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Ivan Maras - Korean War

Ivan Maras grew up on the family farm near tiny Bulpitt, Illinois, then attended college at Illinois Teachers College. Upon graduation in 1952 he was drafted, and following his initial training, was shipped to South Korea in early 1953 and assigned to the 65th Infantry Regiment, a Puerto Rican National Guard unit. Maras worked in the Headquarters Company until the end of the war in July, 1953. Then, due to his college degree and teaching credentials, he spent the rest of his tour of enlistment teaching Puerto Rican students math and other courses at a make-shift school the military established in Korea.

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How we were treated by the Koreans

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Photos

Caption

Private Ivan Maras relaxes on the steps of his barracks during Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky during the winter of 1952-1953.

Where:

Fort Knox, Kentucky

When:

Winter of 1952-1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Private Maras visited his parents, Sophia and George Maras, on their farm near Bulpitt, Illinois before he shipped to Korea in early 1953.

Where:

Bulpitt, Illinois

When:

Early 1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras kept warm in his army issue pile cap, parka and “Mickey Mouse” boots during the winter of 1953-1954 in South Korea.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Winter of 1953-1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Chow hog Ivan Maras grabs a tray before heading through the line while serving in Korea in 1953.

Where:

Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The entrance to Camp Dankowski, the 65th Infantry Regiment’s home away from home in South Korea in the fall of 1953.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Fall of 1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

These tents became the 65th Regiment’s school, located at Camp Dankowski, near Kumhwa, South Korea in the fall of 1953. The tents served as classrooms for the soldiers of the 65th Regiment.

Where:

Kumhwa, South Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras and a buddy relax from their duties over a card game a few miles behind the front lines in 1953.

Where:

Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Beer call was always popular for the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment, and apparently for South Korean soldiers as well in the fall of 1953. The Army furnished Budweiser for the troops.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras relaxes in the fall of 1953, flanked by two rows of tents that were used as classrooms for the 65th Regiment’s school.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Fall of 1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Camp Dankowski, as seen from the perspective of the mountain range that towered over the 65th Infantry Regiment’s South Korean home in the fall of 1953.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Fall of 1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Corporal Maras preferred a pipe while in South Korea. Here he holds a doll dressed in traditional Korean garb while holding a sign which lampooned sloth, which reflected a bit of his own philosophy.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

South Korea



Caption

Camp Dankowski as it appeared after receiving a light dusting of snow. Maras was thankful that the unit was no longer in combat and at the front lines after experiencing Korea’s bitterly cold winters.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1953-1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Staff Sergeant Ivan Maras talks on the radio during a training exercise in South Korea in the spring of 1954.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Spring of 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A fellow soldier/teacher in the 65th Regiment relaxes in front of his Quonset hut classroom on Camp Dankowski in the spring of 1954.

Where:

South Korea

When:

Spring 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Corporal Maras with a fellow teacher in Seoul where they were attending a library school in the spring of 1954.

Where:

Seoul, South Korea

When:

Spring of 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

While attending a library school in Seoul, Maras snapped a photo of two buddies while they visited a neighborhood in Seoul in early in 1954. South Korea was devastated by the war, so Koreans used whatever building materials they could find.

Where:

Seoul, South Korea,

When:

1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A church service is conducted in the spring of 1954 at Camp Dankowski, South Korea.

Where:

Camp Dankowski, South Korea

When:

Spring 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

One of the Quonset huts used for a school at Camp Dankowski where Maras taught math to Puerto Rican soldiers. The sign above the hut reads “Heartbreak Hall,” commemorating one of the fiercest battles of the Korean War.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Hansen Education Center on Camp Dankowski looked much improved shortly before Ivan Maras shipped home in September, 1954. The soldiers of the 65th appreciated their opportunity to improve their education.

Where:

South Korea

When:

September, 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

An army band plays farewell to Maras and others who were shipping out from Pusan in September, 1954. After sixteen months in Korea, he was ready to come home.

Where:

Pusan, Korea

When:

September, 1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In 1987 Maras returned to South Korea to check on the nation’s progress. Part of the tour sponsored by the South Korean government was a trip to Panmunjom. He is standing at far right behind the peace-talk table, which separates North from South Korea.

Where:

Panmunjom, Korea

When:

1987

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras was honored by a Korean official during his 1987 visit to South Korea. The South Korean people were very grateful to American veterans of the war, crediting them with saving their country.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1987

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras stands next to a sign for the 65th Infantry Regiment locations shortly after the end of hostilities in Korea. The unit set up shop near Kumhwa, South Korea, near the DMZ.

Where:

Kumhwa, South Korea

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A Regimental pass-in-review shortly after the armistice was signed, officially ending hostilities in South Korea. The review was at Camp Dankowski, South Korea.

Where:

Camp Dankowski, South Korea

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ivan Maras reverted to school teacher after the armistice was signed, teaching math to many of his fellow soldiers in the 65th Infantry Division. He’s making his point at the chalk board in late 1953.

Where:

South Korea

When:

1953

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In May, 2011 Ivan Maras traveled to Puerto Rico to visit with members of the Puerto Rican National Guard. He was warmly received, including this meeting with Major General Antonio Vicens, the Adjutant General for Puerto Rico.

Where:

Puerto Rico

When:

May, 2011

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain



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