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William Smith - Korean War

Having previously lied about his age to obtain a job, Bill Smith was drafted into the Army in 1944. Following basic training, the Army was made aware of the false information and Bill was released from duty. Two years later Bill rejoined the Army and by 1947 he was sent for duty in Pusan, Korea. On June 25, 1950, just when Bill was nearing the end of his tour, the North Koreans invaded the south, forcing Bill's time to be extended immediately. Six months later Bill was captured by the Chinese near Unsan, North Korea. Bill spent the next two and a half years in a Chinese POW camp before he was released in April, 1953.

Interview Links

Abstract

Feature Excerpt

Russian Roulette

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early life through Smith’s combat experiences in Korea in 1950

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Capture by the Chinese in Nov. of 1950, and early imprisonment

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Smith’s first 18 months as a POW, communist propaganda

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Smith’s last year as a POW in the ‘Reactionary Camp’ and his release

Transcript

Related Materials

Interviews with William & Charlotte Smith, Korean War Project


Mark Depue's editorial in the Springfield State Journal-Register


Photos

Caption

Photo of Orene (left) at four years of age along with William (right) at two years of age.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Bill Smith while he served in the 7th Division, part of the occupation army in Japan, circa spring of 1950.

Where:

Japan

When:

circa spring of 1950

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bill Smith, April 25, 1953, three days after his release.

Where:

Unknown

When:

April 25, 1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Charlotte's Beaver High School (Bluefield, West Virginia) photograph, 1954.

Where:

Beaver High School, Bluefield, West Virginia

When:

1954

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

In Bluefield, West Virginia, Charlotte and Bill Smith were married on December 24, 1955. Charlotte is holding her white family bible in her hands. This is the dress that Bill picked out for her near the time that he proposed to her.

Where:

In Bluefield, West Virginia

When:

December 24, 1955

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

In Bluefield, West Virginia, Charlotte and Bill Smith were married on December 24, 1955. Bill was age 27, and Charlotte was age 19. Charlotte's mother decorated the home that the wedding reception took place in on Christmas Eve.

Where:

In Bluefield, West Virginia

When:

December 24, 1955

Ownership:

Narrator’s Photo

Caption

Family photo, around the mid-1970s. Lisa, age 14, stands behind her parents, Bill and Charlotte Smith.

Where:

Unknown

When:

mid-1970s

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.



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