The POW Experience


Thanks to a friend who attends our reunions and gathers recollections from the POWs. He then takes those recollections and combines them into a narrative which helps them with the recovery of those that still remain in Korea. Many of these reports are from him and give us some insight into what the POWs endured.


Oscar Cortez: We almost came home.

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in The POW Experience | 0 comments

Oscar Cortez: We almost came home.

November 24, 2014 It was this time of the year when we were preparing to come home. Our 2nd Infantry Division was at Kunuri in North Korea and the South Korean soldiers already had been sent to their South Korean Army. We hadn’t had a firing mission in some time and we were thinking what Gen McArthur had said, “that by the end of this year we’ll be going back home”. And it almost came true, it was on November 26th when that thought was erased by the communist Chinese when they joined the fight against us. All hell...

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Oscar Cortez

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in The POW Experience | 2 comments

From Oscar Cortez: I arrived at Camp #3 North around October 1951 and the Tiger Survivors arrived probably in November, I remember it was raining when they arrived. We looked out the big windows in our “house” and I felt sorry they were getting wet and I prayed that none would get sick. In early spring on 1952 some of us were transferred to Camp #3 South. There we joined the guys that were captured in July 1950, The Tiger Survivors. I left some close buddies in Camp #3 North like Lester Todd, Ted Hada and a an older man who knew...

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Stan Gawley: UK POWs

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in The POW Experience | 2 comments

Stan Gawley: UK POWs

From Stan Gawley to Lew Villa: MAD-16 (nothing to do with the loony bin – the guys name is Mick A Dellow) is of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. Some of these lads would have been fellow POWs with you from whom you would have picked up strange pronunciation of the Queen’s English. An English film star called Michael Caine was a Private in the RNF in Korea (before he was a film star, of course). In MAD-18 Col. Carr VC was a POW. You may recall the battle of Gloster Hill where the Regiment...

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Oscar Cortez: Bridge of No Return

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in The POW Experience | 0 comments

Oscar Cortez: Bridge of No Return

From Oscar Cortez: This was taken in 2001 when we made a return trip to Korea. My compadre and I were the only ones who could get off the bus and we were told by a S/MAJ that we could walk to the center of the bridge. This is only one picture, there is one where we both were at the center and we embraced and we were teary eye. I crossed that bridge on Aug. 26 1953.

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Tom Hollis 3 RAR

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in The POW Experience | 2 comments

Tom Hollis 3 RAR

This was written by Tom’s son, John, as Tom reminisced. As you said Dad was captured on the 21-1-51. He was sent out on patrol behind enemy lines with LT Angus Macdonald, Cp Laurie Buckland, Private Ted Light, Don Buck and Dad. They were all Green Beret Commando’s except for Buck, the first three from the same Squadron from the Second World War. They were sent out as the Americans wanted to know where the Chinese were. They had been on their feet from 06.00 the day before and were then chosen to go on the Patrol. They were turning...

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Shorty Estabrook: Task Force Smith

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in The POW Experience | 4 comments

Shorty Estabrook: Task Force Smith

Today, actually this morning, some 63 years ago, the sun came out as usual and it was very humid in that far off land called Korea. Task Force Smith, a group of a little more than 500 men, from the 24th Infantry Division including Artillery and Medical, spent the night of the 4th of July, 1950, hunkered down in fox holes waiting the onslaught of the North Korean Army that was steam rolling down Korea. They woke up tired and hungry and had that feeling in their stomachs. Then, on 5 July, “ the you know what”, hit the fan.  A gallant fight...

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Master Sergeant James Henry Barber

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in The POW Experience | 1 comment

Master Sergeant James Henry Barber

Master Sergeant James Henry Barber was a member of G Company, 2nd Battalion of 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was captured in North Korea on 3 December 1950, along the road running westward from Hungnam on the east coast. This was the port through which allied forces advanced to the Chosin Reservoir, farther north, and through which they fell back when almost surrounded and cut off by large Chinese forces entering the war. Your father’s unit had an especially important task, of keeping this lateral road open, to...

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Phillip R. Anderson, Jr.

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in The POW Experience | 0 comments

Phillip R. Anderson, Jr.

Phillip R. Anderson, Jr., , served in A Company, 1st Battalion of 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.  He was captured near Seoul, the capital of South Korea, on New Year’s Day 1951 as friendly forces fell back under very heavy attack by a large Chinese Army.  Badly outnumbered, U.S. and U.N. forces had to give up Seoul to the enemy, although it would be taken back later in the year.  After several days in the local area with front-line units, Phillip Anderson began a long march northward into the interior of North Korea. ...

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Interview with Franklin Jack Chapman:

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in The POW Experience | 0 comments

Interview with Franklin Jack Chapman:

At Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. In Camp Carson I received training in heavy weapons, a track vehicle which was the “weasel” at the time, (they called it a “weasel”) and cross-country skiing and rock climbing. Then in December 1949, we went to Alaska for two months on maneuvers. We returned from Alaska in March or April and then I was sent to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, to help train ROTC. At the time they had openings in Japan. So I volunteered to go to Japan. That was in June of 1950. When I got to Japan, I was assigned to...

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