We now see that America never was very enthusiastic over Korea. We had enough of WWII and just wanted to get on with our lives. As to the servicemen who served so valiantly in Korea, well that was their problem. The mood of America was to just ignore the Korean War as if it never happened. Our troops returned to an uncaring America who turned a deaf ear to them. In short, nobody really cared. This attitude might be understandable, but it was certainly not justified. Our Korea veterans returned to an unsympathetic U.S. No bands playing, no greeting groups, nothing to welcome these men or to even acknowledge that they had been gone. It was considered best to just forget about the war, forget about the veterans, forget about their sacrifices. I was a crewmember on an RB-29 named "Tiger Lil" during the "conflict", surviving the deadly anti-aircraft fire over Pyongyang, and the cannon firing Mig 15 attacks in the Sinuiju area. I returned to the U.S. after our crew flew their 50 missions, and personally experienced the indifference first hand. No one talked about the war and I certainly never brought it up. I joined the VFW but I was the only Korea veteran there. I got tired of listening to all the war stories so I dropped out. At one time I tried to start an organization with only men who had actually server in combat, The Korea Combat Veterans Of America. No takers, no one was interested. The Korea vet just wasn't a talker, and I never heard one brag. I seldom if ever mentioned the war to my family. It was almost like it never happened. So I kept everything to myself. Through the years I watched many reunions and gatherings with great fanfare by other veteran organizations, but I never felt a part of it. Finally, after 50 years, I decided I wanted to develop my own web site and tell my recollections of Korea as I remembered it. I wanted to express my own opinion of various happenings, plus anything I could remember about the B-29 and the Air war. It has not been easy. In this article I tried to show The Mood Of America which was undoubtedly responsible for the apathetic attitude toward the war, and the returning veteran. In 50 years I never discussed the war, was never asked about it. Returning servicemen never had their glory, no thank you, no recognition of any kind. Tracking down crewmembers has been almost impossible. I can only locate one member of my crew, I can only assume they have passed on. WWII veterans are dying at a staggering rate, and now the Korea veteran is on his way to dwindling numbers.
One of these, and I am sure to receive strong protests to my opinion, is the emotional celebrations with our previous enemy. A pilot, reunited with the Japanese pilot who shot him down, in a dramatic embrace hugging each other. American groups celebrating with their previous enemy who beheaded and tortured our POW's. I personally choose never to forget the Japanese atrocities, the Bataan death march, Iwo Jima, the fanatical Kamikaze pilots of Okinawa. No, I will never forget Pearl Harbor, nor do I choose to forget the dropping of the bombs which ended the war. I will never forget the Anti-aircraft gunners who tried their best to kill me over Pyongyang, or the Mig 15 pilots who shot down so many RB-29's of our squadron. I have no intention of meeting them in a tearful gathering to celebrate the past circumstances. The atrocities done to our prisoners are so outrageous they should never be erased from our memory.
I consider myself a patriotic American, who loves God and country, and respects the flag. I still get a lump in my throat whenever I hear taps, or whenever I see the missing man formation. The war protest movement is pretty hard for me to swallow. Memories of Jane Fonda sitting on a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun repulses me. This country at one time was the greatest country in the world. Our people had pride and respect. Now the whole world is against us, even our own people. How much longer will our democratic society be able to withstand millions of protestors lying in the streets chained together? The alternative is not very pretty. Can anyone imagine these fanatics creating such chaos as to actually overthrow our government?
One last comment: I would appreciate hearing from any Korea vet who has visited the Korea memorial in D.C. Bogged down in typical politics, like the Enola Gay and the Smithsonian, designed with great incompetence, it is typical of everything we do today. "The Forgotten War", that's the understatement of the year. I intend to continue to promote my web site with patriotic perseverance. God bless the Korea Veterans, and God bless the U.S.A.
Comment: There are indeed controversial statements made
here that protestors and others will find offensive, however they are
the personal opinion of Wayland Mayo, web site historian.