A Foxhole View
Personal Accounts of Hawaii's Korean War Veterans
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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On the north lawn of the state capitol in Honolulu, beneath a canopy of native Hawaiian trees are two serpentine walls 5 feet high, one much longer than the other. The walls are made of polished black granite and are pedestaled, each pedestal bearing the name of a Hawaii soldier killed in the Vietnam or Korean War. The longer of the two walls, about 80 feet in length, honors 456 of Hawaii’s men who died in the Korean War. On July 24, 1994, forty-two years after the Korean...
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As in any work of this nature, a host of people have contributed to its publication. First and foremost are the Korean War veterans who consented to be interviewed for the book. At the risk of opening old wounds, they were willing to make public their memories, thoughts, and fears so that others might relate to those experiences....
Overview of the Korean War
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Prior to World War II, Korea had been occupied by Japan for thirty-five years. Following World War II, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Russia divided Korea in half at the 38th parallel. Russian forces occupied the northern half and U.S. troops the southern half, resulting in the birth of the two Koreas. South Korea...
Chronology of the Korean War
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Military Terms and Expressions
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Part I: 1950: The Cold War Turns Hot
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On Sunday, June 25, 1950, at 4:00 a.m., the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) forces, numbering approximately 90,000 men and supported by Russian-built T-34 tanks, attacked across the 38th parallel into South Korea. The South Korean army was quickly overwhelmed by the communist juggernaut. In three days, Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, fell to the NKPA....
Part II: 1951: Chinese Firecrackers in Korea
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On New Year’s Day, the Chinese launched their first offensive of the year with a vengeance, committing nearly 500,000 communist troops into battle in an attempt to keep the UN off balance and to capture the South Korean capital. UN forces, still smarting from their defeat in North Korea, particularly at the Changjin Reservoir, Unsan, and Kunuri, were...
Part III: 1952: Trench Warfare and Hilltop Battles
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After the battles of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge in the fall of 1951, the character of the Korean War changed dramatically. Mindful of the peace talks and the tremendous casualties suffered, both sides were content with improving their frontline fortifications and extending their outpost lines of resistance. An almost continuous...
Part IV: 1953: Truce Talks, Patrols, and Artillery Duels
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The failure of both sides to agree on the issue of involuntary repatriation of prisoners of war slowed down the peace process at Panmunjom. Meanwhile, men died while negotiators stared at each other across the conference table. Hilltop battles and artillery duels, usually ignited by the communist forces, blazed across the Main Line of...
Appendix A: Roll Call of Killed in Action
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Appendix B: Basic Combat Organizations
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Appendix C: Basic Weapons Used by American and Communist Forces
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Publication Year: 2002