Longview veteran remembers Korean war - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview veteran remembers Korean war

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- An east Texan is remembering the courageous efforts of Americans in e fight for the 38th parallel, and is part in the Korean war. This past week across east Texas many veteran's ceremonies were held, many paying special honors to those who served in the forgotten war of Korea. It was the first conflict pitting communist forces against western democracies, and 60 years later is credited with south Korea's existence.

Joe Crenshaw of Longview remembers like it was yesterday, when he was an 18 year old army private hitting the beach in Korea.

"Anyone that says they didn't shake a little bit the first time they were under direct fire just has not been there," he says.

1950 the north Koreans had broken through to the south pinning U.S. Forces in the southeast corner of the country. It was the Americans darkest hour.

"Our troops down there in the Pusan area were almost pushed back in the sea," Joe says.

In the biggest gamble of the war, Crenshaw was part of the famous end run landings at Inchon, behind enemy lines.

"It almost put them in rout, we cut off their supply lines, we had north Korea totally on the run and totally whipped really," Joe says.

In a counter offensive, Chinese regulars were being killed and captured.

"When the Chinese swarmed us all of the sudden it was a different ball game all together, you try everything you can to stay alive , but somehow there's a little nagging thing in the back here that says I'm not going to make it," says Crenshaw.

For months there was savage fighting, and in one instance where Crenshaw mowed down snipers with a machine gun, made a startling discovery among the dead.

"One of the boys recognized the one I'd cut in two with the 50 caliber , he'd been in our chow line the day before" he says.

To this day , Crenshaw feels Americans saved the day in Korea.

"There's no finer soldier anywhere than united states armed forces. Its called the forgotten war but we haven't forgotten," he says.

The bitter fighting ended in an armistice signed July of 1953. More than 36-thousand Americans died in the Korean war. An additional 8-thousand are still unaccounted for.

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