSGT Fritz Pritchett, Jr., USA (ret) - Talk to a real Army hero about Korea -

United States Navy Veterans Association - The best War on Terror updates on the Net, from our sister service

Decorated Army Veterans of the Korean Conflict - Great place to e-mail the group with news about Korea, the Army, reunions , or to ask