The Armed Forces History Museum has a number of dioramas in its Korean War Gallery. They include the Inchon Landing, MASH and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir to name a few. The museum also has a fully restored, fully operational M47 Patton Tank and an M41 Walker Bulldog Tank.
Below is a list of interesting facts about the Korean War:
- The war started on 25 June 1950 after 75,000 N. Korean soldiers crossed over the 38th parallel in an attempt to impose communism on S. Korea.
- The war lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. Over 7,000 US soldiers are still missing in action as a result of this war
- The Korean War resulted in close to 5 million dead, missing in action or wounded. It is estimated that half of them were civilians.
- Peace negotiations after the war were fairly uncertain, which resulted in Congress extending the official ending of the war from its actual date – July 27, 1953, to January 3l, 1955. This assisted with extending benefit eligibility for soldiers.
In March of 2013, N. Korea declared the armistice that ended the war in 1953 invalid
- Though combatants signed a cease-fire to the conflict, there is no treaty or official ending of the war
- No formal declaration of war was ever declared by the United States. President Truman never asked Congress.
- A total of 6.8 million American men and women served in the US military during the Korean conflict. The United States suffered 54,200 casualties during the hostilities, of which 33,700 were battle related.
- One of the heroes of the Korean War is actually a horse, known as Sgt. Reckless. The mare would bring ammo to the soldiers and then carry the wounded off the battlefield. A statue, in his honor, is on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
- Despite the millions of deaths on both sides, neither can claim victory. South Korea simply thwarted North Korea’s attempt to take them over. In the end, the two countries remained divided.
- North Korea received support during the war from both the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China – both communist countries.
- South Korea received support from the United States, Great Britain and the United Nations – all supported democracy.
- Ethiopia, Belgium and Columbia supplied battalion-sized detachments to support United States and other UN forces in Korea.
- A total of 16 countries participated in the war with fifteen United Nation countries sending troops and four countries sending medical assistance.
- Approximately 1,500 canines were used by the US Army during the Korean (and Vietnam) war.
- In 1953, the US Army Corps soldiers donated a total of $385,000 to Korean relief charities. Donations by the 45th Infantry Division to various Korean relief organizations totaled $300,000
- A total of 7,245 Americans were POWs of the Korean War. Sadly, 2,806 of them died while captive. Of the remaining, 4,418 were returned to military control.
- Following the war, 21 US soldiers stayed with their Chinese captors. They were hailed by China as ‘peace fighters’, but the US denounced them as traitors. Media in the states maintained the men had been brainwashed by their captors. The majority of them eventually retracted their statements and returned to the United States.
- Approximately 86,300 veterans of the Korean War veterans were females.
- An estimated 848,000 Korean War veterans also served during other periods of war: 171,000 served both in WWII and Vietnam - 404,000 served in World War II only - 273,000 served in Vietnam only
- California is the top state for the number of Korean War veterans – 430,080.
- With winter temps sometimes averaging below zero for long periods of time, quite a few soldiers perished during the Korean War as a result of frostbite even prior to reaching any battlefield.
- General William Dean was the highest-ranking American official to be captured by N. Korea. He was captured on July 22, 1950 during the Battle of Taejon.
- Lt. General Walton Walker was the highest-ranking US military officer to die in the Korean War. He died from injuries sustained when his jeep was hit by a truck.
- US Army General Mark Clark, who was Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command, signed the armistice for the U.S. ending the Korean War. The armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.
- The very first all-jet dogfight occurred during the Korean War – September 8, 1950.
- The United States continues a military presence in South Korea in the event North Korea attempts another invasion.
- Seoul, the capital of S. Korea changed hands a total of four times during the war
The Korean War is the first time MASH – Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals – units were used. They allowed medics to be closer to the combat zones, which allowed them quicker response times, thus saving more lives.
- The Korean War is often referred to as the “Forgotten War”.
- South Korea refers to the war as ‘625’ (or) ‘6-2-5 Upheaval. This refers to the date June 25th, which is when North Korea first invaded South Korea.
- North Korea refers to the war as ‘the Fatherland Liberation War’ or as we know it the ‘Korean War’.
- The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was one of the harshest battles of the war. Fought from November 27th to December 13th, the intense fighting occurred at a time when temps plummeted to -54 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The United States had two main objectives for getting involved in the Korean War was to protect S. Korea from being taken over by communism and to protect Japan since the US felt they would be the next country communists would attempt to invade
- A total of 131 Medals of Honor were awarded during the war.
- Within the first few weeks of the war, the US sent in a new weapon – the M-20 bazooka, aka: super-bazooka. This weapon was capable of firing a large 3.5 inch rocket which could penetrate North Korean armor.
- The British Centurion – a 67 ton tank with a 105mm main gun – was the most powerful tank to see action in the war.
- Captain Joseph McConnell of the USAF was the top-scoring US flying ace of the war. He flew F-86 Sabres and managed to shoot down 16 enemy planes. Three of those were MIG-15s all shot down on the same day. In August of 1954, he died in a test flight accident.
- Approximately 25% of the Americans who died in action during the Korean War were killed between August and December of 1950. The majority of those died either in the battle of the Pusan perimeter, the Chosin Reservoir or the Kunu-ri Pass.
- Though they never followed through in fear of starting World War III, both President Truman and President Eisenhower considered dropping nuclear bombs on Korea.
These are just a few of the many interesting facts surround the Korean War.