Korean War – 60 years ago

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On 23 June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. This “surprise” war led to the United States rebuilding our military, which had been pared down rapidly at the end of the world war. Many reservists¬† were called back into active service, of whom, many had seen action in World War II. The U. S. Navy also build up its Pacific fleet by reactivating many ships that had been placed in “mothballs” to meet the threat in Korea. USS Yorktown (CV-10) was one of the World War II Essex class carriers reactivated. The Fighting Lady was recommissioned in June 1952, but did not reach the Korean theater until the armistice was signed on 27 July 1953.

Interestingly, the first commanding officer of Yorktown, Jocko Clark, was now a three star admiral and took command of Task Force 77 for the last part of the Korean War.

Here, Vice Admiral Clark (left) briefs General Mark W. Clark, Commander-in-Chief, Far East, (right) and Vice Admiral R. P. Briscoe on board the Iowa off Korea on 25 September 1952.

The South Korean government hosted a 60th celebration of the Korean War this past June and invited many American veterans to attend the ceremonies. Patriots Point employee and retired Marine Corps Sergent Major Robert “Bobby” Kotlowski was invited by the South Koreans to attend in place of his father, Robert Kotlowski, who fought in Korea with the 7th Marine Division surviving the retreat from Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.

United States Marines on the Chosin retreat.

Here Sgt. Major Kotlowski presents the U. S. flag to South Korean officials.

A group of school girls perform to welcome Korean War veterans during ceremonies in Seoul.

Bobby was treated very well by the South Korean government and people. Besides the welcoming banquet he was able to tour several battlefield sites, museums and the armistice site at Pammunjeom (seen below).

Looking from South Korea pass the armistice huts with border line in center to North Korean building in background.

Bobby inside the armistice treaty building with South Korean guard.

Patriots Point salutes all Korean War veterans and as seen above, the prosperous nation of South Korea is grateful for the sacrifices of United Nation’s armed forces during the Korean War.

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