Having mostly disarmed following World War II, the United States was a peacetime Army in June of 1950 when nearly seven divisions of elite North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel to invade and subjugate the people of South Korea.
The U.S. and its allies were surprised by invasion and many troops left their occupation duty in Japan to be suddenly thrust into battle to hold back the onrushing North Koreans.
The three-year war that followed was often fought on extremely difficult mountain terrain, and in brutal weather conditions that saw very hot summers and winter temperatures so numbingly cold, the U.S. troops considered it as formidable a foe as the enemy.
Noted military historian S.L.A. Marshall called the Korean War the 20th century’s “nastiest little war.” But for the men who fought in Korea, it did not seem to be a little war. The men of L “Love” Company tell their stories and tell us of the terrible human toll this war took.
They tell the stories of comrades suddenly gone and of brave men taken by enemy fire. One company of 150 men was reduced to 50 in less than four days of combat; another lost 141 of its 180 Soldiers.
One Veteran of the war says he was warned not to get too friendly with the replacement troops “Because they won’t be here long.” And many of them weren’t. For the surviving Veterans of the L Company, Korea will never be the “forgotten war.”
About the video: This video was produced by the broadcast and video team of the VHA Employee Education System.