Photo: Dierk Schaefer

Making it stick

Why do we remember some things, and forget others? That's what author Peter Brown and psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel set out to answer in their new book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

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American RadioWorks |
Photo: Dierk Schaefer

Making it stick

Why do we remember some things, and forget others? That's what author Peter Brown and psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel set out to answer in their new book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Recent Posts

American RadioWorks |
Photo: Dierk Schaefer

Making it stick

Why do we remember some things, and forget others? That's what author Peter Brown and psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel set out to answer in their new book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Recent Posts

American RadioWorks |
Photo: Dierk Schaefer

Making it stick

Why do we remember some things, and forget others? That's what author Peter Brown and psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel set out to answer in their new book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Recent Posts

Home | Oral History Archive | Reporter's Notebook


interview with:
Herb Dareff

Herb Dareff
Photo: John Biewen/ ARW

As part of the research for Korea: The Unfinished War, American RadioWorks conducted almost 100 interviews with veterans and historians. We've made those interviews available here. Rough transcripts accompany each interview - but these are incomplete, and often paraphrase the speaker. The authoritative source should be seen as the audio recording, not the transcription. You can listen to and/or read the interviews -but please DO NOT QUOTE from the transcript.



Al Ratner, Herb Dareff, Harry Cohen, Carl Anides, and Murray Havelin
Interviewed by John Biewen
Boynton Beach, Florida
March 2003

AL RATNER (part 1 of 2)

{John Biewen:} Tell me your name?

{Al Ratner:} Al Ratner.

{JB:} And youíre from New York?

{AR:} Right, Iím from New York. Iím living down here now. I was with the 45th Division, which took over the 1st Cavalry Division in '52. The 1st Cav pulled out and we pulled in. So the 45th was the Oklahoma National Guard and in Ď51 they converted to a division.

{JB:} So were you there when the truce was?

{AR:} I was there when they cease-fire, I was there 6 months after the cease-fire and they were still shootiní. People were still getting shot after the cease-fire. I mean it was still going on for a while. Then in April of Ď54 I came back home with the division. The division pulled out. They went back to the States.

{JB:} And did you go back to NY?

{AR:} Yeah. Well, originally I was from Brooklyn so I came back, I was home 2 days. I went back to work and that was it. Eventually I got married and when I retired about 7 Ė 8 years ago I joined the Korean War veterans up in New York, which I never knew about it. And I got very active in it and I went back to Korea on a revisit trip in í94. And itís some difference from í53 to now. You canít believe it.

{JB:} Tell me about when you talk to kids about it.

{AR:} I used to go around to schools, the Tell America Committee, and we used to talk about the Korean War, how it was started. Because the kids were in like middle school and high school and they were learning about Asia, Korea and we used to talk to them. We used to tell them, the Japanese used to occupy Korea from 1905 to 1945. It was ruled by Japan. Then right after the war North Korea was occupied by the Japanese and South Korea by the Americans. Then Russia came in; Russia supplied all the equipment for North Korea. They gave them tanks, planes. South Korea hardly had anything. If it wasnít for the Americans it would be a communist country now. The older people would appreciate even now. Even now the older people of my generation say 70ís and all that. When I came back here theyíll hold your hand and say, Thank you for saving my country and things like that but the younger kids like over there they revolt and wellóits hard to say. But you had to be there to believe it.

{JB:} Tell me, when you talk about how there are still all those forces stationed thereó

{AR:} There are 37,000 Americans stationed in Korea, in occupation there. Since 1953 to present. There was 218 Americans got killed. Youíve got a couple of Americans went back into North Korea, nobody knows about it, but I tell these kids thereís 37,000 Americans. They asked, are they as old as you who are stationed there? They think thereís no American Army in there, so that's it.

They also want to know, well, itís different. In Vietnam Iím not saying but a lot of people were taking drugs. They had a lot of drugs over there. The kids asked if we were taking drugs over in Korea. That was some of the questions they asked that you had to handle. There are a lot of things [Ö]

{JB:} How old are you?

{AR:} 71.

{JB:} Do you liveó?

{AR:} I live in Boynton Beach, Florida. Originally from Brooklyn, NY.

{JB:} Do you know Pete Taormina?

{Herb Dareff:} No, he doesnít know him, Pete has been sick the last few years. I speak to Pete on the phone and he doesnít drive at night either. He still belongs to the chapter.

{Al Ratner:} There were 22 nations that fought in Korea, under the U.N. flag, 22 nations. It was the first U.N. police action they called it. But in 1999 Clinton declared it was a war. The Korean government, in 1953 when the Korean War ended, they wanted to give the U.S., the troops a medal. The U.S. refused to take it to give to the GIís the reason was they had too much paperwork. So in 1999 when Clinton declared it was a war, not a forgotten war, they were going to give out the Korean War Medal. All the other 22 nations received it, but the U.S. didnít take it. So how are you going to give out the medal because they say 1,000 WWII veterans die in a week.

{HD:} In a day.

{AR:} In a day. Five-hundred Koreans died too, Korean veterans, so what they did is they gave it to the Air Force. They had to call up a number route in Stewart Air Force Base in Texas, theyíll send you a letter. And all you had to do is write the same letter. Where it says ďJohn DoeĒ you had to put your name in it and send your DD-214 in and it took 6 to 8 months until you got the Korean Medal.

{JB:} Do you remember hearing that the truce had been signed?

{AR:} Well I was up there. I was up on Heartbreak Ridge when it started. Ten oíclock in the morning. It got quiet, but like I say, most of the people donít know, they thought it stopped, but it didnít stop for a while. It was still small arm fighting, shooting. But it started, 10 oíclock in the morning, July 27th.

{JB:} What do you remember about the peopleís reaction when the news came?

{AR:} Well the guys, the soldiers, were glad that it ended. We wanted to get out of there. In the summertime it was hot Ė hot, and I mean hot, and the wintertime, cold. Cold. And another thing, they had the Chosin Reservoir and maybe Iím prejudice but the Marines always say that they were there. They had the American soldiers, they had the Army there too so it wasnít only the Marines they had the 7th Division in there. They fought too and they were in the Army, and I donít want to say too muchó

{HD:} Well the 7th Division was the rear guard. And the problem with the Marines is that they had their own press corps. They had their own photographers, their own movie photographers, still photographers and reporters, which the army doesnít do. So thatís why they got all the credit for it. Most of them, when they finally got out of the harbor, the last ones off to go onto the ships, they were the 3rd Division. They were the rear guard. They were the guard after the 7th Division and the Marines got on to the boats and 98 thousand refugees.

{AR:} And so thereís always photographers in a company of Marines. The Army we donít, but they want to be glorified. But thereís a lot of guys, thereís 8,100 Americans still unaccounted for from the Korean War. 54,500 got killed, 103,000 wounded. Thatís three years. Vietnam was 10 years, they only lost 2,500 men unaccounted for and they had 58,000 killed. And Korea we used more artillery than WWII. Itís hard to believe, but true. The artillery was more used in Korea then there because we had mountains.

{JB:} There was more intense fighting.

{AR:} The bloodiest battle. I mean they say WWII. WWII was a big battle too, but it was a different type of fighting. But thatís why, I mean Iím a little bitter when they say the forgotten war. People donít give you regard for Korea. Know what I mean? We fought, a lot of guys, from 1953 to present there were 250 casualties. Guys were getting killed. American were getting killed. Infiltrated, there was about 20 Americans defected into North Korea. If you werenít there it's a hard story. Thatís my opinion. Other peopleó

When I first came home I didnít care for the Army. I went to work, got married, raised a family. When I retired out in Long Island I saw a couple of these guys standing with blue jackets and I went up to them and the one guy had a blue jacket on with the division patch I had Ė the thunderbird, 45th Division. I said whatís this. Heís telling me its Korean War veterans. I took an application I joined; I got active because I was retired. We went to parades, we went to Washington, we got involved. But he says, they wore blue because we fought under the U.N. flag and that was blue. They wore blue hats, blue jackets and that was it.

{JB:} I see that symbol on your jacket.

{AR:} Yeah, thatís the 50th anniversary: July 27th,í53. A friend of mine mailed me this hat from New York. They gave them out.

{HD:} Itís a three-year, commemorative from 2000 to 2003 and itís coming to a wind down.

{AR:} After July 27th also the Korean government, a lot of people donít know, they have a revisit program. You take a GI who wants to go back and go back with his wife, the Korean government picks up about three-quarters of the fare to go back to Korea. We go non-stop about 14 hours into Seoul and Iíll tell you we had three busloads of people with patches on them and I tell you they treat you like a VIP.


{John Biewen:} Say who you are, where you liveó

{HD:} Herb Dareff, I live in Boca Raton, Iím originally from NY, Brooklyn, NY. I enlisted in the Army from Brooklyn and was called in and I went to basic training. I went to originally went to Camp Kilmer, from Camp Kilmer they shipped me to Ft. Smith Arkansas, I was supposed to be a tanker. Somebody decided that tanks wouldnít be too good in Korea, but it proved to be false, after a week and half there they shipped me out to Louisiana. I took infantry basic. I had 8 weeks of infantry basic, they sent me to Ft. Sill Oklahoma. They put me into artillery survey and that was fine. I went home on leave and I got to Korea in Thanksgiving Day of 1950. We had a delicious frozen turkey leg. It wasnít frozen but the time we got to eat it it was frozen.

{JB:} Where were you?

{HD:} Iíll get to that, but when I got to Korea they said, We donít need any survey men. Hereís an M-1 rifle, youíre a rifleman, which was fine. They get more points.

{JB:} Toward?

{HD:} Towards rotation. I was regular Army. I enlisted for 3 years. I got a little taken aback becauseówell, let me go back. A couple of days after Thanksgiving is when the Chinese came into the battle. They attacked and they pushed us all the way back. And I had been wounded, I got a couple Purple Hearts, it wasnít anything that was bad enough to get me out of there. I went to the medics, they did a little stitch job and sent me right back up on the line.

{JB:} What kinds of wounds? Shrapnel?

{HD:} Shrapnel, never a bullet. I was with the 24th Division. The 24th Division happened to be the first unit to go in from Japan; they were on occupation duty in Japan. Weíve had some big battles, we were thrown back, we counter-attacked, back and forth a couple times.

{JB:} Do you remember the realization that the Chinese were there in huge numbers?

{HD:} We used to have a saying. The officer would ask the men, ďWell how many Chinese are there?Ē They says, ďWell a horde.Ē ďWhatís a horde? Isnít it supposed to be a platoon?Ē ďNo, a horde. That means thereís no end to them. Thereís no end to them.Ē They were mowed down and the Chinese from the rear didnít have any weapons. They picked up the weapons as the front-lines were dropped. And Iíve been through some battles.

Thereís one battle that I remember that was, I think it was in May of Ď51 it was called Barbwire Hill. The 5th Regimental Combat Team was out on patrol and they got mauled. And then they attacked us. We held our position for 3 days and then someone says, ďWhat the hell are we doing? Lets attack them!Ē We attacked them. We were the front-line troops. We attacked then the whole division and the whole line attacked and in one weekís time we captured almost 4,500 Chinese. But they had their things. Chinese used to do war in phases. They would go into a war in a phase as far as their supplies would last, then theyíd have to go back. Because they had no way of getting supplies because the Air Corps did a tremendous job in knocking out anything that was on the road. Most of their supplies were being brought in by human beings, only at night. The Chinese had strict orders not to move during the day. If they were caught moving during the day, automatically killed. Thatís one of the battles. That one sticks in my mind. The way we just counterattacked.

I was telling you before about the artillery. The artillery was a very important job. They pulled the infantry out of a lot of scrapes and at one point they had to ration the ammunition. They were only allowed to fire a certain amount a day because the artillery was so short. They say that in history there are only 5 major wars and out of the five Korea was one of the bloodiest. It was an infantry war and a lot of it was hand to hand.

In 1952, the entire division, we were sent back to Japan. We were relieved by another National Guard Division from California. And in that there were a lot of kids and a lot of runaways. 15, 16 year old kids that were in the National Guard and that were brought over there. And bullets and shrapnel flying around, hey I want out and so they got out. And x amount of guys from the 24th Division had to go back. And we went back to replace these kids and we were kids ourselves, we were what? 18, 19, 20 years old?

And I stayed with the 40th Division, I got wounded again, slightly and after that wound, the war was at a point where the truce was being discussed back and forth and it was mostly hill fighting and weíd sit in the bunkers. It was kind of boring there for a while. I volunteered to go on many patrols because the boredom was setting in and finally in 1953 I was sent home. But they finally put me into artillery survey. And out on a mission we were surveying a point and the Chinese spotted us up on the ridgeline and they threw in some mortar rounds. And a mortar round hit very close by and I got a lot of rocks and dirt in my eyes and ever since then Iíve had to wear glasses. Very sensitive to light, Iím always wearing sunglasses.

{JB:} How old are you?

{HD:} Right now? Iím 72.

{JB:} So when you showed up in Korea you were?

{HD:} 20.

{JB:} And what part of New York are you from?

{HD:} Brooklyn, originally Brooklyn.

{JB:} What did you think you were getting into?

{HD:} The beginning, after they landed in Inchon the North Korean army was almost non-existent. I donít know where they got a million people for their army now, but they were literally wiped out. The war would have been over by Christmas if the Chinese hadnít intervened. Iíve been back to Korea also about 1998, my wife and I and as a matter of fact, I got a watch. My wife and I received a watch from the president of Korea.

{JB:} Can you describe it?

{HD:} I have no idea what that says. Itís in Korean.

{JB:} Yes, itís gold with a white face, with Korean writing on it. On the back it says Kim Young-sam.


{Harry Cohen:} I just want to say that as a GIó

{John Biewen:} Tell me who you are.

{HC:} My name is Harry Cohen and served in Korea, actually I was in the service for two years and at the end of two years I was supposed to have been discharged and suddenly there was a war in Korea so I had the ďTruman yearĒ added on. So my first night in Korea was D [D-day] plus two, the second day of the action there. We landed in Pusan in September 15th so I landed on the 17th so that was when the action was going on over there. So we were put on top of a hill and they put up a tent for us and they started bringing out equipment. We were radio guys and we had these big antennas and they came in big boxes, they were like big coffins. So weíre up here on this hill and you could see the Missouri firing shells up over our head and they fire them three at a time and they look like sparks flying and each one is two thousand pounds. Itís amazing and you say, Gee I hope one of those never lands on me. So these things are going overhead, Iím 19, 20 years old at this point and itís really something to see.

Things quiet down a little bit and somebody fires a gun because they just got scared. As soon as one guy fires one somebody else and pretty soon our own people were all shooting around out there and I get in between those coffins and I say, Well thatís no good because I want to see whoís coming at me. And this was my first night in Korea. I came out of there. September 15th of 1950.

{JB:} Wasnít the 17th the Inchon landing?

{HC:} Right, the 17th was the day after.

{JB:} So this was right about the time I suppose that the North Koreans were turning around and moving the other direction.

{HC:} Right. They were being pushed back.

{JB:} Tell me about that. Whatís your memory of that.

{HC:} It all happened so fast with our group, they sent a team of 4 of us to go onto a ship to receive the materials because weíre going someplace else and they didnít tell us where. Well we ended up going on to [Ö] Inchon, no Wonsan and we lowered off a ship onto and LST. And the LST took us up onto Wonsan. The LST was one that they chartered which was probably from a WWII.

So in Wonsan we moved forward, we had them on the run, we were running, running, running, running, and one night we got word that the Chinese might be coming in. And then we had to go on duty. Three of us sitting in a hole, two guys can sleep, one guy stays awake, and we have nobody coming up to check you because those guys often get shot. And I had some crazy kid who said, ďI see them, I see them, theyíre coming, theyíre coming!Ē I said, ďSit down and shut up.Ē A frog jumps in the water, ďOh here they come now!Ē This guy was going crazy. What was happening was that they were firing these shells and they had this little umbrella and itís flowing down. And as it flows, up on the hill this guy was going nuts. I said, ďIf you go up there, I donít know whoís coming down, youíre going to get shot.Ē But he said, ďWell Iím going up anyways.Ē So we let him come down, I put the gun up against his head and I said, ďFor the rest of the night you just be here, be silent, weíll take care of you, weíll protect you.Ē My combat experience, which was nil, I was in radio. Putting in radio equipment up in the mountains that was what I did was radio relay.

{JB:} How much longer were you there?

{HC:} A year. I had one more year left that they tacked on so I left there in September of í51.

{JB:} Do you remember the reaction when MacArthur got fired?

{HC:} I was happy. I was in the hospital then. And I said, good, I think we went way beyond what we needed to do. I was agreeable that I think we should give back the country as far as what it belonged but to go beyond that I thought was very foolish. The guy in the next bed said, ďHey, we should go all the way and go through Moscow!Ē I says, ďYouíre crazy.Ē And all these Chinese, I mean they got a lot more Chinese than we have Americans. I would say 4 to 1 the guys said ďGet rid of him.Ē

He was brilliant but he was just so into himself that he wanted more than I think we needed to do. I thought okay, letís go and give back the bottom half of Korea, but to go out and conquer beyond that I thought was wrong.

{JB:} Thatís interesting looking at it from broad scopes, you have this line, the North Koreans went across it, that justified a war, but then they could make the case that by the Americans and the U.N. trying unify the countryóDid you have much contact with the Chinese?

{HC:} I did not, my job was not to be on the line. If I got involved in anything it would be by accident only. My job basically, for the first half of it was to go to hill number whatever, put up antennas and have a radio relay system and teletype information. There might be several of these in a line or it might be one to one or whatever and toward the end they brought in another piece of equipment and I later found out it was 300,000 dollars and I was in charge of it. In todayís money that was 3 million, and this had radio teletype and we could give 60 words a minute going out on tape a heck of a lot faster than the Morse code. But the problem was my partner who was 100 miles away from me was not responding. So I went to HQ and said ďCan you give me some time to get a hold of this other guy to make sure weíre both on the same frequency?Ē and stuff like that. They said, ďOh weíre too busy for that.Ē And all that time they had all that action up there and the Chinese were overrunning them and all that I was sending out stuff, doing a day night shift and doing it on and on and going nowhere.

I got frostbite in the mountains of North Korea because my truck broke down. We were there overnight and as a result I had to go to Japan for 4 or 5 weeks until they sent me back to Korea again. That was basically the highlights, and the lowlights. [laugh]


{John Biewen:} Tell me your name and where youíre from.

{Carl Anides:} My name is Carl Anides and Iím from Brooklyn, New York and I went into the service in February 1951 and served in the Marine Corps and when I was discharged I was a sergeant. During the time I was in the service I served at Camp Pendleton, I was stationed in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor for 6 months and then they sent me to Korea Ď52 and Ď53.

{JB:} So were you there at the end?

{CA:} No, I was not there at the end, I was sent home prior to the final solution when they made a peace pact.

{JB:} How is your last name spelled?

{CA:} A Ė N Ė I Ė D Ė E Ė S.

{JB:} How old are you?

{CA:} Right now Iím 70.

{JB:} So you were about 19, 20?

{CA:} Yeah, about 21 when I went into the service.

{JB:} And at that time that was after the Chinese attacked.

{CA:} This was after the Chinese helped the North Koreans and this was after the Inchon landing. At that time the Marine Corps was stationed on the east coast, which was a mountainous region. I was there for about a month and a half and I got blown up in a bunker. I was burned and I was sent back to Yokosuka Naval Hospital and I was there for three months. After I healed and I went back to Korea and I was in Recon Company, division scouts, where I participated in numerous different events.

{JB:} One of the things is that I think, one of the many ways in which Korea is overlooked is just how intense and bloody the fighting was and I donít know if in that period, it sound like you saw some nasty stuff.

{CA:} Well the Recon Company was the division scouts, so most of our jobs were a little bit unusual. What we did was, listening post, which would be to serve in front of the outpost as a listening post and would be to engage the enemy prior to their attacking the hill. So we could inform the hill, the outpost that theyíre being attacked. So we get back to the hill, prior to when they would overrun the hills. Also we used to do ambushes, we used to set up ambushes and we had a few successful ones where we set up ambushes where we captured a prisoner. And we also were ambushed ourselves. One time too many we went up one hill and when we got up there they were waiting for us on top of the hill, so they ambushed us. At this particular time it was a little messy, but we did get out. It was an eight man patroller and four of us were wounded, which we got them all back so all eight of us got back to the lines with the wounded.

{JB:} When you say you got blown up, tell me about that.

{CA:} Well, white fox [Ö] of the shell hit the bunker and we had some gas cases in the bunker to keep us warm because it was very cold. So all the cans ignited and I got blown out, it was a machine gun bunker so I got blown out of the back and the front and I was on fire so to speak. It was pretty painful but Iím okay. Survival of these things, you know.

{JB:} What were the damages?

{CA:} First, second and third degree burns.

{JB:} Where?

{CA:} My thigh and my right hand and I had a lot of clothes on, it was very cold, you canít see it they did a good job. They did a good job and I healed up and I was on a hospital ship in Pusan and I road on the MASH helicopter, it wasnít called MASH it was called the Charlie Med helicopter where they take you from the MASH unit to the hospital ship. You look over the side of the helicopter and you see that little hospital ship and geesh youíre laying out there on that wing and boy youíre really nervous. But I came back in one piece. I donít really appreciate, Iím really not for wars, Iíve seen many men, a corpsman who had his leg blown off. I used to visit him in the hospital and Iíve seen many men who are terribly wounded from the situation, from the war situation and its not one of my likings. I really donít talk about it too much other than this time with you.

At the time I was in the med station, the Charlie Med or the MASH as they call it on television, I seen numerous people come in there with unbelievable wounds, indescribable. The doctors did their best and they used to save them. Itís really unbelievable. I used to watch them pass me by.

{JB:} What did you think about the tension between MacArthur and Truman, and the decision to keep the war on a limited basis? What was it like being a Marine out after that decision had been made?

{CA:} In both situations, where MacArthur wanted to go forward and Truman didnít want to go forward we were still in a fighting situation. The fighting was still going on. Whether it was a moving fighting or you were sitting in a bunker fighting. Whether youíre moving out, youíre still getting shot at and the bombs are still going off the same way. So itís really, for the soldier himself heís still stuck under a rock regardless whether heís moving forward or heís sitting under the rock getting shot at, being potentially killed.

{JB:} So it didnító

{CA:} Doesnít affect the soldier. Heís still doing his job, which is, whatever youíre doing moving forward, moving back itís the same situation, youíre still doing your job whatever you may be, whether youíre a tank commander, standing still with the tank or moving forward with the tank youíre still doing the same thing with the tank. Whether youíre a rifle person or a scout or whatever. Same with the Air Force, the Air Force is the same they would shoot at the same Chinese hills that the Chinese possessed. They were in possession of some of these hills and we would call air strikes on top of the hills whether it was that hill or the hill beyond itís the same battle. The soldier has the same battle.

{JB:} And were you near Wonsan?

{CA:} I was on the east coast in the mountainous area. I was also by the Injin River, I was also by the Panmunjom, opportune was in charge of the Panmunjom Road, and at the time of the peace talks they were still fighting on, but they were doing the peace talks. We used to do patrols all along the Panmunjom Road, also we were stationed at one time on the Injin River. We were on one side of the river and the Chinese were on the other side of the river. We used to shoot each other at night and they didnít come across the river and we didnít go across the river towards them. It wasnít our situation, we werenít moving forward, we were just standing still in one position. And they would attack us. It was like a chess game. They would take one chess spot from you and you would take a checker spot from them. That would be the situation and youíd try to protect your men and your outpost and your position during the time of the stalemate. Nobody was moving in either direction and the peace talks were going on.

{JB:} When did you leave Korea?

{CA:} I left Korea in I think October, November 1953.

{JB:} So it was after, because the truce was declared in July of Ď53.

{CA:} No I didnít leave in July, I left, beginning of Ď53 and it was before the peace and the last six months of my duty I was stationed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Marine Barracks, Brooklyn Navy Yard for the last 6 months of my tour.

{JB:} Could you remind me what unit you were in?

{CA:} I was reconnaissance company, which were basically the division scouts. Each regiment had a recon company as well, but we were division recon. Sometimes they called us the fill-in when an outpost or a line position lost footing they would send our company to go up and fill in the hole. It happened on numerous times we filled in the position.

{JB:} So the 1st Marine Division Ė they werenít on Chosin?

{CA:} They werenít in Chosin Reservoir, this is prior to what weíre talking about.

{JB:} Were any of the people you were in with from that?

{CA:} Yeah, some men in my outfit were from the Chosin Reservoir, they were there maybe a month or two and then they left. Marine tour of duty was about a year, 13 months and then after he did his 12, 13 months in Korea he was sent back to the States. We did a year in Korea. All the Marines as far as I know did one year all the divisions as far as I know did one year. Hospital time didnít count. The hospital in Japan doesnít count for being in Korea.

{JB:} Do you remember what it felt like to leave Korea?

{CA:} Well when youíre getting on a bus, or a truck, and takes you out, everybody looks at you and they all want to get on the same truck with you and leave. And you say, So long and goodbye and youíre very happy to get out of there because you know youíre not in harms way anymore. The pressures off you can take a deep breath and say, ďOh, I made it.Ē You made it. Thatís it. A lot of people donít make it, I was one of the fortunate ones.

We did have some fun in Korea. I want to get off the negative. We did have a baseball team. They used to bring us the uniforms to our off the line area and fellas would play baseball and theyíd take us in a truck out to the field and we used to play different Marine outfits. It lasted about 6 or 7 games and we were doing very well in the division.

Okay, so we used to play baseball, they took us off the lines and they took us back and weíd play our game and theyíd put us back on the lines, back on the truck, weíd take off the uniforms and weíd go back into our regular fatigues for so to speak our regular jobs. Until the centerfielder got wounded and this guy got shot and the other guy and we started losing our players, so we couldnít play anymore after a while We didnít have enough players and we had to stop. But until then we were doing pretty good. But they tried to keep us [Ö] it was something we could do, but it was limited. The only way we could practice really, it was hard to practice, we were in a tent area and so we did the best we could do. Pitchers and catchers could throw a little bit, but we didnít have big field. But we had a good time it was a change of pace and it took our minds off a negative situation.

{JB:} What do you remember about the experience of coming home?

{CA:} Oh, itís an exuberation. When the boat comes up to the Golden Gate Bridge and you see the bridge and I think I was on one of the generalís ships coming home. And you see the bridge and thereís people standing on the bridge and the band is playing and the ship is there. Oh thatís wonderful.

{JB:} So you did feel like you got a pretty warm welcome?

{CA:} Coming back, yes, I did feel that it was a nice warm welcome, but not much of a welcome when I flew back to New York. I mean nobody really pays that much attention to a service man coming back. When youíre in a big city youíre just part of the city.

{JB:} It wasnít like the WWII experience.

{CA:} No, it wasnít like WWII. It wasnít a big parade or something like that. You came back, the ship docked and everybody was waving and there were a lot of flags flying and people that were there and their friends were on the ship or relatives met them and it was nice for them. But most of the fellas didnít have friends meeting them at the dock. Most of the fellas got their paperwork over a couple days and we flew to our destinations. We flew home. And then after that you reported to you next station. My next station was Brooklyn Navy Yard. So I flew home to Brooklyn where I lived and in a few days I reported to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which was not a big deal, which was down the road. That was my last tour of duty. I discharged. I was a sergeant but after that they wanted me to got to OCS, my mother threw them out. A captain of the OCS came to the house looking for me and they wanted me to go to OCS, and my mother said, You get out! She ran after them with a broom she said, No way, heís not going back anymore thatís it. She said, No way!

And then of course, I probably would have gone. The Vietnam War came about and I probably would have been involved in that situation as well. But Iím one of the lucky ones. A lot of the men in my recon company were wounded, killed, I think we had one person who was captured and I know of one of our fellas was captured by the Chinese. But he was repatriated after they made the peace pact. They made the truce and he came back, he was okay. He was captured right at the end. Right there on Panmunjom Road I think he got captured.


{Al Ratner:} They had Jane Russell Hill, you know how they named it Jane Russell Hill? It had two mountains there, big breasts. Christmas Hill they had different names that the GIs that they made them up themselves and those namesóthey had Clint Eastwood play in Pork Chop Hill or Heartbreak Ridge, but that stuff, fake movies. I went back in Ď94 and I went to the DMZ, thatís where we were allowed, we couldnít go anywhere. They still had the trenches up there.

The Koreans, they used to have rice patties and they used to use human waste to grow rice. Thatís how they grew rice. All these Asian countries. Well when I went back there, they donít use human waste anymore, they use regular fertilizer, you know, they progressed from 50-60 years ago. It brought back a lot of memories when I was there.

{JB:} People do histories and you hear a lot about WWII, but you donít hear about the Korean War. Itís hard for people to get a sense.

{AR:} They donít know, its like I mentioned, when Truman was in, he didnít have the congress to vote on it so they couldnít vote on it as a war. They voted on it as a police action, but then eventually, him and MacArthur, they couldnít get along. MacArthur wanted to do it his way, he wanted to go straight into Manchuria and Truman didnít want him to go because he didnít want WWIII with China.

{JB:} I wonder if at the time it was quieter in comparison to how bloody it was.

{AR:} Yeah, because also, I mentioned this before, the five years before WWII, WWII was the big one, I call it ďthe big oneĒ -- when people came back they were getting married, they were buying houses, the economy was getting better. They didnít realize about Korea, nobody knew where Korea was. They went over there and nobody cared. When I got drafted, I was drafted, and Iím from New York, they mailed me in 10 cents to go with the subway to report to Whitehall Street in NY. You got a physical and you went out. People didnít know nothing. And then when you came back they asked you where were you? Nobody seemed to care. Because TV wasnít brought in on the battlefields and there wasnít no journalism like today they go out on the battlefield. It was all together different. A lot of guys got killed out there and theyíre still 8,100 unaccounted for from the Korean War. There are still guys, 20-25 guys going into wartime they were defected into North Korea so when they did come back some of them married and they only gave them two years for desertion. Nobody did nothing.

This is the big one like November 11th of this year up in New York theyíre having a welcome home Korean War Veterans, a parade. Thatís it. After 2003 I donít think their going to have anything because they have a magazine called the Grey Beards, comes out quarterly. Why do they call it the Grey Beards? Because most everybodyís turned gray. You get this magazine and you have veterans looking for veterans, they talk about different things, but I doubt after 2003 if theyíre still going to continue with the organization.


{John Biewen:} Could you introduce yourself?

{Murray Havaline:} My name is Murray Havaline. I come from the 2nd Division Combat Engineers, I got in there in Ď50 to Ď52 when I had a napalm hit me in Korea and I was burned 80 percent of my body second and third degree burns and I laid up in the VA for seven years up in Philadelphia. I havenít been well since, Iíve had various other conditions caused from the burns. My lifespan, according to the doctors, is limited and Iíve been fooling them. I was not supposed to live over the age of 41, Iím now 73. I have a lot of will to live, I have a nice wife who took care of me, watched me when I needed. Sheís really the whole backbone of my whole way of thinking. Thanks to her Iím around here today. If it wasnít for her I donít know if I would have come through.

Iíve been active with the Korean War vets since it was formed. I believe in the veterans, I fight for the veterans and I think this is what God left me living for because according to second and third degree burns over 80 percent of your body you donít live. I had no face, my face has been reconstructed, my hand has been reconstructed, my body is just totally burned and I pulled through Iím what they called a ďmiracle-manĒ because no one with over fifty percent lives. Theyíve experimented with my body when I was burned and it seemed to work and now new procedures for people who are burned are being used because of me. Now recently you heard about the fire in Rhode Island. Most of those people who were in that died. Burns are a terrible thing to have go through your body. Unless youíve been through it you donít understand really what it is.

{JB:} The pain must have beenó

{MH:} Thereís no words to really explain the pains of a burn. If you burn your finger, the tip of your finger and you can feel that pain. Now you have to imagine that 80 percent of your body is completely burned.

{JB:} Can you tell me the story of how that happened?

{MH:} I was in Korea, Christmas Eve, we asked for an air strike from the U.S. Air Force.

{JB:} Was this Ď50?

{MH:} í52 Heartbreak Ridge. When it exploded and I got burned, from our own Air Force. I donít blame them. It was dark at night and they didnít really [Ö] The point is that I donít blame the Air Force. It was dark at night when we were hit. There were 285 of us, Iím the only one that came out of it alive. My 284 buddies were all burned to death, they died. Iím one of the only ones left. I am in the medical history books that the doctors have put me in for being miracle worker. The burns I had were so enormous that I donít have a piece of my body thatís mine. Itís all surgery, plastic surgery. My face is about the best looking part of my whole body. The rest of my body is all scarred. Iím not ashamed. I served when I had to serve and I got hurt unfortunately. But Iím not sorry. I would have done it again if I had to. Itís pathetic that we veterans they seem to forget what we went through and instead of caring for us they really donít give a darn. They really donít worry about us one way or the other. I have to fight for other guys who are worse than me. Having no arms, no legs, I think thatís worse, really worse.

{JB:} Korean War veterans didnít get as much public attention in the public consciousness. Why do you think that is?

{MH:} Why do I think that is? Because originally the Korean War was a police action and the word ďpolice action,Ē it wasnít considered a war, but when they started figuring out in the short span of war the lives that we lost and the POWs that are still missing over 8,800. And if someone shoots you and you have to shoot back and youíre killing somebody, thatís a war. Until Clinton last year of his administration agreed that the Korean Vets was a Korean War. But up until then we were not considered a Korean War. Your biggest stink was with the American Legion and those other groups. Oh you werenít in war, you were in a police action. To me it wasnít a police action. When you give up your body and your soul, its war. When someone shoots at you itís a war. I donít care what they say or what they think. To me itís a war. And unfortunately [Ö]

{JB:} In fact there was a higher mortality rateó

{MH:} Well percentage-wise there was a higher fatality rate because youíre going into a climate that was either hot or cold and most of it is hills. Hills after hills, after hills. Little hills. Thatís what youíre fighting for is for hills. Not for ground, youíre fighting for a hill. The people that we killed and that were captured, they didnít know what was going on. They were ignorant of why they were killing Americans. They had no ideas.

{JB:} At that time you were fighting against the Chinese.

{MH:} We started with the North Koreans and then we went to the Chinese. We were told that the war was over when we beat the North Koreans we were going home. And I was sitting eating lunch one day and I looked up in this hill and I see little specks coming down. They were the Chinese that got into the war automatically.

{JB:} So were you there in the fall of Ď50?

{MH:} Yeah.

{JB:} Tell me about when it first became clear that the Chinese were coming down.

{MH:} It was when the North Koreans gave up and they disappeared and we were sitting out. I guess it was around St. Pattyís Day in í51 when we were sitting around eating our St. Pattyís Day lunch and celebrating. We were all going home.

{JB:} I gathered it was Thanksgiving.

{MH:} It was Thanksgiving when the Chinese really came in, but this was the start of it. When they first started between Thanksgiving and St. Pattyís Day. They were in it before, but we really started to get hit around Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was when I got hit the first time by a sniper. We were sitting down for our turkey dinner, lunch, when they really came in bulk. There were waves of them and they fought and fought and we didnít even know who we were fighting. It was like ten to one, we were outnumbered ten to one. And the ones that got hurt the most was the Marines, got hit the hardest really. My outfit got pushed back twice. We lost out twice. Our outfit was demolished twice. One in Pusan and one across the Naktong River and we had to backtrack. So we lost out everything.


{John Biewen:} Tell me, do you remember a moment when you first encountered the Chinese?

{Herb Dareff:} Yeah, November 26th, 27th.

{JB:} Tell me about that.

{HD:} Well they just came down out of the hills over land, over sea in hordes, hordes.

{JB:} And where were you?

{HD:} I was only there for two days before that happened.

{JB:} Remind me what was your unit?

{HD:} 24th Division.

{JB:} Now MacArthur had this defensive that was going to end the war. Were you part of that?

{HD:} No. When that happened that was September of Ď50.

{JB:} Or November of Ď50, September was the Inchon.

{HD:} Yeah.

{JB:} Iím talking about when they were going to the Yellow River.

{HD:} There were units that were up to the Yellow River. There were units I think that were 28 miles up to the Yellow River when they crossed over. They were filtering over even before. They were not allowed to move during the day. Everything was at night.

{JB:} What did you face?

{HD:} We faced our biggest battle and we stayed alive. It got to the point where they were even behind us, next to us and behind us and the problem was that even though some units captured the Chinese in previous battles before they were even into the war, our intelligence didnít believe it. Even MacArthur didnít believe it. He said, if they come into the war weíll disintegrate them with the Air Corps. Never happened, it never happened.

{JB:} What kind of losses did your unit go through at the time?

{HD:} The 2nd Division, the one that Murray Havaline, they lost more men than anybody, the 2nd was the Marines, 3rd was the 7th Division and we were the fourth. We lost more in the time we were in Korea, from July of Ď50 to January of Ď52 we lost more than they lost in WWII. Both killed, wounded and missing in action. [Ö]

Okay, U.N. dead from the start of the war to the end of the war: 628,833; U.S. was 54,246. Wounded was 1,064,453; we had 103,284 wounded. We had 92,970 prisoners; U.S. 7,140. MIA 41,267; U.S. had 8,177 MIAs.

{JB:} I think it was in your division the loss was greater than all of WWII. I imagine itís painful.

{HD:} It is. I didnít become active in Korean War Veterans until they did the monument in Washington, D.C. Until then I never talked about it. My kids didnít know about it, my wife didnít know about it. But I saw something there that made me want to talk about it.

{JB:} Was that a turning point after so much silence?

{HD:} We started to be recognized. During the parade which we had there people were lined up on the sidewalks and they were welcome home, welcome home. It was great to see a lot of the guys that we were in the service with that I knew. But when we gathered around the wall and saw the faces glaring at us, they have pictures of actual people that were sanded into the wall. It brought a lot of tears.

{JB:} Those battles, you must have had a lot of people around you.

{HD:} In one battle we were surrounded and we were ordered to get out as quick as possible. It was every man for himself. Funny thing they call them hills, but they were mountains. At one time we probably had 49 left from my company out of 245. I guess I ran fast.

{JB:} Attacking in another direction?

{HD:} Yeah that was the Marine general that said that, ďHey weíre not retreating weíre attacking in another direction.Ē And that was true because as they were withdrawing they kept having to go into the hills to fight the Chinese. I donít know the exact figures but the Chinese were dying 5 to 1 not only from shooting, but from cold. It was deathly cold there. I donít know the exact figures but those first two winters were some of the worst they ever had.

{JB:} Did you ever have any frostbite or anything like that?

{HD:} No, I was kind of lucky because I met a medic and he said just keep moving your toes and your fingers. It was kind of rough because we didnít have any gloves, we didnít have any Mickey Mouse boots, we had regular leather boots, so you had to keep your feet dry as possible. Every man used to carry two or three pairs of socks and just keep moving around. The problem was when we went for days without sleep. And if you fell asleep thatís when frostbite comes in because youíre not moving and the cold overtakes you. Iíve seen some bad cases over there where theyíve had to pull off the toes.

{JB:} What kind of clothing did you have?

{HD:} When we first got there all we had were field jackets but later on they shipped in what they call these Mickey Mouse boots that were lined with rubber and you didnít wear any shoes with them. They were heavy. They were very heavy.

{JB:} Going back to the Chinese Ė what were they wearing?

{HD:} They had on these quilted tan or brown uniforms, quilted with not shoes or boots but like sneakers and a good many of them suffered from frostbite. We found many of them dead in the road that were waiting in ambush frozen to death.

{JB:} Did you feel even at the time that for the horror facing you how intense the war was, that the level of patriotism back in the States wasó

{HD:} When I got home there was this candy store that we all used to meet at. And I walked in in uniform and someone said to me, Hey, you still here? Youíre on leave again? I wasnít there almost three years. Youíre back again? No, I donít think people realize it. This was like caught in between WWII and Vietnam [Ö] and the force that was going on with the protesting about Vietnam and so it sort of pushed us on the side. But actually we got to thank the Vietnam veterans because they protested and we followed right in their tracks. We still donít have a charter, nationally, Korean War veterans donít have a charter. Itís going before the bill now. Weíre the only veterans organization that didnít have a charter.

{JB:} How many Korean War vets are there?

{HD:} There had to be 5 million that were inducted. I have to tell you something, the Korean War veterans are not only those that served in Korea. They served in Germany, in the Mediterranean, Italy at that particular era they are considered to be a Korean War vet. Itís a shame because they donít get any recognition really.


{HD:} We believed [Ö] The question was?

{JB:} I guess your sense of the historicalĖ

{HD:} They felt that if communist North Korea took over South Korea it would spread to Japan, the Philippines and all these countries in the South Pacific and we believed, we actually stopped even though weíre still at war with North Korea, a cease-fire was signed but never a truce. But the American people, especially the GIs believe that we did stop communism in North Korea. My wife and I went back there and it was amazing those people used to wave at the buses. They didnít know what to do, and especially I was wearing a hat with the 24th insignia. And they were really grateful. The younger ones, they donít know, they donít care.

{JB:} That must be kind of frustrating because the young people in this country but also over their not having a sense. I gather that some young in Korea even say that the U.S. shouldnít have meddled.

{HD:} Well maybe they donít realize it, but the Koreans they had no food. All the food that was given to them was given to them by the Army. They were eating twigs and crushed up branches and grass. We have guys that are going out there looking for bodies, American remains and theyíll tell us all kinds of stories about what was happening in North Korea.

{JB:} What about Truman versus MacArthur and the decision to go forward?

{HD:} In my own opinion, MacArthur was an egotistical slob. He did one good thing in Korea and that was the Inchon landing and if that didnít work I think he would have committed suicide. That was really taking a chance that Inchon landing. The tides and the weather were against him for awhile there the initial Marines that landed on Wolmi Island, which was right next to the Inchon landing if I recall, they were overnight without support because the tide was out and all they had was mud. He did a lot of things in there that were no good.

{JB:} So his notion that we should start bombing Chinaó

{HD:} Yeah, he wanted to use the atom bomb, but they put a stop to it. All the other nations, we had like 22 other countries involved in the fighting and they rejected the atom bomb. So what they did is he did have the authority to bomb the north side of the bridge going into Manchuria which was adjacent to North Korea. Not the Chinese side but the side going into North Korea, which they did. From what I understand he kept Truman waiting for a half hour. And he used to write these letters to the people back in the States, VFW and things like that, and criticize Truman and his chief of staff. The Chief of Staff was Omar Bradley at that time who was a very brilliant man.

I would say there is a very good percentage did not like MacArthur. He did great in Japan. He brought that country back. When he left there were millions of people lining the streets and he came back and gave that infamous speech and he was a hero to the people who knew him from WWII.

{JB:} And to the soldiers in Korea?

{HD:} I donít think he had a good name. I was one of them. I didnít like a lot of things he did. You donít give your friends a position just because theyíre your friends. You donít give a 2 star general, a 3 star general.


{JB:} Just about everyone Iíve met here is from New York.

{HD:} We have one from Canada, we have one from England [Ö] as a matter of fact they had to go back Friday night they left for London because the guyís mother is still alive, sheís ill. Hey this guyís got a mother down here sheís 89 years old, she just got a six-year extension on her driverís license. So he says, Mom, what are you gonna do if they donít give you a license? She says, Iím gonna drive anyway. ĎCause you know mass transit down here is pretty shitty.

Our prisoners were treated atrociously, they would crowd them into a room and they had no bedding or anything like that. They had a concrete floor or the ground or whatever. Understand that if one guy turned over they all had to turn over. There was no way that they couldóthey were all rolling on top of each other. One guy who was in the 24th was captured the day before I got there [Ö] or the day after I got there, and he wrote a book. Itís called My Sacred Little Box or something. He kept notes [Ö] and the food that they got was millet, stuff that they would feed to a horse or a pig, and there was very little of it [Ö] a scoopful, there was no utensils, you had to eat from your hand, there was hardly any drinking water, there was nothing [Ö] every one of them had scurvy or rickets, lice [Ö] It was really, really terrible.

It was worse if you were captured by the North Koreans because they would beat you Ďtil you were dead. We had one sergeant that used to say, ďDonít get captured by a North Korean. A Chinaman, yeah. A North Korean, no.Ē A good many of them died because there wasnít any medication, very little. They would assign somebody, say ďYouíre the medic, do what you can.Ē It was a terrible thing.

There was the recapture of Taejon. I wasnít there. I wasnít there. But they found this grave with about a thousand civilians also with theyíre hands tied behind. Also with 26 American guys.

There was another atrocity, also before I was there, where there was [Ö] the 24th Division was retreating, and they had about 20 I guess it was, I donít know the exact amount, of prisoners, of uh, wounded guys, and they got to a point where they could not carry these guys up this hill, they figured if they left them there they would make them prisoners of war, maybe fix them up. And this priest, Father, I think his name was Phil Dopher, or something like that, he would remain behind. And as they climbed the hill, when they got to the top of the hill, a sergeant with glasses was looking down and he saw the North Koreans, these were North Koreans, bayoneting the wounded soldiers and also bayoneting the chaplain.

It got to a point where it was a thing with the 24th Division Ė ďWe take no prisoners,Ē but of course that wasnít true. We took many prisoners. As I told you before, we captured something like 5,000 prisoners in a weekís time. But everybody had that feeling. Of course, this was before I got there, and thatís what I was told.

When I read the book, and this guy lives in Florida too, upstate. Guyís name is Bill Allen, and he sells the book for ten [...] whatever you want to give him. And he doesnít keep the money, he gives it to [Ö] he donates the money to a boy or a girl for a college education. Itís like a fund. And thatís all I can tell you about the prisoners.

Well I hope you got some good answers from all these guys. You got Ďem from the actual guys who were fighting. Thereís one thing Iíll tell you about: for every man thatís up on the line, infantry, thereís like 10 guys behind him. And they all have a story. Everybodyís got a story. Some like to talk about it, some donít.

{JB:} Why does nobody like to talk about it?

{HD:} I donít know, nobody ever seemed interested. In fact, I didnít even know about the Korean War veterans where I was [Ö] I just retired about a year and a half ago. And I was managing this restaurant in a bowling alley, Don Carterís Bowling Center, and this guy walks in and heís wearing a vest and heís wearing a purple heart. He made a necklace out of it, and heís wearing this Purple Heart, and heís wearing his jacket with the big 7th Division patch, which is like an hour glass, itís a black and red thing like an hour glass. And I said to him, I says ďWere you really there, or did you buy that in the Army-Navy store?Ē And he says, ďI was there.Ē He was up at the Chosin Reservoir with the Marines and he had a hatred for those North Koreans, and the Chinese. He once made a statement, they asked him if he wanted to go back to Korea on a revisit and he said, ďThe only way Iíll go back is with an M-1 rifle.Ē Real hatred he had. And then he started telling me about [Ö] he was one of the founders of this organization, him and Murray. And he started telling me about the organization, so I said ďWhen do you meetĒ and all of that, and thatís how I started. Iím down here going to be 20 years.

{JB:} How long did you manage the restaurant?

{HD:} Last 16 years. So I became active with them. Iím active. Iím the senior vice president of the Disabled American Veterans chapter which that guy Mike, the Vietnam veteran, heís the commander, and theyíre probably going to put me up for the next commandership.

{JB:} Whatís your age?

{HD:} Seventy-two. I became a service officer last year. Iím a certified service officer along with that guy Mike and we handle claims, paperwork for veterans who come in, and we submit it and [Ö] thatís volunteer work [Ö]

For three years, for over three years, Iíve been the president of this organization. I just stepped down because the state commander asked me to be the state service officer for the Korean War veterans, but weíll have to go through the Disabled American Veterans. Thatís going to take up some of my time, so thatís one of the reasons why I stepped down. But weíre only actually supposed to serve for two years, but nobody wanted it and I kept on. I gave them plenty of time.

Thatís what this was supposed to be about. The place where we usually have our meetings, itís a nighttime meeting on a Wednesday night, and thereís a lot of guys that canít see at night, they donít drive at night, so we used to get like 10 guys 12 guys, we were supposed to have like 50 people here today. Lot of them didnít show up, the reason was, to have it here, with the breakfast, as long as thereís a freebie, theyíll come.

I can count six right of the bat, right of the top of my head, who didnít show up because either theyíre wives werenít feeling well, or the Englishman had to go back to England, and Peter said he might come, he might not, but you saw him yesterday, so thatís okay. Balland didnít show up. Rosen didnít show up. Ralph Levy didnít show up. Arkans didnít show up, Arcarrow didnít show up. Weíre a mixed group.


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Why do we remember some things, and forget others? That's what author Peter Brown and psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel set out to answer in their new book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

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